Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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.

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