Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Endurance Trainers to Face Automatic Suspension for Doping - Full Article

September 25, 2018
by: Pippa Cuckson

Registered endurance trainers will be given automatic provisional suspensions when horses in their care test positive to prohibited substances, as the FEI beefs up measures to deal with ongoing doping issues in the Middle East.

This in the first time a FEI anti-doping rule will be discipline-specific – subject to ratification at the FEI General Assembly in November. Endurance still returns more positive samples than any other FEI sport.

In equestrianism, because the rider is usually the horse’s trainer and stable manager he is regarded as the prime “person responsible” (PR) and thereby liable for suspension and/or fines if the horse tests positive.

However, endurance in the Middle East is run on similar lines to Thoroughbred racing. Many hundreds of horses are kept in large barns and prepared by professional trainers – who must be registered with the FEI and competed by staff riders or visitors from overseas who have had little prior contact with the animal. Two riders currently awaiting FEI Tribunal decisions are South American visitors who accepted rides in the UAE last winter on horses which then tested positive to banned substances. One of them rode two different horses failing dope tests within a fortnight of each other.

The FEI Tribunal first warned in 2005 about the anomaly of the trainer not being the rider in endurance. More recently, FEI legal obtained discretionary powers to join extra persons – including trainers, owners, vets and grooms – in doping sanctions where there was clear evidence of complicity. If the new rules are approved, trainer suspension will be non-negotiable...

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What Happened at the 2018 WEG Endurance Championship? - Full Article

The ill-fated WEG endurance competition was abandoned amid delays, disruptions, and dangerous heat. Here’s a look back at what went wrong.

Posted by Jennifer O. Bryant | Sep 25, 2018

Medals in each of the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) eight disciplines are awarded at the 2018 World Equestrian Games (WEG), which wrapped up at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, in Mill Spring, North Carolina, over the weekend.

Make that seven disciplines.

The very first competition to get underway at the FEI WEG Tryon 2018 on Sept. 12, endurance, suffered delays and chaos at the start, was hastily revamped into a shortened version of the race, and, within hours, was canceled altogether.

Officials with the FEI cited three primary reasons for the cancellation:

A sudden brief downpour that made the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of North Carolina feel like a torrid jungle after Mother Nature turned off the spigot and the late-summer sun emerged with a vengeance;
An unusually high number of horses exhibiting signs of metabolic issues; and
Deteriorated footing conditions on the trail following the rainstorm that required even more exertion from the endurance horses...

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Looking past the ‘chaos in Tryon’ - Full Article

By Ted Yoakum
Published 3:42 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

Despite WEG setbacks, TIEC leaders pushing forward with vision

MILL SPRING — While taking responsibility for the setbacks that have made headlines over the past several weeks, Tryon International Equestrian Center’s Mark Bellissimo is hoping that people will remember the 2018 World Equestrian Games for its positives, rather than its negatives.

A few days before the international sporting event’s final day of competition on Sunday at the Mill Spring facility, Bellissimo, the managing partner with Tryon Equestrian Partners, fielded questions from the press during a special media cocktail hour Friday evening. The equestrian business mogul addressed the issues that have surrounded WEG and TIEC over the past several weeks, while also expressing optimism for the future of the facility and its planned residential expansion project.

WEG — organized by TIEC and international equestrian sport governing body Fédération Equestre Internationale — ran from Sept. 11 to Sunday at TIEC. The event drew equestrian athletes and horses from nearly 70 nations — who competed in eight different disciplines for both team and individual awards — as well as thousands of international spectators to the rural community.

The event was rife with setbacks from the beginning, however, including issues with inadequate housing for grooms (attendants responsible for the care of horses), the cancelation of the endurance race and the freestyle dressage competition, and the death of two horses following competitions. Adverse weather stemming from Hurricane Florence also caused a dip in attendance, Bellissimo said...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Should Tryon Ever Be Allowed to Try Again? - Full Article

Cuckson Report | September 24, 2018

Over the past 12 years I have written six lengthy pieces for various publications asking “what is the point of the World Equestrian Games (WEG)?” Anyone over 50 will recall the kudos and success of single-discipline world championships that were the norm till 1986.The first WEG, Stockholm 1990, was only ever meant to be a one-off.

I have never really understood who the all-eight-sports-in-one-basket format is aimed at. Why do so many promoters assume that anything with a horse in it is of automatic, overwhelming interest to all? Most people like music, too, but show me a successful international festival with classical, jazz, country, hip hop, opera and rock all on the same bill! Even the FEI didn’t have figures available for spectators attending two or more disciplines till we got past WEG number three. I recall asking for them several times.

Yet whenever anyone has queried the validity of WEG, the FEI has firmly stated it’s by far the best way to showcase elite sport and that everyone likes it. This remained the stance even after it was common knowledge that WEG is a licence to shell out millions in unrecoverable cash.

Nowadays, experienced organisers would rather pull out their own fingernails than be lumbered with WEG. The FEI will allocate WEG to the last man standing rather than admit it isn’t a goer. At least twice the FEI has failed to ask governments direct if they are supporting the bidder – presumably for fear of hearing something it doesn’t want to know.

Ironic then, that just now we’ve found an Organizing Committee (OC) keen to repeat the WEG in, say, eight years’ time, the FEI has decided to re-evaluate the whole concept and contemplate breaking it up into more sustainable components. FEI president Ingmar de Vos said this at two press conferences this past fortnight. This significant shift was noted by just about everyone apart from the Tryon OC, which has the hide of a rhinoceros...

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‘We made a ton of mistakes’ admits WEG boss - Full Article

Eleanor Jones
18:48 - 24 September, 2018

“We made a ton of mistakes,” the boss of Tryon has conceded, but he is “unbelievably proud” of what has been accomplished at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) venue.

Mark Bellissimo, of Tryon Equestrian Partners, spoke to reporters at WEG on Saturday (22 September).

He spoke of the challenges faced by the venue, which had had less than two years to prepare for the Games, having stepped in when original hosts Bromont, Canada, pulled out.

“I’m so very proud of all the things that have happened in the last two weeks with the exception of the things we started on [early problems such as with grooms’ accommodation] I take responsibility for, I made mistakes along the way,” he said.

“If that’s what’s remembered about this WEG then shame on me, shame on all of us, as I think what we’ve seen is probably some of the best sport WEGs have had.

“All the people who said this would never be done: they were wrong. What’s most important to me is that we’ve stepped up in difficult circumstances and did our best. It wasn’t perfect but perfect is the enemy of the good. We accept the fact we’re human and we make mistakes but in the end they’ll hopefully become afterthoughts...”


World Equestrian Games over but Bellissimo back in saddle - Full Article

September 24 2018
Steve Keating

TRYON, North Carolina (Reuters) - Mark Bellissimo, the man who brought the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) to this bucolic corner of recession ravaged North Carolina is widely viewed as a savior for bringing jobs and hope to the depressed region.

Not so says Bellissimo, deferring to an elderly employee who works in one of the sprawling facility’s kitchens who has apparently taken credit.

“I interact a lot with our staff and a woman who is our baker, she comes up to me and says, ‘I just want you to know I am responsible for the success of Tryon’,” Bellissimo told Reuters.

“I said, thank you and I would love to hear more and she said, ‘eight years ago I prayed that someone would rescue this community, someone with a million dollars and you came and it is because of me’.”

Situated in the U.S. bible belt, all this would seem a very plausible explanation for an equestrian Taj Mahal popping up under the gaze of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

What is not plausible is that Bellissimo rode to the rescue with a million dollars.

To get the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) ready for the WEG, Bellissimo and his partners pumped more than $200 million into the effort.

By the end of the year that number will rise to $250 million as he pushes ahead with plans to make the TIEC the world’s premiere equestrian lifestyle destination...

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Monday, September 24, 2018

South Africa: TZANEEN: A case of the tortoise and the hare - Full Article

The approach was quite different from other events, where speed is usually essential. It was a definitely a case of ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

24 September 2018

The Letaba Endurance Riding Club (Letaba Uithourit Klub) organised a horse riding endurance event in Mokopane on September 8 and 9. Many local riders hooked up their trailers and headed across to take on competitors from far and wide.

A total of 55 entries were received which included riders from Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng .

Competitors had a choice between a 80 km or 120 km endurance rides which catered for different aged groups.

For the not so brave, both 16 km and 40 km fun courses were on offer...

