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2008 Dutch Championships at Ermelo


Ermelo: European Endurance Championship

It’s Gold for Germany and France at the FEI Endurance European Championship


07 September 2023
Author: Stacey Stearns

After a thrilling final kilometers, Sabrina Arnold of Germany on Easy El Boheira won a thrilling ride in the final kilometers to win the individual gold medal at the FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 today, in Ermelo, the Netherlands.

María Álvarez Pontón of Spain and Bolchoi El Akim were the silver medal winners, a mere two seconds behind the winners, and Philippe Tomas of France and Biwaka De Chalendrat earned the individual bronze medal.

France captured team gold with four riders in the top 10. Spain, the defending champion, won the team silver medal. Germany sealed the team bronze. This event is the pinnacle of the season for European Endurance athletes, with many focusing their entire competitive season on it.

Sabrina and Easy El Boheira, a nine-year-old bay mare, maintained a steady pace throughout the day, at their own pace, quietly staying with the leaders. They left for the final loop in fourth place and then won in the thrilling ride against María and Bolchoi El Akim, a 12-year-old grey gelding. Both women are powerhouses in the sport of Endurance, with numerous wins and championship titles.

Meanwhile, France has consistently built their reputation for riding strategically and as a team. They won the silver at the FEI Endurance European Championships in 2021, also in Ermelo, and gold earlier this year in Butheeb (UAE) at the FEI Endurance World Championship. Three of their horse and athlete combinations from Butheeb were on the team in Ermelo.

“It was difficult, but it was our strategy to stay all together and have a safe ride with speed,” says Jean-Michel Grimal, France chef d’equipe. “I was very happy with my team; they did a very good job. Spain is very strong and have been leading this sport for 15 years now, I have respect for them, but we are very happy to be in front. We are the World Champions at the start of the year and European Champions now.”

Endurance is a distance equestrian sport that tests horses and athletes physically and mentally. It involves strategy and tactics, with the welfare of the horse coming first. The athletes and their horses train carefully for events such as the FEI Endurance European Championship with assistance from the Chef d’Equipe, team veterinarian, and farrier.

75 horse and athlete combinations started the event. The loop distances were 38-km, 22-km, 29 km, 20-km, 31-km and 20-km respectively, with mandatory rest periods after each loop.

The six tracks went through forests, past open pastures on tree-lined roads, and along beautiful heather-filled moors. Riders maintained a steady pace throughout the day, working with their horses to get through each phase of the competition, before increasing the pace on the final phase. Crew members met their horses and riders at various points throughout the course to offer additional cooling, and riders cheerfully greeted spectators as they passed by.

The last of the FEI Endurance main events for 2023 is the Pan American Championships for Seniors, Young Riders and Juniors in Llay Llay, Chile in November. The Endurance calendar is still busy with rides until the end of the year as horses and riders look ahead to the 2024 season, which includes the FEI Endurance World Championship in September 2024 in Monpazier, France.

Full Results

Excitement builds for FEI Endurance European Championship at Ermelo, Netherlands


05 September 2023
Author: Stacey Stearns

The names are in and the field is set for a thrilling competition at the upcoming FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 set for September 7 at the Dutch National Equestrian Centre in Ermelo (NED).

The 160-km course consists of six loops of beautiful countryside that includes forest tracks and heather-covered moors, with a mandatory veterinary inspection after each loop, where the horses must be declared fit to continue before heading out onto the next loop of the course. The tracks have been carefully prepared to offer a balance of technical challenges, all the while keeping the safety of the horses as a priority.

“In essence, our aim is to provide an unforgettable experience that encapsulates the spirit of Endurance while prioritising the well-being of our beloved horses,” said Eric Lamsma, President of the organising committee. “We are excited about the journey ahead and can't wait to witness the enthusiasm and camaraderie that will unfold during the FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 in Ermelo.”

Looking back…

Horse and athlete combinations include individual champions from multiple countries, who competed at the FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 in Butheeb (UAE), and the FEI Endurance European Championships 2021, which were also held at the Ermelo facility. Spain and France had the top seven individual finishers in 2021, earning team gold and silver respectively, and both countries are returning multiple athletes from those teams. Italy secured the team bronze medal ahead of Belgium and the Netherlands, and all these teams are looking to either repeat or improve on their past standings.

Ones to watch

Jaume Punti Dachs of Spain riding Echo Falls was fifth individually in 2021 and earned the bronze medal at the FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 in Butheeb, while Angel Soy Coll and Maria Alvarez Ponton, the individual gold and bronze medal riders respectively at the FEI European Endurance Championships 2021 are on the team again, with competitive horses.

France will have three of their combinations from Butheeb and their 2021 silver medal team at the Championships, including Virginie Atger on Raya de Jalima, Vincent Gaudriot on Bum Baya D’Aqui, and Clementine Chaud on Winaruz el Djin. France’s goal in Butheeb was a team medal, where their strategic and tactical riding paid off, and we expect to see more of that in Ermelo this year.

| Then there’s Tiina Kuusepuu of Estonia on Gabyrel, a 13-year-old Polish Arabian gelding. The pair were fourth at the Butheeb World Championships, and along with her teammates, are looking to put Estonia Endurance on the map.

Full List

There are 21 countries represented, including 14 in the team competition: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. In total, 77 athletes and 83 horses are vying for the Championship title.

Individual entries include Tom MacGuinness of Ireland who has two horses qualified, including his mount Horseware HLM Fontana, who was 17th with him at Butheeb. Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway, and Turkey all have individual entries


“Our opening ceremony, scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th, at 7 pm, promises to be a big event, with all the athletes of the Championship making an appearance. In alignment with our ethos of ‘Horse Comes First’, we're excited to present captivating shows featuring acts such as Jesse Drent and the talented Vaulting team De Heerevelden. These performances will undoubtedly underscore the deep bond between humans and horses,” said Imke Lamsma, Media Manager of the organising committee.

Mandatory pre-ride veterinary inspections of all horses are occurring the afternoon of September 6 and the FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 begins at 6:30 am on September 7. The Championship results will be available by 6 pm.

More information is available at: https://inside.fei.org/fei/disc/endurance/main-events/european-championship-seniors-2023.

Welcome to the FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 in Ermelo, the Netherlands! On the 7th of September 2023, riders from all over Europe will compete for the prestigious title of European Champion. But that’s not all – on the 9th of September, regular CEI rides will also be organized for those who want to join the fun.

At this event, “Horse Comes First” is not just a phrase, it’s our top priority. We value the welfare of our equine athletes and will ensure that they are well-cared for throughout the competition.

Riders will experience the beauty of the forest and heather landscape of Ermelo while competing for the title. And for those who are not competing, the stunning scenery and exhilarating atmosphere make for a fantastic day out.

We are proud to announce that the Dutch National Equestrian Centre will be the venue for this exciting event. This state-of-the-art facility is the perfect location for an event of this caliber.

Whether you are a rider, competitor, volunteer, or spectator, we invite you to join us for the FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 in Ermelo. Let’s celebrate the beauty and strength of these amazing horses together!