The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test
The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.
Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.
I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.
How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 
What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.
Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 
In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.
In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 
In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 
This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.
 
How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  
 
How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!
 
What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!
 
Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 
Never give up! 
Listen to your horse
Change diagonals all the time
Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
Massage/stretch your horse everyday
Have a strapper
Have spare of everything 
Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 


What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!
 
What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?
A good head torch and chaps! 
 
How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)
 
Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.
They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 
 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.
You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.
What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?
You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.
What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 

My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.
ZoomInfo
The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test
The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.
Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.
I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.
How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 
What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.
Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 
In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.
In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 
In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 
This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.
 
How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  
 
How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!
 
What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!
 
Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 
Never give up! 
Listen to your horse
Change diagonals all the time
Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
Massage/stretch your horse everyday
Have a strapper
Have spare of everything 
Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 


What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!
 
What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?
A good head torch and chaps! 
 
How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)
 
Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.
They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 
 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.
You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.
What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?
You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.
What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 

My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.
ZoomInfo
The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test
The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.
Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.
I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.
How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 
What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.
Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 
In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.
In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 
In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 
This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.
 
How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  
 
How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!
 
What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!
 
Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 
Never give up! 
Listen to your horse
Change diagonals all the time
Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
Massage/stretch your horse everyday
Have a strapper
Have spare of everything 
Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 


What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!
 
What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?
A good head torch and chaps! 
 
How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)
 
Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.
They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 
 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.
You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.
What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?
You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.
What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 

My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.
ZoomInfo
The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test
The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.
Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.
I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.
How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 
What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.
Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 
In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.
In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 
In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 
This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.
 
How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  
 
How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!
 
What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!
 
Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 
Never give up! 
Listen to your horse
Change diagonals all the time
Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
Massage/stretch your horse everyday
Have a strapper
Have spare of everything 
Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 


What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!
 
What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?
A good head torch and chaps! 
 
How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)
 
Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.
They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 
 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.
You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.
What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?
You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.
What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 

My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.
ZoomInfo
The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test
The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.
Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.
I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.
How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 
What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.
Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 
In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.
In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 
In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 
This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.
 
How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  
 
How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!
 
What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!
 
Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 
Never give up! 
Listen to your horse
Change diagonals all the time
Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
Massage/stretch your horse everyday
Have a strapper
Have spare of everything 
Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 


What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!
 
What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?
A good head torch and chaps! 
 
How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)
 
Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.
They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 
 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.
You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.
What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?
You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.
What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 

My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.
ZoomInfo

The Shahzada - The Ultimate Endurance Test

The Shahzada Endurance Test is an endurance race that has been held annually at St. Albans, New South Wales, since 1981.

Competitors must complete 400-kilometre’s over 5 days. It is named after a purebred Arabian stallion Shahzada, who was imported to Australia from England in 1925.

I caught up with Allix Jones, a talented endurance rider with 8 Shahzada buckles to her name.

How many times have you attempted the Shazhada?  I have attempted the Shahzada 9 times and completed it 8 times, sadly last year my horse got a severve case of colic and was unable to finish the marathon.
 

What horses have you ridden in them to date: I have ridden 5 different horses in total in the Shahzada.  My first attempt was on a loaned pony in 2004 named ‘Dammah’ which we successfully completed.  In 2005 I attempted again on a loaned horse her name was ‘Nioka Park Sorceross’ and completed.

Taking on the challenge in 2006 my own horse ‘Flyte’ was on the “must do” list but unfortunately she put her leg through a fence. So I was then on the hunt for a horse for Shahzada. Shelly Ison kindly offered me her daughters horse ‘Valinor Park Opal’. It was another tough track that year which we completed, with a solid finish taking out 1st place junior. 

In 2007 it was the year of equine influenza so no horses competed that year.

In /2009/2010/2011/2012 it was time I had my own horse entered in Shazhada, my horse Flyte was always my first pick to take as she was so tough! From then on Flyte and I completed the marathon 4/4 times together. 

In 2013 was the year I unfortunately got hit with the unlucky stick and my horse got colic early on in the marathon, sadly having to withdraw from event. 

