Friday, September 30, 2011

Hundreds ready for 24-hour endurance ride

Updated September 30, 2011 13:40:49

Hundreds of the world's best endurance horse riders will compete this weekend for the title of Australia's top endurance competitor.

From midnight on Friday, they will race for 24 hours for 160 kilometres through the Barossa Ranges and Mount Crawford state forest near Adelaide.

The Tom Quilty Gold Cup began when bushman RM Williams and pastoralist Tom Quilty wanted to see if current-day riders were as tough as those of past eras.

Event director Jean Sims says all the competitors will find it tough this year because heavy rain in recent days has made the ground heavy.

"It is a challenging course. The riders start in the darkness but they wear headlamps on their helmets and they follow luminous arrows which mark a track through the forest," she said.

"It's quite wet and muddy so they'll have to slow down and just look after their horse to make sure that they get around."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-30/tom-quilty-horse-endurance-riders/3193796

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

France: National Finals for Young Endurance Horses at Uzes

Horsereporter Blog - Full Article

Posted on September 20, 2011 by worldreporter

Finales Nationales Des Jeunes Chevaux D’endurance Equestre a Uzes

September 19, Uzes, France ~More than 600 endurance horses aged 4-6 are expected to compete October 7,8,& 9 at Uzes in the Languedoc-Rousillon region, known as the cradle of endurance in France. The National Stud at Uzes has developed the discipline of endurance for the past 19 years and has confirmed hundreds of young French horses to the sport.

Each year, another nation is invited to discover these French finals. Last year the riders of Brazil were invited and rode horses that were prepared by the breeders of the region. This year an official delegation has been chosen from China to further their emerging interest onto the endurance scene. In past years, riders and trainers from Italy, Germany and Great Britain, Belgium and Sweden have been successful in this ride...

Read more here:
http://blog.horsereporter.com/2011/09/20/national-finals-for-young-endurance-horses-at-uzes/

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New body created for Irish endurance riders

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Ben Scott H&H news desk

20 September, 2011

A new body to oversee endurance riding in Ireland has been created following a meeting (Friday 9 September) of Ireland’s top endurance riders.

Endurance Ireland will work to promote the sport and develop a calendar of events for both competitive riding and training in 2012.

The body has written to Horse Sport Ireland with a view to becoming a section of the organisation.

Ireland has not competed at a World or European championship in endurance riding since 2006.

An elected committee of Yvonne Croke, (chairperson) Anne Kinsella, (treasurer and health and safety officer) Patrick Miller (assistant treasurer) and Karen Kiely, (secretary and press officer) has been formed.

Spokesperson for Endurance Ireland Karen Kiely said: “The positive response to our formation from endurance riders in Ireland and abroad since the launch on Saturday 17 September, has confirmed to us the need for the new group...

Read more here:
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/309709.html

Friday, September 16, 2011

Australia: 12 Days till the 2011 Barossa Ranges Tom Quilty

SATomQuilty.com.au

16 September 2011

The event, known as the Barossa Ranges Tom Quilty Gold Cup will provide a challenging event for participants on a new course. There will be an away check point and riders will experience changing terrain as the course traverses Mt Crawford State forest, vineyards and pastures. The second and potentially most challenging leg will be through pine forests, then onto private land owned by the Ross family (by kind permission).

The ride base will be at Mt Pleasant which hosts annually a large agricultural show in addition to many livestock and horse events. One of the best scenic routes in our State runs through Mount Pleasant linking Adelaide with the Barossa via the rich pastoral lands, forestry and the wine areas of Springton and Eden Valley close to Mt. Pleasant.

Land was first purchased for forestry at Mount Crawford in 1909. Plantings commenced in 1914; two species of eucalypts (Narrow-leaved Ironbark and South Australian Blue gum) and two species of pine (Radiata and Maritime pine) which creates a fantastic horse riding environment. The current reserve area is in the region of 12,000 hectares.

Please note that the event will start at midnight on Friday September 30th 2011 and continue through Saturday October 1st.

For more information, see

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Florac Championnat d'Europe 2011

Endurance-belgium.com

by Leonard Liesens

Of course Nobby and Maria Alvarez were the biggest favorites of this European Championship. Beside them, the two couples that Benedicte Emond (the new French Chef d'equipe) had chosen as individuals were also considered as very serious contenders. They were Pierre Fleury and Gregoire Tilquin. At the first vetgate, the battle for the first place had already begun. Nobby and Maria, Tilquin and Fleury were in the front. There was also another favorite who is always riding excellent horses. Last year she did well in Lexington with the German team; with the same horse she unfortunately crashed a bit during the last loop in Assisi two years ago, but now the horse has gotten more experience and was very strong. She is Sabrina Arnold; she lives in the south of France so the horse Beau was perfectly acclimatized to the grueling conditions. Another female rider did also come to play a role in forefront, Diana Origi, who lead the preride last year before that her horse pulled at the last vetgate. Unfortunately for the italian lady, her horse could hardly keep up in terms of recovery time and took everytime a few minutes more to enter the vetgate. In the front, alone, and opening the trail all the time, the extraordinary Kalifa from Abu Dhabi, ridden by his trainer Ali Khalfan. Amazing horse.

Even if we had a hard time following the race by car - actually it was harder for the people following the middle of the pack riders than for the one going along with the leaders- there were very few grumpy guys to critisise the principles of the in-line race. Florac is an in-line race and has always be and must remain as it is! Otherwise how could the riders -and the crew and spectators- enjoy the scenery and the various going and trails. There were a lot of discussions about the way that the course has been adapted to get a faster average speed, about the manicuring of some very rocky trails (rock crushing), but everybody has to salute the work of Jean-Paul Boudon and his team. Let's all hope that his team will continue the good work and offer us next year similar conditions. For sure there will be a lot of riders coming for the next edition.

