Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Zealand Endurance celebrates 40th anniversary of national championships - Full Article

27 April 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Daryl Owen

Taupo, New Zealand. 14 and 15 April 2017
Easter 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of the Endurance New Zealand National Championships.

Endurance World Taupo Georgia Smith 160km Senior winnerIn the run up to the event participants past and present studied up their NZ endurance history for the trivia night, and also watched the weather forecast as a cyclone headed on a collision course with the area.

The start time for the 160km Championship was delayed in deference to the expected weather but riders and crew alike were relieved when the worst of the rain faded away, leaving near ideal riding conditions.

Taking the 160km Championship title for the third time was the combination of Georgia Smith and homebred mare Glenmore Vixen. They have claimed to this title twice in the senior division and once in the junior division, as well as taking the North Island title in the 160km. Second place went to Jenny Chandler and AC Tigger, winners of the North Island Champs 160km last year, with third place going to this year’s North Island winner, Jenny Champion and Barack Obama...

Read more here:

Australia: A Gerogery endurance horse trainer is being trained by two of the nation's best in his bid to compete in the Olympics for air pistol - Full Story

Ellen Ebsary
24 Apr 2017,

A specialty shipping container shooting range could be the key to cementing endurance trainer Alamdar Dastani’s chances at bringing Olympic gold home to the Riverina.

The Gerogery endurance horse trainer has been competing in air pistol for only 14 months, but has two of Australia’s best in the sport mentoring him.

To meet his daily training requirement of four hours, he floated the idea with Greater Hume Council of setting up his own world-class shooting range in a shipping container.

Dastani, now with council’s blessing, will seek approval from the NSW Police Firearms Registry to construct the 10-metre range.

“My first state-level competition was at the Victoria state titles, held last March, and I won the gold medal in my division,” he said.

“My closest club is the Hume Pistol Club, and the other two clubs are Wagga or Yackandandah.

“I’m a professional horse trainer, so after training 130 horses, travelling to those clubs takes up a lot of my time.

“Hence the reason why I’ve put forward the idea of a completely legal indoor shooting range in a shipping container.”

Plywood 1.5 inches think will be installed at the back of the container with a pellet catcher, a sound-absorbing system preventing pellets from falling on the floor...

Read more here:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Australia: Hawkesbury riders saddle up for Tom Quilty - Full Article

Jo Arblaster
26 Apr 2017

More than 50 riders are expected to mount up to tackle the legendary Quilty trails in the Hawkesbury next weekend.

The Q60 - named after the 100-mile Tom Quilty ride which was first held in the Hawkesbury in 1966 - will take place on 29th /30th April. Based at Ararat Lodge in the Colo Valley, there will be distances to suit all abilities, ages and levels of fitness. Rides from 5kms to 100kms will take horses up rocky sandstone escarpments and along shady four-wheel drive tracks through the National Park, and over private property alongside ancient water-courses festooned with waterlilies in the Colo valley...

Read more here:

Monday, April 24, 2017

British Endurance Protocol Endurance Takes Shape - Update

24 April 2017

The Kings Forest national 80km Competitive Endurance Ride hosted a trial of a new award which forms part of the British Endurance Protocol currently being developed by Endurance GB and the British Equestrian Federation. The award is designed to complement the existing competition structure and reward good horsemanship over the course of the competition. At each vetgate and at the finish, presentation times were scored as 20 points minus the presentation time. A 20 point bonus was given for each Cardiac Recovery Index (CRI) result where the second pulse was lower than the first. Scores were also awarded for the other veterinary criteria (gut sounds, gait and dehydration) up to a maximum of 15 points at each vetgate and at the final vetting.

The winners of the trial competition were Christine Ryan & Almaak with 145.40 points, who also won the class. Christine Ryan and Almaak had the shortest presentation times out of all the competitors at each vetgate and at the finish, and they had excellent CRI results including a final pulse of 60/48 in five minutes.

In second place was Saffron Bishop & Ty Shute Golden Savannah with 135.62 points, and in third place was Charlie Chadwick & Sky's the Limit with 132.68 points.

The results of the trial competition will now be reviewed by the working group. Other elements of the protocol which focus on participation, promotion of clean sport and selecting officials are still being worked on and more information will be released in due course.

GB: Hayle dairy farmer Paul Richards to tackle world's longest and toughest horse race in Mongolia - Full Article

By wbchris | Posted: April 23, 2017

A dairy farmer from Hayle has signed up to take on the world's longest and toughest horse race – a derby across 1,000km of east Asian terrain.

Paul Richards, 59, a dairy farmer from Hayle, will be taking part in the Mongol Derby and is raising funds for Children's Hospice South West (CHSW).

Paul is a fourth-generation dairy farmer and has signed up to take on the 9th Mongol Derby across 1,000km of Mongolian steppe.

Paul is the first Cornishman to ever be selected for the derby and will be riding against 39 other competitors from around the world. Paul is one of only nine riders from the UK taking part...


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Entire New Zealand endurance board to resign in July - Full Article

April 23, 2017

All members of the Endurance Board of Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) have decided to resign, effective from the annual general meeting on July 22.

The announcement comes just days after the announcement of a special general meeting set for May 10, at which a motion of no confidence in the current ESNZ Endurance Board was to be moved.

The push for a no-confidence motion against the board is being pursued by a faction within the sport unhappy over what they allege is a failure by the board to comply with the ESNZ constitution, regulations and by-laws...


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spain: Estepona horse racers take part in first half marathon for charity - Full Article

Caroline Graham and Helen Buteux, who normally race on endurance horses, decided to put themselves to the test through the Malaga half marathon

By Chloe Glover (Reporter) - PUBLISHED - 19 Apr, 2017

HORSE lovers galloped to victory in their first charity half marathon.

Caroline Graham and Helen Buteux, who normally race on endurance horses, decided to put themselves to the test through the Malaga half marathon.

In the process they raised , raising €150 for Estepona’s ADANA animal charity.

“We are used to competing on our horses in 40 and 80 km endurance races but had never run a long race on our own two feet,” said Caroline, 45...

Read more here:

Italy: The FEI Longines WEC is in San Rossore

April 14 2017

These are the days of pride for the Organizing Committee of Toscana Endurance Lifestyle, and Italia Endurance asd, after yesterday that the FEI has made official the assignment of the Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 to San Rossore, which is announced as the world capital of endurance in the coming years.

The Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 allocation represents the confirmation of years of engagamenet and hard work and it joins to the FEI European Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders in 2018 and to double dates of 2019 with the FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior and Young Riders and the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses.

"We are ready for the world" will therefore be the leading road of the coming years because the goal - as always - is to be excellent and create the best conditions for all the pairs that will arrive to San Rossore in order for them to have a chance to give their best.

The pride for the allocation of the 2020 World Championship is mixed in a melting pot of emotions and satisfaction for a bidding in which the Italian Equestrian Federation believed with conviction. "We are excited and eager to get to work - commented Gianluca Laliscia, CEO and Chairman of - convinced to continue to give our best in all the championships that we will organize until 2020. A special joy, however, it is that represented by the allocation of Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2020 that we want to share with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who always believed in us, granting us the confidence needed to continue our growth".

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

South Africa: Entries Open for Race the Wild Coast

In October 2017 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.


• 24th – 31st October 2017.
• Pre-Race training 24th – 26th October. Race 27th – 31st October. Depart 1st November.
• Competitors transfer from Durban to the start camp on the 24th of October for a race briefing followed on the 25th and 26th with meeting their horses and back up team, kit and tack testing, horse orientation (including practice swimming rivers) and team strategy discussions.
• The race starts at 09h00 on the 27th 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 31st, and on the 1st November 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.
• GBP 5 150.00 or EUR 5 950.00 or USD 6 500.00
• 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, see:

Great Britain: Hadzi and Rich Take Honours at Kings Forest - Full Article

18 April - 12h19 | Lulu Kyriacou

The CEI 1*/2* at Kings Forest near Bury St Edmunds in England ran several classes in addition to the internationals, tested new Endurance GB protocols and introduced a new face to European endurance riding.

Tayla Hadzi is a native of Queensland, Australia but has been working as Head Girls at OSO Endurance Arabians in New South Wales for some time. She was responsible for training OSO Edith to compete at last years World Championships at Samorin where the ten year old mare was 24th individually when ridden by Sacha Laws King and helped the team into fourth place.

It was then that OSO Stud manager Amanda Kettlewell concieved the plan of aiming the horse, together with Tayla at the coming Young Rider championships in Italy. With that in mind the horse has been based in Somerset with Nikki Malcolm and Nathan Sweeny of Stride Ahead Horses and Tayla flew in a week ago to do the final prep and ride in the race. The team were also responsible for the second placed horse in the senior 120km ride...

