Prize giving ceremony with no longer "invisible" horses.
2 February 2017
by François Kerboul
FEI 4* Judge, TD & CD
Now the international specialized press does not any longer use expressions like "group VII" or "UAE" as being entities one cannot divide. Indeed group VII includes very different countries such as the Persian Gulf Emirates, Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco which have nothing in common in the field of equestrian disciplines ...
From now on the press clearly makes the difference between Dubai (DIEC), Al Wathba (ADEC) and Boudheib (BIEV) as it does for all the other countries because it has noticed that various types of management exist. It acknowledges that it has become impossible to consider them as being part of an indivisible entity. It is important and this is not the least victory of Boudheib Endurance.
PRECISIONS ON THE PRESIDENT CUP RIDES
The President Cup competitions for Ladies, Horses Owned by Private Owners and Young Riders are traditionally held in Boudheib (BIEV) while the President Cup for Seniors is managed by ADEC (Al Wathba).
This year the winner of the President Cup for Young Riders (CEIYJ 2* 120km – 21 01 2017) finished the competition with an average speed (FEI) of 18.75 km/h. This speed is relatively common in Europe and elsewhere but it had never been seen before in the region. If we compare this result with the former years, one's note that the average speed of the winners from 2010 to 2015 was 26.61 km/h reaching 28.58 km/h in 2015. We also note that they did increase every season, 2010 being "modestly" 25.65 km/h.
It is also interesting to note that the winner did not exceed 21.53 km/h on his fastest phase. On the contrary the 3rd one ended his ride with a top phase speed of 34.02 km/h, which in 2013means a difference of almost 12.50 km/h with today's.
The speed decrease is significant. It is remarkable moreover when one knows that the President Cup for Young Riders is a kind of explosive cocktail since they are speed lovers, have top quality horses and are eager to win the prizes (even if 70% are for the BECA ranking).
Speed breaks horses. A recent study done by the École Nationale Vétérinaire de Maison-Alfort 's researchers (National Veterinary School of Maison-Alfort – France) based on the ATRM database confirms it once more1:
• Speed is a major factor of risk.
• The presentation time is an important sign of a good condition.
In conclusion of their study they advocate among other solutions:
• to slow down the horses during the competitions;
• to reduce the presentation time.
This is exactly what the Boudheib Protocol (BECA) has been doing for more than one year with convincing results.
The speed of the CEIYJ 2* of the President Cup is low but at the same time the percentage of qualified horse is correct however inferior to the ones of the former CEIs of the season held under the same protocol in Boudheib (respectively 79% and 61%). The noticeable difference is obviously due to the distance since those CEIs were 80 km long.
The distance factor was obviously coupled with a relatively bad management on the tracks. Numerous riders were seen galloping on the natural track as they always do on the prepared "traditional" ones. It increased their horses' tiredness as a result. That is why an unusual number of horses were disqualified due to the incapacity to be presented in time (10%), added to gait irregularities (14.5%) and horses declared "metabolic" (26.9%). One has to note that around half of the latter were above the 56 bpm authorized. 11.6% of the horses were retired by their riders, trainers and/or owners because, if they were, at that time, in good condition they were not fit enough to continue in the same condition according to the BECA parameters.
So one can estimate that around 30% of the horses did not finish the ride, either because they could not match the Boudheib Protocol parameters or because their riders, trainers or owners wished to preserve them...
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