Endurance, or Long Distance Riding, consists of a course where the purpose is to complete the course in the shortest time, with a horse in good condition. The horse’s condition is monitored regularly at the ‘vetgates’, to check whether the horse is fit to finish the course.
Competition and Scoring
The winner is the rider who finish in the fastest time, with a horse in good condition. Excessive fatigue, signs of lameness and other indications of problems are grounds for elimination.
Each competitor is given a map in advance showing the route of the course and the location of any compulsory halts or naturally occurring obstacles such as a ditch, steep, climb, descent or water crossing called hazards. Hazards are marked by red and white boundary flags and are left in their natural state as much as possible.
Riders are free to choose their own pace between the start and the finish of the competition. They may lead or follow their horses, but must be mounted crossing the starting line and the finish line.
International Shows are overseen by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). There are three levels for international rides from one star (80 km) to four star Championships (160 km), the highest level.
The sport is administered in Ireland by the Irish Long Distance Riding Association. To find out more about getting involved in Endurance at national level contact ILDRA.