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Editorial issue 24/2018

Just tears…right where endurance began!

Sport Endurance Evo (web and printed edition) has been working with and for
endurance riding, for 15 years.
We have seen all sorts of things in this long period of time but we would never have
imagined to witness such a tragicomic show in Tryon, during the WEG. Our
beautiful sport has been mocked and torn into pieces by today’s social media and
by other equestrian disciplines too.
I myself was in North Carolina and starting from 6 in the morning I’ve seen all that
has happened, minute after minute.

10 AM – Vet check is in two days – Tryon looks like a construction site, heavy
equipment vehicles are everywhere, it is even dangerous to simply walk in the WEG
Village. There is no trace of the Endurance Area and Sh. Mohammed’s palace is

7 PM – Vet check is scheduled for tomorrow. Where are the trotting areas? Where
is the cooling area? They are not ready yet…still under construction!

2 PM – We are almost there…vet check is in an hour. Nobody has access to the the
gate yet, nobody can put some water in the buckets…it’s a total desolation!
There is a continuous noise and a lot of smog…100% air humidity, it’s boiling hot
and Florence, the hurricane, is on its way!

6.15 AM – The ride begins. We are almost ready…30 or 50 horses start following
two quad-bikes that lead the way in the dark (the video has already been posted on
Facebook and viewed by 7000 people).

I had been walking fast for more than 15 minutes with hundreds of people and
horses, trying to avoid the holes on the ground and being careful not to get run over
by all those horses.
Yari Perrotti, sports trainer of the Italian National Team, was walking by my side,
believe me… it was hard to keep pace with him although I consider myself a good

This is just to emphasize the fact that we were walking really fast, sometimes we
were running, looking for some sort of starting line.
Suddenly, at some point, we realized we were exactly where we had started
walking! We had all been walking in a ghost loop while others, probably luckier than
us, had been guided towards the right direction by a man dressed in yellow. What
happened? Two different groups headed off for the first loop with a 20 / 25 minute
gap from each other.
What’s most incredible is that at the first crew point we realized that there were two
crew points, two different lines: a sort of fast-line dedicated to those not interested
in wasting time over silly things like wetting the horse or offering him water to drink.
The other line was meant for those who know well that you must always give your
horse the chance to rest and drink some water even if he doesn’t want any.
By the way…the chef d’equife didn’t have a car or a pass at his disposal, so he
could only hop from one car to the other in order to follow all the horses.
The leading rider was the Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin
Mohammed Al Maktoum guided by Juma Punti and his wife Maria etc. After a few
minutes Alex Luque Moral and Jean Philippe Frances showed up too and behind
them other binomials (probably the ones who were lucky enough to choose the right
track from the start!).
The first news came as a wet blanket at the first vet check: the ride was going to be
suspended due to obvious irregularities. Redo or cancel it: that is the question.
Judges, presidents and presumed scientists launched an animated debate and
decided to start all over again.
After 45 minutes from the last finisher of the first loop, the ride started again over a
120 km distance.
This is exactly when the total chaos began. The 29 participating teams gathered in
two different formations: pro and against the cancellation of the ride.
The collection of signatures began…most people hoped the championship would be
cancelled and rescheduled for the next
3-4 months in Europe, supported by the same Arab sponsor of the World
Championship in Tryon.
Although the real result was, by now, compromised (because many riders had
already run at 20 km/h for most of the track while others had decided to slow down

