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Stories and photos
2008 Tierras De Al-Andalus
Stories and photos

Vetting In
Images by Merri Melde
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Jerez to San Lucar
Images by Merri Melde
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Carmona to Ecija
Images by Merri Melde
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Merri's Stories:
The Migration || Vet-in Day || Day 1 || Day 2 || Day 3 || Day 4 || Day 5 || Day 6
Rest Day in Cordoba! || Day 7 || Day 8


Daily reports:
Final Report and Results, Daily Reports, Daily Results
Day 8 - Final Report!

Daily Merri updates

Saturday April 4 2009 - Final Day 8: Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza

What a finish to a challenging ride: 77 km and 388 meters (1300') of climbing, ending below the 13th century Santuario de la Virgen de la Cabeza.

37 of 42 horses completed the day's ride; 5 Binomios horses (1 horse, 1 rider) of 20 completed all 8 days, and 3 Equipos (teams: 1 rider and 2 horses, or 2 riders and 2 horses) of 22 completed all 8 days.

Overall Biomios winner was Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo, on 16-year-old Hermes - what a horse! Overall Equipos winners were Inigo Del Solar LLanso on Zafia 50% and his 14-year-old niece Teresa Lozano Muguiro on Cardhu.

The huge dinner and awards party started late, went even later, and I think the dancing and party is still going on.

Another amazing year in the books of Tierras de-Al Andalus, the unique endurance ride across Andalucia!

Eduardo Sanchez and Hidalgo


Inigo Del Solar Lllanso and Teresa Lozano Muguiro and Zafia (Cardhu not pictured)

(photos by Merri Melde)
Final results - equipos
( 8 days completed)
1. Íñigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 31.49.51
2. María Capdevila & Emma Rosell - 32.39.27
3. Santiago Pérez Dorao - 34.45.41
( 7 days completed)
4. Paulette Maldera & Daniel Maldera - 33.47.57
5. Pierre Chambost & Jean-Pierre Lerisset - 34.38.41
Final results - binomios
( 8 days completed)
1. Eduardo Sánchez Hidalgo - 33.40.32
2. Otto Vélez Castrillón - 35.06.17
3. Joëlle Sauvage - 37.05.46
4. Christine Hubin - 37.45.16
5. Miguel Conradi Arias - 40.43.23

Eduardo Sánchez, ganador general binomios

Inigo del Solar, ganador general equipos

Otto Vélez, segundo general binomios
(photos by Kristian Fenaux)

Photo Galleries

Flavors of Andalucia (Merri Melde)

Gallery - Vetting In (Merri Melde)

Day 1 - Gallery I
Jerez to Sanlucar de
Barrameda (Merri Melde)

Day 1 - Gallery II
Jerez to Sanlucar de
Barrameda (Merri Melde)

Day 1 - Gallery III
Jerez to Sanlucar de
Barrameda (Merri Melde)

Day 1 - Gallery IV
Jerez to Sanlucar de
Barrameda (Merri Melde)

Day 2 - Gallery I
Sanlucar de Barrameda to El Rocio (Merri Melde)

Day 2 - Gallery II
Sanlucar de Barrameda to El Rocio (Merri Melde)

Day 2 - Gallery III
Sanlucar de Barrameda to El Rocio (Merri Melde)

Day 2 - Gallery IV
Sanlucar de Barrameda to El Rocio (Merri Melde)

Day 3 - Gallery I
El Rocio to Ruinas Italicas (Merri Melde)

Day 3 - Gallery II
El Rocio to Ruinas Italicas (Merri Melde)

Day 3 - Gallery III
El Rocio to Ruinas Italicas (Merri Melde)

Day 4 - Gallery I
Dos Hermanas - Carmona (Merri Melde)

Day 4 - Gallery II
Dos Hermanas - Carmona (Merri Melde)

Day 4 - Gallery III
Dos Hermanas - Carmona (Merri Melde)

Day 5 - Gallery I
Carmona - Ecija (Merri Melde)

Day 5 - Gallery II
Carmona - Ecija (Merri Melde)

Day 5 - Gallery III
Carmona - Ecija (Merri Melde)

Day 5 - Gallery
(Christina Ortega)

Day 6 - Gallery I
Ecija - Cordoba (Merri Melde)

Day 6 - Gallery II
Ecija - Cordoba (Merri Melde)

Day 6 - Gallery III
Ecija - Cordoba (Merri Melde)

Day 6 - Gallery IV
Ecija - Cordoba (Merri Melde)

Rest Day - Gallery
Descanso en Cordoba! (Merri Melde)

Day 6 Gallery
(Kristian Fenaux)

Day 7 - Gallery I
Cordoba - Montoro (Merri Melde)

Day 7 - Gallery II
Cordoba - Montoro (Merri Melde)

Day 8 - Gallery I
Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza

Day 8 - Gallery II
Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza

Day 8 - Gallery III
Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza

Day 8 - Gallery IV
Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza

2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 8


SATURDAY APRIL 4 2009 - DAY 8
Fase 1 - Montoro - Cardena - 27.47 km
Fase 2 - Cardena - Lugar nuevo - 43.15 km
Fase 3 - Lugar Nuevo - Andujar (Virgen de la Cabeza) - 7.22 km
TOTAL: 77.84 km

I figured that with all the extra riders and rides going on, today's final day of Al Andalus would be just as hectic as yesterday, so I arranged to ride straight to the vet gates and then the finish with ride stewards Guillermo and Eugenia.

