Wednesday, April 29, 2015

FEI Endurance Proposals : Qualification Procedures

Non-Olympic disciplines and Para-Equestrian Future

Wed, 2015-04-29 — Claude NORDMANN
Statements of the FN Switzerland:

For the welfare of the horses and to apply the basic principles of the endurance, we insist on a qualification procedure which considers also the rider-horse combination.
That means we propose that the last two qualification steps have to be done as a couple. This is the only way to guarantee at best the horsemanship and the welfare of the horses. For the public, but also everyone in the equestrian world, it is not understandable, that in a high-performance sport including metabolic and other health risks, riders should compete at championships without ever having ridden the respective horse before.

Wed, 2015-04-29 — Claude NORDMANN

Statement of the FN Switzerland : Format for the WEG
The Swiss Federation welcomes all the efforts in direction of technical tracks and a strict qualification procedure.
But the Swiss Federation is not favourable to the new proposed format of 2 x 100 at WEG for several reasons: all statistics of the last 20 years clearly show up, that the shorter the races, the more dangerous they are for the welfare of the horse. 2 x 100 km as a championship would invite riders to take more risks than at a 160 km format. In addition, breeding, selection, education and training for 160 km races have much evolved in the last years for the benefit of the horses, and a change of the format would not produce the desired increase of animal welfare. Specially also regarding the fact, that European and World championships would still take place using the old 160 km format. In conclusion with the new proposed format of 2 x 100 km no increase of welfare and no better image in the public are to be expected.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Great Britain: 9 things you might not know about the Golden Horseshoe Ride - Full Article

Madeleine Pitt
24 April, 2015

The Golden Horseshoe was first run on Exmoor in 1965, but the current organiser Barbara Wigley, 67, retires this year, and no one has yet stepped up to take the helm. On the eve of its 50th anniversary, which could be its last, we take a look back at the ride’s history.

1. The first ride was organised in 1965 by the British Horse Society, promoted by author Ronald Duncan and Colonel Mike Ansell, and sponsored by The Sunday Telegraph. It was so popular that organisers had to close entries a month early, having reached the limit of 110 entrants.

2. The route started at Malmsmead and finished at Ronald Duncan’s home in Welcombe, Devon.

3. In 1965 were no markers, and riders had to find their own way, including navigating across ‘The Chains’ [a wild moorland ridge] with the help of local people on Exmoor ponies...


FEI votes to change Statutes to allow for Presidential remuneration

28 Apr 2015

FEI votes to change Statutes to allow for Presidential remuneration

The FEI today voted unanimously to modify the organisation’s Statutes to allow the FEI President to receive remuneration. The amendment to the Statutes opens up the possibility for remuneration, but the final decision still rests with the FEI Bureau, which will discuss the issue at its in-person meeting in June.

The vote was taken at an Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) held during the FEI Sports Forum at IMD in Lausanne (SUI). A total of 59 National Federations were on-site to register their votes and there were 27 powers of attorney, giving a total of 86 valid votes. The required quorum is 67, half of the 133 National Federations plus one.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos, who opened the second day of the Sports Forum, excused himself from the EGA and handed over to FEI 1st Vice President John Madden (USA) to chair the meeting. FEI 2nd Vice President Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa (BRN) and FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender also presided.

Dr Claude Nordmann of the Swiss National Federation spoke briefly after the vote, calling for a study to be conducted on salaried positions and commenting that the contents of the study would also be useful for other International Federations.

The EGA also voted unanimously to a number of proposed changes to the Internal Regulations of the FEI, including the addition of the President to the list of signatories to official documents.

Australia: Endurance riders saddle up for Charleville's 160km ride - Full Article

Ali Kuchel | 28th Apr 2015

LESS than a month ago, endurance horse rider Nicole Sallur didn't know if her horse would complete an 80km journey, but he surprised her on the weekend.

Nicole and her horse Ironheart entered the 160km ride with the Charleville Endurance Club and although they opted to retire at 120km, she said she was very happy with their performance.

"We'd been having a few issues with his back," Nicole said.

"We were both a bit tired by that stage... to do an extra 40km and pass the vet check at 120km was really good..."

Read more here:

Monday, April 27, 2015

FEI Sports Forum Opens with Discussion on Future of WEG - Full Article

April 27 2015

FEI Sports Forum 2015 opens with discussion on future of FEI World Equestrian Games™

The FEI President Ingmar De Vos welcomed 270 delegates representing the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Federations (NFs), riders’, trainers’, and organisers’ clubs, sponsors, experts, media, guests and FEI staff to the fourth FEI Sports Forum which opened this morning at the prestigious business school IMD in Lausanne (SUI).

“We are all here because we care about our sport,” De Vos said in his opening address. “We need to be open and honest about the challenges we are facing as a sport but more than that we need to be proactive and brave enough to consider changes that will address these challenges. I remember a quote from IOC President Thomas Bach who said “change or be changed.

