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2013 Sartilly WEG Test Event

Hong Kong Riders Complete WEG Test Ride

Nicky Freud photo

August 19 2013

The latest country to start competing in endurance gave a very good account of themselves at the WEG test ride. There were only two countries to get their two riders home - Holland was one and Hong Kong was the other. Jason Tse and Vivian Cheung, who are more than happy to embrace 'To Finish Is To Win,' brought their horses home in 24th and 25th positions, having been delighted to have ridden with Meg Sleeper on the fourth loop.

Their horses, Siroco Toul Ar C'hoat and Chazan, are trained in the UK by Richard Allen and Nicky Freud.

Kingwood equestrian rides for U.S. in France

NJ.com - Full Article

By Lillian Shupe/Hunterdon County Democrat
on August 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM, updated August 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Dr. Margaret Sleeper of Kingwood Township was one of two riders that represented the United States at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games endurance test event on Friday, Aug. 16. The ride was held at Sartilly in Manche, France.

Sleeper rode Sandra Fretelliere's 10-year-old mare Tikis Twistyr. The pair had moved up from 50th in the first loop to 30th at the end of the third. The horse became lame in the fourth lap and was disqualified.

Sleeper, who was a last-minute substitution, was the highest placed American at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championship a year ago...

Read more here:

Hamdan wins endurance race

Khaleejtimes.com - Full Article

18 August 2013

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, emerged winner of the 130-km preparatory race of the World Endurance Cup 2014 held in Normandy, France, on Friday.

At the end of the race, which was held in four stages, Shaikh Hamdan was crowned the champion amid a storm of applause by spectators who attended the race.

“I dedicate this win to all the young UAE riders and wish them good luck for the World Cup race next year,” said Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed...

Read more here:

Royal Team excel in Normandy ride


Posted on » Saturday, August 17, 2013

THE Royal Endurance Team's success in Europe continued yesterday with a fine showing in the international endurance ride held in the territory of Normandy in France.

Led by team captain Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Al Khalidiyah Stables commander Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Bahrainis were among the race's elite.

Royal Team ace Raed Mahmood finished as the overall runner-up, being beaten only by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum from the UAE, who registered an impressive victory.

Oman's Ahmad Hamdani finished in third, confirming the high class of Gulf-based riders on the international stage, especially in European races. Yesterday's event also featured many riders from across the continent and the rest of the world.


Shaikh Nasser expressed his extreme delight with the fine performance of Mahmood, and said that it was an important step in the Royal Team's preparations as they gear up to participate in next year's world championships, which are set to be held in the same French venue.

For his part, Shaikh Khalid praised the efforts of the Royal Team as well as that of Sheikh Hamdan, who had a wonderful ride en route to claiming the win.

He added that the Royal Team continues to succeed in their events thanks to the guidance of Shaikh Nasser, who gives the utmost care and support to the sport.

Sheikh Hamdan won the four-stage race in a total time of six hours 14 minutes 34 seconds. He led from the very start of the race and never trailed the field.

Mahmood followed in the runner-up spot with a time of 6:18:02, while Oman's Hamdani claimed third place after clocking a finishing time of 7:02:28.

The Royal Team had two other participants in the event, including Ghazi Al Dossary and Issa Al Hazza. Both of the Bahraini riders were forced to pull out during the opening stage due to injury to their respective horses.

Yesterday's ride was the latest event on the Royal Team's European campaign this summer season.

They had previously participated in another event also held in Normandy but at a different location. Al Dossary was then the winner of the 125-kilometre ride, while fellow-Bahraini Mohammed Khatri claimed first place in the 90km race.

2014 World Equestrian Games test events begin with endurance race

First-place finishers HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (left) riding Nikos, and HE Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum and Yamamah competing at the endurance test event for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Photo: Philippe Millereau KMSP

With just over a year to go, WEG preparations took off in the village of Sartilly, France.
August 17, 2013

Edited Press Release

The test events for next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ opened with endurance in the Basse-Normandie village of Sartilly today, and it was HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Nikos who took the honours for the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain’s Raed Mahmood, deputising for HH Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa who was sidelined by injury, was three minutes 28 seconds behind for the runner-up spot with Sandine Phoenix, while Oman’s Ahmed Al Hamdani and Raffale de la Fageole were some distance behind the two leaders to claim third, fractionally ahead of Spain’s Jaume Punti on Ramses de la Rotja.

A total of 58 horses representing 35 countries set out at 6:30 a.m. on the four-loop, 129.3-kilometer (approximately 80-mile) course designed by Jean-Louis Leclerc of France, who skillfully incorporated the naturally occurring challenges of the Normandy countryside, including hills, forests and beaches. The scenic track wound past iconic landmarks, including the island commune at Mont Saint-Michel and the beautiful Abbaye de la Lucerne.

