After a hugely successful first season in 2016, this Sunday (May 21st) sees the return of international endurance riding to Suffolk’s Euston Park. Organisers, HPower Group Ltd, have received entries from 52 riders representing eight nations including Italy, India and Netherlands for the Emirates Airline sponsored FEI rides which will comprise four classes: a CEI3* 160Km, CEI2* 120Km, CEIYJ2* 120Km and CEI1* 80Km. Riders will be competing for a prize fund of £54,500 split across the classes and awarded entirely based upon judging for the Best Condition* of the horse.
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.
In a move to promote endurance riding at a national level, organisers are staging two days of national rides at Euston Park over the summer. The first is the day before the international rides in May (20th) and the second will be the day after August’s international rides (20th). Riders can select 80Km, 64Km, 40Km and 32Km Open/Advanced rides, 40Km and 32Km novice rides and a 16Km pleasure ride. Competitors will be able to share the world-class facilities and courses that international riders enjoy.
Changes have been made to the course this year and extensive work on the tracks has opened up one entirely new loop and more options for adapting routes as weather and conditions dictate. The unusually dry spring has been very favourable for the course designers and will enable each ride to remain fresh and pose interesting new questions to those who competed last year.
In a further commitment to the sport, Euston Park has been thrilled to welcome 18 international officials to complete FEI training courses prior to the ride; Training of level 1 and 2 Judges and Technical Delegates has been led by Ian Williams (GBR), an oracle on endurance rules since he was involved in drafting them during his time at the FEI. John Robertson (GBR) has also led a Stewards course.
Nick Brooks-Ward, Endurance Director at The HPower Group, said: “ We are delighted to be back at Euston Park for another season of first class competition in this fabulous setting. Huge thanks must go to Henry Fitzroy, 12th Duke of Grafton for kindly agreeing to host us on this marvellous estate once again. Thanks also to Emirates Airline – our generous sponsors, and to the local landowners who allow us to ride through their estates.”
I’m really pleased that we are adding two national rides to the series this year this underlines our commitment to helping to support and develop the discipline with in the UK.”
Best Condition is a separate competition run in accordance with the FEI’s Best Condition Awards [Article 822] and a judging panel (comprising veterinarians) assesses the top ten finishers within one hour of the winning horse in each class, an hour after the last eligible horse finishes. Points are awarded to horses based on soundness, fitness, agility and willingness. The Organising Committee will offer additional prizes for the Best Condition Award up to a total of five horses in each class.
Prizes are to be awarded as follows:
CEI3* 1. £6000 2. £5000 3. £4000 4. £3000 5. £2000
CEI2* 1. £5000 2. £4000 3. £3000 4. £2000 5. £1000
YR2* 1. £4000 2. £3000 3. £2000 4. £1500 5. £1000
CEI1* 1. £3000 2. £2000 3. £1500 4. £1000 5. £500