Arabelle( Bella) the Grey Arab/ Welsh pony is back in her field at Station Road having completed the ultimate endurance challenge for any horse. She travelled 300 miles to Sherwood Forest with her owner, Kirstie Graham, and won the Bahrain Dukeries 160km Endurance Race.
This is part of the Bahrain Dukeries Festival of Endurance which is sponsored by the Bahraini Royal family and is run on the beautiful ancient woodland of the Thoresby, Welbeck Abbey and Clumber estates. England does not enjoy the same access laws as Scotland and it is a real privilege to ride on the lovely forest tracks.
The event started and finished in front of the magnificent Jacobean Thoresby Hall where there were trot-up lanes for the stringent vet inspections that horses undergo during the race. They are checked for heart rate, hydration, digestion, muscle tiredness and blood flow as well as oundness. Kirstie’s Mum, Anne, friend Mary from North Berwick.and Mary’s fourteen year old daughter Megan had travelled with her to help look after Bella and help prepare for the vettings as well as meeting Kirstie and Bella on the course to offer them food and water and pour water over Bella to keep her cool.
They all were there for the start at at six in the morning as five horses set off and at dusk just before 9.30pm as ,with only three horses left in the race, Kirstie and Bella cantered over the line an hour ahead of second and third.
They passed the final vetting, which involves three vets, to gain first place to great applause and jubilation , especially from Kirstie’s crew of helpers.
This is the ultimate endurance ride, attained by very few but many riders enjoy rides that start at about 18 kilometres in beautiful areas with the Scottish Endurance Riding Club. (SERC)
If you are interested in learning more phone Anne Hollingsworth or look at the website www.scottishendurance.com