Category Archives: Endurance Riding

US, Swedish and Dutch Cities Win Hosting Rights to Major FEI Events

(Photo: Liz Gregg/FEI)

Tokyo (JPN), 19 November 2016 – The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals for the years 2020 and 2021 and the FEI European Championships 2019 in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage were among the key events allocated by the FEI Bureau in Tokyo (JPN).

Following the success of the 2015 Finals, the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals will return to Las Vegas (USA) in 2020 when the Finals will be hosted at a new venue, the MGM Grand Garden Arena from 15 to 19 April. Las Vegas has previously hosted six FEI World Cup™ Finals, two in Jumping and four combined Jumping and Dressage Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center (2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2015).

The new venue, located in the MGM Grand Hotel on the famous Las Vegas Strip, is world renowned for hosting high-profile sporting events such as boxing and basketball, as well as live performances from global superstars like Celine Dion, Elton John and Britney Spears.

Gothenburg’s Scandinavium Arena, spiritual home of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final since playing host to the inaugural Final back in 1979, has been awarded the 2021 Finals. The Swedish sporting capital, which has already organised 22 FEI World Cup™ Finals including joint-Finals in 2013 and 2016, will host the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals 2021 from 31 March to 5 April.

The 2021 double FEI World Cup™ Finals will kick-start celebrations of the City of Gothenburg’s 400th birthday celebrations.

Rotterdam (NED), another city with a long-standing tradition of hosting major equestrian championships, was announced as host for the triple FEI European Championships 2019 in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage from 19-25 August.

“We are delighted to confirm the allocation of some of our major Finals and Championships to major global cities like Las Vegas, Gothenburg and Rotterdam,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said. “The organising committees for all these top events have such hands-on practical experience, and understand the process, commitment and dedication involved in organising these important fixtures on the FEI Calendar. We are very grateful to all the organisers who put in bids for these key events and are extremely happy to have the opportunity to showcase our sport in major global cities.”

The allocations were made at the FEI Bureau in-person meeting in Tokyo, prior to the FEI General Assembly (22 November). The Bureau also allocated the following FEI Championships and Finals:


FEI South America Jumping Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors & Children, Buenos Aires (ARG) 2-8 October 2017
FEI World Jumping Challenge Final, Algiers (ALG) 26-29 April or 3-6 May (dates to be confirmed)
FEI Balkan Jumping Championships for Seniors, Young Riders, Juniors & Children, Zhitnica (BUL), 31 August – 3 September

FEI European Dressage Championships for Young Riders, Juniors. & Children, Roosendaal (NED), (dates to be confirmed)
FEI Balkan Dressage Championships for Seniors, Young Riders, Juniors & Children, Zagreb (CRO), 30 June – 2 July

FEI World Driving Championship for Young Horses, Mezöhegyes (HUN), 7-10 September
FEI Balkan Driving Championship, Floresti (ROU), 29 September – 1 October
FEI World Para-Equestrian Driving Championship for Singles, Izsák (HUN), 28 September – 1 October

FEI Balkan Endurance Championship, Salcioara (ROU), 29-30 September

FEI European Reining Championship, Givrins (SUI), 2-5 or 9-12 August (dates to be confirmed)


FEI European Dressage Championship U25, Roosendaal (NED), 25-29 July

FEI World Cup™ Driving Final, Bordeaux (FRA), 2-4 February
FEI World Driving Championship for Young Horses, Mezöhegyes (HUN), 13-16 September

FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final, Dortmund (GER), 1-4 March


FEI European Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage Championships, Rotterdam (NED), 19-25 August

FEI European Driving Championship, Donaueschingen (GER), 20-22 September


Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals – Las Vegas (USA), 15-19 April

FEI World Cup™ Driving Final, Bordeaux (FRA), 7-9 February


Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals – Gothenburg (SWE), 31 March – 5 April

The FEI Bureau was also informed about the Secretary General’s decision to open a multi-year application process for the FEI WBFSH World Breeding Championships for Dressage and Eventing for 2019 and 2020 in order to align the bidding process with Jumping.

Details on the bidding process for FEI events can be found here.

For further information about the FEI Bureau, its role and composition, please click here.

FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Tickets on Sale for 5* Royal Windsor Horse Show

Elite and global competition comes to Windsor next year, with 5* Show Jumping, 4* Dressage, Nations Cup Carriage Driving and 2* Endurance all taking place over the course of the five-day Horse Show which has become the largest outdoor equestrian event in the country.

The Show will have a total prize fund of over £520,000 – the largest of any UK outdoor show – which includes €275,000 for the newly introduced Rolex Grand Prix.  This will be the largest single prize for a 5* Show Jumping class in the UK.

