VLACQ GILFEA – 2011 WAHO Trophy Winner – United Kingdom

VLACQ GILFEA, Bay mare, *1991 (Shah Shadow / Brindisi).
Breeders: Dr. & Mrs. S.V. Pyke. Owner: Mrs. Gail Andrews.
Strain: Kehaileh Rodanieh (Rodania, 1869)

Following nominations from its membership, the Arab Horse Society has awarded their 2011 WAHO Trophy to the successful 20-year old endurance mare, Vlacq Gilfea. The Trophy was presented by WAHO Executive Committee Member Mr. David Angold and AHS Council Chairman Mrs. Joanne Lowe at the 2011 Arab Horse Society British National Championships Show at Malvern.

Vlacq Gilfea is a forward going mare with an extremely good temperament and attitude. Ridden by her owner Gail Andrews, who bought her in 1997, and known at home as “Gilly”, this outstanding mare has completed several 160km rides in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and has been part of the Gold Medal Winning Welsh team five times. In their first season, after they had completed eight 25 mile rides, they were asked to step into the Novice place on the Welsh team. In their second season Gilly moved up to the Gold Standard under the British Horse Society system, completing 8 rides. In 2002 they even took part in the famous Man versus Horse Race in Wales. The pair also competed in the Welsh team again, this time doing the 160km two day ride in Inverness, after having obtained two grade one’s in the 160km two day Cirencester ride. On the second day of the international the partnership were the only competitors to finish and took another gold medal for Wales and Best Condition Award.

Left to Right: Joanne Lowe, Chairman AHS, Vlacq Gilfea and Gail Andrews, David Angold, Executive Committee, WAHO: photo credit Marilyn Sweet www.sweetphotography.com
Her crowning season was in 2006 with 9 rides completed and again a Welsh Team member. At the 160Km two day Cirencester ride she was third in her class, taking the best condition, best mare and best turned out awards. The home international was in Scotland where the pair were third, and awarded the best condition award, along with another team Gold.

Despite their continued success Gail has not entered Gilly in international FEI rides because she considers the weight expected to be carried, 75kg, is too much for her mare. Among her many titles in the United Kingdom, she was National Novice Champion in her first season 1998, Runner up Overall National Champion in 2006 and National Veteran Champion at her first attempt in 2009. In total Vlacq Gilfea has completed an incredible 5,500km in a total of 96 vetted events. She is still competing, at the age of 20, and thoroughly enjoying herself at every ride.

Vlacq Gilfea competing at Cirencester in 2006, when she won the best condition, best mare and best turned out awards. Photo credit: Eric Jones

Vlacq Gilfea competing as a Veteran in 2009, photo credit David Saunders