Sunday, December 31, 2017

UAE: Azizi Developments sponsors opening races of Endurance Festival - Full Article

by Jumana Abdel-Razzaq on Dec 31, 2017

Azizi Developments has sponsored the opening rides of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Festival as part of the developer’s Pillar Partner Agreement with Meydan.

The sponsorship covers two of the four rides of the festival which started on 28 December, 2017, and will culminate in the HH Endurance Cup on 6 January, 2018 in Dubai.

The Pillar Partnership that was recently signed extends across a broad spectrum of equine sports including flat racing, endurance, and equestrianism.

The festival, which began as a single 160km ride for the HH Endurance Cup 11 years ago, has now been extended to four...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The world comes to the North Carolina Foothills - Full Article

By Catherine Hunter
Published 4:43 pm Thursday, December 28, 2017

The world will be coming to Tryon in fall of 2018 – the equestrian world that is. Next September the world’s leading horses and riders will gather at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) for the World Equestrian Games (WEG).

From September 10 – 23 international horses and riders will vie for top honors in eight of the ten different equestrian sports recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). WEG was started in 1990 to allow riders to compete in one location rather than in ten different individual competitions at as many different locations around the world.

WEG takes place every four years opposite of the Olympics and carries many of the Olympic traditions. Originally the Olympic equestrian sports were designed as a three-day-event type competition (also called combined training) that consisted of dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country.

In addition to the original three-day event type competitions, today’s WEG competitions include driving, vaulting, reining, para-equestrian and endurance riding. The two other disciplines, recognized by the FEI, that hold their competitions separately are horseball and tent pegging...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Endurance deaths remain a stain on the sport - Full Article

December 23, 2017
Neil Clarkson

Any equestrian discipline must surely confront a simple and unappetizing truth when three horses perish in one contest, as happened in Dubai recently in a national 100km Endurance ride.

Clearly, the measures in place to safeguard the horses are not working.

Sadly, yet again, it is Endurance in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sitting squarely in the spotlight.

There is a terrible sense of dread and inevitability with every shattering leg in the desert form of the sport of endurance.

Based on disclosures in the last week of worrying numbers of deaths, even the most impartial of observers would likely agree that the FEI has failed to get on top of the problem.

Research by the group Clean Endurance, whose volunteers have been poring through the FEI Database, has cast light on a series of deaths which had not initially been coded in the results as Catastrophic Injuries (CIs).

It is a poor look for equestrian sport, and the numbers publicized by the group would indicate this ranks as a major failure for the world governing body...


Thursday, December 21, 2017

An Australia Day weekend endurance carnival is set for Glen Elgin - Full Article

December 20 2017
Ellen Dunger

It’s been a few years since endurance riders made their way through Glen Innes but a date is set and work is under way to host a two-day carnival in January.

The Glen Innes Endurance Riding Club have planned an Australia day weekend carnival with a 40 kilometre ride planned for Friday and Saturday and a 20km included on Saturday.

The ride’s base will be at the Glen Elgin showground and committee member Jenny Annetts said they hope to attract a crowd with both new and experienced endurance riders making their way to town...

Read more here:

Australia: Gympie's top five sportspeople of 2017 - Full Article

20 Dec. 2017
by Rowan Schindler

Gayle Holmes

TOUGH: Gayle Holmes competed at the 2017 Tom Quilty (160km), in South Australia in July (160km), with a broken hand and had only just come back from a shattered foot.

The 56-year-old Widgee-based Holmes recently did the seemingly unthinkable by winning a host of state and national riding titles straight off the back of a serious injury.

Holmes, who has represented Australia at the World Equestrian Games, had her foot shattered when a horse kicked her last year.

The injury required the surgical insertion of a metal plate and seven screws.

She climbed back on after just several months and picked up the Queensland State Distance Rider and Points Rider awards, the State Distance Horse and Points Horse, won the Collier Cup, equal first place as National Distance Rider, second in National Points, second in Horse Points and third in Distance...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

South Africa: 2018 Race the Wild Coast Open for Entries

In October 2018 we hold the second edition of Race the Wild Coast: a new breed of horse race. Riders, with a team of three horses, compete for victory over 350km of rugged paradise on the remote east coast of South Africa; navigating through this challenging wilderness, swimming rivers and keeping horses fit for vet checks in this complex multi stage race will challenge the endurance of any horseback adventurer.

• Total distance: 350 kilometres.
• A multi stage format including: dawn start and dusk cut-off, compulsory holds for tide affected river crossings and timed releases.
• Each rider has a team of 3 horses provided by a South African stud.
• There will be two horse changes at prescribed points: 123km and 209km into the race respectively.
• Each stage ends with a vet check for the horses (approximately every 40km). A rider may only continue without penalty if their horse passes the vet check.
• A recommended track with alternative routes or simply a stage destination, dependent on the terrain, will be provided on GPS to aid navigation. There will be no route markings on the ground.
• The race window is a total of 5 days with the organisers expecting the winner to finish early on the fourth day.
• This race will be a complex combination of endurance, horsemanship, navigation, strategy and what Mother Nature throws at you!

• The Wild Coast on the eastern seaboard of South Africa, from Port Edward to Kei Mouth.
• Competitors will be transferred from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport and fly out of East London Airport at the conclusion of the race.

• 13th – 21st October 2018.
• Pre-Race training 14th – 15th October. Race 16th – 20th October. Depart 21st October.
• Competitors transfer from Durban to the start camp on the 13th of October for a race briefing followed on the 14th and 15th with meeting their horses and back up teams, kit and tack testing, horse orientation (including practice swimming rivers) and team strategy discussions.
• The race starts at 09h00 on the 16th of October with a five-day window to complete the race.
• There will be a prize giving and spectacular celebration on the evening of the 20th, and on the 21st of October our brave adventurers begin their journey homeward.

• The adventure format of the race requires real horsemanship skills, experience riding long distances and competence in operating a GPS; the critical aid to navigating in this landscape.
• Riders will need to be physically fit, confident swimmers and be comfortable in the wilderness, alone and self sufficient.
• Riders must complete an application form, including details of their qualifications to compete in the race. Acceptance of applications will be at the discretion of the organisers.

• ZAR97 000.00
• The price includes all food, accommodation, horses, support crew, tack and transfers (from pick up in Durban to drop off in East London).

For more information and to enter, see:

Borneo: Local equestrian fraternity hails another milestone - Full Article

December 19, 2017, Tuesday
Jude Toyat,

MIRI: Sarawak Equestrian Sports Association (PSENS) reached another milestone in the history of local equestrian sport when they made their debut in the 2017 Piala Ketua Polis Negara Endurance Horse Race held in University Putra Malaysia (UPM) in Serdang, Selangor recently.

PSENS team was represented by Cassandra Ch’ng Duan Shu (rider), Mufasa (horse), Adi Sebli (coach) and Zulkifli Ahamat (team manager).

“Even though not winning the race, we should be proud of our achievements because to be able participate in the race is already considered a success,” Zulkifli, who is also PSENS vice president, told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Cassandra and Mufasa successfully completed the 25km race with a clean bill of health and registered a pass by the juries and also the vets.

“Many of the participants failed to finish the race because of disqualifications; rider fall and injured, the horse injured or lame. A few of them failed the vets test at various check points or at the finish line.

“Congratulations to our rider Cassandra. She is from Miri and she made us Sarawakian proud of her tenacity and bravery to complete the race with flying colours. True to our spirit of ‘agi idup agi ngelaban’,” Zulkifli exclaimed.

He revealed that more events have been scheduled for 2018 while appealing for “more support from our state government and its relevant agencies.”

“PSENS urgently needs a place or field for members of the community and our athletes to train and perform several horses riding and equestrian activities,” he explained...

Read more here:

Day and Weekend Passes for FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Sale December 20

Games to be held September 11-23, 2018 at Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, N.C. USA
For Immediate Release
Tryon, N.C. – USA – December 18, 2017 – Day and weekend competition passes for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) will go on sale on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 8am EST. Ticket prices and the event schedule for the Games, which are set for September 11 through September 23, 2018, are available online at

All Session Day Passes, which grant access to all WEG competitions on a single weekday, went on sale in October 2017 and sold out after one day. Due to the popular demand of All Session Day Passes, organizers are releasing an additional, limited supply of 500 passes per event day on a first come, first served basis for the dates of September 12, 19, 20, 21. All Session Day Passes for September 13 and 14 are sold out due to meeting capacity for Eventing Dressage on both days.

