Saturday, August 19, 2017

Malaysia's Sultan Mizan creates SEA Games history

SETIU, Aug 19 — Terengganu Sultan, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will go down in SEA Games history as the first Sultan to participate in the SEA Games and probably win a medal as he joins local and foreign participants in the SEA Games (KL2017) Endurance race which offers two gold medals.

Endurance which features five countries offers two gold medals in individual and team events.

In the 80km event, the Sultan and the rest of the participants will be flagged at 3am and expected to complete the race by 5pm.

All five riders representing the country are from the east coast states, four from Terengganu — Muhammad Fuad Hashim, Mohd Bulkhari Rozali, Mohd Adhwa Embong, Azizatul Asma Abdullah while Mohd Yusran Yusuf is from Kelantan.

Malaysian team manager Malaysia Che Mat Din Ismail said Sultan Mizan’s participation was not only a historic moment for the state of Terengganu, for the SEA Games as well since this was the first time a Sultan is participating in an Endurance race.

Sultan Mizan will be riding on his horse Rtes Annaversary, Muhammad Fuad (Mora Makaka, Mohd Adhwa (Mora Franka), Mohd Bulkhari (JQ Tuan Junior), Mohd Yusran (Castlebar Twilight) and Azizatul Asma (Mora Tishaka).

Apart from Sultan Mizan, petite Azizatul Asma, 21, is expected to be the focus of the competition since she becomes the first woman to compete in an Endurance event of the SEA Games although the event is normally dominated by men.

Azizatul will be riding her horse Mora Tishaka that won third place at the 120km Endurance race of the 2013 FEI World Endurance For Young Riders and Junior in Uruguay.

Meanwhile, the President of ‘Veterinary Delegate’ Prof Madya Datuk Dr Bashir Ahmad Fateh Mohamed said 25 horses from five countries had passed the first phase of inspection at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP), here today.

“The 25 horses are from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei. This is however, the first of check up on the horses because after finishing every loop, the horses must attend an inspection to determine if they can continue the race,” he told Bernama, here today. — Bernama

Full story here

Australia: Fenech takes out Australian Endurance Championship - Full Article

Tom Daunt | 18th Aug 2017

ENDURANCE RIDING: The region is celebrating, with four out of the top five riders being local at yesterday's 80km ride at the 2017 Australian Endurance Championship being hosted at Stirling's Crossing Equestrian Complex in Imbil.

Fiona Fenech from Kilkivan took out top honours, closely followed by Sorsha Stuart-Rokvic from Table Top in New South Wales, Stephen Gray from Coopers Plains, Leigh Ann Sample from Kenilworth and Akhmed Pshunov from Imbil.

Conditions were tougher than expected, with temperatures being unseasonably high for this time of year, but event organiser and complex owner Matthew Sample said he was delighted with how the event was progressing.

"We have about 150 people on-site at Stirling's Crossing Equestrian Complex, with competitors battling it out in today's 80km ride and in the 120km and 160km rides starting at 3am and 3.30am respectively tomorrow morning,” Sample said...

Read more here:

Belgium: Super-Mum Sabrina Endurance Champ! - Full Article

August 18 2017

Germany’s Sabrina Arnold has claimed her first major individual Championship win as she and Tarzibus were crowned FEI European Endurance Champions 2017 in Brussels.

The German pair, who are based near Marseilles, led from the first loop and completed the 160-kilometre course in a time of 7.14.52, with an average speed of 22kph.

The 10-year-old gelding was praised throughout for his fast recovery times and the pair finished more than 15 minutes ahead of their closest rivals...

More at:

Belgium: Arnold claims European endurance crown - Full Article

German rider ends 22-year wait for her first major title

Published: 19:01 August 18, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Brussels: Germany’s Sabrina Arnold won her first endurance ride in 1995 but it took her 22 years to win her first major international championship and that happened on Thursday in the European Championship (CH-EU-E).

The 160-km Four star ride, which was held under the banner of the HH Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, was held at the at the Bois de la Cambre, an urban public park situated on the edge of the Sonian Forests in Brussels.

Arnold and 10-year-old Tarzibus made it a start to finish affair.

Arnold on Tarzibus, a horse trained by Frenchman Jean-Philippe Frances, staved off the Spanish challenge to complete the 160-km ride in 7 hours 14 minutes and 52 seconds at an average speed of 22.53km/h...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Record field for Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival - Full Article

Euston Park braced for over 600 athletes from over 35 countries

Published: 19:09 August 18, 2017 Gulf News
Staff Report

Suffolk, England: The largest and most impressive mass participation of riders and horses representing over 35 countries will compete for top honours in the HH Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters at Euston Park on Saturday.

The Festival, which is the third and final leg of the Endurance Cup series, will feature four rides in four categories over distances of 160 km, 120 km and 80 km.

With over 600 riders set to compete in all categories, it is the biggest and most exciting endurance festival to be held in the UK.

Rider from far away Australia, Argentina and Uruguay have arrived at the Suffolk venue while hosts Great Britain have a record 80 riders ready to compete alongside some of the discipline’s finest competitors in a world class setting boasting impressive facilities and generous rider incentives...

Read more here:

Ireland: Dundalk man proves yet again that age shouldn't a barrier to sporting success - Full Story

Tom MacGuinness is a national treasure

August 18 2017

Staying the distance.
Dundalk man Tom MacGuinness competed in his first FEI (International Equestrian federation) European Championships when he took part in the 160km Endurance Championship in Brussels recently.

The 66-year-old was the only Irish man to take part in the event, but one man was all it took to set the Irish flag flying high among Europe's elite.

85 competitors toed the line in Belgium, but the Louth debutante wasn't fazed by the sizable competition, and finished a creditable 11th place aboard his mount Sasha D'Allais.

This is just another box ticked off Tom's growing and wide-ranging CV when it comes to equestrian events.

Having enjoyed success in eventing, show-jumping and polo, MacGuinness took up the demanding sport of endurance racing in 2013, aged 60...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mongolian Derby: Australian Olympian Ed Fernon wins world's toughest horse race

A young Australian Olympian has won the longest and toughest horse race in the world.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ed Fernon conquered the gruelling Mongolian Derby, crossing the finish line with South African Barry Armitage in equal first after a nail-biting race to the finish.

