Saturday, April 29, 2017

Greece: Modern mythology: Riders stage 1,500-mile trek in the name of art and politics

CNN.com - Full Story

April 26 2017
By Nick Glass, CNN

Athens, Greece (CNN)It could be a story out of Greek mythology: three men and a woman setting out on horseback to ride across Europe in 100 days. Tagging along with them is a rider-less steed named after the Greek messenger of the gods, Hermes.

But this isn't a poetic narrative from Homer. It's actually happening now, a wondrous and rather surreal conjunction, both marathon horse ride and contemporary artwork. (Anything, it seems, can be art these days if the artist decrees it.)

The piece is titled "The Transit of Hermes," and in one sense, it's romantic. It harks back nostalgically 150 so years or so to a time before the automobile, when horses ruled and you could canter freely across any border...

Read more here:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/26/arts/documenta-14-transit-of-hermes/

GB: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: ‘I take a stethoscope with me at all times’

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 29 April, 2017

After a busy start to the season, there is now a lull in proceedings. There have been no competitions for us for the past two weeks and there are no competitions for the next couple of weeks.

The first FEI ride in the UK has been and gone and, in the King’s Forest in Norfolk, was one of my favourites. Following the races online is great but not as good as actually being there; next time…

Now is the time to concentrate on fitness training for Fantom and Dilmun and to a slightly lesser extent for Chiara. Poor little Chiara had a bit of an accident, slipping backwards onto some concrete and getting a nasty cut on her hock. Thankfully this is not serious but interrupted her training for 10 days or so...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/blog/annie-joppes-endurance-blog-take-stethoscope-times-618540#S7VyA3ZAwWLyY45X.99

Friday, April 28, 2017

Major New Additions to Tryon World Equestrian Games Grounds

Dressage-news.com - Full Article

April 27 2017
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

MILL SPRING, North Carolina, April 27, 2017–Plans are being completed for a 20,000-seat temporary main stadium for dressage and jumping and a new indoor arena for vaulting and reining for the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina.

Officials from at least 15 countries will meet at the Tryon show grounds next week to review progress for the world championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining, vaulting and para-dressage Sept. 11-23, 2018.

The officials from Asia, South America and Europe as well as North America will be briefed on flying in about 840 horses from around the world, construction of competition venues, stabling, accommodations for riders, grooms, officials and media, the massive undertaking of feeding about 50,000 people a day expected to watch the world championships of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining, vaulting and para-dressage Sept. 11-23, 2018...

Read more here:
http://www.dressage-news.com/2017/04/27/major-new-additions-to-tryon-world-equestrian-games-grounds/

Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Zealand Endurance celebrates 40th anniversary of national championships

Endurance-world.com - Full Article

27 April 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Daryl Owen

Taupo, New Zealand. 14 and 15 April 2017
Easter 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of the Endurance New Zealand National Championships.


Endurance World Taupo Georgia Smith 160km Senior winnerIn the run up to the event participants past and present studied up their NZ endurance history for the trivia night, and also watched the weather forecast as a cyclone headed on a collision course with the area.

The start time for the 160km Championship was delayed in deference to the expected weather but riders and crew alike were relieved when the worst of the rain faded away, leaving near ideal riding conditions.

Taking the 160km Championship title for the third time was the combination of Georgia Smith and homebred mare Glenmore Vixen. They have claimed to this title twice in the senior division and once in the junior division, as well as taking the North Island title in the 160km. Second place went to Jenny Chandler and AC Tigger, winners of the North Island Champs 160km last year, with third place going to this year’s North Island winner, Jenny Champion and Barack Obama...

Read more here:
http://endurance-world.com/taupo-new-zealand-endurance/

Australia: A Gerogery endurance horse trainer is being trained by two of the nation's best in his bid to compete in the Olympics for air pistol

Bordermail.com.au - Full Story

Ellen Ebsary
@EEbsary
24 Apr 2017,

A specialty shipping container shooting range could be the key to cementing endurance trainer Alamdar Dastani’s chances at bringing Olympic gold home to the Riverina.

