Thursday, June 30, 2011

Belgium: Le Raid du Luxembourg a Great Success

Endurance-belgium.com

Everything perfect for this 'old fashion' endurance ride on the weekend of 25th June.

Old fashion because it was looking like the event organized 10 to 15 years ago, that not being negative, on the contrary. A very nice and cheerful ambiance, smiling ride managers; and the most important, the trail was exceptional, a perfect footing where one could hardly encounter rocks. But the course was technical with many ups and downs and turns; in between many opportunities to canter on a perfect going. So congratulations to the organizers, Valy and Daniel Schmartz.
On the 120km, Tarek Taher from Saudi Arabia made his comeback, riding a young horses trained by JF Frances. Second place for the trainer, Frances and third place for the French rider Nicole Doignon. The day after, the same Frances/Arnold Stables won also the trophy, but this time with Sabrina Arnold onboard.
résultats   here

Great Britain: Endurance victory for Dace

Viewfrompublishing.co.uk - Full Article

30 June 2011

AFTER five years of riding Endurance Woodroffe School sixth form pupil Dace Saunders, part of the British U21 squad, competed in her first international ride at Nottingham recently.

Endurance is not a widely known sport in Great Britain, it involves riding distances up to 160km in a day with intermittent vet gates to ensure the horse is fit and ready to continue.

However next year the Endurance World Championships are being held in Great Britain in conjunction with the Olympics which it is hoped will raise awareness of this demanding sport.

Competing on Ballota (Lottie) a pure bred Arabian, Dace explained: “I had entered the 90km FEI class and had spent the previous months training Lottie, this training seemed to pay off as before the first vet gat we had already acquired a lead of 15 minutes. The ride ended in success with a win, and an immense feeling of pride in Lottie”.

“This success gave me confidence for the second ride of the year at Euston Park near Thetford.

“This ride is notably one of the most prestigious in Europe, the highlight being the presence of The Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates competing in the event.

The 80km ride at Euston Park also included the British Young Rider Championships in which riders under 21 compete in to claim the title for the year.

“I have to say this ride was the most nerve racking and exciting I have ever done in my years of doing endurance..."

Read more here:
http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/news_view/11726/5/1/racing-endurance-victory-for-dace

Spain: Shortlist for the European Championship 2011 Absolute Raid

Ecuestreonline.com - Full Article

Posted June 29, 2011 by admin

Ten riders and eleven horses listed in the shortlist for the European Championship Absolute Raid 2011, to be held next September 10 in Florac (France). This provisional list are eight of the top ten in Spain Absolute Championship this year, including the three medalists.

Rounding out the relationship María Alvarez and Otto Velez. Reigning World and European champion is the only pre-selected appears with two horses, while the frame of reference Rider Stud El Palancar is second in the national rankings, failing to be counted points that joined in the Championship of Spain.

The shortlist for Quico Yebra, communicated by the FEI on the last day of June, is as follows:

* María Álvarez Pontón / “Nobby”-“Elvis Hab”
* José Luis Ruiz Hidalgo / “Al Gharbe”
* Anna Mª Yebra Altimiras / “Calzadilla”
* Oriol Casals Fores / “Zarha de Vilaformiu”
* Iván Autet Casas / “Faref Bugati”
* Francesc Xavier Casellas Calm / “Arizona de Lafon”
* Otto Vélez Castrillón / “Pal Partenon”
* Marta Pujadas Sala / “Urra da Figuereda”
* Laia Muixi Crusellas / “Flyng Tornade”
* Rut Comas Molist / “Balkany”

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Britain: Chelsea’s riding high

Dorsetecho.co.uk - Full Article

29 June 2011

* By Adam Summers

CHELSEA Bristow is being tipped for a bright future in equestrian after being awarded third in the Young Rider National Championships.

The 16-year-old, who has been riding for five years, claimed the accolade while representing England at Newmarket where she placed second in an 80km endurance race aboard Babouska.

Chelsea’s father Stewart told Echosport: “Chelsea has been riding since she was 11 but has only been taking part in endurance races over the past six months where she has scored high in the eight rides she has done so far.

“She has also secured a place at Kingston Maurward Equestrian College for this September and the fact she was recently picked to ride for England and was awarded third in the Young Rider National Championships was a fantastic achievement..."

Read more here:
http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/sport/9110920.Chelsea___s_riding_high/

Australia: Test of endurance for two Cedar Ridge girls

Hawkesburygazette.com - Full Article

June 29 2011

AUSTRALIAN Endurance horse Stable ‘Cedar Ridge Stables’ had two girls achieve top results in the recent Queensland Endurance Riding event.

Courtney Freeman won the FEI 120km Endurance event which is the number one event in Australia.

R M Williams sponsored the event with Al Reef Stables (Large stable in United Arab Emirates).

Ms Freeman, who rode for Cedar Ridge Stables, was on her horse Nicari Zadah when they beat a competitive field with some of Australia’s best riders competing in the event.

There were 14 other countries were competing in the event that was streamed live around the world.

Ms Freeman has achieved great success in her endurance riding career the most credible being the winner of the longest endurance ride in the world which is held here in Australia– known as Shahzada.

Cedar Ridge Stables had two other riders achieving success on the weekend with Blake Freeman placing eight in the FEI 160km event and Brooke Warner seventh in the 120km event.

It wasn’t long after the Cedar Ridge team arrived home from Queensland that it was time for them to pack another bag as three of the horses that they have trained were to compete in the U.K on on June 19 in Euston Park (near Cambridge) in England...

Read more here:
http://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/news/local/sport/equestrian/test-of-endurance-for-two-cedar-ridge-girls/2210771.aspx

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great Britain: Endurance Rider Publishes Autobiographical Book



Drinking the Wind: At the limits of endurance
By John Tytler Thomson

Forged from the basics of good old-fashioned horsemanship and high tech innovation. Endurance riding, the sport of a million steps isn’t for the faint hearted. At the purest level or at the extremes of competitive distances, it is the ultimate challenge of horse and rider over the natural elements.

