Thursday, April 11, 2024

Australia: A true test for riders at Imbil

NoosaToday.com.au - Full Story

11/04/2024

Imbil’s Far-A-Way Endurance Ride lived up to its name and proved to be a good test of horses and riders. ERLE LEVEY was there to capture some of the challenges and achievements of this well-regarded event on the equestrian calendar.

“The event is massive. It’s a matter of building up the endurance of horse and rider.’’

From flooded roads early in the week to sun, showers and humidity, the four-day Far-A-Way Easter Endurance Challenge at Imbil proved to be a test of horses and riders.

Well regarded on the equestrian calendar due to the number of rides held on the weekend, the Far-A-Way also has the appeal of running a 320km marathon and 120km mini-marathon.

The marathon is an event that needs a different approach – the longest of its type in Queensland and twice the length of the famed 160km Tom Quilty Gold Cup...

Read more here:
https://noosatoday.com.au/news/11-04-2024/a-true-test-for-riders/

Monday, April 08, 2024

Mongol Derby: Kiwi woman attempting world's toughest horse race

RNZ.CO.nz - Listen

From Nights, 9:55 pm on 8 April 2024

Brydie Black is an endurance horse rider based in Auckland's Henderson Valley, and come July, she'll be flying to Asia to complete the Mongol Derby.

The Derby involves riding over 1,000km along Genghis Khan's historic postal system in rugged terrain - all on semi-wild Mongolian horses.

She's holding a fundraiser auction to support the trip, with a dinner for six with heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker at Auckland's Baduzzi restaurant up for grabs.

She joins Emile Donovan...

Listen here:
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/nights/audio/2018933405/mongol-derby-kiwi-woman-attempting-world-s-toughest-horse-race

Friday, April 05, 2024

Australia: Everything ready for Kilkivan Great Horse Ride

NossaToday.com.au - Full Article

6 April 2024
Erle Levey

Polish the saddles, get out the cookbook, write a few lines of verse … everything is in readiness for the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride this weekend.

Horse enthusiasts from far and wide are expected to descend on the town to acknowledge its long heritage with horses and celebrate the Australian bush.

Now, almost 40 years since the first ride, the three-day event will be filled with horse rides and entertainment for all ages.

Yet Kilkivan has had a longer association with trail horse riding, having been the site for one of two bicentennial events to mark the opening of the 5330km-long National Trail – stretching from Cairns to Healesville, outside of Melbourne.

That was in October 1988, as part of an Australian Bicentennial project.

RM Williams, then aged 80, headed the procession down the main street, where then Queensland Premier Mike Ahern, opened the Queensland section.

Fabian Webb of the Webb Brothers fame started the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride in the mid 1980s as a tribute to the history of the area.

Adding to this year’s event will be two endurance horse rides on the Sunday. These will be 40km and 20km rides to highlight endurance riding...

Read more here:
https://noosatoday.com.au/news/06-04-2024/everything-ready-for-kilkivan-great-horse-ride/

Thursday, March 28, 2024

New Zealand: Dozens of miniature horses readying for the Great Northern Gallop

RNZ.co.nz - Full Story

Chloe Phillips-Harris with Opi, who arrived at her Kerikeri farm with serious health and behavioural problems, but is now a star of the annual Great Northern Gallop. Photo: RNZ/Peter de Graaf

28 March 2024
Peter de Graaf

Dozens of four-legged athletes standing no more than a metre tall will compete in an endurance race with a difference in the Far North this weekend.

Organiser Chloe Phillips-Harris calls it "the biggest miniature horse race in the world".

"That confuses a lot of people, because you're not riding the horses. They're tiny. You're running beside them.

"We do 100km over Easter, over four days, so that's 25km a day."

About 30 humans and their equine running mates will take part in this year's Great Northern Gallop on Ninety Mile Beach and in the nearby Aupōuri Forest.

Phillips-Harris, better known for her epic treks across Mongolia on full-size steeds, said she had dozens of miniature horses at her property north of Kerikeri...

Read more here:
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/country/512939/dozens-of-miniature-horses-readying-for-the-great-northern-gallop

Friday, March 22, 2024

Retired Pickup Man Josh Edwards’ Wheelhouse is Adventure as He Prepares for the Mongol Derby

TheCowboyChannel.com - Full Story

2023 PRCA Pickup Man of the Year Josh Edwards is an adrenaline loving cowboy who is Mongolia bound.

March 21, 2024 12:53 PM

Josh Edwards, the 2023 PRCA Pickup Man of the Year, might have recently retired at the legendary Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo but he is far from done on the back of a horse.

It makes sense for a man like Edwards to love testing himself and crave adrenaline filled adventures. On top of being a decorated pickup man, he has competed in Iron Man Races and coming up, is an adventure of a lifetime for Edwards, a Mongolian Horse Race called the Mongol Derby.

“I was selected to compete in a 660-mile, cross country horse race in Mongolia where you ride wild Mongolian horses. It’s a ten day race, it’s basically just an adventure race,” Edwards said...

Read more and see video here:
https://www.thecowboychannel.com/retired-pickup-man-josh-edwards-wheelhouse-is-adventure-as-he-prepares-for-the-mongol-derby

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Australia: Queensland endurance riding season off to a ’stirling’ start

NoosaToday.com.au - Full Article

16/03/2024
Erle Levey

It was like the first day back at school as Queensland endurance horse riders started the 2024 season. ERLE LEVEY was at Imbil’s Stirling Crossing Equestrian Centre for a few lessons

The 2024 Queensland Endurance Riding Association (QERA) season got under way in style at Imbil this month.