For the first time, All Session Weekend Passes will be available. The All Session Weekend Passes will also go on sale on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, and will allow the ticket holder access to all WEG competitions during the selected weekend. All Session Weekend Passes are available for September 15-16 and/or September 22-23.

Click here to buy tickets.
Click here to see the Official Session Timetable.

All event tickets and passes grant access to the general event grounds including the expo, vendor areas, and demonstrations. Individual competition tickets are expected to go on sale this winter. Organizers are releasing additional ticket package options as demand for those ticketing types has remained high since launching ticket sales in October 2017.

“The 2018 WEG is expected to be the largest sporting event in the United States and fourth largest in the world in 2018 and should be on everyone’s to-do list for next year. We are anticipating a sold-out event,” said Mark Bellissimo, Founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center.

With all competitions happening onsite at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C., attendees can come for the day, a weekend, a week, or the entire Games. Tickets are available online at Select “Buy Tickets” from the menu.

Held every four years alternating with the Olympic Games, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ crowns the world’s best athletes and horses as the ultimate world champions in the equestrian disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Reining, Vaulting and Endurance. Horse and rider combinations from more than 70 nations are expected to compete in the massive 12-day event.

See more at:

FEI Aims for More Transparency Over Endurance Horse Deaths - Full Article

December 18, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

The Emirates Equestrian Federation revised a number of historic endurance ride results on its website over the weekend, amid revelations that numerous fatal injuries on the field of play had to date been ‘airbrushed’ out of official ride results. In response, the FEI has announced a new procedure for its veterinary department to follow-up “unreported” endurance horse deaths.

The CI (Catastrophic Injury) results code was introduced in 2014 to improve transparency over the incidence of ride fatalities. But since then at least 26 horses who died during or hours after a ride have not been declared CI, according to volunteer researchers from the Clean Endurance community.

Clean Endurance compared dates of death later logged with the FEI registrations database with the date of the horses’ last CEI or CEN start. All were the exact same day. Yet on ride results sheets the 26 horses are noted either FTC (Failed to Complete) or eliminated without giving a reason. Between 2009 and 2013, over 50 further “hidden” deaths have been identified so far.

A Clean Endurance spokesman told “We think many more deaths are yet to be discovered. We have not made a clean-sweep of the whole FEI database. So far we have followed up FTCs that looked suspicious, or checked what happened to horses whose condition worried us when we saw them on the livestream...”

Read more here:

Monday, December 18, 2017

UAE: Boudheib Academy Students Advancing

Boudheib Initiative on FB

December 15 2017

Last year's novice riders participated this morning in their first 40km endurance qualifier at the Boudheib International Endurance Village (BIEV) as part of today's events, which also includes the CEI**120km International Prestige Ride. Having only started riding lessons last year, the young students have come a very long way and now frequently compete in showjumping, dressage & tent-pegging competitions.

Today for the first time, 16 of them advanced from the 10 & 20km beginners endurance rides to take part in the open 40km qualifier. It was a pleasure to watch them caring for their horses, regularly stopping at water points along the 2 loops and taking charge at the vet inspection area. These are the UAE endurance riders of the future, so good basic horsemanship skills and welfare understanding of the horse are essential lessons that are being taught. This afternoon the next group of younger novice Boudheib Academy riders will participate in a 10km ride over 2 loops.

The Boudheib Initiative is definitely Driving the Future of Endurance at all levels!

Congratulations to Kieran Treacy, the Boudheib Academy Manager, on a great job and to the students taking part.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Iran: Athletes, Actors and Robots Among Torchbearers - Full Article

December 17 2017

T hree Iranians are among the torchbearers of 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25, 2018.

Having been lit in Olympia, Greece, on October 24, the torch traveled to Athens on October 31. It began its Korean journey on November 1, from Incheon and will end on February 9, in Pyeongchang’s Olympic Stadium, the main venue of the 2018 Olympics.

The torch will burn for 101 days in 88 Korean cities. Close to 8,005 athletes were planned to carry the torch through the 2018 km around South Korea which is hosting the winter games for the first time in the history of the country and third time in Asia. Japan has hosted the games two times in 1872 and 1998, Varzesh3 reported.

Iran’s female skier Forough Abbasi, 24, is one of the torchbearers. She is currently an alpine ski team member who has achieved several honors in several sporting fields including third place in the National Endurance horse riding, third in national rock climbing competitions and national seniors’ championship for mountain biking. Abbasi also attended the Sochi 2014 winter Olympics...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Spain: Juma’s Team imposes its law in the 64th Raid of Barcelona – Santa Susanna - Full Article

16 December 2017
Race Report made with the assistance of Raid de Barcelona – Santa Susanna

Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona. Thursday 7, Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December 2017. Last weekend the 64th edition of the Barcelona Raid – Santa Susanna, the oldest equestrian raid in Europe, was held in Santa Susanna, Barcelona.

Constitution Day and the historical festive atmosphere of the Raid, which closes every year the competitive season, drew a big crowd to the town centre to watch the best riders in full action.
Participants of 15 nationalities attended the events in Santa Susanna, which premiered a new organization and timing system, as well as a new GPS tracking technology so that the public could follow the horses through the different routes over the Serra del Montnegre.

On this occasion, the Raid consisted of 4 events: on Thursday the CEI1* 83km was held, and on Friday and Saturday three double-day events: the CEI2* of 2 x 76km, the CEI2*YJ of 2 x 76km and the jewel of the weekend, the CEI3* of 2 x 96km which appeared to be very hard competition from its first minutes.

María Alvarez – ESP, former world champion and member of Juma’s Team, won the CEI3* with Saphir El Fayad and was crowned in Santa Susana as the best rider of the weekend. The podium was followed by her stable mate Alejandra Dachs – ESP with Simbel Al Ain, who finished a split second behind Alvarez, and Omar Blanco – ESP with Upedro (also from Juma’s Team) completed the podium...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

FEI Issues Decision in Endurance Prohibited Substance Cases

FEI Tribunal issues Final Decision on Prohibited Substance Cases

12 Dec 2017

The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decisions on Prohibited Substances cases involving seven Endurance athletes, three trainers and nine horses from three different stables competing in Endurance events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai between 26 November 2016 and 14 January 2017.

Provisional Suspensions were imposed in January following positive findings in eight of the horses of the Controlled Medications Caffeine, Theobromine, Theophylline and *Paraxanthine - which at the time of the finding was a Banned Substance - and with the ninth sample also containing Flumetasone.

Since the proceedings were opened, the FEI Equine Prohibited List has been amended in order to downgrade Paraxanthine (the main metabolite of Caffeine) to a Controlled Medication and it has also been reclassified as a *Specified Substance, effective 1 January 2018.

The Tribunal has therefore agreed to the lift the Provisional Suspensions further to a request from the FEI given the reclassification of Paraxanthine.

“The FEI accepts that the circumstances of the cases to be exceptional on the basis that the Banned Substance Paraxanthine will be considered to be only a Controlled Medication rule violation in 2018,” explained Mikael Rentsch, FEI Legal Director.

The FEI Tribunal imposed two month suspensions on the athletes and trainers from 30 January with an exceptional six month suspension for the case involving Flumetasone, with fines of 1,500 CHF and contributions of 1,000 CHF towards legal costs per individual.

Details on these cases can be found here.

Prohibited substance case under FEI anti-doping rules

The FEI has also announced an adverse analytical finding involving Prohibited Substances.

The case involves the use of Nandrolone, its metabolite 5A-Estrane-3B 17A-Diol, and Stanozolol, which are *Banned Substances under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs):

Horse: 8 Minute (FEI ID 104BW22/UAE)
Person Responsible: Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri (FEI ID 10093885/UAE)
Event: CH-M-YJ-E 120 - Valeggio sul Mincio (ITA) 23.09.2017

The athlete has been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (28 November 2017) until the FEI Tribunal renders a decision. The horse has been provisionally suspended for two months.

Details on this case can be found here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

New Zealand: Smith and Vixen win at Aotuhia


A new venue and track, provided by the Kohuratahi Endurance Riding Club, had riders driving into the back blocks of Whangamomona to Aotuhia Station for the first FEI event of the season.

The riders in the CEI 1* 80km headed out at 5am for what proved to be a challenging course but all navigated the hills in the very hot conditions to make it to the end with just one horse having the misfortune to vet out lame. The winner was the highly successful combination, and current national champion, Georgia Smith and Glenmore Vixen. Starting hot on the heels of the senior riders were two JY riders (one open, one novice) who started their ride at 5,15am with Jayden Loveridge riding a careful ride on Makahiwi Phoenix to win the JY 80km.

The prize giving that followed on Saturday was a feast to behold with Robert Reid doing a fine job of supervising the cooking of a hogget on the spit.

Everyone awoke to another hot day on Sunday with the Open 80km senior riders heading out at 5am with some of those who rode on Saturday on different horses to enjoy the track again. This time it was Deirdre Bartlett riding Craig Royston Zaria who headed home the field to complete a successful weekend after the long drive from Wairarapa.

In spite of the tough track several novice horses and riders qualified in the 40km and 80km novice rides as well as some of the locals doing a 20km which they thoroughly enjoyed.

The hospitality from the Kohuratahi Club members, local residents and friends was superb as usual with riders, crew and officials all looking forward to returning next year. And many thanks must go to the owners of this lovely property who allowed endurance folk to move in and take over the excellent facilities for the weekend.

Saturday Results

CEI 1* 80km: G Smith & Glenmore Vixen 1, S Trafford & Rivergum Dark Knight 2, Pip Mutch & Mauku Bella 3, D Bartlett & Craig Royston Xmas Star

Open JY 80km: J Loveridge & Makahiwi Phoenix 1

Sunday Results:

Open senior 80km: D Bartlett & Craig Royston Zaria, Daryl Owen & Miro Bay Plenty 2, A Smith & Glenmore Tango 3, G Smith & Glenmore Style Ish 4

Intermediate senior 40km: R Reid & Kowhai Martini 1

Australia: New Endurance Horse Of The Year and Arabian Racehorse Of The Year Awards Announced

Prestigious New Endurance Horse Of The Year and Arabian Racehorse Of The Year Awards

The Board of Directors have recently announced two very prestigious new awards for outstanding representiative horses in both Endurance and Arabian Racing.

The inaugral presentation of these awards will take place at the Annual General Meeting to be held in Adelaide in April 2018.

Nominations for these awards will close on Friday 9th February 2018.

In order to win The Arabian Horse Society of Australia Ltd Endurance Horse Of The Year Award:

· The nominated horse must be a living Purebred Arabian, Arabian Derivative or Arabian Performance Index horse, born and resident in Australia.
· The horse must have been an outstanding representative in ARABIAN endurance, with performance that ideally would be recognised overseas and/or outside the Arabian industry.
· The horse must be a registered/recorded with the AHSA Ltd and in the current owners name.
· The current owner needs to be a financial member of the AHSA Ltd.

In order to win The Arabian Horse Society of Australia Ltd Arabian Racehorse Of The Year Award:

· The nominated horse must be a living Purebred Arabian, born and resident in Australia.
· The horse must have been an outstanding representative in ARABIAN racing, with performance that ideally would be recognised overseas and/or outside the Arabian industry.
· The horse must be a registered Arabian and in the current owners name.
· The current owner needs to be a financial member of the AHSA Ltd.

The Owner of the Endurance Horse Of The Year and the Owner of the Arabian Racehorse of The Year will receive

1. An AHSA/Aricon rug
2. Voucher to the value of $200 to be used via the AHSA.
3. Award Certificate
4. Recognition in the Arabian Horse News.

The Breeder of the Endurance Horse Of The Year and the Breeder of the Arabian Racehorse of The Year will receive

1. Voucher to the value of $200 to be used via the AHSA.
2. Award Certificate
3. Recognition in the Arabian Horse News.

Nomination Forms for both of these awards can be found here.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Australia: Lancefield’s Alison Noble is riding high - Full Article

DECEMBER 12, 2017 1:08 AM

Lancefield’s Alison Noble is riding high – on and off her horse.

The 13-year-old’s idea for a memory foam helmet insert that molds to the wearer’s head has been selected as a winner in the national Samsung STEM competition Make My Idea.

Alison’s idea is one of only three out of 5000 entries being developed into a 3D prototype.

The keen horse rider said her idea came from the challenge of finding a helmet to fit. She said helmets that were too tight caused headaches, but bigger helmets could fall over riders’ faces.

Alison’s mother Kim, who also rides, said they knew of people whose helmets had slipped when they fell off their horse, causing them to break their nose.

Alison spends a lot of time wearing a helmet as an endurance horse rider...

Read more here:

NBC Sports Group To Televise FEI World Equestrian Games In September 2018 - Full Article

By: Edited Press Release
Dec 11, 2017 - 5:00 PM

NBC Sports Group to Present More Than 60 Hours of Coverage Across NBC, NBCSN and Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. NBC Sports Group’s Coverage of the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 Will Be Streamed on, the NBC Sports app, and Olympic Channel App

NBC Sports Group has reached an agreement for exclusive multi-platform United States media rights to the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018, Sept. 11-23. The agreement includes an unprecedented amount of national equestrian sport coverage. The FEI World Equestrian Games return to the United States for the second time in eight years and will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, NC.

The FEI World Equestrian Games, one of the biggest events on the global sporting calendar, is held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, combining eight World Championships at one event. The eight equestrian disciplines –show jumping, dressage, para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining—will all be contested.

An anticipated 1,000 athletes, 1,500 horses and 500,000 spectators from more than 70 countries are expected to attend. Tickets to the event have already been sold to people from all 50 U.S. states and 31 countries. The WEG is projected to be the highest-attended sporting event in the United States in 2018...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Closing race in Punta del Este for the Uruguay National Championship - Full Article

8 December 2017
Race Report made with the assistance of Lucia Olascoaga

Sede Audee, Punta del Este, Maldonado, Uruguay. Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2017. After 12 CEI Endurance events the 2017 Uruguayan endurance season came to an end.

Races of CEI3* 160km, CEI2* 120km and CEI1* 80km were held, both in major and young riders categories.

On Saturday the CEI3* 160km was divided into five stages of 39.8km, 39.8km, 28.7km, 28.7km and the last loop of 23km. The race was led by the Brazilian rider Monica Pinto Lima, riding Caetec CSM, who was out to the last loop 12 min in front but trot lame in the last vet control handing over victory to Pilar Saravia – URU (Baraka Nassim). The leader’s average speed was 20.19km/h.
Michaela Superkova from Slovakia, riding IFO Maghera arrived second and in third position came the Chilean rider Lukas Bukel (Che Niebla). Lukas got the elite status after qualifying with the Uruguayan mare Che Niebla owned by Pilar Saravia.

Pilar told us about the race: “I didn’t have the intention to win, I knew Monica was also good and we were leading the entire race, I just wanted to qualify with a good speed. At the end I was glad we made it, my horse responded very well and in the last loop we went faster (23km/h) to get a decent average speed. This was a very nice way to finish the season...”

Read more here

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Bullioh Australia's Tracy John completes Virginia City 100 Mile endurance race - Full Story

December 9 2017
by Jodie O'Sullivan

She was the only Aussie to saddle up for a gruelling 100-mile race across the rocky plains of the US.

Bullioh’s Tracy John re-traced the route of the old pony express trail as part of the Virginia City 100-Mile 50th anniversary race on September 16.

Riding an Arabian horse borrowed from a friend, Tracy rode for nearly 20 hours to arrive 31st across the finish line in a starting field of 71 horses.

The race had been on her bucket list since she competed in The Tevis Cup in 2015, another US race regarded as the “granddaddy” of endurance rides.

The 49-year-old, who runs Berwick Endurance Stud with her husband Peter John, said the appeal of endurance riding lay in the partnership between horse and rider.

“I love it because it’s one on one,” she said.

“I love the Arabian breed – I love their speed, their intelligence and the fact they are such beautiful horses to work with.”

Tracy’s steed on the ride was no exception.