This year “OSO Arabians” kindly offered me an imported mare from an american stable “al marah stud” she is owned and trained by Amanda Kettlewell, manager of OSO Arabians.  This mare and I again finished with a completion.

 

How do you train a horse for such a marathon? There is a saying “never take a fit horse into shazhada’ but I slighly disagree. I feel your horse must have high level of fitness , but definitely not overloaded as it is such a mentally and challenging track, for horse and rider. Both need to be thinking correctly and be fresh.  I believe there is a little bit of luck that comes into this event, and a high level of  horse management must be a first priority!  

 

How do you keep yourself motivated over 400kms? I  find Shazhada a little addictive! Motivation is the thought of waking up to the most beautiful sights and sunrises, on the most beautful animals of all time, and riding with your friends/family everyday. Having such a suppportive team when you finish each leg of the day, and the bond you form with your horse during that week is just so special.  And of course nurofen ++ is also your friend! 

How do you help motivate the horse? Good feed and lots of grass, and a little whisper in the ear to keep them going! Lots and lots of TLC!!

 

What is the spirit like at the camp? Absolutely buzzing everyone is so supportive and helpful, but of course there is a little bit of tension in camp as nerves are always high in case the slightest thing goes wrong!

 

Have you done a mini marathon before? No, but i would love to take one of my young horses in it one year.

What tips or advice can you give to a rider planning their first marathon? 

  • Never give up! 
  • Listen to your horse
  • Change diagonals all the time
  • Have clean/ correct fitting gear 
  • Massage/stretch your horse everyday
  • Have a strapper
  • Have spare of everything 
  • Make sure your horse and yourself always REFUEL! 

What is your essential piece of gear/tack/equipment needed for the horse for a marathon? 

CORRECT FITTING SADDLE AND HORSE SHOES!

 

What is your essential piece of gear for the rider?

A good head torch and chaps! 

 

How many kms do you think you go off the horse and walked / ran? A BLOODY LOT I GREW A SIX PACK IN A WEEK! Ha-ha no you are off mainly on the ups and downs approx. 50km at a rough guess (10km a day)

 

Describe the famous ‘steps’ at the Shazhada.

  • They are the very scary for your first time with some large undulating rocks with hair pin bends but 

 Honestly if your horse trusts you and does not panic you will find them not too bad.

  • You must always remember to keep on moving and don’t stop.
  • If you are apprehensive to walk your horse up/down the steps there is always a supportive crew on hand to assist where needed.

What is the minimum time for Shazhada and how does it differ from normal endurance rides?

You start each day at 4am and must be finished the 80km total day by 5pm in the afternoon with 2 vet checks in total of each day.  It is “marathon vetting” so depending on how quick you do each leg you can have at  least 1 hours rest or if you were going faster 3 hours rest it just depends on your speed. It is definitely more casual than (vet gate into hold) I love the marathon vetting as it gives your horse more time to recover and refuel for the next leg or day.

What is the best time you have done the shazhada in? 
My first attempt when I was 11 I did it in 42hours on pony called “Dammah” who is happily retired in my back paddock.

Honey / Horsey Moon at The World Equestrian Games!

Daniel and I (well it was really me) decided ages ago that we were going to get married on August 16th so that we could have our honeymoon in France to incorporate the World Equestrian Games. It was our kind of holiday, we aren’t the type to lie on a beach somewhere, we get way too bored after a few days! We had a few nights in Paris, which was beautiful, then headed to Caen for the WEG!

The first few days were spent exploring the Games Village, which involved a lot of shopping, eating, drinking and horses.

Then we headed down to the bay of Mont St Michel for the Endurance. We went a day before the event so we could explore the incredible Castle of Mont st Michel! It was amazing, I highly recommend it!! Our hotel room was very medieval which made us feel like we were living there back in the olden days!

