Sunday, May 31, 2020

In Memoriam: FEI pays tribute to FEI Honorary Vice President Vittorio De Sanctis (ITA)

May 25 2020

Professor Vittorio De Sanctis, the man widely recognised for introducing the sport of Endurance to Italy and the FEI, has passed away. He was 84.

A qualified lawyer, he had a life-long passion for equestrian sport that he passed onto his children and grandchildren.

He was Vice-President of the Italian Equestrian Federation (FISE) from 1980 to 1988 and a member of the FISE Council. He was also a founder member and President of the National Equestrian Tourism Association.

Vittorio De Sanctis was an FEI Bureau Member from 1982 to 1988 as well as Deputy Chair of the FEI Judicial Committee and Chair of the Special Disciplines Committee. He was also an FEI Endurance Course Designer, Judge and Technical Delegate.

He became FEI 1st Vice President in 1982 working alongside HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar de Borbón, who passed away in January this year. He was appointed FEI Honorary Vice President at the end of his mandate in 1998 and continued to be an active member of the international equestrian community.

“Vittorio De Sanctis represented the world of equestrian sport with great passion and dedication,” FISE President Marco Di Paola said. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to his entire family during this difficult time.”

“We are truly sorry to have lost such a great advocate for our sport,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “He will be sorely missed, not just by his Italian equestrian family but also by the international community.”

The FEI extends its deepest sympathy to Vittorio De Sanctis’ family, to the Italian Equestrian Federation and the global equestrian community.

The FISE tribute to Vittorio De Sanctis is published here.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

FEI publishes return to play policy as equestrian adapts to “new normal”

May 29, 2020 Author: FEI

The FEI has published its Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 pandemic, aimed at assisting Organisers and National Federations with the safe resumption of international equestrian events in line with national and local restrictions.

The Policy will apply to all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020 and has been put in place to limit the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19 until an effective treatment and/or vaccine as determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) are available.

Developed by FEI Medical Committee Chair Dr Mark Hart together with FEI Headquarters, the Policy requires National Federations and Organisers to carry out a Risk Assessment to evaluate whether it is safe to hold their Events. The Policy includes general best practice recommendations for Organisers and is to be implemented in conjunction with any requirements imposed by the domestic authorities. In addition, discipline-specific guidance will be issued shortly by the FEI.

The policy is intended to be used in conjunction with the following WHO documents: Considerations for sports federations/sports event organizers when planning mass gatherings in the context of Covid-19; Mass Gathering Sports Addendum Risk Assessment; and the Decision Tree.

It is mandatory for FEI Event Organisers to conduct the risk assessment together with their National Federation and domestic government and public health authorities. Events for which the FEI has not received the completed risk assessment and mitigation measures plan will be removed from the FEI Calendar.

“Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to the FEI Calendar and to national events, with a huge impact on all the various participants of equestrian sports,” Dr Mark Hart said. “We are all in this together and this pandemic will be with us for at least 12-24 months. We need to adapt to a “new normal” as we move forward.

“The FEI is committed to assisting National Federations and FEI Event Organisers by providing resources to effectively assess the risks potentially posed by Events from the planning phase and mitigate such risks through relevant measures.

“As we anticipate the gradual return of competitions, we must do everything we can to mitigate the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. This is a matter of public health, and it’s also how a sport can demonstrate to public authorities that it is ready to resume activity.”

Friday, May 22, 2020

Tom Morgan, the man behind Mongol Derby and Gaucho Derby

Photo credit: The Adventurists
Endurance-world - Full Article
22nd May 2020

The Mongol Derby and Gaucho Derby are not what you call the most traditional endurance horse races in the world.

They have been documented over and over again for their sheer adventure and risk. Time to talk to Tom Morgan, founder of The Adventurists.

Who is Tom Morgan?
I originally come from a small town in the South of England but now live out in the West Country near Bristol. I studied Fine Art, which is not entirely relevant but I left university swearing I would never get a real job. I started The Adventurists right after then and have, so far, managed to avoid that real job. I’ve been deep in a world of organising adventures ever since.

What is The Adventurists?
We’ve spent the last 14 years designing and running large scale, often slightly ridiculous, adventures and races around the world. From air races to tuktuk adventures and of course the World’s longest horse race the Mongol Derby. At our core we’re a pretty small team but a huge community around the world gathers to stage events like the horse race.
The Mongol Derby and now the Gaucho have grown over the years so we recently moved them into a separate company. As a result we can build a team just around the very specific requirements of multi-horse racing. We’re going to be launching a series of new races globally...

Read more here:

Friday, May 15, 2020

Ireland: Inspirational Equestrian: Kathy Conly - Full Article

By Farmweek
May 13, 2020

ANYONE who has attended an ILDRA (Irish Long Distance Riding Association) ride has probably met Kathy Conly. She has been attending the rides since they started and has been a dedicated ILDRA supporter and ride organiser for many years. Kathy is not originally from Northern Ireland, but has been here for most of her life and has reared her family here.

Horse Week’s Bree Rutledge was keen to find out more about Kathy’s background.

Kathy was born in a small market town, Knaresborough in North Yorkshire – situated in Nidderdale, one of the Yorkshire Dales – just two months before the outbreak of World War 2, making her an octagenarian! She had one older sister and came from a non-horsey background.

Her sister used to ride at the local riding centre and Kathy managed to persuade their parents to let her go too at the age of 10.

Kathy’s father was away for most of the war, serving in the RAF and he spent many years in Egypt. After the war ended, he took over his father’s drapery business and also opened up a hardware shop.

Although Kathy never had a pony of her own, she rode at the riding centre and rode her friends’ ponies. She was a member of the York and Ainsty Pony Club, which held it’s yearly camp at the Great Yorkshire Showground...

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Racing into the Unknown: A Canadian’s Patagonian Adventure

Richard Dunwoody photo - Full Article

Central Alberta vet Christian Peterson finished third in the inaugural Gaucho Derby, then had to race for home as international travel shut down.

By: Róisín Magee | May 13, 2020

When Chris Peterson got the call informing him he had a spot in a 500-km race across the Patagonian wilderness in South America on horseback, he only had four months to prepare ‒ but he loves a challenge.

Having worked with beef cattle outfits off and on since he was a teenager, guided horseback trips in Wyoming and Banff where he had packed strings of four to eight horses and mules, worked as a farrier, and logged timber for a few years with draft horses in the East Kootenays of BC, he was also not afraid of hard work. In his ‘spare time’ he started colts for friends, enjoyed riding rodeo broncs, and competed in blacksmith contests on the weekends.

Chris graduated from veterinary school in 2016 and is now working as a vet in and around Calgary. Divorced with two children aged 15 and 19, the busy 44-year-old thanks the influence of a neighbour who is a keen endurance rider for getting him interested in the sport. Although he did not compete, he credits the hours and miles of conditioning he did aboard a half-Morgan in the mountains outside of Windermere for a few seasons with his ability to ride long distance in steep country without wearing out his horse...

Read more here:

Saturday, May 09, 2020

A Look Back: Spain's 2008 Al Andalus 10-day Endurance Ride - Part IV: Riding in Spain!!

March 30 2008
by Steph Teeter

These days are long and busy, and the nights are short! We're not getting a lot of sleep... but I guess we're not here for sleeping :)

I rode today (in Spain!!!!), on a very nice mare - Arenales - owned by Fernando Uriartes - a friend of Paco. She's 8 years old, not very experienced, but lovely animal! Very trustworthy.

She about died from fright when we first got to the ocean - she'd never seen/heard the crashing waves before, and was galloping in place along beside Paco's trotting stallion Ibor. (There's a whole nuther experience - riding a mare in heat with a stallion all day…they were both very well behaved, but a lot of nickering and ear flicking and posturing, and I had to keep her from trying to stand for him whenever we stopped.) She was absolutely dripping sweat the first stretch of beach - with the crashing waves and the tourist hotels and kids and umbrellas and hotels and so much activity.

There was deep sand all day long - really a hard day. The first vetgate was on the beach at one of the main tourist areas - very windy, waves crashing, tourists being tourists, and the horses were all nervous, and took extra time to pulse down. Madonna and Fernando helped us at the vetgate - very welcome help!