The sure-footed Al Marah Land Robin, otherwise known as “Robin”, carried her faithfully across the rugged and stony terrain in 19 hours and 45 minutes...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

UAE: Chopita scores on Tehama Souveign for National Day glory - Full Article

December 6 2017

All the top six riders won a 4X4WD car each and were among the 33 who completed the ride from the 156 starters

Argentina's Daiana Yamila Chopita riding 12-year-old grey gelding Tehama Souveign won the prestigious National Day Cup 120Km Endurance Ride held on Saturday at the Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi.

The ride was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and other VIP guests.

Chopita came up with a consistent performance to stave off a strong set of UAE riders who took eight of the 10 spots in the 120-km ride which was run in four stages.

Hitting the front early, Chopita and Tehama Souveign, took the lead after the second stage and from there on did not look back to win in 4hrs 16mins 57secs at an average speed of 28.02 kmph...

Read more here:

Amateurs Like Us: Madison Smith Has Gone From The Hunter Ring To The Mongol Derby - Full Article

By: Natalie Voss
Dec 5, 2017

Everyone gets a little ring sour now and again, and 28-year-old Madison Smith is no exception. As a joke, a friend of the lifelong rider and self-declared “hunter princess” emailed her a link to the application for the 2016 Mongol Derby, a 1,000-kilometer endurance race across the Mongolian Steppe. On a whim, Smith filled it out.

A few weeks later she had completely forgotten about it when she got a call that the event organizers wanted to interview her.

“It looked interesting and super different from what I’d done before,” she said. “The more I researched and learned, I became hooked.”

Many of us, even those who hadn’t spent the majority of our horseback hours comfortably confined to an arena, might balk at the idea of seriously preparing for a seven-day trek aboard “semi-broke” native Mongolian horses. Not Smith.

“I love doing big adventures,” she said. “Outside of riding I’ve done some climbing and some cool travel adventures. This was the perfect combination of the two for me. I figured why not?”

The Mongol Derby retraces the route of Chinggis Khaan’s postal system and takes about 40 riders across wide open grassland without fences or property lines. At 28, Smith was on the younger end of the age spectrum for Derby riders, as many are in their 50s or 60s.

The race also requires some bravery, as the scrappy, stocky horses (they are technically ponies by their height, but the Mongolians prefer to call them horses) are not the quiet hunters Smith grew up riding. They’re skittish to get on (a quick Google Image search for the race shows lots of riders struggling to come to terms with their mounts), and once you outlast the first few bucks, they have two speeds: stopped and speed fiend...

Read more here

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

UAE: 18-year-old Rider at the Centre of Endurance Steroids Case - Full Article

December 5, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

The horse at the centre of a blood controversy during the world young riders’ endurance championships in September, called 8 Minute, has now tested positive to three banned steroids.

The 18-year-old rider of 8 Minute, UAE team member Khalifa Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, faces a FEI Tribunal hearing to explain how stanozolol and two other steroids that have not previously featured in an FEI doping case – Nandrolone and 5A Estrane-3B,17A-DIOL – came to be in his horse.

This is the first time there has been a doping case involving banned substances at a FEI under-21s championship. It represents a major setback for the FEI’s education programme for endurance in the Middle East.

A second horse has also failed a dope test at the same medal event in Valeggio sul Muncio, Italy. Bahrain team member Poly de Coat Frity, ridden by Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri, tested positive to the controlled anti-inflammatory Harpagoside.

Al Jahouri had already caused controversy as the first through the finish line in the 120km race.

Pictures showed what appeared to be blood tickling down the front of both of 8 Minute’s front hooves from the coronet band. After a social media storm, the original post of these images disappeared and was replaced with an identical shot but the hooves now clean...

Read more here:

Australia: All riders welcome: Willinga Park hosts endurance training day - Full Article

December 5 2017
Kerrie O'Connor and Joel Erickson

Forty-five riders traversed the Murramarang National Park as part of the South Coast Zone Endurance Riders’ training day at Willinga Park on Sunday, December 3.

Riders from the South and Far South Coasts and the ACT chose from 10, 20, or 40-kilometre rides, starting from the Bawley Point equestrian facility.

Ride organiser Clare Feary, of Wandandian, said the sport of endurance riding was accessible to any person.

“It’s a fantastic sport for families to get involved in,” she said. “It welcomes a huge array of people and a huge array of horses.

“There are 70-year-old folk doing 400-kilometre rides, so certainly in these shorter distances almost anyone can take part...”

Read more here:

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Tickets Now on Sale for FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Tryon, NC – USA – October 16, 2017 – Tickets for the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM Tryon 2018(WEG) are now on sale. Set for September 11 through September 23 in the scenic Carolinas region of the United States, spectators can choose from a variety of ticket types to experience the world’s largest equestrian championship. With all competitions happening onsite at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, N.C., attendees can come for the day, a week, or the entire Games. Tickets are available online at Select “Buy Tickets” from the menu. Please like the @Tryon2018 Facebook page to stay informed on late breaking news.

Held every four years alternating with the Olympic Games, the FEI World Equestrian Games™ crowns the world’s best athletes and horses as the ultimate world champions in the equestrian disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Reining, Vaulting and Endurance. Horse and rider combinations from more than 70 nations are expected to compete in the massive 12-day event.

The initial sale of tickets for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 includes the following options: All Games Pass, Week 1 Pass, Week 2 Pass, and then All Session Passes for all of the eight disciplines. Individual Discipline-Specific day sessions will be sold, subject to availability, following sales of all multi-session discipline tickets.

Opening Ceremonies and Closing Ceremonies tickets will be sold separately. General Grounds Day Passes will be sold that allow access to the venue to experience the trade fair, event expo, as well as equestrian demonstrations and will be sold three months prior to the event.

VIP tickets and hospitality packages will also be released this winter and customers can trade up their purchased tickets toward these higher value ticketing/hospitality options.

Due to the high demand for ticket packages, those ticketing types are being offered first to ensure that those who want to purchase ticket packages can receive the same seats for all events. Seats will be assigned on a first come, first served basis according to the date and timestamp of the ticket purchase. The earlier your purchase, the better your seats.

• All Day Session Passes are currently SOLD OUT. We will re-evaluate the release of additional All Day Session Passes at the time of Individual Discipline Session ticket sales.
• We anticipate a sold-out event, as pre-purchase ticket sales were significantly above estimates
• Ticket prices outlined below are the advanced public ticket prices which are discounted from prices for sales, subject to availability, on the day of the event,

Prices below do not include tax and 8.5 percent processing fee, which will be applied upon check out.

All Session Full Games Pass
The All Session Full Games Pass grants ticket holders access to all of the competition sessions during the full two weeks of competition from Tuesday, September 11, through Sunday, September 23. Full Competition Individual Sessions are valued at $1,600.00 USD, while the All Session Full Games Pass offers a discount of 8% for $1,380 USD.
Total Cost: $1,380.00 USD

All Games Pass – Week 1
The All Games Pass – Week 1 grants ticket holders access to all of the competition sessions during the first week of competition from Tuesday, September 11, through Sunday, September 16. Week 1 Individual Session totals are valued at $840.00 USD, while the All Session Week 1 Pass offers a discount of 8% for $750.00 USD.
Total Cost: $750.00 USD

All Games Pass – Week 2
The All Games Pass – Week 2 grants ticket holders access to all of the competition sessions during the first week of competition from Tuesday, September 18, through Sunday, September 23. Week 2 Individual Session totals are valued at $760.00 USD, while the All Session Week 2 Pass offers a discount of 8% for $675.00 USD.
Total Cost: $675.00 USD

All Session Jumping Pass
The All Session Jumping Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Jumping competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Jumping session tickets are valued at a total of $425.00 USD while the All Session Jumping Pass offers a discount of 8% for $375.00 USD.
Total Cost: $375.00 USD

All Session Eventing Pass
The All Session Eventing Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Eventing competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Eventing session tickets are valued at a total of $245.00 USD while the All Session Eventing Pass offers a discount of 8% for $225.00 USD.
Total Cost: $225.00 USD

All Session Dressage Pass
The All Session Dressage Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Dressage competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Dressage session tickets are valued at a total of $375.00 USD while the All Session Dressage Pass offers a discount of 8% for $345.00 USD.
Total Cost: $345.00 USD