Read more here:

UAE: International endurance season under Boudheib rules announced - Full Article

April 19, 2017

An international season for endurance under the rules pioneered at the United Arab Emirates’ Boudheib endurance center has been announced.

The proposed calendar lists races in South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Jordan and Texas.

A statement from the Boudheib center lists Princess Alia, the sister of former FEI president Princess Haya, as the organizer of the Jordan event.

The proposed schedule and dates are listed below.

The Boudheib endurance facility in Abu Dhabi, owned by Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been an oasis in UAE endurance, applying house rules insisted on by the sheikh that have all but eliminated the welfare issues that have plagued the sport in the region...


Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Official: Speed Kills - Full Article

Cuckson Report | April 17, 2017

You don’t need to be much of a horseman to know that if you persistently and rigorously work an unsound horse, it will break.

Now, though, we have compelling scientific evidence that the intensive training techniques and high competition speeds typical of Middle East (FEI group 7) endurance have a direct impact on bone fatigue and the Catastrophic Injury (CI) – a term unique to endurance lexicon.

Distinguished veterinarians Tim Parkin (GB) and Chris Whitton (Australia) presented their long-term studies on attrition to the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne. Whether their findings result in yet more endurance rules or change in group 7 mind-set remains to be seen.

Sadly, the conference chamber was not exactly awash with endurance practitioners – let’s hope more were watching online. Worryingly, Sheikh Khalid of Bahrain – which he flippantly described one of the “naughty” countries – said towards the end of the bone fatigue Q &A that he thought Whitton was recommending longer rest periods between LOOPS during a ride. In fact, Whitton was clearly urging an even longer mandatory rest period between RIDES.

Still the evidence that speed kills was there in print; and also in monochrome. Whitton produced disturbing visuals of “deforming” bones to illustrate that natural bone repair likes to follow its own schedule. A naturally-repairing bone adapts to the horse’s usual type of work; so galloping a horse who is just back from injury when he is more used to trotting causes more damage, and vice versa. With every stride a horse is one step closer to bone fatigue: ergo, the skilful horseman will do only the bare minimum needed to keep the horse competition-fit.

The stresses on bones were a shocker. Whitton said that the load on the fetlock joint walking at 4kph is 0.8 tonnes; trotting at 13 kph is 2.3 tonnes; cantering at 27 kph is 2.6 tonnes and galloping at 48 kph is 4 tonnes. Endurance is getting ever faster in the desert. In an end-of-season CEN in Dubai, one front-runner had a final loop average of nearly 41kph. No wonder legs are snapping right left and centre...

Read more here:

UAE: Successful Boudhieb Endurance Initiative Schedules 7 International Events in 2017

April 16 2017


So another endurance season is over here in the UAE as the temperatures are creeping up to 40 degrees!

The Boudheib Initiative has been very successful throughout our 2016/17 winter season and is helping the sport to return to its origins whilst the Best Endurance Challenge Award (BECA) is providing a good basic structure for the future 'Welfare of the Endurance Horse'.

In Boudheib, natural tracks now form up to 45% of some loops, and are naturally slowing down speeds; the strict 20kph speed rules, the 56bpm heart rate and 10 minute presentation time are also having the desired effect. It seems that the horses, riders and trainers are becoming more accustomed to riding and training for these trails and everyone is starting to enjoy the BECA challenge.

The hugely exciting 'Boudheib Worldwide' conference took place in Boudheib last month, with many international endurance guests taking part. Consequently great strides are being made in implementing the Boudheib Initiative Worldwide and many countries have come forward to request the use of the Boudheib rules, and BECA (Best Endurance Challenge Award) in their competitions.

We are proud to announce the support of His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for 7 proposed international endurance events to take us through to the end of the year.

Boudheib's international season will start next month, May 27th, in South Africa. PWC Sondela Endurance Event Organiser, Susan Koekemoer is advancing well with arrangements and expects a total of 200 horses and riders to take part in 3 categories namely 40km, 80km and a 120km using Boudheib's BECA. The BECA protocol will run alongside their own National event and CEI1*. They even have participation from Botswana competitors who will travel over 350km to take part. An invitational team competition between Botswana and local South African club teams has been added to the event to promote the International spirit between teams. 5 riders in the 80km times predict their riding time and the team closest to their predicted time win the team competition.

The PWC Sondela Endurance Ride, hosted by Premier Equestrian Club, has been held in the beautiful Sondela Nature Reserve in the Limpopo Province of South Africa for the past 15 years. The success of the event can be attributed to the professionalism of the event organisation, the beauty of the trail within the Sondela Nature Reserve and the luxury accommodation offered by Sondela for the whole family, not just the competitors, to enjoy the event. Annual new initiatives at the event are always explored to maintain horse & rider interest.

Premier Equestrian Club's mantra is "progress through innovation" and this compliments the visions of the Boudheib Initiative. The mutual collaboration of the two entities and generosity of HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan will, without doubt, enhance every riders experience at the PWC Sondela Endurance event.

Premier Equestrian Club will be posting regular updates leading up to the event on facebook and anyone wanting to follow the event is welcome to send a "friend request" to Premier Equestrian Club.


Boudhieb Initiative Proposed International Calendar of Events
Pretoria, South Africa May 27th 2017 Organiser: SAIC, Susan Koekemoer

Dwingaloo, Netherlands 10th June 2017 Organiser: Frans van't Zand

Marbech, Germany 21st July 2017 Organiser: Ahmed Samarraie

Aachen, Germany 22nd August 2017 Organiser: Nils Ischmer

Florac, France 10th September Organiser: Jean Paul Boudon

Jordan 15th November Organiser: Princess Alia of Jordan

Cat Springs, Texas 30 & 31 December Organiser: Emmett Ross

For more information contact: Leigh Young, email:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Australia: Ride of sheer endurance - Full Article

Western Australian Endurance Riders Association Inc. will be holding its 2017 Easter Marathon in Collie this Easter long weekend.

The endurance ride is divided into several distance categories, and is spread across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Western Australian Endurance Rider's Association Inc. Fundraising and Awards coordinator Carly Arnason said endurance riding focuses on managing your horse.

“We don’t really call it racing because it’s not about speed, it’s about management of your horse,” she said...

Read more here:

Australia: Lockyer endurance club back on track after spell - Full Article

Ali Kuchel | 13th Apr 2017

ENDURANCE: After a 10-year hiatus, the Lockyer Valley Endurance Riders are back on the tracks.

The club does not have a "home track”, so the trails of Bony Mountain will host to the Easter rides.

Ride organiser Lyndell Abercrombie said despite not having tracks yet, the group hoped to secure

some for rides later in the year.

"Because we only formed in February we haven't been able to find a good enough location in the valley so we're going up to Bony Mountain,” Abercrombie said.

"I'm hoping to get access to some of the forestry tracks to try and get a permanent base in the Lockyer Valley.”

The Easter endurance ride will be a fully fledged 80km ride, along with 20km and 40km events...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

British Endurance Protocol Takes Shape

13 April 2017

Following agreement in February that Endurance GB and the British Equestrian Federation would work together to develop a new British protocol for all future international rides in Great Britain, significant progress has been made. 

A working party, led by Dr. Tim Watson, BEF Board Director, have met and discussed developing a protocol that not only helps build a long-term UK strategy regarding horse welfare, but further enhances our UK offering with an ultimate goal of increasing participation in international and high-level competition.

Following a number of meetings, a period of consultation was launched to seek the views of a random selection of FEI riders, ride organisers, officials and those aspiring to ride at that level. On analysis of the results, and a substantial amount of historic ride data, the working group are now in a position to test the new protocol at the Kings Forest ride. The results of the 80KM Competitive Endurance Ride class at Kings Forest will be analysed using the parameters that the working group are recommending, and the criteria will then be further assessed for their suitability to be introduced at all FEI and CER rides in England and Wales. Results of the analysis will be available on the Endurance GB website following the ride, at which time a summary of the criteria will also be available.

The objectives of the new protocol are to reward good horsemanship at our competitive and FEI rides in this country, devise a transparent method for appointing FEI officials, suggest ways to increase participation and recommend improvements to publicise clean sport. The process of refining a British Protocol that works for all is an interactive one and will be refined over the coming weeks, taking into account the information presented at the FEI’s Sport’s Forum.


Endurance GB - National Governing Body for competitive Endurance horse riding in Great Britain a member body of the BEF. Offering rides for non-members and members from pleasure rides to competitive rides  

Equine and human athlete welfare key focus on day two of FEI Sports Forum 2017

11 Apr 2017

The welfare of equines and human athletes was top of the agenda on day two of the FEI Sports Forum 2017. Scientific data on Eventing risk management, Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue was presented to more than 330 delegates gathered at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne (SUI) today.

