August 23, 2012, Great Britain ~ The Start List for the FEI World Endurance Championships FEI 160 km has been refined to include 152 riders from 20 countries.
Horses and riders are ready for the Friday, August 24 inspection, after a Thursday opening night of revelry. A clear report from the veterinarians will give horse and rider entry numbers and the pass to begin the Euston Park, ride at 7Am on Saturday, August 25.
Hosted on the Euston Estate by the Duke of Grafton and several local landowners, the event will see a star-studded field of riders and horses, including three former world champions, tackle the 160km (100-mile) championship course in a single day.
The event is being organized by Newmarket-based Janah Management Company, whose chief activity is international horse transport for the Dubai Ruling family.
The 14th running of the championships will see reigning champion, Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton, attempt to match the USA’s Becky Hart in winning three World titles in succession – a feat first achieved by Hart in 1988, 1990 and 1992 with the great RO Grand Sultan. Alvarez will partner her 17-year-old superstar Nobby as the pair attempt to make history.
Meanwhile HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, riding Madji Du Pont, a 12 yr old chestnut gelding, whose son Sheikh Ahmed won the world individual title in 2002 at the age of just 16, will lead a strong UAE defence of its world team title for the third time in succession. HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum is set to go on 11 yr old Nikos.
Australia’s team includes Penny and Alexandra Toft, on Travina and Emily Jones TE respectively.
The Royal Endurance Team of Bahrain has a full team led by HH Sh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa on Picaflor WM, while Sultan HM Tuank Mizan Abidin Al Sultan Mahmud from Malaysia will lead his team riding Nafis de Brisal.
The French team, most often associated with the adjective, powerhouse, has entered a team of six including championship veteran horse / rider combo, Philippe Benoit on the 14 yr old, Akim Du Boulve.
Japan has entered three horse/riders with team leader, Seiichi Hasumi.
The USA has an experienced team with two multiple world champions, Valerie Kanavy and Becky Hart.