Monday, June 29, 2009

Bahrain: Shaikh Nasser leading in 160-kilometer British race

Sunday, June 28, 2009

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa bagged the 160km trophy while Mohammed Al Sabosi of the UAE came on top in the 120km event in the 2009 Thetford Endurance Rides which took place yesterday at Norfolk in the UK.

The Royal Endurance Team riders dominated the main ride of this year's championship which was held at Euston Park with top riders from the UAE, Qatar, the UK, France, India and Saudi Arabia.

In the 160km ride, which consisted of six stages, featured an all-Bahraini podium as Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser finished on top in eight hours, 36 minutes and 42 seconds.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (8:36:42) was a close second and compatriot Abdulrahman Al Saad (8:36:43) third.

UAE's Majid Mohammed led the pack in the first stage, finishing in two hours, nine minutes and 10 seconds and with an average speed of 18 kms per hour. Behind him was Shaikh Nasser (2:09:47) in second place and Al Saad (2:10:33) third.

The UAE rider maintained his solid lead in the second stage which he finished in 3:39:43, six minutes ahead of Shaikh Nasser and Al Saad (3:44:14) who remained second and third, respectively.

In the third stage, Mohammed stayed on top with Shaikh Nasser also keeping the pressure on the leader while Bahraini Jaffer Mirza moved up to third.

Shaikh Nasser staged a remarkable comeback and took the lead in the fourth stage with a 6:08:56 ride time. Al Saad (6:09:02) followed in second place and Shaikh Khalid (6:10:51) improved on his placing by moving up to third.

There was no stopping Shaikh Nasser who kept his lead alive in the fifth and sixth stages while Shaikh Khalid leapfrogged Al Saad for a second-place finish.

In the five-stage 120-km event, Al Sabosi emerged overall winner in five hours, 31 minutes and 41 seconds and ahead of runner up Fayez Al Turkomani of Saudi Arabia (5:46:14) while Shaikh Abdulla Al Qassmi (5:46:17), also of the UAE, took third place award.

Al Sabosi led the first stage in 1:14:55 and with a 23 kms per hour speed average. He was followed by Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa (1:31:00) in second place and Bahrain's Yousef Taher (1:32:10) third.

Taher showed great control and stamina to finish the second stage in second place in 2:53:28, ahead of Shaikh Daij (2:53:52) who dropped to third and behind leader Al Sabosi (2:26:50).

Nothing changed after the third stage where Al Sabosi remained in the lead in 3:20:29 and was also followed by Taher (4:00:15) and Shaikh Daij (4:01:20) who were respectively second and third.

In the penultimate fourth stage, Al Sabosi showed consistency to remain first in 4:42:52. However, he was just three minutes clear of Shaikh Daij who regained second position while Taher (5:40:30) went back to third. The event was witnessed by Dubai Racing Club director general Ali Mousa who honoured the winners in each race.

France: Endurance rider completes 140km course in average of 15.31km/hr - Full Article

by Vickie Allen | Les Deux Alpes Snow Reporter | published 29-Jun-2009

On its opening weekend, Alpe d'Huez was hosted the fifth annual Equestrian Raid; a weekend of endurance races in which riders from across the continent take part in one of two routes, either 90km or 140km.

This is the only endurance trial of its type in France, with riders taking part at an average altitude of 1800m. The season for horse endurance trials runs from February to November across France, and is a growing sport that test the stamina of both horses and riders alike.

The first event to be completed at the weekend was the 90km trial, which was won by Fabienne Dusserre on Saturday. The main event, however, was the 140km trial, which took place over two days. Riders and horses set-off from Rif Nel early on Saturday morning and completed 35km before horses were checked by the official vet. Teams then completed a further 35km in the afternoon, before returning to their accommodation at Ski Plan's Beau Soleil hotel, next to the DMC lift. The health of the horses is paramount in these competitions and 10% of horses were not deemed fit enough to continue into Day Two. The disqualifications were disappointing but are considered by all as a necessary part of these types of contest, designed to protect the horses.

At 10am on Sunday, the second stage of the trial started. The start was staggered according to the finishing positions of the previous day. It was clear that Ludovic Saroul and Michel Denayer were the only real contenders for the podium, as the majority of competitors left the pen an hour after the two leaders. On Day Two temperatures in resort soared to 25*C, making the combination of altitude and heat very challenging for both riders and horses alike.

Seven hours later, the apparent winner was Saroul, who rode the course at an average of 15.31km per hour. However, horses must pass a further inspection by the official vet and then have 40 minutes to warm-down, in which time their hearts must return to a safe resting rate of 64 beats/minute. Saroul was confirmed as the winner of the E1500 prize money later that night, once all 32 riders had completed the course and the horses were signed-off.

In second place, was Michel Denayer who walked the last 30km of the course after his horse lost two shoes. Rules state that riders must cross the finish line on horseback, so Denayer mounted for the last few metres after leading his horse up to the finish line at Poutran (2000m).

The event was a success and provided a healthy start to Alpe d'Huez's 2009 summer season. In the coming weeks the resort will be host to further events, such as cycle races La Marmotte, 21 Bends and Megavalanche and its very own Triathlon. We'll keep you up to date with the events and results every week.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Equestrian Exploration and Endurance Leaders condemn world's largest unethical horse race

What is being labelled as the world's longest horse race, has been denounced by an unprecedented alliance of equestrian, endurance and exploration leaders.

At a thousand kilometers, the Mongol Derby would be the largest non-sanctioned endurance race ever attempted. Set to be run this summer in Mongolia, nearly a thousand semi-wild under-sized native horses have been drafted into an effort which deliberately flaunts international endurance racing rules.

"There's no carefully marked course, no catering tent and no support; this is horse racing on a whole new scale. You will change steeds every 40 km so the horses will be fresh. Bleeding kidneys, broken limbs, open sores, moon stroke and a list of dangers longer than your arm stand between you and victory," warns the official race website.

