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Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Verona


Beautiful Verona

Image credits: Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook

Parco Sigurta near Valeggio sul Mincio is very beautiful place, the real “Paradise on the Earth”.

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It is not surprising that organizers choose this place for conducting big equestrian event.

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Over 200 participants came to join this event, including the Juniors Championship and ordinary competitions the next day.

Image credits: Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook

Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Verona attracted 119 riders from 34 countries.


Results of the event

There were 93 young riders started and 55 passed the final vet check.

First three finishers were UAE riders, but first finisher No 78 was eliminated during final vet inspection, so UAE riders took only 2 top places on the podium.

Image credits: Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook
GOLD MEDAL – Saeed Salem Atiq Khamis ALMUHAIRI & Rabdan (UAE)

Image credits: Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook
SILVER MEDAL – Ghanim Said Salim AL OWAISI & Shadeedah (UAE)

Image credits: Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook
BRONZE MEDAL – Maite PRADERA LEDO & Qualif du Poncelet (SPAIN)

Team results

Image credits: Chiara Gobbetti/Facebook

There were 15 full teams in the start list: Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Namibia, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United States of America.

And only 9 of them remained at the finish.

UAE, Spain and Qatar took the team podium.

Other full teams finished are France, Brazil, Portugal, Tunisia, Sweden and USA.

Italian team – host team of the event – was unlucky, only two of five riders finished.

It’s not so good in Verona

It is 4th time when Verona becomes the venue of Endurance Championships:

– World Endurance Championship for Young Horses in 2013,
– European Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in 2014,
– World Endurance Championship for Young Horses in 2015,
– And now World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors.

So, it means that organizers of events in Verona have the great experience in conducting such big competitions.

So it’s very strange that there were some problems raised during the event.


Unexpectedly, it was reported that saddles of some teams were stolen from parking area. It sounds very sad but shows the lack of security measures that is not acceptable on such high-level event.

Next, if organizers conduct the 4th Championship, they should know that cooling area on soft ground will make beautiful lawn turned into dirty mash in a few hours, and then turned into an impenetrable swamp on the second day of event.

Competent organizer should predict and avoid such situation.

Screenshot of TV footage

It looks like small copy of Lake Garda right inside the venue.

Take the closer look at this terrible mud:

Image credits: Fair Endurance

Image credits: Fair Endurance

Image credits: Fair Endurance

Image credits: Fair Endurance

It’s very sad that such beautiful place was spoiled by incompetent organizer.

Narrow line for start

Like in Brussels, some part of start route runs along a narrow and asphalt road.

Video by Italia Endurance Festival/Facebook

Don’t need to repeat how it is extremely dangerous for a hundred of horses ridden by YOUNG riders!

Dangerous tracks

In Verona, asphalt and gravel roads caused much severity.

As a consequence, the fall of riders on the asphalt led to serious injuries.

For instance, famous young rider Lucia Supekova from Slovakia has injured her neck and leg.

After this all, escaped horse seems to be the least problem.

The USA horse HK Kruzer escapes from the rest area. Fear, panic but fortunately no injury to horse and people.

Another fracture in Bahrain team

As bad surprise, sad news came from Bahrain team at Junior Championship in Verona.

Horse No 14 – VALESKA DE KERPONT from Bahrain team – had to stop at the final loop due to severe fracture, which was trying to compete with lead UAE riders.


Yellow card was given to BAHRAIN rider Rashid Khalid Ahmed AL ROWAIE (BRN) riding VALESKA DE KERPONT. It was the only case of Yellow Warning Card ISSUED during the Championship.

Forget about “To finish is to win”. Now it is “To win through killing”?

Obviously, very high speed for last loop was the cause of this fracture.


After 3rd loop, the average speed was over 23 km/h, and this rider was on 3rd position.

During the final loop this rider was among leading five riders whose speed for 4th loop was above 25 km/h.

Desire to win at any cost broke off the career of this beautiful young 8 years old horse.

And it is another case of leg fracture of horse from Bahrain, after well-known cover-up of horse fatality at Bahrain King’s Cup endurance ride.

In conclusion, FEI should more carefully choose an OC for such a major event as the World Championship.

To be continued…