Sunday, May 31, 2015

50th Tom Quilty and Tracy Hofstrand: Riding the Continents

May 31 2015
by Merri

Horse riding and travel often go hand in hand. Californian Tracy Hofstrand is attempting to ride on all of the continents (Antarctica excluded, though she plans a visit there). Being an endurance rider, and being that Australia is another continent to conquer, and that the country just happens to hold a challenging endurance ride in the Tom Quilty, it was an obvious choice for Tracy to ride in it. "It is a difficult ride, a national championship. Also the ride has the most entries that I will ride in! It is bigger than Tevis which I did in 2012," Tracy says. "It offers a nice buckle for completion awards, has a big party afterwards, and the people are very generous and friendly."

Tracy's been riding endurance for 13 seasons, and has close to 3000 AERC miles. She will be riding Deanna and Roy Trevena’s 11-year-old Anglo-Arabian gelding Dumaresq Jackson. "Jack" has competed in endurance for 6 seasons; he completed the 2009 Shahzada 120-km Mini Marathon, and the 2014 400-km Shahzada. Tracy's husband Jeff will be her strapper for the ride.

She's looking forward to seeing the Sydney, Australia area, visiting friends and hosts Lee-anne and Charlie Guaci whom she met on the 2011 XP ride, riding the trail, and making new friends. Most of all, with a bit of luck, "I'm most looking forward to coming home with a buckle to keep my Tevis buckle company!"

The Quilty will stream live - bookmark this link:

For more stories, photos, adventures and results, see

Mongol Derby: A Party and One Last Ride on Canadian Soil - Full story

Desk to Derby Blog | May 29, 2015

I’m now in my final week of work before I drive down to Moab to reconnect with Christoph Schork for six weeks of Mongol Derby boot camp.

Last weekend, I had my last run on a racehorse and as I rounded the final lap of a three mile gallop, it hit me how much stronger and braver a rider I’ve become over the last eight months. Eight months ago I couldn’t gallop half a mile without coughing and sputtering and feeling my legs build with lactic acid. Eight months ago I’d nearly crap my pants if a horse started spooking and bucking underneath me. I guess that’s the reality of returning to riding in your mid-30s after a seven-year hiatus.

As I cantered one of my friend’s green ponies, she also commented that my confidence had improved. “You know, I didn’t know if you’d be able to do it, you were so timid when you started back at it,” she said...

Read more here:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Emirates Equestrian Federation launches new Committee to review and strengthen UAE Endurance riding

Underlining its commitment to maintaining the highest standards in the sport, the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) has established an Endurance Committee to oversee a review into national and international endurance rides in the United Arab Emirates.
The Endurance Committee, which will be under the direct observation of the UAE's National Olympic Committee, will seek to work closely with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) to ensure that the world governing body's rules and regulations are applied in all endurance races in the UAE.

The review follows the FEI’s decision in March to suspend the EEF following an investigation into endurance racing in the UAE.

Taleb Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, said: "As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE, it is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes. We recognise the best way to achieve this is to work closely with the FEI, the international governing authority, and as such have decided to withdraw our appeal against the suspension.

"The EEF has always sought to uphold the highest standards in horse and athlete welfare and integrity. The Endurance Committee will look to build further on those standards, working in collaboration with the FEI, and ensure that the FEI's rules and regulations are applied in endurance racing across the UAE.”

Friday, May 29, 2015

50th Tom Quilty and The Pony Express Connection

50th Tom Quilty and The Pony Express Connection

May 29 2015
by Merri

You've got to watch out for those Aussies. They show up everywhere. It's particularly handy when they show up to participate in iconic American endurance adventures like the 2011 XP Pony Express. That's what Aussies Lee-anne and Charlie Guaci did, much to the delight of American endurance riders Brenda Benkly and Kathy Neunzig.

In the spirit of equine friendship forged by shared trails, which is so special and contagious (and somewhat unique) in our endurance sport, after spending weeks on the XP together, the Guacis offered Brenda and Kathy mounts in Australia if they wanted to ride in the Tom Quilty.

It will be Californian Brenda's first time in Australia. She's familiar with challenging endurance rides, with over 10,000 miles to her credit, and 19 100-mile finishes, including 7 Tevis buckles. She'll be riding the Gauci's 15-year-old part Arabian mare Charleville Lady on her first 100-mile ride.

The Quilty has been on Kathy's Bucket List for some time, and the 50th anniversary of the Quilty was an added incentive for Kathy to take the Guacis up on their offer this year. A 7800-mile endurance rider with 12 100-mile completions, she'll be riding the Gauci's Charleville Jack, a 13-year-old part Arabian on his first 100-mile ride.
"I am most looking forward to the whole event," Kathy says. "Reconnecting with friends, riding in one of the largest (if not THE largest) endurance events in the world-yikes!, seeing another country like few have the opportunity to, on horseback through the Australian bush, and getting my mount through his first 160K race. 

"Such an opportunity!"

The Quilty will stream live - bookmark this link:

For more stories, photos, adventures and results, see

Mongolia: World’s toughest race back for seventh year - Full Article

By Charlotte Ricca-Smith on 28th-May-2015

The world’s toughest and longest race is back for its seventh year, with 41 riders from 14 countries riding 1000km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.

