Friday, October 20, 2017

UAE: New endurance season gets under way with double-header - Full Article

Seeh Al Salam Endurance Challenge and Al Wasl Endurance Cup to begin build-up towards HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival and Crown Prince Endurance Cup Festival

Published: 18:02 October 19, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Dubai: The 2017-18 endurance season gets under way at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) this Friday and Saturday with two rides held over 100km — the Seeh Al Salam Endurance Challenge and Al Wasl Endurance Cup, restricted to private stables and individuals.
The purpose-built DIEC facility, located adjacent to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa, is gearing up to host some of the UAE’s most prominent endurance rides including the HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival as well as the Crown Prince Endurance Cup Festival.

The much-awaited HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup presented by Longines now leads a week-long endurance festival to be held between December 28 and January 6, comprising a total of four rides, to celebrate the remarkable contribution and support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for endurance riding and equestrian sport at large...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

New Zealand: Endurance horse rider inducted to Marlborough Sports Hall of Fame - Full Article

Last updated 14:59, October 18 2017

An endurance horse rider has been inducted into the Marlborough Sports Hall of Fame.

Renwick woman Tess Wells was added to the region's list of sporting elite at a special ceremony at the Marlborough District Council on Monday.

The South Island champion has just returned from Queensland, Australia after representing Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) in the Endurance trans-Tasman challenge.

Wells was named Marlborough Endurance Rider of the year by the Marlborough Endurance Club in July.

Wells said she was "quite nervous" for Monday night's ceremony, but excited to be inducted into the Marlborough Sports Hall of Fame, which is for Marlburians who have competed for New Zealand, in an international event at a senior level.

Her horse Barney was quite a character, with his "own opinion, everything else is a compromise", she said.

"He's not naughty, [he] just has a mind of his own..."

Read more here:

Equestrian Australia focussed on drug-free awareness


Equestrian Australia (EA) will be working closely with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) and introducing random drug testing at events throughout Australia moving forward.

We are continually focussed on building awareness of the importance of drug-free competition at all EA sanctioned events as well as improving Member safety and horse welfare. As highlighted in EA’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020 it is a priority for Equestrian sport’s National Federation to promote safe, fair and drug-free competition and develop sound policy and process to manage and monitor Member safety.

EA urges all Riders, Stable staff and Owners involved in Equestrian sport to diligently study and observe anti-doping guidelines as set out by ASADA and the FEI, as well as the Equestrian Australia Anti-Doping policy which can all be found here

From March 31st 2018, all EA coaches will have completed a minimum of the ASADA online Level 1 anti-doping course which can be located at in order to renew their coaching memberships. However, EA also invites any equestrian member to take the free, online course that takes just over one hour to complete.

Officials will continue to be vigilant and will follow a strict reporting procedure at all EA sanctioned events should they be concerned about any athlete’s welfare in relation to any form of substance abuse.

This initiative is aimed at helping to ensure that competitors present themselves and their horses at all events drug-free and uphold the values of clean sport at all times.

French Success for Endurance in Capitals Challenge In Fontainbleau, France - Full Article

HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival Sponsors Endurance in Capitals Challenge outside of Paris

16 October 2017, Paris, France ~ Arthur Desprez riding 8-year-old Verseau D’Aurabelle led a clean sweep of the French riders in the CEI Two-star 120-km HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup held on Saturday, 14 October 2017 in the forest of Fontainebleau about 60 kms from the French capital of Paris.

Desprez and his horse were in 5th place when they started on the final stage of 23kms. Until then they had averaged just over 20kmph, but in the final stage Desprez increased the pace to 25.89 kph gaining the lead from Laetita Pegaz Tocquet on Vegas De Majorie, with only one second separating the two riders. The winner completed the four-stage 120-km ride in a timing of 6 hours 02 minutes and 36 seconds.

French riders filled the top ten finish except for Germany’s Sabrina Arnold riding Bolt De Venelles who finished in seventh place. Bolt De Venelles is owned and trained by Jean-Philippe Frances...