We left the hotel at 7:30 AM, driving straight to the starting line instead of the stables. It was a foggy day, damp, and cool - everybody but me was cold. I've really enjoyed the cooler weather this year, but this is not what the Andalucians had in mind for Springtime in Andalucia!

Trailers started arriving in the small parking lot at 8 AM. By 8:30, the 2* 80 km riders were sent on their way, followed by the 24 intrepid Al Andalus horses and riders, at 9 AM, on their last day of competition! The race for overall Binomios and Equipos winners were still up for grabs - it would likely come down to the final vet checks.

More...


2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 7


FRIDAY APRIL 3 2009 - DAY 7
Fase 1 - Cordoba - VILLAFRANCA CORDOBA - 32.74 km
Fase 2 - Villafranca Cordoba - Montoro - 33.09 km
TOTAL: 65.84 km

Things were a bit more tense, a bit more... crazy today, what with the 37 horses riding in Al-Andalus, and the dozen or so horses in the 2* national competition, and especially with everybody having to collect at the stables in the middle of the crowded old city of Cordoba, and drive in a caravan to the start a half hour out of town.

I almost got left behind at the hotel (I think Javier and Alberto almost forgot me!), and we got a late start and had to race through traffic to get to the head of the miles-long caravan of horse trailers. My camera in my backpack tumbled once to the car floor, my computer almost did, I gripped the strap of my seatbelt tightly strapped around me.

Things calmed down momentarily once we got to the starting line. The 2* riders were warming up their horses, including Jose Antonio on Campanera, and the Al Andalus riders - who were to start a half hour later - were saddling up.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Rest Day in Cordoba!


THURSDAY APRIL 2 2009 - DESCANSO EN CORDOBA!

Perhaps one of the best words you can learn in Spanish (besides Siesta), is Descanso - Rest. As in DESCANSO IN CORDOBA!!

After 6 straight days and 377 kilometers, Tierras de Al-Andalus was taking a day off, in the city of Cordoba. Really, nobody was going to 'rest' much, because there were still horses to take care of, and there was an old city waiting to be discovered. But just to be able to really open the suitcase and spread out for a whole day and a half, sleep in a bit, and just sit and breathe for a few minutes was, if nothing else, a mental break.

I slept in till some ungodly hour like 9 AM, then I got up and followed somebody's dirt tracks down the elegant marble steps to breakfast where I joined the Belgians (living in Spain), Joelle, Bernard and Melanie.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 6


WEDNESDAY APRIL 1 2009 - DAY 6
Fase 1 - Ecija - Las Pinedas - 26.09 km
Fase 2 - Las Pinedas - Cordoba - 31.67 km
TOTAL: 57.76 km

All day I kept thinking, one more day, then a rest day! I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking that, because there were more than a few bleary eyes at the breakfast tables this morning.

It was a controlled start again, around 11 AM, the 29 horses escorted out of the city on paved streets by Javier and Alberto's car (with whom I was riding) and the police. It was somewhat darkly overcast this morning, and it had rained the last few nights. The officials were concerned about the mud on course, so nobody would be driving over it but the fearless man driving the four-wheeler with his passenger, Abraham the video camera man, and two jeeps with Jose Manuel Soto at the wheel of one. All of the 'outdoor' passengers were bundled up in rain gear - against the possible rain, and against the definite mud. Ines would ride her motorbike, but only on the first Fase. "The second Fase - no way!" Later I'd see why she said that!

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 5


TUESDAY MARCH 31 2009 - DAY 5
Fase 1 - Carmona - Fuentes de Andalucia - 31.92 km
Fase 2 - Fuentes de Andalucia - Ecija - 30.40 km
TOTAL: 62.32 km

A new perspective today: I rode with head veterinarian Dr Francisco "Paco" Castejon and his veterinarian wife, Dr Cristina Riber Perez. They are from Andalucia and have been vetting this ride since it started four years ago. Dr Castejon is a specialist in metabolics in horses, and he also has a new research lab, and teaches at the veterinary school at Universidad de Cordoba. He is doing a study of proteins and hydration in cells of endurance horses in the ride; Cristina draws blood from the equine volunteers after they complete their ride for the day.

While we were waiting for the 11:00 AM start, we had time to walk to a cafe for coffee with all the veterinarians. Oh, this would be lovely, a cappuchino to start my morning instead of the weak coffee we got at the hotel breakfast buffets!

I ordered a cappuchino, and got a cup of hot water with the cappuchino packet poured in and not quite stirred! Oh well. Andalucia may be well known for its wines and sherries and olive oil and delectable Jamon... but it is not yet known for its cappuchinos.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 4


MONDAY MARCH 30 2009 - DAY 4
Fase 1 - Dos Hermanas - Alcala Gra - 30.19 km
Fase 2 - Alcala Gra - Carmona - 26.40 km
TOTAL: 56.59 km

Cool and sunny at 9:30 when we arrived at the Dos Hermanas stables - nice! It was much hotter last year for Al Andalus. People think it's cold now, but I love it. Cool weather in the spring in Andalucia seems... criminal to the natives, but I do a little happy dance in my jacket.

