Monday, December 31, 2007

Poland: Endurance Season 2007 Recap



Polsiearaby.com - Full story

Endurance season 2007: a few bright marks albeit a crisis

Author: Maciej Kacprzyk | 2007-12-10

The 2007 endurance season in Poland has come to an end. Contestant-and-horse pairs bravely took on the long kilometers during 10 events: one of international rank (Warka), four labeled as All-Polish (thrice in Koczek and once in Bieruń) and five regionals (Gieniusze, Zabajka, Bieruń). A couple of events scheduled in the calendar did not come to pass, including an international competition in Ciosny near Łódź. There were also problems with the attendance, only the Polish Championships in Warka drew a larger number of contestants and horses.

This year in the riders’ ranking, composed by the Endurance.pl website which adds up points for each start using the same method for the last 4 years, 48 riders were classified. The winner was Beata Dzikowska from KJ Champion, who gained 454,9 points (with three completed events). Second came Kamilia Kart, also from KJ Champion, who scored 452,8 points (with five completed events). The third place belonged to Marcin Tobiasz from JKS Pogórze, who achieved 432,2 points (with two completed events). Among the juniors and young riders the highest classified contestant was Olga Ciesielska from KJ Champion Łódź – placing ninth in the general classification with 222,9 points for three completed events.

In the horses’ ranking, composed using the same rules as the riders’ ranking, 54 horses were classified. The most points were gathered by Cyryl 1995 (Sinus – Cyrla by Algomej), bred by Kurozwęki, who scored under Beata Dzikowska. Together they grabbed the silver medal of the Polish Senior Championships, among others. The second place belonged to Ester 1994 (Wermut – Eskadra by Algomej), bred by Kurozwęki, who competed under Kamilia and Marcin Tobiasz. It is worth to mention that Ester and Marcin Tobiasz were the only Polish pair who completed the 160 km ride this year. At third spot we find Shanokk 1998 (Santos – Sinjah by Eskan), bred by Saleska Arabians (DE), who gained his points under Olga Ciesielska and Kamila Kart.

In the young horse championships, which for many years have been compiled by Ewa Szarska, 19 horses were classified in all (six 4-year-olds, four 5-year-olds and nine 6-year-olds). The young horse classification is based taking into consideration marks from the veterinary card and the length of the race, while the 6-year-olds also have the additional factor of speed.

And so the 4 year old classification was won by the Kabardian gelding Neron under Patrycja Bereznowska.

In the 5 year old age group the winner was the pure bred Arabian mare Pisarka (Pesal – Pytia by Pepton), bred by A. Wójtowicz, under Maciej Kacprzyk (author of the article). This robust mare, after a very successful season, was purchased by Dorota Krzywicka, who plans a further sport, as well as breeding career for her.

Among the 6-year-olds the top spot was occupied by the Małopolska breed gelding Koral under Maja Kijowska.

Summarizing the 2007 season we must say that there was as much crisis as during the last two years. Few contestants, few horses, neglect from the organizers – these are the problems that have haunted this equestrian discipline for years. The positive aspects are the numerous and successful starts of our contestants abroad – anyone who was able to tried their luck in Germany, Holland, France, Slovakia or Hungary. These results can be considered as the most valuable:

- 2nd and 3rd place over 100 km in Ermelo (Holland) by Beata Dzikowska on the mentioned Cyryl and Dorota Krzywicka atop the Małopolska breed Sahib (by Grandorr oo),
- 2nd place over 160 km at the event in Topolcianky by Marcin Tobiasz atop Ester
- 45th place at the Young Horses’ World Championships by Ewelina Preis atop Ashmin 1999 (Fawor – Aktorka by Embargo), bred by Z. Górski, who after a successful performance was sold to France.

Also the Senior Polish Championships, won in style by Sebastian Karaśkiewicz atop Grand 1997 (Entyk – Greczynka by Etogram), bred by Kurozwęki, can be considered successful. Their level was indeed high.

For the upcoming year three All-Polish events have been initially planned (April – Gieniusze, May – Ciosny, October – Koczek) and two bearing an international rank: in Ciosny (Young Riders’ and Juniors Championships) and in Warka (Senior Polish Championships). I personally still lack such places as Janów Podlaski or Białka on the endurance event map. As a comparison the stud in Babolna, which has been organizing international events for a couple of years now, will organize the Young Riders’ and Juniors European Championships in 2009.

The overall picture of endurance after the 2007 season is not heartwarming, but among the chaos of amateurism and mishaps it is possible to notice some bright marks, which allow for some cautious optimism. Endurance rides, being the quickest developing equestrian discipline in the world, are simply destined for success, especially in Poland – a country renowned for not just beautiful, but also valiant Arabian horses.


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New Mexico CEI*** - USA and UAE take top FEI honors

Photo: Sheikha Madiya Bint Hasher al Maktoum
New Years in New Mexico - Las Cruces CEI***
by Endurance.Net, December 31

Valerie Kanavy and King Ali Gold finished first at the Las Cruces CEI*** held December 30. After missing the trail in the dark and repeating most of the first loop, Kanavy and Ali worked their way up all day with steady progress on the trail and fast recoveries at the vetchecks, to overtake the leaders and finish well in front.

Sheikha Madiya Bint Hasher Al Maktoum was the top finishing foreign rider on Faberge (owned by Flight Leader Farm) with a 2nd place finish in the FEI division. Sheikha Madiya exhibited her 'Get Tuff or Die' farm motto as she rode the final loop with her left eye bandaged as a result of wind blown on an earlier loop.

Abdul Hamil from Malaysia and Kiyoshi Ozawa from Japan rounded out the foreign rider finishes in 4th and 5th place. His Royal Higness Mizan Zainal Abidin of Malaysia competed on the beautiful Dashing Lady but lameness at mile 50 forced his retirement.

The unusually cold temperatures and sandy tracks that became deeper as the day progressed took their toll on horses and riders at this ride with a 23% completion rate in the FEI 100 mile ride. The overall completion was 42% including the non-FEI division.


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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bahrain: First Women's Endurance Race Set - Dec 30 2007

Gulf-daily-news.com - Full Story

The first women's endurance horseride race, to be organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef), will be flagged off on Saturday at 6am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The event, to be held under the patronage of the National Guard, will be over 100 kms split into four stages. The first two stages will be over 30 kms each, the third stage will be over 25 kms and the fourth 15.

A men's race over 100 kms and two qualifying events over 85-kms and 60-kms which will be open to new riders and horses will also be held simultaneously.

The championship is being organised following directives from Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The federation organised a similar women's race last season.

The federation has already received several entries, including a few from the Kingdom's Stable from Saudi Arabia who will be taking part in this event for the second year.

Head

The women's team include Alya'a Al Huwaiti, Latifa Al Shaikh, Noora Al Yousif, Sara Baban and team head Najeeb Al Burjus.

The Saudi team will be sponsored by the Kingdom Holding Company chairman Prince Al Waleed bin Talal.

Registration will continue till Friday.

Meanwhile, the organising committee approved the technical and judging teams for the championship.

The judging committee will be headed by Abdulsamad Al Busta and includes Ghalib Al Alawi, Haider Al Zo'bi, Ali Ghuloom and assistant judge Haider Rafii.

The official commissioner is Mohammed Dadulla who will be assisted by Mahmood Abdulsaheb and Fahad Al Rumaihi.

Dr Abbas Al Haiki was named head of the veterinary committee which includes Ibrahim Yousef, Abu Obaida Adam, Mohammed Al Hammad, Mohammed Safi, Khalid Ahmed, Adam Sabeel, Abdulrahman Abulshook, Farida Abdulrazzaq, Sabad Al Ka'ab, Mirghani Jelani and Ahmed Dhaif.

Dubai: Redha Trimuphs - Dec 30 2007

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Story

By Amith Passela

30 December 2007

DUBAI — Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha celebrated an early New Year gift when Foxtrott 42 (WFA Foxtrot) won yesterday’s Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 for private stables and individuals here at the Dubai International Endurance City.

The 10-year-old Arabian gelding completed the 100-kilometre race in just over four hours to beat Hamad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi on Fareed by more than half-a-minute. Rashid Saeed Al Kamda finished third after leading the race until the halfway mark of the final 12-kilometre loop on 12-year-old Anglo Arab gelding Sham Zhangira.

Layla, who claimed a similar prize earlier at the Boudthib Endurance Village on the same horse, revealed it was her horse that carried her to victory than she trying to win the race on him.

Layla said, “Honestly I was quite satisfied to settle for second place, but he didn’t want to. He’s a champion, and my champion and my best friend. He’s always given 100 per cent. This is the fastest time he has ever clocked over the distance and it was he who took me to first past the winning post than me trying to win the race.”

Layla enjoyed some good fortune on her last victory when she awarded the race in Boudthib after the first two horses to cross the finish line were vetted out for metabolic and lameness respectively. It was a different story this time around. She took up the running on the final three kilometers stretch of yesterday’s race to beat the field fair and square for the prize, a Nissan Patrol, handed over to her by Shaikh Saeed bin Hamdan Al Maktoum.

“This prize is definitely for my dad (Abdul Aziz Al Redha),” she gleamed. “He’s helped me all the way and has done a wonderful job in keeping this horse in great shape. He deserves every bit of the success we have had today.”

Abdul Aziz Al Redha, the owner and trainer of the horse, and himself an accomplished horseman, added, “Foxtrott 40 has been in training with us for the last four years and has run consistently in every race. He was third in this race last year, and has now won three times and been placed in all his 11 career starts.” The season’s second race for private stables and individuals drew 51 entries, and Layla was with the lead group from the onset. She was seventh at the end of the opening 31-kilometre loop and was second behind Kamda in the next two loops.