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Canada's Anya Levermann Makes History on the Endurance World Stage - Full Article

Long Distance. Young Rider. Big Accomplishment!

10 October 2017

In early 2017, Anya Levermann of 100 Mile House, BC received elite status from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), allowing her to represent Canada in the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders in Verona, ITA on Sept. 23, 2017.

Equestrian Canada (EC) caught up with Anya after she returned home, to talk about her experience becoming the first Canadian to complete the championship, and finishing 51st out of 93 of the top junior endurance athletes in the world.

It was 10 years ago that Anya began riding endurance, an equestrian discipline that tests the endurance of horse and rider over varied terrain. As her passion for the sport grew, so did her ability to maintain safe management of a horse’s stamina and fitness. Endurance is a discipline that, although timed, puts the true emphasis on completing the race in good condition rather than racing the clock.

“The biggest highlight of the race was crossing the finish line with the Canadian flag in Italy,” said Anya. “But, the race was not finished at that point. My horse had to pass the final inspection with three veterinarians voting on the condition of my horse. I was very happy when she passed the final inspection...”

Read more here:

Pan American Championship: Uruguay takes all the gold - Full Article

14 October 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Lucia Olascoaga.

Punta del Este, Maldonado, Uruguay. Thursday 12 October 2017.

Pan American Championship, Uruguay gets all four gold medal medals: Individual Senior, Team Senior, Young Rider Individual and Team Young Rider.

The Pan American Championship being held every two years, reunites the power endurance nations of the region like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala and Uruguay. Is was the first time that this championship took place in Punta del Este.

The 120km were divided into 4 stages of 39.6km, 28.7km, 28.7km and last loop of 23km. We witnessed some very intense racing in both categories.

The senior category was won by Isha Judd – URU riding JQ Zarial. This horse raced to fifth place in the last World Championship in Slovakia.

Jonatan Rivera – URU (El Sheik) lead the race from the first loop. Along with team mate Isha Judd they were fighting against Monica Pinto Lima – BRA (CAETEC CSM) who was also pushing to get the gold. In the last loop Isha and Jonatan increased the pace to 27km.h to finally arrived hand in hand. Unfortunately Jonatan’s horse failed with metabolic at the last vet control...

Read more here:

Tickets Now on Sale for FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

Tickets Now on Sale for FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 in Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA on September 11-23, 2018

by Edited Press Release | Oct 16, 2017, 3:52 PM EST

Mill Spring, N.C. - Tickets for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) are now on sale. Set for September 11 through September 23 in the scenic Carolinas region of the United States, spectators can choose from a variety of ticket types to experience the world's largest equestrian championship. With all competitions happening on site at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C., attendees can come for the day, a week, or the entire Games. Tickets are available online at Select "Buy Tickets" from the menu. Click here for FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 tickets.

Click here for WEG Ticket FAQ
Click here for 2018 FEI WEG Lodging

The initial sale of tickets for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 includes the following options: All Games Pass, Week 1 Pass, Week 2 Pass, and All Session Day Passes for all of the eight disciplines. Individual Discipline specific day sessions will be sold, subject to availability, in early November after all multi-session discipline tickets are sold.

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of host venue Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C., USA, said: "Demand from the event is way beyond our expectations, and it would not surprise me if this event were to sell out early. We have experienced unprecedented demand, far bigger than we ever anticipated. There is tremendous appetite for this event, so we encourage people to buy now."

As one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world, the WEG is the world championship event for eight equestrian disciplines: jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, and reining. In looking forward to the WEG, Michael Stone, President and Sports Director of FEI WEG organizing committee, shared, “This is going to put Tryon and the equestrian sports on the map.”

Stone continued, “We really want to enhance the words of US Equestrian’s vision, ‘Joy of Horse Sports.’ We want to show people how fantastic all of the horses are, while showing the successes of the world’s best equestrian athletes. We want everybody to have fun and to see it all. We look forward to sharing all eight disciplines and explaining each discipline to those who come to enjoy the FEI World Equestrian Games.”