The winning horse Kalifa is something like an extraterrestrial! Everybody - e.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y - was betting at every stage on his future crash. We heard many times: "If he completes and win, I should better stop doing endurance riding and convert to golf or something else". By seeing Ali and Kalifa eating up all hills at the canter when others were taking them at the trot, of course, observers could only bet on the crash. Knowing also that this horse was bought in Uruguay where there are no hills. The horse was bought by Al Wahtba and went to Abu Dhabi. He finished second last year at the President's Cup and at the Maktoum Cup. In Uruguay he did decently, including a top ten at the PanAm in Costa Azul. It is obvious that this horse never saw the hills and  mountains he had to cope with in Florac. So we had to stop pretending that we can still beat the Arabian riders in our technical races... Another lost illusion... And not to mentioon that Kalifa lost a shoe during the last loop. The rider had to put his easyboot, but this one was not fitting well so he had to stop several time to re-put it on. Alio Kalfan should come to the States learning the new easyglove technique!!!

The French team was composed of Atger, Demedy, Santisteva et Goachet. Until the final trotting, that was Spain who hold the team gold; but the Spanish horse Arizona de Lafont was eliminated at the final trotting. Big dissapointement and big anger from the Spanish team, but it seems that the decision was correct. Anyway, they have got the silver.

Belgium play his role in this game on the perfect way. There was no reason to fight in the front, but the 3rd place was perfectly within reach. Pietro Di Geronimo was chosen as individual when everybody was betting on him for the team, but only the trainer sees the horse during the pre-race clinics and at the trotting, so it's difficult to have an opinion. Anyway Di Geronimo demonstrated that his horse Mengali was perfectly prepared, taking the 9th place at the european level, his best placing up-to-now. Belgium was shocked when Taborah, a difficult mare, was eliminated for lameness at the first vetgate. With only 3 horses in the team, no mistake was allowed. The three did very well, always together, cruising at a good speed, entering into the vetgate very fast. They finally completed the race in a tied finish, something that we -still- like to see. Team bronze for Belgium.

The other nations did sometimes well, sometimes bad. Italy was just 10 minutes behind Belgium on the total of the three riders' times. Netherlands completed the team ranking at the 5th place whichis probably their best result. 
Germany was dissapointing taking into account the team bronze they clinched in Lexington last year. Of course Sabrina Arnold take the individual silver, but it is clear that jl Leclerc has still a lot of work. Slovakia didn't suffer any elimination and completed its full team, at the average speed of 13 km/h. Not too bad.
Finally, the time has gone when the European riders could dominate the Arabian ones on their technical courses. Aue, Qatar and Bahrain has proven that they are the biggest challengers on any type of course. Qatar took 3rd and 5th place; UAE won; Bahrain did 12, 15 and 22.
 
 Photos by Caroll Gatelier here:
http://www.endurance-belgium.com/photos/florac2011c/index.html

Photos by Leonard Liesens here:
http://www.endurance-belgium.com/photos/florac2011/index.html

Endurance Europeans – France take team Gold

Frenchhorseandcountry.com

13/09/2011 By fhc

Virginie Atger, Sunny Demédy, Julien Goachet and Bénédicte Santisteva took to the podium to receive the team Gold medal for the French at Florac this weekend.

In the Individual In the individual race multi-medalist for Spain, Maria Alvarez Ponton,riding his exceptional horse Nobby. The silver medal went to Germany’s Sabrina Arnold on Beautiful Ox and the bronze medal for French Pierre Fleury who ran as an individual with Kergof owned by Stéphane Fleury.

The winning team consisted of:-

Virginie Atger on Antall de Jalima ,

Sunny Demedy on Nerval de Beders , owned by Delphine Johnson and Marc Labrunie

Julien Goachet riding Lubiana de Coat Frity , owned by Jean-Pierre Le Hegarat

Bénédicte Santisteva on Djour de Bozouls , owned by Marcel Mezy

Virginie Atger also was awarded the prize for the best condition...

Read more here:
http://www.frenchhorseandcountry.com/WP/2011/09/13/endurance-europeans-france-take-team-gold/

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

France: Two Al Shaqab Endurance Riders Finish in Top 5 of European Championships

AlShaqab.com

* Publication Date: 11/09/11 8:00 AM


Al Shaqab Endurance Team, member of Qatar Foundation, came away from the Open FEI European Endurance Championships with a Bronze medal and a 5th place finish this past Saturday in Florac, France.

(September 11, 2011) Al Shaqab Endurance Team, member of Qatar Foundation, came away from the Open FEI European Endurance Championships with a Bronze medal and a 5th place finish this past Saturday in Florac, France.
Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi captured the Bronze medal, riding Mazayha, coming in only 47 seconds behind the reining World Champion. With a total time of 8:45:52 for the 160 km race, Al Maadhadi clocked an average speed of 18.21 km/hr.

Scoring a 5th place finish, Faleh Nasser Bughenaim crossed the finish at 8:50:26 aboard Leonardo with an average pace of 18.05 km/hr.

This was the biggest race of the year in the Endurance world, for which all teams and riders have been competing all year long to qualify. In total, 65 individuals entered the race, but only 36 finished all six loops of the race.

Al Shaqab Endurance Team manager Hadi Nasser Al Naimi coaches the Al Shaqab team under the guidance of Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab. The team will next compete Sept. 30-Oct. 1, in Pinamar, Emerald Coast, Argentina.

His Highness, The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani founded Al Shaqab in 1992 to preserve and further develop the Arabian horse in Qatar. Al Shaqab is led by H E Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and encompasses an Endurance Team, Breeding & Show division, Riding Academy. In 2004, Al Shaqab proudly became a member of Qatar Foundation. Al Shaqab’s mission is to be global leaders in preserving, improving and promoting the Arabian horse breed through setting the highest standard in breeding, show, equestrian arts and equine welfare, and encouraging community participation.

2011 Florac European Championship - Video

September 14 2011

A video look at Florac - the 2011 European Championship.



Youtube link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8sQXA3ghjE&feature=share

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

France: FEI Open European Endurance Championships 2011 - Florac

FEI.org

11 Sep 2011

PHENOMENAL PONTON TAKES INDIVIDUAL TITLE WHILE FRANCE TOPS THE TEAMS by Louise Parkes

Spain's record-breaking partnership of Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby took their fourth Championship title in a row when putting in another phenomenal performance at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2011 in Florac, France yesterday. And the host nation had plenty to celebrate too, as Virginie Atger, Julien Goachet, Sunny Demedy and Benedicte Santisteva claimed the team honours for France.

