Tag Archives: endurance

FEI Announces Two Banned Substance Positives

Lausanne (SUI), 3 June 2016 – The FEI has announced two adverse analytical findings involving prohibited substances.

Samples taken at the CEI1* in Doha (QAT) on 22 April 2016 from the winning horse Centurion, FEI ID 102RM71/QAT, ridden by Abdulla Mubarak Rashed Al Khaili, FEI ID 10076760/UAE, have returned positive for the banned substance human Erythropoietin (EPO). EPO is a banned substance under the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations (EADCMRs).

Samples taken at the same event from the horse SUR (Mabrouk), FEI ID UAE01796/QAT, ridden to second place by Mohd Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi, FEI ID 10092584/UAE, also returned positive for human EPO.

EPO is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally in the body. It is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production. An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Rules, EPO has been banned as a performance enhancing substance for human athletes since the early 1990s, but a reliable testing method was not in place until 2000. EPO has been banned for equine use under the FEI’s EADCMRs since 2010.

“EPO is well known in human endurance sports in which an increased number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells is an advantage, but the substance has little benefit in equestrian sport and this is the first time we have seen FEI horses testing positive for EPO,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Akerström said. “Horses have a large natural reserve of red blood cells stored in their spleen, and the use of EPO would actually have a negative effect in many horses as the increased level of red blood cells would slow down blood circulation.”

“Clean sport is a top priority for all governing bodies,” FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez said, “and a key part of that is protecting our clean athletes. So we will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that there is no room in our sport for those who attempt to gain a competitive advantage through the use of prohibited substances.”

Both athletes have been provisionally suspended from the date of notification (2 June 2016). The two horses have also been provisionally suspended for a two-month period.

Further details on these cases can be found here.

FEI Media Contact:

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

International Celebrations at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Kent Farrington receiving his trophy for the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup from HM The Queen and Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, The King of Bahrain.

The promotion to 4* status had a magnificent effect on this year’s Royal Windsor Horse Show which took place from Thursday 12th to Sunday 15th May.

The upgraded status of the show attracted some of the world’s top riders and the competition was fierce across all disciplines, providing a fantastic spectacle for the thousands of visitors attending over the four days.

Despite the cancellation of ‘Windsor Wednesday’ due to incessant rain and flooding, the resilient British public turned out in force for the remaining days and ticket sales were up by 20% day on day compared to previous years.

Spectators enjoyed world-class equestrian sport and fabulous international entertainment in the stunning grounds of Windsor Castle – the only time of the year that HM The Queen opens up the private grounds to the public.

There was a real international feel to the event this year, with international competitions in Show Jumping, Driving and Endurance as well as spectacular displays from acts from around the world including the Canadian Mounted Police, The Chilean Huasos and the Dancers and Karabakh horses and dancers from Azerbaijan, all of which were taking part in The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration, which took place on each evening of the event.

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “This year’s event was very special. Not only did we have the upgraded status of the show to 4* level, thus attracting some of the world’s top equestrian athletes, but there was a celebratory feel to the whole event with The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations in the evening.”

No fewer than five Olympic gold medallists were amongst the entries of the newly upgraded CSI 4* International Show Jumping classes at Royal Windsor Horse Show to kick start a summer where all eyes lead to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It was World No. 6 Kent Farrington who stole the show, taking the two feature events of the weekend, the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy, as well as the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup. Riding the speedy Creedance, the American visitor was on flying form taking both classes by over a second from second place riders John Whitaker and Tiffany Foster respectively.

The Rolex Testimonee, who was competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time, was thrilled with the results, which saw him presented with The King’s Cup by The Queen. “What more can I ask for? I’ve never been here before, so we’re off to a great start, and with this being The Queen’s Birthday Celebration too, it’s a great moment.”

Despite the international fields, with riders from 13 countries taking part in the 4* competitions, the opening day of the Show was dominated by Great Britain. Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV returned to the scene of their 2015 Grand Prix victory to win the Bahrain Pearl Stakes and Guy Williams took the Manama Speed Stakes aboard chestnut gelding Casper De Muze.

In other action, there was a scintillating win for Britain’s leading lady rider, Laura Renwick, who was victorious in The Falcon Stakes riding Heliodor Hybris and France’s Adeline Hecart, who returned after a successful 2015 Royal Windsor Horse Show, to take the Palm Accumulator.

“It is my favourite show in the world,” she said. “Last year, the atmosphere was amazing and the people who come here are so knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. But this year you can really feel that there is something more and sense how much people love The Queen and want to celebrate her birthday.”