Range of riders

As well attracting equestrian professionals, this year’s Mongol Derby features a range of competitors from paramedics to personal assistants.

This year’s race has seven Brits and one Irish rider, in the guise of amateur jockey Paddy Woods (51) from Julianstown, who rode in the derby in 2013, but failed to finish the ride.

The oldest Brit taking part is Iain Hayter (62) from Lymington. He broke his neck riding and was told he should have died, but says he wants to do the Derby “because it’s there”.

The youngest British rider is Sarah Cooksey (30) from Lincoln, who will be racing alongside her fiancé Daniel Reeds (34)...

Read more here:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

FEI/UAE: A New World? - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 27, 2015

I don’t share my compatriots’ obsession with soccer, but have been wedded all day to the BBC’s 24-hour news channel to follow the gripping developments in the FBI arrests of FIFA officials, dragged from their beds in a luxury Zurich hotel at dawn on charges of corruption.

The US attorney general gave a press conference in New York and explained why decent folk won’t tolerate FIFA’s criminal tendencies any more.

Is it too much to hope we are on the cusp of a new global movement to throw the book at all the talentless suits whose involvement in sports is purely self-serving or nefarious? If so, credit to the FEI for taking tough action against the bad apples in equestrianism before being publicly shamed into doing something by a much higher authority – or worse still, having matters taken out of its hands, as is now happening to FIFA.

Or at least I think so: it’s kinda interesting that the head of the UAE national Olympic committee visited FEI headquarters Lausanne yesterday, the same day as UAE equestrian representatives met the FEI to discuss the long road back from their suspension over the endurance crisis. The UAE Olympic body will be supporting a new committee set up to “strengthen” UAE endurance.

Maybe the IOC has given relevant stakeholders a quiet nudge, but there is no doubt the FEI swiftly developed unexpected steeliness upon the departure of Princess Haya (whose brother, Prince Ali, oddly enough, is the sole candidate taking on Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential election on Friday, should it still go ahead, of course).

Take for instance, the wording of the FEI press release outlining the discussions at yesterday’s (May 26th) meeting. It’s clear the FEI is offering the UAE no cosy solution. We may never be told the details, but I would be surprised if the UAE doesn’t have to demonstrate respect for horse welfare and FEI rules at its national rides before they can claim to have got the picture. Unless the UAE can schedule some night rides in the next few weeks, which is hardly ideal, there will be no chance to experiment with the horses-come-first mindset until daytime temperatures drop in the Fall...

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

50th Tom Quilty and Paul Sidio: "Can you imagine anything more exciting?"

May 27 2015
by Merri

It's those fun-loving, horse addicted Aussies that have Paul Sidio returning Down Under to ride in the Tom Quilty again. He rode in the 2013 Quilty but did not complete, but the people he met there made the trip incredibly enjoyable. "There was no doubt that we would head back to try again in 2015. The fact that it is the 50th edition only makes it even better," Paul says.

From Spokane, Missouri, Paul has been riding endurance in the USA for 13 seasons, with close to 4000 miles, and 13 100-mile completions. Paul finished Tevis twice on his gelding Piper (KMA Chazz Piper), and he loaned Piper to his Aussie friend Greysen Clark in 2014 for the Tevis. The pair made it 60 miles before being pulled. Greyson is returning the favor, supplying Paul's mount for this year's Quilty, 11-year-old Arabian Grey-Gun Vanharlen. Vanharlen has completed the Faraway Easter Carnival, a 320-km marathon, though the Quilty will be his first 100-mile ride.

Paul will be traveling with his wife, who will be his "strapper" for the ride (crew in Aussie talk).

"In Australia, for the Quilty and other big rides, they arrive early, have fun, and leave late," Paul says. "It is not just a one or two day thing; it is a week long funfest. I most look forward to the late night bonfires, and the tall tales being told . . . some of which are even partly true!"

With close to 400 horses scheduled to start the 100-mile ride at midnight, it will be an unforgettable experience. "They will have a big sports event large screen TV showing the leader board and on track videos. They will have loudspeakers playing music including the famous Tom Quilty Ballad. There will be stadium lights shining on the riders and horses as they circle and warm up for the start . . . at midnight . . .

"Can you imagine anything more exciting?"

The Quilty will stream live - bookmark this link:

For more stories, photos, adventures and results, see

Suspension of UAE endurance riders over cruelty leads to tension in lead up to Tom Quilty - Full Article

Michael Cavanagh
May 27 2015

Australia's endurance horse riding community is split over the international suspension of riders from the United Arab Emirates.

An international equestrian body voted to suspend riders from the UAE, because of allegations of poor animal welfare practices and cruelty. The recent death of Australian horse Splitters Creek in an UAE event brought the issue to the forefront.

The ructions come as preparations are underway for the staging of the 50th running of the prestigious Tom Quilty, a 160 kilometre endurance race at the Hawkesbury over the June long weekend.

