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2014 World Equestrian Games - World Endurance Championship

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2014 WEG: Best Condition for Laiza de Jalima

Sindy Thomas photo

Friday 29 August 2014 - 18h30

The Best Condition Award was given to Laiza de Jalima, Marijke Visser’s mare. The horse and rider finished second in the individual Endurance competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy.

"She’s a little mare, a tiny one in fact, but absolutely a joy to ride, very courageous and capable of big results”, the Dutch rider said after the awards ceremony, which was held in front of a jammed-packed D'Ornano Stadium. Born in France to owner Jean-Claude Guillaume, a few kilometers from Monaco, the mare, sired by Ismael d'Aubanel, was sent to the United Arab Emirates just before turning seven years old. Her preparation for the Games, however, took place in Belgium.

Shaikh Hamdan strikes gold in France

WAM Photo Gulfnews.com - Full Article

Dubai Crown Prince emulates success of his brother in 2002 with endurance success

By Leslie Wilson Jr
Racing & Special Features Writer
Published: 21:27 August 28, 2014

Normandy, France: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, scaled the summit of his sport to win the individual gold medal in the endurance event at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, on Thursday.

Riding 2013 European Open Champion Yamamah, Shaikh Hamdan secured his place among endurance riding’s elite with a domineering performance over a challenging 160-kilometre course to win in eight hours, eight minutes and 28 seconds. Dutch rider Marike Visser finished a competitive second in a time of 08:19.17s.

Shaikh Hamdan’s success was the UAE’s second gold in the event after his brother Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the UAE National Olympic Committee, became the youngest champion and first Arab to win a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games when successful at Jerez, Spain, in 2002...

Read more here:

Sheikh Hamdan wins endurance gold at World Equestrian Games

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed on Yamamah in Normandy, western France. Ian Kangsdon / EPA
Thenational.ae - Full Article

Amith Passela
August 28, 2014

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed produced a riding masterclass on Yamamah to win the endurance gold medal at the Altech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy on Thursday.

The Dubai Crown Prince battled through rain and muddy conditions after his four teammates fell out of contention in one go at the end of the third loop, finishing first in a field of 173 riders from 47 nations.

Sheikh Hamdan completed the gruelling, 160-kilometre trip in 8 hours, 8 minutes and 28 seconds, then had to spend some anxious moments until the 15-year-old bay mare cleared the final veterinary test and the celebration began in the UAE camp. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who attended the race, was full of praise for his son.

“I used to give them [the UAE riders] instructions and advise during the races, but I have stopped that now, because they are now well-versed and very experienced riders and can read the situation of the race,” Sheikh Mohammed told TV cameras afterward.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/sport/horse-racing/sheikh-hamdan-wins-endurance-gold-at-world-equestrian-games#ixzz3Bn6d6LcS

WEG Endurance: A tough day at the office

Horsetalk.co.nz - Full Article

By Neil Clarkson on Aug 29, 2014 in Featured, Focus, WEG 2014

The FEI has been singing the praises of its world championship endurance race in Normandy, but I’m yet to be convinced that everyone will see it that way.

No doubt the views of the competitors will emerge over the next few days, but certainly there are questions swirling around a race in which only 38 of 174 competitors finished.

That’s 174 of the world’s elite endurance horses and 174 of the finest riders, competing in a race in which only 22.4 percent of them finished...

Read more here:

UAE wins WEG endurance gold; 136 in field eliminated

By Horsetalk.co.nz on Aug 29, 2014

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum led all the way to win the 160km endurance contest at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France, riding the Australian-bred mare Yamamah in a race where only 22% of starters completed the race.

Just 38 horses from the 174 starters finished. Only three countries had the minimum of three riders in contention by the end of the race.

Twenty horses failed to complete the first loop, which was marred by the death of Costa Rican horse Dorada, who hit a tree in an accident 13.6km into the first loop and about 400m from the first check point.

[Read More ...]

2014 WEG: Endurance team gold for Spain


Thursday 28 August 2014 - 22h05

The Endurance team decision at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 was a story of endurance, indeed. Over very heavy footing Spain won gold with three riders left in contention after a total riding time of 28:56:02. France rode to silver in 29:08:44. Three riders defended the medal from Lexington 2014, following 12:42 minutes behind Spain and overtaking Switzerland on 29:42.54.

