Saturday, September 19, 2020

Strong entries as FEI Competition returns for Endurance GB - full article

17 September 2020

Press Release for Lavenham

Strong entries as FEI Competition returns for Endurance GB this weekend at Lavenham Ride in Suffolk

A strong entry of nearly 30 of Britain’s leading riders will take part in FEI International level competition under Endurance GB auspices for the first time this season at Lavenham, Suffolk (19-20 September).

Organisers of the 2020 endurance season’s first and only FEI event which takes place this weekend at Lavenham in Suffolk say they are delighted to have been able to meet stringent COVID guidelines in order to stage the competition.

The ride starts off in the grounds of Semer Manor, 12 miles to the West of Ipswich and offers an undulating course under the wide Suffolk skies.

The ride has previously been described by riders taking part as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of East Anglian competition combining both technical sections as well as faster elements.

Lined by trees and hedges, the track is almost entirely on wide grass margins which have been prepared for hunting and team chasing or on grassland. There are some very short road sections but remarkably the distance on tarmac is no more than half a mile in total.

Ride co-organiser Heather Weston who has been shielding previously and is therefore running the event in conjunction with Shelley Bates said: “This is a lovely course but more testing than it appears. Riders have to be aware that although it is potentially fast, there are a lot of tights turns along the way, and in some places there are ditches. The going has been spot-on in recent weeks but with the hot dry spell, riders need to be aware of the ground conditions.”

The FEI classes will see riders compete at one star 100km (CEI *), two star 120km (CEI **) and three star 140km (CEI ***) level. The 140km CEI 3* class will give some combinations the chance to secure vital qualifiers for both next year’s World and European Endurance Championships...

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Great Britain: Llanidloes mum to join horse race on Genghis Khan's route - Full Article

17th September 2020
by Matt Jnmes

A MUM-of-two is gearing up to take on a gruelling endurance challenge in which she must solely navigate a team of 25 horses across 1,000km of untamed Asian wilderness.

Zoe Geddes, 26, will take on the Mongol Derby next August – renowned for being the longest and toughest horse race on earth.

The race has been organised since 2009 and traces the steps of the Mongolian postal message system set up by legendary Mongol Empire leader Genghis Khan in 1224 – whose mighty horse messenger system connected half the planet.

For the last decade, race chiefs have been rebuilding this ancient network to stage the world’s greatest equine adventure race.

The Mongolian horses used are semi-feral and well suited to the extreme and varied terrain. The race covers high passes, deep valleys, wooded hills, rivers, wetland, sandy dunes, rolling hills and the vast expanse of the Mongolian steppe.

Zoe, from Llanidloes, says it has long been a dream to compete in the race, even if her invite took her completely by surprise...

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Great Britain: The 'highly addictive' joys of endurance racing - Full Article

By Padraig Coyle
BBC Sport NI
Last updated on17 September 2020

The mysterious and mystical woodlands of South West Brittany are famous for the legends that connect them to the ancient dolmens - Merlin's tomb and the Knights of the Round Table.

On a recent walk in the Forêt de Floranges, we came upon ribbons hanging tantalisingly from trees and strange, arrow symbols painted at crossing points on some of the paths.

The sudden emergence of cantering yellow-gowned figures, who disappeared back into the morning mists in an instant, was startling.

As we discovered later, these ghost riders were French, Belgian and German competitors in an endurance race over a 100km controlled course that had been organised by the Fédération Équestre Internationale.

Dungannon-born horse woman, Avril Bray, knows the terrain well. On that particular day though, she was involved in another endurance riding event nearer to the Normandy farm she runs with her husband Anton.

"I began riding when I was three and would spend several hours a day in the saddle. When I was 17, I made the choice to focus on judo," explains Bray, better known as Avril Malley back in the days when she was winning Commonwealth gold in Edinburgh and competing in the Seoul Olympics...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Great Britain: Red Dragon Cancelled

15 September 2020

Cancellation Announcement

We are very sorry to announce that the British Horse Feeds & Golden Paste Company Red Dragon Festival of Endurance due to be held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on 3 & 4 October has been cancelled. This is because, due to the spike in positive Covid 19 cases in Wales over the last fortnight, the Welsh Government have had to delay their rollout of the relaxation of restrictions for larger events in Wales and they are now unable to give us assurance that the restrictions will be sufficiently lifted by 3 & 4 October to enable the event to take place. Full refunds will now be issued to entrants and these will be processed over the next 48 hours or so.

