Monday, November 26, 2007

Pan Arab Results


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







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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.





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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






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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.





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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.


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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.


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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.


[More ...]
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."

FEI Bureau Meeting, Dubai (UAE), 15-16 November 2007

Corporate
Legal
Communications & Commercial
Endurance


Endurance:
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



    Corporate:
    The FEI Bureau held its statutory meeting on 15 and 16 November in Dubai (UAE). This report is an overview of the main items covered at the meeting.


    AN FEI OPERATIONS MANUAL, which is the natural process to follow the organisation’s Internal Regulations, is being prepared. More than another set of regulations, the Manual is intended to document FEI’s main processes as they are performed today; show their relationship to various bodies in and out the organisation; and define ownership for processes. This is the first step in institutionalising FEI’s operations and making them independent of individual’s expertise or experience. Approximately 160 processes have been documented to date. The Manual will provide a solid base for transparency; it will demystify complexity, increase service level to stakeholders and put an end to a culture of rumour. The Manual will be submitted to the Bureau’s approval at its spring meeting in April 2008.


    AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE
    The former FEI Finance Committee has been replaced by an Audit and Compliance Committee (ACC). The internal regulations of the ACC specifying its purpose; reporting process; election and composition; functioning; responsibilities and objectives; and periodicity and method of audit were approved by the Bureau.

    The purpose of the ACC is to have a direct oversight responsibility for compliance with FEI Statutes, Internal Regulations, policies and procedures and Swiss law; internal control and risk evaluation; external auditors. Its main responsibility is to identify and control any risks as well as to ensure that those are adequately managed within the organisation.


    NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE
    The detailed proposal submitted by the FEI Nominations Committee after its first meeting held in Lausanne in November was discussed at length. The comments made by the Bureau will be sent back to the Nominations Committee. The finalised version of the report will be sent to the NFs after which it will be made public.


    CHAMPIONSHIPS
    The Bureau allocated the following Championships:

    2008
    World Reining, Manerbio (ITA)
    World Para-Equestrian Driving, St. Martin Greven-Bockholt (GER), 27-29 June
    World Breeding Endurance, Compiegne (FRA), 22-24 Aug.
    European Children, Athens (GRE), 10-13 July
    South American Young, Riders/Juniors/Pre-Juniors & Children Jumping, Deodoro Military Club/ Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 2-5 Oct.
    Balkan Seniors/Young Riders/Juniors & Children Jumping, Plovdiv (BUL), 4-7 Sept.
    Balkan Senior Dressage, Istanbul (TUR), 20-22 June
    Balkan Senior Eventing, Eskisehir (TUR), 27-29 June
    Balkan Seniors Endurance, (ROU), 12-14 Sept.
    European Veterans Jumping, Barcelona (ESP), 9-12 Oct.

    2009
    World Driving Pairs, Kecskemet (HUN), 18-23 Aug.
    World Combined Ponies, St. Martin Greven (GER), 2-14 Aug.
    World Young Riders/Juniors Endurance, Balbona (HUN), Dates TBC
    European Para-Equestrian, Kristiansand (NOR), 20-24 Aug.
    European Young Riders & Juniors Jumping, Hoofdoorf (NED), 9-12 July
    European Young Riders & Juniors Dressage, Ermelo (NED), Dates TBC
    European Children, Moorsele (BEL), 30 July–2 Aug
    Pan American Endurance, Costa Azul (URU), 15-30 April

    2010
    World Driving Singles, Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), June

    The 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup TM Finals Jumping and Dressage had been allocated to Las Vegas by the FEI Executive Board.


    CALENDAR
    The 2008 calendar of FEI International Events was approved.


    GENERAL ASSEMBLY
    The current General Assembly format is being reviewed in order to take full advantage of the General Assembly week and keep it interesting and dynamic. A slightly modified version especially in regard to regional group meetings was approved for the FEI General Assembly which will take place in Buenos Aires (ARG) in November 2008.



    Commercial & Communications:
    An extensive report on the activities of the Commercial and Communications Departments was presented. Cooperation with FEI’s major sponsors is progressing well and thanks to the support of Rolex with the Rolex World Cup TM, Samsung with the Samsung Super League with FEI and Alltech with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, these events are evolving towards an unprecedented level of professionalism. Further efforts were still required in improving FEI top properties especially where competition format, standardisation and rights were concerned.

