Home nations celebrate return to International Competition and 'fantastic contest' at Cropton

Team Scotland - Awards ceremony at the Home International. Images courtesy of Jessica Crighton

Chefs d’Equipes from Scotland, Wales and England reflect on their team successes
Scotland crowned Home International  2021 winners
Success for Wales in the Celtic Challenge contest
England 2021 team builds for the future with inclusion of three Young Riders

EMBARGO: 21 October 2021 - After missing a year due to COVID the Scottish Endurance Team landed the Home International trophy after two days of closely fought competition over a testing track at Cropton Forest in Yorkshire hosted by Endurance GB. Wales enjoyed success in the Celtic Challenge while England took the opportunity to build for the future showcasing young talent and celebrating some superb individual performances. Ireland was unfortunately not able to send a team this year due to current issues linked to post-Brexit travel arrangements.

Scottish Chef d’Equipe Francis Bakker reflecting on her team’s performance, praised the organisation of the event as well as the strength in depth of the Scotland squad. She said: “It was a fantastic competition at Cropton and great camaraderie between the teams. I was really pleased with the efforts of all the Scottish riders, horses, crew and supporters who made the journey south. From novice riders new to endurance to seasoned 160Km competitors they worked really well together to achieve great results. It was a superb team effort and we were very pleased to return home with the Home International trophy after a close fought competition.”

The Scottish Team were delighted that they also won a number of other trophies and awards for individual successes over the various distances and classes:- with  the two day 160Km going to Chris MacMillan, Gill Brittle winning the two day 120km class, Alex Moir winning the 80km graded endurance ride and Joelle Russel and Jessica Crighton collecting ‘best novices’ and Katy Parvin and Alex Playfair, the best juniors.

Francis Bakker added: “All in all it was a great result for Team Scotland and the Scottish Endurance Riding Club and we very much look forward to hosting the competition here in Scotland in 2022.”

Team Wales - Awards ceremony at the Home International. Images courtesy of Jessica Crighton

Welsh team Chef d’Equipe Steve Smith was full of praise for the high standard of competition and organisation of the event at Cropton.
He said: ““After the most difficult 18 months we are grateful to England Chef d’Equipe Charlotte Robinson and the organisers Sarah Wilkinson and Claire Greenbank for putting on the Home International Championship. It was a great culmination to the 2021 endurance year. They even organised some great weather.

“The Welsh Team all performed exceedingly well bringing home the Celtic Challenge Trophy and a second place in the Home international.

“We would like to thank Swansea Building Society who stepped in to support the Welsh Team and made it possible for us to compete.

“Thanks too to Fiona Griffiths and Kirsty Wiscombe who each, after some very late withdrawals due to injury, brought three horses for the team.

“A particular mention must go to our junior riders - Charley Turley who took in her stride a new highly strung horse partner in Pasha’s Spirit and performed wonderfully; Alex Powell on Echo making her debut for Wales and winning 2nd placed Junior; and Fleur Alexander - who at one point, parted company with her horse and walked three kilometres to remount and complete the final 6km - a great effort.

“It was really competitive event held in the best spirit - we are looking forward to renewing the challenge next year in Scotland.”

Team England - Awards ceremony at the Home International. Images courtesy of Jessica Crighton

England’s Chef d’Equipe Charlotte Robinson said: “I was thrilled with my team's performance at the Home International.

“Due to the challenges of 2021, there had been no opportunity for the team to get together prior to the competition and they pulled together admirably despite this. There was a real team spirit in the camp and all riders and crew got stuck in with helping each other from the moment they arrived right through to Monday morning when they packed up to go home.

“This was a very tough, old fashioned endurance ride which some experienced riders have compared to the iconic Golden Horseshoe. Our team dealt with everything from heavy fog and dramatic terrain through to last minute route changes with a positive attitude and camaraderie.

“Due to a last-minute change, Lorna McCarthy bravely took on the 160km class and rode with great consistency throughout day one in a class that was a big step up for her horse. “Ella Pomroy was awarded the Margaret Montgomerie award for Team Spirit, as not only did she take on a ride that was so very different from her usual flat Suffolk and Norfolk rides but when an unfortunate slip meant she was unable to continue, she pulled together to support the rest of the team and was a wonderful source of encouragement to the rest of the team.

