Monday, April 06, 2020

Manhattan's Marie Griffis wins 1st-ever Gaucho Derby in South America

Richard Dunwoody photo - Full Article

Apr 06, 2020
By: John Miller

The Gaucho Derby is a horse and human endurance race that spans 310 miles over 10 days through the tough terrain of Argentina. Manhattan's Marie Griffis took part in it a few weeks ago.

Living in Montana, it helped Griffis navigate through the ever-changing weather during the race.

“That coupled with our experience and perhaps our training in the winter in Montana got us through and neither of us had any issues,” said Griffis.

She wasn’t doing it alone. Her partner had a horse who helped lead the way through the bogs, which Griffis describes as the most difficult part of the race...

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Sunday, April 05, 2020

Stripped-down FEI Sports Forum to include just two sessions - Full Article

The FEI Sports Forum 2020 lineup has been stripped back in order to address the time-sensitive topics and delay the themes which can be discussed later.

By: FEI Communications | April 3, 2020

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the FEI has completely stripped back the FEI Sports Forum 2020 in order to address the time sensitive topics and delay the themes which can and should be discussed at a later stage. Online session content will be published by mid/late April.

The two sessions concerning FEI Anti-Doping Rules for human athletes and equine athletes will therefore be the only sessions to be covered (not as webinars) as part of the FEI Sports Forum 2020.

The FEI will be publishing all the supporting documents and relevant deadlines for feedback by the mid/late April. Note that we have had to reconsider timelines for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions in view of the cancelled WADA symposium which should have taken place mid-March and the subsequent delivery of WADA support materials and implementation tools. Nonetheless, all the relevant materials for the FEI Anti-Doping Rules sessions will be published here, and the community’s feedback alongside the full consultation process will be maintained...

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Friday, April 03, 2020

Great Britain: Cancellation of Euston Park Endurance Rides 2020


02 April 2020

Announcement of decision to cancel all Euston Park rides this year

Organisers of The Euston Park Endurance rides have taken the difficult decision to cancel the planned 2020 events. This is due to public health concerns and the on-going restrictions in place from the UK Government surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions on mass gatherings and particularly events that would put unnecessary requirements on our emergency services, as well as the number of people required to travel from across the UK and the world have all contributed to making it impossible to stage the events this year.

The rides were due to take place on 13th - 14th June, 11th – 12th July and culminate in the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival from 12th – 16th August.

Nick Brooks-Ward, Event Director from organisers, HPower Group said: “Like so many other equestrian and major national events we have had to take the difficult decision to cancel the rides at Euston Park this season. This will be a big disappointment to competitors and all involved but we know it is the right decision. We are looking forward to coming back stronger than ever in 2021”.

Esther Young, Operations Director for Endurance GB said; "We empathise with the organisers of the FEI Euston Park series in taking this very tough decision which will be disappointing for our riders but entirely understandable given the worldwide situation. We will be reviewing our calendar and working closely with The Pony Club to seek to stage a Championship at another venue later in the year if at all possible."

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

For Montana wilderness vet Marie Griffis, winning Gaucho Derby horse race was ultimate survival test

Richard Dunwoody/The Adventurists - Full Article

JEFF WELSCH Mar 31, 2020

ELGRADE – As a horsewoman who’s as comfortable with a pack string in the wilderness as most of us are in BarcaLoungers, Marie Griffis is unfailingly guarded against any imaginable calamity in the bush and welcomes those inevitable challenges.

Then she did Argentina’s Gaucho Derby in early March.

Oh, Griffis also was prepared for the 300-mile horse race through the wilds of Patagonia – indeed, the professional pastry chef from Manhattan won the inaugural event – but after 10 days of pelting rain, snow, sleet, scree-laden hillsides, racing rivers, jungle-thick brush and bogs deep enough to sink an Arabian to its shoulders, it’s safe to say the Gaucho Derby isn't the re-do list.

“No,” Griffis, who cruised through the 1,000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia in 2016, said flatly when asked if she’d do it again. “It was a very dangerous race. It wasn’t just a horse race. It was a huge test of survival skills...”