Crews and riders were getting ready for the day's ride: walking their horses, saddling, brushing, painting and picking feet, packing trailers, planning driving strategies. A few horses had overnight bandages or mud on, but not many - I expect this will become more of a practice as the ride goes on. Vet inspections were being held for the Equipos horses that were not ridden yesterday.

At 10:35 AM, Javier's car led the 38 horses off the grounds in a controlled start. (Five horses did not go on the trail today.) Rather, I should say, 38 horses and one dog started on the trail. Somebody has 2 Jack Russells that run around at the vet gates. They are usually strapped together, and always in a pulling match because one wants to go this way, and the other wants to go that way. On Day 2, one of the Jack Russells ran 32 km along the beach (possibly the whole ride), and today he was following the horses along the controlled start. Rather, I should say, he was leading the 38 horses to the start. Completely voluntary. (I think the owner couldn't catch him.) I think he actually has a pair of wings, but he hasn't had the need to use them.

More...


2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 3


SUNDAY MARCH 29 2009 - DAY 3
Fase 1 - El Rocio - Aznalcazar - 32.60 km
Fase 2 - Aznalcazar - Ruinas Italicas (Sevilla) - 33.40 km
TOTAL: 66 km

Everybody has Just One Of Those Al Andalus days where things don't always go right during the multi-day ride. Mine was today.

Javier and Alberto about gave me the slip this morning, as they almost left the restaurant without me for the start. Apparently plans for my day's ride had changed. He said I'd be riding with Jose Manuel Soto, and when we got to the start, he pointed to the buggy we'd be in. Oh - a buggy - OK... I'd be a little cold, but at least I'd be out on the course and hopefully get to some good picture spots. Although, I never quite knew if they were kidding me or not, or if they were making things up on the fly. But that's all part of Al Andalus too, when you're part of the press... things are sort of rearranged at the last minute if something else comes up.

The sun was not yet up as the pigeons swarmed in the sky around the big white church in the square of El Rocio. Gabriel Gamiz asked me if I'd been inside the church. "Not yet - I didn't even go in last year!" (Said in my Spanglish). Gabriel gasped and grabbed me arm and ran me into the church. In fact, there were many Al Andalus people running to and into the church before the start of the ride, saying a quick prayer and crossing themselves at the foot of the Madonna of the Dew.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 2


Saturday March 28 2009

Fase 1 - Sanlucar de BArrameda - Matalascanas - 34.36 km
Fase 2 - Matalascana - El Rocio - 30.67 km
TOTAL: 65.03 km

Our hotel was terrific... except even up on the 10th floor, with earplugs in, I could hear some serious partying going on, all night, out on the streets. Did I say the Andalucians knew how to party?

I sent my suitcase ahead with Maaite to El Rocio, and I was bundled into the car of ride officials Guillermo and Eugenia, and we headed to the beach, where the horses would gather to catch the ferry across the Guadalquivir for the official start of Day 2's ride. The streets were wet, and it was heavily overcast... and in a bit of questionable planning, I'd left my raincoat in my suitcase.

The officials had planned for all the riders to gather at 8:30 AM at the ferry for the ride across the river, and that the start would be at 9:00 AM on the other side. It's good to make plans, and it's often hard to imagine, or think ahead of all the potential problems that can arise on a big multi-day ride with so many facets of organization required.

For example, last year, the horses had done this day in reverse: starting in El Rocio, and finishing on the beach on the other side of the river. They'd been quite tired after a long 60 km day in the sand, and none of the horses had any real trouble walking up the ramp onto the ferry for the crossing, because they really didn't care much about anything but eating and resting.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Day 1


Friday March 27 2009

Fase 1 - Jerez de la Frontera - Trebujena - 24.9 km
Fase 2 - Trebujena - Sanlucar de Barrameda - 37.78 km
TOTAL: 62.68 km

There were a few bleary eyes and slow-moving people at breakfast in the Ibis Hotel early in the morning, including Jose Manuel Soto: "I'm already tired! And it's the first day!" (These Andalucians seem to get by on little sleep.)

The controlled start from the Centro Militar de Cria Caballar was at 8:30 AM through the busy streets of Jerez, with police on motorcycles, and the lead car of Javier and Alberto (my drivers for the day). It was heavily overcast with threatening clouds, and it started to rain! It was just enough to make the streets really slick, making me wince at the thought of already-slick horseshoes-on-cement. Now was when you didn't want a horse acting silly, on the first day of Al Andalus, on wet pavement! However, most of the horses were well behaved, and there was lots of chatting and smiling amongst the riders at the beginning of this adventure.

Javier, on the other hand, said, "Merri. I'm nervous!" "Why?" "I don't know, maybe a horserace?"

Javier and the police switched off the lead for the riders as we came to roundabouts, keeping traffic out of our way when, suddenly, we took a wrong turn - oh no! Horses were right on our tail, almost poking their heads through out back window - and we sure couldn't turn around (Andalucian cars don't have a reverse gear). Now what! Radios crackled, phones rang, many animated discussions occurred simultaneously while we continued to lead horses forward, along streets, a big bus squeezing by us once, then onto dirt roads, past a construction site where horses had to squeeze by big noisy equipment.

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: Vet-In Day


Thursday March 26 2009

I took an overnight train from Catalonia to Jerez de la Frontera - the starting point of this year's Al-Andalus, making my way eventually to the Centro Militar de Cria Caballar where the horses were stabled for Al Andalus and where the vetting in would be.

