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Pirque - Chile

FEI Emirates Endurance World Masters Ride - August 31st 2002
Pirque - Santiago - Chile
A Ride report by Antonio Llompart Cosmelli

Pirque is without doubts, one of the most challenging mountains circuit, similar to the Tevis Cup in opinion of experienced riders. Altitude differentials measured in meters above sea level, where as follows:

1st loop 35 Km 750 mts (Base camp) _ 1,100 mts _ 450 mts (external vet check)

2 nd 32 Km 450 _ 980 _ 750

3 rd 35 Km 750 _ 1,000 _ 750

4 th 18 Km almost flat.

After three weeks of intermittent rain, trails where all deep mug, stones where a precious thing where to step in. Thanks to Got, the day of the race we had a clear sky that allowed a superb view over Andean Mountains covered by snow and an intense green mountains of the race. Also previous rains provided of frequent natural water streams that where very helpful for horses.

This race tested riders_ ability of administrating horses resources in order to plan optimally completion strategy.

Soil conditions made that horses lost an average of one shoe. Manuel Jose Ossandón, former Pique_s major and actual major of nearby Puente Alto lost two shoes during second loop, said about this race _it was a defeat for both horse and rider imposed by mother nature, but ride management provided an excellent marked trail and all accommodation for horses, riders and visitors_. Ossandón was third riding Farik, horse that completed in 1998 Dubai Word Cup, mounted by Marcial Taverne, external vet check manager on this race .

Final loop was exiting, Marcelo Cortez riding Anglo Arab Donatello left five minutes before Juan Pablo Schiappacasse riding pure breed Arab Alborada Forastero, other riders where more than twenty minutes behind. _When I left base camp I decided to ride fast and reached Marcelo at Km 3, I overtake him and continued riding alone for roughly half an hour. Then Marcelo reached me and continued riding together. After the last stream before finish line we walked side-by-side, knowing that first place was between us. We shacked our hands deserving good luck each other, and started trotting, then cantering and finally galloping_._.

From base camp spectators saw both riders entering together at the last 2 km of the trail, in the final sprint Donatello took easily 20 meters to Forastero. Finally, Juan Pablo decreased speed but the race was over. After 14 minutes Forastero was presented by the rider and was in good conditions, lately got Best Condition. Then Donatello was presented but was unfortunately lame, and was eliminated. Second place was 18 years old Pilar Torrealba riding Uruguayan gelding Sumalak.

Only 7 horses of 21 starters completed the race, with an average speed of 13.21 Km / hr for Forastero and 10.51 for last competitor.

As ride manager I want to express my thanks to all horses, riders and people that worked on this challenging race. Especially to Elizabeth van Schelle, Gerson Acedo and Atilio Costa that came from their countries for making this race technically perfect. Also riders Gabriela Costa, Larrere and Sanchez brothers, that came from Argentina and Yvette Vitton from Canada.


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