We are so grateful to John and Jane Hudson (organisers), Steve Hughson (CEO of the Royal Welsh Showground), Iain Graham (British Equestrian CEO) and the numerous volunteers and local landowners who worked so hard to try to make the event happen, but unfortunately the event has fallen victim to the unpredictable Covid 19 situation in which we find ourselves. Our thanks also go to British Horse Feeds and the Golden Paste Company for their loyal and unwavering support.

Our other Welsh events are restricted to 30 entrants at a time and are currently going ahead as planned.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Mongol Derby Diary #3 - Full Article

…and they’re off!

Start camp survived, training rides tested, the riders line up on Day 1 of racing not knowing what the next ten days may bring. Some will crash and burn; some will persevere through hardships previously unimaginable; but each and every rider will come away with memories that will sustain them for the rest of their lives.

Leslie Wylie ~ “If post time at the Kentucky Derby were a polite tea party, the start of the Mongol Derby would be a stein-smashing bar brawl. All around me, mayhem: 42 white-knuckled, steel-faced riders mounted up on tiny horses with steam blowing out their ears, the most civilized among them skittering around like popcorn while others spun like tops or flat bolted through the crowd.

These were the descendants of Mongolian warhorses and for all they knew we were charging off into battle, having missed the memo that Chinggis Khan’s mighty empire fell several centuries ago. In the final moments before the race a couple riders were still endeavoring just to climb in the saddle, their mounts issuing a buck-spin the moment they put their foot in the stirrup despite the herders trying to hold them down.

We’d been randomly issued horses for the first leg of the 28-leg race. Mine was midnight black and moved with a cocky mob-boss swagger, and I wanted desperately to stay on his good side. Ed Fernon, an Australian Olympic pentathlete whom I’d gotten to know on the six-hour bus ride to start camp, pointed out that I’d drawn the winner of the Naadam children’s race that had been our afternoon entertainment the day before. So he was basically a kid’s pony, right? Surely I could handle that. As the countdown began I lingered near the back, hoping to avoid fallout from the frontline and just run with the pack for a while...

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

'Excited but nervous': Zoe, 26, to take on world's toughest horse race - Full Article

By Charlotte Bentley | Bishop's Castle | News | Published: Sep 9, 2020

People from all over the world apply for a place in the Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race, and a 26 year-old from Shropshire is one of the chosen few.

Zoe Geddes, who lives in Lydbury North in south Shropshire, never thought she'd get a place in the infamous horse race, which only has 40 places.

She said she has had to work hard for everything in her life and this will be no different, as alongside the gruelling training, Zoe must raise £11,000 to take part.

After raising two children, and coming out of a toxic relationship only this year, Zoe wanted something to set her mind to, and thought of nothing better than achieving her lifelong dream of competing in the 1,000km race on the other side of the world...

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Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Great Britain: Red Dragon ‘Lite’ gets green light! - Full Article

31 August 2020

Green light for Endurance GB’s British Horse Feeds and The Golden Paste Company’s Red Dragon ‘Lite’ Festival of Endurance

Organisers announce traditional end of season ride will go ahead 3-4 October at Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, thanks to generosity of sponsors and with strict changes in format to comply with Covid 19 regulations

British Horse Feeds and The Golden Paste Company have announced their continued support for the sport with title sponsorship of this year’s "Lite" Red Dragon Festival of Endurance.

Endurance GB and the organising team have stressed their gratitude for the support of both sponsors and the hosts and underlined that the event will be run with strict changes to the format to ensure compliance with Welsh Covid 19 regulations with the focus this year being on individual sport.

The Red Dragon Festival of Endurance at Builth Wells in mid-Wales is traditionally the last big event of the endurance riding season, with competitors travelling from across the UK to the Royal Welsh Showground for the unique atmosphere and challenging riding through the Cambrian mountains.

To enable the 2020 event to go ahead, classes for this year’s "Lite" version of Red Dragon have been revised to ensure that groups of people do not meet. The classes will run over two days instead of the usual three, with distances of 25km, 36km, 42km and 48km and various combinations of these for riders wishing to take part over two days. The 22 classes will include Graded Endurance Rides and Pleasure Rides but no Competitive Endurance Rides this year.

Graded Endurance Rides are ideally suited to social distancing because they are a solitary competition where the horse and rider head out over the course on their own or in pairs and are then given a grade at the end of the ride based on the fitness of their horse. The organisers intend to make full use of the enormous 150-acre Royal Welsh Showground site to also keep groups of people apart back at the venue...

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Strong entries as FEI Competition returns for Endurance GB - full article 17 September 2020 Press Release for Lavenham Strong entries as FEI Competition returns for Enduranc...