With his magnificent four-in-hand warmbloods, reigning World Champion, Boyd Exell from Australia, drove to victory in the final phase of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix, reclaiming the win that has been his six times previously.

“We’ve been second for the last two years,” smiled a relieved Exell. “I lost it in the cones last year and I really did not want to do that again.” He added, “I’ve been trying out new combinations of horses in recent years but these ones have really gone well for me.”

Exell was in first place going into the final day, but the pressure did not get to him as he drove a sure and clean double clear to take his seventh Royal Windsor win.

Pony four-in-hands provided an even more nail-biting finale with Jan de Boer and his Welsh Section As claiming victory at Royal Windsor for the sixth time, with Germany’s Michael Bugener and Vilmos Jambor Jr, both competing for the first time here, taking second and third.

In the Nations Cup competition, the Netherlands – Ijsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman – never looked like relinquishing the first place they held since the first day. Germany – Rainer Duen, Marieke Harm and Christoph Sandmann – also retained their second position throughout but Belgium – Dries Degrieck and Edouard Simonet – overtook the Australian team for third place on the final day.

Royal Windsor Horse Show is seen as the early season mecca of showing and this year saw riders of all ages share the limelight.

Fittingly at a Show that was celebrating Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, The Queen had a particularly successful few days. For the second year running, her homebred Barber’s Shop, ridden by Katie Jerram, landed the RoR Tattersalls Thoroughbred Ridden Show Horse Championship on Thursday whereas black Fell mare Murthwaite Dawn Chorus delighted her owner by winning her class and then going on to stand reserve supreme in-hand mountain and moorland champion on Friday.

In ridden ranks on Friday, Clare Twiston-Davies’s reigning Horse of the Year Show cob champion Randalstown Musketeer took his first Royal Windsor title for Wales based producer Vicky Hesford.

Britain’s glorious native breeds took centre stage on Saturday, with the top spot going to Newbury based Hannah Horton with Lady Huntingdon’s stunning Connemara Slieve Bloom Jill with her first Royal Windsor native title. Elsewhere, the prestigious show pony title went to Yorkshire based combination Georgina Holmes and her 148cm winner Wilderness Early Bird.

One of the most popular winners in the working hunter pony division on Sunday was the 18-year-old 143cm grey gelding Carnsdale Casper, owned by the Beaconsfield based Wrennall family, ridden by twelve-year-old Katie Wrennall. Another game veteran of the pony ranks, 16-year-old CJs Tonto, accounted for the 133cm division, but the section title went to Sophie Lawes and her 135cm bay mare Carnsdale Vanity Fair.

Winning rider Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui rides Ramaah to the finish line (left) with SH Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum
Winning rider Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui rides Ramaah to the finish line (left) with SH Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum

Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui of the UAE triumphed at Royal Windsor Endurance kindly supported by the Kingdom of Bahrain. Riding Ramaah he finished in a time of 04:41:27, almost six minutes clear of the second placed rider, Mohammed Adbulsamad from Bahrain on Derrom Galiem, who was just one second ahead of third placed Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum on Intisaar, also from the UAE.

Ramaah’s trainer, Ismael Mohammed, said: “It is a really good result for the UAE, starting off the summer season with this win. We came here with good horses and we were hoping for this result.”

Now in its fourth year, a field of 52 competitors from a record thirteen nations set off into Windsor Great Park to complete four loops, and a total distance of 120km. The course included the home straight of Ascot Racecourse on loop one, and a number of picturesque landmarks and backdrops throughout. Despite the recent torrential rain, conditions out on the course were excellent and the average speed of Al Mozroui was a brisk 25.6 kilometres per hour.

Royal Windsor Endurance Director, Michael Shephard, said: “We are very pleased to have hosted another successful ride in this beautiful setting, and delighted to have had more countries than ever on the start line. The weather was very kind to us and the competition as fierce as ever.”

For full results, please click here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Further information can be found on www.rwhs.co.uk.

Glorious Day of Equestrian Sport at Royal Windsor Horse Show

Another actioned packed day at Royal Windsor Horse Show included victory for one of the world’s finest riders and saw Trooper Thomas Evans RHG/D awarded The Best Turned Out Trooper in the sunny grounds of Home Park (Private).

The Queen was present at 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.

The feature class of the day, the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for The King’s Cup, turned into a scintillating race against the clock, with World No. 6 Kent Farrington coming out on top in the eight horse jump-off. Great Britain’s Joe Davison produced a beautiful clear round as first to go in the jump-off, setting a time of 36.79 seconds; however, with notably fast riders to follow, his lead was soon relinquished. Kent, riding the nine-year-old chestnut gelding Creedance, showed why he is amongst the best riders in the world, posting an impressive time of 31.86, over a second faster than eventual second Tiffany Foster.