Royal Windsor Horse Show is a highlight of the British equestrian calendar and kicks off the busy summer show season. The 2017 event has been boosted by the announcement of Rolex as a new Official Partner; they join long established partners Land Rover, Laurent-Perrier, DAKS, Hermès, The Dorchester Collection, Musto and Martin Collins Enterprises.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “2017 is an extremely exciting year for Royal Windsor Horse Show with the elevation to 5* level, putting us alongside the best international horse shows in the world. Our sponsors and supporters are vital partners in this event and we’re delighted that Rolex has come on board to join our family.”

In addition to the international Show Jumping on offer, equestrian enthusiasts can also enjoy top-class Showing, with over 140 classes planned into the busy showing programme which includes, newly introduced this year, a Supreme Show Championship. As always, HM The Queen will be keeping a watchful eye on the competition, having had a highly successful 2016 show when she competed her ex-racehorse Barber’s Shop.

On Friday 12th May the already established 120km CEI2* Royal Windsor Endurance will take place in Windsor Great Park. This year, it will be joined by a CEI1* 80km and an Endurance GB 40km ride, all conducted under FEI rules.

Furthermore, the Show will again host the Land Rover CAIO4* International Driving Grand Prix, which will take place over four days of the Show and include an FEI World Cup™ Qualifier for the Four-In-Hand class, and will see a welcome return of the Horse Pairs.

Evening performances will be back for 2017 with 4* Dressage Grand Prix and Freestyle to Music on Thursday and Friday respectively and 5* Show Jumping on Saturday. All evening performances will include displays from The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Tickets for the show are now on sale and once again, Royal Windsor Horse Show organisers are delighted to offer free admission to all visitors on the opening day of the show, dubbed as ‘Windsor Wednesday’ on 10th May (free tickets must be reserved in advance). Tickets for evening performances can be purchased separately or jointly with day tickets and there are options to reserve grandstand seating in prime positions.

The general admission ticket price for adults on Thursday 11th May is £17.00 and £20.00 on Friday 12th May. On Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May showground entry is £27.50 for adults and £14.00 for children. There are discounts for group bookings and concessions as well as family value tickets for two adults and three children for £70 on either Saturday or Sunday.

For those seeking a more exclusive experience at Royal Windsor, packages are now also available to purchase offering access to the Members Enclosure or the new Windsor Enclosure. The premium Members Enclosure has seating alongside the Royal Enclosure, a Members restaurant, bar and terrace all of which overlook the main Castle Arena. The Windsor Enclosure is a new introduction to Royal Windsor and provides an enclosure with a bistro, bar and lawn on the north-east end of the Castle Arena and pre-booked seating in proximity to the Royal Enclosure.

All tickets can be purchased at or by telephoning the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0)1753 743589 internationally.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: T: + 44 (0)203 176 0355

Royal Windsor Horse Show
The Show will take place from 10th-14th May 2017. Over 55,000 visitors are expected to attend the Show which offers its audience an extensive programme of first class equestrian competition and displays in 5 arenas.

The displays in the main Castle Arena include The Musical Ride of The Household Calvary Mounted Regiment, The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop RHA, The DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games and The Shetland Pony Grand National. As well as the equestrian competitions and activities, there are over 220 shops in the Shopping Village, with a wide range of products for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. Her Majesty the Queen has attended every year since it started in 1943 and it is the only time of the year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Royal Windsor Horse Show is organised by HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show

Bulgaria Wins Individual and Team Gold at FEI Balkan Endurance Championships

Zrinka Bilen on Sally. (FEI/Bosko Milivojevic)

Lausanne (SUI), 9 October 2016 – After a second place finish on the podium in 2015, Bulgaria’s Denis Furlanski captured individual gold riding Moz in the 100km FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 at Velika Pisanica in eastern Croatia.

Furlanski, who last year won team gold and individual silver at the 90km Balkan Championships, headed Moz into the cold morning fog through the forest trails coming into the first vet check just behind top Croatian athlete Zrinka Bilen on the 10-year-old mare Sally.

They left for the second loop at the same time, but Furlanski and the 10 year-old Shagya gelding pulled ahead and completed the ride in the afternoon sun in 04:54:28 with an average speed of 20:376 km/h.

Fellow Bulgarian Desislava Aleksieva, finishing five minutes later on the 9-year-old Arabian, Pompey, scored individual silver with the ride time of 04:59:37, and bronze was won by Zrinka who arrived three minutes later over the finish line.

Team spirit

With Bulgaria’s one-two finish, the team had a leg up on the top podium spot, and thanks to the sixth-place finish of third team member Ruz Nedkova-Ivanova on Morfey the team’s combined ride time of 15:11:53 secured the gold medal.

