Saturday, January 31, 2015

FEI Endurance Forum in Costa Rica discusses new Endurance rules

FEI photo

30 Jan 2015

Over 64 delegates from FEI Group V attended an FEI Endurance Forum in Tilaran, Costa Rica on 23-25 January 2015, the first Forum following the introduction of the new Endurance rules on 1 August last year.

FEI Group V covers Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Athletes, officials including judges, technical delegates and veterinarians, as well as coaches and owners, gathered for the three-day Forum organised with the Costa Rica National Federation and Costa Rica Endurance Association to discuss Endurance across Central and South America and globally.

Key areas addressed included horse inspections, the field of play, anti-doping and veterinary rules, disqualification and the FEI Online Entry System, which gives access to over 100,000 international athletes through a single online platform.

At the end of the Forum, a one-hour Endurance ride was held to demonstrate the new rules in action.

“The FEI Endurance Forum was extremely productive in a region where Endurance enjoys huge success,” FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said.

“We’re now looking forward to rolling out our series of Endurance courses and seminars throughout 2015, as part of our plan to develop one of the FEI’s fastest-growing disciplines.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

FEI Clean Sport Updates

Read the whole banana

Table of Contents

Introduction to the changes in the Human and Equine Anti-Doping Rules
FEI Anti-Doping rules for Human Athletes (ADRHA)
WADA's Prohibited List (Humans)
FEI Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMR)
FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List
New Worldwide FEI Equine and Human Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Program - Clarification


The World Anti-Doping Code 2015 has been substantially revised, resulting in a new version, effective 1 January 2015. To comply with the WADA Code, the FEI’s equine and human anti-doping rules have been significantly amended and approved by the FEI General Assembly. This FEI Update outlines the key changes made to the rules and some of the resulting practical implications. In addition, WADA has published a useful reference guide for Athletes and Athletes are encouraged to consult this.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Great Britain: Teenager becomes youngest endurance champion - Full Article

Caroline Bankes
26 January, 2015

A 15-year-old girl has become the youngest rider to win Endurance GB’s (EGB) supreme champion trophy.

Hannah Maskell, from Buckinghamshire, won the trophy in her first competitive season — where riders race against each other over distances of no less than 80km.

The trophy is awarded to the horse and rider combination gaining the most points in all types of competitions run by EGB over the 2014 season, which runs from March until October.

Hannah’s successful season started with a win at her first 80km race in Brandon, Norfolk, on 27 April last year. She remained unbeaten in her next four races.

Last June, Hannah also won the young rider national title at Cirencester Park...


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Qatar: Adventure lovers invited for Desert Caravan Challenge

January 23, 2015 - 4:18:33 am

DOHA: Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) is inviting adventure lovers to participate in the second edition of Desert Caravan Challenge aimed to revive the Arab tradition of camel riding.

QTA will arrange two camel caravans for a 12km endurance ride in Zekreet, west of Qatar for the challenge organised in partnership with Qatar Museums.

It is working to develop the tourism product by adding new creative elements every year. The caravan will be held in a different region each year. Last year’s challenge was held in Al Zubarah Fort.

Diversification of tourism products helps advance the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030 which aims to develop a mature and sustainable tourism sector.

“Our strategy seeks to build a modern and sustainable tourism sector capable of attracting tourists from all over the world,” said Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer, QTA.

“The event contributes to the realisation of this vision as it diversifies offerings and sheds light on Qatar as a world tourism destination with deep cultural roots. It also promotes prehistoric landmarks and showcases the beauty of the Qatari desert and nature.”

Al Ibrahim said he expects enthusiastic response from the public, noting that QTA built on the success of last year’s challenge which attracted hundreds.

Open to Qatari citizens and residents above 18, the caravan will be held on February 6-7. It will from outside the antiquated mosque in Zekreet (House of the Imam) and pass through the scenic desert sand to Zekreet Fort.

The caravan will stop for breaks near Richard Serra sculptures in Ras Brouq and the ruins of Zekreet village.

QTA will select 15 candidates for the first day and as many for the second day. The journey takes between four and five hours and ends at the same location.

During the journey, the participants experience Qatari hospitality in tents in the middle of the desert.

