Friday, August 31, 2018

Mongolia: 2018 Gobi Desert Cup Overall Point Winner: Christoph Schork

August 30 2018

The 2018 Gobi Desert Cup was one for the record books. All our riders completed and all horses are healthy and injury free. The riders, officials, and herdsmen came together, United by their love of horses and adventure. We worked together and while some were tested physically, others were tested mentally. Please join us in congratulating our amazing riders:
In order of points:
Christoph Schork
Elodie Maillard
Jeff Stuart
Tania Orlov
Bob Gauthier
Ruth Benney
Allan Horn
Kasmira Graham
Claire McManus
Michael Shaw
Mathilde Schwartz
Stephanie Scott
Jon Heeboll
Amy Eighteen
Cecilia Stone
Howard Kent
Lorie Duff
Wonderful job by all! We could not have asked for a better group.


We are so proud of our teams! The overall team placings are as follows:
1. Team USA with Bob Gauthier, Allan Horn, Christoph Schork, and Jeffrey L. Stuart
2. The Leftovers with Ruth Rm Benney, Tania Orlov, Howard Kent, and Cele Stone.
3. Team New Zealand with Stephanie Scott, Kasmira Graham, and Mathilde Schwartz
4. The Independents with Lorie Duff, Amy Eighteen, Elodie Maillard, and Jon Heeboll.
Fantastic job guys and we couldn’t be prouder!

Day 6 results (the final race!)

Ruth came in at a gallop but slowed just before the finish line, good thing because her fender broke just afterward!

Tied: Bob, Christoph, and Jeff 
Allan walked his horse in with Mathilde who accompanied him for fun since her horse went lame at the 40km mark.
Tied: Elodie, Michael, and Claire
Tied: Stephanie and Kasmira
Tied: Amy, Jon, Peter, and Tania.

Lorie Duff withdrew in course st the 40km due to her previous knee injury and Cele chose not to ride as well.

MOre at:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Australia: 'I like riding horses really, really badly': Next generation of endurance royalty all smiles after first 40km ride - Full Article

ABC Sunshine Coast By Kylie Bartholomew
Updated Mon at 9:44pm

A tiny five-year-old from Queensland who stands just over a metre tall has braved darkness, the cold and rain to complete her first 40-kilometre horse ride in less than five hours.

Taylor Grogan, a fourth-generation endurance rider from the Sunshine Coast's renowned Sample family, rode into the diverse terrain of the Mary Valley's Imbil State Forest in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Dad Mark Grogan thought his daughter might be deterred by the conditions.

"I thought she'd pull the pin with the wet, especially when we had to go out and it was already raining before she got up."

But a determined Taylor — who completed her first 5km ride a month before her second birthday — would hear nothing of the sort...

Read more here:

Philip Graham’s (NZ) Long Road to WEG - Full Story

27 August 2018

Although each horse and rider combination takes a different road, the goal of competing on the world stage and representing their country is the same.

It’s been 12 years since Philip Graham of New Zealand competed in the WEG Endurance competition.

He and Rosewood Bashir (aka Benny) are making the long journey from New Zealand later this summer.

“The sense of achievement of completing big rides well, on horses that I have produced from youngsters, is a real buzz,” Philip says...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Mongolia: Gobi Desert Cup: Day 4 & 5

August 29 2018

Day 4:
We are here finishing the fourth day of the Gobi Desert Cup! Today has been the fastest ride yet and all 18 have stuck together through the day with all crossing the finish line within moments of each other.

We had a wonderful day in the national park with the riders enjoying the scenery, which included boulders and camels.

There was a slight hiccup when Stephanie Scott’s rein loosened and she had to go with a single rein for a few kilometers but she did it with a laugh and grace as usual.

Just before the finish line the riders broke apart and went for the finish line and the points. Sadly, we had a few vet out due to heart rate because of this, including the first place finisher Mathilde S.

After getting the placing a for today are as follows:

Vetted out due to heart rate:
Mathilde, Allan, and Pete.

The award for Best Managed Horse on Day 4 is Elodie Maillard! She had a very forward horse that would have galloped the entire track, however she managed to keep her horse at a stable pace and keep him healthy throughout. Congratulations on some great horsemanship!

Day 4 winner of the Best Sportsmanship award is Stephanie Scott! Stephanie had shown throughout the entire ride that she is positive no matter the pace, willing to help other riders, and today while losing a rein, laughed it off and patiently rode on while waiting for us to fix it on track. Congratulations!

Day 5:
Halfway update: we had some excitement this morning, when the horse ridden by Amy Eighteen came up lame on track before the 15km and had to withdraw on track. Not long afterward Cele Stone withdrew because her knees were bothering her again. It was determined that Amy would ride Cele’s horse after vetting through and she would not compete for points.

Just afterward Bob Gauthier’s horse, who was well in the lead, hit soft footing and came up lame, pulling them out at the 30km marker.

The vets have been very happy with how these horses are managed by our riders, and sadly the lameness is not uncommon because of the footing and the Mongolian horses’ conformation and bare feet.

All other riders are traveling well so stay tuned!

Our first riders are in across the finish line! In a gallop to the end Jeff Stuart (US) edged out Elodie Maillard (FR) and Amy Eighteen (AUS) by a nose! We had a hot day over open terrain here in Mongolia, with a nice view of the Trans-Siberian Railroad! We had 15 riders over the finish line today, with one withdrawal on course due to sore knees and one vet out due to lameness. All horses and riders will be okay, and lots of smiles all around!

Congratulations to Claire McManus on winning Best Managed Horse for Day 5!
Claire has shown she always puts her horse first over the course of this week and please join us in congratulating her!

Many congratulations to Lorie Duff on winning Best Sportsmanship on Day 5! Lorie is not an endurance rider, and has done many things outside her comfort zone this week, including powering through a sore knee to ride and raise money for the CHEO Foundation at home. All with a smile on her face and no complaints. Congratulations Lorie!

More at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

St Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride 2018 – The Emerald Jewel of Endurance and Pleasure Riding in Ireland - Full Article

By Bree Rutledge - August 27, 2018

THE annual must-do horse riding event is coming up soon, whether you are an avid dressage rider, a keen show jumper or simply someone who just enjoys hacking out, St. Patrick’s Coast is the ride for you! Now in its fifth year, this event hosted by the Irish Long Distance Riding Association (ILDRA) has become established as Ireland’s premier endurance event offering stunning off-road riding in the scenic County Down landscape.

On Saturday, September 1, the ride will commence at Downpatrick Racecourse, heading out across the rolling drumlins of County Down through numerous fields before reaching the East Down Gallops. From here you’ll descend towards the endless sandy beaches of Tyrella, perfect for a gallop or two. The beautiful Mourne Mountains are a perfect backdrop across this scenic ride, as you head back along further fields and grassy laneways to reach Tullymurray Equestrian Centre. A jaunt along the old County Down railway line awaits before a shaded hack through the peaceful Hollymount Forest. A final stretch across an open field leads back to Downpatrick Racecourse, with the perfect opportunity for a galloping finish past the post...

Read more here:

Ireland: Fitness preparation for Endurance Riders at Knockmany Forest - Full Article

By Bree Rutledge - August 27, 2018

ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) headed to the West of the country to the hidden gem of Knockmany Forest Park near Augher on August 19. Pleasure rides and Competitive Trail Rides were on offer on the day for the riders. A drizzly start to the day soon warmed up to what became quite humid riding conditions.

The attending vet on the day was Quirine Tettelaar, MVetMed, MRCVS. Quirine is new to the sport of endurance and she did a brilliant job of checking all of the CTR horses before and after the completion of their respective rides. Many of the riders attending the Knockmany Forest Park ride were putting in some conditioning and fitness training before the St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride on September 1. Offering some of the most stunning views of the County Down landscape, this ride offers something for everyone, both pleasure and endurance riders!...

Read more here:

Monday, August 27, 2018

Clean Endurance: A Guide For Spotting Cheating and Abuse

27 August 2018

How to spot cheating and abuse – and what to do about it 1 A guide to spotting rule breaches and cheating in equestrian endurance is published today (August 25, 2018) by Clean Endurance. The informal “A to Z” format aims to make this very serious subject accessible. Clean Endurance has produced the A to Z in response to the many enquiries it is now receiving from observers and volunteer helpers at endurance rides who think they saw a violation taking place, but were unsure how to respond or whom to alert.

In recent years the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) has acted to address welfare issues, doping and rule-breaking on the field of play. The FEI is constantly reviewing endurance rules to combat the types of foul play highlighted in the A to Z. Sadly, the accompanying picture collages and press archives which can be found on their Facebook page show that many FEI rules are still being openly and routinely broken.

More Yellow Warning Cards are awarded for “not conforming to applicable sport rules” and horse abuse (in conjunction with disqualification) than for any other offence in endurance. Disrespect of officials has increased, causing the FEI Endurance Department to introduce special measures to deal with this. Receipt of an Endurance Incorrect Behaviour Yellow Warning Card triggers an automatic two-month suspension. This topic appears in the A to Z under U for Unsportsmanlike behaviour.

