Saturday, December 26, 2015

Australia: Think 3200 metres is a horse race for stayers? Try 160 kilometres - Full Article

December 26 2015
Konrad Marshall

The sport of endurance riding is not for the faint-hearted.

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses – he was worth a thousand pound, So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

Banjo Patterson's poem The Man from Snowy River was first published 125 years ago – an elegant narrative capturing the nature of hard riding in an unforgiving land.

The Verspaandonk family rides this way, too, only not chasing a brumby mob (or the colt from Old Regret) but in pursuit of a decent time and good form.

The Glengarry family competes in the obscure but fast growing sport of endurance riding, covering long distances over difficult terrain on horseback.

The motto of the pastime – "to complete is to win" – hints at what is required.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Scotland: Trail riders group go for endurance - Full Article

23 December 2015

Galloway Trail Riders Group member Annie Walker read recently about a local endurance rider’s achievements in 2015 which prompted her to put pen to paper.

In South West Scotland we have two groups of rider who are out and about, both interested in horse welfare and riding access, keeping old routes available for riders.

Annie writes: “Galloway Trail Riders Group could be classed as happy hackers and we have had many happy days in the saddles this last year. From Glenwhilly up to top of Beneraird; the beach at Sandhead; Lochinch Policies (thanks to Lord Stair); Cally Woods, Gatehouse of Fleet to mention four of our eight outings. We had cheery on foot meetings in form of our AGM with some awards for good attendance and fun and a pre-Christmas meal...

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Abu Dhabi Club of the Week: Go beyond riding horses at Al Waha Equestrian Club in Al Ain - Full Article

by Jay Asser
Thursday 24 December 2015

Imagine combining the physical toll of running or cycling a long distance race with the challenge of maintaining a living, breathing vehicle. That’s exactly what endurance horse riding entails, acting just as much as a relationship as it does a sport.

Rashed Al Kaabi, the activity manager at Al Waha Equestrian Club, is as aware as anyone as to just how important building that relationship with your horse is in order to be a successful endurance rider.

Since taking up the sport in 2000, Al Kaabi has focused on training beginners to qualify in endurance for the past five years. At Al Waha, that training begins first and foremost with horsemanship.

“From the beginning, you have to train on the same horse,” said Al Kaabi. “When someone comes for training, I keep them on one horse only, every day. They groom the horse, they train the horse, they make the saddle on the horse. They ride the horse for a minimum of one-and-a-half hours of riding...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

FEI General Assembly Approves 2016 Spanish Championships

December 22 2015

The 2016 Spanish Championships, for Seniors and Young Riders, will be held on May 1 and 2 in Badajoz. The FEI General Assembly approved the event at its December 22 meeting.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF remains committed to endurance being respectful of horse welfare

22 Dezember 2015 11:57

A delegation of the Swiss Equestrian Federation SEF has liaised with the director of the FEI endurance in order to discuss the suggested measures to ensure the development of the discipline and improvement of the respect for horses. The SEF has stressed the need to improve the qualifying system for the elite races and for finding a competition format for the WEG consistent with the current competition schemes.

During a workshop at the headquarters of the FEI in Lausanne, a delegation of the SEF comprising of president Charles Trolliet, Dominik Burger and Claude Nordmann, expressed the reflections and position of Switzerland concerning the current issues of the discipline to the director of Endurance of the FEI, Manuel Bandeira de Mello. Discussions included qualification criteria for major events, the new competition format during the World Equestrian Games and finally the monitoring of the situation in the Middle-Eastern countries (group VII of the FEI).

The SEF has suggested to include a provision in the regulations stipulating that it is the horse/rider pair who needs to qualify in two races in order to participate at the next level. Endurance being the demonstration of the rapport and understanding between horse and rider i.e. horsemanship, this provision would certainly ensure an improvement of horse welfare and contribute to reducing excessive speeds and other occurring issues. This request remains valid and the Swiss delegation insists that it be incorporated during the next thorough revision of endurance regulations. The discipline’s credibility is at stake. The SEF has made itself available to carry out statistics concerning this subject.

The SEF is also ready to bring forward proposals in order to develop with the FEI an attractive competition format for the World Equestrian Games. This will allow for only the best pairs to reach the World Championship by qualifying for various geographically distributed races during the two years preceding the final. The SEF has reiterated its firm opposition to any format planning races over two days as this format, only practiced at the WEG, would only encourage excessive speed and pose more risks for the horses.

Finally, after analysing the situation in group VII’s various countries especially in the UAE, the SEF has reminded that it would remain vigilant and await the end of the racing season in the Middle East to decide on the possible Swiss participation in the World Championships which are scheduled for December 2016 in Dubai.

Manuel Banderia de Mello has noted with interest the Swiss proposals and has been thankful for the frank discussion. He expressed readiness to continue a regular dialogue with the Swiss Federation.

Additional Information:

Dr. Claude Nordmann, International Relations, Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports
Tel. +41 79 353 75 54 E-mail:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bahrain: Nasser bin Hamad awards National Day endurance winners - Full Article

December 19 2015

Manama, Dec.19 (BNA): Representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of Bahrain Olympic Committee and Honorary President of Bahrain Roya Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) HH Shiakh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa honoured the winners of the National Day 120km Endurance Race on Saturday.

HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa honoured the winners of the first three positions. Rider Rashid Al Rowaiee from Al Zaeem Stables won the first place after finishing the race in 04:26:40 time and the speed of 27km/h on the steed Kahraby. The second place went to Al Khalidiya Stables’ jockey Raed Mahmoud who crossed the finish line one second after Al Roawaee with the speed of 26km/h on the steed Goodaseel. Al Zaeem Stables’rider Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa came third after finishing the race in 04:44:10 time on the steed Plugeal. The three winners were greeted and awarded by HH Shaikh Nasser...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Endurance Perspective In Europe

Easycare Blog - Full Article

November 30, 2015
by Christoph Schork

At the end of my blog from last month, On Tour Abroad, I promised a follow up blog covering my experience with endurance racing in Europe. So here it is. I had previously participated in endurance events in Germany, Australia and the Middle East, but had not entered any races in France and Spain. In October of 2015 I had the opportunity to ride at two FEI sanctioned events. I could combine these races this time with my Hoof Care Clinics which I conduct every year in Europe.

My first start was at the VIC** in Catalunya, just a few miles north of Barcelona. I had the pleasure of riding a horse of Jaume Punti Dachs, or short, Juma from the Juma Stable, a 14 year old bay gelding, Malik Kerrous.

The 120km, (75 Mile) race had 70+ entries, Juma Stable alone entered a total of 15 horses. The trail was a mix of hills, rocky trails, concrete and paved roads with stretches of softer footing. But for the most part the ground was hard. The pace is generally faster compared to endurance races in the USA. Typically the horses canter much more, trotting only when terrain demands it. Surprising is the fact that most horses are shod with steel shoes, and just about everybody uses clips as well...

- See more at:

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Regulated Endurance Rides in Abu Dhabi Support Responsible Riding - Full Article

December 1 2015

Endurance Rule Change for Boudhieb Endurance

1 December 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ For the remainder of 2015 and in advance of the Endurance season of 2016, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has taken the state of affairs in Group 7 endurance racing extremely seriously, in particular in the UAE, and for some time has been in discussion with a number of people and bodies concerning the welfare of endurance horses and how to bring back respect for the horse and skill of the rider in successfully completing endurance competitions.

It is the considered opinion of HH Sheikh Sultan that speeds now reached in local endurance rides have exceeded the natural capacity of the average Arabian horse and that allowing speed, and therefore the culture of First past the post as the sole winning factor, has led to many problems.

Consequently, in his Boudhieb Endurance Village, run under the banner of Emirates Heritage Club, a number of new rules now being tested will apply for the remaining races of the season. These are designed to slow the speeds and make riders more responsible for how they ride and present and care for their horses in the races.

Chiefly they are as follows:...

