Sunday, January 19, 2020

2021: The Blue Wolf Totem Ride Set to Conquer 3,600 kms across Mongolia

January 19 2020

A 3,600 km horseback expedition across the lands and through the history of Mongolia in support of serioulsy disadvantaged Mongolian children.

The Blue Wolf Totem Ride, an epic 3,600 kilometer charity ride across the lands and through the history of Mongolia, will be leaving May 3rd, 2021 from Khamariin Khiid, an ancient Buddhist shrine and an important Mongolian Energy Centre located in far south corner of the Gobi Desert. Fifteen riders from around the world along with their Mongolian crew will mount up and head north from the Gobi Desert with the ultimate destination of the Heart of Mongolia – the farthermost western point of Mongolia and the highest peak in the country - Altai Tavan Bogd Mountain. Along the way during their 84 days of trekking they will cross desert, steppe, wilderness taiga, mountains, sand dunes and everything in between. They will travel through the lands of the 5 major tribes of Mongolians and will take extra time to visit the Tsaatan, or Reindeer riders and the Kazakh eagle hunters as they ride between 20 and 70 kms a day and enjoy a rest day after each 10 days of riding.

Why Blue Wolf Totem? The name evokes the magic and mystery that is central to the ride and harkens back to the legend surrounding the peoples of Mongolia and the history of the trail that would become the silk road. Legend has it that the Mongolian people sprang from the union of a wild deer and a blue wolf in “tengerii” ( the heavens ) who recognized that they would forge a people who would survive and thrive until the end of time. The product of this union is said to be Chinggis Khan’s (many of you will know him as Genghis Khan) ancestors. Chinggis himself loved the myth so much that he took as his totem the revered Blue Wolf and until today it is a symbol of the best and brightest of all things Mongolian.

Paying homage to the full history of the land, the Blue Wolf Totem Ride will take riders to secret mountain shrines, to famous and little known historical spots celebrating the life and times of Chinggis Khan, along with shaman sites and sacred points and along rivers dotted with the burial shrines of ancient Mongolian warriors. Prehistory and modern history are also the focus and riders will experience standing “People stones” and “Deer Stones” and visit remote caves containing some of the oldest cave paintings on the planet along with more modern twists as the ride visits the secret hideouts of 20th century “Robin Hoods” who stole horses from the rich and gave to the poor at the turn of the century.

These intrepid adventurers will also be looking to spot a wide variety of Mongolian wildlife including antelope, argali sheep, ibex, moose, bear and will have a full day devoted to tracking the famed Takhi ( Przwalksi Horse) roaming free in the remote western province of Khovd. All together they will visit 12 of Mongolia’s 15 provinces and witness the majesty of the 8 lakes regions, visit hot springs and amazing rock formations rising abruptly from open plain, experience the famed “blue pearl” Mongolia’s Lake Khovsgul and cross soaring mountains and, of course, the storied Mongolian steppe. The natural beauty alone is a collection of absolutely stunning vistas and with the addition of true Mongolian hospitality, authentic cultural experience and the fact that this ride will not only be helping Mongolian children who scavenge in the trash to survive ( 100% of the tariff and monies raised for this astonishing ride will stay in Mongolia) but also will support local Mongolian herders and their efforts to maintain the care and training that keeps the Mongolian horse as the king of the long distance / endurance horse it becomes a ride larger than life.

The concept of this near record breaking ride through Mongolian history is a result of the long and productive friendship between Baagii and Saraa of Horse Trek Mongolia and Julie Veloo of Veloo Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit in the US and a Registered Canadian charity. Baagii, Saraa and Julie have together previously done in excess of 20,000 kilometers of charity rides across Mongolia.

Julie and her husband Chelvan moved to Mongolia in 2010 and Julie quickly took up horseback riding ( for the first time in her life – at age 50!) and now has in excess of 30,000 kilometers under her belt and is an associate member of the Long Riders’ Guild. Julie’s heartfelt desire to help Mongolian children along with her absolute love of Mongolian history and culture as well as her passionate commitment to the Mongolian horse and riding this wonderful land has led to the creation of what we expect will go down in history as one of the longest, and certainly the most epic, charity horseback rides on the planet.