The horse race is being promoted by Tom Morgan, a native of Great Britain whose company, The Adventurists, previously specialized in enticing adventure-hungry tourists into signing up to race junk cars to distant national capitals.

"We don't make any safety arrangements. Our adventures are designed to be just that, so organising a support crew would rather take the edge off things. People are made painfully aware that what they're entering into can be extremely dangerous," Morgan's website cautioned.

Connie Caudill, President of the American Endurance Ride Conference, is one of the many equestrian leaders who have warned that Morgan's Mongol Derby will severely damage the sport and may well lead to horses being ridden to death.

"This will set endurance racing back 50 years," Caudill said, then added, "This isn't an endurance race, it's entertainment that will undermine endurance racing all over the world."

Morgan's company sought advice from The Long Riders' Guild, the world's first international association of equestrian explorers. The Guild warned the tour company against encouraging the twenty-five foreign competitors, all of whom had paid nearly $5,000 for a chance to ride, to attempt the journey, as the Guild's mounted explorers had recently encountered wolf attacks, bubonic plague, rabies, flash floods, foul water, poisoned food, horse theft and personal assault.

"The Adventurists is preparing to embark on an ill-advised equestrian misadventure, one in which your company does not appreciate the many equestrian hardships and dangers being presented to the horses and riders," The Guild informed the tour company.

Regardless of the danger, Morgan is busy promoting what he calls "biggest, baddest equine affair on the planet." He is being assisted by Richard Dunwoody, a former British champion jockey turned equestrian tour guide. Originally hired to present a lecture on racing to the amateur riders, Dunwoody has announced that he will be riding as a contestant in the event.

Because he plans on drafting nearly one thousand native horses into his non-sanctioned race, Morgan sought tactical and equestrian assistance from an unlikely source, the international charity, Mercy Corps.

Operating in more than a hundred countries, with offices in Scotland and Mongolia, the wealthy charity agreed to accept a guaranteed 25,000 British pounds in donations from Morgan's riders in exchange for providing the tour operator with access to twenty-five Mongolian herder families and their horses.

"Mercy Corps are delighted to be a part of the first ever Mongol Derby," said Jennifer Adams, the Event Development Coordinator at Mercy Corps, European Headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland. When asked if this partnership of participation meant that Mercy Corps was in the horse racing business, Adams answered, "I guess you could say that."

During an eight month investigation into the race, Long Riders in New Zealand, Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, Mongolia and the United States confirmed that neither the Mongolian government, nor the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international body assigned to protect endurance racing from exploitation, was involved in organizing the race.

"This is going to be all about the endurance of the rider, as opposed to the horse," said a spokesperson for Morgan's company.

Contestants are riding straight into danger.

"They're providing us with these yellow brick trackers, so we can activate the emergency beacon if our horse is injured and we can't walk it in," one rider said. "The only other time you're supposed to activate the beacon is if you feel your life is in immediate danger. There's only one emergency medical helicopter in all of Mongolia."

Food and water will also be an obstacle during the so-called Mongol Derby.

"We're still looking into the food options," the naive young contestant told the press. "They're going to give us GPS locations to the wells, where we'll be able to get water, and they don't guarantee that the wells will have water. They want us to be careful because there are packs of wild dogs that surround those wells."

When it was learned that Morgan's race appears to violate the three primary principles of endurance racing, namely no commercial exploitation of the horse, a marked route and confirmed sources of water, the world's largest coalition of riders, explorers and editors launched an international petition asking the Mongolian president to halt the race and urging Princess Haya, President of the FEI, to ban the competitors for life.

Additionally, Britain's Minister for the Horse, Jim Fitzpatrick, has been urged to scrutinize Morgan's non-sanctioned race, and the Charity Commissions in England and Scotland received a complaint asking them to investigate the possibility that Mercy Corps participated in unacceptable behaviour.

Regardless of what happens out on the steppe in August, it is already plain to see that thousands of horse riders, equestrian explorers and endurance riders have banded together in an unprecedented act of solidarity designed to halt Morgan's spectacle.

For more information about the race, and to sign the petition, please visit the Long Riders' Guild Mongol Investigation & Petition

All Woman Team Sweeps 39th Ride & Tie World Championship

Photo by Peter Ramsing

Andreotti Sisters Make History and Take Overall Champs Title

June 25 2009 - Humboldt County, California - Michelle Andreotti of Granite Bay, California, and her sister Susanne Rowland of Rocklin, California, put the family name on a new chapter of Andreotti history in the sport of Ride & Tie and at the same time finally realized the prediction of Bud Johns, inventor of the sport: that a woman/woman team would out-race the men and snatch the World Championship title. Adding glitter to their crowns, their race horse, Over Amile, was deemed Best of Condition.

"There have been so many remarkable women who have been competitive in the sport since the start that it was inevitable that the right two would team up to win the whole shebang," says Johns. "Women can be excellent runners at distances, can be superb horse (wo)men and often are lighter on the horse which helps the equine member of the team," he continues.

Most recently competing at the World Championship level in the mid-1990s, the sisters had drifted away from the sport. Then, last year, the family was asked to attend the 2008 World Championship Event to witness the induction of their father Dave Andreotti's horse Scooter into the Ride & Tie Hall of Fame. They were re-bitten by the bug: by July they bought "Over Amile" and were training for this year’s race. The sisters live about ten minutes apart, and the horse is stabled between the two.

Rowland says she's pretty competitive and it was her idea to try the Championship race this year. They hoped to finish in the top five. "The course worked to our advantage; I like to run the uphills". Simultaneously, Andreotti would ride up the hill catching Rowland at or near the top, where they would switch. Converse to her sister, Andreotti likes to run the downhills. They let the horse pick its own pace, which on this course was usually a canter.

