Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bulgaria wins individual and team gold at FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016

All smiles - Croatia’s Zrinka Bilen on ten-year-old Sally took individual bronze and helped her team to silver on home soil at the 100km FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 at Velika Pisanica yesterday (8 October). (FEI/Bosko Milivojevic)

9 Oct 2016

After a second place finish on the podium in 2015, Bulgaria’s Denis Furlanski captured individual gold riding Moz in the 100km FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 at Velika Pisanica in eastern Croatia yesterday (8 October).

Furlanski, who last year won team gold and individual silver at the 90km Balkan Championships, headed Moz into the cold morning fog through the forest trails coming into the first vet check just behind top Croatian athlete Zrinka Bilen on the 10-year-old mare Sally.

They left for the second loop at the same time, but Furlanski and the 10 year-old Shagya gelding pulled ahead and completed the ride in the afternoon sun in 04:54:28 with an average speed of 20:376 km/ph.

Fellow Bulgarian Desislava Aleksieva, finishing five minutes later on the 9-year-old Arabian, Pompey, scored individual silver with the ride time of 04:59:37, and bronze was won by Zrinka who arrived three minutes later over the finish line.

Team spirit

With Bulgaria’s one-two finish, the team had a leg up on the top podium spot, and thanks to the sixth-place finish of third team member Ruz Nedkova-Ivanova on Morfey the team’s combined ride time of 15:11:53 secured the gold medal.

Croatia, with Bilen’s individual bronze in the bag, narrowly missed team gold with Stefano Osip on the 8-year-old Shagya gelding Hajna finishing fourth and Iva Lipovac taking fifth place with 9-year-old mare Hita. They completed in a combined ride time of 15:18:15.

Greece took home team bronze finishing in 21:53:53 with Viktoria Schoina on Koheilan XIII 16 SALA, Irini Mitona on Aphroditi and Sotirios Patisouras on Sheikh, who finished 10th, 11th and 12th in that order.

A total of 30 rider/horse combinations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Turkey started out at 07:00 on the FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 trail, which left from the Kukavica sports centre in Velika Pisanica into a forested area with excellent horse trails.

Best Condition - Moz

Moz, ridden by the Championships winner Denis Furlanski (BUL), won the Best Condition Award. The ten-year-old gelding won the CEI3* 160km ride in Aschen, Austria, in May.

Antun Baković of the Croatian National Federation, who was in charge of timing on the day, said: “Everything connected to facilitating the event went smoothly thanks to enthusiastic athletes and supporting crew, and the experience of Technical Delegate and Foreign Judge Anita Goedl and officials led by Teodora Kostova, President of the Ground Jury.”

FEI Balkan Endurance Championship 2016 - individual results

1. Denis Furlanski (BUL), Moz - 04:54:28

2. Desislava Aleksieva (BUL), Pompey - 04:59:37

3. Zrinka Bilen (CRO), 130 Sally - 05:02:35

4. Stefano Osip (CRO), Shagya Hajnal - 05:05:02

5. Iva Lipovac (CRO, Hita - 05:10:38

6. Ruz Nedkova-Ivanova (BUL), Morfey - 05:17:48

7. Katina Lyutova (BUL), Artur - 05:38:27

8. Sitki Doguslu (TUR), Bolero - 05:54:42

9. Dinka Kovačević (CRO), Gidran XXIV-90 HAJNA - 05:57:41

10.Viktoria Schoina (GRE), Koheilan XIII 16 SALA - 07:13:37

Team results

Gold: Bulgaria - 15:11:53

Silver: Croatia - 15:18:15

Bronze: Greece - 21:53:53

Friday, October 21, 2016

Australia: Hendra virus vaccine for horses shouldn't be compulsory in Queensland, parliamentary committee finds - Full Article

October 21 2016
By Chris O'Brien and Alexandra Blucher

Vaccinating horses against Hendra virus should not be made compulsory, despite the deaths of 77 horses and four people since 1994, a Queensland parliamentary committee has found.

The agriculture committee was asked to look into the Hendra vaccine and its use by vets.