The 2017 race saw 12 men and 24 women from nine countries riding 1,000 kilometres across Mongolia on semi-wild horses.

Mostly riding full tilt, they charge through the rugged terrain of the Mongolian Steppes, forging rivers, deserts and wide open plains on a course that is designed to recreate Genghis Khan's ancient postal system.

It puts to the test the competitor's survival skills, horsemanship and sheer endurance.

Competitors change horses every 40 kilometres and camp out under the stars or stay with local herders.

Horses will often injure the participants if badly handled, and riders are also given penalties if they overwork the tough Mongolian ponies.

Fernon is a young man who cannot resist a challenge.

Although city born, he spent time on a family farm near Wagga Wagga in NSW where he first threw his leg over a horse.

His love of riding inspired him to take up the modern pentathlon, mastering the five disciplines of swimming, fencing, running, shooting and show jumping.

He started the sport as a 20-year-old and four years later represented Australia in the 2012 London Olympics.

Needing a new challenge post-Olympics, Fernon did a charity ride across the snowy mountains.

The ride retraced the 1,100 kilometre journey of Archer, the legendary horse that walked from NSW to Melbourne before winning the inaugural Melbourne Cup in 1861.

"Following the Legend of Archer" raised over $50,000 for The Black Dog Institute, offering support for people suffering from depression and bipolar disorder.

[Read full article at ...]

Mongol Derby Day 8 - stories, photos and more

Day 8. August 16th, 2017
Underwater Love - Smoke City

Dumpling has been sent to the finish camp to sniff the fresh mutton air of the steppe and the stories it is still to yield from this year's Mongol Derby. As the finishers congregate at Khangal Nuur (Lake) in faraway Khentii province she'll be collecting the story-dust before it settles. And standing around on horses arses, as in the photo above. Updates posted by Chief Willings, in the office another day, by correspondence. Mainly pigeon.

Says Dumpling: "Bromance Will Comiskey and Warren Sutton rode into joint fourth place this morning. Upon passing the vet (immediately), Will stripped down and rode bareback into the lake, jumping off his horse's bum for the first "bath" he's had in a week. Overheard at the finish: Ed to Will: "Jakkie is a fucking legend. What a hero." Sportsmanship and camaraderie at its absolute finest."

"On JM's last night riding, he stayed with local family. Wanted to help the woman of the house churn butter, and found himself stuck w that chore... for 40 min. Very sore arm in addition to everything else upon finishing."

MOre news, stories, photos at:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mongol Derby Day 7 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 7. August 15, 2017

The Boys are Back in Town - Katy Willings, Derby Chief
(Michelle Tanaka at finish camp to newshound from there)

We have a winner! Well, two actually, and three riders over the line nursing their newly minted Mongol Derby sores). For the first time since 2012 we have a male-dominated leaderboard. Ed Fernon of Australia and Barry Armitage of South Africa crossed the line together at 17:34, brother in arms after 7 days of fierce competition and grueling riding. Close in behind them at 19:01 was Jakkie Mellet, also of South Africa, who vied for the lead through much of the race.

So many scores were settled and loose ends tied up by this evening's result, and some extraordinary benchmarks set.

2017 brought the fastest ever finish; mid afternoon on the 7th day after a slightly tardy 11:11 start on Wednesday last week.

It was also the longest ever Derby; 1020km of incredibly open steppe, a veritable ocean of green, which after some much needed rainfall in the days prior to, and early in, the event, made for a spectacular arena.

Jakkie lost his lead this morning after an unfortunate "horse not great in traffic" incident, which meant he had to back-track to Urtuu 25 on foot and retrieve a more suitable mount. His original choice decked him when a car came past (doesn't happen all that often in Mongolia, to be fair) and fled back to the station, saddle round belly. In the bid for freedom JJ lost a stirrup leather, and the herders helped him fashion something out of rope to ride home on. Meanwhile Ed and Barry snuck past, gaining 20 kms. Amazingly he did catch up and get his nose in front again, but squandered the lead again having pushed too hard to retake it - his 27th horse didn't pass the vet check. So he sat a penalty as BA and EF cruised past again.
Here's Hugh and Cozy, our multi-tasking vet/event manager team, towing referee Charles on their way to set up U26. Much better by horse
Here's Hugh and Cozy, our multi-tasking vet/event manager team, towing referee Charles on their way to set up U26. Much better by horse
Amazingly, this is Barry's 3rd Derby. He was first across the line in 2012 too, but subsequently lost the race on a vet penalty. Many a buttock was clenched watching him hone in on the finish. Ditto Ed, who has led or been thereabouts throughout the race, pushing hard for every racing minute and falling foul of the vets and refs a couple of times. That's how you end up an Olympic athlete, no doubt. In the event, they cruised most of the day riding skilfully within themselves, in hot and intense conditions, and unable to put any real distance between each other. In a great example of gentlemanly endeavor they elected to ride over the line together. If 1000 kms couldn't split them, so be it. No showboating, no risk taking, they just got their horses home and promptly took them into Khangal Lake, where we have created our finish camp, for a well-earned swim and cool down.

Amanda Charlton and Leslie Wylie enjoying a bowlful of dumplings for breakfast. Truly a sublime start to the day (and portable with the aid of a ziplock bag).
Amanda Charlton and Leslie Wylie enjoying a bowlful of dumplings for breakfast. Truly a sublime start to the day (and portable with the aid of a ziplock bag).

Don't Stop Me Now

Some highlights from further back in the field. Actually the highlights are more like low-lights, because most of the chasing pack, mid-field and rear guard just kept buggering on today. Some cracking 3 and 4-leg days from the likes of BW, RM, LT, PR, CL...they seem to have got into their rhythm of eat, sleep, ride,repeat. Shout outs to ST and CP who seem to have made camping between urtuus something of an art form too, another clockwork day's riding. MB who got off to a very slow start and got shuffled up the field in a car once he was some 60kms off the pace rode through four stations today. That's pretty much the Derby Gold Standard. Hats off.

42 cracking Mongolian warrior-horses bagged and tagged and on the line for our lucky riders. That's what an urtuu should look like folks.
42 cracking Mongolian warrior-horses bagged and tagged and on the line for our lucky riders. That's what an urtuu should look like folks.