Julie, along with Baagii and Saraa of Horse Trek Mongolia have been hosting the Gobi Gallop – the world’s longest annual charity endurance ride for the past seven years. During this time they have raised in excess of $540,000 USD, all of which has gone to support Veloo Foundation’s work in Mongolia. The focus of The Blue Wolf Totem Ride is to raise awareness of and funds for Veloo Foundation’s Children of the Peak Sanctuary Project / Narnii Huuhduud Moroodol which serves to feed, educate and care for nearly 1,000 children from Ulaanbaatar’s Ulaan Chuuluut Garbage dump community.

The full 84 day ride will cost $14,500 plus a minimum $4000 contribution to the charity and a non-refundable $750 registration fee. Individuals may apply to ride the entire length or groups of three may enter to ride as a tag team with each member riding approximately 1200 kms. There is an extra charge for that.

Veloo Foundation is a registered 501(c) 3 not for profit in the United states and registered Canadian charity and as such, qualified American or Canadian donors will receive a tax receipt for their charitable contributions in support of this ride.

More information available at: or

Baagii, co-owner of Horse Trek Mongolia heads off across the Gobi Desert as part of the 2018 Gobi Gallop
Julie Veloo photo

Altai Tavan Bogd, the highest peak in Mongolia and a place of great spiritual importance to the Mongolian people. It is where the Blue Wolf  Totem Ride will finish - 84 days after leaving from the heart of the Gobi Desert.
Photo Credit Dercour Duval Films - Used with permission

Western Mongolian Kazakh Eagle Hunter playing tradition horseback games. Bayan Olgii province. 
Photo credit Nurmukhamed Battur

Baagii, co-owner of Horse Trek Mongolia (pictured Right) and Sumbee one of our lead guides with a rare white reindeer in the Taiga as we visit the Tsaatan people, some of the last truly nomadic reindeer herders on the planet.
Photo credit Julie Veloo

Ancient deer stones and burial site.
 Arkhangai province, Mongolia
Photo - Victoria Wilson
Used with permission

Riding the wilds of Hintee Province, birthplace of Chinggis Khan. Photo Credit Julie Veloo

Riding the wilds close to Kharkhorin,  the ancient capital city whose site was chosen by Chinggis Khan . Kharkhorin was a thriving centre of trade and learning on the silk road.
Photo credit. Julie Veloo

courtesy of Nurmukhamed Battur 

courtesy of Nurmukhamed Battur 

A Mongolian owoo - a local religious shrine built by local people in places they consider sacred. 
Credit  Julie Veloo

Monday, January 13, 2020

Arabian Horse Intl Endurance online magazine featuring International Endurance Races 2019

Publisher Cidinha Franzao has released the latest issue of Arabian Horse Intl Endurance online magazine featuring International Endurance Races 2019.

Coverage includes
• Juma’s Team, the marriage that has changed the global endurance
• FEI Meydan World Championship Young Riders & Juniors 2019
• Meydan World Endurance Championship Young Horses 2019
• HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Italy Endurance Festival
• Meydan FEI European Championship
• XXIX Brazilian Championship
• Equiplanet Absolute Italian Championships
• Races: Santa Susanna, Romania, Twenty Mule, Possen, Gobi Desert Cup, Tom Quilty Gold Cup, Carmona, Ripoll, Llay-llay, Nations Cup at Euston Park, Prestige Cup, Ecuador, South Africa, Castelsagrat, Bragado Endurance Festival, The Biltmore Endurance Challenge, HH The President of the United Arab Emirates Endurance Cup, The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, HM The King Cup, HM the King Endurance Cup for GCC Studs, Royal Windsor Endurance Riders

See the issue here:

Saturday, January 11, 2020

UAE2020 Endurance: Business as Usual in the Killing Fields - Full Article

The mass withdrawal of UAE endurance riders and rides from FEI affiliation on January 1 is making it more difficult for the FEI to reform desert racing.

By: Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson

When the FEI General Assembly passed tough new rules to reform endurance six weeks ago, the landslide vote (94 national federations in favour, 19 against) was widely seen as a kick in the teeth for the UAE. But not for long. It is business as usual as the new decade dawns in the desert. At the stroke of midnight on December 31st, desert racing simply removed the FEI from its own equation.

Many of the UAE’s 60-odd winter fixtures had already dropped FEI affiliation in recent years. Now nearly all have dis-affiliated for the second half of this winter season – along with riders and horses and the legion of visiting foreigners who have also not yet renewed FEI registrations for 2020.