Immediately I saw some of the staff from last year's Al-Andalus Raid who gave me a warm welcome, including at the inscription - sign in - where Gabriel, Ines, and Rosa were busy registering riders and handing out 'welcome' bags with goodies from sponsors - Tshirts from Kaliber and Andalucia tourism, small bottles of Extra Virgen Aceite de Oliva (exquisite olive oil), among other things.

I wandered around, peering in stalls and greeting old friends, and immediately making some new ones as it's so easy to do at this ride. I'd been studying Spanish diligently - well, for at LEAST a month before I came to Spain - so it was a wee bit better than last year. I attempted to use it a bit, which is fun, because the Spanish get a kick out of it, (unlike some other countries and languages who don't have quite the same humor), and they always tried to help me, or at least guess at what I was trying to say. If I couldn't find the Spanish word I needed and sign language didn't work, we just laughed. With my Spanish, or Spanglish, as I came to call it (mangled Spanish), I probably didn't get all my stories straight, but... that's how the story goes, right?

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2009 Tierras de Al-Andalus: The Migration


Thursday March 26 2009

For the fourth spring, the competition Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al Andalus comes together: the unique 8-day endurance ride across the southern autonomous community of Andalucia in Spain. Once Spain's poorest region, it is now one of the most popular destinations, with the wealth of its scenery, the warmth and joyousness of its people, and the rich historical treasures awaiting the visitor. It is the home of bullfighting and flamenco; it is bursting with fiestas, romerias and religious celebrations; it is home to the Jerez Horse Fair, "the most important equine event in Europe"; it is filled with traditions and architecture, food and arts, from the successive waves of Romans, then Vandals and Visigoths, then Moors (Muslims), and then the Franks that in turn conquered and occupied it.

The route will take riders past ancient Roman ruins from the third century; into a 14th century fortress; near a Great Mosque (church-turned Mosque-turned church) which was at the time the largest in all of Islam; over an old Roman bridge; through old city gates from the 15th century; past the port where Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan set sail around the world in the 16th century; through the sleepy little sand-street town of El Rocio which, during the annual Rocio Pilgrimage which began in the 15th century is saturated with a million people... and that is just to name a few highlights. A tour worthy of itself; but then add the horse into the equation, and a group of modern-day adventurers ready to test their skills and their endurance - people and horses - over 8 days and 500 kilometers.

And it is not just an endurance ride. It is an event. It is unique, challenging, tiring, and exhilarating - for the organizers, the horses, the riders, and the crews. It is extraordinary in its offerings of riding, sight-seeing, companionship, and culture, rich with thousand of years of history, rich with the traditions of the horse.

This year, though the world-wide economic crisis wreaked havoc on sponsorship, and was lurking just around the corners of conversations and minds of everybody, a larger number of riders and horses entered than last year, and competitors from Spain, France, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, and Argentina descended upon Andalucia.

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The Flavors of Andalucia

Tuesday March 24 2009

Read about Andalucia in southern Spain, and you will consistently find a particular category of words: exuberance, color, romance, passion. It is a country of strength and courage; the people are warm, welcoming, high-spirited, friendly, happy, easy-going.

Come to Andalucia and you will experience all of that, and the culture that epitomizes and defines it: flamenco, bullfighting, romerias, horse fairs, fiestas, celebrations, music, dance, cuisine. The religious and festive El Rocio Pilgrimage draws one million visitors annually and is one of Spain's largest and most famous Romerias. Flamenco was born here. Spain is the largest producers of olive oil, particularly the regions of Andalucia and Catalonia. Jerez has been known as the center of viniculture since wine-making was introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians in the 11th century BC. Gazpacho soup originated here. The Iberican ham is unique to this region, and if you've ever had Iberican ham, you'll never be able to eat a pre-packaged processed slice of American ham again.

Through the ages, southern Spain was occupied in turn by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians then Romans, the Suevi, the Alani, the Vandals, the Visigoths, then the Moors, and finally the Castilian and Aragoneses in 1492; and perhaps it was the ability of these Iberian people to adjust, adapt, and adopt, that have contributed to their ability today to be laid back and spirited, open and amiable, and still retain a strong identity.

More...


Day 8 - Full Report
Sánchez Hidalgo Lozano & Solar proclaimed winners Kaliber Lands Raid Al-Andalus after traveling more than 500km
Le Gall and Augustine won the final stage
Today was the hardest day of the Raid and long with 77 km to go, three checks and the Sierra de Andújar (Jaén) as a backdrop.
Clasificaciones
Vencedores etapa 8 por equipos
1. Aurélie Le Gall - Lazou - 5.26.06
2. Emma Rosell Segura - Al-Jatib - 5.28.20
3. Íñigo del Solar Llansó - Zafia-50 - 5.44.05
4. Pierre Chambost - Mourad-del-Sol - 6.03.26
5. Daniel Maldera - Nabile - 6.03.27

Vencedores etapa 8 binomios
1. Florencio Agustín Pedrueza - Artesana - 6.09.43
2. Christine Hubin - Léo-de-la-Grilletière - 6.15.45
3. Otto Vélez Castrillón - Pal-Partenón - 6.37.17
4. Eduardo Sánchez Hidalgo - Hermes - 6.37.26
5. Joëlle Sauvage - Mandschour du Barthas - 6.56.02

