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.
Following stakeholder consultation and a recommendation from the FEI Endurance Calendar Task Force, the FEI Board has approved the following resolutions with regards to the FEI Endurance World Championship scheduled for 22 May 2021 in Pisa (ITA), having been postponed from its original date of 6 September 2020 due to Covid-19.
These resolutions are based on a decision to maintain the Championship on 22 May 2021 following a request by the Italian National Federation and the Organiser to postpone the Championship due to the uncertain evolution of Covid-19 and the impact of EHV-1 in Europe particularly. Although two alternative dates were proposed - 10 July 2021 and 25 September 2021 - the FEI Endurance Calendar Task Force unanimously agreed to recommend to the Board to maintain the initial date of 22 May 2021 for the Championship subject to the conditions above that would provide National Federations more opportunities to select their best and most fit combinations.
The Endurance Calendar Task Force also highlighted to the FEI Board that the new proposed dates would have an impact on the FEI Endurance Pan American Championship for Seniors & Young Riders from 28 – 29 July 2021; the FEI Endurance European Championship from 6 to 11 September; and the FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Horses from 15 to 19 September.
In addition, they noted there were a total of 44 qualified NFs, with 584 qualified combinations from all FEI Regional Groups for the Championship and moving the Championship to July or September 2021 would require National Federations to adapt their planned selection process and adjust their training programmes, as well as repercussions on available horsepower for the different Championships mentioned above.
As is customary, these resolutions will be included on the FEI Covid-19 Resolutions & Decisions hub for Endurance.
The FEI Education & Officials Department have recently published explainer videos for the major FEI Endurance 2021 Rules Changes.
These videos are mainly aimed at Officials and Athletes who are required to be up-to-date with the different rules. For the wider audience these videos will serve a rather informative purpose, providing a deeper understanding of our sport. The goal of these short videos is to highlight the most impactful rule changes and their rationale in each discipline, as well as more general regulations including the Equine Anti-Doping Controlled Medication Regulations and the Anti-Doping Rules for Human Athletes which underwent a full review in 2020.
Here are the direct links to the below listed videos on FEI Campus by clicking on the relevant name:
The schedule for the 2021 Longines FEI Endurance World Championship to be held in Pisa San Rossore (ITA) next 21-21 May 2021 is now published.
please click here.
Dr Margaret (Meg) Sleeper (USA) has been appointed as the Endurance Athlete Representative to replace Tarek Taher (KSA). Dr Sleeper will be a member of both the Athletes and Endurance Committees until the next elections in 2022. She will also take on the role of Athlete Representative on the Endurance Calendar Task Force.
Following the resignation of Tarek Taher in September 2020, the FEI Board agreed to wait until the election of the new Endurance Chair at the FEI General Assembly 2020 prior to reviewing the ad-interim appointment of the Endurance Athlete Representative.
Subsequently, at its 19 January 2021 online meeting, and due to the lack of a replacement mechanism for Athletes Representatives in the FEI Rules & Regulations, the FEI Board appointed Dr Sleeper, the Candidate that received the second highest number of votes in the 2018 elections for the Endurance Athlete Representative.
Dr Brian Sheahan (AUS), former Chair of the FEI Endurance Committee, passed away peacefully on 25 January in his hometown of Samford, Queensland in northeastern Australia. The FEI Honorary Board Member, who was a highly respected veterinarian and a well-loved figure in the international Endurance community, was 69.
He joined the FEI Endurance Committee as a member in 2008, taking over the Chair in 2012 until 2018, during which time he was a member of the FEI Board. He was highly respected for his work with the Endurance Strategic Planning Group and the Endurance Task Force.
The FEI extends its sincere condolences to Dr Sheahan’s wife Christeen, children and grandchildren, to the Australian Equestrian Federation and the global equestrian community.
The FEI In Memoriam for Dr Sheahan can be read here.
As you are all aware, the full set of FEI Endurance Rules approved during the 2019 FEI General Assembly in Moscow (RUS) came into effect on 1 July 2020. This includes the new system in place for the appointment of FEI Endurance CEI3* Officials. For CEIs with 20 entries or less, the FEI will consult with the OC to appoint Officials. For CEIs with more than 20 entries, Officials will be appointed in accordance with the tables provided in Annex 6 of the FEI Endurance Rules.
The selection process for FEI Officials at CEI3* events, together with the full list of concerned events, can all be found here.
The list of events will be updated every time there is an addition, modification or cancellation in the FEI Calendar.
The FEI Board’s decision on 24 September 2020 to suspend the United Arab Emirates National Federation for breaches of FEI Rules has resulted in a number of enquiries.
In order to provide clarity to our community, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) portal that provides guidance on the many practical consequences, not only for the UAE NF, but for other NFs, their Athletes, Owners, Trainers, Officials and Organisers. The FAQs also include an explanation on the status of UAE NF events as Unsanctioned Events.
Please find here after the qualification criteria for the 2021 Longines FEI Endurance World Championship, to be held in Pisa San Rossore (ITA).
The qualification period has been amended, including the 9 months extension due to COVID-19 as agreed by an FEI Board resolution.
As previously advised (NF News, 6 May 2020), the FEI Board has approved the recommendation of the Endurance Temporary Committee not to extend the application of the Endurance Rules 10th Edition (“Transitional Rulebook”) and to go ahead with the implementation of the new Endurance Rules, 11th Edition, on 1 July 2020, as approved by the General Assembly 2019.
In order to clarify some of the new regulations, an explanatory document (leaflet format) has been created and can be found here.
The Endurance rule leaflet can be printed from our website and/or order to the FEI for your use and communication.
A Hyposensitivity Control System has been developed by the FEI in partnership with Dr Schambourg. This Control System has started to be implemented in 2020, in FEI Endurance rides. The objective of this Control System is to ensure the welfare of horses by protecting them from having severe injuries due to low sensitivity of their limbs. In 2019, the FEI has trained a pool of 12 FEI Official Veterinarians to perform the control. This explanatory video will give you an insight of the FEI Hyposensitivity Control System.
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