Margaret McKiddie and "Bonnie Anne"
(Photo courtesy of Eric G Jones 01747 860625)

A dream come true is how Jane James described the result of the FEI 3 star 169km ride at Ludlow when her 2 long listed horses "Rowengay Garnet" (Fergus- Silver Wings Fire Opal) and "Steel Tobias" (Vesubio- Taphath) took first and second place at a speed of 13.38 kph. Jane , who is sponsored by Hilton Herbs partnered "Rowengay Garnet" affectionately known as Alfie and another Hilton Herbs sponsored rider Graham Hartley, who is without an advanced horse at the moment rode Toby. To make their day complete, at the prizegiving Toby also collected the Best Condition Trophy .3rd place went to Evelyn Helme riding "Zorro Nazeero" (Al Sood - Cumbria Morrisa) who finished at 19.53 - Evelyn was awarded the Veteran's Trophy.

Local rider Rachel Rolfe, contesting her first 160 km ride was 4th on "Tara's Dream" and won the trophy for the highest placed unregistered mare and collected the Farriers Award.

The only other finisher was Audrey Clark from Scotland on "Silver Mercury" (Silver Satyr - Viento Azule) who finished at 20.52 - nearly 17 hours on the trail.

There was heartbreaking disappointment for Nicky Jenkins and " Three Corners Sacha" (Stoneleigh Sundance - Alma)) who crossed the line first , only to be spun for lameness at the final vetting. The same fate befell Pam James and "Selim de Ducors" (Ourki - Murad Had'ra) who finished just behind Jane and Carrot, and "Gedenski" (Omarele - Rashandy) and Meriel Moon.

Running alongside the FEI class, was the unweighted Endurance GB National Championships. First place went to Margaret McKiddie and "Bonnie Anne" (Bonanza - Pandora) and second place to 18 yo Vicky Brown and "Simply Chloe" (Bonanza -Hailes Scheherazade) .

Margaret and Bonnie Anne lead the class from beginning to end, finishing strongly up the racecourse to cross the line at 17.08 and win at a speed of 15.89 kph. Bonnie was awarded the Best Mare Trophy and Margaret collected the Veteran award. Some 10 minutes behind her "Simply Chloe" was still pulling hard as she turned onto the racecourse to do her final lap . As well as the Trophy for the second placed horse they collected the best Junior award , the Tyro award and the trophy for the best under 14.2.

Vicky's next outing will be at Cirencester in the Junior National Championships, on her other horse "Angus McLeod" who is full brother to "Bonnie Anne" and then in August she will be taking "Chloe" to Ireland with the Young Riders squad and competing in the 130 km class at the Al Maktoum Cup meeting. 3rd place went to Liz Cooper and "Song of Fire", also trying the distance for the first time. Before the ride Liz was very diffident about her chances of succeeding, but was looking forward to the challenge. In the event they finished at 19.21 kph and "Song of Fire" who had looked superb throughout was awarded the Best Condition trophy.

Nearly 40 horses started the 100 km FEI 2 star ride. The start time had been put back from 5am to 6.30 then had to be delayed another 5 minutes as a train was due and the level crossing gates just outside the racecourse were shut. he first 2 back on the racecourse were Theresa Longden and Kathy Latham.

The race for the line saw Theresa's tiny Arab mare "Nadeena" finish first at 16.22 kph, just ahead of the powerful "Autumn Oleander" (Autumn Royal - Carrick Matanah) - the winner of the 80 km ER at the Dukeries in May. 3rd place went to Natalie Noke on "Tokar ibn Teelah" (Chezaan - Lyndham Teelah). She crossed the line just 10 minutes after the leaders with a fast finishing Murmansk (Parmant - Columbia) ridden by Beccy Broughton just 3 minutes behind. Former Junior National Champion Rachel Claridge and "Silver Mistrahl" (Mamoun - Bint bint Dalika)took 5th place. The Best Condition award went to Natalie and "Tokar ibn Teelah".

The resounding success of the weekend underlines the wisdom of reforming the two Endurance groups into one stronger Society.

This first running of the EGB National Championships wasn't without teething problems however. It was almost a victim of its' own success with the facilities of the delightful Ludlow Racecourse being stretched to their limits.

With over 400 entries for the 3 days of competition the stables were filled to capacity, and many horses were found alternative accommodation with local horse owners. With building work in progress on parts of the grandstand the road behind the buildings was closed , limiting the available space.

The Management team led by Organisers John and Stella Barnes worked round the clock to resolve problems, and the President of the FEI Ground Jury, Carol Bunting praised them for their hard work and the success of the event. EGB vice chairman Wendy Dunham seconded her words and also thanked NFU Mutual, Hilton Herbs, NDS Equine, Aerborn, Keith Bryan Saddles and the Arabian Saddle Company, and the Worshipful Company of Saddlers and the Worshipful Company of Farriers for their generous sponsorship of the Championships.


Check back soon for more news.

'Endurance Jan'



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