There was a mix of experienced riders returning for the year and newcomers being welcomed into the fold for the Stirling’s Starter.

Seasoned horses were side by side with those being brought into the sport at the Stirlings Crossing Equestrian Centre.

There were 137 riders registered for the seven events over the two days – from 10km and 20km introductory rides to 40km intermediate and the 82km endurance event...

Read more here:
https://noosatoday.com.au/news/16-03-2024/queensland-endurance-riding-season-off-to-a-stirling-start/

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Who Is Sheikha Madiya Al Maktoum? 5 Facts You Need To Know About The Dubai Royal

GraziaMagazine.com - Full Story

By Falah Gulzar

She is an accomplished cyclist and horse racer

Whether it’s the determination she exudes while riding a horse galloping across the UAE desert or her dedication when she conquers Europe’s mountains, one bicycle ride at a time, Her Highness Sheikha Madiya Bint Hasher Bin Manaa Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s Ruling Family and a polished sportswoman, is an inspiration to women in the region, as well as across the globe.

Like many GCC royals, the Emirati seems to keep a low profile, occasionally sharing glimpses of her life on social media with her over 18,000 followers on Instagram. Doing a little bit of digging, GRAZIA brings you five facts you need to know about her for your daily dose of motivation...

Read more here:
https://graziamagazine.com/me/articles/who-is-sheikha-madiya-al-maktoum-5-facts-you-need-to-know-about-the-dubai-royal/

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Gaucho Derby Wrap-up: Trio Claim Victory in the Greatest Test of Horsemanship and Survival Skill on Earth



Imagine yourself thundering deep into the wilds of Patagonia on horseback. Atop an incredible Argentine steed, you’re navigating across some of the wildest terrain on Earth attempting to win the toughest and most unique equine challenge in history…this is the Gaucho Derby.

An eight day plus, 500km multi-horse adventure race, The Gaucho Derby travels through the mountains and pampas of Patagonia and is unlike any other horse race on the planet, a test of much more than simply ‘who can go fastest’. Part of the Equestrianists Series, which also includes The Mongol Derby (the longest horse race in existence), The Gaucho Derby is based on the landscape, culture, history and horses of Patagonia and, or course, the Gauchos themselves. Crossing through high mountains, riders have to contend with both tricky terrain and unpredictable weather, ensuring the event is more than just a test of riders’ skills on a horse, pushing navigational skills, physical stamina and an ability to handle the wilderness (with riders camping out most nights) to the limit.

Riding endurance horses for the first few days of the race, when the land levels, riders must swap horses for faster riding, but still remain mindful of not pushing their horses too hard, for fear of penalties.

“We would rather nobody wins than someone wins by pushing too hard. Riders seen making bad decisions, riding too fast across difficult terrain or not presenting horses in great condition will get penalties or be disqualified.” – Tom Morgan, The Equestrianists founder.

The end result, ‘the greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on Earth’.

This was the third time the Gaucho Derby’s run, with Covid causing a break in proceedings, and 39 riders, from 9 different nations, lined up at this year’s start line. The race began on the 8 th of February and from the off riders learnt that the environment in Patagonia can be a cruel mistress, as they faced the prospect of riding through a sandstorm. This slowed things down and no one was able to break away from the pack during the first day’s riding, with riders split between vet stations two and three as night fell. The end of the day’s riding was far from the end of the riders’ day however, as they took on the crucial responsibility of tending to their horses, ensuring they were well-fed, hydrated, and comfortably settled for the night, before setting up camp (riders carry their own tents, food and equipment) and preparing a ‘delightful’ dehydrated meal. This self-sufficiency is a hallmark of the journey, with riders managing their daily activities independently, without reliance on others or the support crew.

Day two saw six riders finally make headway on the rest of the pack, but their lead was short lived, as scorching temperatures and a complete lack of wind, made the going tough the following day. 16 riders spent the night together between vet stations seven and eight at the end of day three.

It wasn’t until day five that another breakaway occurred, with Gaucho Derby veteran Daniel Van Eden (Netherlands), endurance athlete Holly Masson (UK) and Mongol Derby veteran Rendel Rieckmann (Germany) breaking away from the pack. The trio carried the lead forward over the following three days, although at one point it looked like Daniel and Rendel would be able to get a lead over Holly, after she received a two hour riding penalty, but the pair decided to wait for her. Rendel commented...

“Honestly, it was exhausting to constantly look over your shoulder every 10 minutes and see them chasing you. Eventually, at one of the stations, we collectively made the decision to ride together and finish as a team. It has truly been a massive relief and a much more enjoyable race since we decided to work together."

It was these three riders who went on to claim the joint title of Gaucho Derby winners, on day eight, but only after a very tense wait at the finish line...

Midway through the race, at the Meseta de la Muerte (Plateau of Death), a fierce storm rolled in and, in consideration of the well-being of the horses and riders, the race directors opted to pause the race until it was deemed safe to proceed. At the time, Daniel, Holly and Rendel were in the lead and were given a 2hr ‘credit’ once the race had restarted.

Hot on the heels of the three riders, through the latter stages of the race, were French men Nathanael Bienvenu and Olivier Picard (who rode together throughout). They actually managed to cross the finish line first, but had to wait to see whether there was more than two hours between them and Daniel, Holly and Rendel. Unfortunately, for the French riders, there wasn’t and the trio were crowned champions of a race that will forever be etched in their minds for the scenery they rode through, the people they met, the weather and challenges they faced and, of course, the horses they rode.

Not only was the race an incredible success for all those involved, but it also helped raise thousands of dollars for various charities across the world.

For more details on the race visit www.equestrianists.com

WINNERS’ Q and A

Rendel Rieckmann (Germany)

- What was the most exciting part of this whole event?

- There were so many exciting moments, like flying over the bushes with these amazing horses or the small things like realizing that the navigation plan, which was done the night before, really worked out well. However, the  most exciting part was for sure to ride as a team and scream and shout together, whether it’s because of highs or lows.

- How was it riding as a team? Did you have different roles i.e. navigator, campsite selector etc

- Riding as a team was essential. You hear it often, but it’s simply true: I could not have finished alone and it would be a hell lot less fun. Dan always kept his cool to keep going and had great experience from the last Derby, Holly’s drive, cheer up capability and major path finding skills and my technical and nav contribution made an amazing team. In the end it all blended a bit together as we learned a lot from each other. - How were the horses?

- We were lucky with the full range of Patagonia’s beauties: from the rather relaxed and calm friends, which were easy to camp with, to the spicy rodeo ones where you wanted to take watches at night to make sure everything is ok. Every one of them became kind of a friend along the way.

- What was your emotional roller coaster like during the race?

- I’m not sure if this roller coaster would pass German regulatorIes. This much of up and down was hard to handle. There were parts when every hour basically we thought completely different from winning to not even being able to make it to the finish line. I literally wanted to quit 30km before the finish line and call it a day after we rode 10km in the national park which was the wrong way. An hour later we saw we can still make it and the spark was back on. 

- It’s billed as the Toughest Horse Race, was it really?

- The first two thirds were hard but still manageable with treating yourself well with food, water and sleep. After that it became mentally and physically very exhausting. I remember a scene when after hitting almost 9hrs of mountain climbing, unpassable forest, searching for gates in the labyrinths of fences and running through never ending bog fields we were partly falling on the ground begging it to end. So I guess it was quite hard :) 

- What kept you going when you were your most exhausted?

- Holly’s enthusiasm and just being a wonderful friend.

Daniel Van Eden (Netherlands)

- What was the most exciting part of this whole event?

- Hard to name one specific moment. Riding into the vet check where my accident happened last time and leading the race was special. The scenic terrain after Sierra Nevada was beautiful. Going over the finish and putting a checkmark to what started about four years ago felt great. I'm also proud to have finished without vet penalties.

- How was it riding as a team? Did you have different roles i.e. navigator, campsite selector etc

- Working as a team can be intense, especially with the pressure of the race and issues with the horses Holly was riding. I think in the end the team worked great because we all added different things to the team.

- How were the horses?

- Big, small. Some calm, some wild. Better in climbing up mountains than us. They all were beautiful. Because of how they are held they are more social than the horses back home. 

- What was your emotional roller coaster like during the race?

- I wasn-t expecting it to be such an emotional rollercoaster. Especially with the part where we had crossed into the national park and had to backtrack.

- It’s billed as the Toughest Horse Race, was it really?

- YES. Especially because it needs so many different skills. Physically and mentally. Horse riding, navigation, team work, finding fences, camping out. Hot weather (while all of us were prepared for cold weather).

- What kept you going when you were your most exhausted?

- Team mates. Also other riders. And the vets, medics and other people manning the vet checks and horse stations.











Top to bottom: winners at the finish line / a sandstorm rolls in / gauchos at work / horse settled – now time to set up camp - Josephine Jammaers from Belgium / Rendel Rieckmann leading the way through some tricky ground / the winners taking a chance to extend their lead. CREDIT - Kathy Gabriel

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Chile's Vicente Larrain’s Golden Moment and Bright Future

FEI.org - Full Story

21 February 2024
Words by Stacey Stearns
Images by Francisco Boetsch

We speak to the young Chilean Endurance talent...

2023 finished with a real golden moment for Chile’s Vicente Larrain and his entire family. At the FEI Endurance Pan American Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, the 20-year-old and HF Eva – one of his family’s horses – took first place. Amelia Larrain, his younger sister, closely followed and won silver on HC Tia Haydee.

The joy didn’t end there as two more family members were on Chile’s gold medal winning team in the senior competition!

“The best part of Endurance is being able to compete with my family and make this sport a family sport,” Vicente said.

Vicente’s golden finish was years in the making, and the most recent addition to the family’s impressive Endurance resume. The Larrain family lives in the Chilean countryside. Vicente recalls that they’ve always had horses, and his love for them began as a child. A cousin introduced the family to Endurance seven years ago, and now five members of the family compete in the discipline...

Read more here:
https://www.fei.org/stories/sport/endurance/vicente-larrain-chile-pan-american-gold-2023

World's best female horses face Gamilati Endurance Cup test in Dubai

KhaleejTimes.com - Full Article

The 119kmride will test the skills of the very best mares involved in endurance racing

By Team KT
Published: Thu 22 Feb 2024

The stage is set for the prestigious Gamilati Endurance Cup for Mares, which tests the skills of the very best female horses involved in endurance racing.

The 119km competition is part of the 17th edition of the HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Festival that runs at Dubai International Endurance City in Seih Al Salaam from February 20-24...

Read more here:
https://www.khaleejtimes.com/sports/worlds-best-female-horses-face-gamilati-endurance-cup-test-in-dubai

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Bahrain: Shaikh Isa steals show in 160km international race

GDNOnline.com - Full Article

Sun, 18 Feb 2024

Endurance – Shaikh Isa bin Faisal bin Rashid Al Khalifa, of Team Victorious, won the 160km international race of the His Majesty the King’s Cup Endurance Ride Festival that took place at the Bahrain International Endurance Village in Sakhir yesterday.

The festival, organised by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef), included a 120km race for private stables that was held in the presence of His Majesty’s representative for humanitarian works and youth affairs and Breef honorary president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Supreme Council for Youth and Sport first deputy chairman, General Sports Authority chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The second place in the 160km international race, which witnessed stiff competition, was taken by Mohammed Abdulsamad Al Bastaki, of Al Ruood Team, with Michaela Supekova making it a podium double for Team Victorious with a third place finish.

Shaikh Isa bin Faisal deservedly won the race after clocking 6 hours, 35 minutes and 47 seconds, almost three seconds ahead of the runner-up, and two minutes ahead of Supekova...

Read more here:
https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1303527/Shaikh-Isa-steals-show-in-160km-international-race

Qatar: Sheikh Thani crowns winners of H H the Amir Sword Endurance Ride

ThePeninsulaQatar.com - Full Article

Published: 18 Feb 2024

Doha, Qatar: H E Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Al Thani crowned the winners of the first three places of the H H the Amir Sword Endurance Ride, which was held at a distance of 120 km at the Marathon village in Sealine yesterday.

H E Sheikh Thani honoured Saif Ahmed Al Mazrouei, the winner of the Sword title, after taking first place on B. San Andreas, owned by the MRM Stud under the supervision of trainer Banwar Singh Rathore, and Salman Fahd Salman Al Hajri, who won second place on Moro Prelon, owned by Mohammed Majid Khalifa Al Shaheen Al Sulaiti, under the supervision of trainer Hassan Khamis Mohammed Al Shahwani, and Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Sultan Al Balushi, who won third place on Casmac Morning Star, owned by Sheikh Mohammed Nawaf Nasser Al Thani, and under the supervision of trainer Ahmed Salem Ahmed Al Balushi...

Read more here:
https://thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/18/02/2024/sheikh-thani-crowns-winners-of-h-h-the-amir-sword-endurance-ride

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Argentina: Gaucho Derby Day 5: The Race Heats Up

Equestrianists.com - Full Article

Tom Morgan
12th February 2024

As the race enters Day 5, the competition at the front has heated up. Gaucho Derby veteran Daniel Van Eden, Endurance Athlete Holly Masson and Mongol Derby veteran Rendel Rieckmann have managed to secure the lead so far. Their excellent horsemanship, careful navigation and teamwork across the course has allowed them to pull in front. However, at day’s end Holly and Rendel were 30 minutes faster into the final horse station of the day, leaving Daniel to ride in solo after a long but successful slog over the meseta.

Just behind them, Gaucho Derby Academy alum Morgan Williams is literally hot on their heels, her quiet determination and tenacity for tackling this terrain making her a serious contender for the win. Overnighting at a scenic puesto just shy of the horse station, she will make her break for her next horse change first thing in the morning.

From high mountains to grassy valleys and expansive plateaus, the riders have navigated some of the most challenging terrain on the planet. Steep hillsides and muddy bogs pose formidable obstacles, with riders experiencing firsthand the unpredictability of Patagonia.

Rider Izzy Fitzalan Howard on the famous bogs and finding them first hand: “There I was, trying to find a way around the lake; it was all going very well until boom, in we went into a muddy bog! My horse was able to scramble to the other side, and we made it out just fine. These horses are seriously incredible!”...

Read the rest here:
https://equestrianists.com/updates/day-5-and-the-action-hots-up/

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Argentina: Gaucho Derby: Days 1-3

Photo by: @kathy_gabriel_

http://www.endurance.net/international/Argentina/2024GauchoDerby/

February 11 2024

Wifi is limited in the wilds of Argentina, but here are updates from days 1 and 3 from the Gaucho Derby:

Day 1 Post
As the day winds down, riders take on the crucial responsibility of tending to their horses—ensuring they are well-fed, hydrated, and comfortably settled for the night. Only after attending to their equine companions do they set up camp and prepare a delightful dehydrated meal . This self-sufficiency is a hallmark of the journey, with riders managing their daily activities independently, without reliance on others or the support crew.

Day 3 Recap
It was a hot one in Patagonia, where scorching temperatures and a complete lack of wind added to the challenge, riders faced a day of slow progress amidst the challenging terrain of mountainous forests.

With unwavering determination, riders pushed toward HS2 (VC7), eagerly anticipating their first resupply. This crucial stop offered a much-needed boost with additional kits, including meals, snacks, and extra layers for the journey ahead.

Noteworthy discussions among riders centered on the intricacies of the gates, emphasizing the difficulty in navigating to the precise locations. Correctly hitting the gates became a crucial aspect, as any misstep could result in added time, necessitating re-navigation to reach the correct crossing point.

Looking ahead, the forecast promises a shift to chillier weather and a chance of rain. It remains to be seen whether the change in conditions will influence the pace of the pack, especially with the potential for rejuvenated energy from both the cooler temperatures and the introduction of fresh horses.

Follow the riders at: https://equestrianists.com/gaucho-derby/

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Qatar's Saeed Al Naimi Crowned 2024 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup Champion in AlUla



● Al Naimi produced a majestic performance to claim victory in 120km CEI 2* competition ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Fares Abu Ras in second; Hamad Al Tamimi of the UAE completed top three

● Five local talents also featured in 200-strong field featuring world’s best riders

● Additional 160km CEI 3* competition locked in for Sunday ahead of 2026 World Endurance Championships

AlUla, Saudi Arabia – 10 February 2024:

Saeed Al Naimi from Qatar sealed a sensational victory in the 2024 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup on Saturday afternoon, overcoming a strong challenge from runner-up Fares Abu Ras of Saudi Arabia to win the flagship international endurance event in AlUla.

Al Naimi completed the challenging 120km route on his ride Guilen Fantasia in a classified time of 05:22:01, finishing 1:14 ahead of Abu Ras and 23:19 minutes in front of Hamad Al Tamimi from UAE who completed the top three.

Incredible individual displays of speed, stamina, and strategic pace management by the trio saw them take top honors ahead of a 200-strong field that boasted the world’s greatest, most renowned riders.

The riders who featured in the CEI 2* competition represented a total of 50 counties with a total SAR 15 million prize pot on offer. A new world record for an endurance event, these factors – together with regional royalty, VIPs, and global audiences in attendance – further highlighted the ever-growing prestige of the Endurance Cup in this record-extending fifth edition.

Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in partnership with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF), the event was an outstanding occasion like always at AlFursan Equestrian Village – providing inspiring shows sportsmanship and equestrian excellence as promised.

Prince Abdullah bin Fahd bin Abdullah, President of SAEF, added: “We extended our congratulations to Saeed Al Naimi and every rider who competed – their performances helped pave the way for an experience that audiences will remember for many years to come. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is one of the biggest endurance events on the Saudi Equestrian calendar and this edition has shown why such events in the Kingdom are held in such high regard regionally and internationally.”

Abeer Al Akel, Acting CEO of RCU, commented: “The 2024 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup has been an incredible success in every way possible. From riders and trainers to spectators and partners, everybody involved has played their part in making this edition so special. We extend our congratulations to the champion and all who participated.”

In the aftermath of his famous victory, Saeed Al Naimi said: “I’m really proud to have won this competition and competed against so many talented riders from different countries - it was a very difficult contest but I’m delighted to have made it back first in the end. The track was challenging throughout, but I loved riding out there. The experience was great and I’m already looking forward to coming back in the future.”

Underlining RCU efforts to empower and involve the AlUla community as part of its wider equine objectives, five local riders also participated in the 2024 edition as part of the development program under RCU’s equine strategy – which offers training, advice, technical support, and events experience.

Next up at AlFursan Equestrian Village is an additional 160km CEI 3* competition tomorrow. A prelude to the 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla, 67 riders – including one from AlUla – will compete with a prize pot of SAR 5 million on offer.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is one of the marquee sports events in the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals, spanning a large number of other heritage sports events such as the AlUla Camel Cup, AlUla Falcon Cup, the Tent Pegging World Championship and Horseback Archery World Cup.

For more information and to book tickets, kindly visit experiencealula.com.

For more on the ride see:
http://endurance.net/international/SaudiArabia/2024CustodianoftheTwoHolyMosques/

Friday, February 09, 2024

Australia's Warwick and Duncan saddle up for greatest test of horsemanship on Earth

AboutRegional.com.au - Full Articoe

9 February 2024 | Edwina Mason

Eight Australian equestrians, two of them from the south of NSW, are stepping into the boots of the hardy, brave nomadic cowboys of Argentina as they embark on a gruelling 500-km endurance ride across the vast mountainous Patagonian region of Argentina.

Young’s world wandering Warwick Schiller joins Duncan McLaughlin of Bodalla, and 39 other international riders from Britain, the US, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, Chile and New Zealand on the 10-day Gaucho Derby, billed as the greatest test of horsemanship on Earth.

The derby is one in a world series of horseback endurance rides that don’t just test the mettle of the riders, who have notched up years in the saddle, but the loan horses on which they rely – ‘criollo’, all of them from the enormous – 100,000 acres large – Argentine ranches known as estancias, which cover vast swathes of Patagonia...

Read more here:
https://aboutregional.com.au/warwick-and-duncan-saddle-up-for-greatest-test-of-horsemanship-on-earth/444041/

Sunday, February 04, 2024

200 Elite Global Riders from 51 Countries Confirmed for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup in AlUla

- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup returns with record-extending fifth edition on 10th February

- World’s finest riders among those competing in rigorous long-distance challenges, including 5 riders from AlUla participating at the 120km CEI 2* and 1 local rider participating at the 160km CEI3* competition

- 120km CEI 2* competition will decide 2024 the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup winner on February 10

- Additional 160km CEI 3* competition on February 11 is part of build-up to 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla

AlUla, Saudi Arabia – 4th February 2024:

New details were unveiled ahead of the record-extending fifth edition of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup, set to captivate audiences in AlUla with thrilling shows of sportsmanship and equestrian excellence on 10th February 2024.

Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in partnership with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), and the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF), the Endurance Cup stands as a flagship event in the global endurance circuit. Returning to the ancient oasis, this upcoming edition boasts the largest prize money ever offered for an endurance event and features some of the world’s finest riders, horses, and trainers, as well as distinguished dignitaries and international patrons.

"We eagerly anticipate the arrival of a stellar line-up of talents for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup – a line-up that solidifies both its popularity and prestige," said Ziad AlSuhaibani, Chief Sports Officer at RCU. "The success of this event extends beyond regional acclaim, resonating on the global endurance circuit. With immense excitement, we look forward to hosting one of the most thrilling and action-packed Endurance Cups to date. Audiences are assured of two days of awe-inspiring displays of endurance and sporting excellence."

Reflecting its reputation as the ultimate endurance horse event, the 2024 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup will host the top 20 endurance riders in the FEI world rankings alongside a host of professional female riders and other elite performers from the GCC and further afield.

On Saturday, February 10, 200 riders from 51 countries – including five from AlUla – will engage in a challenging 120km CEI 2* competition with the the Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup awaiting the winner.

The following day, February 11, 67 riders – including one from AlUla – will compete in an additional 160km CEI 3* distance competition that people can enjoy watching. This event will serve as a prelude to the highly anticipated 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla.

The distinguished presence of regional royalty and VIPs will also add to its ever-growing prestige as attendees enjoy an incredible Arabian horse live experience in the Middle East’s premier endurance sports hub.

A new home of world-class events, facilities, and rapidly growing infrastructure, AlFursan Equestrian Village is part of RCU’s wider equestrian strategy to develop and expand the sport locally, as well as to position AlUla as the ultimate destination for heritage sports.

AlUla has emerged as a leading hub for equestrian excellence, while also fostering sports diversity and prioritising the welfare of the horses. Embracing inclusivity, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup allows both men and women to compete on an equal footing, with nearly 20% of the 200 riders in the 2024 edition being women. While the competition involves timed rides, the primary focus remains on ensuring the well-being of both rider and horse, emphasising the importance of completing all loops in optimal condition rather than pursuing sheer speed.

With a vision to bolster modern and heritage equestrian sports in AlUla, the Equine Training Programme based in the AlFursan Equestrian Village is building on the region's rich legacy within this field, with training initiatives established to empower local riders and professionals such as veterinarians, coaches, and grooms. As a result of the training programme, this year will witness the participation of 5 local riders at the 120km CEI 2* competition and 1 local rider at the 160km CEI 3* competition.

The Endurance Cup has empowered Saudi Vision 2030 since its inception. Besides playing a starring role in AlUla’s emergence as a premier endurance sports hub, the event has supported economic development locally and nationally, welcoming tourists and creating new job opportunities in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom's leadership. It’s also inspired more Saudi nationals to engage in stewarding and veterinary support roles while fostering a route for local and regional enthusiasts to engage with equestrianism as a future hobby or potential career.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is one of the marquee sports events in the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals, spanning a large number of other heritage sports events such as the AlUla Camel Cup, AlUla Falcon Cup, the Tent Pegging World Championship and Horseback Archery World Cup, in addition to the other sports events; AlUla Tour, AlUla Trail Race and Tough Mudder infinity.

For more information, kindly visit experiencealula.com.

Watch for race updates at:
http://www.endurance.net/international/SaudiArabia/2024CustodianoftheTwoHolyMosques/

Friday, February 02, 2024

Steph Teeter honors the Andalusian Iron Horse 2024 with a bronze statue, merging art and equestrian sport

IronHorse.es

February 2 2024

In the exciting world of equestrian raid, the new edition of the "Andalucía Iron Horse 2024" stands out not only for its challenging 500 km tour of the Andalusian landscapes but also for artistic recognition.

The famous artist Steph Teeter has joined the celebration of this iconic event with the donation of a bronze statue, a gesture that reflects the spirit of solidarity and passion for horseback riding.

This work of art, in addition to being a symbol of the resistance and beauty inherent in the competition, stands as a tribute to the link between the rider and his horse, central elements of this test that combines the sporting challenge with the admiration for the nature and culture of Andalusia.

Visit Steph Teeter's website to get to know the rest of his work: stephteeterart.com

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Appeal for €1,000 compensation fails after Spanish horse went missing for two hours in competition

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Eleanor Jones
27 January, 2024

The FEI Tribunal has dismissed a Spanish request to the FEI to overturn a ground jury decision and pay €1,000, after a horse went missing for two hours during a championship competition.

The Spanish equestrian federation appealed the ruling of the ground jury during the young riders European Endurance Championships last September, owing to an “unusual set of facts”.

The dispute related to Clara Latorre Sala, the person responsible or PR, and the horse Eryvan, who were on the Spanish team. During the first phase of competition, Clara fell from Eryvan, who “left without the rider”, the FEI Tribunal report states.

“After some [searching], the horse was ultimately found a couple of hours later,” the report adds. “The horse then returned to the veterinarian gate in the competition area, was checked by a veterinarian and deemed fit to compete.”

The report states that the president of the ground jury offered the rider the chance to go back to the point of the fall and continue from there, but counting the elapsed time. The rider and the Spanish federation refused this, “as they considered that the combination should have restarted from the vet gate, where [the horse] had been taken without the PR and appellant’s consent”...

