Good morning everybody
the Endurance Worldchampionship was quite an unforgetable event, beautiful, exiting but also with a bit of tragedy.
The team winners were :
1) Italy- gold
2) Australia - silver
3) Belgium- bronce
Canada came in fourth, A REMARKABLE finish.Congratulations Canada!
The Individual Winners were:
1) HE Sh Hazza Bin Sultan Al Nahyan- UAE on "HACHIM" 1994
bay Arabian Gelding, Bred by Anne Brown, Gadebrook Arabian Stud,England- Crabbet breeding
Time: 7 HOURS and THREE MINUTES- world record-
2) Barbara Lissarague, France- on "GEORGAT" (1994) grey crossbred mare- TIME: 7 HOURS and FOUR MINUTES (a lovely mare)
3) General shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum- UAE
on 'NASHMI" 1996 bay Arabian gelding- home bred- who also won the
Best Conditioned horse award.
4) Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan - UAE- on "MINDARI AENZAC" grey Arabin Gelding
When a drug test was made, the winner "Hachim" tested positive for a substance. and the UAE immediately withdrew the horse THEMSELVES.
GAVE BACK THE GOLD MEDAL WITH THE STATEMENT, THAT IF A SECOND BLOODTEST PROOFS NEGATIVE, THE GOLD WILL BE REINSTALLED. The FEI however still has "Hachim" as Champion, until final results are in.
This of course now moved the other three horses a notch upwards, and France thereby won- for the time being- at least.
Personally, I feel it was in a most GALLANT MANNER the UAE treated this issue, because NOBODY in their right mind would believe that
Sheikh Hazza would dope his horse, hoping that he could be the winner, then being tested and eliminated in disgrace.
Therefore, someone had to give this georgeous "Hachim" a substance to do the Sheikh in. I feel certain, that investigation will make a head roll. Everyone felt so bad about the issue, and the public at presentation of the medals was stunned. "Hachim" was brought back to the owner's stables, turned lose into his paddock, and the next day as fresh as a daisy, able to do the trip again.
This gelding is absolutely outstanding, truly a super horse, bred by a wonderful small breeder, Anne Brown, in England, and aquired by M'rsan stables, Abu Dhabi.He is by Achim's Silver Magic (1984)
and out of Hamsfah (1979)- a KUHAYLAN DAJAN by strain. He carries in the fifth generation the Asil blood of Oran (1940), Dargee (1945), Indian Crown (1935), Rythal (1933) and with it the bloodline of Basilisk, Ishtar, Dwarka and Nureddin, etc.
There were 171 starters and it is said only 61 finished AND if correct, that's is simply UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!)
Many of the horses were excellent individual in excellent condition TO start out with. The 100 miles were on a flat surface, no obstacles and to me a very easy ride, with temperatures in the 80's (F). One certainly can not compare this terrain to that of the Tevis Cup or various others in Europe, where there are hills, streets and villages to cross.
Therefore this incredible fast time of 7 hours and 3 minutes has to be judged accordingly.
Coming back to the only "61" horses, which finished, I must state that by enlarge the riding was apolling. I have never seen anything like it. It was to me almost animal cruelty, how these riders were pounding down on the back of these horse like a sack of potatoe with each step, increasing their own body weight by many pounds, and having these lovely horses streched out so badly, an eleastic would have busted in a second. Their riding style was ugly at its best, unkind to the horses, and how these 61 came through is a MIRACle. If I were allowed to recommend, I would say to most all" Please go back to basics, learn to ride, and give your beloved horses a break, if you really care". BUt there was a handful of decent riders amog them,who shall not be addressed by my statement. The French girl rode well.
Again I must conclude, that the only way these wonderful horses would do better, would feel better, if the riders learn the basics of dressage, learn to ride to make their weight feel less, as that of the horses. There simply is no way around it, in my opinion.
Most all riders were "Passengers" on top of their horses, unable to preserve their strength and with it health. I wish I could help them with some lessons. like 6 months thorough training- they for sure would sit different in the saddle and would look like a rider, and not like a monkey on a rolling stone.
Klaus Denart and Lutz Petersen/Germany, took many photos I think and will be able to give more details.
All in all the facilities were superb, the atmosphere warm and kind,
the hospitality second best to none, and the international attandence huge. We all had a wonderful time and thank the UAE for all they have done to make everybody feel so welcome.
So let's see what is going to happen next year in "Aachen"!
All have a nice day