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Polish National Championship at Dolina Gawora - Full Article

15 September 2018
Race Report made with the assistance of Michal Tul and Dustin Jerominek

Dolina Gawora, Malichow, Dobrodzien, Poland. Friday –Saturday 31 August – 1 September 2018. For the third time in a row, Dolina Gawora hosted the Polish National Championship for CEI2* 120km and CEIYJ1* 80km.

Once again Dolina Gawora hosted the biggest international endurance competition this year in Poland with riders from Czech Republic, and for the first time from Lithuania and Finland, 61 combinations in total.

The first start was given early morning on Saturday. The longest distance started at 06:30. This year the competition was a little bit easier compared with the previous year. The morning was very cloudy. Riders started in temperatures of about 17 degrees Celsius, but in later hours the sun showed up and it was beautiful weather. Due to the good conditions of the tracks, riders had a chance to end the competition with excellent results.

The most important category was CEI2* 120 km. Within this category there was also the race for Polish National Chamionship with 12 entries. Rivalry from the beginning was led by two competitors – Tanja Turunen – FIN (Kuvaharjun Valedro) and Ryszard Zieliński – POL (Odwet)...

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Flair LLC Sponsors 2018 International Veterinary Endurance Conference

by Flair Equine Nasal Strips | Sep 17, 2018

Participated in the 2018 IVEC Conference

Flair, LLC, maker of FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips, is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the 2018 International Veterinary Endurance Conference (IVEC). The conference was held September 9, 2018 near Tryon, North Carolina, USA

As part of the Flair IVEC sponsorship, Flair LLC President and CEO, Jim Chiapetta DVM, JD, attended the 2018 Conference, and made brochures and sample FLAIR Strips available to every attendee in addition to distributing the FLAIR Strip Clinical Studies Overview. British Equine Exercise Physiologist and noted International Endurance Consultant Dr. David Marlin delivered a five-minute educational presentation on the topic of FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips.

Says Dr. Chiapetta about Flair’s sponsorship of the IVEC: “Flair is pleased to have been part of this group of international veterinarians and competitors assembled in Tryon to address real world clinical and logistics issues relevant to endurance racing and other high intensity equine sports.”

IVEC is a conference for veterinarians and the stakeholders involved in the sport of endurance riding. Conference topics included presentations by some of the foremost experts in endurance veterinary science, including genetics, training and clinical science as well as presentations on horse welfare and latest scientific research. For more information about IVEC, please visit:

About Flair, LLC: Flair LLC is dedicated to evidence-based products for health, welfare, and the performance of horses. Based in Minnesota, Flair LLC is the maker of FLAIR® Equine Nasal Strips. Developed by veterinarians, FLAIR Strips are drug-free, self-adhesive nasal strips that support horses’ nasal passages and promote optimum respiratory health of equine athletes at every level of competition. More than eight clinical studies have been conducted on FLAIR Strips at leading equine research centers. The Strips are clinically proven to: make breathing easier, reduce fatigue, conserve energy, quicken recovery, and reduce lung bleeding. For more information about FLAIR Strips, please visit

Contact: Nan Rawlins

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Post-WEG Endurance Event Interview with Thomas R. Timmons, DVM - Full Article

Thomas R. Timmons, DVM, President Vet Commission 3 – Endurance, answered questions about the WEG Tryon 2018 event.


EquiManagement followed up after the cancelled Endurance competition at WEG Tryon 2018 with Thomas R. Timmons, DVM, President Vet Commission 3 – Endurance. Timmons is an FEI Licensed Veterinarian in Endurance. He travels internationally for veterinary assignments at FEI-level Endurance competitions.

Q. What are your thoughts on the overall veterinary treatment for the horses during and after the race?

A. The veterinary care was excellent. The Commission executed well in evaluating and delivering their recommendations to remove horses from competition as indicated for metabolic or lameness or other reasons. After removal, the vast majority of horses benefited from mild fluid and electrolyte corrections. They likely would have corrected on their own, but precautions were taken with each horse.

Monitoring in the stables continued through the night by clinicians to ensure no latent conditions occurred, and there were none.

Q. Based on conversations at the International Veterinary Endurance Conference (IVEC) held the day before WEG started, is there a movement in general within the Endurance community about modifying how the races should be run?...

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Something is rotten in the state of horse sport - Full Article

September 21, 2018
Neil Clarkson

It was Marcellus who declared to Horatio in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

The standout line was written more than 400 years ago. Ironically, despite its fame, the line is left out of some stage productions of the play.

Shakespeare’s immortal words came to mind as I pondered the ongoing World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.

It is fair to say that elements of the Games have not gone well.

The Endurance contest had some competitors misdirected and was then called off due to the heat, humidity and deteriorating underfoot conditions.

The number of horses receiving attention for metabolic issues at the time it was called off would seem to suggest it was the right call. There was the subsequent loss of a New Zealand horse due to kidney issues...

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

WEG 2018 - Will Tryon Spell End for Games? German Official Gives View - Full Article

Thursday 20 September - 09h45 | Stephanie Sieckmann

The first week of the 2018 Tryon FEI World Equestrian Games in North Carolina is over, four disciplines have wrapped up their competitions and four others – jumping, para-dressage, vaulting and driving – are now getting underway. Dressage, endurance and eventing riders from around the world are heading home from Tryon with very mixed experiences, and this halfway point is a good moment to look back at the Games so far. GrandPrix Magazine spoke to Sönke Lauterbach, Secretary General of the German Equestrian Federation, for his view.


GrandPrix: A venue landscape resembling a construction site, organizational chaos and storm warnings all left their mark on the first week of the World Equestrian Games in Tryon. Now that Week 1 is over, what are your thoughts on the event so far?
Sönke Lauterbach: We know that hosting the World Equestrian Games for the different FEI disciplines within existing infrastructure is always a challenge. And in this case, we knew that the organizers only had two years before the start of the Games to get ready after being awarded the contract. So we were aware that this might be difficult for everyone and that, for example, we would have to travel a long way to get to the site, as the accommodations for the teams are far away. That's not ideal, but you can live with it. The most important thing is that the horses are fine. And we would have felt safe with our horses even in a storm with wind gusts of 100 km/h. That's what matters.

Grand Prix Magazine: The accommodations for the horses are very good. What about the other conditions?
Sönke Lauterbach: There was a lot of rain, and the roads and parking lots were partly flooded, but the grounds in the stadiums and in the training areas are still very good. Everything dried up very quickly. The cross-country route for eventing was a real dream. I can not remember another championship track which was so fascinating: well prepared, well designed, good challenges, not too heavy, not too light, ideal for sports. Seen from this point of view, as far as the sporting conditions are concerned, one has to draw a positive conclusion. The conditions are very good here.

GrandPrix Magazine: So what points are there to criticize?
Sönke Lauterbach: While the conditions are good for sport, a lot of other things are not so good. We knew that would be the case. But we did not expect it to be so bad. One has to say that too. Our Chef de Mission, Dr. Dennis Peiler, was already here a week before the start of the Games. He called and said that it was worse than we had been expecting it to be. But you also see how something happens here every day. Day by day things get better. We have already had other events where it was difficult in the first week and then it got better as the WEG were taking place. Of course, it’s unfortunate for the organizer, as he wanted to show off his facility and business in a good light...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Jean-Philippe Frances: "A World Championship in Europe ..." - Full Article

Saturday, September 15, 2018

On the way to the stables that Jean-Philippe Frances gave himself to some confidences.

The Spur: Many things have been said about the start of this race. But what really happened?

JPF: Until the day before the race, we did not know exactly where the start would be, or how to get there. The infos have been modified several times.

Spur: You have not made any recognition?

JPF: there was nothing to see! No beacon, nothing. We could not even see the curls on foot.

The spur: and departure in itself?

JPF: a group of riders took the start at 6:33 am under the orders of no one knows who ... here ...

The Spur: the arrival of the 1 st loop, the decision was made to neutralize the race. Good or bad decision?

JPF: The best decision would have been to cancel this race away!

The Spur: other riders wanted the same thing as you?

JPF: Spain wanted the race canceled and even signed the petition. The French federation did not want. For the team, I left. Spain, seeing that neither France nor Belgium was withdrawing, decided to leave again.

The Spur: how have riders been able to make fewer kilometers and continue despite everything?

The jury did not know who had traveled how far?