Opening Ceremonies and Closing Ceremonies tickets will be sold separately in early December after details are released. Day passes that allow access to the venue to experience the trade fair, event expo, as well as equestrian demonstrations will be sold three months prior to the event.

VIP tickets and hospitality packages will also be released in early November, and customers can trade up their purchased tickets toward these higher-value ticketing/hospitality options.

Due to the high demand for ticket packages, those ticketing types are being offered first to ensure that those who want to purchase ticket packages can receive the same seats for all events. Seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis according to the date and timestamp of the ticket purchase. The earlier your purchase, the better your seats.

All Session Day Passes are currently SOLD OUT. We will re-evaluate the release of additional All Session Day Passes at the time of Individual Discipline Session tickets in November
We anticipate a sold-out event, as pre-purchase ticket sales were significantly above estimates
Ticket prices listed on the website are the advance public ticket prices, which are discounted from prices for sales, subject to availability, on the day of the event

Prices do not include tax and 8.5 percent processing fee, which will be applied upon checkout.

To start planning a trip to the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, visit

Monday, October 16, 2017

Royal Cavalry of Oman win top places in Babenhausen Endurance Race in Germany - Full Article

October 15, 2017 | 5:46 PM by Times News Service

Muscat: Royal Cavalry of Oman riders dominated the FEI Babenhausen Endurance Race taking top three places in Germany on Saturday.

According to information received from Royal Cavalry of Oman, the 160km race saw Faisal bin Ibrahim Al Farsi astride mare ‘Cara’ taking the top honours.

Mahmood bin Marhoun Al Foori on mare ‘Daleelah’ finished second and he was followed by Adel bin Said Al Balushi on stallion ‘Rafael De Lava Goal’ in the third place.

The results helped the trio to qualify for the 2018 World Equestrian Games to be organised in the U.S...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 15, 2017

British equestrianism under investigation for alleged corruption, bullying and elitism - Full Article

by Ben Rumsby
13 OCTOBER 2017

Alleged corruption, bullying and elitism at the top of British equestrianism was under investigation on Friday night following the launch of an independent review into the sport.

The British Equestrian Federation became the latest governing body in receipt of millions of pounds of public money to face an external investigation into its internal workings in a probe prompted by the exit of its chief executive after barely a year in charge.

In her July 13 resignation letter, Clare Salmon raised what Joanne Shaw, the BEF chairman, described as “significant and serious concerns about culture, governance and the interaction of some of the member bodies”.

Shaw announced the BEF board would commission an independent investigation, which was launched on Thursday and is being chaired by John Mehrzad, head of the sports law group at Littleton barristers’ chambers.

According to the terms of reference of the inquiry, it will cover “alleged elitism, self-interest, bullying and corruption as referred to in the resignation letter dated July 13 of former CEO Clare Salmon; and the leadership of the BEF”...

Read more here:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Morocco & the Boudheib Initiative making history !

Clean Endurance

October 8 2017

This weekend saw the latest International Boudheib Initiative (BI) sponsored endurance event in Morocco's outstanding cedar forest of the Middle Atlas area of Ifran, and for the first time in Moroccan history, the first FEI CEI 1* 80km ride was held together with the BECA award for best condition. For the 2nd year since inception, His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan is delighted to encourage education of the 'welfare of the endurance horse' through BI ground breaking events worldwide and takes great pride in aiding development of the true sport of endurance at grass roots level proving time and again the value of strong partnerships between horse & rider. Great care was offered by the veterinary delegation headed by Technical Delegate, Mohamed Khalfan Alyammahi, and a full day of judge & vets briefing was held in order to work closely with newcomers to the FEI, explaining health & rules for the benefit of the horse and reminding them to not be flexible when it comes to rider security and horse welfare.

The picturesque trails were perfect, with good markings, loop speeds were low averaging around 15kph ensuring an excellent 80% completion rate throughout all rides including the 3 national qualifiers of 60km, 40km & 20km, for newcomers to the sport. There was a wonderful spirit throughout the day with everyone showing their willingness to learn and they are all looking forward to the future growth of this event and to returning next year.

