Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Karli is the mascot of the World Equestrian Games Aachen 2006






Pleased to meet you: Karli, 2.30 meters tall, always jolly and the official mascot of the World Equestrian Games 2006, he will draw the attention to the World Championships in seven equestrian disciplines in many performances leading up to WEG. One of the first performances was on Saturday evening: he not only gave the starting signal for the outdoor bet on the ZDF show "Wetten, dass....?", he also took care of a great spirit among the hunderds of spectators who were present at the shoot.
"In Karli," according to Klaus Pavel, President of the WEG Organisors, Aachen Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), "we found a great sympathetic character. His happy appearance is contagious."
All information on the World Equestrian Games Aachen 2006 mascot can be found on the internet: www.aachen2006.de. You can see the first pictures of his television performance as well as Karli's history, and Karlis can be bought for Christmas at the shop.
The happy horse's mane and tail have seven colours: "Every colour," explains Michael Mronz, member and spokesman of the OC Aachen 2006, "represents a discipline."
Half a million visitors are expected to attend the title competitions in the seven equestrian disciplines next year. They can not only look forward to first class sport, but also to a sympathetic mascot.

Alwaleed sponsors 1st Saudi lady jockey



Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Riyadh

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, has sponsored Alia Hayel Aboutaiyh Alhwaete, the first formally competing Saudi lady jockey.

Alhwaete participated in the 120 km World Endurance Championship for the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Cup in Seeh Al Silm, near the Dubai International Village, on December 22, 2005.

"We are delighted to support the first Saudi lady jockey as we did the first lady pilot who is breaking new ground for other Saudi women," said Prince Alwaleed.

An employee of Kingdom Holding Company, she was given the full support by Alwaleed to represent Saudi Arabia as a pioneer lady equestrian.

Alwaleed had earlier announced that ladies who shine in their respective fields of interest, should come forward and he will fund their interests.

The goal is to break new ground and launch novel opportunities for women in general. Like Captain Hanadi Hindi, first Saudi lady pilot, also sponsored by Alwaleed, Alhwaete is leading the way for future generations of Saudi women in equestrian sports.

Encouraged by her father, Alhwaete started riding at an early age and competed in many equestrian marathons, but never formally represented Saudi Arabia. -TradeArabia News Service

Friday, December 23, 2005

FEI Press News 59/05- Bahrain WEC

Sunday evening, 18 December, saw the closing ceremony of the 2006 FEI Gulf Energy World Endurance Championship which took place at the Bahrain Royal Equestrian Race track. The ceremony was the culmination of three days of Endurance competition at the highest level.

Thirty countries attended this record breaking event with teams entered from over twenty four Nations. The event was held under the patronage of H.H. Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and was organised by the Bahrain Royal Endurance and Equestrian Federation through its President, H.H. Shaikh Nasser bin Hammad al Khalifa

The Championship began with a lavish opening ceremony held at the world famous Formula 1 Race track in Bahrain. The Championships was declared open by the Crown Prince of Bahrain, H.H. Shaikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa who attended the opening ceremony together with other members of the Bahrain Royal Family, Bahrain Equestrian Federation Board Members, FEI Officials and over five hundred riders, support staff, parents and guests.

The trot up took place the following day at the newly built Endurance Village in Bahrain. This purpose built facility was designed especially for these World Championships and the Bahrain Federation is planning to host further Championships in the future. With sixteen lanes for trot up, covered crewing bays, a modern fully equipped Equine Treatment Facility and full catering and rest areas the site is one of the most up to date venues available.

The Championship started on Saturday morning at 5.00am and a short while later the sun rose over the waters of the gulf as the 127 starters followed the 30 km first loop along the waters edge.

The competition continued throughout the morning with the riders and horses returning to the central vet gate. The first horse to cross the finish line did so just after 1.00pm. Fahed Sulaiman (BRN) riding Lormar Lorrien, a 1998 grey mare was passed by the vet panel and declared the provisional individual winner.

Other riders and horses continued to arrive and the final horse to cross the finish line did so just before 5.00pm. A total of 59 starters completed the full course.

Final placings

Individual:
Gold Fahed Sulaiman / Lormar Lorrien (BRN)
Silver HE Sh Abdullah bin Faisal Al Qasimi / Colahlee Park Charlene (UAE)
Bronze HE Sh Ahmed bin Mohd Al Maktoum / Jazyk (UAE)

Teams:
Gold: Australia
Silver: France
Bronze: Brazil

FEI Endurance Committee Chairman, Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, commented; ?Everyone who has had the opportunity to be involved with this Championships either as rider, crew or organiser, can take home some great memories of top level competition and warm and generous hosts who have made us all feel very welcome here in the Kingdom of Bahrain?.

Complete results available soon on the Endurance section of www.horsesport.org

Saudi female rider makes a mark


By Hisham Al Gizouli

23 December 2005


DUBAI ? Alia Alhoaiti, a 25-year-old young Saudi lady, yesterday became the first female rider from her country to take part in international endurance races at the Dubai Endurance City.

Her father, Alhoaiti, who arrived with his daughter from Riyadh last weekend to see her competing for the first time in her life against experienced international riders, was jubilant at her display.

Alia, a graduate of Business Administration from Amman University, came to Dubai under the support and encouragement of the Saudi billionaire and member of the ruling family, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal after receiving the green light from the Saudi Equestrian Federation.

Now Alia is planning to shift part of her operations to the UAE where she can enjoy riding at both endurance and flat races.

?At present, I?m very busy with my job in the Kingdom Holding Company back home, but after bringing some of my horses here, it will be easy for me to enjoy riding during my holidays,? she said.

Regarding the nature of her relations with friends and colleagues in the Kingdom, Alia said everything was very normal.

?They truly appreciate what they describe as a courageous move,? she said. ?We have every right in Saudi Arabia to do what we like so long as it does not contradict our faith and culture.

?I?m a working woman who has completed her higher education abroad without any difficulties or restrictions. We are an open society and you may come and see yourself,? she added.

Speaking about her experience at Seih Assalam, Alia said it was great. ?My horse, Falah Ohood, did a very good job despite being disqualified after Gate Three on Metabolic. I think something happened to him because he was trotting keenly and I didn?t expect any early elimination,? she said.

But her father and trainer Najeeb Al Barjisi accepted the matter, saying that the horse has just arrived from Saudi Arabia and needed more time to acclimatise.

?It was an encouraging start and things will get even better in the upcoming commitments,? Al Barjisi said.

Meanwhile, Alia told her trainer about her intentions to learn riding in flat races. ?My weight is only 54 kilos and have no intentions to put on more weight,? she said with a smile.

Al Barjisi shook his head in agreement pointing out that her length and weight will help a lot.

Alia, a descendant of one of the biggest tribes in Saudi Arabia with a great love and admiration for horse riding since childhood, has come to Dubai with great ambitions to prove her mettle on the international riding scene.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Young Britons sixth in World Championships





Carol Phillips

21 December, 2005

The Endurance GB young rider team finished sixth out of more than 24 countries at the FEI World Endurance Championships in Bahrain
Endurance GB is celebrating the successful return of its young rider squad from the FEI World Endurance Championships in Bahrain.

Four of the six-strong British squad ? Zara Moon, Abigail Lockett, Alice Beet and Gemma Parkin ? successfully completed the 120km race ride. British individual rider Zara Moon was the highest placed British rider in 26th place.

Fahed Sulaiman riding Lormar Lorrien for Bahrain took the individual gold medal, ahead of Sheikh Abdullah bin Faisal Al Qasimi and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohd Al Maktoum for the United Arab Emirates.

The team gold medal went to Australia, with France in second and Brazil, third. The British team finished sixth.

FEI Endurance Committee Chairman, Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, said: "Everyone who has been involved with this championships either as rider, crew or organiser, can take home some great memories of top level competition and warm and generous hosts who have made us all feel very welcome here in the Kingdom of Bahrain."