Defending Champions Jim and daughter Sara Howard of Applegate, California, finished in second place, first man/woman team, three minutes behind the winning team. The highest placement by a man/man team, and youngest competitor on the Championship course, was the seventh place team, with junior Lucas King, age 15, of Trout Lake, Washington.

Returning to the location of the 2007 Ride & Tie World Championship, the 39th annual event took place June 20th 2009 at Cuneo Creek, in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, adjacent to the Avenue of the Giants. At approximately thirty-four miles in length the winning time was three hours, fifty seven minutes.

The Ride and Tie Association will be celebrating forty years of riding and tying throughout the week of June 12-20, 2010 at Mount Adams, WA. The 40th Annual World Championship Ride & Tie, open to all comers, will be raced on location Saturday June 19, 2010.

About the Sport of Ride & Tie
The sport of Ride & Tie combines trail running, endurance riding, and strategy. The goal is to get all three team members, two humans and one horse, across a 20 to 100 mile cross-country course by alternating riding and running. Everyone starts out together. The rider, being faster, rides ahead and ties the horse to a tree, and then continues down the trail on foot. The team member who started out on foot gets to the horse, unties, mounts up and rides past the runner, ties the horse … and this leapfrog continues the entire course. When, where, and how a team exchanges riding for running is almost entirely up to each team to develop their own strategy.

About The Ride and Tie Association

The Ride and Tie Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the sport of Ride & Tie and safe endurance horse management. Over 150 years old, Ride & Tie originated in the old West, where frontiersmen discovered two men could travel great distances at a fast pace without wearing down the horse if they traded off. Ride & Tie was invented as a sport and gained national attention in 1971 when Levi Strauss sponsored the first Levi's Ride & Tie. The Association offers a mentor program, partner matching, training videos, hosts practice Ride & Ties, and sanctions regional and national events. For more information about Ride & Tie, visit the web site at


Carol Ruprecht
Ride and Tie Association, publicity
(949) 263-1772

Don Betts
Ride and Tie Association, president
(360) 681-5218

Chris Amaral
2009 Ride & Tie World Championship race director
(707) 839-5624

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Canada: Endurance riders benefit from funds - Full article

By Bobbi-Sue Menard - Kelowna Capital News

Published: June 27, 2009 12:00 PM

Endurance riding has a devoted group of athletes in the Central Okanagan coming together under the auspices of the Endurance Riders of BC to raise money for the long term. Endurance riding events are held across North America and transporting both people and horses is an expensive proposition.

With major world championships coming to North America for the first time in 2010, the local group has established The Equine Endurance Trust and is hoping to raise enough funds to build up members' competition experience to qualify for the International finals.

Elroy Karius and Gail Jewell have been involved in endurance riding for years. Karius is well aware of how the costs add up. With upcoming events in Ontario, Idaho and Indiana, the gas, hotel and food bills are high.

Add the entry fees which must cover the operation of events with a full complement of onsite veterinarians and race officials and the costs jump ever higher.

"We can't do as many events in Western Canada because there just isn't the money available to stage the events," explained Karius. "One of the areas we are hoping to raise funds for is to bring more events to Western Canada."


Kuwait: Endurance races need patience, experience -- Kuwaiti horse rider

Sport 6/27/2009 5:41:00 PM

KUWAIT, June 27 (KUNA) -- Endurance riding races need patience and experience in dealing with the horse throughout the race, Kuwaiti horse rider Turki Al-Muteiri said Saturday.

In a statement to KUNA upon departing the country, Al-Muteiri hoped to achieve good results in the endurance riding tournament that kicked off in Jordan earlier today under the patronage of Her Highness Princess Alia Bint Al-Hussein. Princess Alia is Chairwoman of the Jordanian Equestrian Federation.

The qualification trails of the race are 60 and 80 kilometers long, and see the participation of 87 riders of both genders.

Endurance horses must have special qualifications and go under specific exercises.
In an endurance ride, the winning horse is the first to cross the finish line while stopping periodically to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and "fit to continue".

Any breed can compete, but the Arabian generally dominates the top levels because of the breed's stamina and natural endurance abilities.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bahrain: Bahrain gear up for London race

Friday, June 26, 2009

BAHRAIN'S Royal Endurance Team arrived in London yesterday ahead of this year's Thetford Endurance Ride scheduled for tomorrow at Euston Park, Norfolk.

Team captain and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa are to join the team later.

This year's event will feature two rides over 120 and 160 kms and seven Bahraini riders are in the fray.

Shaikh Nasser is in the fray in the 160-km along with Shaikh Khalid, Abdulrahman Al Saad, Abdulrahman Al Zayed and Ahmed Abdulsamad

The remaining three team members - Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, Yousef Taher and Shereen Fayez - will take part in the 120km event.

Other officials in the delegation include team manager and Breef assistant general secretary Dr Khalid Ahmed Hassan, Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad's media office director Tawfeeq Salehi and administrator Khalid Al Ruwaie.

Top riders from the UAE, Qatar, the UK, France, India and Saudi Arabia are taking part in this prestigious event.

This event is part of the team's preparations for the European Championship in Italy and the World Championship in the US to be held next year.

Bahrain's first race was in France last month when they competed in Compiegne Ride championship held at the Compiegne Endurance Village near Paris. Bahraini finished third overall.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Colusa Sun Herald
June 19
photo: Riders saddle up May 16 for a 25-mile or 50-mile endurance race in the Cache Creek Recreation Area, near Williams.

More than 100 horses and riders endured a 25- or 50-mile course in the Bureau of Land Management’s Cache Creek Recreation Area, 18 miles west of Williams.

The race, held May 16, was hosted by the Stalley family of Williams with close to 50 volunteers, many residents of Williams and students from Williams High School.

Four veterinarians monitored the horses throughout the day, where temperatures reached 97 degrees. Horses that did not pass the vets’ criteria were pulled from the race and trailered back to camp. Water troughs along the trail were continually refilled by four water trucks with more than 10,000 gallons of water.