We were up early Thursday to head off to the Endurance. The race started at 7 am, which meant we had a lot of convincing to do to get off the island at 5.45. The hotel had to organise a special bus to take us off the island then sweet talk a cabbie to get up that early (no cars allowed on the island and no one wakes up early in France!!!) once the cab driver heard we were going to Sartilly he promptly said yes…. It was a 100-euro journey there!!!!! Yikes I nearly died!

 It was still dark when we arrived. There was an electrifying buzz around the venue. You could feel the excitement, nerves and anticipation in the air.  We didn’t really know where we were going so we followed the masses out to the start line where all the riders were warming up. All the horses were trotting around the warm up pen and they were all looking fit and rearing to go. Gosh, there were some spectacular looking horses there! The start of the race is something I will never forget. It was a gallop start, there were so many fit crazy Arab’s flying down the straight out on to course. One girl sat to a few good bucks but unfortunately fell off only 30 meters from the start line.

Once the riders were out on course Daniel and I went and got a good seat in the stands near the vet ring and trot outs, which also had a big screen showing great footage of all the riders out on course, as well as a GPS tracking of each rider! Opposite us was the huge UAE Marquee which hosted their VIP’s and riders. After each leg the horses went with the grooms and the riders could sit and have a meal and a drink…not bad!! We spottedMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in there which was cool!

 Just 38 of the 165 riders made it through the grueling course. The weather conditions on the days leading up to the race had left the ground slippery and sticky, which made the already technically demanding course even more tough, forcing the riders take every stride carefully.

 The weather didn’t stop the crowds from attending…. there were heaps of people scattered through the ride base and at each crew point! The crowds also stretched for the length of the beach of Mont st Michel. French rider Jean-Philippe Frances described it as a mini Tour de France! Some spectators even bought a glass of wine along. Endurance is known for not really being a spectator’s sport so it was great to see so many people out supporting the riders! The coverage on the big screens at the ride base was also fantastic. It would be awesome to have something like that at the Quilty!!

 The vet ring after the first leg was a bit of a shambles. So many of the riders came in at the same time and some were waiting 10 minutes before being able to vet through. Once the riders spread out on course the vet ring ran smoothly for the rest of the day.

 Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohd al Maktoum riding Australian bred Yamamah aka Kurrajong Concord won the race averaging an impressive 19.68km/h pace and succeeds his father as champion.

Daniel and I watched this mare very closely from start to finished and were astounded by how much of a complete PRO she was. She just knows her job and does it so well!! In the hold times she stood and ate her feed and drank her water not moving a muscle as her strappers threw more water on her and poured ice cold water on her legs. She behaved perfectly when they syringed about 10 huge tubes of what looked like electrolytes, honey and yoghurt down her throat. She urinated on command and as soon as the bridle went on she dove quickly back into her feed and started scoffing as she knew she was about to go back out and race. It really was incredible to watch and she is the best endurance horse I have ever seen.

 Young Dutch rider Marijke Visser came 2nd riding French bred mare Laiza de Jalima. They were also presented the Best Conditioned award. Like many Arabian horses Laiza was mainly rested between the ages 4-6 and in 2010 in her 6th year joined a stable in Dubai. Mid this year she came back to Europe and was prepared in Belgium for the World Equestrian Games. “She’s a little horse, tiny in fact”, explains Marijke. “But she’s wonderful, a hard worker and capable of incredible results.”

 The Aussie horses had a 50% success rate, which is great considering only 22% completed the ride. Unfortunately for Jenny Annetts her horse Castlebar Contraband went slightly lame and was withdrawn at the 11th hour.

Sarah McLaughlin riding Tonki Dee Boo Shania, Sasha Laws King riding a French horse Qacima Du Sauveterre, Alexandra Toft riding Charlotte TE and Penny Toft riding Dream Dancer TE all started the race. Unfortunately Penny got held up at a few accidents out on course, and then her stirrup leather broke so by the time she managed to get a new stirrup leather she was quite far behind the other riders. Penny made the hard call to withdraw after the 1st leg. Playing catch-ups on a slippery, boggy course like that would have been too dangerous. Sarah McLaughlin’s horse was sadly vetted out after the 2nd leg due to metabolic’s.

