Sunday, November 30, 2008

UAE: 2009 Heavyweight GrandPrix Series


Original Article

Body weight endurance race on again


Abu Dhabi: The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation will resume the Body Weight endurance championship with a three-round series.

The first race of the Endurance Grand Prix will be staged on December 13, 2008, at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Abu Dhabi, according to a press release.

The Grand Prix is being staged under the instructions of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs.

In this specialised endurance category, every rider must weigh 75kg or above without riding equipment and must be registered with the FEI, according to the release.

The first ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village will coincide with the National Day Cup, scheduled for the same day. The next two rides will be held in Bahrain and Dubai respectively.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

UAE: Al Jahouri winner of 120km race

Gulf News

photo: Al Jahouri overcame a slow start and later registered some terrific speeds on the final loop to leave some equally talented riders far behind.Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 29, 2008, 23:31

Dubai: Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri of Al Wathba Stables rode Berloiz de Piboul to a superb win in the Dubai International Endurance City (DIEC) 120-kilometre ride to drive away with a Nissan four-wheel drive and a cheque of Dh200,000 on Saturday.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, attended yesterday's ride in Seih Assalam with a total of 127 starters in the first event of the UAE season.

Seasoned campaigner

Al Jahouri, a seasoned campaigner from Al Wathba, who also is a well-known endurance horse trainer, overcame a slow start and later registered some terrific speeds on the final loop to leave some equally talented riders far behind.

It was the first win for his 10-year-old chestnut gelding and Al Jahouri got the better of two Al Reef riders, including champion Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, who finished second while world champion Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain had to settle for fifth place after dominating the initial stages.

Al Jahouri, who was in 20th place after the first loop, moved up six places after the second loop. After the third loop, in which he was fourth behind Ponton and Al Beloushi, he began to make his move.

"The initial pace was a bit too much but at the third loop my horse was in fine nick and I decided to go for it," said the winner, who averaged nearly 27kph on the final loop of 12km.

Al Beloushi, who was just about a minute behind Al Jahouri going into the final loop but finished over eight minutes behind, said: "My horse [Charlandre El Sharif] was coming back after an injury and initially I just wanted to race him for three loops."

"But he looked good so I continued, but I did not want to push him too much.

Charlandre El Sharif holds the world record in a 160-kilometre ride.

Saudi Arabia's Fauiz Jamil Al Turkmani, riding SAS Alexis, a horse belonging to the Dubai-based Al Fazaa Endurance Team, finished third while Al Reef's Sultan Ahmad Al Beloushi was fourth on Cameo Zinnia.

Ponton, crowned world champion earlier this month in Terengganu, Malaysia, blamed the lazy attitude of her horse Antares Sauveterre for her fifth-place finish.

"He is very lazy and does not like to challenge. But I must admit the pace was crazy. I think Antares Sauveterre is more of a 160-kilometre horse," said the Dubai-based Spanish ace.

Thaleb Dhaher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, and Ali Mousa Al Khamiri, General Manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, sponsors of the ride, gave away the trophies and the keys to three cars for the top three riders.

Results

* 1. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (Berloiz de Piboul) 4hrs 44 mins 49 secs. Average speed: 25.28 kmph.
* 2. Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi (Charlandre El Sharif) 4:53.02 (24.57 kmph);
* 3. Fauiz Jamil Al Turkmani-KSA-(SAS Alexis) 5:10.10 (23.21 kmph)
* 4. Sultan Ahmad Al Beloushi (Cameo Zinnia) 5:17.06 (22.71 kmph)
* 5. Maria Alvarez Ponton (Antares Sauveterre) 5:18.42 (22.59kmph)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mexico: Fall 2008 Ride Results Mexico

Endurance News in Mexico
www.Endurancemex.com

Resultados Otoño 2008

Boca del Rio Veracruz, 12 octubre:
Catagoria unica 40 kms.
1. Bobby Ortiz con Bossanova,
2. (& Best Condition) Ricardo Galan con Kinetic,
3. Mary Jane Gagnier con Torrid Elegance

Huichapan, Hidalgo, 16 noviembre Primera competencia nacional de 80 kms.
1. Ricardo Galan con Kinetic,
2. Guillermo Viñals & Duende,
3. Mary Jane Gagnier & Torrid Elegance
4. Gabriel Mendoza & Bossanova. *

60 kms.
1. Eduardo del Hojo & Shamal,
2. (& Best Condition: Juan De La Rosa con PT Crusier,
3. Mauricio Orozco con Menta

40 kms.
1.Juan Chavez Guerrero con Cantinero ********** www.endurancemex.com **********

Canadian Endurance Team Finishes Seventh in Malaysia

Hunter Jumper news
Written by Julie Cull
November 28, 2008

Ottawa, ON—The Canadian Endurance Team comprised of Wendy Benns of Pontypool, ON, Ruth Sturley of Owen Sound, ON, Yvette Vinton DVM of Simcoe, ON, and Bob Gielen of Norton, NB, finished in seventh place out of 21 starting teams on November 7, 2008, at the World Endurance Championships.

Held at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong, Merang Setiu, Terengganu, Malaysia, 126 riders representing 33 countries took part in the 100-mile competition, which saw only 48 individuals finish.

Only seven nations finished three riders, and the results were very close. First place went to United Arab Emirates in a time of 27 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds. Qatar finished in second with a total time of 28:47:17, and third place was awarded to Bahrain with 30:54:22. Canada finished in 38:25:45 for seventh place overall.

“I felt our strength would be in our teamwork and I think this proved true. Even though it didn’t always go according to pre-ride planning, on the whole the strong Canadian performance was the work of the whole group—grooms very much included—that got the horses through in such good condition and in position to place top ten,” remarked Chef d’équipe Kay Melvin. “Congratulations again to the whole Canadian contingent on a job well done. We should also thank our hosts who treated us so well and made us welcome in their beautiful country.”

Individually, Gielen was the top placed Canadian rider, with a time of 12 hours and 27 minutes for 40th place, with his horse FC Galaxy, an 11-year-old Arabian gelding. In 42nd spot, in a time of 12 hours and 49 minutes, was Sturley and RBF Super Sport, her 15-year-old Arabian gelding. Recording the same time, of 13 hours and eight minutes, was Wendy MacCoubrey of Ste. Justine, QC, for 46th place, on Mariah, a nine-year-old Arabian gelding, and Vinton, for 47th, and Tease, an eight-year-old Arabian gelding. Benns her horse Supreme Justice, a nine-year-old Arabian gelding, did not complete the ride.

“This was the most challenging ride that I have ever completed, and my horse performed way beyond my expectations,” remarked Gielen who hope to qualify for the Canadian Endurance Team at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. “Completing the ride in Malaysia was just an incredible experience.”

Maria Mercedes Altars Ponton of Spain lead the competition from start to finish on Knobby, a 13-year-old Arabian gelding in a time of eight hours, 48 minutes and six seconds.

“This year’s world championships lived up to Endurance’s reputation as the most demanding of all equestrian sports, as the nearly two-thirds of competitors who were unable to complete the course can certainly attest. The climate, terrain, and distance were physical and psychological trials of both horse and rider, and we are proud of our team for thriving on a course that most other nations struggled merely to survive,” praised Equine Canada CEO, Akaash Maharaj.

The next stop for the Canadian Endurance Team is to field two teams, Canada East and Canada West, to 2009 World Equestrian Games Endurance Test Event in Kentucky in preparation for the 2010 World Championships.

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. For more information, please visit the Endurance Canada section of the Equine Canada website.

About Equine Canada

Equine Canada is a member-based association that represents, promotes and services Canada’s equine community and industry. Its core areas of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety, governance and marketing, representation and communication. Equine Canada is recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit www.equinecanada.ca.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Spain: Tierras de Al-Andalus set for 2009

JOSE MANUEL SOTO PRESENTA EN EL SICAB LAS ÚLTIMAS NOVEDADES DEL IV RAID KALIBER TIERRAS DE AL-ANDALUS


(click here for English Version)

El Paris-Dakar del mundo del caballo se desarrollará del 27 de marzo al 4 de abril de 2009 y contará con el Río Guadalquivir como protagonista.

Sevilla, 26 de noviembre.- El IV Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus está ya a la vuelta de la esquina. José Manuel Soto, alma mater de este proyecto, ha presentado esta tarde en el marco del Salón Internacional del Caballo (SICAB) las principales novedades previstas para el 2009.

Los participantes descubrirán los rincones más bellos de nuestra geografía. Sevilla, Córdoba, Cádiz, Jaén,...todo a lomos de un caballo, que será el único compañero de viaje. En la edición del año que viene está previsto una participación de 70 caballos y ya hay confirmaciones de equipos de Francia, Alemania o Australia. La media de kilómetros que realizarán en cada jornada será de unos 60 kilómetros. El recorrido comenzará en Jerez de la Frontera, por el Valle del Guadalquivir y finalizará en Jaén.

José Manuel Soto expresó su confianza en la edición del 2009. “Ya tenemos tres años de experiencia y los jinetes cada vez están más satisfechos con esta prueba. Intentamos superarnos día a día y nuestro equipo trabaja todo el año para diseñar una prueba tan carismática. La mejor recompensa es que la gente disfrute con esta experiencia”.

Diego Antoñanzas, Director de Patrocinios de Heineken España, indicó que “Kaliber y el Raid Tierras de Al-Andalus están hechos el uno para el otro. Es más, el logotipo de nuestra cerveza sin alcohol es un caballo. Estábamos predestinados” prosiguió Antoñanzas, que reveló la importancia de este evento dentro del mundo del deporte.

