The Canadian Endurance Team has passed their veterinary inspection at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, FRA. All four riders will take on the 160km endurance race across the coast of France by the historical Bay of Mont Saint Michele in Sartilly August 28. Representing Canada are:
- Kathy Irvine, Elite Endurance athlete (a designation given to riders who have completed more than 10 FEI 3* 160 km races), of Blackfoot, AB and Nightwinds Savanah, her 16-year-old Arabian mare.
- Jessica Manness of Dugald, MB and Greater Glide, her 13-year-old Arabian gelding.
- Leanna Marchant of Calgary, AB and Samsons Fire, her 15-year-old Arabian cross gelding.
- Elite Endurance rider, Yvette Vinton, an Ontario native currently living in Morriston, FL, USA and Petit Loup d’Jolie, an 11-year-old half Arabian gelding owned by Madame Cecile Dumas.
“The entire team jogged through with flying colours and now we are in the final stages of preparing for the race,” said Chef d’Equipe Maura Leahy. “The team is looking really good, and working very well together – we expect to have some personal bests.”
Once the Canadian athletes were approved for the race anticipation filled the air.
“I am very excited. I love coming to the World Equestrian Games, seeing all the champion riders is very exciting,” commented Vinton, who also attended the 2010 World Equestrian Games. “The trail is going to be very technical, especially because it has been raining. I think our team is ready. Everyone did the trot outs, and now we’re ready to roll.”
Team mate Irvine, stated, “I am really excited about getting going in the morning. This is a very remarkable 160 km race.”
“Sam and I are ready to go, he feels awesome. We went out for a quick ride today and all he wanted to do was hunt and pass, so the hope is that I hang on and we get to the end of the race,” said Marchant.
Excited for her inaugural World Equestrian Games, Manness commented, “It is all super exciting. I think we are really ready for this. I’m pumped, my horse is pumped, and we have been training hard so we’re positive about the race.”
The Endurance jog consists of a formal veterinary inspection where the horse’s limbs, back, and heart rate are checked. They are also required to jog for soundness. Once the jury panel approves that the horse is properly conditioned , riders receive the necessary equipment to complete the race, including GPS technology.
For more information about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, results, and a complete schedule, visit www.normandy2014.com.
Visit www.equinecanada.ca/cetfor a list of Canadians competing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, their bios, and more.
The FEI TV is live broadcasting the Games for viewing.
The FEI World Equestrian Games are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. The inaugural Games were hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990.
Since then, the Games have been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, Aachen (GER) in 2006, and Kentucky (USA) in 2010.
Photo: Canadian Endurance Team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014.