Concerns about the intense heat in the days leading up to the event dissipated when a cooling mist shrouded the mountainous course as the riders set off with a racing start at 4.30am. And it was an extraordinary sight as their headlamps guided the 76 competitors from 17 countries through the darkness over the early stages of their 160 kms challenge. Florac is recognised as one of the toughest Endurance tracks in the world, with a climb to 1,665 metres at its highest point, and a completion, let alone a victory here, is a coveted achievement in this most demanding of equestrian sports.

The track did not follow the modern "clover-leaf" formula often used in the sport today, in which the loops return to a central base during the course of the race. In contrast, the six loops on the Florac track stretched out over fresh ground and, while helping maintain the interest of the horses throughout, this presented a significant logistical challenge to the hard-working support crews and officials.

THE STUFF OF LEGEND
Ponton and Nobby are already the stuff of legend however. The Spanish rider and her little 148cms super-champ broke all previous records with their hat-trick that included the 2008 World title, 2009 European title and then their gold medal winning performance at last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA. And, a year later, they have now raised the bar even higher with their fourth extraordinary success.

Crossing the finish line in 08:45:05, they had an average speed of 18.237 kmh while silver medallist Sabrina Arnold from Germany broke the beam just under a minute later with an average speed of 18.208 kmh. Individual bronze went to Pierre Fleury and Kergof from France who cleared the line in 08:53:14 after recording an average speed of 17.958. A total of 43 horses and riders qualified through all phases to finish.

The European team title came down to a two-way battle between the Spanish and French, and it was the late elimination of Spain's Francisco Caselles Calm and Arizone de Lafon that decided the result. All four members of the French team completed and their total time of 27:24:55 gave them an advantage of almost 23 minutes over the the Spanish trio of Ponton, Oriol Casals Fores (Zarha de Vilaformiu) and Laia Crusellas (Flying Tornado). Bronze went to another team reduced to just three team-members, the Belgian side of Celine Just (Jahman), Michel Lequarre (Sahid des Fontaines) and Maritza Pereira (Lima du Barthas) whose total time of 30.06.12 was just 10 minutes faster than that of the Italians who missed out on the medal podium when slotting into fourth place.

A total of 11 teams lined out, with the fifth-place Dutch and sixth-placed Slovakian team performing beyond expectations. The fact that all four members of the Slovakian team completed is clear testament to the progressive and professional development of the sport in the region.

GLORIOUS MOMENT
Yesterday's success was yet another glorious moment for Ponton, who specialises in producing Nobby only rarely but to spectacular effect. This partnership first burst onto the international Endurance scene in December 2006 when finishing third in the 120 km race in Dubai (UAE) and they have been a force to be reckoned with every since. Ponton's husband, Jaume Punti-Dachs who is one of the leading Endurance trainers for the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed, is also a highly competitive Endurance athlete and helps Maria to keep Nobby in great shape. "I'm delighted with this win for myself and my great little horse - he really is unique", Ponton said, "to win four Championships together is something very special!".

In the Open classification, the United Arab Emirates' Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and Kafia came out on top when registering the quickest average speed of the competition - 18.481 kmh - while Qatar's Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi and Mazayha finished third and fellow-countryman Faleh Nasser Bughenaim and Leonardo finished fifth.

Results:
European Team Championship: GOLD - France 17.4714 - Antall de Jalima (Virginie Atger), Lubiana de Coat Frity (Julien Goachet), Nerval de Beders (Sunnsy Demedy), Djour de Bozouls (Benedicte Santisteva); SILVER - Spain 17.2872 - Nobby (Maria Alvarez Ponton), Zarha de Vilamormiu (Oriol Casals Fores), Fying Tornade (Laia Muixi Crusellas); BRONZE - Belgium 15.9052 - Jahman (Celine Just), Sahid des Fontaines (Michel Lequarre), Lima de Varthas (Maritza Pereira).

European Individual Championship: GOLD - Nobby (Maria Alvarez Ponton) ESP 18.237 kmh; SILVER - Beau (Sabrina Arnold) GER 18.209 kmh; BRONZE - Kergof (Pierre Fleury) FRA 17.958 kmh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

France: Nobby and Ponton win European Endurance gold

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

September 12, 2011

Spain's record-breaking partnership of Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby took their fourth championship title in a row when putting in another phenomenal performance at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2011 in Florac, France yesterday.

And the host nation had plenty to celebrate too, as Virginie Atger, Julien Goachet, Sunny Demedy and Benedicte Santisteva claimed the team honours for France.

Concerns about the intense heat in the days leading up to the event dissipated when a cooling mist shrouded the mountainous course as the riders set off with a racing start at 4.30am. And it was an extraordinary sight as their headlamps guided the 76 competitors from 17 countries through the darkness over the early stages of their 160 kms challenge. Florac is recognised as one of the toughest endurance tracks in the world, with a climb to 1665 metres at its highest point, and a completion, let alone a victory here, is a coveted achievement in this most demanding of equestrian sports.

The track did not follow the modern "clover-leaf" formula often used in the sport today, in which the loops return to a central base during the course of the race. In contrast, the six loops on the Florac track stretched out over fresh ground and, while helping maintain the interest of the horses throughout, this presented a significant logistical challenge to the hard-working support crews and officials.

But Ponton and Nobby are already the stuff of legend...

