Rachael Claridge update

We were so near and yet so far away from gaining our second FEI 2* qualification this weekend at the College Ride in Bedfordshire Maarhabi and I were 8th out of 21 horses to enter the 120km race which started at 7.30am Sunday morning. However, luck was not on our side when I found out at 80km that I had missed out check point one and 8km of the route. I was informed by the ground jury if I got to the end I couldn’t be placed but could gain my FEI qualification if I rode the 8km on the third loop, increasing the distance from 32 to 40km.

I did this and then passed the third vet gate where a lot of horses failed the compulsory vet. The weather deteriorated and the high winds made things very difficult for Adam and I to crew Charlie, however we survived and I set off on my last 17km loop. When I rode into the venue I was given my time card and a short while after just before I presented Charlie to the final vet check we were informed by the ground jury we were 7minutes over the 13kmph speed and therefore eliminated! I am gutted because the FEI qualifying speed is 12kmph, but for this ride they increased the speed to 13kmph. We must have been 12.99 or close! Charlie was vetted as part of the procedure and was sound with a pulse of 51/54, way below 64bpm the cut off. He was awesome and I’m so disappointed we didn’t gain two out of his three FEI qualifiers for WEG next year. Discussions continue on the EGB forum about us and a rider from Hong Kong who rode in with me, but the FEI won’t budge. So anyway, we will continue with our planning and training and aim for another 120km in march next year!

Rachael Claridge

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