Kamda admitted his horse got tired on the final loop of the race. “He was traveling well until it came to the business end. I still think he ran a big race and was beaten by two better horses on the day.”

Results of the top 7 finishers: 1. Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha, 4hrs 01 min 17 sec, Foxtrott 40 owned by Abdul Aziz Al Redha; 2. Hamad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi, 4.01.50, Fareed (Al Ain Stables); 3. Rashid Saeed Al Kamda, 4.05.30, Sham Zhagira (Saeed Al Kamda); 4. Saif Naser Al Falasi, 4.36.49, Lautaro (Al Ain Stables); 5. Saif Hamoud Al Shamsi, 4.41.42, Sheikh Acus (Al Faisal Stud); 6. Mansoor Ibrahim Ahmad, 4.42.47, Tio Elmo (Saeed Al Kamda); 7. Mubarak Awad Al Khatiri, 4.45.18, Klinger (Mubarak Awad Al Khatiri).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bahrain: Royal Victory

Bahrain: Gulf News Article

December 16
By RAMI HULAYYEL
ROYAL Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa was crowned champion of the senior race while Abdulla Al Khatri notched the junior title yesterday in the National Day Endurance Horseride Championship at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

More than 80 riders from Bahrain and Jordan took part in the inaugural race of the season which featured 120-km races for both senior and juniors besides two qualifying races open for new riders and horses.

Sponsored by Batelco, the main races were divided into five stages with 30 kms set for the first two stages, 25 kms for the third, 20 kms for the fourth and 15 kms for the fifth and final stage.

Shaikh Nasser, the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president, astride Omsura Nasrohn, clinched the top prize, worth BD4,000, in five hours, 41 minutes and nine seconds.

Shaikh Nasser was just seven seconds ahead of Mohammed Al Dawadi, also of the Royal Endurance Team, who came second on Rebound among 48 riders.

The Royal Endurance Team rounded off the podium with Jaffar Merza finishing third in 5:41.22 on Mexico.

In the junior race with 23 riders in the fray, Al Khatri, astride Nekir Des Vernes, completed the race in 5:45.27, to bag the top prize of BD3,000. Mohammed Al Hasan was second in 5:05.52 and Fahad Sulaiman third in 6:14.14.

Royal Jordanian Equestrian Federation president Princess Alia bint Al Hussain, who arrived in Bahrain specially for this event, presented the trophies.

His Majesty King Hamad also witnessed part of yesterday's races. His Majesty was welcomed by Shaikh Nasser, Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Breef endurance committee chairman Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, federation officials and other riders.

His Majesty also met Princess Alia

THE WINNERS

Name of the horse within brackets:

Seniors: 1 Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa (Omsura Nasrohn, 5:41:09); 2 Mohammed Al Dawadi (Rebound, 5:41:16); 3 Jaffar Merza (Mexico, 5:41:22); 4 Singh Soong (Hurst Star, 5:41:58); 5 Sameer Singh (Shalum, 6:01:45); 6 Ahmed Al Ruwaie (Lorman Lorrane, 6:02:08); 7 Raed Mahmood (Djid De Bozouls, 6:15:39); 8 Subhi Jawarsheh (Bull, 6:37:54); 9 Alan Lyon (Max, 7:00:41).

Juniors: 1 Abdulla Al Khatri (Nekir Des Vernes, 5:45:27); 2 Mohammed Al Hasan (Hirouste Outlaw, 6:06:52); 3 Fahad Sulaiman (Al Hafeez, 6:14:14); 4 Ahmed Al Gaoud (Sumara, 6:28:12); 5 Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Khalifa (El Khar, 6:47:21).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

UAE: Cupid strikes for Ali Khalfan

Gulf News Article
Abdul Rahman/Gulf News
Winner Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri in action during the National Day Cup at Al Wathba Endurance Village in Abu Dhabi.

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: December 16, 2007, 01:03

Abu Dhabi: Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri partnered the seven-year-old Cupid to his third National Day Cup triumph and in the process rewrote the record books with the fastest time in a 120-km endurance ride.

The Nakheel-sponsored three-star FEI endurance ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village attracted almost all the top horses in the country and, after a fascinating contest over five stages and 120km, Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, on Cupid, finished ahead of UAE champion Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi on Estaban with Pan Arab Games double gold medallist Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Omani Iman, in third place.

The winning time of 4hrs 32mins 46secs at an average of 26.40 km/h broke the earlier record held by Yousef Ahmad when he clocked 4: 39.10 on Jibbah Enog during the Damas Championship held at this very venue on January 20.

Ali Khalfan, who had finished second twice behind Yousef this season, finally struck at the prestigious National Day Cup, winning it for the third time for Al Wathba Stables.

Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi and Hassan Bin Ali, two other winners this season, finished fourth and fifth respectively - a perfect ending to one of the strongest-ever fields of riders and horses among the 112 pairs who started.

With Ali Khalfan on Cupid, the best bet from Al Wathba Stables, Yousef Ahmad on Esteban, winner of last year's National Day Cup ride and the Bab Al Shams ride earlier this season, Shaikh Mayed on Omani Iman, winner of the Pan Arab gold medal and Hassan Bin Ali on Blackheath Kira, winner of this season's opening ride, along with some of the top riders and runners in the UAE, yesterday's contest witnessed one of the fastest ever final loops too.

Ali Khalfan led Yousef Ahmad by about 31 seconds as they set out on the final loop of 16 kms.

Twice earlier it was Yousef Ahmad who edged out Ali Khalfan to second place but yesterday the Al Wathba rider gained sweet revenge on the Al Reef champion.

Ali Khalfan on Cupid recorded a speed of 35.78 km/h on the final loop and though Yousef on Estaban did a faster loop averaging 35.98, the small lead came in handy in giving the bearded Al Wathba rider his third National Day Cup victory.

Ahmad Al Jaziri of Nakheel, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi of ADEC and Lara Sawaya of Tasweeq gave away the trophies and also picked Afghan national Gafour Jan as winner of the Kia car in the raffle for spectators.

"I just wanted a lead of about a minute going into the final loop and the 31 seconds helped. It made the others go faster to try and catch me while I waited and then made my final run," said the experienced Ali Khalfan.

Chile : Las Brisas Santo Domingo

Posted by Endurance.Net
December 15, 2007

photo: RICARDO ARCAYA on DON PANCHO winning the 160km event


Las Brisas Santo Domingo Endurance Ride, CEI**/*** was held near the Pacific coast of Chile on December 7. Over 120 horses entered the ride in all of the divisions. The event was also FEI sanctioned, and was attended by a contingent of Malaysian riders seeking to qualify riders and horses for the 2008 World Endurance Championship.

Malaysian rider Dato Kamaruddin finished the 160km distance in second place, and his horse Navidad earned the Best Condition award.

More: results and Endurance.Net coverage

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bahrain: Endurance race offers BD30,700 prize money

Bahrain Gulf Daily News
Saturday, December 15

A TOTAL prize-money of BD30,700 is up for grabs in today's 120-kilometre National Day Endurance Horseride Championship which begins at 6am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village premises in Sakhir.

The top 15 riders in the junior and senior races will receive cash prizes. The winner of the junior race will get BD3,000, runner-up BD2,000, third-placed rider BD1,500 fourth-placed BD1,200 and the fifth placed BD1,000.

In correspondent figures in the senior races are BD4,000, BD3,000, BD2,500, BD2,000, BD1,500 while the sixth placed rider will receive BD1,000.

Sponsored

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa will lead riders from Bahrain and Jordan in this event being sponsored by Batelco.

Also taking part is Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid will take part in the senior race which will see a total of 48 riders in the fray while 23 entrants are confirmed for the junior race.

Royal Jordanian Equestrian Federation president Princess Alia bint Al Hussain has arrived specially for this event.

The race's judging and technical committee will be headed by Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi, and includes Abdulsamad Al Busta, Haider Al Zo'bi and Ali Ghuloom.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Strong field likely for National Day Cup - Dec 12 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full story By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: December 12, 2007, 23:32

Abu Dhabi: The starting line-up for Saturday's Nakheel-sponsored National Day Cup endurance ride could end up as one of the largest ever for an endurance ride with over 150 riders having provisionally entered.

Among those who have entered is Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the winner of the individual as well as team gold at last month's Pan Arab Games in Cairo.

Final list

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club said, "As of now we have over 150 entries and this could increase. However the final list of starters will only be known after the pre-ride veterinary check. But we do expect one of the largest fields of riders for this event which is now an important one in the UAE season."

The FEI three-star ride, which will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village (EIEV) in Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi, will be contested over five stages of 32kms, 30kms, 24kms, 18kms and 16kms.

Ahmad Al Jaziri, Nakheel's Senior Manager, Events & Sponsorship, said Nakheel was getting involved for the third time with an endurance ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village.

"This is the second time we are supporting the National Day Cup and this is a matter of pride for us. The response to the event has been terrific and we are glad to be involved with this heritage sport of the UAE."

Apart from Dh400,000 on offer for the winners and other top finishing riders there are also a lot of awards for the spectators.

Lara Sawaya, Managing Director of Tasweeq said a Kia car was on offer for the spectators.

"The first 2,000 fans will be given free raffle tickets which will help them to win the car."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Guatemala: Malasia es el destino

Para los jinetes guatemaltecos Byron López, Clarissa de Wit y Fernando Paiz, el sueño de clasificar al Mundial de Endurance del otro año en Malasia, está muy cerca.

