On August 26th, ASE Marajó participated at the Hippiade, Dutch National Endurance Championships in Ermelo, The Netherlands. To participate at the Hippiade, you have to qualify first. Only the best 20 horses in the country are invited to participate. At the day of the race it was very warm, 33°C. The tracks were flat so everyone expected the race will go very fast.
Marajó is only zeven years old and just started his endurance career on June 18th. He was immediately noticed by many because of his very fast recovery and his obvious talent for the endurance sport. In a short periode of time (exactly 1 month and 12 days) he managed to qualify for the Nationals. The total lenght of the track was 66km. For Marajó the first time to run such a distance. We therefor decided to keep it slow.
The group started fast. The leading group took off with a average speed of over 21 km/h. The second group was riding a speed of around 18 km/h and Marajó stayed in the third group, doing an average of 16 km/h, which was until then the highest speed, Marajó has raced this far. He did excellent, drunk enough water during the race and showed a steady galop. When arriving at the vetgate, we stayed in a firm trot until the vet area, jumped off and presented them to the vets within two minutes. Because of this fast presentation, he catched up with the second group and went even faster into the rest periode. His heartbeat was fantastic, the locomotion was good and off he went to the rest periode of 40 minutes. There we learned that the leading group had walked the last 500m to the vetcheck, arrived there with high heartbeates which took 20 minutes before they were able to present their horses. Because of this delay, Marajó was only three minuts behind the leading group at a 4th position.
In the second loop efforts where made to catch up with the leading group. However, 10 km before the finish, the leading group increased their speed to over 20 km/h again. We decided to spare Marajó and to keep the 16 km/h average speed. The leading group finished at a 15 minutes lead. Just before the finish Marajó run together with two other horses. After an incredible sprint, he lost by just 1 second and finished 5th.
At the final inspection, two of the leading horses failed in heartbeat and locomotion and were diskwalified. Therefor Marajó moved up to a 3rd position. At the final vetcheck, ASE Marajó had a heartbeat of 36 BPM and looked still fresh and happy. The vet said his OK and this made Marajó a Bronze medal winner! The average speed was 16.1 km/h.