The Gerogery endurance horse trainer has been competing in air pistol for only 14 months, but has two of Australia’s best in the sport mentoring him.

To meet his daily training requirement of four hours, he floated the idea with Greater Hume Council of setting up his own world-class shooting range in a shipping container.

Dastani, now with council’s blessing, will seek approval from the NSW Police Firearms Registry to construct the 10-metre range.

“My first state-level competition was at the Victoria state titles, held last March, and I won the gold medal in my division,” he said.

“My closest club is the Hume Pistol Club, and the other two clubs are Wagga or Yackandandah.

“I’m a professional horse trainer, so after training 130 horses, travelling to those clubs takes up a lot of my time.

“Hence the reason why I’ve put forward the idea of a completely legal indoor shooting range in a shipping container.”

Plywood 1.5 inches think will be installed at the back of the container with a pellet catcher, a sound-absorbing system preventing pellets from falling on the floor...

Read more here:
http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/4615705/olympics-hopeful-has-podium-in-his-sights/

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Australia: Hawkesbury riders saddle up for Tom Quilty

Hawkesburygazette.com - Full Article

Jo Arblaster
26 Apr 2017

More than 50 riders are expected to mount up to tackle the legendary Quilty trails in the Hawkesbury next weekend.

The Q60 - named after the 100-mile Tom Quilty ride which was first held in the Hawkesbury in 1966 - will take place on 29th /30th April. Based at Ararat Lodge in the Colo Valley, there will be distances to suit all abilities, ages and levels of fitness. Rides from 5kms to 100kms will take horses up rocky sandstone escarpments and along shady four-wheel drive tracks through the National Park, and over private property alongside ancient water-courses festooned with waterlilies in the Colo valley...

Read more here:
http://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/story/4621776/riders-saddle-up-for-tom-quilty/

Monday, April 24, 2017

British Endurance Protocol Endurance Takes Shape - Update

24 April 2017

The Kings Forest national 80km Competitive Endurance Ride hosted a trial of a new award which forms part of the British Endurance Protocol currently being developed by Endurance GB and the British Equestrian Federation. The award is designed to complement the existing competition structure and reward good horsemanship over the course of the competition. At each vetgate and at the finish, presentation times were scored as 20 points minus the presentation time. A 20 point bonus was given for each Cardiac Recovery Index (CRI) result where the second pulse was lower than the first. Scores were also awarded for the other veterinary criteria (gut sounds, gait and dehydration) up to a maximum of 15 points at each vetgate and at the final vetting.

The winners of the trial competition were Christine Ryan & Almaak with 145.40 points, who also won the class. Christine Ryan and Almaak had the shortest presentation times out of all the competitors at each vetgate and at the finish, and they had excellent CRI results including a final pulse of 60/48 in five minutes.

In second place was Saffron Bishop & Ty Shute Golden Savannah with 135.62 points, and in third place was Charlie Chadwick & Sky's the Limit with 132.68 points.

The results of the trial competition will now be reviewed by the working group. Other elements of the protocol which focus on participation, promotion of clean sport and selecting officials are still being worked on and more information will be released in due course.

GB: Hayle dairy farmer Paul Richards to tackle world's longest and toughest horse race in Mongolia

Crnwalllive.com - Full Article

By wbchris | Posted: April 23, 2017

A dairy farmer from Hayle has signed up to take on the world's longest and toughest horse race – a derby across 1,000km of east Asian terrain.

Paul Richards, 59, a dairy farmer from Hayle, will be taking part in the Mongol Derby and is raising funds for Children's Hospice South West (CHSW).

Paul is a fourth-generation dairy farmer and has signed up to take on the 9th Mongol Derby across 1,000km of Mongolian steppe.

Paul is the first Cornishman to ever be selected for the derby and will be riding against 39 other competitors from around the world. Paul is one of only nine riders from the UK taking part...