Veteran Jaume Punti Dachs (45), endurance trainer for the Newmarket based stable of Sheik Mohammed’s Darley stud, led the Spanish team riders Jordi Arboix Santacreu and Javier Cervera Sanchez-Arnedo. Punti Dachs’s wife Maria Alvarez Ponton could not defend her individual title from Lexington 2010. She retired on the course.

Experienced Jean-Philippe Frances, riding the youngest horse on the French team showed the way to Denis Le Guillou and Robin Cornely. He rode the course in 8:12:37.

The Swiss team’s bronze is the second team success after silver in Aachen 2006. Claude Nordmann, Chef de Mission for the Swiss Team, gave all the credit to Barbara Lissarrague, finishing fourth individually. “She has done her utmost for the team. They all rode together after we had lost the first two riders of five rather early on the course.” Lissarrague led team mates Sonja Fritschi and Andrea Amacher towards the finish line in Sartilly.

Due to very difficult footing following heavy rains the attrition rate of the Normandy 2014 competition was high, leaving only three teams with three riders in contention.

The individual medals went to Sheik Hamdan bin Mohamed Al Maktoum, who rode his mare Yamamah over 160 kilometres in a total riding time of 8:08:28. He achieved an average speed of 19.678, way over the minimum average that had been lowered to 14 km/h. Twenty-one year old Marijke Visser and Laiza de Jalima fetched the first ever Dutch Endurance medal in a riding time of 19.258. Bronze went to Qatari Abdulrahman Saad A.S.Al Sulaiteen, riding Koheilan Kincso 37:16 minutes behind the winner.

If possible, an extra gold medal could have gone to the public, following the riders all the way along the 160 kilometres around the Bay of the Normanic icon Mont St.Michel. Many riders commented on the positive reactions and support they had received on their enduring test.

2014 WEG: Dutch investment in Endurance pays off


Thursday 28 August 2014 - 20h21

For the first time Dutch riders formed a team for Endurance at the Word Equestrian Games and the harvest looks promising in form of the country’s first individual silver.

“Endurance is a very small discipline in Holland and we have spent a lot of time and investment on the sport”, said Theo Ploegmakers, president of the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation when watching his riders briefly resting before going onto the final loop to complete the 160 kilometer ride.

Ploegmakers described the Dutch investment as “taking care of the right promotion for the sport to win over more young riders and making sure they find good trainers and good horses.”

At Sartilly Dutch Marijke Visser showed what happens when the classical way of riding meets Arab horses. Her grey mare Laiza de Jalima flew over Normandy soil like an eventing horse. The ten year old mare is owned by Dubai’s sheik Abdulla Bin Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qassimi and trained in Holland. Ploegmakers is pleased abut this Europe-meets-Arabia combination: “That is the future of the sport, having good riders looking for good horses.” Twenty-one year old Marijke Visser won a young riders’ endurance world championship 2013 and rides dressage. “That is why she is such a good role model for us”, Ploegmakers said. Visser is a student, but at the moment focussing on her riding. To get ready for the World Equestrian Games she and mare Laiza moved to the Belgian Ardennes to train with the Belgian chef of the Dutch Equipe, Emile Docquier.

Endurance at WEG 2014 played right in Ploegmakers cards. He thinks the pictures transmitted via TV of endurance riders on the beach with Normandy’s icon of Mt St. Michel in the background were “exceptional promotion for the sport.”

Endurance at WEG 2014 played right in Ploegmakers cards. He thinks the pictures transmitted via TV of endurance riders on the beach with Normandy’s icon of Mt St. Michel in the background were “exceptional promotion for the sport.”

2014 WEG Endurance: UAE wins individual Gold; Spain wins Team Gold

August 28 2014

UAE's HE Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum won the Endurance CHampionship at the 2014 WOrld Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. He rode 15-year-ld Yamamah to an 8:08.28 finish time for the 160-km challenging, slippery course. Rider Jean Phillippe Frances (who finished XX) said, "The first two loops were terrible."

The Netherlands' Marijke Visser surprised almost everybody with her 2nd place finish, barely 11 minutes behind the winner, earning the Dutch their first Silver medal in endurance. Visser rode Laiza de Jalima, a 10-year-old mare owned by Dubai’s Sheik Abdulla Bin Faisal Bin Saqr Al Qassimi and trained in Holland.

