A press conference was held in Euston Park, UK, to announce the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters which will run from 18-20 August 2017, at Euston Park.
The press conference, moderated by CNN’s Aly Vance, featured Nick Brooks-Ward – Event Director, Tom Eaton Evans – Treating Veterinarian President, John Robertson – FEI Technical Delegate, Sharon Du Plessis – Ground Jury President, Anna Williams (GBR) competitor CEI1(80km), Ellen Suhr (NOR), competitor CEI2 (120km).
Speaking about the third final event of the Endurance Festival, Event Director Nick Brooks-Ward said he was delighted with the extraordinary response received from riders both international and local. “We are absolutely thrilled with the number of entries and the number of nations, this is the vision of His Highness to bring endurance to Euston Park, the home of his wonderful victory in 2012 when he became world champion. We have an unprecedented number of horses here both in the international competition tomorrow and the national competition on Sunday. 35 nations have entered, and we are thrilled to be welcoming them here to Euston.”
Sharon Du Plessis Ground jury President for the event said she was very pleased with all the arrangements, and expected a smooth competition despite the unusually large number of competitors “I am astonished – no stone has been left unturned by the organisers and I am so impressed. The challenge of having so many competitors is large. We have made a few logistical adjustments to the vet gates, to eliminate the chance that somebody may not get a fair and equal chance to present their horses.”
John Robertson – FEI Technical Delegate explained how Euston Park’s unique course offered riders a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talent. “The course is unique in the fact that it has many different types of terrain, we have got sandy terrain, beautiful forest tracks, slightly undulating terrain and four water crossings, it creates a change in pace and emphasizes the pliability of these horses.”
The focus in both the international and national rides will be on the FEI best condition award, and this is a special feature in the HH Endurance Cup Festival UK Endurance Masters, as Tom Eaton Evans – Treating Veterinarian President explained “Horse welfare is paramount in this competition, we are asking a lot of these horses, in the 3 star competition they are going over a hundred miles, and we need to look after them, we have a very experienced veterinary commission, who are going to be keeping an eye and doing multiple checks on the horses during the ride making sure they are fit to continue, and if they have any doubt they will be eliminated from the competition.”
Event Director Nick Brooks-Ward added “We have always specified here at Euston Park, that all the prize money goes toward the best condition. The best condition is run under very strict conditions from the FEI.”
Over the weekend the festival will feature close to 700 horses in competitions spread out across two days. Saturday’s FEI ride will be live-streamed and directly shareable via the Euston Park Endurance website.
This is the third and final leg of the HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Endurance Cup Festival. The first two legs were held in Barcelona, Spain and Pisa, Italy respectively to enthusiastic response. The final leg is being presented by Longines and sponsored by Azizi Developments.
Venue details and program: