April 29 2018
73 starters representing 24 nations tackled the 120-km CEI 2* endurance event Saturday April 28 at Tryon, North Carolina. It was the Test Event for the World Equestrian Games 160-km endurance event to be held on September 12.
The UAE took the top 4 places, all finishing together in a group, with Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum taking first aboard Upedro, a 10-year-old gelding, in a ride time of 7:21.44. Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum was second aboard Toumani Eureka, an 11-year-old gelding.
Former multiple European and World Endurance Champion Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain finished 5th riding Upsala El Saad, a 10-year-old gelding, in a ride time of 7:40.41.
Canadians Robert Gielen (riding his 9-year-old gelding More Bang For Your Buck) and Wendy MacCoubrey (riding her 9-year-old mare Black Barts Louta) finished 8th and 9th, in 8:52 and change.
USA's Heather Reynolds was 10th aboard the 11-year-old mare RTR Rimfires Etta. Ellen Olson was 12th riding the 7-year-old gelding Noslos Tuff Enuff. Kelsey Russell finished 17th riding the 8-year-old gelding Fireman Gold. Melody Blittersdorf finished 20th aboard the 18-year-old gelding Synthetic.
The other USA riders who were eliminated were Cheryl Van Deusen riding Nazeefs Flashy Rose, Gwen Gall riding TA Kwik Dance, Jeremy Reynolds riding Treasured Moments, Erin Lemmons-Innes riding Highh Treason, Tracy Hofstrand riding FLF Forever Champion, Erin Champion riding Landroval, Meg Sleeper aboard Syrocco Madrigal, and Holly Corcoran riding Authentika.
24 finished the race, and 49 were eliminated, and consensus is that the trail was tough and the vetting very strict.
USA rider Gwen Hall commented: "The hills are relentless and the rains as recent as Thursday evening made footing challenging in areas. Many eliminations due to lameness and despite our riding “back of the pack” the trail beat us today. This trail reminded me of another certain 100 – never hurry, never tarry. I learned a lot on this ride and am thankful for the opportunity to have participated."
Crew person Devan Horn commented: "So it turned out to be about a 32% completion rate. I truly feel in this case the vets were demanding perfection. Not 100% perfect and fresh, you were out. Also, the footing was rough being a newly cut trail, which effected a lot of riders."
For complete ride results, see:
To stay up to date with the upcoming WEG Endurance, see: