Fresh from the SA National Championships at Fauresmith in the Free State, the Eastern Cape endurance riders have been winning again, this time in the Western Cape. In fact, they practically swept the board at the Albertinia Endurance Ride – a 2 star FEI ride, featuring both an 80km and 120km distance – hosted by the Wynland Endurance Club.
In the 80km, Ashley Gower on PSV Mabruk won Young Riders and also took Best Condition for his category; Kirsty Masterson of Jeffreys Bay won Childrens; and Daan Landman from Cookhouse won the Heavyweights, while Trevor Rous from Colesberg snatched the Heavyweight Best Condition award. Two more of the Landmans’ horses also placed well.
In the 120km, Ninine Erasmus won the FEI Juniors; and honorary Eastern Caper Abbi Tennant on PSV Kandahar won the FEI Standardweight AND took Best Condition, in only her second endurance ride in South Africa. Abbi – who has competed for Great Britain in international endurance events – is on a 3 month working holiday at Perseverance Arabian & Endurance Horses.
In total, it was a neat 5 out of 5 for the barefoot horses from Perseverance, with Laura and Francois Seegers getting in a bit of sand work on PSV Jedi and PSV Mauser before they tackle the Africa Championships at Walvis Bay in Namibia at the end of August. Guest rider Sonia Dupper from Port Elizabeth, who was leasing PSV Neptune, finally got to do a full 80km after missing out when the Jeffreys Bays ride in July had to be cancelled because of flooding… the first time EVER that an Eastern Cape ride was cancelled.
Everyone at Perseverance is particularly thrilled with PSV Mabruk’s achievement. When being trotted out in front of the vets judging the Best Condition award, he was very frisky and broke into a canter… and it was only in 3 months ago that he nearly succumbed to African Horse Sickness. Not only winning his category, but also taking Best Condition in his first ride since recovering from AHS, is a fantastic result.
The next ride for the Eastern Cape will be on home turf at Harry & Margaret Hobson’s farm Blakeridge, near Graaff-Reinet, on Saturday 13 August. The Blakeridge Ride is hosted by MERC, the Midlands Endurance Riding Club, and is known for being relatively flat and fast, so expect some great times from our competitive riders!