The event is free but the ride will be a gruelling test of endurance that only adults in good physical condition should consider registering.

It open to male and female participants, including those who have little or no camel-riding experience, as qualified trainers will accompany the participants.

Aspiring adventurers can register on

The Peninsula

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Zealand: Champion endures to take out title with Barack Obama - Full article

By Equestrian
8:08 AM Thursday Jan 22, 2015

LOCAL rider Jenny Champion came up trumps in the main event when the Wairarapa Endurance and CTR Club hosted the North Island endurance horse riding championships at Whareama.

It was a testing time for horse and rider with temperatures over the two days soaring into the 30s but they handled it well with no major mishaps being recorded. The high standard of vetting between loops was obviously a big help in that respect.

In what was a busy programme which attracted more than 100 entries, the Domhealth CEI three-star 160km championship took centre stage.

It started at 1am on Saturday morning and, after the completion of three loops, four combinations had made a significant break on the rest of the field - Masterton's Jenny Champion on Barack Obama...

Read more here:

Bahrain: Preparations on for Shaikh Khalid Endurance - Full Article

January 22, 2015

THE Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) continued preparations for the Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Endurance Race Championship, which takes place on Saturday at the Bahrain International Endurance village.

Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa stressed the need for outstanding preparations for the event in all aspects...

Read more here:

GCC Women's Games: Oman aim for all-round success as hosts - Full Article


Muscat: The Sultanate is aiming for both on field and off field success as the hosts of the forthcoming GCC Women's Games.

The fourth edition of the Gulf region's women's sports extravaganza is scheduled to be organised here in Muscat from March 8 to 18.

The Ministry of Sports Affairs and Oman Women's Sports Committee officials on Wednesday declared their readiness to host a successful event during the launch ceremony of Games logo and website.

During an impressive ceremony organised at the Diplomatic Club, the official Games logo — depicting the colours of all the participating nations, their culture and the sports — was unveiled by Dr Muna Fahad Mahmood Al Said in the presence of Minister of Sports Affairs Sheikh Saad Al Saadi, Undersecretary Rashad Al Hinai, Oman Women's Sports Committee Chairperson Sayyida Sana Al Busaidi and the women sports bodies' representatives of the participating nations.

Speaking on the occasion, Undersecretary Rashad Al Hiani said: "We are ready for the Games. Come March, we will be welcoming all the athletes and officials from the participating nations."

"We are happy to bring together the sportswomen from our friendly Gulf countries. We want to host a very great and successful Games," he added.

Two new sports

Meanwhile, Oman Women's Sports Committee Director Saada Salim Al Ismaili said they are aiming for host a memorable Games while hoping for all-round success.

"Obviously we want the Games to be very successful. And I think we have already began the process of achieving that goal today, with this impressive ceremony to launch the logo and the Games website," she said.

"All of us have been working hard. And we will continue with the same enthusiasm to make the Games a grand success."

"The GCC Women's Games are a great opportunity for us to showcase our organisational abilities as well as the talent of our Omani sportswomen. And more importantly it is a great opportunity to bring all these women athletes together and also know more about our cultures," she added.

Stating that the fourth edition of the Games will be bigger and more challenging, she said: "Compared to the previous editions, this is going to be a bigger challenge as there will be more sports. This time the Games will comprise a total of ten games, including two new desciplines which are tennis and handball."

"We will be hosting more than seven hundred athletes, accompanies technical and administrative officials from all GCC nations with the exception of Saudi Arabia. In addition there will be VIPs and other delegates and the number may go beyond thousand. So obviously it is going to be a big challenge and we will surely be ready for it," she added.

Aiming to improve
The sports include athletics, bowling, basketball, handball, tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, shooting, endurance horse racing and wheelchair athletics...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bahrain: Nasser bin Hamad: We look forward to exciting Khalid bin Hamad Endurance Race Cup

20 January 2015

Manama, Jan.20(BNA): 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 stressed the need of outstanding preparations for the Khalid bin Hamad Endurance Race Championship, which will be held next Saturday as part of the endurance season calendar.

