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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Florac CEI*** 160km

A Pre-Ride Week-End || Getting There || La Masselle Endurance || Raven II Rides in France!
4 Rides - 4 Continents - 1 Rider || Magnifique Florac || The Race

First to Finish


Pulse Detail(PDF) || Speed Detail (PDF) || Phase Detail (PDF) || Gate 1 Detail (PDF)
There were 74 Horse/Rider teams at the 4:00AM start. At this time, 7 have finished this world class course. 26 teams are still on the course as night falls in the Florac valley! Detailed Results


The Finish
Merri Melde

The Day
Merri Melde

The Morning
Merri Melde

The Start
Merri Melde

Pre-Ride Days
Merri Melde

Raven Rides in France
Merri Melde

La Masselle Endurance
Merri Melde

A Pre-Ride
Leonard Leisens

2007 Florac - Leonard Leisens

During our preride trip we were very fortunate to admire an extraordinary variety of flora, thanks to the unusual humidity of this spring season. Normally at this period, the hay has been harvested in the valley and on the high plateaux, but this year everything was very green. During the ascent from Meyrues(city of seconf vetgate) to the Causse Mejean(high plateau altitude 1000 meters), so in just one hour, we counted 35 different species of flowers.
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Sunday June 24 2007 - Getting there Merri Melde

French endurance rider Stephane Chazel and his wife Caroline (also an endurance rider) and their two adorable little horse-ridin' daughters were ind enough to let me visit their place in southern France between Assisi and next weekend's ride in Florac France.
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Monday June 25 2007 - La Masselle Endurance

I woke up... in France!

Caroline brought me coffee (merci!!) and breakfast out on the patio overlooking La Masselle, and I sat like a princess sipping and eating, surveying the farm of horses, stone houses and barns, and remains of old stone walls, beneath me.

Caroline is from Germany. She came from the show world, met Stephane in a show 9 years ago, and he got her into endurance. She's never done showing since. She doesn't care for that world anymore; endurance people are much more friendly and down to earth, and it can be such a family oriented sport.
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Tuesday June 26 2007 - RAVEN II RIDES FRANCE!

After another divine breakfast on the divine patio overlooking La Masselle, I grabbed my riding gear ? chaps, helmet, and Raven-in-a-bag, and Stephane Chazel took me on a horse ride in France!

My horse was a gray gelding Jasmin, a 10-year-old Anglo Arabian who's finished his last 3 160 km rides, and his mount was Label, a gray mare he's riding in the 160 km in Florac this coming weekend. His mare was "just a baby," 8 years old, and Florac would be her first 160. Stephane chose this tough ride for her because she's a big feisty in the rides, and this will show her she has to learn to slow down!
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Tuesday-Wednesday June 26-27 2007 - 4 Rides - 4 Continents - 1 Rider

In the evening I left with Stephane, driving out of Sanippooleedufwuah (Saint Hippo) to a big old hotel/restaurant surrounded by vineyards. There for dinner, outside in the fresh cool French countryside under a bright coming-full moon, we joined for dinner 3 Brits, who are here in the area to horse-shop at La Masselle.

Joining us were Chris Yeoman, a gung-ho British endurance rider (she's waiting to hear which one of her two horses will be picked for the British team for the World Championships in Portugal in August); her brother-in-law David Yeoman (he and his brother were previously polo players); and his partner Lesley (when I asked if she rides, she said, "Oh no, I crew for David"). David was looking to buy an endurance horse from Stephane.
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Thursday-Friday June 28-29 2007 - Magnifique Florac

In the heart of the Cevennes is the setting for one of the best-known, toughest rides in Europe: the 160 km Florac endurance ride. The base camp, or venue, for the ride used to be in the little village of Florac, but, as happens many places, the ride has gotten too big and the town too small to accommodate it. And so, the venue has been moved 10 km down the canyon to the smaller village of Ispagnac.
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Saturday June 30 2007 - FLORAC 2007

Out of bed I staggered at 3:30, threw clothes on, and walked down to the start of the Florac 160-km ride. Seventy-four horses and riders were out walking around, trotting, making last minute tack adjustments. It was pleasantly cool, in the 50's with a slight breeze, clear sky, full moon just setting. All horse collars were checked to make sure they were giving off an electronic reading; at least 1 needed replacing. Announcer Herve was still very enthusiastically speaking (in French). With four minutes to go, motorcycles revved up - you could hear them in stereo through the microphone framing Herve's deep voice. Horses circled around and around behind the line: "Du minute!" "Un minute!" The big crowd lined the start/finish line, trailing off into the dark out of the lights, pressed five and six deep right at the line.
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Download Google Earth
Official Florac Web-Site 2006 Florac - 31 Years
Phase 1 maps

Phase 2 maps

Phase 3 maps

Phase 4 maps

Phase 5 maps

Phase 6 maps

Images of Floraq
Images By Merri Melde