Drinking the Wind - is the extraordinary and inspiring version of one man’s recovery from a sudden and debilitating illness, an encounter with a ghostly horse and his progression to become a successful EGB endurance rider. This story is about courage, determination and the tough, intense, often unforgiving conditioning required to prepare a horse and rider for the extremes of endurance. This is a remarkable account of the formidable bond forged between the rider and his pure bred Arabian horse and their combined battle for the first Trans Scotland 200 miles Endurance Ride.

Struck down by a sudden stroke, paralysed, brain damaged and emotionally wrecked the writer is hospitalised. During the initial days of recovery a second trauma occurs which places the writer in a near death experience. From what appears to be a passage through the void an encounter with a ghostly horse generates a massive life change and sets the writer on a whole new direction. The story tells the initial battle for recovery, investigation into the near death experience, the void and spirit guides. When the writer finally decides that the entire episode should be put behind him and to rest, he thinks that the final piece of the puzzle is to learn to ride a horse and be at oneness with the equine guide. The experience and this decision baffles friends and family and the subsequent recovery after months of intense, demanding, physiological and psychological testing astounds doctors. In the early chapters the writer examines the benefits of the American concept of Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding, challenges the theory that talent is natural and god given at birth and instead follows the demanding psychological concept of “deliberate practice” and the belief in extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Within eighteen months, the writer, a person with little or no previous horse riding experience moves from an Endurance Great Britain novice to advanced class rider, comfortably winning various competitive classes along the way.

Reviews from 1st Edition

Drinking the Wind – “His book about his 200 mile Trans Scotland ride is an entertaining read. It had me laughing and crying, holding my breath and sighing with relief as I felt I was riding along side him with every page.

For me John can take his place alongside the likes of Bob Champion and Lance Armstrong. Men who when faced with life threatening illnesses have used their sport as a battle ground to fight back. Proving that they will not be beaten and “normal” life will continue.

The book is full of colourful descriptions of the scenery, places and people Team Omar encounter on route, as well as informative historical, geographical, botanical, theological and literary references. Clearly a lot of research has gone into producing this rounded and enjoyable read.”
Nikki Pearson, EGB Cumbria Branch Secretary

“I have just finished reading the book. Feeling rather emotional and overwhelmed to be honest. So inspirational! Such an achievement! He must be so proud of Omar and what has been done. It tells of the bond between a horse and human that is so precious and a real treasure.”
Lynn Healey, Culgarth

“I was drawn in from the very beginning. The story is so life affirming and encouraging.”
Kathy Low, Dundee

“This book is so emotionally charged in places I went through a box of tissues then found myself laughing hysterically at the wicked sense of humour. It is a remarkable story of a journey of achievement that anyone would be proud of. It is an inspiration. The description of the Scottish scenery, history and culture is breathtaking.”
Lesley & Laurence, Bury St Edmonds

“Awesome!! When is the movie coming out?”
Delores Wotring, South Carolina

“This is a book which manages to be powerful and moving, inspiring and informative all together. It tells the reader a lot about the almost magical bond that can be formed between horse and rider and much about the historic country through which John passed. And it says much too about the invincibility of the human spirit. This book will have a strong US readership.”
T Smith, London

ISBN 978-0-9560415-2-4
Metal Rabbit Editions

Available in paperback from 31 July 2011
Kindle Version available on Amazon from 31 July 2011

for more information contact

at jtthoms @ hotmail.co.uk

Monday, June 27, 2011

Malaysia: Agong Launches First Endurance Club In Penang

Enduranceridingforum.com

June 25 2011

GEORGE TOWN, June 25 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Saturday declared open the Al-Khamsa Endurance Club in Taman Perbandaran Pulau Pinang here.

The King arrived at the club about 9.10am before heading to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and touring the stable.

He was accompanied by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the president of the club, A. Mutalib Ismail.

Tuanku Mizan spent about an hour touring the stable and watching a horse show before proceeding to join Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah for a Penang Hill trip.

Also on the train ride for a picturesque view of George Town and its surrounding area from the hill top were Abdul Rahman, his wife Toh Puan Majimor Shariff, and Lim and his wife, Betty Chew Gek Cheng.

Later, the Yang Dipertua Negeri hosted lunch for the royal couple at Seri Mutiara before the King and Queen departed to Terengganu at about 4.20pm.

The Al-Khamsa, the first endurance club in the state, was built recently on about 0.8-hectare of land and the stable can house up to 30 horses.

Mutalib said he had spent over RM600,000 to build the club which currently housed 18 Arabian horses from Australia, Russia and Poland.

"I thank His Majesty for launching the club and I hope it will be a stepping stone for Penang to produce its first endurance rider for the Malaysia Games," he told reporters after the launching ceremony.

He said previously, the state had no representative in the endurance racing competition at the Games while the other states had.

"Our main objective is to produce endurance riders and hopefully within the next two years, we will be able to train a few riders for the competition."

Mutalib said the club would be in full operation within the next two weeks and the public, especially children, were welcomed to join.

-- BERNAMA

Great Britain: Endurance rider crosses Asia in Olympics quest

Dailypost.co.uk - Full Article

* by Rachael Misstear, Wales on Sunday
* Jun 19 2011

SHE’S slept inches way from scorpions and snakes, fended off attacks from wild stallions and broken her ribs and collarbone – all as part of an epic 10,000-mile journey on horseback.

But for 62-year-old West Wales pony breeder Megan Lewis her four-year challenge to ride from the Beijing Olympics to the start of the 2012 Games in London is fulfilling a lifelong dream.

The mum of three and – aptly – a former head of geography, has already packed a lot into her journey through life.

Now she is combining her lust for adventure and her experience of endurance riding with a bid to raise funds for her husband, Iestyn Thomas’s, charity Schoolchildren for Children.

Currently resting at her farm in Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire, she has just completed her crossing over the Ural river bridge in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, to officially enter Europe.

Riding her horse Zorbee, she was accompanied by her cousin Rowena Gulland on her horse Bolashak.

Megan started her epic trek in October 2008 from the end of the Great Wall of China where it reaches the sea at Shanhaiguan on the Chinese coast...

