This year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride on Exmoor (12-14 May) is to become a ‘festival of endurance’.

In addition to a new invitation class for para riders, in which para riders will be accompanied by an experienced Exmoor endurance competitor, there will be three other new endurance tests:

  • The Exmoor Extra: 120kms split into three rides of 40km each day, for advanced level horse and rider combinations.
  • The Exmoor 40: a 40km ride for combinations competing at open or above.
  • The Exmoor Novice: a 40km ride for novice horses and riders, with slower completion speeds.

“The paralympics last year proved the determination and ability of para riders and we saw no reason why they should not be given their chance of Exmoor as well,” said Golden Horseshoe organiser Barbara Wigley.

These classes are in addition to the regular two-day Exmoor Stag class over 80kms and 40kms routes, the 80kms one-day Exmoor 80 and the popular Exmoor Experience class, where two 40kms-a-day rides are designed to give riders and horses a taste of competition over the very testing Exmoor terrain.

There will also be the Horseshoe Team Challenge, in which groups of three or four riders competing in any of the classes come together with the best three results to count.

And if all of the above sound a bit too challenging, the first ride of the three-day annual festival will be a 25kms sponsored pleasure ride.

“The Golden Horseshoe Ride has always been viewed as one of the highlights of the endurance season,” said Barbara.

“What we have attempted to do this year is to turn it into a festival of endurance by widening the choice of challenges available and make it available to everyone.”

Visit www.goldenhorseshoe-ride.co.uk for more information.