Cecile Miletto retained her title as endurance champion of France when she won the 160km ride at the French National Championships.
Of the 70 competitors who set out on the 160k (100mile) ride just 34 finished. These included a single British rider, Nicola Freud, sponsored by Balance Horse Feeds, riding Blue, a grand daughter to Mill Reef out of a 12.2hh Connemara pony.
Having admitted getting lost twice, Freud finished in 30th position – a remarkable achievement in her first 160km ride.
The first international rider home was Awang Kamarundin of Malaysia in 19th place. Four riders for Belgium, plus one for Germany and another from Portugal, were the other overseas representatives to finish. The remainder of the field was made up from French competitors.
Cecile Miletto arrived at the first vet check in 11th but left in 5th position having gained time with a quick presentation for vetting. However, she slipped back to 11th on the next leg, with young Frenchman Jeremie Ollivier setting the pace.
At the end of route three a group of 10, including Cecile, arrived en mass. Jeremie headed off first on leg four, but Cecile was not far behind.
Jeremie remained in the lead at the start of the final 30km with Miletto just five minutes behind, but by 20k she was alongside and by 25k had taken the lead to win.
It was a jubilant end for her horse Dynamik, who had not fared well in his last ride at the Endurance World Cup in the UAE.