“The performance from John Black in winning the 80km CER with CA Jalmeer, was masterful despite an initial course error in the fog from the leading pack and on a tough and stony course he brought his barefoot horse home wonderfully to win his class by a comfortable six seconds.

“Rosemary Granger and Ella Weavers supported each other for 80km over two days in a wide range of weather conditions and were the only 2 riders in their class to finish their first day at over 10kmph. Our youngest team member, Jamie Shores, rode his veteran mare with great maturity on the Sunday having crewed everyone the day before.

“A special thanks has to go to our Team Physio, Sarah Light, who not only gave Ditto a fantastic ride on Saturday in the Novice 40km but then dived straight into helping our horses and riders in every class upon her return to venue. Also, vet Marta Reis, who stepped in at the last minute on Sunday when our Team Vet was unable to join us in person due to Covid.

“I am grateful to all of my team for being such a pleasure to work with in my first year as Home International England Chef and I look forward to taking on the challenge again in Scotland in 2022.”

Charlotte added: “Organisers Sarah Wilkinson and Claire Greenbank stepped in a few months ago to say they would take on the challenge of organising the Home International and Celtic Challenge event. They knew they were taking on a challenge but I suspect they didn't realise just how much!

“We cannot thank them enough for pulling this competition together. Not only did they treat us to stunning scenery but they also managed to run different routes on both days, adding to the endurance experience. Watching our endurance family come together to support this ride has been a real pleasure and everyone agreed that whilst it was a tough course, it was lovely to have such a prominent competition over such a challenging route.”

The Home International is run on an annual basis and is hosted on rotation by each of the four countries. Scottish Endurance Riding Club (SERC) presented a trophy in 1989 to be awarded annually to the winning country. The aim of the competition is to encourage riders at all levels and develop team spirit by giving an experience of international team competition.

Awards ceremony at the Home International. Images courtesy of Jessica Crighton

Home International Winners:
1st Scotland 6 riders home 530 km points
2nd Wales 5 riders home 370 km points
3rd England 4 riders home 250 km points
Celtic Challenge Winners:
1st Wales 4 riders home 290 km points
2nd Scotland 4 riders home 250 km points

For more information about Endurance GB: endurancegb.co.uk

About Endurance GB:

Endurance GB is the National Governing Body for the sport of Endurance Riding. It encompasses 23 local Groups throughout England and Wales who organise social events and rides from 8km (5miles) which are non-competitive or social/training rides, right up to 160km competitive rides (100 miles) for the most advanced horse and rider. EGB’s core objective is the promotion of a safe sport bringing health and wellbeing benefits to horse and rider through National and Local endurance competition and training based on a foundation of inclusivity with goals and ambitions achievable for every level and ambition of rider and breed and type of horse.

As well as staging a variety of endurance rides, including International (FEI) rides, EGB aims to provide education in the form of lectures, training sessions, conferences, demonstrations on all aspects of the sport, including the general welfare of horses, for both members and all interested in endurance riding.

It aims to encourage horsemanship among junior riders and to promote research into the best methods of caring for horses before, during and after endurance rides and to share the knowledge gained both within and outside the sport.

Mission Statement of Endurance GB
"Our mission is to promote and enhance the sport of Endurance (Competitive Long Distance) Riding within the United Kingdom, by providing competition, training and development opportunities that will appeal to all levels of rider from beginner to world class winner. The Society will endeavour to promote and uphold at all times the highest standards of horse welfare’"

"To enable us to carry out this mission we will work closely with other equestrian sporting bodies, namely the BEF and FEI, along with the veterinary, equitation professions and our members."


Welcome to Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing / Endurance!
We hope you enjoy it and have a Good Reading!

The Arabian Horse Intl Endurance and Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing
is a website magazine in which the articles
are diagrammed in magazine form for free download,
available worldwide to Endurance and Arabian racing professionals
and enthusiasts and back editions are available.

Follow us at:

© Arabian Horse Intl All Rights Reserved