    The Television Magazine “FEI Equestrian World” now reaches billions of viewers. Its contents has so far included 28 personality and lifestyle interviews; 14 event reports; 22 behind the scenes reports; 6 development stories; 21 series and event previews; eight results reports and one archive piece.

    Another platform through which horsesport – and especially those disciplines who do not receive much traditional television coverage – can be promoted globally is Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).

    Apart from news, live results, interviewers of winners, winning rounds, previews and reviews, it can include on demand highlights programmes, archive footage and educational programmes. FEI Television has an impressive collection of footage going back many years and is now in the very favourable position to put it to good use.

    FEI Communications activities are expanding. The volume of news released since January 2007 has tripled as compared to previous years. As a result, the number of unique visitors to www.horsesport.org – soon to become www.fei.org – has increased from an average of 55’794 per month in 2006 to 71’376 in 2007.

    An important problem identified further to the Championships, which took place throughout the summer, was the standard of media facilities and television production at FEI events. Necessary standards were not always met which resulted in difficult working conditions, delays and general discontent. It was agreed that it was a problem with which the FEI had to deal diligently from the initial bidding process.

    FEI Licensing activities are also progressing at good pace. The videogame My Horse and Me, which will be launched in two weeks, has been well received by consumers. 450,000 pieces have been pre-ordered. The FEI is particularly satisfied with the fact 21 NFs have been involved in this project and its success is due to the level of cooperation reached.



    Legal:
    Figures for 2007
  • 33 cases (not including “Fast Track”) processed by the Tribunal (from 2007 and earlier years)
  • Only 4 cases, recently submitted to or hears by, are currently with Tribunal awaiting issuance of decisions
  • 11 hearings (5 – in person; 6 – by conference calls)
  • 4 appeals to CAS (2 withdrawn; one decided in favour of FEI; one pending)

    Cases from the 2007 Events
    38 cases opened (including “Fast Track”) to date (32 processed and 6 being processed by Legal Department)

    Out of the 32 processed:
    26 decisions issued
    3 decisions in draft to be issued shortly
    2 dropped by investigative body
    1 with Tribunal

    The total average time of process of cases, which involves the samples analysis, the evaluation of the case and gathering evidence as well as the decision making process is still too long and needs to be looked at in its entirety in order to ensure timely processing of cases.

    The following trends in relation to sanctions can be noted:
  • Gradual increase of average sanctions
  • New sanctions better aligned with WADA
  • Multiplicity of factors affecting sanctions including type of substances, explanations, legitimacy of original treatment, timing of treatment, degree of negligence, level of event, experience of rider, previous record, cooperation in investigation and many other factors
  • Consistency among Tribunal panels must be improved

    Were identified as goals for 2008:
  • Improving consistency among Panels
  • Consistent communication regarding cases
  • Education of the persons responsible
  • Possible short process for Olympic Games and FEI World Equestrian Games
  • AUS: Avery pipped at line after 80km ride


    Marlborough endurance riding star Kylie Avery and Silands Jasark had to settle for second place after being pipped at the post in last Saturday's ride at The Teme in the Avon Valley.

    In a gallop finish Avery finished a fraction of a second behind Nelson rider Alison Higgins and Twynham El Omar who clocked a time of six hours 57.20mins for the 80km ride.

    The thrilling finish was the second in recent weeks between the duo with Avery having got the better Higgins on her home turf previously.

    While missing the race win Avery did have the consolation of seeing Silands Jasark awarded best conditioned horse.

    Lorraine Stratford and Jay won the open 40km ride in a respectable time of 3.23.42, 14 minutes clear of Oxford rider Peter May on Silands TricTrac and Canterbury's Jenny Worsfold and Chandalla Chiffon. The trip north was worth it for May with Silands TricTrac taking out the best conditioned horse, making it a double for the local Silands stud.

    Other local riders to qualify in the 40km endurance ride were Jaime Heywood and Black Galaxy, Lisa Ryan and Stonelea Silver Warrior, Oliver Radford and Silands Nizeta, Lisa Avery and Silands Mia Bella, Wendy Hodgkinson and Temptations Future, Missy Green and Xavier Cheerokee, and Natalie Roberts and Willowvale Barak.

    Riding in the 25km training Rai Valley's Peter and Rosemary Schupbach both qualified.

