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2010 WEC Kentucky
Images by Merri Melde

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WEC Wrap-up: Part 1
WEC Wrap-up: Part 2
WEC Wrap-up: Part 3

First (Spain):
Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby

Second (UAE):
Shaikh Mohammed and Ciel Oriental

Third (UAE):
Shaikh Hamdan and SAS Alexis

Best Condition (France):
Jean-Philippe Frances and Hanaba du Bois


Start List || Team Start List
Individual Finish || Team Finish

Photos by Merri Melde

Vet-In Day I

Vet-In Day II

Vet-In Day III

Vet-In Day IV

Opening Ceremonies I

Opening Ceremonies II

World Endurance Championship
Gallery I

WEC - Gallery II

World Endurance Championship
Gallery III

WEC Gallery IV

World Endurance Championship
Gallery V

WEC Gallery VI

World Endurance Championship
Gallery VII

World Endurance Championship
Gallery VIII

World Endurance Championship
Gallery IX

WEC - Gallery X

World Endurance Championship
Gallery XI

World Endurance Championship
Best Condition

World Endurance Championship

Photos by Osama Mohammed

Photos by Leonard Liesens
and Caroll Gatelier

2010 World Endurance Championship - Part III - by Merri Melde

Tuesday October 5 2010

Two loops left: loop 5 is 21.1 km; loop 6 is 18 km. Maria Alvarez and Nobby leave in first place onto loop 5. The first 7 riders leave within 3 minutes of each other, including USA's Heather Reynolds and Ssamiam. USA's Deborah Reich and DJB Juniper are in 18th, 41 minutes behind first place. There is a 3 hour difference now, between first place and Chikako Nishiyama, the last Japanese rider left of their group of 5 who started.

Argentina's Christian Petersen and RP Sebastopol had moved up steadily all day, from 36th to 29th to 15th to 12th place leaving on loop 5.

Argentinean Mercedes Tapia and Ras Senor had pulled end of loop 4 because of lameness, but Mercedes was proud of the 8-year-old she rode for clients Clara Leonor and Juan Ithuralde. He'd had a rough van ride from Florida - after the long flight from Argentina - and arrived in Kentucky a bit laminitic. He's a talented youngster with plenty of years ahead of him. And Mercedes loved the ride. "It was beautiful! I realize now what I missed last year (at the muddy Kentucky Cup) in the cold gray rain!"

At this time of day, around 5 PM with the leaders starting to arrive off loop 5, and the slowest riders still on loop 3, Vicky the secretary was getting hammered with requests for vet gate results. Her tent corner was the most popular place at the venue. Imagine a continuous crush of 15 people and 30 hands in your face, "Can I have vet gate 3? vet gate 4? vet gate 5? Individuals? Teams? Eliminations?" and Vicky clicking "print" on her computer and retrieving printed piles of papers and stapling them and handing them out fast as she could. She never had time for a break after noon. I think somebody brought her a bottle of water to drink. Someone finally helped her start stapling papers together. I think she ran out of paper at some point, also.


2010 World Endurance Championship - Part II - by Merri Melde

Monday October 4 2010

And leading the galloping pack into vet gate two was...Lithuanian rider Alisija Zabavska-Granger and Merlin! Shaikh Mohammed was just behind them, with over a dozen coming in right on his tail. Maria Alvarez and Nobby weren't even in the first dozen horses.

Right in the fray were Americans Meg Sleeper and Syrocco Harmony, Deborah Reich and DJB Juniper, Lindsay Graham and Monk, and Heather Reynolds and Ssamiam. German Gabriella Forster was up there on 12-year-old Priceless Gold (this pair finished 8th in the 2007 European Championship in Portugal, and former World Champion Valerie Kanavy rode him to an 18th place finish in the 2009 European Championship in Italy). Shaikh Nasser of Bahrain on Khandela des Vialette (a 12-year-old mare who had won the 160-km CEIO in Compiegne, France in 2009 at 20.194 km/h) was up close.