Shaikh Nasser stressed that BREEF will work hard for the success of the Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa race, as an appreciation and recognition to the significant role played by Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad in supporting the constantly developing endurance sport in Bahrain.

Shaikh Nasser noted that endurance sport in Bahrain has reached a period of evolution and development thanks to intensive care by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

He pointed out that the participation of various riders in this race will enhance the strength of the event, explaining that all the riders have distinguished experience in addition to the high levels seen in the first race. He stressed that riders from the local stables will enrich the competition through good training.

Shaikh Nasser wished all the best to all riders and stables in their participation and in their bid to achieve positive and outstanding results and advanced positions.

Supreme Council for Youth and Sports First Deputy Chairman and Bahrain Athletics Association President Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa welcomed the participation of the local stables and riders in this race, which is considered as one of the special and distinctive events that is expected to witness excitement and a high level of competition until the race's last moments.
Shaikh Khalid called the organising committees at BREEF to pay attention and prepare well for this exciting race, as he expected it to be strong, distinctive and difficult because of rapid in length, especially riders are keen to achieve best positions and results.

Under the directives of BREEF President Shaikh Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, BREEF have set the final steps as part of their final preparations to organise the Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Endurance Race Championship.

BREEF has formed committees for this important event based on the directives of Shaikh Nasser in order to achieve complete success in the championship, which contributed significantly to the upgrading of all equestrian sport in Bahrain.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sabrina Zeender appointed FEI Secretary General

16 Jan 2015

Sabrina Zeender, 49, has been appointed FEI Secretary General following a proposal to the FEI Bureau from FEI President Ingmar De Vos which received unanimous support. Zeender, who first joined the FEI in 1991, has been interim Secretary General since De Vos’ election to the FEI Presidency on 14 December 2014.

Sabrina Zeender holds a bachelor’s degree in Science in Communications and History from Boston University and a diploma in Sociology, Politics and Management of Sport Science from the Universities of Lausanne, Leicester, and Montpellier.

Zeender, who has been with the FEI since 1991, has served as FEI Director, Governance and Executive Affairs since 2011. She has previously held the positions of Human Resources, Finance & Administration coordinator; Sports administrator; and Manager of the Secretary General’s office. She left the organisation briefly in 1995 to work in her family’s business in the USA, returning to the FEI in 1998.

Prior to working for the FEI, Sabrina Zeender was with Telecom Japan TV Productions in New York (USA) and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) in Lausanne (SUI).

“I would like to warmly congratulate Sabrina on her appointment as FEI Secretary General,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos commented. “She is the first woman to hold this key management position in the FEI and the fact that we have been able to fill such an important position in-house clearly demonstrates that the FEI has grown into a professional organisation with a highly qualified team.

“Sabrina’s deep understanding of the FEI rules and regulations, of which she has a long experience, and her knowledge of equestrian sport will be invaluable in her new role and I would like to thank the FEI Bureau for their full support for this appointment. I proposed Sabrina on the basis of her qualifications but also for her unfailing work ethic, reliability, dedication, and team spirit. The spontaneous and warm applause from the National Federations following the announcement at the General Assembly in Baku that Sabrina would take over the post on an interim basis shows the high regard in which she is held. I am confident that Sabrina will do an outstanding job as the new FEI Secretary General.”

“I am honoured and humbled by this appointment and I would like to thank the FEI President and Bureau members for their trust,” the new FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “I have been with the FEI for a long time and have seen it grow and develop. I am very aware of the potential this great organisation has and am thrilled to play a part in its future. The FEI Family feels like a true family to me and I undertake this new challenge with joy and enthusiasm.”

Sabrina Zeender is a Swiss national of Salvadorian, American, and Austrian descent. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish and has two sons aged 18 and 21.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

India: Naga boy wins medal in Endurance riding

Dimapur, January 14 (MExN): A Naga boy brought laurels to the state winning a Bronze medal at the two-day Junior National Endurance Championship 2015 held on January 9 and 10 in Dibrugarh.

A student of Class 9, Kekhriselie Rio, son of State legislator Zhaleo Rio, participated in the 40 km horse-riding event and won the Bronze Medal. A press release received here informed. Endurance riding is an equestrian sport where riders race for long distances at a controlled pace. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for all Olympic equestrian disciplines.

