The season opener at Euston Park, Suffolk, UK set the bar high for the next two rides, with near perfect course conditions greeting the 117 National and International riders who competed over two days in distances ranging from 40km GER Novice to CEI3* 160km, representing 13 nations.
Despite the high rainfall leading up to the event, the ground held up remarkably well and riders were treated to some new tracks through lovely farm and parkland, and some new water crossings. The weather was cool and mainly bright, with some occasional showers; a good 10 degrees°C cooler than this time in 2018.
Saturday’s CEI2*had 34 starters and in the end only 11 seconds separated the first seven finishers. UAE’s Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum riding Bullio Blue Sue clinched victory in a total ride time of 05:26:35 with an average speed of 22.41 kmph. Click here for results.
British rider Lauren Mills and her horse HS Jamal completed the ride meaning that they qualified for this summer’s Meydan FEI European Championships, to be held at Euston Park in August. See her reaction here.
Eight riders took part in the CEIYJ2* and Saif Juma Mohd Khamis Beljafla (UAE) won in a time of 05:47:01 and an average speed of 21.09 kmph. Results.
37 National riders competed in 82km and 40km GERs and a 40km Nov class. Further details available here.
On Sunday it was the turn of 10 riders to tackle the CEI3* and 34 the CEI1*on another bright day but with a few more showers than Saturday.
Victorious over 160km was Saif Amed Mohammed Ali Almazrouei (UAE) on Perzan in a total time of 07:16:20 and an average speed of 22kmph. Full results.
The winner of the 80km was India’s Shaitan Singh Hari Singh riding Gaivota Da Ameira in a total time of 03:38:23 average speed 22.53kmph. Full results.
As ever at Euston Park, all prize money (£35,000) was awarded based on FEI’s Best Condition Awards [Article 822], as judged by members of the veterinary commission.
The winners were:
CEI1* 80km – Balistik De Vere, ridden by Arjun Singh Indra Singh
CEI 2* 120km – Bullio Blue Sue, ridden by Sh. Rashid Al Maktoum
CEIYJ 2* 120km – Tacuabe LP, ridden by Saif Juma Mohd Khamis
CEI3* 160km – Arizona De Kerpont, ridden by Hamad Obiad Rashed Al Kaabi
Nick Brooks-Ward, Event Director: “It’s fabulous to be back at Euston Park and the course seems to be riding even better than ever with a tremendous completion rate of 71% across the classes. We are looking forward to an exciting summer here, culminating in the H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UK Endurance Festival and Meydan FEI European Championships. We are immensely grateful to His Grace the Duke of Grafton for hosting us, and the local land owners who let us ride through their grounds.”
Yap Mou Soon (MAS), Ground Jury President: “It was a very well organised event and the line of command is very clear here. I had a good team from all over the world and we worked really well together and had a lot of support from the Organising Committee. Most importantly, very good care was taken of the horses and that’s always the most important thing.”
Antonio Farim (POR), Veterinary Commission President: “It was a top event. I was impressed with the condition of all the horses and we had no major issues and no horses in treatment. It was extremely well organised and the safety of the horses was paramount which is exactly what we hope for.”
The next rides will be on July 13th and 14th.