Euston Park in Suffolk, UK, welcomed an incredible 580 horses and ponies from 33 nations over three days of International and National competition this weekend. The event, the largest held in Europe this year, boasted everything from a Nations Cup CEIO2*to a Pony Club Championships, and everything in between, with prize money and a rider travel and expense allowance totalling £1millon. The first two days of international rides have separate news reports on this website, but you can read about the third and last day of national rides and the Pony Club Championships here.
A Suffolk Punch, a Mule, Shetland and Coloured Ponies helped make up the 203 ponies and horses riding on Day 3 at this huge celebration of national Endurance. The youngest rider must certainly have been Fred Eaton-Evans (son of treating Vet, Tom) who undertook the 20km PR Pony Club Grassroots Championships on his trusty Shetland, Harry, on his eighth birthday!
After his successful completion, Fred said: “It took me about two hours and I’m feeling quite tired and relieved. I think it’s the furthest I’ve ever ridden. I’m going to go home and watch Boss Baby.”
The Suffolk Punch, Whatton Eisntein was ridden by Sam Moore. As a registered ‘endangered species’ these rare heavy horses have close ties to Euston Park owing to Clare, Countess of Euston’s dedication to the breed.
The Pony Club ran a very successful and happy Pony Club Endurance Championships on Day 3 of the Festival and Clare Valori, Co-Vice Chairman, Pony Club said: “It has been a remarkable opportunity for the Pony Club to be here with unbelievable generosity shown by HPower. Our members have enjoyed it enormously and I wish I could have bottled the stars in their eyes watching them at their briefing on Saturday evening. Not only have they all ridden the wonderful course and been scored on a Performance Formula, but they were also scored for their turn out, how they presented to the vets and it’s been a great learning for them. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and it has been such a positive experience.”
Nicki Thorne, Chair, Endurance GB, said: “It has been a very special weekend with an incredible, inclusive atmosphere of cooperation between all the nations, and the experienced international and amateur riders and horses. For the GBR team to come fourth in the first ever Nations Cup held in the country was a great result.
I have loved seeing the amazing variety of horses here, from the highly trained sports horses at the top of their career on Friday and Saturday to every breed variety, shape and size of horse today. All enjoying the same sport. It’s also been so positive to welcome the Pony Club here for their Championships, and they’ve dealt brilliantly with the size of venue and number of people. It’s inspiring to see the next generation of Endurance riders learning from others and enjoying the sport. ”
Event Director, Nick Brooks-Ward said: “It’s been such a huge weekend here and a fitting end to another successful season at Euston Park. I can’t thank all of our stewards and volunteers enough, as well as His Grace The Duke of Grafton, the local landowners and residents and the amazing teams of officials that we have welcomed from across the globe this year. Euston Park couldn’t happen without the huge support of our generous sponsors, but wouldn’t be what it is without the riders and crew who make these events such fun and biggest thanks of all go to all brilliant horses and ponies that are at the centre of what we do. Now we can start to plan for 2019 and in particular look forward to hosting the European Championships in 361 days time!”
Results from the National Classes and the Pony Club Championships can be found here.