Read more here:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/local-north-wales-news/carmarthen-news/2011/06/19/endurance-rider-crosses-asia-in-olympics-quest-55578-28901273/

Abu Dhabi: Al Yamahi's exciting world as endurance official

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Event's judges have to ensure the welfare of the horses during races and also ensure fair play

* By M Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter
* Published: June 26, 2011

Abu Dhabi: Ever since His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, led the UAE to its first gold medal in the European Open endurance Championship in Portugal and Spain in 1999, the UAE has emerged as a dominant force in the world of equestrian sport.

While the UAE riders won every major international championship the country also emerged as a leader in staging endurance rides with the domestic UAE calendar studded with many international FEI rides. This Emirates Equestrian Federation has through this period ensured that the UAE also produces some top quality officials and one of the three emirati four-star FEI endurance judges is Mohammad Khalfan Al Yammahi.

Gulf News caught up with Al Yamahi during the recent World Arabian Racing Conference in The Hague where he was one of the delegates and the Emirati revealed his passion for horses which has seen him end his career as an aircraft engineer. The following are excerpts from the interview:...

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/horse-racing/al-yamahi-s-exciting-world-as-endurance-official-1.827519

Great Britain: Nikki Malcolm takes endurance National Championship

Equestrianteamgbr.co.uk - Full Article

24 June 2011

Up and coming endurance rider, Nikki Malcolm, achieved her best result to date to take the National Championship with Khartoum With AK, also finishing 5th in the international FEI CEI 3* competition won by HE Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Spendacrest Kamouflage. The Championships were held at Euston Park, near Thetford, courtesy of Janah Management, on 19th June and provided a wonderful opportunity for national riders to compete at this venue that is normally only used for international competition.

The valuable prize fund of £500 sponsored by Airowear, and a new saddle provided by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, added to the prestige of the title for a delighted Nikki.

Bred for endurance by the late Cheryl Logan, Khartoum With AK is an anglo, by the arab stallion, Khairho, who himself won multiple 100 mile endurance races, and out of a 17hh TB mare whose breeding can be linked to the famous American racehorse, Seabiscuit.

Nikki has been riding Khartoum With AK for 3 seasons and he has not been the easiest to train. “He is not for the faint hearted and is full of attitude but I really enjoy him”, she says. The 13 year old has proved to be consistently successful winning 5 national competitions in a row. The pair won the 136km 2-day Cirencester Park Summer Solstice, the Ridgeway Barbury Castle 100km, and the Red Dragon 82km in their first season. Last season saw them finish 11th in the international FEI 120km at Euston Park with further success at the Cerne Giant and Hardys rides as well as repeating their wins at Cirencester and Barbury. Khartoum With AK has notched up a competitive distance of over 1,828km so far in his career...

Read more here:
http://www.equestrianteamgbr.co.uk/news.aspx?strArticle=endurance-national-champ

Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Britain: Beccy Broughton-Booker and Java Sunlight Retire from Endurance Competition

EnduranceGB.co.uk

23 June 2011

When Beccy Broughton-Booker and Java Sunlight finished Dukeries in such fine style at the end of May, both looking as good as I have ever seen them, I had no idea that this would be Java’s swansong and that retirement from endurance competition was imminent. It is always a pleasure to see a horse reach its peak and bow out on a good note and I commend Beccy for knowing that the time is right for a change of career and commencement of maternal duties. I am looking forward to meeting the first orange offspring of Java and Murmansk in 2012. This will be a hard act for baby to follow with both parents representing Great Britain at championship level, but what a starting point. I am sure that everyone will join me in wishing Java well and we look forward to seeing Beccy back at the top with another Elite horse.

Beccy adds:
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to withdraw Java and myself from the British Team Elite Squad which will be sending a team to this year’s European Championships in Florac. We wish the Team every success and best of luck in their quest. I would also like to thank all of the Team Management for their support, advice and hard work.”

Di Latham (Chairman of Selectors)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Malaysia: Sultan Terengganu Cup To Be Known As Sultan Mizan Cup Endurance Challenge

Bernama.com.my

June 19 2011

SETIU, June 19 (Bernama) -- The Terengganu Sultan's Cup Endurance Challenge inaugurated five years ago will be renamed as Sultan Mizan Cup Endurance Challenge.

Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said said the name change was in recognition of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin's contribution and involvement in the sport.

"The Endurance Challenge has seen a tremendous increase in participation and response over the past five years and it is about time to elevate the status of the race," he said when launching the 2011 Sultan Mizan Cup Endurance Challenge which was held simultaneously with the prize presentation ceremony of the Malaysia-Thailand Open Endurance Challenge Trophy '11 here today.

He added that this year's race was expected to attract 90 riders from 15 countries, namely from Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Chile, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Wan Mohd Kamaluddin Wan Yusof from Terengganu emerged victorious in the Malaysia-Thailand Open Endurance Challenge which was held at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, here yesterday.

Wan Yusof, riding "Idas Tobiha" completed the 80km race with a time of 4 hours 02 minutes and 50 minutes, to beat 56 other riders in the category, including Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Ramso Ramli made it a 1-2 finish for Terengganu with a time of 4'03:02s while Thailand's Wipawan Pawitayalaup finished third with a time of 4'03:03s.

Tuanku Mizan later presented prizes to the winners.

-- BERNAMA

Endurance rider crosses Asia in Olympics quest


http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/06/19/endurance-rider-crosses-asia-in-olympics-quest-91466-28901268/

* by Rachael Misstear, Wales On Sunday
* Jun 19 2011


Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/06/19/endurance-rider-crosses-asia-in-olympics-quest-91466-28901268/#ixzz1Pj5i2y9U

She's slept inches way from scorpions and snakes, fended off attacks from wild stallions and broken her ribs and collarbone – all as part of an epic 10,000-mile journey on horseback.

But for 62-year-old West Wales pony breeder Megan Lewis her four-year challenge to ride from the Beijing Olympics to the start of the 2012 Games in London is fulfilling a lifelong dream.

The mum of three and – aptly – a former head of geography, has already packed a lot into her journey through life.