“So it is absolutely not about change for the sake of change and by no means is there any desire to lose or replace the values and traditions of our sport. But we need to be open-minded to look at changes that can improve our sport and its legacy for the generations to come. What should be changed and how is why we are here today and I am grateful to each and everyone one of you for taking the time to participate in this Sports Forum,” he said.

Professor James Henderson, Dean of Programmes and Innovation at IMD welcomed participants to the renowned school. “It is a great honour to host you at the wonderful institution that is the IMD,” he said. He outlined the school’s mission of educating the world’s leaders to lead transformation journeys in times of turbulence and support others to embrace change in a spirit of dialogue, openness and transparency. Professor Henderson emphasised the importance of innovation and change and wished the delegates open, inspired and pioneering discussion...

Read more here:

Farlington’s Bedwin is youngest rider to complete Endurance Great Britain - Full Article

27 April 2015

Farlington School’s Katie Bedwin has become the youngest person in the history of Endurance GB horse riding to complete a 100-mile event.

The 17-year-old and her horse Elayla travelled to Nottingham in preparation for the Haywood Oaks Endurance ride.

The pair and the three others in her class, had a mass racing start at 6am on the Saturday morning in the dark, their only light being head torches.

By the third vet gate, there was only Bedwin and one other extremely experienced combination left in the race...

Read more here:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Good Lord! - Full Article

Blogs Straight-Up | April 23, 2015

Over the past couple of years, I have hammered on pretty annoyingly (to some) about the highly dubious objectivity of the FEI’s repeated use of Lord John Stevens and his company Quest in its investigations into various and sundry scandalous situations which have primarily involved Endurance. Well guess what. Turns out I had a point.

Two weeks ago, the British papers were all fat-kid-on-Smartie over the news that Lord Stevens is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Zealand: 2015 Nationals dominated by Team Smith

14 APRIL 2015

This year’s ESNZ Endurance National Champs was definitely an event to be proud of and to be inspired by. The spirit of cooperation and friendship radiated throughout the entire event. Having won the Junior/Young Rider National 160km title in 2013, the Senior North Island 160km title in 2014 and travelling to France with the NZ team for WEG, this year’s CEI 3* 160km Senior title was won by the deserving duo of Georgia Smith and Glenmore Vixen. At 18 Georgia becomes the youngest ever winner of the senior title. Second place went to Stu Wakeling and Tokopuhe Kaid.

The CEI 2* 120km was also a Smith/Wakeling double act. In his first year of riding as a senior Aaron Wakeling and Alshar Blue Chief comfortably took the senior title this year, followed by Georgia Smith on her second ride of the weekend, Aurora Australis.

Frank Aldridge and Mystica Bandito laid claim to the CEI 1* 100km event, with Murray Smith close behind on Glenmore Soprano in second place.

One of the events everyone turns out to watch is the CEN Intermediate Senior 60km Championship. This year’s worthy winner was Petra Paterson on Saamen Dance Away, nearly 40 minutes ahead of second place getter Brendon O’Neill on TC Manu.

The James/Hamer team had a dramatic journey north from the South Island, but it didn’t affect Jorja James who completed her first CEI 3* 160km J/YR event on Glendaar Crystal Fire to claim the win and a buckle.

Team Smith was back in action with Brigitte Smith and Glenmore Titan winning the CEI 2* J/YR 120km Championship. Patricia Ireland ran a close second on Sayfwood Oshaarnna, and with this completion both girls gain Elite rider status.

Emma Mason and Tararua Mistalight were the ultimate come-back story this year, rounding out a great year with a win in the CEI 1* J/YR 100km championship. Rebecca MacPherson and Arahi Tahi also finished out a great year qualifying in second place.

This year there was also a junior presence in the CEN Intermediate Junior 60km, with Flossie Bleasdale and Makahiwi Guinevere taking the red ribbon.

Congratulations to all those who took part, and especially to those who earned their first Nationals buckle. Congratulations to those competing in their first Nationals.

Special congratulations to those who train and produce consistent results year after year. You are an inspiration to us all.

By Daryl Owen

CEI 3* 160km
1st Georgia Smith & Glenmore Vixen 9.13.27; 2nd Stuart Wakeling & Tokopuhe Kaid 9.36.36; 3rd Sarah Hamer & Glendaar Amira Fire 10.04.08; 4th Alison Higgins & MF Bab Al Shams 10.35.46; 5th Philip Graham & Rosewood Bashir 10.41.58; 6th Helen Graham & Sherwood Volos 10.41.59

CEI 3* JY 160km
1st Jorja James & Glendaar Crystal Fire 10.21.43

CEI 2* 120km
1st Aaron Wakeling & Alshar Blue Chief 7.02.33; 2nd Georgia Smith & Aurora Australis 7.15.88; 3rd Braden Cameron & Castlebar Elodie 7.53.53; 4th Henrikus Swart & Lexington Mystyque 7.53.54; Don Sagar & Wai Totara Moon Star 8.05.21; Kevin James & The Straight Shooter AHA 8.51.46