    Full results can be found in The Marlborough Express November 15.

    Marzouqi wins Malaysian ride

    Staff Report
    Published: November 16, 2007, 00:10

    Image by Cidinha Franzao
    Dubai: The UAE's Naser Marzouqi on Hafiza Du Mas won the 160-km Sultans Cup in Terengganu, Malaysia last week with countryman Khalid Al Shafar finishing fourth on Supreme Dream.

    Ali Moosa Al Khamiri, General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, who was Chef d'Equipe of the UAE team, said the Emirati riders did extremely well in the night ride which was hit by heavy rain for almost the entire 160-km distance.

    The ride, which got off to a 4.30 pm start, also ensured the Malaysia will be hosting the 2008 World Cup as the Organising Committee achieved the requirements of the FEI to host the world championship, according to a press release.

    "The first two loops saw two Malaysian riders around 10 minutes ahead of the main group but the UAE riders made up ground and departed into the second and third loop in second and fourth place respectively," Ali Moosa said.

    Last loop

    "In the third loop, the two UAE riders, two Brazilians and a Malaysian rider were misdirected by a steward and ended up doing an extra 2.5 kms.

    "That allowed French rider Jack Begaud gain a 17 minute lead but the UAE's Naser Marzouqi stayed in second place," he said.

    Marzouqi went into the last loop close behind Begaud and soon overtook the Frenchman with a final loop average speed of nearly 25kmph to win.

    He and Hafiza Du Mas completed the 160-km ride in a timing of 10 hrs 31 mins 50 secs.

    Begaud finished second while Al Shafar and Brazil's Maria Vitoria finished almost joint third though a second separated the two to leave the UAE rider in fourth place.

    The UAE winner Hafiza du Mas, trained by Antonio Moreno for the Emirates Stables won the Best Conditioned horse award.

    "In the closing ceremony the speaker said 'It is often said the best Chefs come from France, the best Engineers come from Germany, and now we can also say the best endurance riders come from UAE,' purred Ali Moosa.

    Results

    * 1. Naser Marzouqi - UAE- (Hafiza Du Mas) 10 hrs 31 mins 50 secs;
    * 2. Jack Begaud -France-(Idais Tohiba) 10:33:27;
    * 3. Maria Vitoria-Brazil-(Filoteu Rich) 10:39.07;
    * 4. Khalid Al Zafra-UAE-(Supreme Dream) 10:39.08;
    * 5. Catherine Brunjes-USA-(Theatric) 11:02 .05.


    Original Article

    Pan Arab Endurance: Egypt seeks UAE assistance

    UAE Equestrian Federation

    Egypt had sought the help of the UAE to help them organize the equestrian activities in general and endurance riding in particular, during the forthcoming 11th Pan-Arab Games, which is scheduled to be held in Cairo from November 11, 2007.

    The Egyptian Equestrian Federation through a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the

    UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, requested technical support and guidelines to organize endurance ride as part of the Pan-Arab Games.

    The letter hailed the development of endurance sport in the UAE with the able support of the country's rulers, as a result of which the UAE today is the global leader in endurance discipline. The letter said that the UAE has been actively involved in organizing endurance rides not only in their country but are also instrumental in helping several other countries in the region to develop the sport. "Their superiority in the field knows bounds and we request them for their support."

    Two endurance officials Ahmed Ali Al Hammadi and Mohammed Esa Al Adhab from the UAE visited Egypt to offer their inputs in making the endurance rides successful.

    The venues of the Pan-Arab Games will be in eight governorates in Egypt, namely Cairo, Giza, Port Said, Ismailia, Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan and North Sinai, said the official on condition of anonymity.

    According to Egyptian media reports, it's estimated that some 7,000 sportspersons and officials from 22 Arab countries and regions will participate in the Games.

    The Pan-Arab Games are one of the most important regional multi-sport event held in the Arab world, with the first Games being held in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt.

    UAE Endurance team For 11th Pan Arab Games in Egypt

    The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has nominated the following UAE riders for the 120-km endurance ride to be held as part of the 11th Pan Arab Games on November 19, 2007, at Saqarah Club Endurance Village, Cairo, Egypt.

    The riders include Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Sultan bin Sulayem, Mubarak Khalifa Al Shafya, Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subose, Majed Mohammed Salman Al Sabri and Abdullah Thani bin Huzaim.

