Mercedes Tapia and RAS Kasal
World Endurance Championship - Dubai - A Personal Story

As I try to define the beginning of this adventure - where does it start... I find it impossible - many paths led to Dubai. It's a spicy mixture of technology, culture, opportunity, and total devotion to the horses and the sport of Endurance. I guess the best way to 'start' is with the Argentina connection, as that is what led to the purchase of the seat on the plane, which landed me on Arabian soil at this time.

So here is my 2004 WEC story, emails written over time, with images and memories and a few philosiphical wanderings thrown in, because I can't help but be constantly amazed at the adventures, and events that occur because of the sport, because of the horses.

The chapters are rambling, back and forth between events. Each time I sit and write, the events arrange themselves in different ways, different shades of blue, like the mountains of the Appalachias. Sometimes I'm looking out, sometimes looking in - but for me each perspective, each part of the story is meaningful, for different reasons. And the story will continue... Insh'Allah. Steph Teeter

The sound, image, feeling of tearing across the desert with Arabic music blaring out the windows, Sheikha Madiya at the wheel, Grace riding shotgun, Claudia and I in the back seat, Mercedes and Kasal galloping along beside us - this memory will be with me forever.

Miguel Pavlovsky, Mercedes Tapia, Eduardo Beccar Varella - Argentina - in Idaho for the Abu Dhabi Arabian Nights CEI*** . photo by Steph Teeter 1. Argentina
The Adventures Begin

January 9. John and I are currently in Argentina, staying with our friends, Mercedes Tapia and Eduardo Beccar Varella ...
Back in Dubai - Settling in and Getting Settled . photo by Steph Teeter 2. Argentina to Dubai
Getting Started

January 11. Back in Dubai... so much is familiar. I'm getting around pretty well now with a rental car...
Aussie Support at the Chalet Club House. photo by Steph Teeter 3. Moving Along
Team news

January 16. I finally have a net connection - though it's only for a short time each day, but will try to post more news and photos ...
Madiya cranking up the music. photo by Steph Teeter 4. Madiya
January 17. Last night I got a call from Grace Ramsey. She is here this winter training for Sheikha Madiya Hasher bint Al Maktoum...
Dinner with new Japanese friends. photo by Steph Teeter 5. An Amazing Rider
January 18. Last night I drove from the Endurance City back to the Jazira hotel - 20 miles of single lane road, dark, the back-road to Abu Dhabi. Didn't see a single car. Not even a lone camel...
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. photo by Steph Teeter 6.Parties, Royalty and Rain
Every Sunday and Wednesday night the Bab al Shams has a party - an 'authentic Arabic Barbeque' - in the desert near the hotel...
Madiya at the Wheel. photo by Steph Teeter

Madiya at the Wheel
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Mercedes Tapia and RAS Kasal. photo by Steph Teeter 7. The Ride - Argentina-Idaho Connection - Coming Together
I don't think I've ever had such fun at a ride - as a rider, a groom, a spectator, a reporter, whatever...
Grace and Madiya. photo by Steph Teeter 8. The Ride - the UAE Connection - Ramping Up Shortly after arrival Eduardo, Mercedes and I ran into Grace and Madiya during dinner in the Bab al Shams...
Everybody has a Cheering Squad. photo by Lucie Hess 9. The Ride - Performances and Keeping Perspective Today is February 29, each day I'm trying to find time to write, tell the story, but it is hard to find the time...
Keeping Track of Mercedes. photo by Lucie Hess 10. The Ride - A Good Start
The images of the day are already fading, it's been 3 days now, and the details are starting to blur, but the memory of the intensity, of the laughter and the horse galloping in rhythm to the music is still bright.
Criollo and Arabian. photo by Steph Teeter 11. The Criollo Story
The days are flying by... I had intended to spend yesterday writing about the WEC, trying to recap my observations and experience.
Watchful playful eye. photo by Steph Teeter
Homestretch. photo by Steph Teeter
Final Chapter. The Finish
I'm sitting in our hotel room - the Millenium Hotel, near the Corniche in Abu Dhabi city center. 12th floor, the window faces the city - high rise buildings toward the horizon, city noise, bright sun, and the Islamic Call To Prayer sounding in the background...

Another Video! 840kb
Signing Off. photo by John Teeter Signing Off... Endurance Net
FEI Website

World Endurance Championship
January 27, 2005
Dubai, UAE

Presented by Endurance Net