CEI 2* JY 120km
1st Brigitte Smith & Glenmore Titan 6.41.00; 2nd Patricia Ireland & Sayfwood Oshaarnna 6.42.10

CEI 1* 100km
1st Frank Aldridge & Mystica Bandito 7.01.14; 2nd Murray Smith & Glenmore Soprano 7.03.12; 3rd Lisa Southon & Tararua Yarah 7.03.28; 4th Teresa Birkett & Mariu Nero 7.37.19

CEI 1* JY 100km
1st Emma Mason & Tararua Mistalight 6.27.34; 2nd Rebecca MacPherson & Arahi Tahi 6.46.16

CEN Senior 60km
1st Petra Deacon & Saamen Dance Away 3.1752; 2nd Brendon O’Neill & TC Manu 3.55.50; 3rd Janette Rogers & Kedar Sarita 3.55.51; 4th Harry Prastiti & Aspen Hills Hope & Glory 4.25.10; 5th Caroline Lewin & Astek Nirvana 5.13.46

CEN Junior 60km
1st Flossie Bleasdale & Makahiwi Guinevere 5.05.14

CTR Intermediate
1st Murray Legg & Sundon The Wise One 91; 2nd Vera Williams & Quick Decision 94; 3rd LaDene Matson & Dangerous Liaison 107; 4th Sue Drinnan & AA Fancy Lady 122; 5th Tammy Peacocke & Ruby 141

UAE endurance appeal: Well, I guess we can rule out contrition - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | April 23, 2015

It was Kenny Rogers who sang the immortal words:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em,
Know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run”.

The conversation in the famous song, The Gambler, occurs on a “train bound for nowhere”, which sounds a lot like the current state of endurance.

News emerged today about the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to challenge its provisional suspension from the FEI, imposed over welfare issues in endurance.

The appeal is a surprising move, and one that clearly disappoints the FEI...

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

UAE National Federation appeals suspension to FEI Tribunal

22 Apr 2015

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation has lodged a formal appeal to the FEI Tribunal against its provisional suspension from the FEI.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on 12 March 2015 for an indeterminate period following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Prior to lodging its appeal, the UAE National Federation had sent a formal request asking the FEI Bureau to lift the suspension. The request was rejected by the FEI Bureau and, as a result, an official appeal has been lodged by the UAE National Federation.

The appeal process will be managed in accordance with Art. 165 Appeals of the FEI General Regulations and the Internal Regulations of the FEI Tribunal.‎

“It is disappointing that an appeal has been lodged and that the UAE National Federation has chosen to go down the legal route rather than seeking ways to solve the issues and make a lasting commitment to improving the welfare of the horse at Endurance events in which it is involved”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said.

Explore Namibia on horseback with Ranch Rider

22 April 2015

Experience the raw beauty of Namibia on horseback and journey through an untamed landscape with riding holiday specialist, Ranch Rider. Canter across the Namib, the world’s oldest desert; spy the majestic Fish River Canyon from atop your mount, encounter desert adapted elephant in Damaraland, and ride with oryx, ostrich and mountain zebra across one of the largest private nature reserves in Southern Africa.

Tony Daly, Managing Director of Ranch Rider comments “We offer three to five day tailor-made riding holidays for intermediate riders or longer departures of up to 10 nights for the more experienced, but whatever your route, Namibia's rocky hills and riverbeds, gravel plains and open stretches of sand will present exciting challenges, each group covering 20-50 kms each day. Trained in endurance riding, you’ll be saddling up on a mixed herd of Arab, Haflinger and Trakehner ranch horses - these sure-footed steeds raised on this rough terrain.”

Having adapted to the sun-blistered plains of Damaraland, herds of elephant are encountered seasonally along the Huab and Ugab Rivers; rhino, oryx and springbok also inhabiting this ruggedly beautiful region. Additional highlights include, a sunset ride at Twyfelfontein, the World Heritage site home to ancient bushman paintings and horseback adventures along the remote Skeleton Coast - one of the most captivating, yet least visited places on the planet. 10 night Damara Elephant Ride from £3,975pp (two sharing) including all riding, accommodation (eight nights camping & two nights lodge based) all meals and drinks whilst camping, ground transfers and return transfers. Excludes return flight to Johannesburg or Cape Town and internal flight to Windhoek.

Journey across the Namib Desert on this challenging 440 km ride. Traverse the rugged terraces of the Kuiseb Canyon and Moon Valley's luna-esque landscape, a variety of wildlife including gemsbok, giraffe, mountain zebra and ostrich often spied en route. The Tinkas, Tumas and Welwitschia plains also feature on this exotic once-in-a-lifetime horseback holiday, the trail taking you from the Khomas Hochland mountains through to the Atlantic Ocean. 10 night Namib Desert Ride with from £3,670pp (two sharing) including all riding, accommodation (eight nights camping & two nights lodge based) all meals and drinks whilst camping, ground transfers and return transfers. Excludes return flight to Johannesburg or Cape Town and internal flight to Windhoek.