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/hayle-dairy-farmer-paul-richards-to-tackle-world-s-longest-and-toughest-horse-race-in-mongolia/story-30285183-detail/story.html#cqM1ijAeWfdtqbgl.99

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Entire New Zealand endurance board to resign in July

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

April 23, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

All members of the Endurance Board of Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) have decided to resign, effective from the annual general meeting on July 22.

The announcement comes just days after the announcement of a special general meeting set for May 10, at which a motion of no confidence in the current ESNZ Endurance Board was to be moved.

The push for a no-confidence motion against the board is being pursued by a faction within the sport unhappy over what they allege is a failure by the board to comply with the ESNZ constitution, regulations and by-laws...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/04/23/nz-endurance-board-resign-july/#soWxvw2ySBELgTgx.99

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spain: Estepona horse racers take part in first half marathon for charity

Theolivepress.es - Full Article

Caroline Graham and Helen Buteux, who normally race on endurance horses, decided to put themselves to the test through the Malaga half marathon

By Chloe Glover (Reporter) - PUBLISHED - 19 Apr, 2017

HORSE lovers galloped to victory in their first charity half marathon.

Caroline Graham and Helen Buteux, who normally race on endurance horses, decided to put themselves to the test through the Malaga half marathon.

In the process they raised , raising €150 for Estepona’s ADANA animal charity.

“We are used to competing on our horses in 40 and 80 km endurance races but had never run a long race on our own two feet,” said Caroline, 45...

Read more here:
http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2017/04/19/estepona-horse-lovers/

Italy: The FEI Longines WEC is in San Rossore

Endurancelifestyle.it

April 14 2017

These are the days of pride for the Organizing Committee of Toscana Endurance Lifestyle, sistemaeventi.it and Italia Endurance asd, after yesterday that the FEI has made official the assignment of the Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 to San Rossore, which is announced as the world capital of endurance in the coming years.

The Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 allocation represents the confirmation of years of engagamenet and hard work and it joins to the FEI European Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders in 2018 and to double dates of 2019 with the FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders and the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses.

"We are ready for the world" will therefore be the leading road of the coming years because the goal - as always - is to be excellent and create the best conditions for all the pairs that will arrive to San Rossore in order for them to have a chance to give their best.

The pride for the allocation of the 2020 World Championship is mixed in a melting pot of emotions and satisfaction for a bidding in which the Italian Equestrian Federation believed with conviction. "We are excited and eager to get to work - commented Gianluca Laliscia, CEO and Chairman of sistemaeventi.it - convinced to continue to give our best in all the championships that we will organize until 2020. A special joy, however, it is that represented by the allocation of Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 that we want to share with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who always believed in us, granting us the confidence needed to continue our growth".

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

South Africa: Entries Open for Race the Wild Coast

Rockethorseracing.co.za

In October 2017 we hold the second edition of Race the Wild Coast: a new breed of horse race. Riders, with a team of three horses, compete for victory over 350km of rugged paradise on the remote east coast of South Africa; navigating through this challenging wilderness, swimming rivers and keeping horses fit for vet checks in this complex multi stage race will challenge the endurance of any horseback adventurer.

What:
• Total distance: 350 kilometres.
• A multi stage format including: dawn start and dusk cut-off, compulsory holds for tide affected river crossings and timed releases.
• Each rider has a team of 3 horses provided by a South African stud.
• There will be two horse changes at prescribed points: 123km and 209km into the race respectively.
• Each stage ends with a vet check for the horses (approximately every 40km). A rider may only continue without penalty if their horse passes the vet check.
• A recommended track with alternative routes or simply a stage destination, dependent on the terrain, will be provided on GPS to aid navigation. There will be no route markings on the ground.
• The race window is a total of 5 days with the organisers expecting the winner to finish early on the fourth day.
• This race will be a complex combination of endurance, horsemanship, navigation, strategy and what Mother Nature throws at you!