The FEI has invested in substantial scientific research to evaluate risk factors and risk management and the sixth edition of the Sports Forum provided the platform for evidence-based data to be presented to the equestrian community.

Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor (USA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group, shared moderation of the afternoon session on Eventing Risk Management with Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee.

David O’Connor, who was also involved in the Hartington Report into risk management in the sport in 2000, remembered how Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart had given him two messages: “If you have the technology and the ability you have to use it, and you will always be behind the curve, you will never think of everything.”

Co-founders of equestrian data science company EquiRatings, Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson, who signed a four-year partnership with the FEI earlier this month to work on risk management initiatives for Eventing, presented the rationale behind the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) and its scope, with analysis of athlete and horse performance history one of the key elements in risk reduction in Eventing.

“Past performance helps us predict and plan future performance”, EquiRatings Managing Director Diarmuid Byrne said.

The Irish company is also working with a number of National Federations and their work in Ireland saw a 66% reduction in falls at national level last year. “It’s about introducing a mind-set of rider responsibility. Psychologically we don’t look at risk, and this tool allows us to step in when we ignore it.”

Presentations in the following session on Endurance risk factors and bone fatigue were well received by delegates, who were impressed by the detailed analysis of data. All three of the panellists - Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow, who are conducting the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne, were clear on the fact that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors.

Dr Euan Bennett stated that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics.

Professor Chris Whitton spoke about how intensive training results in an accumulation of damage and the inhibition of bone repair that occurs during rest. “Prevention is the key”, he said. “Once you’ve got the injury it’s too late. It may not be a catastrophic injury but that horse’s career is shortened. It’s not speed alone, and it’s not distance alone, it’s a combination of the two.”

In her wrap-up of key takeaways from the Endurance session, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said: “We really need to be attuned to our horses. We need to listen to them. They are equine athletes and they really need and deserve recovery time.”

Mark Samuel (CAN), Chair of the FEI Working Group on FEI Officials opened the day’s first session when details of 13 concrete recommendations were provided, including a code of conduct and job descriptions for officials, the withdrawal of the age limit, online education for officials and course directors, appointments and remuneration, and a mentoring programme for younger officials,.

Delegates were also gjven an update on the initial findings of the FEI Dressage Judging Working Group. The Group’s discussions, which have lasted for several months, were based on analytical studies of the current judging system and exploring judging procedures in other FEI disciplines, such as Reining and Vaulting.

The need to introduce a code of points and to concentrate further on education and training of judges across all levels are some of the long-term objectives proposed by the Working Group, with a revised multi-media FEI Dressage Handbook to be delivered as support.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos closed the FEI Sports Forum 2017 by thanking delegates and sponsors, and saying: “We’re very proud of the Sports Forum. This is what we need to do to fully engage with our community and take the necessary next steps. It is very important for the FEI to listen to what our National Federations and stakeholders have to say. The end of the Sports Forum means the start of a lot of work, but this is always a positive move forward.

“It was great to have so many young people contributing to the success of this year’s Sports Forum, and we very much hope to increase the participation of our youth in other editions of the Sports Forum.”


Officials: Mark Samuel, Group IV Chair – Moderator; Peter Bollen, FEI Jumping Committee member, Sönke Lauterbach, NF Germany Secretary General; Frances Heather Hesketh-Jones Triulzi, FEI Honorary Steward General Jumping; Brigitte Mathias, NF Namibia Secretary General.

Risk Management in Eventing: David O’Connor (USA), Chair FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group and Sydney 2000 Olympic champion; Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), chair of the FEI Eventing Committee; Equiratings’ Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson.

Endurance risk factors and Bone Fatigue: Chair of the FEI Veterinary Committee John McEwen; Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee Brian Sheahan; Dr Tim Parkin and Dr Euan Bennet at the University of Glasgow; Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne.

Great Britain: Fancy a ride in the Queen’s back garden? Endurance is doing just that - Full Article

April 13, 2017

It’s definitely one for the bucket list: Endurance riding at the Royal Windsor Horse Show is something very few equestrians will get the chance to experience.

With only four weeks to go to the show, British endurance rider Anna Williams shares what it is like to ride at Windsor, what the sport entails, and her preparations.

On Friday, May 12 competitors will take to Windsor Great Park for the CEI2* 120km and new CEI1* 80km endurance rides. Alongside these international rides, Royal Windsor now offers national riders the opportunity to qualify for the Endurance GB Cup, through the introduction of a 40km National Ride. Run in accordance with FEI rules, the event will give national competitors a taste of international competition...


New Zealand: Marahau kindergarten teacher to take on 1000km wild Mongol Derby adventure - Full Article

Last updated 11:42, April 12 2017

Marahau adventurer Marie Palzer is readying herself for the world's longest, toughest horse race – the Mongol Derby.

Come August, the 22-year-old kindergarten teacher will strap her gear to a semi-wild Mongolian Pony alongside 40 riders in a race that traces a path of military leader Genghis Khan.

Palzer will rely on her own navigational skills, and the kindness of locals, to traverse 1000km in 10 days over rugged terrain.

She will be confronted by vast grassy steppes, looming mountains, marshy plains and deserted wilderness that is home to some of the oldest nomadic tribes.

Only a third of the riders complete the journey and Palzer intends to be one. "I'm pretty determined I'm getting myself across the finish line and I wouldn't be disappointed if I won..."

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bahrain: Flying Without Wings - Ful Story

Posted on April 10, 2017

While most of her classmates were probably playing at the age of 6, Manal Fakhrawi was in training already seeing herself at the race course. The International Equestrian, the first and only female Bahraini jockey with lofty ambitions is making history. Her achievements in the Equestrian world were ground-breaking moments not only for racing in the kingdom, but women in sport. She is a role model for a reason and has a story to share that should never be untold.


Riding race horses is a demanding sport. Jockeys are some of the strongest athletes on earth. One must be physically fit and strong. It requires strong legs, strong core, strong upper body, and great balance. From a young age, Manal was always around horses. She would accompany her elder sisters who took riding lessons and would spend the whole day at the stables. She then took up her first lesson at the age of six. After spending several summers hopping from one stable to another, she finally settled with the one who found determination and potential in her. She was riding on a daily basis after school and it led to one thing- training for competitions! The first competition was when she was at the age of 10. She started as a show jumper and it wasn’t until 1999 that the federation introduced endurance racing. That was when she has built an interest and decided to explore endurance. “I still remember how frightening my first race was, a 13 year old girl competing against hundreds of men. Being the youngest rider in Bahrain, I got a lot of attention and wasn’t long till I was asked to join the Royal Endurance Team of Bahrain,” Manal recalled...

Read more here:

GB: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: cowpats, fitness and forgotten milk - Full Story

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 11 April, 2017

Spring not only means endurance, but it also means repairing land, washing dirt-encrusted horses, cleaning terminally stained rugs and thinking about clearing out the tack room. OK, enough of that, back to endurance.

After Chiara’s competition, she was given a week off to fully recover from her exertions. I tend to give all my horses plenty of recovery time following a competition, perhaps more than is necessary, but it is far better that way round; I want my horses to last. Last week she had some light work, mostly schooling and walking over poles on the ground to encourage her to stretch down which is something that doesn’t come naturally to her.

Now it was Dilmun’s turn. The plan was to run him over 45km to see how he felt with a view to entering the one-star competition at Royal Windsor. Dilmun is now 18-years-old and has been there and done it and for last season and this season, his desires have dictated his competition schedule to some extent. Last year he only ran three times, winning a performance formula competition at the same ride we went to last weekend, being the best Brit in the one-star at Euston Park and finishing with a steady one-star completion at Keysoe.

So with this plan in mind, we set off for the heart of Dorset in beautiful Hardy country (pictured throughout). This was to be our first stay away this season where the horse corrals and we sleep next to him in our trailer (it does have living). Naturally, this was on top of a hill open to all the elements and the enormous field had clearly been recently occupied by cows...

Read more here:

Argentina’s Mercedes Tapia Awarded Best International Endurance Rider - Full Article

Mercedes Tapia speaks with Horsereporter

April 8 2017
by Pamela Burton

8 April 2017, USA ~ Mercedes, congratulations on winning the 2016 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Best Endurance Rider Award. We would say you were born in the saddle. Can you tell us about your passion for horse riding and healing?

HR: How long have you been riding horses? How long have you ridden endurance?

MT: I was born between horses as my Grandfather and my Father were breeders in Argentina, then I studied to be a Veterinarian to be sure that my life would be with horses. Our breed were Criolo horses at that moment, but in 1999 a large Arabian breeder in Argentina asked me to train his horses for endurance and there began my story with the Arabian horse, and I never left.