Read the rest here:

Sunday, December 06, 2015

UAE: Khalifa wins N-Day Endurance Cup - Full Article

From Our Abu Dhabi Bureau
December 06, 2015

ABU DHABI: Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, astride Arabian mare Minute for the Al Wathba Stables, worked his way through to land the National Day Cup CEN 120km Endurance Ride at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba on Saturday.

The winner covered the distance in 4 hours, 20 minutes and five seconds at an average speed of 17.683 km/ hour and finished just a fraction of a second ahead of the French contender Maeva Vaslentin, onboard Arabian gelding Zenith Des Pins from the Mubarak Al Arti Stables. Abdulla Ganim Al Marri was five seconds behind in third place onboard Quran Al Ulm, representing F3 Stables...

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Saturday, December 05, 2015

Abu Dhabi: Top riders eye big prizes at National Day Cup - Full Article

Eleven 4WD cars on offer in prestigious 120km event

December 4, 2015
Staff Report

Abu Dhabi: Around 150 riders will be seen in action in the 120-km National Day Cup endurance ride held to mark the 44th UAE National Day.

Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the ADEC said. “The National Day Cup ride is very prestigious and a large number of top stars, both local and international, will be participating.”

“There will be 11 4WD cars on offer for the top 11 who successfully complete the 120-km ride which will be run in four stages of 40km, 35km, 25km and 20km,” he said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Regulated Endurance Rides in Abu Dhabi Support Responsible Riding - Full Article

December 1 2015

Endurance Rule Change for Boudhieb Endurance

1 December 2015, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ For the remainder of 2015 and in advance of the Endurance season of 2016, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has taken the state of affairs in Group 7 endurance racing extremely seriously, in particular in the UAE, and for some time has been in discussion with a number of people and bodies concerning the welfare of endurance horses and how to bring back respect for the horse and skill of the rider in successfully completing endurance competitions.

It is the considered opinion of HH Sheikh Sultan that speeds now reached in local endurance rides have exceeded the natural capacity of the average Arabian horse and that allowing speed, and therefore the culture of First past the post as the sole winning factor, has led to many problems...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Ireland: Endurance ride at Cullinagh Stables - Full Article

December 1 2015

After huge success last month at the annual Red Dragon Festival of Endurance at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales, members of the Irish Long Distance Riding Association travelled to County Waterford on Sunday, 15th November to participate in the ILDRA’s End of Year Ride at Cullinagh Stables, Kilmeaden.

The Irish Long Distance Riding Association (ILDRA) is the governing body for Endurance Riding in Ireland and it is affiliated to Horse Sport Ireland. There are two regional groups based in Ulster and Leinster.

The association organises endurance events throughout the country, many of which are ‘pleasure rides’. These rides normally cover distances of about eight miles and are open to members and non-members.

Competitive Trail Rides and Endurance Races are also regular features of the ILDRA calendar and these events cover distances of 50 miles and upwards.

Endurance riding is growing in popularity in Munster as was clearly evident from the large turnout at last week’s pleasure ride at Cullinagh Stables.

Participants from across the south followed pre-marked trails, taking them through woodland and along the River Dawn, flanked by historic sites such as the old cotton mill and chimney at Fairbrook, the Queen Anne Way and the Spa Fields at Gortnaclode...

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South Africa: Horse exports to UAE boost Western Cape economy - Full Article


THE Western Cape horse export industry has received a major boost following the export of the largest consignment of horses from the province to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The development comes after Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde earlier this year led a Western Cape delegation to the Arabian Peninsula nation. Increasing the trade of horses between the two regions was noted as a key priority during Mr Winde’s official visit.

The horse export industry is worth over R200m to the provincial economy, but there is potential to grow it to R1bn if the right measures are in place, Mr Winde said on Monday...

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South Africa: Arabs mad for our Arabians - Full Article

Aron Hyman | 01 December, 2015

Where does a sheik go when he wants a really good Arabian horse? To South Africa, of course.

Foreign buyers - mostly from the Middle East - have spent almost R8-million on 58 South African bred horses, and are footing a R29-million bill for their transportation.

Buyers include the Dubai royal family, which has purchased 48 horses, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, who has bought three, and US and British interests .

It is the biggest single shipment of horses from South Africa.

The horses are mostly Arabians - including a mare sold for R4-million - but there are some American Saddlers and Warm Bloods in the mix.

The horses were flown out of Cape Town yesterday on a chartered Qatar Airlines flight on the first leg of a three-month journey...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tough new local rules designed to reform UAE endurance - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
29 November, 2015

A member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family aims to reform UAE endurance with tough new local rules.

FEI rules still apply, but at the Bou Thib venue of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, prizes will only be awarded to combinations meeting new best condition-orientated criteria. These include a GPS-controlled maximum speed of 20kph, 10-minute vetting time, 50-minute compulsory hold, hypersensitivity tests to discourage nerve-blocking, and a bid to reduce “mobile crewing” by limiting following cars to one per five horses and providing official crew points every kilometre...


Bahrain: Nasser bin Hamad awards endurance race winners - Full Article


Manama, Nov.28 (BNA): HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of Bahrain Olympic Committee and Honorary President of Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF) on Saturday crowned the winners of opening 120km, 80km qualifying endurance race at Bahrain International Endurance Village.

The event was attended by HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of Bahrain Athletic Federation and Captain of Al Khalidya Stables...

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Abu Dhabi: Milena partners Moreno to victory - Full Article

November 29, 2015

Last year Moreno carried Argentina's Catalina to victory in this race and this year it was another Argentinean lady Milena Mendez who won a thrilling 100-km ride spread over four stages.

Moreno, an 11-year-old bay stallion from Al Reef Stables won the 100-km Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Endurance Cup for the second year in a row at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Last year Moreno carried Argentina's Catalina to victory in this race and this year it was another Argentinean lady Milena Mendez who won a thrilling 100-km ride spread over four stages.

Earlier in the morning 95 lady riders started in the race which was held under the directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

The UAE's Mariam Jasim Al Ansaari on Horr Ibn Jahir was second with Kamila Anita Kart on Othentik Du Fausset third. Argentina's Maria Julia Sciaroni on Sugarsop De Sallaz and the UAE's Sara Mohammed Al Jaber on Highland View Dolly finished fourth and fifth and all five top riders were awarded a 4WD car each...

Read more here:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Spanish Chef d'equipe Ignasi Casas Appointed to FEI Endurance Committee

November 15, 2015

Ignasi Casas, Chef d'Equipe for the Spanish endurance team, was appointed to the FEI Endurance Committee, replacing outgoing member John Robertson of Great Britain, for a term of 4 years (2015-2019).

He joins the other new appointee, Rocio Echeverri of Costa Rica, who replaces Brian Dunn of Ireland.

The appointments took place at the FEI Bureau meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November.

Riding ‘Mongol Derby,’ The Longest Horse Race On The Planet - Full Article

November 25, 2015
By: Erik Cooper

Horses are the ‘vehicle’ of choice in the wilds of Mongolia, where an adventure event each year draws competitors from around the globe. Our correspondent was there to take part in the action.

Riders from a dozen countries converge upon Mongolia to test their skills and luck in the Guinness Book of World Records’ recognized longest horse race on the planet — The Mongol Derby.

Organized by The Adventurists, riders in the event race atop the semi-wild horses of the steppe for 1,000km through the Mongolian wilderness.

They are only allowed 11lbs of essential survival kit — no changes of clothing and no back-ups in case something breaks. For navigation, riders are armed with a GPS device and crude intuition to guide them.

World’s Longest Horse Race

In its 6th year, the Mongol Derby is a multi-horse race taking influence from Genghis Khan’s legendary postal route. The system relied on a vast network of horse stations manned by the nomadic herding families of the steppe.

Throughout the 10-day race, riders live with these same herding families and race in the hoof prints of those ancient messengers.

The Mongolian families are the heart of the race; they open their homes and condition their horses for the Western riders.

Riders race 13.5 hours a day, and they switch horses in pony-express-fashion, sometimes four times a day. It’s really an ultimate test, both mentally and physically, that pushes riders to the absolute limit!