Sheikh Hamdan, who was a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky and at last year’s world championships in Euston Park in Great Britain, was in the leading pack throughout today’s ride. Team mate HE Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum and Yamamah headed the front-runners until the Australian mare was vetted out for lameness at the final vet gate, leaving Sheikh Hamdan out on his own to claim a classy victory with the 12-year-old gelding, Nikos, returning to the land of his birth after training in Dubai for the summer.

"It was a very good course”, Sheikh Hamdan said after his win. "It was technically challenging and needed an experienced rider who thinks, and that’s what will be needed for next year too.”

Bahrain’s Raed Mahmood took over the ride on the Australian-bred Sandine Phoenix following the injury to Sheikh Nasser at Argentan (FRA) last month when the eight-year-old gelding fell, leaving his owner with a fractured wrist. But Sheikh Nasser was on hand in Sartilly to see his horse challenge for the lead and eventually claim second.

"It was definitely a technical course”, Sheikh Nasser said, "and we knew it wouldn’t be a fast track, but that’s what endurance is all about.”

Ahmed Al Hamdani, a member of the Omani bronze medal team at last year’s world championships, was also riding a French-bred gelding, Rafale de la Fageole. The pair led the second group of horses across the finish line for third place, almost 45 minutes behind the winners, but just two seconds divided Al Hamdani and Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs and Ramses de la Rotja in fourth.

The Spanish rider is celebrating after his wife Maria Alvarez Ponton gave birth to the couple’s third child last Saturday. The baby girl is called Anna, and her mother is hoping to defend her European title at the championships in Most (CZE) next month if she is fit enough.

Today’s endurance competition was the first in a series of test events that will be staged by the organising committee in the build-up to next year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. Eventing also started today with Dressage, and continues with the Cross Country at Haras du Pin tomorrow, while Driving takes centre stage at the Hippodrome in Caen next week (23-25 August).

"The test events are designed to test both the sport and the logistics and today has given us lots of valuable feedback”, said Fabien Grobon, CEO of the Organising Committee. "For endurance it is important to provide a good course that tests the horses and riders, but keeps the welfare of the horse to the fore. We know that there are some things that we will have to change for next year, but we will work closely with the FEI and the National Federations to make sure everything is right for 2014.”

Ian Williams. FEI Director of Endurance, was also pleased with the outcome of today’s competition. "It was a very good test event and did exactly what a test event should do, which is to highlight some of the very good aspects of what will be in place for the 2014 endurance event, as well as identify aspects that need some work. Overall it has been an extremely good day that was very much appreciated by everyone who has been here.”


HE Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (UAE), Nikos, 6:14:34;
Raed Mahmood (BRN), Sandine Phoenix, 6:18:02;
Ahmed Al Hamdani (OMA), Rafale de la Fageole, 7:02:28;
Jaume Punti Dachs (ESP), Ramses de la Rotja, 7:02:30;
Brigitte Pinto (POR), Nita Lotoise, 7:09:51;
Mahmood Al Fori (OMA), Osmos, 7:09:54.

US Rider Marcia Hefker Finishes 19th in Sartilly WEG Test Event

August 16 2013

USA Rider Marcia Hefker, riding Quadad Al Jahid (owned by Cecile Dumas of France) finished 19th in the World Equestrian Games 130-km CEI** Endurance test event in Sartilly, France. Hefker completed the course in 8:32.56 for an average pace of 15.12 km/h. USA rider Meg Sleeper, aboard Tikis Twistyr (owned by Sandra Fretelliere of France) completed the course but was pulled at the finish for lameness.

The race was won by UAE's Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, riding Nikos, in 6:14.13 for an average speed of 20.71 km/h. Bahrain's Raed Mahmood riding Sandine Phoenix was second in 6:18.02, followed by Oman's Ahmed al Hamdani in third, riding Raffale De La Fageole in 7:02.28. Spain's Jaume Punti finished 2 seconds later on Ramses De La Jotja.

Canada's Jessica Manness finished 23rd on Petit Loup D'Jolie, while Yvette Vinton on Gazal Pompoius was eliminated after loop 3.

There were 58 starters and 27 finishers.

Complete results at:

World Equestrian Games to host CEI2* Endurance Test in Normandy

Horsereporter.com - Full Article

August 8, 2013
By Pamela@horsereporter

August 8, 2013, Normandy, France ~ WEG Endurance CEI2* Test Event slated for 16th August, 2013.

As the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy gains momentum, the Organizing Committee is set to test various aspects of its organization during preparatory events in August 2013. These events, which feature in the national and international calendar, though at a lower level than the main event in 2014, will take place in some of the official 2014 Games venues but will not be open to the general public. The Endurance test event (CEI2* level), will be held in Sartilly (Manche) on Friday 16th August 2013.

