Marvin Brangman’s World Equestrian Games came to a premature end after he withdrew his horse from the endurance riding event because of an officiating blunder.
Brangman had completed 20 miles of the 100-mile trek on Tuesday when riders were told there had been a false start and route complications. He said he opted against restarting the race after spotting behavioural changes in his horse MM Godiva Chokalat.
The race was called off later that day, perhaps saving the organisers’ blushes, because of a “dangerous combination of heat and humidity” after heavy rain in Tyron, North Carolina, where the Games are being held.
“When we got back [after completing 20 miles for the first inspection] it was absolute chaos,” Brangman said. “We were told there was a false start and the officials had sent us the wrong way. They wanted to restart the race.
“We opted out because the horse was sitting around for two hours while we waited for the others to return. You can’t start a marathon, wait two hours, and then start again. They also downgraded the event to a 75-mile ride.”
Brangman, the first Bermudian to qualify for the endurance ride at the Games, added: “If they had made a correct start, regardless of the weather — we’re all used to bad conditions, these are the world’s best riders — it would have been fine. The endurance world is angry and frustrated right now. I’m honoured to have been at the Games, though. At least I got to fly Bermuda’s flag at the opening ceremony!”
Also competing is Bermuda’s Annabelle Collins in dressage.