Wednesday, July 20, 2011

South Africa: Fleet barefoot feet at Fauresmith 2011

Last week saw the biggest event on the South African endurance calendar take place: the SA National Championships at Fauresmith in the Free State. It’s a 3 day race over 201km, in freezing, sub-zero conditions, which attracts riders from all over the country as well as overseas. This year a record number of horses were on the starting line… 406!

The Eastern Cape Endurance Riding Union entered three teams for the event, and two of their members had the honour of being selected for the ERASA national teams. Top ranked EC rider, Laura Seegers from the Midlands Club, was on the national Standardweight team, and Werner Bosch of the Hofmeyr Club was on the Heavyweight team.

Laura – founder of Perseverance Arabian & Endurance Horses in Graaff-Reinet – was riding PSV Jedi in his first Fauresmith, and the two of them flew around the course in 8h36 to take 5th place! She was the first rider for her team to come in, and her fast time helped them take 2nd place.

All three of the Eastern Cape’s own teams placed well in their categories: the Young Riders came 3rd, the Young Riders Development Team came 5th and the Standardweight team came 4th. Our Young Riders did particularly well. Jenna Masterson of St Francis placed 6th, Megan King from Graaff-Reinet – on another barefoot horse, Moya, – came 8th and Liezl Botha of Tarkastad 10th; with Ashley Gower from the Perseverance stud coming 17th on PSV Mauser in their first ever Fauresmith.

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