Emirates Endurance Worldwide Rankings Ride - August 24th 2002
Stourhead House, Wiltshire - Great Britain
A Ride report by Susie Cain
A new venue and excellent weather made the Bank Holiday NDS Equine
2002 Alfred's Tower, Wiltshire, ride an outstanding success.
fields adjacent to Stourhead House were turned from cattle grazing
and cow pats into an equestrian marquee village over the weekend.
Susie Cain of NDS Equine said, "As sponsors we were delighted
with the event. The six months of preparation meant that the weekend
appeared to go with military precision and the organisation by the
ride organisers John Hudson, Chairman of Endurance GB, his wife
Jane, Mike Dando and the 90 volunteers made it a fun and safe weekend
for all competitors".
main attraction on Friday afternoon was the pre-ride vetting of
the horses in the FEI 146km 3* event. The National Trust kindly
allowed the 22 competitors to trot up in front of Stourhead House
but "keep off the grass"! The FEI Ground Jury and the
Veterinary panel turned out in their best bib and tucker and the
watching crowd, which included some bemused members of the general
public doing the tour of the house and gardens, applauded each horse
as it was passed by the smartly dressed vets.
6.00 am on Saturday morning 22 riders set off on a testing 146km
course. As the evening drew nearer an enthusiastic crowd gathered
at the finish line at around 8.00 pm willing the 5 remaining horses
to appear. With minutes to go before time was out Chris Hyde and
Clipper appeared at the far end of the park and cantered over the
winning line at 8.06 pm and a final neigh of relief was given when
Clipper was passed fit in the final vetting. He won the Hewitt Trophy
for First Place, the Finney Trophy for the highest placed Home Rider
at a speed of 12.1kph and the Bartlett Best Condition Trophy on
Sunday. Hoof in hoof an incredible achievement for both horse and
rider who had not ridden more than 100km before!
only other horse to complete the whole 146kms in time was Sarah
Tyson's Armistice and three unlucky finishers passed the vetting
but could not be placed as time ran out by the narrowest of margins.
105km ER Class 2 had ten finishers with Castlebar Treaty ridden
by Meg Wade coming over the line first at a speed of 14.4 kph, closely
followed by ZT Sharerouge ridden by Jackie Sheppard and Warrens
Hill Chandra ridden by Mary Stubbs.
Sunday the lorry park resembled an Ifor Williams trailer convention
as 30 teams, of 4 riders in each, arrived for the Riding Club Championships
together with competitors in the graded and set speed rides and
Pleasure Riders. The Riding Club class has gone from strength to
strength since its conception 5 years ago. As a team horses and
riders follow a 34km course at an optimum speed of 11kph, with a
maximum 100 points available for achieving the optimum time, with
the best three scores to count and in the event of a tie, pulse
rates are taken into account.
2002 winners were the Avagoers from Weston super Mare with 300 points
and no penalties, with second place going to the Sussex Shooting
Stars with 300 points and 6 penalties.
the close of day on Sunday John Hudson looked absolutely shattered
having only had about 10 hours sleep in 4 days but managed to retain
humour and professionalism at the prize presentation. "I hope
we will be able to persuade the National Trust to let the ride return
to Stourhead next year and am delighted that NDS Equine wish to
continue to sponsor the event. Thank you all for taking part."
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