The first and last night of each ride is spent at either guest farms/houses or lodges, with riders camping out in two man tents for the majority of holiday.

Tony Daly, comments, “Most guests choose to sleep out under a blanket of stars and in this remote wilderness it is a truly unforgettable experience. You’ll also be treated to a taste of Southern Africa, the evening meals including potjies and braais cooked over an open fire.”

Ranch Rider offers add-on self-drives in Namibia, the country recently featured on ITV’s “Slow Train Through Africa,” the series hosted by comedian and presenter, Griff Rhys Jones. In Nambia, Jones visited The Africat Foundation and Etosha National Park, the country’s permier wildlife viewing destination. From £575pp (two sharing) including car hire and accommodation.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ariat signs exclusive licensing and sponsorship agreement with the FEI

18 Apr 2015

Ariat International®, the US-based leader in Western and English footwear and apparel, today signed an exclusive licensing and sponsorship agreement with the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas.

Working alongside the FEI, Ariat will develop a new co-branded product collection to launch at the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg (SWE) in 2016, with a share of the sales proceeds going to FEI Solidarity. The product range will also be available for purchase on-site at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European and North American League qualifier events from 2016 to 2018, as well as at Ariat retailers and online in Europe and North America. Additionally, this new three-year partnership includes a supporting sponsorship of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals starting in 2016.

Ariat was the first company to bring athletic shoe technology to equestrian sports and is now one of the leading brand of equestrian footwear and apparel in the world. The US-based company now operates across the US, Europe and Australia. Ariat also sponsors top equestrian athletes from a variety of disciplines, including Beezie Madden, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Jur Vrieling, Tina Fletcher, Shawn Flarida, Mary King, William Fox-Pitt, Chester Webber, Gina Miles, Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin, Will Simpson, and Hannah Selleck.

“The FEI is revolutionizing equestrian sports on a global basis, bringing every discipline to the highest level of competition,” said Beth Cross, founder and CEO of Ariat International. “Ariat is proud to partner with the FEI as the official equestrian footwear and apparel supplier. We offer the most innovative performance footwear and apparel for the world’s top equestrian athletes, making our partnership with the FEI a terrific match. Our goal is to work together to continue to grow the sport globally."

“The partnership with the FEI represents a perfect opportunity for Ariat International to extend its visibility and brand awareness by engaging with our global equestrian fan base,” said Sabrina Zeender, FEI Secretary General. “With Ariat’s additional sponsorship and a share of the proceeds from the sale of the new product ranges going back into the sport via FEI Solidarity, this is a win-win situation.”

About the FEI Collection

The current FEI-branded clothing line is the first concrete example of support provided by the FEI’s Licensing Programme to FEI Solidarity, the FEI’s global sport development programme. A share of revenues generated by the sales of all FEI-branded products contribute to FEI Solidarity funds, which are directly reinvested in the development of equestrian sport.

Check out the FEI Collection here.

About Ariat International, Inc.
Ariat International, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear and apparel. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world.

For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800.899.8141 or visit, and

Monday, April 20, 2015

Endurance.Net supports the 2-Day format for World Endurance Championships

Responding to recent news that FEI is considering changing the format for World Endurance Championship competition from a 1-Day 160 km Race, to a 2-Day 200 km Race, Endurance.Net would like to offer the following comments:

1) A 2-Day format will make it possible to hold WEC's on more challenging and technical courses. Over the last two decades WEC courses have become flatter and less challenging. This is primarily due to the desire to make it more practical for spectators, staff and organizers. A traditional 24 hour 1-Day 160 km ride such as Tevis, Florac or Quilty, does not fit in the desired time frame for a 'friendly' championship event. By holding the championship over a 2 day period, organizers can choose more difficult and technical trails, and still meet the goal of a spectator friendly event. This will reduce the difficulties organizers face both in practical and logistical terms.

2) Horse and rider teams will be challenged in a different way - and ultimately we believe there will be fewer injuries and metabolic collapses. Horses will have at least 12 hours to rest and rehydrate between the first and second days.

3) Though speeds might be faster over an 100km course, given the current speeds displayed over 160km WEC courses, this will probably not be a profound change, especially if courses have more technical difficulty. The benefit from a period of rest, energy replenishment and hydration for both horse and rider will out-weigh the dangers from greater course speeds.

4) Multi-day rides have become a common occurrence, particularly in the Western United States. This is an enjoyable and challenging format and it would benefit the sport world-wide if more Nations adopted this style of riding.

We support this proposal.