Croatia, with Bilen’s individual bronze in the bag, narrowly missed team gold with Stefano Osip on the 8-year-old Shagya gelding Hajna finishing fourth and Iva Lipovac taking fifth place with 9-year-old mare Hita. They completed in a combined ride time of 15:18:15.

Greece took home team bronze finishing in 21:53:53 with Viktoria Schoina on Koheilan XIII 16 SALA, Irini Mitona on Aphroditi and Sotirios Patisouras on Sheikh, who finished 10th, 11th and 12th, in that order.

A total of 30 rider/horse combinations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Turkey started out at 07:00 on the FEI Balkan Endurance Championships 2016 trail, which left from the Kukavica sports centre in Velika Pisanica into a forested area with excellent horse trails.

Timer and member of the Organising Committee Antun Baković said of the day: “Everything connected to facilitating the event went smoothly thanks to enthusiastic athletes and supporting crew, and the experience of Technical Delegate and Foreign Judge Anita Goedl and officials led by Teodora Kostova, President of the Ground Jury.”

*Full results will be available in the FEI results database in due course:

By Pamela Burton

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Sabrina Arnold Wins FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses

Germany’s Sarah Arnold and Tsagan Nour. (FEI/Pamela Burton)

Nègrepelisse (FRA), 24 September 2016 – Smart riding brought Sabrina Arnold (GER) and Tsagan Nour to the top of the podium at the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses (7 years) in Nègrepelisse, France.

The 120km Championship, which finished with an all-female 1,2,3 Friday afternoon, with Arnold and Tsagan Nour galloping over the finish line in a time of 05:59:04, culminated in the prize giving.

Spain’s second-placed rider Emma Rosell Segura riding Danco completed in 06:05:58, followed by third over the line and also from Spain Laia Soria Pinol on Nervi Del Rieral finishing the four loops just two seconds later.

After starting the second loop in 10th position after a 2-minute recovery in the first hold, Arnold was assured that her mount was doing well with the trail conditions. Continuing with good recoveries, the duo was able to move up in the finish order on each loop and took possession of the ride on the final loop to emerge victorious.

France seals Best Condition

The first-placed French rider, Paul Bard, riding Volny Du Leff, finished sixth and later the highly coveted Best Condition was awarded to his seven-year-old chestnut gelding.

Ana Barbas (POR) riding her own E Da Fuica scored fourth and Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi (QAT) riding Dufawan finished fifth, with the rest of the top eleven spots secured by French athletes on this striking trail in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France.

Young Horses – future champions

These annual FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses, first held in Compiègne, France in 2001, are an important foundation ride for future champion horses as they mature.

A total of 42 combinations from Bahrain, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, USA and the UAE joined 52 combinations from France for this year’s Championship.

Trail tactics – Sabrina Arnold and Tsagan Nour

Tsagan Nour is part-owned by French champion rider Jean Philippe Frances, technical advisor and partner to the 36-year-old Arnold, who has been a distance rider since she was a child. Together they made a plan for the Championship’s challenges:

“These horses are young and it is better for their mind to have a companion,” she explained. “On the first loop we were too fast and I slowed down and rode with two other riders. My horse was immediately good in the vetting and I rode with our second rider on the next track through the third loop. On the fourth, the rider from Qatar rode with me for a while. On the last loop, the trail was very challenging. I had some information from other friends on the trail that we were many minutes in the lead, so I slowed him down and let him breathe.”

First-time Championship trail

The FEI Endurance Championship for Young Horses 2016 was held for the first time in this farming community northeast of Montauban. The course followed forest trails and farm tracks from the equestrian centre in Domaine de Pousiniès through local communes of Saint-Etienne-de-Tulmont, Nègrepelisse, Vaïssac, and Genebrieres. Temperatures for the day hit 26C by 2pm. Organised by Endurance Equestrian Nègrepellsse, and supported by the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Festival, the trail was contested with four loops of 35kms, 30kms, 35kms and 22kms, beginning at 07:30.

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said of the day: “Horses in Young Championships are not yet at their maximum fitness, and the most important thing for me was how well the riders managed their horses.”

Gérard Aurel, President of Endurance Équestre de Nègrepelisse, said after the ride: “We are very happy to have organised this Championship with 14 nations and the day went very well.”

Full Results:

Best Condition: Paul Bard (FRA) with Volny Du Leff

By Pamela Burton

FEI Media Contact:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Jaume Punti Dachs Takes Spain to Team and Individual Gold

Jaume Punti Dachs (Miro Nota)

Lausanne (SUI), 17 September 2016 – In a day of weather that changed as often as the ride leaders, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs captured individual gold and led his compatriots Alex Luque Moral and Angel Soy Coll to the team title at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 in Samorin (SLK).

