Horsereporter Blog Full Article
by Pam Burton
December 22 2011
December 18, 2011~The Goeth Challenge Endurance Ride, the last FEI ride of 2011, was also the first ride of the 2012 United States Equestrian Federation year. Held at the Goethe State Forest west of Ocala, Florida, the December 17 competition included 80,120 & 160k divisions. Many endurance trainers from the cold north are taking their winter barns to this area to condition and compete in the temperate Florida climate.
160K CEI 3*
On a day that saw temperatures at 75F (24C), 21 horse/riders took the trail in the 160K, 9 riding in the FEI Division. Ride Camp was located at the nearby Black Prong Equestrian Center.
Taking a break from her training position in Qatar, Ellen Olson took home the winning time and Best Condition on the Shagya, SA Belshazzar (Bayram x Jay El Tongafarah ox), in the 160 CEI3* with a ride time of 9:33 and an average speed of 16.80kph.
“Zar had a fantastic day,” said Olson. “This year he is the strongest yet of his career. We were near the front all day. Darolyn Butler and Valary Kanavy were in front positions as well. The trail was deep sand and very concussive road. There was actually a big turnout for each distance, over 100 riders for a one day ride..."
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I would like to make a small comment to the Goethe ride that seems to have somewhat slept under the pillow by the commentators. It was a very difficult day for the horses because of climate conditions. The humidity index was 90% at 9AM and reach 100% at noon with a heat index of 92F!
The completion rate was way below the average due to the climate and most of horses had difficult time to cool dawn. 50% completion rate is very low for this ride and the sand was not the issue but humidity.
Also only 4 competitors in 160km did the COC time compared to almost 100% of finishers on prior rides!
All the admiration should go to the riders who finished in those conditions and the comments should be reflecting the real facts of the ride
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