Another major issue is dealt with under K for Knowing the 30-minute rule and Keeping proof. A particular barrier to fair play is that endurance is subject to the same 30-minute rule for lodging protests as the arena-based sports. But because endurance can span 160km (100 miles) of unsupervised open country, photographic or video evidence often only emerges hours or days later – too late for the Ground Jury to act upon. Only the reporting of alleged horse abuse is not time-limited (see A for Abuse).

O is for Obstructing the horse from view in grooming areas and vet-gates - against FEI rules. Why a horse might be concealed is explained in C for Crew, I for Invasive treatment and N for Nerve-blocking.

For those not involved in endurance, training for heart rate recovery is fundamental to the sport since the clock only stops once the horse drops below a maximum heart rate. While the naked eye cannot spot a horse that has been medicated to reduce its heart-rate (D for Doping), there are plenty of other visible tricks to gain an unfair advantage before or after entering the vet-gate: see E for Ear-twitching, G for Gaining time, J for Jammed heart-rate monitors and Q for Queuing for a favourite veterinarian.

Clean Endurance is a global collective of volunteers who are pledged to restoring the traditional values of their sport.
They have an informal working relationship with the FEI; several recent FEI rule changes, procedures as well as sanctions have been developed from matters they have raised.

Clean Endurance is happy to supply links for further reading, including coverage in bona fide news media about many of the field-of-play incidents highlighted in our A to Z.

The A to Z is by no means exhaustive and will be revised and updated from time to time. Clean Endurance welcomes comments and suggestions.

Find them on Facebook and contact them through the message button or email

The Clean Endurance A to Z Guide can be seen here:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mongolia: Gobi Desert Cup: Day 3

August 26 2018

The riders are all in for Day 3! What an exciting day for all.

The day started cold and raining but by the time we began, a rainbow promised good luck to the riders.

At the 15km mark, Cele Stone was having knee problems and Howard Kent had a slow horse keeping them in the back. Cele decided to withdraw and the officials made the decision to switch horses for Howard, so he trotted off happily.

Until his horse decided he didn’t want to go forward anymore and he had to withdraw at the 30km.

With two riders out we checked in at the halfway point with the other riders to find the US team member Bob Gauthier had a fall when his horse tripped and rolled. Bob was okay but when taking the reins to mount his horse spun and kicked him in the abdomen. He mounted and continued to the checkpoint where the doctor examined him and approved him to continue. Sore but determined, Bob powered through to finish in 4th place.

Unable to complete the course yesterday, Tania Orlov stuck with the leading group of riders and came whooping across the finish line wit arms outspread at a gallop.

She was quickly followed by the remaining riders to take their places.

Once part of the lead group of riders, Peter Breidahl walked his horse 12km after being thrown off and met with Michael Shaw and Ruth Benney on their horses. Traveling together to the end, they all tied. But then there had to convince their horses to trot again for the vet check.

Leading up to the 55km checkpoint, one of the herdsman working with the Gobi Desert Cup met up with slower riders Stephanie Scott, Kasmira Graham, and Amy Eighteen on the horse ridden by both Cecilia Stone and Howard Kent, and showed us all how Mongolians ha dale horses effortlessly. They continued to ride together to the end of the course tying for last place.

The final placing are as follows:
Tania Orlov

Allan Horn

Mathilde Schwartz

Bob Gauthier

Jon Heeboll

Jeff Stuart

Christoph Schork

Elodie Maillard

Claire McManus

Tie: Michael Shaw, Ruth Benney, and Peter Breidahl

Tie: Stephanie Scott, Kasmira Graham, and Amy Eighteen

More at:

Australia: 38th Shahzada Begins Tomorrow

August 26 2018

The 400-km Shahzada Memorial Endurance Ride will be held from Monday, 27th August to Friday, 31st August 2018, in St Albans, New South Wales.

45 riders have been nominated to start the 400-km ride (a horse and rider finish the Shahzada only if they complete all 5 days), and 65 have been nominated to start the 120-km mini marathon.

More info at:

UAE: Groom’s error led to endurance horse’s positive drug test, tribunal told - Full Article

August 26, 2018

A mistake by a groom was behind a failed drug test in an endurance horse who competed in an 80km race in the United Arab Emirates last February, the FEI Tribunal was told.

The horse Maximal Phoenix Sterling was ridden by Aqal Muhammad Said Muhammad in the CEI1* event at Bou Thib in mid-February.

The horse subsequently tested positive for dexamethasone and betamethasone, which are corticosteroids with anti-inflammatory effects...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Mongolia: Gobi Desert Cup: Days 1 and 2

August 25 2018

18 riders started The Gobi Desert Cup on August 22. The 480-km endurance race across the Gobi Desert covers 80 kilometers a day.

Here's an update from The Gobi Desert Cup on Facebook

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: the Day 1 finishers!
Tied in first place are: Christoph Schork (US), Howard Kent (US), Allan Horn (US), Bob Gauthier (US), Peter Breidahl (NZ), and Mathilde Schwartz (NZ)

Next over the line was a tie as well for Tania Orlov (AUS) and Jon Heeboll (Denmark/ Sweden) both award winners for day 1 for Best Managed and Best Sportsmanship! Congratulations!

Next was a tie for Lorie Duff (CAN) and Amy Eighteen.(AUS) followed by:
Jeff Stuart (US)
Cecilia Stone (AUS)
Michael Shaw (AUS)
Kashmira Graham and Stephanie Scott (NZ)
Elodie Maillard (FRA)
Ruth Benney (AUS)
Claire McManus (AUS)

Unfortunately Stephanie Scott’s horse vetted out for heart rate and although she completed the course, she received no points for Day 1. Her horse was treated by vets and happily resting today. Bad luck as all the horses were managed very well by the riders all day and the vets were extremely happy!

While all riders and horses finished well, unfortunately both Howard Kent and Lorie Duff were dehydrated and showed mild symptoms of heat exhaustion by not drinking enough water and electrolytes on course. They were treated by our doctor and given Tailwind Electrolytes to restore their systems.

The doctor has cleared them for riding and while Howard has chosen to rest today, Lorie is determined to ride the course for the CHEO foundation. Don’t worry, we’ll be keeping a close eye on her and she’s happy to go at her own pace.

Day 2

Our first rider is over the finish line on Day 2! Congratulations to Cele Stone!

Our second group has finished Day 2 with a tie of 10 riders! Congratulations to Bob Gauthier, Jeff Stuart, Peter Breidahl, Allan Horn, Mathilde Schwartz, Elodie Maillard, Stephanie Chase, Michael Shaw, and Kashmira Graham!

All our riders are home safe at camp! Our last two riders, Amy Eighteen and Clare McManus, arrived together an hour ago to much applause from the other riders and officials.

They rode slowly and safely at the back of the pack but came in well under the time limit. Great job ladies!

Unfortunately a few riders did not make it to the 40k checkpoint today: Lorie Duff pulled out at 5k due to a sore knee, while Jon had bad luck on the track with not one but two horses. His first horse had some bleeding in the mouth at 5k while his second went lame on track at 10k and he had to walk him into the checkpoint. His horse got loose on the way but with the help of a local family was able to catch his horse and find the track again to be picked up.

On their way also was our Australian moms, Tania and Ruth who took too long to the 40k check point and were unable to continue.
All riders and horses are safe and sound at camp awaiting the rest of the riders at end of day.

More info at:

Equestrian Canada Announces Nominated Entries for WEG 2018

August 25 2018

Canada's Nominated Entries for the World Equestrian Games Endurance event, to be held on September 23, 2018 at Tryon, North Carolina, have been announced.

The final Canadian Equestrian Team (CET) members for WEG 2018 will be selected from the following nominated entries officially submitted to the FEI:
*Athletes listed in alphabetical order.

Wendy Benns, from Campbellcroft, ON, aboard 10-year-old Arabian gelding Synthetic, owned by Melody Blittersdorf.

Colleen DeVry, from Bruderheim, AB, aboard 16-year-old Arabian gelding Nightwind's Indigo Bey, owned by Colleen DeVry.

Robert Gielen, from Flesherton, ON, aboard 9-year-old Arabian gelding More Bang For Your Buck, owned by Robert Gielend.

Jaylene Janzen, from Spruce Grove, AB, aboard 16-year-old Arabian gelding Sakic, owned by Christine Janzen.

Wendy MacCoubrey, from St Justine de Newton, QC, aboard 9-year-old Part-Arabian mare Black Bart's Lolita, owned by Wendy MacCoubrey.

Ariel Macleod, from Montney, BC, aboard 13-year-old Arabian gelding Driftwood's Lancelot, owned by Ariel Macleod.

Tracy Vollman, from Regina, SK, aboard 16-year-old Arabian gelding Ra Karim, owned by Tracy Vollman.

Lexi Vollman, from Regina, SK, aboard 9-year-old Arabian gelding Alwayz Fame PW, owned by Tracy Vollman.

Kimberley Woolley, from Finch, ON, aboard 12-year-old Arabian mare Schakka Khan, owned by Kimberley Woolley.

Endurance horse tested positive for “cocktail” of five controlled medications - Full Article

August 25, 2018

A stable has blamed miscalculation and miscommunication for an endurance horse entered in a 120km race in Dubai testing positive to five prohibited substances.

