By Pamela Burton
Smart riding brought Sabrina Arnold (GER) and Tsagan Nour to the top of the podium at the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses (7 years) today in Nègrepelisse, France.
The 120km Championship, which finished with an all-female 1,2,3 yesterday afternoon, with Arnold and Tsagan Nour galloping over the finish line in a time of 05:59:04, culminated in the prize giving today.
Spain’s second-placed rider Emma Rosell Segura riding Danco completed in 06:05:58, followed by third over the line and also from Spain Laia Soria Pinol on Nervi Del Rieral finishing the four loops just two seconds later.
After starting the second loop in 10th position after a 2-minute recovery in the first hold, Arnold was assured that her mount was doing well with the trail conditions. Continuing with good recoveries, the duo were able to move up in the finish order on each loop and took possession of the ride on the final loop to emerge victorious.
France seals Best Condition
The first-placed French rider, Paul Bard, riding Volny Du Leff, finished sixth and later the highly coveted Best Condition was awarded to his seven-year-old chestnut gelding.
Ana Barbas (POR) riding her own E Da Fuica scored fourth and Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi (QAT) riding Dufawan finished fifth, with the rest of the top eleven spots secured by French athletes on this striking trail in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southern France.
Young Horses - future champions
These annual FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses, first held in Compiègne, France, in 2001, are an important foundation ride for future champion horses as they mature.
A total of 42 combinations from Bahrain, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Qatar, Slovakia, Spain, USA and the UAE joined 52 combinations from France for this year’s Championship.
Trail tactics - Sabrina Arnold and Tsagan Nour
Tsagan Nour is part-owned by French champion rider Jean Philippe Frances, technical advisor and partner to the 36-year-old Arnold, who has been a distance rider since she was a child. Together they made a plan for the Championship’s challenges:
“These horses are young and it is better for their mind to have a companion,” she explained. “On the first loop we were too fast and I slowed down and rode with two other riders. My horse was immediately good in the vetting and I rode with our second rider on the next track through the third loop. On the fourth, the rider from Qatar rode with me for a while. On the last loop, the trail was very challenging. I had some information from other friends on the trail that we were many minutes in the lead, so I slowed him down and let him breathe.”
First-time Championship trail
The FEI Endurance Championship for Young Horses 2016 was held for the first time in this farming community northeast of Montauban. The course followed forest trails and farm tracks from the equestrian centre in Domaine de Pousiniès through local communes of Saint-Etienne-de-Tulmont, Nègrepelisse, Vaïssac, and Genebrieres. Temperatures for the day hit 26C by 2pm. Organised by Endurance Equestrian Nègrepellsse, and supported by the Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Festival, the trail was contested with four loops of 35kms, 30kms, 35kms and 22kms, beginning at 07:30.
FEI Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello said of the day: “Horses in Young Championships are not yet at their maximum fitness, and the most important thing for me was how well the riders managed their horses.”
Gérard Aurel, President of Endurance Équestre de Nègrepelisse, said after the ride: ”We are very happy to have organised this Championship with 14 nations and the day went very well.”
Final results - FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Horses 2016
1. Sabrina Arnold (GER), Tsagan Nour - (completion time) 05:50:04
2. Emma Rosell Segura (ESP), Danco - 06:06:58
3. Laia Soria Pinol (ESP), Nervi Del Rieral- 06:07:00
4. Ana Barbas (POR), E Da Fuica -06:13:04
5. Mohammed Khalifa Al Sowaidi (QAT), Dufawan - 0606:13:05
6. Paul Bard (FR), Volny Du Leff 06:13:24
7. Amandine Lorenzi (FRA), Velvette El Mazel - 06:13:31
8. Laetitia Goncalves (FRA), Sadi Lotois - 06:15:59
9. Emilie Brard (FRA), Natfet - 06:17:00
10. Emmanuelle Gaudino (FRA), Cayrel Bashkhaar - 06:18:17
Full Results: http://www.atrm-systems.fr/index0eng.htm
Best Condition: Paul Bard (FRA) with Volny Du Leff
Notes to Editors:
About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) www.fei.org
The FEI is the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was founded in 1921. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI governs all international competitions for Para-Equestrian Dressage and Para-Driving.