and finished three hours later), the final decision was to start all over again at
midday…all together!
Once the real starting line was identified, the race began along the second loop of
the 160 km ride; officially, the first loop of the new 120 km ride.
When the riders were, more or less, halfway down the second loop, it started to
rain. Nothing really important compared to Florence, announced by world television
news (luckily the hurricane was losing its power and slowing down!).
As a result, the cooling area was flooded due to the not draining ground that was
brought over the previous day. The vet gate and surrounding areas got more and
more crowded with people.
Nobody respected the regulation that banned photos and videos in the trotting area.
All sort of documentation started invading the web and became viral.
Everybody was furious, there was shouting everywhere and threats and swear
words were addressed to the President of the Ground Jury, the FEI and the
organizing committee. A real revolt was taking place and the UAE led it with great
The riders were running their third loop but everybody wanted to stop the race led
by Spain who lost Sh. Hamdan at the first loop, followed by a competitive France
aiming at the medal.
It was time for another wet blanket…the event was cancelled! The official
announcement I personally received from the O.C., states that the event is
cancelled due to the dangerous combination of heat and humidity and by rain (that
had stopped a while ago!). The event was cancelled for the welfare of the horse.
The real show began in a very hilarious atmosphere: French riders started galloping
inside the vet gate, the Spanish riders simulated victory in an imaginary finish line,
there was a lot of shouting going on while judges were in tears, comforted by
visitors passing by.
I was tired and very disappointed, I hopped in my car and headed towards the
highway, my hotel was 35 km from the venue of the World Championship.
I couldn’t wait till this whole story was over.
I needed a shower with some real soap, no more wet blankets!

This tragicomic story will have a very important impact on my job and myself. Shall I
close down leaving the role of journalist to social media, rip up the pages of the

magazine my sponsors and I have always believed in and start again with new
enthusiasm and desire to change?
After all, negative experiences are often necessary…they could turn into new
sources of inspiration.
After this experience I honestly hope that the FEI will look deeper into endurance
regulations and choose the right direction, otherwise endurance riding will become
a footnote of equestrian sports.
Who is guilty? Probably the right people were not in the right places and there was
a total lack of expertise among those supposed to be the judges. Furthermore, this
discipline in Tryon has been managed with great superficiality.
To conclude, I was sorry to notice that the riders of the American Team stood there
amazed and a bit embarassed; it is not their fault of course, but we were their
I’m curious to find out what’s the point of view of the American Federation regarding
this matter.
Let’s wait for the wind of change to blow!

Editorial by the Publisher Luca Giannangeli

This summer 2017 was definitely characterized by Meydan’s powerful entrance into the world of endurance. HH Sh. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the brand Meydan has always been very present in world endurance events… but this year he really spoke up! Many European organizing committees have been negatively affected by this strong presence from the UAE, infact the number of riders has decreased.

Today, most athletes prefer to go where they are paied to run instead of competing at home for a simple qualification. I was personally disappointed to see very short start lists in France, Germany and Italy… my own country. The truth is that we all live in a more and more globalized open market and everyone is free to take the best decision possible for the company’s sake and to develop.

I don’t feel like judging either the rich organizing committees or those who choose to go where they get more benefits or are paied to run.
Hypocrisy doesn’t belong to me and I’m sure that every organizing committee would have accepted financial support from any Gulf country. I would like to strike a blow for Gianluca Laliscia, the greatest manager in this field of all time. A man who was able to lead the discipline of endurance riding to high notoriety levels.

There will continue to be people who will prefer valuable stages for many reasons: work, necessity or simply virtue. While others will keep running the classical rides in Italy or abroad just for passion, without caring about selling their horses or money in general.

We just hope that qualifying rides will continue to exist around the entire world. If I could, I would devide the endurance world in two parts: professional riders on one side and amateurs on the other… this would attack the problem at its source.

However… hip hip hooray for sport!

“Team spirit” and “new policy for selections”…the right way for the bronze medal

By Leonard Liesens, coach of the Swedish team

Another big goal to me was to create a real ‘team spirit’ Obviously the Team Bronze was like the ‘icing on the cake’ for the Team Sweden.

It was not my goal to go for a medal at the European. I started my duty as the coach of Sweden only in April.

I wanted to review the whole elite system. Like in any situation, a first study of the existing situation was mandatory to me. I was already able to pick a list of rider/horse combinations which could pretend to a better speed on the distance of 160 km. But these amazons – almost all endurance riders in Sweden are females – didn’t really believe in their ability to perform better and faster.

A first gathering with the riders, followed by a couple of clinics in the spring were organized. Some changes were introduced in the training program, in the management of the horses, and so on. Also a major change was brought to the selection system: no minimum speed – except the 14 km/h FEI threshold which was required to enter the long list.