It recommended that vaccination not be mandatory, but that vets should also be free not to treat horses that had not been vaccinated.

However, the committee also warned there would be more deaths if horses were not vaccinated.

The report also detailed the complex debate about the use of the vaccine and the decision about whether to make it mandatory for horse owners.

It recommended new workplace safety laws to limit the liability of vets and clear requirements for protective clothing.

Committee chair and Gladstone MP, Glenn Butcher, said the inquiry's 11 recommendations were about saving lives.

"Hendra virus remains a risk for horses wherever there are flying foxes — horses that get infected generally die," he said.

"If people get the virus from infected horses they will likely die too and there is no cure.

"Vaccinating against the Hendra virus remains the most effective option for preventing horse and human deaths from the virus, according to biosecurity, workplace safety and health experts.

"If people stop vaccinating their horses, we will see deaths from Hendra virus in Queensland again..."

Read more here:

Australia: Victoria Bonham finishes 33rd in Tom Quilty Gold Cup - Full Article

Victoria Bonham finishes 33rd in Tom Quilty Gold Cup in Lexton, Victoria. Bradley Jurd

21 Oct 2016

The Tom Quilty Gold Cup is a gruelling 160 kilometre horse endurance race, and is one of the toughest rides in the country, where only half of the entered riders managed to finish this year.

Yet Victoria Bonham rode her 13 year-old gelding Bridle Track Bogart to a 33rd place finish in the ride, on the course at Lexton, Victoria on October 7.

Bonham was more satisfied to have finished, completing the ride in a time of 18 hours, 37 minutes and 22 seconds.

“It is more than finishing the race, it is to complete it,” she said.

“We finished mid field and only fifty per cent finished.”

Bonham credited Bridle Track Bogart, who she said went beautifully throughout the ride, with ease, considering the course was wet and boggy...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Two endurance horses put down and one rider injured during 90km FEI ride

Pippa Cuckson 20:20 - 16 October, 2016

Two horses have been put down and a rider is in hospital with reported serious injuries following the international 90km endurance ride in Fontainebleau, France, on Saturday 15 October.

The fatal injuries were confirmed in a brief statement issued by the ride organisers, and the notation CI – which stands for catastrophic injury – promptly appeared against the horses’ names in the live results.

Experienced French rider Andre Coriou, 55, was taken to hospital after the six-year-old Ariane d’Oudaires fell during loop three. It is not yet clear whether the horse’s fatal fracture was the cause or result of the fall. At the time of publication, no update on Coriou’s condition has been issued.

The second fracture was sustained by Castlebar Contraband, ridden by Sheikh Abdul Al Qasimi, 28, a member of one of the ruling families in the UAE. The Qasimis’ long-term trainer Anzac Mehmood posted on Facebook that he did not see the accident in person, but visited the site later and thought Contraband had probably tripped on a stone.

[More ...]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

FEI/UAE: And The Hits Just Keep on Coming… - Full Article

Cuckson Report | October 11, 2016

It may have been staged three weeks ago, but unsavoury matter is still rising out of the effluence of the world endurance championships at Samorin.

There seems to have been so much anarchy and/or incompetence at the replacement venue in Slovakia on September 16th you have to wonder how much worse the championship could actually have been if still staged in Dubai.

The UAE contingent – all riding for the Maktoums’ premier stables, no rider or owner from any of the other Emirates got a look-in – set out defiantly, having been stripped of the right to stage this event themselves. But they are not the only ones to blame for the shambles at Samorin. Too much of what is widely reported to have occurred behind the scenes suggests that for all their brave word, elements of FEI officialdom are still at pains not to offend the ruling family of Dubai.

So many endurance scandals should have provided the “tipping point” for serious reform: the media focus on doping offences in the royal barns of Dubai, the Marmoog swap and other horse identity frauds, Splitters Creek Bundy, the phantom rides. But numerous official wrist-slappings of the UAE have not resulted in any discernible improvement in their respect for horses, other riders, officials or for FEI rules.

Following Samorin, many more senior figures have felt moved to speak out on social media and in mainstream equestrian publications. Maybe now the tide will start to turn…but I am not holding my breath.

