Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: negotiating a heatwave

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 21 June, 2017

After all of the recent competing and training it was back home again to sunny Cornwall (literally) to work on improving fitness for all three horses. Fantom had a couple of days off after his weekend away and then it was back to work.

At the squad assessment, tests had shown that Fantom’s fitness was going to be improved by interval training and some general hill work rather than work on the track. Actually I am rather glad about this as we both enjoy these sessions far more than cantering on the flat for several kilometres at a time.

To this end, I duly headed off to the sand dunes for a session on the ‘dunes from hell’ path. This is a long, long path which climbs up steeply from the beach in fairly deep, dry sand. Three of these is enough, followed by a long canter over undulating dunes back to the tracks home. This session was not totally straightforward, as we had many dog walkers, holiday makers and the local riding stables wobbling their way along the path, so strategic planning was called for to avoid all of these hazards...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/blog/annie-joppes-endurance-blog-negotiating-heatwave-624061#8PrTPpdvDTT4P7fQ.99

Monday, June 19, 2017

Great Britain: More than 15 tonnes of ice used to hard to keep riders and horses cool

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

UAE wins across the board in Suffolk FEI rides


Published: 15:04 June 19, 2017 Gulf News
Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer

Suffolk, England: The UAE had an incredibly successful day, winning all the classes and the Best Condition awards at the second of the Euston Park Endurance Rides, sponsored by Emirates Airline, which took place this weekend in record high temperatures.

Organisers worked hard all day to keep riders, volunteers, stewards and staff cool and over 15 tonnes of ice was used to safeguard the welfare of the horses.

A total of 85 riders from eight nations competed in CEI 3* 160Km, CEI 2* 120Km, CEIYJ 2* 120Km, CEI 1* 80Km and an additional CEI 1* ride.

Euston Park Endurance trialled a staggered start in the CEI 1* 80km classes, they were well received, although the majority of riders still opted for the mass start.

EGB Board Member, Nicki Thorne (GBR) said: “The staggered start is a huge opportunity for riders who have not previously had experience at FEI level to start in a very safe way (away from the melting pot), gain confidence and enjoy FEI riding whilst removing a lot of the stress and worry that might prevent them trying FEI...”

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/more-than-15-tonnes-of-ice-used-to-hard-to-keep-riders-and-horses-cool-1.2046064

Australia: Windeyer endurance ride hailed a success

Armidaleexpress.com.au - Full Article

Ellen Dunger
@ellen_159

17 Jun 2017

If you drove through the village of Windeyer on the long weekend you would have noticed an array of trucks, trailers and horses at the recreation ground.

The quiet village became a hive of activity for the annual endurance equestrian event.

More than 100 riders and horses travelled from all over the sate and rode the extra mile in the 20, 40, 80 and 160 kilometre ride on Saturday and Sunday.

It was the 16th year the endurance event got underway and organiser Allix Jones said this year’s competitors ranged from newcomers to the sport to old hands and the four rides were met with great enthusiasm.

“This year’s turnout was a huge success attracting riders coming from all over the state,” she said...

Read more here:
http://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/4736069/riders-go-the-extra-mile/

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Endurance GB to formally adopt 'The Leading Rider Award' at major competitions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15 June 2017
 
Following extensive trials, 'The Leading Rider Award' will be formally launched at Endurance GB's major competitions, starting with Euston Park on the 17th and 18th of June. The award is the corner stone of the British Endurance Protocol, an initiative born from a joint working party, led by the British Equestrian Federation.

The purpose of the newly named Leading Rider Award (previously Good Horsemanship Award), is to reward what we believe to be clever riding, covering terrain competitively, but within the horse's means. The award gives points based on criteria judged throughout the competition and takes into account the recovery time of the horse, the CRI and consistency of speed. It's an evolving process and we welcome further feedback.
 
A full list of criteria can be found here
 
The award was first trialed at two national rides and two FEI rides, which enabled the working party to refine the criteria and produce an efficient way of capturing and managing the data.
 
The Leading Rider Award forms one part of a much wider British Endurance Protocol, which is looking to develop proposals to support good horse welfare, transparency and clean sport, positioning the UK as a champion for continued development in the sport. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great Britain: Runners and horses go head to head in marathon

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
10:16 - 10 June, 2017

Nearly 700 runners and 60 horses will converge on Britain’s smallest town today (June 10) for an unusual 24-mile race.

