Friday, October 31, 2008

[WEC Reports] Wendy Benns off to the races

By Blake Wolfe/The Scugog Standard

October 31, 2008

A local equestrian and familiar face at the Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control Centre will be heading to Malaysia next week to represent Canada at an international endurance race.

Wendy Benns and Supreme Justice, her nine-year-old Egyptian Arabian, will be attending the World Endurance Championships on Nov. 7, hosted this year in Terengganu, Malaysia. The one-day event consists of a 100 mile race, with 150 horse and rider teams from around the world at this year's edition, including six members of Team Canada representing the top six horses in the country.

Back home, Ms. Benns works as an animal control officer at the Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control Centre, and takes the photos of pets seen in the 'For Adoption' pages of local publications like The Scugog Standard.

"Travelling to a tropical region to compete means a lot of stress for the horses," said Ms. Benns of the challenges she will face in the competition, "especially the travel and acclimatization." She added that this particular race requires years of constant training and conditioning for participating horses.

In addition to this year's event, her first World Endurance Championship, Ms. Benns has also competed in three Pan-Am Games as a member of Team Canada, making the jump to the international level of competition in 2006. Ms. Benns originally got into equestrian through the Uxbridge-Scugog Pony Club, which introduced her to the various types of competition.

Ms. Benns also added that she was "overwhelmed" and thankful for the sponsors who helped her along the way, especially for what she described as a somewhat unconventional sporting event.

"Endurance racing is a difficult sport to attract sponsors to," she said, "as it really isn't a spectator sport. Horses and riders race on trails in remote areas."

"I'm hoping to help Canada become a medal contender in this competition," she said of her hopes for the race.

Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/01/2008 12:02:00 AM

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