Wednesday, December 31, 2014

UAE- Al Naqbi steals the show - Full Article


(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Rowallan claims 120km Endurance Ride title in Al Wathba

Riders in action at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday. — Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: Abdulla Rashid Mohammed Saeed Al Naqbi astride 11-year-old Arab gelding Rowallan Dee Jay worked his way through to win the Shaikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival For Private Owners a CEN 120km Endurance Ride to be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

Trained by Ahmed Mahfouz at the Al Hayar Stables Rowallan made a smooth progress from the eigth position to hit the front in the final loop and held on very strongly to cross the finish line in four hours 64 minutes and 15 seconds at an average speed of 25.153km/hour...

Read more here:

New Zealand: Bulfin completes qualifying mission - Full Article


The Marlborough Endurance and Trail Club were in action before Christmas with two days of rides at Sweetstream in the Waihopai Valley.

On Saturday, December 20, a few hardy competitors turned out for the club's annual endurance ride, with distances ranging from 25km to 80km. The following day was the preferred choice for most, however, with 42 horse-and-rider combinations opting for the timed competitive trail riding event.

Saturday's 80km event was won by Marlborough club member Heidi Bulfin, guiding Stonelea Sparkling Rose around the three-loop ride, closely followed by Nelson Lakes' Alison Higgins on Twynham El Desiree.

Neither were in a hurry with qualifying being their main goal and they finished in just over seven hours...

Read more here:

At Endurance Horse Race in Chile, Feeling Thrills of a Fast-Growing Sport - Full Article and Video

Pedro Pablo Gomez trains horses that win—and fetch dollars from Middle East sheikhs.

Katarzyna Nowak
for National Geographic

CASABLANCA, Chile—There are compelling reasons for dismounting from your horse and running alongside it in the fourth of five loops in a 120-kilometer (80-mile) race through dusty hill country not far from the capital, Santiago. Especially on a mid-December day at the height of the austral summer, when heat waves are hovering above the ground. And especially when you're going downhill.

"The penultimate loop," says veteran rider and horse trainer Pedro Pablo Gomez, "is what makes Copa Chile [the Chilean Cup] a very difficult race. The horses have already run 80 kilometers, the fourth loop is the hilliest, and it's crucial we reserve energy for our last loop."

I'm in the Veramonte Vineyard, in the dramatic Casablanca Valley, the staging ground for the 2014 Copa Chile, rooting for Pedro and his horse, Otoño (Autumn). Pedro, in a long-ago race in coastal Peñuelas—which he had a crack at winning—chivalrously stopped to assist my friend who had fallen off her horse.

Endurance horse racing, with riders and horses stretched to their limits, is a young sport, like ultra-marathoning. It's growing faster than any other horse sport, with 90 races worldwide ten years ago, and 900 today...

Read more here:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Golden Horseshoe versus Tevis by Sally Toye - Full Story

27 December 2014)

Sally Toye (who calls herself an ‘almost Wessex member’ as she enjoys the routes and atmosphere of Wessex rides so much) writes about her Exmoor Extra (3 days of 40km) experience. She came to the Wessex 2013 BAM to talk about her Tevis Cup experiences in USA – fascinating – and she has attempted to draw parallels between GHS and Tevis.

Sally writes: With an excellent third endurance season so far, I entered my 9 year old mare into the Exmoor Extra class. 120k over three days. I wasn’t sure how it would go or if “we” were fit enough and after last year’s 80k over 2 days. Exmoor can throw at you curved balls and I hoped our preparation work on a variety of hills and with gates would all come together. This ride is a great test for any combination and we had come away from the previous year having so learnt. Time to see if she was a three day horse.

At the venue before the start there was a bit of time to hang out before the evening briefing. Here some people asked if I was going to the Tevis Cup again after my previous successes (and failures!) And then I get the inevitable question, “is Golden Horseshoe as hard as Tevis?”

These two rides are very different and also very similar. These rides both involve terrain and a time limit and yet there is no fog, sleet, wind or sideways rain in California and no mountains in Somerset!...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Great Britain: Meydan Sponsorship Deal Criticized - Full Article

Horse Sport December 23, 2014


At the beginning of December, Endurance Great Britain (EGB) approached members with proposed sponsorship package from Meydan, a company owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The package proposed providing EGM with a large but undisclosed sum of money to support EGB while also providing new ride opportunities in Great Britain. However, given the terrible troubles facing Endurance as a result of serious rule infractions committed by riders in Group 7, including members of the Maktoum family, many EGM members have voiced serious concerns about accepting sponsorship proposal. Herewith is an open letter written to the board of EGB:...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Intrepid Reporter Gets More Accolades - Full Article

Horse Sport December 19, 2014

Equestrian journalist Pippa Cuckson has received the Liz Dudden Memorial Trophy in recognition of her tireless quest to expose horse welfare issues at the highest level of sport. Her ongoing coverage of the Middle East endurance scandals in international media outlets, including her blog at, has shone a light on these issues, and demanded improvements.

Presented by the British Equestrian Writers Association (BEWA), the Liz Dudden Memorial Trophy recognizes outstanding contributions to equestrian sport. Cuckson accepted the award at the BEWA annual awards ceremony, held December 18th at the Olympia Hilton, at a special luncheon during the London International Horse Show at Olympia.

BEWA president, Alan Smith, explained that the Liz Dudden award was started in 1993 in honour of accomplished journalist Liz Dudden. “She died, all too early, of cancer,” said Smith. “So, we decided to give an award in her honour to someone other than a competitor: e.g. a team trainer or manager, a show organiser or official. Generally speaking, we prefer to give it to someone outside our profession, but felt that Pippa’s work, especially on endurance and associated horse welfare, warranted it this year.”

Cuckson is only the second journalist to receive the award...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Abu Dhabi: Abdullah Rashid Mohammad Saeed Al Naqbi wins Dh1m Abu Dhabi endurance ride - Full Article

Rowallan Dee Jay triumphant in 120km event, overtaking Al Kamda on Baraja in final loop

Staff Report
Published: 18:44 December 27, 2014

Abu Dhabi: Abdullah Rashid Mohammad Saeed Al Naqbi took top honours at the 120km Shaikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival Endurance Ride For Private Owners at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

Al Naqbi rode 11-year-old Arab gelding Rowallan Dee Jay, trained by Ahmad Mahfouz at the Al Hayar Stables, to first place.
Rowallan made smooth progress from eighth and was in second place after four of the five stages with just 16km to go. In the lead at that stage was Rashid Saeed Al Kamda on Baraja, but a steady pace in the final loop saw Al Naqbi finish ahead of the pack in four hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds at an average speed of 25.15km/hour...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Abu Dhabi: Dh1m up for grabs in Al Wathba endurance ride - Full Article

More than 100 riders set for Saturday’s 120km event, including one loop of 40km

Staff Report
Published: 17:32 December 24, 2014

Abu Dhabi: The stage is set for the Shaikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Challenge Festival For Private Owners — a CEN 120km endurance ride to be held at Emirates International Endurance Village at Al Wathba on Saturday.

The event is held under the directives of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.

More than 100 riders will compete for a total prize purse of Dh1 million, while the winner will drive away in a new Lexus car. The ride will start at 7am and the distance is split into five loops of 40km, 27km, 26km, 19km and 16km.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, said, “We have been working hard to complete all arrangements for this race in order to reflect the bright image of the UAE as a major venue for international endurance rides...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bahrain: Khalid bin Hamad crowns Al-Khatri as National Day Endurance Champion - Full Article

Manama, Dec20(BNA) National Guard Commander Lt. General Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Bahrain Royal Endurance Team leader Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Al Khalidiya Stables leader Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, attended the National Day Endurance Race Championship for a distance of 120km and qualifying for a distance of 80km.

Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad presented the prizes to the winners at the end of the race, led by overall number one Fahad Al Khatri.

Riding his horse Siba from Victory Stable of the Royal Team and coached by Ahmed Janahi, Al Khatri claimed the race title after finishing in a total time of 4:58:51 hours with an average speed of 24km/h...

Read more here:

Kuwait: Equestrian Al-Mutairi wins endurance horse race - Full Article

22/12/2014 | Kuwait News

KUWAIT, Dec 22 (KUNA) -- Kuwaiti equestrian Fahad Al-Mutairi, riding Yejdebaz, won the title of 'Al-Qudra wa Al-Tahammul' (capability and endurance) 100 kilometers horse race, held on Monday as part of the Fifth National Heritage Festival.

