Category Archives: Endurance Riding

FEI Endurance Forum 2017: Welfare, Education and the Future

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello speaks at the 2017 FEI Endurance Forum, with panellists (L-R) Brian Sheahan, FEI Endurance Committee Chair, elite athlete Valerie Kanavy (USA), and Stephane Chazel (FRA), who is an event organizer, athlete and trainer. (FEI/Morhaf Al Asaaf)

Lausanne (SUI), 26 May 2017 – Welfare, education and the future direction of the sport were prominent topics at the FEI Endurance Forum 2017, which took place this week in Vic, Barcelona (ESP). A total of 100 delegates from over 30 countries gathered together at a pivotal time for the discipline of Endurance, which is seeing massive growth year on year across the globe.

Scientific presentations on Endurance risk factors, bone fatigue and risk management set the scene, providing a data-based approach for the Forum’s further discussions on education, rules revisions and the future of the sport. Key topics including horse welfare, speed, athlete education and how the elite level of the sport could look in the future were debated in an open and honest dialogue by representatives from across the Endurance community.

“This growth of the sport is remarkable and brings great opportunities but also presents challenges to the global endurance community,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said in her opening address. “Endurance is clearly appealing and has potential, but as we grow we need to secure the integrity of the sport with correct processes, and maintain the highest standards of horse welfare. We are all here because we want to ensure that Endurance continues to develop and thrive around the world. And we are also here because we want to ensure the very best for our horses, for our athletes and for the greater Endurance community.”

First presented at last month’s FEI Sports Forum 2017, Dr Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow took delegates through the highlights and main results of the first year and a half of the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne presented data on bone fatigue. Both reiterated the message that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods are the key risk factors, highlighting that an increase of seven days on the mandatory rest periods established in 2014 could potentially prevent 10% of the failed-to-qualify statistics and that small reductions in speed have large beneficial effects on bone fatigue for the fastest horses. It was unanimously agreed that key to injury reduction is a combination of rules revisions and education for athletes, trainers and all involved in the sport.

Diarmuid Byrne and Sam Watson from equestrian data science company EquiRatings, presented a potential model for an athlete index in Endurance, aimed at identifying those at higher risk of non-completion and following a similar concept to the ERQI model in Eventing. This was received with interest and generated discussions on data collection in the future to enhance this tool, possible applications to reward positive performance and good horsemanship, and potential application to trainers, and horse/athlete combinations.

EquiRatings founder Sam Watson explained: “It is about changing psychology and attitude. We need to create awareness and provide a tool that can guide the level of responsible horsemanship and help maintain a standard for the sport around the world.”

The new Endurance Education System for Endurance Officials was presented and received widespread support, with unanimous agreement on the benefit and importance of rewarding excellence and increasing experience. The introduction of job descriptions, promotional courses for top level Officials, horsemanship education for all Endurance Officials, requalification every three years and the introduction of a new 5* level of Officials were all on the agenda.

Wrapping up the first day’s proceedings, FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello led delegates in discussion around potential rule revisions aimed at improving horse welfare and based on the scientific findings relating to areas such as qualifications, speeds, rest periods and weight regulations.

There was widespread support for the creation of a new 5* level of elite competition, with further consultation needed on what form it will take, and a general consensus that there should be clear and increased qualification criteria for entry to 1* level and for progression onto 4* and 5*; however, further work is needed to flesh out proposals for the introduction of completion rates for Championship qualifications.

Discussions also covered the need for any potential changes to mandatory rest periods to be clearly based on welfare and not as sanctions for speed. The extensive feedback will be discussed by the FEI Endurance Committee as the next step in this rules revision process.

Inspiration for the second day’s discussions on the future of the sport covered everything from event promotion, sponsorship, innovation in promotion, and what the sport could look like in the future, with presentations from across the spectrum of the sport: athlete Valerie Kanavy, Organiser Nick Brooks-Ward from Hpower Group, athlete and trainer Stephane Chazel and Spanish Chef D’Equipe Ignasi Casas.

Athlete education was again central to the debate as discussion turned to how speed relates to the future of the sport. Delegates noted that ultimately this is a sport against the clock, but this cannot be to the detriment of the horse; however, as the sport progresses then speeds will get higher with better training, breeding, feeding, riding etc. However, all acknowledged that speed contributes to injury, which is not acceptable for horse welfare and has a negative effect on the perception of the sport. Minimum weights and course design were discussed as examples of how to regulate speed but ultimately conversation came back to athlete responsibility and training, a key theme throughout the Forum.

FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez closed the forum with a commitment to continue organising these types of discussion forums for Endurance on a regular basis, commending the “productive and exciting meeting of such a wide group of people, with very diverse views yet working together and allowing each other to speak, with a real community feel for open dialogue.”

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Euston Basks in Spring Sunshine

The first Euston Park Endurance Rides, sponsored by Emirates Airline, took place in stunning weather conditions in Suffolk. CEI3* 160km, CEI2* 120km, CEIYJ2* 120km, CEI1* 80km rides were held on the Euston Park Estate and surrounding land. Riders from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were victorious in each class but Great Britain was also well represented.