Read more here:
http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2011/09/089.shtml

Sunday, September 11, 2011

France: Ponton wins European Endurance Championship on Nobby

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

September 10, 20011, Florac, France ~ Spain’s, Maria Alvarez Ponton, reining World and European Champion, rode her half Arabian, Nobby, to another victory Saturday, as she again topped the best of European Endurance riders in the 2011 European Endurance Championship at Florac. Riding Nobby, the horse on which that she has won every major world endurance title for the past four years (World Championship, Kentucky, USA 2010, European Championship, Italy 2009, World Championship, Malaysia, 2008), Alvarez completed the course with an average speed of 17:68. She arrived in second place, as UAE rider, Abu Dhabi’s Ali Al Jahouri arrived first, finishing with an average speed of 18.55, setting a new record for the course and gaining the Gold for the Open division. Riding in 2nd position as the loops progressed and into the finish, Ponton was secure knowing she would be first for the European title. She arrived seven minutes behind Al Jahouri. Qatar’s Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi, riding Mazayha finished third, a minute later. Sabrina Arnold, riding Beau ox for the German team, arrived fourth by another minute and Beaux ox won the Best Condition prize at the Sunday awards.

Ponton said she trains Nobby in the desert and he has done well in his flat rides in Malaysia and Kentucky. ”This was his first mountain race,” she said. ”I arrived with a bit of fear of the mountain ride, as it has a certain reputation, and also I knew that the French riders are great competition. I can now see that Nobby is good at both desert and mountain rides.” Asked if he will race again, she said, “It was his choice to come. We didn’t push him.” Maria, 13 month old daughter, Maria, and husband, Jauma Punti Dachs live in Spain and Dubai, where the two train endurance horses.

Team prizes were: Gold -France, Silver- Spain, Bronze- Belgium...

Read more here:
http://blog.horsereporter.com/2011/09/11/ponton-wins-european-endurance-championship-on-nobby/

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Individual gold and team silver for Spain at European Raid

Ecuestreonline.com

[google translation]

September 10 2011

Maria Alvarez ("Nobby") and the Spanish team have returned to the podium in the European Championship Absolute Raid. The Cantabrian rider has renewed Florac (France) won the individual gold two years ago with its Arab Thoroughbred, while the national team has been unable to re-edit the first post and had to settle for silver after the controversial removal of Francesc Xavier Casellas ("Lafon Arizona"). The other three pairs have achieved national qualification.

France: Fine finish for Shaikh Nasser

Gulf-daily-news.com

September 11 2011

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa finished a strong 12th yesterday in leading Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team in the 160-kilometre FEI Open European Championship, held in Florac, France. Riding Nikel Kermorvan, Shaikh Nasser completed the gruelling six-stage ride in nine hours 32 minutes and 57 seconds.

He was well positioned for a spot in the top three at the end of the race's fourth leg, but then dropped back to 13th heading into the final stage before managing to move up another spot for his final classification.

Shaikh Nasser, who is the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president, was the top Bahraini entrant to finish the race.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Al Khalidiyah Stables leader Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was also enjoying a fine performance until he was forced to withdraw after stage five due to an injury to his horse R P Sebastopol.

Shaikh Khalid was in the competition for close to nine hours, and he was doing well to maintain a place in the top eight. He was within striking distance of a podium finish before needing to pull out.

Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri from the UAE emerged as the champion. Riding Kalifa, he put on an unbeatable ride, leading from the start to the finish and then completing the event with a total time of 8:38:10.

Spaniard Maria Alvarez Ponton on Nobby followed Al Jahouri's every move. Alvarez was in second place throughout, and she finished as the runner-up in 8:45:05.

Jassim Mohammed Al Maadhadi of Qatar, riding Mazayha, came third overall in 8:45:52. His fine showing made it two GCC riders on the podium in Florac.

Sabrina Arnold of Germany, riding Beau Ox, claimed fourth place overall in 8:45:53, Qatar's Faleh Nasser Bughenaim on Leonardo was fifth in 8:50:26 and Pierre Fleury of France, on Kergof, rounded out the top six in 8:53:14.

Amongst Bahrain's other riders in the race, Ahmed Abdulla Al Hazza, on Basic Instinct, came 15th after finishing the race in 9:54:43. He was the second-best of the Royal Team after only Shaikh Nasser.

Ahmed Jaffar Abdulrahim, on Ryhorn Marachaco, claimed 22nd, registering a total ride time of 10:28:04.

Like Shaikh Khalid, Bahrain's Abdulrahman Al Saad on Marduk had to withdraw from the race after five stages.

He was already in action for nearly 11 hours before being forced to pull out.

Yesterday's ride, which flagged off at 5.30am Bahrain time, featured 84 of the world's best riders hailing from a record 18 nations. The event was sponsored by Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team.

The race ran through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.

Al Jahouri wins gold in European Open Endurance Championship

By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter
Published: 23:27 September 10, 2011

Al Jahouri completed the 160-km championship ride in 8 hrs, 38 mins, 10 secs
photo: Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri winning the European Open 160-km endurance championship in Florac, France on Saturday.
Abu Dhabi: Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, one of Abu Dhabi’s top endurance riders won the 160-km European Open Endurance Championship held in Florac, France on Saturday.

Al Jahouri, a veteran rider and trainer of endurance horses at the Al Wathba Endurance Stables owned by Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, finished ahead of two-time world champion Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain.

Al Jahouri completed the 160-km ride in 8 hrs 38 mins 10 secs on his horse Khalifa while Maria once again partnered Nobby to finish about seven minutes behind the UAE ace.

A total of 77 riders from 17 countries took part in the ride.

Qatar’s Jasim Mohammad and Faleh Nasser finished 3rd and 5th respectively as Al Jahouri led from start to finish.

Thaleb Daher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation said, “This is another great victory and comes after the UAE won the gold medal at the World Endurance Championship in Kentucky last year.”
The results (Top five) of the 160-km European Open Endurance Championship:

* 1. Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (UAE) on Kalifa in 8 hrs 38 mins 10 secs;
* 2. Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 8:45.05;
* 3. Jasim Mohammad Al Maadhadi (Qatar) on Mazayha in 8:45.52;
* 4. Sabrina Arnold (Germany) on Beau Ox in 8:45.53;
* 5. Faleh Nasser Bughenaim (Qatar) on Leonardo in 8:50.26.

[full article at Gulfnews]

Friday, September 09, 2011

Bahrain: Royal Team duo gear up for ride

Gulf-daily-news.com

Friday, September 09, 2011

ROYAL Endurance Team leader Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Al Khaldiya Stables captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will arrive today in France for the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Horseride Championship, to be held tomorrow in Florac.

