THE BRITISH ENDURANCE RIDING ASSOCIATION
MARADON SCORES IN THE MOST COMPETITIVE & INTERNATIONAL UK ENDURANCE RIDE YET
Tattersalls Newmarket, Sunday 9 July
Maradon, ridden by Sheikh Mohammeds 17 year old second son, Sheikh Hamdan, took the 140km (approx 90 mile) Tattersalls endurance ride held on Sunday 9 July at the Newmarket Rowley Mile racecourse by kind permission of Jockey Club Estates Limited and organised by The British Endurance Riding Association. A warm up for The Emirates Airlines World championships in France on 26 August 2000, the Tattersalls event attracted 69 top class international horses from Australia, France, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates. The ride started at 6am, with the first riders finishing around 3.20pm and the winner completing on a riding time of 7 hours 6 minutes and 8 seconds at an average speed of 19.71 km/hr (approx 12.25mph). 42 of the 69 starters completed.
With cool conditions, perfect going and an open course, the result, not surprisingly, was a tough and hard-fought competition which ended in a racing finish with the winner taking victory by no more than a neck over the French lady Rider, Ceclie Miletto riding Pembac Park Caleb (also for the UAE). Finishing seconds behind this winning pair were Sheikh Ahmed, the winning-most rider in the UAE last winter, riding Oaklyn Lassitier (3rd) and Hassan Bin Ali, winner of the rehearsal event at the World Championship venue of Compiegne earlier this year (in 4th).
Sheikh Hamdan and his elder brother Rashid, made a last minute switch of mounts in what proved to be the wrong call for the former when Rashids ride, Ali leujah, the most successful horse in the UAE last winter taking two majors, was vetted out at the 3rd (of 4) vet gates. So it was Maradon, the 11 year old Swedish warmblood who clinched victory for the UAE royal family, as well as the Special Raddery Equine Award for the Best non-Arab Horse. Explained Manager, Bill Smith earlier in the day: Sheikh Rashid and Sheikh Hamdan are riding our two best horses and these are coming in with good, low heart rates and we would hope to see these both finish in the top 10. In addition, the younger, less experienced horses are being prepared for The World Championships and are really starting to impress.
The coveted Best Condition Award (judged by the panel of vets at the end of the ride) went to the 9 year old mare Kurrajong Sequel, the ride of Australias Meg Wade who finished in 5th position behind the winning UAE contingent. Meg who from the second vet gate onwards - was always up with the leaders and consistently vetting first explained: .
This is one of my favourite rides in the world. I just love Newmarket, its just one of the most amazing places Ive ever been, there are horses everywhere, I love it. I came 8th last year and it would be great to win the ride this time, but not at all costs.
The Top British placed rider was Sarah Kelleway on her own 9 year old Dauves de Pin finishing in tenth position. Top British junior home was 20 year old Beccy Broughton with her stallion, Murmansk, taking 13th place despite a fall at the start leaving her with a suspected broken finger which had to be strapped up for the rest of the ride.
British team hopefuls for The World Endurance Riding Championships brought up the rear of the field, under strict team instructions to ride the first two sections of the course at a steady 9mph. With Jenny Jacksons Burning Best not able to start as a result of shoeing problems, the 13 remaining shortlisted riders competed as two squads. Six of these completed the ride: Jayme Bone, Kruga; Shelagh Bunn, Phylka; Sally Hall, Touchstone II; Jan James, Rowengay Garnet; Jim Lane, Safaniya and Carolyn Edwards substituting for Margaret McKiddie) with Bonnie Anne. Commented BERAs Chairman of International, John Robertson: The riders did everything that was asked of them. In the first section of the ride, the squads worked together well and were able to try out various techniques and tactics; so it proved to be a valuable exercise all-round.
This was the third running of this Tattersalls event which is now firmly established as one of the most prestigious and competitive in the British endurance riding calendar. Endurance riding is one of the worlds fastest growing equestrian sports with more countries competing in its international championships than any other. Endurance organisations worldwide are currently campaigning to make the sport an Olympic discipline. Further information on the sport can be found at www.british-endurance.org.uk or contact The British Endurance Riding Association on 024 76 698863./ends 11.7.00
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