The Australian Endurance Riders Association (AERA) supports the move against the UAE. However the New South Wales branch recently voted against the decision.

The Tom Quilty is regarded as the Melbourne Cup of endurance racing, attracting riders from all round the world with a 400-strong field expected this year due to the milestone reached...

Read more here:

Emirates endurance: Actions speak louder than words
Neil Clarkson | May 27, 2015

Welcome news emerged today that the Emirates Equestrian Federation had come to the table to talk with the FEI about the issues surrounding endurance in the region.

The Emirates national body agreed to withdraw its legal challenge to its suspension, which was apparently an FEI requirement before round-table talks on the issues could begin.

The UAE federation’s secretary general, Taleb Al Muhairi, has set a conciliatory tone and there are naturally hopes that significant improvements will result.

The FEI Bureau imposed the provisional suspension on March 12 in response to what it described as horse welfare issues and non-compliance with the world governing body’s rules and regulations in endurance.

The fact that the Emirates federation decided to appeal the suspension was disappointing on many levels. Lawyers were never going to solve the issues in endurance in the UAE, and the fact its national federation chose to pursue this route hinted at a worrying lack of contrition.

Even putting that aside, the legal route struck me as very challenging for the Emirates. Had it succeeded, it would hardly have been welcomed back into the international fold with open arms.

The only way that was ever going to happen was if it came to the table and started dealing with the issues that gave rise to the suspension in the first place.

It now appears that the Emirates federation has come to that realisation. The first talks have been held in Switzerland and the FEI has laid out its requirements.

It would be nice to think that this was the end-game in what has been a long and sorry saga, but I believe the challenges ahead remain significant.

It will, ultimately, be a test of the rules of endurance as well as a test of the willingness of the Emirates to bring about change.


FEI meets with United Arab Emirates delegation on Endurance issues

An initial meeting between the FEI and representatives of the United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee and National Federation was held at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) this afternoon to discuss the actions that need to be undertaken by the UAE National Federation before the FEI Bureau can consider lifting the suspension currently imposed on the UAE National Federation.

The FEI Bureau provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation in March of this year following an investigation by the FEI into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the discipline of Endurance.

Today’s meeting was chaired by FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender. The FEI was also represented by Brian Sheahan, Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI Endurance Director, and Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director. The UAE delegation was made up of Taleb Daher Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Faisal Al Ali, Assistant Secretary General, and Abdullaziz Sheikh, Head of the Endurance Department.

“This was a very constructive meeting, during which we informed the National Federation exactly what they need to do before there can be any possibility of the suspension being lifted”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “We are now writing to them to explain all the elements they need to fulfil and requesting a detailed plan on how they will deliver on this and the timelines involved. The meeting, which we hope was the first in a series, was only possible following the withdrawal of the UAE’s appeal against the suspension.”

The FEI made it clear to the UAE delegation that only the FEI Bureau can lift the suspension and confirmed that the suspension will remain in force until the Bureau has agreed that all necessary processes have been put in place by the UAE National Federation to ensure horse welfare at all times and that FEI Rules and Regulations will be fully implemented and enforced.

Prior to the meeting, FEI President Ingmar De Vos had welcomed to FEI Headquarters Mohammad Al Kamali, Secretary General of the UAE National Olympic Committee, who had accompanied the UAE National Federation representatives to Lausanne. Neither Mr De Vos nor Mr Al Kamali attended today’s meeting.

Monday, May 25, 2015

UAE withdraws appeal against equestrian suspension - Full Article

By David Owen
Monday, 25 May 2015

Taleb Al Muhairi, secretary general of the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), is to meet International Equestrian Federation (FEI) officials in Lausanne on Tuesday (May 26), amid signs that efforts to persuade the FEI that it can justifiably lift a suspension imposed in March are getting under way.

The EEF has now launched a new committee to oversee a review into endurance racing - the discipline that aroused the FEI’s concerns - in the United Arab Emirates.

The Endurance Committee, which is to be under direct observation of the UAE’s National Olympic Committee, will seek to work closely with the FEI to “ensure that the world governing body’s rules and regulations are applied in all endurance races in the UAE”.

The UAE was suspended from the FEI in March following an investigation into “major horse welfare issues” and allegedly faked results in endurance events.

The governing body’s Bureau, chaired by FEI President Ingmar De Vos, ruled that the EEF “may not attend or be represented at any session or meeting of any body of the FEI, may not organise any international events, and its members cannot participate in any international events”, although UAE athletes from disciplines other than endurance would be permitted to compete under the FEI flag in international competitions organised outside the country.

In notably conciliatory remarks coinciding with the announcement of the new committee, Al Muhairi said: “As the governing body of equestrian sports in the UAE, it is our goal to pursue excellence while promoting the growth of the sport and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes...

Read more here:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Great Britain: Brighter future for Golden Horseshoe: H&H team survive the challenge - Full Article

Horse & Hound
23 May, 2015

A Horse & Hound team has completed the Golden Horseshoe and came third behind stiff competition.

Showing, vet and point-to-point editor Aimi Clark, designer Emily Secrett, news writer/digital sub editor Rachael Hook and dressage/print sub editor Polly Bryan took on the 23km pleasure ride at the 50th anniversary event last weekend (17-19 May).