The festival kicked off yesterday under auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Kuwait's Abdullah Al-Mutriga, riding Redam, came in second place followed by Kyrgyz equestrian Abdelhadi Abo-Jemma on his RPG horse while Majed Al-Rashdan, of Kuwait, came in the fourth place on Meotzadeh.

The results of the race will be confirmed after the participating horses undergo anti-doping tests ahead of the prize-giving ceremony...

Read more here:

Kuwait: Equestrian Al-Azemi wins endurance horse race - Full Article

KUWAIT, Dec 21 (KUNA) -- Female equestrian Abrar Al-Azemi won the 'Al-Qudra wa Al-Tahammul' (capability and endurance) horse race held on Sunday as part of the Kuwait's Fifth National Heritage Festival.

The festival kicked off earlier today under auspices of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Shadera Ahmad Al-Hajjaj, of the UAE, and her compatriot Hanan Al-Mutairi came in the second and third places respectively.

Kuwait's Jamila Ahmad and Fare'a Al-Wuggayan ranked fourth and fifth in the race that gathered 46 female equestrians from Kuwait and other GCC member states.

The results of the race will be confirmed the participating horses undergo anti-doping tests ahead of the prize-giving ceremony.

Deputy Chairman of the contest affairs committee of the festival Sheikh Sabah Fahad Al-Nasser Al-Sabah commended performance of the contenders in the three stages of the race.

"The participation of female equestrians from Bahrain, Qatar and UAE alongside Kuwaiti contenders added value to the race," he told reporters...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 20, 2014

UAE: Al Mazroui has eye on big endurance prizes - Full Article

Teenager says he is ready after winning Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Challenge

By Leslie Wilson Jr Racing & Special Features WriterPublished: 19:27 December 19, 2014

Dubai: Teenager Saif Ahmad Al Mazroui said he is ready to challenge for the biggest endurance prizes after delivering a masterclass to win the Shaikh Saeed Bin Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Challenge at the Dubai International Endurance City on Friday.

Riding the MRM Stables-trained ten-year-old gelding Nopoli Del Ma, the youngster grabbed the lead in third loop of the CEI** 120km ride and went on to dominate a record field of 240 riders, before recording one of his most impressive wins.

“My goal is to win the top three rides in the UAE,” said Al Mazroui after completing the gruelling course in a time of four hours and 22.39 minutes...

Read more here:

International sports community pays tribute to FEI Honorary President HRH Princess Haya

19 Dec 2014

International sports personalities have paid homage to HRH Princess Haya, who on 14 December stepped down as the FEI President after eight years in the role. The newly elected FEI President Ingmar De Vos lead the tributes to Princess Haya, who was appointed FEI Honorary President with the unanimous approval of the FEI General Assembly last Sunday.

“Princess Haya is a visionary who has transformed the FEI into a modern, transparent, agile and highly respected sports organisation over the past eight years,” De Vos said. “Thanks to her energy and commitment, the FEI is a valued member of the Olympic movement.

“The FEI Solidarity programme, based on the hugely successful Olympic Solidarity model to help the development of equestrian sport globally and, in particular the National Federations with the greatest need, is now fully operational. In the last few years the FEI has signed very valuable long-term commercial partners, including the Swiss watchmaker Longines. The contribution made by Princess Haya to equestrian sport is immeasurable.”

Jacques Rogge, Honorary IOC President, summed up Princess Haya’s commitment to the Olympic Movement in a special video message played during the FEI Awards Gala 2014 presented by Longines last weekend: “Your Royal Highness, may I thank and congratulate you on your great leadership at the head of the FEI. As a President and as an Olympian, you put the safety and welfare of riders and horses first, and have extensively supported emerging countries.

“In close collaboration with the IOC, the equestrian events at the Games have contributed very much to the success of the overall Olympic programme. You creatively broke new ground with the Youth Olympic Games.

“I want to thank you very much for the invaluable support you gave to the IOC, both as an IF President and as an IOC member. You have the elegance and wisdom to leave at the peak of your career. I know that your great passion for sport will not fade away and that you will continue your splendid humanitarian work for the United Nations. I wish you a happy life and success in all your endeavours.”

IOC President Thomas Bach echoed his predecessor’s sentiment in a personal letter to Princess Haya sent on the day she stepped down as FEI President. The IOC President, who presented Princess Haya with the Trophy of the International Olympic Committee during last week’s IOC Session in Monaco, offered Princess Haya his “most sincere gratitude, both personally and on behalf of the IOC for your outstanding contribution to the International Equestrian Federation and to the entire Olympic Movement”.

“You have had an exceptional journey within the international equestrian community both as an athlete and as a leader at the FEI. Your role as an IOC member and on the IOC Athletes’ Commission has enabled athletes to have an important voice within the Olympic Movement and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your invaluable contribution and numerous achievements during your term as President of the FEI.”

He went on to express his confidence “that the excellent partnership between our organisations will continue over the next editions of the Olympic Games”, before stating that he hoped “very much that our paths will cross again”.

The Olympian
Princess Haya, who represented her native Jordan in Jumping in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, was elected FEI President in 2006 in the first-ever contested election for the FEI Presidency. She became the 13th and third consecutive female FEI President, and the second female FEI President to have competed as an Olympic equestrian athlete.

The Olympic Movement and the place of equestrian sport in it have always been of central importance to Princess Haya. Active on the IOC Athletes as well as Culture and Olympic Education Commissions since 2005, she was elected as an IOC Member in July 2007. She has since been a member of five further IOC Commissions.

Solidarity in sport
In 2010, Princess Haya was re-elected in a landslide victory in the first contested election involving a serving FEI President.

Just months later, she launched FEI Solidarity, the global sport development programme based on the Olympic Solidarity model, which provides opportunities for the next generation of athletes and those working in equestrian communities, and helps National Federations to build their own national structures for developing equestrian sport. The FEI Solidarity programme has so far supported over 65 projects worldwide with funds as well as technical and consultancy services.

The partners
Commercial opportunities gathered pace during Princess Haya’s second term as FEI President.

In December 2012, Longines became the FEI’s first Top Partner following the agreement of a historic, long-term partnership, which also saw the Swiss watchmaker become the Official Timekeeping Partner of the FEI. This followed the relationship already established with fashion designer to Hollywood stars Reem Acra, title sponsor of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Western European League and the overall series Final.

Reinvigorating equestrian sport to ensure it continues to appeal to global media and growing mainstream audiences has also been key, and the most palpable illustration of this has been the transformation of the world’s oldest outdoor team Jumping event, the FEI Nations Cup™, which was first held in 1909.

The series was given a new, more global format in 2013 thanks to a €16 million four-year sponsorship package from the Saudi Equestrian Fund, and renamed the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping. The series, which enters its third season in 2015, has been a resounding success, with 40 nations expected to take part next year.

Securing increased broadcast coverage of equestrian sport has always been high on Princess Haya’s agenda, and just two weeks ago the FEI agreed an eight-figure broadcast distribution renewal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and IMG until 2022 that will generate markedly increased coverage of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events.

A further important multi-year broadcast deal was also recently signed with Sky Mexico. The new six-year agreement not only secures the long term on-screen presence of equestrian sport across Mexico and the emerging Central American and Caribbean regions, but also substantially increases coverage of the FEI’s Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines in these territories.

The FEI has developed a strong partnership with the leading broadcaster CNN in order to launch the series of programmes and news features called CNN Equestrian on World Sport.

Future-proofing the FEI as equestrian sport grows rapidly around the world has also been a major focal point for Princess Haya.

The FEI Clean Sport programme, established in 2010 to safeguard the integrity of equestrian and guarantee a level playing field, got its best endorsement at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games where all human and equine samples tested negative. With rigorous testing alongside a comprehensive education programme, FEI Clean Sport will ensure that current and future generations of athletes and their support teams are fully aware of their commitments to protect their own health, the health of horses and fair play in the sport.

Huge efforts by the FEI veterinary team working with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities on the improvement of international movement of sport horses resulted in a major breakthrough this May with the acceptance of the High Health High Performance horse concept.

The creation of the International Horse Sports Confederation, the first formal vehicle for co-operation between the world’s leading governing bodies for equestrian sport, is also designed to ensure that all organisations working within horse sport share best practice.

Equestrian family
Princess Haya has focused on building the FEI Family by bringing together the FEI’s 133 National Federations, underlining the importance of strong governance, transparency and integrity.

She introduced the FEI Athlete Representative position for the FEI’s Technical Committees, and this year for the first time in the FEI’s 93-year history the athletes themselves had the opportunity to vote for their Athlete Representatives.

