Endurance GB’s Maggie Maguire explains how the new rules will work during 2002

With the arrival of Endurance GB on 1 January, a new era dawned for endurance: one society, one set of rules.

According to Endurance GB’s rides committee member, Maggie Maguire, the nine-strong committee have tried to retain the best elements of each society by combining the different types of rides to try and keep all devotees happy.

Summary of changes

  • There is now a universal registration and progression for both horse and rider through the sport.
  • A computerised points system for all graded and endurance rides enables horses to accumulate points throughout their careers.
  • New levels – novice, intermediate and advanced – have been introduced to match those from other disciplines, making endurance easier to understand.

  • Endurance rides will conform to FEI rules, where possible, so riders face the same challenges at home as abroad. This includes listing rides in kms.
  • There will be four types of ride; pleasure rides, set speed rides (these replace the former bronze buckle and silver stirrup classes), graded rides of more than 30km and race rides.
  • Pulse parameters have been toughened up for endurance rides, but speed and pulse parameters have been made easier for graded rides.

  • Extra qualifiers have been introduced to ensure horse and rider have sufficient experience before they progress.

  • All non-race rides over 30 miles will be graded and every horse’s results will be registered on a computerised system at Stoneleigh, making everyone eligible for trophies.

What’s in and what’s out

Out go:

  • The Ridgway Test or Cardiac Recovery Index
  • Bronze buckle events and competitive trail rides
  • Long whips. Short sticks only are allowed. Spurs are still banned.

In comes:

  • A halfway hold at all rides over 35 miles.
  • Mobile phones, for use only in emergencies
  • Protective boots may at all competitions. Hoof boots may be allowed.
  • A crew is compulsory for rides over 40 miles and strongly advised for all rides.