Endurance in the South East 2004

An Introduction to Endurance in the South East

What is endurance?

Endurance Riding is a fun and friendly sport open to anyone with a horse and a sense of adventure! It allows you to ride through beautiful countryside, and creates a bond with your horse due to the hours spent in the saddle. The prime objective of the discipline is the fitness and welfare of your horse at all times, and the friendly atmosphere in which it all happens.

Rides take place all over the country, and here in the South East we have some of the best! Ride distances start as low as 16km (10 miles) and go as high as 160km (100 miles)

Who can do it?

Anyone can do endurance riding and you don’t need any special equipment or particular breed or type of horse to get started. Pleasure Rides are open to non-members of the governing body, Endurance GB and are usually of distances between 16km and 32km (10 to 20 miles). The route must be completed at 8km/hr minimum and 12km/hr maximum speed, and your horse needs to be trotted up sound before and after the ride, but no pulse rates are taken. The next step is competitive rides, known as Graded or Set Speed Rides and are of distances between 30 and 80km (20 – 50 miles). Your horse will be vetted before and after the ride, and should trot up sound with a pulse of 64bpm or below. For graded rides, penalties are given for ‘lumps and bumps’ and this will determine the grade awarded.

This year, non-members may take part in up to two 32km Set Speed Rides, as part of the new ‘try before you buy’ scheme. Further details can be found on the EGB website. (www.endurancegb.co.uk)

Where can you do it?

The South East Group of EGB is host to 12 competitive rides this year with a wide range of distances and terrain to suit everyone. The Tilford Ride near Farnham in Surrey took place on the 7th March and was a great success. With over 90% of riders completing their chosen distance successfully, there was also a high number of horses achieving Grade 1, despite an unexpected hailstorm which made crewing a challenge! The route was a varied and well-marked one with beautiful views from the top of some of the more demanding hills and long sandy tracks perfect for cantering. If you missed it this year, be sure to mark it in your diary for next year!

The Primrose Ride is held on the 21st March this year and usually brings with it the warmer weather of spring. Held at Chartham, near Canterbury, the Pleasure Ride class is sponsored and raises much needed funds for the Cobbes Meadow branch of the RDA, who generously allow us to use their facilities as our venue for the day.

Easter weekend brings with it the Balanced Horse Feeds Easter Ride at Goodwood on Saturday the 10th April. Set in the heart of the South Downs, this is a challenging but rewarding ride with steep climbs interspersed with good sandy tracks.

Another South East ride well worth attending is the two-day Ride the Wight on the 17th & 18th April. As its name suggests, this ride takes place on the Isle of Wight and is a must for anyone with an adventurous spirit! Starting from Dinosaur Farm, the route is a hilly one with the most glorious scenery. The horses seem unfazed by the ferry crossing, which has been reduced in price for the occasion. (Contact organiser for details.) With pleasure rides on both days as well as the longer competitive rides, why not treat yourself and your horse to a weekend away?

Taking us into May is another two-day ride, Berkshire Downs on the 1st & 2nd May. Combining a varied selection of graded and set speed distances with the first race rides of the season, this ride is always an exciting one for competitors and spectators alike. Help is always needed at the rides and is a great to way to gain experience and make new friends! So why not contact one of the names below to offer your services or to enter a ride and try a new sport this year!

Endurance GB 02476 698863 email: enquiries@endurancegb.co.uk

South East Group (Liz Walton) 01304 369811 email: lizwalton@madasafish.com



If you would like to have an article included in this section then please send your article to editor@arabianlines.com


© Arabian Lines 2002 - 2004  All Rights Reserved