Articles: Press Release
Six Americans set to Vie for 2008 FEI World Endurance Championship in
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2008
By Joanie Morris
Lexington, KY - 160 km on horseback is no easy feat. But 142 riders from
34 nations will undertake the task when the FEI World Endurance
Championships get underway in Terengganu, Malaysia November 6-9, 2008.
The US has six horse/rider combinations in Malaysia under the guidance
of three-time World Champion Becky Hart, who is serving as Chef
d'Equipe. The team includes another multiple world champion: Valarie
Kanavy. She is hot off of a win at the American Endurance Ride
Conference (AERC) National Championships in the 100-mile Championship.
In that victory she rode King Ali Gold 45 minutes clear of the
runner-up, but the Fort Valley, VA rider will contest the World
Championships on Flash Flame, a 10-year-old Arabian mare.
Katharine Brunjes left the Maine winter behind headed to the desert for
her second World Championships. She is diligently preparing for the
night ride in Malaysia aboard Theatric, a 10-year-old Arabian gelding
she has had since he was an unbroken 4-year-old.
Brunjes and Theatric were invited to compete in the Sultan's Cup in 2007
which served as the test event for these World Championships. They
finished fifth. Improvements have been made all over the venue based on
the experiences of the previous year's event. The team has settled in
well and Brunjes looks forward to the competition getting underway.
"The team is in good spirits and we are exercising and training daily,"
said Brunjes. "On Monday we had our long ride leading up to the event.
We rode our training loop front-wards and backwards several times to
accumulate 20 miles. Our training track - each country has an individual
training track to maintain our quarantine status until race day - is
just 10.4 km, so we had to do some creative riding to get the mileage we
need. The horses look great, are acclimating nicely and we are pleased
with how each horse has settled in."
John Crandell III and Saba Shams made the trek to Malaysia from Star
Tannery, VA. The 9-year-old Arabian gelding is owned by Ann Crandell -
the pair prepared for the World Championships with a runner-up finish at
the 2008 Greenway Gallivant in Florida in July.
Like Crandell, Cheryl Dell, from Springville, CA, is riding in her first
World Championship on Reason to Believe. The 10-year-old Arabian gelding
was third in the Owyhee 100 in Idaho. This is the sole combination from
the West Coast.
Two eight year old Arabians round out the group of six in Malaysia. Both
Syrocco Reveille and Golden Lightning are contesting their first World
Championships. Ridden by Dr. Meg Sleeper and Jan Worthington,
respectively, they both have experienced pilots. Sleeper rode Saba Shams
at last year's test event in Terengganu and was part of the US team at
the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany. Sleeper and Syrocco
have had two top three finishes in North America in 2008.
Worthington, from Scales Mound, IL, and Golden Lightning won the
Greenway Gallivant in July and Worthington was a member of the 2000
World Championship Team.
The competition gets underway at 5:30 pm local time on Friday November
7. For results and more information, please see:
For media requests or more information, please contact Joanie Morris at
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of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
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of its human and equine athletes.