All in all, we were able to reach a total of 15 horse/rider combinations qualified on 160 km. While only 5 were qualified at the start of the season. So the new policy was working…

Another big goal to me was to create a real ‘team spirit’ among the girls. Helping each other, socializing, eating together, chatting and having fun… that’s also making part of a big group competing abroad. I initiated the process during the various clinics we had in Sweden and later, during the selection process – even if the competitive spirit was always there. I had to cope also with the Swedish mentality, very different from our Belgian one. But I got to taste already the Scandinavian style during my 4 years with the Norwegian team. It goes without saying that I received a fantastic help from our team vet Mia Svensson in the process of rasping the sharp angles.

Of course, to me, having the European Championship in my training field was an advantage. I know the trail and its traps. The trails in the Sonian forest are relatively easy, with various types of going, but with continuous ups and downs. Just an example… when using the canter training track (1.2km oval) during one hour, you accumulate 20km or so, but at the same time 400 meters of elevation difference. You don’t realize that but it’s there and it counts in the horse’s total energy expenditure! In my mind several were going too fast in the first loops and I was quite sure that soon or late the trail would take its toll. It did…

The instructions to my riders were simple. One – Sara – was asked to follow the French riders because her horse was able to cope with the speed that I was expecting from them (I was pretty sure that Jean-Philippe was going to be in the lead with the Spanish riders while the four others would cruise at a relatively lower speed). Using this tactic, she was away from the inevitable pressure and stress of the leading group. The four other riders (Emma, Jessica, Lena and Anneli) had instructions of cruising near 16 km/h in a compact group. The tactic showed to be a success.

No one believed me, afterwards, when I said that I didn’t look at the team ranking until the end of the 4th loop. But that’s true. I was not interested in that. My goal was to complete a team (the last time Sweden completed a team was in 2005!). But my wife Caroll was agitated and smiling at me and making signs from the other side of the trotting area at the end of 4th loop. It let me decide to go and collect a team ranking. We were 4th, behind France, Italy and Spain. It then became necessary to watch the others trotting. When France lost 2 riders at the recheck, we were virtually Bronze with one hour ahead of Switzerland. The instructions to my girls remained the same… Sara was to keep her 10th place without taking any chance. The gang of 4 was to cruise altogether at 15..16 km/h and help each other to cross the finish line hand in hand to offer a good display of the new Swedish team.

And we did it! 24 years since Sweden obtained the last Team Medal. I’m very proud of my girls. They rock!!! I make profit of these columns to thank all the people that supported and congratulated us, from Sweden, from Belgium and from anywhere in the world.

FEI MEYDAN World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

Expectations grows around the World Endurance Championship YR


The meeting of September 23rd in Sigurtà Garden Park sets a very important moment for worldwide endurance movement; at the stake isn’t only a title, a cup, but a pass for all future main stages like WEGs of Tryon (U.S.A.) or whatever future big event.

Italian Endurance Festival’s Committee is working hard, and the organization’s machine is so well prepared that just a very few things need to be arranged and modified, before “turning the key” and have the whole thing started.

Experience and versatility are just two of the aspects charachterizing this dynamic group working behind scenes, always on the look for details and standards among the highest.

Meydan force on one side, Organization Committee capabilities on the other, are an incredible warranty for success.

Stay tuned!



Brussels Equestrian Endurance Masters 2017

From 16 to 19th August, Brussels is getting ready to host the biggest equestrian endurance event of the year 2017!

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Yves Richardier: Thank you Persik for all you have done for us

Yves Richardier, Godfather of French Endurance Horses

Thank you Persik for all you have done for us. We will always remember you

By Sophie Robert-Taymont

Who is Yves Richardier?

Everything started in the Cévennes National Parc when the body took on an equine technical consultant in 1972: The recruitment by competitive examination involved the hiring of Yves Richardier.

He initially had two main tasks: to form the proper cavalry for the park wardens, and to launch environmental projects to improve economic and societal life of National Park residents.

Working on these tasks, Richardier got the idea to create a breeding area for endurance horses. They would be tested and selected on a kind of french Tevis Cup: Florac was born!

The project included the creation of two entities: one to form a breeders labor union (foundation of Persikland), and a second to set up the Florac endurance race. The first presidents of these entities were respectively Michel Bordes (a rider and breeder from Nissoulogres) and Christiane Chazel (arabian breeder and one of the first international endurance riders).