Final Results - general equipos
(with 8 days completed)
1. Íñigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 31.49.51
2. María Capdevila & Emma Rosell - 32.39.27
3. Santiago Pérez Dorao - 34.45.41
(with 7 days completed)
4. Paulette Maldera & Daniel Maldera - 33.47.57
5. Pierre Chambost & Jean-Pierre Lerisset - 34.38.41

Final Results - binomios
(8 days completed)
1. Eduardo Sánchez Hidalgo - 33.40.32
2. Otto Vélez Castrillón - 35.06.17
3. Joëlle Sauvage - 37.05.46
4. Christine Hubin - 37.45.16
5. Miguel Conradi Arias - 40.43.23

Day 7 - Full report
Victoria de etapa para la francesa Paulette Maldera Sánchez Hidalgo y Lozano & del Solar a un paso del triunfo final
CLASIFICACIONES
Clasificacion etapa equipos
    1. Sara Hobbs - Gamera - 3.35.07 2. Santiago Perez Dorao - Marlboro-Yac - 3.50.17
    3. Francine Coneau - Odes - 3.57.30
    4. Aurelie Le Gall - Lazou - 4.01.28
    5. Sandrine Gourdon - Premiercru-de-Sommant - 4.04.07
Clasificacion etapa binomios
    1. Salvador Garrido Cabral - Shakyra - 4.00.55
    2. Carlos Escavias de C Rogel - Yaman-V - 4.05.38
    3. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - Hermes - 4.06.35
    4. Joelle Sauvage - Mandchour-du-Bathas - 4.07.50
    5. Leonard Liessens - CC-Blanco - 4.08.48
Clasificacion general equipos
    1. Inigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 21.35.57
    2. Maria Capdevila & Emma Rosell - 22.54.49
    3. Sandrine Gourdon - 23.15.26
    4. Jean A de Chatillon - 23.16.05
    5. Stephane Fontanel - 23.21.36
Clasificacion general binomios
    1. Eduardo Sanchez - 22.23.11
    2. Otto Velez - 23.24.39
    3. Salvador Garrido - 23.50.17
    4. Joelle Sauvage - 24.28.12
    5. Christine Waisblat - 26.02.13
Day 6 - Full report
Stage victory for the French Paulette Maldera Sanchez Hidalgo Lozano & Solar to win passage of a final
Clasificacion etapa equipos
1. Sara Hobbs - Gamera - 3.35.07 2. Santiago Perez Dorao - Marlboro-Yac - 3.50.17
3. Francine Coneau - Odes - 3.57.30
4. Aurelie Le Gall - Lazou - 4.01.28
5. Sandrine Gourdon - Premiercru-de-Sommant - 4.04.07

Clasificacion etapa binomios
1. Salvador Garrido Cabral - Shakyra - 4.00.55
2. Carlos Escavias de C Rogel - Yaman-V - 4.05.38
3. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - Hermes - 4.06.35
4. Joelle Sauvage - Mandchour-du-Bathas - 4.07.50
5. Leonard Liessens - CC-Blanco - 4.08.48

Clasificacion general equipos
1. Inigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 21.35.57
2. Maria Capdevila & Emma Rosell - 22.54.49
3. Sandrine Gourdon - 23.15.26
4. Jean A de Chatillon - 23.16.05
5. Stephane Fontanel - 23.21.36

Clasificacion general binomios
1. Eduardo Sanchez - 22.23.11
2. Otto Velez - 23.24.39
3. Salvador Garrido - 23.50.17
4. Joelle Sauvage - 24.28.12
5. Christine Waisblat - 26.02.13

Day 5 - Full report
CUANDO LA DUREZA DEL RAID SALE A RELUCIR, LOS CABALLOS CONTRATACAN EN SU MEJOR FORMA FISICA - The farther they ride, the stronger they get!
Clasificacion 5 etapa equipos
1. Lise Chambost - Damas-El-Derkouch - 3.33.22
2. Inigo del Solar Llanso - Zafia-50 - 3.34.10
3. Jean-Pierre Pourquier - Silver-Land-Sky - 3.34.13
4. Paulette Maldera - Louna de Rivoiron - 3.35.29
5. Nathalie Michel - Raimon - 3.38.27

Clasificacion 5 etapa binomios
1. Salvador Garrido Cabral - Shakyra - 4.02.51
2. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - Hermes - 4.03.37
3. Carlos Escavias de C Rogel - Yaman-V - 4.05.03
4. Otto Vélez Castrillon - Pal-Partenon - 4.10.33
5. Joelle Sauvage - Mandchour-du-Bathas - 4.35.00

Clasificacion general equipos
1. Inigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 17.28.37
2. Paulette Maldera & Daniel Maldera - 17.31.44
3. María Capdevila & Emma Rosell - 17.59.08
4. Nathalie Michel - 18.15.10
5. Sandrine Gourdon - 19.11.19

Clasificacion general binomios
1. Eduardo Sánchez - 18.19.36
2. Otto Velez - 19.15.10
3. Salvador Garrido - 19.59.22
4. Joelle Sauvage - 20.20.22
5. Christine Waisblat - 21.07.24

