Getting started in endurance

  • Riders who are interested in finding out more about the sport of endurance, or those who are planning to make the step up from pleasure rides to competitions this season, should make a beeline for Chertsey in Surrey this Saturday (29 January).

    The South East Endurance Group of Endurance GB is holding a pre-season “introduction to endurance” day at Chertsey Hall in Chertsey, Surrey, which is just 5min from Junction 11 of the M25, to help newcomers to the sport find out exactly what is involved.

    “Endurance is a sport which anyone who has a horse, saddle and bridle can take part in and enjoy,” explains event organiser Su Middleton, who is keen to dispel the misconception that endurance riders spend their lives galloping around the countryside. “You don’t have to have any special equipment and you don’t have to ride an Arab.”

    The day will include talks about various aspects of the sport ranging from pre-season preparation and training to feeding, map reading and the vetting procedure from experts who will be on hand to answer questions.

    “Visitors will also get the chance to meet and chat to endurance riders who compete at all levels. The sport is extremely friendly with more experienced competitors always happy to offer a helping hand or friendly word of advice to novice riders,” continues Su.

    The South East group of Endurance GB has a full programme of training and pleasure rides planned to help introduce new members to the sport, which begins in February.

    “Our 10 mile training rides are an ideal way for riders to try endurance riding in a non-competitive environment. People will be on hand to offer advice and the horses will under go a simple pre- and post-ride vetting to check their fitness and ensure their welfare.”

    Equine welfare is at the heart of this sport, and Sue believes getting involved in endurance riding at any level can benefit all horse and rider partnerships, by expanding a rider’s understanding of their horse.

    “The sport of endurance can add another dimension to riding for those individuals who enjoy simply hacking around their local area,” she explains. “Endurance riding gives people the opportunity to ride in fantastic countryside around Britain, as well as encouraging them to think about their horse’s well-being through pre-season training and appropriate feeding for the work which is being done.”

    The newcomers day begins at 10am and entry costs £10 for adults, and £7.50 for under 12’s. Refreshments will be available. For further details contact Su Middleton (tel: 07789 900555) or Maggie Pattinson (tel: 07980 653457).

    Further information about the sport of endurance visit: www.endurancegb.co.uk

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