Now she is combining her lust for adventure and her experience of endurance riding with a bid to raise funds for her husband, Iestyn Thomas’s, charity Schoolchildren for Children.

Currently resting at her farm in Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire, she has just completed her crossing over the Ural river bridge in Atyrau, Kazakhstan, to officially enter Europe.

Riding her horse Zorbee, she was accompanied by her cousin Rowena Gulland on her horse Bolashak.

Megan started her epic trek in October 2008 from the end of the Great Wall of China where it reaches the sea at Shanhaiguan on the Chinese coast.

In spite of encountering many setbacks and challenges, she has now covered 5,000 miles across the deserts, mountains and steppes of Asia.

In China she suffered a three-month delay recovering from a fall from her horse but such setbacks were not going to hold Megan back from her dream.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this and because I was brought up in the Far East, I’ve always had an interest in Asia.

“My husband has been fully supportive from the very beginning, as has the rest of my family. My children think I am completely mad, but are not surprised,” said Megan.

She said the worst moment of her journey came when she had the accident just nine days after starting out from the Chinese capital.

“I fell off my horse in northern Hebei, breaking my collarbone and six ribs and puncturing a lung. After a seven-hour drive back to Beijing, an operation to pin back my collarbone, and three months’ recuperation in the UK, I returned to resume the ride at the beginning of August.”

Megan is riding 20 to 30 miles a day on her trip across Asia and Europe and is in the saddle for between six and eight hours. Her journey, dubbed the Long Horse Ride, is designed to promote good relations between Britain and China.

Megan is carrying a message of goodwill from Beijing to London for delivery in the Olympic year.

On May 29, she completed the crossing of Kazakhstan and has returned home for a few weeks to organise the next leg across Russia and the Ukraine.

Despite the feat of endurance and frightening encounters with local wildlife, she says the journey is a great adventure and is very enjoyable.

“Coming through the Steppes, Rowena and I camped at night and when we gathered up our tents we found several scorpions underneath and I had been a little blase about leaving my boots outside. We’ve had a few encounters with deadly snakes but mainly they stay out of your way.

“My horse Zorbee wasn’t keen on camels and got a little bit nervous about them. While I was travelling alone I was approached by a wild stallion who wanted to investigate and that was a hairy experience but I’m used to horses so wasn’t too fazed.”

She added: “The most thrilling part for me was finding a gorge I had read about in a book called the Gobi Desert by missionaries Mildred Cable and Eva and Francesca French.

“They had described how they travelled by moonlight through the Tian Shan gorge.

“It took about nine hours but I followed their steps and it was like living a dream.”

Megan aims to reach the London Olympic equestrian venue at Greenwich Park in June next year.

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/06/19/endurance-rider-crosses-asia-in-olympics-quest-91466-28901268/#ixzz1Pj5brFF1

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Great Britain: Dukeries International Success


David Saunders Photography

Endurancegb.co.uk

11th June 2011

British riders were once again out in force for Dukeries with Tricia Hirst winning the CEI*** 160km and Alice Beet the 120km.

Tricia Hirst made it an incredible third win in the CEI*** 160km class at Dukeries on Saturday 27th May 2011. Not only was it her third win, but each win has been with a different horse. In 2005 Tricia won this ride with Vlacq Khamul and followed this up in 2008 with that exciting racing finish beating the Bahrani riders with Vlacq Abattarik. 2011 saw her win again with the big grey Madjin des Pins from Beccy Broughton-Booker and Java Sunlight.

The Young Riders were also out in force again with Helen Perry winning the CEIJYR** 120km with Skylight Crusader. This was Helen's 4th win of this class at Dukeries (previous wins were with Wesam in 2005, 2007 & 2009). Brett Cororan & Harry Ingram completed their first 120km in exciting style with a racing finish for 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Congratulations to all those other riders with successful weekends.

France: Chanac CEI** 120 km


El Raid Blog - Gabriel Gamiz

June 18 2011

Melody Theolissat and Amurath have won the Raid Chanac, in a time of 7:20.32, at 17.26 km/h. Second was Jean Pierre Stella and El Kebir de Mandre, in 7:20.32, at 16.89 km/h. Third was Aurelien Cerlati riding Rayan de Bruyeres, in 7:25.18, at 16.71 km/h. Spanish rider Ruth Comas and Johara P10 came fifth.

56 riders started the race, with 30 finishing.

Malaysia: Tuanku Mizan Leads Challenge In Malaysia-Thailand Open Endurance Trophy

Bernama.com

June 18 2011

KUALA TERENGGANU, June 18 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Saturday led the 89 riders in the Malaysia-Thailand Open Endurance Challenge Trophy 2011 at Lembah Bidong here.

The championship being contested in the 80km and 40km categories was flagged off by State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Rozi Mamat at 6.30pm and 7pm at the Terengganu International Endurance park.

Tuanku Mizan, participating in the 80km category, rode RTES Smith alongside his son, the Terengganu Regent Tengku Muhammad Ismail. The 54 others in the same category included three women.

His daughter, Tengku Fatimatuz Zahrah, was in the 40km category, competing against 33 other riders, including Delia Phey Qi Xuan of Singapore and Britain's Victoria Jane Holt.

The 80km endurance test was expected to take more than 11 hours while the 40km challenge was estimated to stretch to seven hours. The Malaysian participants included riders from the Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable, Malaysia Army Endurance Team, Ar-Raudah Equine Centre, Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club and Langkawi Endurance Team.

The foreign participants included riders from Britain, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

The champion in the 80km category will receive US1,000, the runner-up US750 and the second runner-up US500. All three will be presented trophies.

Winners in the group category will receive US2,000 and a trophy.

In the 40km category, riders placed first, second and third will receive trophies.

--BERNAMA

UAE: Down the stretch and straight to history

Thenational.ae - full Article

Amith Passela
Jun 19, 2011

Down the stretch and straight to history

Amith Passela
Jun 19, 2011
(Foreground) Fatma al Marri and Shathra al Hajjaj are set to become the first Emirati women jockeys to race on the flat.

Shathra al Hajjaj and Fatma al Marri, two ambitious young jockeys, are poised to become the first Emirati women to race on the flat today at the Duindigt Racecourse in Holland.