JPF: Impossible not to know! All riders were equipped with 2 GPS: 1 on the horse and 1 other on the rider. It would have been easy to eliminate those who had not traveled the right distance. As in cso or in cross: when there is a mistake of course, the rider is eliminated.

L'Eperon: Bénédicte Emond-Bon stated that she had been against the cancellation of the race because the "replacement" Championship would have taken place in Dubai. Have you tried to convince her otherwise?

JPF: there has never been a Championship in Dubai! I explained all this to Bénédicte and Sophie Dubourg.

The Spur: yet that's what is said ...

JPF: it's totally wrong! Sheikh Hamdan, Juma and I discussed the situation together during the break. Sheikh Hamdan was for the cancellation of the race.

He proposed that a "replacement" Championship be organized in Europe, where the team leaders would like it and that he would take care of the traveling expenses of all the riders and horses.

We shook hands, and Juma and I told him that we would forward his proposal.

L'Eperon: and the FFE has not changed its mind following this offer?

JPF: Bénédicte and Sophie Dubourg were categorical: it was a non-firm on their part.

Yet it would have been an opportunity to show the FEI that their vision of endurance did not go at all.

The Spur: this race in the United States was symbolic for you ...

JPF: the loop would have been completed after what had happened in Kentucky. The FEI had endorsed results that were false and we know more ...

The Spur: you have kept Tarzibus for this deadline. It's easy to imagine that you have rejected substantial purchase offers ...

JPF: That's right. But getting ready for WWW is very much for everyone. When I come back, I see my lawyer and if there is a breach, we attack.

From what I know, Sheikh Mohamed also wants to attack in order to recover the money he has put in these JEM and not only for stamina. (the sum would be 25 million).

The Spur: important question: how is Tarzibus? Not too stressed by the race?

JPF: Tarzibus is fine. The race was difficult. In Europe, it runs between 20 and 23km / h and there, at 20 to see a small 21km / h, it had huge cardiac variations. Many horses were hyperventilating.

This also raises another problem: that of qualification minima; they are ridiculous. To qualify for the JEM, these are the same conditions as for a 3 *, the same speed. With the deplorable organizational conditions and the weather we had, the cat is just normal.

The check mark to really shake things were missed in the 1 st stage ... Interviewed by Babsie Kaporal

First week of World Equestrian Games a 'rollercoaster ride' - Full Article

September 18 2018

The World Equestrian Games are hoping to finish on a positive note after a dreadful first week that included the cancellations of two events, an organizational mistake that sent riders in the wrong direction at the start of a race and one horse being euthanized.

"It has been a rollercoaster ride," organizing committee president Michael Stone said Tuesday.

The games, which are considered the "Super Bowl of equestrian competition," drew more than 600 equestrians and 700 horses from 71 countries and six continents to the Tryon International Equestrian Center in the small town of Mill Spring, North Carolina — about 90 miles east of Charlotte. More than a 500,000 spectators were expected to attend the event, which concludes Sunday.

The WEG got off to an embarrassing start Wednesday in the first competition when some riders in the 100-mile endurance competition were sent off in the wrong direction by race officials to start of the race, which began before dawn. Some horses ran nine miles before the race was stopped and the decision was made to restart.

However, the race was later called off midway through because of intense heat and humidity —as well as sloppy course conditions — following a mid-afternoon rainstorm, causing more frustration from the riders. The event was not rescheduled.

"That meant a few unhappy people who were leading the race," Stone said. "But the one thing we have to do is make sure the horses are looked after and are safe. Horses can suffer badly in those conditions."

The Federation Equestre Internationale, equestrian's governing body, has started an investigation into the error...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Australia: Tom Quilty forum held by North Eastern Tasmania Tourism - Full Article

September 17 2018
Frances Vinall

Excitement is ramping up for the Tom Quilty, Australia’s premier endurance horse ride, to be held this year in Dorset.

Between 50 and 60 people attended a forum on Thursday night hosted by North East Tasmanian Tourism, which aimed to help local businesses prepare for the event.

The Tom Quilty is expected to bring more than 1000 people to the region, and NETT secretary Tony Scott said a significant number are likely to stay for about a week...

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Ireland: St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride resounding success continues for 2018 - Full Story

By Bree Rutledge - September 18, 2018

THE 2018 St. Patrick’s Coast Endurance Ride, held on September 1, was a resounding success for all involved, whether riding, crewing or helping out, it was a brilliant day enjoyed by many. Beginning at the excellent venue of Downpatrick Racecourse, offering ample parking, on-site stabling, camping and the ever-popular burger van, over 100 riders headed out to explore the vast routes on offer throughout the scenic County Down landscape.

Whether you are a keen endurance rider or a pleasure rider out enjoying this event, everyone enjoyed themselves and the brilliant horseback riding available here. A misty start to the day transformed into beautiful riding conditions of glorious sunshine, perfect for the stunning photographs captured by the official photographer, SDS Photo...

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Chaos at the World Equestrian Games - Full Article

By Victor Mather
Sept. 17, 2018

For Tryon, in western North Carolina, the arrival of the quadrennial World Equestrian Games this month was a chance to host the type of big international event that seldom comes to small Southern towns. Organizers promised half a million spectators and $400 million in economic impact.

Instead, much has gone wrong.

Few could blame organizers for the effects of Hurricane Florence, which has caused the delay or cancellation of several events. One of the classic events at the Games, called the three-day event, had to be extended to four days because of the storm.

But a series of decisions and mistakes, over housing and a botched endurance race, have led to some far more acrimonious disputes, and created hard feelings among some at the Games.

The competition, which continues through Sunday, is one of the biggest and most important show horse gatherings outside of the Olympics. A thousand horses were shipped to Tryon, about 90 miles west of Charlotte, representing more than 60 nations.

But things got off on the wrong foot almost immediately when some of the competitors were sent the wrong way at the start of the endurance event last Wednesday. Tarek Taher, a rider from Saudi Arabia, told Horse and Hound that he followed a sign to the right and ignored a person who did not look official who told him to turn left.

As a result, organizers decided to restart the event at a shorter distance. “As there is no possibility to reschedule the ride tomorrow,” organizers said, “this was the only pragmatic solution.” But that decision sparked only more bad feelings, and competitors and others sounded off on social media and expressed anger on site that the shorter race benefited some riders more than others...

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Great Start for WEG Horse Care - Full Article

Veterinary care for horses at the FEI WEG Tryon 2018 is receiving high praise.


“The first big challenge is over” for the treating veterinarian team, said Anne Baskett, DVM, DACVS. Baskett, who was referring to the WEG Endurance competition. Even though the Endurance event was surrounded by controversy over a mis-start and cancelling of the race late in the day, the competition was considered a success for the veterinary care of the equine competitors.

Baskett and her husband, Bill Hay, DVM, DACVS, are in charge of FEI treating veterinarians at the FEI WEG Tryon 2018.

There was a large team of veterinarians attending the horses at the Endurance veterinary inspection and throughout the event, and six equine ambulances and veterinarians were available on course. When the Endurance event was cancelled due to high heat and humidity near the end of the day, “We were able, with GPS tracking, to go pick up horses that were still on course so we could give them a ride in,” said Baskett.

“We had a lot better access to horses on this course because of the clearing they did of the trail,” she added.

Baskett said most of the Endurance horses were recovered in the veterinary tent on course with fluids, but that even the more-intense medical cases are now good...

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WEG off to a bumpy start - Full Article

By Mackenzie Wicker
Sep 16, 2018

MILL SPRING – The World Equestrian Games at the Tryon International Equestrian Center got off to a bumpy start this week, hampered by weather, misdirection and controversy after the first event, the endurance race, was cancelled.

Endurance teams were upset by the cancellation. One horse on the field had to be put down.

A 20-year-old Anglo-Arab gelding named Barack Obama, ridden by New Zealand's Jenny Champion, was euthanized Friday, media spokesperson Gayle Telford confirmed in a press release. The horse had been competing in international Endurance events since 2009. Champion had been partnered with him from 2014 and together they had won six events.

He was treated onsite and then transferred to the Tryon Equine Hospital. After consulting with Champion and veterinarians, the horse's owner, Mark Round, elected to have the horse euthanized.

Endurance: 'Completely a mess'

Barack Obama was one of 53 horses sent to the Endurance Treatment Clinic during and after incomplete rides in the event, which would have covered 100 miles and lasted around 14 hours...

