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Florac - Open European Championship FEI 2011


1st place Open Champion
Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and Khalifa!

2nd place and European Champion
Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby!
Finish:
1st place Open - Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on Kalifa in 8:38.10
2nd place and European Champion - Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 8:45.05
3rd place - Jasim Mohammed AA Al Maadhadi (Qatar) on Mazayha in 8:45.52
4th place - Sabrina Arnold (Germany) on Beau Ox in 8:45.53
5th place - Faleh Nasser SS Bughenaim (Qatar) on Leonardo in 8:50.26
6th place - Pierre Fleury (France) on Kergof in 8:53.14
7th place - Virginie Atger (France) on Antall de Jalima in 8:55.50
8th place - Oriol Cassals Fores (Spain) on Zarha de Vilaformiu in 8:59.28
9th place - Julien Goachet (France) on Lubiana de Coat Frity in 9:07.02
10th place - Diana Origgi (Italy) on Pervinca Della Bosana in 9:17.13

Complete 6th phase and finish here


FEI Open European Endurance Championships 2011 - Florac

FEI.org

11 Sep 2011

PHENOMENAL PONTON TAKES INDIVIDUAL TITLE WHILE FRANCE TOPS THE TEAMS by Louise Parkes

Spain's record-breaking partnership of Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby took their fourth Championship title in a row when putting in another phenomenal performance at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2011 in Florac, France yesterday. And the host nation had plenty to celebrate too, as Virginie Atger, Julien Goachet, Sunny Demedy and Benedicte Santisteva claimed the team honours for France.

Concerns about the intense heat in the days leading up to the event dissipated when a cooling mist shrouded the mountainous course as the riders set off with a racing start at 4.30am. And it was an extraordinary sight as their headlamps guided the 76 competitors from 17 countries through the darkness over the early stages of their 160 kms challenge. Florac is recognised as one of the toughest Endurance tracks in the world, with a climb to 1,665 metres at its highest point, and a completion, let alone a victory here, is a coveted achievement in this most demanding of equestrian sports.

The track did not follow the modern "clover-leaf" formula often used in the sport today, in which the loops return to a central base during the course of the race. In contrast, the six loops on the Florac track stretched out over fresh ground and, while helping maintain the interest of the horses throughout, this presented a significant logistical challenge to the hard-working support crews and officials.

THE STUFF OF LEGEND
Ponton and Nobby are already the stuff of legend however. The Spanish rider and her little 148cms super-champ broke all previous records with their hat-trick that included the 2008 World title, 2009 European title and then their gold medal winning performance at last year's Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, USA. And, a year later, they have now raised the bar even higher with their fourth extraordinary success.

Crossing the finish line in 08:45:05, they had an average speed of 18.237 kmh while silver medallist Sabrina Arnold from Germany broke the beam just under a minute later with an average speed of 18.208 kmh. Individual bronze went to Pierre Fleury and Kergof from France who cleared the line in 08:53:14 after recording an average speed of 17.958. A total of 43 horses and riders qualified through all phases to finish.

The European team title came down to a two-way battle between the Spanish and French, and it was the late elimination of Spain's Francisco Caselles Calm and Arizone de Lafon that decided the result. All four members of the French team completed and their total time of 27:24:55 gave them an advantage of almost 23 minutes over the the Spanish trio of Ponton, Oriol Casals Fores (Zarha de Vilaformiu) and Laia Crusellas (Flying Tornado). Bronze went to another team reduced to just three team-members, the Belgian side of Celine Just (Jahman), Michel Lequarre (Sahid des Fontaines) and Maritza Pereira (Lima du Barthas) whose total time of 30.06.12 was just 10 minutes faster than that of the Italians who missed out on the medal podium when slotting into fourth place.

A total of 11 teams lined out, with the fifth-place Dutch and sixth-placed Slovakian team performing beyond expectations. The fact that all four members of the Slovakian team completed is clear testament to the progressive and professional development of the sport in the region.

GLORIOUS MOMENT
Yesterday's success was yet another glorious moment for Ponton, who specialises in producing Nobby only rarely but to spectacular effect. This partnership first burst onto the international Endurance scene in December 2006 when finishing third in the 120 km race in Dubai (UAE) and they have been a force to be reckoned with every since. Ponton's husband, Jaume Punti-Dachs who is one of the leading Endurance trainers for the UAE's Sheikh Mohammed, is also a highly competitive Endurance athlete and helps Maria to keep Nobby in great shape. "I'm delighted with this win for myself and my great little horse - he really is unique", Ponton said, "to win four Championships together is something very special!".

In the Open classification, the United Arab Emirates' Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri and Kafia came out on top when registering the quickest average speed of the competition - 18.481 kmh - while Qatar's Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi and Mazayha finished third and fellow-countryman Faleh Nasser Bughenaim and Leonardo finished fifth.