The annual Man vs Horse marathon sees humans battling equines over the Welsh hills in a test of speed and endurance.

The event was conceived when Llanwrtyd Wells landlord Gordon Green overheard a discussion between two men in his pub, the Neuadd Arms. One suggested that a man would be as fast as a horse over a significant distance.

He decided to test the hypothesis, and organised the first event in 1980. The theory seemed to be swiftly disproved when rider Glyn Joes on Solomon beat fastest runner Dic Evans by 43 minutes.

Since then, however, a human has managed to triumph in the race on two occasions — Huw Lobb in 2004 and German runner Florian Holzinger in 2007...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/runners-horses-go-head-head-marathon-623315#R8w523AUYKC090dK.99

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

GB: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: a nightmare journey and the art form of parking

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 6 June, 2017

A week or so ago I spent a hectic three days helping at the famous Golden Horseshoe ride on Exmoor. This competition is about as different as you can get to Royal Windsor and still be ‘endurance’.

Windsor is fast, flat with excellent, and in part prepared, going and Horseshoe is rugged, rough and extremely hilly and the speeds considerably slower to reflect this. The challenges, and the rules to some extent, are very different and an alternative way of training the horse is required.

As usual, the event was not without rain and the venue is situated on top of a hill making it very exposed to the elements and usually up to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding countryside.

‘Horseshoe’ is the oldest endurance competition in the UK and arguably one of the most famous in the world and certainly in this country. Two years ago, Horseshoe celebrated its 50th anniversary and had a break last year to be resurrected with new organisers who have great plans for the future...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/blog/annie-joppes-endurance-blog-nightmare-journey-art-form-parking-622722#BPbiU2wjSd97PJTZ.99

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Maria Alvarez Ponton Leads Spain to Victory in Spanish Endurance Festival

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

Alvarez Ponton Tops two days of endurance

20 May 2017

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is supporting five endurance rides in Madrid including the 160-km ride and the Abu Dhabi-Madrid-Brussels Endurance Challenge, all FEI rides.

Alvarez Ponton finished the 160 FEI 3* ride in a time of 7:34:30 riding on an average speed of 21.12kmph. Second in almost five minutes later was Angel Soy Col riding Sheitan A Gwervaen (7:34:51, 21.10kmph), followed seconds later for third place was Anna Maria Tamerra on Girola De Quercus (7:34:52 seconds, 21.10 kmph).

The 160-km ride was run in five phases of 37km, 37km, 32km, 32km, and 22km. The 2 days of FEI endurance attracted top riders from Spain looking to book a berth on the National team for the coming international events, particularly the 2017 Grand Prix...

Read more here:
http://www.horsereporter.com/maria-alvarez-ponton-leads-spain-to-victory-in-spanish-endurance-festival/

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Giraffes in view as the Boudheib Endurance rules get a run in South Africa

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

June 3, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

The innovative Boudheib rules in Endurance were employed in South Africa last weekend, in the first in a series of international events, with a completion rate across all divisions of nearly 80 percent.

The rules applied at the Boudheib endurance facility in Abu Dhabi, owned by Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, have created an oasis in troubled UAE Endurance. The “house” rules insisted on by the sheikh have all but eliminated the welfare issues that have plagued the sport in the region.

They are designed to keep speeds, which are GPS-monitored, down to 20kmh. Most prize-money goes to the best-conditioned horses, judged on the accumulation of scores from each vet gate.

South Africa played host last weekend to the first in the 2017 series of seven international Endurance events under Boudheib rules, with racing taking place in the Sondela Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/06/03/giraffes-boudheib-endurance-rules-south-africa/#J4WZYEjFLbel1Isp.99

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Cup of Russia at the Tersk Stud Novotersky

Endurance-world.com - Full Article

Text provided by: Karina Voski

Tersk Stud, Novotersky, Russia. Sunday 28 May 2017. It was a place 500 meters above the sea level with a mountain-forest climate, similar to the climate of the middle Alps, sprinkling mineral water springs and extensive hilly grasslands that attracted Count Sergei Stroganov to create a stud farm at the foot of the picturesque Zmeika Mountain in 1898.

The backbone for this were 2 stallions and 9 mares brought from the journey through Syria and the North Arabian Desert.

In its nearly 120-year history, the stud farm has produced a whole galaxy of outstanding horses. Kumir, Drug, Nakhodka, Valuevka, Persik, Nobby are among them...