I was one of these scrappy, questionably-sane competitors in 2012, and this year I was offered the opportunity to return to the steppe and experience the race as a crew member, heading the Bloodwagon — essentially scraping broken riders off the dirt and performing search and rescues...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

UAE: Sheikh’s world endurance champs helmet sells for $US6.5m - Full Article | 26 November 2015

The helmet worn by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to win the 2012 FEI World Endurance Championships has sold at a charity auction in Dubai for $US6.5 million ($NZ9.95m).

The helmet which sold for AED24.05m was among several equestrian items at the auction to benefit the Al Jalila Foundation, which raised a total of 89.8 million dirhams, or $US24.5 million ($NZ37.2m)...

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Great Britain: From Racing to Endurance - Full Story

Beths Choice (14yo) owned and ridden by Lynn Harvey from Dorset was named as RoR Elite Endurance Champion 2015. Trained by Milton Bradley Beths Choice ran a total of 15 races on the flat and over jumps winning one race in his career before retiring.

Lynn, who has worked in racing yards for most of her life and now works for Harry Fry, is ‘hooked’ on endurance, said; “Over the past 5 years Harry has surpassed anything I could have dreamt of and he shows just what former racehorses are capable of. He has completed four 80km and five 60 plus km rides, winning two of the 80km rides. We have often been out over varied terrain, ground conditions and in appalling weather but this makes it all so worthwhile...”

Read more here:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Great Britain: The Long Trot - John o' Groats to Land's End!

The Long Trot by Grant Nicolle

13 November 2015

After eight years, I have just completed a book on my 2007 trip from John O’Groats to Lands’s End with horse Marv. This is the story, told in mostly diary format, of that adventure, in the hope that others may undertake similar travels.

My main riding experience was gained when I served as a Captain in the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, a ceremonial mounted unit of the Army, then based in St John’s Wood London.

After my time in the Army I moved to Edinburgh and in 2005 began work as a project manager in the construction industry. It was a time of transition in my personal life and career and I frequently reminisced about the exciting challenges experienced whilst in the Army. I still hankered after adventure and conceived the idea of a long distance journey in the UK by horse, trying to recreate the mostly forgotten experience of long distance travel pre 20th century. With my affinity with horses, passion for exploring new places and skills in logistical planning, I thought I had relevant skills to undertake the challenge of traversing the length of Britain with a horse.

With the decision to complete the trip made, I was lucky to obtain a 3 month sabbatical from work, as I was prepared to forgo my employment to complete the journey. Marv (a 16hh Clydesdale cross) was bought from a farm in East Lothian in the January and soon thereafter commenced the fitness training and logistical planning required. We set off from John O’Groats on the last day of April, as this was when it is thought to be warm enough to be able to travel without rugs for Marv but also early enough in the year to escape the dreaded midge when traversing the Highlands.

Keeping away from the main roads we explored the fascinating byways, tracks and minor roads through rural Scotland and England with me often sleeping in the same field as Marv. The generosity and genuine welcome received in every village we visited was uplifting. My Scottish highlights included: having to construct a makeshift enclosure next to a remote bothy in Sutherland; traversing stunning and remote Strath Vaich; the high level crossing of the Corrieyairack Pass from Fort Augustus to Laggan and cantering along a grassy former Roman Road (Dere Street) just south of Jedburgh deep into the Cheviots towards the border with England.

When passing through the industrial north of England, we utilised the canal towpaths where possible and also the newly created Pennine bridlepath. Later on, it was with good fortune that we managed to stay just ahead of the terrible flooding which hit the south of England that year, only needing to divert from their planned route once near Evesham.

We averaged no more than 20 miles a day with at least every Sunday taken as a day off. I rode Marv daily for a limited time in trot and canter (if the ground was suitable), also frequently dismounting and walking with Marv for longer periods each day. The rationale behind this was, riding Marv in walk would have been no faster, and by walking, the daily pressure on Marv’s back was substantially reduced. Marv would therefore be more likely to remain healthy for the duration and a sound Marv was paramount to the success of the trip.

Although the trip was not originally planned to be undertaken for charity, we did manage to raise £10,000, split between the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) and Cancer Research UK. Many donations were from people we met on the road.

This adventure was a great opportunity to test and combine my military endurance experience, navigational and equestrian training whilst also seeing parts of the country that so often get missed. With no back up or replacement horse, we arrived exactly on the planned completion date at Land’s End, some 1100 miles and just over 11 weeks later. I had purposefully planned a slightly longer route rather than a more direct one to ensure I could share the trip with friends and family.

Long Trot is available on Amazon here:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

FEI General Assembly Concludes with Approval of Endurance Rule Modifications

14 November 2015

The FEI General Assembly concluded in Puerto Rico on November 14, 2015.

During the annual meeting, member National Federations voted on a wide range of topics.

For Endurance, the General Assembly heard an update on the application of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG) recommendations, the majority of which have been implemented. Endurance Committee Chair Brian Sheahan gave a report to delegates, detailing additional key recommendations that are being implemented.

These recommendations include:

• Key Performance Indicators consisting of the number of NFs organising Endurance events; number of CEIs; number of registered horses and athletes; number of starters; the relationship between metabolic issues and lameness; horse fatalities; number of horses leaving competition per year; number of doping cases; and promotion of officials.

• A lifetime ban for a horse that suffers a fifth consecutive disqualification for gait irregularity
at FEI and national events

• An increase to 80 penalty points (from 50) for an athlete whose horse suffers a catastrophic injury

• Ranking lists, including additional ranking points for athletes with no penalty points

• Online publication of progress reports

• Coaching development programme

• Generating sponsorship

• Endurance Organisers Guide (to be ready in March 2016)

• Endurance FEI Coaching System (to commence in February/March 2016)

The General Assembly approved the modifications of the FEI Endurance Rules. The 9th edition, effective 1 January 2016, will be available on the FEI website here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

21 yellow cards issued in first weekend of UAE endurance season - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
12 November, 2015

Twenty-one yellow warning cards were handed out in a single weekend at the start of the UAE endurance season, as the crackdown on rule-breaking steps up.

Numerous violations were spotted on the livestream from the first major CEI/CEN at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on 22 October, in addition to many sanctioned on the day by the ground jury.

There was a completion rate of just 18% in the CEI 100Km (20 of 108 starters), no reduction in average speeds, instances of extra-long reins used as whips, and riders retiring just before vet-gates to avoid the penalty points and mandatory rest periods that follow disqualification for metabolics.

The UAE was suspended in March, reinstated only after signing a legal agreement. The FEI declined to comment how long the UAE has to improve standards before another suspension is considered...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FEI announces adverse drug findings in two competition horses

The FEI has announced two new adverse findings in horses involving prohibited substances.

Samples taken at the CSIO2* in Tehran, Iran, late in September from the showjumping horse Sir de Diamant, ridden by Mohammad Davoud Shekofti, of Iran, were positive for the banned substance stanozolol and its metabolite, 16 beta hydroxy-stanozol. It is an anabolic steroid that promotes muscle mass.

The horse’s sample also tested positive for the controlled medication dexamethasone, a corticosteroid used to treat inflammatory and auto-immune conditions, and the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug flunixin.

Samples taken at the Young Horse Endurance Championships in Valeggio sul Minico, Italy, on September 26 from the horse Barbaforte Bosana, ridden by Camilla Malta, of Italy, have tested positive for the banned substance ergonovine, a vasoconstrictor.

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from November 16 – the date of notification. The horses have been provisionally suspended for two months.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kelsey Russell Among Longines FEI Rising Star Award Nominees

November 3 2015

Kelsey Russell (USA) Endurance, is one of 6 nominees for the Longines FEI Rising Star Award. This award goes to a person aged 14 to 21 who demonstrates outstanding sporting talent and commitment.

Kelsey won the 2015 North American Junior Young Rider Championship and the Best Condition award. She is currently top of the Young Riders World Endurance Rankings. Kelsey works very hard and trains the horses she competes. In 2014 she was the only young rider chosen by the United States Equestrian Federation to ride on the team at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2014.