Results:
European Team Championship: GOLD - France 17.4714 - Antall de Jalima (Virginie Atger), Lubiana de Coat Frity (Julien Goachet), Nerval de Beders (Sunnsy Demedy), Djour de Bozouls (Benedicte Santisteva); SILVER - Spain 17.2872 - Nobby (Maria Alvarez Ponton), Zarha de Vilamormiu (Oriol Casals Fores), Fying Tornade (Laia Muixi Crusellas); BRONZE - Belgium 15.9052 - Jahman (Celine Just), Sahid des Fontaines (Michel Lequarre), Lima de Varthas (Maritza Pereira).

European Individual Championship: GOLD - Nobby (Maria Alvarez Ponton) ESP 18.237 kmh; SILVER - Beau (Sabrina Arnold) GER 18.209 kmh; BRONZE - Kergof (Pierre Fleury) FRA 17.958 kmh.


Photos by Osama Mohammed


Gallery I

Gallery II

Gallery III

Photos by Leonard Liesens and Caroll Gatelier - Endurance Belgium


Leo's Photos
More
here

Caroll's Photos
More
here

Florac Championnat d'Europe 2011

Endurance-belgium.com

by Leonard Liesens

Of course Nobby and Maria Alvarez were the biggest favorites of this European Championship. Beside them, the two couples that Benedicte Emond (the new French Chef d'equipe) had chosen as individuals were also considered as very serious contenders. They were Pierre Fleury and Gregoire Tilquin. At the first vetgate, the battle for the first place had already begun. Nobby and Maria, Tilquin and Fleury were in the front. There was also another favorite who is always riding excellent horses. Last year she did well in Lexington with the German team; with the same horse she unfortunately crashed a bit during the last loop in Assisi two years ago, but now the horse has gotten more experience and was very strong. She is Sabrina Arnold; she lives in the south of France so the horse Beau was perfectly acclimatized to the grueling conditions. Another female rider did also come to play a role in forefront, Diana Origi, who lead the preride last year before that her horse pulled at the last vetgate. Unfortunately for the italian lady, her horse could hardly keep up in terms of recovery time and took everytime a few minutes more to enter the vetgate. In the front, alone, and opening the trail all the time, the extraordinary Kalifa from Abu Dhabi, ridden by his trainer Ali Khalfan. Amazing horse.

Even if we had a hard time following the race by car - actually it was harder for the people following the middle of the pack riders than for the one going along with the leaders- there were very few grumpy guys to critisise the principles of the in-line race. Florac is an in-line race and has always be and must remain as it is! Otherwise how could the riders -and the crew and spectators- enjoy the scenery and the various going and trails. There were a lot of discussions about the way that the course has been adapted to get a faster average speed, about the manicuring of some very rocky trails (rock crushing), but everybody has to salute the work of Jean-Paul Boudon and his team. Let's all hope that his team will continue the good work and offer us next year similar conditions. For sure there will be a lot of riders coming for the next edition.

The winning horse Kalifa is something like an extraterrestrial! Everybody - e.v.e.r.y.b.o.d.y - was betting at every stage on his future crash. We heard many times: "If he completes and win, I should better stop doing endurance riding and convert to golf or something else". By seeing Ali and Kalifa eating up all hills at the canter when others were taking them at the trot, of course, observers could only bet on the crash. Knowing also that this horse was bought in Uruguay where there are no hills. The horse was bought by Al Wahtba and went to Abu Dhabi. He finished second last year at the President's Cup and at the Maktoum Cup. In Uruguay he did decently, including a top ten at the PanAm in Costa Azul. It is obvious that this horse never saw the hills and mountains he had to cope with in Florac. So we had to stop pretending that we can still beat the Arabian riders in our technical races... Another lost illusion... And not to mentioon that Kalifa lost a shoe during the last loop. The rider had to put his easyboot, but this one was not fitting well so he had to stop several time to re-put it on. Alio Kalfan should come to the States learning the new easyglove technique!!!

The French team was composed of Atger, Demedy, Santisteva et Goachet. Until the final trotting, that was Spain who hold the team gold; but the Spanish horse Arizona de Lafont was eliminated at the final trotting. Big dissapointement and big anger from the Spanish team, but it seems that the decision was correct. Anyway, they have got the silver.

Belgium play his role in this game on the perfect way. There was no reason to fight in the front, but the 3rd place was perfectly within reach. Pietro Di Geronimo was chosen as individual when everybody was betting on him for the team, but only the trainer sees the horse during the pre-race clinics and at the trotting, so it's difficult to have an opinion. Anyway Di Geronimo demonstrated that his horse Mengali was perfectly prepared, taking the 9th place at the european level, his best placing up-to-now. Belgium was shocked when Taborah, a difficult mare, was eliminated for lameness at the first vetgate. With only 3 horses in the team, no mistake was allowed. The three did very well, always together, cruising at a good speed, entering into the vetgate very fast. They finally completed the race in a tied finish, something that we -still- like to see. Team bronze for Belgium.

