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Complete Results

2012 European Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors - Mont-le-soie

The Italian rider Mara Feola has won the championship after the hell of a sprint. Second is the French rider Cesar Donnais, third the French Nina Lissarague.

Team resuls are as follows:
1. France
2. Italy
3. Great Britain

1- Mara Feola- Grigali- Italy6:20.49
2- Cesar Donnais- Srour- France6:20.50
3- Nina Lissarrague- Preume de Paute- France6:20.52
4- Marijke Visser- Eomer- Netherlands6:20.53
5- Gil Berenguer Carrera- Lucero Miki- Spain6:20.54
6- Luca Zappettini- Sassifraga della Bosana- Italy6:21.00

Complete Results

FEI Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championship 2012

Italy’s Mara Feola and Grigali put in a storming finish on the last loop to take individual gold at the FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 at Mont le Soie, Belgium on Saturday. © FEI/Leonard Liesens FEI.org

10 Sep 2012

Team Gold for France in Tight Battle with Italians who claim Individual Glory, by Anna Williams

France claimed team gold and Italy’s Mara Feola took the Individual title at the FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 at Mont-le-Soie in Belgium at the weekend. This stunning venue is nestled in the region of the High Ardennes with its dramatic landscape of dense forests, rivers and valleys. Mont-le-Soie is a well known venue on the Endurance circuit, regularly hosting CEI events up to 160km, but this was its first-ever FEI Championship fixture.

A total of 61 horses and athletes were entered for the event, but following the pre-ride inspection three horses were judged not fit to start – Norway’s Shere Khan (Kine Eissland Holen), Finland’s only entrant Solomonas (Joona Mickelsson) and Belgium’s Cairo to be ridden by home rider Raphael Van Cauter who had just returned from the World Endurance Championships in Euston Park (GBR) where he partnered Taborah de Sier to a successful 22nd place.

Nine Teams

Saturday morning saw a total 58 combinations start, including nine teams ready to battle it out over the tough, hilly course for European glory. Whilst the terrain was extremely challenging the weather was kind to the competitors, dry but not too hot, which enabled the horses to give some great performances and many producing “personal bests” over this distance.

It was competitors from Eastern Europe who were dominant in the early stages, with Hungary and the Czech Republic taking the top positions at the first Vet Gate. This, however, was not to last, and by the conclusion of the event only two riders from each of these countries would complete.

As the day progressed team France showed, once again, their prowess in this tough sport. With their Senior compatriots having taken team Silver at the World Championships some two weeks previously, the French Junior/Young Rider squad looked set to sweep both Individual and Team gold this time out when all four team members remained consistently at the top of the field throughout the day.

Slow and Steady Progress

However, no one counted on the slow and steady progress of the young Italian side who, on paper, rode the perfect race. Despite coming in to Vet Gate 1 towards the back of the field, their consistency and tactical riding meant that by Vet Gate 3 they were just 4 minutes 21 seconds behind the leaders from France. With just 20 kilometres to go, the race was most certainly on for the 2012 team title.

As expected, the last loop of 20 kilometres was to prove very influential. It was demanding, with a final 7-kilometre climb to the finish, and only the very best were able to put in a competitive fight over the closing stages. With the top six all covering the 20 kilometres at over 24 kilometres per hour, the wait on the finish line was a tense one, and these young athletes certainly didn’t disappoint. An exhilarating race to the line saw the top-eight complete the course within 12 seconds of each other.

Mara Feola (ITA) and her talented 10 year old chestnut gelding were through the finish first, and it seemed her mount was just as pleased as she was with their victory. They put in a storming performance on the last loop, climbing up some six places to snatch the lead from French athlete Cesar Donnais and the 10 year old Arab mare Srour.

Fast Calculations

Some fast calculations were made as the competition concluded with both Italy and France finishing with three team members in the top ten. With the tension buzzing across the venue it was confirmed that France had managed to hold on to the lead by a mere 74 seconds ahead of Italy who had to settle for silver medal spot.

