Reine Pagliaro and her mount Beautiful Knightmare (Beau) finished the last loop in 44 minutes at a pace just over 12 miles per hour (mph) as the pair tied for second at the Broxton Bridge Plantation Endurance Races in Ehrhardt, South Carolina, January 29-30.
The FEI (World Equestrian Federation) Endurance Young Rider World Championships are rapidly approaching. Pagliaro will be the first ever to represent The Bahamas at this event that is set for September 6-10 in Ermelo, The Netherlands. FEI is the international governing body of equestrian sports of which Equestrian Bahamas (EB) is a member.
Pagliaro and Beau are training and refining, while Pagliaro is doing all the research necessary to represent The Bahamas to the best of their ability.
Pagliaro rides with the Stiyu Endurance Team at Muscogee Farms in Eatonton, Georgia. The Stiyu research team has been scouting competition venues with weather and footing similar to that of The Netherlands. Luckily, the weather in middle Georgia where the pair train is almost identical to the weather in Ermelo.
“Endurance isn’t just running as fast as you want to,” explains Peggy Clark, owner and manager of Muscogee Farms. “That leads to injury, mental fatigue, and physical problems. Endurance racers know that you increase speed, or distance, not both. Pagliaro and Beau have achieved the distance element many times. Now they are working on increasing the speed element.”
This was the plan at Broxton Bridge. Along with Mary Kathryn Clark, her trainer and Beau’s owner, Pagliaro left the start line for the first loop of 15 miles at a crisp pace. They were back at the first checkpoint in 90 minutes at a pace of 10 mph, perfectly on plan. After a thorough veterinary exam and a mandatory rest period – all regular procedures in endurance races to ensure horse welfare – the riders were back on the trail for the last segment of their race, 10 miles. It was time to kick up speed a notch, and the duo finished the last loop in 44 minutes at a pace of just over 12 mph.
An endurance race in equestrian is a cross-country marathon on horseback. An FEI 2* event, the Endurance Young Rider World Championships distance is 75 miles. The qualification process has been grueling – first Pagliaro and Beau had to complete a certain number of qualifying races before moving up to the international or FEI level. After achieving FEI status, the pair then had to finish two 120 kilometers (74.6 miles) races which were accomplished in March 2020.
Not content with the great performance at Broxton Bridge, Pagliaro is continuing to train every weekend with Beau. They are looking to overcome the elements as Georgia has been inundated with near-freezing rain for the past few weeks.