The other nations did sometimes well, sometimes bad. Italy was just 10 minutes behind Belgium on the total of the three riders' times. Netherlands completed the team ranking at the 5th place whichis probably their best result. Germany was dissapointing taking into account the team bronze they clinched in Lexington last year. Of course Sabrina Arnold take the individual silver, but it is clear that jl Leclerc has still a lot of work. Slovakia didn't suffer any elimination and completed its full team, at the average speed of 13 km/h. Not too bad. Finally, the time has gone when the European riders could dominate the Arabian ones on their technical courses. Aue, Qatar and Bahrain has proven that they are the biggest challengers on any type of course. Qatar took 3rd and 5th place; UAE won; Bahrain did 12, 15 and 22.

Photos by Caroll Gatelier here:
http://www.endurance-belgium.com/photos/florac2011c/index.html

Photos by Leonard Liesens here:
http://www.endurance-belgium.com/photos/florac2011/index.html


Nobby and Ponton win European Endurance gold

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

September 12, 2011

Spain's record-breaking partnership of Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby took their fourth championship title in a row when putting in another phenomenal performance at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2011 in Florac, France yesterday.

And the host nation had plenty to celebrate too, as Virginie Atger, Julien Goachet, Sunny Demedy and Benedicte Santisteva claimed the team honours for France.

Concerns about the intense heat in the days leading up to the event dissipated when a cooling mist shrouded the mountainous course as the riders set off with a racing start at 4.30am. And it was an extraordinary sight as their headlamps guided the 76 competitors from 17 countries through the darkness over the early stages of their 160 kms challenge. Florac is recognised as one of the toughest endurance tracks in the world, with a climb to 1665 metres at its highest point, and a completion, let alone a victory here, is a coveted achievement in this most demanding of equestrian sports.

The track did not follow the modern "clover-leaf" formula often used in the sport today, in which the loops return to a central base during the course of the race. In contrast, the six loops on the Florac track stretched out over fresh ground and, while helping maintain the interest of the horses throughout, this presented a significant logistical challenge to the hard-working support crews and officials.

But Ponton and Nobby are already the stuff of legend...

Read more here:
http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2011/09/089.shtml


Ponton wins European Endurance Championship on Nobby

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

September 10, 20011, Florac, France ~ Spain’s, Maria Alvarez Ponton, reining World and European Champion, rode her half Arabian, Nobby, to another victory Saturday, as she again topped the best of European Endurance riders in the 2011 European Endurance Championship at Florac. Riding Nobby, the horse on which that she has won every major world endurance title for the past four years (World Championship, Kentucky, USA 2010, European Championship, Italy 2009, World Championship, Malaysia, 2008), Alvarez completed the course with an average speed of 17:68. She arrived in second place, as UAE rider, Abu Dhabi’s Ali Al Jahouri arrived first, finishing with an average speed of 18.55, setting a new record for the course and gaining the Gold for the Open division. Riding in 2nd position as the loops progressed and into the finish, Ponton was secure knowing she would be first for the European title. She arrived seven minutes behind Al Jahouri. Qatar’s Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi, riding Mazayha finished third, a minute later. Sabrina Arnold, riding Beau ox for the German team, arrived fourth by another minute and Beaux ox won the Best Condition prize at the Sunday awards.

Ponton said she trains Nobby in the desert and he has done well in his flat rides in Malaysia and Kentucky. ”This was his first mountain race,” she said. ”I arrived with a bit of fear of the mountain ride, as it has a certain reputation, and also I knew that the French riders are great competition. I can now see that Nobby is good at both desert and mountain rides.” Asked if he will race again, she said, “It was his choice to come. We didn’t push him.” Maria, 13 month old daughter, Maria, and husband, Jauma Punti Dachs live in Spain and Dubai, where the two train endurance horses.

Team prizes were: Gold -France, Silver- Spain, Bronze- Belgium...

Read more here:
http://blog.horsereporter.com/2011/09/11/ponton-wins-european-endurance-championship-on-nobby/


Two Al Shaqab Endurance Riders Finish in Top 5 of European Championships

AlShaqab.com

* Publication Date: 11/09/11 8:00 AM

Al Shaqab Endurance Team, member of Qatar Foundation, came away from the Open FEI European Endurance Championships with a Bronze medal and a 5th place finish this past Saturday in Florac, France.

(September 11, 2011) Al Shaqab Endurance Team, member of Qatar Foundation, came away from the Open FEI European Endurance Championships with a Bronze medal and a 5th place finish this past Saturday in Florac, France. Jasim Mohammed Al Maadhadi captured the Bronze medal, riding Mazayha, coming in only 47 seconds behind the reining World Champion. With a total time of 8:45:52 for the 160 km race, Al Maadhadi clocked an average speed of 18.21 km/hr.

Scoring a 5th place finish, Faleh Nasser Bughenaim crossed the finish at 8:50:26 aboard Leonardo with an average pace of 18.05 km/hr.

This was the biggest race of the year in the Endurance world, for which all teams and riders have been competing all year long to qualify. In total, 65 individuals entered the race, but only 36 finished all six loops of the race.

Al Shaqab Endurance Team manager Hadi Nasser Al Naimi coaches the Al Shaqab team under the guidance of Fahad Saad Al Qahtani, Director of Al Shaqab. The team will next compete Sept. 30-Oct. 1, in Pinamar, Emerald Coast, Argentina.