El Director del Área de Promoción de Deporte Andaluz, Juan Carretero resaltó la importancia de unir Turismo y Deporte y que el Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus demuestra las amplias posibilidades que existen en Andalucía.

Más información:
Javier Franco.- 662 105 410
Inés de Albert.- 637 790 386

links:
Official Website
Endurance.Net coverage of Tierras de Al-Andalus 2008




JOSE MANUEL SOTO PRESENTS THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS OF KALIBER TIERRAS DE Al-ANDALUS 2009 at SICAB.


The Paris-Dakar of the horse world will run from March 27 to April 4 of 2009 and will have the Guadalquivir River as a protagonist.

Seville, November 26 .- The IV Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus is now just around the corner. Jose Manuel Soto, creator of this project, has presented this afternoon in the framework of the International Salon of the Horse (SICAB) major developments planned for 2009.

Participants will discover the most beautiful parts of our geography. Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Jaen, ... everything from the back of a horse, which will be the only travel companion. In the edition of next year participation of 70 horses is expected and already there are confirmations of teams from France, Germany or Australia. The average mileage to be carried out on each day will be about 60 kilometers. The tour will start in Jerez de la Frontera, the Valle del Guadalquivir and end in Spain.

Jose Manuel Soto expressed his confidence in the edition of 2009. "We already have three years of experience and the riders are increasingly satisfied with this event. We try to do better by the day and our team works all year to design a test so challenging and enjoyable. The best reward is for people to enjoy this experience. "

Antoñanzas Diego, Director of Sponsorships Heineken Spain, said that "Kaliber and Tierras de Al-Andalus are made for each other. Moreover, the logo of our non-alcoholic beer is a horse. We were predestined "continued Antoñanzas, which revealed the importance of this event within the world of sport.

The Director of Sports Promotion Andaluz, Juan Carretero stressed the importance of uniting Tourism and Sport and the Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus shows the wide possibilities that exist in Andalusia.

More information:
Javier Franco .- 662 105 410
Ines de Albert .- 637 790 386

links:
Official Website
Endurance.Net coverage of Tierras de Al-Andalus 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mexico: Oaxaca takes 3rd and 4th in 50 Miler


View newsletter as pdf file


Dear Friends and Family,

On Oct. 16th the state of Oaxaca took home 2 ribbons in Mexico's
first 50 mile endurance race.Gabriel Mendoza & his mom,
Jane Gagnier, with the great crewing of Gregorio Morales trailered
horses to Huichapan on the high plateau of the central state of
Hidalgo 10 hrs. away. Gabriel partnered seamlessly with veteran
endurance horse Bossanova to trot over the 50 mile finish line,
breeze through vet checks and take 4th place. G being the youngest
rider at 16 and Bossa the senior horse by far at 19.
Mary Jane & Tory teamed up once again taking their second consecutive
3rd place ribbon. Tory was definitely ready to keep going, loving her
job and giving a big, sassy trot through her final vet check. MJ looks
forward to riding this 13 yr. old mare to their first 75 mile race in
2009. While Gabo plans to rep. Mexico in the Int'l Youth Riders Cup in
Colorado in summer 2009.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FEI 2009 General Assembly, Buenos Aires

Eighty-three National Federations gathered in Argentina for the 2009 General Assembly.
Full review online

Endurance topics:
ENDURANCE 21/11/2008 View online
Rules

The revision of the Rules for Endurance - 7th edition, effective 1 January 2009 – was adopted. They are the result of a major review which began in January 2007. In fact, it was the largest and most in-depth consultation process ever undertaken in this discipline. It was done by a Task Force in cooperation with the National Federations involved in the sport. The new rules are largely based on the concern for the welfare of the horse. The major topics to be noted are the categories of endurance events; rest periods (as amended following a revote by the General Assembly following a failure to approve the original timings); and progress from one level to the next. Another significant improvement is the introduction of a pre-FEI national system (Novice Qualifying) for riders and horses, though not necessarily as a combination. All horses and riders must have successfully completed Novice Qualifying to be eligible for CEI Star Qualifying. To progress from one FEI star level to the next, riders and horses must have graduated from the qualifying process. The full text of the rules is available here.

Education Programme

This Education Programme, for which sponsorship has been secured for the next two years from Hydra Properties, will work on the revision and formatting of all of the Courses for Endurance Judges (Levels I and II), Technical Delegates and Stewards to reflect the new rules.

Bahrain: Shaikh Nasser claims title


ROYAL Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa emerged overall champion of the Endurance Horseride Qualifying Championship, the first endurance event of the season, held at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

After leading the Bahrain national team to a remarkable third-place finish in the World Championship held two weeks ago in Malaysia, Shaikh Nasser was again unstoppable as he competed with the Kingdom's best riders in this 90-km race.

More than 75 riders, representing different stables from across the Kingdom, took part in this championship which featured four stages, starting with 30km for the first, 25km for the second, 20km for the third and 15km for the fourth.

Shaikh Nasser, the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president, steered Omsura Nasrohn to victory in three hours, 41 minutes and 27 seconds with an average speed of 24 kms per hour.

Second place went to Abdulhaq Qadoori, also of the Royal Endurance Team, in 3:59:54.
He was followed by Al Fateh Stable rider Isa Al Dossary, the surprise of the championship, who rounded off the podium with an impressive third-place finish in 4:13:24.

Ibrahim Al Jabouri of Al Fateh Stable was fourth while Royal Endurance Team rider Abdulrahman Al Saad, who had a good start, went down to settle in fifth position.
The race, which got underway at 5am, saw Raed Mahmood of the Royal Endurance Team ride Naima to take the lead at the end of the first stage in one hour, 12 minutes and 48 seconds.

Behind him was Shaikh Nasser (1:13:25) in second place and Qadoori (1:13:53) third.

However, Shaikh Nasser came from behind in the second stage which ended in his favour in 2:15:27 and ahead of Qadoori who went up to second place in 2:15:59 while Mohammed Al Thawadi (2:16:34) of the Royal Endurance Team jumped to third.

Shaikh Nasser maintained his lead in the third stage in 3:08:52, followed by Qadoori (3:12:49) who also remained second while Al Saad (3:16:05) moved up to third.

In the fourth and last stage, there was no stopping Shaikh Nasser who secured the title. The race was followed by the prize-giving ceremony during which Breef general secretary Ghalib Al Alawi and Shaikh Nasser's Media Office director Tawfeeq Salehi honoured the top three riders in the race.

Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa congratulated Shaikh Nasser on this victory and said this season promises to feature exciting competition among many new talented riders who showed outstanding performance in yesterday's race.
The next event on the federation's calendar will be a 120km National Day Championship scheduled for December 20 at the same venue.

That will be followed by the Open Endurance Championship on January 10 then the Breef Open Women's Championship on January 31, both over 120km.

The next event on the Breef calendar will be a 100km and 160km races on February 7 and this will be followed by the season's most prestigious competition, His Majesty King Hamad Championship in March.

The season's first night race will be held on April 3 and is for the Crown Prince Cup covering a total distance of 120km. It will be followed by the final event of the season - a 100km senior championship in the first week of May which will also be held at night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Brothers ride high in competition

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
November 22, 2008

Abu Dhabi: It was a perfect day out for the Al Beloushis and Al Redhas at Bou Thieib Endurance Village in Al Khatem yesterday.

Fourteen-year-old Rashed Ahmad Al Beloushi and his elder brother, 20-year-old Munthar Ahmad made it a 1-2 finish for the all-conquering Al Reef Stables in the 100-km Emirates Endurance Cup for Junior and Young Riders.

The two horses Rivendell Sharman and Carallio were trained by Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi, the elder brother of the two youngsters to complete a hat-trick of wins in the three rides this season for the Al Ain-based trainer-cum-rider.

Yousuf Ahmad Al Beloushi picked his youngest brother as a better rider after the 1-2 finish in the junior ride gave Al Reef another dominating victory.

"He is just 14 so it is a good achievement. Munthar, who finished second today had won the first ride here on the same horse and Carallio is shaping up into a great campaigner," said Yousuf.

After the exploits of the Al Beloushi brothers, the father and daughter combination of Aziz Al Redha and Layla tasted success in the 100-km Emirates Endurance Cup for privately owned horses.

More...

Abu Dhabi: 200 riders set for Endurance

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
November 21, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Two competitive rides and two Qualifier rides make up a busy day with nearly 200 riders set to be in action at the Boudtheib Endurance Village in Al Khatem on Saturday.

Organised under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, the rides are being held by the Emirates Heritage Club.

A 100-km ride for juniors and young riders will be the second for the juniors here this season while the second competitive ride today is a national ride open to horses owned by private and small stables in the UAE.

More...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oman: Endurance race concludes in Barka

Omantribune.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

MUSCAT Habib Al Balushi won the second round of the endurance race, which was held in Barka on Thursday. Nearly 37 horses took part in the race, which was organised by the Omani Equestrian Federation under the auspices of HE Sayyid Suleiman Bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, Chairman of Shabab Club.

While 37 horses took part in the first round (35km), only 18 of them qualified for the second round (30km).

After completing the veterinary inspection in the end of the second round, only 13 horses were qualified for the third and last round (25km).

Habib Al Balushi managed to come first at 6 hours and 1 minute followed by Abdullah Saleh Al Ajami at 6 hours and 19 minutes. Hisham Al Farsi came third with only five second behind the second place winner.

At the end of the race, the chief guest handed over awards to winners and horse riders who qualified for the last round.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

UAE: Ponton looks to improve on her European bronze

Thenational.ae.com - Full Article

Amith Passela
November 20. 2008

First it was the junior and young riders, next the men, and now it’s the turn of the women, who will be in action in the first of the three-race series exclusively for the ladies at Al Asayel Endurance Village today.