    The first four riders are included in the Team Event category.

    The Pan-Arab Games are one of the most important regional multi-sport event held in the Arab world, with the first Games being held in 1953 in Alexandria, Egypt.
    Two Federation Qualifiers Held for ladies

    The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, in cooperation with the Al Asayl Endurance Centre, organized two Federation Qualifiers for ladies on Friday, November 9, 2007 at the Al Asayl Endurance Centre, Sweihan, Abu Dhabi.

    Eleven lady endurance riders took part in the 80-km Qualifier out of whom nine riders completed the distance successfully. In the second 40-km Qualifier, 14 ladies started the ride in the morning and nine of them completed the distance.


    All the rides were held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Equestrian Federation.

    The lady riders/horses who completed the 80-km qualifier are as follows:

    Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan Al Nahyan (Yeraandco Jakara Silver, eight-year-old grey gelding owned by Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa),
    Sheikha Maryam bint Omeir Al Qassimi (Sultan, six-year-old bay gelding),
    Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi (Jen A Dale Zamarah, chestnut mare, Al Reef Stables),
    Nouf Mohd Khamis Al Dhaheri, Sekura, 10-year-old chestnut mare, Al Reef Stables),
    Reem Shaban Ibrahim Hasan, (Rivendell Sharman, 13-year-old chestnut gelding, Al Reef Stables),
    Dana Ahmed Al Mansoor (Al Galhan, nine-year-old bay gelding, Al Reef Stables),
    Shamsah Awad Al Otaiba (Eden Hope Liberty, 10-year-old grey gelding,
    Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa),
    Nariman Abdul Aziz Al Rostamani ( Lucien De Loube Jac, eight-year-old grey gelding,
    Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum),
    Sonia Le Hecho (Steel the Thunder, 11-year-old grey gelding,
    Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum).

    In the 40-km Qualifier, the following riders/horses completed the distance:

    Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan Al Nahyan (Sonia, eight-year-old chestnut mare, Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa),
    Sheikha Asma Taleb Al Qassimi (Castlebar Navho, six-year-old grey gelding, Sheikh Faisal bin Saqr Al Qassimi),
    Amna Jumaa Al Awami,VVC Bon Vivant, 16-year-old chestnut gelding,
    Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qassimi),
    Brenda Cooke (Al Habeeba, 14-year-old bay mare, Al Asayl Management),
    Madiyah Masaood Al Mehairi, Raheef, 14-year-old gelding owned by rider),
    Azza Mohd. Hela Al Kaabi (Sahi, eight-year-old bay gelding,
    Obaid Ghedayer Al Dhaheri),
    May Yousef Mubarak Al Khemairi, Baraka Latih, 10-year-old grey gelding, Al Rawahei Pvt. Stables),
    Sonja Timani (RS Jaabir, 10-year-old bay gelding, owned by rider),
    Mariam Mohammed Saeed Al Suwaidi (Botusa Park Tulas Lad, 12-year-old chestnut gelding, Hassan Rakan Al Mansouri).

    Original Article

    Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Shaikh Nasser hails UAE riders

    November 15
    BAHRAIN Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa congratulated the UAE Crown Prince and Dubai Ruler and UAE Equestrian Federation president Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom on the Emirati riders winning the Malaysian Endurance Horseride Cup held yesterday in Malaysia.

    Nasser Al Marzooqi of the UAE came on top in this 120-km race, beating favourite Jack Peugeot who came second, with third position won by the UAE's Khalid Al Sha'afar.

    A total of 41 riders, including Malaysian Monarch Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, took part in the race which was divided into six stages.

    The remaining riders represented Argentina, Brazil, the US, Japan, Spain, France, Portugal, South Africa, the UAE and Qatar.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Mubarak opens today Pan-Arab games

    Egyption State Information Service
    Sunday, November 11, 2007
    President Mubarak opens the Pan-Arab Games at 7:00 pm with a number of Arab Kings and Presidents as well as Arab and foreign athletes attending including the Palestinian president and the head of the International Olympics Committee.

    The 11th Pan-Arab Games (11-25 Nov.) will kick off in Cairo, the Arab Sports Capital, Sunday11/11/2007, with more than 8,000 athletes from 22 Arab countries participating.

    They will compete in 33 games. The event will be covered by 1500 representatives of the media.