His Highness, The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani founded Al Shaqab in 1992 to preserve and further develop the Arabian horse in Qatar. Al Shaqab is led by H E Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and encompasses an Endurance Team, Breeding & Show division, Riding Academy. In 2004, Al Shaqab proudly became a member of Qatar Foundation. Al Shaqab’s mission is to be global leaders in preserving, improving and promoting the Arabian horse breed through setting the highest standard in breeding, show, equestrian arts and equine welfare, and encouraging community participation.


Endurance Europeans – France take team Gold

Frenchhorseandcountry.com

13/09/2011 By fhc

Virginie Atger, Sunny Demédy, Julien Goachet and Bénédicte Santisteva took to the podium to receive the team Gold medal for the French at Florac this weekend.

In the Individual In the individual race multi-medalist for Spain, Maria Alvarez Ponton,riding his exceptional horse Nobby. The silver medal went to Germany’s Sabrina Arnold on Beautiful Ox and the bronze medal for French Pierre Fleury who ran as an individual with Kergof owned by Stéphane Fleury.

The winning team consisted of:-

Virginie Atger on Antall de Jalima ,

Sunny Demedy on Nerval de Beders , owned by Delphine Johnson and Marc Labrunie

Julien Goachet riding Lubiana de Coat Frity , owned by Jean-Pierre Le Hegarat

Bénédicte Santisteva on Djour de Bozouls , owned by Marcel Mezy

Virginie Atger also was awarded the prize for the best condition...

Read more here:
http://www.frenchhorseandcountry.com/WP/2011/09/13/endurance-europeans-france-take-team-gold/


Al Jahouri wins gold in European Open Endurance Championship

Gulfnews.com

* By M. Satya Narayan, Chief Sports Reporter
* Published: 23:27 September 10, 2011

Al Jahouri completed the 160-km championship ride in 8 hrs, 38 mins, 10 secs

Dhabi: Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri, one of Abu Dhabi’s top endurance riders won the 160-km European Open Endurance Championship held in Florac, France on Saturday.

Al Jahouri, a veteran rider and trainer of endurance horses at the Al Wathba Endurance Stables owned by Shaikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, finished ahead of two-time world champion Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain.

Al Jahouri completed the 160-km ride in 8 hrs 38 mins 10 secs on his horse Khalifa while Maria once again partnered Nobby to finish about seven minutes behind the UAE ace.

A total of 77 riders from 17 countries took part in the ride.

Qatar’s Jasim Mohammad and Faleh Nasser finished 3rd and 5th respectively as Al Jahouri led from start to finish...

More...


Individual gold and team silver for Spain at European Raid

Ecuestreonline.com

[google translation]

September 10 2011

Maria Alvarez ("Nobby") and the Spanish team have returned to the podium in the European Championship Absolute Raid.

The Cantabrian rider has renewed Florac (France) won the individual gold two years ago with its Arab Thoroughbred, while the national team has been unable to re-edit the first post and had to settle for silver after the controversial removal of Francesc Xavier Casellas ("Lafon Arizona").

The other three pairs have achieved national qualification.


Fine finish for Shaikh Nasser

Gulf-daily-news.com

September 11 2011

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa finished a strong 12th yesterday in leading Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team in the 160-kilometre FEI Open European Championship, held in Florac, France. Riding Nikel Kermorvan, Shaikh Nasser completed the gruelling six-stage ride in nine hours 32 minutes and 57 seconds.

He was well positioned for a spot in the top three at the end of the race's fourth leg, but then dropped back to 13th heading into the final stage before managing to move up another spot for his final classification.

Shaikh Nasser, who is the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president, was the top Bahraini entrant to finish the race.

Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation president and Al Khalidiyah Stables leader Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa was also enjoying a fine performance until he was forced to withdraw after stage five due to an injury to his horse R P Sebastopol.

Shaikh Khalid was in the competition for close to nine hours, and he was doing well to maintain a place in the top eight. He was within striking distance of a podium finish before needing to pull out.

Ali Khalfan Al Jahouri from the UAE emerged as the champion. Riding Kalifa, he put on an unbeatable ride, leading from the start to the finish and then completing the event with a total time of 8:38:10.

Spaniard Maria Alvarez Ponton on Nobby followed Al Jahouri's every move. Alvarez was in second place throughout, and she finished as the runner-up in 8:45:05.

Jassim Mohammed Al Maadhadi of Qatar, riding Mazayha, came third overall in 8:45:52. His fine showing made it two GCC riders on the podium in Florac.

Sabrina Arnold of Germany, riding Beau Ox, claimed fourth place overall in 8:45:53, Qatar's Faleh Nasser Bughenaim on Leonardo was fifth in 8:50:26 and Pierre Fleury of France, on Kergof, rounded out the top six in 8:53:14.

Amongst Bahrain's other riders in the race, Ahmed Abdulla Al Hazza, on Basic Instinct, came 15th after finishing the race in 9:54:43. He was the second-best of the Royal Team after only Shaikh Nasser.