The pair will lead the Bahrain national endurance horseride team in the prestigious event, which features a challenging 16km ride.

Commencing at 5.30am (Bahrain time), the ride is organised by Lozre Endurance Equestre and will see some of the world's best riders competing for glory.

Leading contenders at the event are Spanish champion Maria Alvarez Ponton, who is set to defend her title on Nobby.

Among other riders taking part are some of the regional teams, including teams from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE, who have been dominating recent endurance rides, will be represented in tomorrow's event by only two riders. Qatar is scheduled to field six riders while Saudi Arabia will have two jockeys.

Out of 230 participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Lozre Endurance Equestre.

The Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, who are among major sponsors of the ride, will undergo veterinary examination today.

Participants from across the globe will escort their horses to the village for the veterinary tests that will take place at the National Park of the CŽzannes.

Approved

The weigh-in of all riders is also scheduled for today when the six-member Royal Endurance Team will also be approved by Shaikh Nasser.

The Florac 160km Championship will run through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.

Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid said they are excited to compete with the world's finest riders.

Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and chief of the Bahrain _Olympic Committee, said the Royal Endurance Team is keen to accomplish another outstanding achievement during their long camp in Europe.

On his part, Shaikh Khalid confirmed that the team's morale is high leading up to the championship, stressing on his teammates' intentions to claim a place on the podium and lift the Bahrain flag high.

The organising committee had a number of meetings, during which latest preparations were reviewed prior to the start of the championship.

Following the ride tomorrow, the prize-giving ceremony will take place on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Media and Information Centre of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalfia issued a booklet that highlights the achievements of Bahrain endurance riders in recent years.

The booklet, entitled 'New Horizons', is sponsored by Mena Telecom and aims to promote Bahrain during endurance rides organised in Europe.

Great Britain: The Pony Club Endurance Championships 2011

Horsedeals.co.uk

08/09/2011

Pony Club Endurance, generously sponsored by Dengie Horse Feeds, is going from strength to strength and will soon be enjoying its third Championship on September 18th at The College EC, Bedfordshire.

Pony Club Members, from all over the country, have been taking part in qualification rides throughout the year to gain their ticket to The Pony Club Dengie Endurance Championships. Entry numbers are set to be in excess of 50, with competitors split across Junior (eight to 12 years) and Senior (over 13 years) levels, both individually and in teams. As with the other Pony Club disciplines classes will be set at levels for Novice (32km at 10km per hour), Intermediate (40km at 11km per hour) and Open (40km at 12km per hour).

“Pony Club Endurance continues to grow steadily in popularity as a discipline” comments Sally Lawton, Secretary of Pony Club Endurance. “It has been really pleasing to receive entries for the Championships from new Pony Club Branches to the sport, and we hope they really enjoy their Championship experience”.

Introduced in 2009 Endurance has proved a great addition to The Pony Club’s disciplines, as no specific type of horse or pony is needed to take part, and the emphasis on sound knowledge of how to correctly get fit and feed your horse sits well with The Pony Club’s training ethos. Pony Club Endurance is supported by long standing Pony Club sponsor Dengie Horse Feeds, who took on Endurance in addition to their Pony Club Winter League sponsorship at the beginning of 2010.

Ian Hassard, Managing Director, Dengie Horse Feeds says, “We are very proud to be supporting The Pony Club Endurance Championships. Endurance is a growing sport with a strong emphasis on diet and fitness which sits perfectly with Dengie’s nutritional values. I wish all those competing at the Championships the best of luck.”

The Pony Club Dengie Endurance Championship will be running alongside the Endurance Great Britain (EGB) Cromwell Group’s annual ‘The College Ride’. Spectators are welcome at the event, with no charge for entry, and food is available to purchase.

Great Britain: British Team Makes Their Final Preparations!

Endurancegb.co.uk

9th September 2011

Our British Team riders, crews and management have been making the final preparations for the ride tomorrow morning which starts at 4.30am local time (3.30am over here!).

As well as final crewing arrangements, horse care and logistics necessary for ride day, there has been time for them to relax as well..... as Chair of International it is always very important to ensure that you fully support your team and Mr John Yeoman has chosen a rather novel way to express himself this time..... by painting his fingernails in the team colours!!!!! Photographic evidence is here!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bahrain: Royal Team for European Open

Gulf-daily-news.com

September 8 2011

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be among the leading Bahraini riders in the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Horseride Championship in Florac, France.

This highly anticipated 160km event, sponsored by the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, is set to take place on Saturday at Florac Endurance Village with some of the continent's top riders in the fray.

The Bahrain team, who arrived at the endurance village earlier this week, continued their preparations for the upcoming event, organised by Lozre Endurance Equestre.

The Florac 160km Championship follows trails through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.

Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and chief of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, said the team hopes to maintain their recent impressive run in the European competitions this year.

Successful

He said the team had a successful participation in previous endurance rides in Europe earlier in the summer. Among those achievements was a second-place finish in Germany and later in France.

Shaikh Nasser also highlighted the outstanding achievement of team member Salman Isa, who clinched the eight-year-old category title during last month's FEI World Championship at Compiegne, in France.

The programme of the European Championship begins today with a several meeting by the organising committee, to be followed by the veterinary examination tomorrow in the National Park of the CŽzannes.

The race will then take place the following day from 4.30am, while the prize-giving ceremony is scheduled for Sunday.

Spanish champion Maria Alvarez Ponton will defend her title on Nobby and join the riders at the start of the race.

The programme for the European Championship is being supported in total by the Lozere Tourism Department where the ride will be held.

Out of 230 demands of participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Lozre Endurance Equestre. This is an absolute record of contestants on a competition of this type, but this shows as well a strong will of the European nations for a return back to the origins of the discipline.

For this challenge imposed by the FEI in order to assign definitely this championship to Florac, Lozre Endurance Equestre had designed specially for this championship a trail in one big loop.

The trial respects the traditional values endurance: stamina, horsemanship, sports ethic, respect for the horse's physical well being and morale.

