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...

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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)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

New Zealand: Marlborough horses, riders show endurance at SI champs - Full Article

March 14 2017

Four Marlborough equestrian combinations made the long trip to Fairlie for the Farmlands and CopRice South Island Endurance and CTR Championships and notched up a notable success rate.

On the first day, Friday March 3, West Coast-based Marlborough member Anna Hynes riding Bell View Al-Shama took out the 40km Intermediate class, with a score of 104 points, from four other strong rivals, a top effort on a borrowed horse.

On Saturday two main events took place, with the 160km senior event starting at 1am, in steady drizzle which didn't let up for most of the morning. This six-loop class was eventually won by Oamaru's Carla Barakat, from Nelson Lakes rider Alison Higgins. Their ride time was just over 12 hours, a mammoth effort to complete...

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Uruguay: Haras La Perseverancia - Full Article

Text provided by: Lucia Olascoaga
8 March 2017

Race debutants and track changes do not influence high speeds.

Haras La Perseverancia, Costa Azul, Canelones, Uruguay. 3 & 4 March 2017.

The second race of the national championship in Uruguay was held in Haras La Perseverancia, in the coastal area of ​​Canelones, a few kilometres from Montevideo.

The races, CEI1* 80km and CEI2** 120km, were for both junior and senior categories.

Usually this track has one or two stages on the beach but, being in the tourist season, it is not allowed to bring horses into this area. Much of the distance was on roads and in the forest, with many stretches of deep sand which contributed to a harder and slower race.

In the 120km seniors two groups formed: in front those who already had experience with this distance and had the ambition to win the race, and then in the second group the debutantes who took this opportunity to prepare the horses over this distance. Very good recoveries in the vet gate were noted for most of the horses. The winner was Brazilian Monica Pinto Lima with RSC Burbara, at an average speed of 21.60km/h, and in second place arrived the experienced Che Niebla with international rider Pilar Saravia...

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Monday, March 13, 2017

UAE: Boudheib Academy Youngsters Learn Endurance Riding Skills

Boudheib Endurance Initiative

March 11 2017

The Boudheib Academy youngsters had a wonderful 2 days at the Boudheib Festival with 2 rides of 10km and 20km to test their endurance skills. Yesterday the 10km was open to Under 16's who had never ridden an endurance ride before, and today was followed by a 20km Open ride for beginners to endurance and for the first time they were allowed to canter - I am pleased to report that all horses and riders behaved impeccably.

These young Emiratis are the future of endurance here in the UAE and are learning horsemanship from a young age. Trainer Kieran Treacy runs a tight ship and the boys learn not only endurance but also show jumping, tent pegging and dressage.

Seems like they had a wonderful & memorable time of it all - once again Boudheib is showing the way and Driving the Future of Endurance.

South Korea: Jeju Hosts Horse-Riding Marathon - Full Article

March 13, 2017 by Korea Bizwire

JEJU, South Korea, March 13 (Korea Bizwire) – Jeju hosted the 2017 Jeju Horse Endurance Festival on Sunday, organized by the Korea Halla-Horse Association.

Some 500 equestrians from Korea and overseas participated in the contest, with athletes competing in three events – 10-kilometer, 20-kilometer, and 30-kilometer races – in individual and team categories...

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

2017 Jr/Young Rider World Endurance Championship Applications of Intent Available

March 7 2017

The 2017 Longines FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors is scheduled to take place in Verona, Italy on 22-24 September. The Application of Intent, and instructions for submitting is available here:

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Cambodia: Equestrian fed takes step to Sea Games - Full Article

Wed, 8 March 2017
H S Manjunath

The Cambodian Equestrian Federation (CEF) took a giant step in preparing the Kingdom’s team for endurance events at the forthcoming SEA Games in Malaysia later this year by holding the first ever 80 kilometre trial at Phnom Penh’s Areyksat Club’s horse park.

The CEF is planning to organise the second of the three mandatory trials required for qualification in Siem Reap in the near future.

It was a match race only of sorts as two contenders lined up for the 80km event, but there was plenty of excitement around the park since this was the first time ever that local riders and horses had taken up this gruelling challenge.

“We were indeed thrilled that the trials went off better than expected, with both riders finishing the course.

“One of the horses failed in the gait test but I am confident we will have more horses and riders making the grade as we go on,” president of the CEF Mona Tep, herself an accomplished equestrian rider, told The Post yesterday.

With the Malaysian SEA Games set for August this year, the CEF has been pursuing the preparation of endurance riders as a top priority since it is a mandatory eligibility criteria for a participating country to complete a minimum of four trials three over 40km, extending to 80km for the final one...

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Saturday, March 04, 2017

Terengganu seeks to groom young talents in equestrian sports - Full Article

By ADRIAN DAVID - March 3, 2017

ETIU: Terengganu is destined to be the home for equestrian sports as the state’s most influential supporter is Sultan of Terengganu Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, said Terengganu youth, sports and human resources committee chairman Datuk Rozi Mamat.