However Ali Toft and her horse Charlotte TE completed the tough course and placed 19th in a time of 10:11:23.

Sasha also finished on grey mare Qacima Du Sauveterre in a time of 10:48:53.

 There was unfortunately a fatal accident out on course which Costa Rican rider Claudia Romero Chacon’s horse, Dorado, ran out of control into a tree and was killed. The rider was taken to hospital and operated on for fractures and internal injuries. Absolutely devastating for everyone involved.

 The Endurance was a fantastic event and Daniel and I absolutely loved watching the best horses and riders in the world ride and strap their horses. We came away with a lot of new knowledge.

After the ride was won Daniel and I headed back to our hotel room on Mont St Michel and crashed! I think we probably walked 160kms that day!

On Saturday we headed to Le Pin National Stud for the cross-country phase of the Eventing. We arrived at Argentan train station at 9.45 and jumped on a shuttle bus to go to the venue. The traffic was unbelievably bad. They only had 1 lane all the way to the venue and it was banked back at least 15kms and wasn’t moving!! After over an hour stuck on the bus Daniel and I looked up on Google maps that we were 11kms to the venue… We made the call, like many others, to jump off the bus and run/ walk there!! It was hell but the run made easier by fellow Aussies stuck in cars cheering us on! Once we finally got there it was great but we were not in the mood to walk around the whole course! We wanted to get something to eat….but then we saw the lines for the food vendors…..then the lines to the toilets…. It was packed! To be honest Melbourne 3 day was a better event than the WEG cross country, as a spectator.

The Show Jumping on Sunday however was fantastic. We walked from the Games Village to the stadium and once again couldn’t believe the size of the line to get in! Luckily the line we were in moved quickly so we were able to make the start of the competition.  We were disappointed for William Fox Pit knocking a rail and going from gold medal position to bronze, everyone was on the edge of their seats! 

 The show jumping wrapped up our WEG adventure. We had the best honey/horsey-moon! Bring on Quebec, Montreal 2018….Now its time to go home and get my fat Arab’s out of the field… holiday is over for them and us! Time to ride and get fit!

Follow my adventures on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/becbramich

Instagram & Twitter: @becbramich 

Latest Travel Update From Peter Toft

What a MASSIVE journey for these horses…..Still so far to go. 

ENDURANCE & PARA FLIGHT UPDATE:

'It is now 16 hours since we left our Melbourne stables.
Just departing Singapore on the second leg of our journey to the WEG.
All horses are good, eating and drinking.
Pascal (IRT expert groom) was busy adjusting stalls to let the horses put their heads down and eat from the ground and stretch a little.
Julia and Kirsten have been caring for the VIP’s. Worldwide PB the superstar from London has a special diet and is getting lots of attention. Hatero is a real cool dude and Comedian lives up to his name.
Contraband just has not stopped eating and drinking, is such a nice horse, Shania was a little nervous but has settled in and next to Charlotte is very happy. Charlotte has done plane travel before and is more interested in the menu on offer.
Hard to get apples past Comedian.
This next leg is 6 hours, 10 minutes to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, expected temperature on arrival is 45.
The plane’s cargo is full on this sector.
London Heathrow and then Normandy is still a long way off’.

From Peter Toft

image

Go to my Facebook page for more photos, videos and updates.

Aussie Wins Mongol Derby!

Great news! Aussie Sam Jones wins the Mongol Derby! 

At 12:50pm Sam Jones of Australia has won the 6th Mongol Derby in emphatic style. She was the fastest rider on the course, led for much of the way and seldom looked troubled by the other riders Even when delayed for two hours and picked up a one hour penalty when she lost her tracker her progress was barely checked.

The 40 year old mining operator chose to ride alone for most of the race. She took the gamble of camping out past HS26 yesterday evening, with only 45 minutes riding time left in the day; despite the knowledge that bad weather was forecast and and a lost horse would certainly cost her the race. It was bold decisions that earned her victory as much as speedy riding and good navigation skills.

She rode much of today uncertain how far behind her nearest competitors were, but needed to balance this with the knowledge that if she pushed too hard she would meet the same fate as Devan Horne in 2012 and Barry Armitage in 2012 who were both first over the line but lost out to veterinary penalties.

Sam is the 6th derby winner, only the second female champion and the first from Australia

I spoke to Sam moments after her horse passed its vet check:

How do you feel?

Pretty awesome, but a bit anticlimatic, I feel I could do another 1000. You should organise a 2000 km race next year.

How did you find the Derby?

I loved every minute of it, if it was easy it wouldn’t have been as good. There were definitely some tough times but i found it… invigorating is probably the word. there were hard bits but that’s the whole point, that’s why you do something like this, to challenge yourself.

How were the horses?

The toughness of them is phenomenal. I’ve ridden at speeds during this race over ground I’d hesitate to walk across over before this. Sometime I wasn’t always given a choice, sometimes they just bolt out of the station & it’d take you 5 k to just get in control.

Did you get lost or sick much?

I got lost several times, I was quite good at that but I always found my way back. I never got really sick, there were times I thought i might vomit, & there were times I thought i might poop my pants, but that’s what you get when you do something as extreme as this, but I never got really sick. I had my share of aches and pains but my body got better and better as i went along & I adapted and yeah, I could happily keep riding. Give me another horse and I’ll go.

How did you feel when you lost your tracker?

I realised half an hour before the station I had about 2 hours of riding time left in the day and I had every intention of riding on. I loved the experience (the previous night) of camping out with the Mongolian family & to realise the tracker had fallen out of its holder & the doubt about whether I would get it back in time to ride on in the morning it was awful. I’m a firm believer in luck when you get good luck you run with it and when you get bad luck, you gotta roll with the punches. So, I got to stay at that station. No worries, I got a couple of extra hours downtime and rest. that’s the way it goes.

How did you motivate yourself during the race?

I didn’t really have any real need for motivation. You’re here riding on the derby & it’s a 1000km horse race. To me that’s enough, I’ve never really lacked the tenacity I guess. I am very competitive and driven & it’s important for me to be up at the front. I didn’t have to come in first, but i wanted to be up in the front, I started off with the group, I rode the first leg with them, but I was in and out of the horse stations before anyone else & I just kept going.

Did you have a strategy to win?

Not really , when I approached the race it was just to enjoy the experience to the full, to just live it all and do it all to the full. I did always say if I had a chance of winning then I would absolutely go for it. I found myself up the front early on so when it came to the stage when I knew I had a chance I just went for it.

My advantage was that I was faster through the stations. Also I was completely fine heading off on my own. other people wanted to ride with others but I’m fine on my own, I’m happy to head off into the middle of nowhere with my horse & I think that’s what probably got me over the line first.

At what point did you know you’d won?

I knew leaving HS27 I was a long way in front. which was just as well because the horse I chose at 27 was a very steady beasty, but that was fine i took it very steady. I didn’t count my chickens until i passed the vet. But he passed his signs are good he’s a healthy happy pony and here I am, this years winner.

How would you sum up the Mongol Derby?

I compare it to the equine equivalent of climbing everest, its a challenge, its an adventure, it’s an international race and it’s all based around horses & I live horses. I live & breathe horses. I’ve ridden them since before I could walk & I’ve never stopped, I’m 40 years old & I’m never going to stop. I intend to come back & run the derby every 10 years until I cant any longer.

Repost from https://www.facebook.com/aussiesgoingmongolderby

I’m absolutely loving my Matrix Saddle pads! The Coolback Orthopedic fleece works a treat in keeping my horses backs dry and the non slip surface provides stability without friction, which means no heat build up! The high performance foam inserts provide amazing shock absorption. They absorb 90% of the energy which is important for long periods in the saddle!
I highly recommend you check them out on the Zilco website!
www.zilco.com.au 

I’m absolutely loving my Matrix Saddle pads! The Coolback Orthopedic fleece works a treat in keeping my horses backs dry and the non slip surface provides stability without friction, which means no heat build up! The high performance foam inserts provide amazing shock absorption. They absorb 90% of the energy which is important for long periods in the saddle!

I highly recommend you check them out on the Zilco website!

www.zilco.com.au 

Ever wondered how horses travel overseas?
 In their very own air stall of course! These are some pics of the Aussie horses starting their journey to France for the World Equestrian Games! It will take approx 30 hours with 2 stopovers. Each horse will travel with around 30-40 litres of water and a bale of hay! 
Pictures via Equestrian Australia:
 https://www.facebook.com/EquestrianAus
ZoomInfo
Ever wondered how horses travel overseas?
 In their very own air stall of course! These are some pics of the Aussie horses starting their journey to France for the World Equestrian Games! It will take approx 30 hours with 2 stopovers. Each horse will travel with around 30-40 litres of water and a bale of hay! 
Pictures via Equestrian Australia:
 https://www.facebook.com/EquestrianAus
ZoomInfo
Ever wondered how horses travel overseas?
 In their very own air stall of course! These are some pics of the Aussie horses starting their journey to France for the World Equestrian Games! It will take approx 30 hours with 2 stopovers. Each horse will travel with around 30-40 litres of water and a bale of hay! 
Pictures via Equestrian Australia:
 https://www.facebook.com/EquestrianAus
ZoomInfo
Ever wondered how horses travel overseas?
 In their very own air stall of course! These are some pics of the Aussie horses starting their journey to France for the World Equestrian Games! It will take approx 30 hours with 2 stopovers. Each horse will travel with around 30-40 litres of water and a bale of hay! 
Pictures via Equestrian Australia:
 https://www.facebook.com/EquestrianAus
ZoomInfo

Ever wondered how horses travel overseas?

In their very own air stall of course! These are some pics of the Aussie horses starting their journey to France for the World Equestrian Games! It will take approx 30 hours with 2 stopovers. Each horse will travel with around 30-40 litres of water and a bale of hay!

Pictures via Equestrian Australia:

 https://www.facebook.com/EquestrianAus

This years Quilty course looks well worth the trek to WA!
The weather and scenery should be picture perfect for the ride. The vivid yellow carpet of blooming canola and vibrant green flowering wheat crops basked in warm sun will make for excellent riding.

The landscape is comprised of undulating rises and low hills. The 160km course is varied and relatively safe, with limited interference from traffic and the general public.

Local landowners have kindly opened up their properties to allow riders a good blend of paddock firebreaks, farm tracks and  eucalyptus bushland. The terrain varies but is mostly good underfoot with sandy top-soils overlaying clay–loams which can either be firm or flexible depending on recent rainfall.
Spectator points will be planned for the daylight legs.
Average daytime temperatures in Wagin in September/October can be around 21C with cool nights.
The course for the ride (162km) is as detailed below
Leg One - 40km
Leg Two - 42km
Leg Three - 41km
Leg Four - 24km
Leg Five - 15km
Total - 162km
For more info visit: http://watq.cloudaccess.net

This years Quilty course looks well worth the trek to WA!

The weather and scenery should be picture perfect for the ride. The vivid yellow carpet of blooming canola and vibrant green flowering wheat crops basked in warm sun will make for excellent riding.

The landscape is comprised of undulating rises and low hills. The 160km course is varied and relatively safe, with limited interference from traffic and the general public.

Local landowners have kindly opened up their properties to allow riders a good blend of paddock firebreaks, farm tracks and  eucalyptus bushland. The terrain varies but is mostly good underfoot with sandy top-soils overlaying clay–loams which can either be firm or flexible depending on recent rainfall.

Spectator points will be planned for the daylight legs.

Average daytime temperatures in Wagin in September/October can be around 21C with cool nights.

The course for the ride (162km) is as detailed below

Leg One - 40km

Leg Two - 42km

Leg Three - 41km

Leg Four - 24km

Leg Five - 15km

Total - 162km

For more info visit: http://watq.cloudaccess.net