Ahmed Jaffar Abdulrahim, on Ryhorn Marachaco, claimed 22nd, registering a total ride time of 10:28:04.

Like Shaikh Khalid, Bahrain's Abdulrahman Al Saad on Marduk had to withdraw from the race after five stages.

He was already in action for nearly 11 hours before being forced to pull out.

Yesterday's ride, which flagged off at 5.30am Bahrain time, featured 84 of the world's best riders hailing from a record 18 nations. The event was sponsored by Bahrain's Royal Endurance Team.

The race ran through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.


Fifth phase:
1st - Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on Kalifa in 7h-34'-07''.
2nd - Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 7h-56'-30''.
3rd - Jasin Mohammed AA Al Maadhadi on Mazayha in 8h-00'-17''.

Complete fifth phase here

Fourth phase:
1st - Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on Kalifa in 5h-52'-34''.
2nd Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 6h-18'-53''.
3rd - HH. Sh. Nasser Bin Hammad al Khalifa (Bahrain) on Nikel Kermorvan in 6h-19'-46''.

Complete fourth phase here

Third phase:
1st - Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on Khalifa in 4h-33'-42''.
2nd - Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 4h-47'-19''.
3rd - HH. Shaikh. Khalid Bin Hammad al Khalifa (Bahrain) on RP Sebastopol in 4h-47'-53''.

Complete third phase here

Second phase:
1st - Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on Khalifa in 2h-58'-04''.
2nd - Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on Nobby in 3h-58'-04''.
3rd - Gregoire Tilquin (France) on Leila de Montamel in 3h-18'-07''.

Complete second phase here

First phase:
1st- Ali Khalfan Al Jaouri (UAE) on "Kalifa" in 1h-47'-48''.
2nd- Maria Alvarez Ponton (Spain) on "Nobby" in 1h-47'-48''.
3rd - Pierre Fleury (France) on "Kergol" in 1h-53'-12'

Complete first phase here


FLORAC - through phase 4 -
76 riders from Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Great Britain, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Portugal, Norway, Bahrain, Slovakia, Belgium, UAE, Qatar, and Spain, started the 2011 European and Open Championship in Florac, France this morning.

Ali Khalifan Al Jahouri of the UAE riding Kalifa, leads the race through phase 4, 109 km into the ride. Maria Alvarez Ponton of Spain, riding Nobby the defending European, and double World Champions, follow 26 minutes behind. While Kalifa's speed averages out to 18.55 km/h, and Nobby's 17.26 km/h, it's Nobby's familiar, phenomenal recovery times in the vet gates that continue to astound (1:37 on phase 1, 51 seconds on phase 2, 1:10 on phase 3, and 1:15 on phase 4).

The top ten are running within 37 minutes of each other. Sabrina Arnold of Germany, riding Beau Ox, is in 4th place; the two Bahraini princes, Shaikh Nasser riding Nikel Kermorvan, and Shaikh Khalid riding RP Sebastopol are in 3rd and 7th places. Diana Origgi of Italy, riding Pervinca Della Bosana is in 8th place.


SPONSORED BY THE ROYAL ENDURANCE TEAM OF BAHRAIN

Photos by Osama Mohammed


Friday Gallery I

Friday Gallery II


160km of florac by imagodiz
In 2010 Lozere Endurance Equestre, organizer of the "160km of Florac" had to achieve a successfull organization of the "Test Ride" of the European Championship 2011.

For this challenge imposed by the FEI in order to assign definitely this championship to Florac, Lozere Endurance Equestre had designed specially for this Championship a trail in one big loop, respecting the traditional values endurance: stamina, horsemanship, sports ethic, respect for the horse's physical well being and morale.

Out of 230 demands of participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Lozere Endurance Equestre. Of course, this is an absolute record of contestants on a competition of this type, but this shows as well a strong will of the european nations for a return back to the origins of the discipline. Florac has organized in 1984 the first continental Championnat of the discipline...

2010 was a big succes, the trail has been improving from year to year, causing an explosion of the speed on the race: 17.6km/h for the general average for the winner of the Test Ride in 2010.

On top of this European Championship, 2011 should bring an innovation with the "National Breeding Competition orientation endurance".

In this cradle, this breeding country where many thing are born, an event such as this one has its place and tends to claim it.

We hope you will be largely present at our event.



Florac European Endurance Championship -The Trail

Horsereporter.com - Pamela Burton

September 9, 2011,Florac, France~ The European Endurance Championship is set to start Saturday September 10 at 4:30 am near Florac in the heart of the National Park of the Cézannes. The trail traverses the rugged terrain, the heights and gorges of the Tarn river, and is the endurance ride that is most compared to the US Tevis trail, although most riders that have ridden both agree that Tevis is harder for reasons of accessibility, change of elevation and cliffside trail hanging, to name a few things.

The Cézannes is the area that catapulted the French endurance stallion, Persik, into the limelight and is the heart of the breeders in this region, called the Lozère. More about Persik later.