Their team section was won by the Golden Oldies, experienced endurance riders Liz Finney, Sally Hall, Marie Maclean-Foreman and Jane James, who finished with a score of 127.58.

“We all absolutely loved the experience, the ride was beautiful and everyone was so welcoming,” said H&H team member Rachael Hook.

“Our team has little endurance experience and it was far more challenging than we anticipated, but it was a brilliant introduction to the sport...”


Friday, May 22, 2015

50th Tom Quilty and Jenna Towner: "I'm the luckiest person alive"

May 22 2015
by Merri

It's been called "the world's biggest horse endurance ride," and that may well be true, with 380 horses and riders on the start list for Australia's 50th anniversary of the Tom Quilty Gold Cup on June 6-7 in Hawkesbury, New South Wales.

It's the Australian equivalent of America's Tevis Cup: 100 miles in one day, the premiere ride that almost all endurance riders aspire to at some point in their endurance lives. The idea of the Quilty was started by Queenslander RM Williams in 1966, then editor of Hoof and Horns magazine, after hearing and printing stories about the Tevis Cup in California. RM asked his friend Tom Quilty, "a great horseman and cattleman" for help; Quilty donated $1000, which was used to make a gold cup, which became the perpetual trophy for the ride.

Of the nine riders from the USA scheduled to start in this year's Tom Quilty, it just might be Californian Jenna Towner who is the most excited. She signed up for the Quilty before she was even qualified to ride it.

"I'm 42 and just started riding Endurance two years ago," Jenna says. "I rode Hunter/Jumpers my whole life, but after incurring several injuries in Baghdad, I just couldn't afford to get thrown off a horse. Still, I longed for the woods - and since I could no longer go hiking with my dog (my favorite thing ever), this sport called to me with enormous vigor.  I feel sincerely grateful every day that I found this sport . . . even if it took me 40 years."

With her own horse PR Toronto rehabbing from an injury, Jenna's good friend Kristen Vaught loaned her horse Sammies Ace to Jenna for the Twenty Mule Team 100 in February, for Jenna's first 100-mile ride. With the pair finishing the 100-mile ride, Jenna was qualified to start in the Quilty.

Jenna will ride the 11-year-old Anglo Arabian mare Monkhani Lodge Noble's Locket, owned by Emma Holland of Roswick Endurance in Victoria. Roswick Endurance and Performance horses breed, train, and compete Arabians in endurance, racing, dressage, show, and pleasure. The mare recently completed the Derghorn 160-km ride in November of 2014.

Traveling to Australia for this momentous event, Jenna is combining her travel bug with her love of endurance. She is most looking forward to the starting line. "At midnight, mounted upon a strange horse in a strange land, staring down a crowd of over 400 excited horses . . . that moment before it all begins is when my mind is most quiet and I realize 'Damn, I'm the luckiest person alive'.  

"For me, it's always about the starting line. Finishing is a grand and amazing bonus - but sometimes we lose sight of the struggle it took to just show up."

The Quilty will stream live - bookmark this link:

For more stories, photos, adventures and results, see

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dutch endurance coach departs in midst of fake permit allegations - Full Article

Pippa Cuckson
21 May, 2015

The Dutch equestrian federation has sacked its successful endurance coach Emile Docquier in the midst of allegations of fraud over a permit issued to UAE-based Pakistani endurance trainer Anzaq Mehmood.

The federation says it has parted company with Docquier due to “difference of opinion.” However, their decision came just days after it emerged that the permit, allegedly issued by the Pakistan federation, accompanied entries for a national ride at Schilde, Belgium sent in by Docquier’s office.

Dutch endurance enjoyed a boost last year after collaborating with Mehmood, who trains for the Al Qasimi family in Dubai. Mehmood – who has spent time in the UK, at King’s Forest – prepared Laiza de Jalima, with whom Marijke Visser won individual silver at WEG...


Golden times at last ever Golden Horseshoe - Full Article

By Western Morning News | Posted: May 20, 2015

By Liz Parks

A few seconds into our first ever attempt at the Golden Horseshoe pleasure ride it became clear that my cob, Percy, was having the time of his life.

My normally steady and sensible chap could see some other riders cantering over the hill and he decided that he really, really wanted to follow them.

There followed a few minutes where I saw a different side of him – in his own mind, despite the reality of being a middle aged, chunky chap, he was an elite athlete who wanted to go, go go.

But with the brakes feeling more than a bit dodgy and a long, steep, stony descent rapidly approaching I decided I wasn’t taking any chances so, within five minutes of starting, I had hopped off and we walked down the track feeling more than a little foolish.

Half way down, we were passed by two more riders, Judith and Caroline, who kindly said ‘yes’ when I asked if I could tag along with them.

So, having remounted, we started the 23km route again. And, what a route it is! Miles and miles of moorland tracks taking you up jaw-droppingly steep climbs with the reward of panoramic views of the moor at the top...