The two women, both experienced endurance and show-jumping riders, recently completed a month of intensive training in preparation for today's race.

They are among 10 women who will ride in the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Fegentri Cup, a 1,900-metre race for amateur jockeys.

"This is the biggest sporting moment in our lives," al Hajjaj said.

"We just can't wait to experience and soak in the excitement of being the first Emirati ladies to race on the flat and also abroad."

Al Hajjaj, 26, and al Marri, 17, travelled to France more than a week ahead of today's race to familiarise with the horses they will ride, and for a few workouts on the racetrack, as well.

They are both hoping their recent work at the Seeh Al Salam Stables in Dubai will pay off today.

"We started training more than a month ago," al Hajjaj said.

"It became not only a daily routine for both of us, but we also thoroughly enjoyed the track work, riding three different horses under race conditions, every day.

"They were all endurance horses and it was very hard work because we needed to push them really, really hard as they didn't have the speed of the flat-race horses.

"It was also completely different as we had to work muscles we never used in endurance riding..."

Read more here:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Photojournalism - The spirit of endurance

Behance.net

A photojournal on the sport of Endurance riding with horses in South Africa

Project by Anzel Potgieter

Endurance riding is the fastest growing Equine sport in South Africa, but it is also much misunderstood by those who do not carry enough knowledge about it. Many people do not understand the great work and effort that goes into completing a 201 km horseback race through the Freestate and Karoo. For others, the mere thought of riding an animal through such harsh terrain over three days may sound like nothing else but animal abuse. This book aims to eradicate these ideas, by informing and educating the reader about the hard work and determination involved in keeping and riding edurance horses, as well as the emotional bond that arises between man and horse. This book will be published at the end of 2011. Below are some pages from this 140 page book.



More...
http://www.behance.net/gallery/Photojournalism-The-spirit-of-endurance/1613111

Arabian horse breeders ready for challenges

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

Hisham Al Gizouli


16 June 2011,
Leading UAE Arabian horse breeders said they don’t see any good reasons to shift their operations outside the UAE despite unfovourable and tough weather conditions.

“It’s a challenge, and we are determined to take it,” said Khalid Al Naboodah told during the opening session of the World Arabian Horse Racing Conference at the Hilton Hotel here on Thursday morning.

The conference is held as part of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival. It was officially inaugurated by the UAE ambassador to Netherlands, Ali Thani Al Suwaidi.

“We have no plans to breed our horses away from home. There’s no doubt that the weather conditions and surroundings in some neighbouring countries like Syria and Lebanon are more promising, but the tight rules and regulations coupled with the non-availability of flat races there make our job very difficult.

“This in addition to the fact that the home-bred Arabians have made their mark and with the exception of the Dubai Kahayla Classic, the UAE-bred horses have won all the other major races beating French, American and British-bred horses,” Al Naboodah said.

Faisal Al Rahmani, a prominent UAE Arabian horse breeder and owner, echoed the same opinion adding that they understand that the hot and humid weather conditions as well as the water shortage represent a real obstacle, but they are working hard to conquer the impossible.

American Arabian horse breeders’ representative Deborah Mihaloff didn’t hide her intentions that she’s breeding the Arabian horses for their beauty, agility and stamina...

Read more here:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/horseracing/2011/June/horseracing_June34.xml§ion=cricket

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cal Rei announce sponsored British Rider

FHCCommarketing.com

Written By: FHCcom - Jun• 06•11

PRESS RELEASE

Cal Rei sponsors Alice Beet British No 1 Endurance Rider.

Cal Rei, are pleased to announce the first in their Cal Rei Team of British Sponsored Riders. The Endurance rider, Alice Beet, ranked British No 1 and World FEI No 11.

Cal Rei, produce innovative equestrian equipment, using the ground breaking and unique ‘3D Spacer Fabric’. We are very positive and excited to be able to offer this sponsorship opportunity to Alice. We wish to encourage and support riders who demonstrate ability and determination yet ride with sensitivity and skill. Alice and her supportive crew were put forward by the highly respected Nicky Freud. Cal Rei prides itself on high standards and superior performance. We could not think of a better ambassador in Endurance to match these standards with us than Alice Beet and we are looking forward to supporting Alice in the future. We are thrilled that Alice has just won first place in her 120km race ride at the Dukkeries in her Cal Rei equipment. It’s a superb result.

The fabric created by Cal Rei is revolutionary. We are starting in the equestrian sector although the fabric is extremely versatile for many industries. Maximum performance of horses is afforded and their comfort and well being ensured. This 100% recyclable fabric is very durable yet comfortable and light, affording total breathability with excellent pressure distribution whilst memory retaining. This is positive for the horse and aids performance naturally. After use it can be either cold hosed or machine washed being quick drying then reusable. There is no build up of sweat & moisture, no weight in liquid retention and easy to clean instantly.

Cal Rei products are the essential ‘must have’ items, to afford maximum equestrian performance whilst saving time and finances in care and maintenance.

Cal Rei products are available through www.Horserei.com in Spain and additionally www.FHCcommarketing.com

Great Britain: Bipeds Make a Horse Race Out of Contest of Man vs. Beast

Online.wsj.com - Full Article

By JOHN W. MILLER

LLANWRTYD WELLS, Wales—Just three miles from the finish line, Duke's Touch of Fun bumped into John Terry, a 34-year-old, pony-tailed marathoner from Bristol.

Mr. Terry stumbled. And Duke's, a 12-year-old gray mare, galloped past in hopes of taking her fourth career title in the Man Versus Horse Marathon.

The only two victories by human runners in the 32-year-old race have come in the past seven years, inspiring Mr. Terry and a record 286 fellow runners to pit themselves against 50 horses this year. Both wins came on hot days, where people have an evolutionary edge: People sweat more easily than horses because they lack the heavy horsehair.

Matching man and beast is as old as Roman gladiators fighting lions. Olympian Jesse Owens once beat a horse in a 100-yard dash...