The land is impressive from any perspective. On first view there are the ancient villages tucked along the rivers, snuggeled into the hilltops and dug into cliffs. From this base at the village of Ispagnac at 550m, the ride will begin in the dark. This course is run from stage to stage like a point to point, but unlike the Tevis, it starts where it finishes, so it is a boucle, or circle ride. From the river to the tops of the gorges and through an area known as the French Grand Canyon, the riders will follow one and two track trails up the sides of hills and through medieval villages.

Loop one’s trail will run from Isagnac for 33.8 km through the village of Florac mounting to the ancient one car narrow cliffside village at Barre des Cévennes at 1,000m to the first Vet Gate. This assent is estimated to take two hours for the first horses and they’ll reach it just as the dawn lightens the sky. Vet Gate two, another 22.8 km, starts back through the village. With the windows open, one can literally touch the walls of the towering stone homes on either side while traveling in a car through this small town. Loop two will have only small climbs and descents to the la Bécède Vet Gate. The trail to Vet Gate three, another 26.6 km will be the impressive climb to Mont Aigoual at 1,565m, before descending to 1,100m. This is wild country where the sky meets the mountain, the gorges funneling a fierce whipping wind or blowing in the wet fog that will cool the horses and riders for the ride across the top. The respite might be welcome as it promises to be in the high 80′s F/35C at the lower elevations. Loop four to La Citerne the trail drops to 700m and climbs back to 1,000m throughout the 25.8 kms. Loop five runs for 31.4km along the plateau of the Cévennes where farmers take advantage of the rainfall and plentiful grass to raise cattle, sheep and goats. The final loop of 19.2 km returns the riders to the 500m of Ispagnac.

The speed for this ride is expected to be at least 17.5 kph with Maria Alvarez Ponton here to defend her European Championship title, and the start list is a study on current excellent riders and horses.

Florac has been the home of the 160km ride since 1981 and has been won by French riders with the exception of Katie Smith in 2005. French Champion rider, Denis Pesce, now the Chef D’Equipe for Italy, has won this ride 8 times on five different horses...

Read more here


Entrants for Florac European Championship

Horsereporter.com - Pamela Burton

August 31 Florac, France ~ September 10 is the date of the highly anticipated European Championship 160km to be held in Florac, in the National Park of the Cézannes. Florac organized the first Continental Endurance Championship in 1984 and the 2011 Teams are assembling with 142 participants from 20 countries. Spanish Champion, Maria Alvarez Ponton, will defend her title on Nobby and join the riders at the 4:30 AM Saturday start. Best Condition will be held at 9:30 AM on Sunday, the 11th, followed by the Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony.

The program for the European Championship 2011 is being supported in total by the Comité Départemental du Tourisme de Lozère (The Lozere Tourism Department) where the ride will be held. Tourism being such a high percentage of French income in many places, the Tourism Departments are willing participants in many endurance races, especially of the higher Star level. Likened to the Tevis Cup in America in terrain, the Florac 160 km 3* Championship follows trails through the mountainous region of the Cézannes National Park in Central Southern France...

Read more here...


Bahrain: Royal Team duo gear up for ride

Gulf-daily-news.com

Friday, September 09, 2011

ROYAL Endurance Team leader Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Al Khaldiya Stables captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will arrive today in France for the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Horseride Championship, to be held tomorrow in Florac.

The pair will lead the Bahrain national endurance horseride team in the prestigious event, which features a challenging 16km ride.

Commencing at 5.30am (Bahrain time), the ride is organised by Loz�re Endurance Equestre and will see some of the world's best riders competing for glory.

Leading contenders at the event are Spanish champion Maria Alvarez Ponton, who is set to defend her title on Nobby.

Among other riders taking part are some of the regional teams, including teams from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The UAE, who have been dominating recent endurance rides, will be represented in tomorrow's event by only two riders. Qatar is scheduled to field six riders while Saudi Arabia will have two jockeys.

Out of 230 participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Loz�re Endurance Equestre.

The Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, who are among major sponsors of the ride, will undergo veterinary examination today.

Participants from across the globe will escort their horses to the village for the veterinary tests that will take place at the National Park of the CŽzannes.

Approved

The weigh-in of all riders is also scheduled for today when the six-member Royal Endurance Team will also be approved by Shaikh Nasser.

The Florac 160km Championship will run through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.

Both Shaikh Nasser and Shaikh Khalid said they are excited to compete with the world's finest riders.

Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and chief of the Bahrain _Olympic Committee, said the Royal Endurance Team is keen to accomplish another outstanding achievement during their long camp in Europe.

On his part, Shaikh Khalid confirmed that the team's morale is high leading up to the championship, stressing on his teammates' intentions to claim a place on the podium and lift the Bahrain flag high.

The organising committee had a number of meetings, during which latest preparations were reviewed prior to the start of the championship.

Following the ride tomorrow, the prize-giving ceremony will take place on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Media and Information Centre of Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalfia issued a booklet that highlights the achievements of Bahrain endurance riders in recent years.

The booklet, entitled 'New Horizons', is sponsored by Mena Telecom and aims to promote Bahrain during endurance rides organised in Europe.


British Team Makes Their Final Preparations!

Endurancegb.co.uk

9th September 2011

Our British Team riders, crews and management have been making the final preparations for the ride tomorrow morning which starts at 4.30am local time (3.30am over here!).

As well as final crewing arrangements, horse care and logistics necessary for ride day, there has been time for them to relax as well..... as Chair of International it is always very important to ensure that you fully support your team and Mr John Yeoman has chosen a rather novel way to express himself this time..... by painting his fingernails in the team colours!!!!! Photographic evidence is here!


Bahrain: Royal Team for European Open

Gulf-daily-news.com

September 8 2011

SHAIKH Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be among the leading Bahraini riders in the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Horseride Championship in Florac, France.

This highly anticipated 160km event, sponsored by the Bahrain Royal Endurance Team, is set to take place on Saturday at Florac Endurance Village with some of the continent's top riders in the fray.

The Bahrain team, who arrived at the endurance village earlier this week, continued their preparations for the upcoming event, organised by Loz�re Endurance Equestre.

The Florac 160km Championship follows trails through the mountainous region of the CŽzannes National Park in Central Southern France.

Shaikh Nasser, the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and chief of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, said the team hopes to maintain their recent impressive run in the European competitions this year.

Successful

He said the team had a successful participation in previous endurance rides in Europe earlier in the summer. Among those achievements was a second-place finish in Germany and later in France.

Shaikh Nasser also highlighted the outstanding achievement of team member Salman Isa, who clinched the eight-year-old category title during last month's FEI World Championship at Compiegne, in France.

The programme of the European Championship begins today with a several meeting by the organising committee, to be followed by the veterinary examination tomorrow in the National Park of the CŽzannes.

The race will then take place the following day from 4.30am, while the prize-giving ceremony is scheduled for Sunday.

Spanish champion Maria Alvarez Ponton will defend her title on Nobby and join the riders at the start of the race.

The programme for the European Championship is being supported in total by the Lozere Tourism Department where the ride will be held.

Out of 230 demands of participation, only 171 representing 18 nations could be honoured by Loz�re Endurance Equestre. This is an absolute record of contestants on a competition of this type, but this shows as well a strong will of the European nations for a return back to the origins of the discipline.

For this challenge imposed by the FEI in order to assign definitely this championship to Florac, Loz�re Endurance Equestre had designed specially for this championship a trail in one big loop.

The trial respects the traditional values endurance: stamina, horsemanship, sports ethic, respect for the horse's physical well being and morale.

Florac organised the first Continental Endurance Championship in 1984 and the 2011 teams are assembling with 142 listed riders and reserve participants from 20 countries.


Great Britain: Florac 2011 European Championships - Update

Endurancegb.co.uk

28th August 2011

Definite entries were made on Thursday and the reserves have been ranked.

The combinations representing Team GBR at the Florac 2011 European Championships on the 9th & 10th September are as follows:

Alice Beet & Adara Sauveterre
Tricia Hirst & Madjin Des Pins
Karen Jones & Macadamia
Catriona Moon & Leila
Christine Yeoman & ZT Richshakfy
David Yeoman & Haszar

The non-travelling reserves have been ranked in the following order:

Rachael Atkinson & Vanash
Nicky Sherry & Shimmering Blue Jasmine
Annie Joppe & Dilmun


Horse and rider blog for The British endurance team at the 2011 European endurance Championships

Horseandrideruk.com - Full Article

Welcome to the Horse and Rider blog for the British Endurance team at the European Endurance Championships 2011. We will keep readers up to date with regular blog posts and pictures from the British team riders at the Championships in the lead up to and throughout the event.

The six strong British Endurance team will be leaving on their journey to Florac in the South of France for the 2011 FEI European Endurance Championships early tomorrow morning (Sat 3rd September). Saturday the 10th September will see these riders and their horses set out on the gruelling 160km, hilly course in Florac.

The team selected for the European Championships are experienced and very keen to do well. Chairman of Selectors, Di Latham, said on behalf of the selectors and management team, "We are confident that this is a strong Team who will rise to the challenge ahead to bring home a Team medal".

The team consists of, newcomer Karen Jones from Devon, who joins Christine and David Yeoman from Somerset. Catriona Moon from Northumberland and Tricia Hirst from Wales have also been successful in team selection, along with the youngest team member, Alice Beet from Surrey. There are four non-travelling reserve riders, Rachael Atkinson, Sally Hall, Annie Joppe and Nicky Sherry.

Christine Yeoman from Shepton Mallet has a wealth of experience at international level, having been on the squad for two European Championships and two World Equestrian Games (WEG) in both Aachen and Kentucky. She finished in 31st place in the 2010 WEG with LM Midday...

