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.
Germany’s Sabrina Arnold (37) claimed her first major individual Championship win as she and Tarzibus were crowned FEI European Endurance Champions 2017 in Brussels (BEL) today, but it was the Spanish that took team gold when their top finishers claimed individual silver and bronze. Read More
In preparation for the FEI World Equestrian GamesTM Tryon 2018 (FEI WEG), Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) held the first Chefs de Mission meeting. Leaders from fifteen National Federations attended the meeting to discuss event logistics, travel, hospitality, lodging, and spo Read More
"It was a very tough day”, Punti Dachs said. “There were magnificent horses in front of me, but endurance sometimes happens like this. You do everything right and then something goes wrong. It’s like life.” In a day of weather that changed as often as the ride leaders, Spain’s Jaume Punti Dachs... Read More
A record 46 nations will contest the Longines FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 today (17 September), with the world’s top Endurance athletes already on-site at Slovakia’s state-of-the-art Šamorín Equestrian Centre, brain-child of Slovakian businessman Mario Hoffmann. “We have the best... 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
For those of us who are headed to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy this last week is the final stepping stone. While media and spectators are packing their bags, riders and horses competing in the first week are prepping for their journey to France. On Sunday, August 10th,... Read More
Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Endurance Team. Additionally, four horse-and-athlete combinations have been named as alternates. The following horse-and-athlete... Read More