The day ended with 69 finishers in the 50-mile course and 10 in the 25-mile competition. First place on the 50- mile resulted in a three-way tie between Heather and Jeremy Reynolds of Los Gatos and Megan Doyle of San Jose, who completed the course in 6 hours and 18 minutes. Heather Reynolds took the “Best Conditioned” award. Beth Van Wicklin of Foresthill won the 25-mile course and Cindy Brown of Santa Rosa took the “Best Condition” award for that distance. Some of the awards were donated by Griff's Feed and Seed in Colusa, Bar Ale of Williams, and Echo Valley Ranch of Auburn. The riders camped in the “Cowboy Camp” parking area near the junction of highways 20 and 16, an area which is open to the public throughout the year for hiking, horseback riding, biking, camping, and hunting.

For more information about the course or to volunteer for next year, visit

[More ...]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Namibia: Endurance riders excel

Namibia Sport
June 19

Namibia’s endurance horse riding teams excelled at the South African International FEI Challenge which recently took place in Beaufort West, South Africa, winning both the Senior Standard Weight and Heavy Weight divisions. Namibia’s individual riders also excelled in their various categories, with several riders winning medals. Namibia competed against the national teams of South Africa, France and Great Britain as well as provincial South African teams.

Namibia had by far the superior team in the Heavy Weight division with all its riders putting in consistently good rides. The Namibian team’s strategy was to ride competitively yet safely and let the other teams ride themselves out of the race.
The plan was successful when three of the South African riders were eliminated after the first loop and a fourth rider was eliminated after the second loop.

The only two South Africans finishers came first and 12th overall, while all but one of Namibia’s riders finished amongst the top 12 positions. They were Rudolf Oosthuizen (third), Gawie Viljoen (fourth), Shanie Bosch (seventh), Danie Delport (tenth) and Kallie Grunschlos (11th). The only Namibian withdrawal was Johan van der Walt, whose horse pulled up lame after the second loop.

Namibia dominated the Standard Weight category and took the lead after 30 minutes of the first loop. After the second loop the lead increased to 48 minutes and one of the South African team members was eliminated. After the third loop two more South African team members were eliminated because they could not keep up with the high speed of the Namibian riders. Victory was sweet when the Namibian team finished ahead of South Africa, France and Great Britian.

Jeremia Goagoseb came second, Bredell Wessels came fourth, Frans Saubek sixth, Collin Tjanda seventh, Sam Kriel 16th, Simon Hangura 28th and Hannelie Coetzee 40th. Stefanus Pienaar was eliminated at the final inspection.

Namibia nearly also won the Young Riders category, but were eliminated when three of their horses failed to complete the course. Namibia was leading until the final inspection when Anna Wucher’s horse, Mubarak was eliminated due to lameness. If Mubarak had finished, Namibia would have beaten the eventual winners, South Africa, by more than 1 hour 40 minutes.
Chante Nell came first, Christine van Zyl fourth, Conrad van der Walt 16th, Recht Burger 17th, Schalk Burger 18th and Kabous Rossouw.

In the individual competitions, Namibian riders performed well and ended in the following positions:
In the Senior Standard Weight division over 120,7 km, Izolde von Schauroth came third and Adri van Zyl 27th.
In the Young Riders’ category over 120,7km Fritz Konjak came third, Wilhelm Loubscher 15th and Cherne de Meyer 18th.
Marlene van Rensburg came seventh in the Erasa 120km category, while Johan Bredenkamp came first overall in the I Young Rider category over 81,09km.

Of the 15 horses that were nominated for the Best Conditioned competition in the three categories in which Namibia competed, eight were Namibian horses. Namibia won two of the three awards, with Chante Nell on Henham Zahara winning in the Young riders category and Izolde von Schauroth on Zabubega Tushiya in the senior category.

[full article]

FEI checks 2nd horse doping case

Bleacher Report


LAUSANNE, Switzerland(AP)—The International Equestrian Federation is investigating a second member of its president’s family for alleged horse doping.

The governing body said Friday that Princess Haya of Jordan will step aside from her presidential duties when it considers the case against Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the son of her husband, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Sheik Hamdan rode his horse Eo Fawati in a 74 1/2-mile endurance race at Bahrain in January. The horse tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

Sheik Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, rode his horse, Tahhan, when it tested positive for stanozolol metabolites in Bahrain. It also had traces of the banned substance guanabenz in Bahrain and after racing in Dubai in February.

Both men’s cases are expected to go before the FEI’s seven-member tribunal, which can suspend riders from endurance races.

As a member of the International Olympic Committee, Princess Haya informed the organization about the cases. Endurance racing is not an Olympic discipline.

Since becoming FEI president in 2006, the princess has campaigned to clean up equestrian’s doping and medication problems.

She publicized details when six horses failed doping tests at last year’s Beijing Olympics, and has commissioned IOC adviser Arne Ljungqvist to lead a review of the sport’s methods of treating horses and educating riders. His report is due in the next few months.

Full article

UAE: A horsewoman in pursuit of a vision

The National
Rym Ghazal
June 19
photo:Hanan al Muhairi, 24, of Ras al Khaimah, takes a ride in the desert on a horse from the police stables. Amy Leang / The National

For many Emirati women, horse riding is an impossible dream. They face frowns from a traditional society, starting with family, that views riding as something only for men.

Hanan al Muhairi wants to eliminate the stigma and make the dream a reality. After four years struggling to complete her documentary film about the first female horse riding team in the UAE, Ms al Muhairi is now on a mission to set up the first club for any Emirati woman who wants to ride.

“I want a place that will be a link between the UAE’s greatest horses, and its future horse riders,” said Ms al Muhairi, 24, who as a rider and horse lover is determined to change attitudes.

The documentary takes a hard and honest look at the struggles, dreams and reality of horse riding for an Emirati woman.