The 120-km race with an FEI-CEI three-star status has drawn 30 entries including the newly crowned world champion Maria Alvarez Ponton, of Spain. Ponton, who trains endurance horses with her husband Juma Punti Dachs in Dubai for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, won the world crown earlier this month in Terengganu, Malaysia.

She has been in fine fettle with her champion horse Nobby. On whom she won a bronze medal in last year’s European Championship in Portugal.

More....

Bahrain: 80 riders set for qualifying race

Gulf-daily-news.com

21st November 2008

MORE than 80 of Bahrain's top riders are taking part in the 90km Endurance Horseride Qualifying Championship scheduled for tomorrow at 5am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir. Leading the entries in this warmup event is Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Royal Endurance Team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa who will be riding Omsura Nasrohn.

Other prominent Bahrainis taking part includes Al Khalidiya Stable captain and Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa who will ride Naima El Fayssetts.

Other riders from the Royal Endurance Team include Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Khalifa, Isa Al Dossary, Abdulla Al Muawda, Ibrahim Al Jaboori and Hussain Al Nayef.

Five entrants will spearhead Al Ruwaie Stables owned by Hassan bin Saleh Al Ruwaie and they are Hamad Al Tamimi, Abdulla Yousif, Jamal Al Tamimi, Abdulla Al Ruwaie and Ahmed Jamal.

The Al Talia Stable, one of the hot contenders tomorrow, will be represented by five riders - Dalpat Hari Singh, Ganpat Singh, Sang Singh Bhati and Ahmed Al Ruwaie.

Mohammed Makki will lead a three-member team from Awal Stables. Other riders are Hassan Ali and Jaffer Salman while Isa Buhazza and Mohammed Khan will ride for Hafeera Stables.

Other stables in the fray includes Bahrain Riding School, Al Shuwamekh, Al Ajyal, Wadi Ali, Al Reem, Al Mughairat, Jehad Ahmed Sharaf, Ali Ghuloom, Abu Younes, Azadi, Abdulla Malalla, Zainab Za'alan, Jassim Malalla, Sayed Hussain Ali and Ahmed Al Mannai.

Ghalib Al Alawi will be the head of the jury committee which also includes Abdulsamad Al Busta and Mahdi Al Klaiti.

The international commissioner is Mahmood Abdulsaheb who will be assisted by Fahad Al Rumaihi. Mohammed Abdulla was named technical commissioner of the race.

The veterinary committee will be headed by Breef assistant general secretary Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan and comprises of Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Al Hammad, Ibrahim Al Hassan of Jordan, D C Niranjan of India, Bahrain's Ibrahim Yousif, Sabah Al Ka'abi and George Bandalo of Argentina.

A purpose-built veterinary clinic and laboratory will be available at the village and will be supervised by a team consisting of Dr Farida Abdulrazzaq of Bahrain and including compatriot Abdulrahman Abu Al Shouk, Merghani Jilani, Ahmed Dhaif, Milo Kanabo of Dominican Republic and Stephan Prince of France.

France puts in formal bid for WEG 2014

Horsetalk.co.nz

November 18, 2008

As preparations build for the next World Equestrian Games - in Kentucky 2010 - France has put in its formal bid for the 2014 Games, with their proposal placing the event in Basse Normandie, Northern France.

Representatives of the French Equestrian Federation formally presented the Candidacy Book outlining the bid to FEI President Princess Haya, on Sunday.

"The Basse Normandie region has put forward a very serious bid which has the support of the President of the French Republic and the French government," said Mr Christian Paillot, Vice President of the French Equestrian Federation. "It is a safe choice as we already have in existence excellent venues as well as a balanced budget."

The bid will now be circulated to the FEI Bureau and FEI Headquarters for evaluation. The official presentation by the bid committee will take place during the FEI Bureau Meeting in April 2009 when the allocation will be made.

2014 will see the eighth edition of FEIs biggest event after the inaugural event was organised in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1990.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

UAE: All Set for Ladies Endurance Championship


20 November 2008

DUBAI - The first endurance ride for the current season exclusively featuring lady riders will be flagged off on Friday at the Al Asayl Endurance Village. The ride is part of the three-round Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Challenge for Ladies, a Press release said.

The UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, in cooperation with the Al Asayel Endurance Village, is organising the rides for the third consecutive year in the country. The FEI, CEI Three-star series will comprise three 120-km rides, the first of which will be held on Friday. Round Two and Three are scheduled to be held on February 19 and March 13.

Al Asayl Endurance Village, which is situated in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi, will be the venue for all the three rides, which are held under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the UAE Equestrian Federation.

Round One will be run in five phases of 30km, 30km, 24km, 20km and 16km respectively and will have a mass start at 6.15am. The ride is being sponsored by UAE realtors Hydra Properties.

Pre-ride inspection will be held on Thursday between 3 and 4pm at the Al Asayel Village premises. Respecting the UAE customs and traditions, the UAE local men folk are not permitted at the rides and private videography and photography too are forbidden.

Over 35 enthusiastic lady endurance riders have already confirmed their participation for the Friday inaugural. They include Shaikha Alyazia bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan who will be riding Ningadoo Moesha, Shaikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, who will partner with Sabee, Shaikha Maryam bint Omer Al Qasimi (Tsalla), Shaikha Asma Taleb Al Qasimi (Koheilan Des Serres) and Shaikha Madiya Hasher Al Maktoum (JG Opie). Also vying in the competition is Maria Alvarez Ponton, the reigning FEI World Champion. Maria won the title after finishing first in the Deyaar-sponsored 160-km FEI World Endurance Championship in Terengganu, Malaysia earlier this month.

Other contenders include Afra Khalifa Al Suwaidi, who was last year’s champion, Shamsah Awad Al Otaiba, who finished first in last year’s Round 3, Reem Shaban Ibrahim Hasan, Aliya Ali Mohd Yusuf Al Marzouqi, Sara Mohammed Al Jaber Al Marri, Nadia Mansor Loudouna, Jamila Ahmed, Nouf Mohammed Khamis Al Dhaheri and Bayan Abdullah Abas Ahmed,.
[More ...]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kazakhstan: FEI approves 2009 Asian Championship date

The 2009 Asian Championship will be held 16-17 May, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Almaty is the former capitol of Kazakhstan, located near the border with China. Previous Endurance events in Kazakhstan include the Championship ride.


Source, Equestrian Federation of Kazakhstan:

On October 18, 2008 in territory of a horse farm "Altyn SuTek" the competitions of Endurance Championship of the Republic of Kazakhstan was held.
The competitions have passed at a distance 30, 60 and 120 kilometers.

The national champion at a 120-kilometer distance became representative of Ust Kamenogorsk (club "Titan") Yuliya Starikova on Russian trotter Poligon.

At a distance of 60 kms a victory Natalya Dolgikh with Batiy have gained. They represent Almaty club "Altyn-Tay".

Kamilla Djumasaeva and Pinochet also representing "Altyn-Tay" have won at the shortest distance of the Championship.

Results




Geographically Kazakhstan is a part of Central Asia, Kazakhstan is more than twice as big as the four other Central Asian republics put together and is roughly half the size of mainland USA. The landscape of Kazakhstan is diverse. The northern forest-steppe turns into steppe, half-deserts and deserts in the South. Kazakhstan is mineral rich. Enterprises involved in extraction and processing of coal, oil, gas, non-ferrous and ferrous metals play a leading role in the national economy. The Republic is a multinational state inhabited with representatives of more than 120 nationalities. The main religions are Islam and Orthodox Christianity, but religious tolerant is the norm. In recent years lots of mosques and churches are under construction and the number of religious people is growing. But Kazakhstan is not as religious as other republics of Central Asia, and as a heritage of the Soviet Union a great number of people are not religious at all.

Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan and the former capital of the Republic. The population of the city is over 1.300.000 people. Almaty is a multinational city where various Nationalities are represented as follows Kazaks 51%, Russians 37%, other nationalities 12%. People of Almaty communicate in Russian, Kazakh, or their native languages. Sudden exposure to the outside world has turned Almaty into Central Asia's most cosmopolitan city with shops, restaurants, hotels and casinos that would make the place unrecognizable to anyone who had been away since 1990. Almaty was the capital of Kazakhstan till December 1997. The city has long straight avenues and low-rise architecture. The Zailijski Alatau Mountains rise like a wall along Almaty's southern fringe and form a superb backdrop. There are lots of parks, space and greenery.

More info on Kazakhstan

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bahrain: Endurance qualifying race, schedule

Gulf Daily News

REGISTRATION has opened for the 90km Endurance Horseride Qualifying Ride scheduled for Saturday, commencing at 5am at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir.

Registration opened under the directives of the Bahrain Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

This qualifying race, which follows the Bahrain Endurance Team's impressive third-place in the World Championship in Malaysia, is a warm-up event for the new season.

Shaikh Nasser said the race would be divided into four stages, starting with 30km for the first, 25km for the second, 20km for the third and 15km for the fourth.

The Breef chief added that cash prizes would be given away to the top riders.

Improve

Shaikh Nasser also added that invitations were being sent to riders from European and Asian countries to take part in this season's races as part of a plan to improve the level of local riders.

The judges committee is led by Ghalib Al Alawi and includes Abdulsamad Al Busta, Mahdi Al Kelaiti and Ali Ghuloom.

Mahmood Abdulsahab was named official commissioner of the event and will be assisted by Fahad Al Rumaihi. Mohammed Abdulla will be the official technical commissioner.

The veterinary committee is headed by Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan and consists of Dr mohammed Al Hammad of Saudi Arabia, Jordan's Dr Ibrahim Al Hassan, DCV Neringan of India, Dr George Pandlo of Argentina and Bahrain's Dr Ibrahim Yousif, Dr Khalid Ahmed, Dr Subah Al Kaabi.

