Thursday, February 19, 2009

SA: Local rider ranked tops

South Africa: Hermanus Tims

Naomi Muller, a local endurance rider from the farm Elandskloof between Hermanus and Caledon, ended the 2008 season at the top of the ERASA (Endure Ride Association of South Africa) rankings for long distance endurance riders.

Naomi was also ranked third overall for short and long distance riders.

During the 2008 season, Naomi represented South Africa on two occasions.

In May 2008 she represented South Africa at the Tri Nations Championships in Hofmeyer in the Eastern Cape. The South African team won the competition and Naomi finished in third place. The Tri Nations Championships is a regional competition between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

In November she represented South Africa at the 2008 World endurance championship in Teregganu, Malaysia.

A total of 150 riders from 36 countries participated in the event. The South African team finished 16th and Naomi finished in 17th place.

In total, Naomi has represented South Africa on six occasions, at two World championships, at the 2007 All Africa Games in Algeria and at three Tri Nations championships.

Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long distance races. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and takes place worldwide. The winning horse is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping periodically (every 30km) to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and “fit to continue”.

Most endurance rides are either 80 or 160 km long, although shorter rides are organised for beginners and a few longer, usually multi-day, rides exist. Winning riders complete 160km rides in 9 to12 hours, depending on the terrain and weather conditions.

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