Florac organised the first Continental Endurance Championship in 1984 and the 2011 teams are assembling with 142 listed riders and reserve participants from 20 countries.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

UAE: Growing popularity of equestrianism to be evident at ADIHEX 2011

Middle-east-online.com

2011-09-07

ADIHEX to give visitors chance to see forward-looking and futuristic developments in equestrian field.

ABU DHABI - Equestrianism is not only one of the oldest and noblest of pursuits, but also one of the fastest-growing. From Argentina, where pato, played on horseback and combining elements of polo and basketball, is the national sport, to the rediscovery and breeding of the ancient Caspian horse, and the burgeoning attraction of vaulting in the north-west United States, equestrian events of all types are increasing in popularity around the world. In the UK, for example, the sport enjoys such popularity that an estimated 43 percent of households (11 million) have a household member with some form of interest in equestrianism (including racing)*, and the equestrian sector is the largest sporting employer in the UK**.

In the UAE, horses play a special role. The Emirates Equestrian Federation was established in 1992 – under the Chairmanship of His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council – and in 1996, in Kansas, USA, UAE riders participated for the first time in a World Championship endurance event. Just two years later, the UAE hosted the World Championship endurance event which attracted a record 162 competitors. Polo –‘the sport of kings’ – is rapidly becoming more popular with both participants and spectators in the country.

Moreover, the Arabian horse have historically dominated the discipline of endurance riding. Yet in tandem with celebrating these traditions, ADIHEX will give visitors the chance to see forward-looking and futuristic developments in the equestrian field – a celebration of the past, present and future of riding, driving or vaulting with horses, and the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.

The increasing popularity of equestrianism is evidenced by the greater number of exhibitors at the ninth edition of ADIHEX (Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition), taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 14th to 17th September. Among those exhibiting is Al Khail Equestrian Equipment, suppliers of “everything from horse equipment to stable equipments and feed supplements,” in the words of Derick Samson, Veternarian at the company.

Samson says that the growing popularity of equestrian activities in the UAE has led not only to the import of equipment such as the SATO Tread Mill and Horse Walker Machine, which can be used to analyze poor performance in horses and prescribe remedial action, but also to products that have been developed especially for the country: “Our products on the supplements side are tailor-made for the UAE, since we bring doctors to conduct research on the country’s environment and weather before we actually develop the product. Our products include HBA supplements, complete vitamin minerals and many others, and we are in most cases the exclusive distributor.”

Samson says that the increasing prominence of equestrianism is driving new trends in the industry: “Clients are increasingly looking for equipments that help in pampering their horse. For example, we now offer horse spa machines, that are becoming very popular, and they help to relax the tendons of the horse.”

The long, proud history of equestrianism will be represented fully at the stand of Sorrell Studios, where the company’s proprietor and artist, Kenna bint Mohamed Al-Sayed Al-Hashami, will be present. Ms Al-Sayed, whose artwork has been included in the past five American Saddlebred Museum’s Annual Art Auctions, as well as being juried into the Ex Arte Equinus 4 International Equine Art Competition, will show and sell her work at the Sorrel Studios LLC stand at ADIHEX, located at H8 – 4.

Ms Al-Sayed is a member of the International Equine Artists group and a devoted horse rider who has been riding for over twenty years. Her experience around horses has helped to give her extensive knowledge of equine movement, reactions, and the intricacies of tack associated with various disciplines of riding. By staying in touch with the equestrian world, her art reflects different breeds of horses, riding styles, tack and training methods accurately.

Ms Al-Sayed believes that art is one area where equestrianism is under-represented and under-recognized: “I would like to think that equestrian art will start gaining respect within the art world. As of now, art that is realistic in depicting animals (in this case, horses) is not thought of as ‘high art’ and is usually harder to get accepted into prestigious art competitions. There are a number of groups and competitions that are just for equine artists and many of the artists competing in them are world class – it would be nice to see our subject matter receiving more attention. I would also love to see realism as a genre undergo a renaissance within the art world and with the public. All artworks are valid and deserve attention as they are a means of expression; it just seems there has been a trend for only modern abstract works to be constantly revered, yet there are many artists working with neo classical and photorealism techniques that could use more publicity, in my opinion.”

* British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) National Equestrian Survey (2005-6)

** British Horse Industry Confederation (BHIC) (October 2009)

Great Britain: Florac 2011 European Championships - Update

Endurancegb.co.uk

28th August 2011

Definite entries were made on Thursday and the reserves have been ranked.

The combinations representing Team GBR at the Florac 2011 European Championships on the 9th & 10th September are as follows:

Alice Beet & Adara Sauveterre
Tricia Hirst & Madjin Des Pins
Karen Jones & Macadamia
Catriona Moon & Leila
Christine Yeoman & ZT Richshakfy
David Yeoman & Haszar

The non-travelling reserves have been ranked in the following order:

Rachael Atkinson & Vanash
Nicky Sherry & Shimmering Blue Jasmine
Annie Joppe & Dilmun

Horse and rider blog for The British endurance team at the 2011 European endurance Championships

Horseandrideruk.com - Full Article

Welcome to the Horse and Rider blog for the British Endurance team at the European Endurance Championships 2011. We will keep readers up to date with regular blog posts and pictures from the British team riders at the Championships in the lead up to and throughout the event.

The six strong British Endurance team will be leaving on their journey to Florac in the South of France for the 2011 FEI European Endurance Championships early tomorrow morning (Sat 3rd September). Saturday the 10th September will see these riders and their horses set out on the gruelling 160km, hilly course in Florac.

The team selected for the European Championships are experienced and very keen to do well. Chairman of Selectors, Di Latham, said on behalf of the selectors and management team, "We are confident that this is a strong Team who will rise to the challenge ahead to bring home a Team medal".

The team consists of, newcomer Karen Jones from Devon, who joins Christine and David Yeoman from Somerset. Catriona Moon from Northumberland and Tricia Hirst from Wales have also been successful in team selection, along with the youngest team member, Alice Beet from Surrey. There are four non-travelling reserve riders, Rachael Atkinson, Sally Hall, Annie Joppe and Nicky Sherry.

