Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

French Dominate Individual Competition At World Endurance Festival

The World Endurance Festival in Compiègne, France, hosted the CEIO*** 100-mile race on Friday.

Rain prior to the competition provided an excellent preparation for the soft, sandy tracks, generating perfect going for the 62 riders who set out on the world famous course. Weather on the day could not have been better with a dry day and sunny skies. A top temperature of just 66 degrees Farenheit proved to be ideal for the horses and riders and was reflected in the competitive speeds and high completion rate of more than 60 percent.

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The World Endurance Festival in Compiègne, France, hosted the CEIO*** 100-mile race on Friday.

Rain prior to the competition provided an excellent preparation for the soft, sandy tracks, generating perfect going for the 62 riders who set out on the world famous course. Weather on the day could not have been better with a dry day and sunny skies. A top temperature of just 66 degrees Farenheit proved to be ideal for the horses and riders and was reflected in the competitive speeds and high completion rate of more than 60 percent.

Riders representing eight nations set off to complete the race. The traditional European nations fielded the highest number of competitors, with 43 riders from France, alongside combinations from Spain, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland. Abdullah Halim Alihan (Malaysia), Rafael Salvador (Brazil) and Jennifer Poling (USA) took on the European competitors.

There was a calm controlled start at 6 a.m., but the pace soon picked up and the leading riders were back off the first loop of 19.7 miles around 7:30 a.m., led by Guy Dumas (France) and his experienced horse Mohac. Compiègne has been a lucky venue for Dumas in the past, with a second-placed finish in last year’s race and another second in the 2008 World Endurance Young Horse Championships. Luck was not with Dumas this time when his talented 10-year-old chestnut went out at the third vet gate due to lameness.

Thirty-three horses vetted less than five minutes behind Dumas. Only one horse failed to qualify at the first vet gate, and 61 horses set out to tackle the second loop of 20.6 miles, the longest loop of the day. Modifications to last year’s route added significantly to the challenge, with more undulations and climbs.

The first combinations averaged 12 mph at the second vet gate. A speedy presentation by Celine Schwartz (France) enabled her to take the lead by just 4 seconds, but her challenge ended at the fourth vet gate.

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Speeds remained constant during the day, with 43 combinations remaining above 11 mph at the third vet gate. At this stage the field was still going strong, despite 11 combinations failing to qualify and one retirement from French team member Nicolas Blot with Kalima Marine.

Quick presentation times allowed Caroline Denayer Gad (France) and Gwellik du Parc to hold on to their lead until the final vet gate with a consistent speed of 12 mph. This experienced pair has a great track record with a fifth-placed finish in last year’s Open European Championships in Assisi, Italy.

A total of 21 combinations failed to qualify by the last vet gate. Some surprise exits were endurance greats such as Fausto Fioricci (Italy), ending Italy’s hope of a team placing, and Jack Beguad (France). France’s hope of a team finish also ended at the final vet gate when Christophe Dupau’s mount came up lame. With the French and Italian teams out of the picture, Germany and Belgium battled it out for top honors.

Both nations had their full complement of riders in contention, but the Belgians had more than an hour advantage at this point.

The last loop of the day was the shortest, at just over 12.4 miles. Marc Couffin and his 9-year-old chestnut mare Nadirah du Breuil put in the fastest loop of the day at 17 mph to move up from 12th to fourth, one slot above their fifth place in last year’s World Endurance Young Horse Championships. A slower speed of 13 mph dropped leader Caroline Denayer Gad to eighth, but Jean-Philippe Francis (France) and his 15-year-old mare Hanaba du Bois raced up from sixth to claim the top podium position. This pairing also won the 2007 European Championships in Portugal.

Just 21 seconds later, a racing finish for second place saw Laurent Mosti (France) and the 10-year-old Djayad du Ginioux beat Philippe Tomas (France) and Bamboulla to the post. Tomas’ mare was judged lame at the finish, meaning that the talented couple of Laurent Mosti and Cecile Miletto Mosti once again shared the podium following their one-two finish in Montcuq (France) last year. Cecile came across the line less than a minute behind Laurent to claim third with the talented Easy Fontnoire on the mare’s first attempt at a 100-mile race.

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French riders took the top nine placings, but the Belgium team members claimed the honors from Germany and both the teams completed with all four riders. Belgian Chef d’Equipe Pierre Arnold was thrilled with his team’s performance.

Thirty-nine horses finished, including Poling, who completed her first European event in 39th position with an overall speed of 9.1 mph. Salvador’s horse was judged lame at the finish.

Complete Results: Compiègne, France CEIO***

Individual

  1. Jean Philippe Francis (FRA), Hanaba du Bois, 12.7 mph, 11:28:49
  2. Laurent Mosti (FRA), Djayad du Ginioux, 12.4 mph, 11:29:10
  3. Cecile Miletto Mosti (FRA), Easy Fontnoire, 12.4 mph, 11:30:01

Teams

  1. Belgium (17, Kristel van den Abeele/Yasmina Du; 21, Dominique Evrard/Alicia D’Havenne; 24, Maritza Pereira/Lima du Barthas; 29, Celine Just*/Onyx de L’Aigoual), 11.2 mph, 26:38:53;
  2. Germany (22, Melanie Arnold/Shaika Bint; 25, Petra Hattab/Prince Sharif Ox; 31, Gabriela Forster/Priceless Gold; 38, Bernhard Theine*/Apterno Nike), 10.6 mph, 28:07:04;
  3. No classification

 

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