Endurance Great Britain secures controversial funding with Meydan - Full Article

15 January 2015

Endurance GB (EGB) has accepted a “blanket” sponsorship from Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation, following an unprecedented members’ ballot of 570 to 405.

“A majority of EGB’s members have voted ‘yes’ in the recent ballot regarding proceeding with a proposed sponsorship agreement with Meydan,” said John Hudson, chairman of EGB.

The overall turnout was 55.2% (1010 members), with 56.4% (570) votes in favour of accepting the sponsorship, with 40.1% (405) against and 3.5% (35) abstentions.

“The proposed agreement, which offers benefits for all levels of the EGB membership, will enhance EGB’s ability to realise its long-term strategy and vision: to enable more people and horses at all levels to enjoy the sport of endurance to the highest standard of excellence,” added Mr Hudson...


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

UAE: Longines 2015 Endurance Cup - Full Article

January 13 2015
— HH Sheikh Hamdan wins the 2015 Endurance Cup presented by Longines.

To further its long-term commitment with Meydan, Longines was once again the Presenting Partner, Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, which took place in Dubai on 10 January 2015. This impressive international event featured some of the top names from the world of endurance riding competing over a distance of 160 km. The winner of the cup, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, received, along with the trophy, an elegant Longines watch, the Longines 24 Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono. This stainless steel chronograph watch piece of the Heritage Collection houses a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement. Its refined black dial displays hours in a 24 hours scale, minutes and small seconds at 9 o’clock and date...

Read more here:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Meydan Group Extends Support for Endurance Riding in 2015 and Beyond - Full Article

January 8, 2015
by Pamela Burton

FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors will be held under the sponsorship of the Meydan Group from 23-24 October in Chili

7 January 2015, Dubai ~ Meydan Group and the UAE’s support of endurance riding is to be extended in 2015 and beyond with significant announcements that include an International Endurance Series to be held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and sponsorship of the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors to be held in Chile.

Devised by Meydan Group and the organizing committees of four European countries, the concept for an International Endurance Series includes high-profile rides to be held during the Summer and Autumn of 2015. The rides will take place in key locations in Italy, England, France and Spain, culminating in Dubai. The top-finishing horse-and-rider combinations from the four European rides will earn automatic entries into the 2016 HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup presented by Longines, at Dubai International Endurance City.

Later in the year the endurance community will travel to Chile, where the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors will be held under the sponsorship of the Meydan Group. The championship will be staged on October 23-24 near the coastal town of Santo Domingo...

Read more here:

Chile: 2015 Torres Del Paine

“Patagonia - Torres del Paine - Tierra del Fuego - Easter Island - San Pedreo de Atacama - Lago Rupanco - Ruta de la Salitre ...

“It's a list of the ultimate Chilean tourist destinations, the most beautiful and sacred landscapes, places that are worth seeing from any perspective. Places that are almost beyond imagining from horseback - and for an endurance rider who likes to 'really' ride it doesn't get much better,” wrote Steph Teeter in 2009, from Patagonia, where she rode in the 5th annual Torres Del Paine Endurance Race.

The 11th International Torres Del Paine will take place April 10-12, 2015:

“We invite you to experience this unforgettable equestrian event, in the extremes of Chilean Patagonia! The 10th of April 2015 kicks off the 11th annual running of the “Torres del Paine Endurance Race”.

Don`t pass up the opportunity to participate in this exhilarating sport, which takes place in the heart of one of the most important and breathtaking national parks in Patagonia.”

For more information, and to re-visit Steph’s participation in this 2009 edition, see

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dubai: Hamdan earns victory in HH Endurance Cup CEI*** - Full Article

Dubai Crown Prince adds another success to impressive list that includes 2014 FEI World Endurance Championship

Staff Report
Published: 21:25 January 10, 2015

Dubai Just four months after winning the 2014 FEI World Endurance Championship in Normandy France, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council added another prestigious endurance title to his roster of titles when winning the $2.6 million (DH9.5m) HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup CEI***.