Read this salutary account, for instance, from a very experienced organiser and four-star judge, Francois Kerboul. If you are involved with other horse sports you will find just one of his many bullet points shocking and unbelievable, and you may not make it to the end without a stiff drink. Here is the original French on (scroll to the heading “WEC Samorin (SVK) 17-09-2016: Quand les rumeurs se font confidences et inquiètent passablement”). There is an English translation at the foot of this blog.

I will not take up your time with extra commentary on Francois’s text, other than to note that a) none of it to date has been denied in any other reputable media; b) regarding the alleged “sale” of the Italian grooming area to the UAE, bear in mind that the foreign judge who could have reversed it was a Mr Al Hammadi who is, ahem, from the UAE; and c) the intervention of the French team manager relates to a widely-expressed view that Ajayeb should never have been passed to set off on what was to prove her fatal phase...

Read more here:

Monday, October 10, 2016

South Africa: Sandymount Express 1000
: The final day, and the day after - Devan Horn

October 9 2016

All 9 riders complete the Sandymount Express 1000

I woke up the morning of the final day secure in the knowledge that I would have an easy finish. My legs felt awesome, I was full of energy, and very confident. Starting out on the first loop, we were all full of cheer and high spirits.

And then the storm came.

The cloud cover gave a respite from the Fauresmith Sun (like the Tevis Moon, just less charming), but the wind was something primal. So hard and fast I couldn't breathe, a relentless headwind that made Every. Single. Stride. A fight. Every inch of forward progress was a victory. Rain. Lightning. Dust twisters. Definitely qualifies as the hardest day.

But my horses and I were harder. Fairlane, fresh and strong, Aviatrix, completing her 240th kilometer, ears pinned to her neck and nose snarled shut, and especially Brio who handled the worst of it with his striking long trot, cutting a straight line through the storm and getting me to the finish.

As soon as I crossed, and the tears and champagne hit the dirt, I learned that Lize had vetted out on her last loop and had to do an extra 40 in these conditions. As Tines had done for me on my very first day, all 8 riders loaded up in the back of a truck to cheer her home. The din when she crossed the line is hard to imagine. We mobbed the vet at the end, teasingly daring him to vet her out a second time. But her horse looked fantastic, and the Sandymont was officially at an end.

For my team, the kilometer breakdown was:

Aviatrix: 250 K

Hidalgo: 170 K

Zara: 170 K

Brio: 170 K 

Fairlane: 120 K

Coco: 80 K

Sunita: 40 K

Cowboy: 40 K (vet out)

As you can tell, I had the privilege of riding amazing horses this week. I want to thank Donnie, Jackie, Wessel, and especially Rykie for letting me ride their horses on this adventure.

I also want to thank Jaco and Rykie for their help during the race. They were my support team, helpers, grooms, and family. Along with Elias, Beeerkjie, and Joseph, they kept me moving to the finish line all week. To Leon and Engela to opening their home to me while I attempted this ride.

Thank you to my fellow riders, all 8 of you were amazing, not a single one of us quit or retired, and it was an absolute privilege to ride with you. It was tough, beautiful, and wild all in one. We've done this, we can do anything.

Thank you to my sponsors, Hammer Nutrition and Tropical Riders, both of which supplied product that I couldn't have gotten through without.

A big, huge thank you to the South African endurance community in general. I came here solo, with no family or support team, and you made me feel welcome and became my support.

More from Devan at:

Australia: Tom Quilty Gold Cup winner: Rider Debbie Grull; horse Lauralyn Notorious - Full Article

DALE WEBSTER, The Weekly Times
October 9, 2016

TASMANIAN rider Debbie Grull and her horse Lauralyn Notorious took out the 2016 Tom Quilty Gold Cup endurance ride at Lexton on Saturday in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 13 seconds.

The pair crossed the finish line of the 160-km (100-mile) endurance race just nine minutes ahead of Talea Hasko-Stewart, of Harden in NSW, in second place.

Of the 233 riders who started what is regarded as the toughest horse race in the world, just 120 completed the course and earned themselves a coveted Quilty buckle...