After the first vetgate we had a 35 km (20 mi) ride along the beach. It was magnificent!!!! After we got past the tourist stretch, we entered the national park coastline. It was low tide, so we were able to ride in the shallows, with the birds flying up in front of us and crabs and ocean creatures scurrying underfoot. Arenales relaxed and started enjoying the water and the waves. It was wonderful. Paco's horse was tired - second day for him and so much deep sand, so we took it pretty slow all day, and finished last and almost last :)

When we got to the final vetgate we had to load the horses, along with the last of the staff rigs onto a ferry and cross the channel to the other side, the town of San Lucas (southern Andalucia - almost to the Straights of Gibraltar - just across the water from Africa). What a hoot! The horses did pretty well, handling the sway of the ferry quite bravely (tired enough to not fuss too much).

On the other side all of the horses were there waiting, and we were to all ride together the final 1.5km to the 'grand finish' for press and media. I felt sheepish about being so slow knowing that the others had been waiting for us (at least an hour, probably more). But everybody seemed happy and festive and we did the final ride.

There was some wonderful manzanilla (a white fortified wine) at the finish, plenty of little cups to go around. We grazed the horses in a grassy meadow, full of yellow flowers, and then joined the group at the lunch for paella and some wonderful potato saucy dish with calamari. Spain has WONDERFUL FOOD. And the wine is good too :)

Tonight Merri and I stayed at the hotel, with internet, and worked instead of going to the briefing and awards. Too much to do, and so little time for work, it was nice to chill and little and get caught up.

Tomorrow we're up for a 6am breakfast, will then go to the stables and I'll join up with Paco, Fernando, Texano (a Spanish rodeo guy who is helping crew... and he also sings great), and Madonna and Paul. I don't think Paco is going to ride tomorrow, so I'm not sure what the day will bring. Merri will go along with Nacio (nacho) again for a day of photos and adventure.

And now it's after midnight, time for bed!



Part I: The Travels is here

Part II: Preparations is here

Part III: Registration and a Prologue is here

Thursday, May 07, 2020

Tales of the Unexpected in Doping Proposals for 2021 - Full Article

A less draconian approach to recreational drugs but tougher penalties for deliberate horse doping are among possible changes to the 2021 rules.

Athletes who can prove their recreational drug use was not related to sport and was taken out-of-competition can receive a three-month (or less) sanction under the new proposals, instead of the previous year ban.

By Cuckson Report // Pippa Cuckson | May 6, 2020

Do you agree that the minimum suspension for a doping offence should be doubled to four years? Is it time for a less draconian stance over recreational drugs and contamination? While the world is in limbo over Covid-19, there is a real chance for all stakeholders to refresh knowledge of the Equine Anti Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) and also the human athlete rules.

Moreover, until May 11 you can have a say about how these rules could look from January 2021. They are being overhauled right now, in tandem with the periodic revision of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) code, to which the FEI is a signatory.

In the past the FEI has invited public comment over major rule revisions after airing them at its annual April sports forum, before the statutory consultation of national federations begins. But at the start of a busy season only a handful of riders usually respond. Following the 2020 forum’s cancellation, the FEI has put all anti-doping discussion documents online, with instructions about how to submit your comments. Judging from some of the excuses/defences/reasons proffered in Tribunal cases, most riders have a sketchy understanding of this huge topic, despite its facility to kibosh a career...

Read more here:

Monday, May 04, 2020

The endurance household name the Toft family - Full Article
4th May 2020

The ‘Toft name’ has been present in the horse endurance world for more than two decades.

We felt it was about time to present the Toft family. The complete Toft Family ; Peter Toft – father, Penny Toft – mumsie, Alexandra Toft – daughter, 150 + horses, 5 dogs, 44 guinea fowl, Birt the bird and Salem the cat.

Who is riding in the family?

All three of us people.

What are you activities and tell us about your facilities
We breed, train, compete, trade and export horses.
Toft Endurance is a magnificent property at Marburg, Queensland, Australia. There are big paddocks, small paddocks, yards, stable barn, two horse walkers, treadmill, three arenas for education and training, a round yard for young horse breakers, trucks and feed sheds, quarantine facilities, a training track and local trails for exercise and more serious training in the mountains...

Read more here:

St. George horseman completes one of the world’s toughest endurance races - Full Story Written by E. George Goold May 10, 2024 ST. GEORGE — The Gaucho Derby is a 500-kilometer horse race throug...