The two venues in Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the heart of the doping and horse fatality scandals are simply avoiding tough new FEI rules by running everything as CEN (Concours de Raid D’Endurance International) under UAE national rules. Even prestigious rides like the President’s Cup next month will, for the first time, be staged as CEN rather than CEI (Concours de Raid D’Endurance International), even though it will appear “international” to the wider world.

Around 1,000 UAE endurance riders – including stable jockeys from the Indian subcontinent – would normally renew annually with the FEI. Upwards of 4,000 horses are usually re-registered in the first few months of the year. This month, these figures plummeted to just 54 and 21 respectively, even though the Sheikh Mohammed Cup, first huge race-ride of 2020 was just hours away...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Saudi Arabia: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup set to roll - Full Article

January 9 2020

The 120-km endurance race — in which riders will complete four laps through the desert and mountains of AlUla
ALULA: The Royal Commission for AlUla and the official organizers of the Winter at Tantora festival announced the launch of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2020, which will take place on Feb. 1 in association with the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation.

The 120-km endurance race — in which riders will complete four laps through the desert and mountains of AlUla — offers SR15 million ($4 million) in prize money for the winning riders.

AlUla’s equestrian associations extend back more than 8,000 years, as evidenced by rock art found in archaeological sites in Jabal ‘Akma and Al-Aqrah...

Read more here:

Saturday, January 04, 2020

UAE: Salim Said Al Owais claims Mohammed Endurance Cup - Full Article

I came so close last year and was determined to come back stronger this time, he says

Published: January 04, 2020 19:24
Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer

Dubai: Having narrowly been denied 12 months ago, Salim Said Al Owais promised himself that he would one day win the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, one of the most prestigious endurance rides on the UAE calendar with prize money totally Dh7 million.

And he did not have to wait long.

The talented young horseman finally got his hands on the coveted trophy on Saturday following a masterful ride aboard the 12-year-old Castlebar Cadabr, a handsome Purebred Arabian representing the powerful F3 Endurance Stables.

In second place, just 15 seconds behind Al Owais, was Argentina’s Martina Spelanzon aboard Muntasir while Saeed Ahmed Jaber Al Harbi took third place aboard Longrun Mikami, to complete a one-two-three finish for F3 stables.

Sponsored by Longines, the 160km CEI 3 Star ride brought together more than 243 riders representing 46 countries including Australia, Britain, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, India, Pakistan, Spain, Ecuador, Kazakastan and Portugal.

“This was my dream,” said a delighted Al Owais, who clocked 06:24:00 hours for the 160 kilometre ride held at the Dubai International Endurance City, Seeh, Al Salarm...

Read more here:

Friday, January 03, 2020

‘Shock and sadness’ after four horses sustain catastrophic injuries abroad - Full Article

Becky Murray
2 January, 2020 14:30

Calls have been made for the “fullest possible” investigation after four horses sustained “shocking” catastrophic injuries at endurance rides in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Three horses competing in the CEN 120km Gamilati Cup (28 December) — Orange Glove ridden by Saif Ahmed Mohammed Alli Almazrouei of the UAE, L P Malvina ridden by Bianca Schutz of the Netherlands, and Aloha Diamond Jubilee ridden by Nadia Solange Fernandez of Argentina — suffered catastrophic injuries, as did one competing in the CEN 120km Al Maktoum Cup (29 December), Rafaela Heb ridden by Mohammad Ussain Habib Khan of India.

Endurance GB (EGB) director of welfare Antonia Milner-Mathews said the board was “shocked and saddened” by the incidents...

Read more here:

Endurance Cup headlines 4-day Dubai endurance extravaganza - Full Article

January 2 2020

The four-day His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival of endurance riding, the centrepiece of the UAE Endurance Calendar, is being held between Dec.27, 2019 and Jan. 4, 2020.

Topping the programme is the prestigious Sheikh Mohammed Endurance Cup, which draws participation from the world’s very best endurance riders as they celebrate the sport’s most eminent supporter, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Endurance Cup festival now has international editions held across Europe and the United Kingdom, and the main ride held over 160km will be held at the Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC)...

Read more here:

2021: The Blue Wolf Totem Ride Set to Conquer 3,600 kms across Mongolia

January 19 2020 A 3,600 km horseback expedition across the lands and through the history of Mongolia in support of serioulsy disadvantag...