The British Horse Feeds Red Dragon Festival of Endurance 2019 was a huge success with this year’s event holding a record number of entries.
265 horse and rider combinations took to the iconic mountain grassland and heather track from the well-known Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on October 4 – 6, 2019.
The anticipated two-day, 160km Speedi-Beet Red Dragon Ride was won by Nikki Malcolm and Oso Spiralling Wind, who conquered one of the toughest tracks in the Endurance GB calendar at an average speed of 12.7km/hr. This fantastic win capped off the partnership’s amazing season and is also Nikki’s fourth 160km win at Red Dragon.
Claiming second was Chris Rendle on Druimghigha Shatish with 12km/hr and Ella Bunting with Aly’s Estrella De Rock (Rocky) took third spot at an average of 11.7km/hr.
Commented Nikki on Oso Spiralling Wind: “He has really proved himself as an 80km horse with 100% success rate this season and the logical progression for him next season will be a one-day 160km but we will regroup with Linda his owner and Amanda at Oso Arabians at the end of the season. For now we have a field at home which we rest the horses in for the winter and it is shoes off time and a chance for them all to graze as a herd for three months which they love.”
In the other major class of the Festival, the British Horse Feeds’ Little Dragon 80km CER, Dorset-based rider, Ylva Samantha Mowatt on Terminators Dream won with 13.4km/hr. Closely followed by Kathy Carr with Aberllwyd Femme Fatalle who came second, also with the average time of 13.4km/hr, and Abigail Chisholm claiming third place with Mellway Royalblue Diamond at 12.8km/hr.
The action continued on the Sunday which featured the British Horse Feeds’ British Riding Clubs Endurance Team Final with nine Riding Clubs vying for the top prize in the 36km Novice Graded Endurance Ride.
Yorkshire RC came out on top with Ellen Valley coming second, followed by Wessex Wanderers in third.
Linda Birkitt who competed for Yorkshire RC in the 36km GER with Mistletoe said: “Our team was formed after a chance conversation and has grown over the last three years. We started the season this year at Wootton in Lincolnshire and have had team entries in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire rides which were all qualifiers for the championships.”
The Yorkshire RC team’s horses are of varying breeds including Welsh cobs, part-bred Irish Draught, ISH, Arab, PBA and TB. Some of the team compete at dressage and show jumping and there are former event horses on the squad.
The British Horse Feeds Recognition Award for Best Crew Member went to Sue Waddleton.
This year was an exciting year for British Horse Feeds ambassador Harriet Falshaw who kindly represented her sponsors at the event. Harriet went behind the scenes and presented at the prize giving.
Harriet said: “I was so excited to see what the Festival would be like and meet the riders. Endurance isn’t a sport I follow as I am an eventer and dressage rider but it was so interesting to witness the sport and shed some light on the art of endurance.”
British Horse Feeds also want to thank the organising team led by John and Jane Hudson with their wonderful team of volunteers, as well as all the landowners without whose support access to the spectacular terrain would not be possible.
Will I’Anson, Sales Director for British Horse Feeds said: “We are delighted with our long and successful association with this prestigious ride and team behind it and so pleased that the weekend went so smoothly and produced some excellent competition. The British Horse Feeds’ Riding Club Endurance Championships is also going from strength to strength and this bodes well for the future.”
Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet provides endurance horses with the slow release energy and stamina required for long distance riding, as well as rapid rehydration.
Left: Nikki Malcolm Red Dragon photo credit Kerry Dawson
Right: Nikki Malcolm, Spiral, Red Dragon Winners 2019, picture courtesy of David Saunders Photography
Bottom left: Yslva Samanthan Mowatt 80km CER winner Red Dragon 2019, image courtesy of David Saunders Photography