Read more here:
http://endurance-world.com/cup-russia-tersk-stud-novotersky/

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Endurance Wastage: Even Worse Than You Probably Thought

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 30, 2017

I was sorry to miss the FEI’s endurance forum at Vic in Spain. I went to the 2014 version in Lausanne, the first specialist endurance open forum staged after the extent of the cheating, doping and attrition in FEI Group 7 and the UAE in particular came to wider attention.

Not much seems to have changed, other than officialdom now being less uncomfortable about openly naming the problem countries. And it would be difficult now not to name the UAE when they were suspended (2015) and stripped of running a world championship (2016) because of horse welfare concerns. Even three years ago it was taboo to mention a Group 7 federation by name in an open FEI endurance debate.

Given that weeny increase in transparency, I was disappointed to be told in February that the 2017 renewal was limited to national federations. By the time the FEI changed its mind in April and invited general observers, I had arranged to do something else, which could not be rescheduled without inconveniencing other people and causing me irrecoverable expense.
I am thus indebted to attendees who kept me posted and provided context to the presentations now available on the FEI website, and for amplifying the topics excluded from the FEI’s media round-up.

Much was made at both the main FEI sports forum in Lausanne in April and at Vic about extensive veterinary studies into bone fatigue and metabolic failures, and how they might be mitigated by extending rest periods. Another proposal that has got as far as a draft rule is adding an extra seven days’ rest where speed has exceeded an average 20kph. But why not actively cap high speeds, as successfully already trialled at Boudhieb? All the evidence is that Group 7 horses continue to train hard during compulsory “rests,” and turn up at national rides – over which the FEI is always keen to tell us it has no jurisdiction or knowledge. A half-way house measure will merely encourage Group 7 to buy even more horses...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/cuckson-report/endurance-wastage-even-worse-than-you-probably-thought/

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Applications Available for the 2017 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award

USEF.org

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 30, 2017, 1:15 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - Are you a young equestrian who exhibits exceptional leadership potential? Do you serve as a positive role model for your peers and demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport? How involved are you in the community, and do you feel you exemplify positive sportsmanship principles? If so, you may be an eligible nominee for the 2017 United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Youth Sportsman's Award. Each year USEF-recognized national affiliate and international discipline associations search through submitted applications looking for a candidate who is a true sportsman or woman ready to represent their breed or discipline on a national level, and this year just might be your lucky year!


To apply, visit www.usef.org/youth and download the application or contact your USEF-recognized national affiliate and international discipline associations. Be sure to submit your application and all other required materials directly to your USEF-recognized national affiliate or international discipline association’s office on or before September 1, 2017. Affiliate contact information is included on the application form. Each USEF-recognized affiliate may select a national nominee after the September 1 deadline. Each affiliate nominee is considered for the overall Youth Sportsman’s Award, but only two (one winner and one reserve winner) are selected to receive grants.


The overall winner of the 2017 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award will receive a $1,000 grant payable to the educational program of their choice and a commemorative trophy. The winner will also be nominated for the USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year Award. The reserve winner will receive a $500 grant payable to the educational program of choice.


Applicants must meet the following criteria for consideration of the 2017 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award:


Have a current membership in good standing with the USEF
Have a current membership in good standing with a USEF-recognized national affiliate and international discipline associations
Be 17 years of age or under, as of December 1, 2016
Demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport
Serve as a positive role model for peers
Participate at any level of competition, including local, regional, or national events
Be involved with their community
Exhibit characteristics that exemplify positive sportsmanship principles™


For more information regarding the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award, please contact Natalie Norwood, Director, National Breed/Discipline Affiliates, via e-mail at nnorwood@usef.org or call (859) 225-6951.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Calls for attitude change at FEI endurance forum

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
13:23 - 29 May, 2017

Introducing analytics into FEI endurance events will be about “changing psychology and attitude”, according to EquiRatings co-founder Sam Watson.

The FEI announced it had signed a four-year agreement with Irish data science company EquiRatings in April, with the aim of “working together on risk management initiatives” in both endurance and eventing.

At an FEI endurance forum this week, EquiRatings’ Diarmuid Byrne and Sam presented a potential model for an athlete index — which would identify those at higher risk of non-completions.

A similar EquiRatings Quality Index was found to be effective in Irish eventing last year and the pilot has been extended for 2017. The safety analysis tool uses algorithms to calculate the potential for falls, giving officials and riders the ability to monitor risk.