Read more here:

Cambodia: CEF pressing on with endurance build-up

Lon Sopheaktra, seen here taking part in a dressage competition, won the CEF’s first 40 kilometre endurance trial. Photo supplied - Full Article

10 October 2016
H S Manjunath

The Cambodian Equestrian Federation’s determined effort to prepare an endurance team to take part in next year’s SEA Games in Malaysia has been boosted by the Thailand Equestrian Federation’s all-round support in the build-up.

As one of the leading nations in the region on the equestrian front, Thailand has stepped in to lend its experience and expertise to help Cambodia move past dressage and showjumping capabilities to the more demanding endurance events.

With the Malaysian SEA Games less than a year away, the CEF has taken the preparation of endurance riders to a war-footing since it is a mandatory eligibility criteria for a participating country to complete a minimum of four trials – three over 40 kilometres, extending to 80 kilometres for the final one...

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

New Zealand: Canterbury farmer's lifelong passion for horses of the desert - Full Article

Last updated 17:33, October 4 2016

David Marshall's childhood dream was to one day ride an arabian horse and do it justice. Now he owns one of the top arabian studs in the country. He talks to Pat Deavoll about what makes the horses so special.

Long time Arabian enthusiast, David Marshall is hoping his stallion Zaddam wins supreme champion at this year's Canterbury A&P Show.

Afterall, Zaddam has an impressive pedigree of wins including supreme champion as a yearling at the Silver Anniversary Canterbury All Arabian Show and champion arabian stallion and champion ridden stallion all-breeds at the Canterbury show last year.

Zaddam is also an open qualified endurance horse - endurance riding is Marshall's passion - and the sire of two of hs team of endurance arabians. A beautiful, graceful grey with flared nostrils and large dark eyes, the horse is, as Marshall puts it, a product of the desert. It is easy to see why he is enamoured with the arabian breed...

Read more here:

Equestrian Australia Pens Letter to FEI Regarding Slovakia WEC

October 3 2016

Equestrian Australia has sent the attached letter to the FEI, on behalf of the EA Endurance Committee, following on from the running of the World Endurance Championships.

The letter offers suggestions for ways that completion rates for Championship events can be increased, and the level of horse welfare improved.

They include compulsory walk in/walk out water points on each loop to slow horses down and let them catch their breath a bit; institute lower heart rate and recovery times on flat courses; and encourage more technical courses requiring more horsemanship.

The full letter can be seen here:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

USA's Devan Horn to Compete in South Africa's Sandymount Express 1000

September 29 2016

It's an endurance horse race, testing riders to the their physical and mental ability to complete 1,000 kms in eight days. She'll have 8 horses to get acquainted with and ride each day. The ride begins October 1.

USA's Devan Horn, a Mongol Derby veteran (2nd in 2013, withdrew in 2015), is thrilled to begin this new escapade in South Africa.

"It feels incredibly right to be headed into another wild, insane adventure," she wrote. "I'm indulging a measure of wild ferocity I generally attempt to batten down in polite company. In three weeks’ time, I’ll have both of the longest horse races on the face of this planet dusted~!"

She got a chance to ride two of her horses on Wednesday. "I'm quite happy with both of them, and I still have 6 to meet!"

Her hotel is a great accommodation with roan antelope and sable antelope out by the pool. "I don't know how I ended up in this African palace, but I'm not asking any questions! I keep expecting someone to come in and tell me I've got a cot in the back of the horse trailer instead. But it seems to me this cozy little room (with ensuite SHOWER!) is mine for the week! I'm in such good hands with these excellent horses and hostesses!"

Keep up with Devan's adventure here:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Statement on fatal accident at Llay Llay, Valparaíso CEI 2* (Chile)

28 Sep 2016

It is with deepest regret that we confirm that there was a rider fatality on Saturday, 24 September 2016 at the CEI 2* 120km at Llay Llay, in the Valparaíso region of Chile. Hugo Valdés Barros (CHI), 58, fell from his home-bred, 10-year-old gelding MP Sifax on the second loop.