Y es que el fin de semana pasado los tres cumplieron una de las dos pruebas que la Federación Internacional Ecuestre pide como requisito para participar en el Malasia Challenge 2008.

[More ...]

Bahrain: Endurance race to feature five stages

Gulf Daily News
December 11

FIVE stages will be featured at the 120-km National Day Endurance Horseride Championship, scheduled for Saturday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

The race, to be organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation and sponsored by Batelco, consists of a 30 kms for the first two stages, 25 kms for the third, 20 kms for the fourth and 15 kms for the fifth.

Additional 85-km and 60-km qualifying races will be held during the event. The races are open to new riders and horses as the 85-km race will be divided into three stages with the first two stages over 30 kms while the third is over 20 kms. The 60-km race consists of two stages of 30 kms each

The veterinary examination will be held on Friday near the race venue in Sakhir from 2.30pm till 5pm. The weight of the participants in the main race should not exceed 75 kms.

Meanwhile, the organising committee announced members of the judging and technical committee which is headed by Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi and includes Abdulsamad Al Busta, Haider Al Zo'bi and Ali Ghuloom.

Breef president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa earlier said that the race marks Bahrain's National Day Celebrations and is open to riders of all ages and nationalities.

Shaikh Nasser thanked Batelco which recently announced its sponsorship to the federation's programmes.

The Breef chief said that valuable prizes will be given away to the top riders, adding that the race promises to feature stiff competition among the participants who started their preparations much earlier for the event.

Great Britain: Eskar's an Endurance Star

Full Article - Midweek Herald

devon.editorial@archant.co.uk
12 December 2007
ENDURANCE rider Kirsty Wiscombe, from Lyme Regis, has just returned from the Endurance Great Britain Annual Awards ceremony where she picked up an armful of awards.

They were Reserve Supreme Champion, Best Arab, second in Senior Trophy and third in Best Graded. Kirsty, and her horse Eskar, were 27 points behind the Supreme Champion (having missed the last qualifier to compete in France) and several hundred points ahead of the next horses.

She has battled back from the death of her GB team horse Crimson Skye in January and breaking her own ankle in several places.

She said: "I just wanted to give up. My injury meant withdrawing from the World Equestrian Games squad, and we fought for two months to heal Crimson Skye's broken leg before having to have him put down. It was a terrible season."

A new horse, the seven-year-old pure bred Arab Eskar managed to change her mind. "He achieved things I didn't think were possible for a horse of his age," she said.

He was fourth in the tough 160km ride at Cirencester in June, also winning the best condition award. He had another best condition award at Firle two day ride and the season, curtailed by the Foot and Mouth outbreak restrictions, ended with a 16th place in the two day FEI three star ride Les 2 Jours de Montcuq in the South of France.

Kirsty said: "He is now one of the few 160km qualified seven year olds in the world and I had several French riders wanting to buy him."

It was a remarkable effort considering as well the marathon of actually getting there - 815 miles, 26 hours, including ferry trip, door to door.

Eskar finished the season 194th in the FEI world rankings and the combination are back on the GB senior squad. Their first team assessment will be in February.

Next season Kirsty will have four horses competing. Eskar and Connie (who also had a good season and is aimed at the 160km Golden Horseshoe class next year) and two new novices, Yawl Hillbilly, a homebred stallion, and Ishtar Spirit, a four year old part bred Arab mare who will be ridden by young rider Stevie Jones.

Junior rider Shelby France (who lives in Lancashire) who Kirsty has been training/escorting, was also crowned Junior Champion.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dubai: A fast 120km

Results

1. Hassan Bin Ali (Al Jamaal Jafar) 4 hrs 50 mins 17 secs:
2. Omair Hussain Al Beloushi (Koringkloof Indian Star) 4:56.24;
3. Mohammad Rashed Saeed Al Subose (Kishon Zeal) 5:11.09;
4. Hamad Mohammad Al Ahbadi (Agecroft Jos) 5:15.20;
5. Roshan Ali Shiraj Khan (Le-Wardi Daneska) 5:16.10.


Ali's fast pace guides him home

Hassan Bin Ali victorious in endurance race

Endurance has changed, says winner

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Jeni Gilbert EnduranceGB Supreme Champion 2007

At the EnduranceGB Annual Awards Dinner on 1st December Jeni Gilbert was announced as our new Supreme Champion and was awarded a Saddle, kindly donated by Lorna Winn of Saintwestwell Saddlery Full results now available....

[More ...]
Trophy Winners

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

FEI: Endurance Task Force update

FEI Bureau Meeting. November 2007

The main item brought to the attention of the Bureau for information and approval following the meeting of the FEI Endurance Committee in Paris (FRA) on 2 April 2007 was the progress made by the Endurance Task Force established to carry out a full review of the discipline.

The Task Force’s mandate is to proactively gather ideas/suggestions and propose changes indicative of the collective wish to continue to develop and raise the standards and perception of international Endurance around the world, keeping Horse Welfare issues as a primary concern.

Assigned areas of responsibility include:
1. Qualification – James Bryant (CAN): Criteria for Championships, Horse Log book/Results Record, Weights, Regional Championships, Handicap System, Leasing of Horses
2. Organization – Vijay Moorthy (IND): Public perception, Dress, Terminology, Abandonment of Events – Protocol, Approved technology, Handicap system.
3. Equine Protection - Fred Barrelet (SUI): Equitation training, Equine research, Minimum rest period between events, Local environment monitoring, Hold/Presentation/Criteria evaluation, Progression through ride distances.
4. Education – Maurizio Stecco (ITA): TD/Course designers, Availability of qualified officials, Maintenance of Official status, FEI database, Courses and development, Star rating of officials.
5. Legal Controls – Art Priesz (USA): Metabolic eliminations, Rider suspension, Enforced rest periods (horses).
6. Competition Structure – John Robertson (GBR): Low level distances (are they a danger?), star rating of distances, Number of vet gates – climate, TD responsibilities, Progressive closing of vet gates, Best Condition Rules.

The areas that have been looked at by the Task Force are:

- Qualification criteria for horses and riders to compete in FEI events
- Logbook
- Event Development (Public perception)
- Dress
- Terminology
- Abandonment of Events
- Approved Technology
- Handicap System
- Roles of Official
- Training of Officials
- Categories and Rankings of Officials
- Low Level Distances
- Star Rating - distances
- Technical Delegate Responsibilities
- Best Condition Rules
- Minimum weight

National Federations to Report Metabolic Eliminations

The FEI has requested new reporting procedures of all National Federations and Ride Organizers. This entails reporting metabolic eliminations for all events, both CEI and CEN. Note that riders (and horses) Certificate of Capability (CoC) will be withdrawn if:

1) a metabolic elimination which requires invasive treatment occurs within 6 months of the Nominated Entries Date for the 2008 WEC.

2) two consecutive metabolic eliminations occur within the same 6 month period.

This loss of CoC will likely effect the decision by riders, trainers, and owners with respect to the application of invasive treatment following an endurance event. It is assumed that intravenous re-hydration following a metabolic elimination will cause the withdrawal of the CoC.

Endurance-Belgium.com Report

FEI Letter to National Federations

FEI Article 825.6 - Final Qualification Criteria

You may comment below.

Monday, December 03, 2007

2008 HH Presidents Cup - Foreign Rider Invitations

December 2
Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Invited Riders and Horses, H.H. Presidents Cup, 16 February, 2008

England
Susan Haves and 'Jade Rani'

Spain
Eloina Fernandez and 'Rayito'
Patrizia Mariscal and 'Kat Adal Kaiser'

Portugal
Joao Rapos and 'Quinza'
Filipe Cacherinha and 'Papoila'

Germany
Gabriela Foerster and 'Priceless Gold'

France
Marilyn Lemoine and 'Sheraki'
Phillipe Benoit and 'Akim Du Boulve'
Virgine Atger and 'Kangoo D' Aurabelle'

Italy
Maura Liviana and 'Cyriak'
Chiara Marrama and 'Magic Start'
Patrizia Giacchero and 'India'

USA
John Crandell and 'HH Saba Shams'
Kathy Brunjes and 'Theatric'
Steve Rojek and 'Seyvilla Triproof'

For previous Endurance.Net coverages of HH President's Cup:
http://www.endurance.net/2005PresidentsCup/
http://www.endurance.net/international/2006presidentscup/
http://www.endurance.net/international/uae/2007PresCup/

Uruguay to host 2009 Pan American Championship

December 3, 2007
Steph Teeter
www.Endurance.Net

The FEI has accepted Uruguay's bid to host the 2009 Pan American Championship. The competition will be held during the month of April, which is autumn in South America and the weather is typically cool and pleasant. The exact location of the competition has not been determined, but a possible venue might be Punta del Este, the popular resort town on the southern coast of Uruguay. This area, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Rio del Plata River, is modern and upscale and a very popular vacation destination with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, country clubs and resorts. It also offers everything for a beautiful and challenging competition - forests, grasslands, lakes and long stretches of sandy beach. The Club Burnett, a large equestrian center is being considered as a venue which would provide a large competition area complete with stabling for the horses.

According to Ketty Friedman, a Uruguay FEI 4* Judge who has been involved with International Endurance in Uruguay since 1997, there is a very dedicated core group of people who have been working together to build the sport in this country. They will work during the next several months to finalize the date and the venue for the 2009 event. Gustavo Sclavo, president of the Uruguay Equestrian Federation has strong ties with Endurance discipline, has also been instrumental in building International Endurance in Uruguay, and in helping secure the bid for the 2009 Pan American Championship. They are certain that Uruguay will host a world class event and they look forward to introducing the world to this small South American country.

