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Follow-up From The Alltech World Equestrian Games from Beth Langley

The Alltech World Equestrian Games - Beth Langley

Here we have the latest news from HorseHage-supported endurance rider, Beth Langley, recalling her experience in Normandy:

“Who would have thought that my little 14hh, 16-year-old Arab – the horse I started riding at 13-years-old – the horse that took me to my first World and European Championships – the horse that won me my first FEI medal – and the horse who was last year on box rest for a fracture, would arrive in Sartilly this August, fit and ready to take on the competition at the Alltech World Equestrian Games 2014!

“I still can’t quite believe it. One of my life’s goals was competing at World Equestrian Games and nothing could have been a better start to my senior career than doing it with Tissy!

“The course had suffered from torrential rain, which was putting a damper on a lot of riders’ race plans – but not mine. Tissy was built for a tough course. The ground conditions would slow the pace which meant with every drop of rain, my chances increased.

“We had decided to ride as a team, which meant forgoing individual rankings, forgetting about yourself and putting all your effort into getting your team mates around safe. The first loop went beautifully all five Team GB horses were within minutes of each other into the vet gate.

“We waited for our last horse’s time before leaving for the next loop and that is how the day went. It was a tough course out there and we needed each other if we were going to make it. Every inch of the way was lined with cheering spectators and we saw so many Union Jack flags, we couldn’t help but grin throughout!

“Unfortunately on the second loop we lost two riders to lost shoes. There was a minimum speed into the third vet gate and they weren’t able to make the time back, so the vet gate had closed before they could hope to make it. This left three riders, still enough for a team placing and we were slowly crawling up the ranks with the incredibly strict vettings taking out horse after horse.

“We left onto the loop as a threesome but it soon became apparent that one of the horses was tired and wasn’t going to keep up. We couldn’t keep slowing to wait as we too would fall below the minimum speed so it was with a heavy heart we had to decide to push on and leave them behind. That horse then retired out on course, it was a brave and very right decision as it saved him for another day.

“The route was getting muddier and stickier and as the tide came in on the beach we only had the deep soft sand to ride on. Tissy just kept on going. Our fellow team member was on a horse called Sam. It was only his first Championship and second 160km so Tissy took it upon herself to help him through.
“Out on the last loop, Tissy took quite a few horses under her wing. We kept finding horses at walk or their riders leading them but as my cheery little Arab trotted past I’m sure she told them to tag along because they perked up and tucked in behind.

“Tissy was amazing all day and I was so proud of her. It was the best feeling in the world coming over the line, with a Union Jack held between Anna and I.

“Unfortunately Anna didn’t pass the final vetting which left Tissy as the only GB horse to complete, and not only that but only 38 of the 166 starters made it. The course had taken out almost 80% of the finest endurance horses in the world.

“The Alltech World Equestrian Games was a testament to horse management as despite the tough course and number of eliminations, not one horse needed to stay in the treatment clinics and Team GB got up the next morning with five sound and happy horses. We couldn’t have asked for more than that!

“Tissy has now completed 15 FEI rides, five Championships for Team GBR and has never been vetted out at a vet gate. She’s a pocket rocket through and through!”

The Alltech World Equestrian Games - Beth Langley