A jury of international experts, including FEI President Ingmar De Vos, will select the winners, which will be announced at the FEI Awards Gala on 13 November in Puerto Rico.

The winners will be flown to the glittering gala evening, where over 350 guests representing the 133 National Equestrian Federations, enthusiasts and stakeholders from around the world will celebrate their achievements.

The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to put a spotlight on the men, women, young people and organisations that are making an outstanding contribution to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport – in or out of the arena.

Apathy Society - Full Article

Cuckson Report | November 9, 2015

I meant to tell you the Apathy Society cancelled its meeting due to lack of interest, but I couldn’t be bothered...

How many tens of thousands of man-hours have been expended thinking up new formats for the Olympics and WEG, only to end up not far from where we started?

In April, I spent four days travelling to Switzerland, sitting through the FEI sports forum debates on this huge topic, and writing it up for several publications. Multiply that by 270 other delegates, and that’s 1,350 days of collective effort, before you consider all the time put in by FEI executives, committees and stakeholder groups before and since.

Now, on the eve of the FEI General Assembly in Puerto Rico, the results of a further survey of all national federations (NFs) have been published, which by no means endorse the FEI’s Olympic format preferences. However, the FEI could easily argue that strongly articulated opposition to, say, separate contests in eventing for individuals and teams, is not the majority view.
This brings us to a truth that various movers and shakers sometime utter to me in private, but baulk from saying in public.
Only 47 (35%) of the 133 member NFs bothered to respond to the most important thing they will be asked about in the next four years, apart from re-electing a president. That’s 10 fewer than the nations represented at the April forum; just seven more than competed at London 2012; and 27 fewer than represented at WEG 2014. If you don’t have long-term international ambitions, why join a global federation?...

Read more here:

Monday, November 09, 2015

Wild horses could not keep her away: north-west Qld trainer takes on gruelling race in Mongolia - Full Story

November 8 2015
By Zara Margolis and Kathleen Calderwood

A horse trainer and endurance rider from north-west Queensland is one of only 40 people in the world who has been chosen to take part in the Mongol Derby, the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

Competitors ride semi-wild horses 1,000km through the Mongolian Steppe, changing horses every 40km.

Originally hailing from a small country town in France, Camille Champagne moved to Australia seven years ago to work on a property in Queensland, and now lives on Summerville Station, north of Richmond.

The keen horsewoman said she was chosen for the ride because of her experience with horses and success in endurance races in Australia.

She has been competing in endurance races in Australia since 2008, but they are nothing compared to the Mongol Derby...

Read more here:

Endurance officials: The gait keepers of equine welfare - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 9 November 2015

...Horses are nigh-on perfect. Powerful, fast, agile, perfectly balanced. And they’re tractable enough to allow us to climb on their backs and do our bidding for us.

We marvel at their sheer speed on the racetrack and admire their endurance when we ask them to compete over 100-mile distances.

The sport of endurance, at its pinnacle, is about the partnership between horse and rider. Yes, horses are pushed hard, but the rider is attuned to their mount and can sense its performance as surely as any race-car driver can monitor his engine with a myriad of gauges in front of him.

Read more:

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Endurance bosses urge officials to stay vigilant over welfare - Full Article | 7 November 2015

Endurance officials are being urged to be vigilant by two of the most senior figures in the discipline, who warn that serious welfare incidents had the potential to irreversibly harm the sport.

The chairman of the FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee, Brian Sheahan, and the FEI’s endurance director, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, in a letter to officials, said endurance had developed into a highly professional equestrian sport over the past decade...

Read more here:

Friday, November 06, 2015

Endurance Canada Awards now Open for Nominations - Full Article

November 5 2015

Endurance Canada is pleased to announce that nominations are officially being accepted for the following awards:

Endurance Canada Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame Award is presented to a member of the Canadian endurance community in recognition of long-term commitment, active involvement, and outstanding contributions to Endurance Canada and the sport of endurance riding in Canada.

Ron Janzen Memorial Trophy

The Ron Janzen Memorial Trophy is given to the Endurance Canada member who best displays the same goals, vision and ethics as the late Ron Janzen. A superb athlete who dedicated much of his time to the sport of long distance riding in Canada and internationally, Janzen passed away on Jan. 6, 2008 at the age of 52, leaving behind his loving wife, Christine and children, Brett and Jaylene. Candidates nominated for the Ron Janzen Memorial Trophy should display some or all of the following qualities:

Read more here:

Thursday, November 05, 2015

FEI appoints Ralph Straus as Commercial Director & The Sports Consultancy

5 Nov 2015

The FEI has appointed The Sports Consultancy as its official global sponsorship sales agency up to and including the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Bromont/Montreal (CAN).

The Sports Consultancy, appointed after a competitive tender earlier this year, has a proven track record working with the FEI on a variety of commercial consultancy projects over the last seven years.

“With our partners Longines, Furusiyya, Reem Acra and Ariat International, the FEI has already proven the benefits of being associated with equestrian sport,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “We still have a lot of high profile FEI events and assets for which we believe we can attract new partners. We are looking forward to working with The Sports Consultancy again, this time to develop our partnership programmes and to build relationships with premium brands who will greatly benefit from their involvement with the FEI and its wide-ranging portfolio.”

“We are delighted to have been appointed by such a prestigious international federation,” said Marc Hope, Director, Rights Marketing at The Sports Consultancy. “The high interest and participation of equestrian sport in major economies around the world, combined with its distinct positioning and demographic is incredibly appealing and we are extremely confident that our experience, use of data and understanding of the market will deliver significant results for the FEI and for the sport as a whole.”

New Commercial Director

In other commercial news, Ralph Straus (NED) has joined the FEI as Commercial Director. He takes up the post at FEI Headquarters in the Olympic capital of Lausanne (SUI) this week.

Straus was previously Vice President of Marketing and Communications in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in the United Arab Emirates, with the primary role of developing the global marketing and communications strategy for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.

Prior to taking up the Dubai role, Straus was Head of Strategy and Brand Management at FIFA for seven years, in charge of planning and executing the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup marketing campaigns, spearheading global licensing and brand development, and implementing all FIFA experiential marketing initiatives, including the FIFA Fan Fests.

He also oversaw the FIFA Interactive World Cup, an annual international competition of football video games recognised by the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition as the biggest global gaming tournament, collaborated with FIFA sponsors for global consumer engagement programs and developed social media strategies for FIFA event brands.

Straus has held several senior roles in the private sector, including at telecommunications company Swisscom and oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell. He is also a regular speaker at conferences on sports marketing.

“The wealth of equestrian events, its rich history and the extensive global fan base presents compelling sponsor opportunities and provides fascinating content for broadcasters and digital platforms”, Straus said. “I am joining the FEI at a very exciting time and I am also keen to see how the changes in the digital landscape provide new opportunities to service the equestrian community and grow its fan base.”

“Ralph Straus’ extensive international marketing and commercial expertise in both the sport and private sectors will be massively beneficial to the FEI,” the FEI President said. “His leadership skills and experience in building up expert teams is crucial as we look to maximise our commercial goals into 2016 and beyond.”

About The Sports Consultancy

The Sports Consultancy was founded in 2006 by Robert Datnow and Angus Buchanan, whose respective expertise in sports law and commercial rights management, has created a strategic sports marketing consultancy poised to provide commercial advice and delivery to venues, brands, rights holders and others involved in top-level sport. Marc Hope joined the business in 2015 to head up a newly created rights marketing practice which aims to combine an insight led approach to consulting with a proven sales record.

About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)

The FEI, the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was founded in 1921. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI governs all international competitions for Para-Equestrian Dressage and Para-Driving.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Bahrain: Endurance Season to start Saturday


Manama, Nov. 4 (BNA): HM the King's Representative for Charity Works and Youth Affairs also President of Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) cum Honourary President of Bahrain Royal Equestrians and Endurance Federation (BREEF), His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has expressed optimism at the new season of endurance horseracing events.