Christine Yeoman from Shepton Mallet has a wealth of experience at international level, having been on the squad for two European Championships and two World Equestrian Games (WEG) in both Aachen and Kentucky. She finished in 31st place in the 2010 WEG with LM Midday...

Read more here:
http://www.horseandrideruk.com/article.php?id=1678

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

France: Monpazier

2 September 2011

France's Julien Lafaure, riding Phedra Cabirat, won the 160km CEI*** race at Monpazier, France, on 2 September 2011 by one second over Qatar's Hassan Tahous S.J. Al Nuaimi, riding RP Attual. The winner averaged 17.39 km/h over the course. Following just over 6 minutes later was third place Enora Boulenger of France, riding Braza. Qatar's Faleh Nasser SS Bughenaim, riding Major Armor came first across the finish line, but his horse did not pass the final vet check on metabolics.

Twenty-one of 43 starters finished the race.

Monday, September 05, 2011

South Africa: Genghis Khan rides again!

Timeslive.co.za - Full Article

SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER | 04 September, 2011

Craig Egberink spent $10 000 to enter the " baddest horse-race on the planet", the Mongol Derby in Mongolia.

And his prize for winning the gruelling 1000km race - beating 22 other riders in the process? A Mongolian horse bridle and a jacket.

"I t was never about the prizes. I did it for the challenge . .. and surviving it," the tough Kwa-Zulu-Natal dairy farmer said this week.

The 10-day annual race through Mongolia's wilderness, held between August 6 and 16, is billed as the "longest, toughest, baddest equine affair on the planet".

According to the race's UK-based organisers, The Adventurists: "The race is dangerous, it's unsupported, and you could die."

At least five of the riders withdrew this year after sustaining injuries, some of which required surgery.

Another South African, Barry Armitage, damaged his right arm and ribs when he fell from his horse.

The riders - who included farmers, polo players and endurance riders - came from the US, Australia, the UK, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain...

Read more here:
http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/2011/09/04/genghis-khan-rides-again

Friday, September 02, 2011

France: Entrants for Florac European Championship

Horsereporter.com
- Pamela Burton


August 31 Florac, France ~ September 10 is the date of the highly anticipated European Championship 160km to be held in Florac, in the National Park of the Cézannes. Florac organized the first Continental Endurance Championship in 1984 and the 2011 Teams are assembling with 142 participants from 20 countries. Spanish Champion, Maria Alvarez Ponton, will defend her title on Nobby and join the riders at the 4:30 AM Saturday start. Best Condition will be held at 9:30 AM on Sunday, the 11th, followed by the Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony.

The program for the European Championship 2011 is being supported in
total by the Comite Departemental du Tourisme de Lozere (The Lozere
Tourism Department) where the ride will be held. Tourism being such a
high percentage of French income in many places, the Tourism
Departments are willing participants in many endurance races,
especially of the higher Star level. Likened to the Tevis Cup in
America in terrain, the Florac 160 km 3* Championship follows trails
through the mountainous region of the Cézannes National Park in
Central Southern France...

Read more here:
http://blog.horsereporter.com/2011/08/31/142-entrants-in-for-european-championship/

A Hoof Perspective: AERC and AHA National Championship 2011

Christoph Schork
Thursday, September 1, 2011
[Full story posted at http://blog.easycareinc.com/blog/bootmeister-natural-hoof-care-tips/a-hoof-perspective-aerc-and-aha-national-championship-2011]



For many years, Roger Taylor had hosted a 6 day pioneer endurance ride in this central area of New Mexico. Rich in history with a great scenery and plenty of sightseeing and exploration possibilities, Lincoln county has lots to offer.

This year's entries were down. Some blame it on the economy or high fuel prices, but the competing riders were rewarded with great weather, an outstanding veterinary staff and excellent management. Adequan was a major sponsor and helped make this event possible. Abundant rain this summer made the countryside very lush and green.

With over 17,000 vertical ft of elevation gain in the 100 mile race (and an equal amount of elevation loss), this championship ride featured more altitude climbing than Big Horn (15,500 ft) and Tevis. With temperatures topping out in the 90s, a good amount of humidity and a total mileage of 105, the 2011 AERC National Championship turned out to be one of the toughest in recent memory. New Mexico also has no shortage of rocks, so a very high percentage of riders elected to ride in protective horse boots with the overwhelming majority choosing Easyboot Glue-On hoof boots or the Easyboot Glove. It certainly seemed to be the right choice of hoof care products when looking at placings, finishing times and completion ratios.

[More...]

Namibia: Walvis bay hosts Africa endurance race

Namibian.com.au

30 August 2011

By: STAFF REPORTER
WALVIS Bay Endurance Club plans to host the Annual and Senior Rider Africa Championships tomorrow.

The event, courtesy of the Namibian Endurance Race Association is the ultimate endurance challenge over the highest dunes in the world.
The distances for the endurance range from 45km to 120km through the outskirts of Walvis Bay to the salt pans, dune 7 and along the beach. This ride is not only one of the most spectacular in Africa, but also an endurance ride in the true sense of the word. Rider and horse have to endure all aspects of the vastness and solitude of the Namib Desert. Currently there are over 220 entries from all over Southern Africa.
Organisers urge the public to come and support the club and riders. Lunch will be made available. For more information, contact Zelda von Schauth on 081 127 7578.

Bulgaria: FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2011 – Koprivshtitsa

Horsesinthesouth.com

31 August 2011

DOUBLE GOLD FOR BRILLIANT BULGARIANS by Louise Parkes

Lausanne (SUI), 30 August 2011 – The host nation scooped team and individual gold at the FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2011 staged at Koprivshtitsa in Bulgaria last weekend. The Bulgarian side was the only finishers in the three-nation team contest, while Miroslav Borshosh produced an impressive and well-judged performance with his Arab gelding, Munir B, to emphatically claim the individual title.