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Officiating blunder costs Bermudian Brangman - Full Article

Stephen Wright
Sep 14, 2018

Marvin Brangman’s World Equestrian Games came to a premature end after he withdrew his horse from the endurance riding event because of an officiating blunder.

Brangman had completed 20 miles of the 100-mile trek on Tuesday when riders were told there had been a false start and route complications. He said he opted against restarting the race after spotting behavioural changes in his horse MM Godiva Chokalat.

The race was called off later that day, perhaps saving the organisers’ blushes, because of a “dangerous combination of heat and humidity” after heavy rain in Tyron, North Carolina, where the Games are being held.

“When we got back [after completing 20 miles for the first inspection] it was absolute chaos,” Brangman said. “We were told there was a false start and the officials had sent us the wrong way. They wanted to restart the race..."

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World Equestrian Games Dressage Freestyle Canceled–Official - Full Article

September 15 2018


TRYON, North Carolina, Sept. 15, 2018–The World Equestrian Games dressage Freestyle was canceled Saturday after the riders pulled out because of too many schedule and competition venue changes forced by Hurricane Florence.

The decision by the riders to withdraw led to an official announcement by the organizers hours later cancelling the event. Earlier in the week, endurance was canceled after a botched start.

“Despite the best efforts of the whole Tryon 2018 team and the officials, who have been working on plans for rescheduling since yesterday (Friday) evening, including meetings with the chefs de mission and chefs d’equipe, the logistics of putting all necessary elements into place in time have proved insurmountable. As a result, and very regrettably, the dressage freestyle will now be cancelled,” the organizers said in a statement.

“This was not an easy decision, but we have explored every option, including trying to reschedule the horse departures, and even looking at moving the competition into the indoor with a change of footing, but the logistics of making all this happen are just not possible,” Tryon 2018 organizing committee President Michael Stone said.

“We know this is desperately disappointing for the 15 athletes who had qualified their horses for the Freestyle, and of course for all the spectators who had bought tickets, but the weather has simply left us with no choice. Horse welfare has to be the top priority and flying the horses out on the same day as competition doesn’t work, so sadly the decision to cancel the Freestyle had to be taken..."

Read more here:

2018 WEG Endurance: Diary of a Collapse

Our "farm road" to get from the parking lot to the stables - Full Story

by Andre Vidiz
September 14 2018

How the FEI and the Organizing Committee turned the Enduro World into a hell


I will tell you here all the mismatch of information and disorganization that triggered the greatest absurdity that has ever seen in enduro world in history, but first there is a caveat. Event volunteers and the people of the area were extremely helpful, gentle and kind. They all tried to help - even more than they could - to sympathize with us and take responsibility for problems that were not theirs. It was a real class of civility and a sense of community.

04/09/2018 - The Arrival of the Horses

Around 09:00 the truck that brought the horses from the Miami Quarantine arrives. Squirming through the narrow paths of Tryon Park and dividing space with tractors and cranes reaches the last stables in which we would stay. After descending, the horses can not go over the grass or walk a little bit, all thanks to the USDA and its nook with Piroplasmosis. Direct to the stables, the horses that took two flights, 14 hours of truck and were trapped in the quarantine for 7 days would still be stopped by at least one more.

Seeing the USDA sterilize the truck as if they had Ebola samples there, I had the idea of ​​picking up a bale of hay before they could render it unusable. Idea that proved very useful, since in the sequence we would find that in the park there was still no hay or ration (we were forbidden to take ours) and no one knew when they would arrive. It was the first of many "I dont know" that we would hear, almost a mantra of our stay.

The second would come soon: the grooms' accommodations were not ready and nobody knew when they would be. The organization arranged a hotel for them 20 minutes from the park and there we went to install them. From there I headed to the hotel they had assigned to me, 25 minutes from the park, but in the opposite direction, that is, 45 minutes from the grooms hotel.

05/09 - Misinformation

The grooms wake up with a paper under their doors: they should leave the rooms, since there were accommodations for them in the park. If "I dont know" would be our mantra, the disinformation was a constant of the trip and there was the first example. Arriving in the park there was no accommodation, but they guaranteed that by the end of the day the lodges would be ready.

The horses could already walk in the ring and the afternoon could go out on the trail, but never graze or have contact with the grass, as if that would infect the US with Piro.

Shortly after lunch we learned that the promise of a trail would not be honored and that only the ring road remained free. The second promise-the cabins for the grooms-would not be fulfilled, but this news would only arrive at midnight, an hour after, tired of waiting, we reserved a room for them to spend the night. was reimbursed by the organization)

06/09 - No lodge and no parking

Arriving in the park in the morning we are surprised by a new rule: the cars can not reach the stands anymore. They do not say why or even when this would be the case ("I dont know"). Even with coolers, ice and other things to download we can not go through. We park about 2kms away from the stables and walk around carrying things until some volunteer with a golf cart passes by and offers a ride.

We imagine that the new rule is to give more agility to the works that spread through all the corners of Tryon and that give the impression that nothing will be really ready until the opening date, at most will be more or less set.

On accommodation for the grooms no serious news: just excuses and the promise that they will make a new pavilion and blablabla

07/09 - Even less parking. And a crane!...

Read more here:

SPECIAL – Endurancegate Press Conference in Full – 2018 WEG Show - Listen

Sep 14, 2018

SPECIAL – complete audio of press conference on Endurancegate 2018 at World Equestrian Games.

Tragic News in The New Zealand Camp at WEG

September 13 2018

It with enormous regret that Equestrian Sports NZ announces the tragic news that in consultation with expert veterinary advice New Zealand endurance representative horse for the FEI World Equestrian Games, Barack Obama, has been euthanised today.

It is without doubt a devastating loss for the owner Mark Round, rider Jenny Champion and support crew Shane Dougan, John Stevenson and Kirstine Campbell who made the decision today.

Equestrian Sport NZ High Performance Director Sarah Dalziell-Clout said the entire team was devastated by the loss but none more so than those closest to the horse which had developed a kidney condition.

“Jenny and her team prepared the horse exceptionally. As with all NZ horses at WEG, Barack was under the best of care for more than 18 months prior to the games to ensure he was at optimum health,” said Mrs Dalziell-Clout.

“He passed a comprehensive vet test prior to leaving NZ and was in good health leading into the race, passing the first two vet checks at the competition. Leading into the race the team vet Nick Page was confident the horse was race-ready.”

Mrs Dalziell-Clout described Jenny as a true horsewoman. She had felt something was not right with Barack, and pulled him up immediately, well before the race was cancelled. She sought medical assistance and the horse was treated as soon as possible.

“Our thoughts are with Mark, Jenny, Shane and John, Kirstine and the entire endurance community in NZ who will be devastated by the news,” said Mrs Dalziell-Clout.

The team would like to thank the vets at the Tryon Equine Hospital and on-site at the WEG venue, their care and advice was exceptional.

In accordance with FEI General Regulations a post mortem will be conducted and samples will be taken from the horse.

For more information about the ride itself please see the attached release from the FEI.

Friday, September 14, 2018

WEG Endurance: Cluster**** of the Century - Full Article

September 14, 2018
by: Pippa Cuckson

A few days before WEG, I shared a current aeriel video of Tryon on Facebook, saying it looked rather more finished than all the images we’ve been seeing from the ground. An American friend promptly posted a picture of Earth taken from Outer Space – Tryon looks even better and more finished the further away you stand….

Certainly the past week has been like observing from a parallel universe. On the one hand, nothing but pink and fluffy press releases from the FEI and Tryon itself. Let’s cheer Tryon for working so hard to get a luxury venue we all thought was more or less ready when given the games 18 months ago half-ready on time.

On the other hand, I have been mesmerized by the non-stop feed on social media of organisational chaos, red dust, mud and floods, and still-being thought-about-but-not-actually-constructed key facilities.

Three days into actual competition, I remain staggered that fire and safety authorities have signed off the public areas. Horse welfare is paramount, as the FEI bleats all the time, but what about people welfare? I’ve been reassured to read about the evacuation plans if Florence hits with all her might. Yet meanwhile I see (current) photos of electric cables festooned willy-nilly across ceilings (where they’ve managed to supply a ceiling, that is) and chunks of discarded construction stuff propped up along public walkways. All lie in wait to mangle innocent passers-by through falling down of their own accord.

I will address the general viability of Tryon and – yet again – the troubled history of all WEGs in another blog. But for now, of course, the fall-out from endurance...

