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Re: Dubai - looking back

Steph Teeter wrote:

First of all: Hi Steph, I am happy to read that you returned safely. It
was a
wonderful time down there in Dubai, meeting so many people - some you
know for
years, others you met for the first time. I still remember standing at
accreditation and suddenly you came through the crowd because you'd
my ridecamp-bandana.

> I must also thank the UAE and General Shaikh Mohammed
> bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and
> Minister of Defence. ... Unbelievable.... Thank you UAE!

We all had to say a very big "Thank you" to the UAE for making this
possible to that enormous number of riders and nations.

> This event was the largest Endurance event ever -and in some
> ways it was too large. ... - the answers were there, and would be divulged
> to the public in good time - "if God is willing".  We must wait.

That's "Inschallah"!!!

> ... The Shaikh was present - he had the
> answers. I was quite impressed with him - his composure, and
> wit and ... 'royal-ness'. A very powerful and confident man. And
> it was apparent that he was the one in control.

Sorry Steph, but the man in the white robe giving all the answers was
not the
Sheik but was Mr. Faisal al Mutawa, something like the "head-organizer".
I met
him and some of the UAE riders in the Switzerland where I leased my
horse to
them. Faisal is a very confident, helpful man, but he no Sheik.

> The day before the ride was a blur of preparation.  The lucky ones actually
> slept!

We had waited until 12 in the night because one of our riders had his
on the 10th of December - that means just 2,5 hour sleeping...

> The vetcheck was a flurry of activity - as would be expected. The design
> and layout were perfect, so it never felt crowded or confusing.

Definitely it was the best Vet-Gate-area I have seen in my life.

> The race to the finish was spectacular. We could see two gray
> horses galloping side by side approaching the finish, and then at
> some point - about 500 yards from the finish - it was as if Jedi switched
> to warp speed - he literally left the Italian horse, Faris Jabar,  in the
> dust. How a horse can find that much power at the end of a very
> fast 100 mile ride is beyond reason. I get chills and a lump in my
> throat just thinking about it.

Congratulations again to Valerie and the whole US-Team. When the both
are finishing, actually we were at the Vet-Check with one of the German
The vet was taking the pulse when Valerie and Fausto are presented at
the huge
video-screen. The vet, an American vet, stopped the pulsing, took a
camera out of his pocket, then he made some photos of the pictures at
video-screen with Valerie crossing the finish-line. After that he went
pulsing with a smile... Just one of those incredible nice moments.

> ... - presented the horses - and yes, they passed.
> Incredible cheering by all.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I stood in the Vet-area to watch the both
horses. From my point of view Jedi's trotting was not that fine - no
hand-clapping at the trotting, no immediate cheers. When the italian
horse was
presented, all the people are cheering and clapping - no "heart-beating

> After the horses had a chance to rest and eat it was time to send
> them back to the barns. There were still a lot of horses out on the
> course, but the activity had subsided, and mostly it was crews
> hunkered down at their vet areas, waiting sleepily for their riders.

Yes, we did. And the worst part of it was that there had been no coffee
something else available after - I guess - 9 pm.

> Before we could send the horses back, they had to be held in
> the large vetting/hospital tent. ... There may have been some problems with
> the ride logistics and organization, but the horses always had the very
> best of care - always.

Yes, if the horses are in the vet-area. But I talked to Desiree Hanen
from the
Netherlands. She decided to stop at around 130 km. There was one of
official water-stops. They call for a transporter and it took  4 (!!!)
to take her out of the desert. That is not the kind of best care for an
endurance horse which had been in the desert the whole day. (Desiree,
correct me
if I am wrong)

> In spite of the confusion and and hours spent being shuffled
> around, I really enjoyed the awards extravaganza. It was a production
> of enormous dimension - thousands of costumed dancers, light show,
> fireworks, camels, Arabian horses, haunting and frenzied Arabian
> music performed by orchestra and singers. It was like nothing else
> and I simply enjoyed it for what it was. (An awards ceremony - as we
> know it - it was not!). ...

You are right. One must devide the ceremony into a fantastic
presentation (it
cost anything around $5.000.000 !!!) and a very poor pricegiving.
incredible thing happened there: One of the Sheiks saw the event at the
TV and
he liked it so much that they were replaying it for him when he arrived
at the

> I can't help but thinking that this was the 'big one'. More than an
> Endurance event - this was over 40 nations, coming together in
> one fantastic place to participate in a race of 100 miles, across
> the desert of Arabia. Could we ever have imagined?? Horses
> from Russia, Malaysia, Uruguay, New Zealand, South Africa - what
> an incredible thing. And the spirit of Endurance was there in
> every way- people helping each other, countries helping each
> other. The race was competitive, but the bottom line was caring
> for the horses - help was there for anybody and any horse that
> needed it. This event may have had more glitz and comfort
> than anything before it, but the spirit of caring for each other
> was as strong as ever. This comradery is the essence of Endurance -
> and what makes this sport unique among Equestrian events.
> And it was there - in every language, in every way.
> Steph

I totally agree with that. It was that "big one" and it will never be
by another endurance event. Even if there is another nation or a big
(you have some very rich persons in the US...) this special touch of a
"first-time" event could not be reached - just like a defloration. You
can do
it again and again, but - in most cases - you will always remember the
I will remember the time in Dubai for my whole life - been there, done

All of you a very happy christmas and all the best for a healthy and

Wolfgang and Ninja

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