Read more here:
https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/fei-tribunal-dismisses-appeal-spanish-federation-848970

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Meet the riders for the 2024 Gaucho Derby

Equestrianists.com

January 27 2024

Forty-one riders from New Zealand, USA, Netherlands, Switzerland, Great Britain, Chile, Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany will apply their horsemanship and navigation skills to negotiate "the greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on earth" across Patagonia.

From February 4-18 they will ride locally owned Gaucho horses, most with Criollo blood, the native horse of the South American Pampas.

Riders are currently participating in the Gaucho Academy, where they brush up on their GPS and survival skills. As a finale, they will ride alongside the Gauchos and joining the team for a wild horse round up.

Stay tuned for more!
https://equestrianists.com/gaucho-derby/

http://www.endurance.net/international/Argentina/2024GauchoDerby/

Friday, January 26, 2024

Pre-registered and News of the Iron Horse Andalucia 2024

BlogElRaid.com - Full Story

January 25, 2024
Gabriel Gamiz

From the Iron Horse Andalucia 2024 Organization, one of the important members of the organization of this mythical test, Fernando Uriarte , sends me information about this test, Preregistered , with a significant number of Riders and Horses from 12 different countries , and the route for the different cities where this test will take place and much more information.

In the pre-registrations, I read the names of riders with whom I met in the first Al-Andalus that I ran , many Spaniards and some foreigners, who later met in the Kaliber Andalucia and who were continually telling me that when this test was organized again.

Well, we already have it here with the efforts of José Manuel Soto and Fernando Uriarte , creators of the test and after much effort and work they are managing to excite the fans, and the number of pre-registered people shows it and there is still time to gallop away.

We are waiting for you all at the departure from Almería and arriving enjoying the Andalusian landscapes to the feet of the Virgen del Rocio.

See the pre-registered here:
http://blogelraid.com/preinscritos-y-noticias-del-iron-horse-andalucia-2024/

Follow Andalucia Iron Horse here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/Spain/2024AndaluciaIronHorse/

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup returning to AlUla with record-extending fifth edition

• The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is a flagship event in the international endurance circuit

• Around 200 of the world’s finest riders competing in these rigorous long-distance challenges while maintaining the stamina, and strategic pace management

• 120km FEI 2* and 160km FEI 3* distance competitions over two days

• Event runs from 10-11 February


AlUla, Saudi Arabia – 25 January 2024:

AlUla’s unique desert landscape will once again stage the ultimate test of man and horse against time and terrain as 200 of the world’s finest riders compete in The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup next month.

Organised by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) in partnership with the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF), the Endurance Cup is a flagship event in the international endurance circuit. It returns to the ancient oasis for a record-extending fifth time from 10-11 February with the biggest prize money for any endurance event on offer.

A prelude to the 2026 FEI World Endurance Championships in AlUla, the 2024 Endurance Cup will see riders embark on 120km FEI 2* and 160km FEI 3* distance competitions over two days. Like always, participants must prioritise stamina and strategic pace management in these rigorous long-distance challenges.

“We are honored and proud that The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is returning to AlUla for a fifth time,” said Mr. Ziad AlSuhaibani, Chief Sports Officer at RCU. “What began few years ago as an ambitious project has become a mainstay in the international endurance circuit. The event has been brilliantly received by audiences and the wider equestrian community alike – and the fact that more than 200 riders are competing across two competitions really illustrates its ever-increasing profile and popularity. We are very much looking forward to what promises to be another brilliant spectacle in a few weeks’ time.”

"In the rich tapestry of AlUla's history, the presence of horses has long been a testament to our enduring ancient heritage, exemplified by the ancient inscriptions of horses on the rocks of AlUla. With a profound commitment to preserving and revitalising this deeply rooted cultural tradition, we embark on a journey to instill its significance in the hearts and minds of future generations. By hosting premier events in the equestrian domain, we aim not only to celebrate the majesty of this heritage sport but also to underscore our dedication to fostering a legacy that stands as a proof of AlUla's timeless connection with the equestrian world." He added.

A testament to its status as the ultimate endurance horse event, this year’s Endurance Cup again welcomes some of the greatest riders, horses, and trainers from all around the world.

The distinguished presence of regional royalty and VIPs will also add to its ever-growing prestige as attendees enjoy an incredible Arabian horse live experience in the Middle East’s premier endurance sports hub. All of the action gets underway from AlUla’s Equestrian Village with the 120km FEI 2* and 160km FEI 3* distance competitions taking place on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

A new home of world-class events, facilities, and rapidly growing infrastructure, AlUla’s Equestrian Village is part of RCU’s wider equestrian strategy to develop and expand the sport locally, as well as to position AlUla as the ultimate destination for heritage sports.

"We aspire to host the largest events in equestrian sports in alignment with the Kingdom's vision and aspirations. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup stands out as one of the most prominent events, having achieved significant success in recent years," stated Mr. Fouad Bin Fahad Ibrahim, Executive Director of the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation (SAEF). "Our goal is to establish it as one of the most prestigious and lucrative competitions globally, attracting endurance riders from around the world annually. We take pride in our esteemed partnership with the Royal Commission for AlUla, which has played a pivotal role in orchestrating equestrian championships with exceptional organisation. This is owing to the enchanting nature and rich historical legacy of AlUla."