The horse Al Wafyah, registered in the United Arab Emirates, was ridden by a Pakistan-registered rider, Asghar Ali Muhammad Faiz, in the CEI2* event.

Al Wafyah tested positive for flunixin, phenylbutazone, oxyphenbutazone, dexamethasone and clenbuterol, all of which are classified as controlled medications under the FEI’s anti-doping rules.

Flunixin, phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone are anti-inflammatory drugs with pain-killing effects. Dexamethasone is a corticosteroid with anti-inflammatory effects. Clenbuterol is a bronchodilator used to treat bronchitis and allergic airway disease...

Read more here:

Tasmania: Tom Quilty Gold Cup: Going the distance for home hat-trick - Full Article

KAROLIN MACGREGOR, Tasmanian Country
August 23, 2018

TASMANIAN riders are out to make it a hat-trick at home in the Tom Quilty Gold Cup national endurance championships.

Horse-and-rider combinations from Tasmania have won the prestigious 160km event for the past two years and with a field of strong entrants again this year, the state is in with a good chance.

Last year’s Quilty in South Australia was won by Tasmanian Brooke Brown-Cordell aboard
Tierview Salama from Tunnel.

Miss Brown-Cordell is expected to be one of the frontrunners again this year.

This year’s event, at Jetsonville near Scottsdale in the North-East, will be the 53rd Quilty...

Read more here:

Friday, August 24, 2018

WEG endurance course awaits USDA approval - Full Article

By Leah Justice
Published 8:00 am Friday, August 24, 2018

Commissioners, TIEC discuss equine disease

MILL SPRING — The endurance course for the upcoming World Equestrian Games is still awaiting approval by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from Commissioner Ray Gasperson, who brought up some concerns about the course, as well as a disease called equine piroplasmosis.

Gasperson released documentation sent to the county from Gregory Atchley, with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, who said the endurance course is not complete, but the USDA has been persuaded to allow for another 30 days to correct the issues.

Atchley also said approximately 40 international horses have tested positive for a tick-borne disease, and are not allowed to compete in the endurance race.

“One of the horses is owned by a member of [United Arab Emirates] royal family,” Atchley said in an email to the county. “Political pressure is anticipated to reverse [the]decision to bar the positive horses...”

Read more here:

Australia: Trailing in the family hoof steps for a grown up ride - Full Article

24th Aug 2018

ONE equestrian-loving family will see its next generation saddle up and ride to keep its tradition ofendurance riding aliveand kicking along the trail.

At just five years of age, Taylor Grogan will be tackling her first 40km ride in an event hosted by her great-uncle Matthew Sample, the Stirlings Crossing Equestrian Complex in Imbil.

More than 500 people - including riders and their support crews - are expected to arrive for theeight rides on offer across distances of 160km, 120km, 80km, 40km and 20km.

"Taylor completed her first 5km ride at 23 months of age and has done a totalof six 5km rides, one10km ride and two 20kmrides,” MrSample said.

"She will be riding Dee Dee, a 14-year-old pony, and this will be Dee Dee's first 40km as well...

Read more here:

Chile: Mix of endurance activities in Llay Llay - Full Article

Race Report made with the assistance of André Alvarez
23rd August 2018

Llay Llay, Chile. Saturday 18 August 2018. Llay Llay is a town in the San Felipe de Aconcagua Province of central Chile’s Valparaíso Region, less than 100 km from Santiago.

18 August marked the middle of the 2018 Chilean national championship calendar, with exciting combinations and lots of exiting activities. For the second time this year, the riders set off on the hills of Llay Llay with a beautiful day and excellent weather conditions to enjoy the galloping of their horses.

As soon as the sun set up, the CEI2* category race started. The competition was not defined until the last 100 meters and thanks to a spectacular run of his mare Aura, Felipe Sat set a short advantage on the finish line, over the runner up of the day, Juan del Canto...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Global Petition for FEI Horse Welfare Reform

August 23 2018

Galvanized by the latest in a string of years of endurance racing debacles abroad, and concerned that the upcoming World Equestrian Games Endurance event in Tryon, North Carolina, on September 12th may be negatively affected by the controversies, 25 AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) Board Members have posted a Global Petition for FEI Horse Welfare on

"The purpose of this petition," AERC Board member Connie Caudill-Burns posted, "is to clarify for FEI that the endurance riders and supporters worldwide demand a return to the traditions of our sport with emphasis on the proper care for endurance horses everywhere by allowing the horses to compete on their own natural abilities without performance enhancing drugs. The petition also requires increased rest periods for excessive speed and stiffer penalties for those who would abuse these animals. This petition has the support of 25 American Endurance Ride Conference Board members and we expect the public support of relevant committees and organizations from endurance organizations all around the world.

"FEI must take a stand for endurance horse welfare reform worldwide before equestrians lose the privilege of competing in equestrian sports. We request that FEI accept and enforce the following 9 rules that will punish the cheaters and abusers of horses that believe in “winning at all cost”. Enough is enough, endurance athletes and horse enthusiast globally demand change in the FEI organization.

"1. Increase penalties for positive drug tested horses- Higher fines as well as stiffer suspensions on the horses. At least a year suspension (not the current 2 months). (May depend on the type of drug))

"2. Strong penalties on Trainers/Athletes/Owners who have 3 positive drug violations within a 5 year period. (5 year suspension)

"3. Positive drug violations for anabolic steroids, (such as testosterone) the horse will be banned for life. Possible life ban on –Athlete/Owner/Trainer

"4. Have mandated drug test on all 4* and 5* and Championship rides. Increase the drug testing fees in this type of race to help pay for the extra testing. Take a blood draw on ALL at check in (hair follicle possibly in future drug testing programs). At the finish always drug test top 10-20 horses in these types of races, then others at random. (4* is a 160K with prize money of $10,000-$50,000, 5* prize money greater than $50,000)

"5. Check for sensitivity of the horses' lower legs at initial vetting, during the ride at the vet checks and upon completion. Strong penalty for violation.

"6. Athletes/horses must maintain a completion rate of 66%. If either fall below a 66% completion rate (Retired/Rider Option will not count against them) they will immediately go back to restricted or controlled speed (which currently is no greater than 16kmh or 10 mph). They will stay at this rate for at least 6 months and if their completion rate has improved above the 66% they can go back into open speed, if it has not improved they will remain in the controlled speed category another 6 months until they can improve their completion rate.

"7. Remove elite athlete status. (Elite status only comes into play at championship rides). All athletes must qualify on the horse that is to be ridden in the championship ride, no special status for elite athletes.

"8. Eliminate current COC timing. (This promotes fast flat courses only.)

"9. Increase rest periods for all horses that exceed average speeds of 16kmh (10mph). Reduce rest period by 50% when average speed is less than 16kmh (10 mph)."

This world-wide petition has garnered over 2400 signatures in just over 24 hours.

Additionally, an AERC members-only petition, drafted by Randy Eiland, is also making the rounds for signatures. This petition is also aimed at improving endurance horse welfare, by making "a statement to the world that AERC Members support our Purposes, Principles, and EQUINE WELFARE."

While Eland's petition is only available only for AERC members to sign, the petition can be read and signed by anyone worldwide, and can be viewed here:

Temporary Scar on Polk County: Permanent Scar on the Sport - Full Article

Cuckson Report | August 22, 2018

I almost checked my calendar when I saw this – surely an April Fool? If only it were a subject for levity.

The Tryon Daily Bulletin labels itself the world’s smallest daily newspaper; not difficult because Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina has a population of just 1,700. I’d wager that article has garnered more page views than anything else they’ve published this year. It was shared like topsy around the global endurance community, which then did its collective nut.

The news story describes the incredible 60-mile excavation frantically underway to complete the track for the World Equestrian Games endurance ride which is, er, due to run three weeks today (September 12th).

The article begins: “Amber Hall owns A & M Site Services in Columbus. She, along with her husband Milford and their crews are responsible for making the trials safe and making sure they meet all the Fédération Equestre Internationale rules and regulations. It has to be 30 feet wide and 14 feet high, completely clear of rocks, holes and tree limbs for 100 miles.”

That statement, as writ, is a gross distortion of FEI technical spec. It’s beyond tragic that this contrived track is being represented as what a championship ride should be. So many had pinned hopes on the return of the world championship endurance ride to its spiritual home. Surely at last we’d see riders win medals for actually being able to do steering, and for the tactical conservation of their horse (heck, a horse they even know by name) over a natural trail...

Read more here:

Official Charity of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 to Offer Interactive Experience at World Equine Expo™

Brooke Bricks manufactured humanely in the United States are being sold online and onsite at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 for inclusion in the “Brooke Breezeway” at TIEC.

By: WEG Admin
Aug 22, 2018

TRYON, NC, USA – August 22, 2018 – In developing countries across the globe, working horses, donkeys, and mules are lifelines for families who depend on them for existence. Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys, works around the world to improve and protect the lives of working equines. As the “Official Charity for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, (WEG)” Brooke is bringing its mission to life at the World Equine Expo™ being held at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) during the WEG on September 11-23, 2018. From virtual reality experiences and book signings to plush toys, bar nights and the unveiling of TIEC’s commemorative “Brooke Breezeway,” there are many interactive ways spectators can support Brooke before, after and during the Games.