My first World Championship was in 2002 Jerez de la Frontera with a big and tall Arab Horse named Ras Kasal. and we finished with the best place for South America.

MT: I am the trainer and rider of my horses. If I have to choose one horse as a favorite it would be Ras Kasal (Ansata Aly Jamil x Ras Karima) because with him we did three World Championships and one Pan-American Championship. After that I have fallen in love with many other horses because they usually steal my heart! I used to ride for other breeders, but since 2012 I ride only for my own farm and breeding.

HR: Do you breed to any specific pedigree?

MT: I love the Shaklan line and I like to try to cross with the best Polo lines. I have a super-athletic AngloArab, and I also like the Polish lines as well...

Read more here:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Australia: Hendra vaccine in spotlight as unvaccinated event looms - Full Article

April 9, 2017

Equestrian events in Australia exclusively for horses unvaccinated against the dangerous Hendra virus are disturbing the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).

The AVA has expressed its concern about the health and welfare of horses who have not been vaccinated against Hendra at events, including endurance races. It follows comments by Equestrian Queensland board member Peter Toft, who said the pressure on members to boycott events where vaccination was not mandatory was counterproductive.

Toft told the Gympie Times: “The reality is that this is a new vaccine and its long-term impacts are largely unknown at present, so it’s understandable that some horse owners – particularly those living in areas of the state that are free from bat colonies – are hesitant to vaccinate their animals.”

Organisers of the Easter Endurance Carnival in Gympie, Queensland, stipulate that all horses entering the competition grounds must have a current Hendra vaccination certificate.

The Queensland Endurance Riders Association has approved another event the same weekend, for unvaccinated horses. The Lockyer Valley Endurance Riders will be Australia’s first non-vaccinated only endurance ride...


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Endurance Great Britain and The Pony Club collaborate over new Endurance League - Full Article

05 April 2017)

Pony Club Members who take part in Endurance GB rides at Novice (20-30km), Intermediate (31-39km) and Open (40km+) levels can now benefit from a new league where they will receive points for each kilometre completed.

The 2017 Pony Club Endurance League is now open, closing on 20 August when one lucky Member will be the first to receive a trophy kindly donated by Pony Club Endurance Chairman Robert Blane in memory of his horse, Pink Floyd.

Eligible rides can be found all over the country, and to take part Pony Club Members must either be a full member of Endurance GB (EGB) or they can register for free as an EGB Club Member which entitles them to compete up to 40km whilst paying member’s rates.

John Hudson, EGB Chairman, said: “We hope that the new league table will help reward those Pony Club Members taking part in Endurance GB rides, and increase the number of young people who enjoy the challenge and adventure of taking part in Endurance riding.”

This new league is also welcomed by The Pony Club as a benefit to its Members, and to help strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship the organisation has with EGB; with whom they are collaborating to increase participation amongst younger Endurance riders.

Robert Blane said: “We’re really excited about the new league, and we’re grateful to Endurance GB for their support. The league will offer a new level of safe competition for Pony Club Members taking part in Endurance GB competitions, and it is hoped that together we and Endurance GB can continue to increase the number of riders discovering the exciting sport of Endurance Riding.”

The three highest ranked combinations at each level will be presented with a sash, and the overall winner will receive The Pink Floyd Trophy which Robert Blane feels is a fitting tribute to his horse. Described by Robert as a true all-rounder, Pink Floyd was a 17hh Advanced Endurance horse who also competed to a high level in Dressage and Show Jumping.

Details of the new league tables can be found below:


Horse and Rider combinations who receive the most EGB points in rides of 40km or above (GERs or CERs using normal EGB trophy points). Best ten rides to count.


Horse and Rider combinations who receive the most EGB points in rides between 31 and 39km (Vetted Pleasure rides and GERs using normal EGB points) Best ten rides to count.


Horse and Rider combinations who receive the most EGB points in rides between 20 and 30km (Vetted Pleasure rides getting one point per kilometer and Novice GERs using normal EGB points). Best ten rides to count. EGB Open/Advanced horses or riders are not eligible for this section.

The League tables will be available for viewing on the EGB website, where a list of rides and details on how to enter can also be found.

More info at:

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Chevaux Brasília Championship - Full Article

April 1 2017
Article written with help from:

Brasilia’s regional championship promises a good year for endurance in Brazil

Chevaux Brasília Championship, Fazenda Água Limpa, Brasilia, Brazil. Saturday 25 March 2017.

This was the first stage of the Chevaux Brasília Championship and was the same location as the season closing event of last year’s championship.

In total, there were 94 entrants in categories that started with 23.5km until the CEI1* 80km both in senior and junior that brought riders from different states together.

Some riders were in an endurance competition for the first time. One of them was Pedro Silva Neto, who went to the trails for the first time with his two children: “I’ve always ridden horses, but this was my first time in an endurance competition. It was much better than I expected, because there´s a lot of contact with horses and nature. I´ll come back with my children for sure”...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

FEI partners with equestrian data science company EquiRatings on data and risk analysis initiatives

4 Apr 2017

The FEI has signed a four-year agreement with Irish equestrian data science company EquiRatings, which will see the two organisations working together on risk management initiatives for both Eventing and Endurance.

The partnership will see EquiRatings work with the FEI’s extensive database which, alongside competition and veterinary data, has been collating statistics on fences, falls and injuries in Eventing and other information related to risk management in international competition for the last 10 years, working closely with National Federations and stakeholders.

As an important step in the FEI’s ongoing risk management work in Eventing, the company will initially focus on the implementation of the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) at all level of events starting with the elite 4-star level. The ERQI is an index which helps assess the risk of horse falls in the cross country phase and has proved an accurate indicator at national level. EquiRatings and the FEI will work on specific projects at the request of the FEI Eventing Committee and the FEI Risk Management Steering Group.

The agreement will also see the FEI and EquiRatings further collaborating on horse welfare and data analysis projects in Endurance, formalising exploratory work between the parties over the last 12 months. Initially this will include developing data analysis and predictive analysis tools to measure and manage risk for both human and equine athletes.

“This exciting new partnership with EquiRatings is part of a holistic approach to risk management, working with our national federations from grassroots right up to elite level”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The ERQI is both a powerful tool for understanding and predicting risk in both Eventing and Endurance and brings a new layer of insight into the decision-making process at a global governance level.

“We have worked with EquiRatings in the past, but formalising this partnership provides us with a platform to move forward with more concrete analysis of the FEI’s data, and gives valuable insight into performance and risk. It also has the potential to contribute greatly to the promotion of our sport and the way in which it is consumed by fans.”

EquiRatings director Diarmuid Byrne commented: “Managing risk in equestrian sports is a collective responsibility and we are delighted to be working alongside the FEI as we all play our part. This official partnership shows the ongoing commitment of the FEI and the FEI Risk Management Steering Group to new measures and tools. We will also be working with a number of National Federations around the world in 2017 to implement ERQIs at national level.”

EquiRatings will make a presentation on data analysis as part of the Eventing risk management session at the 2017 FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne on the afternoon of 11 April. The FEI Sports Forum will be streamed live on the FEI YouTube channel.

Full details on risk management in Eventing can be found on the FEI website:

Monday, April 03, 2017

Australia: Club back after ten years to host endurance ride - Full Article

3 April 2017

BONY Mountain on the Darling Downs will play host to five endurance rides this Easter weekend with riders from as far afield as Manilla in New South Wales looking to enjoy the break with their horses and take on the challenging terrain.

The rides - which range between 20 and 80km in distance - have been organised by the Lockyer Valley Endurance Riders (LoVERs) club which was reinstated to host this event after a 10-year sojourn.

Ride organiser Lyndell Abercrombie said she was delighted to see the club reunited and looked forward to welcoming both new and existing endurance riders to the Darling Downs.

"We're thrilled to be back in the saddle, so to speak, to host the LoVERs Endurance Ride and welcome scores of families and their horses to Bony Mountain," Ms Abercrombie said...

Read more here:

USA: 2018 Tryon WEG Logo Unveiled

April 3, 2017 | Comments
by: FEI

Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) unveiled the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (FEI WEG) event logo and promotional video at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha, N.E., on Friday, March 31.

Held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, the 2018 FEI WEG will be held September 11-23 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Tryon, NC.

The press conference was hosted by key members of the FEI WEG organizing committee, Mark Bellissimo, CEO, and Michael Stone, President and Sports Director; alongside FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, and U.S. Equestrian President Murray Kessler.

“We are thrilled to launch the brand and rally enthusiasm for the 2018 Games,” said Bellissimo. “The promo video is only a taste of the action and entertainment fans can expect when they come to Tryon in September 2018...”