The federation earlier announced the schedule for this year's competitions. The first main event of the season will be a 120km race on December 13.

That will be followed by the 120km Open Championship on January 10 and then the Breef Open Women's Championship on January 31 which will also be over 120km.

The next event on the Breef calendar will be a 100km and 160km races on February 7 and this will be followed by His Majesty King Hamad Championship scheduled for March.

The season's first night race will be held on April 3 and is for the Crown Prince Cup covering a total distance of 120km. It will be followed by the final event of the season - a 100km senior championship in the first week of May which will also be held at night.

Endurance Seminar in Buenos Aires, November 24,25

EnduroOnline.com

François Atger: Breeding horses for Endurance
(La cría de caballos para endurance en Francia)

Leonard Liesens: Training horses for Endurance
(Entrenamiento de caballos de endurance)

Full info and registration details at EnduroOnline.com

France: Basse Normandie, Official Candidate to Host the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games

FEI Press Release
photo: Christian Paillot, Vice President of the French Equestrian Federation, presents
the Candidature Book to the FEI President, HRH Princess Haya.
(c) Sandra Azar / FEI


Representatives of the French Equestrian Federation formally presented to the FEI President, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the Candidacy Book outlining the bid of the French region of Basse Normandie, Northern France, to host the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.

“The Basse Normandie region has put forward a very serious bid which has the support of the President of the French Republic and the French government,” said Mr Christian Paillot, Vice President of the French Equestrian Federation. “It is a safe choice as we already have in existence excellent venues as well as a balanced budget.”

The bid will now be circulated to the FEI Bureau and FEI Headquarters for evaluation. The official presentation by the bid committee will take place during the FEI Bureau Meeting in April 2009 when the allocation will be made.

2014 will see the eighth edition of FEI’s biggest event after the inaugural event was organised in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Abu Dhabi: Al Beloushi wins Sorouh Challenge

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 15, 2008, 23:41

Abu Dhabi: Omair Hussain Abdullah Al Beloushi revealed why he holds the world record for the fastest time when he won the 120km Sorouh Challenge.

Riding Silversprings Kabir Arwa, he turned up the heat on two gold medallists from last week's World Endurance Championship in Malaysia to win Saturday's race.

Mohammad Ahmad Ali Al Subose, a member of the gold medal winning UAE team in Malaysia, and Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain, who won the world champion, could not match Omair's speed.

The pair had to be content with the second and third places respectively.

More...

Abu Dhabi: 110 Riders to Vie for Honours in FEI 120-km Sourouh Cup Endurance Championship



Khaleejtimes.com

(KT Report)

15 November 2008

ABU DHABI -The stage is set for the FEI 120-km Sorouh Cup Endurance ride which will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba on Saturday.

Over 110 riders will take part in the event.

“We thank Sorouh Real Estate who are supporting this event for the second year and we are expecting all the top riders to take part on Saturday,” said Adnan Sultan, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

“A total prize money of Dh 300,000 and a car for the winner will be up for grabs in the ride which will be held in five stages,” said Adnan.

“We have also instituted two awards for the best rider and the best trainer for all the rides to be held here at Al Wathba.”

Mohammad Al Marzouqi, HR and Administrative Director of Sorouh, said: “We would like to place on record our gratitude to Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, for giving us another opportunity to support equestrian sport.

“This is the second year that we are supporting this event and what makes it all the more important is that Saturday’s Sorouh Cup will kick start the Open competition in the UAE’s 2008-09 endurance season,” he said.

“Endurance riding is so closely linked to the community, which has a deep-rooted affinity with horses, which is why Sorouh is keen to support and promote this equestrian sport.”

Lara Sawaya, Managing Director of Tasweeq Management, said the Sorouh Cup would see that start of a promotional campaign for the breeding stables of Shaikh Mansour.

“This is the first in a promotional campaign which will see Sorouh and other companies involved in promoting the breeding stables of Shaikh Mansour.

“The campaign will also include organising seven races around the world for Purebred Arabian horses.”

The Sorouh Cup trophies have been designed specially by a top company in Los Angeles, according to Sawaya.

2008 FEI World Endurance Championship- A final story

I think that this event represented the maturity of our sport at the International level. It was a very tight race - a tightly contested race. I'm not sure how much more advantage can be gained in future events by 'getting better' at any single aspect of competition. With more things being equal (training, nutrition, crewing, strategy) we are beginning to see the true brilliance and athletic ability of the horse and the skill and horsemanship of the rider prevail.

I have written many many words about this event, about Malaysia as host, about the efforts behind a WEC. This link will take you there -

WEC wrap up - Steph's view

Congratulations to all who endeavored and to all who succeeded!

Steph Teeter
Endurance.net

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jordan: Mohammad wins endurance race in Aqaba

Gulfnews.com

WAM
Published: November 14, 2008

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was crowned the champion of the 120 km International Al Hussain Endurance Race which was held on Friday in the Jordanian Rum Valley in Aqaba.

Shaikh Mohammad, riding “Kumait- Kevin De Narzox” won in a time of 4 hours, 59 minutes and 55 seconds.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s Crown Prince was second place, in a time of 4:59min and 56 secs.

Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, finished third after clocking 4:59 mins and 57 seconds.

Shaikh Mohammad received the Golden Sword trophy from Princess Alia Bint Al Hussain, Chairperson of the Royal Jordanian Equestrian Union.

Shaikh Hamdan and Shaikh Majid also received their trophies from Princess Alia. A total of 75 riders representing Syria, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Jordan and the UAE took part in the five-phased endurance race.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

UAE: Mohammad leads UAE squad to Jordan

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

November 13, 2008

Al Aqaba, Jordan: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday arrived in Al Aqaba, Jordan, accompanied by UAE jockeys - champions of the International Endurance Race in Malaysia.

The jockeys will take part in the International Endurance Race, hosted by Jordan from today (Friday), with the participation of tens of jockeys.

More...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

[WEC Reports] Spain Wins Individual Gold as U.S. Battles Illness and Elements

USEF.org

Release: November 12 2008

Terengganu, Malaysia - Besting a Championship field of riders, Spain's Maria Alvarez Ponton galloped home to Gold on Nobby, with a ride time of 8:48:06. Argentinean rider, Agustin Vita, riding Baraka Ibn Al Tamah won Silver, and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem of the United Arab Emirates, gained the Bronze on Tazoul El Parry at the 2008 World Endurance Championship held at Terengganu, Malaysia, on the edge of the South China Sea. Nobby and Ponton were also awarded the Best Condition. The first ten riders finished within one hour of the winning time. The Gulf Countries of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain swept Team Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively.

Kathy Brunjes riding Theatric was the first and only member of the United States team to finish in 24th position while Valerie Kanavy riding Flash Flame came in shortly after her in 25th place. The six member U.S. squad finished one team and one individual rider after an exceptional run of bad luck. Team member, John Crandell riding Saba Shams, was eliminated at Gate Two for lameness. Cheryl Dell, riding one of the highest rated horses, Reason To Believe, was stricken with a debilitating illness and had to withdraw at the same gate. Early in the ride, a heavy rain storm caused flooding on the trail, but it was the bolt of lightning that finished off the team. When lightning struck a tree as Jan Worthington on the aptly named, Golden Lightning, and Meg Sleeper on Syrocco Reveille, traveled through the water on the trail, the horses received the shock. The horses were flipped end over end, dumping riders and gear. Fortunately, no one was badly hurt at the time, but the scrapes and bruises on the horses took their toll over the remaining 70 miles, and both horses were eventually eliminated for lameness. Forty-eight horses finished the ride of the 127 starters.

United States Equestrian Federation Director of Endurance Vonita Bowers said, "We had a plan and stuck to it, but we had some bad luck. The horses were very ready. We had no metabolic issues and we had good recoveries. We knew the speeds that we wanted to go and we stuck fairly close to those speeds. Except for the unforeseen things such as illness and lightning, we rode our ride the way we planned. The selection process gave us the best horses and the best riders, and the training session system of selection worked well."

Chef d'Equipe, Becky Hart commented, "In spite of the outcome, a lot of good things happened here. Everyone worked like a team; when a rider was pulled, they pitched in to help. We are now moving onward and making plans for Kentucky."

Held once every two years, the 2008 FEI World Endurance Championship was staged from the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, situated on the South China sea on the coastline north of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. 129 riders from 32 countries were invited to compete. The sponsorship and location were promoted by avid endurance rider, the King of Malaysia, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahumud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah. The world's top riders were joined by members of the Royal families of Bahrain and Dubai.

Due to the tropical climate, the 160 km event began at 5:30 p.m. and ran throughout the night.

The U.S. Training Squad is already preparing for the 2010 Endurance Championship ride to be held as part of the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. This is the 3rd time the United States has hosted the World Endurance Championship. It was held at Front Royal, Virginia, in 1988 and in Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1996.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/13/2008 12:08:00 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UAE: Open competition of the endurance season set to begin

Gulf News

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 12, 2008, 00:02

Abu Dhabi: Over 100 riders are expected to kick start the open competition 2008-09 season at the Sorouh Cup to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village on Saturday.

"We thank Sorouh Real Estate who are supporting this event for the second year and we are expecting all the top riders to take part on Saturday," said Adnan Sultan, Director General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

"A total prize money of Dh300,000 and a car for the winner will be up for grabs in the FEI 120-km ride which will be held in five stages," said Adnan.

"We have also instituted two awards for the best rider and the best trainer for all the rides to be held here at Al Wathba."

Mohammad Al Marzouqi, HR and Administrative Director of Sorouh, said: "We would like to place on record our gratitude to Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, for giving us another opportunity to support equestrian sport.