WEG attendees visiting the Brooke’s World Equine Expo™ booth will experience a virtual firsthand perspective of the harsh reality of brick kilns in India, where working equines are critical to the survival of families. From the brick kilns of Nepal to the coal mines of Pakistan and the small farms of Ethiopia and Nicaragua, to the volcano-stricken areas of Guatemala, Brooke is improving lives by helping the equines people depend on to survive.

To bring added awareness to working equines in the brick kilns, Brooke USA, sister organization to Brooke, is installing a commemorative “Brooke Breezeway” onsite at TIEC comprised of personalized bricks, commercially and humanely manufactured in the United States, which are now on sale at The “Brooke Breezeway” will be unveiled on the first day of the WEG, September 11, and bricks will be on sale during the two-week event at the Brooke USA Shop.

Visitors to the World Equine Expo™ can join Brooke for special experiences throughout the two-week event including bar nights each week with all tips benefitting Brooke USA, book readings and signings from renowned authors like Mary Alice Monroe and demonstrations by the likes of Monty Roberts, among others.

For both kids and kids-at-heart, plush versions of the beloved WEG mascots – Star and Huck – will also be on sale at the Brooke USA Shop with a commemorative orange accessory that can be purchased to directly support Brooke’s efforts.

“Breaking the cycle of poverty is an issue that receives great attention around the world, but I am a strong believer in Brooke’s model of reaching the working equines that in turn help support and uplift the families that rely on them,” said Katherine Bellissimo, partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners who serves on the board of Brooke USA.

Bellissimo added that the WEG’s mission to “Celebrate the Horse, Celebrate the Sport” aligns well with Brooke’s approach to addressing global poverty by helping families. “There’s an average family of six relying on every one working equine in the developing world. Brooke is impacting entire families and communities,” she concluded.

The World Equine Expo™ (Expo) will be hosted alongside the WEG, September 11-23, 2018, with tickets to the Expo included in any competition ticket. For more information, visit and to learn more about Brooke and Brooke USA, please visit or

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Mongolia: Gobi Desert Cup Gets Underway

August 22 2018

The second annual Gobi Desert Cup is underway today. The 480-km multi-stage endurance race through the Gobi Desert on Mongolian horses over a marked course runs August 22-29.

Horses and riders cover 80 kilometers a day, starting every morning at 7 AM. Two vet checks are held each day, one at 40 km and one at the finish.

Each night riders have a chef's prepared meal during the next day's ride briefing and the day's awards before retiring to comfortable tents for the night.

Riders from Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Canada, and the USA are riding in this year's event.

You can track the riders here:

More information at:

AERC President Pens Letter to USEF Regarding Concerns about WEG

August 14 2018

The August 14, 2018, letter from AERC President Paul Latiolais to USEF officials voices concern over the Endurance event at the upcoming World Equestrian Games in September in Tryon, North Carolina.

Going by past equine neglect and abuse, poor sportsmanship and cheating in certain previous FEI endurance races, AERC is concerned that any perception of abuse at WEG will have a backlash on the sport of endurance riding in the USA.

AERC also expressed disappointment that FEI chose to advertise the endurance event as "Meydan Endurance," when Meydan is a business arm of the UAE, which is the center of many FEI endurance controversies.

AERC asked that USEF spare no effort in ensuring a level playing field for all participants and place a supreme emphasis on equine welfare, since all the world will be watching.

The letter can be seen here:

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fear Grows About Endurance Scandals at Tryon - Full Article

August 21, 2018
by: Pippa Cuckson

Fear over a horse welfare scandal in endurance on the opening day of the World Equestrian Games have come to a head in recent days. A letter setting out the concerns of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) to USEF has been widely shared on social media, while a top French endurance vet has announced he is giving up after 33 years, in protest about the ongoing crisis in the sport. “The unacceptable fact I have had to see since these last years are peanuts comparing with what is coming next,” warns Dr Pierre Romantzoff.

With endurance having its roots in the US, the AERC had hoped Tryon would showcase the classic sport, using a natural, technically demanding trail. However, recent pictures from the venue show a 30ft-50ft wide manicured piste which, while designed to fulfil USDA’s tick-control requirements, will undoubtedly favour the racing style of the Group 7 countries.

AERC members have also taken to social media in recent weeks, aghast that Sheikh Mohammed’s Meydan corporation is title sponsor of the ride. At WEG 2014, Meydan stood itself down as sponsor because UAE controversies were at the centre of a media storm.

In his letter, AERC president Paul Latiolais points out the reputational damage to the national sport if there is a “mishap” in front of thousands of public with cameras...

Read more here:

Follow the USA Endurance Team on the Road to the WEG - Full Article

by Pamela Burton

7 August 2018, USA ~ Horsereporter interviewed US Endurance Chef d’Equipe, Mark Dial, with added comments by the US Equestrian Marketing on members of the USA Endurance Squad and their qualifications. We also learned some details on how to watch the Endurance Venue on 12 September 2018.

How many years have you been involved with International Endurance and in what countries?

The first major international competition I went to was in 1997. This was the Pan American Championships in Canada. Over the years, I have been able lucky enough to travel to the Middle East, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Costa Rica, and Slovakia, just to name a few...

Read the article and meet the competitors here:

Sign Up Online to Volunteer at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

While more than 1,100 people have already signed up, TIEC is still in need of volunteers to help make the event experience exceptional for all attendees and participants.

By: WEG Admin
Aug 9, 2018

TRYON, NC, USA – August 9, 2018 – Volunteer applications continue to be accepted for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG) to fill more than 9,000 positions, one-third of which are still available. The Games are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle, and are the major international championship for all eight disciplines administered by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the worldwide governing body of equestrian sport. Volunteers will have the opportunity to experience this global sporting event firsthand from September 11-23, 2018, at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Tryon, North Carolina.

The WEG will welcome athletes from 70 countries and host almost 1,000 top equine competitors and horses. Volunteers will play an important role in ensuring the Games run smoothly for athletes, spectators, and operational staff, and the WEG Volunteer Recruitment Program is seeking enthusiastic, friendly volunteer candidates to join the team.

An estimated 2,500 people are needed to cover the 7,500 volunteer positions available over the three weeks, with two to three six-hour shifts available per day for operational positions ranging from greeters, ushers, and golf cart drivers to marketing and media positions, information services and more.

While more than 1,100 people have already signed up, TIEC is still in need of volunteers to help make the event experience exceptional for all attendees and participants. Many of the people who have signed up for WEG are from TIEC’s current volunteer roster and speak of the personal fulfillment they receive as a volunteer at the venue.

Volunteer Mary Taylor explains, “It is wonderful to be a part of something so fun and exciting: to watch the glimmer in a child’s eyes as they participate in fun activities, to see the excitement in the rider’s face after a great event, to hear an equestrian describe TIEC as an ‘the most unbelievable venue you can imagine’. It is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the complete experience at Tryon International Equestrian Center.”

Jane Lynch mirrored Taylor’s sentiments stating, “It’s been a good experience. I’ve done volunteer hospitality for both Forks, the AECs and the WEG Test Events [at TIEC]. It’s a really happy job.”

How to Apply

To apply, visit the WEG Volunteer Portal at and complete the following process:

1. Create a profile or login to a pre-existing account.
2. Complete all required components of a Volunteer Profile, including: entering security information and answering vetting questions.
3. Select “Upcoming Events,” then select “Event Days.”
4. Volunteers will not receive a call or email confirming placement, but will be able to view the status change on the Volunteer Portal.Upon approval, login to the TIEC Volunteer Portal to check or make updates to your schedule. An email will be sent notifying all volunteers when the online orientation is available.The uniform package includes a complimentary hat, “Team Tryon” pin, and several branded uniform shirts dependent on the duration of consecutive days scheduled per volunteer. Volunteers will also receive credentials and parking pass, as well as access to the Volunteer HQ for snacks and meals for the days they are working. Access to watching events is limited and seat access based on availability during the week(s) volunteers are working.
Volunteers who have been approved for three shifts can request complimentary housing at the Shelby Mission Camp or secure a rental through the lodging portal on here. The Community Hosting Initiative Host Application is available at under the Volunteer tab for home owners interested in hosting WEG volunteers.

“We have already received an immense amount of interest, so please take a moment to apply today,” said Director of Community Outreach Kathryn McMahon. “Volunteering is a brilliant way to get involved in this phenomenal event that will surely make incredible new connections and memories for all. We hope you will join us as we form a strong volunteer team of exceptional individuals for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.”

For more information, please visit

For the most updated WEG information, please sign up for the newsletter online at or follow @Tryon2018 on social media.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Great Britain: Huge Weekend of Endurance at Euston Park's H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival - Full Article


Euston Park in Suffolk, UK, welcomed an incredible 580 horses and ponies from 33 nations over three days of International and National competition this weekend.

The event, the largest held in Europe this year, boasted everything from a Nations Cup CEIO2*120km to a Pony Club Championships, and everything in between, with prize money and a rider travel and expense allowance totalling £1millon.