The Rolex Testimonee, who is competing at Royal Windsor Horse Show for the first time, was thrilled with the result. “What more can I ask for. I’ve never been here before, so we’re off to a great start, and with this being The Queen’s Birthday Celebration too, it’s a great moment.”

The second World Ranking class of the day went to Great Britain’s leading lady rider Laura Renwick, who took the Falcon Stakes. The unique class format, whereby the winner of each of the seven groups in the first round, along with the fastest losers, went through to the jump-off, caused much excitement amongst the packed crowd. Lorenzo De Luca held the lead after posting a challenging time of 28.03, but Renwick, who was last to go into the arena, was class personified and cut over a second off his time to take the victory aboard Heliodor Hybris.

Her Majesty The Queen’s Challenge Cup for Service Team Jumping was claimed by The Household Cavalry Team B with the only faultless tally at the end of two rounds. The trio of riders included Major Housby-Skeggs (Hightide), Corporal of the Horse Lacey (Nudger) and Captain Chambers (Freeway).

Cool sunny weather and good footing underhoof gave the 28 horse four-in-hand and 10 pony four-in-hand competitors perfect conditions for the cross-country marathon. Going in reverse order of placings in both classes, attention necessarily became more focused as the classes drew on, but there was plenty of good sport from competitors throughout.

“This was a really good marathon that bought the best out in contestants,” said President of the Ground Jury, GB’s Andrew Counsell. “It allowed those who did not excel at dressage to make up ground and improve their positions with skillful driving here, perhaps particularly in the pony four-in-hands.”

ExellIn the lead after dressage and therefore last to go in the horse four-in-hands, Boyd Exell from Australia drove with notable steadiness but always keeping in touch with the timings of his fellow competitors. The pressure on him increased, however, in the penultimate obstacle where he lost significant seconds as his leaders went either side of a post. Correcting the situation smoothly, he proved his competitive professionalism yet again as he drove quickly and cleanly through the final obstacle to record the second fastest time through it; he thus retained his first place at this stage.

Ijsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands, in joint second before the marathon, was looking to catch up Exell throughout – and he nearly did: he drove a fast, fluent marathon to win this section and to move up to less than one-cone penalty behind him. Chardon’s fellow countryman, Koos de Ronde, also drove a clean marathon which improved his position from fourth to third at this point.

Competition was no less determined in the pony four-in-hands, with little quarter given. Overnight leader, Dieter Hofs from Germany slipped out of the running to fifth place with his steady but comparatively slow marathon drive. First place after this phase went to Hungary’s Vilmos Jambor Jr, competing at Royal Windsor for the first time with his Hackney ponies and lying third after Friday’s dressage. Former World Champion and multiple Royal Windsor winner, Jan de Boer from the Netherlands, retained his second place overall with a good marathon drive. The winner of this section, Germany’s Michael Bugener – another making his debut at Royal Windsor – drove a storming marathon to take him from seventh place after dressage to third overall.

Placings in the Nations Cup for horse four-in-hands remained unchanged after the marathon, the Netherlands leading the field some 20 penalties clear of Germany. Australia retains her third placing. The Netherlands have proved invincible at the last seven World Horse Four-in-Hand Championships, taking team gold each time.

Our youngest winner of the day was Toby Johnstone who took the BSPS Heritage Mountain & Moorland Open Lead Rein Class riding Pumphill Fandango.

Britain’s glorious native breeds again took centre stage this morning. The top spot went to Newbury based Hannah Horton with Lady Huntingdon’s stunning Connemara Slieve Bloom Jill with her first Royal Windsor native title.

At the other end of the age range, Angela Pallet’s amazing 18-year-old Welsh Section B gelding Waitwith Westwind romped to victory in his working hunter pony class and stood reserve champion.

The prestigious show pony title went to Yorkshire based combination Georgina Holmes and her 148cm winner Wilderness Early Bird.

Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui of the UAE Friday triumphed at the Royal Windsor Endurance, kindly supported by the Kingdom of Bahrain. Riding Ramaah he finished in a time of 04:41:27, almost six minutes clear of the second placed rider, Mohammed Adbulsamad from Bahrain on Derrom Galiem, who was just one second ahead of third placed Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum on Intisaar, also from the UAE.

Ramaah’s trainer, Ismael Mohammed, said: “It is a really good result for the UAE, starting off the summer season with this win. We came here with good horses and we were hoping for this result.”

