It was a super successful weekend at the OVK Endurance Challenge for the team from Perseverance Arabian & Endurance Horses. Seven horses were entered, with five riders and four grooms, and six finished, with two 3rd places, one 2nd place and one 1st place!
This year, the ride – hosted by the Lormar stud and sponsored by OVK – was held over two days, with 80km, 120km and stepladder distances on both days. The ride was well attended with around seventy entries, including TV stars Barry Armitage and Joe Dawson, from SABC3’s THE RIDE. Barry and Joe were riding Lormar horses in their bid to qualify to enter the Fauresmith 201km national ride in July.
The highlight of Friday the 13th was a racing finish between father & son pair, Pieter & Lourens Marais in the 80km distance! Both were riding in the Heavyweight category, and shared the honours at the end, with Pieter taking 1st place, and Lourens taking Best Condition.
For Team PSV, Ashley Gower and PSV Mauser – standing at number 3 on the ERASA horse rankings – placed 3rd Young Rider in the 80km, while Francois Seegers rode PSV Nile out of novice with a good 80km stepladder. To round the day off for Perseverance, work experience rider Joy Webster did a 60km stepladder on PSV Medina.
On Saturday, third cousins Laura Seegers and Wesley Hayes dashed around the 80km together in the fastest time of the weekend. Wesley also breeds Arabians, and has the Olford Stud in Queenstown… it must be in the bloodline!
Laura was riding PSV Mabruk – currently at number 2 on the ERASA overall horse rankings – and finished in a time of 4h03min. Laura and Wesley crossed the line together with Laura winning Standardweights and Wesley winning Heavyweights. Mabruk trotted off with the Best Condition for that ride AND the Best of the Best award for the weekend’s events!
In his second 80km of the weekend, Ashley Gower and PSV Liberty took 3rd place Young Rider, and Donalyn Hennessey on PSV Ibis came 2nd in the Standardweights.
The 1st Lightweight place in the 80km was taken by Baba Sintu on Alicedale Hidalgo, while 1st and 2nd places in the Young Rider category went to sisters Jenna and Kirsty Masterson from the Hofmeyr club. It was another thrilling finish to the 120km, where Young Rider Rory Rous was chasing fellow YR Ninine Erasmus, and caught up with her on the last leg to sccop 1st place and Best Condition.
Sharp eyes may have spotted that Mauser is back in competition….
Sadly, his first export shipment was postponed and then cancelled. Although he was in the Western Cape for close to 2 months waiting to get into another one, it became clear Mauser would only arrive in the UK at best two weeks before the big race, after months in quarantine.
Laura made the decision to withdraw from the World Endurance Championships, rather than force an unfit horse to compete.
She and all of Team PSV extend their thanks to everyone who supported their fundraising efforts, and after consultation with those who bought raffle tickets, will be keeping the funds for the next member of the team to be selected for a national team competing overseas…
Watch this space!
Lucy Dixon, April 2012