Although the arabian horses were at this time mainly used for show or speed races, Yves wanted these horses to make justice to the original Bedouine horses by their physical, metabolic and mental qualities, they would have to carry heavy weight, far and fast.

Yves selected Persik who started covering mares in 1975 and won twice the Florac race (initally 130 km) in 1975 and 1976.

Having a look at statistics really proves Yves Richardier was right since 152 on his 328 descendants have been ranked on CEI2* or CEI3*.

Moreover, these genetic predispositions seem to be given by sons and daughters of Persik to their descendants. There was 37 stallions by Persik which were often performers (25 of them ranked on 2* or 3*) and they mostly produced performers in the same time (27 on these 37 have at least a top 3 descendant). No need to say that Persik hasn’t stole his title of « Best endurance Stallion of the World ».

Yves’ personal horse breeding, named Indian Arabians, was formed by only 2 or 3 mares at the  time.

The breeder said he couldn’t afford more and chose to put forward quality rather than quantity. Money was the restricting factor of its development and it led Yves to regret to have sold some mares he believed in and which becamed mother of winners in other breeding places…

Favorite bloodlines

Yves Richardier considers that the best maternal bloodlines are those used to make the Persikland breeding, and also some australian, oriental and spanish ones.

He insists on the fact that selection for « making an endurance horse » has to be done by crossing performers.

His favorite stallions ever are Persik,  Hadban  Enzahi,  Exelsjor, Forex, Baj, Zulus, Dormane, Indian Tawfik,  Arzew, Piruet, Abul  Beka,  Indriss, … and his current picks are Persicko, Fadasir, Arques Perspex, Khadar, Djin Lotois, Tauqui El Masan, Ulm de Domenjoi, Tidjani and Sadepers.

France in Worldwide Endurance

Although the french team might not be the unbeatable team it used to be anymore, Yves insists on the fact that France still owns the leadership by the quality and the number of performers produced.

He’s quite confident on the fact that french horses will keep their ranking as France has a well-thought-out and structured endurance breeding.

Yves said that France has -and must keep having-very professional breeders and knowledgeable judges to spot interesting horses on breeding show and qualifying races (from 20 to 90 km).

Although, Yves believes that Spain has a lot to teach to France and that french riders should have training periods with spanish champions as Jaume Punti Dachs who wins with french (or french bloodlined) horses most of the time.

Wishes for a new endurance

Yves Richardier hopes that rules will progress as soon as possible, as Stéphane Chazel suggested this year.

He thinks that Bouthieb initiative is a very good thing for horses wellfare and is glad to see that event planners like Christele Derosch follow these actions.

Perfect endurance horse


When asking « how would you describe the perfect endurance horse ? », Yves gets nostalgic and lets his heart reply: «  How would you expect me to reply to this question when you know I’ve been riding Persik until he turned 26 years old… ».

He can develop though and says that in his opinion the perfect endurance horse is arabian or mostly arabian, around 1,54 m.

Its hindquarters must be as longer as possible, no croup too level and no goose-rump, and reasonably wide. Its back should be as strung as possible to be efficient. « If hindquarters are as long or longer as back and loins, buy that horse with one’s eyes shut » (Bedouin quote). Its feet have to be strong, preferably not too flat neither built-in. Knees, hocks and fetlock joints must be dry and strong.

Yves explains that inevitably, as a horse has 4 legs, we shouldn’t expect all of them to be perfect and that we should consider their conformation according to the way it moves. So, if a slight deviation should be accepted, it would be a pigeon-toed as long as it starts under fetlocks.

And in any case, the most important thing is that all feet land flat.

Its shoulders have to be made in the aim to give amplitude to its gallop.

On a gloval view, Yves talks about the quiet strenght emanating from the horse, the economy and effcience of its motion, the thinness of its tissues, …

Breeding methodology

Even if Yves considers that extensive farming as breeders do on Cévennes limestone plateau, he thinks it’s important to pay attention to foals and yearlings by  proper feeding and cares.

You just can’t make champions by chance!

