Thursday, October 16, 2008

Malaysia-Wec: Canadian Endurance Team En Route to Malaysia

Hunter Jumper News article

October 16, 2008

Ottawa, ON—Malaysia brings thoughts of shining beaches at exotic resorts, tropical drinks under equatorial skies and bargains at crowded bazaars, but this November, it will also mean eager horses, determined riders, organized grooms and crews, veterinarians, officials and 100 miles of track which will wind among the beautiful countryside, the shore of the South China Sea, tropical rainforests and farms. The World Endurance Championship will be held in this exciting land on November 7, 2008.

The venue will be the Terengganu International Endurance Park, Lembah Bidong, Merang Setiu, Terengganu, Malaysia. The Organizing Committee has set up two excellent websites: and, which will include ride information the day of the event. This will be the first time that a world championship will be held in a tropical location. The track will be fully lit, as the ride is planned to start at 5:00 p.m. and run into the night.

Horses and riders will represent some 36 countries, with 24 sending teams, and the others fielding individual riders.

Endurance Canada is pleased to be sending a full complement of six riders and horses. Four of the riders, still to be chosen, will comprise the team, and two will ride as individuals.

The Canadian Endurance Team Members

Julius Bloomfield (Naramata, BC) and Avtar, 1999 Arabian gelding
Wendy Benns (Pontypool, ON) and Supreme Justice, 1999 Arabian gelding
Wendy MacCoubrey (Ste. Justine, QC) and Mariah, 1999 Arabian gelding
Ruth Sturley (Owen Sound, ON) and RBF Super Sport, 1993 Arabian gelding
Yvette Vinton DVM (Simcoe, ON and Morriston, FL) and Teese, 2000 Arabian gelding
Bob Gielen (Norton, NB) and FC Galaxy, 1997 Arabian gelding

Canadian Officials

Kay Melvin (Ontario) – Chef d’ équipe
Maura Leahy (Manitoba) – assistant Chef d’ équipe
Roxy Bell DVM (Alberta) – team veterinarian
Glenn Sinclair DVM (Manitoba) – assistant team veterinarian

Canadian Support Crew

Nancy Beacon
Robert Benns
Ruth Benns
Toni Bloomfield
Mike Bostic
Angela Gielen
Barb Gielen
Julie Green
Alycin Hayes
Scott Hie
Murray MacKenzie
Bianca MacKenzie
Laurie Whaley Pearson
Rocky Rehel
Ken Sturley

"With its emphasis on bringing the horse across the finish line in best health rather than merely in the shortest time, Endurance is the ultimate test of sympathetic horsemanship," noted Equine Canada CEO, Akaash Maharaj. "The 160km course will be the culmination of years of training and perseverance for our horses and riders, and we are very proud that they will represent our country and our sport at the World Championships.

Just getting to the ride has been an organizational, technical maze. The horses will be leaving from Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Riders, officials and crew will travel from Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles and Miami—all converging at Terengganu—where the real adventure begins.

"Enough of the paperwork and red tape—let’s just do it," says Kay Melvin, Chef d’ équipe.

Endurance Canada wishes the entire team congratulations, and good luck.
About Endurance Canada

Endurance Canada is a committee of Equine Canada, and the National governing body of the sport of Endurance Riding in Canada, from the grassroots to the international level. Endurance Canada is responsible for the growth and pursuit of excellence at all levels of the sport, providing support and guidance through various programs and committees: veterinary; rules and sanctioning; athlete and sport development; education and coaching; communication and awards.

Written by Julie Cull

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