Special thanks goes to event organiser, Dr. Mohamed Machmoum, Director of the upcoming Salon de Cheval at El Jedida, the veterinary delegation for their unfailing hard work and to the many dignitaries who attended the event, including Ahmed Al Reasi, Chairman of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Dr. Hammou Ouhelli, Moroccan Minister of Rural Development & Forests, General Merzak El Habili, General Secretary of the Moroccan Royal Equestrian Federation and Zouhair Mohamed, General Secretary of Ifran, and of course not forgetting all the riders, grooms, owners & trainers and our valued partners, the horses, without whom none of the events could take place!


article & photos by Leigh Young

BECA results
CEI 1* 80km
1st - no 7 Arrabiefi ridden by Hammadi Smail from Le Ferme Equestre
2nd - no 8 Tissir II ridden by Hamid Bouhout Mdl from the Garde Royale
3rd - no 3 Rose des Vents ridden by Bensaid Ali Adj also from the Garde Royal
4th - no 2 Toumira ridden by Meryem Keddara from RCE Menzeh
FEI 1* 80 km CEI Results
1st no 8 - Tissir II ridden by Hamid Bouhout Mdl from the Garde Royale
2nd no 3 - Rose des Vents ridden by Bensaid Ali Adj also from the Garde Royal
3rd no 7 - Arrabiefi ridden by Hammadi Smail from Le Ferme Equestre

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Popular feed supplement ingredient removed from banned substances list - Full Article

Eleanor Jones
13:05 - 6 October, 2017

Feed supplement additive MSM has been removed from the FEI’s prohibited substance list after a U-turn by the international federation.

Confusion had been caused by the inclusion of MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane), under its seldom-used alias dimethy sulphone (DSM), on the FEI’s list as a controlled medication and specified substance from 1 January next year.

The FEI told H&H in June that the naturally occurring substance, which is found in many plants and widely used in equine feed and supplements, is also the major metabolite of banned chemical DMSO, or the substance into which this solvent is broken down in the body.

A spokesman said high levels of MSM could “indicate abuse of DMSO that would be detectable for a longer time after administration”, but that it was unlikely that its therapeutic use at normal levels would cause a positive test...


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: is this the way forward for endurance? - Full Article

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 5 October, 2017

I’m still counting down until I can ride again; but it’s now only just over three weeks until both Wizard’s and Chiara’s shoes go back on and work commences. Usually I continue to compete right up to the end of the season and then rest the endurance horses until the New Year. This time, although all three of the horses were qualified for the national championships at the Red Dragon ride, I decided against competing there this year.

The Red Dragon ride is something of an iconic event held at the Royal Welsh Showground in the heart of the Welsh mountains. It has always been one of my favourite rides with a rather special atmosphere, masses of room at the venue and such an inspiring course. No two Red Dragon rides are alike as the weather conditions are so very influential on the condition of the terrain. I have ridden there in 30 degree heat and in constant driving rain with water running off the mountains. This year, I believe it was closer to the latter...


Emirati equestrian endurance rider Fatima Al Harthi making a name for herself in UAE - Article and Video

Emirati rider Fatima Al Harthi is emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the challenging field of equestrian endurance riding in the UAE. Video courtesy of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

by Sport360 staff
4th October 2017

Fatima Al Harthi is one of the most promising equestrian endurance riders in the United Arab Emirates.

The 27-year-old was inspired by her mother’s love of sport as a child and took up riding as a result.

Despite having a full-time job, the young Emirati dedicates two hours a day to her training as she looks to make an impact in the field of endurance riding.

It’s a challenging sport which can require the riders to spend upto 15 hours in the saddle with races ranging from 80 kilometres to 120 kilometres but her passion for it is unwavering...

Read more and see video here:

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Estonian Triumph in the Northern Baltic Countries Championship held in Lithuania - Full Article

30 September 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Ugnė Zalieckienė

Kurtuvenai, Lithuania. Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September 2017. Kurtuvenai hosted the sixth Northern Baltic Countries Equestrian Endurance Championship.