Conclusion day 2 and 3
PRIMERA VICTORIA DE ETAPA FRANCESA
Results Day 2
Clasificacion general todos
1. Inigo del Solar & Teresa Lozano - 10.43.13
2. Emma Rosell & María Capdevila - 10.46.11
3. Pierre Chambost & Jean-Pierre Lerisset - 10.54.21
4. Daniel Maldera & Paulette Maldera - 11.05.11
5. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - 11.24.38
Clasificacion general binomios
1. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - 11.24.38
2. Otto Velez Castrillon - 11.47.14
3. Andrés Velez Delgado - 11.53.09
4. Christine Waisblat - 12.24.57
5. Marie-France Planard - 12.25.00
Results Day 3
Classifications equipos
1. Jean-Pierre Lerisset - MASSAR - 3.43.08
2. Carlos Escavias de C Rogel - YAMAN-V - 3.51.40
3. Daniel Maldera - NABILE - 3.56.59
4. Jean-Pierre Pourquier - SILVER-LAND-SKY - 4.00.03
5. Manuel Narbona Lopez - GOLFO-TURISMO-JEREZ - 4.09.36
Clasificacion binomios
1. Carlos Escavias de C Rogel - YAMAN-V - 3.46.40
2. Manuel Narbona Lopez - GOLFO-TURISMO-JEREZ - 4.04.36
3. Joelle Sauvage - MANDCHOUR-DU-BARTHAS - 4.07.26
4. Miguel Pavlovsky - ORIFLAMME-LARZAC -4.10.29
5. Otto Velez Castrillon - PAL-PARTENON - 4.11.30
Conclusion Day 1 - full report
CONCLUYE LA PRIMERA ETAPA DEL RAID KALIBER TIERRAS DE AL-ANDALUS TRAS UN SPRINT RENIDO EN LA PLAYA DE SANLUCAR
Clasificacion equipos:
1. Inigo del Solar Llanso - Zafia-50 - 3.23.10
2. Emma Rosell Segura - Al-Jatib - 3.28.11
3. Iris Marion Janowski - Eritrea - 3.30.12
4. Joaquim Sancho Cruz - XL - 3.33.37
5. Rafael Hidalgo Medina - Vesana - 3.42.03
Clasificacion binomios:
1. Eduardo Sanchez Hidalgo - Hermes - 4.01.14
2. Claudia Lorenzo Romero - Camila-AV - 4.06.35
3. Andres Velez Delgado - Pirata - 4.19.03
4. Otto Velez Castrillón – Pal-Partenon – 4.22.06

Merri's Quick Reports:
Saturday April 4 2009 - Final Day 8: Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza
What a finish to a challenging ride: 77 km and 388 meters (1300') of climbing, ending below the 13th century Santuario de la Virgen de la Cabeza.

37 of 42 horses completed the day's ride; 5 Binomios horses (1 horse, 1 rider) of 20 completed all 8 days, and 3 Equipos (teams: 1 rider and 2 horses, or 2 riders and 2 horses) of 22 completed all 8 days.

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Friday April 3 2009 - Day 7: Cordoba - Montoro
Lest you think 8 days of 'only' 60 kilometers is not endurance, or that it sounds easy and that you don't need a really fit horse to do it, you are wrong. Of course luck plays a part, but it takes skill to get one (or two) horses through Al Andalus, and it is endurance.

Today's ride was a strenuous climb up into the mountains, that are the source of the Guadalquivir River we've been following since Day 1. The views were awesome and the ride a definite challenge. 14 horses vetted out lame today, "the most ever in 14 years!" said Jose Manuel Soto.

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Thursday April 2 2009 - DESCANSO EN CORDOBA!
Last year I saw absolutely nothing extra during Al Andalus, so this year I determined to do so.

Since today was a day off, I spent most of it walking around the old part of Cordoba, and visiting the stables where riders and crews were busy caring for their horses.

I bumped into Fernando, (who gave Steph a horse to ride in Al-Andalus last year), and as we walked around the Alcazar and the Great Mosque, we concocted the Spanamericano Al Andalus Endurance team for next year's ride. (Fernando and I ride, Steph takes pictures : ).

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Wednesday April 1 2009 DAY 6 - ECIJA - CORDOBA
After a terrific meal for more than 150 people during the day's Awards, 11 AM start the next morning meant not getting up so early (but maybe not getting to bed the night before, either : ).

phase 1: 26 kilometers to Las Pinedas. Due to rains in the past few days, the track was impassable for cars (and for the Andalucians, that is saying something!), and only a few jeeps and Ines on her motorcycle drove with the horses. The first assistance point was attended only by the Organization, since the trail crossed on a very narrow road, while the crews drove straight to the second assistance point.
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Tuesday March 31 2009 :DAY 5 - CARMONA - ECIJA
This is how non-stop busy I've been - I haven't had a cappuchino since the first day. I haven't even had time to think about one.
41 horses left Carmona in the morning in a controlled start out of the gates of the old city, down the hill across a Roman bridge, and on into and through the Carmona Valley.
60 kilometers across farmland of wheat, garlic, sugar beets, and olive groves, fairly flat but a fair amount of pavement, with the finish just inside Ecija, "the Frying-Pan of Andalucia" with several baroque churches with towers you can see from the distance. It was a pleasantly sunny and cool day - in contrast to how hot it can be here in the summer (once it hit 52*C - hence "Frying Pan").
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March 30 - Sevilla - Dos Hermanas, Carmona
This marks the halfway point of Al-Andalus. Today's route went 53 km over mostly kind dirt roads along canals, past fields thick with wheat grass, between orange and olive groves, ending with a little hill climb up into the old city of Carmona. The ancient Roman town is still guarded by a 15th century tower and gateways.
For the 3rd time, Eduardo Sanchez and 14-year-old Hermes crossed the line first in Biomios (1 horse, 1 rider), averaging 17.3 km/h, keeping them in first place overall by 30 minutes. It's Eduardo's first time at Al Andalus; it's Hermes' 4th time in Al-Andalus, though it's his first time in Biomios - he gets tougher as he gets older!
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March 29 - El Rocio - Sevilla
Already it's Day 3 of the 4th annual Tierras de-Al Andalus, the 8-day endurance riding test across Andalucia in southern Spain, roughly 60 kilometers a day, roughly 45 starters every day.
Riders from Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, and Argentina have been along the beaches, through the vineyards and olive and orange groves, through the ancient Roman city of Italica...

