Friday, September 27, 2013

FNB Namibia Endurance Champs

Namibiasport.com.na

Submitted by editor on Fri, 08/23/2013 - 14:05.

The annual FNB Namibia Endurance African Championships will be held in Walvis Bay on Wednesday, August 28.

FNB Namibia has supported this event for the past five years and recently announced a sponsorship of N$50 000 for this year’s event.

Ingrid Goeieman, Manager Sponsorships and Donations at FNB Namibia:

“Apart from the fact that this is a sport event and FNB Namibia is the number one supporter of a variety of sporting codes in Namibia, we also appreciate the fact that this event is about endurance, stamina and a never-give-up- attitude,” she said.

“These are all qualities we admire in our staff as well as clients, ranging from SME owners to big corporate clients and we therefore wholeheartedly support such occasions,” she added.

Zelda von Schauroth of Namibia Endurance said:

“Namibia Endurance hosts their 18th flagship event with an expected record amount of entries. Apart from the four Namibian teams, heavy weight, senior standard weight, no weight and young rider teams, there are also teams from South Africa and Botswana. We expect between 180 and 200 horses to depart before sunrise in very misty conditions on a course lit with blinking lights.”

She went on to say that the course this year was very challenging and interesting with the second loop of the 120km being over the notorious Dune 7, a huge challenge for horse and rider.

The third leg is a picturesque loop along the coastline allowing horses and riders to enjoy the welcome sea breeze. An expert panel of veterinarians will be ready to examine horses after every loop of approximately 30km, making sure the horses are fit to continue to the next loop. Should a horse have the slightest signs of lameness or dehydration, the horse would not be declared fit to continue.

Von Schauroth: “Exciting changes were made to the course and the safety of horses and riders were the primary motivation for the changes and riders were relieved that the danger of riding close to the tar road has been eliminated. The tar road to the airport has become extremely busy due to increased mining activities in the area and is therefore a significant danger to competitors. Prevailing winds have also changed the face and ascent of Dune 7. The changes are a great improvement and will certainly enhance the quality of the event.”

The FNB Namibia Endurance African Championships is run under the auspices of the FEI, Federation Equestrian International, the mother body of equestrian sport worldwide. Distances are national rides of 40km and 80 km and FEI distances are 90 km and 120 km.

Namibian Endurance horses have become extremely popular and have attracted many foreign buyers. This has brought about a professional dimension to the sport with owners and trainers becoming more scientific and market related. Interest from foreign clients has also boosted the breeding programs in Namibia and has resulted in the improvement of the full spectrum of the sport and horses.