In fact each winning horse emanated from the same team: Mrm Stables. Mrm Stables Trainer, Ismail Mohammed Al Jeziri, said of the day: “We started our European season last week at Royal Windsor Endurance but this was our first three star ride and it’s just amazing. The horses finished in great condition and it looks very positive for the season ahead.”

One notable British finisher was Nikki Brown (21) from North Yorkshire, who finished third in the CEIJYR2* on her pony Tinkerbell’s Image, a rescue pony who she and her mother have trained. It was their first 120km ride, and Nikki was overwhelmed with her result: “I can’t believe I did 120km. It’s a long way!  But it’s been an amazing day, and worth the journey to get here. I am so surprised. I can’t quite believe we did it.”

The winners of the four classes were:

CEI1* 80km – Ali Mubarak Salem Mohd Bin Allooba (UAE) riding Al Hedjaz Bhagwan in a total ride time of 03:45:09 (average speed of 21.32kph)

CEI2* 120km – Saeed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi (UAE) riding JQ Safi Safra in a total ride time of 04:50:11 (average speed 24.81kph)

CEIJYR2* 120km – Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis Almuhairi (UAE) riding Zo Go Dayr in a total ride time of 05:32:25 (average speed 21.66kph)

CEI3* 160km – Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui (UAE) riding Preume de Paute in a total ride time of 07:59:04 (average speed 20.04kph)

In order to maximize horse welfare and responsible riding, the prize fund was, as always, awarded based on FEI’s Best Condition Awards [Article 822] and up to a maximum of five riders.

The top Prize Winners of the Best Condition Award in each class were:

CEI1* 80km – ANKOR DA ridden by Mohd Obaid Rashed AL KAABI (UAE)

CEI2* 120km – ZULO ridden by Mohd Ahmad Mohd Ghanim AL MARRI (UAE)

CEIJYR2* 120km  – ZO GO DAYR ridden by Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis ALMUHAIRI (UAE)

CEI3* 160km – SIAM DU BARTHAS ridden by Hamad Obaid Rashed AL KAABI (UAE)

In a first for Euston Park Endurance, the day’s action was live-streamed on the website and event Facebook page. They attracted over 4,000 views and the plan is to do the same for the next rides.

Nick Brooks-Ward, Endurance Director at HPower Group Endurance, said: “It was a fabulous start to our ride season today and I am so grateful to our ground staff for the incredible work they’ve put in over the last few months. We had extremely heavy rain in the days prior to the ride but given the long period of dry weather we’d had in the lead-up we ended up with really good going.”

“I’m grateful to all our competitors, their teams and the officials and volunteers. And to our sponsor, Emirates Airline.”

Endurance GB also trialled its Good Horsemanship Award, scoring horses against a series of criteria. The winners at Euston Park were Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis Almuhairi (UAE) in the CEIJYR2* and Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui (UAE) in the CEI3*.

The FEI has approved dates for up to a further four rides to be held this summer, on June 18th, July 22nd, August 19th and September 2nd.

Full results can be found at www.eustonparkendurance.co.uk.

For further information, please contact Sarah Hames sarahh@hpower.co.uk.

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z Save Best for Last in $35k Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z.

Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2017 – The atmosphere at the Kentucky Horse Park was electric on Friday night as fans came out to watch the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* as part of the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show. Sixty-four riders competed their horses for a chance to not only win the 1.45m class, but also earn valuable points towards winning the Hagyard Challenge Series. Eugenio Garza, of Mexico, was victorious aboard Armani SL Z even though Roberto Teran of Colombia and Il Rubacuori held a seemly unbeatable lead until the very end. Santiago Lambre and Dingeman finished in a close third place.

Armani SL Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding, has been a part of Garza’s program for three years. Garza, who is trained by the famed Irish rider and coach, Eddie Macken, has been careful to bring the striking grey gelding along thoughtfully, in hopes of achieving the moment that came in the ring tonight. The class saw very few clear rounds in the first half of competition, but by the time Garza had entered the ring, eleven other riders were waiting to come back in the jump-off. Aaron Vale, of Ocala, Fla., had even qualified all three of his rides for the short course.

Teran was the first rider to produce a clear first round on Il Rubacuori and he came back for the short course, ready to win. Internationally recognized as a fast rider, he clocked in a time of 40.29. Santiago Lambre, also of Mexico, came the closest by producing a clear round in 40.570. While Garza was schooling for the jump off, he could hear the cheers and gasps from the crowd in the Rolex Stadium and knew that he would have to put in an incredibly fast round to overcome Teran’s early lead. Armani SL Z performed like a Grand Prix veteran and crossed the times in 39.330, giving Garza the definitive win.

Not only did Garza go home with the commemorative cooler and blue ribbon, but he also earned valuable points towards the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series consists of seven grand prix classes that are held during the 2017 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series. Garza is now tied with Eve Jobs, who won the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Tim Goguen Earns Grand Open Hunter Championship aboard Expression Z 

After two days of competition in the Stonelea Ring to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic, Tim Goguen beat out close competitor Kelley Farmer for the coveted title of Grand Open Hunter Champion on Thursday afternoon. Scoring four out of five blue ribbons in the High Performance Hunter Division, Goguen sealed two division championships, the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6, and ultimately the Grand Championship aboard 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Expression Z.