ENDURANCE CEI** SARTILLY in Northwestern France (Mont-St. Michel -Normandy)

Emmett Ross Chef d’ Equipe, USA Endurance, will be on tap with two top USA endurance riders to test the trails.

“Yes we are coming with a small group– most of us arrive on 13th for the 16th race, ” said Ross. ”We will have two riders, the limit allowed by the OC. Meg Sleeper and Marcia Hefker will be riding just to complete and assess much of trail.

Ross said a few other horse owners, US team hopefuls, and ride support will also come to help and preview the trail and venue. “The two rider’s trail reports and some hiking on the trails by us will be used to assess the trail and give me and selectors an idea on who might thrive on this trail,” continued Ross.

The riders will make the 129.3 km ride that has views along the famed, Mont-St. Michel, on leased French owned and trained horses.

Meg (Margaret) Sleeper will ride the 10-yr-old,Arabian mare, Tikis Twistyr (R-Kon +/x Bound for Gloree by Sir Wm Tryczam+). Sir Wm Tryczam+ is a *Sambor++ son owned by Sandra Fretelliere (FRA).

Marcia Hefker is riding the 11 yr-old Arabian gelding, Quadad Al Jahid (Nemhr x Imerina el Rachid) owned by Cecile Dumas (FRA)

Hosted every four years, alternating with the Olympic Games, under the aegis of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the World Equestrian Games are the largest equestrian event in the world. Held from 23 August to 7 September 2014, the event groups together eight disciplines over fifteen days of competition: Show jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Reining, Vaulting, Endurance and Para- Dressage. It brings together over 60 nations and nearly 1,000 competitors to showcase their talent to an expected 500,000 spectators expected on top-level equestrian competition grounds.

Endurance CEI2* Test Event Information - NO OPENING TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC

As the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy project gains momentum, the Organising Committee is set to test various aspects of its organisation during preparatory events in August 2013. These events, which feature in the national and international calendar, though at a lower level than the main event in 2014, will take place in some of the official 2014 Games venues but will not be open to the general public. Below you will find all of the information regarding the Endurance test event (CEI2* level), which will be held in Sartilly (Manche) on Friday 16th August 2013.

ENDURANCE CEI** SARTILLY - August 16th 2013


The Start of the ride has been brought forward to 6.30am due to the tide.

The competition will be closed to spectators, and only people with an accreditation will be granted access to the Sartilly competition site.

Because of the protective measures on the coastline around Mont St Michel, the Natura 2000 areas, and the La Manche region’s concern about the environment, assistance teams are prohibited from using plastic water bottles on the course.Only buckets will be permitted.

All of the crew points (2 per loop) will be equipped with water troughs.

Grooming before the vet gate:

5 grooms (with grooming accreditations) per horse.
1 chef d'équipe, 1 vet, 1 farrier per nation.

Vet gate:

1 rider and 1 groom, both wearing a number bib.
No national or federation representatives.

Grooming after the vet gate:

Accessible to anyone with an accreditation.

All horses must undergo an obligatory follow-up veterinary check on Saturday 17th August, between 8.30am and 11.30am.

Boxes must be vacated by 2pm on Saturday 17th August.

Map of course and crewing points

Two US Endurance Riders Will Ride in 2014 WEG Test Event


US Athletes and Others will Attend the Endurance Test Event for the 2014 World Equestrian Games – Two will ride.

Two endurance athletes, Meg Sleeper of Pennsylvania and Marcia Hefker from Colorado will be the United States riders at the upcoming WEG test event in Normandy, France. Others will attend to support the riders and observe.

​The ride, an FEI2*, is one of several pre-game events intended to help WEG organizers test their operation systems (organization, logistics, timing, scoring, etc.) while at the same time offering endurance teams from around the world the opportunity to pre-ride part of the course. The test events also allow the participating nations to become familiar with the organization and provide the National Federations with the opportunity to give feedback to the organizers.

​Each of the 40 countries expected to attend was invited to send two riders. The US riders will lease two French owned and trained horses. US athletes will be accompanied by Emmett Ross (Chef d’Equipe) and Vonita Bowers (USEF Director of Endurance). Other team hopefuls, owners and crew members expected to attend include Skip Lightfoot, Amy Atkins, Lisanne Dorion, Dave Augustine, Steve Betzel and Valery Kanavy. Information obtained at the test event will be used to inform training programs back home and to develop the right team of horses and riders for the WEG competition August 2014.

The Endurance CEI2* Test Event will not be open to the general public.

As the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy project gains momentum, the Organising Committee is set to test various aspects of its organisation during preparatory events in August 2013. These events, which feature in the national and international calendar, though at a lower level than the main event in 2014, will take place in some of the official 2014 Games venues but will not be open to the general public. Below you will find all of the information regarding the Endurance test event (CEI2* level), which will be held in Sartilly (Manche) on Friday 16th August 2013.