Endurance is a long-distance competition against the clocktesting the speed and endurance of a horse and challenging the rider over their effective use of pace, thorough knowledge of their horse’s capabilities and ability to cross all kinds of terrain. Although the rides are timed, the emphasis is on finishing in good condition rather than coming in first.
Endurance started as a sport in the United States, where the US cavalry tested its horses on a five-day, 300-mile (483km) ride, with each horse carrying over 200lbs (91kg). It did not become a competitive sport until the 1950s, when Wendell Robie traced the Pony Express route from Nevada to California in under 24 hours.
Each rider must safely manage the stamina and fitness of their horse and each course is divided into phases – in principle at least every 40km – with a compulsory halt for a veterinary inspection, or ‘vet gate’, after each. Each horse must be presented for inspection within a set time of reaching each ‘vet gate’, which determines whether it is fit to continue.
Arabian horses dominate the Endurance discipline though the most successful rider to date is Spain’s Maria Alvarez Ponton on her French-born gelding Nobby.
The premier Endurance rides are the FEI World Equestrian Games™, staged every four years in the middle of the Olympic cycle; the FEI World Endurance Championships, held in every Olympic year; and the biannual FEI European Endurance Championships.
Welcome to the first edition Endurance Update (EU)!
The goal of the EU is to improve communications within the FEI Endurance fraternity by discussing the issues that the discipline faces, explaining rule changes and the reason for such changes and answering questions from athletes and officials on matters relating to the conduct of the competition.
Any questions from any member of the Endurance fraternity are welcome and should be addressed to our sport’s director, Manuel Bandeira De Mello. Read More
FEI Endurance Technical Committee
It is my privilege to introduce you to “Endurance Updates”.
“Endurance Updates” existed already on the FEI website www.fei.org in the Endurance discipline page; it has now been restructured in order to serve as a “tool” for the Endurance family, including the Officials, Athletes, Trainers, Organisers, Owners and Endurance fans all around the world.
There will be regular updates informing, clarifying and explaining what is going on in Endurance at the FEI. This will include the decisions of the FEI Endurance Technical Committee, the subjects that may need extra clarification, and explaining the reasons for the decisions and the reasons for the clarifications.
The process for the Endurance Rules Revision has just started: it is our intention to inform you, as well as to clarify and to explain the reasons behind them and why we are proposing the changes.
As this will be a live “tool”, whenever the need arises there will be an update.
It’s our aim to serve the Endurance community the best way we can and provide you with a transparent service, so should you have any comments or feedback, please do contact the FEI Endurance Department at the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
With kind regards,
Manuel Bandeira de Mello
FEI Endurance Director