All Session Para-Dressage Pass
The All Session Para-Dressage Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Para-Dressage competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Para-Dressage tickets are valued at a total of $120.00 USD while the All Session Para-Dressage Pass offers a discount of 8% for $110.00 USD.
Total Cost: $110.00 USD

All Session Reining Pass
The All Session Reining Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Reining competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Reining session tickets are valued at a total of $210.00 USD while the All Session Reining Pass offers a discount of 8% for $193.00 USD.
Total Cost: $193.00 USD

All Session Driving Pass
The All Session Driving Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Driving competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Driving session tickets are valued at a total of $90.00 USD while the All Session Reining Pass offers a discount of 8% for $82.00 USD.
Total Cost: $82.00 USD

All Session Vaulting Pass
The All Session Vaulting Pass grants ticket holders access to all sessions of Vaulting competition hosted at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
Individual Vaulting session tickets are valued at a total of $115.00 USD, while the All Session Vaulting Pass offers a discount of 8% for $105.00 USD.
Total Cost: $105.00 USD

Opening Ceremonies & Closing Ceremonies Passes: Pricing Coming Soon
The two-week event begins with a captivating tribute to the Tryon 2018 theme of “Celebrate the Horse, Celebrate the Sport” at the Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday, Sept. 11. The Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 WEG will feature theatrical, crowd-engaging entertainment, renowned performers, and sensational surprises. The final event of the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM will end on Sunday, Sept. 23 with a festive closing ceremony. Tickets for both events will go on sale following the public sales launch of Games tickets.

For more info, see:

Friday, December 01, 2017

10 Days, 1,000 Kilometers: The Mongol Derby - Full Story

November 28 2017
By Kelsey Riley

Editor’s Note: Kelsey Riley will be riding in the Mongol Derby in August, 2018, and will be regularly blogging about her preparations and ultimately, her 1000-kilometer, 10-day ride across Outer Mongolia. Every rider chooses a charity for which they raise money as part of the process. Kelsey has chosen the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Blackburn Correctional Facility in Lexington, Ky. To learn more about Blackburn, click here.

I have done some weird and adventurous things in my life, but this one is by far the craziest.

Next August, I will be one of 40 riders participating in the Mongol Derby, which is the world’s longest and toughest horse race and is contested on the backs of half-broke Mongolian horses across 1000 km of the Outer Mongolian steppe. Over 10 days, we riders will have to navigate our way through 25 horse stations using GPS, maps and our wits (there is no marked path) in a course that is a recreation of Chinggis Khaan’s world-first long-distance postal system set up in 1224. We are likely to encounter all types of terrain and weather–open valleys, river crossings, rolling hills, heat, cold, rain, hail–not to mention being bucked off, extreme chafing from 13-hour days in the saddle, and being chased by wild dogs. We will carry just 11 pounds of kit with us and won’t have access to showers while out on the course...

Read more here:

FEI: New Endurance Rules Lost in Translation - Full Article

Cuckson Report | December 1, 2017

British people, certainly my generation, can be very lazy about other languages. Much of the world has English as its first or second tongue, so we think we don’t have to bother. I was taught French in a very academic way in the 1970s, equipping me read Sartre without having to consult a dictionary too much, but not confident enough to chat for hours with an actual person.

I lost my nerve on a trip to Berlin years ago, when trying to give directions to a fellow tourist. After establishing we had a smattering of French in common I proudly escorted him to a watch shop a couple of blocks away. But he wasn’t saying he wanted a horlogerie. He was trying to find the Hard Rock Café.

Clumsy misunderstandings are not always a cause for levity. I have often felt that rules for horse sport drafted in English by someone who is not a native English speaker and then debated by people for whom English is also only a second or third language is a major handicap for the FEI. A number of FEI regulations do not actually say what people think they say.

All this came to a head at the FEI General Assembly in Uruguay last week where new endurance rules proposals were so incomprehensible, several delegates tell me, that after a closed debate they were all shelved till 2019 pending further discussions.

The official reason for delaying them is that it wasn’t fair on riders to introduce new rules part way through the qualifying period for the 2018 WEG. I don’t recall that ever being advanced as a reason for suspending new rules in other sports, even though jumping, dressage and eventing also have an Olympic qualifying cycle to cope with, unlike endurance.

The greater likelihood that the new endurance rules were shelved because they were not understood (also, I suspect, opening the door for a bit of brinkmanship from the UAE and others targeted by the welfare aspects.) This is evident in the final day’s debate that was held in public. If you have a spare half hour you can see the shambles in all its glory in this extract from the official livestream. I have watched it several times since and am still not sure what the hell was going on...

Read more/see video here:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

UAE: Boudheib Endurance Season Opener Puts the Welfare of the Horse First - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

The Boudheib Initiative - Driving the Future of Endurance

26 November 2017, Boudheib, UAE ~ The first event of the 2017-2018 endurance season incorporating the Boudheib Initiative got underway at the Boudheib International Endurance Village outside of Abu Dhabi from 23-24 November 2017 with over 101 horses starting in the day one, 120km Open CEI** Al Ain Endurance Cup.

The idea to take back endurance and guard the welfare of the horse by reducing speeds to limit injuries on the endurance tracks is called the Boudheib Initiative and is sponsored enthusiastically by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nayhan. The Boudheib endurance track features stretches of natural desert that work best if taken at the speeds recommended.

The two-day November program also included: 40km CEN & 80km CEN qualifiers, 80km CEI*, 120km JYR** & a 120 CEI**, and an 10km special introductory ride for young riders on Friday 24th...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Great Britain: National Awards celebrated at EGB's Gala Dinner

Saturday 25th November saw the annual EGB Gala Dinner and Awards ceremony take place at the Daventry Court Hotel, Daventry and was attended by nearly 250 people – a nearly 20% increase on last year! It’s a fantastic opportunity for our members to gather together and celebrate the achievements from the year and, as always, included an ‘Ode to the Horse’ – the most important partners in our sport.

A full list of award winners will be published on the website in the next couple of days, but in the meantime we wanted to highlight our Championship winners. 2017 was a hugely successful year for our Young Riders and we are extremely proud to share with you that this year, Endurance GB’s Overall Champion is Young Rider Emily Cooke, having achieved a fantastic points total of 2288 with her horse Lady’s Man.

In receiving her award Emily told attendees how proud she was of Lady’s Man and that it had taken some time for them to build the bond they now share. She attributes her success to their shared understanding and the time and dedication she puts in, alongside her Mum, Lise Cooke, to training and preparation. Winners of the other Championship Awards as follows:

Overall Championship - Lady’s Man (Emily Cooke) - 2288 Points

Senior Championship - Warrens Hill Rubyn (Sarah Rogerson) - 1194 Points

Young Rider Championship - Lady’s Man (Emily Cooke) - 2288 Points

Junior Championship - Redwings Milky Way (Ella Pomroy) - 1085 Points

Veteran Championship - Bizout (Hannah Lydon) - 1716 Points

Novice Championship - Mistletoe (Caitlin Birkitt) - 670 Points

2017 FEI General Assembly Meeting - Endurance Decisions

FEI held its General Assembly 2017 meeting in Montevideo, Uruguay on 21 November. Decisions in the sport of endurance are as follows:

The General Assembly approved changes to the Endurance Rules to be implemented on 1 January 2019.

The General Assembly voted separately on a proposal to reduce the minimum weight for CEI 3, 4 and 5* and Championships from 75kgs to 70kgs. This was approved.

The General Assembly also voted separately on raising the competition age of horses for 5*, CEIOs and Championships, where horses must now be at least nine years of age (previously eight years) and for Young Horse Championships and Championships under 130km, where the minimum age must now be eight years (previously seven). This was approved.

Other main amendments approved en bloc (also to be implemented as of 1 January 2019) include: Increases in mandatory rest periods, based on scientific presentations at the FEI Sports Forum last April and the FEI Endurance Forum last May. An additional rest period of seven days will apply for horses that reach average speeds of 20 km/hr or higher at completion. This rest period will also apply to horses which do not complete the competition whose average speed of completed phases is 20 km/hr or higher.

A new star system for Endurance events, CEI 4* and CEI 5*, will be introduced to have prime events and a higher standard of competition for horses and athletes. The new star system is not solely defined by prize money, but sets specific requirements for organisers to ensure compliance with FEI rules and high standards of horse welfare.

