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Endurance is a long-distance competition against the clock testing the speed and endurance of a horse and challenging the rider over their effective use of pace, thorough knowledge of their horse’s capabilities and ability to cross all kinds of terrain. Although the rides are timed, the emphasis is on finishing in good condition rather than coming in first.
Endurance started as a sport in the United States, where the US cavalry tested its horses on a five-day, 300-mile (483km) ride, with each horse carrying over 200lbs (91kg). It did not become a competitive sport until the 1950s, when Wendell Robie traced the Pony Express route from Nevada to California in under 24 hours.
Each rider must safely manage the stamina and fitness of their horse and each course is divided into phases – in principle at least every 40km – with a compulsory halt for a veterinary inspection, or ‘vet gate’, after each. Each horse must be presented for inspection within a set time of reaching each ‘vet gate’, which determines whether it is fit to continue.
Arabian horses dominate the Endurance discipline though the most successful rider to date is Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton on her French-born gelding Nobby.
The premier Endurance rides are the FEI World Equestrian Games™, staged every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle; the FEI World Endurance Championships, held in every Olympic year; and the biannual FEI European Endurance Championships.
Normandy, FRA, - One hundred and sixty-five horse-and-rider combinations, representing 42 nations, set off on the five-loop, 160 km endurance race across the coast of Sartilly, FRA on August 28. With unfavourable weather conditions the trails turned to mud trenches sinking a foot deep causing... Read More
It was hard to decide if we had arrived at a new era in Endurance in that they got more stringent with the rules or if it was the rainy weather that caused so much attrition to the order. In fact, any country who finished with three riders or more had truly accomplished a feat at these Games. Of... Read More
Endurance will see an impressive number of starters for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, beating all previous records by almost 10% when the 160-kilometre ride gets underway on Thursday 28 August. The competition takes place in Sartilly, just over 100 kilometres from the... Read More
On Thursday 28 August 2014 at 7am, over 170 riders under the flags of 48 nations will compete in the official Endurance event (35 teams and 13 riders competing individually, with the latest entry figures likely to evolve). Read More