Day one of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival saw some fabulous riding conditions and 194 riders taking to the tracks in CEI1* 80km, CEIYJ1* 80km and CEIYJ2* 120km classes. In particular it was a great day for both the UAE and France (one first place and two top placings in Best Condition) but there was a notable British success for Sophie Moorhouse riding Crystal Wissam (Sam) in the CEIYJ1* 80km who scooped second place in both the ride and the Best Condition competition...

Read more at:

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Endurance Nominated Entries for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games at Tryon

August 19 2018

Nominations are in for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Endurance event at Tryon, to be held on September 12rh.

The list can be seen here:

Uruguay: Pilar's Long Road to Glory stories

August 19 2018

Pilar Saravia of Trienta Y Tres, Uruguay, was world No.1 in Endurance racing last year.

This year, her sights are set on next month’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

The 16-year-old and both her chestnut gelding Baraka Nasim and grey mare Rayla will #BeUnited on the 100-mile course when they compete in WEG’s opening event on Wednesday, September 12.

We chatted with her about her goals, preparation, career highlights, and more.

Pilar, what are your goals this year? Also, what are your long-term goals?

Pilar Saravia: It will be an honour to represent Uruguay at WEG with a horse owned by my family. Long-term, I want to be an elite rider, which is something I’ve started achieving through several top ten placings at CEI3* competitions.

How are you preparing for the WEG?

Pilar: We’re training two horses with the possibility of qualifying for the Uruguayan team. Those two horses are Baraka Nasim and Rayla. Both are happy and well-cared for, so we’re trying to take one of them to the Games! Baraka Nasim is a 14-year-old Arabian gelding, he’s competed in Endurance since 2012, so he’s very experienced. In October 2017, we finished fourth in the Pan-American Endurance Championships held in Punta Del Sente (Uruguay). Rayla is an eight-year-old Arabian mare, she isn’t as experienced and has only been competing in Endurance races for two years, however, in that time, she’s shown she’s a very good mare with a promising future!...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Saif Noon — first Pakistani ever to participate in the Mongol Derby - Full Article

* The race is not for the faint hearted

Staff Report
AUGUST 18, 2018

It was the longest and the toughest horse race on Earth and this year, a Pakistani contestant became one of the youngest riders to ever attempt the Mongol Derby, a 1,000 kilometre race across the Mongolian steppe on semi-wild horses.

Saif Noon, 19, the first Pakistani to participate in the Derby, rode on semi-wild horses, following the route of Genghiz Khan himself, alongside 43 other challengers.

The race is not for the faint hearted. Participants have to have nerves of steel and sheer determination, surviving on their own wits, living amongst local herders or simply making camp alone in the wild over the ten-day period. They have already had to contend with hail, lashing storms, floods and dangerous river crossings. Most have been bucked off their horses at least once, if not several times, and some have had to pull out because of injury...

Read more here:

Friday, August 17, 2018

Local mom to ride horseback through Mongolian desert for CHEO - Full Article & Video

Duff is dedicating her Gobi Desert Cup ride to CHEO, and is collecting pledges for each kilometre.

August 16 2018
by: Jason White

A mother whose daughter is receiving treatment at CHEO for a serious skin disease is showing her gratitude to the children's hospital by raising funds for its urgent care unit with an epic horse ride.

Lorie Duff works with horses professionally, and was invited to ride the Gobi Desert Cup -- a six-day, 480-kilometre horseback endurance ride through a desert in Mongolia.

"I've never done anything like this; I'm not an endurance racer at all," said Duff. "So it was a little bit of a thing where I had to sit back and think about it..."

Read more here:

Mongol Derby Day 8: Yes She Khan, and Yes She Did! - Full Story

Prac’s Jocelyn Pierce got sent on the writing assignment of a lifetime and it appears she has survived to tell the tale.

August 16 2018

“Riding hard for the finish line just now are MT JP ARCHIBELL (Michael Turner, Jocelyn Pierce, Ed & Jack Archibald, Henry Bell), six riders who have exemplified the camaraderie and joy of this event, done well. They have had dramas but seem to have shrugged them off and just kept trucking. EA girth may still be a cable tie, I lost track ... JP the only lady in their bunch, can't wait to talk to her on the finish and find out how that went. Can she now pee off the side of a horse cos they wouldn't ever stop for her? Mind boggles.” -- Early morning tweet from Derby HQ

As advertised, at 8 a.m. on the nose Jocelyn and her boy toys crossed the 2018 Mongol Derby finish line to a hero’s welcome. Lukewarm beers, ice-cold showers and heartfelt hugs for all. To be followed by a refreshing dip in the lake...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

World's Top Endurance Horse Tests Positivie to Banned Substance - Full Article

August 15, 2018
by: Pippa Cuckson

The world’s top-ranked endurance horse Shaddad will be unavailable for the UAE’s WEG squad after testing positive to the banned substance testosterone at a UK ride last month.

Shaddad, who is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s premier MRM barn, was sampled after placing second in a 160km race at Euston Park – the Dubai squad’s summer competition venue – on July 13th.

Shaddad’s 21-year-old rider Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi is also provisionally suspended till FEI Tribunal renders its decision, as is the veteran Maktoum barn trainer Ismail Mohammed. The horse is suspended for the standard two months, meaning he must miss Tryon.

Shaddad, a 14-year-old Anglo Arab, was imported by Dubai from France in 2011 and has an incredible record, including a win and a fourth in consecutive years in the gruelling 160km Presidents Cup, Abu Dhabi. He has enjoyed 11 top three placings in his last 18 FEI starts with Al Mehairi and other riders and was a member of the UAE world championship team in 2016.

Al Mehairi participated in the WEG test ride at Tryon with another horse in April...

Read more here:

Mongolia: Jockey produces ride of her life to win world's longest horse race

Picture: Laurence Squires and The Adventurists - Full Article

15 August 2018
By James Roberts

Annabel Neasham, from Bicester, finished joint winner of the 1000km Mongol Derby alongside Australian rider Adrian Corby yesterday morning.

The pair took seven days to complete the gruelling endurance race, riding more than 20 semi-wild horses across challenging terrains from giant sand dunes to freezing mountain passes.

Winning the event is an achievement in itself, but Ms Neasham did so after having Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery and admitted crossing the line was a welcome relief.

She said: "People say when they finish, they could easily do another 1,000km.

"Well, I think I’m good with this..."

Read more here:

WEG 2018: Cutting a swath - Full Article

By Catherine Hunter
August 11 2018

Crews working to clear WEG endurance trails

GREEN CREEK — Amber Hall owns A & M Site Services in Columbus. She, along with her husband, Milford and their crews, are responsible for making the trials safe and making sure they meet all the Fédération Equestre Internationale rules and regulations.

It has to be 30 feet wide and 14 feet high, completely clear of rocks, holes and tree limbs for 100 miles. Crews are working seven days a week to get the endurance trails ready for the World Equestrian Games in September.

“They are so conscientious about the safety of the horses,” Milford said, referring to the officials at the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

Amber said, in addition to the horses’ safety, it is also very important that the trails are cleared to prevent the horses from picking up any ticks. Because ticks can carry diseases, the horses importing from other countries are being carefully protected from any and all possibilities of picking up a disease that might prevent them from being able to re-enter their home country after the games.

Amber explained that regulations require special footing 12 feet wide, which is the area the horses will actually travel on. “This is called the tread,” she said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

World Number One Endurance Horse Tests Positive at British Ride - Full Article

Wednesday 15 August - 10h50 | Lulu Kyriacou

An endurance horse, currently ranked number one in the world, has tested positive for a banned substance at Euston Park, the premier British endurance venue.

Shaddad (previously known as QUERSICK NIELLANS) is a 14 year old bay gelding who was competing in the CEI3* 160km ride at Euston Park in Suffolk on July 13th where he finished second and was therefore routinely tested. Ridden by Saeed Mohd Khalifa AL MEHAIRI who has already won on the horse this season at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, over a similar distance, the horse is trained by Ismail Mohd who has had the horse in his charge for several periods since 2015. The rider and trainer are also suspended.

​The combination were likley to be selected for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team for the coming World Equestrian Games (WEG) after a string of good places at endurance' highest level.

​Ismail Mohd was previously a competitor himself but has been training since 2014 and is responsible for a number of horses according to the FEI database including three recent registration in the UK, apparently specifically to compete at the UK Endurance Festival.

​The dope test fail was for testosterone, considered performance enhancing, and is a major blow for both UAE and Euston Park credibility. The ruling Maktoum family have significant endurance interests and despite concerns over a potential conflict with the FEI after various other doping, welfare and rule breaking scandals within endurance, they are the title sponsors for WEG endurance under their Meydan banner...

Read more here:

Mongol Derby Race Report: Day 7: 2 Aussies Tie for Win - Full Story

August 15, 2018
There we have it – the team of Annabel Neasham & Adrian Corboy have gone and done it: they’re joint winners of the tenth Mongol Derby. Adrian Corboy, leaving Australia for the first time in his life, had three weeks to lose nine kilos and do some packing when he stepped in for Ciaron Maher at the last minute. Neither he nor Annabel are endurance riders; Adrian backs and breaks racehorses, while Annabel is a CCI* level eventer from the UK who now works for Ciaron Maher racing in Australia. And yet they beat a field of experienced riders which included DH – a very experienced endurance rider from the USA who was here to compete in her third derby. How did they do it?