Read more here:

More Voice Speak Out After WEG Endurance Fiasco - Full Article

Friday 14 September - 11h13 | Yeelen Ravier and Lulu Kyriacou

In the wake of the fiasco at the World Equestrian Games Endurance by the on Wednesday, more voices are speaking out on the subject and hopefully leading to positive change for the sport. Grand Prix talks to one and reports on a second, both aiming for positive change in the sport they love.


Nicolas Wahlen was in office during the Normandy Games four years ago in particular and does not budge from his position: there will be a before and after Tryon for the discipline he adores.

GrandPrix-Replay: What is your assessment of these World Endurance Championships, which you have experienced from a distance?

Nicolas Wahren: It was a surreal situation. I followed the race on the screens, and it was very addictive. In thirty years of my career, I have never seen that! What happened was the factor of several causes. The organization in the first place, and the technical delegate did not have to do his job perfectly. I saw a lot of things in all the events where I officiated, but never such as this! How could they organize a race in these conditions? It's a crazy world ... I do not necessarily want to throw stone at the organization, but it's a fact.

Then the jury and the officials gave two starts; it seems unlikely! The President of the jury is supposed to be on the starting line! The stewards, for abstract reasons, have asked some competitors to leave on the left and others on the right ... As for the problems of markup during the first loop, it is true that in the United States, the races of endurance run less quickly, so the arrows can often be less well positioned. Afterall, I was not there, but that's what I saw on the pictures. From the moment you give two different starts, there is no longer any possibility of equality of chances.

And finally, there are always these conflicts of interest between the international bodies and the partners ... Seeing that Meydan, with whom I have good relations since I worked for a long time with them, was sponsor of the championship ' was shocking. At the 2014 World Equestrian Games, it was totally forbidden. The FEI had told us that it was impossible for an FEI championship to be owned by a brand, precisely to avoid political and financial conflicts of interest ...

Read more here:

Team Monaco Finish Second in Monpazier Horse Race - Full Article

13 September , 2018 Sport & fitness

Recently, the International Monpazier horse races took place, an equestrian endurance race which yielded an incredible result for team EFG Monaco. The Monpazier race is all about distance and endurance and Team EFG Monaco shone during the competition. Brandon Guedj and Tonik de Gargassan finished in an incredible second place in the 140 km race.

38 competitors from around the world took their places at the starting line, to embark on a two-day test of endurance (140 km), to be done in two rounds of 70 km each. Athletes came from Belgium, Finland, Brazil, Germany, Qatar, Jordan, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Spain, France and Monaco to compete in the event...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

WEG Endurance 2018 from a front row view

September 13 2018
by Jessica Lemmons Harmon

WEG 2018 from a front row view:

I signed up as a volunteer vet scribe at WEG 2018. Lucky for me, I was the extra vet scribe which meant I was on ‘hot standby’ IN the vet gate. I was there to give breaks to any scribe that needed one, but 99% of the time I just watched everything up close and personal. As everyone knows, I attended this ride to see a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻, and to open my eyes to any possible cheating taking place. I know there have been numerous rumors circulating about Rider #3. I saw EVERYTHING that happened at that vet check with that rider. Rider #3 did NOT go back out on course after the 25 mile (40km) ‘warm up’ loop. I am EXTREMELY PROUD of the FEI veterinarians for how they handled that particular situation, and the events of the entire day. Those FEI veterinarians are hands down the most professional, no BS group of people I’ve had the privilege of working with. This particular incident was the ONLY possible FEI rule violation ‘issue’ I saw all day long.

At approximately 5:30PM I was reassigned to the vet gate exit. The two FEI officials responsible for escorting horses to the Treatment Barn needed another person. In my brief 15 minute stay, I helped escort 5 horses to the Treatment Barn.

There are endurance riders and endurance jockeys in ALL countries. AERC/USEF/FEI cannot police *what type* of rider is allowed to attend a World Championship. Unfortunately, all FEI can do is be well prepared for more horses to enter the Treatment Barn when ride conditions are at extremes. I’m 50/50 on what happened yesterday. My heart literally BREAKS (I was crying physical tears) for the endurance horse/rider combinations still competing. The time, money, emotional energy, time off work, and countless other sacrifices made that were wasted is gut-wrenching. The decision to call off the ride punished the true endurance riders that were persevering. However, I 110% understand the decision to discontinue the ride. I helped escort 5 horses in 15 minutes to the Treatment Barn. Horses were being compromised at an exceptionally high rate. It is my belief that the Veterinary Committee was truly concerned about horse welfare, and the Treatment Barn having adequate care for the abundant amount of horses being received. The Tawqeet app shows 16 METABOLIC pulls, and 2 ‘in the clinic’ — that was before the ride was called off. Horses that came in off trail after the cancellation still had to be vetted. Some of those horses were not doing well, and more had to be sent to the Treatment Barn.

I‘m very disheartened by the fact that the ride had to be cancelled. My heart goes out to all those horses and riders that were still in it. I’m so proud of those riders and horses that evaluated the course, made the choice to slow down, take care of their partner, adapted to the HUGE obstacles thrown their way, and were STILL fit to continue. They are the real champions of Endurance, and deserved better.

Spanish Protest (Non) Results of WEG Endurance

September 13 2018

Real Federación Hípica Española have sent a protest letter to Sabrina Ibañez, Secretary General of FEI, regarding the cancellation of Saturday's World Equestrian Games Endurance ride and consequently the decision to award no medals.

With only 1 more loop to complete the re-started 120-km World Championship, ride officials deemed the extremely high heat/humidity conditions too risky for horses to continue the race. Spanish riders were in the lead at this point.

The letter, available for viewing on the RFHE website, list reasons why they request the FEI to reconsider not awarding medals according to placements at the moment of suspension, as this situation has a prior precedent (Euston Park 2012).

The entire letter can be seen here:

WEG Endurance: A Different Perspective

12 September, 2018- 9:05pm

World Equestrian Games Endurance

Tonight I will tell you a story; my story shared with images I took today on a very challenging course at the WEG endurance race in Tryon, NC. I could not leave this venue until I wrote this story. So I sit alone, in the media center and tell the equine world what I saw today.

Today I saw the heart of a sport that I love. I saw the soul of the horse in his effort to please man, and I saw the thrill of the victory in the effort that it took these horsemen and horsewomen to get to these Games.

I saw the defeat of a race not finished. But yet, the race was finished in what I saw through my lens today. I saw commaraderie, I saw a spirit perservere between rider and horse that can only be attained by attemptimg to ride 100 miles in a day.

I saw crews working together from over 44 countries to obtain the same take care of the horse. I saw volunteers by the hundreds working all day for no pay to support a sport they love- or know nothing about. I saw veterinarians and FEI officials from many countries working together in the best interest of our friend the horse. And in the end, they had to make the ultimate decision to protect our friend the horse. So if you think the race was not won in Tryon my friend, I tell you it was, in what I saw today...

Becky Pearman- Photographer

You will soon be able to see Becky's awesome photography of the ride on her smugmug page:

Ugly End to WEG Endurance Ride - Full Story

September 13 2018

The reduced endurance ride at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games dissolved into chaos this afternoon when it was cancelled with the leading riders having just come in from the third of four loops.

The very contentious call was a unanimous decision between the president of the ground jury, the technical delegate, the president of the veterinary commission and the organising committee, citing welfare of the horse as the key driver.

As the decision was announced, the crowd erupted, whistling and yelling their disgust, and running towards the fences surrounding the vet check areas. Calls for calm went largely ignored, with security and police quickly brought in.

New Zealand’s two riders – Jenny Champion aboard Barak Obama and Philip Graham on Rosewood Bashir – who were on their second loop withdrew their horses before the decision was made.

Chef de mission Sarah Dalziell-Clout said it was a real credit to their horsemanship, recognising the conditions were just too tough. Jenny said her priority was to look after her horse. “He was really feeling the heat,” she said. “We had already done 90km if you include the first loop this morning. It is a long way to come for this to happen.”

She said the marking on the ride had been very good, but the track got very stodgy after a particularly heavy downpour. “It made it quite treacherous for horses and then when the sun came out it was so hot. I am disappointed, but I know I did the right thing.”

Philip had not long passed Jenny when he too called the race. “We had a drink at a creek crossing and he just was not as responsive as usual. With heat and humidity like that, things were only going to go one way. I am just disappointed for the day and the event and the way it transpired. It is quite an historic day for endurance.”