Where:

• The Wild Coast on the eastern seaboard of South Africa, from Port Edward to Kei Mouth.
• Competitors will be transferred from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and fly out of East London Airport at the conclusion of the race.

When:

• 24th – 31st October 2017.
• Pre-Race training 24th – 26th October. Race 27th – 31st October. Depart 1st November.
• Competitors transfer from Durban to the start camp on the 24th of October for a race briefing followed on the 25th and 26th with meeting their horses and back up team, kit and tack testing, horse orientation (including practice swimming rivers) and team strategy discussions.
• The race starts at 09h00 on the 27th of October with a five-day window to complete the race.
• There will be a prize giving and spectacular celebration on the evening of the 31st, and on the 1st November our brave adventurers begin their journey homeward.

Who:

• The adventure format of the race requires real horsemanship skills, experience riding long distances and competence in operating a GPS; the critical aid to navigating in this landscape.
• Riders will need to be physically fit, confident swimmers and be comfortable in the wilderness, alone and self sufficient.
• Riders must complete an application form, including details of their qualifications to compete in the race. Acceptance of applications will be at the discretion of the organisers.
Price:
• GBP 5 150.00 or EUR 5 950.00 or USD 6 500.00
• The price includes all food, accommodation, horses, support crew, tack and transfers (from pick up in Durban to drop off in East London).

For more information, see:
http://rockethorseracing.co.za/race-the-wild-coast/

Great Britain: Hadzi and Rich Take Honours at Kings Forest

Grandprix-replay.com - Full Article

18 April - 12h19 | Lulu Kyriacou

The CEI 1*/2* at Kings Forest near Bury St Edmunds in England ran several classes in addition to the internationals, tested new Endurance GB protocols and introduced a new face to European endurance riding.

Tayla Hadzi is a native of Queensland, Australia but has been working as Head Girls at OSO Endurance Arabians in New South Wales for some time. She was responsible for training OSO Edith to compete at last years World Championships at Samorin where the ten year old mare was 24th individually when ridden by Sacha Laws King and helped the team into fourth place.

It was then that OSO Stud manager Amanda Kettlewell concieved the plan of aiming the horse, together with Tayla at the coming Young Rider championships in Italy. With that in mind the horse has been based in Somerset with Nikki Malcolm and Nathan Sweeny of Stride Ahead Horses and Tayla flew in a week ago to do the final prep and ride in the race. The team were also responsible for the second placed horse in the senior 120km ride...

Read more here:
http://www.grandprix-replay.com/uk/article/4536/hadzi-and-rich-take-honours-at-kings-forest

UAE: International endurance season under Boudheib rules announced

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

April 19, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

An international season for endurance under the rules pioneered at the United Arab Emirates’ Boudheib endurance center has been announced.

The proposed calendar lists races in South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Jordan and Texas.

A statement from the Boudheib center lists Princess Alia, the sister of former FEI president Princess Haya, as the organizer of the Jordan event.

The proposed schedule and dates are listed below.

The Boudheib endurance facility in Abu Dhabi, owned by Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been an oasis in UAE endurance, applying house rules insisted on by the sheikh that have all but eliminated the welfare issues that have plagued the sport in the region...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/04/19/international-endurance-season-boudheib-announced/#ZPiTlweRP6vexx0U.99

Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Official: Speed Kills

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 17, 2017

You don’t need to be much of a horseman to know that if you persistently and rigorously work an unsound horse, it will break.

Now, though, we have compelling scientific evidence that the intensive training techniques and high competition speeds typical of Middle East (FEI group 7) endurance have a direct impact on bone fatigue and the Catastrophic Injury (CI) – a term unique to endurance lexicon.

Distinguished veterinarians Tim Parkin (GB) and Chris Whitton (Australia) presented their long-term studies on attrition to the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne. Whether their findings result in yet more endurance rules or change in group 7 mind-set remains to be seen.