Uruguay Endurance - Endurance.Net coverage of 2007 Rocha Internacional





Photos: Beach at Punta del Este, Ketty Friedman and Gustavo Sclaro at Rocha Internacional Endurance, Pueblocasa - artist Carlos Paez Vilaro, Sailboats at Punta del Este

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Al Beloushi's dominating display - Dec 1 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full Story
Winners of 120 KM international and 100 KM for junior and young riders of Endurance Ride with Mohammad Saif Al Neyadi, Head of Board of Directors of Emirates Heritage Club at Boud Thieb Endurance Village. Photo by Abdul Rahman

Al Beloushi's dominating display gives him another first-place finish

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: December 02, 2007, 01:07

Abu Dhabi: Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi and Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri featured in their second successive 1-2 finish in two weeks to bag top honours in the Sorouh-sponsored - 120km UAE International Endurance Cup ride here on Saturday.

Yousuf, the champion of last season and representing the all-conquering Al Reef Stables, came up with another superb ride on Charlande El Sharif to finish ahead of the Al Wathba star Ali Khalfan.

Yousuf, who won the ride on November 24 at the Dubai International Endurance City ahead of Ali Khalfan, completed the 120-km ride in a time of 4 hours 56 minutes and 58 seconds.

The Al Reef trainer-cum-rider has almost a 100 per cent record on the 10-year-old chestnut gelding, yesterday's being his second win while the pair also completed a 240-km three-day ride before the runner failed the final vet check after finishing first.

Important ride

It was yet another dominating performance by the Al Ain-based champion as he forged ahead on the first loop and then allowed the others to gather pace and pass him before making his run in the final two stages of the five-stage ride.

"Yes, being one of the favourites has its own share of pressures. Most of the riders want to stay close to me and watch for what I do," he said after his win.

"I maintained the same speed for most part of the first four stages while the others did get ahead. Charlande is a great champion and he stayed good till the finish which helped me win today," said Yousuf, who now turns his attention towards the National Day Cup ride.

"That is an important ride and I have two horses earmarked," he added.

Ali Khalfan's second place finish for Al Wathba Stables came after young stable-mate, Abdullah Rashid Mohammad Saeed Al Naqbi, rode Leblond to a smart win in the 100km ride for Juniors and Young Riders.

Results

Surouh-sponsored - 120 km UAE International Endurance Cup

(top five):

1. Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi (Charlande El Sharif) 4 hrs 56mins 58 secs;

2. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (SB Silver Choice) 5:01:49;

3. Majid Mohammad Salam Al Sabri (Manana Travis) 5:16:56;

4. Hassan Bin Ali (Nassat) 5:21.33;

5. Ahmad Salim Al Beloushi (Silversprings Kabir Arwa) 5:21.38.

Surouh-sponsored - 100 km UAE International Endurance Cup for Juniors

(top five):

1. Abdullah Rashid Al Naqbi (Leblond) 3:49.52;

2.Kimberley Dean -GBR-(Karabil Wyoonah) 4:32.09;

3. Omair Hussain Al Beloushi (Al Galahn) 4:32.32;

4. Kayleigh Smith -GBR-(Torryburn Gallant) 4:32.45;

5. Aliya Ali Mohammad Al Marzouqi (Kyama De Lux) 4:44.32.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pan Arab Results


Detailed Results for the recent Pan Arab Endurance Race are now available:
[More ...]

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Yousef maintains his hot streak

The key players at the Bab Al Shams Challenge endurance ride celebrate the latest success of last season's star man Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi.

Gulfnews.comBy M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 25, 2007, 00:26

Dubai: Last season's champion rider Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi and Estaban, another top performer among horses last season, combined in impressive fashion to win the Bab Al Shams Challenge 120km endurance ride on Saturday.

In a thrilling tussle for supremacy, Yousef, along with Al Wathba rider Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri on Sha-Ali and Spain's Maria Alvarez Ponton on Antares Sauveterre, battled throughout the five-stage 120km ride, which kicked off endurance action for the Dubai Equestrian Club at the Dubai International Endurance Village.

It was Ali Khalfan who led for most of the first three stages, with Maria in close pursuit while Yousef and Estaban were in sixth place during the first half of the ride.

Worried

"The ride was run in two groups. The first group of which I was a part set a very fast pace and I was a bit worried. But I kept him behind and went for it in the final two loops," said Yousef, who was riding Estaban for the first time.

The 15-year-old bay gelding was earlier trained by Spaniard Jesus Manuel Berna and was one of the top horses of the previous season.

"This was one of the fastest rides and the average speed was very high. In the last stage we touched 26.37 km/h," said Yousef, who won five rides last season.

The winners were timed at four hours, 42 minutes and 32 seconds, with Ali Khalfan second in 4:47.08.

Ali Khalfan said he was equally worried about his horse which just kept pulling him during the start.

"I really found it very difficult to keep him as he kept pulling. In fact I was keen to retire after the third stage but the grooms said Sha- Ali [his horse] was in good shape. I am happy he finished and the second place is certainly a good result for the stables," Ali Khalfan said.

Maria, another top performer of last season, once again displayed superb form and in fact posed a stiff challenge to the two UAE riders. After being placed fourth in the first two stages she moved into second in the third stage before being pushed back by Yousef and Ali Khalfan.

Earlier in the morning a total of 103 riders got off to a mass start in this Bab Al Shams Resort-sponsored ride which was also DEC's first of the season. Two Qualifier rides were also held at the venue in Seih Assalam.

Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Ali Moosa Al Khamiri; Abdin Nasralla, General Manager, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa; and Hussain Mohammad Hussain, Secretary General of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, gave away the trophies after the finish.

Results: Bab Al Shams Challenge 120km

1. Yousef Ahmad Al Beloushi (Estaban) 4hrs 42 mins 32 secs;

2. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (Sha-Ali) 4:47:08;

3. Maria Alvarez Ponton (Antares Sauveterre) 5:13:05;

4. Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose (Hamlet El Indalo) 5:16.12;

5. Naser Abdullah Al Marzouqi (Ras Islam) 5:19.03.

Aziz dances Foxtrott to 100km victory

Gulfnews.com
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 25, 2007, 00:26

Abu Dhabi: Layla Abdul Aziz used all the experience gained as a UAE rider in the world championships to win on Saturday's 100km Al Ain Endurance Cup at the Boudtheib Endurance Village in Al Khatem.

Riding 10-year-old bay gelding Foxtrott 40, Layla paced her run and ensured her horse was in a fit condition at the final vet check which helped her clinch first place and drive away with a new Nissan Pathfinder.

Layla finished third behind India's Narayan Singh on Al Qudra and UAE's Fahd Abdullah Mubarak on Nakita. But both Al Qudra and Nakita were eliminated due to lameness and metabolic reasons respectively.

Full marks

However, Layla's horse Foxtrott 40 was cleared with full marks at the final vet check and she was declared the winner.

"This was the first time winning on this horse," said Layla, who had finished sixth at the World Junior Championship and fourth at the next World Championship in the Czech Republic. Layla came up with a steady performance as they averaged around 21.47 km/h for the 100-km ride which was restricted to riders from smaller stables.

"It was a tough ride and I just kept my horse behind initially and then ensured he lasted the distance," said the winner.

Results

1. Layla Abdul Aziz Al Redha (Foxtrott 40) 4hrs 39 mins 31 secs; 2. Gulam Nabi Mohammad Arf-Pakistan-(Tiramisu 2) 4:43.30; 3. Saeed Amhi Al Mansouri (Shawol) 5:07.58; 4. Saeed Bin Helweh (Vonk) 5:24.28; 5. Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi (Alonha Kaila) 5:43.14.

DHL Jordan announces sponsorship for Equestrian Tahani al Masri

AlBawaba.com article
Posted: 25-11-2007 , 08:38 GMT


DHL Jordan, the leading express and logistics provider in the Kingdom, has announced its support and sponsorship for budding equestrian Tahani Matouq al Masri who just participated in her first Wadi Rum Endurance Race. The sponsorship is in line with DHL Jordan's commitment to supporting young local athletes and raising the standard of this noble sport.

The Wadi Rum Equestrian Endurance Race took place on the 14th of November in Wadi Rum and covered 120 km. A number of outstanding equestrians who qualified in the preliminary race of 80 km and registered with the International Equestrian Federation also took part in the race.

Masri who only trained for a total of 10 months was among the first and few who reached the finish line.

Bara Obeidat, Marketing Manager at DHL Jordan, said, "The DHL Jordan team are proud to offer their support for upcoming equestrians with a promising future. Our sponsorship is part of our commitment to support the local community and with it we hope to play our part in shaping the future of Jordanian youth and in turn putting Jordan on the international map."

Tahani al Masri thanked DHL Jordan for taking the initiative to sponsor her in this race and for supporting her first participation in it. She said that this is the most important stage for the champions of this sport who wish to excel on an international level.

She added, "Participating in these types of races and championships helps an equestrian to hone her talents and consolidates her ability to overcome all the obstacles in her way. Receiving this sponsorship from DHL helps to raise awareness of this sport and also helps to build confidence and bring encouragement in this challenge.”


About DHL
DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specialising in providing innovative and customised solutions from a single source.

DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport, contract logistic solutions as well as international mail services, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL's international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. 285,000 employees are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers' expectations.

DHL is a Deutsche Post World Net brand. The group generated revenues of more than 60bn euros in 2006.



© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Bab Al Shams to sponsor first ride of the season - Nov 23 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full article
Staff Report
Published: November 23, 2007, 01:05

Dubai: A strong field of riders is expected to take part in the Dh550,000 Bab Al Shams Challenge tomorrow, the opening event of the endurance season at Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC).