Senior riders competed in CEI2* 120km and Juniors in CEIYJ1* 80km. More than 50 combinations from Lithuania, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Byelorussia attended.

Endurance World Lithuania. In the forest.A though and rainy day on the eve of the competition concerned the competitors, but the weather changed to a sunny race day creating favourable conditions for the riders allowing them to go at high speed.
The battle between the most experienced riders continued till the finish line and the winner in the CEI2* 120km Kairit Jarv – EST (Mustafo Malabah) crossed the line side by side with her closest competitor ( average speed of 18.52 km/h). Second place and the Best Condition Prestige’s prize was won by Olaug Espeli Carstensen – NOR (Yassir II). The third place went to Marian Kikas – EST (Jaliszko).

The Juniors category was dominated by Estonian riders who occupied the complete podium. The top three crossed the line within ten seconds. Gold was for Annabel Kaldvee (Nilsson Ox), silver for Merilin Kalbre (Gunpowder Boy) and bronze for Mariel Olkonen (Galaxy)...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Australia: State championships heading to Woodstock - Full Article

27 Sep 2017

One hundred miles ridden on a horse in one day is an amazing feat in itself and that is exactly what will be occurring during the October long weekend at Woodstock.

Riders and horses have 24 hours to complete the ‘100 Miles In One Day’ and the Lachlan Endurance Riders Club (LERC) are excited to welcome horses, riders, volunteers, spectators and many others.

There is much experience and depth in LERC’s amazing committee, as they are not strangers to running championship events. They have run the state championships in 1995, 1997 and 2010, as well as having run the Tom Quilty National Championships back in 2003. The club often takes on zone championship events also.

The championship ride commences at 1am (ESDT) Sunday, October 1 and the course closes 1am Monday, October 2. The course will be a mixture of gravel laneways, fat lamb country, paddocks, cropping country and good verges along bitumen in small sections...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

British Riding Clubs Endurance Team Event Comes to an Exciting End - Full Article


The British Riding Clubs Endurance Team event, organised by Endurance GB and sponsored by British Horse Feeds, came to an exciting end with the final taking place at the famous Lion’s Tail Ride near Rutland.

British Riding Clubs members were able to get a taste of what endurance is like by forming a team of three to six riders to enter in one of the Endurance GB rides, that were held throughout the country.

All the top team riders who qualified were entered into the prestigious final, sponsored by British Horse Feeds.

The day was a huge success with some great results including the Wessex Wanderers winning the Top Team Trophy, followed by the Cherwell Valley Chargers placed in second and National Forest coming third...

Read more here:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

UAE's Al Muhairi crowned equestrian world junior champion - Full Article

UAE win individual and team gold at Parco Giardino Sigurta in Verona, Italy

Published: 16:51 September 24, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Verona: UAE teen sensation Saeed Al Muhairi was crowned world champion aboard eight-year-old Rabdan at the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) Meydan World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors in Verona, Italy, on Saturday.

The 14-year-old Emirati finished ahead of a field of 93 runners, from 15 teams representing 32 countries over 120-km at the Parco Giardino Sigurta, winning in a time of 4 hours, 58 minutes and 41 seconds at an average speed of 24.21-kmph.

A total of 55 riders finished the four loop ride with Al Muhairi leading the pack in three.

At the end of the first loop, which was 38-km long, he finished first but dropped to third on the second loop, which was 33-km long. However, he regained his lead in the third and fourth loops of 27.5-km and 22-km respectively.

This was Al Muhairi’s 17th career start and his 11th in Europe this summer, where he has been preparing for the World Championships. The M7 Endurance stables rider picked up three wins in CEIYJ2* events in Europe leading up to Verona, the most recent coming on September 2 at Euston Park...