Meanwhile, the FEI's head of endurance has confirmed that the turmoil surrounding the late cancellation of Britain's hosting of the 2005 Open European Endurance Championships has not affected a future bid.

?The FEI will always welcome applications from all nations [including Britain] for future championships,? said Ian Williams. ?What may have gone before will not affect any future bid which may be received.?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

YoungRiders: Bahrain?s Fahed is world champ

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Fahed Sulaiman gave Bahrain a belated National Day gift by winning the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders in convincing fashion here yesterday.

In the team competition, Australia were first with France and Brazil finishing second and third respectively.

Fahed finished the gruelling 120km race in 5hrs38min.07secs , ahead of the powerful UAE duo of Sheikh Abdullah bin Faisal al-Qassimi and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Maktoum who claimed the second and third spots at the Endurance Village on the outskirts of Manama.
Sheikh Abdullah, riding Colahlee Park Charlene, timed 5:38.51, while the third placed Sheikh Ahmed clocked 5:53.51 on Jazyk, a chestnut gelding.
Fahed, riding Lomar Lorrein, a seven-year-old grey mare, was placed third at the end of the first and second vet gate, but improved to second at the third and made up enough time to finish first after the fourth and fifth stages to emerge champion.

[More ...]

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Bahraini Equestrian Makes it at World Endurance Championship


date: 17 12, 2005


Manama, Dec. 17, (BNA) HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, watched Bahrain Equestrian, Fahd Sulaiman snatching the World Junior Endurance Championship for the first time in the event's history.
The world-class victory made by the Bharaini equestrian coincided with Bahrain's celebrations of the National Day and HM's accession to the throne. Fahd, Sulaiman, one of the Endurance junior champions outdid 140 male and female equestrians from all over the globe at the 120- kilometer race held on Saturday. The Champion, Fad Sulaiman was congratulated for the achievement by HM the King who has been keen to watch Bahraini equestrians since the kick off the race at 5.00 p.m. which was signaled by GOYS President, Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, the Head of the Organizing Committee. Fahd, aged 14, who rode Lumir Loryan for Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, is regarded one of the outstanding endurance equestrians in the Kingdom of Bahrain. While congratulating equestrian Fahd, HM the King valued the achievement, tipping it "historic" as the Bahraini equestrian secured the first position after 5 hours 38.o7 minutes, followed by Shaikh Faisal Al Qasimi from the UAE in the second place and in the third place Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum from the UAE, followed consecutively by Belgium's and Australia's equestrians. The victory was billed by Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa a historic moment for the Kingdom of Bahrain, hailing HM the King's encouragement of the Endurance sport. Shaikh Nasser secured the 7th place in the race but Shaikh Khalid left the competition during the second stage due to the injury of his horse. As to Shaikha Najla'a bint Salman bin Saqr, she came fifth recording 6.07.25 hours. at the level of teams, Australia came first, France second, Brazil third and Bahrain fourth.

Bahrain woman rider aims high





BAHRAIN'S national endurance team rider and the only woman in the team Shaikha Najla bint Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa will start today's 120-km Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship, starting at 5am at the Endurance Village in Sakhir, with ambitous plans of making a podium finish.

"I want to do my best and help my team finish in the top three," said Shaikh Najla, who is the only woman in the 12-member Bahrain team taking part in the race.

Thirty teams with 140 riders start the race in this prestigious event.

"It is an honour for me as a girl to represent my Kingdom at this prestigious event," said Shaikha Najla.

"I have prepared for this championship for quite a long time and I am now eager to prove myself."

Shaikha Najla has been training under her coach and father Shaikh Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa at the Al Fateh Stable in Sakhir.

She thanked His Majesty King Hamad for his unlimited support to equestrian sports in general and endurance races in particular.

The Bahraini team will be captained by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa who arrived yesterday and paid a visit to the village.

Other team members are Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

Rising rider Mohammed Abdulsamad said he is confident of putting up a good performance in the race after having a useful training programme.

"There are teams of top class riders taking part in the championship but for us nothing is impossible. We will do our best and hope to be among the top by end of the race," he said.

The Abdulaziz brothers, Mohammed and Ahmed, said they are keen to put up a good show in today's race.

"Being here with top riders from around the world is a big challenge for us. I have gained some experience from taking part in regional and international races for the last couple of years and I am quite confident of accompalishing a good result," said Mohammed who is the eldest of the two.

Excited

On his part, Ahmed said he is very excited to go head-to-head with some of the finest riders from across the world in such a prestigious event.

"I have been training twice a day and now I am 100 per cent fit for this race. I am also happy with the condition of the course which is very convenient," he said.

Five Arab countries - including favourites the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain - will be among the teams competing in today's race.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Royal Equestrian Federation president Princess Alya bint Al Hussain arrived in Bahrain yesterday to attend the race. She was welcomed on arrival by General Organisation for Youth and Sports president and Organising Committee chairman Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and other officials.

The UAE's Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also arrived yesterday and was welcomed on arrival by Shaikh Nasser.

Breef's endurance committee chairman Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa yesterday received Qatar Equestrian Federation's endurance committee chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani.

A total of 45 jurors and veterinarians have been assigned by the International Equestrian Federation to supervise today's race. The jury panel is headed by its president Carol Bunting of Britain and includes jurors from Bahrain, Jordan, Italy, France, Holland, Ireland, India, the UAE and Qatar.

"Sixteen of the most experienced juries are in Bahrain since the last couple of days making sure everything goes as planned," said Robertson.

The FEI also selected 29 veterinarians from the UK, Canada, Norway, New Zealand, Spain, Australia, Poland, Italy, Portugal, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US, India, Belgium, Dominican Republic and Bahrain.

The Bahraini veterinarians are Dr Fareeda Abdulrazzaq, Dr Adam Ubeida, Dr Sabah Al Kabie, Dr Abdulrehman Tejani, Dr Ebrahim Yousif and Dr Abbas Al Haiki.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

British riders begin contest for desert gold




5 December, 2005

Britain?s Endurance Young Riders start their campaign at the FEI World Young Rider Championships in Bahrain.
Six experienced young British endurance riders will today attend the opening ceremony of the FEI World Young Rider Championships in Bahrain.



The Team flew out two weeks ago and have acclimatised well to the fierce Middle-Eastern temperatures. A purpose built venue in Sakhir has been provided for the horses and riders with full accommodation for the 500 people and 35 officials involved. Vet tests and briefings will take place tomorrow before the competition gets underway on Saturday (17 December).



?Acclimatisation will be the biggest single difficulty?, said Endurance GB international chairman Maggie Maguire before the team left for Bahrain. ?The British-based horses will be used to winter conditions.?



A thorough training programme took place over the year and the Endurance GB team places were fiercely contested. The final six were selected in September.



Zara Moon and Philip Hirst will both be representing Britain for a second time. Moon, who is last year's EGB overall champion, will be partnering her International horse Yamavah. Dubai-based Hirst will be riding his mother's Vlaq Khamul.



Anna Williams is another experienced team member, who has represented Britain on two previous occasions. Wiliams will be partnering the eight-year-old H S Saboteur, who completed his first 120km in one day at Cirencester 2005. Alice Beet from Surrey will be riding Harmatan de Lozere, who she qualified in Dubai last year, and Gemma Parkin, from Derbyshire will be riding Lutandorvici.



Abigail Lockett, from Stafford has been selected with the experienced Delorto Zaranz, who has already competed abroad at Wicklow Hills 1999 and was at the WEG in Jerez in 2002. Winscombe-based Rachel Harvey is a non-travelling reserve with Sarah Ryson's Prince Imperial.



?All the young riders are excellent,? Maguire says. ?They have all had a lot of success.?



When the competition gets underway on Saturday, more than 150 competitors from 33 different countries will journey 120km through the desert during the course of one day. ?Consistent cantering in a rhythm is the key to conserving energy,? said Maggie Maguire, ?In this country rides often require lots of stopping and starting but in the desert you can pretty much canter the whole ride?.