There were no witnesses to the incident, but it is thought that the rider fell after his horse failed to make a turn on the track and jumped a small canal. The horse was uninjured in the incident.

The Organising Committee cancelled the rest of the day’s events and a full police investigation has been launched to look into the circumstances of the accident.

Hugo Valdés Barros, who lived just outside Chile’s capital Santiago, had worked with horses all his life. He had competed in Endurance events at national level in Chile for more than a decade and internationally for the past two seasons. This was his second CEI 2* with MP Sifax, having finished 12th at their last outing on 14 May in Matetic (CHI).

He leaves behind his wife Maria Pía, daughter María Elisa and two sons, Cristián and Ignacio.

“We send our deepest condolences to Hugo’s wife María Pía, sons Cristián and Ignacio and daughter María Elisa, and his relatives and Friends,” President of the Associación Chilena de Enduro Ecuestre Cristian Herrera said. “Hugo was an exceptional man. His passion for the sport of Endurance and his love for horses will remain with us. May his soul rest in peace.”

Read the farewell message from the Associación Chilena de Enduro Ecuestre here (in Spanish):

“As the President of the Ground Jury at Llay Llay, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros and to the whole Endurance family,” FEI Official Elizabeth Huyghe said.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Hugo Valdés Barros,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The FEI and the global equestrian family send our deep condolences and support to Chile at this very difficult time.”

A funeral mass was held at the Church of Santa Elena in Santiago on 26 September, and a memorial service for Hugo’s fellow riders and friends will be held at the Cementerio Parque del Recuerdo on Saturday 1 October at 17.00.

Monday, September 26, 2016

AERC President and AERC International Committee Chair Pen Letter Regarding Slovakia WEC

September 26 2016

AERC President Michael Campbell, and chair of AERC's International Committee Dr Meg Sleeper, have written a letter in response to the recent World Endurance Championship in Slovakia.

Addressed to USEF's President, Chrystine Tauber, Campbell and Sleeper express their great disappointment at both the outcome of the WEC - a needless equine fatality, and numerous eliminating due to over-riding - and at FEI's appearing to initially "spin" a story about the breakdown, instead of stating what happened.

AERC "is very concerned about ongoing abuses in international endurance riding" and requests several recommendations be forwarded to FEI, including designing championship courses with technical variations, instead of flat for speed only; continued stringent drug testing, including sensitivity tests on horses' legs to detect nerve blocking agents; more emphasis on the goal of "fit to continue"; crewing on trail should be drastically reduced or eliminated all together; significantly increased and serious suspensions for stables, owners, trainers, and riders whose horses have been metabolically compromised from over-riding.

While veterinary standards and rules appear to have improved over the past year, events at the 2016 WEC show there is still a long way to go with horse welfare in FEI endurance events.

The full letter can be read here:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Germany's Sabrina Arnold Wins FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses

Germany’s Sarah Arnold and Tsagan Nour won the 120km FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses (7 years) in Nègrepelisse, France, leading an all-female podium. (FEI/Pamela Burton)

24 Sep 2016
By Pamela Burton

Smart riding brought Sabrina Arnold (GER) and Tsagan Nour to the top of the podium at the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses (7 years) today in Nègrepelisse, France.

The 120km Championship, which finished with an all-female 1,2,3 yesterday afternoon, with Arnold and Tsagan Nour galloping over the finish line in a time of 05:59:04, culminated in the prize giving today.

Spain’s second-placed rider Emma Rosell Segura riding Danco completed in 06:05:58, followed by third over the line and also from Spain Laia Soria Pinol on Nervi Del Rieral finishing the four loops just two seconds later.

After starting the second loop in 10th position after a 2-minute recovery in the first hold, Arnold was assured that her mount was doing well with the trail conditions. Continuing with good recoveries, the duo were able to move up in the finish order on each loop and took possession of the ride on the final loop to emerge victorious.

France seals Best Condition

The first-placed French rider, Paul Bard, riding Volny Du Leff, finished sixth and later the highly coveted Best Condition was awarded to his seven-year-old chestnut gelding.