In order to avoid having minors registered as trainers, the minimum age of a registered trainer has been set at 18 years old.

Qualifying criteria established for new 4* and 5* events, proving the full experience of athletes and horses to guarantee a high standard of competition level, and clarification to novice qualifying criteria in relation to experienced horses and athletes. Plus a new set of rules to define qualifications of horses and athletes for Regional Championships.

New general requirements and test event rules for Championships.

These changes can be viewed here in due course. 

More information from the meeting can be seen here:

World Equestrian Games 2022 Open for Bids… Again - Full Article

November 22 2017

The FEI has announced that it will re-open the bidding process for the World Equestrian Games 2022.

The announcement was made during the FEI’s General Assembly that Samorin had recently decided not to sign the host agreement. Despite lengthy discussions with the FEI, the Samorin team has withdrawn its bid and the FEI Bureau has decided to re-open the bidding process.

Under a revised timeline, the FEI World Equestrian Games 2022 will be allocated at the in-person FEI Bureau meeting in November 2018...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

All the Wild Horses Takes Top Honors at Equus Film Festival

November 22 2017

The documentary "All the Wild Horses" took top honors of Best Equestrian Feature Film, Best Director, and Best of Festival at the November 17-19 Equus Film Festival in New York City.

ALL THE WILD HORSES follows international riders from around the world as they compete in the Mongol Derby in Mongolia, the longest and toughest horse race on the planet.
In this race across one thousand kilometers of Mongolian steppe the riders are on their own, navigating from horse station to horse station where they change horses every forty kilometers. They battle dehydration, hypothermia, exhaustion, extreme weather, swollen rivers and wild dogs. 

They stay the nights out in the wild or with nomad families. One wrong horse and they can get bucked off, lose their mount or suffer serious injuries.

More about the movie at:

UAE: Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum finishes in style at Al Wathba Challenge - Full Article

by Admin
22 November 2017

Emirates International Endurance Village, Al Wathba, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 11 November 2017.

After a series of qualifying races and races for private stables we saw this Saturday with the Al Wathba Challenge the first ‘open race’ for the season in the United Arab Emirates.

The national race, CEN 120km, was divided into four loops of 40, 35, 25 and 20km.

According to UAE standards it was a rather small entry field with 148 participants, because the organiser only accepted up to 4 horses for each stable.

The Al Wathba Challenge gives enough resting time for the horses ahead of the National Day Cup and is considered for many stables as a try out for the bigger race.

“Absolutely correct” was the comment of one of the leading stables, “maybe today we did not see all the best horses in the country, but the field was very competitive and as you could notice after two loops they were flying...”

Read more here:

Monday, November 20, 2017

UAE: Latest Endurance Horse Deaths Raise Concerns About “Airbrushing” Results - Full Article

November 20, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Concerns that endurance horse deaths are being airbrushed out of official results have been raised again following two deaths at the 120km Al Marmoom Cup in Dubai Saturday.

Catswhiskers Tiro Centauri and Kurrajong Unique were listed as Catastrophically Injured (CI) in the early stages, both travelling at about 25kph. At the end of the day Tawqeet, the Dubai-owned timings operator, amended their listings to show the pair as Failed to Complete (FTC) instead. Yet on Sunday both were shown as dead on the updated horse database held by the FEI.

The Al Marmoom Cup was a UAE national ride, though was staged under FEI rules under the terms of the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EFF) legal agreement with the FEI, signed when the EEF’s suspension for horse welfare issues was lifted in July 2015.

Four other horses were listed FTC at Al Marmoom. Only 32 of the 129 starters finished...

Read more here:

UAE: Dead or Alive? The Not So Strange Case of Altered Results

The CI notation was later removed and does not now show up on the race stats
Credit : Screen shot - Full Article

Sunday 19 November - 17h52 | Lulu Kyriacou

For the second weekend in a row, there have been fatalities in a United Arab Emirates endurance ride, this time in the AL MARMOOM ENDURANCE CUP – CEN 120 KM. But the two horses concerned here are particularly special. They rose from the dead when the results were altered an hour or two after being published on the official scorer's website, Tawqeet.


The ride was organised by the Dubai International Equestrian Club in association with the Emirates Equestrian Federation. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri, a ten-year-old chestnut gelding, and Kurrajong Unique a 16-year-old bay gelding were both listed on the original live scores as CI, Catastrophically Injured. Catswhisker Tiro Centauri apparently met his end on the second loop, and poor Kurrajong Unique did not even get as far as that, he was out the first gate. The horses are both registered in the UAE and both appear to come from the same training stable although Kurrajong Unique was ridden by a Bangladeshi national Nur Mohommod Ali Bablu. Catswhisker was ridden by a more experienced rider, Khalifa Mohammed Saeed Salem ALKHYELI.


An hour or so after the race finished a check on the results found that the CI had been changed to FTC (Failed To Complete)...

Read more here:

UAE Endurance - Brand New Season, Same Old Story - Full Article

Sunday 12 November - 18h08 | Lulu Kyriacou

The first endurance races of the new United Arab Emirates were completed in the last few days but despite plans for new rules to be considered at this week's FEI General Assembly and the sterling efforts of Sheik Sultan's Boudheib Initiative, another horse has ended up dead.
The Spanish bred ESTEL DE MONTFLUQ (UAE) FEI number 103MW80 was competing in the CEI1* ridden by Saqar Hilal al Marouqi was originally listed on 8th November on the offical Tawqeet scores as FTC (Failed to Complete) but the horse was listed as deceased on the FEI database the same day. The horse's FEI record was subsequently updated by the FEI on November 10th to CI (Catastrophically Injured).

​On this occasion it does not look as if speed was the determining factor alone as the horse was recorded on the loops at speeds of between 14 and 16.7kph and finished at 20kph but at the second gate the gelding took 20 minutes for his heart rate to come down to acceptable parameters, indicating that there was already an issue and the horse should have been vetted out at that gate...

Read more here:

FEI extends global equine injuries research agreement with Glasgow University for further two years

19 Nov 2017

The FEI has extended its highly successful global equine injuries research partnership with the University of Glasgow for another two years through to 2019, to further develop the Global Endurance Injuries Study (GEIS). The extension will maximise the impact of the GEIS across Endurance and also look at the potential development of similar methodology for other FEI disciplines.

Led by Professor Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow, the GEIS was set up in 2015 and is one of the largest studies of its kind. The initial aim of the study was to provide evidence-based information for regulatory changes to Endurance rides focussed on minimising the risk of equine injury.

Findings of the Endurance study to date were presented at the FEI Sports Forum 2017 and this year’s Endurance Forum, with the clear message that speed and insufficient rest periods are key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent up to 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics.

This scientific insight has provided a crucial basis for proposed changes to the FEI Endurance Rules, which will be presented and voted on at the FEI General Assembly this Tuesday 21 November.

The extension of the study will look at the development of predictive models categorising the highest (and lowest) risk horse starts included in the FEI’s Endurance database. Predictive models look at the modelling of populations as a whole with potential application to event management, exploring the high-level science behind the impacts of changes in weather, terrain, speeds and other factors. The study will also seek to develop a risk calculator for use by veterinary delegates to risk-assess all horses before and during rides, utilising this scientific knowledge and learning.

Looking towards the future, the Glasgow team will establish the potential use and analysis of data processed by this methodology in other FEI disciplines, starting with Eventing. In collaboration with the FEI, Professor Parkin and Dr Bennet will look at data-gathering protocols and prepare for the early analysis of data when it becomes available by adapting code and analyses for discipline-specific risk factors and outcomes. Data collection parameters will be developed for injury recording both during and after events.

Dr Euan Bennet said: “We are very pleased to be able to extend this important work further. Initial findings have demonstrated the huge potential of using the data scientifically to inform and influence decisions and we are genuinely optimistic that this important collaboration with the FEI will have a significant positive impact on equine welfare”.

FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström commented: “Since the GEIS was commissioned in 2015 the results have shown the importance of the work. Scientific research is a crucial element of horse welfare and something that the FEI is very invested in across several projects, so we’re proud to announce the extension of this collaboration and the exploration of its application to other FEI disciplines.