Cry Me a River

Two items under this heading. Paul Richards riding upsides of our whizzkid mounted camerawoman Chloe - it was his wife's birthday, and this is the longest period they have spent apart in 36 years. Understandably, the tears started to flow, first Paul's, and then, Chloe's. Look out for some wobbly camerawork there.

Secondly, the Kherlen and Onon rivers flowing fast in the latter section of the course, and the volume of water in some of the low ground swallowed a few of our vehicles whole. 1 referee, 2 vets, one film crew and the Blood Wagon were all part digested by the flood plains of Khentii. At five separate intervals we had riders approaching urtuus with the vet team assigned to that urtuu digging out of a bog on their way to post. Some impressive day saving behind the scenes today.


19.55 JM has passed the vet check. confirming him as 3rd place finish. Congratulations to Mr Mellet.

17:55. Vet check passed. It's confirmed. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud and honoured to announce that Mr Barry Armitage from South Africa and Mr Ed Fernon from Australia are joint winners of the 2017 Mongol Derby. The world's longest and toughest horse race has new champions. Congratulations gentlemen.

And how did they celebrate their glory? By getting straight in the lake - with their horses.

Bloody good show.

17:34. Barry Armitage and Ed Fernon have crossed the line and completed the 2017 Mongol Derby. Awaiting vet check...

Australia: 2017 Avon Valley Ride a success

A group of 58 riders from all over WA enjoyed a picturesque day at Mokine near Northam on August 5, for the Avon Valley Ride.

The competiiton has been held from Blair Wilding's property for the last four years and previously at Muresk.

At 7am, 13 competitors were immediately engulfed in a heavy fog only to emerge to a splendid sunrise across the town of Northam from Eric Fox's farm.

The first rider to cross the finish line and passing the necessary vet requirements was Lienca Nell a middleweight rider on her Arab gelding Ruoak Daryus in a ride time of five hours and eight minutes.

She was very pleased with the result as a month earlier her horse had vetted out at the Tom Quilty National Endurance Championships held in South Australia.

Overall there was a completion rate of over 90 percent and in the 20 kilometre event a 100 percent completion which showed how well the new comers to the sport were looking after their horses.

Many local volunteers and landowners stepped up to the task of gatekeeping, road marshalling and manning checkpoints until the last rider was safely back to base.

At the end of the day riders gathered to receive their awards which included local prizes contributed by many local sponsors.

A hot air balloon ride donated by Windward Ballooning was won by a woman manning two gates on the day and she has enthusiastically already booked her flight.

Event organiser Amanda Rayner said endurance riding is a lifestyle that consumes those that are passionate about the sport.

“With it comes the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and we gain lots from both of them,” she said.

“It is a test of our spirit, compassion and our communication with a creature with whom we share our life during the long hours and kilometres of training and competition.”

The ride season runs from early March to mid November with rides taking place every fortnight.

Over the next month two further rides will be held east of Perth, Greenhills and at Merredin.

Endurance riding is a family fun sport.

Without the support of the local landowners, the event could never have been held.

For further information go to or contact organiser Amanda Rayner on 9622 9533.
[More ...]

Monday, August 14, 2017

Horse Radio Network: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 12, 2017 with Devan Horn

AUdioboom - Listen in

Day 4 of the Mongol Derby. Mongol Derby Alumni Devan Horn join Glenn for a special 8pm Facebook Live wrap up of Day 4 of the Mongol Derby and a look ahead to Day 5. Leslie is still in the race and still smiling! Listen in...

Mongol Derby Day 6 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 6. August 14, 2017 - Michelle Tanaka

Day 6 Take It to the Limit - Michelle Tanaka

Leading man (once again) Jakkie Mellet checked into U25 at 20:31, sticking himself with a Late Riding Penalty, which will have to be sat out in real-time in the morning. Bad luck. Instead of riding out at 07:00, he’s going to have to sit chilly until 07:02.

With 17 minutes riding time to spare, Ed Fernon went blazing out of U24 in pursuit of Jakkie. Twelve minutes later, he returned to spend the night. Good choice, Ed—you’ll sleep much better in a warm dry ger, horse pre-grazed and pre-watered when you saddle up in the morning.

Spot of disappointment today: EF possibly trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for pattern of inconsiderate riding. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

With all recent talk about Naughty Listers and Naughty Corners, it’s time to recognize the handful of riders who have managed to avoid all penalties, vet or technical: Brooke Wharton, Lucy Taylor, Paul Richards, and Jodie Ward earning Best Decision-Making Awards. So far. They’ve got a couple days’ riding to go. Don’t let us down.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow early afternoon, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.


Spot of disappointment: one of the leaders, EF, apparently trying to evade horse welfare rules. Race ref Maggie first issued official, assuredly stern warning for inconsiderate riding: galloping horses just short of stations, then loitering before coming in for the vet check. EF continued, and earned himself two hours at Naughty Corner. Meanwhile MP spent six hours at U22, not freed until 45 minutes riding time remained.

Darling of the Day: BW. She’s been riding solo—completely solo, with no one in range for dozens of miles. She’s not lonely, though, befriending the locals at every stop and earning invitations to stay longer and return. She’s also one of a handful of riders going completely penalty-free (so far).

Today’s Medical Tale: PG pestered JL for advice on how to treat chafing… in the testicular area. This must be PG’s first time riding long distances, otherwise he would know how not to squash the family jewels. Wonder what JL told him...

Update on increasingly-popular LW: she’s been using a sock stuffed with donated bits and pieces as a saddle bag (after losing all kit early on). No one is packing any extra kit in their 5kg allowance, so kudos to those donating to the less fortunate.

Retirements: GK, two cracked ribs. OW, torn ligament. They are both luxuriating in UB’s newest hotel, the swankiest of swanky Holiday Inns. That’s eight total retirements so far.

We expect JM BA MP EF WC WS to finish tomorrow, and while we’re reasonably sure of the order, a lot can happen quite quickly out there. Keep your eyes glued to the Twitter feed for the most up-to-date news.

17:30. Eerily quiet in the Ops Room this afternoon. Our version of twiddling thumbs is making shitloads of ginger-lemon cocktail syrup for the finish camp. To go with shitloads of vodka, of course. Official finish party won’t take place until August 19 back in UB, but we figured we’d start punishing livers before then, they’ve earned it. Not that this lot will need mixers by the time they’ve crossed the finish line. After riding 1,000 kilometres through the Mongol wilderness, they’ll no doubt be ready to pound it back straight.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Mongol Derby Day 5 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 5. August 13, 2017.

