Sunday, August 20, 2006

Canada: Local flavour at World Equestrian Games

Written by Jackie Shows

It's the largest equine competition in the world -- and Ruth Sturley of Owen Sound will be there, representing Canada.

The World Equestrian Games 2006 kick off August 20th in Aachen, Germany.

The event is held every 4 years and draws an international crowd of 500-thousand people.

It's a 5-star event including the 7 diciplines of -- show jumping, eventing, carriage driving, dressage, endurance, vaulting and reining.

Sturley will be participating in the disipline of endurance.

And there is something very unique about her case.

Sturley has been told she is the most senior member on the Canadian team -- at 60 years old.

The well-known Ian Miller is next in line.

This is Sturley's first time competing at the World level and she says she's been leading up to this event for the past two years -- and doing intense training for about 6 months.

Sturley says she is both nervous and excited -- but knows she must stay focused.

She has been working with her horse for the past 6 years -- and says the endurance competition seems to be a perfect fit.

Endurance racing takes place over 160 kilometres of dirt terrain -- Sturley says both the speed and stamina of the horse is tested.

During the ride -- the horses are stopped at intervals and must pass a veterinarian inspection in order to continue.

She says Canadians are held in good regard on the international scene in endurance.

The games wrap up September 4th -- and there are over 800 horse/rider combinations participating from around the world.

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