Stunning results as new stars raise the bar at popular Endurance GB FEI Keysoe International
- Third victory at the event for Cornwall-based International rider Annie Joppe winner of the top FEI 2* 125km class
- Emotional win for Leicestershire rider Fiona Videla in FEI 1*100km class back after double hip surgery
- Cheshire-based John Black earns victory in 80km CER at first competitive ride back from illness
- Young Rider Charlie Turley from Worcestershire crowned the weekend’s top rider for achievement of completing 80km both days on two different horses
Endurance GB FEI Keysoe International in Bedfordshire produced a crop of stunning results with strong individual performances showing British riders bouncing back after two disrupted seasons at a ride which underlined the strength of the sport in the UK.
Annie Joppe and her talented 12 year old Halsdon Arabian s bred (Gai Radiant/Hidden Charm) HS Chiara notched up her third win in the Bedfordshire event to take the FEI 2* 125km class in style at a speed of 15.1km/hr from Chris Wray and Peponi in second place and Louise Rich and Oakleazefarm Czamak in third place.
Annie Joppe and Chiara led from the front virtually all day. The mare has now notched up two 1* completions and three 2* finishers and Annie said:
Little Chiara is the winner I always knew she could be, although she has always been a winner for me. She cruised around with her ears pricked leading from the first vetgate. I am in total awe of her!
Keysoe has always been lucky for me, and this year was no exception. I had a rather disappointing Windsor failing at 140km in an attempt to gain a valuable 3* qualification, so I thought it was now time to have some fun. I have a wonderful team, both at home and crew on the day, and I had a strategy: Chiara isn’t the quickest through the vet gates but more than makes up for it with her speed over the ground. The race just panned out absolutely perfectly for us with the bulk of the field falling behind which just left two of us. Chris Wray and I rode together for the rest of the race with Chiara taking the initiative out on course.
She is only tiny, standing at about 14.2hh but she has such a determined and willing attitude to her work, and I always feel so privileged to even know her let alone own and ride her. She is now officially on holiday for a few weeks before we plan our next campaign.”
Fiona Videla who went through double hip surgery four years ago took first place in the FEI 1* 100km class with her 14-year-old home bred Anglo Arab F F Alpha Orionis, known as Charlie. The pair completed at a speed of 15.04km/hr ahead of David Yeoman (Trop Vite Azureen), who notched up 14.75km/hr with Katie Bedwin and Omar El Nazeer in third at a speed of 13.29km/hr.
This was Fiona’s first FEI ride since 2007 and her first win. She said:
I want to thank the organisers for putting on the event under such challenging circumstances. As a rider I feel very grateful we have rides we can attend while we live with Covid 19. It was a super friendly event and the route was beautifully marked.”
Due to Fiona’s health setbacks, Charlie has been competed in the past on her behalf by both Dace Sainsbury and Linda Cowperthwaite.
A huge thanks to my Endurance friends who stepped in and looked after and competed my horse and helped me get back riding. Charlie’s a fast horse. At his debut FEI 1* at Euston Park, he average 21kph and his recoveries are phenomenal.”
This ride was special and emotional for me I’ve ridden with BERA and EGB since in my 20’s usually with my mother crewing. Sadly she passed away suddenly in Dec 2019 just before Covid arrived. She was with me the whole of the ride. This one was for you Mum and Chloé [Fiona’s daughter].”
In a weekend filled with emotion fuelled by the the Endurance sport’s camaraderie, there were tears of joy for John Black who scored a victory in the 80km Competitive Endurance Ride, his first competitive ride after seven months of ill health and hospital stays. He and CA Jalmeer (Jam) stormed home in style ahead of Rachel Judson (Clazzic R) and Kathy Carr (Aberllwyd Femme Fatalle). John competes Jam barefoot and said:
I just sat there and let my best friend do all the work. Looking at his record, he’s done more than 10 80km rides and he’s successfully competed over 2000km’s completely barefoot.”
Meanwhile Young Rider Charlie Turley scored the incredible achievement of completing two 80km rides in two days. In doing so, she qualified two horses for FEI competition, her own Safiya and Laura Graham’s Ragham Mudlark.
Thank you for everyone’s hard work this weekend! I’m so proud of both the wonderful mares I rode over the past two days. It was a brilliant ride, route and experience.”
Laura Graham added:
Charlie rode beautifully from start to finish on both days, including running with Lark at one point on course. You wouldn’t have thought she’d ridden such a distance. I am forward to watching such a talented young rider progress even further.”
Esther Young, Endurance GB’s Operations Director said:
We have to thank organisers Bella Fricker and Emma Taylor along with Di Luke who supported the team with her expertise for the FEI classes and all those who made this ride such a huge success. There were so many incredible personal achievements and success stories that sum up what this sport is all about and Keysoe has given a much-needed boost to riders seeking international qualification and also a great platform to Endurance GB’s new FEI International Well Vale Ride in Lincolnshire at the end of the month.”
To learn more about Endurance GB, visit egb.myclubhouse.co.uk
You may also like to read