Monday, May 24, 2021

UAE and Spain Take Endurance Golds

FEI.org

22 May 2021
Words by Stacey Stearns
Images by Chris Taniere

Salem Hamad Saeed Al Kitbi is the new World champion...

United Arab Emirates riders showed a strong performance in the FEI Endurance World Championship™ at the San Rossore Estate in Pisa, Italy, winning the Individual gold and silver medals.

Salem Hamad Saeed Al Kitbi riding Haleh is the Endurance World champion and Individual gold medal winner. Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi riding Birmann Aya won silver.

Al Kitbi and Al Faresi worked together and applied pressure to Omar Blanco Rodrigo and For Ferro of Spain, who led for most of the day, on the final loop. The UAE riders established a gap between themselves and the remaining pack, as the battle for the final standings in the top 10 and the team medals evolved in the final loop.

Boni Viada de Vivero of Chile on AS Embrujo rode a strategic race to capture the bronze in an emotional and fantastic finish.

AS Embrujo and de Vivero moved up progressively throughout the day, in a textbook performance earning the first medal for Chile in an FEI Endurance World Championship™. They moved from 19th place early in the day to the bronze position using clever riding and tactics.

Spain led the team standings throughout the day, with steady pressure from Brazil. Angel Soy Coll on Warrens Hill Chayze came from behind to finish fourth. Omar Blanco Rodrigo on For Ferro finished sixth. Maria Ponton Alvaraz guided Mandany into 15th. Brazil rode consistently all day as a team, finishing in 8th, 9th, and 10th to earn the silver medal. France finished in the bronze position...

Read more at: https://www.fei.org/stories/sport/endurance/uae-and-spain-take-endurance-golds

Saturday, May 22, 2021

UAE’s Salem Hamad Saeed Malhoof Al Kitbi and Haleh Win World Endurance Championship

May 22 2021

The UAE finished 1-2 at the World Endurance Championship in Pisa, Italy today. In a ride time of 7:24.24 for the 160-km race, Al Kitbi finished just ahead of his teammate Mansour Saeed Mohammed Al Faresi aboard Birmann Aya.

Chile’s Boni Viada de Vivero finished third aboard AS Embrujo, some 7 minutes behind the winner.

Rounding out the top ten were:

4th - Spain’s Angel Soy Coll and Warrens Hill Chayze
5th - Portugal’s Rui Lanternas and Alvantava
6th - Spain’s Omar Blanco Rodrigo and For Ferro
7th - Uruguay’s Vanessa Peyronel and AR Trueno
8th - Brazil’s Felipe De Azevedo Morgulis and Saiph SBV
9th - Brazil’s Andre Vidiz and Chamboro Endurance
10th - Brazil’s Renato Salvador and Uzes Trio

Former World Endurance Champion Jaume Punti Dachs of Spain was eliminated after loop 5 aboard JM Bucefala. Former World Endurance Champion Maria Alvarez Ponton (Jaume’s wife) finished 15th aboard Mandany.

26 finished the race out of 74 starters.

More to come at: http://www.endurance.net/international/Italy/2021WorldEnduranceChampionship/

Sick horse dashes US hopes at World Endurance Champs

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

May 22, 2021
Horsetalk.co.nz

The USA has pulled its team out of the FEI World Endurance Championships in Italy after one of its horses developed a viral infection.

The team’s five horses had travelled and been stabled together over the past two weeks, leading to the decision by the US team to withdraw from the event near Pisa. The horse had developed a fever on Thursday, May 20, and the US team immediately put in place additional biosecurity measures to prevent any possible transmission of disease.

The affected horse requires monitoring under the FEI’s Return to Competition protocols following an EHV-1 (Equine herpes virus) outbreak in Europe earlier in the year. Measures include advance PCR testing, temperature monitoring of horses as well as enhanced examination on arrival procedures. Stringent biosecurity measures and mitigation plans, in line with the FEI Veterinary Regulations, also form part of the measures.

US Equestrian CEO Bill Moroney said the health and safety of the team’s horses are of the utmost importance...

Read more here:
https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2021/05/22/sick-horse-us-world-endurance-champs/

UAE knights vying for top spot at Endurance World Championship 2021 in Italy

WAM.ae - Full Article

21-05-2021

TUSCANY, 21st May, 2021 (WAM) -- The UAE knights will be vying for the top spot, along with 80 celebrated international endurance riders from 32 nations, at the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021, opening tomorrow, May 22nd, in Pisa San Rossore, Italy.

The UAE team have the highest probability for success with a prestigious track record of achievements that goes down in history of endurance sport, on top of which comes the global accomplishment notched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, when he was crowned winner of the 2012 FEI World Endurance Championship for the Individual and Team categories Suffolk, UK...

Read more here:
https://wam.ae/en/details/1395302936533

Friday, May 21, 2021

USA Team withdraws from FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa (ITA)

Inside.FEI.org

21 May 2021 Author: FEI

The United States of America has withdrawn its full team of horses from the FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa (ITA) after one of its horses, stabled offsite, developed a fever.

The USA Team Veterinarian informed the President of the Veterinary Treatment Commission in Pisa on Thursday 20 May that they had a febrile horse. Subsequently, results from a blood test indicated a viral infection. The USA team immediately put in place additional biosecurity measures to prevent any possible transmission of disease.

Following consultation with the FEI and the President of the Veterinary Commission, the USA decided today to proactively withdraw the entire team, as their horses had all travelled and been stabled together over the past two weeks.

The horses, which arrived in Pisa several days ago, have been stabled 2kms outside the venue. A risk assessment conducted by the FEI Veterinary Department and the Veterinary Commission established that there was a negligible risk of transmission to any other horses taking part in the World Championship. The USA Athletes and team staff discussed the protocol measures directly with the FEI Veterinary Director as part of the decision making process.

“I commend the USA Team veterinarian, the USA Chef d’Equipe and the Athletes for their professionalism and proactivity in addressing this difficult situation, which resulted in the USEF decision to withdraw the team from the Endurance World Championship”, said FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström.

“This is a really unfortunate situation for the U.S. Team and I understand their bitter disappointment, but this decision was necessary and is completely in line with the biosecurity measures and rules we have in place to avoid the spread of infectious disease.

“The welfare of our horses must be put above any sporting goals and ambitions, and today the USA Team have done just that. It’s the right thing to do - and the only thing to do - for the safety of all the horses competing at the Event. We will continue to monitor all the participating horses closely to ensure a biosecure and successful championship for all the participating nations and athletes.”

The five USA Athlete/Horse combinations withdrawn from the Championship are:

Karen BINNS-DICAMILLO / RGS RAGNAR ZE MONARCH
Holly CORCORAN / POETE
Jessica DICAMILLO / JUST BELIEVE
Jeremy REYNOLDS / TREASURED MOMENTS
Cheryl VAN DEUSEN / HOOVER THE MOVER

A total of 31 nations will line up for the start of the FEI Endurance World Championship on Saturday 22 May, 12 of which will be battling for the team medals.

81 Entries from 32 Nations Set for World Endurance Championship in Pisa, Italy on Saturday

81 entries from 32 nations are set for the 160-km World Endurance Championship in Pisa, Italy on Saturday, May 22.

See the complete list of entries here:
2021WECEntries

Vetting in starts Friday at 3 PM local time.

Start time for the race is 7 AM local time (in the US, 1 AM Eastern, 12 midnight Central, 11 PM Mountain, 10 PM Pacific)

You can watch live on the free Yamahah App on your devices; we will provide updates when possible.

More at:
www.endurance.net/international/Italy/2021WorldEnduranceChampionship/

Thursday, May 20, 2021

World Endurance Championship USA Team Flashback: The Lightning Bolt in Malaysia, 2008

As our USA Endurance Team preps for the 2021 World Endurance Championship in Italy on May 22, we look back to the 2008 WEC in Malaysia, where a lightning bolt nearly struck USA Team members Jan Worthington (now an AERC Hall of Famer) and Leon, and Meg Sleeper and Reveille on loop 2 in the dark.

Both horses and riders went down. Both got back on and continued riding, moving through the loops toward the finish line of 160 km, and more drama ensued….

Read Meg's amazing recap of that crazy race here from her diary, November 8: http://www.endurance.net/2008WEC/megnotes.html

Monday, May 17, 2021

Endurance World is Heading to Pisa

Image by Martin Dokoupil

FEI.org - Full Article

17 May 2021

We look ahead to this weekend's Longines FEI Endurance World Championship... The long journey back to a major international championships is complete… but the medals will only be handed over after another long journey!

We can’t wait for this weekend’s Longines FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa, Italy, where 81 athletes representing 32 countries and five continents will vie for gold.

They’ll race for an incredible 160km in the magnificent Parco Naturale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, one of the largest and most ancient nature parks in Tuscany.

Athletes and their brave horses will travel across meadows, hills, pine forests and marshes amidst the gentle breeze from the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea.

Amongst the competitors are the 2016 World champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, and his wife, Maria Alvarez Ponton, who has taken Individual gold twice during her successful career - first at Terengganu in Malaysia in 2008 and again in Kentucky, USA in 2010.

Also vying for top spot this time out will be Alex Luque Moral from Spain and Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who respectively took silver and bronze at the 2016 FEI World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia.

A total of 13 nations will be chasing down the Team title, with European champions Spain among the favourites.

Read more here:
https://www.fei.org/stories/sport/endurance/endurance-world-heading-pisa

SmartPak on the Steppe: Meet 2021 Mongol Derby Competitor Kayleigh Davenport

EventingNation.com - Full Article

By Leslie Wylie on Apr 6, 2021 12:00 pm - 907 views

In August 2021 SmartPakker Kayleigh Davenport will embark upon the ride of her life: the Mongol Derby, widely regarded as the toughest horse race in the world. Inspired by the Genghis Khan’s original “pony express,” there’s no trail or set route, just a series of GPS checkpoints/horse exchange stations to hit over the course of 1,000 km and 7-10 days. Riders carry only 11 pounds of gear, rely on nomadic herding families for sustenance and shelter, and spend their days riding at speed on native horses who are equal parts incredible AND incredibly unpredictable.

SmartPak was a strong supporter of NM’s own Leslie Wylie when she tackled the race in 2017, and now we’re excited to cheer Kaleigh on! Over the coming months we’ll be sharing her journey to the race. First things first, let’s get to know Kaleigh better — and who better to interrogate/ interview her than Leslie!...

Read more here:
https://eventingnation.com/smartpak-on-the-steppe-meet-2021-mongol-derby-competitor-kayleigh-davenport/?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210407.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Athletes from five continents to contest Longines FEI Endurance World Championships 2021

Inside.FEI.org

4 May 2021
Author: Louise Parkes

The line-up for the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa, Italy has been confirmed, with competitors from 32 countries and five continents ready to challenge for the 2021 individual and team world titles on Saturday May 22.

Amongst them are the 2016 World Champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, and his wife Maria Alvarez Ponton who has taken individual gold twice during her successful career - first at Terengganu in Malaysia in 2008 and again in Kentucky, USA in 2010. Also vying for top spot this time out will be Alex Luque Moral from Spain and Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who respectively took silver and bronze at the 2016 World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia. A total of 13 nations will be chasing down the team title.

Magnificent

The event will be staged in the magnificent Parco Naturale Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli, one of the largest and most ancient nature parks in Tuscany. Close to the lovely city of Pisa which is considered one of the pearls of Italy with its world-famous Leaning Tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli, the park extends over 23,000 hectares and boasts a huge variety of landscapes...

More at:
https://inside.fei.org/media-updates/athletes-five-continents-contest-longines-fei-endurance-world-championships-2021

First race of 2021 in Sweden took place at Övedskloster

Endurance-world.com - Full Article

Info@endurance-world.com
13th May 2021

Övedsritten, Sweden. Saturday 8 May 2021.

Övedsritten ran for the fourth year in a row and this year was the first time as an international ride. The ride is a collaboration between the event organiser, the endurance club Anklams Distansryttarsällskap, and the eventing club Öveds jakt och fältrittklubb.

The ride was held on the grounds belonging to the Övedskloster castle and in fact the participants were greeted for the arrival inspection at the courtyard. The loops ran through a historical landscape where several battles between Swedes and Danes took place in the 1600. It passed over an old extinguished volcano, through an eventing water crossing and offers an extraordinary view over the landscape and the lake Vombsjön. The riders got to enjoy nice gravel and grass roads running through open landscape and leaf forests passing picturesque little houses and farms. Athletes traveling from the North especially appreciated the summery feeling offered by the warm weather, wild flowers, green forests and prospering fields...

Read more here:
https://endurance-world.com/first-race-of-2021-in-sweden-took-place-at-ovedskloster/

Friday, May 14, 2021

Endurance World Championship Set to Run Through Tuscany

2016 FEI Endurance World Champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs. (FEI/Miro Nota)

HorseSport.com - Full Article

By: Louise Parkes / FEI | May 14, 2021

The line-up for the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship in Pisa, Italy has been confirmed, with competitors from 32 countries and five continents ready to challenge for the 2021 individual and team world titles on Saturday May 22.

Among them are the 2016 World Champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, and his wife Maria Alvarez Ponton who has taken individual gold twice during her successful career – first at Terengganu in Malaysia in 2008 and again in Kentucky, USA in 2010. Also vying for top spot this time out will be Alex Luque Moral from Spain and Bahrain’s Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa who respectively took silver and bronze at the 2016 World Championships in Samorin, Slovakia. A total of 13 nations will be chasing down the team title...

Read more here:
https://horsesport.com/horse-news/endurance-world-championship-set-run-through-tuscany/

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

UAE Breach of Foreign Rider Rules ‘Knowing and Deliberate’: CAS

HorseSport.com - Full Article

CAS partially dismisses appeal against suspension, leaving race promoters to pay the FEI over $1m in fines and organisers’ dues.

By: Pippa Cuckson | May 10, 2021

The United Arab Emirates committed a “severe” violation of FEI rules by running two premier endurance races as national events last winter, in a “knowing and deliberate” response to the robust new FEI endurance rules.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed an appeal against last fall’s suspension of the UAE federation by the FEI. The appeal was lodged jointly by the UAE federation and the organisers of the two races, Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC) and the Emirates International Endurance Village (EIEV) in Abu Dhabi.

While CAS reduced some of the sanctions, this still leaves ride organisers having to pay the FEI a total of CHF 887,448 (CAN $ 1,194613) in fines and organising dues.

CAS’s operative decision was announced earlier this year but its full reasoning has only recently been published.

Last September the FEI Board suspended the UAE following an investigation into the 160km Sheikh Mohammed Cup at DEC in January 2020 and 160km President’s Cup at EIEV in February 2020. These races should have been have been staged (as previously) as International Endurance Events (CEIs) because the foreign riders far exceeded the quota permitted CENs are limited to four National Federations (NFs) and/or no more than 15 foreign athletes aside from “athletes living outside their country of nationality.” Investigators Bird & Bird LLP found that 93 foreign riders from 24 different countries participated in the Sheikh Mohammed Cup and 88 from 21 in the 2020 President’s Cup...

Read more here:
HorseSport.com

Pisa Becomes Global with the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021

EWC2021.com - Full Article

8 May 2021 – Two weeks before the start of the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021, planned for May 22nd at San Rossore in Pisa, the chefs d’équipe of the Federations of the countries competing made official the names of the horses and riders (56% men and 44% women) who will compete over the 160 kilometres of the course created inside the San Rossore Estate. Representing all 5 continents, there will be 32 countries of which 13 also competing for the team titles, ready at the start at 7am on Pisa’s racecourse.

THE BEST HORSES AND RIDERS IN THE WORLD WILL BE COMPETING

The definitive entries sent by the various National Federations have confirmed the top level of competitors taking part in the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021. Most attention will be concentrated on the current world champion, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs, riding to defend the title he won in 2016 in Samorin (Slovakia). He will be challenged by the best riders in the world, first among them his wife Maria Alvarez Ponton, World Champion in 2008 in Terengganu (Malesia) and in 2010 in Lexington (United States). Spain’s Alex Luque Moral and Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa (Bahrain), respectively Silver and Bronze medallists at the 2016 World Championships in Samorin are also hot favourites.

32 NATIONS REPRESENTED

Pisa and Tuscany are preparing to welcome delegations from Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Oman, Portugal, REF, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America and Uruguay...

More at:
https://ewc2021.com/en/pisa-becomes-global-with-the-longines-fei-endurance-world-championship-2021/

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

CAS upholds athlete appeal against 20-year horse abuse sanction

Inside.FEI.org

4 May 2021

The FEI Tribunal’s 20-year suspension of UAE Endurance athlete Sh Abdul Aziz Bin Faisal Al Qasimi has been overruled on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In its decision, the CAS has eliminated all sanctions, ruling that in its view the burden of proof of horse abuse had not been sufficiently met by the FEI.

The initial FEI Tribunal ruling involved the horse Castlebar Contraband, ridden by Sh Abdul Aziz Bin Faisal Al Qasimi at the CE1* in Fontainebleau (FRA) on 15 October 2016. The horse suffered an open fracture to its front right cannon bone during the event and had to be euthanised.

Blood samples collected from the horse post mortem revealed the presence of the Controlled Medication Substance Xylazine, which is used as a sedative, analgesic and muscle relaxant but is prohibited in competition. The substance, which is rapidly excreted from the body, is known to be used in Endurance to lower the heart rate. No valid Veterinary Form, the equine equivalent of a Therapeutic Use Exemption, exists for this Substance.

The FEI Tribunal accepted the explanation of the Treating Veterinarian who performed the euthanasia that she had followed the standard protocol, which did not include the use of Xylazine, refuting the claim by the defendant’s legal team that Xylazine had been used in the euthanasia process.

The post mortem report revealed the appearance of multiple lesions with a highly targeted location, consistent with recent injections, which the FEI stated demonstrated that the horse had been nerve blocked (desensitised) in training, and both before and during the competition. The FEI’s view was that this desensitisation, in combination with osteoarthritis in the right front fetlock joint, resulted in stress fractures that ultimately caused the catastrophic injury.

In his report for both FEI Tribunal and CAS proceedings and during cross-examination, FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström stated that nerve blocking removes the “very fundamental protective function of sensitivity” and increases the risk of catastrophic injury. This is especially relevant for fractures that are due to bone fatigue (stress fractures) as a horse will not show any signs of pain, such as lameness, while under the influence of an injected substance.

In its decision, the CAS Panel stated that neither the athlete nor his Veterinarian could have “reasonably detected” alleged bone fatigue in the horse. Despite extensive veterinary evidence presented by the FEI and its expert witnesses, the CAS Panel found that there was no proof that the horse had been nerve blocked or abnormally desensitised in competition.

The CAS Panel stated that as the horse had passed the horse inspection the day before the event and had also passed the veterinary checks at the Vet Gates during the competition, it could not be ruled as being unfit to compete. The Panel ruled that the FEI had failed to establish that the athlete competed on an exhausted, lame or injured horse or committed “an action or omission which caused or was likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a horse”.

As a result, the CAS Panel found that the athlete had not committed a violation of Article 142.1 of the FEI General Regulations and that, therefore, no sanctions for abuse of horse could be imposed. The Panel ruled all findings and sanctions imposed by the FEI Tribunal to be “ill founded” and ordered that they be set aside.

The CAS Panel noted “while it is true that circumstantial evidence may have some probative value, the fact remains that, in a case such as the present, which concerns severe allegations of abuse of horse that may, if established, entail heavy sanctions for the Appellant, there must be cogent evidence establishing the commission of the alleged rule violation”.

“Although we respect the CAS decision, we are extremely disappointed”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The FEI has to stand up for horse welfare and clamp down on horse abuse, so to lose this case on appeal is more than disheartening. The FEI believed that this was an important case to prosecute in order to protect horse welfare, and the FEI Endurance Rules have been further improved from a welfare perspective since this 2016 case. However, the CAS Panel has been clear that they feel that there was insufficient substantive evidence for them to uphold the sanctions imposed by the FEI Tribunal.

“The FEI will of course continue to investigate and prosecute horse abuse cases and we will also work hard to ensure that this CAS decision does not discourage third parties from bringing horse abuse cases forward to the FEI. We need to work together to ensure that those who abuse horses are brought to justice, but we also need to ensure that we have solid and irrefutable evidence.”

The FEI Veterinary Director, who was an expert witness in both the FEI Tribunal and CAS proceedings, was also disappointed with the result. “We are incredibly frustrated to have lost this CAS appeal, especially as the catastrophic injury to this horse involved a combination of risk factors that ultimately led to its death”, Dr Åkerström said.

“But this particular case was one of the main drivers for the development of the FEI Hyposensitivity Control System, which provides physical evidence of nerve blocking, something that was virtually impossible previously. So while the CAS decision sadly does not provide justice for this individual horse, it has resulted in a system that is already being used and which will help prevent similar tragic injuries in the future.”

The CAS decision is published here.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Italy: FEI Technical meeting in San Rossore for World Endurance Championship

EWC2021.com

28 April 2021 – A FEI technical meeting was held today at San Rossore racecourse, in Pisa, in view of the Longines FEI Endurance World Championship 2021.

The meeting was attended by the event director of the World Championship, Irishman Brian Colin Dunn, Franco Pitti, assistant to the FEI technical delegate Sharon Du Plessis, Mimmo Fratini, race track setter, Wolfgand Schindle of Sport Traxx, a company dealing with race track tracking via GPS, Andrea Miglio, TV director of the event, Luca Ferretti, building manager and Claire Barone, responsible for the management of the COVID protocol.

During the meeting, the reconnaissance and GPS survey of the race track took place, all the procedures for the arrival of the horses and the subsequent stabling were discussed, as well as the verification of the Field of Play and all the facilities for the horses and riders who will take part in the race on May 22.

Today’s meeting was also an opportunity to share with all those present the programme for the days of the World Championship, from the moment the delegations from the 35 participating countries arrive in San Rossore and enter the venue, to ensure maximum health safety, in compliance with the regulations in force to fight the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the perfect success of the event.

FEI Suspends Saudis

Inside.FEI.org FEI Tribunal issues Final Decisions in equine anti-doping cases 15 September 2021 The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final...