Read more here:

Sunday, April 02, 2017

USA: World Equestrian Games Coming To Charlotte Region – Bringing $400 Million Economic Impact - Full Article

By Adrianna Robinson - March 24, 2017

The Charlotte Chamber has has announced that North Carolina will be the official site of the 2018 World Equestrian Games – held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Polk County. The internationally acclaimed event will take place from September 10th-23rd – it occurs every 4 years, staggering the summer Olympics.

The games will feature the best riders from around the world competing in eight core equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, evening, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining...

Read more here:

Australia: The subject of a vaccine for the Hendra virus is driving a split in Queensland’s riding fraternity - Full Article

Peter Hall, EXCLUSIVE, The Courier-Mail
April 1, 2017

PRO and anti-vaxxers are locked in a battle, but this time involving horses and it is ripping a Queensland ­riding fraternity in two.

Equestrian enthusiasts and the Australian Veterinary Association are in a bitter standoff over the Hendra vaccine, the subject of a state parliamentary inquiry in 2016.

This followed the deaths of 97 horses and four people since 1994 and official findings advised vaccinating horses against the virus should be encouraged, but not compulsory.

The AVA – which lost veterinarians Dr Ben Cunneen and Dr Alister Rodgers to Hendra in 2008 and 2009 – has taken a firm stance and warned vets to weigh the legal risk and carefully consider involvement in endurance events unless they were vaccination only.

The ensuing lack of vets has left ride organisers no option but to ban non-vaccinated entrants, sparking a backlash and, in an unprecedented move, seen the scheduling of an alternative “pro-choice’’ ride using sympathetic vets, some flown from interstate...

Read more here:

Australia: 'Equestrian industry being held to ransom' - Full Article

2nd Apr 2017

A SENIOR equestrian industry spokesperson has strongly criticised the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) claiming they are holding the industry to ransom and responding prematurely to the parliamentary inquiry into the Hendra virus vaccine.

Board member and former president of Equestrian Queensland, Peter Toft said the association's ongoing pressure on its members to boycott equestrian events where vaccination was not mandatory was counterproductive and failed to address the responsibility of all involved to create a safe environment within which people can enjoy their horses.

"If vets are refusing to adjudicate endurance events unless they are vaccination only, they are effectively forcing event organisations to turn away any members who have concerns about the vaccine and the impact it has on their horses,” said Mr Toft.

"The reality is that this is a new vaccine and its long-term impacts are largely unknown at present, so it's understandable that some horse owners - particularly those living in areas of the state that are free from bat colonies - are hesitant to vaccinate their animals...”

Read more here:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Denmark: Feldborg Ride - Full Article

29 March 2017
By Anne Mette Holm Halvorsen

The Danish endurance season started beautifully at the Feldborg Ride. The many participating riders enjoyed the gorgeous Feldborg Forest with long, good tracks that offer perfect conditions for both horse and rider.

Even the weather was fine with comfortable temperatures for the horses and this was reflected in good average speeds by many participants.

There is always a good mood at Feldborg and this year it was very international as well with a total of 30 riders coming in from Sweden, Norway, Holland, and Germany with their assisting teams. All were helpful towards each other despite having travelled far to compete. This is generally seen in endurance riding...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Qatar: FEI Tribunal issues Final Decision on two banned substance cases

28 Mar 2017

The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision on two cases involving human Erythropoietin (EPO), a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Abdulla Mubarak Rashed Al Khaili (FEI ID 10076760/UAE) and Mohd Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi (FEI ID 10092584/UAE), whose horses SUR (FEI ID UAE01796/QAT) and Centurion (FEI ID 102RM71/QAT) both tested positive for the same substance at the CEI1* in Doha (QAT) on 22 April 2016, have been suspended for one year.

The trainer of both horses, Mohammed Ali Khalifa Al-Attiyah (FEI ID 10082342/QAT), admitted that he had administered the horses with EPO just before the competition. The athletes were therefore found to bear no significant fault and negligence for the rule violation and their sanctions were reduced from two to one year.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a two-year suspension on the trainer, who is now ineligible until 4 July 2018 (provisional suspension, effective from 5 July 2016, will be credited against the period of ineligibility imposed in this decision). He has been fined 3,500 CHF and will contribute 1,500 CHF towards the legal cost.

The period of provisional suspension of the two athletes, effective from 2 June 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility imposed in this decision, meaning that both athletes will be ineligible until 1 June 2017. In addition, the FEI Tribunal imposed on each of the athletes a fine of 2,000 CHF, a contribution of 1,000 CHF towards legal costs and disqualified the athletes and horses from the competition.

The athletes and trainer have 21 days to appeal the decisions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification (27 March 2017).

Further details on the FEI Tribunal decision can be found here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Zealand: Four legs versus two in horse versus human marathon - Full Article

Last updated 15:44, March 28 2017

Can a human beat a horse? That's the question being tested in an extreme race pitting runners against endurance riders, through steep hill country.

The annual Human v Horse extreme race in Pukeokahu, east of Taihape, is being held for the third time on April 8.

Horses reach higher speeds, but the odds change over a long distance, where humans can have some physiological advantages, race founder Lizzie Maundrell said.

The race is modelled on an eccentric Welsh event founded in 1980, where it took 25 years for a human to beat the horses.

The Kiwi version is harder, Maundrell said. For starters it is longer - a 42 kilometre marathon - then an 1800-metre elevation gain over the entire course. So far a horse and rider have won both years.

"I think people are really interested in doing something different," Maundrell said...

Read more here:

GB: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: new wheels and an amazing transformation - Full Story

anniejoppe 10:55 - 28 March, 2017

It’s spring! Rain has stopped, mud is less deep and the sun has even come out. Our first endurance ride was on Sunday.

The day was all about Chiara. Over the past few weeks, actually since January, Chiara has been preparing for the beginning of the season. As last year was her first in endurance and only her second summer season having a human on her back, there is still a lot to learn. Preparation involves schooling, conditioning and fitness work and, very importantly, seeing as much of the world as possible.

Chiara had a sheltered life for her first six years, never leaving the stud where she was bred and, although she became used to large farm machinery, lorries and so on manoeuvring around the yard, she had never met a sheep or a cow nor had she encountered dustbins, boulders and the beach; all things an endurance horse encounters in his line of work...


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Two Canadians to Contest 2017 Mongol Derby - Full Article

March 23, 2017
by: Mongol Derby

Two Canadians will line up in a field 40-strong for the 2017 Mongol Derby, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race – across 1,000km of Mongolian steppe. Last year the race was jointly won by Heidi Teldstad, a lawyer from Langley, British Columbia.

The two 2017 riders are: Olivia Wood, 24, a Canadian living in Buffalo, NY and Tamara Beckstead, 52, from Rockwood, Ontario.

This is the 9th Mongol Derby, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race. The 2017 race features 12 men and 23 women from nine countries riding 1,000km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.

William Comiskey was one of the joint winners in 2016...

See more here:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Endurance Great Britain launches initiative to boost participation

March 21 2017

In a move designed to make Endurance riding more inclusive and to validate the key role played by supporters of the sport, Endurance GB has launched a new initiative proposing that non-riders, who are nevertheless involved in endurance at all levels, register and become a Supporter.  This new category is aimed at, but is not exclusive to; support crews, officials, volunteers, riders not competing due to injury or other reasons, and parents.
There is no cost associated with registering, and the benefits for Supporters will include an e-version of the Endurance GB magazine and two FREE affiliated ride entries under the Try Before You Buy scheme.  It’s hoped the new initiative will give an identity for key supporters ensuring they are not left on the periphery of the sport they enjoy so much.
The Board of Endurance GB believes that Supporter registration will give the society a better picture of the true participation in the sport of endurance riding. After all, on the day of a competition, there are far more people who could be classed as 'active participants' than just the riders. 
John Hudson, Chairman of Endurance GB, commented that 'launching a new category for Supporters will aid Endurance GB's mission to become a more inclusive society and is a significant step forward in terms of tracking participation. The new category will also enable us to better understand who the volunteers are in our sport and help us recognise their contribution which makes the sport what it is today.'

Final Decisions in two cases involving banned substances have been issued by the FEI Tribunal

20 Mar 2017

The Jordanian Endurance athlete Nayef Al Fayez (FEI ID 10066952) has been handed down a 30-month suspension following an adverse analytical finding on samples taken from the horse Obama Al Aswad (FEI ID 104DF50) at the 80km CEI*1 in Amman (JOR) on 21 May 2016. The samples tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone, and the controlled medications Dexamethasone, Meloxicam, Phenylbutazone and its metabolite Oxyphenbutazone.