German Jumping legend Ludger Beerbaum, who has won four Olympic, four world and 11 European medals, and has led the FEI World Individual Jumping Riders Rankings, now known as the Longines Rankings, said in a moving video message addressed to Princess Haya: “On behalf of the riders I would really like to thank you very, very much for what you have done in the past years for our sport and in just two terms. We would have loved to have a third one, and we thank you so much for all you’ve done and all the best for the future.”

In 2012, the first FEI Sports Forum took place, encouraging National Federations and FEI stakeholders from around the world to take part in wide-ranging debates on the progression of equestrian sport. This is now an annual event, with the next edition taking place 27-28 April 2015.

Betty Wates, President of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica, sent a heartfelt message to Princess Haya. “My wonderful friend,” she wrote “You have done a great job. The Caribbean and developing countries have been able to grow through the FEI Solidarity program, which is your brain child. You have made yourself accessible to all of us and have made the FEI a real family.”

FEI Headquarters
Princess Haya has also donated state-of-the-art headquarters to the FEI in the Olympic Capital Lausanne (SUI), home to the International Olympic Committee as well as many international sports organisations. The building, named after her late father HM King Hussein I, has allowed the FEI to expand its team of professionals and improve services to the global equestrian community.

“Following in Princess Haya’s footsteps is an honour but also a great challenge,” newly elected FEI President Ingmar De Vos concluded. “She has shown us the road to success and I am committed to advancing our sport and our organisation with faith in the future, with honesty, integrity, and most importantly in unity. The FEI Family owes Princess Haya an enormous debt of gratitude and I see it as my duty to preserve her legacy.”

Notes to Editors:
On 14 December 2014, Princess Haya stepped down as the FEI President after two terms in office. On the same day, she was appointed Honorary FEI President with the unanimous approval of the FEI General Assembly. She joins three other Honorary Presidents – HRH The Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón (ESP), HRH The Princess Royal (GBR), and HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh (GBR).

For more information on HRH Princess Haya please visit

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Belgium’s Ingmar De Vos elected as FEI President

14 Dec 2014

Ingmar De Vos (BEL) was today elected as President of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) by an overwhelming majority in the first round of voting, earning 98 votes out of a possible 131.

De Vos, 51, Secretary General of the FEI since May 2011, was elected to take charge of the world governing body of equestrian sport during this morning’s session of the FEI General Assembly in Baku (AZE).

The result was announced by HRH Princess Haya, the outgoing President, with the simple words, “I am pleased to announce we have a new FEI President, Ingmar De Vos”. Her words were met with prolonged applause from close to 350 delegates representing 91 National Federations, stakeholders, sponsors and international media.

“I’m really very honoured and overwhelmed by this enormous support,” a clearly emotional De Vos said, “and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your confidence. Baku will be in my memory forever.

“Elections are always difficult, as it splits a little bit the family, but I guarantee that I will be the president of all of you, I will serve all the members of our community and I will work very hard to keep this unity.”

He went on to thank his great friend and mentor Jacky Buchmann, who has recently been re-elected as President of the Belgian Equestrian Federation. And finally, with great emotion, he thanked outgoing President Princess Haya.

“Words cannot explain what she has done for our organisation. She has shown leadership, she has guided us through difficult waters, she has innovated us, she has modernised us. She has left us with a great legacy and I believe, together with many of you, that it is our responsibility to preserve the legacy and go on with the roadmap she has shown us. Words are not enough to thank her. Over the years we have become good friends, and I am thankful and grateful for your support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Congratulations from IOC President

Shortly after his election, De Vos received a letter of congratulations from IOC President Thomas Bach. “Please accept my congratulations on your election as President of the International Equestrian Federation. The IOC enjoys a long-standing relationship with FEI, its elected members and administration. We are sure that FEI will continue its growth under your leadership. Your previous experience in different positions of the Equestrian sports will be invaluable for you in this new office. On behalf of the IOC and the entire Olympic Movement, I wish you every success in the new role you are undertaking.”

De Vos takes over the reins as FEI President at the conclusion of today’s FEI General Assembly for a four-year term, and is eligible for re-election for up to three consecutive terms. He has stated that he will resign as Secretary General as soon as he takes over the Presidency this afternoon and will appoint an interim Secretary General to take over the role until a permanent replacement is found.

The other candidates standing for election were Pierre Durand (FRA), Pierre Genecand (SUI), John McEwen (GBR), and Ulf Helgstrand (DEN). Helgstrand withdrew his candidacy before the vote, and a sixth candidate, Javier Revuelta del Peral (ESP) withdrew from the election process in November.

Notes to Editors

FEI General Assembly 2014 – how the votes were cast:

Ingmar De Vos (BEL) 98
Pierre Durand (FRA) 21
Pierre Genecand (SUI) 6
John McEwen (GBR) 6

A total of 131 voting boxes were distributed to National Federation delegates, with 131 valid ballots cast. A total of 91 National Federations present for the vote and there were 40 proxies.

Ingmar De Vos (BEL)

Ingmar De Vos (51) holds degrees in political science, business administration and international and European law, and started his career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of Secretary General from 1997 to 2011.

During his time at the Belgian National Federation, De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian Equestrian Team at all FEI World Equestrian Games™ from 1990 to 2010 and at several Olympic Games. He was also Secretary General of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011, when he joined the FEI.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 Junior/Young Rider Championships in Chile

Chile Enduro

Chile will hold the 2015 Junior/Young Rider Championships on October 23, over the same course of the 2011 Pan Ams.
For upcoming information, see

FEI: Is Welfare ‘Paramount’ – or Just a Pain in the Neck? - Full Article

Cuckson Report | December 15, 2014
by Pippa Cuckson

On Saturday, I went National Hunt racing to support a friend’s horse. He was caught on the line for third place, but connections were thrilled as he has come back from a couple of niggles last year and runs and jumps better every time. At 15-1, it was also a profitable each-way bet. This prodded to me ponder that no bookmaker would have offered odds on the dead-certainty that Ingmar de Vos would be voted new president of the FEI. The only wager you might have considered was the extent of Ingmar’s landslide.

Thanks to modern technology, I was able to follow the “meet the presidential candidates session” in Baku from the racecourse’s owners and trainers bar. What a futile session that must have seemed for the four other candidates, who already realized they were going to be hammered at the polls (De Vos, 98 votes; Durand, 21; Genecand, 6, McEwen, 6; Helgstrand – dropped out before ballot). Even the FEI’s press release about that session was brief, containing as much information about the marvelousness of Princess Haya as it did about the vision of the quintet vying to be her successor. Maybe profitable bets can be placed on how many times the FEI can magic-up a reason to mention Princess Haya in its future press releases, even though she is longer in office.

You can read about General Assembly decisions on the FEI website or click here. These include positive innovations and other revenue achievements. What you won’t find flagged-up is the day’s most articulate and thought-provoking address, given by Roly Owers of World Horse Welfare.

On Sunday, I followed the GA throughout by livestream, from 5:00 a.m., UK time. The mantra “welfare is paramount” was dropped into several discussions, but there was not much actual discussion about what this means...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

FEI: ‘Systemic Ineptitude’ Has Put All Sports Horses at Risk - Full Article

by Pippa Cuckson

One of my all-time favourite films is All The President’s Men, about the Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, who unravelled the Watergate scandal and ultimately forced the resignation of Richard Nixon.

Woodward had a source known as “Deep Throat,” whom he met in a basement garage.* Deep Throat never gave away solid information; instead, he offered cryptic clues. About 18 months into the investigation, Woodward tells Deep Throat that he and Bernstein are still baffled why the Nixon entourage’s covert operations were thought necessary in the first place. Deep Throat replies: “Forget the myths the media has created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.”

It reminds me so much of the FEI. For sure, it’s appalling that the Marmoog horse swap enquiry dragged on and on. But when they’d already left it eight months why announce the non-result just a week before the General Assembly and presidential election, digging two of the candidates into a bigger hole than they are already in as representatives of the current regime, by highlighting that horse ID, biosecurity and legal processes are not fit for purpose?

And why has the FEI chosen this week to virtually concede that these oversights are being addressed, years overdue, only because the public finally found out about a scandal the FEI knew of NINETEEN months before?...

Read more here:

Australia: Fire victim’s kind heart a standout - Full Article

15 December 2014

A HEARTWARMING yet also heartbreaking story of friendship has emerged following the loss of Roadvale resident Maureen McCann's home to fire last week.

Boonah's Christine Maroni, an equine Bowen therapist, is helping Ms McCann get back on her feet after she lost everything in the blaze.

Ms Maroni is also a professional photographer who took the pictures that appear on this page. She met Ms McCann a couple of years ago when she was asked to do Bowen therapy on her horses.

