Monday, August 21, 2017

Malaysia: Careful planning helps Sultan Mizan's team surge to victory

NST.com.my - Full Article

By ADRIAN DAVID - August 20, 2017 @ 8:40pm
SETIU: A carefully-calculated strategy and high morale helped Malaysia bag the two gold medals at the 80km equestrian endurance race at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong.

Team manager Che Mat Din said they had studied the strengths and weaknesses of their rivals, especially main challengers Thailand, before formulating a plan to succeed.

“After 20km, we changed our plan when we found out Thailand and Cambodia lagging behind by some 20 and 30 minutes, respectively. We were cruising at an average speed of 20 km per hour and got our rhythm going.

“During the water break and short rest as they completed the first leg of 35km, I advised the team riders to maintain their speed into the second leg of 25km...

Read more here:
https://www.nst.com.my/sports/others/2017/08/270347/careful-planning-helps-sultan-mizans-team-surge-victory

Australia: Mary Valley complex wins bid for exclusive event

Gympietimes.com.au - Full Article

Tom Daunt | 20th Aug 2017

EQUESTRIAN: Stirling's Crossing Equestrian Complex is celebrating winning the bid to host Australia's most prestigious endurance event, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, in 2019.

Complex owner and founder of Stirling's Crossing Endurance Club Matthew Sample said he was delighted that the venue had secured the event given it only opened last year.

"The Tom Quilty is the biggest national championship endurance ride in the southern hemisphere, spanning 160 kilometres and attracting over 300 riders from across Australia,” Sample said.

"We're thrilled to be hosting it in Imbil for the first time in 2019 and expect to have horses and riders travelling from all corners of the country to compete.

"It really is an iconic event steeped in history since it was established by R.M. Williams in 1966 and the original gold cup still has pride of place in the Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach.”

Read more here:
https://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/mary-valley-complex-wins-bid-for-exclusive-event/3214357/

Great Britain: Rich haul for UAE riders

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Al Ketbi leads sweep of three titles at HH Shaikh Mohammad Endurance Cup Festival


Published: 23:30 August 19, 2017 Gulf News
Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer

Dubai: Salem Hamad Al Ketbi led a UAE sweep of three of the four classes at the prestigious HH Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Cup Festival at Euston Park in England on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Al Ketbi, who has 49 rides under his belt, completed the gruelling CEI 3* 180km ride in seven hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds aboard the grey gelding Klim De Jansavis.

Spanish rider Eulalia Gonzalez Guardia took the runner-up slot with nine-year-old stallion Umrod De Keropartz. He crossed the finish line at the Suffolk venue in 07:35:34 seconds.

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/rich-haul-for-uae-riders-1.2076845

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Careful planning helps Sultan Mizan's team surge to victory



By ADRIAN DAVID - August 20, 2017 @ 8:40pm

SETIU: A carefully-calculated strategy and high morale helped Malaysia bag the two gold medals at the 80km equestrian endurance race at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong.

Team manager Che Mat Din said they had studied the strengths and weaknesses of their rivals, especially main challengers Thailand, before formulating a plan to succeed.

“After 20km, we changed our plan when we found out Thailand and Cambodia lagging behind by some 20 and 30 minutes, respectively. We were cruising at an average speed of 20 km per hour and got our rhythm going.

“During the water break and short rest as they completed the first leg of 35km, I advised the team riders to maintain their speed into the second leg of 25km.

“When I observed we were clearly ahead by at least an hour over Thailand and Cambodia, I told them just to relax and cruise ahead and not to push their horses further,” said Che Mat.

He added that the strategy worked well in Malaysia's favour as the riders' horses were not spent towards the last leg and even managed to magnificently gallop to the finish line.

Terengganu ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, astride Rtes Annaversary, won the individual gold with fellow Malaysian Mohd Bulkhari Rozali, riding JQ Tuan Junior, grabbing silver.

Three other Malaysians in Mohammad Fuad Hashim, riding Mora Makaka, Mohd Adhwa Embong, riding Mora Franka, and woman Azizatul Asma Abdullah, riding Mora Tishaka, finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

However, as tournament rules did not permit more than two from the same team to win medals, Thailand's Warit Khuntaraporn, astride Shardell Prince Ali, who finished sixth was awarded the individual bronze.

Also, no same rider is allowed to win both the individual and team medals.

But there was no denying Malaysia the team gold as Fuad, Adhwa, Azizatul and Mohd Yusran Yusuf, who was forced to retire after his horse Castlebr Twilight was injured, won the team gold.

All the top five Malaysian riders broke the Games record of six hours, 26 minutes and four seconds set by fellow Malaysian Sulaiman Muda at the Myanmar Games in 2013.

Che Mat said the Malaysian riders will be put to test in October during the Sultan Mizan's Cup 120km endurance race at TIEP and the South East Asia Cup on Dec 20.

Azizatul, who finished fifth at an endurance race in France earlier this year, is due to compete in the World Junior Endurance Race in Verona, Italy next year, where she is the top seed.

Azizatul said they had to race closely together as a team at the Sea Games, as it boosted each other's morale to stay ahead of the competition.

"The weather and condition of the horses also played a key role, apart from our riding skills and strategy. I am glad we did it," she said.

Bulkhari said their proactive measures taken during the race worked greatly in their favour.

"For me, I have to thank my horse for doing a good job by following my riding instructions. I coaxed it by giving it occasional pats and affectionate touches to urge it to race forward.

"This despite the fact that I was riding it only for the third time. I guess, I had build a good chemistry with it to bring results," said Bulkhri.

Fuad also had the same comments adding that he would even give his horse a kiss to show he appreciated its good showing.

Adhwa praised his horse for much of the work done and said there was still a lot of training to do to win more medals.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman said the success of the riders augured well for the state to further promote equestrian endurance riding as four of the five medalists were born and bred in Terengganu.

"This success story is due to the diligence of the riders, trainers and officials. They made us proud with not only wining both gold but in record fashion, too," said Razif.

The ruler's wife, Sultanah Nur Zahirah, presented the prizes to the winners.

[Full story]

Denmark's Neland pips UAE's Alyazia to gold

photo: It was a superb end to a highly competitive ladies ride at the Bois de la Cambre, an urban public park situated on the edge of the Sonian Forests in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Rides were part of the three-day Brussels Equestrian Endurance Masters which was supported by the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival

brussels - Denmark's Merethe Neland won the individual gold and France emerged team champions in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Nations Ladies Cup, a CEIO two-star 120-km ride, while Sebastien Valerio of France won the 120-km Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup International CEI two star ride in Brussels on Friday.

The two rides were part of the three-day Brussels Equestrian Endurance Masters (Beem) which was supported by the Shaikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival.

In fact it was heartbreak for the UAE lady rider Alyazia Al Romaithi in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Nations Ladies Cup and for the UAE rider Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi in the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup as both of them led going into the final stage but could only end up in second places.

The ladies ride was one of the most hot-contested events and when the final three crossed the finish line after negotiating the 120-km distance, just two seconds separated the top three.

Denmark's Merethe Neland on 11-year-old Paragon managed to pip the UAE's Alyazia Al Romaithi on 10-year-old Holoutaria and in close third was Virginia Atger of France on Quersane Des Pins.

It was a superb end to a highly competitive ladies ride at the Bois de la Cambre, an urban public park situated on the edge of the Sonian Forests in the Belgian capital of Brussels.

After three stages of 39.5kms, 32.7kms, 30.3kms in the 120-km ride, the final stage of 23.4 kms left, the UAE's Alyazia Al Romaithi on Holoutaria was five seconds ahead of the Danish rider while a second behind in third was Atger of France. With leads changing hands and the three riders in a very competitive mode, they finished almost together but one second separated Neland from the UAE's top rider Alyazia and Atger finished third for the Bronze.

Merethe Neland and Paragon completed the 120-km distance in a time of 6 hours 28 minutes and 06 seconds, with the Alyazia and Atger finishing one second behind respectively.

In the team championship among ladies, France took the Gold while hosts Belgium helped themselves to Silver and they were the only two teams that had three riders from their team completing the ride.

In the 120-km Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup International CEI two-star ride, which was run along with the Sheikha Fatima ladies ride, three UAE riders were in the top four going into the final stage with Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi on Ffaramir ahead of Sebastien Valerio of France riding Gindastik. Butti and Ffaramir had led every stage until the final one and that seemed to take its toll. The Frenchman and his horse Gindastik stayed steady and won the 120-km ride in 6 hrs 33 mins and 04 seconds while Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi on Ffaramir completely slowed down keeping the welfare of the horse in mind and completed over 45 minutes behind the winner. Ahmed Ali Al Marzouki on Uperkut Charbonnier finished third for the UAE.

[full story]

Sultan Mizan gallops to majestic victory



By ADRIAN DAVID - August 20, 2017 @ 11:50am

SETIU: After just over three hours of tough galloping, a vigorous Terengganu ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin was all smiles as he led Malaysia to two gold and one silver medal at the 29th Kuala Lumpur Sea Games 80km equestrian endurance race.

There was plenty of euphoria as team officials handed the Jalur Gemilang flag to His Majesty and the next two riders upon reaching the finishing line 9.20am at the Terengganu Internation╬╝al Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong.

Apart from Malaysia, the other teams were from Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei who were flagged off by Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman.

On the back of his mount Rtes Annaversary , Sultan Mizan strode in first to win the individual gold, followed closely by Mohd Bulkhari Rozali, riding JQ Tuan Junior, who won the individual silver.

He is the first Sultan to have participated in Sea Games history.

It was also the first time Sultan Mizan had won gold in equestrian endurance at the Sea Games, although Malaysia had bagged two gold at the 2013 Myanmar Games.

Although Mohammad Fuad Hashim who finished third astride his horse Mora Makaka, competition rules do not allow a rider from the same team to win all three available medals, thus, denying him the bronze.

However, officials declared gold for fellow Malaysians Mohd Adhwa Embong and Azizatul Asma Abdullah, who rode Mora Franka and Mora Tishaka respectively.

Malaysia’s sixth rider, Mohd Yusran Yusuf was forced to retire midway in the race after his horse Castlebar Twilight limped off injured.

A beaming Sultan Mizan credited team effort for Malaysia’s success.

“We worked in cohesion, moved together and our strategy worked. Although it was a long race, it did not seem boring or lethargic as we galloped energetically.”

Sultan Mizan, who ranks fourth in the world, has vast experience having competed in numerous international equestrian endurance events in the Middle East and Europe.

“I would like to congratulate all and sundry, from the trainers, horse handlers, veterinarians, officials to the state government, for helping us achieve our target and working tirelessly for a successful race which went without any untoward incident,” he said.

The ruler hoped Malaysia’s success would boost its chances to host the Asian Endurance Cup and the World Junior Endurance Championship next year.

The sultan won third place in the Sultan Mizan Cup International Endurance Riding Championship at TIEP last year.

Representing Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable (RTES), Sultan Mizan recorded an average speed of 16.257 km per hour in the race.

[full article]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Malaysia's Sultan Mizan creates SEA Games history



SETIU, Aug 19 — Terengganu Sultan, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will go down in SEA Games history as the first Sultan to participate in the SEA Games and probably win a medal as he joins local and foreign participants in the SEA Games (KL2017) Endurance race which offers two gold medals.

Endurance which features five countries offers two gold medals in individual and team events.

In the 80km event, the Sultan and the rest of the participants will be flagged at 3am and expected to complete the race by 5pm.

All five riders representing the country are from the east coast states, four from Terengganu — Muhammad Fuad Hashim, Mohd Bulkhari Rozali, Mohd Adhwa Embong, Azizatul Asma Abdullah while Mohd Yusran Yusuf is from Kelantan.

Malaysian team manager Malaysia Che Mat Din Ismail said Sultan Mizan’s participation was not only a historic moment for the state of Terengganu, for the SEA Games as well since this was the first time a Sultan is participating in an Endurance race.

Sultan Mizan will be riding on his horse Rtes Annaversary, Muhammad Fuad (Mora Makaka, Mohd Adhwa (Mora Franka), Mohd Bulkhari (JQ Tuan Junior), Mohd Yusran (Castlebar Twilight) and Azizatul Asma (Mora Tishaka).

Apart from Sultan Mizan, petite Azizatul Asma, 21, is expected to be the focus of the competition since she becomes the first woman to compete in an Endurance event of the SEA Games although the event is normally dominated by men.

Azizatul will be riding her horse Mora Tishaka that won third place at the 120km Endurance race of the 2013 FEI World Endurance For Young Riders and Junior in Uruguay.

Meanwhile, the President of ‘Veterinary Delegate’ Prof Madya Datuk Dr Bashir Ahmad Fateh Mohamed said 25 horses from five countries had passed the first phase of inspection at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP), here today.

“The 25 horses are from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei. This is however, the first of check up on the horses because after finishing every loop, the horses must attend an inspection to determine if they can continue the race,” he told Bernama, here today. — Bernama


Full story here

Australia: Fenech takes out Australian Endurance Championship

Gympietimes.com.au - Full Article

Tom Daunt | 18th Aug 2017

ENDURANCE RIDING: The region is celebrating, with four out of the top five riders being local at yesterday's 80km ride at the 2017 Australian Endurance Championship being hosted at Stirling's Crossing Equestrian Complex in Imbil.

Fiona Fenech from Kilkivan took out top honours, closely followed by Sorsha Stuart-Rokvic from Table Top in New South Wales, Stephen Gray from Coopers Plains, Leigh Ann Sample from Kenilworth and Akhmed Pshunov from Imbil.

Conditions were tougher than expected, with temperatures being unseasonably high for this time of year, but event organiser and complex owner Matthew Sample said he was delighted with how the event was progressing.

"We have about 150 people on-site at Stirling's Crossing Equestrian Complex, with competitors battling it out in today's 80km ride and in the 120km and 160km rides starting at 3am and 3.30am respectively tomorrow morning,” Sample said...

Read more here:
https://www.gympietimes.com.au/news/fenech-takes-out-australian-endurance-championship/3214114/

Belgium: Super-Mum Sabrina Endurance Champ!

FEI.org - Full Article

August 18 2017

Germany’s Sabrina Arnold has claimed her first major individual Championship win as she and Tarzibus were crowned FEI European Endurance Champions 2017 in Brussels.

The German pair, who are based near Marseilles, led from the first loop and completed the 160-kilometre course in a time of 7.14.52, with an average speed of 22kph.

The 10-year-old gelding was praised throughout for his fast recovery times and the pair finished more than 15 minutes ahead of their closest rivals...

More at:
http://www.fei.org/stories/super-mum-sabrina-equestrian-endurance-racing-champion

Belgium: Arnold claims European endurance crown

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

German rider ends 22-year wait for her first major title

Published: 19:01 August 18, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Brussels: Germany’s Sabrina Arnold won her first endurance ride in 1995 but it took her 22 years to win her first major international championship and that happened on Thursday in the European Championship (CH-EU-E).

The 160-km Four star ride, which was held under the banner of the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, was held at the at the Bois de la Cambre, an urban public park situated on the edge of the Sonian Forests in Brussels.

Arnold and 10-year-old Tarzibus made it a start to finish affair.

Arnold on Tarzibus, a horse trained by Frenchman Jean-Philippe Frances, staved off the Spanish challenge to complete the 160-km ride in 7 hours 14 minutes and 52 seconds at an average speed of 22.53km/h...

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/arnold-claims-european-endurance-crown-1.2076352

Great Britain: Record field for Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Euston Park braced for over 600 athletes from over 35 countries

Published: 19:09 August 18, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Suffolk, England: The largest and most impressive mass participation of riders and horses representing over 35 countries will compete for top honours in the HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters at Euston Park on Saturday.

The Festival, which is the third and final leg of the Endurance Cup series, will feature four rides in four categories over distances of 160 km, 120 km and 80 km.

With over 600 riders set to compete in all categories, it is the biggest and most exciting endurance festival to be held in the UK.

Rider from far away Australia, Argentina and Uruguay have arrived at the Suffolk venue while hosts Great Britain have a record 80 riders ready to compete alongside some of the discipline’s finest competitors in a world class setting boasting impressive facilities and generous rider incentives...