The movie, called Arabyana, after the six-member female riding team, was released in April after four years of delays and obstacles owing to the sensitivity of some topics it dealt with and high-profile interviews that took time to arrange.

“It is about our right to ride, and the challenges we face from our own community whenever we pursue less than traditional activities,” she said.

“It is not fair just to keep men in the spotlight of the equestrian field and ignore all the female talents in the same field,” she said.

The interviewees included: Sheikha Madeya Bint Hasher Al Maktoum, a young UAE horse rider who specialises in endurance races; the champion horse rider Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum, who participated in the Olympics; and Princess Haya, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who is a horse rider herself.

The documentary was made under Princess Haya’s patronage. It also featured Sheikh Nahyan Al Mubarak and Sheikh Talib Al Qassimi.

“Horse riding is not just a man’s sport; a woman can also be a great horse rider and she can do it as a lady,” said Ms al Muhairi, a member of the UAE’s female riding team.

By wearing a black scarf and loose clothing as she rides her horse in the documentary, Ms al Muhairi says she is trying to show her people that “you can be a good Muslim girl and a great horse rider”. “So why not open for us a place where we can train and ride freely without social or financial pressures?” she asked. The six young women, all of whom studied different majors at Dubai Women’s College, would like to expand their team and compete in national and international competition.

Ms al Muhairi said she knows of many horsewomen who would like a chance to ride for their country.

“We are dedicated, just give us a chance,” she said. “It shouldn’t be limited just to the royals, it is a sport for everyone.”


“Maybe pressure from outside can help open a window here,” she said. “Who knows, anything is possible if you work hard and follow your dreams.”

Full article

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Australia: Clare in running to host Tom Quilty


Australia's biggest endurance horse riding event, the Tom Quilty, may be held in Clare in 2011.

Clare Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society hopes to host the event on its extensive site at the southern entrance to Clare.

"A local chap contacted me and asked if we can have it, or if we were interested in holding the event," show society president Norm Crowther said.

The South Australian Endurance Riders Association will holding its state championships in Clare next year which will put the showgrounds to the test as a venue.

"Next year they are coming to Clare, we have a meeting at the end of the week to talk more about the Tom Quilty," Mr Crowther said.

"But next year there could be about 60 to 80 horses on the grounds which will be a reasonable test on the system."

The meeting to be held at the end of the week will include a representative from the SAERA, Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, the Clare Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society and other town groups.

"We have to know all the information possible for both events so we can start organising our grounds. It is prestigious to be able to hold an event like this in our area, and having an area big enough for their use is fantastic," Norm said.

Facts about the Tom Quilty:

Tom Quilty was a legendary Kimberley cattleman who was approached by R.M Williams to donate $1000 toward the perpetual trophy, the Tom Quilty Gold Cup in 1966.

The ride used to be known as 100 miles and is now defined in metric (160km), yet the spirit of the event remains; to complete the distance in a day.

The event draws competitors from throughout Australia and overseas.

The trophy has more than 38 ounces of gold and is heavier than the Melbourne Cup, it’s so valuable it now resides in the Stockman’s Hall of Fame at Longreach, Queensland and a gold plated replica is presented in its place.

It begins at midnight and goes throughout the day until all are finished, whether they complete or withdraw.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Netherlands: 2009 Ermelo: Dutch National Championship

Belgium's Kristel Van Den Abeele, riding Yasmina du Florival, won the
160-km CEI*** Endurance ride and Dutch Championship in Ermelo,
Netherlands on 12 June, 2009.

Finishing just seconds behind Van Den Abeele were Dutch riders Yvonne
Van Der Velde and Jeanne Linneweever, both of whom made up at least 17 minutes on the final 16 kilometer loop to
almost catch the leader Van Den Abeele. Unfortunately, both Van Der
Velde's horse Joy Escobar, and Linneweever's horse Riki's Macho Man,
were eliminated at the finish, for lameness and metabolics, respectively.

Lisette Druenen of the Netherlands, who came fourth across the finish
line 25 minutes later, placed second when her horse completed the
final vet inspection, making her the 2009 Dutch National Champion. Van
Den Abeele's mount Yasmina du Florival also received the Best
Condition award. Last year's Dutch Champions, Jannet Van Wijk and
Latino finished third. 19 riders from 9 countries contested the 160 km ride,
with 6 finishing. Winning time was 9:37.37, with an average speed of
16.62 km/h.

Additional rides were held, including the CEI** 125 km ride, where
Maike Grell of Germany, riding Tango Lady XX, finished in first place,
just a few seconds over Rashed Saeed Al Kamda of the UAE, riding
Taliesen. Heike Blumel of Germany and Voila Kossack finished third; 15
of 21 riders completed the race, and Tango Lady received Best Condition. In the CEI-J-YR** 120 km ride, all four entrants were elimated by lamenesses at the third vet gate.

Complete results and photos at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Great Britain: Team GB needs £500,000 for World Equestrian Games - Full Article

Butcher, H&H news editor

13 June, 2009
Prohibitively high costs of transporting horses and riders to next year's Alltech FEI (International Equestrian Federation) World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, Kentucky, could have serious repercussions for the competition.

National federations have expressed real concerns over the costs of flying horses to America for the 2010 WEG (25 September-10 October) and at the inflated prices that "official" hotels near the horse park are charging for accommodation.

Eight disciplines are represented at WEG — driving, dressage, endurance riding, eventing, paraequestrianism, reining, show jumping and vaulting.

The competition has been held every four years since 1990 and 2010 is the first time it will take place outside Europe.

New Zealand, Austria, Ireland, Australia and the British Equestrian Federation have told H&H they are struggling to meet budgets to send full teams.

Team GB manager Will Connell said: "It will cost between £1.25million and £1.5million to take eight full teams to WEG — it's an expensive operation."


