WEC Home
Photo Gallery
News & Blogs
Track Maps

Interactive Course Map
Requires Google Earth

Official Website

2007 Pre-Ride
WEC News || Steph's Notes || Becky Hart || Kathy Brunjes || Dutch Travels || Team Australia

WEC News


Stories & Blogs

  • Steph's Notes (final wrap up!)
  • Kathy Brunjes Diary
  • Becky Hart, USA Chef's log
  • Meg Sleeper's Diary
  • Team Australia

  • (Archives)

    From Holland


    Becky Hart: Chef's Logs


    Team Australia


    Kathy Brunjes' Notes


    Steph's Story - 2008 FEI World Endurance Championship

    Earning the WEC
    Sultans Cup 2007
    (a long story)
    From the moment the rain began to fall, to the moment that Rui (the rider from Portugal) got his completion nod from the vets to be the 8th completion (marking the 40% completion goal), to the moment when everybody realized that not just 40% of the riders would complete, but more like 70%, ... the words I kept hearing were 'amazing', 'unbelievable', 'incredible'...
    Malaysia Story, Part I
    Malaysia Story, Part II
    Malaysia Story, Part III
    Malaysia Story, Part IV
    Malaysia Story, Part V
    Malaysia Final
    Final Wrap Up - Part 1.
    Malaysian Hosts
    The 2008 WEC has definitely topped all of the other WEC's in terms of quality of organization and grandeur. In terms of the actual race, I think Malaysia' WEC has also set a new standard. The statistics this event was on par with previous FEI World Endurance Championships. The completion rate was 38% (Aachen 2006 was 40%, Dubai 2004 was 36%), the winning time was surprisingly fast - 8:48 at 18.16km/hr (Aachen was just under 10 hours at 15.96km). But what makes these race statistics so remarkable were the results, relative to the expectations and the fears. And, of the greatest significance, there were no horses requiring serious treatment. The biggest concern that the FEI had regarding the final determination to sanction a WEC in the tropics was that the combination of speed and heat and humidity could prove overly harmful to the horse - that if this event resulted in any horse fatalities or in an abundance of over stressed horses it would cancel all of the progress that Endurance has made over the past years in gaining a valid place in the world of FEI - of International equestrian sports.


    Final Wrap Up - Part 2.
    Malaysian Riders
    Malaysia met one great challenge - it proved that it could host an exceptional World Championship event. The other major challenge was to qualify a field of riders to represent the country. FEI has previously allowed the host country to field a double squad if so desired, although 2008 would be the last year to do so. This meant that Malaysia could start 12 riders: 8 would be riding as individuals, 4 as part of the team. At the time of the FEI's final decision to grant Malaysia the 2008 WEC, following the November 2007 Sultan's Cup, there were no Malaysians qualified. The additional condition imposed on the event, was that riders must qualify with not just 1, but 2 successful sub 13:20 hour completions of a 160km ride on the same horse - one within 24 months of nominated entry (August 21 2008), and another within 12 months. And by the time the FEI decided on Malaysia as host (November 2007), there effectively remained only 8 months for 16 riders to complete 2 160km rides on the same horse.

    Final Wrap Up - Part 3.
    The Race
    I think that this event represented the maturity of our sport at the International level. It was a very tight race - a tightly contested race. I'm not sure how much more advantage can be gained in future events by 'getting better' at any aspect of competition. With more things being equal (training, nutrition, crewing, strategy) we are beginning to see the true brilliance and athletic ability of the horse and the skill and horsemanship of the rider prevail.

    November 6:
    24 Hours to go
    The start is just 24 hours away. I just returned from a very orderly and well delivered riders briefing. There were only a handful of questions afterward - which is pretty amazing! This event is just incredibly well organized, well conducted. Info is posted, or at hand, or cheerfully delivered at all times. It gives the teams opportunity to really focus, to know what to expect, to have confidence that all will be conducted fairly and efficiently - and the challenges to be met will be about horse, rider, trail and time. ...more

    November 3:
    Tension and excitement is rising...
    Last night was the last social big gathering - the Welcome Reception - a very fun night with dinner and live band and DJ and a delightful 'Floating Sky Lantern' ceremony out in the grass in front of the starting gate. The Sky Lantern is made of non-flammable rice paper and a bamboo frame - a little candle is positioned in the center, and when the candle is lit it heats up the air in the lantern, or balloon, which then floats skyward. It is considered good luck to release a sky lantern as they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away. It was fun to see each of the nations trying (with varying levels of success) to launch their lanterns. ...more

    November 1:
    The King's Horse
    This story (for me) goes way back to Lari Shea. Some people are shining stars, Lari is one of those people. A bundle of energy, a catalyst, a person that sets things, and other people, in motion. In 1995 Lari contacted me about doing a website - this was back in the dark ages of web/internet, but she had a business on the California coast to run and to grow - ...more

    October 31:
    One More Week
    I think all of the riders are here now, and almost all of the grooms, crew, support staff, etc. The energy is getting higher all the time. Everyone is eating lunches and dinners together now in the gigantic marquis tent. And it is a very elegant affair! Several stations throughout the tent with different wonderful foods - main courses, salads, breads and cheeses, deserts... ...more

    October 28:
    Moving Along
    Zulu is now on crutches. He charged into the jungle to save a Portuguese horse (which had dumped its rider and run off ) from a pack of wild Malaysian Tigers and after he saved the horse he fell into a trap set by one of the Wild Men of Borneo but fortunately the Man From Snowy River just happened to be riding by after having just saved one of the Italian riders from a pack of Malaysia Cobras and was there to pull Zulu out using his bull whip and the Wild Men of Borneo were so impressed that they have volunteered to be track stewards for the ride. Otherwise it's been a fairly quiet week. ...more

    October 24:
    Settling In
    It was a very long trip from Idaho to Malaysia (last night I woke from a dream/nightmare where I was sitting in a small cramped center seat and even though the rest of the airplane's seats were empty the stewardess told me I had to stay where I was :) . But then I stepped out of the arrival gate into the Kuala Lumpur airport and just had to smile. I love this airport, and have so many fond memories of previous trips to Malaysia. ...more

    October 23:
    First Arrivals
    It was a huge task for the organizing committee to manage the arrival of all of the horses, but now they are here and settled in at TIEP (Terengganu International Endurance Park). Only a month ago these huge planes - the jumbo B747-400's - could not land in Terengganu because the airport runway was not long enough. ...more