Their common interest in horses and endurance riding meant their paths crossed frequently.

"I have a very fond memory of Maureen when I was doing a 40km endurance ride on my mare," Ms Maroni recalls...

Read more here:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Great Britain: West's endurance riders gather at Lanhydrock - Full Article

Endurance GB South West held its annual Christmas ride on Sunday, November 30, giving local riders the chance to enjoy the wonderful parkland of Lanhydrock House, near Bodmin.

Held by kind permission of the National Trust at Lanhydrock House, the Forestry Commission and local landowners, the pleasure ride covered approximately 10 miles of parkland and was organised by Jo and Peter Claridge from Cardinham.

Riders taking part got into the festive spirit by dressing up as Christmas characters and feasting on mince pies and mulled wines...

Read more:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dubai chosen to host 2016 World Endurance Championship by FEI - Full Article

Thursday, 11 December 2014
By Emily Goddard

Dubai will host the 2016 World Endurance Championship ©Getty ImagesThe International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today revealed that Dubai will stage the 2016 World Endurance Championship as it allocated its Championships and finals for the next two years.

The FEI Bureau, currently meeting in Baku, announced that the United Arab Emirates city will host the discipline's flagship event in the December, with the exact date yet to confirmed.

It also named Sithonia in Greece as the host of next year's Balkan Jumping Championship for Seniors, Young Riders, Juniors and Children, which is scheduled to take place on September 3 until 6 and the Turkish city of Istanbul as the stage for the Balkan Dressage Championship for Seniors, Young Riders, Juniors and Children due to take place July 29 to August 2, with Ruse in Bulgaria hosting next year's Balkan Endurance Championship on October 2 until4.

Meanwhile, the European Dressage Championship for Young Riders, Juniors and Children is due to take place in Madrid, Spain on July 6 until 10, 2016, the World Jumping Challenge Final heads to Zhitnica, Bulgaria, on July 2 until 6 next year and the World Cup Vaulting Final will be staged in the Austrian city of Graz on February 19 to 22 also next year...

Read more here:

New Zealand: Team Competition at North Island Champs - Full Article

By Natasha Guest
December 11 2014

North Island Championships – Team Challenge

Becoming a regular feature on the North Island Endurance calendar is the annual Team Event. Sponsored by Equibrew, the 2015 challenge is open to all riders competing at the North Island Endurance Championships held in the beautiful Wairarapa.

Teams aim to complete a total of 500kms and are awarded points for distance travelled as well as for placing’s. And it’s not all the top level riders that are necessarily the winners. More points are awarded for distance over placing’s, and a qualification will earn your team 1 point for every 10 kilometres qualified over. A vet out will earn your team 0 points. Last season’s winner, the “Ruahine Club -Smith family” won by a margin of just 7 points. With Second place going to “Auckland-Woodhill club” and “Ruahine club - Ruahine Gang”, in both teams a vet-out had caused both teams to fail to be awarded the necessary points which would have seen them over take the winning team.

The team event was the brain child of the Waitomo Endurance Club after they hosted the 2014 Championships. It was designed as an inter-club challenge with the intention to create comradery amongst clubs, with each club putting forward as many teams as they wished. This year however, the club angle has been dropped so that every rider gets a chance to be part of a team. The only rules are that members must have a team name and a team captain (not necessarily a rider), horse and rider combinations can only compete in one team and a team’s pre-ride kilometres cannot ad up to more than 550km...

Read more here:

FEI Elections: "A Shadow of Doubt" - Full Article

Special FEI Election Issue
“A shadow of doubt”

by Annaïk Le Floc'h
December 9 2014

Six days from now, the FEI will have a new President – there is no female candidate since Princess Haya decided not to stand for a third term in spite of having prompted a change in the Statutes for that purpose last spring. The number of candidates competing for this position is unprecedented: there are still five people in the running since the Spaniard Javier Revuelta Del Peral withdrew. In alphabetical order: Ingmar De Vos (BEL), Pierre Durand (FRA), Pierre Genecand (SWTZ), Ulf Helgstrand (DEN) et John McEwen (GBR).

But these elections are a cause of concern, distrust and suspicion, including among some of the candidates for the presidency. The Spaniard Javier Revuelta announced he was withdrawing his candidacy on November 12, one month ahead of the election. He accuses Ingmar De Vos of “conflict of interest” as a result of being the current Secretary General and as such able to make use of the whole FEI apparatus to campaign, and of blatantly trying to influence a number of decisions during the election period. In his letter withdrawing his candidacy he says “I think Mr. De Voss should have resigned from his position as Secretary General the day he announced he was a candidate: being both Secretary General and Candidate flies in the face of all the principles of impartiality and equality during the election process...”

Read more here:

FEI Marmoog Watch: The Final Insult - Full Article


Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, will face no action over the “Marmoog” horse swap allegations after the FEI announced today that “no legal action can be taken for procedural reasons and due to a lack of conclusive evidence.”

However, the FEI has simultaneously announced that as a result of “loopholes” found by the investigation, it is reviewing horse identification processes and undertaking a “full review of its legal system.” This can at least be regarded as a result – assuming, of course, the new procedures are actually enforced, about which I am not holding my breath.

I was, of course, disappointed that Sheikh Hamdan’s cronies will get away with not having to provide a public explanation as to why “Marmoog” sprouted a white face during the 2012 Endurance World Championships. But I am not entirely surprised, due to the futility of the very tight deadlines – a mere 30-minutes after the event – set by FEI regulations for members of the public to report suspected violations to the ground jury. Sheikh Hamdan would not have needed to hire a very expensive lawyer to point out that get-out.

So while incriminating pictures of the two Marmoogs were handed to the FEI by myself on behalf of London’s Daily Telegraph on March 7th were 18 months, 16 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes too late, I am pleased at least to learn from the FEI today that the nonsense of the 30-minute rule will be included in the legal review...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Spain’s Endurance 101 Clinic

El Raid Blog

Like the USA, Spain has also recognized the importance of Endurance 101 clinics to recruit potential new endurance riders and provide information for them.

A Clinic de Iniciación will be held December 26th at the Hipica Parque del Agua in Zaragoza, Spain. A clinic dedicated to youth, its purpose is to instill the core of the endurance riding discipline, to learn the techniques and to love the sport. It will be conducted by Técnico de Equitación Santiago Vazquez, a participant in the Dubai World Championship 2014.

For more information see

Spain: 2015 Copa de los Pueblos: To Finish is to Win

El Raid Blog

On May 1-3, 2015, the Copa de los Pueblos - Cup of Nations - will be held in Malaga, Spain, a 160-km ride over 24 hours in the Genal valley.

Sign up begins January 1st. Places are limited, and will be allocated by the pre-registration. For more information, see


The philosophy of the COPA DE LOS PUEBLOS (CLP) is based on the roots and tradition of endurance; To Finish is To Win. To ride with good sportsmanship, good horsemanship, and to complete with a mount that is “fit to continue”. CLP is a sporting event and there will be prizes to acknowledge placements in the various categories and the horses elegible for Best Condition trophies. Participants who complete the CLP within the time allotted receive a momento of completion (to be confirmed). For a safe and successful ride we strongly recommends that each rider be thoroughly familiar with their equine, including it´s regular physiology and behavior, especially in crowded conditions and on narrow trails at night. The CLP is sanctioned by FAH, but the rules of the CLP govern. No abuse or inhumane treatment of equines, accidental or deliberate, will be tolerated, nor will violations of the CLP’s Medication Policy. In both instances, the penalty is immediate disqualification from the CLP. In extreme cases, a rider may be barred from competing in the CLP in future years.

Please read carefully.

1. Receipt of the entry for CLP event does not guarantee acceptance to participate. 
2. When the quota of participants is reached, further entries will be placed on a waiting list. 
3. Participants must be insured for civil responsibility, as must their horse. It is strongly recommended both rider and horse have experience of endurance competition, consider the high technicalities of this event when preparing both themselves and their horse, and tailor their training accordingly. 
4. If official notice is received 10 days or more before the date of the event and a substitute rider can be appointed the cost of inscription will be refunded. If no substitute can be organised 50% of the inscription will be refunded. No shows will not receive a refund.