In its Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal noted that under the current FEI Equine Anti-Doping Rules, the sanction for an adverse analytical finding for a banned substance is a two-year period of ineligibility for first time offenders. However, due to the presence of five prohibited substances, including the banned substance Boldenone, and the performance enhancing effects of the cocktail of drugs, the Tribunal felt that the imposition of a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction was justified.

The period of provisional suspension, effective from 20 June 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility, meaning that the athlete will be ineligible until 19 December 2018. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a fine of CHF 5,000, costs of CHF 3,000, and disqualified the athlete and horse from the competition, in which they finished second.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification (17 March 2017).


The FEI Tribunal also issued a Final Decision in the case of the horse Dendros (FEI ID 103IT53), ridden by the Swiss athlete Matthias Klausener (FEI ID 10057973) at the CPEDI3* in Somma Lombardo (ITA) on 19 June 2016. Samples taken from the horse returned positive for the banned substance Demecolcine.

The Tribunal heard that the presence of Demecolcine may indicate contamination, most likely due to the ingestion of the flower Colchicum Autumnale, autumn crocus. Demecolcine is not a pharmaceutical, but in human medicine the substance is used for tumour therapy. There is no known use for Demecolcine in veterinary medicine and the alkaloids of the autumn crocus are all very toxic. Demecolcine has been put on the list of suggestions for substances to be designated as Specified Substances* for 2018.

It was proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that the substance had entered the horse’s system through ingesting hay that had been contaminated by autumn crocus. The athlete had previously successfully appealed for the lifting of the provisional suspension, which had been imposed on 27 July 2016. The provisional suspension was lifted on 6 October 2016.

The athlete established to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that he bore no fault or negligence for the rule violation and, as a result, the Tribunal ruled that no further sanctions should be imposed, other than the automatic disqualification of the horse and athlete from the competition, in which they finished sixth.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the CAS from the date of notification (17 March 2017).

Further details on both cases can be found on this page:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Will We Throw Stones from Afar, or BE A PART OF THE EVOLUTION OF EQUESTRIAN TESTS? - Full Article

We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them. — William Arthur Ward

By John Crandell

We’re high in the middle of yet another attention-grabbing season of endurance racing in U.A.E, and once again inflamed rhetoric is singeing the digital highways. I’d like to offer some perspective that might help keep these exchanges as genuinely constructive as possible, and in doing so will point out some specific reasons why some addresses have been counterproductive to the best interest of equestrian sports, and the respect our horses deserve.

Many stones are being cast from afar with little awareness of their actual effect at the point of impact, or the full perception of the recipients. There is an old Arabian proverb that translates something like: “I against my brother, my brother and I against my cousins, my cousins and I against the world”. In this is a reminder of the necessity of respecting social proximities when attempting to settle disputes and share challenging ideas. There are always a few in every large group of people that will have an open mind to our own perspectives. Those people are always the essential element of any lasting change. Change brought by force from the outside is never heartfully and durably absorbed. It’s nearly impossible to have an effective diplomatic discussion with someone while your associates are glaring through a pipe, overlooking their own vices, and throwing stones at his brother every time something offends them.

Those of us in the United States of America have the most to lose by continuing to act in this narrow field of vision. Our minds been bombarded with a century of hyper-anthropomorphism, amplified and fed back to us by a commercial entertainment media all too willing to capitalize on the allure of animations and illusions of animals that have exactly the perceptions and values humans have. Our own naivety and arrogance is fed back to us in volume, and our animals suffer for it as we cloud our ability to objectively learn their perceptions, their ethos, their needs for happiness. Stan Eichelberger DVM, once pointed out to me in the lobbies of an American Endurance Ride Conference convention that “Walt Disney has been the cruelest thing that ever happened to animals...”

Read more here:

UAE: Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan attend Dubai Crown Prince Endurance - Full Article

March 18, 2017

Al Marri completed the four loops in a time of 04:04:39 to end the Dubai endurance season on a high
dubai - Teenager Mohammad Al Marri aboard SM Jota Curado was crowned champion of the Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup 2017 sponsored by Emirates Airline, which is undoubtedly the biggest career win for this promising rider from the UAE.

Al Marri completed the four loops in a time of 04:04:39 to end the Dubai endurance season on a high.

The purpose-built Dubai International Endurance city played host to the prestigious CEN 119 km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; along with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council; greeted the first few riders to complete the race including Mohammad Al Marri.

"I am very pleased with the result. Credit goes to my horse Jota Curado who is very strong horse and has improved with every race, and he has a great future ahead. The endurance season is over now, but we will plan ahead, and hope to replicate the success from this special race," said Al Marri...

Read more here:

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Great Britain: The Endurance Futurity Graduate Scheme is launched - Full Article


An exciting new scheme, the Endurance Futurity Graduate Scheme, has been launched to recognise the performance of Endurance Futurity Graduates.

The Scheme has been the inspiration of Endurance GB (EGB) and sets out to recognise the performance of endurance horses that are realising the potential identified at the Baileys Horse Feeds/BEF Futurity Evaluations. The Scheme was devised by Jo and Peter Claridge and Rosemary Attfield.

To be eligible for the Baileys Horse Feeds/BEF Futurity evaluations, horses or ponies must be British bred. The Futurity evaluations are open to horses and ponies aged from foals to three-year-olds, bred for one of the main disciplines; Endurance, Eventing, Showjumping or Dressage.

Rosettes, sponsored by Phoenix Fields Arabians, will be awarded to all Futurity graduates registered with Endurance GB that successfully achieve their first Novice, Open, Advanced and International (FEI) level at Endurance GB rides. This includes all Futurity graduates since 2009 when endurance first became part of the BEF Futurity evaluations, and annually into the future. The Endurance Futurity Graduate Scheme aims to recognise and encourage the breeding and early assessment of high performance British bred endurance horses, and their subsequent development by responsible owners and trainers to attain their highest potential...

Read more here:

UAE: Dubai Crown Prince Cup bring curtain down on endurance season - Full Article

Dubai International Endurance City event features four separate rides

March 16, 2017
Staff Report

Dubai: The CEN 120 Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup is the highlight of a week-long Endurance festival held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council.

The prestigious ride brings to a close the endurance season in Dubai.

Organised by the Dubai Equestrian Club, and held at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City, features the participation of local and international horse and rider pairings in four separate rides.

These included the CEN 90km Dubai Crown Prince Ride for Ladies on Monday followed by the CEN 100km Dubai Crown Prince Ride Restricted to Private Stables/Individuals the next day and the CEN 119km Yamamah Endurance Cup for Mares on Wednesday.

The finale — the CEN 120km Dubai Crown Prince Endurance Cup will be staged on Saturday, where a host of national and international star horse-rider combinations are expected to compete for the coveted title...

Read more here:

Ireland: Horseware boss, 66, qualifies to compete at WEG 2018 - Full Article

Caroline Bankes
13:02 - 18 March, 2017

Horseware founder Tom MacGuinness has become the first Irish rider to qualify for the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG).

The 66-year-old was one of six finishers at a testing qualifying race in Spain last weekend (11-12 March).

The 3* 160km race was held at Tordera, an hour north of Barcelona.

Mr MacGuinness qualified with his nine-year-old chestnut gelding Sasha D’Allais, which he keeps in Spain.

The pair qualified for both the European Championships this September and next year’s WEG, to be held in the USA at Tryon International Centre in North Carolina on 10-23 September...


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Extreme Endurance - aka "Cavalry Test"

by Leonard Liesens, Belgium
March 16 2017

After my visit at Boudheib where I made this presentation, I'm proposing here a text a little more developed (I had time to think in the flight back :-)).

Your comments, suggestions, even critics (not too many and not to nasty please…) are welcome and most expected.

I’m asking all ‘good will’ people to participate at this project. Because our sport needs very strong actions supported by well-know and influential actors in endurance.

Let’s put aside our individualism and our old habits and let’s be innovative. All that for the salvation of our sport and our beloved horses.

I called my concept “Extreme Endurance”. But at the presentation, John Crandell told me that they already have something similar in the States. They call it “Cavalry Test”. Anyway, the name is not important…

Some findings (everybody have made hopefully the same) :

1. The speed keeps going up, while at the same time the weight of the riders goes down. We noticed - despite the FEI having claimed at all forums that the races must be more technical - that the championships are all flats those last years:
Samorin 2014(20.6km/h)…Verona2014(21.4km/h)…Sartilly2014(19.6km/h…the only technical race in the lot)…
Valeggio 2015(22.2km/h)…Samorin 2015(22.6km/h)… Santo Domingo 2015(22.4km/h)…
Negrepelisse 2016(20km/h)…Samorin 2016(23.6km/h)… Rio Frio 2016(23km/h)…

- 2. The number of what I’m calling the “Jockey-Riders” is raising. And don’t think that this phenomenon only takes place in the Gulf. We also have in Europe more juniors relying on their parents to condition the horses so they can ride at major rides. So these riders have not suffered on the long run with the horses they are riding; they hardly know them; they haven’t qualified them. So the risk is big as they don’t assume the responsibility of their companion welfare. They are followed all the way by the trainer and do what they asked to, but they do not listen to their horse - because sometimes they haven't learned to do do.