But it's the vet gate where many things change. It was this vet gate where Merlin was eliminated for lameness. Sure it was disappointing, but Alisija later said, "I had a blast riding with the Shaikhs. Merlin was at 100%. Ed did a great job training him. But... s**t happens! I never enjoyed the race so much before!"


2010 World Endurance Championship - Part I - by Merri Melde

Sunday October 3 2010

"Some days you're the windshield, and some days you're the bug. Today, we were the bug..."

So said Ed Kidd, after his horse Merlin, ridden by Lithuanian rider Alisija Zabavska-Granger, was pulled from the World Endurance Championship after the second vet gate for lameness.

There were more windshields than bugs at this year's Championship - the 55% finish rate was the highest ever for an Endurance Championship at the World Equestrian Games - and there were some shocking results after the day had ended, both good and bad.

The start took place under partly cloudy skies and with a chill breeze lifting the participating nations' flags above the head of spectators lining the starting line. It was expected to reach the 70's with a slight chance of rain during the day.

Cheers broke out as the field took off at 7:30 AM, with Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby, several UAE riders, and Uruguay's Paula Fort on Campanina waving her arm in a happy salute, leading the way. The start was smooth and mostly orderly aside from a few sidestepping and head tossing equines. DJB Boomer, the mount of Namibian rider Olivia Matthaei was a bit spunky, thinking he'd try swimming upstream once or twice, before he got lined out with the rest of the Namibian team, Kordula Voigts on DC Macproof, and Anna Wucher on DJB K D Fantasia.


World Endurance Championship Vet In Day - by Merri Melde

Thursday September 30 2010

One of the great things about a World Endurance Championship is that there are so many people you will get to see and visit with once again from around the world.

One of the bad things about a World Endurance Championship is that there are so many people you want to see and visit with once again from around the world that you simply don't have the time to see them all.

A good little crowd had gathered around the vetting ring in an outdoor arena Saturday morning, as, one by one, the countries arrived in alphabetical order to vet in their horses. A good time to look at some handsome horseflesh, and greet long lost friends. Even Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum - the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and endurance racing competitor - was waiting around the vetting ring before and after his two horses passed inspection, chatting with people, watching horses, and without his usual retinue. He looked like just another endurance rider with a stable pass around his neck, hanging out with other endurance riders and grooms with stable passes around their necks

All the horses I saw were well behaved and calm, and plenty of people were enjoying themselves with smiles on their faces. The German girls looked spiffy in their black tights with yellow stars on them; the Great Britain men looked dapper in suits and ties as did the ladies in their waistcoats.


Maria, an exceptional pilot, Sheikh Mohammed, a knight

by Leonard Liesens, Endurance-belgium.com

The protocol, but also the traditional Bedouin culture defines its own rules. The leader leads the tribe, his oldest son at his right side. The sons must show respect to their father. They have to follow him, the same principle is true for the youngest sons vs. the oldest.

The trainers of Sheikh Mohammed are in competition against each other for presenting the best horse to the leader and have him choose the one they have trained. The advisors of the Sheikh must probably realize in putting the most accurate comments and have the leader listen to their advise. Nothing else than what's happening in any organization. One must imagine the dilemma for Sheikh Mohammed in order to filter all the information he receives and take the right decision. Choosing the right horse for the right race must not be easy and can be a bit like playing poker. The biggest difference is that the one bluffing a bit too much can quickly be fired. C'est la vie...

Sheikh Mohammed had the choice between Ciel oriental, the chestnut and Acadienne, the grey mare. The photos are showing the two horses when ridden by Maria (Acadienne) and another trainer (Ciel Oriental). Would I be offered to ride any of them, be sure I would write flattering articles for years...

He opted for Ciel Oriental. This horse seems to be especially difficult at the trotting. Is seems that he is afraid of the person trotting him. Ears set to the back, head raised, hind legs shifted to the outside... This doesn't please the veterinarians as it is difficult to detect any gait abnormalities. At the last trotting, the horse was trotted twice by his trainer and showed the particularities described above. It seems that the vet committee asked another trotting with another person. Sheikh Hamdam took the rope and trotted Ciel Oriental, on a more 'normal' way. Seen from 3/4, the horse was looking OK, not perfect, but difficult to eliminate it, taking into account he is the horse from the biggest patron of endurance.