Tim Goguen and Expression Z

Sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate, the Grand Open Hunter Championship is awarded to the combination that receives the highest number of points in their respective division. Posing the greatest competition for Goguen’s chance at the title was Kelley Farmer who had top placings with Discretion in the Conformation Hunter and It’s Me in the Green Hunter 3’9.

Goguen and Belhaven Stables, LLC’s Expression Z both stood out and received praise from respected hunter judges Rob Bielefeild and Shane George for their consistency in the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6 during the Kentucky Spring Classic. The pair produced memorable and beautiful performances in each round, capturing top honors throughout both divisions.

Goguen of Lexington, Kentucky has earned continual success in the hunter ring, particularly excelling in the High Performance Working Hunter division. Professional hunter riders will take to the Stonelea ring once again this Saturday for the greatly anticipated USHJA National Hunter Derby, the highlight of the week.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

International Celebrations at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Her Majesty The Queen was present for the penultimate day of Royal Windsor Horse Show which saw Trooper Fisher RHG/D awarded The Best Turned Out Trooper, with his horse Falkand, in front of packed grandstands in the grounds of Home Park (Private).

Her Majesty took part in prize giving ceremonies in the Castle Arena, including the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup and Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup For Service Team Jumping. Nick Skelton also received the BHS Queen’s Award for Equestrianism ahead of his retirement.

The second day of International CSI5* Show Jumping kicked off in spectacular style with the 1.55m Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, which saw Egypt’s Abdel Saïd triumph in a tightly fought contest.

The tight time-allowed in the first round added to the complexity of the course, which was twisty and up-to-height and saw only eight of the 29 starters jump clear. Sixth to go, Cheshire-based Irishman Billy Twomey, broke the deadlock, and his clear round was emulated by some of the best riders in the World, including World No. 1 Kent Farrington and Olympic gold medallists Ben Maher and Eric Lamaze, setting up an exciting jump-off for the £52,500 prize fund.

As second to go in the jump-off, last year’s winner, Kent Farrington, set a blistering pace aboard his striking grey gelding; however, an extra stride before the last meant his time of 43.01 seconds was within reach to those who followed. Abdel Saïd followed, riding AS Sport Horses’ Hope Van Scherpen Donder, and set off meaning business. The nimble bay mare jumped faultlessly, making the tightest of turns and galloping to the last, to take over the lead from the current World No. 1. Britain’s Ben Maher put up a good challenge, with an immaculate display of jumping; however, his time of 42.86 seconds was only good enough for second place.

Speaking after the class, Saïd said, “She’s a real tryer; she gave everything today and I was lucky that we were fast enough to win – I’m delighted. It’s my first time at Windsor and it’s a great experience; we are loving it; it’s a really nice show.”

The Show Jumping action culminated with the 1.50m Falcon Stakes, a two-round competition whereby the top ten from the first round were guaranteed a spot in the jump-off. With only eight clears in round one, this paved the way for the fastest four faulters, Billy Twomey and Ben Maher.

Ben, riding the twelve-year-old chestnut mare Diva II, produced a speedy clear round to finish on a cumulative total of four faults and put pressure on the riders to follow. With several riders having faults in the jump-off, Maher’s round moved him up to eventual fifth. Home favourite Michael Whitaker was the first to finish on a zero score, but he took it relatively steady on new ride Baltimore VDM to finish in fourth.

Local rider William Funnell jumped a fantastic round with homebred mare Billy Fanta, a nine-year-old by Billy Congo, to take the lead with just four riders left; however, it was last to go, America’s Jessica Springsteen, who took the victory in impressive style. The daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen shaved over two seconds off Funnell’s time, riding the in-form Davendy S.

Following her success, Jessica said; “She [Davendy S] is unbelievable; she jumped great; it was definitely an advantage to be towards the end but she’s so competitive; she always goes out and wants to win so she’s a lot of fun to ride. It’s so much fun here at Windsor; there’s such an amazing atmosphere with the crowds; it’s one of my favourite shows.”

Earlier in the afternoon the Land Rover Services Team Jumping entertained the packed grandstands with the Defence Animal Centre Team A, comprising Capt Nichols, COH Glass and Ssgt Moore, coming out on top of the Challenge Cup Section. Victorious in the Queen’s Plate were the Bahrain Defence Force, whose three riders – Ahmed Mansoor, Shaikh Isa Bin Salman and Saber Salman – finished on an impressive score of four penalties ahead of Pangbourne College on eight faults.

Last to go in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix cross-country marathon, Boyd Exell steered a true and steady course through each of the eight obstacles to increase his lead to a comfortable 10+ penalty points. The course had presented few problems to the nearly 60 competitors across Horse and Pony Four-in-Hands and Horse Pairs, but the four times world champion from Australia gave a final masterclass in controlled obstacle driving to stay in pole position ahead of Holland’s Theo Timmerman, still in second place. Edouard Simonet from Belgium moved ahead of Koos de Ronde from the Netherlands to take third place less than 1 pen behind Timmerman.