The horse is ridden like a bike, gas pedal to the ground, then delivered to the grooming team to get the horse “ready” for the vet inspection. After that, if the horse passes, that’s up the grooming team to do everything to “fix” it for the next faze. Exaggerating…not really… just a little maybe… or maybe not…
Where is the “horsemanship” is all that?


3. The crewing has become omnipresent. Water bottles every 5 km (this is the least as in the UAE, Boudheib excepted, water is dropped on the horse almost all the time). Horses not allowed to drink at water points. An extreme tension at the crew points because of the armada of stressed grooms, the cars, the excited riders; let’s not forget that a horse is a herd animal which by nature flies away from the danger.
At the vetgate tons of water are dropped on the horses. Like them entering into a water tunnel, those poor robot-horses, the light in their eyes having vanished since a long time, drilled like robots. They move in the water tunnel, getting a deluge of 100 litres per 10 meters ice water poured on their body.
The rider who has ran his horse into the ground rely on a plethoric number of grooms and vets to” do up” his mount, sometimes with unauthorized means. Horses visibly in distress are magically up and running the next stage. Terrible...


4. The "Completion" is not prized anymore. What counts is the victory at all costs. And the faster the last loop the better. “We have 30 minutes to pulse down”…

- 5. Not even writing about doping, fractures, cheating, chasing the horses with 4x4, etc...

Taking into account these findings, having got long discussions at Boudheib and having seen positive reactions, I think it’s time to stick our head above the parapet (found this on the internet J translation of “Getting out of the woods”…). I would appreciate that all riders and their entourage to consider this formula.

A very simple concept

The rider and his horse

Nothing else

- - Nobody is allowed to touch the horse. Nowhere (would that be with the hand, the foot or any part of the body, sic…). Would that be at the start of the fazes, at the crew points, at the vetgate, at the rest area. The only exception would be when the horse requires the farrier intervention. In all other cases, the slightest contact with the horse means the elimination. Crystal clear. No interpretation… The rider is falling and the horse needs to be caught… elimination. The bit or the rein breaks and someone comes to help…elimination. The riders let his/her horse go at the water point and he needs to be caught…elimination. No exception.

- - The ride manager will have to organise water points every 10km: water tanks for the horses, hay and alfalfa and maybe mash, water and Gatorade and snacks for the rider. The water point will be delimited by ribbons that spectators and grooms are not allowed to trespass. The rider willing to cool down his horse does so by dismounting or by dropping a sponge or a bucket in the water tank.

- - At the cooling down area(vetgate), each horse will have a designated place that will have been prepared by the grooms with buckets of water and all necessary equipment. The couple will head there to untack and cool down the horse. The rider will present his horse HIMSELF and trot his mount (a rider not able to trot for 80 meters is not a sport man and should not start the next faze). During that time the groom may collect the tack and saddle, wash it and bring it back to the resting area.

- - If the horse is vetting OK, the rider lead it to the resting area in his designated paddock. He will take care of his companion, massage him, give him access to the various feed THANN TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF (Horse’s first!).

- - When time is up, the riders will put the saddle and the tack and go for next loop. Nobody will have touched the horse. When the rider has been gone, the crew will prepare the paddock for the next faze or bring the whole stuff to the next vetgate (when it’s not a shamrock-like race).

- - At the finish, the rider should be allowed to run/walk beside his horse (why was it necessary to amend the regulation, forcing the rider to be on the horse…).

- Pulse at vetgate: 64BPM. Maximum presentation time: 10 minutes. Rest time: at least 45 minutes. Min weight : 75 kgs on all competition, also the qualifications.

- During the vetgate, we should come back to the motto “Fit to continue”, even at the last check. A horse not able to display his trot should be eliminated.

Sport aspects

- We are coming back to the fundamentals, the basics of endurance : the combined effort of the horse and the rider while keeping the competition spirit. Beating the trail, beating the opponents while preserving the welfare of the animal, while taking the greatest care of the horse because the ride is long and the first goal is to complete. It is a real race. The first crossing the line and fit to continue is the winner.

- The essential notion of “horsemanship”: schooling and training and conditioning the horse, riding the best way in all conditions, reading and respecting the trail, listening to the horse while going as fast as possible, being able to pace accordingly and taking into account that the race is long, taking the best care of his horse and respect him.

- This is actually nothing less than the Tevis (at Tevis the rider sees his crew only twice, at Robinson Flat and at Foresthill) or a classical Multidays in the USA.

- Is it necessary to ban the flat races? Not necessarily. Without crew the speed will reduce drastically. The formula has obviously to be tested.

- If the riders from the Middle East are keen to take the challenge, of course they are welcome. Some are already running the marathon or other human endurance tests.

- Everybody at the same level, dudes, sheikhs, princes, kings… all the same with their horse beating the trail.

- It would be obvious that the qualification system must return to the couple rider/horse.

- Last but not least, the nerve-blocking test should be developed.

Televisual aspects

Just an example (video amateur de Marijke Visser à Boudheib 2017)

- Imagine the images at the television : the harmony between the rider and his horse when cruising in the nature ; the efficiency of the rider at the vetgate ; the beauty of happy horses at the finish line. Even the horsemanship displayed when the rider is jogging beside his horse at the finish. A much more positive picture than what has been showed those last years.

- The « Tour de France » in the Alps… similar. The Iron Man… the same...

**this post has been updated to Leonard's translation to English**

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: what’s this all about? - Full Article

Horse & Hound 10:55 - 15 March, 2017

Endurance, what’s that all about? A long hack maybe or a madcap dash across the desert? The reality for one dedicated endurance rider is four beautiful pure Arabian horses and a sea of mud in deepest, darkest Cornwall. BUT the endurance season in the UK has just started, spring is upon us and the days are getting longer.

A quick intro to the four extremely ‘individual’ Arabs: leader of the pack is Dilmun who has achieved so much in his career culminating in representing his country at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2014, but is now 18 and having a slightly easier time; Fantom who is the current superstar, HS Chiara who is the future and Wizard, an older boy who makes occasional appearances either doing dressage or pleasure rides.

There was big excitement this weekend as the first squad session was upon us. Fantom was to attend this squad session having qualified for the European Championships to be held in Brussels in August. After having six months’ holiday doing absolutely nothing, he came back into work about four weeks ago and we have been steadily walking, starting with 10 minutes on the roads to now over an hour over a more varied terrain. In preparation for his assessment he had his expert massage, new shoes and a new haircut (very chic!).

Squad sessions are usually in the middle of the country which I guess is the only fair way and this time was no exception; Milton Keynes the home of the concrete cows. I have clearly led a sheltered life and Milton Keynes was a first for me. Definitely a doughnut city, with roundabout after roundabout; not what you want when towing your precious horse. However, the hub, where we were staying, was a revelation, more European than British in its outlook with outdoor eating and a huge variety of cuisine, happy days!...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Champion Monarch AH Turns 30 in Abu Dhabi - Full Article and photos

By Pamela Burton
5 March, 2017 Abu Dhabi, UAE ~

To honor the living legend, Monarch AH, guests were treated to a parade of his talented family. Orphaned at just three weeks of age, Monarch overcame the odds and became not just a champion racehorse, setting three track records, but also a champion sire and grandsire...

Read more and see photos here:

UAE: Boudheib Initiative Worldwide Conference for 'Welfare of the Horse' an Unparalleled Success

March 15 2017

The much awaited Boudheib Initiative Worldwide conference recently held at Boudheib's Endurance village in Abu Dhabi, welcomed International guests and speakers from many major endurance countries around the world.
Introductions to the panel and thanks to His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unwavering support for the 'Welfare of the Horse' were made by H.E. Senan Al Muheiri - EHC CEO for Activities and Events.  Followed by introductions of the international guest speakers by Dr. Dwight Hooton, veterinarian, horse welfare provocateur and member of the FEI Veterinary Committee.

Honoured guest HRH Princess Alia Bint Hussein of Jordan gave an inspiring address to the packed audience, firstly honouring women around the world celebrating International Ladies Day and leading onto an in depth report on ‘our fellow companions in all equestrian sports, the horse, which often is forgotten in the endeavour to win at all costs.  Our horses deserve our respect as we are not able to achieve any results without them’.  HRH Princess Alia made it clear that to win when afterwards the horse is spending the night in the hospital is no achievement!