1a. Equines: All horses, mules, donkeys and ponies, except lactating mares and mares in foal, are eligible to enter the CLP provided they are shod or wearing protective footwear (unless exempted under 1e. below), are at least 72 months old on the day of the ride, are in compliance with the CLP drug and medications policy, and in the sole opinion of the CLP Veterinary staff are in fit condition to compete. References in these rules to horses include other equines as well.
b. Riders: The CLP is open to all riders 12 years of age and older on the day of the CLP who have paid their entry fees.
c. Juniors: Junior riders under age 18 must be accompanied by one or more responsible adults, 21 years old or older, who are entered contestants and have agreed in writing to sponsor that Junior throughout the ride. If the sponsor is pulled or unable or unwilling to continue sponsoring the Junior, the Junior may proceed, but only if a new sponsor can be found willing to sponsor, in writing, the Junior rider for the rest of the ride. The new sponsor must be recorded by the CLP Director or the Head Volunteer at the CLP checkpoint nearest to where the former sponsor is pulled.
d. Safety: All Riders are required to wear Homologated/BSEN/BS/ASTM/SEI certified safety helmets.
e. Barefoot horses: Riding a barefoot horse/mule 160 kilometers over rocky ground is not recommended. We recommend the horse has some type of protection. 
2. START - Riders must assemble with their horses for the start of the CLP as specifically directed by CLP Management at the pre-ride meeting. All riders must attend the pre-ride meeting to get the specific start instructions. All riders must leave the starting line no later than fifteen minutes after the official starting time of the CLP.
3. CIRCUIT - The route is well marked. Riders must stay on the circuit at all times throughout the CLP and meet the cut-off times established for each checkpoint. Riders must reach the Timed Finish line within 24 hours elapsed total time from the official starting time to be eligible for a completion. CLP Management may change the circuit if necessary due to weather or circuit conditions. If possible, a written description of any circuit changes will be given to riders prior to the ride and such changes will be posted on the CLP website. Any circuit changes made too late for written handouts or posting on the website will be announced at the mandatory pre-ride meeting.
a. The care, comfort and health of the equines are of concern to the CLP Veterinarians from the time of arrival until horses are in their vehicles heading home. Riders are required to comply with veterinary instructions with regard to the care of their horses before, during and after the CLP until released by a CLP Veterinarian.
b. Horses shall be considered to have begun competition in the CLP when initially presented to the CLP Veterinarians for the Pre-Ride Examination. A horse that does not pass the Pre-Ride Examination may be rechecked by CLP veterinarians no later than one-half hour before the close of the control or when the veterinarian see´s is opportune. The horse may not be removed from the vet check area. Only one recheck will be allowed. It is the responsibility of the rider to present the horse for examination only after the rider is satisfied that the equine is loosened up and in sound condition to enter and complete the ride.
c.Ea ch rider, in all cases, must be present with his or her horse at every vet examination (a crew member can trot out the horse in the presence of the rider and the veterinarian). Each rider is responsible for informing the veterinarian of any problems his or her horse may be having.
d. Any conflicts or disputes involving the veterinary judging of an equine shall be resolved on the spot by the Lead Veterinarian at that stop, whose decision is final.
e. All horses are subject to saliva, urine, and blood tests at any time. Test samples may be drawn by a CLP Veterinarian or a Department of Agriculture and Fisheries approved Veterinarian.

A crew member is defined as anyone who provides material support for an equine or rider during the CLP Competition. Cooperation by crew members is essential to the safety of the riders, horses, and other crew members, and to the efficient running of the CLP, including limiting congestion in vet checks and in traffic flow.

a. Riders will be held responsible for the actions of their crews. Crew members must comply with all event rules and with all regulations and instructions issued by CLP Management. They must also comply with all parking, traffic and access instructions. Failure to do so may result in sanctions to the individuals involved and/or the rider, up to and including disqualification of the crew’s rider.
b. Crews are to help the rider and horse only at the checkpoints listed below*. Crews must not meet riders at isolated, out-of-the-way spots or follow the rider along the circuit. This kind of extra help is contrary to the fair competition spirit of the CLP and may result in sanctions to the individuals involved and/or the rider, up to and including disqualification of the crew’s rider.
c. No pacing on horseback, on foot, or on any type of vehicle is allowed.
d. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
e. Crews are only allowed at the following points on the Ride:

*Details to be provided

Common courtesy and good sportsmanship by riders, crews, and spectators govern all aspects of the CLP including the use of the trail.

a. Riders must, at the first safe opportunity, give passing room to an overtaking rider who asks. 
b. If a horse kicks, it should have a red tail marking. If it is a stallion it should have a blue tail marking. If it is a mare in season it should have a yellow tail marking
c. Watch out for hikers and mountain bikes.
d. Consumption of alcoholic beverages by participants and crew members is discouraged
e. Because of extreme fire danger, smoking is strongly discouraged.
f. Apparel - Riders must wear appropriate riding clothes, a safety helmet, shoes with a heel or caged stirrups.
g. Insurance: Any rider or horse owner is personally liable for any damage caused to third parties by himself, his employees and assistants or their horses. 
h. Equipment - Draw reins, whips and spurs are forbidden. Heavyweight Western-type and Vaquero saddles, also Vaquero stirrups, are forbidden.

Full list of rules that include sanction, drug violation and medication policies will be made available to participants nearer the date.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FEI General Assembly 2014 to elect new President in Baku (AZE)

10 Dec 2014

The 14th FEI President will be elected this Sunday 14 December by the FEI General Assembly which gets underway this week in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

The five Presidential candidates (listed in order of receipt of the candidacy files by the FEI) are Pierre Genecand (SUI), Ulf Helgstrand (DEN), John McEwen (GBR), Pierre Durand (FRA), and Ingmar De Vos (BEL). Javier Revuelta del Peral (ESP), who had also submitted a candidacy file, withdrew from the election process in November.

The five candidates will present their manifestos to the National Federations, stakeholders and international media during the Meet the Presidential Candidates session on Saturday 13 December at 14.15 AZT (local Azerbaijan time, GMT + 4 hours). The individual presentations by the candidates will be followed by a question and answer session at 16.15 AZT on 13 December.

The order of the candidates’ presentations will be determined by a draw overseen by the Independent Advisory Committee, which was set up by the FEI Bureau in September 2014 to preserve the integrity of the election process and avoid any potential conflict of interest. The draw will take place at 19.00 AZT on 12 December.

The General Assembly and the Meet the Presidential Candidates session will be broadcast live and free of charge on FEI TV, the FEI’s official online video platform.

A press kit containing detailed information on the FEI General Assembly 2014, the Presidential election, and the FEI Awards Gala presented by Longines is attached. It is also available online here.

Brief biographical information on the Presidential candidates

Pierre Genecand (SUI)
Pierre Genecand, 64, is proposed by the Swiss Equestrian Federation. A businessman, banker and insurance broker by profession, Genecand served as president of the Geneva International Horse Show from 1989 to 2003. He has been a member of the board of the World Cup of Horsemanship, the Alliance of Jumping Organisers, and the Committee of Swiss Top Sports. He is the current president of the Polo Club Gstaad and the Hublot Polo Gold Club.

Ulf Helgstrand (DEN)
Ulf Helgstrand, 63, is proposed by the Danish Equestrian Federation. A medical doctor by profession, Helgstrand is a professor of vascular surgery. He has served as President of the Danish Equestrian Federation since 2003. He was board member and Vice President of the Danish Warmblood Association for 10 years and currently serves as Vice President and charter member of the European Equestrian Federation. Helgstrand is a former Dressage rider and has run a stud with several approved Dressage stallions since 1991.

John McEwen (GBR)
John McEwen, 69, is proposed by the British Equestrian Federation. A qualified veterinary surgeon with wide international experience, McEwen served as veterinary surgeon to the British Jumping and Dressage teams, working at eight Olympic Games up to and including London 2012, and at all editions of the FEI World Equestrian Games™. He was vice chairman of the FEI Veterinary Committee from 1999 to 2003 and has been the Committee’s chair since 2006. He also currently chairs the FEI Prohibited Substances List and Laboratory Groups. McEwen has served on an advisory panel for the charity World Horse Welfare for more than 15 years. He represents the FEI at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) specialising in horse transport issues and on the International Sports Horse Confederation (IHSC). McEwen was appointed FEI 1st Vice President in 2010.

Pierre Durand (FRA)
Pierre Durand, 59, is proposed by the French Equestrian Federation. Durand holds a degree in business law, is a former professional rider and wine grower. He won individual gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games with the 13-year old gelding Jappeloup. He also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and, amongst numerous international and national titles, became European Jumping champion in 1987. Durand was President of the French Equestrian Federation from 1993 to 1998. He has held various executive positions in the media industry and is currently chairman of the board of directors of the French National Institute for Sport, Expertise, and Performance (INSEP).