Friday, June 12, 2009

Australia: Record-breaker off to United States

David Lems | 13th June 2009

FOR record-breaking Australian endurance horse rider Linda Meredith, her latest success has been something special.

However, she's even more excited about her future after a stunning performance at the recent national titles at Imbil, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

By winning the 160km endurance event for the first time, Kalbar-based Meredith qualified to represent her country at next year's World Equestrian Games in the United States.

"That will be huge," Meredith said, delighted about the prospect of taking on the world's best in Kentucky next year.

"I'm absolutely over the moon."

Meredith has been competing in endurance riding since 1995, enjoying top 10 finishes at major events and competing in Trans-Tasman series at New Zealand championships.

She also won six Tom Quilty buckles (at national events).

However, her latest achievement is her best so far. She's ecstatic her husband Ted and rapidly maturing grey gelding Anglesea Trooper are sharing the journey.

"Ted is my strapper, coat person and taxi driver," she laughed.

"We're very much a team.

"We've just been waiting for our horse to explode out of the blocks."

Meredith, a registered nurse at Ipswich Hospital, said having nine-year-old horse Anglesea Trooper starting to peak gave her more confidence.

"I've always known he had potential and he's been very hard work to keep him under wraps," she said.

"He's old enough now to be able to race.

"I believe our best years are ahead."

Meredith's 160km endurance event is over six stages on different courses.

"It's a race against the clock or each other," the former Gold Coaster said, having been in Kalbar for seven years.

What satisfied her last weekend was clocking the fastest 160km time in Australia.

"It's the thrill of the race," Meredith said, explaining why she loves endurance racing.

Nationals course director Bob Sample said the Sunday of last weekend's competition "belonged to Linda Meredith and Anglesea Trooper" after they quickly took charge, leading all the way on the 160km course.

The rider and her horse completed the journey in eight hours, 56 minutes.

"Anyone who is familiar with the Imbil forest trails will know what a great performance this was," Sample said.

Australian endurance squad manager Barb Timms agreed.

"Linda Meredith and the big white horse Trooper established the lead well and truly in the first leg and never faulted for the entire ride," Timms said.

Meredith trains three to four times a week in the Kalbar area, often riding around Lake Manchester and up the Boonah hills.

'I believe our best years are ahead.'

- Linda Meredith

Australia: Gulgong ride will be popular


Gulgong Endurance Club will hold their annual ride starting from the Gulgong Polocrosse grounds this Sunday.

Organisers report that more than 100 riders have nominated for the event with a number of top local riders taking part.

Promising local junior rider Ben Hudson will be taking part while Mette Sutton will be doing her last ride before she heads to ride in South Africa next month.

Sutton won the ride at Cooyal last month and says that Sunday's ride will be a good exercise before she leaves for South Africa National Championships in two weeks time.

Sutton said organisers of the South African event have arranged an attractive itinerary for the visiting international riders.

Australia and New Zealand are the only international countries that will be represented at the South African Nationals.

"We arrive on June 26 and travel to the event venue at Fort Buis Game Farm the next day," Sutton said.

"The next day we meet the horse owners and sponsors and our horses.

"Then on June 29 we will go on a leisurely trial ride to the Eland Safari Lodge and back, accompanied by local riders.

"We will also visit a stud and have time for shopping and sight seeing.

Sutton said she had received wonderful support from many local organisations who have either donated cash or held fundraising events to help with the cost of her trip. Sutton has received donations from Gulgong Sports Council, Mudgee Endurance Riders Club and the Gulgong Sporting Development Fund - an initiative of Gulgong Bowling & Recreation Club and Gulgong Sports Council.

The Bowling Club is also holding a charity bowls day on June 20 with proceeds to go towards the cost of the trip and everybody is welcome to come along.

Her work colleagues at Mid Western Regional Council have organised a trivia night for tonight (Friday) to raise more money for the trip and local wineries and the Scuba Diving Club have donated prizes for the night.

Motorists are alerted to the fact that horses will be present on many roads in the Gulgong area this Saturday and Sunday and are urged to use caution if driving in the area during the ride.

Roads likely to be affected are Barneys Reef Road, Old Barneys Reef Road, Jackson Lane, Puggoon Road, Tallawang Street, Station Street, Spring Creek Road, Snelsons Lane, Whitehouse Road, Henry Lawson Drive, Canadian Lead Road, Coming Event Lane, Springfield Lane, Reef Road, Hillside Lane and Williardt Lane.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

France: 2009 Rambouillet

Cecile Miletto Mosti and Baja De Piboul of France won the CEII*** 160 km raid in 8:31.10 at Rambouillet, while Denis Le Guillou and Zannouba of France won the 160 km Amateur Elite GP in 10:37.43.

Frenchman Vincent Du Pont riding Nita Lotoise won the CEI** 130 km in 6:24.47, and Dorothee Rossez of France riding Dune D'Azat won the Amateur Elite 130 km in 6:56.13.

Photos and results at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

South Africa: British endurance team win bronze at SA International Challenge
Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor
10 June, 2009

A team of British endurance riders returned from South Africa yesterday with a bronze medal from the first South Africa International FEI Challenge.

The six riders — Tricia Hirst, Nicky Sherry (pictured), Abi Taylor, Rachael Claridge (pictured), Sophie O'Hara-Smith and Helen Perry — were picked to take part in the 120km endurance race near Beaufort West.

The team were on borrowed South African horses, which they were given just two days to become familiar with before the event began.

This was the first time that any teams outside of Southern Africa had been invited to compete in the challenge. Hosted by the Western Province Endurance Union, the event was the largest ever held in South Africa, with some 310 horses taking part.

And the race lived up to its challenging name.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Great Britain: Winning spell of endurance

Perthsire Advertiser
Jun 5 2009 by Alison Anderson, Perthshire Advertiser Friday

PERTHSHIRE rider Kirstie Graham and her lionhearted pony, Arabelle, emerged supreme in the ultimate endurance challenge – 100 miles in one day – at the Bahrain Festival of Endurance in Nottingham.