The fantastic Julian Herbert has been out there on the steppe following the riders and clicking away. Thanks to marvellous folks over at AST Systems he's even managed to send them back to HQ - which is nothing short of a miracle. Today he was following our fearless leaders.

Oh, Marie. You’ve practically handed it to the boys today with your third vet penalty of the race. Marie Palzer got herself a four-hour, third-offense vet penalty at U18 today—on top of the prior two hours at U16. Riders have been well-briefed on the consequences of less-than-stellar riding. Marie won’t have to sit them until U22 tomorrow, where she will likely watch the rest of the leading pack come through. Which now includes Greg Chant, Rebecca Hewitt (RHW), and Jodie Ward.

Ed Fernon is penalty-free post-U11 so, barring poor decisions in the morning, will breeze in and out of the second Penalty Urtuu. Jakkie Mellet will cool his heels for two hours, when Barry Armitage will likely overtake him.

A slew of riders picked up the pace today, riding almost as far as the leaders. It should be noted that Brooke Wharton rode four legs alone. That takes an extra measure of ballsiness.

But a big chunk of the field also encountered quite feisty horses today, beaming out “Help” on their sat trackers for retrieval assistance. Lucy Taylor and James Lester had a bit of fun with broncs just off the horseline this morning, both unhurt after being decked (and this after James’ little prank last night, pretending he hadn’t waited for Lucy at U11 then jumping out to surprise her just as the tears started).

More penalties today. Perhaps it was the Naughty Corner keeping everyone in check yesterday. Many a vehicle carry-forward jettisoned riders to the next urtuu as well as to the top of the Naughty List (can’t fully blame them, after this spirited bunch of steeds).

Back at HQ, we had to make some angry phone calls to the Gatekeeper of the railway underpass outside U13, who didn’t want to let our crews through. Said it was fine for the horses to cross, but cars were a separate matter. He’s not wrong (horses and cars are admittedly very different), but we had urtuus to manage, so set him straight.

The sixth retirement of the race is Marianne Williams, who arrived in UB overnight. A firecracker even in the SOS clinic. Despite requiring clavicle operation as a result of falling in “every marmot hole in Mongolia,” she’s in marvellous form. Derby Chief Willings was able to escape the Ops Room for a hot second to bring flowers and gossip just as MW ordered a ribeye (rare), massive glass of wine (red), and cheesecake for lunch. We will see her at the finish party in UB August 19.

As ever, much of this lot love to sleep en plein air, but the family at U14 is stuck feeding the slumber partiers tonight.

1631. “Four seasons in a week, har har.” That’s Mongolian weather for you. Day 2 saw borderline hypothermia; snorkels and x-ray vision were highly recommended. Day 5: blazing sun. Mercury may not read sky-high, but when you’re kitted out riding for 13 hours, zero shade, it’s scorching. Hope no one’s chucked their sun cream. And that no one chucks their rain gear. Because likely more wet ahead (naturally), according to our course guru Darren. They’re about to cross into Jargaltkhan. Different province, different climate. Ready the machetes for hacking through the jungle.

13:20. That’s a big-ass spread halfway through Day 5. Gonna need a bigger board here at HQ (in case you’re wondering, we’ve got an LCD HD touchscreen with holograph messaging capabilities spanning an entire wall in the Ops Room. Jokes.)

More at:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Horses in the Morning: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 11, 2017 with Devan Horn - Listen in

Aug 11, 2017

Day 3 of the Mongol Derby. Mongol Derby Alumni Devan Horn and Leslie Wylie’s husband Tommy Bateman join Glenn for a special 8pm Facebook Live wrap up of Day 3 of the Mongol Derby and a look ahead to Day 4. Leslie had a wild night with uncooperative ponies! Listen in...

Mongol Derby Day 4 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 4. I Can See Clearly Now, the Rain Is Gone - Michelle Tanaka Ops Room & 2015 joint 3rd place

Riders finally got a dry(ish) day, making for much-improved spirits and quicker riding. HQ admittedly had a bit of head-scratching and abacus-consulting to do over where to send which crews when. (We figured it out. We always do.)

Penalty Urtuu U11 saw a buttload of action today. Having Naughty Listers serve time in the Naughty Corner meant far fewer penalties (or riders are cottoning onto when to stop flogging it). No penalties earned past U11, so intervals between riders are accurate. With one important exception: Marie Palzer, our front running woman, was slapped with a heart rate penalty at U16, no doubt for hoofing it too hard to catch the boys before riding cutoff. She won’t have to serve that until U22, though.

A couple riders had full-on spa days at the Penalty Urtuu. If U11 was a spa, that is. (It could be argued that sitting on one’s arse for a few hours is a luxury after a few days trying to keep it in the saddle.)

Leaders remain the same. Ed Fernon and Marie caught up with Jakkie Mellet at U16 this evening, just in time. Barry Armitage is camping out alone half a leg behind them, narrowing their lead.

Notably, Marie is the only female in the fastest five riders, anomalous in the Derby. Let’s see if the gents can continue to dominate the top for the second half of the race.

Broadly speaking, the ‘Racing’ class of riders has pulled away from the ‘Adventure’ class, with the back third of the field congealing into the (probably now very stinky) Penalty Urtuu. Some can ride off first thing in the morning, while others will get a bit of a lie-in for their sins. Blessing in disguise, we’d say.

No equine tantrums at the railway underpass outside of U13. Yet. Recall pre-race training titters when riders were briefed on it. Half the field will negotiate it tomorrow—and this is the more troublesome half of the field. Fingers also crossed no one accidentally wanders into the mining zone and falls into a pit or flattened by haul truck out there. We’re not sure everyone knows the road sign for “Do Not Enter.” Or reads Cyrillic, for that matter.

Retirees Jane Boxhall and Julia Fisher left UB this morning to join Hustler Erik in the Bloodwagon. Unfortunately, Clare Salmon retired this morning with an injured ankle; her husband Neil Goldie-Scot is accompanying her.

16:27. Christ, we are seeing some speedy changeovers today. It's not just the frontrunners trying to blaze through the stations, mid-pack are picking it up as well. Must be the Naughty Corner, Penalty Urtuu U11 that's motivating everyone. Reckon some riders have spent enough time on their arses in a ger today to suit them for the next few days. Time to leg it.