When the gun went, DH [Devan Horn] shot to the front as expected. As in previous years she raced hard, choosing horses that looked fast but also looked as if they might have fire in their bellies. AC and AN took a different approach. They had a strategy from the start, Adrian said, and despite being under a lot of pressure, first catching DH and then after DH was awarded the pivotal vet penalty, maintaining their lead. As ever, horse selection was key, as Annabel pointed out at the finish line:

“I think horse selection was a big thing – we got good at picking horses. You’ve got to pick a horse with a bit of length to it, a deep girth and a good shoulder that shows a few ribs. A lot of people said before we left that we should skip the racing ponies. They’re the skinny ones. We had a go with a couple of those but they’re on the steal all the time and they burn too much petrol early on. So it was about picking the herder’s own horse that they use to go and check the herd because they’re fit...”

Read more here:

Bermuda: Brangman looking to go the distance - Full Article

Stephen Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Published Aug 14, 2018

When Marvin Brangman first heard about endurance riding, he thought it was a sport for “crazy” people.

Brangman, who has a background in dressage and showjumping, has always been passionate about horses, but had little interest in spending long hours in the saddle negotiating all types of terrain.

After much persuading from a friend who competes in the discipline, Brangman agreed to a 25-mile race in 2015 — a gentle distance by endurance standards — and immediately fell in love with it.

He won his second ride of 75 miles in Alabama several months later and from there started the two-year process to qualify for the World Equestrian Games...

Read more here:

Australia: Local Rider Rises to Ultimate Challenge - Full Story

Riding For Livin’
Aug 14, 2018

Last year when the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its data into the leading cause of death in 2016, suicide was the number one cause of death among people aged 15 to 44 years.

When she was just 24 years old, Canberra local, Courtney Chapman could have become part of that statistic.

“In 2015 I faced one of my hardest battles yet after struggling with depression for many years. I was a broken, fragile girl in the clutches of an all-consuming depressive episode. My autoimmune disease, Crohn’s, was rampaging my body, and I had been hospitalised seven times in the past six months. I was in a turbulent and toxic relationship and was the subject of horrific online bullying from members of the endurance horse riding community I loved so much,” Courtney said.”The weight of it all crushed me.

“That night, 28 June 2015, I almost successfully took my own life. If it were not for the fast thinking actions of some friends that were carefully watching over me, I would not be here today. I was thankfully reached in time and was able to be resuscitated, albeit with a touch and go stint in ICU for a few days. It took a little while for me to realise that I was not meant to leave the earth that day.”

Courtney is now using her life experience and challenges to break the stigma around mental health, and in sharing her personal experience hopes that others will feel comfortable in doing the same.

An endurance rider, who when she was just a 10-year-old used her love of horses to escape the clutches of a difficult life at home, will now be turning that passion into the biggest challenge of her life...

Read more here:

Australia's Maher workers take honours in Mongol Derby - Full Article


Wednesday 15 August 2018, 5:07pm

Two integral members of Ciaron Maher Racing have taken the honours in an endurance horse race, the Mongol Derby.

Adrian Corboy, a trainer in his own right, and Annabel Neasham, part of the communications team, completed the gruelling 1000km journey in just over seven days, crossing the line on Wednesday afternoon, AEST.

Maher was to have ridden in the endurance test, but withdrew after breaking his leg in a fall from Jameka in the weeks leading up to the event.

The Caulfield-based horseman was as pleased for Corboy and Neasham just as if he had prepared a Group One winner.

"It was a great team effort," Maher said...


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Great Britain: Outcry over late changes to Euston Park endurance schedule - Full Article

Horse & Hound
13:26 - 13 August, 2018

Riders whose arrangements are now in chaos have blasted Euston Park Endurance for the short notice re-vamp of its H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival next weekend (17-19 August).

On 7 August organisers announced that the major CEI3* 160km class had switched from Friday to Saturday, causing problems for those expecting to ride both days, while the CEI2* 120km class had been cancelled. Many are now trying to rearrange travel and accommodation for themselves and their crews, while others hoping to switch to another class are racing to obtain £200 FEI horses passports – a process which normally takes three weeks.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Mongol Derby Race Report – Day 4 - Full Recap

August 12, 2018

If yesterday (day 3) was the tipping point, today there was plenty of evidence that the race has changed from a light hearted chase at the front and a jolly at the back, to a deadly serious hunt for the front runners and some at the back of the field hanging on for dear life.

DH at the front ended the day still at the front of the race and just 1.5 kilometres short of urtuu 18, but with a 2 hour vet penalty and a late riding penalty. She was vetted where she stopped by head vet Pat Sells – a rule change introduced this year to ensure that horses are checked wherever riders stop for the night when they stop.

Today saw the retirement of one of the most popular riders this year, and the youngest – SN. After racing for four days and the best part of 500 kilometres in head-to-toe borrowed kit (riding clothes, helmet, stirrups and leathers – the lot), rolling with his horse in the mud and charming all and sundry, we are very sad to report that SN has called it a day. We are also sorry to report that FA has retired with a broken collarbone incurred in a bad fall yesterday. RB & MB both took carry forwards and the concurrent three hour time penalties to catch up with the back of the field – MB unable to encourage his tired horse to go forwards, RB suffering from general wear and tear. All of these competitors are serious riders – this race is no joke...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mongol Derby: Devan Horn Leads at About Halfway Point; Maddie Smith Out

August 12 2018

With roughly half the distance of the 10th annual 1000-km Mongol Derby distance completed for ongoing competitors, returning Mongol Derby veteran, Texan Devan Horn, had the lead at horse station 18. The horse she was riding failed the vet check (apparently failed to pulse down within 30 minutes), and she was out a "smidge" past racing hours, and as per vetting and rest-hour rules, she racked up a 2 hour 8 minute penalty which she'll sit at out HS 18, which should tighten up the leading pack.

This is Devan's third time to ride the Derby. In 2013 she crossed the finish line first, but ended up as runner-up when her horse didn't pulse down in time at the finish, and her incurred vet penalty allowed the second finisher to win. She returned for the 2015 race, but fell ill during it, and had to drop out. "She is she is riding as if there is unfinished business. Which of course there is," tweeted @Mongolderbylive.

With weather wreaking havoc on the ride management - a swollen river prevents them from driving across it and keeping up with the leading riders - the intrepid riders and horses continue onward.

The radical weather delayed the start of the Mongol Derby by a day. @mongolderbylive tweeted on August 11, "Even the more casual observers will have spotted that the riders have seen hail, flooding, storms, blazing sun and today it's cold & wet. One of the more challenging aspects of the race."

Californian Maddie Smith had a bad fall on Day 2, dislocating her shoulder and cracking her ribs. She was hoping to beat the Mongol Derby this year, after having had a fall in the 2016 Derby, where she sustained a concussion and could not continue. Maddie is staying on in Mongolia, and will be at the finish line, waiting to cheer in her comrades on the steppe.

44 riders from Australia, Botswana, Canada, Ireland, The Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, New Zealand, UK, Uruguay, South Africa, and the USA started in this year's edition.

More live updates at:

Local horsewoman in race to raise funds for Gobi Desert Cup participation - Full Article & Video

Lorie Duff explains her participation in the Gobi Desert Cup in the YouTube video above.
AUGUST 9, 2018

EASTERN ONTARIO — Horse whisperer Lorie Duff plans to saddle up in the Gobi desert later this month — but the area resident requires some more fundraising help to make her Mongolian dream a reality.

Duff has made a name for herself as a gentle horse trainer whose skills have been showcased at the Calgary Stampede and the RCMP Musical Ride, alongside her trusty steed, Titan. The long-time equine enthusiast says she still needs assistance with airfare for the trip to the desert on the other side of the world, where she’s due to race 480 km in the Gobi Desert Cup, Aug. 22-31.

“My deadline is approaching fast ! I’m the only Canadian representing Canada and simply can’t go without your support, please help,” says the Newfoundland-born 44-year-old, still retaining the twangy accent of her maritime heritage.

“Can you please help and share? My deadline is coming and I really want to get there...”

Read more here:

Hot weather during Brazilian winter an extra challenge - Full Article

12th August 2018
Race Report made with the assistance of Cidinha Franzão

Haras Albar, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil. Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July 2018. After winning the CEI3* 160km race in Jaguariúna with Bondgirl Endurance, which assured him to be one of the four members of the Brazilian Team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, André Vidiz, this time riding Salaan de Maire, easily wins the CEI2* 120km Senior.

This race was divided into five stages of 32.5 km, 26.5 km, 24 km, 21 km and 16 km of the National Endurance Competition and IV Stage of the São Paulo Endurance Championship.
Although it is winter time, which is a very dry season in São Paulo, it was very hot during the two race days with temperatures of 28 degrees which felt like 30 degrees. The hot weather made the 116 participants using a lot of technique to face a trail with many ascents and descents, passes through cane fields and a lot of rocks. It is impossible to have a flat trail in Sao Paulo, so the riders and horses are well trained for this type of terrain...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

2018 Mongol Derby Underway

Follow the Mongol Derby

August 8 2018

Sort of… @mongolderbylive tweeted a race update at 4 AM USA Mountain time: "technical issues, floods and storms continue… race launch delated until tomorrow. The riders have another day to gird their loins, steel their nerves etc."