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/record-field-for-shaikh-mohammed-bin-rashid-al-maktoum-endurance-cup-festival-1.2076360

Ireland: Dundalk man proves yet again that age shouldn't a barrier to sporting success

Sportsjoe.ie - Full Story

Tom MacGuinness is a national treasure

August 18 2017

Staying the distance.
Dundalk man Tom MacGuinness competed in his first FEI (International Equestrian federation) European Championships when he took part in the 160km Endurance Championship in Brussels recently.

The 66-year-old was the only Irish man to take part in the event, but one man was all it took to set the Irish flag flying high among Europe's elite.

85 competitors toed the line in Belgium, but the Louth debutante wasn't fazed by the sizable competition, and finished a creditable 11th place aboard his mount Sasha D'Allais.

This is just another box ticked off Tom's growing and wide-ranging CV when it comes to equestrian events.

Having enjoyed success in eventing, show-jumping and polo, MacGuinness took up the demanding sport of endurance racing in 2013, aged 60...

Read more here:
https://www.sportsjoe.ie/horse-racing/dundalk-man-proves-yet-age-shouldnt-barrier-sporting-success-134195

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mongolian Derby: Australian Olympian Ed Fernon wins world's toughest horse race

A young Australian Olympian has won the longest and toughest horse race in the world.



Twenty-nine-year-old Ed Fernon conquered the gruelling Mongolian Derby, crossing the finish line with South African Barry Armitage in equal first after a nail-biting race to the finish.

The 2017 race saw 12 men and 24 women from nine countries riding 1,000 kilometres across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.

Mostly riding full tilt, they charge through the rugged terrain of the Mongolian Steppes, forging rivers, deserts and wide open plains on a course that is designed to recreate Genghis Khan's ancient postal system.

It puts to the test the competitor's survival skills, horsemanship and sheer endurance.

Competitors change horses every 40 kilometres and camp out under the stars or stay with local herders.

Horses will often injure the participants if badly handled, and riders are also given penalties if they overwork the tough Mongolian ponies.



Fernon is a young man who cannot resist a challenge.

Although city born, he spent time on a family farm near Wagga Wagga in NSW where he first threw his leg over a horse.

His love of riding inspired him to take up the modern pentathlon, mastering the five disciplines of swimming, fencing, running, shooting and show jumping.

He started the sport as a 20-year-old and four years later represented Australia in the 2012 London Olympics.

Needing a new challenge post-Olympics, Fernon did a charity ride across the snowy mountains.

The ride retraced the 1,100 kilometre journey of Archer, the legendary horse that walked from NSW to Melbourne before winning the inaugural Melbourne Cup in 1861.

"Following the Legend of Archer" raised over $50,000 for The Black Dog Institute, offering support for people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

[Read full article at abc.net.au ...]

Mongol Derby Day 8

TheAdventurists.com - stories, photos and more

Day 8. August 16th, 2017
Underwater Love - Smoke City

Dumpling has been sent to the finish camp to sniff the fresh mutton air of the steppe and the stories it is still to yield from this year's Mongol Derby. As the finishers congregate at Khangal Nuur (Lake) in faraway Khentii province she'll be collecting the story-dust before it settles. And standing around on horses arses, as in the photo above. Updates posted by Chief Willings, in the office another day, by correspondence. Mainly pigeon.

Says Dumpling: "Bromance Will Comiskey and Warren Sutton rode into joint fourth place this morning. Upon passing the vet (immediately), Will stripped down and rode bareback into the lake, jumping off his horse's bum for the first "bath" he's had in a week. Overheard at the finish: Ed to Will: "Jakkie is a fucking legend. What a hero." Sportsmanship and camaraderie at its absolute finest."

"On JM's last night riding, he stayed with local family. Wanted to help the woman of the house churn butter, and found himself stuck w that chore... for 40 min. Very sore arm in addition to everything else upon finishing."

MOre news, stories, photos at:
https://www.theadventurists.com/the-jibber/2017/8/9/mongol-derby-2017-rolling-news

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mongol Derby Day 7

TheAdventurists.com - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 7. August 15, 2017

The Boys are Back in Town - Katy Willings, Derby Chief
(Michelle Tanaka at finish camp to newshound from there)

We have a winner! Well, two actually, and three riders over the line nursing their newly minted Mongol Derby sores). For the first time since 2012 we have a male-dominated leaderboard. Ed Fernon of Australia and Barry Armitage of South Africa crossed the line together at 17:34, brother in arms after 7 days of fierce competition and grueling riding. Close in behind them at 19:01 was Jakkie Mellet, also of South Africa, who vied for the lead through much of the race.

