Horse Riding - Raid Kaliber

Endurance horse riding © Espiritu del Viento


The 2 to 9 April 2011, was the sixth and last edition of the annual Raid Kaliber endurance horse trial (previously know as 'Tierras de Al-andalus') took place. The event included 6 town to town day stages (El Rocio - Carmona - Ecija - Cordoba - Villafranca - Cardena - Montoro) plus an urban day in Seville, completing a total distance of 500km. It is known as the Dakar of cross country horse riding and isone of the most demanding horse races in the world. 37 riders set of from El Rocio, Huelva in the west bound for their final destination of Motoro in Cordoba province in the north.   This event began in 2006 and became the leader in horse endurance racing. The Kaliber Endurance Race was the world's longest horse race.   

Closing letter

"Dear friends,

Many of you're asking me about this year's raid, and I think it's time to give you an explanation. In 2012, due to the difficult economic situation we are going through, we can not celebrate the Raid Kaliber-Andalucia as you had known before.

We had been several years working their way through the longest and toughest horse race in the world despite the many difficulties of all kinds that we face, to face them with hope and enthusiasm, but this year we have lost all support we had and we can not continue.

You can imagine the shame that this happens to us all that we fought so hard over the years by bringing forward this dream, but circumstances force us to send and adapt if not to resign. Our intention is not to lose the habit of doing a great race every spring in Andalusia, and especially not to lose the habit of meeting and share what most unites us: our love for horses.

Therefore, I propose a great weekend of horses and friendship in the village of El Rocío coinciding with Easter. We can not give big awards, or write great reports as before, but if we can share good times and compete healthily with our horses, which are also our passion.

The idea is to hold three races of 80 km each, in two stages a day, starting and finishing in the village of El Rocío, going through the incomparable landscapes sandy, covered with pines, Doñana and its beaches. And that everyone may want to run phases, establishing several classifications.

I think it's a much more affordable adventure from every point of view, although not without strength and competitiveness for those who decide to try to run all phases. The horse better classified which cover all stages be given the prize "Ironhorse" of the year. And that, precisely, is the name of this new career: "Al-Andalus Ironhorse."

From here I encourage everyone to fellowship and be convinced your friends, relatives and acquaintances to come and enjoy a few days together and healthy rivalry and that we all return to give an example of what this beautiful game.

Many thanks to everyone and my best wishes for the new year.

Un abrazo,  

Jose Manuel Soto
President of the Organizing Committee"
January 2012