Shaikh Hamdan’s victory aboard Napoli Del Ma over the 160 km course allowed the MRM Stables to sweep the top-two finishes as last year’s winner Shaikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum guided Mureib to the runner-up position. Third place was awarded to Al Khalfan Al Jahouri of Al Wathba Stables on Moota Haddeea...

Read more here:

Friday, January 09, 2015

FEI appoints Endurance Independent Governance Advisors

9 Jan 2015

The FEI has named three Independent Governance Advisors (IGAs), with the first due to start work this weekend.

FEI 4* judge Roderick Fisher (GBR) will be the first IGA to attend an Endurance event in this new role, travelling to the CEI 3* Dubai (UAE) tomorrow, 10 January.

The IGAs were created following the recommendations of the Endurance Strategic Planning Group (ESPG). The IGAs will travel to CEIs and provide a detailed report to the FEI on the organisation of the competitions, the venue and the course, and the performance of the on-site officials. The IGA will also suggest areas for improvement if required.

The two other IGAs named by the FEI are Carlos Ponferrada (ESP) and Maurizio Stecco (ITA). The three Advisors have been appointed for a period of two years. In accordance with FEI Endurance Rules, during this period they cannot accept any other FEI officiating positions.

The IGAs will be travelling to selected events throughout the year.

“The FEI is diligently proceeding with the implementation of the recommendations made by the Endurance Strategic Planning Group,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos commented. “All three Independent Governance Advisors are highly experienced officials and I am confident that their input will be extremely valuable and will be beneficial for the entire discipline.”

FEI faces backlash after Maktoum 'ringer' inquiry ends with no disciplinary action

White out: Sheikh Juma’s horse (No 33) had different facial markings at the start and end of the race - Full Article

Exclusive: Equestrianism's ruling body under pressure to explain lack of action over endurance racing's latest 'ringer' case

By Pippa Cuckson
9:57PM GMT 08 Jan 2015

Equestrianism’s governing body, the FEI, was under pressure on Thursday night to explain why an investigation into a new alleged case of a ‘ringer’ being used in endurance racing by members of Dubai’s ruling Maktoum family has failed to result in disciplinary action.

The FEI yesterday admitted that it had investigated allegations that a horse competing in an endurance race in Numana, Italy, in June 2012 was replaced by another during the 160km (99.4 miles) event. The race was sponsored by Maktoum-related companies.
But the FEI declined to answer further questions about the investigation and its outcome, instead referring The Daily Telegraph to its Equine Community Integrity Unit. The ECIU, established to deal with disciplinary cases on behalf of the FEI, is serviced by former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens’ company Quest. It did not respond last night when asked for details of the investigation.

Pictures archived on the website of equestrian photographer Cidihna Franzao show rider 33, Sheikh Juma Dalmook al-Maktoum, starting Numana on a white-faced chestnut entered in the name of Pang. However, in later stages Sheikh Juma’s horse has minimal facial marks, apparently very different from the original Pang. He retired at the fourth “gate” (vet check area), failing to qualify for the World Championships at Euston Park, Suffolk, that August...

Read more here:

Dubai: Horse racing-Prize money for Endurance Cup boosted to $2.6 mln - Full Article

PUBLISHED: 16:14 EST, 8 January 2015

DUBAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Dubai's government-owned developer Meydan Group has boosted the prize money for Saturday's Endurance Cup to almost $2.6 million and announced a series of European races to promote endurance riding, it said on Thursday.
"We feel that endurance has been left out so the prize money was enhanced to benchmark with other sports," said Saeed Humaid al-Tayer, chairman of the group that runs Dubai's opulent racecourse.

Each foreign rider, except Gulf Arab nationals, who completes the challenging 160km (99 mile) Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Endurance Cup will receive 100,000 dirhams ($27,226). About 190 riders are expected to participate.

"For us the welfare of the horses is very important and we want to achieve the highest completion possible," Tayer told a news conference at the Meydan racecourse...

Read more:

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Dubai’s 2015 Al Maktoum Cup: “To Finish is to Win”

January 8 2015

Perhaps reflecting the efforts to bring about change for the better in endurance racing in the UAE, and heavily promoting “To Finish is to Win,” it was announced at the press conference for the CEI*** 160-km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup to be held in Dubai on Saturday, January 10, that every rider who completes the race will be awarded 100,000 Dirhams (approximately $27,000 U.S. dollars).