Punti Dachs, who also took team and individual gold at the European championships at the Samorin venue 12 months ago, had a perfect ride on the nine-year-old grey Twyst Maison Blanche to complete the 160km track in 06:46:42 with an average speed of 23.60 km/h.

Fellow Spaniard Alex Luque Moral and Calandria, the lovely 10-year-old grey mare that deservedly took the best conditioned horse award, were 50 seconds off the pace to take individual silver, with Bahrain’s HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Al Kalifa taking bronze with Waterlea Dawn Treader in a time of 06:49:47.

The Spanish led an all-European team podium, with France taking silver and the Netherlands holding on for bronze.

The track, which ran between the river Danube and the neighbouring canal, as well as through forestry and farmland, was flat and fast and the 134 starters set off at pace from the 6am mass start.

Punti Dachs was consistently in the top 10 over the first four loops, and the 47-year-old, who was a team gold medallist over the challenging Sartilly terrain at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), ended his day with a flourish to scoop double gold and add the world title to his European crown. His wife Maria Alvarez Ponton, who was vetted out after the second loop, previously held the two titles concurrently after winning European and world gold in 2009 and 2010.

Twyst Maison Blanche wasn’t the first horse across the finish line, but the final vet check is the real finish line and when both the United Arab Emirates runners, Napoli Del Ma (Saif Ahmad Al Mazroui) and Quran El Ulm (Ganem Abdullah Al Merri) were vetted out and Uruguay’s LG Muneerah wasn’t presented by Jonatan Rivera Iriarte, top honours went to Punti Dachs.

In fact none of the UAE team recorded a completion score, even though HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Ramaah had been at the head of the field throughout, until the 12-year-old gelding went out at the fourth vet gate. Sadly, Ajayeb, the 15-year-old chestnut mare ridden by Sheikh Hamdan’s team mate Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, tripped and fell on the fourth loop of the track, suffering an irreparable injury to her right front leg and had to be euthanised.

“It was a very tough day,” Punti Dachs said. “There were magnificent horses in front of me, but endurance sometimes happens like this. You do everything right and then something goes wrong. It’s like life.”

It’s been something of a winning spree for Spain as their all-female team won the European Endurance Young Riders and Juniors Championships in Portugal earlier in the month.

Alex Luque Moral was thrilled to take team gold and individual silver in Samorin. “I slowed down to save my horse after the first fast loop, and then for the last loop, I decided to really have fun with my mare and show everyone what she could do after all the training for this championship.”

Angel Soy Coll, whose sixth-place finish sealed Spain’s victory, said: “I am very happy and very grateful to have been part of the team. It was a tough day but think I managed to do what was expected of me and my horse and get a good result for the Spanish team.”

Bronze medallist HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the only non-European on the podium, trained the 11-year-old Waterlea Dawn Treader for the championships at home in Bahrain and France. “The race was very difficult especially the third loop because of the humidity. I believed in my plan and it worked. My horse was not tired at all; he was perfect.”

See final Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 scores:

By Pamela Burton

Media Contacts:

Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016:

Martin Simonedes
+421 911 197 146


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 – Slovakia Welcomes Record 46 Nations

Athletes pictured here at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2012 in Euston Park (GBR). (FEI/Henry Browne)

Lausanne (SUI), 15 September 2016 – A record 46 nations will contest the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 this Saturday (17 September), with the world’s top Endurance athletes already on-site at Slovakia’s state-of-the-art Šamorín Equestrian Centre, brain-child of Slovakian businessman Mario Hoffmann.

A total of 136 horse/rider combinations will head out on the 160-kilometre track in a 6am mass-start, with five loops of 40, 35, 35, 30 and 20kms running across grass, field and forest tracks alongside the River Danube and skirting around Bratislava at the foot of the Little Carpathians mountain range.

The youngest competitor at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships is 14-year-old Pilar Saravia from Uruguay. Currently ranked number three in the world, she won her first 3* 160km ride on home soil in July, with her second 3* 160km win in Buenos Aires just two weeks later.

Saravia and the grey mare SM Dhanderiega, her winning ride in Buenos Aires, will be flying the flag for the seven South American countries at these Championships, challenging the world’s most seasoned Endurance athletes for a podium spot.

The United Arab Emirates claimed team gold and all three individual medals at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2012 in Euston Park (GBR), as well as team, individual silver and bronze at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky (USA).

HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, who took individual gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), team gold in 2012 and individual bronze in 2010, will lead a team of five at this year’s Championships in Šamorín, including 2010 and 2012 fellow team member Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Spain’s Endurance “armada” is also looking formidable for these Longines Championships. Maria Alvarez Ponton, current world Endurance number one – who famously won individual gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2010 seven weeks after giving birth to Maria, the first of her two daughters, and in doing so became the first Endurance athlete to hold both World and European titles at the same time – will be competing with her husband and Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 gold medal winning team-mate Jaume Punti Dachs.