12:35. Two retirements first thing at U7 this morning, married couple CS and NG. All campers' horses stayed put on their hillsides last night, riders unmolested (here’s CW hobbling brilliantly in the dark). Weather much improved, smashing start to the day, but those at the top of the Naughty List will be having a good long think at the first Penalty Urtuu, U11. Doubtful anyone’s been able to sneak a paperback into their 5kgs of gear. That just leaves gnawing mutton fat and watching better-behaved competitors sail through. Meanwhile JM holding lead, EF MP split up, distances among them widening...

Derbying at its absolute finest. Footage of Leslie Wylie (35, USA) riding stirrupless yesterday. For 40km. On half-wild horse. Bad. Ass.

More at:

Malaysia: Sultan Mizan withdraws from Sea Games - Full Article

By Devinder Singh - August 12, 2017

SULTAN Mizan Zainal Abidin is the biggest omission from the 844-strong national Sea Games contingent, Malaysia’s largest ever, which was finalised yesterday.

The Terengganu ruler graciously withdrew due to his horse being deemed unfit to compete in the equestrian endurance event on Aug 20 at the Terengganu International Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong.

“Tuanku Mizan withdrew in the best interest of the endurance team as His Highness felt his horse was not ready and would not do justice to the team,” said Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Low Beng Choo.
“It was very gracious of His Highness, who very much wanted to compete in the Sea Games and had been training hard every day...”

Read more here:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Australia: Endurance horse rider to tackle competition abroad - Full Article

Last updated 09:20, August 11 2017

A champion horse rider is heading overseas to put her talents of endurance to the test.

Tess Wells, of Renwick, will represent Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) in Queensland, Australia, when she takes part in one of ridings fastest growing sports.

The South Island champion will tackle the Trans-Tasman endurance team event for the first time where she will compete in a 100-kilometre race.

This follows a productive couple of months in the United States last year where Tess says she learned some "valuable training skills."

he former Marlborough Girls' College student keeps two horses, Barney and Buddy, at her parents' Okaramio farm.

She got Barney, 13, when he was 3-years-old and the pair have competed together ever since Tess started endurance racing about four years ago...

Read more here:

Horse Radio Network: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 10, 2017 with Devan Horn - Listen in

August 10 2017

Listen in to Devan Horn's analysis of the Mongol Derby's progress

Mongol Derby Day 3 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 3. August 11, 2017.

12:15. No dramas this morning rider-side, though a film crew vehicle needed rescuing from a bog. Its rescuer then in turn required rescuing (standard). Horses fresh and seemingly behaving—or maybe Derbyists have learnt to clamp on a bit tighter. The pack of 20 that camped together at U5 is gradually spreading out; Day 3 usually sees the field widen and the ‘Racing’ group pull away from the ‘Adventure’ group. Start arguing amongst yourselves on who belongs in which category (then watch them muck up all predictions by end of day).

15:30. Bit more action this afternoon. Star riders from yesterday LW and RP each lost horse during kit adjustment but soldiering on, LW sans gear—including stirrups. RP lost bridle, bought new one off a herder. Resourceful. Frontrunners EF and MP have their first penalties, elevated heart rates. They’ll serve time at next stop, U11. Not likely enough time for anyone to overtake, though BA a leg away with a spotless record. Above, AK with her U6 pick while GK advises “You better stay on this one!”

18:15. Balls. We’ve jinxed BA, looks like, as he’ll now have two hours at the Penalty Urtuu for elevated heart rate. EF and MP will be long gone, as they’re nearly halfway through their sentence at U11 now and likely hold the lead this evening (barring mutant racehorses. Not unheard of in this country). Further back in the field, it looks like another ger cuddle puddle could be in order for the evening, with 17 riders thundering along in vicinity of each other. Keep those vets on their toes, lads. 

Rider Call Signs

You might catch us using abbreviated rider call signs on the Twitter and blog. Here's how you know who's who


• Annette Kriller - AK
• Amanda Charlton Herbert -AC
• Barry Armitage -BA
• Ceri Putman - CP
• Charlotte Wills - CW
• Christine Sarah Arndt - CA
• Clare Salmon - CS
• Cy Lloyd-Jones - CL
• Ed Fernon - EF
• Emma Manthorpe - EM
• Greg Chant - GC
• Hanna Schumacher - HS
• Jakkie Mellet - JM
• Jane Boxhall - JB
• James Lester - JL
• Jennifer Cook - JC
• Jodie Ward - JW
• Julia Fisher - JF
• Leslie Wylie - LW
• Louisa Ball - LB
• Lucy Taylor - LT
• Margaret Clare Summers - MS
• Marianne Williams - MW
• Marie Palzer - MP
• Mark Bauwens - MB
• Neil Goldie-Scot - NG
• Olivia (Liv) Wood - OW
• Paul Richards - PR
• Pierre Germain - PG
• Rebecca Hewitt - RHW
• Rebecca Pumphrey - RP
• Rick Helson - RHL
• Roberta (Bobby) Friend - BF
• Roberta McLeod - RM
• Rachel Land - RL
• Sally Toye - ST
• Suzann Holmqvist - SH
• Taylor Dolak - TD
• Taylor Williams*(B.Warton) - BW
• Victoria Twelves - VT
• William Comiskey - WC
• Warren Sutton - WS

More at:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Horses in the Morning: Mongol Derby Special Report for August 9, 2017 with Devan Horn - Listen in

Aug 9, 2017
Two time Mongol Derby Alumni Devan Horn joins Glenn for a special 8pm Facebook Live wrap up of Day One of the Mongol Derby. And our own Leslie leads after Day 1! Listen in...

Mongol Derby Day 2 - Stories, photos, videos, map

Day 2. August 10, 2017.

Day 2 Roundup - Michelle Tanaka (2015 joint 3rd place rider)

Riders got straight into it with icy cold hurricane-like conditions first thing this morning. As crew vehicles trundled through the muck, horses once again proved themselves to be the fastest means to cross the steppe. Provided riders stay on, that is.

…Which a handful of Derbyists had some trouble managing. This morning JC unbridled her horse as she came off. Fellow riders plus five crew members couldn’t catch him (turns out he was waiting for a motorcycle rescue, diva). HS required a carry-forward after her stallion made off into the storm. AK’s horse bolted during a saddle adjustment, outrunning two herders on their fastest steeds. Eventually he lost enough steam to be caught outside a soum, 15 kilometers away.

