The first Euston Park Endurance Rides, sponsored by Emirates Airline, took place in stunning weather conditions in Suffolk. CEI3* 160Km, CEI2* 120Km, CEIYJ2* 120Km, CEI1* 80Km rides were held on the Euston Park Estate and surrounding land. Riders from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were victorious in each class but Great Britain was also well represented.
In fact each winning horse emanated from the same team: Mrm Stables. Mrm Stables Trainer, Ismail Mohammed Al Jeziri, said of the day: “We started our European season last week at Royal Windsor Endurance but this was our first three star ride and it’s just amazing. The horses finished in great condition and it looks very positive for the season ahead.”
One notable British finisher was Nikki Brown (21) from North Yorkshire, who finished third in the CEIJYR2* on her pony Tinkerbell’s Image, a rescue pony who she and her mother have trained. It was their first 120Km ride, and Nikki was overwhelmed with her result: “I can’t believe I did 120Km. It’s a long way! But it’s been an amazing day, and worth the journey to get here. I am so surprised I can’t quite believe we did it.”
In order to maximize horse welfare and responsible riding, the prize fund was, as always, awarded based on FEI’s Best Condition Awards [Article 822] and up to a maximum of five riders.
The top Prize Winners of the Best Condition Award in each class were:
CEI1* 80km – ANKOR DA ridden by Mohd Obaid Rashed AL KAABI (UAE)
CEI2* 120km – ZULO ridden by Mohd Ahmad Mohd Ghanim AL MARRI (UAE)
CEIJYR2* 120km – ZO GO DAYR ridden by Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis ALMUHAIRI (UAE)
CEI3* 160km – SIAM DU BARTHAS ridden by Hamad Obaid Rashed AL KAABI (UAE)
In a first for Euston Park Endurance, the day’s action was live-streamed on the website and event Facebook page. They attracted over 4,000 views and the plan is to do the same for the next rides.
Nick Brooks-Ward, Endurance Director at HPower Group Endurance, said: “It was a fabulous start to our ride season today and I am so grateful to our ground staff for the incredible work they’ve put in over the last few months. We had extremely heavy rain in the days prior to the ride but given the long period of dry weather we’d had in the lead-up we ended up with really good going."
Endurance GB also trialled its Good Horsemanship Award, scoring horses against a series of criteria. Further details of the initiative can be found here. The winners at Euston Park were Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis Almuhairi (UAE) in the CEIJYR2* and Saif Ahmed Al Mozroui (UAE) in the CEI3*.
The FEI has approved dates for up to a further four rides to be held this summer, on June 18th, July 22nd, August 19th and September 2nd.