He last led Spain to team gold at the FEI European Championships in Šamorín in October last year. They are joined by their 2015 European Championships team member Alex Luque Moral, 2009 European Championships team gold medalist Silvia Yebra Altimiras and Angel Soy Coll, who finished second at the Spanish Endurance Championships in Badajoz in April of this year.

France, who celebrated double Olympic success in Rio with team golds in Eventing and Jumping, will be bringing their samba passion to Šamorín. Jean Philippe Frances, who led France to Endurance team silver at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, and to silver again at last October’s European Championships where he also won individual bronze, will lead a team of five. His successful partnership with 10-year-old gelding Secret de Mon Coeur (Secret of my Heart), which claimed the Best Condition award at last year’s European Championships, will continue in Šamorín.

“We have the best Endurance athletes on the planet competing in the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships on Saturday,” said FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello.

“The world’s top Endurance athletes get to compete at this level only every two years, at either the World Endurance Championships which coincide with the Olympic cycle, or at the FEI World Equestrian Games.

“Endurance is the fastest growing FEI discipline and at Šamorín we have 46 out of a total of 53 countries currently involved in international Endurance competitions. We’re all looking forward to seeing these athletes showcase this incredible sport, which is a real test of the partnership between horse and rider, and the ability to cross all kinds of terrain.”

Definite entry list: (see “list of entries” section).

Opening Ceremony on FEI YouTube Channel: – 15 September, starting at 20.00 local time.

Live FEI TV action on – 17 September, from 05.50 local time.

Live scoring:

Media Contacts:

Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016:

Martin Simonedes
+421 911 197 146


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Spanish Sweep FEI European Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

Paula Muntala Sanchez (ESP), riding Echo Falls. (FEI/Endurance in the World)

Lausanne (SUI), 5 September 2016 – The Spanish athlete Paula Muntala Sanchez riding 10-year-old part-Arabian Echo Falls emerged victorious after the 120km Meydan FEI European Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Portugal, leading the Spanish team to gold as well.

Held at the Rio Frio Equestrian Centre, 38 athletes aged between 14 and 21 from 11 countries left in a mass start at 06:30 on Saturday, 3 September. The competition circled in four loops of 40, 30, 30 and 20kms, with gates and veterinary inspection areas on each loop.

The young but seasoned, Sanchez, aged 21, completed the ride in 05:14:57 with an average speed of 22.86 kph riding though the heat of the day, which reached 30°C with 40% humidity.

The all-female Spanish team came into each vet gate within minutes of each other, pulsed down and left in the same way, and arrived at the finish just after Sanchez, placing 2nd-5th individually in this order: Laura Fernandez Piña on Cadigaam, Bruna Pujols Aumatell on Lludriga De Masferrer, Raquel Costa Condina on Kalima Casanova and Naroa Calvo Ibáñez on Escarsi.

“The plan was to be strong with all the team from the beginning to ensure that at least one of our team members could be in the medals,” said Sanchez after the ride.

Although this did not happen to her, Sanchez stated what might have been the biggest challenge on the ride: “To lose a shoe is a problem because you lose time, and it is difficult to recover in such flat terrain as the one in Rio Frio. The biggest strength of my 10-year-old Appaloosa is in his character. He saves energy during the competition, which allows him to have a quick recovery at the end of each loop.”

When asked about her future endurance goals, Sanchez replied: “My goal is to improve my performance and hopefully to continue as a team member for Spain.”

Echo Falls is by the full Arabian stallion Tango D’Ayres by the legendary Persik out of the Appaloosa mare, Song of Wind.

Spanish cavalry led the way

Heading out in the first wave of the mass start, Spain’s Sanchez and her teammates blended like a grey cavalry into the low fog of early morning as they led the way for the first 40km loop.

The five athletes took possession of the race from the start, never leaving first position throughout, but knew they were being chased by France’s Henriette D Ursel on Wloszka Fontanel and Emma Frances on Quokin De PSA.

João Maria Moura riding Distinto for Portugal kept within five minutes of the first seven riders throughout the course and he was followed by Italy’s Costanza Laliscia on Rok and Camilla Coppini on Veinard Secondo. Great Britain’s hopes were dashed early on as they lost all three riders by vet gate two.

Besides host Portugal, athletes represented Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

Seven teams started and five teams completed. A course completion of 57% finished the last rider, Imke Lamsma from The Netherlands riding Sjacour in the ride time of 07:43:12 with an average speed of 15.54 kph.

The FEI European Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors is an important foundation for future top Endurance riders. The last edition of this Championship was in 2014 in Verona, Italy. To compete, athletes must have successfully completed at least 3 CEI 2* events or higher.