Frontrunners EF and MP held their lead throughout the day (wearing warm layers and properly-fitted tack, no doubt). Only three riders are caught between urtuus tonight; we’ll see how RHW, WC, and JW do in the morning without the warmth of a ger.

Urtuu 5 is hosting a record 20 riders tonight. The Naughty List grows longer as riders prefer the three-hour late riding penalty to another night out on the steppe - see details on the Leaderboard.

More at:

Mongol Derby Day 1 - Stories, videos, map

August 8 2017

Carnage mounting. Hellacious weather. Cold, wet, suffering riders - mainly those camping out last night (paying off for some, but mostly not for others). Weather causing horses to run for the hills, mounted or not. Bend down to adjust your jacket--horse gone. Reigning champ WC even called for help just short of U3. Vets looking after both two- and four-legged animals. First retirement: JF (Julia Fisher). Looks like fractured ribs, on her way back to UB, understandably devastated. EF and MP pushing hard at the front, maintaining high speeds and breezing through urtuus. Will it pay off, or will they be hypothermic by day's end? Even Unenburen, our head horseman, advised riders not to ride out of U3 this morning due to poor visibility. Not so much a race hold as a plea to hold off until the hurricane subsides. If anyone doubted this is indeed the world's toughest horse race, here you go. No apologies from Mother Mongolia today.

The 2017 Derby launched today at 11:10 (local time) 41 brave riders from across the globe battling for the Derby crown. In 1000km and less than 10 days one rider will have their name etched in the history books, but many more will fall along the way.

More at:

Great Britain: Annie Joppe’s endurance blog: the final countdown is on - Full Article

Annie Joppe
10:55 - 8 August, 2017

Another two weeks has passed and the European championships are only just over a week away!

Life and work still carry on but there is so much extra packing to be done. How could I need so much stuff for a competition?

Obviously everything needs to be cleaned: feed containers, bowls, buckets, rugs, numnahs and so on. The worrying thing though is that I seemed to have carried this cleaning frenzy to excess. Everything is being cleaned, absolutely everything, not just the equipment I need to take with me but ALL my horsey equipment and ALL the containers they are packed in and, even worse, the whole tack room is being scrubbed out from top to bottom!...


New Zealand: Endurance Put to the Test - Full Article

Aug 9, 2017


Most of us have never ridden the distance between Masterton and Wellington on horseback, but that is exactly what Wairarapa College’s Ana Whitehead will be doing next week.

A straight line between the two places is an 81km trip, and at next week’s trans-Tasman endurance equestrian event in Queensland she will be competing in an 85km ride.

Whitehead is from Tinui, but is now in Year 10 and boarding at Waicol.

She was part of the four-strong team named to head across the Tasman next week, with the other riders coming from Raetihi, Fairlie and Marlborough.

Ana said yesterday she completed her first endurance ride when she was 10 years old, and was excited to compete at an international level.

“The opportunity only came up recently — it was kind of a quick process,” she said.

“It was definitely something I wanted to try and achieve — it’ll be a great experience.”

She has competed in Australia before — in the Southern Cross Challenge — but said that was a junior event and a bit more “low-key”.

One of the biggest challenges she will face is adapting to a new horse, which she will only meet when she gets off the plane in Australia.

“I get to ride it a couple of times and then ride it in the event straight away which is a bit daunting,” she said...

Read more here:

Australia: Diary of an Endurance rider : the Journey to the World Championships - Full Article

Posted by Tayla Hadzi on 09/08/2017

Tayla Hadzi was selected in June 2017 to represent Australia at the upcoming FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors & Young Riders from 22 – 24 September 2017, in Valeggio sul Mincio, Italy with her mare Oso Edith. Here she shares with us her story ...

"I started Endurance seven years ago at the age of 14. My interest in Endurance began when I started riding at Splendacrest Endurance Stables near Toowoomba, Qld. From the beginning, I have always wanted to compete at the highest possible level that I can. I remember watching the World Youth Endurance Championships in Abu Dhabi in 2011 and knew that was where I wanted to be someday. I competed in my first FEI ride in 2011 at Red Range on Ausden Prince Mahal, aka Rabbit, who is owned by Jay Randle. This combination helped me continue and start qualifying for the World Youth Endurance Championships in Italy 2017. I did my first 3 * 160km ride at the end of 2015 on Rabbit and we completed it in 10hrs and 35mins and took out First youth and Best Conditioned as well as Best Managed horse in both the youth and open divisions. Having ended that year of Endurance on such a high I was ready to take on the next year to do bigger and better things.

I flew down to Melbourne at the beginning of 2016, meeting like-minded people who all had their sights set on competing or being part of an Australian Endurance team. This was a great introduction to all of people who were ready to help all of us on our journey.

In January 2016 I joined Oso Arabians in Albury, managers Amanda and Andrew Kettlewell had a big professional Stable that I was keen to be a part of. This was an exciting new step for me making Endurance my life. Working at Oso has taken my riding to a new level, competing in different states and spending many hours in the saddle.

Oso Arabians was host for the Australian team camp and the first FEI ride of 2016. This was a very busy and exciting week, prepping horses for the FEI ride as well as working and participating in the camp. The camp was an awesome opportunity for everyone to get know each other as well as having many guest speakers share their knowledge with everyone. Meeting previous Australian team competitors, selectors and team vets. After a very informative week I was partnered with Oso Lorikeet for the 120km 2* and came away with a completion and 4th Youth...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Mongol Derby 2017 Beginnings - Full Article

August 8, 2017 Mongol Derby
The Mongol Derby doesn't do things by half. It's known as the toughest horse race on our fine planet for very good reasons. Victory, or indeed abject hardship could be within reach for any of the riders.

Before we detail those to watch, let's have a little report of yesterday's goings on from our team on the ground. Over to adventure Chief Miss Katy:

"The riders have finally got their feet on the steppe and enjoyed the steep learning curve of the first test ride. New saddles and bridles, huge new horizons and a whole new species to contend with - the mighty Mongolian horse. Yesterday (Sunday) riders were briefed on essential protocols such as using their satellite trackers, and the all-important urtuu changeovers - procedures and etiquette. All weighed out successfully at 85kgs dressed or less, and most even got to enjoy a cupcake before they tackled the scales. A few of the bigger guys have lost several kilos to do this and should be congratulated. The next few kilos will come off much more easily in the coming weeks.

