| Wendy MacCoubrey of Ste Justine De Newton, QC made history this past weekend when she became first Canadian ever to win the 160 km race at the 2014 CEI3* FEI Biltmore Challenge, held in Asheveille, NC USA from May 3-4.
Paired with Valerie Kanavy’s eight-year-old Arabian mare, Raven About Gold, MacCoubrey completed the 160 km race on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s historic Biltmore Estate in a time of 12 hours for the FEI win and tied first for the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).
“She’s an awesome ride,” said MacCoubrey about Raven About Gold. “I got to ride another amazing horse on another great trail.”
The 2014 Biltmore Challenge marked the 21st event along the challenging French Broad River, over rolling hills and low mountains testing the skills of both horse and rider.
“This was the toughest Biltmore ride yet,” stated MacCoubrey. “A technical trail is always a challenge hence the name Biltmore Challenge. This year was nothing less than challenging – with new trail being added this year”
Given the difficulty of the course the completion rate was 65 percent. MacCoubrey was one of 13 of the 20 starts to complete the 160 km race. It took strength from both horse and rider to complete the demanding race, and the assistance of remarkable ground crew members.
“With me on the ride was Nicki Meuten. We had a great ride together and we worked together for a strong finish from both horses,” expressed MacCoubrey. “I’d also like to thank the Gold Medal Farm ground crew for all their help. Kelsey Russell and Liz Goti-Jones were exceptional. This kind of finish would not possible without them and their hard work.”
MacCoubrey is now on her way back to Canada and is looking forward to her next 160 km race June 27-28 at Stormont in Berwick, ON.
Yvette Vinton, currently residing in Morriston, FL USA, rode into top 10 in the CEI 2* 120 km race with her 14-year-old Arabian gelding, Teese. This is a great stride forward as Vinton has declared her intention to participate at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games to represent Canada and ride 160 km across the Bay of Mt. St. Michele in Normandy, FR.
Brianne Henderson of Grand Valley, ON, completed the CEI1* 80 km race on David and Janet Henderson’s seven-year-old Arabian stallion, Rivendell Elessar. The pair had a great run at the course.
Stephanie McLeod of Oka, QC, took on the trails with two of Valerie Kanavy’s horses. On Saturday, McLeod rode Tu Gold, an 11-year-old Arabian gelding, in the CEI Young Rider 2* 120 km race. They finished with a time of 8:10, making the CoC time and finished in third place. Out of 75 rides, only six horses made the CoC time. This was a great achievement for McLeod who continued her success in the CEIYR2* on Sunday. McLeod rode Racecourse Gold, a 10-year-old Arabian gelding, to her second, third place finish in the event in 9:30 hours. MacCoubrey looks forward to mentoring McLeod as she prepares for this year’s North American Junior and Young Rider Championships July 14-20.
“She did awesome. Riding for two days is very difficult. The rider has to keep themselves up for a long time and make sure they are holding up the horse downhill. We are very proud of Stephanie,” commented MacCoubrey.
Click HERE for information about the Biltmore Challenge.
Follow endurance as athletes contest for a spot on the Canadian Equestrian Team for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games Aug. 23-Sep. 7 in Normandy, FR. Riders will ride 160 km at the picturesque Bay of Mt. St. Michele for a sport on the podium. Endurance Canada has listed their declared riders HERE. Check back for the final team being announced in July.