Individual starting positions, download pdf


1. Maria Alvarez Ponton - Spain - Nobby - 7:35.44
2. Shaikh Mohammed - UAE - Ciel Oriental - 7:36.39
3. Shaikh Hamdan - UAE - SAS Alexis - 7:36.56
4. Jean-Philippe Frances - France - Hanaba Du Bois - 7:40.12
5. Faich Nasser SS Bughenaim - Qatar - Amir - 7:51.13
6. Shaikh Majid - UAE - Kangoo D'Aurabelle - 8:07.27
7. Shaikh Rashid Dalmook - UAE - Rukban Kikruhu Mmn - 8:09.13
8. Sarah Chakil - France - Sakalia - 8:13.03
9. Christian Petersen - Argentina - RP Sebastopol - 8:18.02
10. Virginie Atger - France - Azim du Florival - 8:18.17
11. Cecile Miletto Mosti - France - Easy Fontnoire - 8:18.26
12. Shaikh Nasser - Bahrain - Khandela des Vialette - 8:20.59
13. Andre Vidiz - Brazil - Nuit Endurance - 8:29.51
14. Jordi Arboix - Spain - Ottello - 8:30.05
15. Gabriela Forster - Germany - Priceless Gold - 8:30.47
16. Sabrina Arnold - Germany - Beau Ox - 8:30.51
17. Belinda Hitzler - Germany - Shagar - 8:32.38
18. Debora Reich - USA - DJB Juniper - 8:42.55
19. Carmen Romer - Netherlands - Tuff Enuff - 8:57.26
20. Ahmed Abdulla Al Hazza - Bahrain - Kheopsy Du Pilat - 9:06.29
21. Pietro Di Geronimo - Belgium - SD Mengali - 9:06.35
22. Melanie Arnold - Germany - Shaika Bint Kheoma - 9:06.40
23. Alex Luque - Spain - Sankoc - 9:10.27
24. Lilian Bueno Garrubo - Brazil - Juda Hem - 9:10.33
25. Joao Raposo - Portugal - Titanic - 9:13.26
26. Alison Higgins - New Zealand - Twynham el Omar - 9:20.46
27. Petra Hattab - Germany - Prince Sharif - 9:20.52
28. Maria Hagman-Eriksson - Sweden - Power - 9:22.35
29. Jaffer Mirza - Bahrain - Izba du Caussanel - 9:23.33
30. Mustafa Tehrani - India - AF Big Bucks - 9:25.36
31. Christine Yeoman - Great Britain - LM Midday - 9:42.27
32. Fernando Goncalves Costa - Brazil - Mustaz SC - 9:54.05
33. Caroline Denayer - France - Gwellik du Parc - 9:55.05
34. Diego Andres Zamora Rodriguez - Costa Rica - Samurai - 10:03.44
35. David Yeoman - Great Britain - Haszar - 10:09.17
36. Carolina Greenwalt - Argentina - Jessie Q - 10:10.47
37. Robert Gielen - Canada - FC Galaxy - 10:13.55
38. Paula Fort - Uruguay - Campanina - 10:16.46
39. Cesar Tasias Torras - Spain - Oliver - 10:25.57
40. Beccy Broughton-Booker - Great Britain - Java Sunlight - 10:27.13
41. Eone Willemse - South Africa - Shamwari - 10:27.19
42. Cecilia Shrahle-Engqvist - Sweden - Aces Comett - 10:27.35
43. Sarah Rogerson - Great Britain - FFC First CSea Lord - 10:28.09
44. Penny Toft - Australia - Don - 10:46.08
45. Anna Afra Wucher - Namibia - DJB K D Fantasia - 10:54.51
46. Ana Maria Novoa - Chile - Pistrat - 11:03.04
47. Gianluca Laliscia - Italy - Leila de Saularie - 11:05.18
48. Alfonso Striano - Italy - Waligora - 11:05.19
49. Martina Lui - Italy - Jo Farouza - 11:05.20
50. Andrea Iacchelli - Italy - Djamina - 11:05.21
51. Karina Camargo Arroyo dos Santos - Brazil - 11:06.07
52. Gail Jewell - Canada - NL Temptation - 11:21.23
53. Lucia Starovechka - Slovakia - Balkan - 11:21.32
54. Ruth Sturley - Canada - RBF Super Sport - 11:30.16
55. Chikako Nishiyama - Japan - Dameon PJ - 11:30.22