Steph Teeter

Let's Hope for Revolution, Not Revolt - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 20, 2015

In seven days’ time, the FEI and stakeholders gather in Lausanne, Switzerland to debate the most significant shake-up ever of its elite sport.

It’s surprising there has been so little media attention thus far, because each discipline is set to undergo – at global championship level at least – remodelling as drastic as the axing of steeplechase, roads and tracks was to eventing in 2004. There is also a move to limit all teams to three with no drop score...


...By far the most numerous authentic posts at the time of writing are, ahem, all about endurance. The key change there is a proposal, from the FEI endurance committee, that the WEG championship ride becomes a two-day, 100km-per-day contest. The ambition is to re-establish the notion of partnership, so that the rider reads his horse and keeps enough fuel in the tank. It is clearly intended as an antidote to the lets-go-really-fast-on-a-horse-we-don’t-know-and-somehow-waggon-it-over-the-finish travesty allowed to develop in the UAE and sadly now spread elsewhere.

On that subject, it’s still business as usual in the UAE. Clearly the penny still hasn’t dropped about what has to be done before the Emiratis can return from FEI exile.

There were six rumoured equine deaths at their last national ride of the season 10 days ago. Yes, you read that right: six, a figure from sources 100 per cent reliable in the past. Such slaughter doesn’t even warrant a headline now. We are so conditioned to what Pierre Arnould so aptly described as the UAE’s “industry of cheating and death” that it will only be news the day the UAE stages a ride without killing anything...


"1st World Endurance Summit" to be held with Danish Championship

20 April 2015

In conjunction with the 2015 Danish Endurance Championship, Peter Christiansen of the Association Molsridtet is organizing the 1st World Endurance Summit on in Mols, Denmark, beginning July 28th.

The summit is being held because the group loves the sport of endurance, and they want to "contribute to the ongoing development of endurance as a sustainable sport" which has the maximum focus on horse welfare with the absence of doping.

During the summit, discussions will focus on the state of endurance today and the direction participants would like it to develop in the future. Lectures and workshops will be held concerning ethics in endurance, and veterinarians will speak about research projects related to endurance riding and the use of horses in endurance.

On the last 3 days of the summit, several events will take place. On Friday, a "Mini Tri Endurance" will take place, with a 40 km endurance ride, 20 km of cycling, and 5 km of running. On Saturday August 1, CEI3*, CEI2* and CEI1* endurance rides will be held. The 2015 CEI2* Danish Championship will take place Sunday, in addition to a CEI1*, and an 80 km, 60 km and 40 km national rides.

The summit is open to all nations, and all international and national riders.

For more information, see

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mongol Derby: Young grazier signs up for toughest horse race in the world

17 April, 2015
Bogantungan grazier William Graham at his property west of Emerald, central Queensland. He will compete in the Mongol Derby in August. (Alice Roberts - ABC Local)

A young Queensland grazier is about to embark on the longest and toughest endurance horse race in the world all in the name of charity.

Bogantungan grazier William Graham says he is preparing for the adventure of a lifetime in the form of the Mongol Derby in August; a race that will see him travel 1,000 kilometres in 10 days through the Mongolian Steppe on horseback.

The experienced rider uses horses on his property, west of Emerald in central Queensland, on a daily basis but says nothing will fully prepare him for the challenges of navigating the terrain in Mongolia.

"I'd say I've got a bit of an advantage, I know how to navigate around the bush and can ride for hours," he said.

The track competitors follow is based on the postal route established by Genghis Khan, which saw the mail delivered via a number of horse stations across the country up until the 1940s.

Apart from the distance, riders will also have to battle the rough terrain, semi-wild Mongol horses and an unfamiliar diet of Mongolian local cuisine.

Many riders don't complete the race due to injury or illness.

But William says that's all part of the adventure.

"It might be painful for a while I suppose but the experience and the sense of adventure and the desire to win [will keep me going]," he said.

He says he expects the race to be mentally and physically challenging.

"You're only allowed to ride between the hours of 8.30am and 7.30pm, which is a fair stretch," he said.

"Then you camp with the local tribe wherever you get to and you eat their tucker, so I'm looking forward to a bit of mutton.

"Apparently you have to have a few drinks with them at night time, I don't know what we'll talk about but I suppose we'll find something," he added with a laugh.

The race is run by a United Kingdom-based adventure company, which ensures each horse is only ridden for about 40 kilometres a day before the riders are instructed to swap for another at each station.

Participants have to pay a large sum to take part in the race to cover the cost of the animals, food and support personnel but William is using the adventure to also raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor's Service through donations.

"They've given me a couple of rides over the years and they need a lot of money to keep that outfit running," he said.

"We're not even isolated but for a lot of people the RFDS is a vital service for the bush."

The Mongol Derby will run from August 2 to 16.

If you would like to donate to the RFDS through William's ride, please email the ABC.

[Full story]

Two-day race format proposed for WEG endurance

Future World Equestrian Games endurance champions could be decided in a two-day format, with competitors covering 100km each day.