Sadly, the conference chamber was not exactly awash with endurance practitioners – let’s hope more were watching online. Worryingly, Sheikh Khalid of Bahrain – which he flippantly described one of the “naughty” countries – said towards the end of the bone fatigue Q &A that he thought Whitton was recommending longer rest periods between LOOPS during a ride. In fact, Whitton was clearly urging an even longer mandatory rest period between RIDES.

Still the evidence that speed kills was there in print; and also in monochrome. Whitton produced disturbing visuals of “deforming” bones to illustrate that natural bone repair likes to follow its own schedule. A naturally-repairing bone adapts to the horse’s usual type of work; so galloping a horse who is just back from injury when he is more used to trotting causes more damage, and vice versa. With every stride a horse is one step closer to bone fatigue: ergo, the skilful horseman will do only the bare minimum needed to keep the horse competition-fit.

The stresses on bones were a shocker. Whitton said that the load on the fetlock joint walking at 4kph is 0.8 tonnes; trotting at 13 kph is 2.3 tonnes; cantering at 27 kph is 2.6 tonnes and galloping at 48 kph is 4 tonnes. Endurance is getting ever faster in the desert. In an end-of-season CEN in Dubai, one front-runner had a final loop average of nearly 41kph. No wonder legs are snapping right left and centre...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/its-official-speed-kills/

UAE: Successful Boudhieb Endurance Initiative Schedules 7 International Events in 2017

April 16 2017

BOUDHEIB INITIATIVE (BI) - 
DRIVING THE FUTURE OF ENDURANCE


So another endurance season is over here in the UAE as the temperatures are creeping up to 40 degrees!


The Boudheib Initiative has been very successful throughout our 2016/17 winter season and is helping the sport to return to its origins whilst the Best Endurance Challenge Award (BECA) is providing a good basic structure for the future 'Welfare of the Endurance Horse'.

In Boudheib, natural tracks now form up to 45% of some loops, and are naturally slowing down speeds; the strict 20kph speed rules, the 56bpm heart rate and 10 minute presentation time are also having the desired effect. It seems that the horses, riders and trainers are becoming more accustomed to riding and training for these trails and everyone is starting to enjoy the BECA challenge.


The hugely exciting 'Boudheib Worldwide' conference took place in Boudheib last month, with many international endurance guests taking part. Consequently great strides are being made in implementing the Boudheib Initiative Worldwide and many countries have come forward to request the use of the Boudheib rules, and BECA (Best Endurance Challenge Award) in their competitions.

We are proud to announce the support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for 7 proposed international endurance events to take us through to the end of the year.


Boudheib's international season will start next month, May 27th, in South Africa. PWC Sondela Endurance Event Organiser, Susan Koekemoer is advancing well with arrangements and expects a total of 200 horses and riders to take part in 3 categories namely 40km, 80km and a 120km using Boudheib's BECA. The BECA protocol will run alongside their own National event and CEI1*. They even have participation from Botswana competitors who will travel over 350km to take part. An invitational team competition between Botswana and local South African club teams has been added to the event to promote the International spirit between teams. 5 riders in the 80km times predict their riding time and the team closest to their predicted time win the team competition.


The PWC Sondela Endurance Ride, hosted by Premier Equestrian Club, has been held in the beautiful Sondela Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa for the past 15 years. The success of the event can be attributed to the professionalism of the event organisation, the beauty of the trail within the Sondela Nature Reserve and the luxury accommodation offered by Sondela for the whole family, not just the competitors, to enjoy the event. Annual new initiatives at the event are always explored to maintain horse & rider interest.


Premier Equestrian Club's mantra is "progress through innovation" and this compliments the visions of the Boudheib Initiative. The mutual collaboration of the two entities and generosity of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will, without doubt, enhance every riders experience at the PWC Sondela Endurance event.