Read more here:
http://www.horseandrideruk.com/article.php?id=1678



French Riders Selected for Florac

Frenchhorseandcountry.com

25/08/2011 By fhc

The Endurance European Championship will take place at Florac on September 10. The selectors have announced the following pairs:

Virginie Atger / Antall of Jalima,
Sunny Demedy / Nerval of Beder, owned by Johnson and Marc Delphine Labrunie
Pierre Fleury / Kergof owned by Stéphane Fleury
Julien Goachet / Frity Coat of Lubiana, owned by Jean-Pierre Le Hegarat
Romain Laporte / Osmos Caussanel, owned by Claude and Virginia Popper Creche
Gregory Tilquin / Leila Montamel, owned by Edith Schwartz

Reserve:
Bénédicte Santisteva / Djour of Bozouls, owned by Marcel Mezy

Belgium Team for European Championship

Endurance-belgium.com

15 August 2011

The final decision has fallen after a two-days clinic held last week in the south of the country, in the hilliest part of Belgium, to mimic a bit the environment of Florac.

The selection process was actually very simple for the Chef d'Equipe Pierre Arnould as two candidates on the short list had to give up.
They were Wendy Fallon (her mare has been injured) and Elisabeth Hardy (the mare Lutece de Crouz is back to the owner).

So the six couples who will represent Belgium are :
Maritza Pereira with Lima du Barthas (5th Florac2008)
Celine Just with Jahman (5th Tarbes 160km)
Raphael Van Cauter with Taborah de Sier (4th Tarbes 160km)
Michel Lequarre with Sahid des Fontaines(11th Castelsagrat 160km)
Pietro Di Geronimo with SD Mengali(21st Lexington 160km).

A good team with reliable horses which could do well at the team competition.

Other nations' selection for Florac:
GERMANY: Six German Endurace Riders Participate at the European Endurance Championships in France After the last sighting the following endurance riders have been selected by the endurance commission of the German Olympic Committee (DOKR), who will represent Germany at the European Championships in Florac, France to be held on 10 September 2011:
Joana Al Samarraie with Famosa
Klaudia Al Samarraie with Olymp
Sabrina Arnold with Beau
Dr. Gabriela Förster with Priceless Gold
Petra Hattab with Prince Sharif
Sybille Markert-Bäumer with Estopal Estopa

THE NETHERLANDS: Le chef d’équipe, Emile Docquier a désigné les couples suivants:
Jeanne Linneweever, Riki’s Macho Man
Suzanne Pen, Noniusz
Barbara Peterse, Pachinco
Carmen Römer, Gitana 220
Yvonne van der Velde, Joy Escobar
Jannet van Wijk, Zaira Star

ITALY:
Diana Origgi/Pervinca della Bosana
Alfonso Striano/Waligora
Danilo De Angelis/Present Jey
Simona Garatti/Badr Dell’Orsetta
Emanuele Fondi/Felicidad
Per la definizione del sesto binomio e della riserva, il tecnico si è riservato di procedere ad ulteriori valutazioni dei binomi formati da:
BRUNELLI ALLESSANDRA – KAILA DE TENSIONNIVES /I BATTISTA CARLO – FLUMINIO


Spain: Selection for the European Championships

August 16 2011

Completed tests developed past day 13, in St Feliu Sasserra facilities, which were convened by the national coach, Quico Yebra, binomials shortlisted the final list of seven candidates (the team signed four pairs, with two more individuals) for the European Chamionships in Florac on 10 September is composed of:

Nobby with Maria Alvarez.

Fling Tornade with Laia Muixi.

Calzadilla with Anna Mª Yebra .

Faref Bugati with Ivan Autet.

Zarha de Vilaformiu with Oriol Casals.

Arizona de Lafon with Francesc Xavier Casellas.

Pal Partenon with Otto Velez.

Throughout the week, after analyzing the results of veterinary examinations carried out, will communicate the final composition of the list.


Germany: Endurance Riders Nominated for European Championships

Horseweb.de Aug 15th, 2011 | By kr | Category: INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Six German Endurace Riders Participate at the European Endurance Championships in France

After the last sighting the following endurance riders have been selected by the endurance commission of the German Olympic Committee (DOKR), who will represent Germany at the European Championships in Florac, France to be held on 10 September 2011:

Joana Al Samarraie with Famosa
Klaudia Al Samarraie with Olymp
Sabrina Arnold with Beau
Dr. Gabriela Förster with Priceless Gold
Petra Hattab with Prince Sharif and
Sybille Markert-Bäumer with Estopal Estopa

Source: FN press


British Team Announced for European Endurance Championships

Endurancegb.co.uk 18th July 2011 British Team announced to represent team Great Britain at the European Endurance Championships, Florac.

The selectors are pleased to announce that the following combinations have been selected to represent team GBR in Florac, France on the 10th September 2011:

Alice Beet & Adara Sauveterre
Tricia Hirst & Madjin des Pins
Karen Jones & Macadamia
Catriona Moon & Lelia
Chris Yeoman & ZT Richshakfy
David Yeoman & Haszar

The following non-travelling reserves are listed in alphabetical order and will be ranked in priority after the 14th August 2011:

Rachael Atkinson & Vanash
Sally Hall & Barn Owl
Annie Joppe & Dilmun
Nicky Sherry & Shimmering Blue Jasmine