"This is the second year that we are supporting this event and what makes it all the more important is that Saturday's Sorouh Cup will kick start the Open competition in the UAE's 2008-09 endurance season," he said.

"Endurance riding is so closely linked to the community, which has a deep-rooted affinity with horses, which is why Sorouh is keen to support and promote this equestrian sport."

Promotional campaign

Lara Sawaya, Managing Director of Tasweeq Management, said the Sorouh Cup would see that start of a promotional campaign for the breeding stables of Shaikh Mansour.

"This is the first in a promotional campaign which will see Sorouh and other companies involved in promoting the breeding stables of Shaikh Mansour.

"The campaign will also include organising seven races around the world for Purebred Arabian horses."

The Sorouh Cup trophies have been designed specially by a top company in Los Angeles, according to Sawaya.

Horse sport body appoints Lexis

Brandrepublic.com

by Matt Cartmell, PR Week UK 10-Nov-08, 10:16

The Federation of International Equestrianism (FEI), the international governing body of horse sport, has appointed Lexis Sport to provide consultancy work.


The FEI is responsible for a variety of different horse sport disciplines ranging from show jumping and eventing through to more niche sports such as carriage driving and endurance.

This is both the first win for Lexis’s new head of sport Will Oscroft and the agency’s first sports commercial consultancy.

Oscroft said: ‘It is a constant challenge to expand the appeal of these sports to reach out to new audiences whilst capitalising on the commercial value within each sport.’

Oscroft added that Lexis will be working closely with the commercial department of the FEI to capitalise on the fact that horse sport appeals to an up-scale family audience and that it is one of the only Olympic sports when men and women compete on equal footing.

The FEI is also expanding its event-based sponsorship opportunities within jumping and dressage, as well as capitalising on the increasing demand for content through the development of a web TV platform.

Monday, November 10, 2008

[WEC Reports] New Zealand: They did it!

NZEquestrian.org.nz

9/11/2008 4:20:09 p.m.

Andrea Smith and horse Sierra Nevada were placed 31st in the 160km World Endurance Championship in a time of 11:46 yesterday.

Kevin James the High Performance Director said today that the team is very happy with Andrea's performance and that she has done NZ proud. When asked how Andrea was feeling today, Kevin said "a box of fluffy ducks".

There were 127 starters in the World Championship with an unbelievable 70 that "vetted out". The low completion rate says a lot about how difficult the climatic conditions and track may have been.

Smith's completion and excellent placing has given NZ the ability to compare, how we sit on the international stage. It is at times like these that the future of the sport, heading into WEG 2010, looks very promising and exciting for Endurance NZ.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/11/2008 01:19:00 AM

[WEC Reports] The Aussies: 12th FEI WEC 2008

12th FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 by Sharon Meyers

What a roller coaster of an adventure this ride has been.

Maria Alvarez Ponton won the ride. Her bay French-bred Arab gelding Nobby (Best Conditioned) is only a little fellow but is neatly put together - an athletic horse. They traveled at 21.41 for the final leg.
Second: Agustin Vita, UAE.
Third: Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, UAE.
Fourth: HH Sh Majid Bin Mohd Al Maktoum, UAE.

The Australians vetted through to a huge cheer. The horses looked as though they could go out on another leg! Penny Toft and Don placed 18th and Kristie McGaffin and Tierview Maverick 19th. A sterling effort all round. The Australian contingent worked hard throughout the night and morning.

Derek Armitage and Moorah Park Mickerby, Matthew Sample and Brookleigh Ricardo, Brook Sample and Brookleigh Excalibur and Meg Wade and China Doll did not complete the ride.

Penny Toft and Don and Kristie McGaffin and Tierview Maverick both completed in 18th and 19th position. Their big striding horses ate up the course and they came back to base looking extraordinarily well after each loop. The Australian crew did a sterling job strapping the horses, as did the roving crew meeting the riders out at the crew points. A great team effort from everyone. Our team consisted of Penny, Kristie, Meg and Matthew.

It was a tough ride with the weather conditions that prevailed at the time. A huge storm hit the area with lightening strikes and thunder claps that hurt your ears. Lighting struck the media tent and the Aussie base. The Aussies received a nasty electric shock including Kristy and Maverick. The thunderclap that followed was unbelievable – we all jumped out of our skins! Fortunately Matt and I were not in the media tent at the time when it was struck by the lightening. I believe two American horses were knocked off their feet while out on the track as a result of a lightening strike.

I was surprised at the speed that Spaniard Maria Alvarez Ponton travelled at throughout the ride. It was obvious from the start she was out to win the ride. Her support team at the crew points were like a well-oiled machine – they never missed a beat. Maria never stopped, they just ran along side throwing water over the horse and doing what was necessary. One the first loop her speed was 20.45, second loop 17.56, third loop 19.44, fourth 15.83, fifth 17.71, sixth 16.80 and seventh 21.41. Maria led for all loops except Loop Two where she came in second. I went and had a close look at her horse Noddy while waiting for Best Conditioned. He is a lovely purebred Arab gelding with kind eyes, very athletic looking, well put together and quite small. For the pedigree conscious he has three crosses to Nabeg. Noddy looked as though he could go out again, a credit to his rider and team.

The Team Results
First – UAE
Second – Qatar
Third – Bahrain
Fourth – Portugal

More...
Photos by Matt Bennet

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/11/2008 01:15:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Bahrain endurance team receive award

Gulf-daily-news.com

10th November2008

BAHRAIN'S Royal Endurance Team yesterday received the bronze medal following their third place finish in the World Endurance Horseride Championship which concluded on Saturday at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Terengganu.The Bahraini team was captained by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa who came eighth in the individual category.

Other riders of the Royal team were Ghazi Al Dossary who was ninth overall, Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Yousif Taher, Raed Mahmood and Ahmed Abdulla.

The Bahraini team is coached by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa while the team manager is Dr Khalid Hassan who received the trophy on behalf of Shaikh Nasser who returned to Bahrain right after the race.

A total of 242 riders, representing 34 countries from across the world started this race but few managed to cross the finish line due to heavy rain, especially in the first three stages.

The awarding ceremony was held under the patronage of the Malaysian monarch Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin who deputised his wife to honour the winners.

Maria Mercedes of Spain won the race while Argentinean rider Agustin Vita finished second and Sultan bin Sulayem of the UAE was third.

Finished

The next four places were won by UAE riders - Shaikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum finished fourth and was followed by Mohammed Al Saboosi, Mubarak bin Shafia and Abdulla bin Hazeem in that other.

Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid congratulated the members of the UAE and Qatari teams who finished first and second respectively in the team event, adding that the Gulf nations will now pose a stronger challenge to the Europeans, Americans and the Australians.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/10/2008 04:39:00 PM

Sunday, November 09, 2008

[WEC Reports] Riders give event the thumbs up

New Straits Times - Full Article

By Ajitpal Singh - ajitpalsigh@nst.com.my

THE 12th FEI World Endurance Championships (WEC), which concluded yesterday was an intense competition among the best endurance riders in the world in Lembah Bidong, Setiu.
The race was a success as 48 riders or 38.09 per cent of the 126 participants completed the 160km race, one of the highest completion rate ever to be recorded in this event.

Riders also praised the challenging track conditions.

Spain's Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton emerged as the individual champion, becoming the 10th woman in the history of WEC to achieve the feat.

Argentina's Vita Agustin and the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Sultan Ahmed Sultan Sulayem won the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Maria's horse - Nobby, was also named the "Best Condition Horse" in the competition.

"I would not have won if not for Nobby's perfect condition during the race. I'm happy that my horse won the award," said Maria at the closing ceremony at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Setiu yesterday.

More...

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/10/2008 02:19:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Asia reigns top in World Endurance Championship

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 09, 2008

Terengganu, Malaysia: A colourful ceremony brought the curtain down on the World Endurance Championship as officials hailed the 'no casualty' event a success in tropical Malaysia - one of the toughest environments for riders and horses.

The King of Malyasia Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abideen Bin Al Marhum Sultan Mahmoud who took part in the 160-km endurance ride in which the UAE reigned supreme with a team gold, graced the prize distribution ceremony on Sunday and a gala dinner function was later held.

Later, speaking to Gulf News, Ian Williams, the FEI Director for Non-Olympic equestrian sport, said Malaysia confirmed the global status of endurance.

"A lot of people were sceptical about this championship because of the tropical climate. But the teams took on board the challenges and addressed them and we saw some high levels of horsemanship..."

More...

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/09/2008 10:39:00 PM

[WEC Reports] I'm on cloud nine, says UAE endurance winner

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 09, 2008

Terengganu: Winning a gold medal in the World Endurance Championship with the UAE team in his very first appearance in his country's colours, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim is still on cloud nine.

After the triumphant UAE team led by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, returned home after winning the team gold and an individual bronze medal, Bin Huzaim was elated after receiving the gold medal for being a member of the winning quartet.

Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya, Mohammad Ahmad Ali Subose and Bin Huzaim took the team gold while Sultan Bin Sulayem won the bronze in the individual event.

More...

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/09/2008 10:38:00 PM

[WEC Reports] Terengganu prepared to organise WEC if given chance

New Straits Times

2008/11/09

SETIU, TERENGGANU:

The Terengganu state government is prepared to organise the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in future if given the opportunity to do so, said Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
"We are prepared to become the main sponsor in view of the good response from the public besides the benefits derived in terms of the state's economic activity," he said.

He disclosed this to reporters after the prize giving ceremony for the WEC 2008 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) at Lembah Bidong, near here today.