Premier Equestrian Club will be posting regular updates leading up to the event on facebook and anyone wanting to follow the event is welcome to send a "friend request" to Premier Equestrian Club.

www.facebook@boudheib

Boudhieb Initiative Proposed International Calendar of Events
Pretoria, South Africa May 27th 2017 Organiser: SAIC, Susan Koekemoer

Dwingaloo, Netherlands 10th June 2017 Organiser: Frans van't Zand

Marbech, Germany 21st July 2017 Organiser: Ahmed Samarraie

Aachen, Germany 22nd August 2017 Organiser: Nils Ischmer

Florac, France 10th September Organiser: Jean Paul Boudon

Jordan 15th November Organiser: Princess Alia of Jordan

Cat Springs, Texas 30 & 31 December Organiser: Emmett Ross

For more information contact: Leigh Young, email: leigh.harc@gmail.com


Friday, April 14, 2017

Australia: Ride of sheer endurance

Colliemail.com.au - Full Article

Western Australian Endurance Riders Association Inc. will be holding its 2017 Easter Marathon in Collie this Easter long weekend.

The endurance ride is divided into several distance categories, and is spread across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Western Australian Endurance Rider's Association Inc. Fundraising and Awards coordinator Carly Arnason said endurance riding focuses on managing your horse.

“We don’t really call it racing because it’s not about speed, it’s about management of your horse,” she said...

Read more here:
http://www.colliemail.com.au/story/4587285/ride-of-sheer-endurance/

Australia: Lockyer endurance club back on track after spell

Gattonstar.com.au - Full Article

Ali Kuchel | 13th Apr 2017

ENDURANCE: After a 10-year hiatus, the Lockyer Valley Endurance Riders are back on the tracks.

The club does not have a "home track”, so the trails of Bony Mountain will host to the Easter rides.

Ride organiser Lyndell Abercrombie said despite not having tracks yet, the group hoped to secure

some for rides later in the year.

"Because we only formed in February we haven't been able to find a good enough location in the valley so we're going up to Bony Mountain,” Abercrombie said.

"I'm hoping to get access to some of the forestry tracks to try and get a permanent base in the Lockyer Valley.”

The Easter endurance ride will be a fully fledged 80km ride, along with 20km and 40km events...

Read more here:
https://www.gattonstar.com.au/news/lockyer-endurance-club-back-on-track-after-spell/3166385/

Thursday, April 13, 2017

British Endurance Protocol Takes Shape

13 April 2017

Following agreement in February that Endurance GB and the British Equestrian Federation would work together to develop a new British protocol for all future international rides in Great Britain, significant progress has been made. 

A working party, led by Dr. Tim Watson, BEF Board Director, have met and discussed developing a protocol that not only helps build a long-term UK strategy regarding horse welfare, but further enhances our UK offering with an ultimate goal of increasing participation in international and high-level competition.

Following a number of meetings, a period of consultation was launched to seek the views of a random selection of FEI riders, ride organisers, officials and those aspiring to ride at that level. On analysis of the results, and a substantial amount of historic ride data, the working group are now in a position to test the new protocol at the Kings Forest ride. The results of the 80KM Competitive Endurance Ride class at Kings Forest will be analysed using the parameters that the working group are recommending, and the criteria will then be further assessed for their suitability to be introduced at all FEI and CER rides in England and Wales. Results of the analysis will be available on the Endurance GB website following the ride, at which time a summary of the criteria will also be available.

The objectives of the new protocol are to reward good horsemanship at our competitive and FEI rides in this country, devise a transparent method for appointing FEI officials, suggest ways to increase participation and recommend improvements to publicise clean sport. The process of refining a British Protocol that works for all is an interactive one and will be refined over the coming weeks, taking into account the information presented at the FEI’s Sport’s Forum.


***

Endurance GB - National Governing Body for competitive Endurance horse riding in Great Britain a member body of the BEF. Offering rides for non-members and members from pleasure rides to competitive rides  www.endurancegb.co.uk  

Equine and human athlete welfare key focus on day two of FEI Sports Forum 2017

Inside.FEI.org

11 Apr 2017

The welfare of equines and human athletes was top of the agenda on day two of the FEI Sports Forum 2017. Scientific data on Eventing risk management, Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue was presented to more than 330 delegates gathered at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne (SUI) today.