Read more:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Great Britain: 50th Golden Horseshoe endurance ride on Exmoor - Article and Pictures

By WMNJBayley | Posted: May 18, 2015

Riders from as far afield as Hong Kong tackled moorland terrain, steep hills and rivers to as part of one of the Golden Horseshoe endurance ride.

Following months of training, horse riders have put their stamina to the ultimate test by taking part in the infamous Golden Horseshoe endurance ride.

Over 200 competitors spent the weekend navigating Exmoor’s rich landscape of rolling hills valleys and water crossings, with routes varying in length from 15 to 100 miles.

Entrants from across the South West and as far afield as Scotland, Ireland and Hong Kong travelled to Exford for the 50th and possibly the last Golden Horseshoe ride, unless new organisers are found to take over from the retiring committee...

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Great Britain: Nasser bin Hamad wins Windsor Endurance Race - Full Article


London, May 15 (BNA): Following the leadership of His Majesty the King’s Representative for Charity and Youth Affairs, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports Chairman, Bahrain Olympic Committee President and Bahrain Royal Endurance Team Captain HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain Royal Endurance Team won the first three places in the endurance race of the 73rd Royal Windsor Horse Show, held in the United Kingdom today.

HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa won first place for the second year in a row. Team members Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and Raed Mahmood won the second and third places respectively.

More than fifty riders took part in the race, representing England, Honk Kong, Holland, Oman, Poland, South Africa, Argentina, Spain and France...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Arabian stud celebrates 50 years with open day - Full Article

By Western Daily Press | Posted: May 16, 2015
by Jeff Wells

A breeder of Arabian horses is celebrating 50 years in the business this weekend, opening his stud's gates so the public can see some of the famous bloodlines.

Michael Harris' family have been at Combe Farm, near Honiton, Devon for 70 years and in that time the horses have been named world champions and Newmarket record holders...

Read more:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Great Britain: Globally-renowned Golden Horseshoe ride set for return to moor - Full Article

By Western Morning News | Posted: May 14, 2015

The 50th – and possibly – last ever Golden Horseshoe endurance ride is taking place on Exmoor this weekend with most classes full as riders seize what may be their last chance to take part.

The ride will see around 200 riders and horses following routes varying in length from 100 to 15 miles over the moor’s rolling hills and valleys.

Two entrants are travelling from Hong Kong to take part with other riders due to arrive from Scotland and Ireland...

Read more:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Great Britain: H&H Golden Horseshoe team blog: stunning views and aching legs - Full Article

Horse & Hound
13 May, 2015

With just days to go until the Horse & Hound team tackle the Golden Horseshoe, team members Polly Bryan and Rachael Hook update us on their training

Polly: minor acrobatics and protesting thighs

With the 25km Golden Horseshoe ride looming, and having not sat on a horse since going hunting on New Year’s Day, I got in some match practice by heading to Somerset to ride my potential mount for the event.

Sunny, a buzzy 16.3hh ex-pointer, isn’t the usual type of horse you would imagine taking part in an endurance event, but I’m sure he will prove an excellent partner. He has been very kindly lent to me by Jess Baker.

Fellow H&H team member Emily Secrett and I were lucky enough to have beautiful weather as we set off onto Exmoor.

For the first half of the ride, my attention was more focused on the car rally that was taking place in the area — all four of us were acutely aware of the ominous sound of rally cars in the distance.

Thankfully, after being chased up a hill by one such rally car, and Sunny displaying some minor acrobatics, we were into the peace and quiet of the moor.

As we climbed, assessing Sunny and Sox’s suitability for gate opening (Sox – very, Sunny – not so much), the views of the sea and surrounding countryside began to open up — it was really stunning...


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UAE suspension: What we know so far - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | May 12, 2015

The sun is shining and the temperature climbs to around 40 degrees Celsius across the United Arab Emirates at this time of the year.

It is safe to assume that the air conditioning in the Abu Dhabi headquarters of the Emirates Equestrian Federation is set to a much more comfortable level.

Despite that, we are led to believe the federation is still feeling the heat over its interim suspension by the FEI over concerns in the discipline of endurance...

Read more:

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Great Britain: Final preparations under-way for equestrian extravaganza at Windsor - Full Article

10 May 2015

FINAL preparations are being made for one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the country with more than 50,000 visitors expected to descend on Windsor.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show (RWHS) - the UK’s largest outdoor equestrian show, held in the private grounds of Windsor Castle - returns on Wednesday (13/5) promising a five-day equine extravaganza of showjumping, dressage, showing, carriage driving and endurance riding.

Top quality riding is promised with a selection of 3* international jumping and dressage and 1* international jumping classes and appearances by Olympians Ben Maher, Peter Charles, Nick Skelton and Carl Hester who will be hoping for some home advantage.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Royal Windsor Horse Show Director, said: “We are delighted to see some of the world’s best riders returning to Royal Windsor Horse Show this year. We strive to make the show as enjoyable as possible for competitors and it is great to see that it maintains its popularity among all four disciplines across the five action-packed days.”

Mr Maher said: “It’s great to be back at Royal Windsor and competing on home soil. It’s not often that I get to ride in front of a home crowd and it’s such a magical show set in an iconic venue – I can’t wait!”

