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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Shining Moon 100 Mile CEI***

Opening Comments - Hal Hall || Thoughts and Startings
Vetting In || Gettng Started || Manki Toge
Sasuki First to Finish || Ann Hall and Kunihiko Tani Next

First to Finish - Tamotsu Sasaki and Dameon PJ

Best Condition - Dameon PJ

Japan's Perfect Ride

It really was a perfect ride. After a few days of rain and unsettled weather, ride day dawned with bright blue sky and comfortable riding temperatures. It couldn't have been much better weather! And all of the work- the plans - paid off for a smooth and exciting event. The meals, the meetings, the awards, the trail, the pre-ride symposium, the transport of vets and officials from Narita airport to the small country town of Kita-Karuisawa - everything was 'right'. The completion rate was pretty good - 10 out of 18 finishers - in spite of (or maybe because of) a tough course. The race felt much like those we have in the USA. I think the fact that Hasumi san has 4 Tevis buckles and knows what 'real endurance' is about had something to do with this. Riders did their own thing, the pressure to win was not strong, to finish was a big deal.

And relative to events I've seen around the world, I would call this one a 'world class' event, as good as it gets. An incredible effort was made by so many people, from organizers to volunteers, from local people to Tokyo transplants (Hasumi san recruited employees from his publishing company to come out and help!) to foreign officials and vets - a sincere effort and willingness to give 100% was the mode.

The ride's main sponsor was Joba Ride - the horse 'robot' training machine made by National. There was a booth set up near the vetting area with several units for people to try - it was almost like a carnival ride atmosphere - the little horse robots were working all day long. This machine has become very popular in Japan, and honestly I want one! It's a great workout for abdomen and glut's and legs. I think I can even type at the computer while I'm riding....

The rider tracking provided by NTT DoCoMo - a cellcom company - was incredible, and to my knowlege the first of it's kind. Every rider carried a Panasonic cellphone with GSM coverage and GPS tracking system. Several DoCoMo engineers were set up in the office/community room with wires and computers and software to project the tracking onto a large screen, syncronized with a map of the course. We knew at every moment exactly where every rider was. Officials, crews, OC, we all knew how the race was going, when riders would be in, when the passed the check points, etc. Fantastic!

I haven't been to any other rides in Japan, but I heard from many that they were all well run. There's a very active group in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, that ran Japan's first endurance ride, and many since then including the National Championship rides. They were all here - with or without horses (which have to be ferried from island to island) - to ride or crew or help.

...and I heard talk about 'next year' - I think this ride is a keeper!


First to Finish
Tamotsu Sasaki and Dameon PJ

Best Condition
Dameon PJ

Ann Hall on Atina de Soi came across the line at 12:53 for a second place finish. Both Ann and Atina looked great - they had a good ride. Ann said once it cooled off they picked up a faster pace and the hills didn't seem as steep!

Noriko Endo on Pony Boy finished 6 minutes later in third place.

There are still 6 riders on trail: Kunihiko Tani on Katsutaro, Shohei Chuma on Freedom Sebastion II (they got lost for a bit - we were all watching the gps tracking on the screen and one of the little red dots started going the wrong way... her crew drove out and got her turned back around), Nobuhiro Sato on Rushcreek Ideal was the last rider to leave on the final loop. And finally the three riders on the Hokkaido ponies - Kiyoshi Ozawa on Otanoshike, Hiroko Yachi on Tim, and Osami Yamaguchi on Spirits. I think they're all going to make it by 5am!


#Nat.Name Horse
13:12:207JPNTamotsuSasakiDAMEON PJ
15:23:002USAAnnHallATINA DE SOI
15:29:004JPNNorikoEndoPONY BOY
16:33:4016JPNMidori YasunagaMAQINA
19:27:128JPNNobuhiroSatoRUSHCREEK IDEAL

Thursday afternoon, a steady rain is falling... the Shining Moon 100 Mile Ride is taking shape. I'm in the office - community room - at the venue, at Seiichi and Harumi Hasumi's Arabian Horse Ranch. This afternoon is dedicated to an informal FEI session - talks, slides, presentations from FEI to JEF (Japan Equestrian Federation) presented to interested riders, trainers, and individual's interested in becoming FEI officials. Basically an FEI Endurance primer. Just as the sport of Endurance is growing in Japan, so is the desire to compete on the world - FEI - stage. Which means that Japan needs to start developing a pool of people who can officiate at FEI events. This session is intended to start the process. [More ...]

