Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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

Neil Clarkson | 28 October 2015

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

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

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

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

Read more:

Australia: Hudson wins Red Range CEI3*


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bahrain steals the show at FEI World Endurance Championships in Chile

26 Oct 2015

Full Results

by Berry Pattison

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

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

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

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

Spectacle of sportsmanship

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

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

Individual gold

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

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

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

Silver and bronze

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

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

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

Inspirational experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 25, 2015

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

Mary Cathryn Clark and Questafir | Photo Copyright Becky Pearman Photography

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 22, 2015

France: The end of "Raid Yvelines"?

October 16 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HORSE ENDURO - Rambouillet
Association for the promotion of endurance riding

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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

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

Published: 17:20 October 21, 2015
Staff Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

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

Cuckson Report | October 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here:

Peru: Lodge to Lodge Ride

Peru anyone?

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

From Suzy:

I just got back from the Galapagos and Peru.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email me if you are interested!

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

slide show here:

or link to gallery:

Great Britain: Dartmoor Derby Hailed as a Triumph

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

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

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

Here’s what our pilot riders said about it:

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

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

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

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

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

Price points vary from:

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

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

See more photos from the ride here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Malaysia: Riding to the top - Full Article


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

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

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

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

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

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

Read More :

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

By Matt Sherrington
Oct. 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here:

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Australia's Alwyn Torenbeek - Gone but not Forgotten

by Paul Sidio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 Oct 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Great Britain: Success at Royalties

13 October 2015

Endurance GB's newest FEI ride was welcomed by riders at Royalties on Sunday 10th October as part of the end of season 3day event.

The FEI 1* ride attracted 11 entries of experienced and new riders. The going was good, the weather was good and all seemed to enjoy the day. The course however did pose some challenges and so congratulations to the successful finishers and commiserations to those whose day did not go to plan!

The results were:

1st Richard Allen
2nd Tricia Hirst
3rd Charlotte Strang
4th Bella Fricker

Congratulations also to Daisy Strang, winner of the 3day 170km CER class - a great end to the season.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Australia: State endurance riding championships held at Glen William - Full Article

October 13 2015

Over the October long weekend the NSW Endurance Riding State Championships were held at Glen William.

Lyn and Leo Dillon’s Banfield property was the venue for the prestigious event which was hosted by the Zone 6 Endurance riding committee.

Competitors from as far away as Tasmania and North Queensland travelled to the Dungog Shire for the event.

The ride base was set on the banks of the Williams River with recent rain providing a lush setting. Interstate riders started arriving from the Wednesday onwards with local businesses reporting a steady stream of riders coming through...

Read more here:

Australia: Local author dies in freak farm accident - Full Article

Madeline McDonald | 12th Oct 2015

IT WAS a freak accident on a neighbour's Canoona property that tragically took the life of local author and former Australian bronc-riding champion Alwyn Torenbeek on Friday morning.

Authorities confirmed the 78-year-old was a passenger in a farm vehicle that was involved in an accident at 11.30am on the Wattlebank Rd property, north of Rockhampton.

As those who knew Alwyn would know, he was a hard-working character who never let his age stop him from helping out on the farm.

Alwyn died while helping his son and their neighbour on their neighbour's property.

When Alwyn hopped into the four-wheel-drive farm buggy, he tried to move over to the passenger side of the vehicle but accidentally pushed his foot down on the accelerator without noticing.

Tragically, Alwyn drove the buggy into a post despite efforts of trying to direct the vehicle.

The bush legend was known in his early days as a champion in the rodeo ring, having won the Australian bronc-riding title at just 21.

He was a triple Hall of Fame winner as an inductee in the Stockman's, Equine and Rodeo halls of fame and was one of the oldest competitors of endurance equestrian rides in the country.

More recently Alwyn was known for his book, Life in the Saddle, which was published in 2013 and featured on ABC's national TV program Landline.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Endurance horse rider helped defeat England with her Wales equestrian team while battling breast cancer - Full Article

9 OCT 2015

Nicola Smith, 50, put off her latest round of chemotherapy to help Wales win a national riding competition.

She put off chemotherapy to represent her country - now Nicola Smith is celebrating an extraordinary sporting victory - despite battling breast cancer.

The 50-year-old equestrian is part of a Welsh riding team which scooped top prize at the recent Red Dragon Festival of Endurance.

