20-year ban for equestrian rider in horse abuse case

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A record 20-year ban in equestrian has been imposed on a rider from the United Arab Emirates for horse abuse at a long-distance race.

The horse, Castlebar Contraband, was euthanized after a “catastrophic injury” sustained after being injected with a banned sedative for a 90-kilometer (56-mile) endurance race in France.

The International Equestrian Federation said the ban until June 2040 imposed on Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Faisal al Qasimi was the strongest in its history.

He was previously banned for two years in 2012 when a different horse tested positive for testosterone.

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The sedative, xylazine, can be used to lower a horse’s heart rate and for nerve blocking to allow it to run through pain.

The sheikh was ordered to pay 32,500 Swiss francs ($34,000) in fines and legal costs. He can appeal against his sanctions at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The FEI suspended the UAE member federation in 2015 because of cases of doping, horse abuse and faked results in endurance races.

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