Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fauresmith Endurance Race ends today

South Africa
July 06, 2006, 17:00

The 33rd annual Fauresmith Endurance Race ended with almost no injuries and a lot of excitement. The race of three days over 200km of tough terrain, is regarded one of the toughest endurance races in the world. The race kicked of with 220 horses, but only 173 finished.

On the last day of the race the air was filled with excitement as spectators wait in anticipation for the first horses to cross the finish line. It was Francois du Preez (17) from Tzaneen who had this honour. Du Preez, the junior prize winner, says: ?I am riding for a long time, last year I came second and this year I won.? But once you cross the finish line, it doesn't mean you completed the race successfully. The horses must first pass a test to determine whether they are still uninjured and in healthy condition.

Eduard Penning, a Mpumalanga farmer, finished this gruelling race in 08:35. It is the fourth time he has participated in the race with his horse Rodi. Penning says: ?I'm tired, but I'm satisfied. My horse is tired as well, it was a tough going, and it was very, very good competition against me, but I'm very glad that we've done it.?

There were only two injuries during this year's race - a broken arm and a broken collarbone. This was the first year that the horses had their own ambulance.

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