Kat Irvine, one of the Canadians participating in the ride on her mare Nightwind’s Savannah, commented, “It gives a whole new meaning to "To Finish is to Win" [fellow rider] Jess [Manness] says to me after the meeting. Once I had the hair on the back of my neck lay down, I realized that this, no doubt, was a gesture to show a change in attitude toward winning being the only thing.”

To follow the events of the race, see:

Dubai: A Good Crew is Crucial to Success - Kat Irvine

From Kat Irvine’s journal of her adventure at the Al Maktoum Cup in Dubai

January 6 - It's 3:05 AM, Jan 6 here right now. I normally wake up for a few minutes at this time of the morning. Share a few thoughts with you and go back to sleep. This morning I woke up with the realization that the dream will take a different turn today. The crews will be landing 8:15 PM Jan 7. Hopefully they get through customs as fast as we did. If they don't it might be an hour or so for them to get through. Once they do they'll come directly to the Meydan Hotel. There is some confusion as to whether there will be arrangements to pick them up so today we'll have to find out for sure so at least we can have one of our drivers pick them up. It's a 20 minute drive from the airport to the hotel. They'll arrive just in time to settle in from their rooms, hopefully go back to sleep because Jan 8, two days before the race we'll have an impossible schedule starting with a meeting with the horses. Most of the crew have never met these horses.

This is going to be the test of a "professional" crew. Our crew people are already a unit as they've done this job together many times.

This will especially show up at the vet checks. The vet checks will be short, four of them from 35-40 minutes with one 50 minute one before the last loop. The riders will have no time to look after horses. When the horse comes over the timing line the crews will take over the horse and rider will be whisked away for a bit of a break.

Meanwhile the other crew members will have swarmed the horse, pulled off the saddle and cooled with gallons of cool, or even cold water depending on ambient temperatures, made sure heart rate is down and stable , taken to the vet, examined, trotted out for lameness, brought back to the rest area for a few minutes and 10 minutes before we are to leave, saddle the horse in time for us riders to leave on time.

This is where absolute trust of the crews come in. It's in the best interest of the rider to give up his horse and look after himself. It's in the best interest of the horse for the rider to look after himself. This is a hard thing to do on both counts.

The people we have chosen as crew are multitalented, educated and have had years of endurance experience. They know the drill, they know stresses can come from anywhere - from a cranky rider to mistake in paperwork. They are physically fit. Running after horses with a big water bottle in each hand requires some muscle and wind. They will have to deal with jet lag, moving in to new digs and getting to know our horses. They'll have to take the time to learn how our tack goes on, what our horses eat and their particular quirks. They'll have to move gear out to the crewing and rest areas and go to a couple of events where they will have to "dress nice". Someone will have to be well informed enough and eloquent enough to deal with press.

Yep, we have the dream team crew - we so hope to do you proud.

To see more of Kat’s adventures and the Al Maktoum Cup, see

Bahrain Royal endurance team to compete in Dubai challenge - Full Article

January 8 2015

Dubai, Jan. 8. (BNA) -- Following directives from its Captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team will participate in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Race Challenge for a total distance of 160km.

The event, held in honour of Sheikh Mohammed, the UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will be held in the Seeh Al Salam International Endurance Village on Saturday with the participation of a group of GCC and international riders...

Read more here:

India: National Equestrian Endurance from Jan 9

Our Bureau

DIBRUGARH, Jan 6 – The Equestrian Federation of Assam will be hosting the National Equestrian Championships, Endurance 2015 from January 9 to 11 here.

With the successful hosting of the events in the past, Dibrugarh is fast becoming a lead destination for Endurance in the country. The event will be held over a 60, 80 and 100 km for the senior category and 40 km for the juniors. The track for the championships will go through the picturesque tea estates, skirting the mighty Bhramaputra. The unique landscape of Upper Assam lends itself naturally as an ideal destination for the sport.