43 riders are scheduled to start the 1000-km station-to-station race across the steppes of Mongolia. The unmarked course consists of 25 stations at 40-km intervals where the riders switch horses.

The 10th Mongol Derby, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest and toughest horse race, kicks off today. The 2018 race features 18 men and 26 women from 12 countries, riding 1,000 km across Mongolia on semi-wild horses. Two Canadians will compete this year.

Three previous competitors are back for more in 2018. The other 41 Mongol Derby virgins feature our usual wonderful mix of professional riders and happy horsemen. We’ve also got an eclectic mix of accountants (not so handy), nurses and vets (much handier) as well as a translator (but not in Mongolian), a fishing captain (useful in a landlocked country), and someone who works pack camels. Yet to meet our semi-wild Mongolian horses, they could look like a walk in the desert…

2018 Mongol Derby Competitors


Ed Archibald, 31, Scone, NSW, Australia
Grew up on a cattle and polo farm in Australia, now living and working in Sydney. This is his first endurance ride so he figured he may as well take on the hardest challenge he could find! Is looking “to push myself to my limits and see it as an opportunity to explore Mongolia is the most unique way.” Is competing with his two brothers and cousin and raising money for Multiple Sclerosis research, which their uncle suffers from.

Jack Archibald, 29, Scone, Australia
Has ridden his whole life. Lives on a farm, professional polo player for 10 years who has captained the national team. Now takes on this with his brothers and cousin.

Robert Archibald, 34, Scone, Australia
Was a professional polo player from 2001 to 2015 travelling all over the world, as well as captain of the Australian Polo Team. Then decided that he wanted to train racehorses so is currently working in the racing industry for various different trainers to gain experience and help him prepare for when he starts on his own. Competing with his brothers and cousin for MS.

Eliza Allan, 35, Denmark, Western Australia
Her non-horsey family finally relented to get her a horse when she was 12 and spent every weekend thereafter riding the thousands of acres of bush that bordered their farm from dawn to dusk – completely alone with her horse and in “various states of rapture”. Since then, hasn’t been able to shake the urge to just ‘ride and ride and just keep going’, which is why the Derby appeals. Is a single-Mum and full-time teacher “terrified of going fast” who spent 2016 traveling Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail with her daughter, horse and donkeys.

Chase Becker, 21, Yandina Creek, Australia
Competed in the Mongol Derby in 2016 but snapped a tendon in her ankle so had to pull out at the half way point. Is back for redemption “and this time I’ll finish it”. Is a pre-med studying Nursing and Midwifery. Will be accompanied by her horse instructor, Rod (who has been teaching her since she was 10) and Dad, Mike, (who finished the Derby in 2016).

Mike Becker, 55, Yandina Creek Australia
Having completed the Derby in 2016 is back again with Chase and Rod “to show them the way!!” Is a helicopter pilot and Company director of an aerospace group and loves a bit of adventure with the family. The Derby is their 2018 adventure and having done it before, is “really looking forward to coming back and riding across the open steppe in an environment of freedom and excitement.”

Henry Bell, 33, Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia
Was bought up with horses on the family farm, and plays polo. Never thought he would compete in an endurance style race so “can’t wait to have a go at the longest one in the world”. Competing with his cousins and raising money for MS

Adrian, Corboy – a late entrant from Australia, backs horses all day and will ride with Annabel Neasham.

Kathy Gabriel, 27, Benambra, Victoria, Australia
Has been in the saddle before she could walk and horses have always been her passion. Spent years working in northern Australia on cattle stations chasing cows on horses. Now manages a beef property in the high country. Has decided to do the derby for so many reasons but “mostly for the ride…. for everything the derby is about, the adventure, the challenge, meeting new people, meeting and learning off the Mongolian herders about their extraordinary horses.”

William Gunning, 34, Sydney, Australia
Proud father of two, married to the woman of his dreams and works in the family business as a Commercial Real Estate Agent. Started riding as a child at his grandparents farm and then started entering Junior Rodeo competitions where his passion for horses grew. Is looking forward to the challenge ahead and getting himself fit as well as saddle fit for the upcoming event. Is “a bit of a joker and wants to make sure everyone is having a good time and just hope I can have the same effect on the horses.” He’ll learn!!

Rodney (Rod) Herman, 70, Maleny, Australia
Grew up with a love for horses and has worked most of his adult life in the Equestrian Industry, including working for the famous King Ranch in Australia. Has been a horse rancher/rider, a horse trainer, EA riding Coach and accredited farrier. Is “looking forward to riding across the Steppe with my good friends Mike and Chase Becker as part of the team,The Three Amigos.”

Karrin O’Loughlin, 32, Toowoomba, Australia
Grew up on her family cattle station near Nebo in North Queensland. Was riding horses before she could walk as is the scenario for most county kids on the land. Lived and worked on the property up until mid 20s before moving to town and developing a major passion for travel. After returning from a summer living and working in Canada as a trail riding guide in the Rockies, was looking for my next big adventure! “Couldn’t think of a better way to see and experience Mongolia than on the back of a horse (hopefully not on my back in the dirt looking up)” and with the added bonus of raising funds for RACQ LifeFlight Australia

Annabel Neasham, Australia
Competed to CCI** in eventing in the UK. Moved to Oz in 2016 where now works as Racing Manager to Ciaron Maher. Still rides trackwork in the mornings and has been lucky enough to swing her leg over a few Group One winners.

Cecilia Stone, 50, New South Wales, Australia
A “horse tragic” who grew up riding, did the usual pony club stuff, horse adventures with teen friends and cattle work at home on the farm. Had a break from horses and found them again while NOT looking to get back into them. After a long stint of being a Carer started looking for an adventure and found the Mongol Derby. Is now “off the couch, at the gym, on the horse and focused on being ready for the delights that shall appear.”


Michael Turner, 39, Maun, Botswana (Citizen of both UK / USA)
Leads private safaris all over the African continent. Is riding in the 2018 Derby, “simply for the adventure as it just sounds too fantastic to pass up.” (Maybe he needs to read a bit of the previous press coverage!)


Tamara Beckstead, 54, Rockwood, Canada
A small animal vet who feels most alive atop a horse. Eventing has earned Tamara the nickname “Teflon Girl” by her coach. Hunting satisfies her thrill of speed; Dressage, her desire for beauty and perfection; and Side Saddle got her and her horse, Modesty, onto a movie set. She looks forward to the Derby providing an escape from her current reality and was inspired to take this adventure by the Doris Day song “Enjoy Yourself” (look it up and sing along!).

Kelsey Riley, 29, Lexington, KY, USA (Canadian)
Having not ridden a horse for two years prior to applying, Kelsey decided the Mongol Derby would be a good excuse to get back in the saddle (no, seriously). After she was, shockingly, actually accepted to participate, Kelsey has discovered that (thankfully) she has not forgotten how to ride. A rigorous training schedule should hopefully see her ship-shape in August. She is an editor of the Thoroughbred Daily News, and is riding to raise money for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances Program at the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington, KY.


Charmaine McQuaid /O’Neill, 43, Kilkenny, Ireland (but lives in Leicestershire, UK)
Born and bred into racing from Whytemount Stud in Ireland. Was Champion Irish lady Jockey 1997/98 having ridden winners for trainers such as Aidan O’Brien, Paddy Mullins and Dessie Hughes.
Currently works as a feed rep for Gain Horse Feeds in the UK accompanied every day by her beagle, Walnut. Is he coming to Mongolia?

John Daniel Moore, 40, Kildare, Ireland
A Bloodstock agent who is following in the footsteps of fellow Irishman and 2014 runner-up, Richie Killoran – “I have tried tinder in my search for a wife and Richie Killoran said, ‘try this’ – it worked for him!”


Rouke Bloemsma, 52, The Netherlands
An architect who has ridden since she was eight – competing in dressage, jumping and eventing. Has two Icelandic horses. Has been training for over a year for this and lost 22kg in 18 months…

Hinke van der Werf, 28, Groningen, The Netherlands
Born and raised on a dairy farm in Friesland, the Northern province of the Netherlands famous for their fields full of Friesian cows and horses. To her father’s regret, she picked an Arabian horse instead of a Friesian horse. While working as a nurse and a sociologist, traveled a lot. “People now think that I’m settled down back in the North with my desk job as a lecturer and researcher at the academy for nurses. But I’m always preparing for a new adventure. Why the Mongol derby? I saw the adventurists’ rickshaw race in India. I don’t do too well with traffic so I thought I’d try my luck in Mongolia.”


Saif Noon, 18, Lahore, Pakistan
Currently a university student studying at The Royal Agricultural University in the UK (known as the ‘Gin and Tonic’ course we believe!). Has been riding for nearly 12 years. Grew up in Lahore, where learnt and competed in polo. Has also been riding in Nurpur and some mountain ranges in the Punjab. Wants to do the Derby because “am also looking forward to the mental and physical challenge of riding for as long as I can.”


