Saturday, September 06, 2014

Full credit to Normandy for a job well done - Full Article

World Endurance Games delivers on all counts

By Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer
Published: 18:22 September 6, 2014

I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to go to the World Equestrian Games, which are taking place in the scenic city of Normandy, France. I would say it was a once in a lifetime kind of experience for me.

Most of my career I’ve been covering the flat — Derby’s, Breeders’ Cups, Arcs — that sort of thing, but this experience was so different.

The World Equestrian Games are all encompassing. It gives you a totally different kind of buzz. Although I do not wish to sound clich├ęd, I think that they totally deserve to be referred to as the ‘horse’ Olympics. The time that I spent watching the dressage, eventing, vaulting or endurance riding, put a lot into perspective for me in the way that I was already looking forward to my next equestrian event.

The 160km endurance ride would have to be one of the highlights of the Games, considering that it was won in exemplary fashion by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Perhaps not too many people have a complete understanding of endurance, which has to be one of the toughest challenges in sport. It’s not just about strength and stamina, of horse and rider; it goes way beyond what the mind can comprehend. Mostly it’s about trust and friendship...

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