Monday, September 17, 2007

Strong competition at European Endurance Champs

The FEI European Endurance Championship Open Qatar Challenge earlier this month was the first time Portugal had hosted an endurance event of this level. Several nations were slightly apprehensive about the track at in Barroca d'Alva, which although was flat with generally good going was demanding and would require a 'thinking cap' to achieve a good result.

Lately in endurance the trend has been to have one central vet gate from which all loops start and finish. The Championship this year was different, whilst the start and finish were in the same place; all other vet gates were held at a different venue.

The start was in Companhia Das Lezirias, an area with a diverse land use ranging from forestry, to vineyards to agricultural use, located further north than Barocca d'Alva. The race began on September 8, with the first leg 34.5km long, taking competitors south along farm and woodland tracks. Loop two was shorter, only 21.75km and took competitors further south again for 10km before bringing them back up to their second vet gate at Barroca d'Alva.



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