The November 24 challenge, a FEI three-star 120-km ride organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC), is the first of eight rides at DIEC, including six FEI and two National competitions.

Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Ali Moosa Al Khamiri said: "We are delighted that Bab Al Shams is continuing its long association with Dubai International Endurance City in sponsoring the opening ride.

"The first ride of the season is always an exciting event, and many of the leading riders will be in action, hoping to get their campaigns off to the best possible start. We look forward to seeing many of you there for what should be a great day."

Higher categories

Abdin Nasralla, General Manager, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, said: "We are delighted to be supporting the Endurance Races again this year. The Endurance Races are a national tradition and form part of the cultural heritage of the UAE; as such they share a strong synergy with Jumeirah Bab Al Shams's own efforts to support and promote UAE national culture as well as highlighting the Jumeirah Group's continued commitment to Stay Different.

"We look forward to welcoming participants and supporters for the 'Bab Al Shams Challenge'."

The Bab Al Shams Challenge starts at 5.30am and will also stage two Qualifier Rides over a distance of 40 and 80 kms, in which riders and horses can qualify for rides of higher categories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mayed leads UAE's clean sweep

photo: Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum completes his golden ride on Omani Iman at the Pan Arab Games in Cairo.

Gulf News Article


By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 20, 2007, 00:27

Cairo: Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum led a golden display by the UAE riders who picked up two gold medals and a silver and bronze apiece in a total sweep of the medals on offer at the 11th Pan Arab Games here on Monday.

Shaikh Mayed, on Omani Iman, crossed the finish line just ahead of UAE teammates Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer and Mohammad Al Subose with the three completing a 1-2-3 finish in the individual event.

Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya finished fourth to extend the UAE's domination and help the UAE win the team gold also. The team members were Shaikh Mayed, Sultan Bin Sulayem, who was eliminated in the fourth stage, Bin Shafya and Ali Subose.

"We are very proud with this achievement which has helped the UAE once again assert its supremacy in this sport. We are also happy to finish as the Pan Arab champions in both the individual as well as team event," said Shaikh Mayed after his win.

Shaikh Mayed and Omani Iman completed the 120-km ride in a timing of 6 hrs 43 mins and 56 seconds.

Later, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim on Spendacret Kamouflage took fifth place to make it a memorable day at the Saqqarah Endurance Village here.

This was UAE's second sweep of the medals after they won both the individual and team gold medals at the Asian Games in Doha last December apart from also bagging the individual bronze.

Chilly weather

Early yesterday, a total of 42 riders got off to a 6 am start and with the temperature remaining chilly for almost the first two loops the horses seemed to have it easy. However, the loose sandy terrain littered with stones and rocks made it a bit treacherous but the UAE riders managed to steer clear.

Salem Rashed led the UAE pack with Shaikh Mayed in second place after the first stage of 36 kms, followed by Bin Shafya and Al Subose with Bin Sulayem in sixth and Bin Huzaim in eighth positions.

Shaikh Mayed, along with Bin Shafya, was close behind up to the third loop at which stage they had covered a distance of 85kms.

With two stages left, the gap had widened and UAE looked headed for a double triumph. The Libyan squad had four of their riders making an early exit while both Saudi Arabia and strong contenders Bahrain also had two riders eliminated.

That eased a lot of pressure on the UAE front-runners but the tricky terrain was still the danger as most of those eliminated were due to lameness.

In the team championship, the UAE team had mustered an incredible 105 minute lead over Qatar while Saudi Arabia were third a further 20 minutes behind at the end of the third stage.

Results

1. Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum (Omani Iman) 6hrs 43 mins 56 secs
2. Salem Rashed Bin Ghadayer (Dalton Du Capimont) 6:43.58
3. Mohammad Ali Al Subose (Kevin Du Narthoux) 6:44.01
4. Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya (Kaysand Farrazah) 6:44.03
5. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (Spendacret Kamouflage).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Just 700 flu cases in NSW likely to still be active - Nov 20 2007

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Story

Disease specialists estimate there are now only 700 active cases of equine influenza in New South Wales.

Epidemiologists, who study the patterns of diseases in populations, have been monitoring the flu outbreak closely, using information collected to report the situation and make predictions.

They say their findings provide strong encouragement that the disease is under control and eradication is achievable.

Some of their findings are shown in the two accompanying maps.

The infections are placed in one of three categories.

There are those under 21 days, which are deemed "recent" and still likely to be active. Those over 21 days are deemed "older" and are expected to be inactive. The third category is resolved, where officials have tested inactive areas and formally declared them disease-free.

Their research shows that the number of cases under 21 days old peaked late in September, and started to decline from about the second week of October to reach the current level of about 700 cases state-wide.

Numbers of older cases has increased progressively since late September. Increasing numbers of cases have now been resolved, with work progressing to actively resolve cases, particularly in outlying areas and clusters. The total number of cases is starting to level off at around 5500 to 6000 as the number of recently reported IPs declines.

There have been a total of 73 newly infected premises identified during the last week, compared to 85 last week and 255 the week before that. The great majority of new cases have been in the purple zone, with additional cases in clusters at Wee Waa, Grenfell, Gunnedah, Armidale/Walcha, Dubbo and Parkes.

The estimated dissemination rate (EDR) for a disease is the average number of new cases generated by each existing case. An EDR of greater than 1 indicates that the disease will continue to spread and the epidemic will continue. Conversely, an EDR of less than 1 means that the epidemic will gradually die out.

The graph below shows that the EDR for horse flu has progressively declined since about mid-September and has been below 1 for most of the time since early October. The dotted lines show the 95% confidence limits for the estimate. The slight ups and downs of the EDR over time are probably due to variations in reporting over time.

"Although the EDR estimates are probably affected by some under-reporting, the graph provides strong encouragement that the disease is under control and eradication is achievable," the epidemiologists said.

Monday, November 19, 2007

And the Winner Is....

For once I'm in the right spot for something as the awards ceremony is just about to begin within the regulation time after the arrival of the front runners. Tables are being filled with boxes and bags of gifts and tasteful silver and gold plate trophies line up in front of a sign for the sponsors of this event, PMA, which is some kind of investment company. The platform in front of the cafeteria is full of white robed men with either glistening white or red and white head scarves carefully folded back over their shoulders. There are, in fact, horses standing not 10 feet away who have not yet gone out to do the final loop but what the hay? There are people here who, I suppose, have seen enough endurance today. Everyone is waiting to award the individual prizes in the competition.

First place and individual gold goes to HE Sh. Majid Mohamed Al Maktoum
Second place and individual silver goes to Salem Rashid Ghadier
Third place and individual bronze goes to Mohamed Ahmad Ali Al Subose
Fourth place goes to Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafiya

All four are riding horses from the Maktoum stable in Dubai.

And that's all folks.







[More ...]

This is Actually a Horserace

Preliminary results from the 4th loop show the UAE firmly in control of the first five spots. Hazaa of Bahrain is fifth and in a real surprise, Mohamed Salah Ibrahim has moved up from 13th to 6th. Half of the Egyptian team is in and we are waiting for the other half to clear and finish the 5th loop to see if they will qualify for the team Bronze.

The first riders have arrived from the 5th loop, a straight flat shot out to the railway tracks and back...perfectly suited to racing... and they are from the UAE. No surprise there, but let's watch the vet check. The Individual awards are sitting right in front of me and in typical "hurry up and finish" style, they are probably going to be awarded even as the later riders are still finishing the course. This really is a rather bad habit...looks totally rude.

I've not been a huge fan of our Egyptian endurance riders over the years and have bee quite exasperated at their lack of patience in a sport that above all requires it. As for FEI endurance, well, let's not even go there. However, at this point, I have to say that I am immensely proud of the work that the Egyptian team has done for this competition.





[More ...]

Getting Loopy, Number three pulls

It's 2:30 pm and I'm feeling a little schizophrenic. The internet connection is so glacial that I could easily spend hours in the press tent. Then I have to hike to the vet gates for the in/out times and the variation between the front runners and the back of the pack is so huge that there is at least a loop's difference between the two. Right now, as far as I know based on my last print out, the UAE, Qatar and Egypt are the only teams in the running for team medals. Everyone else has lost too many horses to qualify. The UAE are running hard and fast with one rider from Saudi Arabia chasing them at the end of loop 3 (they are going to be out on loop 5 soon however) and one from Bahrain before a trio of Qatari riders is moving up. Of course, by the time I actually get this posted and trot down to the timers, the situation may have changed. AND correction, the two Syrian women were not out of time, they were just running at the back of the pack.


The pulls so far:
Loop 1

Ayman Harrous, Libya, lameness
Mohsen Abood, Libya, lameness
Khalid Rajab, Libya, lameness

Shakib Wahib Qabbani, Jordan, horse cut by stone on coronary band on trail (but ok)
Jehad Shameltoq, Jordan, lameness
Homoad Al Shamari, Jordan lameness

Loop 2

Bader el Fard, Saudi, metabolic
Manal Majeed Fakhrawi, Bahrain, retired (rider option)
Sh. Salman bin Saqer al Khalifa, Bahrain, lameness
Yusuf Ali Yusuf, Bahrain, retired
Mohamed Mdani, Libya, retired

Saif Nasri Nuwwar, Jordan, lameness
Abdul Hamid el Salah, Jordan, retired

Loop 3

Ghazi Mohamed Al Doseri, Bahrain, metabolic
Raed Mahmoud, Bahrain, metabolic
Atta Mohamed Peer, Qatar, retired
Fahad Mohamed Al Hajiri, Qatar, retired
Lutfi Faraj Omer, Egypt, retired
Mohmed Jabar Faraj, Egypt, lameness
Abdul Rahman Al Hawas, Saudi, metabolic






[More ...]

