This weekend saw the latest International Boudheib Initiative (BI) sponsored endurance event in Morocco’s outstanding cedar forest of the Middle Atlas area of Ifran, and for the first time in Moroccan history, the first FEI CEI 1* 80km ride was held together with the BECA award for best condition. For the 2nd year since inception, His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan is delighted to encourage education of the ‘welfare of the endurance horse’ through the BI ground breaking events worldwide and takes great pride in helping further the true sport of endurance through education at grass roots level showing the value of strong partnerships between horse & rider. Great care was also given by the veterinary delegation headed by Technical Delegate, Mohamed Khalfan Al yammahi, and a full day of judge & vets briefing was held in order to work closely with newcomers to the FEI, explaining health & rules for the benefit of the horse and reminding them to not be flexible when it comes to rider security and horse welfare.
The picturesque trails were perfect, with good markings, loop speeds were low averaging around 15kph ensuring an excellent 80% completion rate throughout all rides including the 3 national qualifiers of 60km, 40km & 20km, for newcomers to the sport. There was a wonderful spirit throughout the day with everyone showing their willingness to learn and they are all looking forward to the future growth of this event and coming back next year.
Special thanks goes to event organiser, Dr. Mohamed Machmoum, Director of the upcoming Salon de Cheval, El Jedida, the veterinary delegation for their unfailing hard work and to the many dignitaries who attended the event, including Ahmed Al Reasi, Chairman of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, Dr. Hammou Ouhelli, Moroccan Minister of Rural Development & Forests, General Merzak El Habili, General Secretary of the Moroccan Royal Equestrian Federation and Zouhair Mohamed, General Secretary of Ifran, and of course not forgetting all the riders, grooms, owners & trainers and our valued partners, the horses, without whom none.
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