Tweets! from Merri, Sporthorse International (Hillary Bachman), (more to come):
(Refresh your browser page to see updates - like every 10 min or so).
  • 193:57:43 - @endurancenet: 11th Cecile miletto France, 12 th shk Nasser Bahrain, 13th Andre vidiz brazil, 14th jordi arboix Spain, 15th gabriel Forster gerAny
  • 19:55:21 - @endurancenet: 5th place qatari bughenaim, 6th shk majid, 7th shk dalmook, 8th Sarah chakil, 9th Christian Peterson Argentina, 10thvirginie atheroscler ...
  • 19:52:03 - @endurancenet: Team results: 1 UAE 2 France 3 Germany
  • 18:56:04 - @endurancenet: Ssamiam pulled at finish
  • 18:44:04 - @endurancenet: Qatar bughenaim crosses finish line 6th
  • 18:40:36 - endurancenet: Shaik Mohammed and curl oriental second
  • 18:39:44 - endurancenet: Maria Alvarez and nobby are officially world champions again!
  • 18:35:01 - @endurancenet: Waiting for all horses to pulse down and trot out
  • 17:34:00 - @endurancenet: Maria first, shk mo 2nd, shk majid3rd, heather beat Jean Phillips Frances in racing finish for 4th.
  • 18:28:52 - @endurancenet: Shk majid third
  • 18:28:27 - @endurancenet: Shk mo in second
  • 18:27:31 - @endurancenet: Maria in first
  • 18:17:54 - @SportHorseIntl: Maria and heather neck and neck, uae team right behind. All ffffllllyyyyiiinnnngggg!!!!
  • 18:11:47 - @SportHorseIntl: Maria in first
  • 18:11:43 - @SportHorseIntl: They are still in the check
  • 18:01:10 - endurancenet: Last loop is 18 km
  • 17:56:09 - endurancenet: First riders have departed on last loop! Heather Reynolds in 2nd left to chants of USA! Jp Frances and UAE riders in hot pursuit
  • 17:35:31 - endurancenet: Maria Alvarez and nobby avg speed 20,33 km/h, heather Reynolds and ssamiam avg speed 20,24 km/h
  • 17:31:29 - endurancenet: Loop 5 nobby took 3:15 to recover... Still in 1st place by 4 minutes over Ssamiam. Heather is 13 seconds ahead of Jean phillippe Frances
  • 17:24:59 - endurancenet: Belgian Maritza pereira eliminated for being 1 kilogram underweight
  • 17:24:07 - endurancenet: Portugal paulo branco eliminated for lameness
  • 17:15:02 - endurancenet: Jean phillippe Frances trots out next
  • 17:14:20 - endurancenet: Ssamiam and shk mo's horse into vet ring next, trotting out side by side
  • 17:12:32 - endurancenet: Nobby first in vet ring
  • 17:08:47 - endurancenet: 1st riders in off loop 5
  • 17:53:59 - endurancenet: Ana margarida costa eliminated vg 4 for "under weight"
  • 17:51:57 - endurancenet: Meg sleeper eliminated vg4
  • 17:29:35 - endurancenet: Aussies penny toft on don in 35th, Matt sample on tarrangower crecendo in 35th. Matt and TC won the Quilty
  • 17:12:31 - endurancenet: The first 9 have departed on loop 5
  • 17:08:08 - @SportHorseIntl: Next loop 21.1km
  • 16:56:31 - @SportHorseIntl: Interesting to see the split in the first pack of horses, will be a hard push...may be unlikely for 2nd front (cont) ...
  • 16:56:30 - @endurancenet: Nobby's recovery times: vg1 - 1:05, vg2 - 1:02, vg3 - 1:03, vg4 - 1:27