Now in its fourth year, a field of 52 competitors from a record thirteen nations set off into Windsor Great Park to complete four loops, and a total distance of 120km. The course included the home straight of Ascot Racecourse on loop one, and a number of picturesque landmarks and backdrops throughout. Despite the recent torrential rain, conditions out on the course were excellent and the average speed of Al Mozroui was a brisk 25.6 kilometres per hour.

Royal Windsor Endurance Director, Michael Shephard, said: “We are very pleased to have hosted another successful ride in this beautiful setting, and delighted to have had more countries than ever on the start line. The weather was very kind to us today and the competition as fierce as ever.”

For full results, please click here.

Tickets are still available for Sunday and can be purchased on www.rwhs.co.uk, via the box office on 0844 581 4960 from the UK and +44 (0) 121 796 6290 internationally. Alternatively, tickets are available locally at Windsor Information Centre either over the counter or by telephoning +44 (0) 1753 743900.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44 (0)207 592 1207

Royal Windsor Horse Show

The Show will take place from 11-15 May 2016. Over 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the 74th year of Royal Windsor Horse Show which offers its audience astounding displays in the main Castle Arena, such as 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 goods for sale, from jewellery and fashion, to food and drink. Her Majesty The Queen has attended every year since the Show 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 Windsor Equestrian Promotions Ltd, a part of HPower Group, also organisers of Olympia, The London International Horse Show www.hpower.co.uk.

The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration

Due to The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration taking place in the evenings following the Horse Show, there will be no evening performances at Royal Windsor Horse Show this year. These will return for 2017. The Horse Show will be ending at about 6pm each day. Royal Windsor Horse Show tickets do not include access to The Queen’s Birthday Celebration and there will be nowhere to watch the performance without The Celebration ticket.

FEI Tribunal Publishes Decisions in UAE Endurance Cases

Lausanne (SUI), 11 March 2016 – The FEI Tribunal has this week published decisions in three Endurance cases in the United Arab Emirates involving Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, Abdul Aziz Sheikh and Ali Mohammed Al Muhairi.

Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, former Head of the Veterinary Department at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been suspended as an FEI Official for a two-year period for non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations and his involvement in a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI.

The FEI Tribunal found that Dr Sommerseth had been “grossly negligent with regards to his duties as an FEI Official” during the events. Dr Sommerseth had been provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez since 31 August 2015.

The FEI Tribunal suspension, which prevents Dr Sommerseth from acting as an FEI Official or having any involvement in FEI activities at a national or international level, runs through to 15 April 2017. The FEI Tribunal, which also fined Dr Sommerseth CHF 4,000 and ordered him to pay CHF 1,500 towards the costs of the legal procedure, took into account the ongoing provisional suspension imposed by the FEI Secretary General and the period from 12 March to 27 July 2015 when the EEF was suspended.

Dr Sommerseth has 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The full decision is available here.

Abdul Aziz Sheikh, former Head of the EEF Endurance Department, has been suspended from acting as an FEI Official or having any involvement in FEI activities at a national or international level by the FEI Tribunal for an 18-month period.

Mr Sheikh was provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General on 13 October 2015 for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations over a period of several years and for allowing a number of Endurance events to proceed without accurate timing systems.

The FEI Tribunal has now suspended him until 12 April 2017, taking into account the provisional suspension imposed by the FEI Secretary General. Mr Sheikh has also been fined CHF 3,000 and ordered to pay CHF 1,500 towards the costs of the legal procedure.

Mr Sheikh has 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to CAS.

The full decision is available here.

The FEI Tribunal has also issued a decision in the case against Ali Mohammed Al Muhairi (UAE) regarding breaches of the terms of a four-year suspension imposed in March 2012 following an Equine Anti-Doping Rules violation. Under the terms of the suspension, Mr Al Muhairi was not allowed to participate in any capacity or be present at any Event authorised or organised by the FEI, other than as a spectator. The FEI Tribunal extended the period of ineligibility through to 21 April 2016 and ordered Mr Al Muhairi to contribute CHF 500 towards the costs of the legal procedure.

The Parties have 21 days from the date of notification (10 March 2016) to appeal the decision to CAS.

The full decision is available here.

Media contacts:

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

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
leanne.williams@fei.org
+41 79 314 24 38

FEI and EEF Agree on Endurance Measures for 2016 Season

Lausanne (SUI), 13 February 2016 – The FEI, as part of its continued efforts to ensure strong measures for Endurance in the UAE are taken, has today held talks with the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) in Abu Dhabi (UAE).

FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello met with EEF Vice President Mohammad Alkamali, EEF Secretary General Taleb Dhaher Al Mheiri, and EEF Executive Board Member Faisal Al Ali to work through the exact measures that will be implemented at international (CEIs) and national (CENs) Endurance events in the UAE for the remainder of the current season, which runs until early April.

These talks follow recent meetings between the FEI and the EEF in both Switzerland and the UAE, after which the EEF postponed four Endurance events so that agreement could be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in Endurance in the region. The CEI1* in Dubai on 8 February was postponed, along with national events on 4, 5 and 6 February. In addition, the EEF took further action, suspending five riders and five trainers for a six-month period and imposed fines following what they termed “gross offences” at the national junior and young rider 120km ride at Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, on 30 January.

The FEI had set the deadline of 11 February for the EEF to come back with an agreement on the proposed measures, with the caveat that no further events would be held in the region until agreement on these measures had been reached.

The CEI 3* 160 km HH The President of UAE Endurance Cup, attended by Mr De Mello, took place today in Al Wathba, following agreement with the FEI on the measures. The event, held at the Emirates International Endurance Village, was well organised with the winning combination averaging a speed of 26.3 kph and all horses crossing the line in good health.

The twelve approved measures, which will be applied for the rest of the UAE Endurance season, are:

  1. Reduced number of events for the rest of the season. *Events for the rest of the international season will be confirmed on the FEI Calendar; the EEF will confirm its national events in due course
  2. Limit the number of horse and rider combinations entered into each international and national event to 150.
  3. Heart rate presentation times reduced to between 56 and 60 bpm for all loops in one-star competitions, and in the final loop for two- and three-star CEIs and CENs.
  4. Recovery time reduced to between 10 and 15 minutes for all loops in one-star and in the final loop for two-and three-star CEIs and CENs.
    *Heart rates and recovery times will be monitored closely by the FEI and EEF, with action taken where needed (if athletes exceed these limits they will be eliminated)
  5. Rest periods between loops will be reviewed by Veterinary Officials to determine whether 50-minute holds will be more beneficial to the horses.
  6. The last 2-5 kms of the final loop will be designated and controlled so that no cars or crews can access.
  7. In the final loop, crewing in the form of offering cooling water bottles will only be allowed at designated crewing points every 2-5 kms – no other crewing will be allowed.
  8. In all CEI 3* and CEI 4* events, all horses will be confined in Secure Overnight Stabling, in accordance with FEI Regulations.
  9. The Official TV Broadcasters have been named; as such the film/video recordings are the official record of the event and hence legal actions may be taken against the violators of any regulation viewed on this footage.
  10. Crews will be identified with numbered bibs that match the number of the horse to enable easy identification; should a horse be eliminated from the competition, the bibs will be surrendered immediately; only those people with a numbered bib matching that of the horse still in competition will be allowed to crew or to accompany the horse at any time during the event.
  11. A ride briefing will be held at each event to review regulations, and to update everyone involved of any changes in regulations for the event; attendance will be compulsory; failure to attend shall result in immediate elimination from the event.
  12. All officials will now be appointed by the EEF instead of Organising Committees; no non-EEF appointed officials will be able to officiate at international and national events.

“We need to change hearts as well as minds, and the solution lies in education and dialogue, as well as taking a tough line with sanctions,” explained FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.

“The Emirates Equestrian Federation has been bold, taking stringent action as seen recently with the suspension of events and sanctioning athletes and trainers, clearly demonstrating their commitment to work together with the FEI to eradicate the incidents that have tarnished the sport. We will continue to work together to ensure progress.

“Protecting horses comes first and we are determined that this specific value is upheld at international and national level Endurance competitions. While the FEI does not have jurisdiction over national events, we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that changes at an international level are also felt nationally.

“It is clear for everyone what is at stake, and the FEI is working closely with the EEF to make sure that any challenges to run the sport within the FEI’s clearly mapped rules are overcome, and that everyone in the sport understands the importance of standing by the measures implemented for the rest of the season.

“By continuing to work together we feel we can greatly impact the sport in the region long term.”

All latest updates on Endurance in the UAE can be found at this link – see “Latest Department Update” section: www.fei.org/fei/disc/endurance.