AlUla has emerged as a leading hub for equestrian excellence, while also fostering sports diversity and prioritising the welfare of the horses. Embracing inclusivity, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup allows both men and women to compete on an equal footing, with nearly 20% of the 200 riders in the 2022 edition being women. While the competition involves timed rides, the primary focus remains on ensuring the well-being of both rider and horse, emphasising the importance of completing all loops in optimal condition rather than pursuing sheer speed.

With a vision to bolster modern and heritage equestrian sports in AlUla, the Equine Training Programme based in the AlFursan Equestrian Village is building on the region's rich legacy within this field, with training initiatives established to empower local riders and professionals such as veterinarians, coaches, and groomers. As a result of the training programme, this year will witness the participation of 6 local riders participating at the 120km FEI 2* and 1 local rider participating at the 160km FEI 3*, who have been trained for all year round to get prepared for this thrilling competition.

The Endurance Cup has empowered Saudi Vision 2030 since its inception. Besides playing a starring role in AlUla’s emergence as a premier endurance sports hub, the event has supported economic development locally and nationally, welcoming tourists and creating new job opportunities in line with the aspirations of the Kingdom's leadership. It’s also inspired more Saudi nationals to engage in stewarding and veterinary support roles while fostering a route for local and regional enthusiasts to engage with equestrianism as a future hobby or potential career.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup is one of the marquee sport events in the AlUla Moments Calendar of events and festivals, spanning a large number of other heritage sport events such as the AlUla Camel Cup, AlUla Falcon Cup, the Tent Pegging World Championchip and Horseback Archery World Cup, in addition to the other sports events; AlUla Tour, AlUla Trail Race and Tough Mudder infinity.

For more information, kindly visit experiencealula.com.

Follow the event updates at:
http://www.endurance.net/international/SaudiArabia/2024CustodianoftheTwoHolyMosques/

Monday, January 15, 2024

2024 Gaucho Derby set for February 4-18

Equestrianists.com

Billed as "the greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on earth,” the Gaucho Derby, is set to take place February 4-18 in Patagonia.

Based on “the landscape, culture, history and horses of Patagonia and the Gaucho, 40 riders from the USA, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, will navigate their way through the wild lands of Patagonia on horseback. They will ‘race’ between estancias and horse stations along the course; horses will be checked along the route and will have to pass vet checks to continue on and avoid penalties.

Stay tuned for more!
https://equestrianists.com/gaucho-derby/

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Uruguayan horse tests positive in Uruguay Endurance race

FEI.org

FEI Tribunal issues Consent Award in equine anti-doping case

09 January 2024
Author: FEI


The FEI Tribunal has issued a Consent Award in an equine anti-doping case involving a Banned Substance.

In this case, the horse Ashva Psyche (FEI ID 107YL76/URU), tested positive for the Banned Substance Stanozolol following samples taken at the CEI2*120 Costa Azul, Canelones (URU) 04-05 November 2023.

The athlete, Teresa Sanchez (FEI ID 10094966/URU), admitted the rule violation and accepted the consequences. In its final decision the FEI Tribunal disqualified the horse from the event and imposed an 18-month ineligibility period on the athlete; the provisional suspension she already served shall be credited against the imposed ineligibility period. She was also fined CHF 5,000 and all results from the event were disqualified.

The full Decision is available here.

More at:
https://inside.fei.org/media-updates/fei-tribunal-issues-consent-award-equine-anti-doping-case-10

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Bahrain: 215 riders participate in HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Endurance Championship

BNA.bh - Full Article

05 Jan 2024

Manama, Jan. 5 (BNA): The “HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Endurance Championship” kicked off today at the Bahrain Endurance Village.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports First Deputy Chairman, General Sports Authority Chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee President, the two-day championship is organised by the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (BREEF).

Up to 215 male and female jockeys participated in the international and qualifying races for 120 km and 100 km, as well as a 100-km local race, in addition to local qualifiers for 40 km and 80 km.

Team Victorious dominated the international 120-km race...

Read more here:
https://www.bna.bh/en/215ridersparticipateinHHShaikhKhalidbinHamadAlKhalifaEnduranceChampionship.aspx?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDourUBUVmRLSeNYsZLwUN%2fE%3d

Monday, January 01, 2024

Australia: Taking it in their stride

Sarah Sullivan photo

NoosaToday.com.au - Full Article

31/12/2023
Erle Levey

Shelley Chapman loves riding in the Australian bush – almost as much as she loves her horses.

Just as well, because this last year Shelley rode further than from Brisbane to Cape York – and almost as far as from Gympie to the Western Australian border.

The 2792km covered in endurance riding is a Queensland record and says a lot about the rider and the way she cares for her horses.

Sitting under a tree on her and husband Michael’s 150-acre property at Kilkivan, Shelley tells me about their journey from Herberton in Far North Queensland to the development of Shanelli Park Endurance where they now run about 70 horses.

The tree, with a firepit in front, must be a favourite spot for Shelley and Michael to sit and reflect on what they have achieved so far – and the trail ahead...

Read more here:
https://noosatoday.com.au/news/31-12-2023/taking-it-in-their-stride/

Australia: A true test for riders at Imbil

NoosaToday.com.au - Full Story 11/04/2024 Imbil’s Far-A-Way Endurance Ride lived up to its name and proved to be a good test of horses a...