Endurance GB has bowed to pressure from its members to retain the format of Exmoor’s Golden Horseshoe Ride after uproar about plans to abandon the now-traditional top-class two-day 100-mile ride.
EGB chairman Wendy Dunham told Horse & Hound that she and rides committee chairman Margaret McKiddie had been lobbied hard by members after plans were announced to curtail the 100-mile challenge in favour of a 75-mile top class.
The move had been in response to dwindling entries: last year just nine riders attempted the 100-mile event while there were 50 starters in shorter events.
McKiddie had told organisers that the cost of running the two-day 100-mile class was prohibitive. So serious was the threat to EGB’s finances that the rides committee is thought to have considered cancelling the event.
One member complained: “To hear that one of the pinnacles of endurance riding is in danger of being devalued on commercial grounds is indefensible.”
The original Golden Horseshoe Ride covered just 50 miles. In its heyday, the main class, which was run over 75 miles — until it increased to 100 miles in 1986 — attracted fields of 100-plus.
But Dunham warned: “People must understand this is now a ‘use it or lose it’ situation. We can’t run a class with so few entries.”