Read more here:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576381593288615606.html

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jose Luis Ruiz Hidalgo and Al-gharbe win Spanish Championship



El Raid Blog

June 11 2011

José Luis Ruiz Hidalgo and Al-gharbe re the Gold medal winners of the XXX Spanish Championship at El Paular. They covered the 160 km in 9:49.15, at 16.5 km/h with a total recovery time in the vet gates of 9.50. Al-gharbe also won the Best Condition award.

Second across the finish line was Pedro Godinho riding Olimpico da Ameira in 10:03.20, at 16.13 km/h.

Third place, and Silver medal in the Spanish Championship went to Anna Maria Yebra Altamira and Calzadilla, with a time of 10:03.33, at 16.10 km/h.

Fourth place, and Bronze medal went to Oriol Casals and Zazha of Vilaformiu in 10:07.34, at 16 km/h.

Complete results can be seen here:
http://www.endurancetiming.com/1008e2/

More photos can be seen here:
http://ggjineteraid.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 11, 2011

XXI Brazilian Championship

Enduroonline.com.br

Step 3 of the Championship of Endurance 2011
Free Speed ​​and Regularity

Interstate Cup Teams (Regulation at the end)

Regional directors and team leaders from each state.

As has been widely reported, starting this year we will have with the Brazilian Championship, Copa Interstate Teams and the regulation will be awarded as the best teams entered in the trials of 160 km and 120 km (Adults and Young Rider)

Teams from each state can be formed with up to 06 sets of these,
05 and 01 will participate in joint assembly is discarded after the initial inspection of the trot.

Will be required a minimum of 03 teams entered in each category (160km and 120km) to happen for the dispute.

The CBH will make a cash prize for the Champion Team and Vice-Champion of 160 km and 120 km-adult.
The Young Riders category will not receive prize money.

We ask interested parties to form their teams and forward to the director on behalf of CBH enduro, Olaf Maciel. The deadline for these entries is displayed up to 20 days prior to.

For more information see:
http://www.enduroonline.com.br/cbee2011.asp

KER Participates in Australian Endurance Festival

KER.com

Australia's endurance riding industry will be showcased at the inaugural Endurance Festival June 11-13 in Queensland. The event will include the Australian FEI*** 160km National Championship, as well as several shorter rides. It is being held in conjunction with the June 8-10 Australasian Endurance Forum.

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) equine nutritionist Clarissa Brown-Douglas, Ph.D., will be presenting two seminars on feeding the endurance horse at the event, which was organized by the Toft family's Oz Endurance.

Peter Toft has been a member of several Australian endurance squads, and is a long-time supporter of KER and its goals. Penny Toft was among the Australian endurance riders who trained at KER's research facility in Kentucky prior to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
See a video featuring Penny Toft at KER.

Australiasian Endurance Forum Attracts Multi-National Attendance

Horsesport.org

8 Jun 2011

Over 150 delegates representing nine different nationalities are attending the Australasian FEI Endurance Conference and Forum, which began in Brisbane (AUS) today.

Delegates from Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, the UAE and the USA are taking part in three days of lectures and discussion sessions across a wide range of topics relating to international Endurance.

This is the first time the world forum has been held outside Europe and guest speakers have travelled from Canada, America, the UAE, Malaysia and Switzerland, and from across Australia.

The members of the FEI Endurance Technical Committee who are in attendance will also meet during the Forum and attend the Australian Endurance Festival taking place this weekend featuring FEI competitions at 1*, 2* and 3* level.

The conference organisers state that the primary goal of the three-day meeting is to achieve the aspirations of the FEI Code of Conduct, which states “The FEI urges all involved with the sport to attain the highest levels of education in their areas of expertise.”

As well as a debate on the future of international competitions in Africa, Asia and Australia, the conference will also discuss:

• implementation of the new rules and implications of the new star rating for treatment veterinarians
• improving the understanding of the roles of officials
• changes to the Veterinary Regulations with regard to medication control
• examination of horses during competition especially metabolics and lameness
• issues relating to the treatment of horses at endurance rides
• improved nutrition and training methods for endurance horses and issues related to rider safety

“This conference and forum has given representatives from the regional nations a unique opportunity to meet together and exchange views with other nations from both within the region but also from much further afield”, FEI Director of Non-Olympic Sports Ian Williams said.

Further information on the conference, including a full list of speakers, plus details of the Al Reef Endurance Festival can be found here.

All the action from the Al Reef Endurance Festival can be viewed on a live feed from http://iequine.com/events/al-reef-endurance-festival. Footage begins on Saturday 11 June at 12.30pm with vetting and a pre-ride talk later that afternoon. Sunday morning is when the action unfolds - coverage starts at 5.00am and runs all day. On Monday 13 June there will be a live feed for a series of work-outs and presentations.

Italy: Mohammad Bin Rashid wins European Endurance race

Gulfnews.com

The 120 km-race was held on the sidelines of the fourth session of the UAE-Italian Joint Economic Committee

* WAM
* Published: 21:51 June 11, 2011


His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, won the first round of the European Endurance Championship, which was held on Saturday in Verona, Italy.

The 120-km race was held on the sidelines of the fourth session of the UAE-Italian Joint Economic Committee, also held in Verona.

Shaikh Mohammad came first with a timing of 6.19.02 hours followed by Shaikh Rashid Bin Dalmook at 6.19.03 hours. Saif Al Katbi came third at 6.19.04.

Seventy horse riders from various European countries contested in the race. The win is another feather in the cap of Emirati riders in European championships. The Emirati riders began to make their mark in 1999 when they won the gold medal in Spain.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Netherlands: Yvonne van der Velde and Joy Escobar win Dutch National Championships

June 4 2011

Yvonne van der Velde rode her thirteen-year-old Arabian gelding Joy Escobar to the 2011 national title endurance on the Fasna Trail. She won both the NK and hence the open competition (CEI3 *) over this distance of 160 km. The silver was for Suzanne Pen (Epe) with Depozit, the bronze went to Angela Jonkman (Scharmer) with Bayan Bin Bora.