Loop Two results

After the second loop, the front three runners from the UAE remain unchanged. Hazaa from Bahrain who was 7th has moved up to 4th place, Subose (UAE) who was in 4th is now 5th. Huzaim (UAE) who was 8th is 6th, Sulayem (UAE)who was 6th is 7th, Mohlesi (Saudi) who was 9th is 8th, Al Hawas (Saudi) who was 5th is now 9th, and Hamad Ali Rashid Al Marri from Qatar, riding Tequila for the Al Shaqab Endurance Team has moved from 19th to 10th place.

All of the Egyptian horses are still in the race, trailing...but no one here is terribly worried about their placing. If they can finish the team, everyone will be delighted. Yalla Misr!

There seems to have been an accident involving a Jordanian rider and I'm trying to find out details. Shakib Wahib Qabbani riding Al Andalous was eliminated on the first loop before the vet gate.

Second loop pulls are:
Bader Al Fard (Saudi) metabolic..he was in 11th place on the first loop.
Yusuf Ali Taher Yusuf (Bahrain) exercised rider option on his gelding Samara after finishing the first loop in 15th place.
Sh. Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa (Bahrain) was eliminated for lameness (10th place loop 1)
Mohamed Mdani (Libya) exercised rider option as well.

Syria has only one rider still out, so it would appear that the two women I saw at the end of the first loop were out of time, but they don't appear on any of the pull lists. Note to self: question the time gate on my next visit.

Jordan, Bahrain, and Saudi have each lost two riders so far and if four finishers are necessary for the team medals, then Jordan is now out since they only started five.

Now for another hike to the timers.





[More ...]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

First Loop finishers

The first four horses for the first loop were from the UAE:
Salem Rashid Ghadier, Maktoum Stable on Dalton Du Capimont recovery time 1 min 9 sec
HE Sh. Majid Mohamed Al Maktoum, Maktoum Stable on Omani Iman, recovery time 3 min 9 sec
Mubarak Khalifa bin Shafiya, Maktoum Stable on Kaysand Farrazah, recovery time 1 min 46 sec
Mohamd Ahmad Ali Al Subose, Maktoum Stable on Kevin De Narthoux, recovery time 2 min 38 sec

The fifth rider is Saudi:
Abdul Raman Al Hawas, Prince Al Walled Bin Talal Stable on Falah Olood, recovery time 4 min 26 sec

Sixth another for UAE
Sultan Ahmed Sultan bin Sulayem, Maktoum Stable on Ryton Remy, recovery time 3 min 18 sec

Seventh rider is Bahrain:
Ahmed Abdulla Al Mohamed Ali Hazaa, Royal Endurance Team on Farhoz De Paute, recovery time 1 min 55 sec

Eighth rider is UAE again:
Abdullah Thani bin Huzaim, Maktoum Stable on Splendacrest Kamolflage, recovery time 5 min 18 sec

Ninth place is Saudi:
Mohamed R. Al Mohlesi, Prince Al Walled Bin Talal Bin Abdula stable on Anwar Al Mamlakah, recovery time 2 min 34 sec

Tenth place is Bahrain:
Sh. Salman bin Saqer Al Khalifa, Al Fateh Stud on Bedouin De Piboul, recovery time 5 min 45 sec

After 10th place the first group of mid runners had much higher recovery times but some of the later riders had recoveries similar to the front runners, so it's looking like some teams are hanging back a bit waiting to see if the leaders can keep the pace. The Qatari's rode the first loop much as a group, as did the Egyptians. The Egyptian recovery rates are in the one to six minute range, which is not bad at all. Yes, there is a partiality here...no question. I'm hoping that enough of the front runners mess up and that our guys keep their cool and maybe get a team medal.

When I picked up the results sheets, there had been 5 pulls in the first loop, all for lameness:
Three Libyan riders, a Jordanian and a Saudi

The Libyans were Aymen Harrous on Saada, Khalid Rajab on Wadi Jaref, and Mohsen Abood on Horra. The Jordanian was Jehad Shamaltoq on Travers, and the Saudi was Homoad Al Shamari on Cherox Juana. The completions and the pulls came to 39 riders and as I was walking to the press tent two women riders from Syria were having a discussion with the timers, so I have a sneaky suspicion that there was a time issue there. One other rider had not shown as yet but the next pickup should clear that up.

One of the Libyan riders was still in for the second loop. They are having a rough day. To have your first international endurance race be something like this is a very tough learning curve.


[More ...]

More cars than horses on the first loop

It's 7:15 am and the computer in the press tent is bloody slow. There were 42 starters just before dawn here and 53 jeeps that set out in the desert for the first round. Watching them all leave was like looking down the slow lane on a highway. The first loop was fast for the front runners, mostly from the UAE with one Saudi in the first few minutes. The Egyptian team was coming in as the first horses were setting out on the second loop.

There are 6 horses each from Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia started. The Jordanians started 5 horses, the Libyans 4 horses, and the Syrians only 3 horses. Syria and Bahrain both have women riders on the team, so naturally I'm cheering them on. I'm afraid that my saddle didn't make it into the race...the poor rider still couldn't make weight...but apparently my EZride stirrups did, so I'm also cheering for them. I've seen one Libyan horse come in but I haven't seen the vet results yet.

The weather couldn't be better, cool, clear and no fog at all. So far all the horses that I've seen coming in have looked fantastic and most of them are pulling at the bits as they leave for the second loop.

I will collect photos together tonight to post. This connection is hopeless for that. I have a couple of guests from Florida, one of whom is an avid photographer, so there should be a very nice gallery of photos this evening. There seems to be only one net connection here so I will post again as soon as I can collect the pulls for the first loop...and as soon as I can boot someone else off the computer as they are trying to do to me.

Maryanne, reporting from the Cairo SUV festival.


[More ...]


[More ...]

Egypt: Mayed to play key role for UAE in endurance ride - Nov 19 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full article

Pan Arab Games 2007

By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 19, 2007, 00:02

Cairo: Young Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum on Omani Iman leads the UAE challenge in today's 120-km Pan Arab Games Endurance Ride.

With Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum pulling out, Shaikh Mayed is expected to play a key role as the UAE chase honours in both the individual and team events.

European Open champion and UAE team trainer Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya and Asian Games bronze medallist Sultan Bin Sulayem provide the much-needed experience while Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim and Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer make their debut.

Bin Huzaim, who finished third in the Surouh Challenge in Al Wathba on Saturday, will be looking to extend his good start to the season in his debut ride for the UAE.

"This is a good combination of youth and experience. All our horses did not have any problems in passing the pre-ride vet check. We are looking forward to the ride," said Bin Shafya, who won the European Open individual gold in Portugal this year.

Serious challenge

The UAE are firm favourites in the ride which starts at 5.45am. A total of eight teams including hosts Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are taking part.

Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will pose a serious challenge to the UAE's dominance in this sport.

Badr Al Fader, one of the Saudi riders, said his team was keen to make an impact at this event.

"We have been here for over 15 days and have been training hard. Yes, we have not had much success at the international level but we will be making a strong bid to win a medal here," said the 25-year-old who finished 5th in the German Cup earlier this year.

T'was The Night Before...

This afternoon began the tests with the initial vet checks. They started at about 2 pm with each team walking its horses as they waited for their turn, which gave everyone a chance to size each other up. As far as I could see, about the only teams running home grown horses are the Egyptians and the Libyans; everyone else has horses collected from all over the world. Very athletic, beautiful horses from all over the world. I think that we are basically looking at two races tomorrow: the international horses and the local horses, but I could be wrong. For most of the teams, once the vet check was finished the issue was which horse and rider would be cut to make the six horse team for the race tomorrow morning. Once that was settled there was nothing to do but wait for morning and hope that nothing went wrong overnight.




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All the horses are now gathered at Sakkara Country Club/endurance village waiting the race tomorrow. It will consist of five loops out from the club to the south. The first, the red loop, is the longest at 36 km down to the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid of Dahshur...great photo ops. The second loop, the blue loop, runs south through the gap just west of the Japanese Hill like all the loops, further west to circumnavigate an east/west wadi, then east along the Fayoum/Cairo railway track to Mastabat Pharoan and north again past the Step Pyramid at Sakkara and the pyramids of Abu Sir, a distance of 28 km. Again, there are plenty of nice spots for very cool pictures of riders cantering past antiquities. The third loop, the green loop, leaves south to the Japanese Hill, runs along the north wall of the east/west wadi and then cuts southeast to the railway tracks along the same track as the red loop, but then doubles back to the club with an eastward bow towards the pyramids of Abu Sir for a distance of 21 km. The fourth loop, the yellow loop, was one that we rode part of on Friday and it parallels part of the blue loop southeast from the Japanese Hill towards the Step Pyramid and then cuts northwest of Masabat Pharaon to the railway tracks to make rounded turn back north to the club for a distance of 20 km. The final loop, the black loop, is a straight shot to the railway tracks and back for a distance of 15 km. The black loop is the most suited to a straight out horserace with long stretches of fairly flat sand covered in flint. Most of the other loops contain parts with deep soft sand and the more firm flint covered sand. In many respects, this is not at all an easy course. It is almost exactly the same race as was run in May 2000.

