CEI Endurance at Marbach, Germany 21st July 2017
Three valuable endurance saddles sponsored by the Boudheib Initiative were given to the three fittest horses for the 90 km CEI, CEI-J-YR and CEN rides at Marbach State Stud in Germany. Incidentally, all three saddles were won by the second-placed horses in each of the rides
Marbach State Stud is situated in the hills of the Swabian Alb in Southwest Germany and is the perfect venue for a demanding and challenging endurance competition. Here, rides are known to include steep hills, tough going due to stony underground - and hardly any straights! Horses need to be fit, and riders need to be sensible and use their brains in this technically demanding course.
Beautiful sunshine, temperatures around 20-25 °C and an experienced organising team - the conditions were just perfect. And yet, only few riders met at the National Stud of Marbach to tackle the scheduled rides. Unfortunately, due to the lack of entries, the 160- and 120-km-rides had to be cancelled, and so 90 km was the maximum to cover.
The rides include several climbs: They start at Marbach at 640 m, the highest point to cross is 780 m, and there are many more smaller hills in between. With only few straights to "race", but lots of hills and stony footing, the Marbach-rides are technically demanding - actually they are the most demanding CEI-rides in Germany. "We are happy to bring the Boudheib Initiative of Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Marbach National Stud, as this venue is not only known for its beautiful location, but also for good horsemanship", explains Ahmed Al Samarraie, President of the German "Breeding Society for Sporthorses of Arabian Descent" (ZSAA) and responsible organiser of the event.
14 riders set off in the early morning hours to tackle the CEI 90 km. After a hilly 10 km in the forest, they reached a high plateau, where, for the next 10 km, the landscape is mainly flat with open fields. Followed by a slight drop to the Crew Point, the track leads again through forest before it drops sharply to the height level of the start. The last loop leads to 780 m height in a rather steep climb, and so the average speed of the three fastest horses at the CEI was only 14,7 km/h, which clearly mirrors the technical challenges of this terrain. Winner of the CEI was Marushka Larzac with Belgian rider Freddy Meurens, followed by Mahatma a'Diamonds under Angela Kunz from Switzerland and Nicole Gall-Sinast from Germany riding Samira, a mare actually born here at Marbach.
They all reached the finish line within 20 seconds, but the fittest horse, the winner of the BECA Award, was third placed Samira (Nastaran/ Saabirah) with German rider Nicole Gall-Sinast - many congratulations to them from the Boudheib Initiative Committee.
The same distance was also covered by the Junior riders, of which unfortunately, there were only two, the sisters Nayla and Moira Al Samarraie with their Shagya-Arabian mares Saiide Al Samarra and Zarah. Nayla won with Saiide by a fraction of a second, but this time the BECA Award was given to the second placed horse Zarah, reigning German Junior & Young Rider Champion in endurance for three years in a row, who achieved more points for her fitness.
The national ride saw nine starters and this ride also decided the regional Championship of Baden-Württemberg at the same time. Here it was Sadek B (Teyszir / Sakira B), born at the Hungarian National Stud Bábolna, who won the ride with his owner Conny Birmele. With a margin of 14 minutes, second placed Lisa Dahmen with Malagena reached the finishing post, while the third-placed team arrived about an hour later. Winner of the BECA Award was Malagena, an 11-year-old Anglo-Arab mare by Seoul ox, the latter one of the most successful endurance horses of his times and now sire of endurance horses.
With the prize giving ceremony in the big outdoor arena of the stud, a well-organised and happy event came to an end and it is hoped that events like this one, where horsemanship comes first, will succeed in the long run.
Text and Photo: Gudrun Waiditschka
Results of the Endurance Event "ZSAA Hauptgestüts Distanz" at Marbach
The Boudheib Initiative, Driving the Future of Endurance