Riders have seen the whites of each other's eyes; some asked detailed and clearly competitive questions of the referee teams, keen to understand every possible lever and advantage available to them during the race. Others had questions about safety, what happens when it all goes tits up and what the food is like. Needless to say, the food will be...different to what they might usually feast upon. Others were eerily quiet and are therefore hard to categorise. We have another two days pre-launch to see who is in it to win it and who are already praying to the gods to get them home safely

Folks are (as usual) bricking it about the navigation. Our course briefing and beautifully rendered maps, created by Daren Parr, seemed to settle most down. At every urtuu there will be a stack of maps for the next leg, with a simple key of terrain, ascent/descent, and key obstacles. All laughed nervously at the prospect of the railway crossing at Bayan around half way - get a Mongolian horse through a railway underpass? Really? Yes, really. Also most laughed when he said, "you're going to cross two roads". In 1020kms...

Read more here:

The Mongol Derby 2017: Meet the Riders

August 8, 2017 Mongol Derby
The world’s longest and hardest horse race should not be taken at all lightly. As well as the odd bone here and there it has broken many a heroic soul. Starting this Wednesday, forty-three tenacious and toe-curlingly brave riders prepare their bodies and minds for the upcoming onslaught. Many of them will not make it to the finish line, though you can be sure they’re going to give it every damn iota of effort they have within themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, in their own words, it is our honour to present to you the marvellous Mongol Derby entrants for 2017...

See them all here:

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

New Zealand: Self-confessed horse-fanatic a champion endurance rider - Full Article

Last updated 14:18, August 8 2017

Fancy getting up at midnight to ride 160 kilometres on horseback? Not many would, but for some people, it's just the ticket.

Wairarapa's Jenny Champion is one of them, recently winning the Equestrian Sports NZ Endurance Championship Series for 2017 and her 10th and 11th endurance riding commemorative buckles.

Champion said she was a bit of a horse fanatic but some people could not get their heads around endurance riding.

"You tell people you are going to start riding at 1am and travelling 160 km on horseback and they look at you like you're crazy. It can take between 8½ to 17 hours to complete.

"My last time was 11 hours, so it's a long time riding. You have to look after your horse and adjust the way you ride to your horse's strengths to make the distance..."

Read more here:

Anya's Road to Italy

My name is Anya Leverman and I am sixteen years old. I live in 100 Mile House, BC and my passion is endurance riding.

Endurance racing is long distance horse race where the distances can vary from 40km to 160km, with mandatory vet examinations for the horses .

I started endurance riding when I was six years old and over the last ten years I have worked hard to further my abilities. This year I was fortunate to finally receive elite status ( ie 10 X 100 Federation Equestre International races) and was thrilled to be chosen to represent Canada in the upcoming FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders in Verona, Italy. On September 23rd, I will be the only Canadian riding 120km on Kataki, a ten-year-old chestnut mare provided for me from Vladimir Pazitny from Slovakia.

It will be my responsibility to pay for accommodations and transport for myself, the horse and its owners, as well as for for flights and other expenses for the team vet , Chef d’Équipe (Team Leader) and support crew.

For more information see:

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Canada: Olivia Wood gives new meaning to a whim - Full Article

Former Cambridge resident makes late-night decision to go in Mongol Derby

Aug 05, 2017 06:00 by Bill Doucet Cambridge Times

When most people do something on a whim, they make a non-essential purchase, take a day off work or maybe even join a casual sports league.

Olivia Wood raised the bar on whims.

Hearing “a friend of a friend” had started a GoFundMe page to raise money after being accepted for the annual Mongol Derby — a 1,000-kilometre horse race across the Mongolian Steppe to recreate Genghis Khan’s famous postal route — the 25-year-old former Cambridge resident said she read up on the race and made a late-night decision to apply.

Thinking she would never hear back about her application, she was shocked to be called for an interview and was offered a spot.

“So I was like, ‘Well, I guess I have to do it now.’ It was a fluke, but I’m happy it happened,” Wood said on the phone from Beijing earlier in the week prior to her trip to Mongolia.

The race begins on Wednesday (Aug. 9).

Of course, it’s not like Wood is going in oblivious. The reason the derby piqued her interest is because she’s ridden horses since she was a youngster and considers herself a competent rider. Plus, she’s a bit of a thrill seeker, much to the chagrin of her mother — a joke she felt necessary to put in her derby bio.

“I love anything to do with horses, so there was that aspect, but also the fact that it’s so mentally, physically, emotionally exhausting, I just wanted to see how much I could push myself. I like doing those things as well. To me it’s the most epic challenge,” she said.

But Wood realized casual riding would only get her so far, so she spent a month training with gold medal endurance horse rider Darolyn Butler at Cypress Trails Ranch in Texas to get her ready for long distances on a horse.

“If I had not done that, I probably wouldn’t survive,” Wood said with a laugh...

Read more here:

Malaysia: TIEP among world's five best endurance horse riding venues

File pic by ROZAINAH ZAKARIA - Full Article

By Bernama - August 5, 2017 @ 6:37pm

SETIU: The Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP), the venue for endurance horse riding events in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017), is among the best five such venues in the world.

“It can accommodate 320 horses at any one time,” KL2017 (Endurance Horse Riding) Local Organising Committee’s (LOC) Technical Committee and Volunteers Committee chairman Che Mohd Apandi Muhamad told Bernama during an interview here.

He said the size of the park located in Lembah Bidong, here was 33ha.

“TIEP has eight stables and each can accommodate about 40 horses. It became an international championship location when we organised the World Endurance Championship in 2008 involving 146 riders from 42 nations.

“Among the countries with equally good venues (for endurance horse riding) are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Abu Dhabi,” he said...

Read more here:

Friday, August 04, 2017

Australia: Local riders to tackle Gobi Desert Cup - Full Article

Marc Stapelberg | 4th Aug 2017 7:00 AM

THE desert in Mongolia conjures vivid images of a foreign culture and harsh conditions.