So many scores were settled and loose ends tied up by this evening's result, and some extraordinary benchmarks set.

2017 brought the fastest ever finish; mid afternoon on the 7th day after a slightly tardy 11:11 start on Wednesday last week.

It was also the longest ever Derby; 1020km of incredibly open steppe, a veritable ocean of green, which after some much needed rainfall in the days prior to, and early in, the event, made for a spectacular arena.

Jakkie lost his lead this morning after an unfortunate "horse not great in traffic" incident, which meant he had to back-track to Urtuu 25 on foot and retrieve a more suitable mount. His original choice decked him when a car came past (doesn't happen all that often in Mongolia, to be fair) and fled back to the station, saddle round belly. In the bid for freedom JJ lost a stirrup leather, and the herders helped him fashion something out of rope to ride home on. Meanwhile Ed and Barry snuck past, gaining 20 kms. Amazingly he did catch up and get his nose in front again, but squandered the lead again having pushed too hard to retake it - his 27th horse didn't pass the vet check. So he sat a penalty as BA and EF cruised past again.
Here's Hugh and Cozy, our multi-tasking vet/event manager team, towing referee Charles on their way to set up U26. Much better by horse
Here's Hugh and Cozy, our multi-tasking vet/event manager team, towing referee Charles on their way to set up U26. Much better by horse
Amazingly, this is Barry's 3rd Derby. He was first across the line in 2012 too, but subsequently lost the race on a vet penalty. Many a buttock was clenched watching him hone in on the finish. Ditto Ed, who has led or been thereabouts throughout the race, pushing hard for every racing minute and falling foul of the vets and refs a couple of times. That's how you end up an Olympic athlete, no doubt. In the event, they cruised most of the day riding skilfully within themselves, in hot and intense conditions, and unable to put any real distance between each other. In a great example of gentlemanly endeavor they elected to ride over the line together. If 1000 kms couldn't split them, so be it. No showboating, no risk taking, they just got their horses home and promptly took them into Khangal Lake, where we have created our finish camp, for a well-earned swim and cool down.


Amanda Charlton and Leslie Wylie enjoying a bowlful of dumplings for breakfast. Truly a sublime start to the day (and portable with the aid of a ziplock bag).
Amanda Charlton and Leslie Wylie enjoying a bowlful of dumplings for breakfast. Truly a sublime start to the day (and portable with the aid of a ziplock bag).

Don't Stop Me Now

Some highlights from further back in the field. Actually the highlights are more like low-lights, because most of the chasing pack, mid-field and rear guard just kept buggering on today. Some cracking 3 and 4-leg days from the likes of BW, RM, LT, PR, CL...they seem to have got into their rhythm of eat, sleep, ride,repeat. Shout outs to ST and CP who seem to have made camping between urtuus something of an art form too, another clockwork day's riding. MB who got off to a very slow start and got shuffled up the field in a car once he was some 60kms off the pace rode through four stations today. That's pretty much the Derby Gold Standard. Hats off.


42 cracking Mongolian warrior-horses bagged and tagged and on the line for our lucky riders. That's what an urtuu should look like folks.
42 cracking Mongolian warrior-horses bagged and tagged and on the line for our lucky riders. That's what an urtuu should look like folks.

Cry Me a River

Two items under this heading. Paul Richards riding upsides of our whizzkid mounted camerawoman Chloe - it was his wife's birthday, and this is the longest period they have spent apart in 36 years. Understandably, the tears started to flow, first Paul's, and then, Chloe's. Look out for some wobbly camerawork there.

Secondly, the Kherlen and Onon rivers flowing fast in the latter section of the course, and the volume of water in some of the low ground swallowed a few of our vehicles whole. 1 referee, 2 vets, one film crew and the Blood Wagon were all part digested by the flood plains of Khentii. At five separate intervals we had riders approaching urtuus with the vet team assigned to that urtuu digging out of a bog on their way to post. Some impressive day saving behind the scenes today.

