The British Horse Feeds Red Dragon Festival of Endurance 2022 was a huge success despite the first day being cancelled due to torrential rain.
The Saturday and Sunday saw lovely bright sunshine and the going, despite the previous day’s weather, was good for the 180 plus horse and rider combinations.
Based at the well-known Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells, Wales, the riders took to the iconic mountain grassland and heather track for the ultimate test of endurance.
The 160km Speedi-Beet Red Dragon Ride was won by Nikki Malcolm and the 11-year-old grey gelding, Oso Spiralling Wind, in a very close finish.
Based in Dorset, Nikki and Spiral maintained their winning form over one of the toughest tracks in the Endurance GB calendar. This was Nikki’s fifth win in the Speedi-Beet Red Dragon 160km ride.
Commented Nikki: “This was actually Spiral’s first proper race ride of the season after winning some graded rides. Our main aim for the season was to get to the Red Dragon and training for the event has mainly been just preparations at home. He really showed how classy he is finishing really well, as did the other two top horses. I’m very proud of him and the event was a true showcase of endurance at its best.”
Georgina Vaughan riding Vlacq Journeyman finished closely behind in second place and Mary Stubbs with Sachiya took third.
The British Horse Feeds’ Little Dragon 80km CER was won by Cornwall based Saffron Bishop and the 14-year-old gelding, Hia Zimbabwe.
With an average speed of 13.6kmph the pair easily outpaced the competition and finished the ride well ahead. Saffron and Hia Zimbabwe have also been on fantastic form this season with a number of wins under their belt.
Said Saffron: “Winning at the Red Dragon Festival of Endurance was a wonderful way to end a very successful season. Barry was on great form and finished really well. I have high hopes for him next season.
“My parents have been a fantastic support travelling with me and crewing, and I couldn’t do it without them. I’d also like to say thank you to British Horse Feeds for their generous prize of Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet vouchers.”
Sally McIlwane with Mahbubti took second place while Anthony Sergant riding D’Hab finished in third.
Said Hannah Kitching of British Horse Feeds: “It has been a fantastic event, and thanks go to John and Jane Hudson and their team for organising such a successful event.
The British Horse Feeds Recognition Award for Best Crew Member went to Stephen Vaughan who helped his wife Georgia Vaughan to second place in the Speedi-Beet Red Dragon two-day ride.