“Using this kind of scientific evidence for the management of the sport, and the development of rules and regulations is an important ongoing development, which can only benefit the welfare of the horse and our understanding of injury reduction. A crucial element in this process is the invaluable reporting of data by FEI Officials and we have seen this research directly influence the FEI governance procedure with the proposed modifications to the FEI Endurance Rules at this year’s General Assembly.”

Professor Tim Parkin Biography

Tim Parkin is Head of the Division of Equine Clinical Sciences, Clinical Director of the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital and Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.

He qualified from the University of Bristol with degrees in Zoology (1992) and Veterinary Science (1998). He immediately took up a position at the University of Liverpool and completed his PhD on the epidemiology of fractures in racehorses in 2002. He has worked on numerous projects with several different racing jurisdictions around the world, including the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, South America and the USA, and more recently worked closely with the FEI to maximise equine welfare at endurance events. He gained his Diploma of the European College of Veterinary Public Health in 2006 and has worked at the University of Glasgow since February 2007.

Dr Euan Bennet Biography

Euan Bennet is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Division of Equine Clinical Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.

He qualified from the University of Glasgow with an MSci in Astronomy and Physics (2008) and graduated with a PhD on plasma physics in the early Universe (2012). Following that he worked as a postdoc in the Astronomy and Astrophysics research group in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, before being recruited for his current role. Since November 2015 he has been providing in-depth epidemiological analysis of Endurance riding utilising the Global Endurance Injuries Study for the FEI.

About the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1862, is renowned for teaching, research and clinical provision, and attracts students, researchers and clinicians from around the world. The internationally accredited school provides expert referral services via the Small Animal Hospital, the Weipers Centre Equine Hospital and the Scottish Centre for Production Animal Health & Welfare alongside a full range of Veterinary Diagnostic Services for animal owners and referring practitioners throughout the UK and beyond.

In the 2014 UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), Glasgow’s veterinary and animal health research activity was ranked top amongst the UK veterinary schools for research quality with an outstanding contribution to societal impact globally. In the 2016 National Student Survey, the School of Veterinary Medicine was voted number one in the UK for Veterinary Science.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Communications
+41 78 750 61 42

Leanne Williams
Media Relations and Communications Manager
+41 79 314 24 38

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Great Britain: From endurance to racing to showing: one rider’s unusual career - Full Article

Sarah Radford
13:07 - 18 November, 2017

A riding club competitor who was looking for “a fresh challenge” has gone from endurance to race-riding to showing during her time in the saddle.

Dentist Jane Willett, 46, had a background riding Arabs in endurance and dressage but was inspired to push herself towards a new discipline by the story of Hannah Francis, the determined founder of Hannah’s Willbery Wonder Pony Charity.

“I wanted to do something really meaningful and be tested beyond belief and I decided I desperately wanted to ride in the Newmarket Town Plate, which is the longest flat race in Europe,” she said. “It involved nine months of training to pass the charity rider test but it turned out to be the most amazing experience of my life. I’ve also ended up with little racehorse who is the best thing I’ve ever owned...”


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

UAE: Staggered start debuts at DEC endurance ride - Full Article

Over 400 entries have been received for this FEI-CEI2* 120km ride

Published: 16:05 November 14, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Dubai: The Dubai Equestrian Club will hold a unique FEI Endurance CEI2* 120km ride on Wednesday based on the concept of a staggered start.
This is the first of its kind for a CEI2* 120km event worldwide, and will be conducted at the purpose built – Dubai International Endurance City.

Usually FEI rides feature a mass start, where all participants leave together, and the first to finish is declared winner. In this case flexibility is key and the riders will be allowed to start within a broad window spanning across almost two hours, at their own convenience...

Read more here:

Rider suspended and fined over endurance horse’s failed drug test

A US-registered rider who rode in an endurance event in Qatar has been suspended for six months and fined 2000 Swiss francs after his mount tested positive for a prohibited substance.

The rider, Bilal Bassam Al Kharraz, had ridden Ia Aladdin in the CEI 1* event in Doha on March 25.

The horse tested positive for harpagoside, an anti-inflammatory drug with painkilling effects. It is classified as a Controlled Medication under the FEI Equine Prohibited Substances List.

No valid veterinary form exists for its use in horses.

Neither Al Kharraz, nor the owner of the horse, took up the option to have the B sample tested.

Al Kharraz wrote to the tribunal saying he did not know how harpagoside was given to the horse.

“I wasn’t at all involved with the horse’s preparation,” he said. “I know that from the FEI rules I am the Person Responsible and I should take all the sanctions concerning this positive case, but I just came to compete with this horse as requested by the trainer four days before the competition.

“I wasn’t worried about competing for Al Shaqab stable because they have a good reputation and the last time they had a positive case was on 22/02/2014 (3 years ago) with In Situ.

“I would like to cooperate but I prefer that the trainer Mr Khalid Sanad Al Nuaimi give you a complete explanation of what happened because he knows the full story and that’s why he cancelled the B-Sample analyses.

“I hope that you understand my situation and I am ready to cooperate.”

The FEI, in its submission, explained the rationale behind the FEI’s policy of making the rider the Person Responsible, citing a previous decision.

It believes that making the rider responsible is necessary to protect the welfare of the horse, and to ensure fair play. It incentivises riders to ensure compliance with the rules, whether by caring for the horse personally or by entrusting that task only to third parties who are up to the job. It requires the rider to be vigilant over their horse’s preparation for competition, including any treatments given.

In a further submission, Al Kharraz told the tribunal that his stabled horse had been healthy, with no signs of injury that would have required medication.

He said he inquired and found there were horses being spelled in the stable who were receiving a supplement called Arti-Gold, which lists on its label that it contains Harpagophytum procumbens (devil’s claw). It states that this is on the FEI doping list and recommends another product for horses in line to be drug-tested.

Al Kharraz said he believed that the horse somehow got access to the product in the days prior to him competing in the event.

He acknowledged his previous controlled medication case, which arose from a “lack of awareness”, and explained that he always tried to check as much as possible before riding.

The FEI said it was satisfied that Al Kharraz had shown how the substance had entered the horse’s system. It noted that he had been cooperative, and that neither Al Kharraz nor the FEI had managed to reach the trainer in order to be provided with further information.

It said a reduction in penalty might be applicable, given the precautions Al Kharraz had taken – checking with the national federation, assessing the fitness of the horse before the event, and checking with the stables, from which he had ridden several horses in the past.

Chris Hodson, QC, sitting as sole arbitrator in the case, said he was satisfied that Al Kharraz had shown how the substance entered the horse’s system.

He noted the checks undertaken by Al Kharraz ahead of the event and acknowledged the FEI’s view that a reduction might be warranted.

However, the expected duty of care is high. He said Al Kharraz had clearly failed to ensure that the horse’s diet was kept separate from the non-competing horses’ feed.

Even if the trainer or grooms had been careless in giving the horse feed containing harpagoside, it was still the responsibility of Al Kharraz to ensure that the horse did not ingest any prohibited substances, Hodson said.

The warning on the product had been very clear, he added.

He ruled that no reduction in suspension was warranted in the case.

Al Kharraz was suspended for six months, meaning he will be ineligible to compete through to April 24 next year. He was fined 2000 Swiss francs and ordered to pay 1000 Swiss francs towards the costs of the judicial procedure.

Full article at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Successful racing in Buzet, Croatia - Full Article

12 November 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Bosko Milivojevic.

Equestrian Club Cadence, Buzet, Croatia. Saturday 21 October 2017. Thirty riders (from Austria, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, and United Kingdom) entered the CEI1* and CEI2* races organized by the Equestrian Club Cadence (Konjički Klub “Kadenca”).

Most of them successfully completed their Saturday rides on the challenging course set in the valley of the longest Istrian river – Mirna river and surrounding hills.

This was the second ride organized by the EQ “Cadence” at the same location and with somewhat altered course and the first successful organized by one of the Croatian equestrian clubs. This event gathered the equestrian elite from Croatia and the region for riders and horses to measure their stamina and skill at the international FEI rides and the Croatian national finals. Also to join the successful event were riders from Slovenia who decided to organize their National Cup finals along with Croatia.