Mr Hester will also be giving a dressage masterclass on the Friday evening of the show.

There will also be top class equestrian entertainment including The Musical Drive of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, The DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National.

For a third year, the Royal Windsor Endurance (CEI2*) is being held in Windsor Great Park with riders from nine nations covering 120km from 7am on the Friday of the show. The event is free to watch...

- See more at:

Getting Away With it is Part of the Fun - Full Article

Cuckson Report | May 8, 2015

It’s been interesting to read reaction on social media to the FEI’s suspension of the UAE, posted by disparate (and maybe desperate) parties around the world who make their living selling endurance horses to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It is strongly rumoured that if the suspension drags on, the UAE will simply set up an independent regulatory body to organise its favoured style of racing-speed, high attrition endurance. By all accounts, their public disgrace has not hindered the UAE’s current buying spree in Europe.

My first, admittedly facetious, reaction was: why bother with the farrago of creating a new governing body? Just as easy to pick a piste and charge off, mob-handed, cobbling up a results sheet later just in case anyone wanted one, as is already a well-honed practice in those parts?

But then I realised that the UAE actually like a semblance of rules. Half the fun is in breaking the rules, and seeing just how much they can get away with. They just can’t help themselves – so much so that one rider has triggered a brand-new scandal even while grounded...

Read more here:

Friday, May 08, 2015

2018 WEG Bromont Update - Full Article

May 7, 2015
by: COJEM2018

The organizing committee for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ (COJEM2018) has released an update on the current progress and most recent developments in their plans for the Bromont Games.
Who is COJEM?

Establishing a non-profit organization (NPO) is often a difficult task, especially in relation to financing. A small team of nine professionals having different skill sets has been working for over six months to find solutions and to raise the funds required to continue building a strong team which will make Bromont 2018 a success.

COJEM2018 (Comité Organisateur des Jeux Équestres Mondiaux) consists of the following members:
• Paul Côté, Executive Director
• Fanny Beaudry Campeau, Technical Assistant
• Yvon Carrier, Planning and Logistics Director
• Roger Deslauriers, Sports and Amenities Director
• Denise Doiron, Procurement Manager
• Mike Gallagher, National Federations Relations Manager, Liaison Officer for FEI
• Kristel Glockner, Liaison Office Director
• Hugues Laliberté, Finance and Administration Director
• Guillaume Béland, Marketing Manager, Member of DB Consortium
Planning and Logistics Management

Project Management Office – PMO
COJEM2018 has submitted a Request for Proposal quote on Merx for the setup of a project office for the planning and management of its activities.

Many actions have been undertaken to identify the needs and priorities during the Games. Mike Gallagher has also surveyed various national federations. COJEM2018 has had meetings with the Tourism Offices of Montreal, the Eastern Townships and some hotels in the area. Bromont is in a beautiful rural setting but is not surrounded by large hotels. In cooperation with the Tourism Offices, our plan is to insure that all Team members are housed within 30 minutes of the venue. It is expected that most spectators will book hotels in the City of Montreal and that a transportation system will be arranged. We will be working with a DMC (Destination Management Consultant) who has experience in organizing world events. This should be finalized by the end of June. Some procedures will be communicated at a later date. If National Federations have assigned a representative to organize their accommodation, please fill in this form.

The Bromont Venue will not have any vehicles allowed on the site during the Games (with the exception of Team vehicles and essential services). All parking will be 5 to 15 minutes away from the site with regular shuttle buses operating at all times. COJEM has reached out to the AMT (Agence Métropolitaine de Transport) for their expertise in planning passenger transportation. Transportation will indeed be a key issue for the 2018 Games. We have also started discussions with School Boards that have large bus fleets to be used as shuttles during the Games since Back-to-School only starts the week after the end of the event.

With the assistance of an independent security specialist, COJEM2018 will soon issue a Request for Proposal for the selection of a private security company. Meetings with the local police force have taken place; to be followed by meetings with provincial and federal police forces. The security plan will be tested and approved in 2017; adjustments will be made as needed.
Sports and Amenities

Some changes will need to be made to the current site in order to upgrade the existing facilities. The construction of an indoor arena to host the Reining and Vaulting competitions should start shortly since we have now received the green light from the City of Bromont. The WEG2018 site will be expanded from the current site to include facilities on both sides of the Gaspe Street. Many projects are expected to commence shortly including construction of 8 outdoor arenas on the site of the Equestrian Park near Lac Gale Road; construction of 4 arenas for para-dressage and driving on the site located on the other side of Gaspé street, construction of 3 permanent stables on the Equestrian Park site.

Concurrently, many other undertakings are being carried out: Endurance course design, construction plans for the veterinary clinic on the Equestrian Park site, improvement to the buildings of the current FEI stable, sanitation plans. Tim Hadaway (FEI Games & Championship Director) visited the site last fall and has offered some valuable site layout suggestions. Tim will return in May and several meetings are planned to discuss infrastructures, planning and protocol...

