WEG Qualifications, Check! An Update From Hilda Donahue

Hilda Donahue and Malone. Photo courtesy of Hilda Donahue.

Hello and happy New Year !

It has been awhile since I have updated EN on my endurance endeavors (in-between the busyness of horse trials, dressage and jumper shows as well as clinics). I am excited to share that my little Arabian, Al-Marah Speed (“Malone”) earned his final WEG qualification on Jan. 6 at a 160km FEI ride in Florida! Although I am already qualified on a horse I lease (SR Mirage) , my goal was to fully produce, train, condition and compete my own horse.

Some of the strategy and planning required. Photo by Hilda Donahue.

Malone was a rockstar, starting out in below freezing temperatures, showing enthusiasm and obedience all day, and had impressive vet scores at every hold. While the terrain was basically flat through the Goethe State Forest, we had numerous long deep, muddy water challenges — some were up to his tummy and 100 meters long.

None of this could have been accomplished without the amazing crew: Ken, Diane, Jackie, Mary, Robin, Adelia, Michael and Ranger. My biggest thrill was seeing how sound and happy Malone looked when he finished.

Tremendous thanks to my loyal sponsors: Voltaire Design, Tredstep Ireland, ThinLine and HorsLyx. Success at a ride of this magnitude requires the best of tack, riding attire and nutrition.

As we all know, anything can happen between now and September but fingers and hooves crossed that Malone stays on track.His next endurance outing will be the test-ride at Tryon on April 28th.

Meanwhile, off to a USDF dressage show this weekend and Grand Oaks Horse Trials the following weekend. Wishing everyone happy and healthy horses throughout this year .