The final phase of cones driving looks set to be particularly exciting in both Horse Pairs and Pony Fours. In Horse Pairs less than two penalty points separate the top three placed competitors. Lars Schwitte from Germany retained his lead narrowly from Holland’s Harrie Verstappen, a previous Horse Pairs world champion and Royal Windsor winner, driving his trademark skewbald KWPNs. Verstappen moved up from 6th place to overtake Michael Sellier, current French National Champion. Now lying third, Sellier, a protégé of Boyd Exell’s, is competing at Royal Windsor for the first time.

In Pony Fours Germany’s Jacqueline Walter drove a storming marathon with her distinctive palomino ponies to knock Holland’s Jan de Boer from first place by less than one penalty point. Driving here for the third time – she finished fourth last year – Walter has recently become a trainee soldier in the German Army. Tinne Bax from Belgium is their closest challenger less than four penalties behind.

Small proved beautiful in the Castle Arena when the two 128cm show pony contenders, Yorkshire-based Whiteleaze Aurora with Mia Donaldson and the Jago/Carvosso team’s Tuscany Sweet Serenade, partnered by Charlotte Tuck, stood champion and reserve after giving superb performances in front of an appreciative audience which included HM The Queen.

The result came after strong classes described by visiting South African judge Gregory Goss as “full of the best ponies I’ve ever seen. The British riding pony is the envy of the world and I was blown away by the quality on show here.”

The coveted Novice Show Pony title headed to Hertfordshire via Ro Rennocks’ home-bred Team Harvey-produced 138cm victor, Rendene Secret Charm, beautifully ridden by Ellis Taverner-Burns. Harriet Dennison and Di Brereton’s working Highland stallion Dunedin Duncan headed a marathon BSPS Heritage Mountain and Moorland Ridden section, one of the most prestigious titles for native ponies on the show circuit.

Tickets can be purchased at www.rwhs.co.uk or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally. Local residents can purchase tickets by contacting Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743589.

Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

World Class CSI5* Show Jumping Makes Its Windsor Debut

Ben Maher and Tic Tac.

The highly anticipated CSI5* Show Jumping made its debut on the third day of Royal Windsor Horse Show. It was a successful event for the British riders, with Ben Maher and Tic Tac victorious in the CSI5* Bahrain Pearl Stakes, along with Carl Hester and his chestnut Barolo securing their second victory of the week in the CDI4* FEI Grand Prix Freestyle to Music supported by Horse & Hound.

The much awaited CSI5* Show Jumping at Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off in impressive style, with an extremely tight speed competition, in which the top three riders finished within 0.2 seconds of each other.

Ahead of the class, Britain’s Michael Whitaker said, “It’s very exciting; it’s the first time we’ve had a 5* here; the venue’s unbelievable, the ring is fantastic, the ground is very, very good, so everything is great. I’ve been competing here since I was about 16 so I always look forward to coming back and I think it’s going to be a really top week of jumping.”

A high-class field, which included World No. 1 Kent Farrington, took to the Castle Arena for the 1.45m CSI5* Manama Speed Stakes, the first 5* competition of the newly upgraded Show. First in the arena for the two-phase competition was Canada’s Eric Lamaze, ranked fourth in the World, who rode a double clear round to lay down the gauntlet to his rivals. However, it was tenth to go, America’s Laura Kraut, who set the pace for everyone to catch aboard the 14-year-old chestnut mare, Whitney. Making all the turns and pushing on strongly between the fences, Laura posted an impressive time of 27.94 seconds, over two seconds faster than the previous fastest time.

Laura was followed into the arena by home favourite, Scott Brash, riding the 11-year-old Hello Forever, who put up a strong challenge, but came home 0.16 seconds behind the leader. Ireland’s Billy Twomey with Kimba Flamenco also looked to put Laura’s lead in jeopardy, but his time of 28.10 was only good enough for eventual equal second position with Scott.

Speaking after her victory, Laura said, “Windsor is probably one of our favourite horse shows; it’s so special, the surroundings with The Castle, the pageantry – it’s hard to describe what an outstanding extravaganza it is, to win a class here – it’s extra special for me! This is my first real competition with Whitney, so I’m very pleased; she’s a wonderful mare.”

The second class of the day, the CSI5* Bahrain Pearl Stakes, a 1.50m jump-off competition, was equally as exciting with some of the world’s best horses and riders vying for the top position. It was a challenging first round, with only seven of the 31 starters jumping clear through to the jump-off to contend for the £44,500 prize fund.

The first clear in the jump-off came from America’s Lauren Hough riding the bay mare Adare, who set a target of 40.55 seconds over the twisty course. David Will of Germany followed with an impressive display to post a time over two seconds faster than Lauren and take the lead. However, with two Olympic gold medalists to follow, the result was by no means certain and Canada’s Eric Lamaze, the current World No. 4, quickly took over pole position.

It was last to go, Britain’s Ben Maher, riding Jane Forbes Clark’s Tic Tac, who delighted the packed grandstand to take the victory, jumping immaculately and making the tightest of turns, to come home in a time of 37.23, just three tenths of a second faster than Lamaze.

Carl Hester and Barolo

Once again British dressage master Carl Hester put on a display of skill and horsemanship to win the CDI4* FEI International Grand Prix, supported by Horse & Hound, at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. It was a first ever freestyle for Carl and Barolo, a compact 11-year-old Hanoverian owned in partnership with Anne Seifert-Cohn and Charlotte Dujardin who has ridden him up through the levels.