Ana Barbas (POR) riding her own E Da Fuica scored fourth and Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi (QAT) riding Dufawan finished fifth, with the rest of the top eleven spots secured by French athletes on this striking trail in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France.

Young Horses - future champions

These annual FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses, first held in Compiègne, France, in 2001, are an important foundation ride for future champion horses as they mature.

A total of 42 combinations from Bahrain, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, USA and the UAE joined 52 combinations from France for this year’s Championship.

Trail tactics - Sabrina Arnold and Tsagan Nour

Tsagan Nour is part-owned by French champion rider Jean Philippe Frances, technical advisor and partner to the 36-year-old Arnold, who has been a distance rider since she was a child. Together they made a plan for the Championship’s challenges:
“These horses are young and it is better for their mind to have a companion,” she explained. “On the first loop we were too fast and I slowed down and rode with two other riders. My horse was immediately good in the vetting and I rode with our second rider on the next track through the third loop. On the fourth, the rider from Qatar rode with me for a while. On the last loop, the trail was very challenging. I had some information from other friends on the trail that we were many minutes in the lead, so I slowed him down and let him breathe.”
First-time Championship trail

The FEI Endurance Championship for Young Horses 2016 was held for the first time in this farming community northeast of Montauban. The course followed forest trails and farm tracks from the equestrian centre in Domaine de Pousiniès through local communes of Saint-Etienne-de-Tulmont, Nègrepelisse, Vaïssac, and Genebrieres. Temperatures for the day hit 26C by 2pm. Organised by Endurance Equestrian Nègrepellsse, and supported by the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Festival, the trail was contested with four loops of 35kms, 30kms, 35kms and 22kms, beginning at 07:30.

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said of the day: “Horses in Young Championships are not yet at their maximum fitness, and the most important thing for me was how well the riders managed their horses.”

Gérard Aurel, President of Endurance Équestre de Nègrepelisse, said after the ride: ”We are very happy to have organised this Championship with 14 nations and the day went very well.”

Final results - FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses 2016
1. Sabrina Arnold (GER), Tsagan Nour - (completion time) 05:50:04
2. Emma Rosell Segura (ESP), Danco - 06:06:58
3. Laia Soria Pinol (ESP), Nervi Del Rieral- 06:07:00
4. Ana Barbas (POR), E Da Fuica -06:13:04
5. Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi (QAT), Dufawan - 0606:13:05
6. Paul Bard (FR), Volny Du Leff 06:13:24
7. Amandine Lorenzi (FRA), Velvette El Mazel - 06:13:31
8. Laetitia Goncalves (FRA), Sadi Lotois - 06:15:59
9. Emilie Brard (FRA), Natfet - 06:17:00
10. Emmanuelle Gaudino (FRA), Cayrel Bashkhaar - 06:18:17
Full Results:
Best Condition: Paul Bard (FRA) with Volny Du Leff

Friday, September 23, 2016

Slovakia: Was fatally injured endurance horse taken to livestock crematorium? - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
18:46 - 23 September, 2016

The FEI’s equestrian community integrity unit is to investigate allegations that the body of Ajayeb, the mare who broke a leg at the world endurance championships at Samorin, Slovakia, was diverted to a livestock crematorium instead of being taken directly to a pathology lab for her compulsory autopsy.

The FEI ordered the investigation on Friday afternoon after hearing allegations that Ajayeb, the ride of UAE team member Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, was traced to the crematorium by vets suspicious about her whereabouts..

As part of tougher rules for endurance imposed in 2014, the FEI has insisted autopsies be held for all at-competition fatalities...


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Australia: Sisters to mount up for Tom Quilty Gold Cup - Full Article

DALE WEBSTER, The Weekly Times
September 20, 2016 7:00am

JULIE Woods will become the oldest Victorian to ride in Australia’s toughest endurance horse race next month when she mounts up at the age of 80 for the Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

Ms Woods rode her first “100-miler” when she was 50 and if she completes the course successfully on October 8 she will collect her sixth Quilty buckle.