Well the ride has officially started. Twenty registrations, and the last horse just finished the first veterinary inspection. I think one or two of those won't be starting, but I should have the official starters list soon. One stallion, the rest mares and geldings, an assortment of breeds and body types. A couple spotted horses, though I don't know if they're appaloosa cross or a local breed. I'll have photos up soon of all the horses trotting out. All of the hard work is paying off, things are running smoothly. Traffic flow is good, there's plenty of space - although if there were twice as many starting horses it might get a little congested in places. [More ...]

Trail is Open - 18 starters, trotted out of the wooded camp, crossed the paved bridge -lots of clomping as hooves hit asphalt - and dropped back down into the woods to begin Japan's first International 100 mille ride. Horses were energized, but behaved, starting the first 22km loop. Concentration on the rider's faces as they rode those first few minutes. Lots of folks gathered around to see them off - a very big deal event for Japan. [More ...]

Manki Toge - Which means 'ten thousand horse & soldier mountain pass'. A trek over the mountains in 1192 by a famous samurai from Kamakura to Tokyo. A grand hunting expedition. Yuki and Ai drove me out to the water point at the middle of the 2nd loop this morning. We drove past farmland, greenhouses, dairies, and Asama yama (Mt. Asama) was towering in the background - a perfect sunny day, the greenery from the past rain was glowing. I hiked up the Manki Toge trail, looking for a good view point for taking photos. The forest is so dense though, there were just a few spots where one could peek through the forest along the edge of the trail and see the mountains. I got a few photos, but from a photographer's perspective the hike was hardly worth it. However from an ambler's perspective it was glorious. [More ...]

Sasaki Tamotsu and Dameon PM just crossed the finish line! 13:12 - 12.1 k/hr - Japan's first 100 mile finisher - and also the first to earn FEI's CoC on Japanese soil. There are some very happy people! The horse is one of Hasumi san's horses. Ann Hall riding Atina de Soi and Midori Yasanuga (both horses also owned by Hasumi san) just arrived from loop 5, the horses looked terrific and they'll be headed out on their final loop after their hold. Ann just came in, looking fresh, chattering away - she's having a great ride. The section of trail on Hasumi san's ranch (30 km of trail in 40 acres!) is lit with flashing rope lights, chemical glow sticks, lights hanging in trees - Ann said it looks like Peter Pan out there! [More ...]

Quinn (Ann and Hal's son) said that it bit the end off of his paddle while he was out rowing on Shining Moon Lake. Two others claim to have witnessed a 'rather large animal' jumping into the lake from the wooded shore, Loch Ness... maybe. Shining Moon Lake must have something special - if not a monster, perhaps just a bit of Japanese magic. During dinner tonight, Hal told us that Kusuyama san - one of the early pioneers of Endurance in Japan, now deceased, - had mentioned to him, years ago, that there was a special area in Japan that would be a perfect place to hold an Endurance Ride - a beautiful mountain area outside of Nagano (host to the '98 winter Olympics) where there was a majestic mountain, a live volcano - Mt. Asama, and a lovely lake called Shining Moon Lake. Over 20 years later, here we are. Hasumi san never knew Mr. Kusuyama, never met him, never knew of his vision of an Endurance ride here, it just happened. Magic perhaps. [More ...]

Google Earth View

Official Event Site

Official Results

The Venue
The Trail & Maps
The Horses
Japan Equestrian Federation
Arabian Horse Ranch
Steph's 2006 Japan Report

Photo Galleries

Gate 4 (Steph)

Gate 4 (john)

Loop 3

Loop 2

Gate 1

The Start

Vetting In


Travel and Arrival

Tokyo University Symposium


Hal's Horses

Mike's Photos

More Mike's Photos