Manuel Espregueira Mendes, 28, Lisbon, Portugal
Translator by qualification, rider by passion, with a foot in interior design, Manuel started show jumping at age nine. He believes that it is in hardship and conquering limits that great personalities are forged, hence his decision to take on the Derby – that or, “because he started drooling over it as soon as he laid eyes on this crazy adventure!” Raising Money for the Portuguese fire victims.


Eion Kemp, 44, Matamata, New Zealand
What started as a way to pay his way through university lead to a passion. Twenty five years later owning one of the largest Thoroughbred Breaking in and Breeze up farms in the heart of the Waikato, the interest in horses still runs strong. “I have followed the Derby for a few years with interest and always wanted to give it a go and now is the time to swap my thoroughbreds and experience the Mongol Ponies. I love a challenge , something new, different and out of my comfort zone and the Mongol Derby offers all that and more”. Oh yes, it does…

Charlotte Howard, 25, Glentui New Zealand
Currently work running the family biz but usually an entrepreneur always starting new things. Madly in love with horses, fast cars, high heels and all things sexy and adventurous. Ridden horses all her life from eventing to high country and most things in between and is riding in the derby as a tribute to her mum “who was always the biggest supporter of my mad ideas and adventures”.

Trudi Thomas-Morton, 60, Levin New Zealand
Bred with the equine addiction gene and has had a horse or 5 for 30+ years. Extreme trekking, competitive trail riding and endurance with horses and, for a bit of adventure, working pack camels in the Australian desert for ecological and archaeological expeditions – these things help keep her sane – just. Rest of the time works in the city, runs her wee lifestyle block breeding a cow or horse or two and pampers her large menagerie. The Derby is her biggest challenge yet – “A challenge of mind and body, the adrenaline surge from the unknown and unexpected, a collage of experiences for the soul.”


Gemma Ractliffe, 37, Surrey, UK
An accountant as her day job Gemma had been riding since she can remember. The majority of her riding experience comes from her time at the Horse Rangers Association, where she started riding at the age of 10 and now teaches children every weekend. “Having never owned my own horse or done any kind of competitive riding this is a huge challenge, but what would be the point of going through life without a challenge? I love to travel and what better way to see a country than to actually spend time with the people whilst carrying out a sport you love. Oh and as an aside I’d like to see if the 1960s purple beetle my sister did the Mongol Rally in 10 years ago is still making its way round Ulaanbaatar…”


Valeria Ariza, 40, Montevideo, Uruguay
The first ‘proud South American lady’ to take part in the Mongol Derby. Jumping and dressage are her origins and she works as a full-time trainer and coach. Is “in on anything involving horses from ladies polo to horse related conferences”. Her true passion is travelling with and on horses, and her midlife mantra is “going where the horses take me”. Rode in Mongolia in 2004, a lifechanging trip, and “always wondered if I could ever go back”.


Carol Federighi, 58, Takoma Park, Maryland, USA
Government lawyer, endurance rider, Ride and Tie competitor (whatever that is?!). Always wondered if she could ride the day after a 100-mile ride, now she will find out. Convinced a friend to sign up, will also find out how far the friendship goes …. “Looking forward to the wide-open spaces, the gutsy horses, and living by my wits rather than my phone”.

Heather ‘Flash’ Accardo, 37, Prairieville, Louisiana, USA
“My mom always made sure I had a horse to ride while growing up – for that I am eternally grateful.” Flash grew up showing Arabs in every event possible and now endurance is her love. Her motto in life is: “If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way, otherwise you’ll make an excuse.” She has been blogging her preparations on Facebook at Flash’s Journey To The Derby and is raising money for her charity Heros and Horses.

Michael Gascon, 28, Poplarville, Mississippi, USA
Fifth generation horse trainer who has dedicated his life to the way of the horse. “Ready to go on an adventure for the ages!!”

Matthew Graham, 57, Washington, USA
Mechanical engineer, yoga teacher, freelance outdoors and adventure writer. Hang glider pilot, paraglider pilot, SCUBA diver, rock climber, skier, sailor, paddler and cyclist. Started riding horses 25 years ago because it was his wife’s favourite sport. They rode together in fox chases, played polo together for over a decade and took equestrian vacations throughout Europe. He then tragically lost her in a freak hang gliding accident two years ago. Is “competing in this race in honour of her and her love of horses and her spirit of adventure.”

Dori Hertel, 48, Kingwood, Texas, USA
Vet for 23 years. Done mainly what she calls “pleasure adventure” riding including endurance and polo. Owns and breeds quarter horses.

Devan Horn, 24, Houston, Texas, USA
A third time Derby participant, she was runner-up (after crossing the line first in 2013) and then fell ill during the 2015 race. Still the fastest ever competitor, this will be her 5th ride over 500 miles.

Pamela Karner, 64, Ithaca, New York, USA
Recently retired large animal veterinarian. Has practiced for over 30 years in Ithaca, New York. Is an endurance rider, veterinarian and ride manager in both the US and more recently in Australia as well. “I have felt drawn to Mongolia since I was a little girl AND I thrive on challenges! I can’t think of a better way to satisfy both of those than racing across the steppes. I wake up every morning ridiculously excited and equally frightened by the upcoming race. I don’t feel 64 but ask me that after the race!”

Jeanette Lazzaro, 29, Virginia Beach, USA
Started riding at six months old on the back of her Mum’s Arabian and grew up riding in Pony Club and Eventing. As an “adult” with a “real job”, worked in aviation, but in her spare time rescued, healed, broke, and trained a quarter horse. Work took her to live in Japan last year and is training for Mongolia by begging and borrowing any and every horse available. “I’m a Derby first-timer and as well as mastering the use of anti-chafing anything in a goal to finish the race with my bum intact!”

Couple Joel Scholz, 44, and Nicolette Merle-Smith, 30, are first time Derby racers. Joel, a Massachusetts native, USAF veteran, and VP of sales for a mobile medical technology company, and Nicolette, a Virginia native and professional 3-day event rider, live in Ocala, Florida training up their young homebred sport horses and riding out with hounds on a regular basis all over the country. Due to be married this fall, Nicolette and Joel are dedicating their entire wedding registry to Cool Earth in support of land conservation. As outdoor enthusiasts, they look forward to the challenge of the Derby and all of its demanding elements. Nicolette’s grandmother told them, “If you can survive the Mongol Derby together, then you must deserve each other.”

Kelsey Opstad, 27, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
A commercial fishing captain and paramedic who grew up showing dressage, but has since found a love of travel and other sports (backcountry snowboarding, speedflying, snowmachining, paragliding, biking, climbing). The Derby is “an opportunity for me to immerse myself in horseback riding once again, and a challenge to combine riding skills with those of navigation and survival. I wanted a reason to bring horses back into my life in a big way, and this was the one which excited me most.”

Jocelyn Pierce, 31, Rockville, Maryland, U.S.
Outdoor adventure freak, three-day eventer and an editor at Practical Horseman magazine. Jocelyn believes her horse-crazy childhood of pool-noodle jousting, crude attempts at skijoring and ill-fated trail rides in search of ice cream cones have aptly prepared her for partnering with the Mongolian horse. She is eager to immerse herself in one of the last surviving nomadic cultures, but a misguided assurance that her time in the concrete jungle as a U.S. letter carrier will parallel Genghis Khan’s “pony express” route may prove problematic.

Christine Roberts, 29, Dallas, Pennsylvania, USA
Growing up with three brothers on a farm in Colorado did not cultivate a weak person. Instead it created an independent, tough-as-nails woman who enjoys martial arts, competitive shooting, travel, and horses. Christine has been riding since in the womb and has never been without a horse. She grew up riding in Competitive Trail and made the switch to Endurance Racing in 2007. Easy going yet highly competitive, she cannot wait to breathe in the Mongolian air on the back of a galloping horse taking on the Derby!

Madison Smith, 28, San Francisco, USA
Hunter jumper rider taking her second whack at the Derby after a bump on the head and some breaks in 2016. When she’s not on a horse, this California girl is running a small business from her apartment floor and usually running late for her next flight. Madison is proud to once again be raising money for the Homeless Prenatal Program!


Samantha Anderson, 45, Durban, South Africa
A self-confessed “complete nutter” who rides a 1909 Humber (ancient motorcycle with no gears and peddles) 650kms in two days in an annual event called the DJ (Durban to Johannesburg). Has always wanted to ride the Mongol Derby but never thought she would be chosen because “I can ride horses, but nothing remotely close to the scale of the Derby. Since I got the invite I have been training like mad, broken two ribs and met the most amazing people who have lent me their horses and taught me so much. No one actually believes me when I tell them what I am going to do. Hee ha here I come!”

Angus Lowe, 24, Fourways, Johannesburg, SA
Is currently a student with the University of Pretoria. Loves polo and horses and rides and plays as much as possible. Wants to ride in the Derby to combine his love of the outdoors, riding and adventure. “As an avid historian the idea of traveling along Genghis Khans old postal route was also a major draw for me to the Derby.”

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