    The opening ceremony, to be held at Cairo International Stadium, will feature a song by renowned Egyptian signer Tamer Hosni, to be followed by an operetta titled "Arab history and civilization".

    More than 5,000 armed forces personnel, in addition to 950 students from the physical education faculties of Zaqaziq and Melwan universities, will take part in the operetta.

    The operetta's music is composed and orchestrated by Omar Khairat. Executive direction will be under the supervision of the Armed Forces Department of Morale Affairs.

    Egypt participates in these games with the biggest number of athletes, 671 athletes, followed by Saudi Arabia represented by 314 athletes, then Kuwait with 239 athletes.

    Furthermore, Egypt takes part in 29 games, in addition to four for the handicapped.

    Endurance Coverage of the Games

    From A Club To A Village


    Most of the time Sakkara Country Club is a fairly quiet place where Cairenes come to get away from the city smog, let their children have riding lessons, and read or chat by the pool. The past few days it has been undergoing a major transition to become an endurnance village in the style of the UAE under the guidance of a team from Abu Dhabi. The grass paddock where mares and foals used to graze or children would be led on ponies has had pristine white trot out lanes erected for the past two weeks. The vet gates are placed next to the wooden playground with the sign warning that the equipment is only for children under twelve, but no one is taking time to sit on the swings with tents for the press and important visitors to be constructed. As the teams arrive, the sounds of drills, spray painters and hammers are wafting on the autumn breeze in place of birdcalls and horse chatter from the stables, but the work looks good to be finished in time for the Monday race.



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    Many of the members' horses have been moved to neighbouring stables to afford some boxes for the visitors. The Qatar team have been here for almost two weeks on their way home from France. Interestingly, this weekend is the Egyptian International and National Horse Show at the EAO (the Egyptian government stud in Ain Shams) and the line up for the International show is said to be spectacular as many of the horses have come to Cairo en route to a big halter show in the Gulf. Cairo is filled with horses right now.

    I stopped by the lonely help desk to find some young people there who were more than happy to help, but who didn't know much about the technical issues I wanted to follow..I suspect that it's going to be much more of a generic help desk. But as I spoke to them I spotted an old friend who works with the Dubai team and the informational log jam broke. He was able to confirm that the set up and the track are being supervised by an organisational team from Abu Dhabi. He was on the team that was arranging the races in 2000 when Egypt was introduced to endurance racing, and said happily that he was enjoying just competing this time. He couldn't stop to chat as he had to meet people. Everyone is hustling now.

    The trail looks like a recap of the trail used in the 2000 120 km race with a long loop that comes out of the club and south to the pyramids of Dahshur and then back again. The second and third loops will also leave the club to the south and then branch to the right and then to the left respectively. The encroachment of the Giza municipal dump and the sand and gravel miners on the desert to the west of the club has eliminated any trails to the immediate west or north. The quarries provide trails in abundance but not the sort of trails that are of interest in this racing climate, and they aren't all that photogenic.

    The tennis courts at the club have been taken over by an army of men with screwdrivers and paint sprayers who are erecting temporary boxes for visitors. Previously, some of the teams have stabled at farms close to the club, but this is probably a better solution. At this point, it isn't completely clear how many teams are coming. There will be Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, Libya, Bahrain, possibly Jordan, and of course Egypt. I will visit the offices of the set up team at the club to try to get a list of horses and riders today. Endurance riding doesn't even ping on the news radar in Egypt so there have been virtually no public statements available.

    In all the bustle of construction, the people working with the horses are on their own more relaxed schedules. All the training that can be done has been and now everyone is just seeing that the horses are calm and healthy, going for walks in the desert and taking them out to graze on the grass at the edge of the desert. Showjumpers from participating countries are joining endurance colleagues as they finish with their competitions and the talk is all horses of course. The Libyans are newcomers and finding the scene a bit daunting, but one of the Qatari riders was saying that they've been encouraging their Libyan counterparts to enjoy the competition and figure out how it all works to be ready for more in the future. The brightly painted horse truck that they used for transport will probably have to give way to air transport at some time.

