Well actually I didn’t compete myself, but it felt like I was because I attended the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival in Euston Park and had the opportunity to follow all the behind the scenes action. As I haven’t been familiar with this part of equestrian sport I really didn’t know what to expect. My perception that endurance is a race whereby the first horse who obtains the finish line wins, wasn’t strongly correct. There is a lot more strategic input required in the daily training, because wining or losing depends on the welfare of the horse.horse racing longinesThe Euston Park Endurance Cup Festival is the third and final leg of the Endurance Masters. There are 700 competitors from all around the world and it really feels like a World Championships or a World Cup, it is the United Nations of Endurance Riding. It is the biggest ride ever staged in Europe, the prize money going towards the best conditioned horse with a record prize money in Europe (2 million pounds) and also it is an incentive for the riders to travel to Europe to compete in His Highness’s Cup.horse castle The Euston Park Endurance organization team decided to make it free entry fee for all to encourage as many people here, to enjoy the facilities here. You’ve got to remember that the continental riders have got to come across the channel, so it’s expensive before they even start, so they’ve helped them with their travel costs as well. It is very worthwhile doing all this for the competitors because this is a vision, to make Endurance available to all, and that is what they’re trying to do today.

Event Director, Nick Brooks-Ward tell us a bit more about the event:

Nick B-W: For starting the ride riders get 1500 euros. If the riders complete the ride they get a further 1000 euros, and that excludes the prize money. So if they win the prize money too, it’s happy days.

EquestrianLifestyle: Please could you mention the party that took place on Friday night.

Nick B-W: We tried to make this available to all and everybody to have a good time, so last night we threw a party that we thought maybe 750-1000 people would come and we had 1250 and everybody had a fabulous time. They are all talking about it this morning which has put everyone in a great mood, we laid on some fabulous entertainment for them – it was a great party atmosphere with great bands. 

EquestrianLifestyle: What makes the UK endurance masters the most significant endurance event in the UK?

Nick B-W: The UK Endurance Masters is the biggest endurance event ever staged in Europe. What makes it different is the sheer volume of people we’ve had to cope with here, the sheer volume of horses and 35 different nations all speaking different languages. That is what has made it different, it’s very exciting.

EquestrianLifestyle: Please talk us through the course?

Nick B-W: Our riders are going off on a series of loops, the pink loop being the longest of 40km and the red loop being the shortest at 20km. They complete a series of loops to make up their mileage, their KM rate. If they are doing 160km, they are doing 5 loops. The 120km ride they are doing 4 loops (all different) and on the 80km they are doing 3 loops of different routes. They go off and ride on varying terrain, through water and parklands. It’s a fabulous course.

horse water

EquestrianLifestyle: Please could you explain what it means to have the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s support?

Nick B-W: HH Sheikh Mohammed is undoubtedly the biggest supporter of endurance in the world, quite possibly horse racing as well, in fact I am sure horse racing as well. It means such a huge amount to all of the riders to come here and enjoy the fabulous facilities, to have an incentive to join us here and his vision is to make a world endurance family and I do believe that us, Tiderra and Pizza, his three legs of his Endurance Cup Festival are helping that and everybody is coming to have a good time and enjoy riding across different courses, and that’s the vision.horse racing

EquestrianLifestyle: How do you ensure the safety of the horses and their welfare?

Nick B-W: Horse welfare is the most important factor, and rider welfare, let’s not forget that. We have 27 vets all representing different nations, all different skills, all different abilities – so we are covering everything. We have got one of the top equine bone surgeons in the world. We also have 4 equine ambulances that are staged around the course, we have a treatment centre, we have Newmarket equine hospital ready and waiting should anything happen and we need to get a horse into treatment. Humans, they are equally as important. We have approximately 46 medics on course, all in strategic locations, all in 4×4’s so they can get to all necessary places. We can track the horses and riders, we can get to them.

After every loop the horses need to pass the vet check to see if their heartbeat is under 64 beats a minute.horseHorse

I had the opportunity to follow British endurance rider Anna Williams. She competed in the 120 km race and it was wonderful to see how her whole team was so dedicated to support her and her horse! Lots of water to cool down the horse is a must during the race.horse

We followed Anna by car and during her first stop I noticed how quick and well organized the team took action.

horse racing field HorseHorse racing

Why do you love endurance? 

Anna: The time you spend with horse. You are together for a whole day in the beautiful nature. Besides that endurance is real teamwork, my family is involved and that’s makes it really wonderful to do! Horse Racing

Well done team Anna ! #118

Horse

I had a great weekend at the Euston Park Endurance !

Horse racing

 

In their sixth year, All The Queen’s Horses captivated the 500,000 strong crowd with their equestrian injection at the annual London New Year’s Day Parade on 1st January 2017. Travelling from all over the UK and further afield Spanish, American Quarter horses, Haflingers, Norwegian Fjords, Holsteins, Warmbloods, Traditional Cobs, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, Irish Sport Horses, Welsh Section A’s, Pure Arabs & British Miniatures all walked proudly through central London dressed as colourful characters from famous film and TV shows under this year’s theme ‘Lights, Camera, Action’.

Wie droomt er niet van om in één van de meest bruisende steden ter wereld oudjaar te vieren? Stel dat je de eerste dag van het nieuwe jaar ook nog eens getrakteerd wordt op een groots hippisch event in het stadscentrum? Wel, dan moet je in London zijn. Naar jaarlijkse traditie worden op 1 januari de Londense straten omgetoverd tot een heus filmdecor, waarin paarden de hoofdrol wegkapen. Voor het 6de jaar op rij ging de nieuwjaarsparade “All the Queen’s horses” door. Ruiters uit het ganse land stromen toe naar de thuishaven van Big Ben om er, piekfijn uitgedost, een rit door de stad te maken en zich te tonen aan de 500 000 toeschouwers.london people red horseHorses and riders replicated super hero’s and famous films including 101 Dalmatians, Oliver Twist, Ben Hur, Moulin Rouge, Star Wars, Mary Poppins etc..Editie 2017 stond in het teken van superhelden en films. De 101 Dalmatiërs, Ben Hur, Mary Poppins en Oliver Twist waren allemaal van de partij. horseAll The Queen’s Horses Founder & Organiser, Caroline Marsh said: “It was another magical parade for All The Queen’s Horses, which would not be possible without the help of the 200 enthusiastic and passionate equestrians who spend the rest of the year planning this one day event of a lifetime.” 

Oprichter en organisator Caroline March was zeer tevreden over deze editie. Een enthousiast team van 200 gepassioneerde paardenliefhebbers werkten het jaar rond om van deze dag een uniek event te maken. Een echte aanrader voor wie oudjaar in London wil vieren.blue and yellow horse

Intrigued? www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk // Photography Credit www.fotos4events.co.uk

Will this be the upcoming trend in 2017? Personalized Saddlery Art? Last night, the La Martina polo shop in Jermyn Street London invited artist Elizabeth Armstrong to create a wonderful live painting session on a polo saddle. It looks amazing. What do you think?Saddlery painting#EquestrianEyecatcher

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Photo kindly send to us via British Polo Gin, UK

To help celebrate the UK tour of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, the fantastic white horses were asked to appear live on the BBC’s One Show this month. With only two days’ notice the team at Martin Collins had to get a mini riding arena of the highest calibre laid out in front of BBC Broadcasting House in the heart of London.white horseMartin Collins is the official surface choice for the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, supplying surfaces for their arenas in Austria as well as for their UK tour. So when the SRS were asked to perform for the BBC’s One Show outside BBC Broadcasting House in the heart of London, it took a military style operation to ensure that these magnificent white dancing horses could perform.White horse
With only twelve hours to go until the live broadcast to over 4 million people, the team from Martin Collins arrived at the top of London’s Regent Street at 7am. They were tasked with installing a small riding arena on the Piazza right outside Broadcasting House. The obvious problems such as traffic and being in the centre of London were challenging enough, but they were faced with creating this arena in a very small confined area that also had a weight restriction. They could not drive the huge trucks delivering the surface onto the actual Piazza so the two lorries had to tip the 40 tonnes of surface at the entrance.BBC white horseThe horses gave the gathered audience a real treat as they carried out two rehearsals during the afternoon performing their world famous “airs above the ground” movements.
The Spanish Riding School of Vienna are performing at the SSE Arena, Wembley from the 11 – 13th November and at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham 18-20th November 2016.

www.srs.at

We all love polo. Becoming a good polo player is still on my bucket list. I went to a lot of polo events, so I am already halfway I guess 🙂 Polo has been cast with an image of tradition and formality. Imagine ladies wearing stylish designer dresses, big hats, gloves and expensive sunglasses. But I want to show the other side of polo, the equestrian side. Because polo is a game with a rich cultural history. Originating in Persia over 2,000 years ago, it is one oft he oldest team sports in recorded history.Horse and water I’ve teamed up the founder of the Polo & Lifestyle MagazineScarlett Stilling, who recently shot the most beautiful, magical polo pictures from the game to behind the scenes in Dubai and London.White horseYou can see the passion and love for horses and polo in all the photographs. Enjoy!Equestrian Lifestyle BlogPolo horses by evening sunbrown leather boots polohorse in stable with sunlight

All photos are available in print in different sizes.

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