Manuel Bandeira de Mello, FEI Endurance Director said of the competition: “It was a fantastic day of top quality sport. The Spanish team led the ride from the very beginning showing their supremacy, and the high skill of the athletes and the horses proved that even with a very technical track, a 57% completion rate could be achieved.”

Rui Amante, President of the Ground Jury in Rio Frio, commented: “The venue is fantastic and the event went very smoothly. The most important aspect is that the fair play of the 37 competitors was truly amazing for Juniors and Young riders. I am very happy with the outcome of this event.”

Rio Frio – the venue

The trails of mostly sandy soil went through ancient cork oak forest, around thriving vineyards and between irrigated rice paddies, allowing for many natural water spots and easy access points for crews. The public could also view the athletes in viewing areas designated along the national roads. This route has been in use and tested since 2014. The Rio Frio Equestrian Centre is located on the southern bank of the Tagus Estuary, 30km from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

By Pamela Burton

FEI Media Contact

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 145

USEF Announces Team for the 2016 Longines FEI World Endurance Championships

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the combinations that will represent the United States at the 2016 Longines FEI World Endurance Championships in Samorin, Slovakia, September 16-17, 2016. They will be led by U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe Mike Dial.

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will represent the U.S. in the 2016 Longines FEI World Endurance Championship (listed in alphabetical order):

Thomas Hagis (Fries, Va.) and his own Indian Reinman, a 2006 Arabian gelding

Ellen Olson (La Motte, Iowa) and her own and Jeremy Olson’s Bey Gibby, a 2001 Arabian gelding

Dr. Margaret Sleeper (Frenchtown, N.J.) and her own Shyrocco Rimbaud, a 2006 Anglo Arabian gelding

Find out more about the 2016 Longines FEI World Endurance Championships.

From the USEF Communications Department

Zone 4/7 Team Takes Top Podium in Young Rider Team Show Jumping Competition at NAJYRC

Carlos Guerrerio (Mexico North) and Santos (Sportfot)

Parker, Colo. – The first medals for team show jumping were presented at the Adequan®/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) hosted at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), as riders participating on the combined Zone 4/7 Team secured victory in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Team competition. Adjacent to the show jumping featured in the International Ring, riders representing Region 3 rose to the top of USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships FEI Junior Team Test competition, hoisting Gold medals in the Olson Ring.

Carlos Guerrerio competing for the Mexico North team, sealed a strong victory in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior First Round Individual Qualifier aboard Santos, while Elena Hengel of Area III piloted Zipp to first place in individual competition following dressage competition on the first day of the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CIC2*.

Gold Medals Awarded to Zone 4/7 Team as They Take the Top Podium in Young Rider Team Show Jumping Competition

A strong team of riders combined to represent both Zone 4 and Zone 7, catapulted themselves to the top of the leaderboard, taking top honors in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Young Rider Team competition. The Zone 4/7 Team of Hannah Donald (18, Highland Village, Texas), Alexandra Ozmy (18, Coppell, Texas), Nicole Peterson (20, Dallas, Texas) and Sophie Simpson (18, Wellington, Fla.) finished the two round competition with zero faults to secure the victory ahead of the team representing Zone 3/8/9, who concluded competition with four faults and featured riders Delaney Flynn (16, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jennifer Gates (20, Seattle, Wash.), and Christina Firestone (21, Upperville, Va.).

The Bronze medal team of Zone 10 saw riders Mackenzie Drazan (21, Woodside, Calif.), Hannah Heidegger (19, Chatsworth, Calif.), Chandler Meadows (20, Newport Beach, Calif.) and Uma O’Neill (21, Santa Cruz, Calif.) earn a third-place finish with a combined total of 12 faults.

The Zone 4/7 Team, led by dual Chefs d’Equipe Kim Land and Matt Cyphert, finished with zero faults around the Manuel Esparza (MEX)-designed track, as Peterson, Ozymy, and Simpson each completed with a double-clear effort in both portions of competition. Donald and Hector were eliminated, but as the single lowest score is dropped, Zone 4/7 stayed within striking distance of the win. The pressure was placed on Simpson, who earned a Gold medal in the Junior team competition last year, as she and Why Not were the final combination on course for the Zone 4/7 Team.

“Why Not felt really good today. She felt great yesterday too and I wanted to take it one jump at a time. She felt a little tired towards the end of the course so I had to give her that, but I’m hoping for a great week,” said Simpson. “It was a nice track and coming into today, I wanted to focus on jumping two solid clear rounds and hope for the best.”

Most of the competitors composing the Zone 4/7 Team are veterans of NAJYRC competition, having competed as a Junior or Young Rider in previous years. Ozymy, who guided Curtis 57 to a double-clear effort around the track, commented on her appreciation for the event and the valuable experience team competition provides.

