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[RC] IntNewsGroup: FEI Press News 31/03 - Lori & Rick Stewart



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) swept the FEI Open European Endurance
Championship finishing just seconds apart in the top three places at the
Punchestown Race Course on Friday 18 September. For the Europeans, France
won both the individual and team medals. Virginie Simon riding Elza De Gion
in a ride time of 10:21:35 captured the individual title and the French team
consisted of Sunny Demedy, Barbara Lissarague and Emilie Lambert.

Led by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the top three crossed the
finish line arm in arm amidst a large cheering crowd. H.H. finished in a
ride time of 10:20:45, riding Provocative. H.E. Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed
Al Maktoum, the eldest son of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, followed in second in a
ride time of 10:20:46, riding Gimini Courth House. Third went to Mohammed
Ali Al Shafar in a ride time of 10:20:47, riding Shikira.

?We participate all the time in this sport and sometimes we win, sometimes
we lose,? said H.H. ?When we win we are very happy. Today the luck was with
us. We very much enjoyed our trip to Ireland. They are wonderful people and
we were able to see our horses at Kildangan Stud?.

The 160 km event began before sunrise at 5:30 am with 77 seven starters
although the field dwindled to 69 after the first 40 km. There was rain the
night before, but only clouds filled the sky on the day, with a cool
temperature of about 16 degrees Celsius.

At the conclusion of the first phase or loop, H.E. Sheik Rashid was in the
lead with his younger brothers close behind. Hansjorg Bendier of Switzerland
led the European contingent. Bendier and H.E. Sheik Rashid switched places
following the second loop and the team of Emile Lambert, Sunny Demedy and
Barbara Lissarague of France was close behind in third, fourth and fifth
individually, but in the lead for the team competition.

H.E. Sheikh Rashid was still leading following the third loop, but his
younger brother H.E. Sheikh Hamdan moved up to within one minute for second
place. Jean-Louis Molitor of Belgium was now the highest European and
Valerie Kanavy of the United States moved into fourth position. France was
still leading the team competition, Germany was second and Portugal was
third, with all three in contention.

After four loops, the United Arab Emirates looked unbeatable sitting in the
top three spots with Kanavy still holding on to the fourth spot. Belgium?s
Molitor was still the highest European rider.

Going into the final loop, H.E. Sheikh Rashid still led the way, but Simon
moved up to second and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed moved up to third. France was
able to retain their lead in the team competition.

The trail consisted of six phases of varying distances and five veterinary
holds to monitor the welfare of the horses throughout the day.

Complete results on www.sporthorseshow.com


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