“We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world,” he said...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/calls-attitude-change-endurance-forum-621710#LGbMMpMosKzI3Eh6.99

Australia: Port Lincoln woman entering Mongol Derby

Portlincolntimes.com.au - Full Story

Jarrad Delaney
29 May 2017

A Port Lincoln woman will be taking on the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

Emma Manthorpe will be entering into the Mongol Derby between August 6 and 19, which will see her riding for 1000 kilometres across Mongolia, stopping every 40 kilometres to change horses.

The course recreates the postal route Genghis Khan set up in the 13th century and includes a range of terrain including open plains, mountain passes and river crossings.

Each year about 40 professional, semi-professional and amateur riders take on the derby which requires them to balance survival skills and horsemanship...

Read more here:
http://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/4693229/set-for-mongolia-ride/

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Challenges of regulating speed in Endurance discussed by forum delegates

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

May 27, 2017
Horsetalk.co.nz

Even small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses, delegate to this week’s FEI Endurance Forum were told.

A total of 100 delegates from more than 30 countries gathered in Spain to discuss the way ahead for the growing sport.

Horse welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were primary topics, with delegates weighing the challenges of keeping endurance horses healthy and free from injury in a discipline in which speeds are likely to increase through the likes of better training, breeding, feeding and riding.

The University of Glasgow’s Dr Euan Bennet took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue...

Read more at http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/05/27/speed-endurance-forum/#bH2jEzCsuKtt1PgY.99

‘Wrong Identity’ Claims Revive Bahrain Endurance Controversy

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

May 26 2017

The FEI has declined to review a controversial endurance fatality in Bahrain, despite new evidence suggesting both the dead horse and the ride were wrongly identified.

A grey French-bred mare, Samba d L’Ile, was belatedly named by the FEI after liaison with the Bahrain equestrian federation.

But now ride start lists have emerged, which appear to show that Samba was not a participant on March 4th. This raises new questions about the scope of the FEI investigation, especially in the light of its emphasis on the monitoring of Catastrophic Injuries (CIs): attrition was a major topic at the FEI Endurance Forum in Spain earlier this week.

The Bahrain saga dates back to distressing videos of a grey horse at the moment it broke its foreleg. They were posted on April 3rd by an outspoken blogger known only as “Fair Endurance,” who has been active for the past year, and has clear UAE sympathies. The clips also showed the horse – whose rider was unseated – valiantly trying to follow the rest, stumbling along on three legs while other riders did nothing to help.

The blogger did not identify the horse, but claimed the fatality occurred during the King’s Cup 120km CEI on March 4th and was not recorded in FEI results – an alleged breach of FEI rules. “Fair Endurance” also alleged that other CIs in Bahrain have gone unrecorded. The videos went viral, leading to strong criticism on social media of the FEI and of one of its most senior judges, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Al Hammad of Saudi Arabia. Dr Al Hammad was FEI Foreign Veterinary Delegate in Bahrain, where his responsibilities included immediate reporting of any fatalities to FEI HQ...

Read more here:
https://www.horse-canada.com/horse-news/wrong-identity-claims-revive-bahrain-endurance-controversy/

Friday, May 26, 2017

FEI Endurance Forum 2017: Welfare, education and the future

FEI.org

26 May 2017

Welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were prominent topics at the FEI Endurance Forum 2017, which took place this week in Vic, Barcelona (ESP). A total of 100 delegates from over 30 countries gathered together at a pivotal time for the discipline of Endurance, which is seeing massive growth year on year across the globe.

Scientific presentations on Endurance risk factors, bone fatigue and risk management set the scene, providing a data-based approach for the Forum’s further discussions on education, rules revisions and the future of the sport. Key topics including horse welfare, speed, athlete education and how the elite level of the sport could look in the future were debated in an open and honest dialogue by representatives from across the Endurance community.

“This growth of the sport is remarkable and brings great opportunities but also presents challenges to the global endurance community”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said in her opening address. “Endurance is clearly appealing and has potential, but as we grow we need to secure the integrity of the sport with correct processes, and maintain the highest standards of horse welfare. We are all here because we want to ensure that Endurance continues to develop and thrive around the world. And we are also here because we want to ensure the very best for our horses, for our athletes and for the greater Endurance community.”