“My favorite part of coming to this competition is getting to compete with a team. In this sport, you don’t usually get the chance to compete with a team and really root for each other, so that’s the coolest part. Today, to be able to do this with a team of people, is just incredible,” said Ozymy.

“I had a great team behind me and it’s awesome to have them as teammates because they really held it together this week. It ended up being okay because of the great support behind me,” added Douglas.

Peterson and Fast Flo have been gaining valuable experience over the past year, as the pair contested the $1 Million Grand Prix during the winter circuit in Thermal, Calif., as well as completed their first Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier this past spring. Commenting on their growing partnership, Peterson said, “We didn’t really get along at first and I was getting jumped off a lot, but she’s really turned out to be a very special horse.”

“I want to thank all of the sponsors of this event. I don’t think that many Young Riders and people our age get to jump in competitions with teams. To get that experience at a young age, at a venue like this is really important, so I want to thank the sponsors for this opportunity,” added Simpson.

Region 3 Captures Gold in USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championship FEI Junior Team Test

Four riders hailing from Region 3 secured their place atop the winner’s podium in the USDF North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships FEI Junior Team Test with an average score of 197.298 to best the Region 4 team, who completed the competition with a final score of 194.729. A combined team of riders from Region 1 and Region 6 earned the Bronze medal, finishing the day with a score of 194.298.

The Region 3 Team, guided by Chef d’Equipe Sue Bender, featured riders Juliet Hess (17, Atlanta, Ga.) aboard Diano, Emily Hewitt (18, Atlanta, Ga.) and Whats Up De La Ferme Rose, Helena Marie Milazzo (17, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) with Baccus, and Marline Syribeys (17, Atlanta, Ga.) aboard Hollywood.

“Region 3 is a very special region because we’ve all been close for a while. Even before we came here, we knew each other and were friendly with each other. That made us want to do well even more,” said Hess, who piloted Diano to a team high score of 67.162%.

Teammates Emily Hewitt and Helena Marie Milazzo were overwhelmed with emotion when they received the final word to confirm where the foursome finished in competition, and both described the importance of the day, as one they’ll always remember.

“Winning gold was a shock and I wasn’t really expecting it. Everyone on the team held true to what they were supposed to do today and it was a team effort,” commented Hewitt.

“These ladies made this win so special,” added Milazzo. “I was flooded with emotions; that’s for sure. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and I’m really thankful that I get to ride with these ladies.”

While Syribeys did not have the day she was expecting aboard Hollywood, she triumphed on with a positive attitude and demeanor, aptly describing her experience at the competition and the benefit it holds when creating and maintaining relationships within their discipline.

“When you’re able to compete in an environment that you don’t feel like you’re competing against each other, but that you’re competing together is so much fun,” she said. “It gives this horse show such a different feel than any other show.”

Each of the riders commented on their individual tests, as well as the improvements they felt they had made on the first day of competition for junior dressage competitors.

“I think today was a really solid ride for me. I’m learning to ride the edge of the power with him and that is an improvement for us. It was a really special day,” noted Hess.

“His energy level today was a lot better than it usually is and I felt like he was much more expressive,” commented Milazzo. “I think NAJYRC is such a fantastic opportunity. You can come here and prove to yourself that you can achieve certain things that you may not have originally thought. I didn’t think that I would be doing something like this if you had asked me a few years ago and being able to compete in this type of environment is something so important and special.”

The Region 3 Juniors won the Gold medal with a total score of 197.298:
Juliet Hess (17, Atlanta, Ga.) and Diano 67.162%
Emily Hewitt (18, Atlanta, Ga.) and Whats Up De La Ferme Rose 65.595%
Helena Marie Milazzo (17, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) and Baccus 64.541%
Marline Syribeys (17, Atlanta, Ga.) and Hollywood EL

The Region 4 Juniors earned the Silver medal with a total score of 194.792:
Cara Fragomeni (17, Maple Grove, Minn.) and Aragon 62.432%
Jenna Upchurch (17, Chesterfield, Mo.) and Greystoke 67.919%
Bianca Schmidt (15, Edina, Minn.) and Octavian’s O’Neill EL
Madison Peer (17, Derby, Vt.) and Stella Luna 64.378%

The Bronze medal was awarded to Region 1/6 Juniors with a total score of 194.298:
Kayla Kadlubek (16, Fairfax Station, Va.) and Freewill 60.865%
Allison Nemeth (14, Flemington, N.J.) and Dafoe 67.703%
Cameron Wyman (17, Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Thys 65.730

Carlos Guerrerio and Santos Claim Victory in USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championships Junior Individual First Round Qualifier

Carlos Guerrerio of Mexico City, Mexico, who is competing for the Mexico North team, piloted Santos, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, to top honors in the USHJA North American Junior & Young Rider Show Jumping Championship Junior Individual First Round Qualifier, with a score of 33.196 seconds in the fault converted format of the class.