The season is slated to open with the 80-km distance prequalification race on Saturday, November 7 from Bahrain's International Endurance Village.

His highness said this seasons will be unlike previous seasons in view of the strong competition and the high standard attained by Bahrain endurance thanks to the constant unlimited support from the Kingdom's Principal Knight His Majesty Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, citing His Majesty's directives which constitute the biggest incentive to all cavaliers and stables.

HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad has expressed full confidence and trust in the abilities of cavaliers and stables to achieve spectacular positive results throughout the season.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

FEI get-together: What’s going down in Puerto Rico – other than the daiquiris? - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 3 November 2015

Puerto Rico, where national delegates are about to gather for this year’s FEI General Assembly, can lay claim to no fewer than five Miss Universe pageant winners. One imagines that the beautiful people of the FEI would fit in very nicely there.

Its capital, San Juan, oozes character, with its blue cobblestone streets, friendly inhabitants and copious quantities of the local delight, rum. And let’s not forget that this is the home of the beautiful Paso Fino horse.

So, in between downing rum-laden daiquiris, what can we expect from the movers and shakers of the equestrian world?

Here’s a few snippets to whet your appetite:


What a year it has been. Negative headlines have abounded, almost exclusively centred on the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The country was provisionally suspended in March amid welfare concerns, but has since been welcomed back after agreeing to reforms...

Read more:

Monday, November 02, 2015

UAE: Valentin powers Zenith to title win

Khaleej Times

Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, along with other Shaikhs and VIPs attended the ride.

Maeva Valentin of France steered Zenith Des Pins, a horse owned by Mubarak Al Arti, to victory in the Al Wathba Endurance Cup for Private Owners, a 100-km Endurance Ride held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, along with other Shaikhs and VIPs attended the ride.

A total of 64 riders took part in the National Ride, sponsored by National Feed And Flour Production And Marketing Co. LLC, and the French rider took 3hrs 44 mins 51 secs to finish ahead of UAE riders Saeed Mohd Al Jaber on Highland View Dolly and Salem Hamad Al Kitbi on Mansoor...

Read more here:

New Forest horserider Iain Hayter, 62, completed the Mongol Derby despite breaking his back in five places - Full Article

Christopher Yandell / Sunday 1 November 2015

HE WAS just three days into a two-week endurance ride when he broke his back in five places.

But 62-year-old Iain Hayter was unaware of how serious his injuries were and unwittingly risked paralysis by climbing back into the saddle and completing the 1,000-kilometre challenge.

Iain, who has won the annual New Forest point-to-point three times, was the oldest competitor in this year’s Mongol Derby.

The gruelling event involved 37 riders from 14 countries who rode semi-wild horses along a route based on a relay postal system created under Genghis Khan in 1224.

Iain, of Sway, said he was given a slow animal for one leg of the race and swapped it for a faster one.

“It dropped its left shoulder and then went into a full gallop,” he said. “I was thrown off and that’s when I broke five vertebrae...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

UAE endurance: Eliminations loom large in season opener - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 28 October 2015

It was the American writer Mark Twain who popularised the expression, “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

It refers to the usefulness of statistics to boost pretty much any argument you choose.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to compare the results of the big national (CEN) 100km endurance ride staged at Al Wathba, in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday last week.

The endurance results on the Emirates Equestrian Federation website show a few qualifying events in the previous month, but the Al Wathba race was billed in the media as the season opener – and, of course, was staged under FEI rules...

Read more:

Australia: Hudson wins Red Range CEI3*


More success for Endurance rider Ben Hudson after he won the Equestrian Australia Endurance Championship, 3* 160 km event which was held at Red Range on 24 October.

Hudson adds the Australian Championships to his recent Tom Quilty Gold Cup (which he won riding Cap Braveheart).

In the Red Range CEI3* Hudson partnered with Oso Lee and finished the 160 km ride in a time of 10:04:37 (unverified). Oso Lee was also awarded the prestigious first across the line trophy.

Second place went to World Equestrian Games representative Sasha Laws-King riding Oso Edith in a time of 10:04:50 while fellow WEG rider Penny Toft and Charlotte te were third with a time of 10:16:51. (Note all results are unverified as of 28 October. Results available HERE).

The winner of the Equestrian Australia Best Managed horse was Tayla Hadzi. Tayla rode Ausden Prince Mahal and won the 160km youth division. The average recovery time to present to the vet after each leg was 2 minutes 17 seconds. This was an outstanding result and was a true reflection of how well Tayla and her support crew from Splendacrest Endurance Training managed 'Rabbit' during the ride.

Chair of the National Endurance Committee Linda Tanian presented the rug on behalf of Equestrian Australia.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bahrain steals the show at FEI World Endurance Championships in Chile

26 Oct 2015

Full Results

by Berry Pattison

Bahrain stole the show when claiming both the Team and Individual Championship titles at the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015 staged in Parque Tricao, Santo Domingo in Chile at the weekend. Representatives from across the globe were in attendance, with a total of 59 starters and 11 teams in action. However Bahrain had the distinction of being the only country to have all five representatives finish successfully.

The stunning vineyard region, some 100km south of Santiago, played host to competitors from as far afield as Malaysia, South Africa and Sweden, and from the very outset the organisers faced major challenges.

Just over a month before the Championships were due to take place, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit the host country, with the epicenter just 600km from the venue.

Finally, just as the Organising Committee must have thought everything was on track, only four days before the much-anticipated event was due to begin, freak winds blew through the venue causing huge damage and leaving much of the infrastructure razed to the ground.

Spectacle of sportsmanship

Despite such drama and potential difficulties the event itself passed without any major issues and was a spectacle of excellent sportsmanship and camaraderie set in one of the most picturesque regions of South America.

The 120km track was made up of five loops stretching out across the Chilean countryside taking in steep, gravel byways, deep, dusty tracks and stretches along the Santo Domingo coastline. Athletes were warned beforehand that wise horsemanship, nimbleness and careful thinking would be required to successfully negotiate such a track – a big ask for the young riders, all aged between just 14 and 21. However they listened carefully and took it all in their stride, both metaphorically and physically. With one of the highest completion rates in recent times at a Championship, the future of Endurance is most certainly looking bright.

Individual gold

Individual Gold was won by Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri (BRN) aboard the 12 year old bay gelding Poly de Coat Frity. The Anglo Arab only joined the Royal Bahrain Endurance Team in September this year following his excellent performance at the CEI3* 160km Rambouillet (FRA). Al Khatri couldn’t have asked for a better start to their career together.

The pair passed through the first vet gate in eighth place after the first 30km loop. As the day progressed they steadily made their way up the field to fourth place at the second vet gate, then improved to second at the third vet gate and slotted into first at the final vet gate with a 30-second lead over Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi (UAE) with Hotspur Thabor.

An incredibly strong performance over the final 20km extended those 30 seconds to nearly 30 minutes, and resulted in an easy finish as the spritely pair trotted over the finish line encompassed in a cloud of dust to take Individual Gold and the coveted Best Conditioned Award.

Silver and bronze

Individual Silver and Bronze went to the only two finishers from the United Arab Emirates. Despite leaving on the final loop in second place, Al Faresi was overtaken by compatriot Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi with Sirocco des Comtie. A successful vetting for both completed the podium.

Bahrain dominated much of the top ten, taking fourth, fifth and tenth positions. The final horse-and-rider partnership from Bahrain crossed the line in 11th place, just over an hour after the winning horse and rider. The highest-placed home competitor was 19 year old Pablo Llompart who took sixth position aboard El Pangue Ciromagnum with whom he won the Championship Trial Run in April of this year.

The Team results were fairly spread out, with several hours separating the medallists. Bahrain finished with a total time of 17:38:16, knocking 2011 World Champions Uruguay into silver medal position. Qatar completed the podium taking bronze in a time of 21:00:34, over 1.5 hours slower than Uruguay. South Africa and Ecuador were the only other teams to have three or more combinations complete.