The freestyle, to Charlotte and Valegro’s first music from How to Train Your Dragon, though not technically difficult, was ridden with precision and fluency displaying particularly flowing half passes and changes, proving a unanimous choice of the ground jury with a score of 79.85%.

“He’s a chilled horse and a quiet, soft lovely moving horse and didn’t make any mistakes,” said Carl. “He is so loose and elastic at times you feel like you are riding on a trampoline but he can really show his paces.”

Carl was the last winner here in 2015 as last year had to be abandoned due to flooding in the lorry park.  “It’s great to be back again this year this is a truly amazing place to ride; there is nowhere else like it.”

Hayley Watson-Greaves also loves competing at Windsor especially when gaining second place with Rubin’s Nite (76.72%), a horse she found literally down the road from where she lived, as a two-year-old. The pair impressed with piaffe pirouettes and bold extended trots.

“I loved it; the atmosphere is just amazing out there and to come second to Carl is a great feeling; it doesn’t get better than that,” said Hayley whose programme is ridden to a specially composed piece of music.

Gareth Hughes and Don Carissimo (76.675%) gained another yellow rosette to add to the one they won in last night’s Grand Prix. It was a first ever freestyle for the combination and a first ever competitive visit to Windsor for Gareth.

“The wait to go in is definitely nerve-wracking but it is brilliant once you are in there,” said Gareth whose programme was set to theme music from the film Australia.  “Don was a bit nervous at the start but he is such a genuine horse and that was a really good confidence boosting ride for us and hopefully we’ll be back next year.”

Reigning Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) hack champion Elusive, owned by Suzanna Welby and ridden by producer Jo Bates, claimed the prestigious Count Robert Orssich Hack Championship. In a dramatic finale, the class winner, Jayne Ross’s charge, Rosettes Direct’s Forgeland Hydepark, failed to sparkle in the Castle Arena and had to settle for reserve.

There was another surprise in the Martin Collins Cob section, where the reigning HOYS supreme champion, Lady Caroline Tyrrell’s cob campaigner Our Cashel Blue, ridden by Allister Hood, finished second in his class to the eventual champion, Paul Mortimer’s Randlestown Rolex, ridden by producer Robert Walker.

The Land Rover Mountain and Moorland Supreme In-Hand title went to the prolific Stuffynwood Primrose.

The top three placings in the Horse Pairs dressage phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix went to KWPN horses. The winner was first-time Royal Windsor competitor, Lars Schwitte from Germany, an experienced driver but one who counts driving his horses as his hobby. He has been driving a horse pair for more than 20 years and recently won a three-star competition with these horses in Leiden in Germany.

Second to him was Barry Capstick, driving for Ireland – the last person to win here in horse pairs when the competition was held in 2014. One of his KWPN geldings has been in harness for only 14 weeks but produced a smooth test that had two of the five judges putting him in first place. Experienced horse pairs driver and long-term competitor at Royal Windsor, Amelie von Buchholtz from Argentina, took third place out of the 24 competitors, also driving KWPN horses.

One of the favourite events at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – the Coaching Marathon – again thrilled spectators with its tradition, colour and spectacle. There were 14 turnouts in three sections – Road Coaches, Park Drags and Regimental Coaches – took part, completing a seven-mile drive around Windsor Home Park. It was judged by Mr Fred Hollander from the Netherlands – a member of both the Coaching Club of Great Britain and the Road Club – who found his Champion in the immediate past President of the Coaching Club, Bill Ginns, driving a park drag to his team of British-bred Hackneys. Reserve Champion was John Brown with his team of powerful bay horses put to the Tally Ho Road Coach, built by Shanks in 1890. The Tally Ho was one of the last coaches to run from London to Oxford, continuing into the 1930s.

There were three endurance classes at the Royal Windsor Endurance kindly supported by the Kingdom of Bahrain. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) scooped the top four places in the CEI2* with winner Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari riding Dahi and finishing in a time of 04:47:48. Bahrain’s Ali Abdulla Mohamed Al Subaie took the top place in the CEI1* on Henham Romeo in 03:46:24 and Sarah Davenport won the national 40km class in a time of 02:18:56 on Blakeswater Wilfred.

Saeed Hamoud Saeed Al Khayari said: “I had a really good ride today and it was a great result for UAE in the CEI2*.  It’s a real honour to ride on this lovely course in Windsor Great Park and to win at Royal Windsor is very special.”

This was the fifth edition of the Royal Windsor Endurance event, but the first to include both a CEI1* 80km and a national 40km ride, alongside the regular CEI2* 120km. An overall field of 101 horses (exactly double that of last year) from 12 nations rode through Windsor Great Park, taking in Ascot Racecourse and a number of famous landmarks.

Great Britain was extremely well represented at the event, with a total of 64 starters including 17 out of 21 riders in the 80km. Beth Langley finished second in that class on HS Ametista in 04:25:22 and said of her result:

“I’m really pleased with my result; she’s a great horse so I was hoping for a good ride. The course is lovely but deceptively difficult and technical to ride. There has been an amazing atmosphere here and it was really nice to have the graded riders (who were really good) and see them out on the course. Luckily my boyfriend and family have all been here helping today so they will all get to see my presentation from the Queen tomorrow – but I do feel like I need a showing groom to help get her ready!”