With her at the starting line for the first time will be her sister, Lois Sharam, who is making her Quilty debut at age 75...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Aussies have right stuff at World Endurance Championships - Full Article

FRAN CLELAND, The Weekly Times
September 20, 2016 7:00am

AUSTRALIA’S endurance team finished fourth in the teams section of the 2016 World Endurance Championships in Slovakia at the weekend.

Members were Ben Hudson, Sasha Laws-King, Rebecca Pinder, Jodie Salinas and Alexandra Toft...

Read more here:

Omani riders clinch fifth place at World Endurance Championships - Full Article

September 20, 2016
Oman riders claimed fifth place in the team event at the competitive FEI World Endurance Championships in Samorin, Slovakia on Saturday.

Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs captured individual gold and led his compatriots Alex Luque Moral and Angel Soy Coll to the team title. Moral took the individual silver, with Bahrain’s H H Sheikh Nasser al Khalifa claimed bronze.

The Spanish led an all-European team podium, with France bagging silver and the Netherlands holding on for bronze.

Australia pushed Oman to fifth place...

Read more:

Monday, September 19, 2016

UAE Endurance: The Shameful Saga Continues - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 19, 2016

Hands-up anyone who seriously thought the UAE would be on best/better behaviour at Saturday’s world endurance championship (WEC) ride in Samorin, Slovakia?

Having learned nothing whatsoever from the litany of criticism, FEI suspensions and legal agreements, the UAE delivered even worse results than at WEG 2014 and managed to kill their stable star. Not one individual got round by using their trademark burn-out strategy.

Yet all were mounted on seasoned troopers, some prepped by their trainer-mentor Juma Punti Dachs, who steamed through to take two WEC golds for his native Spain with Twyst Maison Blanche. The defending champion Sheikh Hamdan went out for lameness at gate 4 having led with Ramaah.

Only 47 finished out of a field of 134. The sport should be ashamed by both the 35% completion rate and that the provisional first three were eventually ruled out, two for lameness and one for metabolics. Two were Emiratis, one a Uruguayan, another nation fixated on the racing-style sport.

There was some good riding but the overall picture was dire. At Rio, experienced Paralympic dressage rider Philippa Johnson-Dwyer was eliminated for a small spur mark on her horse’s flanks under the blood rules. Philippa lost the use of an arm and has spinal injuries, so any tiny abrasion could possibly have been caused by a totally understandable momentary loss of balance on her part. Yet at a world title endurance ride, for every sympathetic rider you’ll see another that has barely mastered rising trot yet is permitted to crash along for 100 miles hanging on to a mouthful of hardware that would shame the Spanish Inquisition. But then again, large numbers of the public are less likely to watch endurance than an arena sport on TV like dressage: silly me.

The UAE also lost Ajayeb, ride of Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum. Ajayeb sustained an open fracture of the cannon bone, the sort seen too often in the desert rides. To add to the catastrophe, witnesses tell me that Ajayeb broke free from a makeshift screen made of sheets and tried to run on three legs after her companions whose riders had continued on their way. She had been up with the front-runners in loops 1, 2 and 3.

Ajayeb was clearly a very special robot who has been passed round the wider Maktoum clan so they can all win something big. Yamamah, winner of WEG 2014, is a previous holder of this dubious honour. Ajayeb won the 2015 Europeans, also at Samorin under Punti Dachs. In January she won Dubai’s most prestigious ride, the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup under Sheikh Hamdan...

Read more here:

‘A very tough day’: horse dies at world endurance championships - Full Article

Rachael Turner
11:58 - 19 September, 2016

A horse has been put down at the FEI world endurance championships at the weekend (15-18 September).

Ajayeb, ridden by UAE rider Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, tripped and fell on the fourth loop of the 160km track in Samorin, Slovakia.

The 15-year-old chestnut mare suffered “an irreparable leg injury” to her off fore and had to be put down.

“It was a very tough day”, said Spanish rider Jaume Punti Dachs, who took team and individual gold at the competition.

“There were magnificent horses in front of me, but endurance sometimes happens like this. You do everything right and then something goes wrong. It’s like life..."