The Endurance Technical Committee is putting the proposal to the endurance session at the FEI Sports Forum, being held in Lausanne, Switzerland, later this month.

The proposal involves ditching the single 160km race which has been used to decide the champion in favour of the two-day format.

The format would set the maximum number of combinations from each national federation at four, with the highest three counting for the team classification.

“The purpose of the format change … is to create a technical competition to test the skill and the fitness of the combination over a course that needs a strategic approach rather than reliance on speed alone to successfully complete,” the committee said.

“The two-day format would also allow greater exposure of the sport to the public and media.”

The mounted best-conditioned competition would assess the combination for fitness, soundness and agility of the combination in the same manner as they competed the event.

[Read more ...]

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eternal Game

A football game goes on beyond a lovely tree in Orman Gardens in Cairo during the annual plant and garden show. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WORLD MANIFESTO for the Future of Endurance

Wednesday April 15 2015

A website, world manifesto, and petition have been organized in support of the Emirates Equestrian Federation of the United Arab Emirates regarding their suspension from the FEI world governing body of horse sport on 12 March 2015.

The group of riders, trainers, grooms, breeders, horse owners, veterinary surgeons, farriers, organising committees, public agencies, private bodies and associations, assert that compliance with rules, fair play and safeguard of horse's welfare are the main principles on which their experience in endurance is based.

The manifesto states that the suspension of the UAE "leave an indelible mark on the history of endurance" and risk development on an international scale. The EEF has for many years, the mission statement claims, "helped promote the development and success of endurance throughout the world, bringing it to the fore through increased membership and contributing to its popularity in an ever increasing number of countries."

The EEF has brought advantages to the sport of endurance racing, including "the development of horse’s performances and for the quality, genealogy and number of foals born per year in terms of the breeding," and economic opportunities "which absolutely cannot be ignored." Already the suspension has "triggered a spiral that is affecting directly and irreparably tens of thousands of people, who very soon run the risk of finding themselves without employment."

With already over 400 signatures, this Manifesto will be presented to the FEI, urging them to review its position on the UAE suspension and consider the damage in "the development and expansion of endurance and its economic and financial consequences."

It further urges the FEI to look for a joint solution "with Emirates Equestrian Federation and all those involved in the sport in order to enforce the rules, the fair play and to safeguard the horse’s welfare."

The full manifesto can be seen and signed here:

Change in WEG Format to be Discussed at FEI Sports Forum

by Merri
April 15 2015

While "Olympic Agenda 2020" will be a major focus at the FEI Sports Forum 2015 on 27-28 April, 2015 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the second day's session 6, "Endurance Future," is guaranteed to be a well-attended hot topic.

The Endurance Technical Committee will propose for discussion that the Endurance competition for the WEG change from a 160-km format to a 2 day, 100 km per day competition.

The purpose of the format change from a 1-day 160 km to a 2-day 100-km race is "to create a technical competition to test the skill and the fitness of the [horse and rider] over a course that needs a strategic approach rather than reliance on speed alone to successfully complete." Specific new qualifications would be required to qualify for the WEG to accommodate this change, including 2 day 100-km races for riders and for horses.

Additionally, Best Condition competition will be assessed under saddle to a prescribed test the day after the race is complete.

The Session 6 - Non-Olympic Sports Future (Endurance) session outline can be seen here:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Australia: Cup returns to the Hawkesbury - Full Article

By Stephanie Bates April 13, 2015

More than 400 horses and their riders set to tackle 160km in 24 hours will gather at Wisemans Ferry in June, marking 50 years since the inaugural Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

Known as ‘The Quilty’, the endurance ride which attracts competitors from across the country and internationally, will be back on local soil after organisers campaigned for its return this year. It was supposed to be held in Victoria.

It’s considered a premier ride on the Australian endurance calendar and the national championships for the NSW Endurance Riders Association (NSWERA). Del Rio Resort will be the camp base (start and finish) for the ride which will wind through national park trails, rural roads and private properties.

Horse and rider are required to complete the set course in 24 hours from June 6-7. The ride starts at midnight.

One of the organisers, Ron Males said the ride came about 50 years ago when R.M. Williams and his mate Tom Quilty from Western Australia debated whether people could still ride long distances in one day. Quilty offered $1000 to make the gold cup for the first rider to do this...

Read more here:

No nukes please, we’re the FEI

Neil Clarkson | April 13, 2015

It seems that the world’s major powers have struck a deal with Iran over the future of its nuclear programme after lengthy talks in Lausanne.

There are still the details to be thrashed out, of course, but the negotiators seem cautiously optimistic.

One suspects these aren’t the toughest talks that will unfold in the Swiss city this year.

Up the road, staff in the Lausanne headquarters of the FEI face the joyous prospect of trying to strike some kind of accord with the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation over endurance.