[google translation]
Ten combinations stood on the start list of the Dutch championship. After 100 km, this number had halved after 125 km, there were three Dutch in the field. Angela Jonkman had Bayan Bin Bora drove head long, but delayed in the second half of the race the pace down in order to properly match the finish line. This paved the way for Yvonne van der Velde, who after a total driving time of 10 hours finished with 15.93 mph average. Suzanne Pen Depozit rode a fairly constant ride. She came to 14.86 km / h less than three minutes after Van der Velde crossed the finish line. Angela Jonkman was 12.81 mph by the end of the third Dutchman completed 160 km. In the championship match of the open ended their fifth and sixth of a total of eighteen participants. The places 2, 3 and 4 were two Danish combinations and a Belgian. The Best Condition horse went to the Portal of the Danish Inger Pitter Bertelsen.

'Coincidence'
Yvonne van der Velde won the National Championships once before in 2007 with Touch of Joy Cherain. Joy Escobar (v. Kais ox) in 2009, she was very close to the national title, but by then it was a coincidence wrong on the finish. But this year the race went smoothly and without the preparation was not ideal. "Esco a while back strain sustained a motion by problems with his herd hoof. Thus we include the race in Mont-le-Soie to let go. Our team farrier Onno Grund Esco has been running well again, "says Yvonne van der Velde. "I hesitated until the last day or I would take Esco to Ermelo and another horse, but there was conditional Esco seen the best for. The only goal we had, was spreading to 15 km / h to our FEI qualifications to secure. A very different approach than two years ago when we really fought for the title. That we now have and it also won the 160 km is therefore really a coincidence. I should also like to act on me. "

CEI Open
During the Fasna Trail were also some shorter distances traveled. On the 141 km (CEI3 *) were not Dutch participants at the start. The best Dutch on the 120 km (CEI2 *) were Yannick Rademaker (winches) with Fortuna in the seniors and Joyce van den Berg (Leiden) in the Bas Cardonne for juniors. They finished second and third respectively in their category. The 90 km (CEI1 *) was won by a combination of Netherlands, Caro de Boer (Winterswijk) with Raiyah.

Saddle man rides to pick up national accolade

Ross-shirejournal.co.uk

Published: 10/06/2011

A ROSS-SHIRE man has battled his way to a major endurance riding accolade.

Joe Newlands and his horse Bluefire Midnight Shadow, also known as Spirit, made the long trip to Nottinghamshire to successfully complete and win a 160km ride at The Dukeries, an international ride held at the stunning venue of Thorsby Hall.

Joe, a facilities manager with Isleburn, only started riding 10 years ago on a Highland pony. Some eight years ago, he purchased Spirit, a part-bred Arab, and has not looked back.

After been picked to ride for the Scottish team three years in a row, Joe and Spirit have travelled to Ireland, Wales and now England to compete in long distance riding.

The dynamic duo, crewed by Karen Graham, Lorna Templeton and George and Diane Michie, started at 6.15am, riding five loops of different lengths.

Spirit was vetted within five minutes of completing the course with low heart rates and won the race with a total riding time of 11 hours and 32 minutes.

In 2010, Joe and Spirit successfully obtained their Gold Thistle Award and later that year, riding for the Scottish team at Burgie, completed and won their two-day 120km ride class.

The pair have now obtained their Diamond award and are having a long rest before deciding what's next!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Australia: World riders contest endurance

Sunshinecoastdaily.com.au - Full Story

Cath Fouracre | 7th June 2011

ENDURANCE riders from all over the globe will descend on Christine and Lance Blatchford’s farm in Caboolture this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the inaugural Endurance Festival 2011 ride in the Beerburrum forest.

This is a first for Australia and international and Australian top riders will make their mark.

Oz Endurance organiser/secretary Penny Toft said those wishing to enter could go online for nominations to Oz Endurance website ozenduranceqinc.com or ring her on 0417 626 188.

"This inaugural event is quite a big thing for Australia,’’ she said.

It is held in conjunction with the Australasian Endurance forum which started today (June 8) and continues Thursday and Friday.

There will be an introductory ride and endurance rides of various distances – 40km, 80km, 120km and the big one - the national FEI over 160km.

She said they already had about 220 entries and riders from 13 countries were coming including Abu Dhabi, England, New Zealand, Malaysia and throughout Australia.

"This is open to all riders and those wishing to rise to higher levels in equestrian events and it is also a world endurance championship qualifier,’’ she said.

"Endurance rides are a great opportunity to gain more experience for riders.

"It is an opportunity too to showcase the athleticism of the Arabian horse as well as the endurance riding.’’

She said some events would be held on Friday, but the main events were on Saturday morning.

This event has been sponsored by Al Reef Stables and Toft Endurance.

Abu Dhabi: Stirring up love for horses at a young age

Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Equestrian sport's future nurtured with care at Abu Dhabi riding school

* By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter, Gulf News
* Published: 00:00 June 8, 2011

Abu Dhabi: Some of the UAE's biggest sporting achievements have come in equestrian sport like endurance and show-jumping while in flat racing, UAE owners have dominated the globe with their race horses.

Most Emiratis are naturals when it comes to horse riding and their love for Purebred Arabian horses, which is part of the UAE's culture and heritage is well documented.

The UAE has produced world champions in endurance and show jumping while the exploits of Ahmad Al Ajtebi as a flat race jockey are well known. This success with the fledgling sport of dressage and Arabian horse shows gaining a lot of attention, the exciting world of horses has always been an attraction.

In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club's Riding School is one venue where children from the age of six upwards can get acquainted with horses and riding.

Daniella Schlatterer, a German who has had a fair amount of success in various equestrian competitions, is the resident Head Instructor of the Riding School which is under the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club...

Read more here:
http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-sports/stirring-up-love-for-horses-at-a-young-age-1.818786

Australia: Future of endurance under discussion

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

June 9, 2011

Senior endurance veterinarian Dr Brian Sheahan is the principal moderator of the FEI Australasian Endurance Forum which began yesterday in Brisbane.

The three-day conference is the first endurance forum to take place outside Europe, and is hosting more than 150 delegates from nine countries. The last such forum was held in Paris in 2007.

Delegates from Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, the UAE and the USA are taking part in three days of lectures and discussion sessions across a wide range of topics relating to international endurance.

