From L-R: Ringmaster Alan Keeley, Old Salem Farm Manager Alan Bietsch, Old Salem Farm Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Ralph Caristo, Holly Caristo, Heather Caristo-Williams, and Michael Morrissey of Morrissey Management Group. (Photo: Jump Media)
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.
The Federation was built on the backs of our members and staff working collaboratively. We all have great respect for our many breeds and disciplines and believe that we can pull together to get our sport on track despite the challenges we face. Our common interests of fair play, horse welfare... Read More
Join us Friday, January 15, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. for a Coaching Forum as part of the 2016 USEF Annual Meeting. As we work to enhance and grow equestrian sport, the Coaching Forum is intended to gather member input on the viability of developing a coaching pipeline for equestrian sport in the U.S.... Read More
The USEF Board of Directors recently approved a rule change, which expands the range of responsible parties for violations of the USEF's Drugs and Medications rules. Beginning December 1, 2015, the rule will include additional categories of individuals who are responsible and accountable parties,... Read More
Representatives from across the globe were in attendance, with a total of 59 starters and 11 teams in action. However Bahrain had the distinction of being the only country to have all five representatives finish successfully. Read More
"Today did not go as we hoped, but I can't be more proud of this team. They did everything that was asked of them, took care of each other, and most importantly, their equine athletes. What we learned during the selection process and our time in Chile will help us move forward and develop the... Read More
The four-loop course wound its way through the rolling countryside typical of the province of Verona, onto the shores of Lake Garda and into the stunning public park Parco Giardino Sigurta. The event attracted a field of 73 combinations from across Europe as well as the UAE, Turkey and Kuwait. Read More
Meg Sleeper, a veteran endurance competitor, notched another big victory while representing the United States at the recent CEI2* North American Endurance Team Challenge (NAETC). Sleeper, an Omega Alpha Ambassador, uses Omega Alpha natural equine supplements to keep all of her horses in top shape... Read More
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2015 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders & Juniors in Santo Domingo, Chile, October 23-24, 2015. The U.S. representatives will be led by USEF Chef d'Equipe... Read More