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At the WEG in Tryon the worst page of the history of endurance ::: 13.09.2018
At the WEG in Tryon the worst page of the history of endurance
If the future of endurance were to refer to what was staged in Tryon, at the World Equestrian Games 2018, anyone would be allowed to have ominous hatreds. 


The most awaited event of the year was nothing but a disconcerting, striking and macroscopic step backwards, which caused a priceless damage to the entire global endurance movement and an immeasurable damage to the image of sponsors hitherto willing to invest in this discipline. 



Try to imagine, or even think that you have an idea of ​​what happened when you watch videos on social networks from North Carolina, it's impossibleOnly those who have lived the days of the eve and that of the ride directly can really witness the sensational and alarming failure. As an accredited observer there was Gianluca Laliscia, 2005 team champion,  CEO and Chairman of sistemaeventi.it, for 20 years engaged in big endurance events and next organizer of the FEI World Endurance Championship for Junior & Young Riders 2019, of the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Horses 2019 and the LONGINES FEI World Endurance Championship 2020.
His story is full of bitterness, but above all of concern related to the fate of endurance on a world scale. "The date of September 12, 2018 - he confesses - is destined to be remembered as the lowest point that our discipline has ever lived, to which a series of errors, underestimations and human incapacity contributed more than the climatic conditions. I think that, for what has happened, everyone needs to deeply meditate, starting from the FEI and ending up with the individual National Federations. Condemning the endurance to this kind of judgments is inadmissible".
It is therefore advisable to retrace the events that have occurred in Tryon since the previous days, without forgetting the undervaluation with which the FEI and the WEG Organizing Committee treated the numerous alarm bells already sounded during the Trial Ride Test Event last April in relation to weather, temperature, humidity and altimetry of the track.
"There was plenty of time to take countermeasures - confirms Laliscia - but nobody wanted to do it".
The rest is recent history: four days after the ride, with all the protagonists of the event already arrived in Tryon, the area destined for endurance was a building site just started, with the VET Gate confined to the edge of the spaces of the World Equestrian Games . "A bitter finding - says Gianluca - of how the endurance is considered in this event that instead passes off for the Olympics of equestrian sports.
In the last days the works have necessarily been accelerated, but even in this case the approximation and the improvisation have been at the highest level: the ground of the VET Gate was below the minimum quality levels, lighting of the spaces was absent, defective structures, the late provision of water and non-existent rainwater regulation, but the list of deficiencies could continue indefinitely”.



All this, as is evident, without the FEI being able to affect the protection for horses and athletes who would soon have to face a tough 160 km ride.
The competition, in fact, was nothing but the most predictable epilogue. The beginning, incredible, was a double start, given in two different points to two separate groups, addressed 6 kilometers away from each other for guilty lack of communication between the Organizing Committee and Ground Jury. 





The rest, however, still had to hold shameful developments: first the neutralization at the end of the first loop and the decision to restart the ride - shortened in the meantime to 120 kilometers - 45 minutes after the arrival of the last horse. This happened despite the proposed official document presented by the Spanish Federation and signed by 17 National Federations, in which the cancellation of the championship was requested due to the expected lack of sunlight and the minimum conditions necessary to guarantee the safety of horses and riders; then, 7 hours later, the decision of the FEI to cancel the ride after creating the conditions for the veterinary clinic to be full and subjected horses and riders to an immense sacrifice, which could certainly and undoubtedly be avoided if only they had used good sense and professionalism in place of arrogance and unpreparedness.

"The analysis of this unfortunately unforgettable day - adds Laliscia - is terrible and induces all those who really care about the future of endurance to a serious reflection to fully understand what interlocutors can be trustworthy. My sensation is that everything good and positive, we have done so far, should be ascribed exclusively to the skills, commitment and professionalism of some Organizing Committees, which have nothing to share with those who wanted to write to the worst page in the history of endurance”.









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