Guest speakers have travelled from Canada, America, the UAE, Malaysia and Switzerland, and from across Australia.

Dr Sheahan has also confirmed his availability to be the FEI Veterinarian Advisor in Mongolia for an intensive week of FEI-sponsored Endurance Education scheduled after the forum. He will be joined by Allan Renner, another senior FEI Endurance Official, who will be the Judge/TD Advisor.

The FEI is committed to supporting Endurance in Mongolia...

read more here:
http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2011/06/072.shtml

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Malaysia: The Ruler’s enduring passion for sports


Sporting spirit: The King (right) riding VV Coco during the Sultan’s Cup Terengganu Endurance Challenge in Lembah Bidong last year. -ZABIDI TUSIN/The Star Thestar.com.my - Full Article

June 4 2011

By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
farik@thestar.com.my

ASIDE from being accustomed to royalty, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin is famous for living a very active lifestyle and having lots of hobbies and vocations.

As a teenager, he was active in various sports and activities like football, golf, taekwondo, scuba diving and horseback riding. But his true love is endurance riding.

The ruler's love for horses and endurance riding is unparalleled that he even established the Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable and the International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong, Setiu.

In January, Tuanku Mizan took part in the Royal Terengganu Endurance Stable (RTES) Endurance Ride Series 1 at the International Endurance Park Terengganu.

Tuanku Mizan, riding the horse VV Coco, led three other riders in the 80km ride.

Also taking part in the race were his son Tengku Muhammad Mua'az and two daughters Tengku Nadhirah Zaharah and Tengku Fatimatuz Zahra'.

He even participated at the Fifth International Equestrian Championship from March 3 to 5, organised by the Emirates Heritage Club.

The track, running through the desert with strong winds and tough weather was participated by more than 90 riders.

Tuanku Mizan and two other Malaysian riders successfully completed the three-day race covering 240km...

Read more here:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/6/4/nation/8817256&sec=nation

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Jean Louis Leclerc to work as consultant for the Brazilian Squad

Endurance-belgium.com

It seems that Leclerc is accumulating the duties. After being fired (well, the official reason was that he was set in early retirement, but Leclerc now openly claims he has been sacked, and we can understand he is not very happy with that) by the French federation just before [the 2010WEG in] Lexington, the national trainer accepted a job as trainer from the German federation. When he was giving a lecture at the Belgian forum in February, Jan-Louis told us that his mandate with Germany wouldn't occupy him full time and that he was looking for other occupations. Brazil has since several years developed privileged contact with France, thanks to exchange programs between riders developed by Guilherme Ferrera. That's why many Brazilian riders could be seen in action on French events.

Leclerc will work for Brazil as technical advisor, helping the team to select and train a squad for the PanAm (in Chile) and the World Yound Riders Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Great Britain: Katy's Exmoor experience turns to gold

Farminguk.com

June 1 2011

Competing in the Exmoor Experience class of the internationally renowned Golden Horseshoe last month, Katy completed the two-day 50-mile course across the rugged landscape of Exmoor in Devon on her 13th birthday.

Katy, who lives on the Longmynd and is a pupil at Bishops Castle Community College, rode her 12.2hh Arab-cross pony Angelina Ginny at an average of 12km/hour over the two days, finishing each day within the optimum time and passing all veterinary inspections. She went one better than her record-breaking achievement in 2010, when she became the youngest rider to complete the course, attaining Silver Medal standard.

The Golden Horseshoe endurance ride takes place on Exmoor in Devon annually, attracting the UK’s top endurance riders and horses. This year’s event was boosted by the participation of Olympic three day event rider Mary King, who made her entry into the sport riding in the same Exmoor Experience class as Katy Mellor.

Qatar: Al Shaqab Endurance Team wins

Thepeninsulaqatar.com

May 31 2011

DOHA: Faleh Nasser Bughenaim secured victory for Al Shaqab’s Endurance Team, member of Qatar Foundation, in the Nations Cup Young Riders race in Compiegne, France, recently.

This win qualifies Bughenaim for the World Cup Young Riders competition later this year. Riding the horse In Situ, Bughenaim finished the 120km race in 5:48:46 hours, only two seconds in front of the second place rider. His average speed for the first four loops ranged between 18-21 km/h, but on the final lap he captured the victory with his increased average speed to 28.54 km/hr.

Sarah Baudrit, a French native, also competed for Al Shaqab, securing a 9th place finish with a total time of 5:54:18 hours.

The team will remain in France for the coming summer months, competing in multiple races across the country.

The Al Shaqab team representing of Qatar is led by Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab, manager and trainer Hadi Nasser Al Naimi, assistant trainer Jabr Nasser Al Naimi, and assistant trainer Abdul Aziz Saleh Al Jabir.

THE PENINSULA

Australia: Andrew Bowe goes barefoot

Weeklytimesnow.com.au - Full Article

June 1 2011

ANDREW Bowe's revolt against the farrier trade has ruffled some feathers, writes SARAH HUDSON

They call him the barefoot blacksmith and it's a phrase even Andrew Bowe admits is contradictory and, more pointedly, controversial.

"It's got me into all sorts of trouble," Andrew says.

When a respected farrier turns, in effect, against his trade and becomes a proponent of horses being unshod or barefoot, well, in the horse trade it's heresy, akin to changing football allegiances, or backing the wrong horse.

"Imagine something like the farrier industry, which is protective of its old ways. They see that I've gone over to the dark side and it has ruffled a few feathers," he says.

"I never thought it was not worth it. I'm a master farrier after all, and I should be as protective as them."

It is a testimony, then, that Andrew has persisted, and made such a success of his Alexandra businesses, The Barefoot Blacksmith.

The businesses are based on his 130ha property, which includes lecturing, workshops, consultancy, a newsletter and DVD arm, Australia's first barefoot rehabilitation centre, trimming service, and product sales which he runs with his wife, Nicky.

Andrew's success is also a testimony to his belief in the benefits of the barefoot concept.

His change of heart came about in a curious way...

Read more here:
http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2011/06/01/337801_country-living.html