Philip said the 40km loop was very demanding even without the humidity. “We did the best we could.”

The president of the Veterinary Commission Thomas Timmons said the cancellation of the ride had been done with horse and athlete welfare in mind. “The conditions this afternoon after the rain resulted in extremely high levels of humidity and, combined with the rising heat, it was deemed unsafe to continue the ride.”

The planned 160km championship ride had not got off to the best of starts – this morning some teams were misdirected at the beginning of the ride and the competition was stopped at the first vet gate. By that time most riders had covered around 40kms. Organisers then restarted the ride as a 120km championship nearly five hours later. The FEI has tasked the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit with doing a full investigation how it all went so wrong. The investigation will include interviews with officials, volunteers, the organising committee and any other relevant personnel to provide a full picture of just what happened.

Chef d’equipe for the New Zealand endurance team Sue Reid said it had been a challenging start to the day. When the 160km ride was cancelled a petition was circulated calling for people to support horses and riders being flown to Europe for another shot at the championships. Eighteen of the 40 countries in the ride agreed, with two later withdrawing their support. New Zealand did not sign the petition.

“We worked for two years to get here,” said Sue, “there were just too many variables involved. The petition was very controversial.”

By Diana Dobson – NZ Team Media Liaison

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Cancellation of Endurance Competition at FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018


By: WEG Admin
Sep 12, 2018 - 6:00 PM

Cancellation of Endurance Competition at FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

The remainder of today’s Endurance competition has been cancelled due to a potentially dangerously high combination of heat and humidity, and the conditions out on the trail following heavy rain this afternoon. The decision to cancel, which is in accordance with FEI General Regulations, Article 109.12 was unanimous between the President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and President of the Veterinary Commission, and the Organising Committee.

The decision is also in line with the FEI Code of Conduct for the Welfare of the Horse, which states: c) Extreme weather: Competitions must not take place in extreme weather conditions that may compromise welfare or safety of the horse.

“This was a difficult decision to make, but it was done with horse and athlete welfare in mind as the conditions this afternoon after the rain resulted in extremely high levels of humidity and, combined with rising heat, it was deemed unsafe to continue the ride”, President of the Veterinary Commission Thomas Timmons said.

British scientist Dr David Marlin, who has been working on heat and humidity studies for the FEI since the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, provided the Ground Jury with data from the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) index which showed a reading of 31. Anything over 25 is monitored very closely, and the officials agreed unanimously that 31 presented an unacceptable risk to horse welfare.

In addition, following this morning’s false start, the FEI has tasked the independent Equestrian Community Integrity Unit (ECIU), which is onsite here at Tryon, to do a full investigation into the circumstances that resulted in some horse/athlete combinations being misdirected. The investigation will include interviews with the officials, volunteers, Organising Committee and all other relevant personnel to provide a full picture of what happened.

The findings will be presented to the FEI Bureau and the conclusions will then be made public.

WEG Endurance off to worst possible start – a restart! - Full Article

The New Zealanders are safely through the first leg of the endurance competition but it counts for nought now, as the race will be restarted as a 120km competition.

By Jane Thompson - September 13, 2018

The Endurance competition has had the worst possible start at the 2018 World Equestrian Games when there was so much confusion at the start and during the first leg of the competition, that the race will be restarted later today (estimated to be between 11 and 11.15am here).

The official release states:

“As some teams were unfortunately misdirected at the start of today’s Endurance ride, the competition will be stopped at the first vet gate and re-started as a 120-kilometre championship. In order to ensure that all horses are fit to compete, they will all go through the vet check. Only horses who have passed the vet check will be allowed to compete. No substitution of horses will be allowed...

Read more here:

Chaos at WEG Endurance - Full Article

September 12, 2018 | Comments
by: Pippa Cuckson

UPDATE: Horse Sport talked to the Canadian endurance team members as they prepared to mount up for the second time. They were in good spirits and said they were all part of the group who did the full 40 km loop. Their horses were all going well but when they were relayed the news about the restart they took it easy on the way back to the first compulsory hold, as their score from the first outing would not count anyway.


Unprecedented scenes of chaos and anger are unfolding on the opening day of the World Equestrian Games, with the ground jury’s decision to re-start the endurance race as 120km 2* event. Many horses had travelled most of the first loop’s 40kms already, but confusion reigned after some riders were misdirected at the start.

Angry scenes erupted amongst participants and their back-up teams, notably within the UAE camp. Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, is sponsoring the event through his Meydan corporation, and his son, Crown Prince HH Hamdan al Maktoum is vying to claim gold again following victory in WEG 2014.

Officials tried to stop the UAE 4* judge Ahmed AL Hammadi broadcasting his altercation with FEI officials on Facebook Live...

Read more here:

Unprecedented Re-Start at World Equestrian Games Endurance

September 12 2018

Due to the unfortunate circumstances of some riders being misdirected at the start of the WEG Endurance ride this morning, FEI issued a statement ordering a re-start of the ride as a 120-km Championship as soon as all riders were off their first loop.

The statement reads:

"As some teams were unfortunately misdirected at the start of today's Endurance ride, the competition will be stopped at the first vet gate and re-started as a 12-kilometre championship. In order to endure that all horses are fit to compete, they will all go through the vet check. Only horses that have passed the vet check will be allowed to compete. No substitution of horses will be allowed.

The restart of the ride will take place 45 minutes after the last horse has been inspected at the vet gate.

As there is no possibility to reschedule the ride tomorrow, the President of the Ground Jury, President of the Veterinary Commission, Foreign Veterinary Delegate and the Organising Committee agreed that this was the only pragmatic solution.

This is in line with the preamble to the FEI Endurance Rules which state: "in any unforeseen or exceptional circumstances, it is the duty of the Ground Jury and the Veterinarians to make a decision in a sporting spirit and approaching, as nearly as possible, to the intention of these rules and of the General Rules of the FEI."

We must speak for the horse, says endurance vet - Full Article

September 12, 2018

The growing prize money on offer in endurance has led to a fierce rise in competitiveness, which has increased the risk to horses, delegates to an international endurance veterinary conference ahead of the World Equestrian Games were told.

Veterinarian Dr Martha Misheff, in her opening remarks at the day-long International Endurance Veterinary Conference (IVEC) in North Carolina, said it was incumbent upon veterinarians to speak for the horse.

The conference, near Tryon, drew nearly 100 veterinarians and other endurance professionals from about 20 countries, including Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Northern and Southern America and Australia.

Misheff, a US equine surgeon living in the United Arab Emirates and a member of the FEI veterinary committee, told delegates: “We mustn’t forget the horse; because it is the horse to which we owe our careers, and the many opportunities with which we have been provided...”

Read more here:

Latest Research Reviewed at Endurance Conference - Full Article

September 11, 2018 | Comments
by: FEI

A very successful second International Veterinary Endurance Conference (IVEC) was held near Tryon (USA) yesterday. Nearly 100 veterinarians and other endurance professionals from about 20 countries around the world, including Europe, Middle East, South Africa, Northern and Southern America and Australia came together for a full day of presentations.

After the opening of the conference by Dr. Martha Misheff, equine American surgeon living in the UAE, long time involved in the endurance sport and member of the FEI veterinary committee and also President of the Treating Veterinarians in the world endurance championships in Tryon, Dr. Albert Solé Guitart, presented a wrap-up of the most relevant publications in the endurance sport in the lastest years.

One of the key presenters was Dr. Stephanie Valberg from the USA, the most renowned veterinarian in the field of muscle pathology, who once more stressed that tying up is not related to accumulated acid lactic in the muscle, but to other mechanisms related to calcium regulation of muscle. She also presented her later research on myofibrillar myopathy, a condition that could explain recurrent rhabdomyolisis in arabian horses.

Dr. Marc Walton introduced the audience to endurance in South Africa and shared his experience regarding most common injuries seen and their management in this geographic area.

Dr. Emmanuelle van Erck from Belgium highlighted the importance of using data from field exercise tests in the impact on improving performance of endurance horses.

Dr. Massimo Pucetti who works in the UAE and Italy described how he does pre-purchase exams, sharing his experience by showing numerous xray and scans case studies which was highly appreciated by the audience.

Dr. Monica Mira, also organiser of IVEC, presented some preliminary results on using a portable inertial sensor based system during endurance competitions to help veterinarians objectify their gait assessment during endurance competitions.

Morgane Schambourg presented her results of her study supported by the FEI on using a special device to check for hyposensitivity in limbs of horses subjected to neurolytics previous to competitions, a banned procedure thought to contribute to catastrophic injuries in endurance races.

Dr. David Marlin, renowned physiologists showed which strategy winners of endurance competitions seem to be using in comparison with non-winners, after statistical treatment of the data of major championships and other other international competition.

The panel discussion at the end of the day with participants from most FEI regions brought interesting topics to the forefront. One issue raised was how the FEI demands have increased competition costs so much that it has decreased the ability for many people to join the sport in countries like Uruguay and Australia.

Quoting Dr. Martha Misheff, “The conference provided an opportunity for the folks in the Endurance community to hear and discuss updates on current veterinary practices and research. There were some excellent speakers, and it was well received by the attendees, who were from a number of different countries from around the world. A round table discussion that followed gave people the opportunity to make many positive suggestions for solving some of the challenges faced by the rapid evolution of the sport.”

IVEC is organised before every biannual world championship, providing the international endurance community with the latest research in the sport. Speakers from all FEI groups are represented in the programme. The next IVEC is planned to take place at the World Endurance Championships in Pisa, Italy, in 2020.

WEG Prepares For Possible Severe Weather From Hurricane Florence - Full Article

By: Ann Glavan
Sep 11, 2018

Mill Spring, N.C.—Sept. 11

The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games are getting underway at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, and event organizers are already preparing to address severe weather predicted to hit the area as a result of Hurricane Florence brewing off the coast and currently categorized as a Category 4 storm. Governors in North and South Carolina have declared a state of emergency, and mandatory evacuations are in place for coastal areas.

The Tryon International Equestrian Center is inland by about 310 miles, at the foothills of the mountains, but it’s expected to receive thunderstorms, high winds and heavy rain. Projected rainfalls range from 15 to 20 inches.

“The National Weather Service, which is stationed on-site here at TIEC, is closely monitoring the movement and projected path of Hurricane Florence and advising our Organizing Committee and the FEI on a twice-daily basis,” stated a release from the event on Monday. “We are proactively preparing for the possible severe weather the storm system may bring to this area and have both strategic and emergency plans in place for both the people and horses on-site...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

U.S. Endurance Embarks on Mission for Team Finish at FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 11, 2018, 8:37 PM EST
Mill Spring, N.C. – The U.S. Endurance Team will use the home atmosphere and familiar terrain to their advantage when they mount up in quest for a team finish at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018. Led by Chef d’Equipe Mark Dial, the team of Gwen Hall, Cameron Holzer, Kelsey Russell, and Cheryl Van Deusen will set out on the five-loop, 100-mile test on Wednesday, September 12, at 6:30 a.m. EDT. The course will start and finish on the Tryon International Equestrian Center main property and will include mandatory veterinarian checks and rest periods to ensure horse and rider safety. The competition will also determine individual medalists.

Meet the Team

Gwen Hall (Woodland Park, Colo.) and SizeDoesntMatter, her 12-year-old Arabian gelding.

Cameron Holzer (Houston, Texas) and Kong, her nine-year-old Shagya Sporthorse gelding.

Kelsey Russell (Williston, Fla.) and Fireman Gold, Wendy MacCoubrey and Valerie Kanavy’s eight-year-old Arabian gelding. Follow Russell on Facebook (@GoldMedalFarmEnduranceTeam).

Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) and Hoover the Mover, her 14-year-old Arabian gelding.

Van Deusen and Hoover the Mover as well as Holzer and Kong step in as U.S. Endurance Team substitute combinations for Danielle Crouse (Lexington, Ohio) and AM Mysterious Mopsa, Wendy MacCoubrey’s 11-year-old Arabian mare, and Rae Shumate-Tysor (Cumming, Ga.) and DM Michaelangelo, her nine-year-old Arabian gelding.

Under the consultation of the U.S. Endurance Team veterinary staff, and in the best interest of their horses, Crouse and U.S. Endurance Squad reserve combination Erin Champion (Clinton, Tenn.), with Kongtiki, her own 15-year-old Arabian stallion, chose to withdraw their horses prior to the veterinary inspection, due to medical concerns.

Shumate-Tysor’s mount DM Michaelangelo did not pass the veterinary inspection.

Last Time Out

Hall and SizeDoesntMatter won the 2018 Fire Up 100 CEI3* in April.

Holzer and Kong won the 2017 Fort Howes Endurance Rides CEI3*.

Russell and Fireman Gold placed 17th in the 2018 Tryon Cup – WEG Test Event CEI2* in April. Prior to this, they won the 2018 Goethe Gallivant FEI Endurance Rides CEI3* in January and the 2018 Fun in the Sun CEI3* in March.

Van Deusen and Hoover the Mover placed second in the 2018 Fort Howes Endurance Riders CEI3* in June.

Career Highlights

Van Deusen: Completed 20 career races with Hoover the Mover, which included 12 top-five placings; Santo Domino 2011 Pan American Games competitor and member of the silver medal-winning U.S. team at the Costa Azul 2009 Pan American Games; 2007 FEI European Endurance Championship Open competitor, and 2005 FEI North American Endurance Championship competitor.

Hall: Completed 11 of 13 races with SizeDoesntMatter, always placing in the top five. They won the 2017 Ft. Howes CEI2* and the 2017 Lone Star Express CEI1*.

Holzer: Finished six of eight races with Kong, always placing in the top three.

Russell: Member of the U.S. Endurance Team for the Alltech WEG Normandy 2014; two top-10 finishes at the FEI Junior and Young Rider Endurance World Championships (2011, 2013); team and individual gold medalist at the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North; won three of five CEI3* events in 2017 and 2018.

Competition Information

The endurance competition begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 12. Watch it live via FEI TV. A subscription is required.

Competition Results

Find out more about the endurance discipline and the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.

Follow US Equestrian

Stay up to date on the U.S. Endurance Team at WEG by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, featuring a daily Instagram Story. Use #USAEndurance and #Tryon2018.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

WEG Severe Weather Contingency Plans

12 September 2018

This is the contingency plan that is in place for Hurricane Florence should it affect the FEI World Equestrian Games event that is now underway (as distributed by the Tryon Organising Committee);

We have an onsite weather station here at TIEC and the National Weather Service is providing us with weather updates every six hours. If Hurricane Florence, which is currently forecast to stay to the east of the WEG venue, should change course we will receive much more frequent alerts so that we can advise you of any severe weather forecast for the Tryon region.

We already have robust contingency plans in place for use in the event of severe weather conditions and this includes sheltering plans for personnel and horses.

There are 1,188 permanent stalls onsite and all barns are built in conformance with the International Building Code to withstand winds up to 90mph (144kph), so the horses are in the safest place here on-site. TIEC became a refuge for horses from five states ahead of Hurricane Irma in August/September last year.

We are working with the USDA to ensure that, in the event of extreme weather, all horses in PAQ will be stabled in Barn 5, not in the tent extension.

We are working with three different electrical suppliers and have numerous generators on-site. We also have two high-volume wells on property, both of which are attached to the emergency generators and which supply drinkable water.

For personnel, there are multiple sheltering options on-site to ensure human safety.

In the event of severe weather that will impact TIEC, the contingency plan will include:

• Accommodating all horses on-venue in permanent barns

• Moving grooms accommodated on-site to permanent buildings on-venue

• Advising on secure sheltering locations for all personnel

• Continuing discussions with airports and Emirates airline (through Peden Bloodstock/Dutta Corporation) on any necessary steps regarding horse arrivals/departures.

• Ensuring smaller tents in vendor area are tie-strapped together for security (large tents are designed to withstand winds of up to 90mph)

• Carrying out additional drainage/water channeling

• Purchasing additional fuel tanks and fill all fuel tanks

• Preparing to remove fence scrim already installed

• Taking down flags

Any decision on delays to competitions or potential cancellation, would be made in accordance with FEI General Regulations, Article 109.12: Subject to the unanimous agreement of the President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and President of the Veterinary Committee in consultation with the Organiser, a Competition (either before or during) can be postponed and/or cancelled, not only due to force majeure, catastrophic occurrences, extreme weather conditions but also for non-compliance with FEI Rules and in specific situations where the welfare or safety of the Horses, Athletes, Officials or the public is compromised.

For immediate National Weather Service updates, text “WEG2018” to 888777 (US phones only) or check out the website and on Facebook and Twitter at @Tryon2018. Any potential updates to schedules and programming will also be posted to the Tryon WEG channels.