First presented at last month’s FEI Sports Forum 2017, Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue. Both reiterated the message that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics and that small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses. It was unanimously agreed that key to injury reduction is a combination of rules revisions and education for athletes, trainers and all involved in the sport.

Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson from equestrian data science company EquiRatings, presented a potential model for an athlete index in Endurance, aimed at identifying those at higher risk of non-completion and following a similar concept to the ERQI model in Eventing. This was received with interest and generated discussions on data collection in the future to enhance this tool, possible applications to reward positive performance and good horsemanship, and potential application to trainers, and horse/athlete combinations.

EquiRatings founder Sam Watson explained: “It is about changing psychology and attitude. We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world.”

The new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was presented and received widespread support, with unanimous agreement on the benefit and importance of rewarding excellence and increasing experience. The introduction of job descriptions, promotional courses for top level Officials, horsemanship education for all Endurance Officials, requalification every three years and the introduction of a new 5* level of Officials were all on the agenda.

Wrapping up the first day’s proceedings, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello led delegates in discussion around potential rule revisions aimed at improving horse welfare and based on the scientific findings relating to areas such as qualifications, speeds, rest periods and weight regulations.

There was widespread support for the creation of a new 5* level of elite competition, with further consultation needed on what form it will take, and a general consensus that there should be clear and increased qualification criteria for entry to 1* level and for progression onto 4* and 5*, however further work is needed to flesh out proposals for the introduction of completion rates for Championship qualifications.

Discussions also covered the need for any potential changes to mandatory rest periods to be clearly based on welfare and not as sanctions for speed. The extensive feedback will be discussed by the FEI Endurance Committee as the next step in this rules revision process.

Inspiration for the second day’s discussions on the future of the sport covered everything from event promotion, sponsorship, innovation in promotion, and what the sport could look like in the future, with presentations from across the spectrum of the sport: athlete Valerie Kanavy, Organiser Nick Brooks-Ward from Hpower Group, athlete and trainer Stephane Chazel and Spanish Chef D’Equipe Ignasi Casas.

Athlete education was again central to the debate as discussion turned to how speed relates to the future of the sport. Delegates noted that ultimately this is a sport against the clock, but this cannot be to the detriment of the horse, however as the sport progresses then speeds will get higher with better training, breeding, feeding, riding etc. However all acknowledged that speed contributes to injury, which is not acceptable for horse welfare and has a negative effect on the perception of the sport. Minimum weights and course design were discussed as examples of how to regulate speed but ultimately conversation came back to athlete responsibility and training, a key theme throughout the Forum.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez closed the forum with a commitment to continue organising these types of discussion forums for Endurance on a regular basis, commending the “productive and exciting meeting of such a wide group of people, with very diverse views yet working together and allowing each other to speak, with a real community feel for open dialogue.”

FEI Endurance Forum 2017 Report - by Linda Tanian

May 24
by Linda Tanian, Australia

Today’s session at the FEI Endurance Forum was all about modernising the sport. There were lots of interesting stats about the increasing popularity of endurance on a worldwide basis including:

• 95% increase in the number of international endurance events since 2007

• 58% increase in the number of registered endurance riders

• 37% increase in the number of registered endurance horses

Our own Brian Sheehan led the first presentation taking us through the mission statement, values and some of the changes being experienced by endurance. A WEG Review highlighted a number of concerns about endurance and the fact that it is only available for 1 day on the WEG schedule of events means a considerably smaller spectator attendance (6,000 compared to 110,000 spectators for Jumping which runs for 6 days). It is making it unviable to include endurance on the WEG schedule as other sports are subsiding us.

Brian presented his expectations for the future of the sport which included:

• Highest standard of horse welfare of all the FEI and non-FEI disciplines

• Officials practice the highest standard of integration

• New and successful competition format for individuals and teams with high completion rates and entertaining to watch

• Self-funded discipline ensuring financial stability

• Education for officials, athletes and trainers

Valerie Kanavy then provided an inspiration presentation when she answer the question of “where do I want the sport to go in the next 20 years”. Her aspirations included:

• Wanting to be part of a sport she can be proud of

• A sport that challenges her abilities

• A sport where athletes and horses can be admired and respected by others

• Where horse welfare is the most important thing in our sport

The next speaker was Nick Brooks Ward who is the Operations Director of the Horse Power Group and is involved in the Windsor Royal Show and the Euston Park endurance events among many other things. He provided some thought provoking questions for us and highlighted how we keep endurance hidden away.

