Explore the Isle of Wight on horseback during the “Ride the Wight” endurance festival

If exploring the countryside with your horse appeals to you, then don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Isle of Wight for a series of pleasure rides on 15-16 June.

“Ride the Wight” – an inaugural weekend festival of endurance riding – includes four pleasure rides, which are open to all.

Saturday’s pleasure rides range in length from 8km (5miles) to 25km (15miles), making them suitable for the average horse and rider as well as individuals planning to start affiliated endurance riding in the future.

On Sunday 16 June a 25km (15miles) pleasure ride will run alongside Endurance GB graded and set speed rides of 40km (25miles) for affiliated riders.

Starting from Chine Farm, Atherfield, the routes will follow many of the island’s historic bridleways and byways, including the Tennyson Trail, named after the infamous author Alfred Lord Tennyson, who lived on the island.

“The Isle of Wight is an ideal location for endurance rides as the island has masses of bridleways and byways,” says Julia Harman of Endurance GB. “This means roadwork can be kept to a minimum with the majority of the route on grassland, bridleways and through forestry commission, taking in some fabulous views and countryside.”

Stabling and accommodation is available on the island, while toilets, camping facilities and corralling areas are available at Chine Farm.

The organisers have set up special travel arrangements with Wightlink Ferries for the weekend. Return travel for a horsebox upto 8m in length costs around £40, while a car and trailer costs around £46. Travel is from either Portsmouth or Lymington. To take advantage of the special rates, quote RWC. Booking is strongly advised.

The pleasure rides on Saturday 15 June costs £5 to enter, with entries closing on 3 June.

For more information on the ride contact Karen Whittington (tel: 01983 551295) or to book a ferry place contact (tel: 0870 528 7744).

Ride the South Downs

A range of endurance riders will be taking place on the South Downs, starting from Plumpton racecourse, on 30 June. The rides include 77km and 45km graded rides, 45km and 34km set speed rides plus a 34km pleasure ride. For more details contact Nicola Cramond (tel: 01273 887690).

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