Kirstie, from Abernethy, explained: “One hundred miles in one day is the ultimate endurance goal. It is tough, gruelling, technical and horse and rider must forge an incredible partnership.

“Endurance riding has strict vetting parameters. A 160km race ride is run over six stages, with the horses being checked by vets after each stage. Horses can be failed on lameness, high heart rate or if they are showing any signs of dehydration or distress.”

Mum-of-two Kirstie, who is the current Scottish Endurance Champion, won convincingly, more than an hour ahead of the rest of the competition, on her Arab x Welsh 13.3hh pony Arabelle (Bella).

The Bahrain royal family sponsors the event, which is based in Thorseby estate in the area known as the Dukeries.

Kirstie continued: “Bella cantered out of the last vet gate without a care in the world. It was getting late and we were on the ‘dig deep’ stage – and she kept on digging deep. It was on this lap I allowed myself to acknowledge that if I finished the ride, I would win. Coming back to the finish, vets, crews and spectators had gathered to cheer us on. Bella surged forward, ears pricked and we floated home.”

Kirstie will be competing to retain her Scottish Champion title at the Scottish Endurance Championships, which will take place at Scone Palace on June 26-28.

As well as the longer distances, the event run by the Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC) will provide classes for everyone, including three different ‘Pleasure Rides’ of around 20km which are open to non-members of SERC.

Further details can be found at

Friday, June 05, 2009

Italy: European Open at Assisi gets Meydan's support

Gulf News

Italian Ambassador to the UAE Paolo Dionisi, Meydan City communications director Mohammad Al Khayat, Dubai Equestrian Club general manager Ali Mousa Al Khamiri, Mayor of Assisi, Claudio Ricci, and the chairman of Assisi Endurance Lifestyle, Gianluca Laliscia, discuss the FEI European Open Endurance Championship to be held in Assisi on September 26.

By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: May 26, 2009, 23:10

Dubai: Meydan City have announced their sponsorship of the FEI European Open Endurance Championship to be held in the Italian city of Assisi on September 26.

Addressing a press conference Mohammad Al Khayat, Meydan's communications director said, "The European Open championship is one of the most important endurance events this year. With over 100 riders from over 30 countries expecting to participate, this championship is truly a global event".

UAE are one of the favourites for the championship which is held once every two years. The event will include competitions in the individual and team categories.

Meydan City's Chairman Saeed Al Tayer said, "Endurance horse racing is part of the UAE's culture and heritage. This special collaboration will further enhance the UAE's participation in this sport and assist in increasing its exposure in the region and worldwide".

Ali Mousa Al Khamiri, general manager of Dubai Equestrian Club, who also addressed the press conference said: "Endurance already has a huge profile in the UAE where some of the world's top riders hail from. We look forward to what will be a long-standing partnership with Assisi".

Paolo Dionisi, the Italian Ambassador to the UAE said: "I have been here for over three years and have enjoyed the growing bilateral ties with the UAE. Apart from the great endurance championship, Assisi will also be staging a major economic conference and it is going to be a great success.

"The city of Assisi is all set to welcome the equestrian fraternity of the world. The natural scenario of Assisi has been chosen to stage the endurance championship. The Umbrian countryside will be the setting for the 160 kilometres event," said Claudio Ricci, Mayor of Assisi.

"Assisi is a World Unesco Heritage city and we are ready to stage a great championship with many other events on the sidelines," he added.

Gianluca Laliscia, Chairman of Assisi Endurance Lifestyle and a top Italian endurance rider said: "This year for the first time we will be using the GPS [Global Positioning System] which will help us to see the exact location of each of the competing riders and horses.

"Apart from that the terrain for the 160 kilometres event has a very diverse and challenging nature with very [few] tarmac roads."

"The international event will include a prestigious Workshop on Real Estate Investments in Umbria promoted by Sviluppumbria, an International Veterinary Symposium, an important round table on hippotherapy, an art exhibition & and finally an entire week-end dedicated to & children," Laliscia added.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

USA: Hydesville horse and rider excel in Idaho competition

Humboldt Beacon
June 4, 2009

By Dennis Souza

On Sunday, May 24, Joyce Sousa of Hydesville rode Arabian horse LV Integrity and raced to a first place finish at the Owyhee Fandango International Endurance, 100 mile ride held in Oreana, Idaho.

Horse and rider did this in a time of 9 hours and 48 minutes. The event was an American Ride Conference ride, Arabian Horse Association Region 4 Championship ride and a selection trial for the World Endurance Championship to be held in Lexington, Ky. in 2010.

The pair raced against 29 competitors representing Canada,Washington,Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah,California, New Mexico,Texas and Colorado.

At the awards ceremony, Souza was presented awards which included a Rubicon saddle.

The 3rd place finisher, Jennife Niehaus of Cloverdale, daughter of Joyce and Dennis Sousa, was presented the Best Condition Award to her and Gallantly, an Arabian owned by the Sousas. The top three finishers all finsihed within 50 seconds of eachother.

The local endurance ride club, Redwood Empire Endurance Riders first event of the year is scheduled for Saturday, June 27, at the Chalk Mountain Ranch in Bridgeville. For information, call Ruth Hoke at 768-1748

Great Britain: A ride on the wild side

The Northern Echo
June 4, 2009

SCORES of horses are expected to take part in a new endurance riding event in a North- East forest later this month.

It has been 15 years since Hamsterley Forest, near Bishop Auckland, has hosted a competitive endurance horse riding event.

Riders will take their horses around the forest before heading to Hamsterley Common.

The ride is called The Elephant Trees, taken from a collection of trees on a stage of the course which look like elephants.

The organisers of the event, on Sunday, June 28, hope the forest could host the Northern Championships when they come to County Durham in 2011.