He has lots of experience in promoting sports (the Tour de France is one of them) and suggested:

• Endurance is conceived as a closed sport

• Videos that his company have put up onto the web are pulling good numbers in terms of views and this is a much under-utilised opportunity

• There is a lack of understanding about what endurance is in the larger equestrian community that we could easily address

• There are lots of positive messages that we could be producing to highlight our sport

• A lot of education is required to bring people up to speed on what we do and how we do it

Stephane Chazel is a member of the FEI’s Technical Committee for Endurance. He talked about the philosophy of the sport and how it has changed from being a complete to win scenario into flat racing. He thought that we had the opportunity to decide where our sport was heading and presented three options:

• More professional and elitist – a little like cycling where a team approach is adopted

• Extreme sport with the supreme test of horsemanship

• Long distance racing

His feeling was that the sport should be splintering and a new rule set should be created for each splinter.

The last presentation was given by Ignasi Casas who is the Chef d’Equipe of the Spanish Team. He gave us a bit of a trip down memory lane and showed how they used to do things in the ‘good old days’ including a vet gate in a bull fighting arena, luckily without the bull. He tracked the changes of the sport from a totally amateur sport to what it is today – professional teams, big sponsorship and monetary/high value prizes.

Ignasi also talked about changes in qualifications and team competitions for championships and how they have continued to evolve over the past 30 years.

The opportunity for everyone to then join in an open discussion on the issues facing the sport and where the sport could go. Many interesting comments were provided and some of the elephants in the corner were allowed to run around a bit. While there was no consensus on a single approach the FEI has been given lots of information and ideas to mull over.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mongol Derby: Birregurra Australia rider Warren Sutton saddling up

Weeklytimesnow.com.au - Full Article

FRAN CLELAND, The Weekly Times
May 23, 2017

BIRREGURRA horse trainer Warren Sutton is preparing for an adventure of a lifetime — the Mongol Derby.

He will be one of 12 men and 22 women from nine countries to compete in the 1000km race across Mongolia in August, with all riders mounted on semi-wild horses.

The event is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race, recreating Genghis Khan’s ancient horse messenger system.

The hardy native horses of Mongolia reprise their traditional role and the horse stations will be manned by nomadic herding families as they traditionally were.

Messengers will be riding up to 160kms a day, navigating independently and changing horses at 40km intervals.

Riders have 10 days to complete the course, with last year’s winner taking seven and a half days...

Read more here:
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/sport/horses/mongol-derby-birregurra-rider-warren-sutton-saddling-up/news-story/d1b53c9c0dc474b280cc41431195a5a2

Cambodia: Dara keeps up SEA Games endurance drive

Phnompenhpost.com - Full Article

Wed, 24 May 2017
H S Manjunath

The Cambodian Equestrian Federation’s relentless drive to build an endurance team of six riders and horses meeting SEA Games participation standards met with a measure of success last week when Ly Sovanchandara became the first rider to qualify in an international level competition at a pregames event in Malaysia.

Also making the grade, but at the national competition level, was Phay Visal, while Moeng Sochea, who has already qualified, could not complete his run as his leased horse returned with an injury after the first lap.

Competing in the International Federation for Equestrian Sports-approved 80km event at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Kuala Lumpur, Sovanachandara, riding Ohara Armor, was ranked 12th in the pregames trial and qualified with an average speed of 14.038. He led the first lap at a speed of 19.327 but slowed down on the next two to conserve his leased horse...

Read more here:
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/sport/dara-keeps-sea-games-endurance-drive

Great Britain: UAE riders take Euston Park by storm

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Make clean sweep of four endurance rides held in glorious weather in Suffolk

Published: 16:10 May 23, 2017 Gulf News
Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer


Suffolk: UAE riders made a clean sweep of the four classes at the first Euston Park Endurance Rides, sponsored by Emirates Airline, which took place in stunning weather conditions in Suffolk, England.
Contests were held in four categories — CEI3* 160km, CEI2* 120km, CEIYJ2* 120km and CEI1* 80Km — on the Euston Park Estate and surrounding land.

All the winning horses represented the MRM Stables and were trained by Esmail Mohammad Al Jeziri.
“We started our European season last week at Royal Windsor Endurance but this was our first three star ride and it’s just amazing,” said Al Jeziri. “The horses finished in great condition and it looks very positive for the season ahead...”

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/uae-riders-take-euston-park-by-storm-1.2031724