[...more]


2009 Tierras De Al-Andalus

Once again, and for the fourth consecutive year, we are reaching the date of the start of the IV Raid Kaliber de Al Andalus, this year from 27 of March to 4 of April.

We will soon see the explosion of spring in Andalucia, and will be able to admire the incredible views of this part of Spain as we ride our horse. Competition, adventure, beauty and friendship will be our best value for the nine days we are going to compete.

Stages


Friday March 27th: Jerez - Sanlucar

Saturday March 28th: Sanlucar - El Rocio

Sunday March 29th: El Rocio - Sevilla

Monday March 30th: Sevilla - Carmona

Tuesday March 31st: Carmona - Ecija

Wednesday April 1st: Ecija - Cordoba

Thursday April 2nd: Descanso en Cordoba

Friday April 3rd: Cordoba - Montoro

Saturday April 4th: Montoro - Virgen de la Cabeza (Andujar)


Ecuestreonline.com

24/03/2009

The chairman of the organizing committee Kaliber Lands Raid Al-Andalus, Jose Manuel Soto, presented evidence that in Seville will be held from March 27 until April 4 between Frontera and Jerez de la Virgen de la Cabeza, involving horses and riders from over ten countries.

El presidente del comite organizador del Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus, Jose Manuel Soto, presento en Sevilla la prueba que se disputara del 27 de marzo hasta el 4 de abril entre Jerez de la Frontera y Virgen de la Cabeza, en la que participaran jinetes y caballos de mas de diez paises.

Ayer, lunes, tuvo lugar el acto de presentacion de la IV Edicion del Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus, que un ano mas recorrera las tierras andaluzas, comenzando el 27 de marzo en Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz) para finalizar el 4 de abril en Virgen de la Cabeza (Jaen).

Al acto asistieron el jefe de los Servicios de Calidad y Promocion de la Consejeria de Agricultura y Pesca de la Junta de Andalucia, Antonio Rodriguez Ocana; el secretario general para el Deporte de la Consejeria de Turismo, Comercio y Deportes de Andalucia, Manuel Jimenez Barrios; el director de Sponsoring y Eventos de Imagen de Heineken Espana, Diego Antonanzas; y el presidente del comite organizador del Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus, Jose Manuel Soto.

En esta edicion de la prueba participaran jinetes provenientes de doce paises (entre ellos Francia, Alemania, Belgica, Estados Unidos, Inglaterra, Portugal, Argentina, Italia y Espana), que recorreran 500 kilometros en ocho etapas.

Como principal novedad, este ano el recorrido escogido sera la ruta del Guadalquivir, que, tal y como destaco Manuel Jimenez Barrios, resulta de vital importancia, dado el reciente traspaso de las competencias de su gestion a la Comunidad Autonoma de Andalucia. Tal y como senalo, se trata de "poner al servicio del rio nuestra inteligencia, de forma que se promueva su relevancia economica, cultural y ambiental", para lo que resultan de gran utilidad este tipo de acontecimientos deportivos.

Diego Antonanzas destaco el interes de Kaliber por patrocinar esta prueba de marcado caracter internacional, cuyo protagonista principal es el caballo, asi como el logo de la cerveza sin alcohol. En sus propias palabras, "esta carrera que merece la pena perder es una oportunidad unica de recorrer los parajes mas increibles de toda Espana".

Jose Manuel Soto, como presidente fundador del Raid Kaliber Tierras de Al-Andalus, remarco la vocacion divulgativa de Andalucia de esta competicion, ya que esta tierra es a la vez el escenario y la gran protagonista de cada etapa, tanto desde el punto de vista paisajistico y medioambiental como del cultural e historico.

Asimismo, Soto resalto la inclusion de una nueva etapa, destacable por su belleza, que permitira mostrar el municipio de Carmona. Sera durante el cuarto dia, y se sumara en espectacularidad a la que atraviesa El Coto de Donana y la que desembocara en el Alcazar de Cordoba. Estas, junto con otras de especial dureza que atravesaran la sierra de Andujar y la de Montoro, convertiran la prueba en un acontecimiento que espera, como cada ano, ganar mas adeptos dentro y fuera de nuestras fronteras.

***

Yesterday, Monday, took place the presentation of the Fourth Edition of Kaliber Land Raid Al-Andalus, a year tour the land of Andalusia, beginning March 27 at Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz) to finish 4 April Virgen de la Cabeza (Jaen).