Most of the horses running this course are Arabs and Arab mixes. In the case of the Egyptian and Libyan teams, they are local baladi Arabs...unregistered Arab mixes who are the mainstay of the working equines in Egypt. These hardy, intelligent horses can be seen doing everything from sports to hauling carts here. In the cases of Libya and Egypt, the owners of the horses are quite average individuals who have a few horses rather than a major stable of them.

The Jordanian horses are being supervised by the director of one of the royal stables of Jordan and some of them came from the US Arab race tracks. One good looking but rather unsociable black gelding is the son of the horse who played in the Black Stallion movie. Most of the others were quite personable and happy to make one's acquaintance. Having a famous father must be tough.

A friend of mine had described the Saudi horses as being small, but I didn't notice that at all today. While none of the horses checked today could be called enormous, most of them were fairly average height and weight for the horses in this part of the world. Some of the riders saddled up after the vet check to give news teams from their home countries a chance for some video footage.

Other horses just went back to their boxes in the tennis court barn to relax while teams chatted and waited for the technical briefing in the club restaurant where they would be given a copy of the map of the trail. I was hoping for a copy of the final riders' list as well, but unfortunately the administrator who had the official copy left early for his hotel, so I will have to wait with everyone else until tomorrow morning at 5:45 when the riders set off. When I asked for a copy in the administration office, one of the men there looked at me quite puzzled and asked what team I was with, so I just turned around and let him read the back of my tshirt which says "EnduranceEurope.net@eu"... a yellow polo shirt that Steph sent my way with an eastward traveler. Aaaah. One of Steph's minions! Since so many people follow these events on the Teeters' sites, I'm given some rather nice consideration.

On some lighter notes, there are a number of women riders in the race tomorrow. I noticed some weighing in for the Syrian team, and it appeared that there might be one for Bahrain as well, though I could be wrong there. A few of the Jordanian team are quite young, and (although still over twelve) decided that there was some time to enjoy the playground after all. And finally, later in the evening when I'd gone home to grab a bite to eat, a jeep pulled into the farm with a couple of members of the Libyan team who found the dogs here fairly terrifying but who really needed a heavier saddle since one of their riders was having trouble making weight. My farrier asked if I could possibly loan them one of my Saare's which are cruising saddles rather than racing saddles and thus a bit heavier than usual. We got one out for them to look at and they thought that the extra weight might do the trick. The western cinches had them quite bewildered, but there are a couple of grooms at the club who know how my saddles work and can help them. The horse's owner asked how much I wanted to rent them my saddle, but never having rented a saddle to anyone in my life, I couldn't imagine. I pointed out that having come all the way that they had traveled to take part in their first international race, it seemed simply too much of a shame that the lack of weight should stop them from trying to compete...and anyway, since I didn't have a horse in the race, it was pretty cool to have a saddle in it instead. So tomorrow for what it's worth, I'm rooting for my saddle.

Dubai: Al Muhairi wins season opening endurance ride - Nov 18 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full article
Photo: Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi won the 120km Sorouh Challenge Endurance ride at Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday. by Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Staff Report
Published: November 18, 2007, 00:19

Dubai: Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi battled through fog and heat to win the season-opening endurance ride, the Sorouh Challenge at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Riding the eight-year-old gelding Royal Rebellion, Al Muhairi completed the 120km journey in 4 hours 57 minutes and 31 seconds.

Mohammad Hilal Salem Obaid Al Balarti, riding nine-year-old gelding Lobito Neero, finished second in 4:59.50 while Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim timed 5:4.56 on Xandu Hari Bubba to take the third spot.

Xandu Hari Bubba is owned by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The fourth place went to Salem Rashed Bin Ghadayer who partnered El Estande. He clocked a time of 5.08.40.

Both Royal Rebellion and Lobito Neero are owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry.

Very fast

"It was a tough ride because of the early morning fog and heat in the afternoon," said Al Muhairi.

"Though most of the riders were very fast my horse responded well.

"I am also very happy that Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's horses captured the top two places in the opening race of the season.

"This is my first win since I took up endurance riding as a sport four years ago. My previous best result was a third place in the Emirates Challenge, last year."

Al Muhairi, 25, said it was the first time in five years that Shaikh Hamdan's horses were completing a 1-2 finish in Abu Dhabi.

"If my memory is correct it was at the President's Cup ride that his horses secured the first two places five years ago," he said.

The CEI 3 star ride was held over five loops of 32kms, 30kms, 24kms, 19kms and 16 kms.

Both Al Muhairi and Royal Rebellion were tasting success for the first time.

Out of the 80 starters 26 riders completed the ride which was sponsored by Sorouh and Masood Al Awar.

Results

1. Thani Mohammad Al Muhairi (UAE) Royal Rebellion 4:57.31; 2. Mohammad Hilal Slaem Obaid Al Balarti (UAE) Lobito Neero 4:59.50, 3. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (UAE) Xandu Harji Bubba 5:04.56, 4. Salem Rashid Bin Ghadayer (UAE) El Estande 5:08.40, 5. Saif Slaem Mohammad Al Faresi (UAE) Joueur De loup 5:11.25.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Abu Dhabi: Al Beloushi looking to extend dominance - Nov 16 2007

Gulfnews.com - Full article
By M. Satya Narayan, Staff Reporter
Published: November 16, 2007, 23:23

Abu Dhabi: Around 70 riders will be battling to win the first competitive open event for the 2007-08 UAE endurance season with the Sorouh Challenge at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

The 120-km three-star FEI ride is being sponsored by Sorouh and the spotlight will surely be on Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi from Al Reef Stables. The trainer-cum-rider from the Al Ain base of the Al Reef Stables was both the top trainer as well as the top rider of last season and will be looking to start with a bang.

Massive

"I will be riding Waterlea Tuppence and this is a new season and we will have to start all over again. Everyone at the stables has put in hard work and we hope to extend our domination," said Yousef, who emerged as top rider with 1079 points last season.

Al Reef, owned by Shaikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, emerged as the leading stable with a massive 5097 points last season. Once again Al Reef will be well represented in today's ride. Today's Surouh Challenge, which has attractive prizes for the winners as well as the spectators, will be run in five stages of 32kms, 30kms, 24kms, 18kms and 16 kms.

The Stage Is Set

The transformation from a country club to an endurance village, while not complete, has reached a point of being fairly convincing. The tennis courts are covered over and temporary stalls are there for horses from Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and I imagine Egypt. The Egyptian horses and the Saudi horses are in the neighbourhood but I believe will be moved in after the vet check tomorrow afternoon. The trail has been set and a map will be available tomorrow as well. Basically, the cast is here, the stage is set, and the production starts tomorrow.


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Yesterday (Friday) morning I had some clients in from the UK who wanted to do a long ride, so we left the farm early in the morning to ride to the lake at Dahshur, about 20 km south of here. This is a glorious ride through the desert with views of about twenty pyramids in various stages of disrepair and marvelous long stretches for canters (ok, actually gallops) across the sand. The vistas of pyramids were a bit surreal, however, due to heavy fog and as we rode part of the trail that had been set for the race, I found myself wondering how the riders were going to be coping in the fog at 5 am on Monday. The flags are set far enough apart that they weren't that easy to see in daylight, much less in the dawn murk of a Nile Valley fog. Maybe the riders will be relying on cars to lead the way; we'll see. I told my clients that they could go home and brag that they'd ridden at least part of the Pan Arab championship trail. Once I got home and finished my lesson and farm chores, I went to the nearby farm where the Egyptian team has been working and training. There are seven horses from which they will be choosing six for the race, most of them from stables near the Giza pyramids, and two from farms in this area. They are all locally bred and trained, unlike the horses from the Gulf and apparently Syria. I don't know about the Saudi horses' origins yet or the Jordanian.

At the farm, I received a call from a young vet friend of mine who is here with the UAE team. He was just finishing his training in Egypt when we were having our first races here and subsequently got a position in Dubai where he's worked for the past seven years. This year he was sent with the UAE team to supervise the horses for his employer, the Maktoum stables. Unfortunately, the mobile phones from the UAE weren't on roaming and had no reception, so he needed to get a new sim card for the grooms. Late at night, this is no place to be hunting for a sim card so I offered him a spare phone for the night...what a terrific excuse to be able to see the UAE horses up close and personal. What terrific horses. Beautiful creatures with the kind of spirit that horses at this level of competition should have.

This morning after dispensing with my farm work, I ran down to the club again to see how things have changed. I found the Bahrain team waiting on the grass in front of the vet gates for the horses and riders who had been out trying part of the trail in the desert. Rumours are that with the usual rivalry between Abu Dhabi and Dubai being submerged in the alliance of the two teams for the UAE, the fight to watch is between Bahrain and the UAE. The quality of horses definitely supports the rumour. I asked a couple of the riders what they thought of the trail and they were not wildly thrilled with it. Was it the trail itself or the footing? Definitely the footing is the issue. Deep sand covered in flint is not any racer's idea of wonderful. One young woman suggested that it could be seriously improved by grading it to eliminate the patches of deep sand and rocky sand, but I pointed out that since most of the race is taking place in Antiquities Department land, the authorities were most unlikely to appreciate the suggestion. Bulldozing unexcavated antiquities is not recommended in Egypt...not even for an important endurance race.

Given that the climate is not really ripe for changing the footing of the trail, I asked what the riders' strategy would likely be and was told that they were going to have to ride a much more careful race than they might otherwise do. They'd brought many of their best horses to this race and didn't want to see them injured. It will be interesting to see what the footing issue does to the conduct of the race.