Inspirational experience

FEI President, Ingmar De Vos, attended the Championships and said yesterday,

“I’ve been visiting National Federations across South America for the past couple of weeks and it has been an inspirational experience.

“I have witnessed for myself the commitment, energy, dedication and enthusiasm of the people on the ground who are clearly having a huge impact on the expansion and development of the sport here.

“Encouraging the participation of young athletes and providing them with every possible educational opportunity are key elements to the future success of all sports, and I’d like to congratulate the Organising Committee at Santo Domingo for providing a truly excellent event for this weekend’s FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors”.

FEI World Endurance Team Championship for Juniors and Young Riders 2015:
Gold - Bahrain (17:38:16): Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri with Poly de Coat Frity (05:20:57); Salem Mubarak Sabt with WH Picos Shazam (06:07:02); Sh. Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa with Samira de Charles (06:10:17) : Silver - Uruguay (19:32:22): Valentin Silva with Indio Loco LP (06:21:59); Frederik Maidana with RN Frambuesa (06:22:00); Santiago Cabrera with Marche Preso Molles (06:48:23): Bronze - Qatar (21:00:34): Nasser Jumah Jassim Al Mohannadi with Qualyko de la Roque (06:17:12); Jassim Rashid M H Al Kaabi with Esmadouha de Galahad (06:33:30); Mohammed Nasser Bughenaim with Ali Dahmas (08:09:52).

FEI World Endurance Individual Championship for Juniors and Young Riders 2015: Gold - Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri (BRN) with Poly de Coat Frity 05:20:57 (22.43kph); Silver - Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi (UAE) with Sirocco des Comtie
05:47:09 (20.74); Bronze - Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi (UAE) with Hotspur Thabor 05:51:57 (20.46).

Individual gold medallist, Bahrain’s Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri, is congratulated by FEI President Ingmar de Vos and Cristian Herrera, Director of the Chilean Endurance Federation at the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015 at Santo Domingo, Chile. (FEI/Rebecca Pearman)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

U.S. Team Gives Their All at 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

Mary Cathryn Clark and Questafir | Photo Copyright Becky Pearman Photography

October 24, 2015--The U.S. team put forth a great effort Friday during the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Leading the way for the U.S. was Mary Kathryn Clark (Eatonton, Ga.) who finished 21st with a time of 7:32:37. Clark, who rode her own Questafir, a 2004 Arabian gelding, had a personal best finish in these championships after placing 37th in 2011.

The remaining members of the U.S. team were unable to overcome the challenges the course presented: Christina Kimery (Bixby, Okla.) and Jeremy and Ellen Olson’s Bey Gibby, a 2001 Arabian gelding; Katie Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) and Clark’s 2006 Arabian gelding Kalilas Legacy; Mallory Capps (Cumming, Ga.) and Lori Shifflett's Magical Mikada, a 2003 Arabian gelding, and Maria Muzzio (Clifton, Va.) and Natalie Muzzio's Laconic, a 2002 Arabian gelding, were pulled at vet checks along the way.

“Today did not go as we hoped, but I can't be more proud of this Team. They did everything that was asked of them, took care of each other, and most importantly, their equine athletes. What we learned during the selection process and our time in Chile will help us move forward and develop the Team for the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Congratulations to Mary Kathryn on finishing her young rider career with a completion today,” said USEF Chef d’Equipe Mark Dial.

The nation of Bahrain won the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Fahad Al Khatri of Bahrain is the Individual World Champion. - See more at:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

France: The end of "Raid Yvelines"?

October 16 2015

The Enduro Horse Association regrets to announce that it will not organize in 2016 IEC * / ** / *** the first weekend of May in Rambouillet. The reasons for this decision: 

1- The candidature of Raid Yvelines to arrange a CEI *** was not accepted on the date of 6-7 May by the FFE. We regret the lack of anticipation, mediation and communication on the part of the FFE to help organize a high-level competition circuit viable.

2 - Once again it seems imperative to organize a schedule that meets a sufficient gap between the big events. A maximum circuit of 10 "Elite" races with a break every three to four weeks should be the objective of the FFE. This disorganization, what every man for himself and small arrangements can promote French leadership on discipline and loosens the entire sector (riders, trainers, dealers, exhibitors ....) and not just the organizers.

3- *** CIS is vital for the existence of the Raid Yvelines, historic third race after Florac and Montcuq, and second CEI *** in number of competitors according to statistics presented by the FFE. It is therefore not possible for the association to organize an event without CEI ***. 

4- The financial aspect is to consider, in the context of subsidies sharply downward and uncertain finances, sponsoring organizers are, or will be, at risk. It is time for all industry players sit around a table to streamline and make live an entire sector, not just a few. Enduro-Horse, voluntary association, despite the passion and the desire to serve the best it can for this wonderful discipline, no longer wishes to take financial risks on behalf of professionals who value their work and their horses.

Perhaps this decision will have the merit to provoke thought, to those who live in this discipline as to the economic model on which it is built; and to secure its future by investing on their support and recovery?

5- Enduro Cheval 2016 reflects, in another form of contribution to the endurance-oriented enthusiasts late May. A broad form of what the association is already organizing in the fall, the Raid of Bréviaires this year brought together 180 riders and amateur club.

For 2017 if the conditions are right we will be organizing an event of international level.

HORSE ENDURO - Rambouillet
Association for the promotion of endurance riding

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New UAE endurance season kicks off at Al Wathba - Full Article

Over 130 riders to vie for honours as revamped FEI rules come into place

Published: 17:20 October 21, 2015
Staff Report

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s 2015-2016 domestic endurance season gets off to a promising start on Thursday, with over 130 riders entered for the 100-km CEN Al Wathba Endurance Ride. The ride will be held at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba.

“Under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, we are extremely delighted to announce that all preparations are in place to kick start the endurance season,” said Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

“So far we have received over 130 entries and the ride will get off to a mass start at 6am on Thursday. It will be run in three phases of 40km, 40km and 20km.

“There will be five 4WD cars up for grabs for the top five finishers,” he added.

“I would like to thank our official sponsors and partners, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, National Feed & Floor Production & Marketing and Al Masaoud.

“We will be adopting the new rules from the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) on water points, vehicles on the ride route and persons accompanying the horse inside the Vet Gate.

“Water supply points have been clearly marked along the ride route while only five cars for each horse will be permitted to drive through and only two persons will be permitted to accompany the horse inside the Vet Gate during the veterinary check,” Al Nuaimi stated...

Read more here

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fakers May Get Off Lightly Due to the Impossibility of Proving a Negative - Full Article

Cuckson Report | October 20, 2015

What a difference a year-and-a-bit makes. Or rather, what a difference it makes when a picture of an endurance horse perched on two shattered forelegs causes a global public relations disaster, and when a national federation is exposed as so cavalier it fobs off the international governing body with fabricated results.

In February 2014, not a single Middle Eastern federation sent delegates to the FEI endurance forum, convened as a direct result of the welfare and cheating crisis the UAE has caused.

Wind on to October 2015, when 1,347 UAE trainers, riders and officials attended educational workshops, prior to the start of their winter FEI season. This was a non-negotiable condition of the FEI lifting their suspension which, lest we forget, was imposed for “major” horse welfare issues – the first time in history any horse country has been so shamed.

It’s said that when you have got someone by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow. I am not convinced just yet. Remarks in the FEI press release that these sessions were “successful” and “effective” seem premature. We can only say that if we reach the President’s Cup next February without having seen another Splitters Creek Bundy or a Marmoog, and no positive dope tests.

However, it’s a start. The FEI is responsible for letting endurance get out of control in Group VII in the first place. However, as well as new education and supervisory programs, the FEI is moving mountains behind the scenes to plug many gaps...

Read more here:

Peru: Lodge to Lodge Ride

Peru anyone?

Endurance rider Suzy Henderson, from Nevada, wanted to share her extraordinary riding adventure, which came about partly from visiting the Mountain Lodges of Peru's booth at the 2010 AERC convention.