The event at Builth Wells attracts some of the country’s most skilled riders, but it was the Welsh Endurance Team who came out on top, winning the 2015 Home International...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Ingmar Da Boss: His first 10 months at the helm of the FEI - Full Article

Neil Clarkson | 7 October 2015

Shortly after the election of FEI President Ingmar De Vos, a wag cheekily suggested I should ask him what it’s like to be the world’s most famous Belgian.

Come on, I replied, the world is full of famous Belgians.

Admittedly, names didn’t immediately spring to mind.

If only a website were devoted to such a worthy subject. As it happens, there is!

I surfed on over to, where an exhaustive account of Belgium’s best and brightest can be found, along with a gentle front-page chiding for those who believe the world lacks famous Belgians.

Naturally, I made my way to the list entitled “The current Top 10 famous Belgians”, to find no sign of De Vos. A mistake, surely?...

Read more:

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Great Britain: The Dartmoor Derby: Sheer heaven - Full Article

Polly Portwin
5 October, 2015

Camping with your horse at the end of September might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect way to spend a weekend, but Dartmoor has long held a special place in my heart, so simply hearing the words “Dartmoor Derby” immediately made me prick my ears.

With fond memories of family holidays that always seemed to involve a stop by the River Dart and more recent hunting trips on the moor with our own horses, this magical area intrigues me. For that reason there was no doubt the Dartmoor Derby was an event I wanted to learn more about so it was great to get involved in the pilot weekend.

The brainchild of Elaine Prior — founder of the Dartmoor-based riding holiday company Liberty Trails — the event was loosely inspired by Elaine’s experience of African riding safaris which she combined with visions of the Mongol Derby. Having not experienced either of these first-hand, I was able to take a fresh look at the whole concept and to enjoy it rather than making comparisons in my head.

The brief was that we would be riding approximately 25 miles per day on two consecutive days with an overnight luxury camping trip, with hotel stays the night before and the night after the ride...


Monday, October 05, 2015

FEI President Pushes 'Clean Sport' Message

By Edited Press Release
Sep 1, 2015

Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) President Ingmar De Vos has sent a strong message to the equestrian world on the importance of the FEI Clean Sport campaign in the countdown to the rollout of the FEI’s global Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Program (EADCMP) on Jan. 1, 2016.

The FEI headquarters currently coordinates administration of the EADCMP in FEI Regional Groups I and II (Europe), while administration of the program in the rest of the world has been undertaken through national anti-doping programs or national federations. In January the FEI headquarters will take over administration of the program worldwide.

In advance of the implementation of the worldwide EADCMP, the FEI will upscale its awareness and education campaign amongst national federations, athletes, and their entourages in order to prevent inadvertent positives.

“It is vital for the integrity of all sport that it is clean and fair, but it is even more important when there is an animal involved because of the welfare implications”, De Vos said. “The FEI has a stringent anti-doping policy in place to protect horse welfare and maintain a level playing field. Horse welfare and fair play have always been and always will be two of the central pillars of the FEI.

“We have close to 4,000 international events on the FEI calendar now and, as the international governing body, it is our responsibility to safeguard our athletes and the sport itself, and part of that is protecting our clean athletes,” he continued. “We have a rigorous testing policy and the FEI prohibited substances list contains over 1,000 substances, so it is crucial that our athletes and their vets are aware of what they are giving their horses.

“Of course our horses have to be treated if they are injured or sick, but anything given to the horse must have been eliminated from the body of the horse by the time of competition so that we can maintain the integrity of our sport. Boosting awareness and education is key. Keep it clean is the message.”

De Vos’ statement comes following news that the FEI has imposed provisional suspensions on two athletes whose horses have tested positive for prohibited substances.

Samples taken at a CEI1* 80km endurance event at Miramas, in France, on May 3 from the horse Buenaventura, ridden by Candice Pilloni (FRA), returned positive for the banned substance oxycodone (an opioid analgesic) and the controlled medication substance lidocaine and its metabolite 3-hydroxylidocaine (a local anaesthetic).

Further, samples taken at the North American Juniors and Young Riders Championships in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 16 and 18 from the horse Why Not, ridden by Sophie Simpson (USA) in jumping, returned positive for the banned substance capsaicin, a topical analgesic or irritant.

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from the day of notification (Aug. 31). Additionally, the two horses have been provisionally suspended for two months. The athletes and the horse owners have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before the FEI Tribunal to request the lifting of the provisional suspensions.

Basingstoke horse rider Annabelle Lyndon picked for England - Full Article

Graham Merry, Sports Reporter / Sunday 4 October 2015

KEMPSHOTT endurance horse rider Annabelle Lyndon has been selected to ride for England in a home international competition in the Welsh mountains.