Read more here:

U.S. Team Makes a Strong Finish a the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

Photo by: Josie Whelan

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 23, 2017

Valeggio sul Mincio, Verona, Italy – The Distance Depot/U.S. Endurance Team met the substantial challenges of Saturday’s 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, with three riders completing the course for a successful U.S. team finish. Leading the U.S. team to finish in the 11th position against 16 other national teams, was Chef D’Equipe Mark Dial.

“The entire Team showed a lot of maturity in their riding and professionalism throughout the entirety. There were several obstacles and challenges that were overcome by the athletes and their support staff which led to the success of finishing as a team. The entire team’s preparation was outstanding and I am can’t say enough about their willingness to improve upon their previous successes. Thank you isn’t enough to the Road Crew, Crewmembers, Selectors, and the Veterinary Advisory Group for their unwavering support of the U.S. Endurance Program,” said Dial.

Leading the U.S. across the finish line was Ainsley Suskey (Iola, Wisc.). Riding Julie Jackson’s Princess Deelites MHF, a 10-year-old Arabian mare, Suskey finished 49th overall with a time of 7:40:32. Teammates Annie Whelan (Louisa, Ky.), aboard Amy Wallace-Whelan’s Wallace Hill Leo, a 13-year-old Half-Arabian gelding, and Ragan Kelly (Waco, Texas), riding Tracy Kelly’s HK Kruzier, a 10-year-old Arabian gelding, were not far behind. Whelan completed the course in 8:16:38, finishing in the 53rd position. Overcoming a mishap at the second rest period, Kelly and HK Kruzier finished on a time of 8:16:39, finishing 54th.

Katelyn Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) and Melody Blittersdorf’s Synthetic were unable to complete the race after the third vet check. Dial stated, “Katelyn and Synthetic were primed for this Championship but unfortunately, we had stroke of bad luck which led to their pull for lameness. The pair showed a strong presentation throughout their time here and we can’t thank the Blittersdorf’s and Misty McAdams enough for their care of Synthetic.”

The United Arab Emirates won the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors. Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis Almuhairi of the United Arab Emirates is the individual world champion aboard Rabdan.

Click here for complete results and like USA Endurance on Facebook!.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Suspensions imposed over endurance drug breaches in Qatar - Full Article

September 23, 2017

Three endurance riders and a trainer have received suspensions over drug infractions in Qatar in November last year.

The three horses all tested positive to diisopropylamine, a vasodilator used to treat peripheral and cerebral vascular disorders. It is a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations.

The three riders − Matter Said Khalfan Al Saadi, who is registered in Oman; Gaje Singh Hari Singh, who is registered in India; and Maryam Ahmad S A Al Boinin, who is registered in Qatar − explained to the FEI Tribunal that they had no involvement in the preparation of the horses...


Friday, September 22, 2017

The Italia Endurance Festival - Opening Ceremony

22/09/2017 - evento sportivo

A magnificent choreography charmed the audience of the Italia Endurance Festival and definitely left a beautiful souvenir in the minds and hearts of those who were lucky enough to witness it.

When the main authorities concluded their welcoming speeches, the 33 participating teams present in Valeggio sul Mincio began their parade, just after setting of the sun.

Daniele Polato, city councillor of Verona, and Maurizio Danese, President of VeronaFiere, have underlined the economic benefits brought about by the Festival.

The riders of the nations that will be competing next Saturday and Sunday on the tracks developing accross the territories of Mantua and Verona, stepped on stage in alphabetical order.

Just before the dancing and horse acrobatics show, Mr. Mohammed Essa Aladhab, Manager of the Dubai Equestrian Club, collected a beautiful prize, a painting for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Almaktoum. The work of art is signed by the artist Mauro Malacarne, specialized in equine subjects.

When the painting was unveiled, the Italian National Anthem began to accompany the Italian Team on stage. Italy, the host country, won silver medal at the Senior European Championship in Belgium (August 2017).

Beautiful fireworks concluded this magnificent opening ceremony, lighting up the majestic castle of Valeggio sul Mincio that faces Parco Giardino Sigurtà.

Ramon Lopez Lax, FEI ride President of Ground Jury, officially starts the games, proclaiming the beginning of the Championship.