***

19.55 JM has passed the vet check. confirming him as 3rd place finish. Congratulations to Mr Mellet.

17:55. Vet check passed. It's confirmed. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud and honoured to announce that Mr Barry Armitage from South Africa and Mr Ed Fernon from Australia are joint winners of the 2017 Mongol Derby. The world's longest and toughest horse race has new champions. Congratulations gentlemen.

And how did they celebrate their glory? By getting straight in the lake - with their horses.

Bloody good show.

17:34. Barry Armitage and Ed Fernon have crossed the line and completed the 2017 Mongol Derby. Awaiting vet check...

Australia: 2017 Avon Valley Ride a success

A group of 58 riders from all over WA enjoyed a picturesque day at Mokine near Northam on August 5, for the Avon Valley Ride.

The competiiton has been held from Blair Wilding's property for the last four years and previously at Muresk.

At 7am, 13 competitors were immediately engulfed in a heavy fog only to emerge to a splendid sunrise across the town of Northam from Eric Fox's farm.

The first rider to cross the finish line and passing the necessary vet requirements was Lienca Nell a middleweight rider on her Arab gelding Ruoak Daryus in a ride time of five hours and eight minutes.

She was very pleased with the result as a month earlier her horse had vetted out at the Tom Quilty National Endurance Championships held in South Australia.

Overall there was a completion rate of over 90 percent and in the 20 kilometre event a 100 percent completion which showed how well the new comers to the sport were looking after their horses.

Many local volunteers and landowners stepped up to the task of gatekeeping, road marshalling and manning checkpoints until the last rider was safely back to base.

At the end of the day riders gathered to receive their awards which included local prizes contributed by many local sponsors.

A hot air balloon ride donated by Windward Ballooning was won by a woman manning two gates on the day and she has enthusiastically already booked her flight.

Event organiser Amanda Rayner said endurance riding is a lifestyle that consumes those that are passionate about the sport.

“With it comes the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and we gain lots from both of them,” she said.

“It is a test of our spirit, compassion and our communication with a creature with whom we share our life during the long hours and kilometres of training and competition.”

The ride season runs from early March to mid November with rides taking place every fortnight.

Over the next month two further rides will be held east of Perth, Greenhills and at Merredin.

Endurance riding is a family fun sport.

Without the support of the local landowners, the event could never have been held.

For further information go to www.waera.asn.au or contact organiser Amanda Rayner on 9622 9533.
[More ...]



Monday, August 14, 2017

Horse Radio Network: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 12, 2017 with Devan Horn


AUdioboom - Listen in

Day 4 of the Mongol Derby. Mongol Derby Alumni Devan Horn join Glenn for a special 8pm Facebook Live wrap up of Day 4 of the Mongol Derby and a look ahead to Day 5. Leslie is still in the race and still smiling! Listen in...

Mongol Derby Day 6

TheAdventurists.com - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 6. August 14, 2017 - Michelle Tanaka





Day 6 Take It to the Limit - Michelle Tanaka

Leading man (once again) Jakkie Mellet checked into U25 at 20:31, sticking himself with a Late Riding Penalty, which will have to be sat out in real-time in the morning. Bad luck. Instead of riding out at 07:00, he’s going to have to sit chilly until 07:02.

With 17 minutes riding time to spare, Ed Fernon went blazing out of U24 in pursuit of Jakkie. Twelve minutes later, he returned to spend the night. Good choice, Ed—you’ll sleep much better in a warm dry ger, horse pre-grazed and pre-watered when you saddle up in the morning.

Spot of disappointment today: EF possibly trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for pattern of inconsiderate riding. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

With all recent talk about Naughty Listers and Naughty Corners, it’s time to recognize the handful of riders who have managed to avoid all penalties, vet or technical: Brooke Wharton, Lucy Taylor, Paul Richards, and Jodie Ward earning Best Decision-Making Awards. So far. They’ve got a couple days’ riding to go. Don’t let us down.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow early afternoon, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.

