On the weekend of 1st October, The Red Dragon Festival of Endurance was held in Builth Wells, Wales. The Red Dragon is one of the most popular rides in the UK and without a doubt one of the toughest.
Equine student Rachel Judson and her horse Ben took on the challenge and faced the Welsh hills in the not so nice Welsh weather!
Rachel and Ben; a 17 year old Arab took part in the 80km competitive endurance ride on Saturday 1st October. The race started at 7:30am on Saturday morning with a mixture of rain and fog on the top of the welsh hills, making navigation slightly difficult.
The ride was split into 3 sections; 2 x 30kms and 1 x 20km. Between each section there was a compulsory vetgate during which the horses pulse must reach the required rate of under 64 beats per minute, they are checked for any lumps and bumps and must carry out a trot up to check to see if the horse is lame. With Ben not being used to the cold luckily the rain held off for each 30 minute hold time making the vetting process a lot easier.
For the first two sections Rachel and Ben were in the first front three runners however they unfortunately fell 9 minutes behind during the last vetgate. Despite this out of a group of 16 starters and considering Rachel has never completed this ride before coming 4th place is an amazing achievement. At the prize giving Ben was also awarded with overall best shod horse and Rachel came 3rd place in the best horse handler.
Congratulations to Rachel and all the very best to both her and Ben in the next season, we look forward to hearing about their future achievements.