Ground Jury President, Ian Williams (GBR), said: “Today we’ve seen a true picture of endurance across all levels with the opportunity for international riders to compete at the highest level and for national riders to experience the thrill of these first class facilities. The wonderful cooperation of people across all levels of experience and ability and between nations is a great marker for the future of the sport.”

Endurance GB Chairman, John Hudson, said: “It was fabulous to have our national ride included in this now prestigious event and such a wonderful opportunity for our riders to ride in this setting. The feedback has been very positive and it’s a day that will live long in the memory.”

Royal Windsor Endurance Director, Nick Brooks-Ward, said: “We had a really good ride here today. The rain overnight meant the going was perfect and welcoming the novice riders enhanced the already very special atmosphere. As ever we are hugely grateful to the Crown Estate for allowing us to ride through Windsor Great Park, to the Kingdom of Bahrain for their support and to the volunteers, officials and everyone who makes this event the success it is.”

Of the starting field of 103, 54 horses completed the rides (53%), with the remainder either retiring or failing to meet the stringent vetting criteria required to qualify for their next phase of the competition.

Tickets can be purchased at www.rwhs.co.uk or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally. Local residents can purchase tickets by contacting Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743589.

Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

FEI Tribunal Lifts Provisional Suspensions

Lausanne (SUI), 10 May 2017 – The FEI Tribunal has lifted the provisional suspensions of 11 athletes – two Jumping, two Dressage and seven Endurance – and three Endurance trainers.

Under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs) athletes have the opportunity to request a lifting of the provisional suspension in front of the FEI Tribunal.

Two international Jumping athletes, Brazil’s Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (Sirene de la Motte, FEI ID 103RA62) and Great Britain’s Henry Turrell (Blaze of Glory II, FEI ID 103LD21), whose horses tested positive for the banned substance Sparteine after competing at separate events in Vilamoura (POR) last month, have both had their provisional suspensions lifted as of midnight CEST on 27 April. Sparteine, an antiarrhythmic used to treat cardiac arrhythmia, is found in the lupin flower, which grows in many parts of Portugal.

The FEI Tribunal’s decision to lift the provisional suspensions was mainly based on scientific evidence presented by the two athletes which suggests the likelihood of food contamination. Additionally, the FEI List Group, which reviews the FEI Equine Prohibited Substance List annually, has recommended to the FEI Bureau that Sparteine should be reclassified as a Controlled Medication and Specified Substance from 1 January 2018.

Similarly, the provisional suspensions imposed on seven Endurance athletes and three trainers in the UAE were lifted as of midnight on 30 April 2017, also due to reclassification of a prohibited substance.

Samples taken from seven horses that competed at four different events in Al Wathba (UAE) between the end of November 2016 and mid-January of this year tested positive for Caffeine and a number of metabolites, including the substance Paraxanthine.

Caffeine is already listed as a Specified Substance and the FEI List Group has recommended that Paraxanthine should be reclassified as a Controlled Medication and Specified Substance from 1 January 2018.

Separately, two US Dressage athletes – Adrienne Lyle (Horizon, FEI ID 105FJ02) and Kaitlin Blythe (Don Principe, FEI ID USA41197) – had been provisionally suspended since 5 April, the date they were notified that their horses had tested positive to the banned substance Ractopamine in Dressage competitions in Wellington (USA) in February 2017.

Their provisional suspensions were lifted at midnight on 28 April following evidence provided by the two athletes that a feed supplement given to the horses had been contaminated.

The FEI Tribunal maintained the provisional suspensions of the two horses on horse welfare grounds and in order to ensure a level playing field, however both athletes applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne (SUI) for provisional measures to request the lifting of the suspensions of both horses so that they could compete at the US Dressage Festival of Champions (18-21 May). The CAS granted the provisional measures this week (8 May), but still has to rule on the merits of the case.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

The Best Ever International Field Heads to Royal Windsor Horse Show

Royal Windsor Horse Show will welcome the world’s best riders to the private grounds of Windsor Castle from 10-14 May 2017. With international competitions taking place across four equestrian disciplines, including the newly upgraded CSI5* Show Jumping and CDI4* Dressage, the calibre of entries has never been better and includes seven of the World’s top 20 Show Jumpers.

International CSI5* Show Jumping

Heading the field in the CSI5* Show Jumping is World No. 2 Kent Farrington (USA), who will be looking to reclaim his title in the Rolex Grand Prix, the pinnacle event of the Show, with his consistent chestnut gelding, Creedance. Taking place on Sunday 14 May, with an increased prize fund of £258,000, Kent will face stiff competition for the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy, including fellow FEI top 10 ranked riders, Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Britain’s Scott Brash.

Scott Brash heads to Windsor with a top string of horses, including in-form mare Ursula XII and the up-and-coming eight-year-old gelding, Hello Mr President. He will be joined by his Olympic gold medal winning teammate Ben Maher (GBR), and home favourites John and Michael Whitaker. Fresh from victory in the Grand Prix of Antwerp, Michael will have a strong hand at Windsor, including Antwerp winner JB’s Hot Stuff, Viking, and the striking grey stallion Cassionato.