The event although hosted by the Equestrian Federation of Assam, is being held under the aegis of Equestrian Federation of India and all major National teams are likely to participate. This year’s meet will see the participation of more than 60 horse and rider teams. Also for the first time the event will witness a maximum participation in Endurance from the region, including a nine-member team from Assam Police.

For the Junior National championships we have confirmed entries from Assam Valley School Tezpur, DPS Numaligarh and Royal Global School, Guwahati. Over and above these, a strong contingent is expected from Manipur Equestrian Association. Meanwhile Siddhartha Sharma, secretary general, Equestrian Federation of Assam, thanked the Equestrian Federation of India for allotting these events to Assam, thereby providing opportunity for the riders from NE India to compete at the National level within the region.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Endurance GB members quit over sponsor controversy - Full Article

Endurance GB votes to accept Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan backing

By Pippa Cuckson
9:29PM GMT 06 Jan 2015

Endurance GB is to accept a “blanket” sponsorship from Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation, following an unprecedented members’ vote.

Debate has raged for months about the wisdom of allying the British national governing body with Dubai, where the Sheikh’s stables have been at the centre of doping and horse-injury scandals for more than a decade.

Voting in favour were 570 EGB members, with 405 against and 35 abstentions. This represents a 55.2 per cent turnout by a small membership organisation that is under-funded compared with show jumping, dressage and eventing. Already some “no” voters have taken to their members forum to announce they will not rejoin.

The three-year deal, for an undisclosed sum, covers EGB’s entire international calendar, the cost of new technology – required under new FEI rules directly aimed at combating types of rule-breaking such as horse-swaps and short cuts alleged to be common among Middle East riders – and training bursaries.

It also means the reinstatement of Euston Park, Suffolk, a ride venue long-leased by Sheikh Mohammed but closed in 2013 after media revelations about doping. It was at the Euston 2012 World Championships that Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum jnr rode a horse under the false identification of Marmoog...

Read more here:

Endurance Great Britain Accepts Meydan Sponsorship Package

Correction issued. Date of original blog posting:

January 6 2015

An Update from The Board of Endurance GB - (Published:06 January 2015)
A majority of Endurance GB’s Members have voted ‘Yes’ in the recent ballot regarding proceeding with a proposed sponsorship agreement with Meydan.

The overall turnout was 55.2% (1010 Members), with 56.4% (570) votes in favour of accepting the sponsorship, with 40.1% (405) against and 3.5% (35) abstentions.

The Board of EGB will therefore proceed to contract discussions with Meydan.

The proposed agreement, which offers benefits for all levels of the EGB Membership, will enhance EGB’s ability to realise its long term strategy and vision: to enable more people and horses at all levels to enjoy the sport of endurance to the highest standard of excellence.

John Hudson
Chairman EGB
Endurance GB Board

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Three USA Riders to Participate in 160-km Al Maktoum Cup

January 4 2015

Three USA riders have been invited to ride in the 160-km HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup in Dubai on January 10, 2015.

Melody Blittersdorf from Jeffersonville, Vermont, will ride her 10-year-old gelding Frankie Thunderheart. Willemena DeBoer from Hico, Texas, will ride her 9-year-old gelding Frisia Shaheen. Heather Reynolds of Dunellon, Florida, will be reunited with her old friend Riverwatch.

If you recall, the now-10-year-old gelding Riverwatch won the 2011 Tevis and Haggin Cups with Jeremy Reynolds aboard, then finished 36th in the 2012 World Endurance Championship in Great Britain with Heather aboard. Now owned by a stable in Dubai, he completed his second World Championship in France last year, finishing 22nd with Argentinean Josefina Chas.

Canadians Jessica Manness, riding her 13-year-old gelding Greater Glide, and Kat Irvine, riding her 16-year-old mare Nightwind’s Savannah, will also participate.

For more information, and a journal by Kat, and photos by several riders, and updates on the race see:

Abu Dhabi: Packed schedule for Shaikh Mansour Racing Festival this year - Full Article

Hisham Al Gizouli (Chief Reporter) / 4 January 2015

On July 6 the competition returns to USA at Pleasanton and the penultimate race will be at the Ostend racecourse in Belgium on August 17.

