Zoutnet.co.za - Full Article
18 September 2016
Written by: Isabel Venter
A local horse rider, 24-year-old Lanel van Nieuwenhuizen on her mare Jozami Zanica, dominated one of Africa’s toughest endurance races recently.
Competing in the African Endurance Championships on 24 August, Lanel came up against top riders from South Africa, Namibia and other countries. Not only did she finish the gruelling 122km in a winning time of 06:34, she clinched the overall first place.
This was the 10th time Lanel competed in Walvis Bay, Namibia, but not the first time that she had won this prestigious race. As well as taking third place in her category in 2013, she won the race overall in 2014 and managed a second place in last year’s race, taking the award for the Best Conditioned horse, as well as the Best of Best award. “Walvis Bay is definitely one of my favourite races on the endurance calendar,” said the well-travelled Lanel. She has competed on Zanica, as well as on unfamiliar horses on local shores and abroad. “But Walvis Bay, although tough on both rider and horse, is beautiful. For one part of the race, you find yourself in the desert. The next moment you get to see the flamingos flying over the ocean as you gallop alongside the waters,” said Lanel.
The African Championships, which started some 20 years ago, is hosted by the Namibian Endurance Ride Association (NERA), and saw 144 riders competing over 122km. The race is divided into five stages and sets off in the dark hours of the early morning...
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