Lucia junior Supekova: to me the word “endurance” means freedom…

Lucia junior Supekova: to me the word “endurance” means freedom, speed and, last but not least, team spirit


On 30th April 2017 she was 1° in the FEI Young Riders Endurance Ranking

Let ´s get to know Lucia better…

I am 17 years old and I have been a sportswoman since I was born. When I was a little girl I began with downhill skiing because my father was a professional downhill skier. Later I got into athletics, but I stopped when I was fifteen, because it was impossible to practice two sports at top level.

When  I turned eight, my sister Michaela and I started practicing endurance riding, and in addition to that we spent hours in the gym with our personal trainer Tomas Tschur and with the physiotherapist.

I ride for the JK Napoli team in Šamorín, at x-bionic sphere beautiful sports center.

My trainer is Mario Hoffmann. My favourite horse and biggest love is Bwuagadugo – a twelve year old gelding… the one I won the race in Sweden with in 2015. We have successfully completed the President of the U.A.E. Cup in Abu Dhabi in spring 2016 and also won the Slovak Junior Championship in autumn last year.


When and why did you start riding? Just a family passion or something more?

Everything started when my dad went hunting to Kirgichstan where he was supposed to spend a couple of weeks on a horse and had to learn how to ride.

When he came back home, he decided to buy the horse that he rode during those two weeks. Considering that he didn´t have much time, my mum started to ride him and then we joined too.

Our first horse (Balkan: CH-M-YJ-E 120 Babolna-HUN 2009, WEG-E Lexington-USA 2010, CH-M-E Euston Park-GBR 2012, CH-EU-E 160 Most 2013, WEG-E Caen-FRA 2014) was stabled in an endurance stable. Endurance was so enchanting for all of us that we decided to dedicate all our time and energy to this sport. Endurance has become a family passion and our lifestyle.

What do you like the best about competing in endurance rides?

Endurance to me is freedom, speed and, last but not least, team spirit, love for horses and adrenaline. This sport fulfills me and it gives me everything I need.

When I’m on the track I experience all kind of possible emotions: joy, sadness, happiness, fear for the horse, laughter, despair, tears … All these feelings are worth the success, a kind of success that equates all the effort that lies behind it. I fell in love with this sport because of the unpredictable feelings it causes within you.


In your opinion what does the horse think about when competing?

This is very individual… I believe every horse thinks about something different, probably some of my horses think about running faster to win, others just enjoy the feeling of being in nature or maybe think about food.

DSC01432It is exactly what happens with people, everybody thinks about something, but after years of practice I realized that it would be much better to “switch off” your mind and just focus on the ride. Endurance is mainly based on the head, the rider’s and the horse’s head. Although it is not easy, I believe that a positive way of thinking is always at the basis of success.



20° Big Mountain Trophy – Torgnon (Ita) 2017


The Tevis Cup, the Tom Quilty Cup and Florac are definitely the three most popular and toughest endurance races in the world.

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Italian Championship 2017: 74 starters

The Italian Championship Senior and Young Riders will be held in San Vito Al Tagliamento (Pordenone) on 2 of June 2017.

The north east part of Italy will attend 74 riders from all Italian peninsula.

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Enduro Cheval: “professional races for amateurs”…

2017 will stay a rollercoaster year for the association Enduro Cheval, historical organiser of the Raid Yvelines – which will have left its mark into the global Endurance riding… Today, about to hit 40 years old and after one or two years of trial and error, the association is changing around three elements: a new address (Haras des Bréviaires), races dedicated to the Amateur and Club riders, technological innovation.

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In preparation FEI World Equestrian GamesTM Tryon 2018

In preparation for the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM Tryon 2018 (FEI WEG), Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) held the first Chefs de Mission meeting from Monday, April 30, through Wednesday, May 3, welcoming organizational leaders of national equestrian federations from around the world to the venue, as preparations for the Games continue.
Leaders from fifteen National Federations attended the meeting to discuss event logistics, travel, hospitality, lodging, and sport with the event’s Organizing Committee, comprised of both the TIEC leadership and key members of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

More info on: www.tryon.com
Tryon International Equestrian Center & Tryon Resort.

Tordera and T-Track: amazing result

13.000 spectactors followed Tordera’s ride LIVE on www.t-trackgps.com
T-TrackGPS: the best way to improve the visibility to your endurance event.
AMAZING result for the new GPS System T-Track

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