Media contacts:

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

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Bahrain Steals the Show with Double-Gold and 100% Completion Rate

Individual gold medallist, Bahrain’s Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri, is congratulated by FEI President Ingmar de Vos and Cristian Herrera, Director of the Chilean Endurance Federation at the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015 at Santo Domingo, Chile. (FEI/Rebecca Pearman)

Lausanne (SUI), 26 October 2015 – Bahrain stole the show when claiming both the Team and Individual Championship titles at the FEI World Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2015 staged in Parque Tricao, Santo Domingo in Chile at the weekend. Representatives from across the globe were in attendance, with a total of 59 starters and 11 teams in action. However, Bahrain had the distinction of being the only country to have all five representatives finish successfully.

The stunning vineyard region, some 100km south of Santiago, played host to competitors from as far afield as Malaysia, South Africa and Sweden, and from the very outset the organisers faced major challenges.

Just over a month before the Championships were due to take place, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake hit the host country, with the epicenter just 600km from the venue.

Finally, just as the Organising Committee must have thought everything was on track, only four days before the much-anticipated event was due to begin, freak winds blew through the venue causing huge damage and leaving much of the infrastructure razed to the ground.

Spectacle of sportsmanship

Despite such drama and potential difficulties the event itself passed without any major issues and was a spectacle of excellent sportsmanship and camaraderie set in one of the most picturesque regions of South America.

The 120km track was made up of five loops stretching out across the Chilean countryside taking in steep, gravel byways, deep, dusty tracks and stretches along the Santo Domingo coastline. Athletes were warned beforehand that wise horsemanship, nimbleness and careful thinking would be required to successfully negotiate such a track – a big ask for the young riders, all aged between just 14 and 21. However, they listened carefully and took it all in their stride, both metaphorically and physically. With one of the highest completion rates in recent times at a Championship, the future of Endurance is most certainly looking bright.

Individual gold

Individual Gold was won by Fahad Helal Mohamed Al Khatri (BRN) aboard the 12 year old bay gelding Poly de Coat Frity. The Anglo Arab only joined the Royal Bahrain Endurance Team in September this year following his excellent performance at the CEI3* 160km Rambouillet (FRA). Al Khatri couldn’t have asked for a better start to their career together.

The pair passed through the first vet gate in eighth place after the first 30km loop. As the day progressed they steadily made their way up the field to fourth place at the second vet gate, then improved to second at the third vet gate and slotted into first at the final vet gate with a 30-second lead over Mansour Saeed Mohd Al Faresi (UAE) with Hotspur Thabor.

An incredibly strong performance over the final 20km extended those 30 seconds to nearly 30 minutes, and resulted in an easy finish as the spritely pair trotted over the finish line encompassed in a cloud of dust to take Individual Gold and the coveted Best Conditioned Award.

Silver and bronze

Individual Silver and Bronze went to the only two finishers from the United Arab Emirates. Despite leaving on the final loop in second place, Al Faresi was overtaken by compatriot Saeed Mohd Khalifa Al Mehairi with Sirocco des Comtie. A successful vetting for both completed the podium.

Bahrain dominated much of the top ten, taking fourth, fifth and tenth positions. The final horse-and-rider partnership from Bahrain crossed the line in 11th place, just over an hour after the winning horse and rider. The highest-placed home competitor was 19 year old Pablo Llompart who took sixth position aboard El Pangue Ciromagnum with whom he won the Championship Trial Run in April of this year.

The Team results were fairly spread out, with several hours separating the medallists. Bahrain finished with a total time of 17:38:16, knocking 2011 World Champions Uruguay into silver medal position. Qatar completed the podium taking bronze in a time of 21:00:34, over 1.5 hours slower than Uruguay. South Africa and Ecuador were the only other teams to have three or more combinations complete.

Inspirational experience

FEI President, Ingmar De Vos, attended the Championships and said yesterday, “I’ve been visiting National Federations across South America for the past couple of weeks and it has been an inspirational experience.

“I have witnessed for myself the commitment, energy, dedication and enthusiasm of the people on the ground who are clearly having a huge impact on the expansion and development of the sport here.

“Encouraging the participation of young athletes and providing them with every possible educational opportunity are key elements to the future success of all sports, and I’d like to congratulate the Organising Committee at Santo Domingo for providing a truly excellent event for this weekend’s FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors.”

Full Results

By Berry Pattison

FEI Media Contacts:

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

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

US Team Gives Their All at 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

Mary Cathryn Clark and Questafir (Becky Pearman Photography)

Santo Domingo, Chile – The U.S. team put forth a great effort Friday during the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Leading the way for the U.S. was Mary Kathryn Clark (Eatonton, Ga.) who finished 21st with a time of 7:32:37. Clark, who rode her own Questafir, a 2004 Arabian gelding, had a personal best finish in these championships after placing 37th in 2011.