It doesn’t look easy to me. The UAE federation had its FEI membership suspended last month over what the world governing body described as welfare concerns.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Great Britain: Crabbet Organisation celebrates success of West's endurance riders - Full Article

by Western Morning News | Posted: April 09, 2015

Members of the Crabbet Organisation came together recently to celebrate its first endurance awards for Crabbet or Crabbet-related Arabians who have competed with Endurance GB, SERC or the FEI during 2014.

The Compass Inn’s Orangery, near Badminton, Gloucestershire, was the chosen venue for the event, which also featured awards for young stock graded by the BEF at Futurity events.

A total of 40 members, including many from the South West, travelled from across the country to attend the event, which was generously supported by The Pure Feed Company, Ariat Europe, Brinicombe Equine, Verm-x, Blue Chip Feed, Horse Scout and West Kington Stud.

Jo Claridge, BEF advisor and SW Endurance GB chair, presented the BEF Futurity awards. Sylvan Illusion (Sylvan Magician/Illuniate) owned and bred by Diana Whittome received the 2014 Crabbet trophy for potential endurance horses after achieving an elite 9.01 score...

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Dial Named U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor

RELEASE: April 9, 2015

AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Mark Dial (USEF Archive)Lexington, Ky.- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Dial as the U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor.

Learn more about Mark Dial.

“I am very excited to be able to work with some of the best riders and horses in the USA. In the following few years my expectations are that we will rise to the top of our sport on the international playing field,” said Dial. “The U.S. is fortunate to have a lot of great athletes, both human and equine. I am happy we also have exceptional Junior and Young Riders to work with.

“With Mark's knowledge of the sport and the wide breadth of his horsemanship, he is a great fit within USEF's sport management program,” said Joe Mattingely, Chair of the High Performance Endurance Committee.

“Kristen Brett (USEF Endurance Director) and I look forward to working with Mark as we, in partnership with the Endurance Committees, develop and implement the plans that will take Endurance through to the Bromont 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. These plans will involve working with the AERC at grass roots and development level through to helping our most talented athletes prepare for the highest levels of competition. We are in the process of recruiting a Team Vet to work with and support Mark and then it will be full steam ahead,” said Will Connell, USEF Sport Director.

Dial’s abilities and knowledge in the sport of endurance will be a significant advantage to U.S. athletes as they prepare for the 2016 Longines FEI World Endurance Championships and the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Additionally, Dial is tasked with developing and implementing a pipeline to identify talented athletes with the potential for future team and international success, while building the depth of upcoming talented athletes.

Follow the U.S. Endurance Team.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Great Britain: SUCCESS at Haywood Oaks

08 April 2015)

Tricia Hirst won the FEI 3* 160km endurance race at Haywood Oaks, Nottinghamshire last weekend. Tricia was riding her 12 yr old part bred Arab mare Vlacq Bronze Image.

The race started at 6am in the dark and Tricia crossed the finish line after a gruelling long day at 8.30pm beating the second placed combination Katie Bedwin by 15 minutes. Katie, taking time off from her studying, was riding her own Elayla. Both horses and Katie were contesting their first 160km. Both horses completed at Championship qualifying speed.

Imy joined Tricia Hirst's endurance team after her vet daughter Georgina found her on a dealers yard in Leciestershire and recognised that she was a full sister to Tricia's International horse Vlacq Diamond Sparkle. Imy was still unbroken as a 9yr old so Georgina bought her for £450!

Tricia had success with Imy last year coming 2nd in the two day 160km race at the Red Dragon ride, Builth Wells. However, after that Imy underwent major surgery at the end of October as she had a very large cyst growing in her sinus. She recovered exceptionally well and restarted her training in December in preparation for the race at the weekend.

Since the ride she has been enjoying the sunshine, what a star!

Chief of Business Development & Strategy announces departure from FEI

8 Apr 2015

Lisa Lazarus, FEI Chief of Business Development & Strategy, has announced that she will be leaving the organisation at the end of May 2015. Lazarus is moving to Singapore with her family.

Lazarus was FEI General Counsel from May 2009 to August 2013, before taking up her current post overseeing the FEI’s commercial activities, including broadcast media distribution and sales, partnerships, branding, licensing and merchandising.

“While I am of course very sad to say goodbye to my talented colleagues at the FEI, and to the FEI Family as a whole, I am proud of the recent accomplishments that have been made in growing the value of the FEI’s media rights and partnerships”, Lazarus said. “Equestrian sport offers so much to its partners with the unique bond between two athletes, human and horse, a demographically compelling fan base, and men and women competing as equals.”

Prior to joining the FEI, Lazarus was Senior Director of Partner Development for NFL International in London.

“Lisa Lazarus has made a huge contribution to the FEI over her six years with us. She has shared a wealth of expertise and knowledge, and built partnerships that have greatly enhanced the income streams of the FEI and helped to fund the ongoing development of the sport,” explained Sabrina Zeender, FEI Secretary General.