Each of Endurance GB's riders has completed at least one 120km endurance ride since November last year and are accustomed to pacing distances according to the physical build of their horse and the terrain and weather conditions.



They will all use heart monitors to check the conditions of their horse throughout the course of the Championship ride and will be required to present their horse to the vet at various set intervals to be checked as fit to continue.

?It is a considerable test,? Maguire explains, ?It is all about doing it within the capabilities of the horse?.



The team will be given advice by team vet Adam Driver who has spent the last two winters in Dubai and who understands the conditions and the impact they have on foreign horses.



?The return flights are expected on the 19th when we hope some gold from the sands will be on board with them?, said a spokesperson for Endurance GB.

Shaikh Ahmed to ride in today?s National Day Cup


By Amith Passela

15 December 2005


ABU DHABI ? The 2002 FEI World Equestrian Endurance Champion Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum takes a crack at today?s National Day Cup before heading to Bahrain for Saturday?s FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders.

Shaikh Ahmed, 18, lead?s a strong six-member UAE team after missing out on his senior title defence in Dubai last year due to illness. He will be an obvious favourite for the Bahrain event that has drawn a record 33 countries and for the first time is being staged in the Middle East.

Shaikh Ahmed was slated to ride 11-year-old Arabian gelding Rafail Stormy Petrel in the First Gulf Bank sponsored CEI Three-Star race run over 120 kilometres here at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

Shaikh Ahmed will have the company of his elder brother Shaikh Hamdan, who is set to ride seven-year-old mare Ro Fantasia. They have had a lot of success both at international and domestic competitions to start among the favourites for today?s prize.

The National Day Cup was run in Dubai last year as a prelude to the 2004 FEI World Championship. General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defence, and Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, were declared joint winners of that ride.

Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Ahmed will face the strongest challenge from the in-form Al Reef and host Al Wathba Stables from the field of over 100 entries.

Al Reef is on song. They have made a clean sweep of the season?s four rides, including the two races for Juniors and Young Riders, and would be looking to extend their winning streak by grabbing the first of the two big endurance silverwares in Abu Dhabi.

They have nominated the biggest list of entries led by Yousef Ahmed Al Bloushi, who has won both the senior rides of the new season.

Yousef?s stable companion Abdulla Khamis Ali Saeed has a fantastic record in this race to be another front-runner for the coveted prize.

Yousef will be astride 13-year-old gelding Spoutnik and Abdulla Khamis onboard nine-year-old grey Peoria Valediction.

Al Wathba?s lead-man Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri hasn?t had the desired results so far, but can strike when spearheads the home challenge on nine-year-old mare Nuit Fauve, a daughter of flat race horse sire Nuits St Georges.

Ali Al Muahiri and Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafya have definite chances of claiming a share of the prize provided a trouble free run, and so are the Dubai based Spanish quartet of Shaikh Mohammed endurance training wing Antonio Moreno, Eduard Pou Fabrego, Jaume Punti Dachs and Maria Alvarez.

Rebecca and Stefanie Arnold have flown in from Germany, and Janice Worthington from the US, to be among the UAE based international riders that include Iona Rossely of Ireland, Australian Adrian Brickly, Abdul Hafiz Al Turkomani of Saudi Arabia and a number of Asian and Arab expatriates from the endurance stables.

The race scheduled at 6.15am will be run over five loops of 32km, 30km, 24km, 18km and 16km. Some stages of the race will take the riders through forest areas for the first time in the redesigned loops. The top 10 riders to finish will share a purse of Dh 600,000.

UAE team for Bahrain


By A Correspondent

15 December 2005


DUBAI ? A six-member endurance team has been provisionally chosen to take part in the FEI World Endurance Championship for Juniors and Young Riders (CH-M-E-JYR) to be held at Bahrain International Endurance Village premises in Sakir, Bahrain, on Saturday.

The championship is being organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation under the supervision of International Equestre Federation, FEI.

The first day will feature a number of official meetings and will be followed by an opening ceremony and a dinner banquet in honour of the participating countries. The second day will include veterinary tests and a meeting during which participants will be briefed about the race rules, regulations and route.

The main ride, which is a 120-km event, will be run on Saturday in five stages of 30km, 30km, 25km, 20km and 15km respectively.

The members of the UAE team include Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Shaikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, Shaikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Shaikh Abdullah bin Faisal Al Qasimi and Rashid Saeed Al Kamda.

Shaikh Ahmed will ride eight-year-old chestnut gelding Jazyk, Shaikh Majid will partner nine-year-old bay gelding Orkawa, Shaikh Juma will ride nine-year-old bay bending Wind Wood Zaatri, Shaikh Khalid will ride eight-year-old chestnut mare Miss Dancer, Shaikh Abdullah will ride 12-year-old bay mare Coolahlee Park Charlene and Rashid Saeed will partner 11-year-old grey gelding Silver Majesty.

As many as 180 riders from different parts of the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, USA, Great Britain, Brazil, Chile Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Namibia, Botswana, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Slovak Republic and Uruguay are vying in the championship. Most of the participating countries have sent in a six-member team to compete for the Team Gold.
Being the host country Bahrain has deputed a 12-member team which is being led by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation President Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and includes Federation First Vice-President Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Qatar team confident for World Championships



Published: Wednesday, 14 December, 2005, 10:13 AM Doha Time
The Qatar Endurance racing team has reached Bahrain in a confident mood for the World Junior Endurance Championships to be held there from December 17.
Ibrahim Saeed al-Malki, the team manager and trainer said he was confident about Qatar?s chances in the event.
?We have trained hard and we hope to do well in the World Championships,? al-Malki said.
Five riders from Qatar are to take part in the event to be held in Sakhir, Bahrain. Around 153 riders are participating from 30 countries across the world and Bahrain is confident that it will host an exciting competition.
The team will be led by Qatar Endurance Committee Chairman Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Sheikh Mohammed rides Du Park Brolga, Saad Waheed al-Kuwari rides Tison, Hamad al-Marri rides Ballistic and Sheikh Mohammed bin Nawaf al-Thani will ride Joab. Khalid Hamad al-Atiyah, the other member, rides Debonair.
Saad Waheed had performed well in Pau, France, finishing the 120km endurance championship as 2nd place. Sheikh Mohammed successfully completed the gruelling 160km endurance ride at the Dubai World Championship last January.
Endurance racing is a team effort and is a test of the horse?s condition, stamina and the rider?s intelligence. The gruelling test takes horse and rider long distances - 50 to 100 miles - over varied terrain.
Because of the rigours of the race, which is based on speed, it is done under veterinary supervision. It takes a ?pit crew? to compete in this kind of racing.
The horse will be checked for any soreness or change in attitude, pulse, respiration and other physical factors. Failure to meet any of these criteria for racing can stop a horse from completing the course.
Quarantine manager Dr Alex Atock said having 140 horses under one roof was very difficult and by achieving it Bahrain has proved its organisational skills.
?Most of the delegations have fielded six riders each which is the highest number of entrants allowed for this event,? he told the Gulf Daily News.
?With so many horses in the fray, Bahrain still managed to reduce the number of horses in each stable to give more movement for freedom around that area,? he said.
Endurance Village director Khalid Fakhro said the village was well geared and ready to host any world championship.
?The village with all its hi-tech facilities and supplies can be compared to any world class villages. The whole world will be watching the best riders competing here and the Bahrainis should be proud for hosting the event,? he said.
Fakhro said the village was built in a short time for this event. ?For the past few days, all the teams have been practicing at the village and they praised the conditions here and the overall atmosphere,? said Khalid.

FEI: Banned Substance at European Championship

12/12/2005

FEI Legal: Positive Medication Case

The analysis of the urine sample collected from the horse Orkara at the FEI Open European Championship which took place in Compi├Ęgne (FRA) on 26 August 2005 revealed the presence of Guanabenz and its metabolite Hydroxy-Guanabenz, which are prohibited substances under FEI rules. The confirmatory analysis requested by the Person Responsible, Sheik Majid Mohd Al Maktoum, confirmed the presence of the above substances.

The Person Responsible has been requested to submit his explanation as to the presence of the prohibited substance and any relevant evidence to be taken into consideration by the FEI Judicial Committee by 9 January 2006.

Note to the editor
Sheik Majid bin Mohd Al Maktoum / Orkara were placed 3rd individually in the FEI European Open Championship and were part of the Open category winning UAE Team.

Guanabenz is a long active reversible sedative and analgesic. The substance is used in humans to lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate. The substance is graded ?1? by the FEI Medication sub-committee (1 = high potential to affect performance).

The Laboratoire des Courses Hippiques (LCH) issued its analysis report with respect to the A Sample on 26 September 2005 and the Racing Laboratory of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) issued its analysis report with respect to the B Sample on 20 November 2005.

The list of prohibited substances for horses is published on the FEI website www.horsesport.org section Veterinary ? medication control. The FEI complete legal procedure for positive medication cases is published in the Legal section of the FEI website

FEI Web Site

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

German riders in upbeat mood





By RAMI HULAYYEL

THE all-women Germany team are in an upbeat mood ahead of the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from Thursday to Sunday.

The delegation, which arrived in the Kingdom two weeks ago, consist of six women riders aged between 17 and 21.

Aylissa Zwicki, Babette Frank, Stephanie Schrader, Sonja Gobel, Marina Berchtold and Joana Al Samarraie will be among 140 riders vying for glory in this 120-km event which will be held at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The race itself is divided into five stages. The first two stages will consist of 30 kms each while the third and fourth will be of 25 and 20 kms respectively. The final stage will be held over 15 kms.

Team's chef de equipe Roy Thiele said the team had a long-term preparation programme for this event which started in January this year. Right now the youngsters are looking forward to this prestigious championship.

"The riders have been training individually in different areas like as Kaiserslautern and Heidelberg. The team could only assemble last month in Luneburger Heide, North of Germany, for four days before coming to Bahrain," said Thiele.

Among the team's most influential rider is Babette, a 20-year-old hopeful, who will be riding Bashira in this championship.

Interestingly, she won all the three 120-km qualifying races earlier this year which makes her one of the top contenders for the title.

Crew member Gabriele Reiser said the horses were carefully selected from different stables in Germany where there are a few Arab horses as well.

The riders were also selected after the Germany Equestrian Federation organised a number of selection races throughout the year. The best six riders out of 60 were included for this championship.

Meanwhile, defending champions Italy completed their line-up for the championship with the arrival of their crew members and assistants.

Six riders, including Nicola Tarducci and Enrico Ercoli, who took part in the last edition in 2003 in Rome, will be hoping to retain the title.

Tarducci finished 33rd in that championship while Ercoli was unable to compete the race after his horse suffered an injury.

Other team members are Guilia Belfanti, Elena Di Valvassone, Francesco Iovino and Chiara Marrama.

Compete

Tarducci said he is pleased with the team's preparations and praised the Bahrain course which he said was quite different from what they are used to back home.

"We have been training in Italy for about a year but with each rider practising alone at his area," said Tarducci who was training at Sansepolcro City, North of Italy.

Tarducci said he is hoping to complete the race without any problems and is aiming to be among the top five riders by the end of the race. He tipped the UAE, France and Bahrain to be on the podium.

Meanwhile, Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation's second vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa met with delegation heads and conveyed the greetings of organising committee chairman and General Organisation for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bahrain riders set for race


BAHRAIN's national endurance team completed their preparations for the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship starting in Sakhir on Thursday.

The team, captained by Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, includes Breef vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

The 12 were selected from 24 riders according to their performance and results in previous races.

Shaikh Nasser asserted his pride in hosting this championship which will be held in Bahrain for the first time. He also said it is quite an achievement for Bahrain in organising this 120-km event in which 30 countries represented by 140 riders are taking part.

"Hosting such a prestigious event is a big challenge for Bahrain where endurance races started only five years ago," said Shaikh Nasser.

He thanked the International Equestrian Federation for giving Bahrain the honour of hosting the race to be held on Saturday and divided into five stages.

"This championship will draw the attention of millions around the world with riders from 30 countries taking part, which has never happened in any event in the past," said Shaikh Nasser.

He tipped the UAE, France, Belgium and Australia to clinch podium positions and said these teams have a vast experience in endurance races.

However, Shaikh Nasser said he is confident that the Bahraini team will put up a good performance in the championship and show competitive spirits.

"Our team has prepared very well for this championship. They have been training seriously and are determined to give off their best," said Shaikh Nasser.

The Breef chief praised the efforts of the organising committee, headed by General Organisation for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, which made necessary arrangements in preparing the endurance village which will be the venue of the race.

Shaikh Nasser thanked His Majesty King Hamad for supporting this sport and for his directives to make major upgrades at the village and establish new facilities which gained the admiration of the participants since their arrival in Bahrain.

"This support from His Majesty adds more responsibilities on us as Bahraini riders to assert the good reputation of Bahrain's endurance sport. The recent upgrade work on the village will certainly contribute to improve the level of the Bahraini riders in future local events," he said.

Shaikh Nasser also expressed appreciation for the efforts of vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa during his stay abroad for academic commitments. Meanwhile, the final rehearsal of the opening ceremony is scheduled for today at 5pm at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir where the ceremony will be held.

French riders optimistic





By RAMI HULAYYEL

FRENCH team members are optimistic of their chances in the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from Thursday to December 18 in Sakhir. The team which arrived a week ago, headed by their chef de equipe Jean Louis Leclerc, consists of six riders. The team is presently training hard in the Zallaq area ahead of this prestigious event.

"We started preparations for this championship very late due to a problem with our federation which could not support us financially much earlier," said Leclerc.

But the team were fortunate to get the required support from the Sport Ministry in France. "We are very grateful to the Ministry of Sport. They gave us what we needed which was quite costly," he said.

The first selection included 22 riders but were later reduced to 15 and the final team was selected after a 60-km competition on November 13 in France and the top six were approved for the Bahrain event.

The age of the horses range from seven to 14 years while the riders are in the 16 to 21 age group.

The squad is captained by 21-year-old rider Legrand Florian who is the eldest member of the team. She will be riding nine-year-old horse Imanh.

Other team members are Belle Oceane, Pulicani Andrea, Perringerard Sara, Vasquez Nicolas and Mourou Justin.

Florian said the team members were surprised by the surroundings in Sakhir as it is completely different from what they are used to in France.

"It was a big shock for us," said Florian. "In France, we have mountains, trees and the surface is also different. I think will be difficult for us," he said.

His best achievement so far is finishing eighth in this year's European Championship in France.

Sixteen-year-old Mourou, who is the youngest member of the team, started riding at the age of seven.

She took part in many rides in France and her best record is a third-place finish at the 2005 Ribiers Race in France. Mourou is presently in the second year of a secondary school and is aiming to go to college.

Interestingly, the remaining members of the team have been riding since they were just four years old.

Vasquez, 20, is the team's most talented rider having quite a good experience. He has won several rides in France. He won one of the qualifying races in Pau City this year and also finished top at the Formigueres Race in France three years ago.

He is the only team member who is presently studying at a college called Albi in south east France.

Belle, aged 17, won the Guingamp Race in France last June. Her first appearance in an official race was in 2002 when she finished 13th in a local championship. She is in the second year of secondary school and will give her midterm exams once she returns home from here.

Perringerard is a talented 16-year-old rider who won three rides last year - Montcuq Race, St Galmier Ride and a selection race in Pau City.

She was one of the first selections and is hoping to finish among the top five in the Bahrain race. She is also studying in secondary school with one year left for her graduation.

Seventeen-year-old Pulicani snatched first position in Italy's Tongnon Race earlier this year. She won all her qualifying races which makes her a favourite to win a place on the podium in Bahrain. Pulicani is in her last year in secondary school



By RAMI HULAYYEL

KAZAKHSTAN riders stepped up their preparations ahead of the prestigious Gulf Energy-sponsored World Junior Endurance Championship scheduled to start on Thursday and conclude on Sunday at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.Five riders will be representing the former Soviet Republic which will take part for the first time in an international event abroad at the junior level. The team members are Gleim Vladimir, Kufanov Khasen, Oriov Denis, Gonlev Vitor and Kokov Vyacheslav.

"We made the final selection after testing riders from different villages in Kazakhstan," said Kazakhstan Equestrian Federation's endurance department chief Alexander Andrievskiy.

Unfortunately, the team suffered a major setback just before their flight to Bahrain as Gekhaev Daim was removed from the squad after breaking his leg during a training session.

According to Andrievskiy, the team has been preparing for this championship for the last three years at Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino Balkaria which is in the south of Russia.

"Our team riders are aged between 17 to 21. So it's absolutely a young squad and most of them are abroad for the first time," said the 57-year-old chief who is also International Equestrian Federation (FEI) judge.

"The riders have been training together for quite a long time and therefore they know each other very well. Maybe it will be easier for us because we are mostly together and competing in the mountains," said Andrievskiy.

He said the riders were overwhelmed by the excellent hospitality and very kind relationship from the Bahrain organising committee and the people of Bahrain.

For the last 13 years, Andrievskiy has been organising and sponsoring national and international endurance races in Kazakhstan and other former Soviet Union Republics. During the same time he became the FEI judge five years ago.

"This year, we took part in three-star races in several countries in Europe and our best riders from Kazakhstan qualified for this championship in Bahrain after successfully completing three 160 kms race," said the chief co-ordinator of former Soviet Union Republics.

Stables

Andrievskiy said in Kazakhstan villages people start riding horses at the age of four or five and continue their lives to be on horses as they help their parents everyday at the stables by training the horses and looking after them.

"Now we have some Kazakhstan riders in Russia. We managed to have a special riders school where our rider cannot only train but also have an education. We arranged a special time for the young riders which is convenient to them. They go to the school in the morning and then in the afternoon they train the horses," he said.

"The course in Bahrain is difficult for us. You can imagine how different the pressure will be on the horses on the deep sand. It is rather flat but different sand quality which makes it hard for most of the teams taking part in the championship," said Andrievskiy.

"We have only brought tvery good level riders and rather clever riders because the rider has to feel the horse each moment and know when is it possible to go faster and when to slow down," he said.

"We arrived here in Bahrain on December 1 and it is rather a short period for us to climatise for the championship. But the facilities here are fantastic. The organising committee did everything for us to feel comfortable here and we are very grateful for them," he said.

A total of 140 riders, representing 30 countries from across the world, will be competing at this championship which will be over 120 kms divided into five stages.

Sh Khaled Goes For The Gold



HE Sheikh Khaled Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is aiming to claim a second World Championship for Wrsan Stables owned by his father HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister. He aims to repeat the success of his brother Sh Hazza who in January this year won the Senior World Championship in a record time.

Sh Khaled is currently studying at the American University of Sharjah and to continue his preparation for the Junior/Young Riders World Championships he moved six of his horses to nearby Sharjah Equestrian Centre. His enthusiasm for the sport initiated some of his fellow students joining him in the 46km qualifier at Al Wathba earlier this month.

Sh Khaled 's horse for the World Championship is the French bred Miss Dancer who in July won Catus in France, run over the World Championship distance of 120km.

A Gold medal for Sh Khaled would stamp a new entry in the record books as the first family to hold concurrently both the Senior and Junior/Young Riders World Championships.

December 11th 2005-12-11
Wrsan Stables

Sunday, December 11, 2005

French riders optimistic

By RAMI HULAYYEL
Gulf Daily News

FRENCH team members are optimistic of their chances in the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from Thursday to December 18 in Sakhir. The team which arrived a week ago, headed by their chef de equipe Jean Louis Leclerc, consists of six riders. The team is presently training hard in the Zallaq area ahead of this prestigious event.

"We started preparations for this championship very late due to a problem with our federation which could not support us financially much earlier," said Leclerc.

But the team were fortunate to get the required support from the Sport Ministry in France. "We are very grateful to the Ministry of Sport. They gave us what we needed which was quite costly," he said.

[More ...]

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Young Riders Championship : Namibia keen to put on good display

By RAMI HULAYYEL

A YOUNG but experienced Namibian team will be looking forward to put up a good performance at the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held from Thursday to December 18 in Sakhir.

The 20-member delegation includes six riders aged between 15 and 18 who were the first team to start preparations in Bahrain as soon as they reached the Kingdom 10 days ago.

"We had a good preparation programme which started in January after the World Senior Championship in the UAE. After that we began to make arrangements for coming to Bahrain," said the team's chef d equipe Zelda Von Schauroth who is also the mother of rider Udo and his younger sister Izolde.

The remaining four riders of the team are 18-year-old captain Stefanius Pienaar, Wanette Hanekom, Marlene Rensburg and Karel Grunschloss.
[More ...]

Friday, December 09, 2005

Young Riders Championship: Team Australia

By RAMI HULAYYEL

AUSTRALIAN riders are leaving nothing for chance in their bid to finish at the top in the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from December 15 to 18 in Sakhir.

Comprising six riders, the Australian delegation was among the first teams to arrive in Bahrain and since then they have been training at the Endurance Village which is the venue of the event.

"We started our preparations for this championship three years ago by taking part in a number of events in Australia," said the team's chef de equipe Robin Van der Wegen.

Presently, there are 21 members from Australia in Bahrain and 14 more officials are expected to arrive on Tuesday, four days before the race.">Gulf Daily News: "Aussie riders aim for top slot

[More ...]

AERA Home Site

2008 WEC in Malaysia!

From: "Steph Teeter" <stephteeter@endurance.net>
To: <ridecamp@endurance.net>
Subject: 2008 WEC in Malaysia!
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 21:43:51 -0300

Important Endurance Dates:

2006 ASIAN GAMES
The Asian Games to be organised in Doha in December 2006 will include
competitions in Jumping, Dressage, Eventing and Endurance.

2006 World Breeding Endurance Championship for Young Horses: Compi├Ęgne
(FRA), 26 August

2007 World Young Riders Endurance Championship: Eizeiza/Buenos Aires (ARG),
17 March

2007 European Open Endurance Championship: Barroca d’Alva (POR), 7 September

2007 Pan American Endurance Championship: Woods Park, Manitoba (CAN), 7 July

2008 World Endurance Championship to Malaysia at a venue and date to be
confirmed

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Aussie riders aim for top slot



By RAMI HULAYYEL
AUSTRALIAN riders are leaving nothing for chance in their bid to finish at the top in the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from December 15 to 18 in Sakhir.

Comprising six riders, the Australian delegation was among the first teams to arrive in Bahrain and since then they have been training at the Endurance Village which is the venue of the event.

"We started our preparations for this championship three years ago by taking part in a number of events in Australia," said the team's chef de equipe Robin Van der Wegen.

Presently, there are 21 members from Australia in Bahrain and 14 more officials are expected to arrive on Tuesday, four days before the race.

Der Wegen said the team was recently announced and the selection was made according to the abilities and conditions of the horses as well as the riders.

"Our horses are very well qualified. They have completed many 160 kms races throughout the year and we are quite confident of them doing well here as well," he said.

However, Wegen confirmed that his priority is to see his young riders complete the race without injury problems and then if the horses are doing well on the day, they will work hard to be among the top.

"We are all satisfied with the environment here in Bahrain which is very important for all the teams taking part. The course here is very comfortable for riding and the organisers are providing enough safety measures for the participants," he said.

Brooke Warner, aged 14, is the team's youngest rider and she will be riding 10-year-old horse Piabun Ellalong.

Brooke, who started riding at the age of nine, is also one of the championship's best young riders. She won the 130-km Capricorn Cup in January while her last achievement was finishing top at the Tevis Cup in the US in July.

Interestingly, she won last year's Shahzada 400-km Memorial Ride for juniors which was held over five days in Australia.

Other team members are Kristie McGaffin, Sasha Laws-King, Amily Daw, Luke Annetts and his younger sister Jennifer.

Twenty-year-old rider Kristie qualified for this event after completing three 160-km races this year, including the Capricorn Cup in May when she finished third. Her last victory was in the FEI Ivory Rock Ride in 2003 which was over 160 kms.

Amily, also 20, competed in many races this year during which she won two events - the 80-km Muegonga Ride and the CEI Rosedale Ride which was over 120 kms.

Sasha, the second youngest team member aged 16, had her first international appearance four years ago in the 160-km Canberra Challenge junior which she won.

Her other remarkable results were winning the CEI Windorah Ride youth race in the same year and in the last three years she clinched a first-place finish in a 160-km race.

Luke booked his berth in the Bahrain event after completing three 160-km races last year. The most remarkable results for the 20-year-old rider since he began to ride in 2001 were winning both the FEI Kilkivan and Windorah rides which were over 160 kms.

His younger sister Jenny, 19, has gained quite a good experience in the last two years during which she participated in 13 races, including the 90-km CEI Lovers Ride which she won in the youth category.
[More ...]

120 Entries received for today?s Endurance Race



By A Correspondent

8 December 2005


DUBAI ? A total of 120 horses have been entered for the first Endurance race of the 2005 ? 2006 season, sponsored by Dubai Waterfront, to be held today at the Dubai International Endurance City.

Today?s Dubai International Endurance City Ride is over 120 km organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club with a start time of 6am.

Riders from 13 separate nations will be competing today, including Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of General Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Minister of Defence. Princess Haya, who is President of the Dubai Equestrian Club, will be riding the Ismail Mohammed-trained Rabdaan.

Also competing in the race will be Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum who is the current FEI Open European Champion following his success in Compiegne, France.

Nakheel, the UAE?s premier property developer, is a key player in realising the vision of Dubai for the 21st century: creating a world class destination for business and tourism.

With 14 major developments and US$30 billion of real estate projects, Nakheel?s portfolio includes the spectacular Ibn Battuta Mall and the iconic and internationally acclaimed waterfront developments The Palms, The World, and Dubai Waterfront ? the largest waterfront development in the world.

Saeed H. Al Tayer, Vice-President of the Dubai Equestrian Club, said: ?We welcome Dubai Waterfront as partners in the 2005 ? 2006 Dubai Endurance season.

?We thank them for their support of the first race of the new season and we hope that equestrian fans from around the UAE will take this opportunity to come and watch the race.?

Spectators are encouraged to attend each of the races and watch from the vantage points at the Dubai International Endurance City, where there are excellent facilities, free admission and free car parking.

All spectators are entitled to enter prize draw with the opportunity to win AED15,000 first prize, second prize is AED10,000, a third prize of AED5,000 and 20 other prizes of AED1,000 each. The prize draw is free to enter and each spectator will be given one prize draw ticket.
The Dubai International Endurance City is easy to get to, from the Dubai Autodrome roundabout on the Emirates Road, follow the signs to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa and the venue is located beside the hotel.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Britain's riders eye podium slot



By RAMI HULAYYEL

BRITAIN have fielded a strong six-member squad for the Gulf Energy World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from December 15 to 18 and are confident of winning the top medals.

Crew member Peter Moon is quite optimistic of his team putting up a good performance in this 120-km event and be among the top three on the podium by the end of the day.

"We have come here to win medals," said a confident Moon. "Since we arrived here a few days ago, we have been doing some stretching and warming up and we should start practising tomorrow," he said.

Managed by chef de equipe Sue Broughton, the team was selected last September and since then have had many training camps all around the UK, including a week-long training camp at the premises of International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) in Newmarket and three sessions in Wolverhampton.

"We had a squad of nine riders which was further reduced to six. The selection was made depending on the riders fitness, experience and the horse's pedigree," he said.

Interestingly Moon's 17-year-old daughter Zara will be taking part in the championship on Yamavar which is also 17 years old and is the oldest horse in the event.

"Yamavar is the most experienced horse in this championship. It has taken part in many events in the UK, Spain and Italy so we are quite confident that it will do well here in Bahrain," said Moon.

Zara has been riding in endurance races since she was eight. She is studying arts, graphics and mathematics in the UK and will do her final qualifying examinations when she returns home.

Qualified

Other team members are Philip Hirst, Abigail Lockett, Gemma Parkin, Alice Beet and Anna Williams who is the daughter of the FEI Endurance Committee director Dr Ian Williams.

Anna, who is aged 21, will be riding HS Saboteur, a new horse which only qualified for this championship this year.

"She has taken part in qualifying rides in the UK and recently went to Argentina where she took part in an invitational ride along with Hirst," said Moon.

Living abroad in Switzerland, Anna had been to the Gulf region and specially to the UAE where she worked for sometime.

Hirst will be riding his mother's horse Vlacq Khamul which took part in the European Championship a few months ago. It was leading the race but unfortunately it took the wrong turn and had to pull out after losing valuable time.

Alice, one of the youngest talents in the UK, is the only team member yet to arrive. She is expected to land in Bahrain on Saturday.

"Alice started riding last year in Dubai and qualified on a number of horses in 120 kms events, including one in the UK," said Moon.

But Alice will be competing in this championship on Harmatan de Lozere, a horse owned by Dubai Crown Prince and Defence minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The horse is also arriving on Saturday.

Twenty-one-year-old rider Gemma, who will ride Lutandorvici, is another young talented girl who is expected to put up a good performance in the championship.

Gemma started riding in endurance races since she was eight and was the British national champion in 2003. She recently finished third in the 160-km FEI Dukers Race in the UK.

Abigail is aged 20 and will be riding Delorto Zaranz, another veteran horse which won last year's 160-km Summer Celstis Ride, one of the major endurance events in the UK.

Slovakia - Riders thrilled to be in Bahrain




SLOVAKIA'S lone participant Silvia Hrebikova led the chorus in praise of top class facilities available at the Endurance Village in Sakhir ahead of the World Junior Endurance Championship scheduled to be held from December 15 to 18.

"I have been training in Bahrain for almost a week and the environment here at the Endurance Village is outstanding," said Silvia.

Silvia will be riding an 11-year-old mare Fathia in this 120-km race which will be divided into five stages.

Other teams who continued practising for this prestigious event were also equally impressed and said they were thrilled to be in Bahrain for this top class championship.

"This championship is going to be very tough for everyone and I expect to see some teams perform amazingly well and achieve stunning results," the Slovak said.

Slovakian veterinary doctor Martina Kina also lauded the equipments available at the village.

"Our team has come to Bahrain with a lot of hope and we are looking forward to a good result although there are other world class riders from Europe and South America," she said.

Kina said she was impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities at the veterinary clinics and is looking forward to use them during the championship.

"The stables at the village are well designed and they can accommodate all the horses and yet avoid chaos before the race," she said.

Team coach Feras Bulbul said the delegation had prepared well for this championship and had a long-term training camp in Europe.

"We have gone very far in terms of preparing Silvia and we have faith in her to clinch one of the top positions in the championship to underline the improved standards in our country," he said.

Quarantine manager Dr Alex Atock said having 140 horses under one roof was very difficult and by achieving it Bahrain has proved its organisational skills.

"Most of the delegations have fielded six riders each which is the highest number of entrants allowed for this event," he said.

Freedom

"With so many horses in the fray, Bahrain still managed to reduce the number of horses in each stable to give more movement for freedom around that area," he said.

Endurance Village director Khalid Fakhro said the village is now well geared and ready to host any world championship.

"The village with all its hi-tech facilities and supplies can be compared to any world class villages. The whole world will be watching the best riders competing here and the Bahrainis should be proud for hosting the event," he said.

Fakhro said the village was built in a short time for this event. "For the past few days, all the teams have been practicing at the village and they praised the conditions here and the overall atmosphere," said Khalid.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Grand endurance opening lined up


By RAMI HULAYYEL

A SPECIAL programme has been arranged at the opening ceremony of the World Junior Endurance Championship to be held in Bahrain from December 15 to 18.

Organising committee deputy chairman and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation second vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa said the opening ceremony will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit while the closing ceremony will take place at the Equestrian and Horseracing Club.

"We have prepared a number of surprises for the audience and officials at the opening ceremony in Sakhir at the Bahrain International Circuit such as a music show by the Interior Ministry's music band, fireworks and laser shows and other entertainment programmes," said Shaikh Khalid.

"We are delighted to organise this prestigious event with riders from 30 countries taking part in which is a record that has not been achieved by any other country hosting such a competition which adds more pressure on us as we are keen to make this event a big success," he said.

Shaikh Khalid said the committee started issuing accreditation cards for delegation members as well as VIPs who will be attending the four-day event, while a special booklet printed recently includes information on the championship and other technical issues. The booklet is in English and will be distributed to the delegations soon.

Meanwhile, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) bureau will have a meeting today on the sidelines of the championship to discuss the final preparations being made for hosting the event.

The FEI will also name the country which will be hosting the 2008 World Endurance Senior Championship with the UAE and Malaysia vying to host this event.

The meeting will be chaired by FEI president Infanta Dona Pillarde of Spain who arrived in Bahrain on Saturday night.

The FEI panel includes members from South Korea, Austria, UK, Sweden, South Africa, the US, Argentina, Venezuela, Norway, Dominican Republic, Australia, Brazil, Holland, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, France and New Zealand.

A total of 140 riders from across the world, will be competing at this championship which will be over 120 kms divided into five stages.

The first two stages will be over 30 kms while the third stage will be over 25 kms. The fourth stage will be over 20 kms and the fifth and final stage will consist of 15 kms.

The Bahraini riders, who are looking forward to put up a good show in the championship, stepped up their preparations for this prestigious event. The team consist of 12 members, captained by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Other Bahraini riders in the fray are Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

Shaikh Khalid backs Bahrain


By RAMI HULAYYEL

BAHRAINI riders will be looking forward to give off their best in the World Junior Endurance Championship scheduled from December 15 to 18 at the Endurance Village in Sakhir, according to Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation acting president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Shaikh Khalid is among a 12-member Bahrain squad which will compete with 140 riders representing 30 countries from across the world in this prestigious event to be held over 120 kms and divided into five stages.

Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who is presently abroad to complete his studies, will lead the team which include Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

They were selected from among 24 riders according to their performance and results in previous races.

"We have a great trust in the organising committee's ability to excel and do an impeccable job that meets the satisfaction of the world equestrian federation," said Shaikh Khalid who is also captain of Al Khaldiya Stable.

Facilities

"The Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation has provided top class facilities to the visiting delegations to gain their admiration and make sure everything is going on as planned," he said.

Shaikh Khalid praised the continuous support of His Majesty King Hamad to the equestrian sports in general and specifically endurance races which has contributed to development of this sport in the region.

"I am very pleased to be representing Bahrain in this world championship," said Bahraini rider Abdulaziz.

"For me, this event will be a completely different experience. The whole world will have their eyes on us and riding with some of the best riders in the world is quite a dream for any rider," he young rider said.

"We have been training very hard in recent weeks and my teammates are keen to accomplish a good result in the championship," added Abdulaziz.

Shaikha Najla also said she was proud to be in the Bahraini team.

"We all know how tough this championship will be, but on the other hand we also have reached the top of our form as we have been training so hard for weeks together here at the endurance village," she said.

She said that hosting this event will be a major boost for Bahrain which has become one of the leading countries in hosting world championships.

"I am so excited about this event. It is my first international appearance and it's going to be a new challenge for me," said Fahad.

"The team will definitely gain more experience from this championship," he said.

Ahmed was also delighted to have been selected. "It is an honour for me to represent the Kingdom at such an event. That only adds more responsibilities on us to give off our best performance," he said.

"The world championships are already tough as the best riders from around the globe are taking part, but we have prepared well too," said Ahmed.

Illinois Junior travels to Bahrain



Daily Features
Endurance racing
By Jane Lethlean

Photo by jane lethlean / the journal-standard Ashlee Van Raalte of Scales Mound poses with one of the Arabian horses she trains with on a farm near Schapville. Van Raalte will represent the United States at the 2005 FEI World Endurance Championship on Dec. 17 in Bahrain.



The Journal-Standard

Ashlee Van Raalte of Scales Mound isn't exactly sure when she first fell in love with horses, but she thinks she had to have been around 3-years-old.

When she was 10, she wanted a horse of her own so badly that she had her mother sell all of her Beanie Babies collection. It was then that her parents, Stewart and Julie Van Raalte, and her trainers knew she was serious about riding horses.

?I have loved horses for as long I can remember,? Van Raalte said. ?It makes me feel good to ride. I just had to have my own horse when I was young and it was my choice to sell my Beanie Babies.?

The 18-year-old, who attends Highland Community College in Freeport as a full-time student, is getting ready for an international horse race in Bahrain on Dec. 17. Van Raalte will be the only rider from the United States competing for the title at the 2005 Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders.

Van Raalte's trainers - Grace Ramsey and Jan Worthington of Scales Mound - will be with her throughout the trip. They know she is ready for this race.

Van Raalte - whom Ramsey calls ?Smash? - will do well, because she has already done well in this race and she knows the horse.

?This is a great opportunity for Smash,? Ramesy said. ?It is a lifetime deal and I know she will do a good job. She will be a good representative for the United States and she has been working towards this for the past 10 years.?

ADVERTISEMENT

This championship will be the largest of its kind to date and is expected to host more than 150 entries from a record 33 participating countries.

Van Raalte will compete on the 75-mile course, riding an Arabian named Saif Al Arab, a horse owned by her friend Sheikha Madiya Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates.

Van Raalte had to meet the criteria necessary to compete in the race, which means that she had to have competed and finished well in at least three endurance horse races in the past year. She also had to get permission from the United States Equestrian Federation, which is the governing body for American equestrian races.

?I got the invitation to compete in this race from my friend Madiya,? Van Raalte said. ?I will leave home on Dec. 11 to help Madiya compete in a race two days later. I plan to crew for her race and then she will crew for me on my race.?

?I found out in August that I was going to be able to compete in this race,? Van Raalte said. ?I was very excited, but it is stressful to compete at this level. It is a mental challenge.?

The horse she will be riding is one that she knows. The horse came from the farm near Schapville where Van Raalte trains.

?I know this horse,? Van Raalte said. ?I used to ride him at the farm before Grace sold him to Madiya. He was my favorite horse when he was here at the farm. I will have a few days to work with him before I have to compete in the race.?

Endurance racing is a ?team effort? and is a test of the horse's condition, stamina and the rider's intelligence. The grueling test takes horse and rider long distances - 50 to 100 miles - over varied terrain.

Because of the rigor of the race, which is based on speed, it is done under veterinary supervision. It takes a ?pit crew? to compete in this kind of racing and for the race that Van Raalte plans to run, she will be accompanied by her trainers and her friend.

?It's like one big family when I go to endurance races,? Van Raalte said. ?Jan is with me all the time on the trails. She and Grace are my extended family. I wouldn't have what I have if it weren't for them.?

During the race, which will have four checks to examine the horse. The horse will be checked for any soreness or change in attitude, pulse, respiration and other physical factors. Failure to meet any of these criteria for racing can stop a horse from completing the course.

?I like the challenge of endurance racing,? Van Raalte said. ?It is not easy and out on the course it is just me and my horse. My goal at any race is just to finish, but I will not kid you, I always want to win.?

Van Raalte has a few regional titles under her belt and she has also won reserve championships in other endurance races. She said she likes endurance racing because it allows her not only to be able to ride a horse, which she loves most, but also to see some beautiful country on the courses.

This particular race will take her through the desert and along some beaches. The 75-mile course must be completed within 10 hours and Van Raalte and her trainers know she is up to the challenge.

What does Van Raalte get if she wins the race?

?This is a sport that takes a lot of money,? she said. ?It's not about prizes, it's about personal best between me and the horse.

For the next couple of weeks, it will be her studies at HCC that Van Raalte will concentrate on. She will be able to take her semester exams early.

?After I finish my last exam, I will start thinking about the race,? Van Raalte said. ?I want to do well and am hoping for the top 10, but as long as I finish I'll be happy.?

Lexington wins the World Equestrian Games


By Maryjean Wall

HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

The World Equestrian Games, an international event expected to draw up to 300,000 people over two weeks, will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010.

The Federation Equestre Internationale, meeting in Bahrain, picked the Horse Park over the only other finalist, the Normandy region of France, the Herald-Leader learned from French newspaper, Ouest France. Associated Press confirmed the news minutes later.

A team of five Kentuckians flew to Bahrain over the weekend to make their final presentation today to the FEI. The team was led by John Nicholson, Horse Park executive director, and John Long, CEO of the United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.

This will mark the first time the games have been held outside Europe. The expected crowd will result in the largest attendance ever at a sporting event in Kentucky.

?This is a tremendous example of what Kentucky can achieve when the public, private and government sectors work together,? said Keeneland President Nick Nicholson. ?Many people, including my brother John Nicholson of the Horse Park and John Long of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, put a lot of effort into seeing this dream become a reality."

The world games include seven equestrian sports: show jumping, dressage, three-day eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, and reining. The 2006 games are schedule Aug. 22 to Sept. 3 in Aachen, Germany.

Watch kentucky.com today for further developments and get complete analysis and coverage in Wednesday's Herald-Leader.
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Sunday, December 04, 2005

12-member Bahrain team for endurance challenge


BAHRAIN announced a 12-member national team for the World Endurance Championship for Juniors scheduled from December 15 to 18 at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The team is captained by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and includes Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Shaikha Najla bint Salman Al Khalifa, Mohammed Abdulsamad, Abdulaziz Adam, Salem Al Otaibi, Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Saqer bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Maytham Ahmed, Ebrahim Al Jebouri, Mohammed Abdulaziz and Fahad Sulaiman.

They were selected from among 24 riders according to their performance and results in previous races.

Shaikh Nasser praised the efforts of the organising committee, headed by General Organisation for Youth and Sports president Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa to ensure the success of this event which coincides with the Kingdom's National Day celebrations and His Majesty King Hamad's accession to the throne.

Shaikh Nasser also welcomed the teams which arrived for the championship and said the event will be very competitive having the top junior riders from around the globe in the fray.

He said in Bahrain the sport has become popular and many young enthusiasts are taking part in the national championships which is a good sign as it will bring new talents to represent the Kingdom in regional and international events.

Shaikh Nasser extended his appreciation to His Majesty for his continuous support to all Bahraini team members as well as to other sports.

Meanwhile, a total of 140 riders, representing 30 countries, will be competing at this championship which will be over 120 kms and divided into five stages. The first two stages will be over 30km, 25km for the third, 20km for the fourth and 15km for the fifth.

Each country is allowed a maximum of six riders for the race to be held on December 17.

Among regional delegations which arrived yesterday included Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Jordanian delegation consists of Tareq Rabea, Yara Aslan, Shakeeb Qabbani, Hanna Bhouti and Ali Abu Rabea while the Qatari team includes Sa'ad Al Kuwari, Hamad Al Mirri, Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Thani, Shaikh Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Thani, Abdulla Al Mirri and Khalid Al Attiya.

Mohammed Al Dekheel, Abdulaziz bin Amer, Abdulaziz Ebrahim, Ali Al Hashim, Bander bin Mahfood and Humood Al Shimmiri will be riding for Saudi Arabia while Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum will be leading the UAE team which is one of the favourites for the championship.

Other team members are Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Shaikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Shaikh Juma'a bin Dalmook Al Maktoum, Shaikh Abdulla bin Faisal Al Qassimi and Rashid Saeed.

The horses also arrived in Bahrain via Holland on private jets. On arrival, the horses were moved to the quarantines section after special procedures arranged by the technical committee.

Most of the teams have fielded six riders for the championship while the US and Malaysia will be represented by only one rider each.

Top endurance chief in Bahrain



By RAMI HULAYYEL

INTERNATIONAL Equestrian Federation (FEI) president Infanta Dona Pillarde of Spain arrived in Bahrain last night to chair the FEI bureau meetings to be held on the sidelines of the World Junior Endurance Championship. This prestigious event will be held at the Endurance Village in Sakhir from December 15 to 18.

Pillarde was received by General Organisation for Youth and Sports president and organising committee chairman Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) second vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, championship director Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa were also present to welcome Pillarde.

Pillarde said she was delighted to be in Bahrain and confident of Bahrain's ability to host such a big event. Pillarde added that Bahrain was one of the leading nations in hosting international endurance sevents and thanked the organisers for their efforts.

The FEI will hold its first meeting tomorrow to discuss the final preparations being made for hosting the event.

The FEI panel includes members from South Korea, Austria, UK, Sweden, South Africa, the US, Argentina, Venezuela, Norway, Dominican Republic, Australia, Brazil, Holland, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland, France and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, officials and riders from Brazil and Botswana arrived yesterday and were welcomed on arrival by a special public relations team, headed by Yousef Bubsheit.

The technical committee members held a training course for security guards at the Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The guards, representing the National Guard, were given directives by the committee to follow the FEI rules and regulations.

A total of 140 riders, representing 30 countries from across the world, will be competing at this championship which will be over 120 kms divided into five stages.

The first two stages will be over 30 kms while the third stage will be over 25 kms. The fourth stage will be over 20 kms and the fifth and final stage will consist of 15 kms.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Teams arrive for endurance test




TOP nations began to arrive in Bahrain for the World Junior Endurance Championships to be held at the Endurance Village in Sakhir from December 15 to 18.

Riders from Australia, Namibia and Hungary were the first to arrive in Bahrain for this prestigious event to be held in Bahrain for the first time.

A 14-member Australian delegation consists of five riders and nine crew members.

Namibia's delegation also arrived yesterday with a total of 10 members, including six riders. Hungary landed on Tuesday and will be represented by two riders.

Technical committee co-ordinator Dr Abbas Al Haiki said participating horses had also started to arrive yesterday. The last batch of horses are expected to arrive by tomorrow.

Al Haiki is co-ordinating between the Bahrain Royal Equestrian Federation (Breef) and the Bahrain International Airport for the smooth transport of the horses to the Endurance Village.

"On arrival in Bahrain all horses will be loaded into specially designed boxes before beginning a 50-minute drive to Sakhir," said Al Haiki.

Al Haiki said the organising committee will also be providing shuttle bus service between the hotel and the venue of the championship and vice versa for all participating riders and officials. "The committee will also provide one four-wheel drive vehicle to each delegation on the day of the event," he said.

Dr Canabo Milo of the Royal Court and International Equestrian Federation's representative Dr Marcello Cante are the doctors in charge of the championship.

Meanwhile, a delegation of top specialists arrived in Bahrain to follow up the arrangements being made at the stables in Sakhir.

"The stables are now ready to receive the horses arriving from across the world," said Al Zo'bi.

"This tournament is a big challenge for us and other committees. We are working hard and giving off our best to gain the respect of overseas participants and officials."