Also looking to claim part of the unprecedented total prize fund of £520,000 will be the notoriously speedy Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), twice a winner at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, World No. 14 Bertram Allen (IRL), and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), recent winner of the Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Omaha.

The female line-up is particularly strong, headed by Laura Kraut (USA) and Tiffany Foster (CAN), both of whom are ranked amongst the top 20 riders in the world. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Laura Renwick (GBR) will be leading the way for the home nation, with Jessica Springsteen (USA) and the always competitive Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), making up a truly international field.

International CDI4* Dressage

Adding to the international prestige of the Show, the CDI4* Dressage has been upgraded from its previous CDI3* status in 2015, taking centre stage on the evenings of Thursday 11 and Friday 12 May. In 2015, Britain’s Carl Hester was victorious aboard his Rio Olympic companion Nip Tuck. Carl is returning in 2017, this time with new ride, Barolo, a British-bred Hanoverian, which has to-date been produced by Charlotte Dujardin, with the pair winning the 2015 National Championships and moving up to international level in 2016.

Four-time British Olympian, Richard Davison (GBR) will be looking to steal Carl’s crown with homebred gelding Bubblingh, out of his former international ride Ballaseyr Royale, as will compatriot Lara Butler (GBR) who will be contesting her first international of the year with Rubin Al Asad, having set a personal best Grand Prix score in Hagen last year.

Strengthening the home team will be Gloucestershire based Hayley Watson-Greaves (GBR) with Rubins Nite and former British team member Gareth Hughes aboard Don Carissimo, winners of the Grand Prix in Roosendaal in 2016.

Returning to Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time since 2014 is the flamboyant Italian, Silvia Rizzo, known for her style and flair, as well as Roland Tong (IRE) riding Rybrook Ambience, the reserve partnership for the Irish team at the 2016 Olympic Games.

New Zealand’s leading combination, Wendi Williamson and Dejavu MH, winners of the FEI World Cup™ Pacific League last year, will be looking to put up a strong challenge, as will young rider Caroline Chew (SGP), silver medal winner at the South East Asian Games.

International CAIO4*/CAI3* Driving

With drivers from 14 nations participating, the Land Rover CAIO4* International Driving Grand Prix promises to bring spectacular competition to Windsor Home Park from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 May. Among the 25 competitors in the horse fours is Australia’s Boyd Exell, reigning World Champion and seven-time winner at Royal Windsor, as well as seven-time FEI World Cup™ Champion, for which this competition is a Qualifier.

Boyd will be closely challenged by all three members of the Netherlands’ World Championship gold medal winning team, Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman, who collectively have been unbeaten at a World Championship since 2008.

Horse pairs makes a welcome return to Royal Windsor Horse Show with a CAI3* competition. 24 competitors from 12 countries will do battle with a three-strong GB contingent, including James Broome, the current Advanced Horse Pairs GB National Champion and son of legendary Show Jumping personality, David Broome.

Previous World Champion gold and silver medallists, Harrie Verstappen (NED) and Beat Schenk (SUI) respectively, are also competing, while USA husband-and-wife team, Kathrin and Scott Dancer, each make a Royal Windsor debut.

Pony fours fields a strong GB team, including National Champion, Sara Howe. They will find themselves up against stiff opposition from the ever-improving Tinne Bax (BEL), as well as Jan de Boer (NED) and his Welsh ponies, who claimed his sixth Royal Windsor win here last year.

International CEI2* Endurance

On Friday 12 May, Royal Windsor Endurance will come to Windsor Great Park, with 120 horses taking part and riders representing 14 nations. Joining the 120km CEI2* are two new competitions for 2017, a CEI1* 80km and a National 40km Graded Endurance Ride.

Tickets to watch this year’s action can be purchased at www.rwhs.co.uk or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)121 7966290 internationally. Local residents can purchase tickets by contacting Windsor Information Centre on 01753 743589.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: + 44 (0)203 176 0355

FEI Tribunal Issues Final Decision on Two Banned Substance Cases

Lausanne (SUI), 28 March 2017 – The FEI Tribunal has issued its Final Decision on two cases involving human Erythropoietin (EPO), a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Abdulla Mubarak Rashed Al Khaili (FEI ID 10076760/UAE) and Mohd Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi (FEI ID 10092584/UAE), whose horses SUR (FEI ID UAE01796/QAT) and Centurion (FEI ID 102RM71/QAT) both tested positive for the same substance at the CEI1* in Doha (QAT) on 22 April 2016, have been suspended for one year.

The trainer of both horses, Mohammed Ali Khalifa Al-Attiyah (FEI ID 10082342/QAT), admitted that he had administered the horses with EPO just before the competition. The athletes were therefore found to bear no significant fault and negligence for the rule violation and their sanctions were reduced from two to one year.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a two-year suspension on the trainer, who is now ineligible until 4 July 2018 (provisional suspension, effective from 5 July 2016, will be credited against the period of ineligibility imposed in this decision). He has been fined 3,500 CHF and will contribute 1,500 CHF towards the legal cost.

The period of provisional suspension of the two athletes, effective from 2 June 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility imposed in this decision, meaning that both athletes will be ineligible until 1 June 2017. In addition, the FEI Tribunal imposed on each of the athletes a fine of 2,000 CHF, a contribution of 1,000 CHF towards legal costs and disqualified the athletes and horses from the competition.