Abu Dhabi: The seventh edition of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival hosts 102 flat races and nine endurance championships across the five continents through the current year, it was unveiled on Saturday.

“Under the directives of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and Head of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the 2015 calendar will include 14 races in the Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, 14 races in the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship, nine races in the HH Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) and 65 races in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup,” Lara Sawaya, executive director of the Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR), told newsmen at the Eastern Mangroves Hotel here on Saturday...

Read more here:§ion=nationsports

Friday, January 02, 2015

Canadian Endurance Riders Receive a Honourary Invitation

Ottawa, Ont. November 27, 2014 -- Canadian endurance riders, Kathy Irvine of Blackfoot, Alta. and Jessica Manness of Dugald, Man., have been honoured with an invitation to compete in His Highness Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum's 8th annual Endurance Cup being held January 10, 2015. This invitation-only event will be a FEI 3* 160km race across the Dubaï desert.

As part of 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games, both pairs also travelled to Normandy, FRA to challenge the gruelling 160km course. Manness and Greater Glide (Flaming Tigre X Flaming Streak), her 13-year-old Arabian gelding, along with Irvine and Nightwind's Savannah, her 16-year-old Canadian bred Arabian mare sired by Dakotas Keyanti, will travel to Dubaï on December 21st.

It has been several years since Canadians have been invited to participate in a competition in the United Arab Emirates, and both riders are looking forward to this new opportunity to let their horses shine with some very fine international competition.

Accompanying the horse and rider teams as crew will be grooms, Denise Blanchet and Dessia Miller; Canadian Endurance Team Veterinarian, Dr. Glenn Sinclair; and Canadian Endurance Team Coach/Technical Advisor, Kim Woolley.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Spot-the-Marmoog – the new Christmas party game for all the family! - Full Article

Blogs Cuckson Report | December 31, 2014
by Pippa Cuckson

A couple of posts ago, I remarked that anyone who searched randomly through the FEI database was likely, within 20 minutes, to chance upon a horse whose provenance did not stack up. This followed revelations about the failed FEI investigation into whether dressage horse Wily Earl and the three-years-younger Golden Coin were one and the same, a case drawn to my attention after the collapse of the Marmoog horse-swap enquiry on a legal technicality.

Quite a few of you took my 20-minute challenge seriously, and have referred me to horses who seem to have started their careers rather late in life. Others who have caught Marmoog fever tell me they’ve scoured endurance pictures on the internet in search of mid-ride horse swaps. There’s certainly a buzz when you think you’ve spotted a ringer. (This new-found party game has quickly gained popularity thanks, no doubt, to Christmas TV schedules rarely living up to expectations, or running out of things to say to your elderly aunt. It’s fun for all the family, with no prior horse knowledge required – all you need is normal eyesight).

Following the Marmoog affair, the FEI acknowledged “loopholes” in its horse ID systems. During the London International Horse Show (Olympia) I found myself in the same hospitality box as John McEwen, the FEI’s ex-vice president. He talked me through many new measures to thwart passport fraud and horse-swappers that are in the rules for 2015. We were not alerted to these revisions in missives from the FEI General Assembly the previous weekend. Having now read them online, I am not surprised the FEI was reluctant to spotlight them. The relationship between microchip and passport was not so much of a loophole as a sink-hole!...

Read more here:

World Horse Welfare to take part in Endurance GB panel


World Horse Welfare, the international horse charity and independent welfare advisor to sport regulators, has agreed to take part in a Review Panel for the proposed sponsorship contract for Endurance GB with the Dubai-based group Meydan.

The sponsorship is a sensitive issue given the controversy that the international sport of endurance has experienced in recent years, following the excessive rate of injuries and fatalities of horses in some parts of the sport.

Roly Owers, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We fully support the responsible use of horses in sport which means placing the welfare of the horse above all other considerations. We want to see the sport of Endurance continue to thrive in the UK with the welfare of the horse at its heart. We are entering this process with an open mind on the agreement, which we understand will include clauses on both equine welfare and fair play. I have been assured that World Horse Welfare will have the ability to act as it sees fit to fulfil a monitoring function, which I look forward to carrying out with my fellow panel members.”

- See more at:

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