In the championship that ended yesterday, Spanish rider Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton emerged as champion in the individual category while the team from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) won in the team category. Ahmad said that in the WEC 2008, the state government only assisted in ensuring the smooth running of the championship organised by the National Sports Institute with the cooperation of the Equestrian Association of Malaysia and sanctioned by International Equestrian Federation (FEI).

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/09/2008 04:40:00 PM

Saturday, November 08, 2008

[WEC Reports] Azizie, Halim do Malaysia proud




Azizie Ismail was the best-placed Malaysian finishing 34th in a time of 11:54:32s.

New Straits Times

THEY many not have won any medals but Azizie Ismail and Abdul Halim Alihan brought cheer to the Malaysian camp at at the Terengganu Endurance International Park yesterday.

They were the only two finishers among the 12 Malaysians who took part in the gruelling 160km FEI World Endurance event which was won by Spain's Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton, astride Nobby.

Azizie and Halim finished 34th and 39th respectively in times of 11:54:32s and 12:27:53. The event started with 126 riders and only 48 lasted the distance.

Malaysia's hopes for a placing in the team event were dashed when all four horses were eliminated for various reasons

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin's horse Ibrahim Paschal Larzac was eliminated after the fifth loop as were Datuk Mohd Shuaib Isahak (third loop), Mohd Faizal Ismail (fourth loop) and Rosdam Mohd Noor (fifth loop). The King had to ride under extreme weather conditions caused by a thunderstorm between loops one and two.

He said that he was pleased other Malaysian riders were able to complete the race under such difficult conditions.

"I'm sad because my horse could not continue but I am happy that there were so many fans who came to watch the event."

The six other Malaysian riders in the individual category who were also eliminated included former World No 1 Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani.

The others were Datuk Abdullah Taib, Che Ahmad Yusri, Muhammad Firdaus Hamid, Norlaily Bunyamin and Zainuddin Yusof.

A beaming Halim said although he had completed 160km races before, finishing the WEC was a special feat that he would cherish.

"I only started endurance racing two years ago and earned a ticket to compete in event on merit," said the Sarawakian who started as a groom and riding boy at the Royal Terengganu Stable Club in 2006.

The 27-year-old rider, who has competed in four 160km endurance competitions this year, is ranked 161st in the world and his best result was fifth placing at the Saera event in Australia in June.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/09/2008 02:31:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Qatar turn out to be surprise package

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
November 08, 2008

Terengganu, Malaysia: Qatar turned out to be the surprise package as they grabbed the silver medal in the team championship while Argentina's Vita Austin took the silver in the individual event of the 2008 World Endurance Championship as the two countries announced their arrival on the endurance scene.

Qatar's win, which was fashioned by Atta Mohammad Beer, Faleh Nasser Abugnaim and Mohammad Sultan Al Suwaidi now means that the Gulf nations will pose a stronger challenge to the Europeans, Americans and the Australians.

While the UAE have already underlined their supremacy in the sport, Qatar followed up their silver medal in the individual and team events in the Doha Asian Games with a superb display in the team championships in Portugal last year when they won the silver medal in the European Open.

More...

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 10:25:00 PM

[WEC Reports] BAHRAIN TAKES THIRD PLACE IN FEI ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP 2008

Bahrain News Agency

08 11, 2008

MANAMA, NOV 8 (BNA)-- BAHRAIN ENDURANCE TEAM LED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE BAHRAIN ROYAL EQUESTRIAN AND ENDURANCE HORSE RACING FEDERATION SHAIKH NASSER BIN HAMAD AL KHALIFA CLINCHED THIRD PLACE IN THE FEI WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP 2008.
MEANWHILE, ON THE INDIVIDUAL LEVEL SPAINS MARIA MERCEDES ALVAREZ PONTON ASTRIDE NOBBY NOT ONLY OVERCAME HUNDERSTORMS AND PITCH DARKNESS BUT ALSO HER MALE CHALLENGERS TO WIN THE FEI WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP 2008 INDIVIDUAL TITLE, WHILE THE UAE CLINCHED THE TEAM TITLE AT THE TERENGGANU INTERNATIONAL ENDURANCE PARK (TIEP) IN LEMBAH BIDONG, SETIU REPORTED THE MALAYSIAN NEWS AGENCY, BERNAMA TODAY. MARIAS WIN UNDERLINED SPAINS SUPREMACY IN WORLD ENDURANCE RACES AS IT WAS THEIR SECOND VICTORY IN THE INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY IN THE PRESTIGIOUS CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER MIGUEL VILLA UBACH WON THE TITLE IN 2006 IN AACHEN, GERMANY. THE SPANISH RIDER LED FROM START TO FINISH WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE SECOND LOOP WHERE SHE CAME IN SECOND BEHIND ARGENTINAS AGUSTIN VITA TO COMPLETE THE 160KM RACE IN A TIME OF 8 HOURS 48 MINUTES AND 06 SECONDS. HER WIN ALSO MAINTAINED WOMENS DOMINANCE IN THE WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP AS SHE BECAME THE 10TH WOMEN TO WIN THE INDIVIDUAL TITLE OUT OF 12 EDITIONS, SINCE 1986. APART FROM UBACH IN 2006 THE ONLY OTHER TIME MEN WON THE TITLE WAS IN 2002 WHEN SPAIN HOSTED THE CHAMPIONSHIP. AHMED AL MAKTOUM OF THE UAE WON IT THEN. VITA WENT ON TO CLINCH SECOND PLACE WITH A TIME OF 857:55S WHILE UAES SULTAN AHMED SULTAN SULAYEM CLOCKED 909:31S TO TAKE THIRD PLACE. MARIA WHO STARTED THE 160KM RACE AT 5. 30 PM YESTERDAY TOGETHER WITH 126 OTHER RIDERS WHO COMPETED IN THE INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM EVENTS, COMPLETED THE FINAL LOOP (LOOP 7) AT 7. 18 AM THIS MORNING AS THE FIRST RIDER WHILE THE LAST RIDER CAME INTO THE FINAL CHECK POINT AT 11. 40 AM. IN THE TEAM EVENT, MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES UAE, QATAR AND BAHRAIN MADE A CLEAN SWEEP OF THE TOP THREE PLACES WHILE DEFENDING CHAMPION FRANCE WERE RELEGATED TO 9TH SPOT AS PORTUGAL, SPAIN, ITALY, CANADA AND ARGENTINA FINISHED AHEAD OF THEM. THE TOTAL TIMES RECORDED BY UAES THREE TEAM MEMBERS, 27 HOURS 57 MINUTES 59 SECONDS GAVE THEM THE TEAM TITLE AHEAD OF QATAR WHO FINISHED WITH A TIME OF 2847:17S FOR SECOND PLACE WHILE BAHRAIN SNATCHED THIRD PLACE FROM PORTUGAL WITH A TIME OF 3055:34S. THE GRUELING RACE THAT WAS FLAGGED OFF AT 5. 30 PM YESTERDAY WITH 126 RIDERS SAW ONLY 50 RIDERS COMPLETE THE RACE WHILE 76 WERE ELIMINATED FOR VARIOUS HEALTH REASONS TO HORSES OR THE RIDERS. BY THE FIRST LOOP, 21 RIDERS HAD BEEN ELIMINATED AND ANOTHER 10 SAW THE EXIT IN THE SECOND LOOP, 15 AFTER THE THIRD LOOP, 13 MORE WERE ELIMINATED IN THE FOURTH LOOP WHILE THE FIFTH, SIXTH AND SEVENTH LOOPS SAW TEN, FOUR AND THREE RIDERS DISQUALIFIED RESPECTIVELY.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 08:47:00 PM

[WEC Reports] Bahrain: HM THE KING HAILS SPORTS ACHIEVEMENT

Bahrain News Agency

08 11, 2008

MANAMA, NOV 8 (BNA)-- HIS MAJESTY KING HAMAD BIN ISA AL KHALIFA SENT A CABLE OF CONGRATULATIONS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE BAHRAIN ROYAL EQUESTRIAN AND ENDURANCE HORSE RACING FEDERATION (BREEF) SHAIKH NASSER BIN HAMAD AL KHALIFA FOR CLINCHING THE BRONZE MEDAL IN THE FEI WORLD ENDURANCE CHAMPIONSHIP 2008 HELD IN MALAYSIA.
HM THE KING HAILED THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE BAHRAIN ENDURANCE TEAM LED BY SHAIKH NASSER WHICH IS CONSIDERED AN OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENT. HE ALSO SAID THAT SHAIKH NASSERS PODIUM ACHIEVEMENT ALONG WITH HIS BROTHERS FROM THE UAE AND QATAR IS CONSIDERED AN ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR GCC YOUTH IN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. HM THE KING WISHED SHAIKH NASSER CONTINUED SUCCESS IN FUTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS. MEANWHILE, HM THE KING WILL RECEIVE TOMORROW SHAIKH NASSER AND BREEFS FIRST DEPUTY SHAIKH KHALID BIN HAMAD AL KHALIFA ON THE OCCASION OF THIS ACHIEVEMENT. HE WILL ALSO RECEIVE MUHARRAQ TEAM ON THEIR WINNING OF THE ASIAN FEDERATION FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HS/ 08-NOV-2008 20:08

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 08:46:00 PM

[WEC Reports] Mohammed bin Rashid wins "Godfather of World Endurance Race" award

Wam.org.ae

Nov 8, 2008 - 07:36 -

WAM Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, Nov. 8, 2008 (WAM) -- The King of Malaysia, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud, has granted H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the "Godfather of World Endurance Horse Race" Award in recognition of Sheikh Mohammed's great contributions and support for world endurance horse race.