As I was leaving the "barn" on the tennis courts I encountered one of those very Egyptian scenes, the tennis pro and some helpers tightening the net on the one surviving court. Whether they were expecting to play a game there with the possibility of a wild shot bouncing through a couple of million dollars worth of horses or not, almost doesn't bear thinking about.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Austr: Recreation industry counts cost of horse flu - Nov 10 2007

abc.net.au/am/ - Full transcript
AM - Saturday, 10 November , 2007 08:18:00
Reporter: David Margan

ELIZABETH JACKSON: As the thundering of the Melbourne Cup hooves fades into the distance Australia's racing industry must again confront the enormous cost of the horse flu outbreak.

No one really knows how many horses there are in Australia, and no one is quite sure just how much equine influenza will ultimately cost, but it's already been estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and the cost isn't just financial.

David Margan filed this report.

RACE CALLER: Ms Bustle flying home, it'll be too late, and Accelerator�

JOHN MESSARA: Perhaps the worst disaster that's befallen us in the last 20 or 30 years because of the disruption it's caused.

DAVID MARGAN: John Messara, principal of Arrowfield Stud and one of the kings of the track.

JOHN MESSARA: It's estimated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that it's costing racing $3-million a day, and it's costing the breeding industry $1.3-million a day.

DAVID MARGAN: But there is another half of the horse industry that's been almost completely ignored, whose losses have been just as great but whose heartbreak has been far more widespread. We're talking about the performance and pleasure horse sector that includes a plethora of activities from pony clubs to Olympic equestrian.

PETER TOFT: It's hard to put a definitive amount on it, but you're talking about millions and millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars. I mean, it's been an amazing catastrophe.

DAVID MARGAN: Peter Toft breeds endurance horses, and as chairman of the fledgling Queensland Pleasure and Performance Horse Association, puts his market sector's losses at $5-million a day.

PETER TOFT: Every day it goes on the problems become deeper and the chances of recovery of our industry become much more protracted.

DAVID MARGAN: John Wicks is one of Australia's foremost reining horse trainers and riders, but his growing business has ground to a halt.

JOHN WICKS: You know, the bills still keep coming in.

DAVID MARGAN: So, what are you doing to make ends meet?

JOHN WICKS: Well, I'm doing a little bit of gardening, a bit of fencing. Anything I possibly can at the moment.

DAVID MARGAN: Another cost has been confidence.

John Messara.

JOHN MESSARA: The Thoroughbred Owners Association did a survey of their membership to see who would buy horses in 2008, post EI, and they got 100 per cent negative response. That's a frightening thing.

DAVID MARGAN: The spread of the virus and government's response to it has also fractured relations within the great horse family. The thoroughbred sector, using its great well-organised influence, had restrictions on horse movements modified so their breeding season could get underway, a concession not extended to anyone else. And it was also they who got the first vaccinations.

Peter Toft:

PETER TOFT: Eighty five per cent of our industry is made up of microbusinesses. They're people that employ less than five people and those sort of people are very good for the Australian economy. Collectively, they made up billions and billions of dollars.

DAVID MARGAN: And they've been ignored thus far?

PETER TOFT: Totally ignored.

DAVID MARGAN: Toft further claims that over half the horse industry has got almost nothing from the nearly $100-million so far given in financial assistance by the Commonwealth, Queensland and New South Wales Governments.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: David Margan with that report. And you can watch David's full story on ABC TV's Landline program tomorrow at midday.

Aust hopes to be free of EI virus by mid-2008 - Nov 14 2007

North Queensland Register - Full Story
By Julie Paul
Wednesday, 14 November 2007

News from the eastern states indicates the equine influenza outbreak is still being contained and, if biosecurity measures continue to be observed, Australia is likely to be free of the virus by mid-2008.

Primary Industries & Resources South Australia's chief veterinary officer, Rob Rahaley, made the announcement at a meeting of professional and recreational riders, hosted by Horse SA at Morphettville.

Attendees included representatives from

- showjumping,

- eventing,

- dressage,

- showing,

- pony club,

- endurance riding organisations,

- farriers and

- administrators from the Equestrian Federation of Australia.

Dr Rahaley said the biosecurity measures presently required for gatherings of more than nine horses will still be enforced.

He outlined the type of precautions necessary when horse events gradually start again.

There are three main areas of consideration:

• Venue selection

• Biosecurity plans

• Contingency plans

Under the heading of venue selection, he stressed the need to:

• Keep members of the public away from the horses or exclude them from the venue altogether.

• Have adequate - and separate - toilet and washing areas for competitors and spectators.

• Provide an area for horses to be confined if they show any signs of infection.

• Choose a location able to accommodate a large number of horses in case of infection and subsequent quarantine.

He said biosecurity measures recommended are comprehensive. They include:

• Ensure your organisation has the power to insist the following precautions can be taken

• Adequate security (gatekeepers, volunteers ensuring spectators were nowhere near horses etc)

• No dogs at the venue. Dogs can carry the virus on their skins just as people can on their hands, hair and clothing

• Horses must not share water or feed containers

• Minimise contact between competitors

• Enforce compliance with the rules. People will be asked to sign statements declaring they have not been in contact with any infected horse, or with any person who may have had contact with an infected horse.

• Monitor horses for the next five days, including regular inspection and taking of temperatures

• Keep comprehensive records of all horses at the venue,

- where they have come from,

- who has been in contact with them,

- do they have clean equipment,

- are they showing normal temperature readings, etc.

• The records are to be kept as long as there is any chance of a horse showing signs of infection after the event.

Dr Rahaley said a contingency plan must also be considered.

In a worst-case-scenario, the organisation must be able to ensure there was adequate provision for horses if the whole site is quarantined,

- stabling of yards,

- getting in supplies of feed,

- providing disinfectant, accommodation and washing facilties for riders.

The quarantine zone should be anything up to a 10-kilometre radius around the lockdown area, and quarantine could easily last for six weeks.

Dr Rahaley stressed the need for careful planning to minimise any risk of infection and to comply with the law.

He said PIRSA would make random checks on any horse event at any time.

"When it is proved that the virus no longer exists in Australia, event organisers can go back to their previous arrangements," Dr Rahaley said.

But he thinks many organisations will choose to adopt the above precautions permanently, realising that they are largely a matter of common sense.

When asked why recreational riders are seen as the 'poor relations' of the horse world and why the virus vaccine is only available to the racing industry, Dr Rahaley said he believed that the virus could still be eliminated without country-wide vaccinations.

"The vaccination program is very expensive," he said. "And owners would be committted to a program costing $90 million - Australia-wide - each year.

"The recreational riders are the ones who can least afford more costs added to the already heavy expense of keeping a horse."

SOURCE: Breaking news from the Stock Journal, SA, November 15.

Endurance trial event proves successful -Nov 17 2007

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full article
First-placed horse and rider, Naser Marzouqi (UAE) riding Hafiza du Mas.
Photo: Cidinha Franzao


November 17 2007

Heavy tropical storms and torrential rain greeted the 38 horse and rider combinations who set out on the first phase of the FEI CEI 3* Trial event at Terengganu, East Malaysia last weekend.

Eighteen combinations from around the world joined by 20 locally based combinations took part in the trial event to assess the weather conditions and facilities planned for the 2008 FEI World Senior Endurance Championships.

This second trial event was part of the two-year-preparations being undertaken by the organising company YDSM and the Malaysian Equestrian Federation.

The event, The Sultan's Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge 2007, needed to meet the minimum criteria for overseas combinations (40% completion rate within 16 hours ride time) imposed by the FEI to asses the safety and ability of horses to successfully compete in the climate of Terengganu State.

The tropical storm and heavy rains in fact produced cool, near ideal conditions - albeit very wet, which brought about a completion rate of 66% for the overseas combinations who had arrived some three weeks earlier into the extensive quarantine facilities purpose built for the event by the OC.

These facilities are part of a newly constructed International Endurance Centre which includes full equine hospital, central vet gate, full conference and hospitality buildings together with extensive catering outlets.

Some six nations from South America, North America, Europe, The Middle East and Asia were hosted by the organisers. These nations were also joined by riders from the UAE and Malaysian based South Africa and Australian riders. Unfortunately though, no Australian based combinations that had been invited by the organisers were able to compete. They had been prevented from traveling because of the recent equine travel restrictions imposed in Australia.

First to cross the finish line at just after 8am the following morning was Naser Marzouqi from the UAE riding Hafiza Du Mas, with a total ride time of 10 hours 31 minutes giving an average speed of 14.86kph. Jack Begaud from France with Idais Tohiba was second with a speed of 14.82kph. UAE rider Khalid Al Shafar on Supreme Dream took third place by a short head in an exciting racing finish for the line just ahead of Maria Vitoria Liberal Lins on Filoteu Rach from Brazil, both riding at 14.69kph.

The first 16 combinations all successfully completed the 160 kms achieving the present minimum FEI Championship qualifying speed of 12 kph.

The final ride detail showed that of the 18 overseas combinations that started the ride, 66% achieved completion and were joined by over 50% of the locally based horses and riders. Eight horses were presented for the Best Conditioned Award later that morning.

Whilst everyone taking part in the trial event accepted that the cool wet weather had greatly assisted in the high performances achieved, there was praise from the teams for the dedication and commitment from the Malaysian organisers.

Ian Williams, the FEI Director for Endurance who attended the event commented, "The trial run has fully met the criteria imposed by the FEI and the facilities present at the venue were of the highest standard."

"The weather was extremely kind so no one must forget what the temperature and humidity can be like and to think that it is easy to complete 160kms in tropical conditions," he said. "However those who have been successful at this trial event have shown that with the right degree of experience and care, and with assistance from the cooler weather, it is possible to compete safely in Terengganu."