Saturday, September 01, 2012

Namibia: 2012 Endurance Races in full swing

WEDNESDAY, 29 AUGUST 2012 20:06

The 2012 Walvis Bay Endurance Race, among the elite events on Namibia’s annual equestrian sport calendar, saw a record 191 Namibian and South African riders and endurance horses in action.

The event that started yesterday ends later today (Thursday). Its international status is reflected in the fact that as many as 60% of the participants are South African. Had it not been for a major horse event in the UK in recent days, the event would also have been supported by riders and horse breeders from overseas.

Although the endurance races are only taking place over two days, the preparations of the venue already started more than a month ago, explained organiser Zelda von Schauroth on Tuesday. After securing a piece of land adjacent to the Namib Riding Stables from the Municipality of Walvis Bay in June this year, significant earthmoving works and the establishment of pens and proper parking areas had to be built from scratch. “It was just a raw desert”, explained von Schauroth. “For the organising committee and small army of volunteers it was a month of sacrifice as many still had to meet work obligations and frequent shuttling between Windhoek and the coast to fit in work schedules.” An empty, sandy plot of land was transformed into the Endurance Village and boasts 180 pens for the horses and a tented complex from where the event is managed, where riders and the somewhat 1000 assistants and their families can rest and enjoy food and drinks. Three stalls selling equestrian sports equipment and accessories were also brought into being as well as some vendor stalls...

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