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Home arrow Equestrian arrow Endurance riding arrow What is Endurance Riding?

What is Endurance Riding? Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 January 2009

Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long distance races. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale) . There are endurance rides worldwide.

endurance spirit
There are two main types of long distance riding, competitive trail riding and endurance rides. In an endurance ride, the winning horse is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping periodically to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and "fit to continue."  The ride is a competition against the clock. The horse that finishes the course in the shortest time will, in general, be classified as the winner: whatever the order and rules for starting, each competitor carries out the whole competition as if he/she were alone and competing against the clock.
Competitive trail rides are shorter, and factors other than speed are considered, horses may not come in under or over a certain time, and veterinary checks, rider behaviour and other elements play a role in the placings.
Like so many sports, endurance riding has its roots in history, when exploration and war dictated that horses and riders should cover long distances quickly, and there are legendary tales of outstanding feats of fitness and endurance. As a sport, it is relatively new, having started in Australia and the USA before spreading to Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.

Endurance rides start with the non-competitive 'pleasure' or fun ride - over courses of five to fifteen miles. Anyone can enter and you ride at your own pace, usually receiving a rosette for completing the ride.
Competition events start at around 15 miles and the toughest rides can be over 100 miles or more. Horses and riders must be very fit and sound, and Arab horses have proved their superiority for this discipline. With increasing popularity, endurance riding is fast becoming a spectator sport too, with courses planned to include suitable and easily accessible viewing areas.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 January 2009 )
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