From Suzy:

I just got back from the Galapagos and Peru.

While in Peru, I did the Mountain Lodges of Peru Lodge to Lodge ride. It was great. I LOVE the Andean mountains! I was the only rider, so was free to do more. The Lord truly blessed me! I was gone almost a month, from September 4 to 28, and went to some places like Machu Picchu 3 times and did the hike to Waynapicchu.

I remembered the Lodge ride from 2010 when at the AERC convention, some riders were promoting it.  I called Mountain Lodges of Peru and got all the info; I wanted to do it but didn't get around to it.  This year I decided to go to Galapagos, with a Peru extension. So called Mountain Lodges of Peru, and begged them to get me on the ride on the date I needed. National Geographic had the Lodges booked for a 7 day trip for trekkers. There was no room for me, but I was very flexible in options, and Valerie who works for MLP got me a room and I was in!  

I would see the trekkers when it was time to put the feed bag on, but Antonio, my guide, and I always had our own table as my tour was separate from theirs. I got away with a lot and didn't follow rules, so it would be different with more riders.  

Since I was the only one on this ride, there was just me, my guide, Antonio, who spoke English, and an assistant guide, Ricardo, who took care of the horses. On Day 2, Sebastian the Shaman rode with us to do a ceremony for me at the Andean cross.  The assistant guide Ricardo left us at the end of day 5 and took the horses back. Day 6 we had a porter. Day 7 it was just me and the guide. Antonio was my guide for 7 days; after our hike I think I wore the poor baby out! Ricardo has worked for MLP for 14 years.

We rode horses for 5 days. All the pictures in the gallery link below of the lakes and Andean cross are horse days.

The 6th day we did a 8 mile hike in the rain forest. We had a porter carry our day pack. These guys are fit and awesome! It had rained and was very slick going down, and was all downhill switchbacks. So I picked up some walking sticks, or would have been on my butt more than upright. The swinging bridge reminded me of the one on the Western States Trail.

The 7th day we had the permit to hike Waynapicchu and/or hike around Machu Picchu.

I also took an all day ride to the salt mine and Mara on a privately owned Peruvian Paso the day before my Lodge ride. The guide Fico took me to Salt mine. I called him my trusty Frenchman even though he is Peruvian. He has his own tour business in Peru and Patagonia. He is a kick.

If anyone would like to know more about it or Peru, I would be happy to help them.

I am now thinking of doing a 10 day ride next September, the Masai Mara ride in Kenya, and I wanted to know if anyone else is interested.  I may stay a couple of days at the Sosian ranch, they have horses and camels to ride. Then spend a day or less at a wildlife rehab, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Email me if you are interested!

Photos in the gallery are views from Waynapicchu, the hike to Waynapicchu with Machu Picchu below, the hike to the Sungate that is at same height as Waynapicchu and was the original entry by the Incas into Machu  Picchu, the salt mine, and some of the lodges Suzy stayed in.

slide show here:

or link to gallery:

Great Britain: Dartmoor Derby Hailed as a Triumph

Around 30 riders, including Sara Cox and Lucy Wiegersma, took part in the Dartmoor Derby pilot event (25 to 28 September, 2015) ahead of the first official running of the Dartmoor Derby in September 2016. USA endurance riders Steve and Dinah Rojek, and Lisanne Dorion also participated.

Inspired by the rugged and breathtaking annual challenge across the Steppes, the Mongol Derby, and the enduring appeal of chic African riding safaris, the Dartmoor Derby is a unique, luxury multi-day riding challenge to which you can bring our own horse, or rent a quality mount through the organisers.

The pilot event riders tackled over 20 miles each day, overnighting at either a luxury hotel (the Arundell Arms and Bovey Castle) or a specially constructed moorland camp and horse station. 

Here’s what our pilot riders said about it:

“I really could not recommend it more” 
 Radio 2 DJ and pilot event rider Sara Cox

“The Dartmoor Derby is a fabulous concept... I had a great time”
British eventer and Dartmoor Derby Ambassador Lucy Wiegersma

“It’s been absolutely amazing. The horses and countryside were terrific, with lovely people in our group, but also plenty of opportunities to just zone out and take it all in.”
Jason Meunch, Pilot Event rider!

“This is a fantastic way to see Dartmoor. It is so very diverse, across moor, through forests, and all of it spectacularly beautiful. This event has been beautifully organised with a super guide and horses. I want to do it again!”
Pilot Event rider Kate Rudwick

Bookings have opened for next year’s full Derby, with up to 100 places available. Riders may tailor their accommodation plan, customising the camping to hotel ratios according to their wishes. Each camp will have a different theme, from a Mongolian- inspired yurt camp to an African style bush camp. Naturally, there is full medical and veterinary support throughout the ride.
Organizer Lucy Higginson said, "We were thrilled with how the pilot event went off.
We had sensational weather and lots of fun. We hope our riders feel they have really got to know and see Dartmoor now."

Price points vary from:

> £1,250 for three days riding and four nights accommodation on your own horse (£1,750 with horse hire included), to
> £2,500 for a six-day ride (£3,000 with a horse provided)
> There is a further mid-range option priced at £1,800 (£2,300 with a horse provided).

For further press information or high resolution images, please contact Lucy Higginson on 07974 227549 or

See more photos from the ride here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Malaysia: Riding to the top - Full Article


HE is only 20 years old, but horse rider Muhammad Ziyad Muhammad Hamzah will be competing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the fourth time at the end of this month.

To be held in Chile on Oct 23 and 24, WEC will see three other young Malaysian riders — Ahmad Faizal Ahmad Fanizar and Mohd Adhwa Embong of Terengganu, and Tengku Sharafuddin Abu Bakar of Perlis — competing in the equestrian world event for the first time.

“I have been preparing for the coming World Cup in Chile for the past two years since I came back from France,” said the soft-spoken Ziyad.

Two years ago in Tarbes, France, Ziyad rode together with the Yang di-Pertuan Muda of Terengganu Tengku Muhammad Ismail Ibni Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who was only 15 years old then.

Ziyad’s father, Muhammad Hamzah Hanssen chipped in: “In 2012, Ziyad rode in the WEC with Tengku Ismail’s father, the Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin”.

Sultan Mizan is an avid endurance rider, who has competed in many prestigious endurance competitions worldwide. He is also responsible for Malaysia’s successful bid to hold the WEC in Terengganu in 2008...

Read More :

Australia: Richmond's riders quest for Derby glory - Full Story

By Matt Sherrington
Oct. 19, 2015

You could never accuse Richmond’s Camille Bargenquast of being afraid of an adventure.

The expert rider who has traveled the globe searching for fresh thrills before finding a source of constant excitement in western Queensland is now attempting to fulfill her dream of competing in the longest and toughest horse race in the world next year; The Mongol Derby.

Hailing from a country town in France, the former Camille Champagne’s lust for excitement started at the age of four when one day while walking through a park she laid eyes on a horse up-close for the first time.

Camille said she distinctly remembers thinking to herself, “I’m going to ride those one day”. That day would come along very quickly as a mere two years later she had immersed herself in the world of competitive horse sports.

Up through to the end of her teens Camille competed in high-level equine events throughout the country, while becoming a top notch horse trainer along the way.

Endurance horse riding is Camille’s foremost form of enjoyment and seeing footage and photos of the vast open expanses of Australia; gave her dreams of taking long treks across this tough terrain in the saddle.

“I’m very passionate about long distance riding; I believe long hours riding an individual horse creates a very intimate relationship,” Camille said.

“That was the big attraction of Australia; combining my love of endurance riding with all the open space available here,” she said...