See more here:

UAE fails in bid to have FEI suspension stayed - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | May 8, 2015

The interim suspension of the United Arab Emirates from the FEI over welfare concerns in endurance was putting all equestrian sport in the country in danger, the FEI Tribunal has been told.

The assertion was made during a hearing in which the Emirates Equestrian Federation sought to have its interim suspension set aside pending the outcome of its appeal.

The three-man panel, chaired by Henrik Arle, of Finland, dismissed the request...

Read more:

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Netherlands: KNHS ends collaboration with endurance Chef d'Equipe Emile Docquier

By Albertine Nannings May 7, 2015

The KNHS reported Thursday in a press release they will immediately stop collaboration with endurance coach Emile Docquier because of a difference of opinion.

Since early 2011, Emile Docquier has been involved in KNHS as the coach in endurance. Under his leadership Marijke Visser won silver at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The KNHS is looking for a new chef.
The results of a previously started internal independent investigation by the KNHS are within the endurance sport but apart from the above decision. The results of this investigation are expected to be presented next week, reports the KNHS in its press release.

The dismissal of Docquier follows the publication of photos of Docquier in which he was wearing a coat of Abu Dhabi , the capital of the suspended UAE, and assisting the also suspended rider Anzaq Mehmood in an endurance race in Schilde, Belgium. Even though Mehmood participated hors concours, Docquier received much criticism for it.

[Dutch translation by google]

The Future of FEI Endurance

May 7 2015

The future of FEI Endurance racing was discussed at April's FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Statistics were presented at the endurance session, showing correlations between injuries for event levels and speed of horses at WEG and World Championship events. As one might expect, the higher the level of competition (i.e., CEI1* vs CEI2* vs CEI3*), the higher the injury rate, in numbers and percentages; and as the speed of WEC and WEG horses increased over the years from 1986 to 2014, horse completion rates decreased at roughly the same rate.

An alternate format for the next World Equestrian Games Endurance event was proposed: from a 160 km 1-day format to a 2-day, 100km per day race with a Grand Prix finish (first across the finish line wins, and other finishers must finish within 20% of the winning time), and a next-day mounted Best Condition competition.

Thought is that the format change will provide more strategic and technical competition, rather than all-out racing for 160-km, and that the overnight rest period will benefit horses. Another motivating factor for change is to make the endurance event more spectator friendly, make it easier on organizers to map a shorter course closer to the WEG venue, and increase revenue for the Organizing Committee.

The full document can be reviewed here:

FEI Tribunal dismisses UAE request to lift suspension

7 May 2015

The FEI Tribunal has dismissed a request from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation for an interim lifting of its suspension from the FEI. The Tribunal’s decision means that the suspension remains in force pending the final outcome of the formal appeal by the UAE National Federation against the suspension.

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.

The request for interim relief prior to a full hearing was considered by a three-member FEI Tribunal panel made up of Henrik Arle (FIN), who chaired the panel, Erik Elstad (NOR) and Pierre Ketterer (FRA). The full merits of the case will be heard by the same Tribunal panel at a later date.

In its decision, which has been published on the FEI website today, the FEI Tribunal stated that it had “taken note of the FEI’s argument that the FEI Bureau Decision had been taken primarily on horse welfare grounds, due to consistent rule breaching by the Appellant, the effects of which was jeopardising horse welfare . . . The Tribunal therefore finds that the Appellant’s interest in having the suspension lifted does not outweigh the FEI’s interest in protecting horse welfare.”

The FEI Tribunal also ruled that the FEI Headquarters should continue to issue passports for non-Endurance horses from the UAE. This followed a request from the UAE National Federation to be allowed to issue horse passports for non-Endurance horses.

Canadian equine leader up for Equine Industry Vision Award - Full Article

Jackie Bellamy | May 7, 2015

Equine Guelph director Gayle Ecker is among four finalists for the prestigious Equine Industry Vision Award for 2015.

A record 25 nominees were made for the award, which recognises innovation, leadership and service in North America.

The winner of the Equine Industry Vision Award, sponsored by Zoetis, will be announced on June 19. The trophy, created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine, will be presented at the American Horse Publication Tally-Ho at the Alamo Seminar in San Antonio, Texas.

“To be selected as one of the four top finalists for this prestigious award is truly an honour,” Ecker said. “Many thanks go out to our sponsors, partners, donors and supporters that make it possible for Equine Guelph to promote horse health and welfare through our education programs...”

Read more here:

Australia: Second annual Homewood Endurance Ride - Full Article

May 7 2015

THE quaint town of Killabakh saw the return of the Homewood Endurance Ride held over the Easter long weekend.

Since the ride's debut on the Anzac weekend in 2014, word had spread of the incredibly scenic property and parks and hospitality of the Kiwarrak Club and Colefax and Homewood families, attracting riders from as far as Sydney, Coffs Harbour and Sunshine Coast to name a few, with some campers arriving as early as Wednesday.

Float after float arrived with more than 150 people descending on Homewood Farm, inclusive of 104 riders with strappers and family in tow. Unfortunately, the stormy weather also flooded in and settled for the duration of the event, bogging up the ground and causing entire ride paths to be re-marked last minute...

