In just 100 days, all eyes in the Endurance world will turn to Ermelo in the Netherlands, as the Dutch town is set to host the highly anticipated FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 - an event that will bring together elite athlete combinations from approximately across the continent.
As horses and riders undergo the qualification process, excitement is building for the competition to be held at the Dutch National Equestrian Centre.
The Championship promises to showcase some of the finest Endurance combinations in Europe, and is no stranger to world-class performances. At the 2021 Championship - also hosted at the same venue - the Spanish were in full force as Angel Soy Coll (ESP) & Warrens Hill Chayze took to the top spot on the podium, while his compatriot Maria Alvarez Ponton took bronze, with Frenchman Vincent Gaudriot clinching silver. Spain made it double-whammy as they also clinched top spot in the Team competition with France taking silver and Italy, bronze.
France and Portugal, who achieved notable team finishes at the FEI Endurance World Championships 2022 in Butheeb (UAE) are eager to build on their success, while Spain - that perennial powerhouse in Endurance - is also eyeing a team medal in Ermelo after their captain, Jaume Punti Dachs, claimed an individual bronze in Butheeb last year.
While countries like Spain have dominated previous championships, other countries are hot on their heels, looking to make their mark. Teams from across Europe are working hard on qualifying horse and rider combinations, all while emphasising the core principle of Endurance: "to finish is to win," which underscores the special partnership between horse and rider.
Endurance is a sport that can appeal to anyone, as equine and human athletes navigate diverse terrains throughout the track. Spectators will be able to witness the event from various points along the course, including the beautiful forests and heather-covered moors surrounding the Dutch National Equestrian Centre.
The event organisers are striving to elevate Endurance to new heights of excellence and teamwork, as they proved while hosting the 2021 FEI Endurance European Championship, which also featured the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors at the same event. They heavily prioritise sustainability for both the horses and the environment, ensuring the highest standards of sportsmanship and respect for all involved.
“At Ermelo, we believe that the sport should be about more than just individual achievement – it should be a celebration of team performance, integrity, and cooperation,” says Eric Lamsma, President of the organising committee.
“Our mission is to foster a competitive environment where these values are at the forefront, while also promoting sustainability for both the horses and the environment."
We’re committed to upholding the highest standards of horse welfare sportsmanship fairness and respect for all involved in the Endurance community
With its world-class facilities that include stables, veterinary lanes, rest areas, and easy access to riding paths in the scenic Veluwe region, the Dutch National Equestrian Centre is well-prepared to host this prestigious competition once again.
Key dates for the championship include the submission of nominated entries by July 17 and confirmation of definite entries by August 31. Horses and riders must meet specific qualification criteria, including completing a CEI 3* as a combination, by July 9. Additionally, participating horses must meet the minimum age requirement of 9 years old. For those not participating in the championship, regular CEI Endurance rides will be held on September 9.
The FEI Endurance European Championship 2023 offers a glimpse into the future of Endurance, and with just 100 days to go, fans, athletes and the equestrian community as a whole are eagerly anticipating the challenges and celebrations that lie ahead.
More info will be available HERE.