Qatar's Abdulrahman Saad A.S. Al Sulaiteen, riding Koheilan Kincso finished 3rd in 8:56.23.

Spain won Team Gold, the French won Team Silver, and Switzerland won Team Bronze. Due to the difficult course conditions, only 3 teams had 3 riders in contention for team medals.

The pull rate was rather dismal: 38 finishers/166 starters = 22.8%.

Live Update 2014 WEG: Conditions Improve during Endurance Race


Thursday 28 August 2014 - 16h58

Halfway during the day ground conditions on the Endurance track of the World Equestrian Games championship in Sartilly/ France were improving.

“It is getting better,” reported Jean-Philippe Frances after passing the third loop, getting ready for two more to go. “The first two loops were terrible”, the most experienced French rider said. Frances came fourth in the individual ranking at Lexington 2010, winning the best condition award. For Normandy2014 he is putting faith in his anglo arab gelding Secret De Mon Coeur, who is the youngest horse in the French team.

2014 WEG Live Endurance Update: Bronze title defenders Germany out of the race

Sartilly, France--Aug. 28

Thursday 28 August 2014 - 14h50

That was a short hundred miles for the defending bronze title holders from Germany at the Endurance race of the World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. After completing 73 kilometres the team was already destroyed, leaving only one of the five riders in competition.

Sabrina Arnold, vice European champion, was the first victim. Her horse Saltan developed metabolic problems and she decided to go straight to her own veterinary doctor instead of presenting for official inspection. Jenny Stemmler’s horse Radja D’Aurabelle took a wrong step on the road and fell lame while Nabab La Majorie for Belinda Hitzler had too high a pulse. Senior team rider Dr. Gabriela Förster (56) withdrew Priceless Gold voluntarily. “I knew that it would be difficult and tough. It is better not to continue.” Sabrina Arnold’s older sister Melanie is the last one standing from the team at Lexington 2010. Heavy rainfall over days before the competition had influenced the footing, forcing the horses through deep mud. The organizers responded by lowering the average speed from 15 to 14 kilometres per hour.

Costa Rican Horse and Rider Suffer Fall
Sartilly, France--Aug. 28

Costa Rican combination Claudia Romero Chacon and Dorado suffered a fall during the first loop of the endurance competition of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games shortly after 8:30 a.m. local time. The pair fell 400 meters before the first checkpoint on course, and the horse was fatally injured in the fall. The rider was also injured but was conscious when she was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

An update on Romero's condition will be provided as soon as it's available. The Fédération Equestre Internationale released the following statement: "The FEI has conducted an immediate investigation into the circumstances of this tragic accident and the investigation shows that the horse struck a tree at the side of the track in a forested area. The horse sustained a head injury and died instantly. There are no signs that the horse slipped prior to the impact." Conditions in Sartilly are muddy thanks to wet weather over the last week.

Romero and Dorado finished third in April at the Canas CEI*** (Costa Rica). Dorado (Siroko--Catrina, Rey Mago), owned by Jorge Eduardo Vargas Jenkins, was 12.

After Phase 2 of the competition, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum leads the competition with Yamamah for the United Arab Emirites. U.S. competitors Heather Reynolds and Chanses lay 11th, Kelsey Russell and My Irish Gold, 19th, Jeremy Olson and Hot Desert Night 62nd. Jeremy Reynolds' mount RR Gold Dust Rising was disqualified at the first veterinary inspection.

The World Endurance Championship will take place during the World Equestrian Games, on August 28, 2014, along the Bay of Mont St Michel, Normandy, France.

Endurance is a long-distance race over 160 km, a one-day “marathon” completed by a horse and rider. This passionate sport takes place in the middle of the countryside, on a course that contains less than 10% hard-surface roads.

It is a veritable achievement that is only possible if the horse and rider are in complete harmony. The rider must ensure that the horse is in perfect physical condition. Compulsory veterinary checks are carried out throughout the course and, if there is any doubt about the horse’s health (exhaustion, lameness, dehydration, etc.), the pair is disqualified.

Spectators should not miss the galloping mass start, the 50 km/h sprint finish or the end-of-ride grooming, a 10-minute wind-down session during which the teams rub down, unsaddle and refresh the horse in order to reduce its heart rate before the final veterinary examination. Another must-see is the loop that runs along the stunningly beautiful Bay of Mont Saint Michel.