The event was attended by the Head of Service Quality and Promotion of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Junta de Andalucia, Antonio Rodriguez Ocana, Secretary General for Sport of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Sports of Spain, Manuel Jimenez Barrios; director of Sponsoring & Events Image Heineken Espana, Antonanzas Diego and the chairman of the organizing committee Kaliber Lands Raid Al-Andalus, Jose Manuel Soto.

In this edition of the test involved riders from twelve countries (including France, Germany, Belgium, United States, England, Portugal, Argentina, Italy and Spain), which will travel 500 miles in eight stages.

As the main novelty, this year the tour will be the chosen route of the Guadalquivir, which, as highlighted by Manuel Jimenez Barrios, is vital, given the recent transfer of the powers of management to the autonomous community of Andalusia. As noted, this is "putting the river to our intelligence, so as to promote their economic significance, cultural and environmental", which are useful for such sporting events.

Diego Antonanzas stressed the value of this test for sponsoring Kaliber strong international, whose main protagonist is the horse, as well as the logo of the beer without alcohol. In his own words, "this race worth losing a unique opportunity to tour the most incredible of all Spain."

Jose Manuel Soto, president and founder of the Lands Kaliber Raid Al-Andalus, he disclosed Andalucia vocation of this competition, because this land is both the stage and the main protagonist of each stage, from the point of view environmental and landscape of cultural and historical context.

Similarly, Soto said the inclusion of a new phase, noted for its beauty, which will show the town of Carmona. Will be during the fourth day, and will join in the spectacular crossing the Coto Donana and leading to the Alcazar de Cordoba. These, along with other special hardness to cut through the mountains of Andujar and Montoro, become evidence in a pending event, as every year, gaining more followers inside and outside our borders.

Mas...


INSCRIPTIONS



TIPO

equipo

NOMBRE

APELLIDO

1J2C

ECURIE D'OLIVA

MARIA-CHRISTINE

CHALANDRE

1J2C

KATRIN & ANNETTE

ANNETTE

NOTHHAFT

1J1C

HEIKE BLMEL

HEIKE

BLMEL

2J2C

ENDURANCE AZUL

MERCEDES

PARIAS

ENDURANCE AZUL

BLANCA

DECO GARCA

2J2C

ATIENZA BRENNAN

LUIS PATRICK

ATIENZA BRENNAN

ATIENZA BRENNAN

MAREN

RHM

1J1C

SOCIEDAD DE CARRERAS DE CABALLOS

EDUARDO

SANCHEZ HIDALGO

2J2C

UNIN EUROPEA

LEONARD

LIESENS

UNIN EUROPEA

JOELLE

SAUVAGE

1J1C

MORO PAMPA

MIGUEL

PAVLOSKY

1J1C

BRUNNER

ELiSBETH

BRUNNER

1J1C

CARLOS ESCAVIAS

CARLOS

ESCAVIAS (JR)

1J2C

FRANCINE CONEAU

FRANCINE

CONEAU

2J2C

ROSSEL SEGURA

EMMA

ROSSELL

MARIA

CAPDEVILLA

2J2C

DROME1

JEAN LUC

CHAMBOST

LISE

CHAMBOST

2J2C

HAFIZ

PIERRE

CHAMBOST

JEAN PIERRE

LERISSET

2J2C

ELEVAGE DE RIVOIRON

PAULETTE

MALDERA

DANIEL

MALDERA

2J2C

MONTAO ROMERO

JORGE

MONTAO

MARTA

HIDALGO

1J1C

CONRADI ARIAS

MIGUEL

CONRADI

1J1C

FLORENCIO AGUSTN

FLOREN

AGUSTN

1J1C

VLEZ CASTRILLON

OTTO

VELZ

1J1C

ANDALUS

SALVADOR

GARRIDO

1J1C

CLINICA VET SANCHINARRO

RICARDO

GUISADO

1J1C

VELEZ DELGADO

ANDRES

VLEZ

1J1C

MORENO CORONA

FRANCISCO

MORENO

1J1C

PEREZ DORADO

BEATRIZ

PEREZ

2J2C

LOS FRAGUEL

IIGO

DEL SOLAR LLANSO

FABIAN

LOZANO SANZ-CALCEDO

2J2C

UHUENDURANCE

ULLA

HUSCHKE

MAXI

PORTES

2J2C

JUANMA HENS

LUIS

HENS SERENA

IRIS MARION

JANOWSKI

2J2C

PORQUIER

JEAN PIERRE

POURQUIER

AURIELE

LE GALL

1J2C

JEAN DE CHATILLON

Jean

de Chatillon

1J2C

NATHALIE MICHEL

Nathalie

Michel

1J2C

STEPHAN FONTANEL

Stephane

Fontanel

1J1C

CHRISTINE WAISBLAT

Christine

Waisblat

1J2C

SANDRINE GOURDON

Sandrine

Gourdon

1J1C

MARIE FRANCE

MARIE FRANCE

PLANARD

1J1C

CHRISTINE HUBIN

Christine

Hubin

1J1C

SANCHO CRUZ

JOAQUIM

SANCHO CRUZ

1J2C

CLUB JINETES DE LA BAHIA

SANTIAGO

PEREZ DORADO

1J1C

GALICIA RAID

DAVID

GACIO

1J1C

CHIDICHIMO

STEFANO

CHIDICHIMO

2J2C

ANAYA

RAFAEL

HIDALGO MEDINA

JOAQUIN

ANAYA

1J1C

PEGASO

CLAUDIA

LORENZO