The remaining members of the U.S. team were unable to overcome the challenges the course presented: Christina Kimery (Bixby, Okla.) and Jeremy and Ellen Olson’s Bey Gibby, a 2001 Arabian gelding; Katie Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) and Clark’s 2006 Arabian gelding Kalilas Legacy; Mallory Capps (Cumming, Ga.) and Lori Shifflett’s Magical Mikada, a 2003 Arabian gelding, and Maria Muzzio (Clifton, Va.) and Natalie Muzzio’s Laconic, a 2002 Arabian gelding, were pulled at vet checks along the way.

“Today did not go as we hoped, but I can’t be more proud of this team. They did everything that was asked of them, took care of each other, and most importantly, their equine athletes. What we learned during the selection process and our time in Chile will help us move forward and develop the Team for the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Congratulations to Mary Kathryn on finishing her young rider career with a completion today,” said USEF Chef d’Equipe Mark Dial.

The nation of Bahrain won the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors. Fahad Al Khatri of Bahrain is the Individual World Champion.

From the USEF Communications Department

Hugely Successful FEI Endurance Courses Attract Almost 1,400 Delegates in UAE

Almost 1,400 people have attended a series of FEI Endurance educational courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE) over the past four days as part of the agreement signed between the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the FEI. (EEF Media Centre)

Lausanne (SUI), 14 October 2015 – Close to 1,400 people have attended a series of FEI Endurance educational courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE) over the past four days in advance of this week’s Endurance season opener, a CEI1* 80-kilometre ride. The attendees, numbering 1,347 in total, included athletes, trainers, grooms, Veterinarians, Judges, Technical Delegates and Stewards.

The courses were an important element in the legally binding agreement signed between the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) and the FEI prior to the lifting of the provisional suspension at the end of July. The FEI Bureau had suspended the EEF in March of this year following an investigation into major horse welfare issues and non-compliance with FEI Rules and Regulations in the country.

Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, Brian Sheahan, acted as Course Director alongside Dwight Hooton (USA) a member of the FEI Veterinary Committee and veterinary advisor to the EEF, and FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello. The EEF Assistant Secretary General Faisal al Ali attended the first session on 10 October, and Dr Ali Al Twessi from the EEF Endurance Department was also on hand to offer translation services.

The athletes, trainers and grooms’ sessions, which attracted 1,065 attendees, 25% of which were female, covered FEI and national rules, mandatory rest periods, penalty points, the entry system, field of play and veterinary aspects, including Vet Gate procedures, anti-doping rules (human and equine) and medication procedures.

John Robertson, Deputy Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, was in charge of the courses for FEI Judges (Levels 1, 2 and 4), Stewards and Technical Delegates. A total of 190 Stewards attended, including 160 from the police force who will be working at events, as the national rules are now fully compliant with FEI rules.

Brian Sheahan and Dwight Hooton also ran a course for Veterinarians, with 68 attendees. Both the Veterinarians and Judges were then required to sit an exam, with a 100% pass rate.

The EEF’s new entry system, delivery of results to the FEI, horse welfare issues including cars in the field of play, video cameras in the stabling area and prevention of accidents in the vet gate area were discussed at two separate meetings, one with Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and the other with Dubai Equestrian Club General Manager Mohammed Essa Al Adhad.

There was a general consensus that the courses and the individual meetings had all been extremely successful and effective.

“We have a fantastic sport in Endurance and it was wonderful to have had such successful courses in Group VII, particularly from an attendance perspective but also for the enthusiasm of all the delegates,” FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said at the end of the four days. “The courses were really interactive and there was a huge thirst for knowledge and a desire to increase the depth of understanding of all aspects of the discipline from everyone who attended. There has been great team work here in Dubai, and everybody is fully committed to success.”

Provisional suspension

As part of the ongoing clean-up of the discipline in Group VII, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yasin Sheikh, Head of Endurance at the United Arab Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), has been provisionally suspended as an FEI Official by the FEI Secretary General, Sabrina Zeender, for consistently failing to observe the FEI Rules and Regulations at a number of events from which duplicate results were submitted to the FEI.

The provisional suspension, which is in accordance with Article 156.1 of the FEI General Regulations and which comes into immediate effect, is for an indefinite period. For the duration of the suspension, Mr Sheikh may not take part or be involved in the organisation of any FEI competitions or events, or any event under the jurisdiction of a National Federation.

Mr Sheikh has 30 days to appeal the decision to the FEI Tribunal from the date of notification (13 October 2015). He is the second UAE official to have been provisionally suspended by the FEI Secretary General following the suspension of Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, Head of the EEF Veterinary Department, last month. Both suspensions have the full support of FEI President Ingmar De Vos.

