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Néris les Bains - France

FEI Emirates Endurance World Masters Ride - September 21st 2002
Néris les Bains
A Ride report by Ken Low

The "Auvergne Equestre Endurance" organized their first CEI** Masters Ride on the 21st. September in the delightful spa town of Néris les Bains.

The ride took place in favorable weather conditions, and although there were certain muddy spots due to previous heavy rain overall the going was generally good.

The first 2 stages, respectively 38 and 32 kms. which were considered to be the most technically difficult due to undulating terrain did not take as big a toll as had been originally visualized. The 4th. and final stage of 28 kms. was a very fast galloping stage, which led to a very exciting finish.

The winner, Virginie Atger riding Eleis d'Aurable, having averaged 16.58 km./hr. on the first 3 stages moved up from 6th. place to cross the winning line at a speed of 22.44 km./hr. for an overall average of 17.57 km./hr.

In second place was Sonia Bourle riding Pilaf at a speed of 17.57 km./hr. Third place being taken by Sandrine Blot riding Filants, at a speed of 17.49 km./hr.

The first Masters rider, Philippe Tomas riding Kandahar du Pech came in at 5th. place.
Out of the 120 starters, which included competitors from the UK, USA, Switzerland and Belgium, 70 qualified.

The organizers have to be congratulated on the success of their first international ride, and promise an even more exciting ride next year, with an increased support from the regional and local authorities who were delighted and surprised by the enthusiasm and sheer numbers of the riders and their helpers.

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