Ingmar De Vos (BEL)
Ingmar De Vos, 51, is proposed by the Belgian Equestrian Federation. De Vos holds degrees in political science, business administration and international and European law and started his career as an advisor to the Belgian Senate. He joined the Belgian Equestrian Federation as managing director in 1990, and held the additional role of Secretary General from 1997 to 2011. He was Secretary General of the European Equestrian Federation from 2010, the year the organisation was formed, until 2011. During his time at the Belgian National Federation, De Vos was chef de mission for the Belgian Equestrian Team at all FEI World Equestrian Games™ from 1990 to 2010 and at several Olympic Games. De Vos has been FEI Secretary General since May 2011.

Election process
The election process for the FEI President is detailed under Article 24 of the FEI Statutes. The relevant articles are listed below:

24.2 The President shall be elected by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast. Abstentions are not counted as cast votes. In the event multiple Ballots are necessary under Article 24.4, a Simple Majority shall be sufficient for Election on the third Ballot, or on the second if only two (2) Candidates remain.

24.4 When there are multiple Candidates and none receives the necessary majority, the Candidate with the least number of votes received shall be removed from the list of Candidates and another Ballot shall be held. This procedure shall be repeated until a Candidate receives the necessary majority.

The FEI newly elected President will begin his term in office at the end of the General Assembly and will remain in office for a period of four years. The FEI President may not serve more than three consecutive full terms.

Independent Advisory Committee
The Independent Advisory Committee was established under Article 36.1 of the FEI Statutes and oversees the election process and all related matters. The temporary committee is composed of:

The FEI President, HRH Princess Haya (JOR)
The Chair of the Equestrian Community Integrity Unit, Lord Stevens (GBR)
The former Chair of the FEI Tribunal, Ken Lalo (ISR)
The Chair of the FEI Audit and Compliance Unit, Brian Mangan (IRL)

Monday, December 08, 2014

Spain: 2014 Santa Susanna Raid Results

Winner of the 61st annual 2-day 2 x 100km Santa Susanna ride was Spain’s Angel Soy Coll riding Sontana with a combined 2-day time of 11:28.51, by one second over Poland’s Kamila Kart and Phayda de Lux. Third place went to Spain’s Guile Soldevila Altarriba riding Soleil Vere, finishing 3 minutes behind the top two. Australia’s Alexandra Toft finished 13th, riding Papillon du Parc with a combined time of 13:18.38.

15 of 37 riders completed the 2-day ride.

Complete results here:

UAE teen wins National Day Cup at Global Arabian Horse Racing Festival - Full Article

by Sport360 staff
Saturday 06 December 2014

A brilliant performance by UAE teenager Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri on his 10-year-old Arabian stallion, Quran El Ulm, helped him score a narrow victory in the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s prestigious National Day Cup.

It was the 19-year-old’s first victory in the 120-km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Village in Al Wathba that took palce on Saturday.

Representing Fazza 3 Stables, Al Marri started the final 16-km loop in seventh and finished just one second ahead of early leader Mohammed Al Abbar on Raksha.

Saeed Jaber Al Harbi completed a 1-2-3 sweep by the UAE on JQ Safi Safra, ahead of Argentinean jockey Martina Spelanzon.

Al Marri covered the distance in four hours, 10 minutes and 39 seconds at an average speed of 28.72km per hour...

Read more here:

Friday, December 05, 2014

Spain: 61st Santa Susanna Raid

The 61st annual 2-day Santa Susanna endurance ride will take place December 6 and 7, 2014. Several races will take place: a CEI3***, with 99 km over each day, and a CEI2** with 73 km over each day. A CEI1* 99 km ride will also take place on Friday December 5.

133 pairs were signed up at the official close of entries, with 44 pairs in the CEI3***. Riders from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, and Spain will participate.

For more information see

Abu Dhabi: Top riders in fray for National Day Cup - Full Article

Nearly 300 leading riders to take part in 120-km ride

Staff Report
Published: 18:57 December 5, 2014

Top riders in fray for National Day Cup
Nearly 300 leading riders to take part in 120-km ride

Abu Dhabi: It is the National Day Cup 120-km endurance ride on Saturday and almost every top rider in the UAE and many from around the world will be part of the starting line-up at 6am at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi.

The National Day Cup, which this time will mark the 43rd anniversary of the birth of the United Arab Emirates, is one of the most prestigious rides in the UAE’s endurance calendar and is expected to see a close contest for honours over the five-stage 120-km distance.

With eleven 4WD cars on offer and a handsome amount of prizemoney to be shared by the top finishers, the National Day Cup has attracted over 300 entries...

Read more here:

UAE's unique Dubai Desert Triathlon a success - Full Article

by Sport360 staff
Friday 05 December 2014

The second edition of the Dubai Desert Triathlon saw Mohamed Isa Alqais and Aude Touraine lifting the trophies at the Dubai International Endurance City on Friday with Yousef Barhum, Erwan Sidaner & David Serrano taking the team honours.

Ninety-four athletes participated in the second edition of the event which consisted of a 5km run, a 40km cycle and a 50km endurance horse ride, and proved to be as successful as the inaugural edition.

The overall men’s triathlon was won by Mohamed Isa Alqais of Bahrain ahead of Majed Mohamed Salman Hassan Mohammed Al Sabri, with Rashed Alghurair in third.

Alqais was ecstatic about winning and said, "I am experienced in both running and cycling, but I am a new rider, so it was a challenge for me. The event was perfect, as a concept it is unique, and I look forward to competing again.”

The overall women’s triathlon was won by Aude Touraine of France ahead of Ines Pintenat with Najla Aljeraiwi in third...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Endurance Great Britain Announces New Board

26 November 2014

Endurance GB (EGB), the governing body for the sport of endurance riding in Great Britain, has announced its new and returning members of the EGB Board for 2014/15, including the re-election of John Hudson as EGB chairman.

The new Board was announced at the EGB AGM on Saturday 22nd November, with the highest number of EGB members on record participating in the vote for the elected team. The EGB Board for 2014/15 comprises 15 members, including Sue Box, Kerry Dawson, David Hirst, Harry Ingram and Jane Tennant being welcomed to the Board. John Hudson and Jo Claridge have both been re-elected.

As an accomplished rider, Sue Box has been involved in endurance for 16 years and is keen to encourage new EGB membership at all levels and riding ability. Kerry Dawson, from West Yorkshire, has a wide experience of endurance and wants to help improve the sport for everyone from grass-roots to international level. Businessman David Hirst has worked as a TS, FEI Steward and helper in endurance over the past 16 years, and crewed to international level. At 22, Harry Ingram is the youngest member of the Board and a vehement supporter of young riders. He served as Chair of the Young Rider committee in 2013 and having been involved in endurance for the past decade is keen to give something back to the sport he loves. Former rider Jane Tennant, mother of international rider Alex Tennant, is a life member of EGB and wants to help drive the expansion of the EGB membership. Re-elected member Jo Claridge has been part of the development of EGB from the outset and returns to the Board as Groups Chairman with a clear vision to further contribute to the growth and success of EGB.

Returning chairman John Hudson has been involved in endurance since 1988 and brings with him a wealth of experience in the sport. John recognises the potential for the growth of endurance and will continue to use his expertise to lead EGB and the sport for its members and for Great Britain.

John Hudson, EGB Board Chairman, said: “Each member of the Board shares the same passion for endurance and together we can actively work towards our strategy to enable more people and horses at all levels to enjoy the sport of endurance to the highest standard of excellence.”

The full EGB Board includes:

John Hudson, EGB Chairman
Pete Claridge, EGB Vice Chairman / Financial Director
Ann Dark, Company Secretary
Sue Box
Sue Broughton, Chair of International
Jo Claridge, Chair of Groups
Kerry Dawson, Chair of Technology
Brian Floyd Davis, Chair of Health & Safety
Jeni Gilbert, Chair Rides & Rules
Kevin Hawes
David Hirst
Harry Ingram
Constance Newbould, SERC Representative
Jane Tennant
Fiona Videla, Chair of PR & Marketing
Category :General

HM Queen Elizabeth II receives inaugural FEI Lifetime Achievement award

26 Nov 2014

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II today became the first recipient of the FEI Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of her leading role as supporter of equestrian sport throughout her reign as British monarch.

The award was presented to Her Majesty by FEI President HRH Princess Haya at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace this afternoon in the presence of former FEI President the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip, and Keith Taylor, Chairman of the British Equestrian Federation.

Horses featured in The Queen’s life from a very young age. She had her first riding lesson in the private riding school at Buckingham Palace Mews in January 1930, when she was just three years old and was given her first pony, the Shetland mare Peggy, by her grandfather King George V on her fourth birthday.