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Australia's Alwyn Torenbeek - Gone but not Forgotten

by Paul Sidio

We went to Australia for the 2013 Tom Quilty held at Kilkavin Queensland. My hosts, who provided my horse, set up camp there 4 days early. Instead of staying in town at a hotel or B & B, I camped out in a tent. The campsite next to us had been saved for a friend of theirs, Alwyn. He was staying at a friends place about 7 miles away. Every morning, he would saddle up before sun rise, and ride over to the camp. His reason for this was to brew a cup of tea over a wood fire. Alwyn later confided in me that most of his life had been in settings like this, and tea made over a gas or electric stove just wasn't as good somehow. He would arrive there, putter about, singing and getting his iron tea pot ready while the fire got hot. This would get me awake, so, I would revive the embers of the previous nights bonfire, and start to clean up around it.

When his tea was ready, Alwyn would come over, sit down, and start telling stories. He was called the Kokotunga Kid because he was a champion rodeo rider at the age of 21. But to me, he was always a kid. Most people, as the age become older acting..more solemn, grave, slower.... .Alwyn always had a smile and attitude of a lively kid. His body may have got to be 76 years old, but he still had the heart and spirit of a young person.

After he finished his tea, he would get on his horse and ride back the 7 miles to his friends house. Jane Davidson, told me to tack up my horse and ride with him. Riding through the Australian brush early in the morning on a good horse with a good companion is about as good as life gets. We would jump up Kangaroos, and Alwyn would tell more stories and occasionally burst into song. I would join in, making up lyrics as we went along . Alwyn would sing something like "It's 2 in the morning, and I'm walking with my darling" and I would respond " No you bloody fool, it's closer to 5, and everyone's still in bed" then he would sing back, " well its time for the lazy buggers to get up and work" .. It was silly stuff,but great fun.

So over the days he and I became friends. Alwyn had a fun way of riding Endurance. He would walk his horse up to the front to be ready for the start. Some of the more anxious riders would crowd past him to be in front at the start. He would just calmly sit there with his horse standing still in place. Then when they would announce that trail was open, he would call out a couee, and take off at a gallop. A Couee is the Aussie equivalent of a Rebel Yell. The cattle stations all had their own Couee so the riders could identify each other in the big herd musters. Alwyn would let out this yell, gallop out of camp, with his right arm raised cracking an imaginary whip, finishing up with a loud Hut! HUT!, Hut! . He did this while leaving camp after every vet check too. Other riders learned not to push in front of Alwyn at the start if their horse spooked at people behind them yelling. He completed the 2013 Quilty in fine fashion at the age of 76.

The Quilty had regular BC judging, and then the Pat Slater Cup, which is their version of The Haggin Cup. This is done under saddle and judged by a panel of distinguished Endurance people. I asked several people what the judges were looking for in selecting the top horse. They gave me technical answers about for and movement. Alwyn, with a twinkle in his eye said, "if you were in a spot of trouble, and needed to make a quick exit from town, and there was a string of these horses tied up to the rail, we choose the one you would grab to outrun the rest" That attitude sums up Alwyn.

After the Quilty, he came over to me and handed me his Quilty bib. His number was #76. They always gave him a number to match his age. I thanked him, but told him I already had a Quilty bib of my own. He said that he had wanted to ride Tevis, like his mate RM Williams had done. He wanted me to take his bib, and wear it in rides in America, and hopefully he would come to the USA someday and also wear it here. He told me to get some dust and mud on it, and even a tear or rip or two was ok, but that I should try to not get it too bloody. I took it and have ridden in it in several rides. In 2014, I asked Tevis ride management if I could be #76, and they let me. We completed, and I called him after the ride to tell him that his bib had completed Tevis, so now he needed to get over here too.

After the Quilty, Alwyn told me that he was going home to take care things for a couple of days, then taking fresh horses and going into the Outback for a week or so camping out. There were some caves with aboriginal art that he liked to sit in and relax. He invited me along. He said we had to be careful, as these places were off limits without a permit, and if the law caught us, we could go to prison. But he was not worried as he would pick out a slower horse for me than his, so they would catch me, while he got away. I told him that it sounded like a great trip, but it would likely cost me half my stuff. He was puzzled by this. I told him that my wife had been very supportive of my horse trip, so far, but if I took off for a week, I might wind up a single man again with only half of my stuff. He laughed and laughed about that.

That was how he was, happy, ready for adventure, and quick to laugh. I hate that he is gone, but better quick and doing what he loved , than in a hospital bed hooked up to machines. He was a legend in Australia, and I am proud to have known him and called him Mate… Gone but not forgotten.

Hugely Successful FEI Endurance Courses Attract Almost 1,400 Delegates in UAE

14 Oct 2015

Close to 1,400 people have attended a series of FEI Endurance educational courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE) over the past four days in advance of this week’s Endurance season opener, a CEI1* 80-kilometre ride. The attendees, numbering 1,347 in total, included athletes, trainers, grooms, Veterinarians, Judges, Technical Delegates and Stewards.
The courses were an important element in the legally binding agreement signed between the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the FEI prior to the lifting of the provisional suspension at the end of July. The FEI Bureau had suspended the EEF in March of this year following an investigation into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the country.

Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Brian Sheahan, acted as Course Director alongside Dwight Hooton (USA) a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee and veterinary advisor to the EEF, and FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello. The EEF Assistant Secretary General Faisal al Ali attended the first session on 10 October, and Dr Ali Al Twessi from the EEF Endurance Department was also on hand to offer translation services.

The athletes, trainers and grooms’ sessions, which attracted 1,065 attendees, 25% of which were female, covered FEI and national rules, mandatory rest periods, penalty points, the entry system, field of play and veterinary aspects, including Vet Gate procedures, anti-doping rules (human and equine) and medication procedures.

John Robertson, Deputy Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, was in charge of the courses for FEI Judges (Levels 1, 2 and 4), Stewards and Technical Delegates. A total of 190 Stewards attended, including 160 from the police force who will be working at events, as the national rules are now fully compliant with FEI rules.

Brian Sheahan and Dwight Hooton also ran a course for Veterinarians, with 68 attendees. Both the Veterinarians and Judges were then required to sit an exam, with a 100% pass rate.

The EEF’s new entry system, delivery of results to the FEI, horse welfare issues including cars in the field of play, video cameras in the stabling area and prevention of accidents in the vet gate area were discussed at two separate meetings, one with Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and the other with Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Mohammed Essa Al Adhad.

There was a general consensus that the courses and the individual meetings had all been extremely successful and effective.
“We have a fantastic sport in Endurance and it was wonderful to have had such successful courses in Group VII, particularly from an attendance perspective but also for the enthusiasm of all the delegates”, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said at the end of the four days. “The courses were really interactive and there was a huge thirst for knowledge and a desire to increase the depth of understanding of all aspects of the discipline from everyone who attended. There has been great team work here in Dubai, and everybody is fully committed to success.”
Provisional suspension

As part of the ongoing clean-up of the discipline in Group VII, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yasin Sheikh, Head of Endurance at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been provisionally suspended as an FEI Official by the FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Zeender, for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations at a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI.

The provisional suspension, which is in accordance with Article 156.1 of the FEI General Regulations and which comes into immediate effect, is for an indefinite period. For the duration of the suspension, Mr Sheikh may not take part or be involved in the organisation of any FEI competitions or events, or any event under the jurisdiction of a National Federation.

Mr Sheikh has 30 days to appeal the decision to the FEI Tribunal from the date of notification (13 October 2015). He is the second UAE official to have been provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General following the suspension of Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, Head of the EEF Veterinary Department, last month. Both suspensions have the full support of FEI President Ingmar De Vos

The events and duplicate results in the UAE that were used specifically for qualification purposes have now been deleted by the FEI IT Department. Any horse/rider combinations that used these duplicate results as qualification for subsequent events, and were therefore ineligible to compete, have now been disqualified.

FEI suspends UAE endurance boss - Full Article | 15 October 2015

The head of endurance at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation has been provisionally suspended as an FEI official.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender has suspended Abdul Aziz Mohd Yasin Sheikh “for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations at a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI”.

The suspension was made as part of the ongoing clean-up of the discipline in Group VII, in which the UAE’s equestrian federation was provisionally suspended by the FEI Bureau in March. It followed an investigation into what the world governing body characterised as major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with its rules...

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