The Malaysian monarch, who is also the Chairman of the Higher Organising committee of the World Endurance Horse Race, granted the title to Sheikh Mohammed on behalf of all participants in the race.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, received the award on behalf of his father from Sultan Mohammed, the brother of the Malaysian King, during a short but colourful ceremony attended by a number of officials and orgisers of the race.

In a comment, Datu Siri Doctor Mohammed Saleh Nour, Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee of the World Endurance Horse Race, said the award was an international sports honour being granted to the most significant personalities of the sport in recognition of their great contributions in sustaining the sport internationally.

He explained that the award is granted once only in decades to an extraordinary international sports personality whose support and contributions to the world Endurance Horse Race can not be overemphasised. He said the award was the least the committee can award to "a great knight who exerted great efforts in support of endurance horse race and put all his experience on the table to help lift the sport to greater heights".

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 08:44:00 PM

[WEC Reports] New world endurance champion says Shaikh Mohammad was inspiration

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 08, 2008, 19:00

Terengganu, Malaysia: "If I am standing here as the world endurance champion it is only because of the support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai," said the Dubai-based Maria Alvarez Ponton after making it almost a start-to-finish victory in the 160-km FEI World Endurance Championship here on Saturday.

"He gave us everything. We owe everything we have or done in horses to him. This victory is his," said Maria, who first came to Dubai to work as a stable rider seven years ago.

She met Jaume Punti Dachs, who was a trainer for Shaikh Mohammad's horses and after marriage the two created a record by becoming the first husband-wife pair to win a silver and bronze medal in the European Championship.

"Shaikh Mohammad allowed us to ride in competitions and that has helped. He has always been supportive of us and this win is also due to the experience of riding with the best UAE riders during the season," she said.

Riding her favourite horse Nobby, Maria completed the 160-km ride in 8 hours 48 minutes and 06 seconds and said her horse was a world champion.

More...

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 04:49:00 PM

Great Britain: Fourth place for Tennant

Herefordtimes.com

10:40am Saturday 8th November 2008

A YOUNG Herefordshire rider has been showing her endurance in some of Europe’s toughest terrain.

Abbi Tennant, with her horse Chador, was a member of the Great Britain team at the European Young Riders Endurance Championships in Northern Spain and just missed out on a medal with a fourth-place finish.

On one of the toughest courses in Europe, where the minimum speed was reduced from 12kph to 11kph, four of the five British riders completed the 120km or 76-mile course.

Riding sensibly over the mountainous and stony course, Tennant and her team-mates completed the course at an average speed of 12.8kph, taking 12 hours with compulsory vettings and rest/feed periods during the day.

Sixty-six horses from 17 nations started the event with 36 finishing. The remainder were eliminated due to lameness or high heart rates either at the finish or during the day. All the British horses returned home well and sound.

The France team won the gold medal, followed home by Belgium with Switzerland taking bronze.

Herefordtimes.com

USA: Home town Hidalgo



Moultonadvertiser.com - Full Article

Local girl is top national junior endurance rider

By Jeffrey M. Peyton Publisher
Published: Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is not your typical girl-and-her-horse story.

Not unless you define "typical" as the love-hate relationship between a teen-ager and the $150 rescue horse she rode at breakneck pace for 11 hours to win the national American Endurance Ride Conference 100-mile junior championship.

Actually, Joni and Cash Bonus won more than that lofty title. At age 14, the East Lawrence High School freshman finished fifth overall in the AERC 100-mile national championship, besting 45 other riders, all adults.

For his efforts, Cash also earned the title "Best Condition" and was named the #1 half-Arabian by the Arabian Horse Association.

The championship ride, which took place earlier this month in Henryville, Ind., was Joni's final ride as a junior...

More...

[WEC Reports] King Sad As Horse Eliminated

Bernama.com.my

November 08, 2008 17:17 PM

By Hilary Sebastian

SETIU, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- Hosts Malaysias hopes of creating history at the 12th FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 evaporated at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) when all four horses competing in the team event were eliminated due to various reasons.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidins horse Ibrahim Paschal Larzac was eliminated after the fifth loop while three other team members, Datuk Mohd Shuaib Isahak astride Blue Bronco lasted only until the 3rd loop, Mohd Faizal Ismail (Edenfels Zephyr) the 4th loopand Rosdam Mohd Noor (Janor Mamatembo) the 5th loop.

"I'm sad because my horse could not continue but I am happy that there were so many fans who came to watch the event," said Tuanku Mizan at the TIEP in Lembah Bidong here today.

The King who had to ride under extreme weather conditions caused by a heavy thunderstorm halfway through the race, was also happy that other riders in the Malaysian team emerged unscathed.

Apart from His Majesty and the three riders, six other riders who competed in the individual category were also eliminated, including former world number one Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani and his steed Navidad. Kamaruddin was the highest ranked Malaysian rider in the 160km race.

The other five, Datuk Abdullah Taib & Kerbalanen Armor, Muhammad Che Ahmad Yusri & Penn 3, Muhammad Firdaus Hamid & Ifra Des Jamets, Norlaily Bunyamin & Bremervale Jessie James, and Zainuddin Yusof & Texas, were unable to continue the race after various stages when their horses were eliminated for a number of reasons ranging from lameness, metabolic problems, time violation and retirement.

The two Malaysian riders who earned the honour of having completed the gruelling race were Md Azizie Ismail & Janor Fee and Abdul Halim Alihan & Brookkleigh Kentara, who finished in 34th and 39th places respectively.

A beaming Halim said though he had completed 160km races before, competing and finishing the FEI World Endurance Championship was a special feat that he would cherish.

"I only started endurance racing two years ago and earned a ticket to compete in the FEI World Endurance Championship on merit," said the Sarawakian who started as a groom and riding boy at the Royal Terengganu Stable Club in 2006.

The 27-year-old rider, who has competed in four 160km endurance competitions this year, is ranked 161st in the world and his best result was fifth placing at the Saera event in Australia in June.

The individual title was won by Spain's Maria Mercedes & Nobby who led the field of 126 riders from start to finish while the team title went to UAE.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 04:02:00 PM

[WEC Reports] UAE wins team gold in World Endurance Championship



By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: November 08, 2008, 11:01

Terengganu, Malaysia: The UAE endurance team won the team gold and an individual bronze to totally dominate the 12th edition of the World Endurance Championship.

After Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince, made an unfortunate exit after the third stage as his horse went lame, the remaining five riders led by Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum went on to finish in the top seven, one of the best by any country in the world championships.

While Shaikh Mayed along with Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya, Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim and Mohammad Ahmad Ali Subose displayed excellent team work to outclass their opponents and claim the prestigious team gold, Sultan Bin Sulayem finished ahead of the gold-winning UAE quartet to take the individual bronze.

Dubai-based Spanish rider Maria Alvarez Ponton won the individual gold with Argentina's Augustin Vita taking the silver.

A total of 127 riders from 32 countries took part in the first ever night ride.

Results of the Deyaar-sponsored 160-km FEI World Endurance Championship:

* 1. Maria Alvarez Ponton-Spain- (Nobby) 8hrs 58mins 06 secs
* 2. Augustin Vita-Argentina-(Barakah Ibn Al Tamah) 9:07.55;
* 3. Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem (Tazoul El Parry ) 9:19.31
* 4. Shaikh Mayed Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Spenda Crest Kamouflage) 9:24.42;
* 5. Mohammad Ahmad Ali Subose (Koum Des Jamets) 9:31.38;
* 6. Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya (Zakah Zahara) 9:31.39;
* 7. Abdullah Thani Bin Huzaim (Castlebar Kadeen) 9;31.40.

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Posted By Steph Teeter to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 02:05:00 PM

[WEC Reports] Bahraini riders stay in the fray

Gulf Daily News

BAHRAIN's Royal Endurance Horseride team successfully completed the first two stages of the 160-km World Endurance Horseride Championship which got underway yesterday at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Terengga.

The team, being led by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, put up a spirited show in the first stages of this challenging race which concludes today.

The Bahrainis managed to stay in the race despite the heavy rain which started before the event and continued to fall throughout the early stages of the race.

The remaining five Bahrainis in the fray are Breef first vice-president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Yousif Taher, Ghazi Al Dossary, Raed Mahmood and Ahmed Abdulla.

The Bahraini team is being coached by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa while Dr Khalid Hassan was appointed team manager.

A total of 242 riders representing 34 countries started this challenging race but only 90 riders could finish the first two stages.

Crossed

In the first stage, which was over 28 kms, 108 were able to complete the race, including Spaniard rider Maria Alvarez who crossed the finish line in one hour, 24 minutes and 29 seconds.

Behind her was Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (1:25:24) of the UAE in second place while Qatari Abdulla Al Mirri (1:27:23) was third.

Bahrain's first rider to finish this stage was Al Dossary who clocked 1:40:20, followed by Abdulla (1:41:23), Shaikh Nasser (1:43:46), Mahmood (1:44:43), Taher (1:46:44) and Shaikh Khalid (1:58:23).

In the second stage, Al Mirri moved on top and was ahead of Alvarez who went down to second while Shaikh Hamdan dropped to third.

The first Bahraini rider to end this stage was Al Dossary who marked three hours, 13 minutes and 59 seconds.

The next Bahraini was held by Abdulla (3:19:29), Mahmood (3:23:12), Taher (3:30:33), Shaikh Nasser (3:39:24) and Shaikh Khalid (3:55:17).

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Posted By Steph Teeter to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 02:01:00 PM

[WEC Reports] Spain's Maria Mercedes Sweeps Individual Title, UAE Clinch Team...

Bernama.com
November 08, 2008 17:06 PM
By Hilary Sebastian

SETIU, Nov 8 (Bernama) -- Spain's Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton astride Nobby not only overcame thunderstorms and pitch darkness but also her male challengers to win the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 individual title, while the UAE clinched the team title at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, Setiu, Saturday.