One of the many speakers with a wealth of endurance experience was Dr. Martha Mischeff, veterinary representative of Boudheib's Organising Committee with 20 years endurance involvement here in the Middle East, spoke about His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s encouragement of  good horsemanship.  She said 'We have for so long now seen riders, particularly the women, out on the tracks completely out of control - there is a much need for improved riding skills'.

Boudheib Organising Committee member, Ms.Deirdre Hyde, discussed statistics which included a staggering 12,000 endurance horses registered with the Federation here in the UAE.  Ms. Hyde went on to to recognise the many firsts credited to Boudhieb: Computer Timing, GPS tracking, Presentation Time of 56 bpm, introduction of natural trails and other measures to make fair competition and objective assessment.  In her frequent discussions with H.H. Sheikh Sultan, His Highness was so distressed by the  continuing lack of respect for the endurance horse, he declared 'Fix it or we stop, no compromise'!  Out of this the Boudheib Initiative was born and we have been overwhelmed by the global response.  Ms. Hyde is ‘grateful and proud to be part of His Highness Sheikh Sultan's Initiative taking a step in what we consider to be the right direction’.

Roly Owers began his address with thanks to His Highness Sheikh Sultan for speaking at the World Horse Organisation (WHO) conference in London last November.  He went on to say welfare of the horse can never be put 2nd  - the horse owes us nothing, the horse must always be put FIRST.   Responsible horse sport is our fundamental and personal responsibility.

USA 3 time winner of the Endurance Triple Crown of North America and award winner for best condition at each of his three wins, John Crandell is proud that his horse is still sound and going strong at 19 years of age. John has been in endurance for 40 years and states that Endurance could be the only sport in which we truly give back to the horse.  The test for the animal, what is he prepared for?   Adapted to many types of terrain and their genetics are forged for this.  The horse is a great gift  and we need to take care of them for generations to come.

Ahmed Samarraie' s presentation on the current German situation in endurance sport was agreeing in general with views from other countries that the sport has a loss of clean image, young riders are less interested in the sport, sponsorship issues exist, there is a damaged market for endurance horses and public opinion views that there are many 'bad' international riders coming from this region.

Coach Johannes Versleijen of the Abu Dhabi Al Jazira Sports Football Club gave an address offering a link between training and injury in football and horses. Football is an interval and contact sport with specific rules to consider when training.  Forward planning is paramount, always having to consider what will happen next, where are your team mates, technical skills need to be used in 90 minutes and his physical training is adapted to that time frame.  No game is the same, you need stamina, strength, coordination and endurance, there can be extra time and penalties, so one needs ability to recover quickly.  The number of high intensity runs has increased  markedly in the last 10 years, now there is little time on the ball but the field of play hasn't changed nor the number of players.      ‘This is how I prepare my complex training sessions on knowledge of the facts & data as well as the mental, technical and physical aspects.  Overtraining is a major concern as this causes stress injuries that are avoidable with full understanding of training physiology; this year there has been a decrease in injuries - training has significantly changed in the last few years and careful planning is always at the forefront .  There are many recoveries to address, from the millisecond recoveries within the muscle cells to the daylong rest following the game.  Sleep, food and rest are the best way for complete recovery and the 2nd day complete rest is essential when your muscles are at their most tired.’  Dr Hooton surmised later, the same principles apply in horse sport of endurance  especially when training for natural trails.  

Sara Burnett,  specialist sport horse nutritionist from UK based horse feed supplier Dodson & Horrell told us of techniques for feeding and supporting the endurance horse.  Twenty years of feeding sport horses in the Middle East has demonstrated that extreme temperatures, lack of natural grass, and overcoming hydration issues are prime priorities to support muscle function and recovery.  Dodson & Horrell has a distributor, Horse & Coarse here in the UAE and are pleased to assist in any nutritional benefit issues you may wish to discuss.

Florac's world famous Jean-Paul Boudon, has been organising Florac trails for the last 18 years and an endurance rider for more than 40. At that time J.P. Boudon began riding 160km and was part of the world group creating the rules of endurance at the outset.  He discovered all the qualities and capacities of the pure Arabian horse, and is now a breeder, trainer and trail designer.  He noted 'There have been two stages in endurance, first, game & pleasure and now in the second period with business and money at its core enables breeding to continue. The tracks have become flatter and faster, evolution of horses and equipment, without generalisation, riders, trainers, breeders nowadays do not valuerise their horses, they do it for profit in sales of horses so the horse is no longer a riding partner.  It has become a means to make money resulting in doping, cheating and lack of welfare.  Thanks to the encouragement of initiatives from Boudheib, M. Boudon is very proud to announce new innovations for 2017 Florac which will now be returning to more traditional tracks, longer phases and steep hills with 10 minutes holding time for horses to drink, rest and eat in between these long loops, all new innovations returning Florac endurance back to its true origins and valued time honoured traditions, To win is to Finish!

With an eye to one of Sheikh Sultan's keen interests encouraging good horsmanship to young people coming into the sport of endurance, Sybille Merkhart , well known international endurance rider from Southern Germany, is very involved in teaching young riders new to endurance and is very keen to promote the word of Boudheib in her homeland, installing the importance of the welfare of the horse to young riders.

Belgium's Leonard Liesens, head of endurance,  recounted that he was on the verge of giving up and became ashamed to say he was an endurance rider due to the cheating, doping, death of horses and increasing lack of horsemanship.  'Horse & rider should be in full harmony.  Crewing is becoming paramount in the minds of many and they don't listen to the horse any more, reading the trail and giving the horse the opportunity to slow down and recover after a steep hill, thus allowing your horse to use less energy and is thereby better able to continue.' Leonard believes one can see the light vanishing in the horses eyes - they are subjected to having water poured over them instead of being able to drink, and in the middle east riding has become a jockey endeavor promoted by the trainer.  Leonard has an idea, 'the Boudheib Protocol is something fantastic', and thanks to Sheikh Sultan the solution can probably be adapted to all rides in Europe. Having ridden the Tevis from start to finish, it is only the horse and rider alone; Liesens suggests new regulations to slow speed and reduce abusers of the horses.   Snacks & water for both horse & rider at various rest areas, no crew allowed to touch the horse, same discipline at the vet gates with riders only able to take care of his horse (if the rider is not able to do the trot up, then he is not a fit sportsman so cannot continue).  Once again, as has been discussed many times throughout the Boudhieb conference, good horsemanship is key.  John Crandell concurred, having taken part and won in the USA Cavalry rides of 160km these are exactly the principles, horse & rider are one, there are NO crews!

Dr. Dwight Hooton's summary of the day reminds us all that the horse should be fit to continue at all stages including the finish, and that fit to finish is not an acceptable criteria.  Horses “dead in eyes” and unable to prick their ears due to exhaustion may continue to trot until they collapse but this does not represent “fit to continue”.  The Boudheib Protocol is still in a developmental phase and the intention is to create an app to follow progress throughout the race.    Dr Hooton also asked that we specifically define ‘what is horsemanship?’ as this vital concept is key to the future success of horse sports.

The Boudheib Inititiative Worldwide conference was an incredibly powerful  salute to the endurance horse and its future welfare.  Huge thanks were expressed to all the speakers concerned for their commitment to ensuring a healthy future for the sport and gratitude was expressed by all concerned to His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his continuing efforts in
Driving the Future of Endurance.
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Invited guests:
HRH Princess Alia bint Hussein of Jordan
Roly Owers, UK  (World Horse Welfare)
Melanie Scott, AUSTRALIA  (AERA President)
Jean-Paul Boudon, FRANCE  (Organiser FLORAC)
Christele Derosch, FRANCE  (Organiser PERSIK TRAIL)
Ahmed Samarraie, GERMANY  (Holds National Champs)
Leonard Liessens, BELGIUM  (Head of Endurance)
John Crandell, USA  (Endurance Promotion)
Susan Koekemoer RSA (Organizer RSA largest Endurance Club)
Sybille Merkhart, Southern GERMANY  (Endurance Organiser)
Kevin Croke IRELAND  (FEI 4* Judge)
Kseniia Horbunova, Ukraine
Francois Kerboul FRANCE (FEI 4* Judge & Boudheib Official Timekeeper)
Christian Lozano FRANCE  (Head of Boudheib Vet Delegation)
Franz  Arts, NEDERLANDS  (Senior Endurance Vet)
Sarah Coombs,UK -  Foreign Vet delegate (Vet Panel)  
Antonia Mota, PORTUGAL  (Vet Panel) (President Vet Commission)