The athletes and trainer have 21 days to appeal the decisions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification (27 March 2017).

The FEI’s Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections – Controlled Medication and Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition. Banned (doping) substances should never be found in the body of the horse.

As part of FEI Clean Sport, the live Prohibited Substances Database provides an easily accessible online platform on which Banned Substances and Controlled Medications are clearly distinguished.

FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Final Decisions in Two Cases Involving Banned Substances Have Been Issued by FEI Tribunal

The Jordanian Endurance athlete Nayef Al Fayez (FEI ID 10066952) has been handed down a 30-month suspension following an adverse analytical finding on samples taken from the horse Obama Al Aswad (FEI ID 104DF50) at the 80km CEI*1 in Amman (JOR) on 21 May 2016. The samples tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone, and the controlled medications Dexamethasone, Meloxicam, Phenylbutazone and its metabolite Oxyphenbutazone.

In its Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal noted that under the current FEI Equine Anti-Doping Rules, the sanction for an adverse analytical finding for a banned substance is a two-year period of ineligibility for first time offenders. However, due to the presence of five prohibited substances, including the banned substance Boldenone, and the performance enhancing effects of the cocktail of drugs, the Tribunal felt that the imposition of a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction was justified.

The period of provisional suspension, effective from 20 June 2016, has been credited against the period of ineligibility, meaning that the athlete will be ineligible until 19 December 2018. In addition, the Tribunal imposed a fine of CHF 5,000, costs of CHF 3,000, and disqualified the athlete and horse from the competition, in which they finished second.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from the date of notification (17 March 2017).

The FEI Tribunal also issued a Final Decision in the case of the horse Dendros (FEI ID 103IT53), ridden by the Swiss athlete Matthias Klausener (FEI ID 10057973) at the CPEDI3* in Somma Lombardo (ITA) on 19 June 2016. Samples taken from the horse returned positive for the banned substance Demecolcine.

The Tribunal heard that the presence of Demecolcine may indicate contamination, most likely due to the ingestion of the flower Colchicum Autumnale, autumn crocus. Demecolcine is not a pharmaceutical, but in human medicine the substance is used for tumour therapy. There is no known use for Demecolcine in veterinary medicine and the alkaloids of the autumn crocus are all very toxic. Demecolcine has been put on the list of suggestions for substances to be designated as Specified Substances for 2018.

It was proved to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that the substance had entered the horse’s system through ingesting hay that had been contaminated by autumn crocus. The athlete had previously successfully appealed for the lifting of the provisional suspension, which had been imposed on 27 July 2016. The provisional suspension was lifted on 6 October 2016.

The athlete established to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that he bore no fault or negligence for the rule violation and, as a result, the Tribunal ruled that no further sanctions should be imposed, other than the automatic disqualification of the horse and athlete from the competition, in which they finished sixth.

The athlete has 21 days to appeal this decision to the CAS from the date of notification (17 March 2017).

FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

New Prohibited Substance Cases under FEI Anti-Doping Rules

Lausanne (SUI), 14 February 2017 – The FEI has announced three new adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances at two FEI Endurance events.

Three horses competing in Endurance events at Doha, Mesaieed (QAT) have all tested positive to Diisopropylamine, a vasodilator used in the treatment of peripheral and cerebral vascular disorders. These are the first cases involving the use of Diisopropylamine, which is a Banned Substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Two horses, R S Nube Blanca (FEI ID 104DP13/ARG/QAT), ridden by Gaje Singh Hari Singh (FEI ID 10113174/IND) in a CEI2* 120-kilometre event at Mesaieed on 19 November 2016, and Acqua Vela (FEI ID 104PE12/QAT), ridden by Maryam Ahmad S A Al Boinin (FEI ID 10115570/QAT) to win the CEIYJ1* 90-kilometre event on the same day, were tested on the day of the event. The third horse, Tarifa (FEI ID POR02414/QAT) was ridden by Mattar Said Khalfan Al Saadi (FEI ID 10146908/OMA) to win the CEI1* 80 on 7 January 2017 at Mesaieed. Samples were taken from Tarifa on the day of the event.

All three athletes have been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (8 February 2017). The three horses have also been provisionally suspended for a period of two months.

As trainer of both the Qatari horses, R S Nube Blanca and Acqua Vela, Waleed Said Khalfan Al Saa’di (FEI ID 10113272/QAT) has also been provisionally suspended.

Details on these cases are available here and here.

The FEI’s Prohibited Substances List is divided into two sections – Controlled Medication and Banned Substances. Controlled Medication substances are those that are regularly used to treat horses, but which must have been cleared from the horse’s system by the time of competition. Banned (doping) substances should never be found in the body of the horse.

The FEI has also introduced the concept of Specified Substances. Specified Substances should not in any way be considered less important or less dangerous than other Prohibited Substances. Rather, they are simply substances which are more likely to have been ingested by Horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance.

In the case of an adverse analytical finding for a Banned Substance, the Person Responsible (PR) is automatically provisionally suspended from the date of notification. The horse is suspended for two months. In the case of a positive for a specified substance, provisional suspension is not automatic.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145