Maria's win underlined Spain's supremacy in world endurance races as it was their second victory in the individual category in the prestigious championship after Miguel Villa Ubach won the title in 2006 in Aachen, Germany.

The Spanish rider led from start to finish with the exception of the second loop where she came in second behind Argentinas Agustin Vita to complete the 160km race in a time of 8 hours 48 minutes and 06 seconds.

Her win also maintained women's dominance in the World Endurance Championship as she became the 10th women to win the individual title out of 12 editions, since 1986.

Apart from Ubach in 2006 the only other time men won the title was in 2002 when Spain hosted the championship. Ahmed Al Maktoum of the UAE won it then.

Vita went on to clinch second place with a time of 857:55s while UAEs Sultan Ahmed Sultan Sulayem clocked 909:31s to take third place.

Maria who started the 160km race at 5.30pm yesterday together with 126 other riders who competed in the individual and team events, completed the final loop (loop 7) at 7.18am this morning as the first rider while the last rider came into the final check point at 11.40am.

In the team event, middle east countries UAE, Qatar and Bahrain made a clean sweep of the top three places while defending champion France were relegated to 9th spot as Portugal, Spain, Italy, Canada and Argentina finished ahead of them.

The total times recorded by UAEs three team members, 27 hours 57 minutes 59 seconds gave them the team title ahead of Qatar who finished with a time of 2847:17s for second place while Bahrain snatched third place from Portugal with a time of 3055:34s.

The grueling race that was flagged off at 5.30pm yesterday with 126 riders saw only 50 riders complete the race while 76 were eliminated for various health reasons to horses or the riders.

By the first loop, 21 riders had been eliminated and another 10 saw the exit in the second loop, 15 after the third loop, 13 more were eliminated in the fourth loop while the fifth, sixth and seventh loops saw ten, four and three riders disqualified respectively.

The prize giving ceremony would be held tomorrow at TIEP.

RESULTS:

INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY:

1. Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton & Nobby (Spain)

08:46:06 seconds

2. Agustin Vita Agustin & Baraka Ibn Tamah (Argentina) 08:57:55s

3. Sultan Ahmed Sultan Sulayem & Tazoul El Parry (UAE) 09:09:31s

4. Shaikh Majid Mohd Al Maktoum & Spenda Crest Kamouflage (UAE) 09:14:42s

5. Mohd Ahmad Ali Subose & Koum Des Jamets (UAE) 09:21:38s

6. Mubarak Khalifa Shafya & Zakah Zahara (UAE) 09:21:39s

7. Abdulla Thani Huzaim & Caslebar Kadeen (UAE) 09:21:40s

8. Rachel Jaumotte & Rukban Dikruhu (BEL) 09:32:18s

9. Shaikh Nasser Hamad Al Khalifa (BHR) 09:33:28s

10. Atta Mohammed Beer (OTR) 09:34:38s

TEAM CATEGORY:

1. UAE 27:57:59S

2. Qatar 28:47:17s

3. Bahrain 30:55:34s

4. Portugal 30:58:52s

5. Spain 31:25:24s

6. Italy 34:31:37s

7. Canada 38:25:45s

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Posted By Steph Teeter to WEC Reports at 11/08/2008 01:36:00 PM

Thursday, November 06, 2008

[WEC Reports] Equestrian event opening does Malaysia proud

New Straits Times

2008/11/07

KUALA TERENGGANU: It was an evening to remember for some 50,000 people who attended the opening ceremony of the FEI World Endurance Championship 2008 at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak on Wednesday night.

Not only was it a historic night as it was the first time the nation was hosting the prestigious equestrian competition, but the lavish ceremony, opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, had also impressed many.

There were cultural song and dance, an acrobatic horse show by Lorenzo, fireworks display and performances by popular artistes, including M. Nasir, Ramli Sarip, Jamal Abdillah, Ella and Mawi.

But not many would know the spectacular fanfare was put together in less than a week by event management company Dale Lokman Associates Sdn Bhd.

Its managing director, Datuk Mahadzir Lokman, said he was entrusted with the task late last month but the go-ahead for the programme and opening ceremony came only about a week ago. He said at such short notice, it was a wonder the show got off the ground. But the hard work and sleepless nights paid off as the event was a success, judging by the many congratulatory phone calls and messages received after the show.

Time, Mahadzir said, was the team's biggest constraint, but everything fell into place at the right time.

He said he did not know why the tournament organiser had waited that long to hire an event manager for the opening ceremony, but he decided to accept the challenge.

Event deputy director Morne Hashim said she believed it was a rescue job of sorts. However, for the love of the country and the sport, she accepted the challenge of putting up a production with a cast of almost 1,000.

She said an ideal period for such a job would be at least three months but with grit and determination, anything could be done and done well.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 03:05:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Challenge awaits riders

New Straits Times

2008/11/07
Ajitpal Singh

TERENGGANU will make history today by staging the FEI World Endurance Championships's first ever night race at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Setiu.
This is also the first time the 160km race is being held in a tropical country.

WEC technical director Derek Liebenberg said the endurance racing fraternity is anticipating an exciting race.

"Terengganu is a new challenge for everyone because it is the first time riders will be racing at night in a world meet. It's going to be exciting under challenging conditions, and interesting," said Liebenberg at TIEP yesterday.

"Everything has been done to ensure safety. We have tested the safety specifications many times and riders should not worry.
"Among the safety specs are the 1,200 light poles installed in sections of the course, check points at designated areas and all riders will be wearing a GPS tracking device.

"The Malaysian army will be stationed along the course during the race. The medical team are also well prepared if there are any untoward incidents."

The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) decided on a night race due to the humid conditions here.

Riders should be prepared for a wet race as the meteorological department is predicting heavy rain for today.

That won't be too bad for the European riders who are hoping for rain in the hope that their horses will last the whole race.

However, riders from Middle Eastern countries are not too particular about the track and weather. According to endurance experts, their horses are trained to endure any conditions.

The Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Tuanku Nur Zahirah will flag off the race which starts at 5.30pm today and the first horse is expected to cross the line at about 7am tomorrow.

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 02:59:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Tuanku Mizan will lead Malaysia

New Straits Times

2008/11/07

FORMER world champions Italy have written off their chances of mounting a serious challenge in the FEI World Endurance Championships (WEC) as they will be without two riders for today's race.

Italy, who lifted the team title at the 2004 edition in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, had initially lost Cinzia Lachelli, after failing to present her horse -- Missouri -- for the compulsory veterinary inspection yesterday.

Simona Di Battista's mount Lara was eliminated by the veterinarians as the horse was limping.

Italian team leader Vergemino Testa said realistically, their chances of a podium finish in the team event is over as only four riders are left in the squad.

"It is very unfortunate that two of our riders cannot start tomorrow (today) but this is part and parcel of the sport," he said at TIEP yesterday.
However, he felt that Gianluca Laliscia, who was part of the winning team in 2004, will be a good bet for the individual title. Laliscia will be riding Kohl today.

The other riders are Vincenzo Catalano (Parytet), Simona Garatti (Z'tadore Al Maury) and Patricia Giacchro (Locace).

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 02:56:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Italy doubtful of podium finish

New Straits Times

2008/11/07

FORMER world champions Italy have written off their chances of mounting a serious challenge in the FEI World Endurance Championships (WEC) as they will be without two riders for today's race.

Italy, who lifted the team title at the 2004 edition in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, had initially lost Cinzia Lachelli, after failing to present her horse -- Missouri -- for the compulsory veterinary inspection yesterday.

Simona Di Battista's mount Lara was eliminated by the veterinarians as the horse was limping.

Italian team leader Vergemino Testa said realistically, their chances of a podium finish in the team event is over as only four riders are left in the squad.

"It is very unfortunate that two of our riders cannot start tomorrow (today) but this is part and parcel of the sport," he said at TIEP yesterday.
However, he felt that Gianluca Laliscia, who was part of the winning team in 2004, will be a good bet for the individual title. Laliscia will be riding Kohl today.

The other riders are Vincenzo Catalano (Parytet), Simona Garatti (Z'tadore Al Maury) and Patricia Giacchro (Locace).

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 02:50:00 AM

[WEC Reports] Equestrian Kamaruddin fancies his chances

New Straits Times

2008/11/07

FORMER World No 1 Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani is the only Malaysian rider good enough to outshine the world's best in the FEI World Endurance Championships (WEC) at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Setiu, today.
Kamaruddin, who ended 2001 as World No 1 and is currently 93, is a fearless rider and foreign participants here have spoken many times about the threat he could bring to them.


The 63-year-old rider rates the TIEP as not very tough and has planned out strategies to make an impression in the event.

"I have raced in many countries and I must say the track here is not as tough as compared to those in Australia and France. It's going to be a tactical race and those who pace themselves accordingly will do well," said Kamaruddin yesterday.

"I don't want to predict my chances. It will depend on the weather and track conditions tomorrow (today)." Kamaruddin made his world championships debut in the 1998 Dubai edition but failed to start the race as his horse failed the first inspection. History repeated itself in the following edition in France (2000).

In the 2002 edition in Spain, Kamaruddin was eliminated prior to the last loop as his horse failed the veterinary check. He only completed two loops in the 2004 Dubai edition.

Kamaruddin, a gold medalist in the 2001 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games, decided to retire in 2005 due to a prostate problem.

"I bled whenever I rode and doctors advised me to quit. It was sad as I was among the top-10 ranked riders in the world.

"However, I was coaxed into returning in late 2006 when Terengganu won the bid to host the world meet."

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Posted By Merri to WEC Reports at 11/07/2008 02:48:00 AM