There will be four distances riders can compete in – 18km, 25km, 40km and 65km.

Although the longer distances are only open to elite riders and members of riding clubs, the shorter distances are open to everyone, and organiser Karen David is hoping people who have never tried the sport will take part.

“It’s a wonderful way to ride,” said Ms David, a member of Durham and Teesside group of Endurance Great Britain.

“We go fast, but we are not hammering round the track and destroying it.

“This area is really pretty and it’s great way to ride.”

Ms David has organised the event with friend Sylvia Briggs.

“A lot of the other courses in the county are suburban, but this one really gets people out into the countryside,” she said.

Riders will be guided by biodegradable paint markings that will disappear days after the event has finished.

Competitors must register their horses before the event. For more details, go to
[More ...]

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Australia: Gala Fundraiser for Tom Quilty Gold Cup

Melbourne, Victoria, 2 June 2009

A gala auction night packed with prizes, promotions and sporting personalities will raise funds for the 2009 Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

The internationally renowned event is Australia’s biggest endurance ride and coming to Tonimbuk in September.

The fundraiser at the Cardinia Cultural Centre to be held on Saturday 11 July will set the scene for the main event with an evening of entertainment featuring live band Cover It.

"There will be lucky door prizes, a silent auction, sports memorabilia up for grabs and lots more," 2009 Tom Quilty Gold Cup event coordinator Lissy Verity said.

"It will be a great night out for everyone, not just for people with an interest in equestrian sports, so get a table together and join the fun."

Tickets cost $90 per person and include a two-course dinner and drinks with all proceeds going towards staging the Tom Quilty Gold Cup at Tonimbuk.

Council is a proud supporter of the event, a classic test of strength and skill as riders from around Australia and overseas compete to finish a 160km ride in 24 hours.

The ride committee together with the Cardinia Shire Council strongly encourages everyone to get behind this event. "It will not only help showcase the uniqueness of Cardinia to many people, this ride will also be great for the local economy as the influx of riders and their support crews utilise local goods and service providers," said Lissy.

Information/enquiries: Sue Cousin on 5629 2530, or call the Cardinia Cultural Centre direct on 1300 887 624. For more details about the Tom Quilty Gold Cup, including sponsorship opportunities, visit

Media enquiries or further information contact Paul Dunlop on 5945 4388 or Liz Roberts on 5945 4258.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bahrain: Al Hazza sixth in France event

Gulf Daily News
June 1 2009

BAHRAIN's Ahmed Abdulla Al Hazza came sixth overall while host country's Laurent Mosti finished on top in the senior race of the Compiegne Ride championship held yesterday at the Compiegne Endurance Village near Paris.

Riding Kheopsy Du Pilat, Al Hazza completed this six-stage 160-km race in sixth place with a total ride time of eight hours, four minutes and 48 seconds with a speed average of 19.508 kms per hour.

The Bahrain team were led by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Other riders were Al Khaldiya Stables captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Yousef Taher, Ghazi Al Dossary, Raed Mahmood Al Saad, Jaffar Mirza and Al Hazza.

The Bahrainis, who were represented by seven of its best riders, finished third overall behind champions France and runners-up Italy.

More than 70 riders from Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the UAE, France and Bahrain competed in this annual event which got underway at 7am (Bahrain time).

The event was part of the Bahraini team's preparations for the European Championship in Italy and World Championship in the US which will both be held next year.

The hosts dominated the race as Mosti was the eventual winner on Khandela Des Vialette. He was followed by compatriot Guy Dumas in second place and Jean Philip Frances, also of France, was third.

The Bahraini team encountered a series of unfortunate incidents by having several riders eliminated at different stages of the race.

Shaikh Khalid was out after the second stage after falling from his horse Waterlea Oliver. Shaikh Khalid, the Breef first vice-president, was taken to the hospital near the village for medial check-ups.


Shaikh Nasser also had to pull out in the fourth stage after his horse Kango II was eliminated due to injury along with Taher and Al Dossary.

The other Bahrainis' placings were Mirza (8:11:55) in 13th place and Al Saad (8:26:47) 15th overall.

The championship also featured a race for junior riders held last Saturday and was over 130kms. It was won by Roman Lafaure of France with compatriots Justin Mourou and Laetitia Goncalves finishing second and third, respectively.

Yesterday's seniors race, which concluded at around 5.30pm, was followed by the prize-giving ceremony during which the top riders in both the race were honoured.

Shaikh Khalid started the race well and managed to complete the first stage in second place while Shaikh Nasser was ninth overall.

Caroline led the stage in 47:31 and with a speed average of 19.141 kms per hour. Third was Laurent Mosti (48:46), also of France, followed by compatriot Cecile Totain (48:51) in fourth place. Shaikh Nasser moved up to sixth while Shaikh Khalid went down to seventh.

Caroline maintained her strong performance in the second stage which also ended in her favour with a total ride time of 3:05:13. Mosti (3:06.05) jumped to second place and ahead of Frances (3:06.30) of France in third place. Shaikh Nasser made further progress by moving up to fifth.

No changes took place after the third stage where the same three riders held on to their positions with Carolin (4:44.08) keeping her lead as Mosti (3:44.49) and Frances (3:45.02) stayed second and third, respectively.

Totain (4:45.05) remained fourth and ahead of fifth-placer Shaikh Nasser (3:45.07).

In the fourth stage, Caroline (7:01.52) stayed on top. Mosti (7:02.23) was also second while Totain (4:45.05) leapfrogged Frances to clinch third spot.

The penultimate stage saw Caroline (8:42.22) extend her lead with Mosti (8:43.26) holding on top second while Dumas (8:03.53) steering Mohac to climb up to third while Totain (8:44.47) went down to fourth.

However, Mosti staged a superb comeback in the sixth and final stage where he took over the lead from Caroline.

[More ...]

US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...