For Horsetalk Riding Farm owners Steve Clibborn and Joyce Corbett it will be their personal battleground for a week as they strive to conquer exhaustion, heat, cold and mental fatigue while participating in a 480km race through the unforgiving desert.

The inaugural Gobi Desert Cup will take place in September and is a 480 kilometre endurance ride starting 160km outside UlaanBataar, the capital of Mongolia.

Riders will ride a new Mongolian horse especially trained for The Gobi Desert Cup everyday for 80km.

There will be two vet checks daily at about 40km and at the end of the 80km course.

The veterinarians will check the horses heart rate, gait and general condition to be deemed fit to continue.

Horsetalk Endurance team member Joyce Corbett is a national champion in endurance riding with seven Quilty Buckles and eventually winning the coveted Tom Quilty Gold Cup in 2004 which is Australia's most prestigious endurance horse race...

Read more here:

Uruguay: High Speed Competitive races in Trinidad, Flores - Full Article

4 August 2017
Race report made with the assistance of Lucia Olascoaga

Trinidad, Flores, Uruguay. Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.
This was the seventh race on the Uruguayan endurance calendar with 11 CEI races in the year, including the Pan American Games next October.

Trinidad received at this race track a big number of the country’s endurance community. Competitions of CEI2* 120km and CEI1* 80km were held out both in senior and junior categories.

The CEI2* 120km was divided into four stages of 38.5km, 34.5km, 28km and the last loop of 19km. In senior category, Isha Judd – URU (Ashva Fire Fly) came first. Second place was for Nicolas Stirling – URU (LG Lejamsi) and third place finish went to Pilar Saravia – URU (Che Niebla).

In the third loop, we saw the elimination of Martin Stirling – URU (Naranjito), he arrived in this stage in first position, followed by Monica Pinto Lima – URU (Himalala da barra). It was a very strong race from the start onwards with an average speed of 23.63km/h for Monica Pinto Lima – URU (Himalaia Da, Barra) who maintained the first position from the beginning and almost won, but the horse didn’t pass the last trot...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Marahau, NZ kindergarten teacher ready for Mongol Derby adventure - Full Article

Last updated 11:52, July 31 2017

A 22-year-old Marahau-based kindergarten teacher leaves next week to take part in the world's longest, toughest horse race – the Mongol Derby.

The starting gun will sound on August 9 and Marahau adventurer Marie Palzer will start her ride alongside 40 others in a race that traces a path of military leader Genghis Khan.

"I'm ready. [I'm] definitely nervous but I'm super excited. I just can't wait to get over there."

Palzer has spent the last four months training and prepping herself for the "exciting" and "scary" adventure, knowing only a third of the riders will make it to the finish line before the 10-day deadline.

The time had "come along so fast" and on Tuesday Palzer will be on a plane to Mongolia with nothing but her saddle and riding supplies...

Read more here:

Rider from Bahrain suspended and fined over endurance horse’s positive drug test - Full Article

August 2, 2017

A rider from Bahrain has been suspended from competition for six months and fined 2000 Swiss francs after his endurance mount tested positive to five substances not permitted under FEI equine anti-doping rules.

The Bahrain-registered horse Ultreia Larzac, ridden by Othman Abduljaleel Al Awadhi, competed in the CEI2* 120km ride at the Bahrain International Endurance Village, Sakhir, on January 14 this year.

The horse was selected for drug testing. The blood sample revealed the presence of caffeine, theophylline, phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone, and dexamethasone.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. Theophylline is used to open airways in the treatment of respiratory disease. Phenylbutazone and its metabolic byproduct oxyphenbutazone are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with painkilling effects. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid drug with anti-inflammatory effects...


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

World Arabian Organization Shames Desert Endurance - Full Article

July 28, 2017
by: Pippa Cuckson

Endurance racing in the Middle East is sacrificing Arabian horses “on the altar of sport” and the FEI must take “firm and prompt action to definitely prevent another dismal catalogue of catastrophic injuries” next season.

Those are the views of Peter Pond, president of the World Arabian Horse Organisation (WAHO), who has written a forthright letter to FEI president Ingmar de Vos about the ongoing welfare crisis in the Middle East and the UAE in particular.

The WAHO executive resolved to approach the FEI during its annual conference in Bahrain in February, which was attended by delegates from 34 of WAHO’s 65 member countries. There Mr Pond gave an address underlining that the executive committee was “extremely disturbed by the chain of events” and that the “rate of attrition is serious abuse of all the horses taking part.” At that stage, there had been 11 reported deaths in the UAE national and international sport since the turn of the year.

He added: “Arabian horses have tremendous heart, tremendous courage and tremendous bravery, which is why they are the chosen breed for endurance. To stay silent and effectively abandon them to the fate would be to go against our core values and objectives...”

Read more here:

Online course for grooms covers anti-doping rules in horse sport - Full Article

July 28, 2017

Grooms around the world are able to access an online course to help them understand the anti-doping and medication rules that apply in equestrian sport.

The course was developed by the British Grooms Association with the help of industry professionals. It is used by the British Equestrian Federation for its team grooms.

The association’s communications director, Liz Daniels, highlighted the course following recent cases before the FEI Tribunal in which well meaning grooms or other helpers used substances that resulted in horses returning a positive blood test...


Mongol Derby awaits Canadian - Full Article

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 4:57:50 EDT PM

When Long Point's Olivia Wood first told her family what she planned on doing after graduating university it was almost too crazy for them to comprehend.

“My mom thought I was pregnant and I was covering it up with some outlandish excuse,” the 24-year-old laughed. “She thought she was being punked... she was not so keen on the whole idea but she's come around and been super supportive.”

Earlier this year Wood, a Cambridge, Ontario native, completed her final year of studies at Niagara University in New York State before moving to Norfolk. Knowing the window to travel freely was quickly closing, Wood decided to combine her love of horses, athletics, and nature into one high-risk, high-reward activity.

She soon got accepted to what's known as the Mongol Derby, a 1,000km (621 mile) endurance horse race that aims to recreate Genghis Khan's empire-busting postal system. The Aug. 6-19 event claims to be “the longest and toughest horse race in the world”.

“Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high,” the derby website reads. “Individuals who have taken part in the past have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled or lost their life.”

The trek sees 40 riders from around the world head out into the wild with nothing more than a GPS and 11 pounds (5kg) of gear atop semi-wild Mongolian horses...

Read more here: