Monday, May 20, 2019

Riders celebrate success at Endurance Great Britain Golden Horseshoe Ride on Exmoor


Endurancegb.co.uk

(Published:20 May 2019)

Riders are celebrating coveted completions in Endurance GB’s Golden Horseshoe Ride on Exmoor, which after more than 50 years since it first began, remains one of the most challenging events in the sport’s calendar.

The oldest long-distance Endurance GB ride in the UK is widely regarded as one of the most challenging in Europe and sees competitors tackle classes ranging from 24km to 160km (100 miles) over spectacular moorland terrain.

This year’s top successes came in the Exmoor Stag class which takes competitors over 120km (75 miles) in two days. There were silver awards for Devon-based Karen Jones with Treasured Moonbeam and Kathy Carr who had travelled from Leicestershire to take part with Aberllwyd Femme Fatalle. A third rider, Exeter’s Gillian Mann earned a completion with HS Parnasse.

Cullompton-based Karen Jones and her 13yr old mare, Treasure Moonbeam, had success over the 160km in 2017 and so stepped down a distance to take on the 120km two day class.

On top of her Silver award, Karen collected the Exmoor Stag 75 mile Cup and the Exmoor Stag Award together with the Jill Calvert Cup for her crew.

Gillian Mann and her 13yr gelding HS Parnasse first attempted the 160km class in 2015 but were unfortunately unsuccessful. They went on, however, to successfully complete the one-day 80km class in 2018 so this year went one better in stepping up to a second day of competition.

Kathy Carr with Aberllwyd Femme Fatalle came to the ride with a strong record of success including a silver and bronze over the 160km class in 2018 and 2015. They have also enjoyed multiple successes at challenging rides including a notable 14th place at the European test-event in Brussels in 2016.

Kathy received a glut of silverware for her efforts on Exmoor including the Marcy Pavord Memorial Trophy, the Zayin Arabian Stud Award, the Esprit de Ferzon, the Dunlop Heywood Veteran Rider Award, the Saillard Fuller Silver Trophy the Exmoor Stag Fleur Award.

Kathy said: “That was a really tough one! It was definitely the most challenging Golden Horseshoe Route I've experienced. We just made Silver time on day two with one minute to spare. Paris never ceases to amaze me.”

A completion in the Golden Horseshoe is regarded as being on the ‘bucket list’ for most top level endurance riders, and the degree of the challenge registered this year with no completions in the weekend’s top class of 160km in two days. However, there were nine completions in the two-day 80km Exmoor Hind class with first place for Craig Budden from Southampton and GL Gilded Lance, a second place for Karen Wendy Jones on Indian Princess and third place for Charlie Turley and Safiya. Three riders enjoyed success in the one-day 80km Exmoor Fox class, Andrea Champ with Druimghigha Lantana earning first place, Sally McIlwaine and Winnie the Witch coming second and Antonia Milner-Matthews coming third with Clonmore Treasure.

However, one of the features of the weekend was the wide spread of Endurance GB entries from around England and Wales in other shorter distance classes. A total of 15 riders successfully took on the one-day 40km with 33 completions in the novice class. Elizabeth Madell and Twosox collected the Golden Horseshoe Para Award for her grade four completion in the Exmoor Otter Cub 40km Novice class.

In addition, the non-competitive pleasure ride, which gave grass-roots endurance riders the chance to sample the Golden Horseshoe route over the stunning Exmoor National Park, saw fifty riders taking part.

Devon-based Jo Chisholm who organises the Golden Horseshoe Ride with husband Andrew said: “Despite low entries in the longer distance classes, the shorter distances were supported well and riders tackled a typical Exmoor course with many hills incorporating steep climbs and rocky tracks, along with some wonderful moorland going, which was in places almost perfect with the recent dry weather.

“The weather was once again kind to us with ideal riding conditions, not too warm but pleasant in the sun for the numerous volunteers around the course. The organisers would like to extend their utmost appreciation for the army of volunteers without whom this ride would not be possible.”

Endurance GB Chair, Rebecca Kinnarney, who attended the event expressed her thanks to the amazing team of ride organisers, vets and volunteers, without whom such a major event would not be possible and said she is looking forward to a great time next year.

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