************

Spot of disappointment: one of the leaders, EF, apparently trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for inconsiderate riding: galloping horses just short of stations, then loitering before coming in for the vet check. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mongol Derby Day 5

TheAdventurists.com - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 5. August 13, 2017.

The fantastic Julian Herbert has been out there on the steppe following the riders and clicking away. Thanks to marvellous folks over at AST Systems he's even managed to send them back to HQ - which is nothing short of a miracle. Today he was following our fearless leaders.

Oh, Marie. You’ve practically handed it to the boys today with your third vet penalty of the race. Marie Palzer got herself a four-hour, third-offense vet penalty at U18 today—on top of the prior two hours at U16. Riders have been well-briefed on the consequences of less-than-stellar riding. Marie won’t have to sit them until U22 tomorrow, where she will likely watch the rest of the leading pack come through. Which now includes Greg Chant, Rebecca Hewitt (RHW), and Jodie Ward.

Ed Fernon is penalty-free post-U11 so, barring poor decisions in the morning, will breeze in and out of the second Penalty Urtuu. Jakkie Mellet will cool his heels for two hours, when Barry Armitage will likely overtake him.

A slew of riders picked up the pace today, riding almost as far as the leaders. It should be noted that Brooke Wharton rode four legs alone. That takes an extra measure of ballsiness.

But a big chunk of the field also encountered quite feisty horses today, beaming out “Help” on their sat trackers for retrieval assistance. Lucy Taylor and James Lester had a bit of fun with broncs just off the horseline this morning, both unhurt after being decked (and this after James’ little prank last night, pretending he hadn’t waited for Lucy at U11 then jumping out to surprise her just as the tears started).

More penalties today. Perhaps it was the Naughty Corner keeping everyone in check yesterday. Many a vehicle carry-forward jettisoned riders to the next urtuu as well as to the top of the Naughty List (can’t fully blame them, after this spirited bunch of steeds).

Back at HQ, we had to make some angry phone calls to the Gatekeeper of the railway underpass outside U13, who didn’t want to let our crews through. Said it was fine for the horses to cross, but cars were a separate matter. He’s not wrong (horses and cars are admittedly very different), but we had urtuus to manage, so set him straight.

The sixth retirement of the race is Marianne Williams, who arrived in UB overnight. A firecracker even in the SOS clinic. Despite requiring clavicle operation as a result of falling in “every marmot hole in Mongolia,” she’s in marvellous form. Derby Chief Willings was able to escape the Ops Room for a hot second to bring flowers and gossip just as MW ordered a ribeye (rare), massive glass of wine (red), and cheesecake for lunch. We will see her at the finish party in UB August 19.

As ever, much of this lot love to sleep en plein air, but the family at U14 is stuck feeding the slumber partiers tonight.

1631. “Four seasons in a week, har har.” That’s Mongolian weather for you. Day 2 saw borderline hypothermia; snorkels and x-ray vision were highly recommended. Day 5: blazing sun. Mercury may not read sky-high, but when you’re kitted out riding for 13 hours, zero shade, it’s scorching. Hope no one’s chucked their sun cream. And that no one chucks their rain gear. Because likely more wet ahead (naturally), according to our course guru Darren. They’re about to cross into Jargaltkhan. Different province, different climate. Ready the machetes for hacking through the jungle.

13:20. That’s a big-ass spread halfway through Day 5. Gonna need a bigger board here at HQ (in case you’re wondering, we’ve got an LCD HD touchscreen with holograph messaging capabilities spanning an entire wall in the Ops Room. Jokes.)

More at:
https://www.theadventurists.com/the-jibber/2017/8/9/mongol-derby-2017-rolling-news

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Horses in the Morning: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 11, 2017 with Devan Horn

Horseinthemorning.com - Listen in

Aug 11, 2017

Day 3 of the Mongol Derby. Mongol Derby Alumni Devan Horn and Leslie Wylie’s husband Tommy Bateman join Glenn for a special 8pm Facebook Live wrap up of Day 3 of the Mongol Derby and a look ahead to Day 4. Leslie had a wild night with uncooperative ponies! Listen in...

http://www.horsesinthemorning.com/mongol-derby-special-report-for-august-11-2017-with-devan-horn/