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Great Britain: Engaged Lincoln couple risk horrific saddle sores like this in the world's toughest horse race - Full Article

By CJHall_LE | Posted: May 03, 2015

Experienced horsewoman Sarah Cooksey has persuaded her fiance Daniel Reeds to compete in the world's toughest horse race.

But novice Daniel would be forgiven for being hesitant about the 1,000-kilometre Mongol Derby - because he'll be riding a succession of semi-wild horses and risking serious injury.

The couple, who are engaged and live on Drury Lane in uphill Lincoln, also run the massive risk of horrific saddle sores which could severely hamper their chances of winning the event due to take place in August.

"It's in the Guinness Book of Records for being the world's longest horse race; travelling across 620 miles of Mongolian steppe," said Daniel, 34, who runs New Chapter Marketing and PR based in the city...

Read more:

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Great Britain: Horse & Hound team to take part in Golden Horseshoe - Full Article

Amy Mathieson
5 May, 2015

A Horse & Hound team will be taking part in the Golden Horseshoe this year — in which is likely to be the final time the ride takes place.

The 2015 Golden Horseshoe (17-19 May) will be the 50th incarnation of the ride, but is likely to be the last on Exmoor as no one has stepped in to take over from the retiring organiser.

Ride organiser Barbara Wigley, 67, has been involved in the ride for more than 30 years and running it since 2007, but is stopping this year. The rest of her six-strong committee have said they are also giving up.

Showing, vet and point-to-point editor Aimi Clark, designer Emily Secrett, digital sub editor Rachael Hook and print sub editor Polly Bryan will be taking on the 23km pleasure ride challenge on Sunday 19 May.

Aimi will be riding her sister’s eventer, while the other three will be competing on borrowed horses.

“I’ve lived in Devon since I was 10 and always thought I should give the Golden Horseshoe a go, as it’s such a big deal and so close to home, but never have,” said Aimi...


Sunday, May 03, 2015

World Champion Maria Alvarez Wins Spanish Championship

May 2 2015

Maria Alvarez Ponton, double World Endurance Champion (Malaysia 2008, Kentucky 2010), and double European Champion (Assisi 2009, Florac 2011) (all aboard Nobby), won the 2015 Spanish Endurance Championship in Bascara, Spain on Saturday, aboard Tarathata. Final time was 8:04.15.

Alex Luque finish second aboard Arai Polvorillo, coming in 16 seconds behind the winner. Cristina Yebra finished third, riding Girola de Quercus.

Ponton and Tarathata averaged 19.33 km/h over the course. 11 riders out of 32 starters completed the course.

For complete results, see:

Saturday, May 02, 2015

France: Goachet Wins Rambouillet

On May 1 2015, in Rambouillet, France, Julien Goachet won the 160 km Rambouillet ride aboard Poly de Coat Frity, by just 4 seconds over second lace Gregoire Tilquin, riding Nafa de Bozouls. Riding time for the winner was 8:24.59.

Jean Philippe Frances finished third riding Tarzibus in 8:28.19.

15 riders completed the race out of 32 starters.

Complete results can be seen here:

Friday, May 01, 2015

'Quilty' returns to Hawkesbury for 50th - Full Article

29 Apr, 2015

THE world's biggest horse endurance ride has already attracted more than 450 nominations from around the world as riders prepare to mount up at midnight on June 5 to compete in the 50th Tom Quilty Gold Cup.

The 160-kilometre event is held annually over different courses around Australia, but returns to its origins in the Hawkesbury Valley north west of Sydney this year.

Riders and their horses from across Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa will start at Webbs Creek on the Hawkesbury River in a tribute to the popularity of the event and it first 26 starters in 1966...

Read more here:

American Endurance Ride Conference Maintains Support for FEI Position in UAE Suspension

AUBURN, California – April 30, 2015 – In March 2015, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Board of Directors formally requested that the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) remove the 2016 World Endurance Championship from Dubai to another venue or cancel the event altogether. The AERC also issued a statement of support when the FEI provisionally suspended the UAE National Federation on March 12, 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.
This week the AERC learned that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Federation has lodged a formal appeal to the FEI Tribunal against its provisional suspension from the FEI after a formal request to lift the suspension by the UAE was denied by the FEI Bureau.  In a statement FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender expressed disappointment that the UAE has chosen to lodge a formal appeal and pursue this matter legally.
AERC President Michael Campbell today reiterated the organization’s support of the FEI Secretary General, and joined her in expressing disappointment in the UAE by stating: “Our hope was that the suspension would encourage reflection and action from the UAE in the form of a change in behavior.  It is unfortunate that the UAE has taken legal action instead,” Campbell continued.  “We stand behind the FEI and believe that the sanctions are justified and necessary to ensure that horse welfare and fair play are restored to endurance competition in the UAE.”

About the AERC
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.
The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at

Media Contact:
Candace FitzGerald

Dobbin Group


Australia: Tribute for Ron Males 1931-2024 Ronald Philip OAM “Ron” Aged 92 years 18/10/1931 – 3/6/2024 Passed away peacefully at home. Nothing could probably better...