Spain looked good for team bronze, but it was wrenched from their grasp when Nuria Serrabassa Fabre’s ride Casba, their final team horse, was deemed lame despite crossing the finish line in eighth position. With only two team members having completed, Spain therefore dropped out of contention allowing the British to step up for bronze - their first team medal since 1997.

Hard-Fought Competition

Director of Non-Olympic Sports, Ian Williams, expressed his delight at the successful Championship, “This was a hard fought competition” he explained, “but these athletes can be very proud of their performances. They rode with maturity beyond their years, and all of the horses looked very good coming across the line”.

Special remarks were also made about the turn-out of these young teams. It was clear that a great effort had been made and both horses and riders looked immaculate, a real credit to the ever-growing sport of Endurance.

FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 - Teams: GOLD - France 19:06:39 - Srour (Cesar Donnais), Preume de Paute (Nina Lissarrague), Kassit (Marion Brignoli), Karamel Mouthes (Clemence Le Bihan); SILVER - Italy 19:07:53 - Grigali (Mara Feola), Sassifraga della bosana (Luca Zappettini), Isteddada Saura (Matteo Bravi), Pika de Cardonne (Daniele Serioli); BRONZE - Great Britain 20:53:43 - Vavavoom (Carri-Ann Dark), HS Ametista (Beth Langley), Vanash (Kate Atkinson), Oakleazefarm Cziko (Louise Rich).

FEI European Junior and Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012 - Individuals: GOLD - Grigali (Mara Feola) ITA 18.907 kph; SILVER - Srour (Cesar Donnais) FRA 18.906 kph; BRONZE - Preume de Paute (Nina Lissarrague) FRA 18.904 kph.

Photos by Caroll Gatelier, www.endurance-belgium.com

British Endurance Young Riders Take Bronze



The British team had a successful trip to the FEI European Young Rider Endurance Championships 2012, which took place at Mont le Soie in Belgium on the 8th September. The team, consisting of Kate Atkinson, Carri-Ann Dark, Beth Langley and Louise Rich won team bronze around the ultra-competitive and demanding 120km course.

The French team took the team Gold and Italy came home with Silver. Two individual riders made up the six strong British squad, Dace Sainsbury and Andrew Theodorou. Dace was the highest British rider in 12th position with her horse Ballota.

Three of the four British team riders completed the hilly course on the edge of the Ardennes forest. Carri-Ann Dark from Wiltshire finished in 14th place with her own Vavavoom, Beth Langley from Wales and HS Ametista came in in 18th and Kate Atkinson from Lancashire riding Vanash finished in 23rd place. Sadly Louise Rich’s horse Oakleaze Farm Cziko vetted out on metabolics at vet gate 3.

Chef d’equipe Helen Boston said “the riders went really well from start to finish. This year we have really planned ahead for the championships. We brought three of the riders, Carri-Ann, Louise and Kate out to Mont le Soie in April for a trial run. What they learned from April and passed on to the other team members has really ensured the whole squad was fully prepared, which shows in their results”.

Team member Carri-Ann Dark said “the course was challenging and technical, but great fun. It went according to plan and we had a very exciting finish with a race to the line”.

The course at Mont le Soie is hilly and stony and presents a real challenge to the riders. Only three teams completed with three riders owing to these tough conditions.

Helen went on to say “Carri-Ann, Beth and Louise are in their last year of young riders, but we have some brilliant riders moving up the ranks for next year”. In 2013 the Young Rider World Championships will be held in Tardes, in the South of France in July.

For more information on the sport of endurance in Britain, visit www.endurancegb.co.uk.

August 6th is the deadline for nominated entries while definite entries have to be forwarded on the August 29th. We expect 80 riders from 20 different European countries. The Championship is not open to non-European riders.

On the days after -sunday 9th September- it will be the Veterans' Worldcup. We expect a good number of riders. This CEI** competition is OPEN to non-veterans. There will be a ranking for Veterans and an Open ranking