One of The Queen’s favourite horses was the mare Burmese, a present from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969 when they came to perform at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The Queen rode Burmese side-saddle for 18 years at the Trooping the Colour ceremony, which celebrates the Sovereign’s birthday. The President’s Trophy, presented by Prince Philip for many years to the winning country in the FEI Nations Cup™ series, was a bronze of the Queen and Burmese.

In the Thoroughbred world, horses bred by The Queen have won more than 1,600 races, and, of the British Classics, only the Epsom Derby still eludes Her Majesty. She also breeds Shetland, Highland and Fell ponies to ensure the traditional bloodlines in these native breeds are preserved and enhanced.

As well as The Queen’s enduring love of racing, breeding and equestrian sport, the British Royal Family has a long history linked to the horse. The Duke of Edinburgh played polo until 1970 and then took up carriage driving the following year, and also played a key role in compiling rules for the international sport early in his 22-year tenure as FEI President. The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and two of The Queen’s grandsons, Princes William and Harry all play polo. The Queen also plays host to the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show, which features international Jumping, Dressage and Driving, and where many of the Queen’s home-bred native ponies line out in the showing classes.

Equestrian sport celebrated 100 years in the Olympic Movement at London 2012, where The Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips claimed team silver in Eventing. Zara Phillips won team and individual gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2006 and was also crowned European champion in 2005, following in the footsteps of her mother, The Princess Royal, who won the European title in 1971 on Doublet, a horse bred by the Queen out of one of Prince Philip’s polo ponies. Princess Anne, also a former FEI President, is an IOC Member and President of the British Olympic Association, and competed at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976, the first member of the British Royal Family to compete at Olympic level.

The Queen’s cousin Margaret Rhodes, interviewed last year for a BBC documentary, The Queen: A Passion For Horses, believes that the importance of horses in The Queen’s life cannot be overestimated: “When she became Queen, she had to sacrifice an awful lot of emotions and thoughts of the future, but with horses it's another world in that it reduces you to just the person in relation to the animal, and you're not a Queen, you're just a human being.''

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is a life-long lover of horses who has inspired millions around the world and I am honoured to be able to present the first-ever FEI Lifetime Achievement award to Her Majesty on behalf of the FEI today”, HRH Princess Haya said after the presentation in The Queen’s audience room at Buckingham Palace. “She is a true horsewoman, who still rides whenever State business allows, and her knowledge of breeding and bloodlines is incredible. The bond between The Queen and horses is truly extraordinary and I can’t think of anyone more fitting to receive this very special FEI award in the Year of the Horse. I am very proud to be giving this award on behalf of the FEI family.”

“Horses have played such a huge part in the life of The Queen, and it is a family passion shared particularly with her husband and the two world-class champions in her daughter and granddaughter”, said Keith Taylor. “The Queen has an incredible in-depth knowledge of breeding, both Thoroughbreds and native ponies, and is patron of the British Horse Society, the Fell Pony Society, the Highland Pony Society, the Shire Horse Society, the Welsh Pony and Cob Society and the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. It’s impossible to think of the Royal Family without thinking of horses. We are truly blessed to have a sovereign who values the horse and its many types so highly.”

The FEI Lifetime Achievement award was created by Princess Haya in 2014, her final year as FEI President, to acknowledge an individual who has inspired generations across the global equestrian community. Recipients of this award are recommended by the FEI Executive Board, and the FEI Bureau was delighted that the first-ever award has gone to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The award is a stunning white gold and diamond brooch of nine interlinked horseshoes, created especially for today’s presentation, and mirroring the insignia of the FEI Awards.

The FEI Lifetime Achievement Award is part of this prestigious scheme, which was launched in 2009 to reward excellence, commitment, dedication and courage. Other global equestrian heroes will be honoured at a glittering Gala Dinner during the FEI General Assembly in Baku, Azerbaijan on 14 December. The shortlist of nominees and full information on the FEI Awards 2014 and past winners is available at

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

FEI statement on investigation into 2012 FEI World Endurance Championships

2 Dec 2014

The FEI has announced today that, following completion of an in-depth investigation into allegations of a switch of horses for the 2012 FEI World Endurance Championships in Euston Park (GBR), no legal action can be taken for procedural reasons and due to a lack of conclusive evidence.

Following receipt of the findings of the investigation last month, the FEI has now evaluated the legal and procedural aspects of the case and it has become clear that, under the rules applicable at the time of the incident in 2012, essential deadlines were missed. Without legal proceedings being initiated within the specified timelines and through the correct channels, the FEI is unable to proceed with the case.

“It is very disappointing that it took such a long time to come to this conclusion”, FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said, “but this thorough investigation has allowed us to identify some loopholes in our own procedures with regard to the identification of horses through microchips and documents such as FEI passports, recognition cards and duplicates. I have asked our Legal Department to look at our procedures to identify how we can avoid similar issues occurring in the future.”

Prior to receiving the final report, the FEI had already initiated a detailed review of its administrative processes, putting mechanisms in place that now provide much greater control over the registration and identification of horses. Further proposed changes to the Veterinary Regulations to improve traceability and accurate verification of horses’ identity will be voted on at next month’s FEI General Assembly.

The FEI is to conduct a full review of its legal system in 2015, including its rules and sanctions. Proposals for change will go to the FEI Bureau for consideration prior to being voted on by the National Federations at the 2015 FEI General Assembly.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

New Zealand: Bulfin adds one more string to judging bow - Full Article

Peter Jones

Marlborough Endurance and Trail Riding Club member Heidi Bulfin is now an internationally recognised judge.

Bulfin, who qualified as a national judge six years ago, was informed last week that she had been promoted to International (FEI) two-star Endurance Judge and two-star Technical Delegate (TD) - becoming the youngest FEI TD in New Zealand.

The new role means she can officiate at international endurance events, five of which are held in New Zealand each year.

Bulfin, 38, joined the Marlborough Endurance and Trail Riding Club in 2006, almost immediately being co-opted on to the committee. She has held every role over the past eight years, including treasurer, president for six years and now secretary.

To stage trail and endurance rides, of which the club hosts 10 a year, the club must have at least two officials in attendance, so Bulfin decided to give that side of her sport a go. She began as a national official in 2008 after completing a course in Christchurch...

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Bahrain: Nasser bin Hamad crowns Al-Dossary as season-opening race champion

BNA/bh - Full Article


Manama, Nov29(BNA) Ghazi Al Dossary from Al Raood Stable was crowned champion of the Season-Opening Endurance Race, held over a distance of 120km yesterday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) Honorary President Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa presented the prizes to the winners. BREEF President Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa participated in the presentation ceremony along with BREEF Endurance Committee Head Shaikh Daej bin Salman Al Khalifa.

Al Dossary on his horse Mike trained by Shaikh Daej bin Salman succeeded in clinching first place after finishing the race in a total time of 04.56.35 hours with a speed of 24kph. He was followed by Hussain Nayef from N13 Stable team riding Ralia and trained by Ahmed Abdulla, who finished the race in a total time of 05.06 50 hours with a speed of 23kph. Third place was won by Paghat Sing from Al Raood Stables, finishing in a total time of 05.06.55 hours with a speed of 23kph.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

UAE: Catalina Bastons wins Shaikha Fatima Endurance Cup - Full Article

Aya Abdullah Reda Ishaq Ali secures best finish for UAE lady riders

Staff Report
Published: 19:55 November 29, 2014

Abu Dhabi: Argentina’s Catalina ‘Catita’ Bastons upstaged a strong field of over 100 riders to post an exciting victory in the HH Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

Riding the 10-year-old Moreno, trained by Abdullah Al Hammadi for the Al Reef Stables, Bastons completed the challenging 90-km CEN ride in a time of 2 hours 58 minutes 40 seconds.

Finishing second and only a second behind was Spain’s Laia Soria Pinol aboard KY Inefe while the UAE’s Aya Abdullah Reda Ishaq Ali clinched third placed with Oued El Kebir Larzac.

In fourth place was Spanish rider Nuria Figueiras Rifa on Vitamina II while Ireland’s Amy Louis on Terminator Te finished fifth...

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2014 Brazilian Endurance Championships

The 24th annual Brazilian Endurance Championships will be held December 6, 2014 at the Brasilia Country Club, Brasilia. Events will be the 160-km CEI3* 160-km race, the CEIYJ 2* 122-km race, and the CEIYF 1* 80-km race. The Young Rider-Junior races will be observations for the Young Riders 2015 in Chile.