Sunday, September 26, 2010
Team and Individual Competition - 7 AM

Monday, September 27, 2010
Best Condition Award Judging - TBD

Headline News - read the latest here.
Definite Entries for the 2010 World Endurance Championship

2010 Games

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky will represent the largest equine sporting event ever held in the United States. Held at the Kentucky Horse Park from September 25 to October 10, 2010, this will be the first time that the event will be held outside of Europe.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 are comprised of the world championships for eight equestrian sports show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting, reining and para-equestrian. The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, two years prior to the Olympic Games, and are governed by the Fdration Equestre Internationale (FEI). The FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sport recognized by the InternationalOlympic Committee. It is the organization which establishes rules and regulations for the conduct of international equestrian events. Today the FEI has over 130 member countries.


The concept of the FEI World Equestrian Games, the championships of all of the major disciplines being held simultaneously at a single venue, is relatively new. The first games were staged in 1990, when the FEI united six disciplines in Stockholm, Sweden. They included show jumping, dressage, eventing and the non-Olympic disciplines of driving, endurance and vaulting. The bringing together of some the best horses, riders, drivers and vaulters in the world was a huge success and reinforced interest in all equestrian sports worldwide.

The 1994 World Equestrian Games were held at The Hague, Netherlands. It followed the Stockholm format representing six disciplines. Rome provided the site for the 1998 games as the world's equestrian elite again experienced the glamour and enthusiasm that had reigned in Stockholm. Competitors in five disciplines met in Italy, with the endurance championships held separately in Dubai. Jerez, Spain was home to the 2002 games. In addition to the traditional sixdisciplines, reining made its debut as an international championship event. The Jerez games attracted some 300,000 visitors. Press credentials were issued to 1,048 media from around the world, and 25 television stations broadcasted a total of 150 hours of the competitions to approximately 100 countries.

In September 2002, the FEI awarded the 2006 World Equestrian Games to Achen, Germany after a spirited competition between Achen and the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The Achen Games took place from August 20 to September 3, with approximately 800 athletes and 850 horses competing and an estimated 570,000 spectators in attendance over the 15 day period.

Stockholm, Sweden
July 24 – August 5, 1990
37 Participating Countries
History of the WEG

Prior to 1990, each FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) discipline held separate international championships. This fragmented practice came to an end in Stockholm, Sweden (1990) when all six FEI disciplines (show jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, and vaulting) gathered in one venue to compete in the first World Equestrian Games (WEG). The international championship not only exceeded both attendance and financial estimates but also established equestrian sport as a dominate force on the world’s stage.

After the resounding success in Stockholm, the 1994 WEG in The Hague, Netherlands came as somewhat of a disappointment. Despite top showings from the elite competitors, the Games rapidly became mired in logistical and administrative problems which eventually led the event into bankruptcy.

More at Enduroonline.com.br

Federation News

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Merri's Stories

A Lofty Goal: Monk and Lindsay Graham || A Blessing in Mule's Feet: Golden Lightning and Jan Worthington
Steely Determination II: Steel Patriot, Bogart VF and Charisse Glenn
Looking Down the Trail: LZP Julioslastchance and Sue White Hedgecock
"Run Like the Wind Bullseye!": Hot Desert Knight and Farzad Faryadi
Problem Horses: Syrocco Reveille, Syrocco Harmony and Meg Sleeper
Kentucky Horse Park || WEC - Day Before
World Endurance Championship Vet In Day
2010 World Endurance Championship - Part I
2010 World Endurance Championship - Part II
2010 World Endurance Championship - Part III