The events and duplicate results in the UAE that were used specifically for qualification purposes have now been deleted by the FEI IT Department. Any horse/rider combinations that used these duplicate results as qualification for subsequent events, and were therefore ineligible to compete, have now been disqualified.

Media Contacts:

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

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Uruguayan Endurance Horse Tests Positive for Prohibited Substance

Lausanne (SUI), 1 October 2015 – The FEI has imposed a provisional suspension on a Uruguayan Endurance rider whose horse has tested positive for a prohibited substance.

Samples taken at a CEI2* event in Trinidad (URU) on 8 August 2015 from the horse LG Muneerah (FEI ID 104TQ89/URU), ridden by Fernanda Villar (URU) to win the 120-kilometre competition, have returned positive for the banned substance Guanabenz, a sedative with analgesic effect.

The athlete has been provisionally suspended from the day of notification (29 September 2015). Additionally the horse has been provisionally suspended for two months. The athlete and the horse owner/s have the opportunity for a preliminary hearing before the FEI Tribunal to request the lifting of the provisional suspensions.

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
grania.willis@fei.org
+41 787 506 142

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

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

UAE Takes Gold and Spain Completes Podium

Gold medalist Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui (centre) was joined on the podium by Spain’s silver medalist Alex Luque Moral (left) and bronze medalist Jordi Pons Serra, with (front) Manuel Bandeira De Mello, FEI Director, Endurance. (Alessandra Giorgio/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 28 September 2015 – The 120km FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses 2015 at Valeggio Sul Mincio (ITA) saw the UAE’s Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui take individual gold and Spain’s Alex Luque Moral and Jordi Pons Serra return home with individual silver and bronze respectively last weekend.

These Championships for seven year old horses were first held during Valeggio Sul Mincio’s annual Italia Endurance Festival in 2013.

The four-loop course wound its way through the rolling countryside typical of the province of Verona, onto the shores of Lake Garda and into the stunning public park Parco Giardino Sigurta.

The event attracted a field of 73 combinations from across Europe as well as the UAE, Turkey and Kuwait. The competitors left the venue at 7am on Saturday morning and tackled the first loop of 38km. Consistency and quick presentation times were to prove influential throughout the day and vet gate 1 was no exception. A small group had made headway in the first section, comprising mainly representatives from the UAE but including Annelie Erikssen (SWE) and Luque Moral. Presentation times of under two minutes allowed Al Mazroui, Saif Salem Al Farasi (UAE) and Erikssen to continue their lead on to loop 2.

The second loop was slightly shorter at 33km, but proved too much for Erikssen on Penelope Del Ma, and the pair retired at the second vet gate. A slow presentation time from Al Farasi resulted in him slipping behind Luque Moral with his mare Surena MB, but only by eight seconds. Luque Mural, just back from winning team gold and narrowly missing out on an individual medal at the FEI European Endurance Championships in Slovakia just two weeks ago, was out to better his fourth place and come home with individual honours this time.

Al Mazroui left on the third 26.5km loop with a 3.5 minute lead and put in the fastest loop of the day, extending his lead by another two minutes at the final vet gate. This last check before the final loop was a real game changer for so many, with no less than 16 combinations having their chances dashed and being judged not fit to continue at this tantalisingly close stage.

While it looked like it would be an exceedingly tight last loop between Al Farasi and Moral, as both left within 10 seconds of one another, Al Farasi cruised home over the final 22.5kph with the Portuguese-bred grey Arabian gelding Descardo.

Moral was nevertheless ecstatic to secure his second FEI Championship medal within two weeks. Ten minutes later, bronze was snapped up by compatriot Pons Serra and his grey mare Cata de Montfluq, after they had worked their way up the leaderboard from seventh at the first vet gate.

Facts & Figures

Tactical riding and good horse management was key on this technical course, which saw 40% of the athletes complete from nine nations including Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and the UAE.

The top ten horses were of all bred in Europe, with half of these bred in France.

Spain held its head high yet again at these Championships, taking home two of the three medals on offer, after securing team and individual gold at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2015 in Slovakia just two weeks ago.

All eyes are now on the upcoming FEI Endurance World Championships for Seniors in Ruse (BUL) on 2-4 October and the FEI Endurance World Championships for Juniors & Young Riders in Santo Domingo (CHI) on 23-24 October.

Full results www.enduranceonline.it.

By Berry Pattison

FEI Media Contacts:

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

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46