The 12-year-old was selected after winning the junior intermediate endurance ride at the National Pony Club Championships on her 19-year-old piebald mare Lacey.

The Basingstoke-born rider started endurance riding with the Hampshire Hunt Pony Club and qualified for the pony club championships in 2012...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Cheryl Van Deusen Dominates FEI Standings

October 4 2015

USA's Cheryl Van Deusen ranks first on the FEI Open World Ranking as of 31/08/2015, with 967 points. Czech Republic's Tereza Kopecka is second, and Great Britain's Nicola Thorne third.

Van Deusen is twice in the Top Ten of the FEI Open Combination World Ranking. She's third with Hoover the Mover, and 7th with Snake Eyes Leroy. Cameron Holzer is also in the Top Ten, ranking 5th with Kong.

Both of Van Deusen's horses hold the top two spots in the FEI Open Horse World Ranking, with Snake Eyes Leroy in first, and Hoover the Mover in second.

In the FEI Young Riders World Ranking, USA's Kelsey Russell is in first place with 632 points. USA's Hanna Weightman is third with 582 points.

Four USA riders top the FEI Young Riders Combination World Endurance Ranking, with Hanna Weightman and Syrocco Rabia in first, Annie Whelan and RF Priceless in second, Kelsey Russell and My Wild Irish Gold in third, and Ragan Kelly and Colin for Gold in fourth. Maria Muzzio is eighth with Laconic, and Kelsey Russel and Genuwine Gold rank ninth.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Great Britain: 2016 Dartmoor Derby

“It really is the most wonderful riding you can imagine”
Eventer Mary King MBE, Olympic silver medallist

Following its successful Pilot Event in September 2015, the 2016 Dartmoor Derby is now taking bookings.

This uniquely formatted event is inspired both by the international success of the famously rough, rugged and breathtaking annual challenge across the Steppes, the Mongol Derby, and the enduring appeal of chic African riding safaris.

The Dartmoor Derby combines the best of both. It’s an opportunity to navigate a carefully planned, three- to six-day ride around countryside that sent even Steven Spielberg weak at the knees. Through the course of it you may camp in a selection of specially constructed comfortable moorland camps purpose-built for the event, spend nights in luxury hotels, and enjoy fantastic, locally-sourced food.

Riders — limited to a maximum of 100, riding in small teams of four to six — are invited to bring their own horse for the Derby, or may hire a fit horse with plentiful experience of Dartmoor terrain through the organisers.

The Dartmoor Derby is a luxury riding challenge, and while participants will need to be established and fit riders, confident at every pace, this is not a race and there is no need to jump.

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

The 2016 Dartmoor Derby takes place on either the second or third weekend of September (from the 8th or 15th September) with the precise date to be confirmed very shortly.

Please register HERE to find out more, email or call (+44) 07967 823674

Dartmoor Derby
At a glance

The Dartmoor Derby Ambassadors are eventers Mary King MBE, Lucy Wiegersma, and actor and British Horse Society President Martin Clunes OBE

Places will be limited to 100 riders, travelling in teams of four to six

Riders are invited to bring their own horse, or can be matched with a fit mount, with wide experience of Dartmoor’s terrain, by the organisers

Riders to choose which blend of hotel and glamping accommodation best suits their needs

Locally sourced food and suppliers are used wherever possible. This is a proudly West Country event

A number of specially constructed, and immensely comfortable, camps and horse stations will be built for the event. Each camp will have a different theme (Mongolian, African etc)

The event will run either over the second or third weekend of September 2016 (precise date to be confirmed and shared here very shortly)

Keep up to date with our news by following us on Facebook and on Twitter @DartmoorDerby

Horses will stay in specially constructed horse stations close to each safari camp at the end of each day

To be part of this special event, apply by clicking HERE. Or call us on (+44) 07967 823674

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Uruguayan Endurance horse tests positive to prohibited substance

1 Oct 2015

The FEI has imposed a provisional suspension on a Uruguayan Endurance rider whose horse has tested positive for a prohibited substance.

Samples taken at a CEI2* event in Trinidad (URU) on 8 August 2015 from the horse LG Muneerah (FEI ID 104TQ89/URU), ridden by Fernanda Villar (URU) to win the 120-kilometre competition, have returned positive for the banned substance Guanabenz, a sedative with analgesic effect.

The athlete has been provisionally suspended from the day of notification (29 September 2015). Additionally the horse has been provisionally suspended for two months. The athlete and the horse owner/s have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before the FEI Tribunal to request the lifting of the provisional suspensions.

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...