Rozi pointed out that the Sultan’s interest and keen involvement has helped equestrian sports to gain popularity and develop rapidly in the region.

It is no secret that Sultan Mizan is an avid endurance rider, who has competed in prestigious endurance competitions globally...

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Thursday, March 02, 2017

20 Mule Team FEI Ride, USA - Full Article

March 2 2017
Article and images created for Endurance World by Kimberly Rivers

20 Mule Team FEI Ride in the heart of the California Desert

Ridgecrest, CA, USA – On Saturday 28 February Dominique “Dom” Freeman of Great Britain and her Arabian gelding Rising Heat (Desert Heat VF x Zemina) placed first in the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) 160K 3* 20 Mule Team endurance ride in the heart of the California desert. Freeman finished the ride in 12 hours, 43 minutes with an average speed of 12.58 KPH. Freeman was the only finisher in the FEI 160km ride.

“It is hard to qualify here in the West, we only have two chances a year,” said Anne Marie Barnett of Cool, CA. She brought her 15-year-old Arabian gelding Momentto (Moment of Valor x MA Pollianna) with a goal of obtaining her Certificate of Competency by completing the 160km ride. Barnett and Momentto were pulled at Vet Check 4 for “GA” – gait aberration. She led the early stages of the ride...

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Rebirth of Endurance Tests - Parts 1 to 10 - Full Article

By John Crandell


The Time Is Now
The Genesis of Modern Endurance
Expansion Across North America
FEI Enters the Scene
Back in the USA
Our Issues are More Alike Than We Realize
A Rebirth Begins
Building Wise Endurance Testing Programs
Roadmap to the Future: Part 1
Creating Healthy Goalposts and Incentives (COMING SOON)


Endurance riding was once on the vanguard of equine welfare, generating new definition in the meaning of equine welfare itself. Now that honorable position is obscured under a mountain of saddening imagery on the internet and a growing contempt from other equestrians over the level of equitation and horsemanship displayed at endurance races.

Who’s to blame? We all are, and perhaps especially those of us that have been engaged in the discipline as long as myself. I’ve been endurance racing for over forty years now; long enough to have won two Tevis and Haggin Cups, first to finish at six Old Dominion 100 mile Rides, and FEI championship medals as early as 1986 and as late as 2010. I certainly should have known better, should have spoken out more at the right time way back when. Well, no time like the present.

It’s impossible address the governance issues we’re now facing in a way that guarantees that they’ll never return if we can’t openly identify our collective mistakes that allowed this travesty to develop in the first place. So please notice that as I dissect this calamity of errors, I offend people on both sides of highly polarized positions equally. I have been party to both camps and am therefore as culpable as anyone.

I will show that the root issue here has been brooding for a long time, and goes back to a time before the involvement of the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) and well before the Persian Gulf countries participation in internationally sanctioned endurance racing.

The Time is Now

At this time the entire world, especially the equestrian community, is aware of the alarming spectacle of endurance racing activity in the United Arab Emirates. This has devastated the already fragile reputation of the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), which sanctions these races. The FEI has been supplying the public years of image posturing and repeated announcements that is making “sweeping changes”, but the carnage has continued with its renewed sanctioning.

Meanwhile in the United States the endurance riding disciplines national governing body is in a different kind of downward spiral. The economic demography of the U.S.A. has lured the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) into a dangerous trap. When businesses and organizations here listen to their constituents too democratically what they will always hear most loudly is that “we want more quantity, less cost; and we enjoy being patronized gratuitously”. Following this mandate usually creates economic growth initially, but it then leads to departure from the organizations original purpose, alienation of its original supporters, and declining standards until there is nowhere lower to go in order to acquire new members.

This is written as a warning to other regions with developing equestrian programs not to follow in our footsteps. The following is chronical of the foolish choices we’ve made that led to this mess nationally and internationally. Review this history to learn by our mistakes as the modern endurance riding discipline begins an inevitable rebirth...

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FEI Conference Fatigue - Full Article

Cuckson Report | March 1, 2017

I have been to all but one of the FEI Sports Forums in Lausanne, Switzerland every April since its launch in 2012.
The format has changed from the first year, when it spanned three days often with simultaneous debates in different halls. The jam-packed program was quite an assault on the brain cells, and it became a two-day event thereafter.

The forum is usually a “news fest” so I felt a modicum of disappointment when this year’s itinerary (April 11-12) plopped into my mailbox. I guess the media corps was spoiled in 2015 and 2016 by the emotive debates about future Olympic and World games formats.

This time the first day is devoted to jumping. The Nations Cup discussion looks the most interesting; two forums ago, it was hinted Nations Cups become the main route to qualifying for the Olympics and World Equestrian Games, to mitigate the growing rival demands of the Global Champions Tour. If so, that could be lively.

On the second day, there are sessions of 90 minutes each on risk management in eventing, and the long-awaited injury and bones study for endurance...

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St. George horseman completes one of the world’s toughest endurance races - Full Story Written by E. George Goold May 10, 2024 ST. GEORGE — The Gaucho Derby is a 500-kilometer horse race throug...