Guerrerio’s teammate Antonio Abascal Secchi of Veracruz, Mexico and Continio 4 earned second place with a total score of 34.719, while Lucy Matz of Coatesville, Pa., representing Zone 2, secured third place with a final score of 34.978 aboard Bailey VI.

“I discussed a plan with my trainer when we walked the course and we didn’t want to go all out, but with the format being faults converted, you have to go quickly because if you have one down you take yourself out of placing,” explained Guerrerio. “We wanted to stay with a good pace, not too fast, but also trace the tight turns and I rode all of the strides forward.”

This is the second year that Guerrerio has represented Mexico North at the NAJYRC, as he debuted last year at the competition in 2015 at The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. This season, Guerrerio has been focused on gaining experience with Santos, who is a relatively new ride, and hopes their experience in Europe earlier this season will translate into top finishes throughout the week.

“My trainer rode him at WEF and then I started riding him in June. We had him over in Europe earlier this season and we did some of the shows over there with good results,” he stated. “We just got back to the U.S. last week so I’m hoping that we do well in the remainder of competition.”

“I think this is a very important competition for all of the Junior riders in North America. Last year we took bronze on Mexico North and I’m hoping that we can improve on that this year. We’re hoping for a good result tomorrow in the team competition,” added Guerrerio.

Elena Hengel Sits in the Lead aboard Zipp in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Championships CIC 2* Division While Team Canada Holds Top Team Position

Elena Hengel of Area IV and Zipp sit atop the leaderboard for the individual portion of competition in the USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships CIC2* division with a score of 42.70. Hengel nearly outdid herself, riding Say I Do, who is participating in the team portion of competition for the combined Area III/IV Team to a score of 46.0. Alyssa Phillips and Bliss III, who are competing on the Area V/IX Team, rounded out the top three individuals, with a score of 48.80.

Elena Hengel (Area IV) and Zipp (Sportfot)
Elena Hengel (Area IV) and Zipp (Sportfot)

“They were both incredible,” said Hengel. “Donovan was second in the ring this morning and he was really calm and was able to have a nice, consistent test. Zipp was awesome – he is always great in the dressage and I felt that he was really on today. I am really proud of both of them.”

The Canadian team, featuring riders from Alberta and Ontario, are currently in first place in team competition with an overall score of 153.2. Riders Shelby Brost, April Simmonds, and Jamie Kellock compose the team of riders, while Brost and Crimson scored a team best 50.2 to help secure the team’s first place position.

“Crim felt great today. She gave it her all. We’ve been training really hard these last few weeks, putting some finishing touches on and she brought all of that to the ring,” commented Bost. “I really don’t think I could have gotten more from her in that test. She was foot perfect.”

“I initially wasn’t on the team because I’m from Alberta and we didn’t have a CIC2* team, but the girls allowed me on their team and I’m very grateful for that,” she explained. “We’re all very good friends and the team experience is unlike any other and I think that’s why people come to Young Riders.”

The USEA North American Junior & Young Rider Eventing Championships continues Saturday featuring the CCI1* dressage phase of competition before riders from both the CIC2* and CCI1* will contest the cross-country track designed by James Atkinson on Saturday, July 30.

For more information on NAJYRC and to see a full list of results, please visit or

By The Colorado Horse Park/USEF

FEI Tribunal Publishes Final Decision in Endurance Prohibited Substance Case

Lausanne (SUI), 8 July 2016 – The FEI Tribunal has today published its Final Decision in the case against the Iranian rider Abdulla Mahmood Abdulla Darban (FEI ID 10044343). Samples taken from the horse Lunatica (FEI ID 103JV94/QAT), which finished fourth at the CEI1* in Doha (QAT) on 2 May 2015, returned positive for two prohibited substances, Propranolol and Dexamethasone.

The beta blocker Propranolol, which is used to lower the heart rate, is a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Rules (EADCMRs). The corticosteroid Dexamethasone is a controlled medication.

The FEI Tribunal has imposed a two-year suspension on the athlete, effective immediately. The period of provisional suspension, which was effective from the date of notification, 23 June 2015, has been credited against the period of ineligibility. This means that the period of ineligibility will now run through to 22 June 2017.

The athlete, who is based in Qatar, is also fined CHF 2,000 and ordered to contribute CHF 1,500 towards the cost of the judicial procedure.

The full Final Decision is available here.

The athlete has 30 days from the date of notification of the Final Decision (7 July 2016) to appeal this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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 substances (doping), are substances that should never be found in the body of the horse.

FEI Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38