samedi 23 août 2008

Ireland: Horseriding - Victorious result for Perthshire riders

Perthshire Advertiser
Aug 22 2008 by Our Correspondent, Perthshire Advertiser Friday

A SCOTTISH flying finish was the triumphant end to a weekend which saw Scotland sweep the board at the Glenariff endurance festival in Northern Ireland, claiming the Home International and Celtic Challenge trophies.

The Home International features the four 'home nations' fielding teams of seven riders tackling distances of up to 160km over the two days.

The competition is decided on most riders home.

Perthshire riders Kirstie Graham, with Arabelle, and 12-year-old Iain Paterson, on Kismet, were both Scottish team members for the competition which took place in County Antrim over a weekend.

The showcase was characterised by heavy rain.

Kirstie was elected to fly the Saltire in the two-day 160m Home International class, while Iain was part of the Celtic Challenge team.

The wet weather made the climbs on the challenging course more gruelling for horses and riders and, in the two-day 160km class, four riders were eliminated on the first day.

During the course, Ireland lost both riders and England and Wales a rider each, meaning Scotland was unassailable if both Kirstie and fellow team-made Diane Michie from Morayshire completed.

This they did in style, crossing the line holding the St Andrew's flag between them, claiming the Home International for Scotland.

In the Celtic Challenge, Iain’s horse was vetted out after sustaining a stone bruise.

Iain had, however, contributed to Scotland’s victory as the best turned out team.

mercredi 6 août 2008

UK: Cornwall conditions and gale force winds test endurance riders
August 5

THE two-day fixture at the Minions Moorland Endurance Ride which started from Trewalla Farm opened with a 10-mile pleasure ride on Bodmin Moor where gale force winds tested the 20-strong field.

With valued and vital support from the Trail Riders Fellowship, organisers Sue Speed and Jane Holden set out routes ranging from 20 to 50 miles for the two days of competition.

A total of 70 riders enjoyed the challenge of crossing Bodmin Moor before riding through Smallacombe Plantation on to Minions village and around Caradon Hill.

An extra 10-mile loop for the longer classes went over Sharp Tor and around Twelve Men's Moor, climbing up and over the granite covered slopes of Kilmar – the most physically testing part of the ride for the horses.

Conditions underfoot varied from muddy to stony tracks and granite outcrops, with some canters across the moorland turf.

Despite the weather, seven horses achieved Grade Ones and the South West team finished ahead of the Wessex team in the first round of their annual battle for the Morris Cup.

In the 50-mile ER, David Yeoman and Haszar took pole position from Jill Semmens from Penzance riding Evermore Exciting.

“It was my first ride at Minions and I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the weather,” said David.