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Federico Zubiaurre; the trainer who made Uruguay win 6 medals in the 2017 Pan Am Championship

Back in 2002 Federico Zubiaurre went to the United Arab Emirates to learn how to train horses in the desert. Today he combines his experience in Raid, Endurance and Middle East Races.

His long experience and creditable performance in Slovakia gave him the opportunity to structure and train the National team in the last Pan Am Championship. The achievement: gold medal individual senior, gold medal senior team, gold medal individual junior, silver medal individual junior, bronze medal individual junior and gold medal junior team.

Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre. Talking.How did it all start for Federico Zubiaurre, 42 years old.

I started leisure riding from a very young age. My father and my aunt used to ride horses in Parque del Plata (Canelones), my older cousins also have horses. My grandfather (at mothers side) was race track horse trainer in Maroñas and until now my cousins work is related to horses.
My starting point with horse competition was in “pencas”, short horse races organized to raise money for the local school. After that I switched to Raid, 90km races organised every weekend in different small towns in Uruguay. I made the change because I loved to be around horses but I didn’t like the very short 10 minutes races. From then on I started this entire journey which is more than a profession, it is a way of living.
As a boy my parents did not want me to dedicate myself to this kind of job and they urged me to study. That’s why I started veterinary medicine, unfortunately I did not finish.

Why horses?

The truth is I have no idea. I can not remember making that decision, so I would say that it was born with me.

When came the switch to endurance for Federico Zubiaurre?

I started endurance since it arrived in Uruguay. I am a founding partner of the Uruguayan Association of Equestrian Enduro (AUDEE) like so many others whom are still in endurance, but only few people do even remember or know me. I started working in the United Arab Emirates in 2002 as a rider and after a short period I became trainer. I have always been working in the same stable with the same boss and friend.
Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre. Podium.The endurance was a result of the raid. Like many of us, we adapted everything we learned in the raid into the endurance, which gave us an advantage worldwide due to the years of experience that the raid has compared to the endurance.
I am in endurance because is the way to work on what I like. When we left Uruguay, we saw that we were paid to do what we all do it for free in Uruguay. Today the endurance is my source of income. And that’s how I understand it, as my work.
After the World Cup in Slovakia (last year), AUDEE made me a proposal to become trainer of the National Team for the 2017 Pan Am Championship. Few months afterwards, in December, the board of AUDEE decided that I would be the trainer.

How did the preparations for the Pan Am go?

The fact to pre-select the team was not so easy as a lot of horses did not meet the administrative requirements to participate in a Pan-American. I decided to give priority to the horses that were currently competing. I set-up a race at a controlled speed in order to evaluate the state of each horse. Not only were the horses evaluated, I could also keep an eye on how the team worked with each other, how they trotted it, how they recovered, etc.

Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre The team.How does Federico Zubiaurre evaluate the result?

To my surprise, the result was very good, making me think whether the speed required in the test was correct. Because of this, I decided not to interfere with the training of the horses, just put things in their place.
I think there is no formula to achieve the four gold medals. It is simply the result of achieving the best combination of good horses and a good team. And of course, luck has to play on your side. I think the level of the race was very good with a great average speed.
A very emotional moment was when the national anthem was played and I saw my flag on the top.
There is not much difference between South American horses, it is more about the people.

 

I want to thank all who supported me unconditionally in the decision making.

Interview of Federico Zubiaurre made with the assistance of Lucia Olascoaga.

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Federico Zubiaurre; the trainer who made Uruguay win 6 medals in the 2017 Pan Am Championship

Back in 2002 Federico Zubiaurre went to the United Arab Emirates to learn how to train horses in the desert. Today he combines his experience in Raid, Endurance and Middle East Races.

His long experience and creditable performance in Slovakia gave him the opportunity to structure and train the National team in the last Pan Am Championship. The achievement: gold medal individual senior, gold medal senior team, gold medal individual junior, silver medal individual junior, bronze medal individual junior and gold medal junior team.

Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre. Talking.How did it all start for Federico Zubiaurre, 42 years old.

I started leisure riding from a very young age. My father and my aunt used to ride horses in Parque del Plata (Canelones), my older cousins also have horses. My grandfather (at mothers side) was race track horse trainer in Maroñas and until now my cousins work is related to horses.
My starting point with horse competition was in “pencas”, short horse races organized to raise money for the local school. After that I switched to Raid, 90km races organised every weekend in different small towns in Uruguay. I made the change because I loved to be around horses but I didn’t like the very short 10 minutes races. From then on I started this entire journey which is more than a profession, it is a way of living.
As a boy my parents did not want me to dedicate myself to this kind of job and they urged me to study. That’s why I started veterinary medicine, unfortunately I did not finish.

Why horses?

The truth is I have no idea. I can not remember making that decision, so I would say that it was born with me.

When came the switch to endurance for Federico Zubiaurre?

I started endurance since it arrived in Uruguay. I am a founding partner of the Uruguayan Association of Equestrian Enduro (AUDEE) like so many others whom are still in endurance, but only few people do even remember or know me. I started working in the United Arab Emirates in 2002 as a rider and after a short period I became trainer. I have always been working in the same stable with the same boss and friend.
Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre. Podium.The endurance was a result of the raid. Like many of us, we adapted everything we learned in the raid into the endurance, which gave us an advantage worldwide due to the years of experience that the raid has compared to the endurance.
I am in endurance because is the way to work on what I like. When we left Uruguay, we saw that we were paid to do what we all do it for free in Uruguay. Today the endurance is my source of income. And that’s how I understand it, as my work.
After the World Cup in Slovakia (last year), AUDEE made me a proposal to become trainer of the National Team for the 2017 Pan Am Championship. Few months afterwards, in December, the board of AUDEE decided that I would be the trainer.

How did the preparations for the Pan Am go?

The fact to pre-select the team was not so easy as a lot of horses did not meet the administrative requirements to participate in a Pan-American. I decided to give priority to the horses that were currently competing. I set-up a race at a controlled speed in order to evaluate the state of each horse. Not only were the horses evaluated, I could also keep an eye on how the team worked with each other, how they trotted it, how they recovered, etc.

Endurance World Federico Zubiaurre The team.How does Federico Zubiaurre evaluate the result?

To my surprise, the result was very good, making me think whether the speed required in the test was correct. Because of this, I decided not to interfere with the training of the horses, just put things in their place.
I think there is no formula to achieve the four gold medals. It is simply the result of achieving the best combination of good horses and a good team. And of course, luck has to play on your side. I think the level of the race was very good with a great average speed.
A very emotional moment was when the national anthem was played and I saw my flag on the top.
There is not much difference between South American horses, it is more about the people.

 

I want to thank all who supported me unconditionally in the decision making.

Interview of Federico Zubiaurre made with the assistance of Lucia Olascoaga.

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