First competitors started arriving on Wednesday in order to prepare themselves and the horses and to familiarize with the area. Among the competitors that sent their entries were Katherine Mills from UK, Kim Hočevar from Slovenia, Karla Šebalj the Croatian national Endurance team member and Ema Lulic from EQ “Cadence” last year’s winner of the CEN 40km ride for Juniors...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Endurance: So Much Wrong I Hardly Know Where to Start… - Full Article

Cuckson Report | November 7, 2017

More new rules that attempt to slow riders down in endurance will be presented to the FEI General Assembly in 10 days’ time, following “official” research which shows the bleedin’ obvious: go too fast for too long and you will break your horse’s leg.
One proposed rule will add a further seven days mandatory rest if the horse has exceeded 20kph. By a not very amazing coincidence, that is the top speed “window” adopted by the Boudhieb Initiative, which is quietly gaining support and reaping positive results in other parts of the world.

But does anyone seriously think an increased rest is going to give the Group 7 (Middle East) riders and their copyists around the world a moment’s thought when belting along at 37kph at the end of a 120km race? A slightly longer lay-off won’t matter one jot when you have hundreds more horses to drag out of the barn.

UAE current registrations have just topped 7,000 – 7015 to be precise – 48.92% of the global population of active FEI registered endurance horses (14,339), without including the hundreds of UAE-owned horses administered by other national federations. This has risen from 46.79% since I wrote about this alarming trend in September. Seriously, why bother to stage a world endurance championship? The other nations surely can’t have any competitive horses left.

Do Group 7 riders even know the 20kph/longer rest rule is coming in? If so, they are unfazed. In the first three weekends of this 2017-2018 desert season, the winners’ final loop speeds were on average 5kph faster than at the equivalent rides last year. It won’t be long till 40kph is the norm. The global sport is merely a conveyor belt producing horses for destruction in the desert...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Horse welfare and endurance: Is a 75kg minimum weight sensible?
November 7, 2017 David Marlin

As the FEI prepares to vote on imposing a minimum weight of 75kg for senior championship endurance events, equine exercise physiologist Dr David Marlin questions the sport’s weight requirements.

The FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee has outlined a series of changes around rider weights that will be considered by delegates at the 2017 General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 21.

But does it make sense to have a 75kg minimum weight in endurance?

Minimum weight carriage was an important feature of both showjumping and the speed and endurance phase of eventing competitions in the early days of the sports. For a long time both disciplines used a weight of 165lb (75kg), which seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit.

Australian light horsemen riding waler horses. The soldiers are of the original contingent of the Australian Imperial Force and the photo was taken prior to their departure from Australia in November 1914. The soldier on the right is Trooper William Harry Rankin Woods, 1st Light Horse Regiment, who died of wounds on 15 May 1915, one of the first light horsemen to die during the Battle of Gallipoli."

The 165lb or 75kg minimum weight in horse sports seems to have its origins in the average weight of a Cavalry soldier with kit. Pictured are Australian light horsemen riding Waler horses.

The minimum weight requirement was first dropped from show-jumping and in eventing was reduced from 75kg to 70kg for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and then abolished for eventing in 1998.

As of January 1, 2016, there are a variety of FEI endurance rules relating to the minimum weight (tack + rider but excluding bridle):

Article 812 – Weights
812.1 At all senior CEI4* Championship, the minimum riding weight for Athletes must be 75kg to include all riding equipment.
812.2 At senior CEI3* the minimum riding weight is 75kg – details to be clearly shown on the approved ride schedule.
812.3 At CEI 1* and 2* alternative weight divisions or gender divisions may be allowed, subject to prior approval by the FEI, and must be clearly specified in the FEI schedule.
812.4 There shall be no minimum weight in Young Rider and/or Junior Competitions.

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has a different system with classes according to the weight of the rider and their tack (heavyweight > 211lbs (100kg); middleweight 186-210lbs (86-100kg), lightweight 161-185lbs (73-86kg) and featherweight < 160lbs (73kg). This system relies to some extent on the premise that riders will select an appropriate size of horse, ie, heavier riders will select larger horses to compete on. Of course, smaller riders could choose to compete on smaller horses but they could also choose to compete on large horses, which would give them a distinct advantage.


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Endurance rider weight likely to be a hot-button issue at upcoming FEI General Assembly - Full Article

November 5, 2017

A proposal by Endurance officials to impose a 75-kilogram minimum weight limit for riders and their equipment in a bid to reduce speeds in the discipline has drawn fire from some nations.

The FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee has outlined a series of changes around rider weights that will be considered by delegates at this year’s General Assembly in Montevideo, Uruguay, on November 21.

Committee chairman Dr Brian Sheahan, in a report released ahead of the General Assembly, said research was presented at the annual Endurance Forum in May indicating that small speed reductions combined with appropriate rest periods had the potential to reduce bone fatigue...


Applications Open for 2018 Mongol Derby

Plans for the 2018 race are well underway and as the event continues to evolve and flourish, we know it's going to be the most magnificent one yet.

Applications are open now, but spaces are filling up faster than ever. The event is already well over half full and there's already quite a list of people to interview.

If you want to get your name in the hat, with a chance to win - or simply be a part of - the world's longest and toughest horse race, then get in touch. We're available in HQ between the normal office hours Mon-Fri and love a good chinwag.


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Saturday, November 04, 2017

Prohibited substance case under FEI anti-doping rules; RESPONSE

On October 30 Endurance.Net forwarded an FEI press notification of a banned substance offense and resulting suspension,

We apologize for any personal distress over the publication, and sincerely hope that the resolution is favorable.

Steph Teeter


The following is a personal response to the finding, forwarded at Ms Meuten’s request:

By now you may have heard that I, Nicki Meuten, have been suspended from endurance riding due to a positive drug test for the commonly used anti-depressant medication found in trace quantities in our horse Dutch’s post competition urine sample. This happened after the Coats Creek ride in Canada on July 3, 2017. We were just informed of the positive urine test result on October 16, 2017 and have been suspended pending the testing of the split sample and the FEI hearing on the matter.

Our horse tested positive for the metabolite of the human anti-depressant medication Effexor, o-desmethyl venlafaxine. Prior to being informed of Dutch’s test result I had never heard of this medication. We did not administer this substance to our horse nor do we give any banned medications to our horses at or prior to competition. Neither Don nor I take this medication. We have absolutely no idea how our horse could have ingested this substance.

I am devastated as this goes against everything I believe in. In our investigations so far we have found that this is a medication that can be found in waste water, sludge used for fertilizer on fields, and is one of the most common anti-depressant medications prescribed to people (17 million prescriptions in 2007). He could have easily been exposed to this medication in the competition environment prior to or at the event. His urine contained just small trace amounts of this substance (nanograms/parts per billion per milliliter of urine). It is a banned substance however, and according to FEI rules, no amount is permissible.

Laboratory testing methods are now so sensitive and environmental contamination by pharmaceutical products so common that situations like ours will occur regardless of the level of vigilance of the owner/trainer. We are working with multiple people to try to determine how this happened. We will then present this to FEI for their consideration at a hearing of the matter to be scheduled if the split sample results confirm the original lab results. If the split sample confirms the presence, a hearing will be conducted and the FEI will render a decision. Until then I cannot compete or attend an endurance ride even as a support person. If you think this could not happen to you, you are wrong. I will not be responding to anything on Facebook. If you want further information or facts about this please contact Don at

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Great Britain: Red Dragon Festival of Endurance 2017

a report from Wessex - (Published:27 October 2017)

2017 saw EGB launch a new set of Championship classes. The National Championship has long been a fixture on the EGB ride calendar but this year an additional three championships were launched for Novice, Open and Advanced level with the finals held at the Red Dragon to coincide with the ride’s 40th anniversary on 29th Sep - 1st Oct.

The weather was certainly not kind over the course of the weekend with heavy rain in the run up to the ride making going slippery on the hills and boggy on the moors. The ride days themselves saw continued rain with some quite heavy fog in places in higher areas….some might say typical Red Dragon weather!

There was a strong turnout of Wessex members in classes across the weekend with Wessex members winning in 3 of the 4 championship classes in some very tough conditions. We asked the championship winners to recap their experiences of the weekend .... click here to view their reports!

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...