For more information see:

2014 Central American and Caribbean Championship

Twenty-one entries representing 4 countries have been confirmed for the first annual Central American and Caribbean Championship to be held December 6, 2014 in Tecpan, Guatemala.

The CEI1* race, organized by the Asociacion Nacioinal de Ecuestres de Guatemala and director Juan Briz, will be held over 100 km divided into 4 phases.

For more information on the event, see:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Staff changes at FEI Headquarters

Photo caption: Manuel Bandeira de Mello (POR) who has been appointed as the new FEI Endurance Director. Photo Hugues Siegenthaler/FEI

27 Nov 2014

Manuel Bandeira de Mello (POR) has been appointed as FEI Endurance Director to replace Ian Williams, who is due to retire at the end of December. The new Director takes up his post at FEI Headquarters next Monday, 1 December 2014.

Bandeira de Mello was selected following an intensive assessment process led by Odgers Berndtson Switzerland (OBS), a top international recruitment consultancy company in both the private and public sectors. OBS screened 30 applicants for the post prior to the final interview stage.

Manuel Bandeira de Mello, 54, served as Secretary General of the Portuguese Equestrian Federation for 13 years. Since 2001 he has been chef d’équipe for the Portuguese team at numerous FEI championships and was also chef de mission for the Portuguese team at three editions of the FEI World Equestrian Games™: in 2002 in Jerez de la Frontera (ESP), in 2006 in Aachen (GER) where Portugal won team bronze in Endurance, and in 2010 in Lexington, KY (USA). Before joining the FEI he was also Deputy Chair of FEI Regional Group I and Executive Board member of the European Equestrian Federation.

He has strong knowledge of equestrian sport through his work at the Portuguese Equestrian Federation and of Endurance as organiser of the FEI Endurance Open European Championship 2007 at Barroca D’Alva (POR).

Bandeira De Mello competed nationally and internationally in Jumping for 25 years, from 1972 to 1997, and was a member of the Portuguese team at the FEI European Jumping Championships for Juniors 1974 in Lucerne (SUI). He is married and has three children.

“I am very much looking forward to welcoming Manuel to the FEI,” Ingmar De Vos, FEI Secretary General, said. “I have known and worked with him for many years and I am convinced his extensive experience in equestrian sport as an administrator, competitor, and organiser will be important assets for our organisation. We were looking for a candidate with deep understanding of the sport who would be able to take over the Endurance discipline for the long term and clearly we have found that in Manuel.

“Our new colleague will work closely with the outgoing Endurance Director Ian Williams in December and will take over the role fully in the New Year. I wish Manuel every success as the new FEI Endurance Director and am confident he will be a great addition to the team at Headquarters.”

“I am really delighted to join the FEI as Endurance Director,” Manuel Badeira De Mello said. “It is an honour and a privilege to serve equestrian sport at this level. I am looking forward to this exciting new step and to fulfilling this challenging role to the very best of my abilities.”

At the same time as the FEI welcomes its new Endurance Director, it is also saying goodbye to a member of staff following the announcement by Veterinary Director Graeme Cooke that he is leaving FEI Headquarters for personal reasons after more than five years with the organisation.

Cooke’s main goal since joining the FEI in August 2009 has been to improve the international movement of horses and he has been instrumental in not only creating the High-Health High-Performance horse (HHP) concept, but also getting it accepted by the World Organisation for Animal Health, the OIE.

“Graeme was brought in to the FEI with the key objective of opening up borders for competition horses and his tireless lobbying of the OIE has resulted in huge improvements,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said. “It’s a very difficult balancing act between promoting the free movement of horses while assuring governments that sanitary barriers are still in place.

“As our sport becomes more global, the movement of horses across continents takes on even greater significance, so the work that Graeme has undertaken and what he has achieved are extremely important and we are indebted to him for it. We are of course sad to see him go, but we have to respect his decision and wish him well for the future.”

“The FEI has been my home for the past five years and I’m going to miss it enormously, but I am leaving so that I can spend more time with my ageing parents,” Graeme Cooke said. “I feel we’ve really made a big breakthrough in international horse movements and I’m proud that the FEI has led the way on that. It’s an important chapter in equestrian sport history and I’m happy to have played a role in it.”

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bahrain's Shaikh Nasser: We work for a successful endurance season

November 25 2014

Manama, Nov. 25. (BNA) -- Under the directives of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee President Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) continued the registration process of riders and stables who will participate in the Season-Opening Endurance Race.

The event is set to to take place next Saturday at the Bahrain International Endurance Village. It will be over a distance of 120kms, and it will be held with a qualifying race of 80km.

In this context, Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad stressed that the new endurance racing season will be an exciting one, which will see a high level of competition due to the strong preparations from the riders, horses and stables. He praised the early preparations of BREEF headed by its president Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa and stressed that this race is considered as one of the most important in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad noted that this race will be a very suitable opportunity for the riders to recognize their level of readiness for the new season. He also pointed out that the Royal Endurance Team is ready to reap the victories and titles of this year's season based on their strong preparations and determination to achieve more succcess.

Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad said that apart from winning trophies, his team will seek to achieve new records in the races, praising the outstanding efforts done by members of the team in order to prepare the horses and riders for the season.

On his part, Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa pointed out that this season will be an exceptional and special one. It will witness plenty of excitement and enthusiasm in the races between the riders and stables, especially with everyone beginning their preparations early for this season.

He stressed that BREEF began early preparations across all their committees for the upcoming season-opener, where he hopes to witness outstanding achievements by the participating stables and riders.

He added that this season's races will be different from the previous years', and he pointed out to the strength of the competition by all the stables.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bahrain: Endurance ride preparations on - Full Article

November 25, 2014

Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman, Bahrain Olympic Committee President and Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) Honorary President Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa urged Breef to finalise all administrative and organisational preparations for the season-opening Endurance ride.

The event will cover a total distance of 120 kilometres and it will be held next Saturday at Bahrain International Endurance Village.

A qualifying race over a distance of 80km will also take place...

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Scotland: Bonnie Galloway on horseback - Full Article

November 24 2014

Dumfries Branch of Scottish Endurance Riding Club

This Autumn has given us such lovely weather to enjoy riding in great outdoors.

Hopefully the wee saga to follow will inspire many more riders to do just that.

Recently, the Dumfries Branch of Scottish Endurance Riding Club organised a wonderful outing in Cally and Disdow woods thanks to all locals who gave permissions. On having a pony party we need parking for our mounts transport and Cally Palace Hotel came up trumps we had good hard standing and the branch congratulate all who left the parking lot immaculate. Thank you all so much.

We enjoyed the company of riders from Biggar area Lothians Branch Glasgow Branch and great support from Cumbria some Dumfries members who reside there and some EGB members so pleased you could all join us as 23 in total came along...

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Zealand: Introducing the latest ESNZ Team Member


ESNZ is pleased to introduce to you our latest member of staff to join the Membership Services Team. Some of you may have already spoken with Tina on the phone as she has been with us since the 13th of October though is now ready to be introduced officially.

Tina writes:

After spending over 12 years in the dentistry industry, I embarked on a complete career change when joining Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) in October.

I have had long association with horses in a variety of roles, stretching back to when I was a child before settling on CTR and endurance as my horse sports of choice after being introduced to it in 2002.

I joined Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) in October and have quickly immersed myself into the busy hub of the National Office. I cover the dual roles of helping back up the Finance Director as well as being part of the Member Services team which more than keeps me busy. I am enjoying the new challenge this job brings.

I’ve always had a love of horses and started riding when I was 12, on any horse I could find as my parents thought it was a passing fancy and that I would soon grow out of the phase or get bored.

I left home in my mid-teens to start my working life in dairy farming during which time I purchased my first horse, in the process becoming a keen hunter in the Waikato at a local club.

In my 20s, I had a change of direction and worked in racing stables in Woodville and later at Trentham as a track rider when I returned home to Upper Hutt.

At this time I met my partner at the local pub where I worked and got another horse.

Late in 2002, I was introduced to CTR and did this for a few years, placing second in the 2005 North Island champs. Soon after this a friend and I tried our first 40km endurance ride and from that time have been hooked on the sport.

Tina Plastow

Friday, November 21, 2014

Great Britain: Endurance achievements - Full Article

By West Briton | Posted: November 20, 2014

A STUDENT from The Roseland Community College has successfully competed in horse endurance events across the country.

In August Emilia Douglass in Year 9 competed at Barbury, with the County Endurance Team along with former members of the Great Britain team.

The South West team came second with Emilia and her horse Tiger Lilly being placed the highest in their class (32km novice).

In October Emilia competed for Newquay Riding Club at the National Red Dragon team event at the Royal Welsh Showground...

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