Koprivshtitsa, which lies on the Topolnitsa River and in the Sredna Gora mountains, is well-known for its architecture. and for the folk-music festivals that ensure it is a very popular destination for tourists. It is also home to a National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore which takes place every five years, attracting musicians, artists and craftsmen from across the country. So visitors to these FEI Championships experienced an authentic take on Bulgarian culture and heritage.

The horses and riders were truly tested with an 86 kilometre course that started at 1,000 feet above sea level and rose a further 400 feet. “The competitors did a great job,” said FEI Technical Delegate Bo Kjellgren (SWE) afterwards, “and the Bulgarian Federation was very much behind the event, giving it huge support.”

VERY TOUGH
Poland’s Dr Piotr Szpotanski, a highly-experienced FEI Veterinary Delegate, described the competition trail as “very tough”, but was surprised how well the horses coped with it. “I found it frightening when I was driving the mountain trail in my car, but the horses seemed to find it much easier!” he said. Rumours of wild mustangs running loose through the countryside, and even the occasional wolf prowling in the wilderness, didn’t deter the competitors from the task at hand.

And the Bulgarians proved the masters on their home turf. In the team event, three of the Bulgarian side recorded almost identical finishing times – Janina Ivanova (Zezana) stopping the clock on 05:56:26, Maria Jordanova (IBN Galal Sava) crossing the line in 05:56.28 and Ivan Stoichev (Zahir) breaking the beam in 05:56:29, while Kiril Stepanov (Gaucha de Pallares) was just over three minutes further behind. It was a clear-cut and unchallenged triumph.

Only two of the Greek team completed, but both of them would be well-rewarded when Efstathia Koutsafti took individual silver ahead of team-mate Evangelia Vlotidu in bronze.

The Turkish team of Ekan Demir (Mirliva), Un Ali Ekber (Padisah), Ozden Oten (Duman) and Mustafa Ozer (Ruzgar) all failed to finish.

EXCELLENT JUDGEMENT AND REMARKABLE SKILL
Borshosh’s success in taking the individual title came down to excellent judgement and remarkable skill. The 38 year old, who hails from the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia, has been competing as an Endurance rider for less than five years and, with his 11 year old Arab horse, Munir B, had only completed one 80 kilometre ride prior to these Championships. Yet he timed his progress around the three-loop course so that he had plenty of fuel left in the tank on the final circuit to finish with an average speed of 16.210 kilometres an hour, and an overall average speed of 15.864 km/h.

It was Koutsafti and her 11 considerably more-experienced 11 year old Chamelot, who were favourites as the race began. This grey mare previously competed under the Italian flag and has two 120 km runs under her belt, but this was the first big test with her latest rider and their average speed of 14.917 km/h left them well behind the gold-medal winning partnership. Koutsafti’s average speed of 11.840 km/h on the final loop was only slightly quicker than compatriot Vlotidu’s result with another former Italian horse Giorgia Delle Corse whose overall average speed of 14.729 was good enough to clinch the bronze. Their last-loop efforts however only served to accentuate the superiority of the champion, whose horse was full of running to the very end.

RACING FINISH
And the next four places, from fourth to seventh, were battled out in a racing finish between Bulgarian team gold medallists Ivanova (4th), Jordanova (6th), Stoichev (7th) and Croatia’s Petra Sebelic riding Wolf, who slotted into fifth place. Riders from six nations – Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Romania, Turkey and Serbia – competed at the event.

FEI Technical Delegate, Bo Kjelleren, was delighted with the way these Championships were conducted. “It was a fantastic ride, and the organisation was very professional,” he said. “The event ran smoothly and there was a great battle for the medals – it was an excellent challenge for the riders, who looked after their horses very well,” he added.

Results:
Team Championship: GOLD – Bulgaria 17:49:23 – Zezana (Janina Ivanova), IBN Galal Sava (Maria Jordanova), Zahir (Ivan Stoichev), Gaucha de Pallares (Kiril Stepanov).

Individual Championship: GOLD – Munir B (Miroslav Borshosh) BUL 16.210 kmh; SILVER – Chamelot (Efstathia Koutsafti Efstathia) GRE 11.840 kmh; BRONZE – Giorgia Delle Corse (Evangelia Vlotidu) GRE 11.900 kmh.

Australia: Shahzada 400km endurance ride at St Albains,NSW

Conderosaendurance.com.au

1 September 2011

CONGRATULATIONS must go to Len Law and Conderosa Zoltan who completed the Shahzada 400km endurance ride at St Albains,NSW. The Shahzada consists of 80km every day for 5 days.

Conderosa Zoltan is our 3rd horse to contest the Shahzada in the last 2 years, Conderosa Argunort who finished 5th overall and Conderosa Shammis who finished 15th overall previously. Bringing 100% completion for the Conderosa Stud in the Toughest test of all !!!!!!!!!!.

Len who comes from Queensland borrowed Conderosa Zoltan from me as he didn’t have a horse able to contest the Shahzada at the time and was keen to just get through. WELL not only did he get through but Zoltan finished 3rd Heavyweight and 16th overall.

This is a fantastic result for Zoltan who through no fault of his own keeps finding himself on the reserve bench as we have so many competitive forward moving horses in work at present.

Compiegne - should we come back (again)?



From Leonard Liesens

This is a new post in a new column. Don't expect a self-congratulation newsletter or similar. There are enough on the Net. Grogallo raised the issue in some old posts. Here they are. here.

This week-end in Compiègne was not brilliant for the Belgians. Except for the Van Cauter brothers, but they were riding horses brought from Spain by the Belgian team vet Peter Wijnendaele. We have to come to the conclusion that either we don't have the horses or we don’t have the means to compete seriously in Compiègne.

This 2011 vintage —can we use this word for horses?— was impressive in quantity and quality of the horses brought to the-always-magnificent-venue of Compiègne. The Gulf states have showed some of their best recruits —mostly French-bred horses— trained in the professional French stables. Of course, as they use to do so, they were in the lead of the race from the beginning. Beside the best UAE, Bahrain and Qatar's horses, there were some of the best French horses ridden by the professional riders who were not working as crew for the Arabs teams.

full report at http://endurance-belgium.com/billet/110826compiegne.htm