The FEI has invested in substantial scientific research to evaluate risk factors and risk management and the sixth edition of the Sports Forum provided the platform for evidence-based data to be presented to the equestrian community.

Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor (USA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group, shared moderation of the afternoon session on Eventing Risk Management with Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee.

David O’Connor, who was also involved in the Hartington Report into risk management in the sport in 2000, remembered how Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart had given him two messages: “If you have the technology and the ability you have to use it, and you will always be behind the curve, you will never think of everything.”

Co-founders of equestrian data science company EquiRatings, Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson, who signed a four-year partnership with the FEI earlier this month to work on risk management initiatives for Eventing, presented the rationale behind the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) and its scope, with analysis of athlete and horse performance history one of the key elements in risk reduction in Eventing.

“Past performance helps us predict and plan future performance”, EquiRatings Managing Director Diarmuid Byrne said.

The Irish company is also working with a number of National Federations and their work in Ireland saw a 66% reduction in falls at national level last year. “It’s about introducing a mind-set of rider responsibility. Psychologically we don’t look at risk, and this tool allows us to step in when we ignore it.”

Presentations in the following session on Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue were well received by delegates, who were impressed by the detailed analysis of data. All three of the panellists - Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow, who are conducting the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne, were clear on the fact that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors.

Dr Euan Bennett stated that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics.

Professor Chris Whitton spoke about how intensive training results in an accumulation of damage and the inhibition of bone repair that occurs during rest. “Prevention is the key”, he said. “Once you’ve got the injury it’s too late. It may not be a catastrophic injury but that horse’s career is shortened. It’s not speed alone, and it’s not distance alone, it’s a combination of the two.”

In her wrap-up of key takeaways from the Endurance session, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said: “We really need to be attuned to our horses. We need to listen to them. They are equine athletes and they really need and deserve recovery time.”

Mark Samuel (CAN), Chair of the FEI Working Group on FEI Officials opened the day’s first session when details of 13 concrete recommendations were provided, including a code of conduct and job descriptions for officials, the withdrawal of the age limit, online education for officials and course directors, appointments and remuneration, and a mentoring programme for younger officials,.

Delegates were also gjven an update on the initial findings of the FEI Dressage Judging Working Group. The Group’s discussions, which have lasted for several months, were based on analytical studies of the current judging system and exploring judging procedures in other FEI disciplines, such as Reining and Vaulting.

The need to introduce a code of points and to concentrate further on education and training of judges across all levels are some of the long-term objectives proposed by the Working Group, with a revised multi-media FEI Dressage Handbook to be delivered as support.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos closed the FEI Sports Forum 2017 by thanking delegates and sponsors, and saying: “We’re very proud of the Sports Forum. This is what we need to do to fully engage with our community and take the necessary next steps. It is very important for the FEI to listen to what our National Federations and stakeholders have to say. The end of the Sports Forum means the start of a lot of work, but this is always a positive move forward.

“It was great to have so many young people contributing to the success of this year’s Sports Forum, and we very much hope to increase the participation of our youth in other editions of the Sports Forum.”



Panellists:

Officials: Mark Samuel, Group IV Chair – Moderator; Peter Bollen, FEI Jumping Committee member, Sönke Lauterbach, NF Germany Secretary General; Frances Heather Hesketh-Jones Triulzi, FEI Honorary Steward General Jumping; Brigitte Mathias, NF Namibia Secretary General.

Risk Management in Eventing: David O’Connor (USA), Chair FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group and Sydney 2000 Olympic champion; Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee; Equiratings’ Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson.

Endurance risk factors and Bone Fatigue: Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee John McEwen; Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee Brian Sheahan; Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet at the University of Glasgow; Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne.