During when the world of Polish Arabian aficionados followed and rooted for the National Championship and Pride of Poland Sale, the town of Kreuth, Germany hosted an international competition in endurance races. More than 100 horse and rider pairs participated in races over 3 various distances, but the enormous equestrian center actually saw several hundred horses that weekend. The Arabian and Half-Arabian Breeders Association (ZSAA), which has its headquarters there, supports the use of Arabian horses in all equestrian disciplines. Dressage, jumping, eventing and western competitions were held simultaneously to the endurance races. However the latter were of most importance.
True stars of this sport are drawn to Kreuth by exemplary organization and superb infrastructure. Strong teams arrived from France and Italy. Among the participants were: Italian Fausto Fiorucci (European Champion from 2001), French Barbara Lissarague (World Champion from 2005), Dutch Carmen Romer (European Junior Champion from 2007), German Klaudia Al Samarraie (German Champion from 2007 and the wife of the show’s organizer – Achmed Al Samarraie), as well as multi German Junior and Young Riders Champion – Annette Schwartze.
The event’s route was hilly and the going hard – parameters typical for most European races. An additional handicap was the weather, as it rained nearly all Saturday and the humid air
made breathing difficult. Nonetheless the experienced, multi-titled contestants ensured the event’s high standard. In the most important contests the tone was set by the Italians and the French.
The 160 km race was won by Vincent Dupont from France atop the 8-year-old mare Ulysse De Suleiman (by Ceres de Lafon out of Sandy du Cayrou). This horse also received the Best Condition award the next day. Vincent Dupont is also French Champion from 1998 over the extremely difficult route of the Florac race. The Endurance Nations Cup (CEIO) was won by the French team.
The senior 120 km route was won by Sandra Bechter from Switzerland. Among the young riders and juniors triumphed French Nina Lissarague atop Aicha De Bozuleus. In the team ratings the top spot was once again taken by the French. 11th in this race was Vittoria Ciuchi
representing Italy atop the Polish-bred Abisyńczyk 2000 (Druid – Abisynia). The fact that Abisyńczyk completed the race delighted his breeders from Sowiniec Stud, who try to follow the careers of their pupils.
Poland was represented by Artur Landau (from the „Champion Łódź” Equestrian Club) atop the stallion Hint (Entyk – Harmata), bred by Kurozwęki Stud. Our pair placed 7th over a distance of 80 km.
In comparison to competitions in which Poles participated this year (Babolna, Ermelo, Goettingen), Kreuth is by far an upper league. It’s a pity that Poland was represented by only one pair. The event in Kreuth is the closest place where the best Polish pairs can go against the French or Italians. Let’s hope that next year there will also be a possibility of seeing such confrontation and that Poland will be represented on a bigger scale at this largest event in Germany.