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Newest Issue of Arabian Horse Intl Endurance Races 2020 is Available

The latest edition of Arabian Horse Int'l Endurance, published by Cidinha Franzao and Favio Lorenz, is available now at

This issue covers events in Chile, Uruguay, Spain, Abu Dhabi, New Zealand, Norway, and Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Look Back: Spain's 2008 Al Andalus 10-day Endurance Ride - Part I: The Travels

by Steph

Tierras de Al-Andalus - the lands of Andalucia - a 10 day endurance adventure - is the genius of Jose Manuel Soto. He is one of Spain's cherished singers, with a passion for life, a love of his land, an eye for adventure and a reverence for the horse. His dream, and his ability to put together a team of people capable of 'making it happen' gave us the opportunity to experience the beauty and variety of Andalucia on horseback.

The trails were challenging and scenic, traversing historic sites, mountain passes, village streets, beautiful Atlantic beaches...

We stayed in hotels nestled in historic towns, were hosted by different communities with their own styles and traditions.

And the people of Andalucia are warm and friendly, passionate, quick to laugh and smile...Does it get any better?!

Come With Us On The Journey!

Part I: The Travels

March 26-27, 2008

29 hours since we left Oreana. It was cool and gray and sprinkling in the desert on the drive to the airport, snow on the ground and cold in Minneapolis, very cold and gray in Amsterdam, windy and much warmer in Madrid (though the Taxi driver who took us from the airport to the train station said 'hace frio!' (it's cold!), and finally we arrived in Seyville at 8pm to a pleasant 20C (70 F)!

We're staying at the Hotel Occidental tonight, will meet up with everybody tomorrow and go to the start of the event at 'Dos Hermanas'.

I talked to Paco on the phone a couple times - he had to go up north to get the new horse van, which was supposed to be delivered a couple days ago... but instead he'll be driving all night to bring it down and then pick up the horses and bring them to the ride. He has 3 horses - a stallion which he will try to ride all 8 days, another horse that I think Paul Jeffrey will ride (Paul and Madonna arrive from New Zealand tomorrow) and a mare which I will ride on alternate days. At least that is the plan!

Merri and I had a pretty easy trip except for the last part having to lug our luggage around from airport to train station to hotel. No matter how hard I try I simply can't pack light. And I decided to bring my own saddle this time (it's a lot easier to think about riding a new horse when I at least have a saddle I'm comfortable with!) - so I have 2 huge suitcases, one with clothes and stuff, the other with saddle and riding gear. Plus a hefty carry-on bag with computer and camera equipment. Merri packed more respectably with one suitcase (but it was still heavy!) and her back pack with camera stuff and raven.

We actually did pretty well since all the suitcases had wheels, and the cobblestones weren't too bad, just one tense moment when Merri boldly stepped on to the escalator up to the trains station wheeling 2 suitcases behind her and they jammed at the entry point and wouldn't go further and she was already on the moving track having to run backwards cause she didn't want to let go of the handles and I was laughing so hard I could barely help her and I'm not sure how it all resolved, but the suitcases did manage to break loose and we did make it to the top but we were both laughing helplessly and our final exit off the escalator wasn't very graceful either...

So, we're now settled in at the hotel (we had to do one more suitcase trek from the train station to the hotel but it went pretty smoothly) with WiFI, a hot shower and then we'll take a late (Spanish style) dinner downstairs before a very welcome sleep!

hasta mayana!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The extraordinary tale of an Aussie who just completed the ‘world’s toughest horse race’ - Full Story

March 27, 2020 1:00pm
CHRISTY DORAN@christypdoran

At 2:10pm on March 7, 32-year-old Australian veterinarian Campbell Costello was drinking tea on the banks of the Rio Mayer with Argentinian locals when a menacing black cloud started to build down the valley towards the Chilean border.
Just over an hour later, emergency services were deployed.

“There’s a lake and the descent from this lake down through the mountains is quite treacherous, which was made even more treacherous by some really bad weather, we got smashed by a blizzard which resulted in multiple riders’ kit failing,” Costello says.

“I was sitting on a lookout, on a mountain overlooking the Chilean border with some locals drinking some tea and we were watching this storm build up in the background and I said, ‘Pardon my ignorance, but that doesn’t look good?’

“To which they ‘concurred’.

“Sure enough, my satellite phone went off and there were multiple distress calls up in the mountain from crew needing evacuation.”

Welcome to the inaugural Gaucho Derby, a 500 kilometre horse race run over 10 days known as the ‘world’s toughest horse race’...

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Manhattan's Marie Griffis wins 1st-ever Gaucho Derby in South America

Richard Dunwoody photo - Full Article Apr 06, 2020 By: John Miller The Gaucho Derby is a horse and human endurance race th...