NEWS > Endurance
Posted by Equestrian Queensland on 04/09/2014.

Top 20 result for teen Toft

Queensland teenager Alexandra Toft has finished in the top 20 of the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) 2014, one of only 38 riders from more than170 starters to finish the challenging 160 kilometre event.

Alexandra, a member of Australia’s first all-female WEG Australian Endurance Team finished in 19th position with a time of 10:11:23 which is a remarkable feat given it is only her ninth 160 kilometre ride.  

Speaking at the end of the day Alex said she was relieved to complete the course.  

“Finishing in the top 20 was my goal from the outset. I did my best and I’m very happy, relieved and excited to be in the top 20.

“It was a very tough day and one of the most challenging courses I’ve completed. Charlotte my horse was amazing. She’s young and it’s just the beginning for her.

“It was an amazing feeling coming down the final straight and seeing the full Australian team cheering on the sidelines. It was the best feeling,” she said. 

Sasha Laws-King and Qacima Du Sauveterre also produced a promising result for Australia, completing the course in a time of 10:48:53 and finishing in 38th position, but for remaining team members Penny Toft and Sarah McLaughlin the day did not go according to plan. 

For team matriarch Penny (Dream Dancer te) disaster struck early after her stirrup strap broke in the first five kilometres on an isolated part of the course. The setback put Penny 15 kilometres off the pace and she later retired.

Sarah McLaughlin's day ended after her horse Tonki Dee Boo Shania was vetted out at the second phase. 

A spectacular mass of 165 riders representing a record 47 nations set off in a damp, muddy dawn, but midday sun turning the slippery ground to a holding consistency, and the Ground Jury, which had already removed the minimum speed of 15 kilometres per hour for the first two loops, then reduced the minimum speed to 14kph for loops three to five to allow horses to take their time on the course.

In another change to the format, this year there were five loops (of 37.9 kilometres, 35.8km, 32.8km, 33.1km and 20.4km) instead of six. Riders had to cope with ever-changing terrain, including wet sand on the second 35.8km loop which attracted crowds of spectators as horses traversed the beautiful bay of Mont St Michel.

Tragically, the Costa Rican horse Dorado, ridden by Claudio Romero Chacon, died instantly of a head injury after striking a tree at the side of the track in a forested area on the first loop, shortly after 08.30. The rider was in a serious but stable condition this evening after undergoing surgery for fractures and internal injuries.

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