WEG 2018 – Team NZ Blog, Day One - Full Story

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison

Welcome to our first WEG blog from the 2018 Games. I’ll be bringing you daily updates on all that is happening here in North Carolina.

It’s a cooler day today at the Tryon International Equestrian Centre. The beeping of heavy-duty machinery is constant and there are small armies of high viz vests everywhere but otherwise it is business as usual.

Riders are doing their arena familiarisations, out hacking or just boxing on with their preparation for what will undoubtedly be a highlight of their career.

I arrived via Houston – surely one of the best trips I have had on Air New Zealand. Spent the night in Greenville and then on to TIEC. The weather is a real mixture – hot and muggy, rain, thunder and lightning and everything in between.

The surrounds are gorgeous even if they haven’t quite got everything finished. The future TIEC will be incredible.

I have caught up with the dressage, endurance and eventing riders – most only briefly. Everyone is in good spirits and ready to get things underway proper.

We had a BBQ with the endurance team and their incredible local hosts Joe and Nancy Talley last night. Kiwi farrier Rodney King again showed what a dab hand he is at cooking the BBQ.

The remainder of the endurance crew flew in late last night – missing a bit of their luggage but all still smiling...

Read more here:

Meydan backs endurance at WEG 2018 - Full Article

Group enforces commitment to equestrian sport and horse racing at Mill Spring event

Published: 16:43 September 10, 2018 Gulf News
Staff Report

Dubai: Meydan Group will be the title sponsors of endurance event at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018 (WEG), set to take place at the Tryon International Equestrian Centre in Mill Spring, Carolina, USA, from September 11-23.
The sponsorship reinforces Meydan’s ongoing commitment to equestrian sport, building on its position as a leading supporter of international horse racing and equestrian events. Meydan Group has a long-term affiliation with equestrianism, particularly endurance riding, and is dedicated to growing endurance riding through ongoing initiatives around the world.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the WEG Endurance competition will be renamed ‘Meydan Endurance’, taking place on Wednesday (September 12), with the final circuit of the Meydan Endurance course named ‘The Meydan Loop’...

Read more here:

Monday, September 10, 2018

For Horses, Like Elite Athletes, It’s All About the Training - Full Article

By Hannah Wulkan
Sept. 9, 2018

Some athletes are good at lifting heavy weights. Some are flexible, with great balance. Some can run for miles. The same is true of horses.

They have a wide variety of skills, and within equestrian sport there are disciplines designed to showcase them, including riding intricate patterns in reining, leaping over high obstacles in show jumping and running up to 100-mile races over tricky terrain in endurance.

The full range of the horse’s ability will be on display at the F.E.I. World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C., from Tuesday through Sept. 23, during which horses and riders from around the world will compete. The games, held by the Fédération Équestre Internationale, the sport’s governing body, happen every four years and represent the top level of competition for many disciplines...

Read more here:

Meydan Group Announced as Title Sponsor OF 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ Endurance Competition

By: WEG Admin
Sep 9, 2018

TRYON, NC, USA – September 9, 2018 – Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) is pleased to announce Meydan Group as the title sponsor of Endurance at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG), taking place this September (11 – 23).

The sponsorship further reinforces Meydan’s ongoing commitment to equestrian sport, building on its position as a leading supporter of international horse racing and equestrian events. Meydan Group has a long-term affiliation with equestrianism, particularly Endurance riding, and is dedicated to growing Endurance riding through ongoing initiatives around the world.

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the WEG Endurance competition will be renamed “Meydan Endurance,” taking place on Wednesday, September 12, with the final circuit of the Meydan Endurance course named “The Meydan Loop.”

“We are very pleased to be title sponsor of Endurance at the World Equestrian Games this September,” said Munther Muheisen, Vice President Strategy & Investment and acting Head of Corporate Communication Department of Meydan Group.

“We are committed to ensuring the sport receives the support necessary to grow and progress on a global scale. This event is a great opportunity to communicate our dedication to the sport, as well as the visionary approach of Meydan.”

Mark Bellissimo, Co-Founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center said: “We are thrilled to have Meydan on board as title sponsor of Endurance at this year’s FEI World Equestrian Games. Meydan Group’s support will be extremely beneficial, particularly for spectator experience through the enhancement of facilities such as the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Royal Pavilion. This is a very exciting partnership for Tryon 2018.”

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ is expected to attract as many as 500,000 spectators to the largest equestrian event in the world, hosting eight disciplines and over 70 nations. For more information on the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018, please visit


Meydan is the visionary concept of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The project is the culmination of his vision to create an integrated city that is innovatively sustainable, environmentally responsible and strategically positions Dubai at the centre of the competitive global business stage.

Meydan Group aims to link the world with the Emirate of Dubai through international equestrian events and a range of commercial developments, including hospitality, sports, entertainment, state-of-the-art business parks, residential villa communities, world-class educational and medical facilities, business towers with luxury waterfront developments and contemporary shopping destinations.

Meydan Racecourse and Grandstand are marvels of architecture and entertainment, hosting the world’s richest day in horseracing and the region’s premier sport and social event, the $35 million Dubai World Cup, which is topped by its $12 million namesake race and organised by Dubai Racing Club. Equine athleticism is further on display at Dubai Equestrian Club, which organises and hosts a series of international events, including the disciplines of endurance, dressage, show jumping and eventing at the purpose-built Dubai International Endurance City and its subsidiary Emirates Equestrian Centre. The former features the apex of endurance riding, the His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup, while the latter hosts the Dubai Show Jumping Championship.

Meydan’s real estate ventures include Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, which covers approximately 45 million square feet of prime freehold development in the heart of Dubai, as well as Meydan Avenue, a mixed-use retail and residential development that incorporates the iconic Grandstand, The Track Meydan Golf, Meydan Tennis Academy and 285-room The Meydan Hotel at its heart. Multiple award-winning Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is the Middle East’s premier venue of its kind, while Meydan Heights is home to premium Emirates Airline housing. Meydan One will offer an exceptional lifestyle to more than 83,000 residents with remarkable amenities and facilities, including the record-setting 711m Dubai One Tower, Meydan One Mall, a five-star hotel, civic plaza with dancing water fountains, indoor sports facility, 4km canal and marina, while the centrally located Meydan Free Zone offers a prime commercial location for high technology, superior telecommunications and business space flexibility.

For more information about Meydan, please visit

Additional Housing for World Equestrian Games Grooms Being Installed at Tryon, Organizers Apologize for Shortfall

September 9 2018

TRYON, North Carolina, Sept. 9, 2018–Additional housing “pods” for some of the hundreds of grooms taking care of horses at the World Equestrian Games were being installed at Tryon International Equestrian Center Sunday.

Sixty manufactured housing “pods” were already in use and 10 more were being added Sunday, a spokesperson for the WEG organization said.

Delays in providing enough housing for grooms required accommodating many at hotels with shuttles needed to get them to and from Tryon International Equestrian Center. Some others moved into cabins that had been assigned to national federation officials.

A total of up to 900 grooms–about 450 this week and 450 next week–are expected in Tryon over the next two weeks to care for horses for the championships of the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines Housing on-site has been considered vital for grooms who care for their horses around the clock...

Read more here:

Mark Bellissimo Responds to Public Outrage Over WEG Groom Housing

Temporary groom housing at WEG. Photo via Facebook.

By Leslie Threlkeld on Sep 9, 2018

As the athletes and their teams began to arrive and settle in at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games last week, there was an immediate concern regarding inadequate accommodations for the grooms who traveled with them.

It was expected that on-site, permanent housing would be available for grooms, but instead grooms were offered bunk beds in temporary tents. With Hurricane Florence expected to bring heavy rain to the Mill Spring, North Carolina area later this week, concerns have also been raised over the safety of the tents.

Following negative feedback on social media, Mark Bellissimo, co-founder and CEO of Tryon International Equestrian Center, released a statement today.

“I made a personal commitment to housing grooms on-site and I underestimated the demand. I was too optimistic. I made a mistake and I apologize. We are doing everything we can to rectify the situation,” Mark said. “Our organization has always been committed to recognizing the importance of grooms. They are a critical component to the success and well-being of these equine athletes and we have the utmost respect for their daily work...”

Read more here:

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Definite Entry List for WEG Endurance

September 5 2018

The Definite Entry List for the World Equestrian Games endurance event has been posted.

You can see the entries, and more information here:

US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...