“We are now looking to build on this success, as equestrian sport experiences huge global growth and moves to the next level commercially.”

The FEI has exclusively appointed the global executive search firm Korn Ferry to recruit Lazarus’ replacement.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Tersk Stud Spring 2015 - A conversation with Sergey Ivanov, Tersk Stud Director - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

6 April 2015, ~ Horsereporter recently caught up with Tersk Stud Director Sergey Ivanov in Qatar. He was happy to tell us of some of the exciting advances of breeding at Tersk and that the Stud is looking forward to the spring and summer Shows and Open House where these special horses are presented to the world.

There are 86 babies expected from 90 broodmares for the 2015 Tersk foal crop. As of February there were 46 babies already on the ground.

Tersk Stud is located in the Caucasus Mountains in southern European Russia. Babies come early in Russia and are generally born from 1 January to 1 April. As Russian winters can be quite cold, the mares all have stalls but are turned out each day to roam the steppes. In good weather from May until October the horses enjoy the tall grasses and wander naturally to drink the clear waters.

Tersk Stud is now standing 16 stallions, and horses are both live-bred and inseminated, depending on the need and stallion chosen.

Breeding from deep frozen semen

Of premier importance is the blood of the Tersk Stallions, Mashuk, Aswan, *Muscat, and *Moment, all now deceased. With methods recently developed, the use of deep frozen semen of these top horses is able to be used and breedings are carefully chosen...

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Remembering Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

April 2015, Poland ~ Leading Arabian horse breeding authority and world ambassador of the Arabian horse, Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka, passed away after a long illness on 28 March 2015. Known as the First Lady of Polish Arabian horse breeding, she had a great influence on every aspect of the breed. A gentle, caring person, she had a great following in the community of the Arabian horse.

Izabella Pawelec-Zawadzka was breeding inspector at the Polish Horse Breeding Department of the State Stud Farm Managing Office, supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture. Very soon she was also asked to be in charge of the Arabian State Studs...

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Australia: Marathon effort at Far-A-Way Easter Endurance Festival - Full Article

7th Apr 2015 5:00 AM

DESPITE wet weather threatening a wash out, the Far-A-Way Easter Endurance Carnival went ahead, ending with the marathon yesterday at Imbil Showgrounds.

After heavy rain on Thursday evening, Friday's 80km, 40km and Mini Marathon were cancelled.

Organiser Ken Moir said they were looking at a washout but the sun came out on Saturday to bring home remaining competitors.

The weather did dampen the event though, as of an expected 390 riders, only 150 competed...

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Great Britain: Walsall horse rider wins top title on one-eyed stallion - Full Article

By Walsall Advertiser | Posted: April 05, 2015
By Lee Kettle

A HORSE rider from Walsall is jumping for joy after winning a top accolade with her one-eyed stallion who was originally destined for the slaughterhouse.

Julie Griffiths won the Sport Endurance National Championship on Cannon, a 16-year-old standardbred trotter.

The championship – which tests the fitness of horses and their riders – was awarded after the horse rider bettered around 60 other competitors.

Julie and Cannon both went through a series of competitive and pleasure rides over a period of 12 months, which were scored on points.

"It's been a long road but we've finally done it," said Julie, aged 47.

"We've been doing this for 10 years and it's something that has really got under my skin...

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Valiant Boy Sbfar wins Darley Horse of the Year Award - Full Article

UAE Endurance Team honored with the Best Spirit Award; endurance rider Marijke Visser from Netherlands earns Best Endurance Rider Award

April 5 2015

Los Angeles, California: Top French-bred Arabian horse Valiant Boy Sbfar was named the 2014 Horse of The Year at the 28th annual Darley USA Awards sponsored by the HH Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival late on Friday.

Raced by Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the seven-year-old son of Darweesh was unbeaten in four US starts before finishing a close second in the $1m (Dh3.67) Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night on March 28.

Valiant Boy Sbfar also topped the Best Older Horse category, with Ms Dixie claiming the Best Older Mare trophy for Quarter Moon Ranch at a gala ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

RB So Rich claimed the three-year-old colts and geldings award for owner Garrett Ford, with Love To Dance winning the fillies’ equivalent for owner Mark K. Powell...

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Australia: Imbil hosts endurance ride for best in country - Full Article

4 April 2015

ENDURO: Endurance horse riders from across Australia have united at Imbil to participate in the annual Far-A-Way Easter Endurance Carnival this Easter.

Events ranging from 20km to 320km rides make the Easter Endurance Carnival an annual highlight for riders from across Australia.

Almost 400 competitors and their horses are camped at the Imbil Showgrounds, along with their support crews and families.

With the signature carnival event, the 320km marathon, spanning four days, an experienced team of equine veterinarians led by Luke Annetts will be working throughout the carnival to assess and ensure horses' fitness to continue in the competition...

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US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...