Monday, April 26, 2004

La Baule 2004

La Baule CEIO*** Event Coverage
Pamela Burton



Premier riders from 12 nations including Australia, Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, and the UAE are expected to arrive for the May 8 Super League endurance ride at La Baule, France.

The endurance venue, which begins at 8:30 AM beach-side in this lovely Atlantic Coastal town, will travel inland through 6 stages and several small villages before returning to the beach for the before-dark expected finale. Sixty riders are expected at this years ride, twice the amount of entrants in 2003, the 1st CEIO at La Baule.

I will be covering the La Baule ride for EnduranceWorld.Net....tough assignment, but someone had to do it. France is very organized in it's Equestrian competitions, more-so than many countries, as it is totally underwritten (read morally and financially) by its National Federation.

EnduranceWorld.Net will explore this lovely coastal area of France and take you along on the competition trails that will travel some of the medieval backroads of Brittany.

This event is the CEIO for France for 2004. The designation is given to one country for one competition per year. In order to obtain this label, the event must be of the highest quality. This top quality event will give endurance riders a venue to further hone their skills, looking forward to the World Endurance Championship in January 2005.

The UAE will surely maintain the challenge to duplicate the individual first place last year of Shk. Rashid bin Mohammed Al Maktom, while the French team, who won the first CEIO at La Baule in 2003, will be looking to repeat their Gold Medal win.

The International teams will look forward to two other CEIO events, Newmarket in Great Britain on June 27, and Gubbio, in Italy on September 17-19 in this Competition series .

In France, Endurance is the second largest equestrian discipline by number of licensed participants, after jumping.

In 2003, a crowd estimated at 3,000-4,000 people watched the finish of the competitors, who had begun their ride at 7 am. The 2004 ride will still start at the beach site at low tide at 8:30 am, and will travel through many of small and medieval cities in the area. Some ride modifications have been made to reduce road travel, and the trail is slightly more difficult in technicality as a result.

A la prochaine, Pamela

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