    The Syrian horses were supposed to come in last night and the temporary boxes should be pretty much done by this afternoon, so I expect to see more activity at the club when I check there after my daily schedule of trail rides and lessons for kids. Hopefully, I will find out who is riding for Egypt as well. At this point, I know that one of my neighbours was nominated to the team, but he was expressing some concern about the footing for the trail. The desert here is empty sand with a sprinkling of flint on top. The horses usually sink into the sand enough that the stones don't bruise but the minimum four to six inch layer of soft sand that they have to cope with does take its toll on the tendons. The "trail" is not a track, groomed or otherwise and while the organisers will try to select the best footing, there will be deep spots as well. The temperatures are looking good for riding, with projected highs of about 26 C (about 78 F), fairly low humidity and mixed sun and clouds.

    Sultans Cup: Temperature and Humidity statistics

    www.Malaysia-Wec.com (full size image)

    Dr Balakrishna Polanaidoo, DVM, (aka. Dr. Bala) has prepared a detailed analysis of the weather which prevailed during the 2007 Sultan's Cup.

    The following image is a graph of statistical weather data, including air temperature and humidity. Of interest:

    lowest temperature: 22.5 C (72.5 F) at 5:45AM
    highest temperature: 31.4 C (88.5 F) at 11:45AM
    lowest humidity: 70% at 11:45AM
    highest humidity: 100% 5:45PM - 5:45AM

    USA: Amie Chenault wins 2007 Old Dominion Tripple Crown

    11.13.07
    Sweet Briar Stable Manager Hangs on for Endurance Riding Triple Crown
    Amie Chenault, the stable manager at Sweet Briar College, and her 13-year-old Arabian, Zeek, are winners of Old Dominion Endurance Rides Inc.’s 2007 Triple Crown.

    To receive the award, the same horse and rider team must compete in all three distance rides organized by Old Dominion, a Virginia-based non-profit group that promotes and supports the sport of endurance riding.

    The first event, the 30-mile “No Frills” ride was held on April 14 in Front Royal. Chenault and Zeek tied for first place with a ride time of four hours.

    The second ride, a 50-miler called the “Old Dominion,” was held June 9 in Fort Valley, Va. Zeek and Chenault rode to a second-place finish in seven hours and 56 minutes, winning the Best Condition Award in the process.

    The final leg of the Triple Crown, the 50-mile “Fort Valley” ride, was held Oct. 27 in Fort Valley. Chenault and Zeek took first place with a ride time of six hours, 32 minutes.

    “I was really shocked at how well we did at the last ride in Fort Valley because Amherst and the surrounding counties had a few cases of Potomac horse fever this summer,” Chenault said. “Zeek tested positive [for it] in July."

    Chenault said she was one of the lucky ones who caught the signs of the disease in time.

    “Zeek was treated and, as you can tell, he has fully recovered,” she said.

    Chenault said she is grateful for her family and friends’ support, as well as her pit crews at home and on the road. Zeek’s home pit crew includes veterinarians Martha Moses and Anne Bonda and farrier Becky Vail. Chenault’s aunt Melissa Carter and her family and her friend Ellen Eagle supported them on the road.

    “Without a great pit crew this would not have been possible,” Chenault said.

    [More ...]

    Trial Event for the 2008 FEI World Senior Endurance Championship

    FEI Press News
    November 14
    First-place horse and rider, Naser Marzouqi (UAE) riding Hafiza du Mas (photo: Cidinha Franzao)
    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 at 4.30 pm on the afternoon of 10 November 2007.

    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 8.00 am 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 14.86 kph. Jack Begaud from France with Idais Tohiba was second with a speed of 14.82 kph. 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 14.69 kph.

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

    Full result details can be found on the following link http://www.malaysia-wec.com/sc_results.html

    Full information can be found on the official website for the event on the following link http://www.malaysia-wec.com/sultanscup.html

    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. 8 horses were presented for the Best Condition 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. 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.”

    Pan Arab Endurance


    "The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation has nominated the following
    UAE riders for the 120-km endurance ride to be held as part of the
    11th Pan Arab Games on November 19, 2007, at Saqarah Club Endurance
    Village, Cairo, Egypt.

    The riders include Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Sultan bin
    Sulayem, Mubarak Khalifa Al Shafya, Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subose,
    Majed Mohammed Salman Al Sabri and Abdullah Thani bin Huzaim.


    The first four riders are included in the Team Event category.

    The Pan-Arab Games are one of the most important regional multi-sport
    event held in the Arab world, with the first Games being held in 1953
    in Alexandria, Egypt."

    [More ...]