Boudhieb Endurance Initiative Takes Off in Europe

Melanie Arnold on the Marbach-bred DM Sevinc win the 160km FEI***

4 August 2016, ~ During the last two weekends of July, The Boudhieb Initiative took introductory steps into Europe. Endurance rides taking place in Germany and France received sponsorship for The Best Endurance Challenge Award (BEC) from His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi. This award is a continuation of his initiative in Boudheib, UAE, where rules have been developed to limit the damage of speed and to emphasize welfare and horsemanship in a move to bring back the original spirit of endurance competition.

Melanie Arnold - IMG_6125 (c) Waiditschka (1)

Melanie Arnold and DM Sevinc photo by Gudrun Waiditschka

The first of these FEI supported events took place in Weil Marbach, during the weekend of the German National Championships organized by the ZSAA (Organisation for Arabian Sport Horses). This famous stud is home to some of the oldest recorded lines of purebred Arabian breeding in Europe and it has a philosophy of breeding similar to that of His Highness where a horse must be a sound athlete as well as have beauty and pedigree.

160 km FEI***

It was there that we saw the crowning of Marbach-bred Sevinc (Dscehim xSarina) ridden by Melanie Arnold in the 160km FEI*** , and this partnership also received the Best Endurance Challenge Award. The 13-year-old mare is of Polish/Egyptian bloodlines and the pair are already German National Champions completing their 4th win over 160km. They finished this very technical course at a speed of 15.237 km/h.

Second was the very experienced Bernhard Dornsiepen aboard Rio 243, a 13-year-old gelding that had almost a three year break to recover from an injury and proved he was in a good form to challenge the difficult track. He arrived 7 minutes behind Melanie and placed 2nd in the BEC Award. Third in both the FEI competition and the BEC were Bettina Nonnenmacher riding the US-bred Arabian mare JG Narma, at 12.99 km/h. Five of the 7 starters qualified on the course.


In the FEI**, a small field of 9 riders entered the competition, out of which 8 completed. The victory went to Andrea Bendiner of Switzerland riding the experienced Orna d’Alsace, a French-bred Arabian mare with already 14 FEI** and FEI*** race completions. They finished in a time of 15.37 km/h. Orna is a daughter of Al’Koum, twice a winner over 130km and full brother to many winners including Dynamik (Reserve World Champion). The BEC was awarded to Conny Birmele also riding a French-bred Arabian mare, Eurazia du Vallois, that seemed very fresh on arrival and accumulated only 6min14s of total recovery time. Third of the FEI classification was the Czech rider Petr Jadlovzky aboard Rachel 4, a warmblood/Shagya mare that seemed to have more difficulty coping with the heat and course challenges, as evidenced by her total recovery time of 22min23s. The second combination of the BEC award was Natalie Pudritz with Charouf, a 15- year-old Arabian gelding that arrived a few minutes behind Rachel 4 and showed excellent recovery times (7min in total), good gaits, and freshness.


In the CEI-J-YR**, the two Samarraie sisters rode together completing the course as a training for the European Young Riders Championships to be held in Portugal beginning of September. Moira, who lost a bit of time in the vet gate caught up with Nayla on the last loop and was officially the winner, but both deserved first place. They were riding mares bred and trained in the family, Famosa 25 being a Trakhener and Zarah 41 a Shagya. Famosa and Zarah won first and second place in the BEC.

Results 160 FEI***:

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Full Results:

New Persik Trail ride

Perski Trail ride

PersikTrail ride

The 30 and 31st July saw the second International event incorporating the Best Endurance Challenge Award sponsored by HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This was the new Persik Trail ride, in the beautiful Cevennes region of France, which was organized by Christele Derosch and the team of Grands Causses Endurance in co-operation with the Mayor of Camprieu and his Deputy.

Best Endurance Award winner of the FEI** Scratch was Salome Fragsse with Raqa De Saliann whilst Alina Huovinen Garcia on Pink Floyd riding for Finland won the FEI award.

Other Best Endurance Award winners were Cecile Miletto on Victoria Larzac in the FEI* and Charlotte Canton on Uzika D’Aqui in the CEI*Ladies


International teams and participants came from far and wide and used this weekend as an ideal opportunity to prepare for the World Championships and the famous 160km Florac ride. Interest and praise was received for the Boudhieb Initiative from many people including Mr Romain Laporte, Chef d’Equipe for the Sultanate of Oman’s Royal Cavalry team with 6 horse and riders partners successfully taking part in this event. Also in the fray were Dutch rider Fenne Koppenol and her support team, who qualified for the World Championships, whilst from Barcelona, Elisabeth & Roser Xalabarder and their trainer Cesar Tasias particularly appreciated the Award and its principles, Cecile Miletto, winner of one of the BEC Awards here and several times World Champion, and her husband Laurent Mosti, winner of Florac in 2012 and a member of the National Team of France, made very positive observations.

These two weekends are seen as a very successful European debut in the ongoing campaign for the Boudhieb Initiative, and it is hoped that His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s continued sponsorship will help to encourage a return to the traditional spirit of the sport.

~ end supplied report