Welcome to Endurance

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.

Latest Department Updates

  • 11 Apr 2016
    Endurance - Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2016 - Re-opening of the bid process
    Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2016 - Re-opening of the bid process
    The Longines FEI World Endurance Championship 2016 was originally scheduled to take place from 10-17 December 2016 at the Dubai Equestrian Club (DEC).
    By decision of the FEI Bureau, the bid process will re-open to find a replacement venue outside the UAE for the Championship. 
    It is expected that the Championship will now take place in September or October, so the qualifying period will be moved back by two months and results starting from September/October 2014, instead of December 2014, will now count for qualification.
    The schedule of the new bid is as follows:
    18 April: Re-opening of the bid. 
    18 May: Deadline to submit applications.
    14 June: Bureau decision.
    The qualification criteria can be found here.
  • 8 Apr 2016
    Endurance - Allocation of 2018 and 2019 Endurance Championships

    The following Endurance Championships  were allocated for 2018-2019 by the FEI Bureau:


     FEI World Breeding Endurance Championship for Young Horses, Samorin (SVK), September, 22 September
     FEI European Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, San Rossore (ITA), 13-16 September
     FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, San Rossore (ITA), dates TBC September
     FEI World Breeding Endurance Championship for Young Horses, San Rossore (ITA), dates TBC September
  • 8 Apr 2016
    Endurance - UAE National Federation update/FEI World Endurance Championships
    UAE National Federation update/FEI World Endurance Championships 
    The FEI Bureau acknowledged the efforts that have been made by the United Arab Emirates National Federation (UAE NF) in Endurance since the reinstatement of the National Federation in July 2015. However, despite the hard work and progress to date, the FEI Bureau is of the opinion that the UAE NF is not currently in a position to guarantee that horse welfare would be fully protected at an FEI World Endurance Championship in the UAE this year. 
    As a result, the Bureau decided to remove the FEI World Endurance Championships 2016 from the UAE. The Championships, which were scheduled to take place from 10-17 December 2016 at the Dubai International Equestrian Centre (DEC), were originally allocated to the EEF by the Bureau in December 2014. 
    The bid process will now be reopened to find a replacement venue outside the UAE for the Championships. The deadline for receipt of bids is 18 May and the allocation to a new host will be made during the Bureau teleconference on 14 June. It is expected that the Championships will now take place in September or October, so the qualifying period will be moved back by two months and results starting from October 2014, instead of December 2014, will now count for qualification. Please find here the detail for qualifications.  
    At the same time, there was also unanimous agreement among the Bureau Members that rule breaches are absolutely unacceptable and that the FEI must work even more closely with the UAE NF to guarantee the National Federation’s full implementation of FEI Rules and Regulations as well as on the July 2015 agreement which will guarantee the welfare of the horse in National and International events. Additionally, and until further notice, the FEI will not sanction any events organised by the DEC.


  • 1 Apr 2016
    Endurance - FEI Coach Education Programme
    In the framework of the FEI Coach Education programme, which was initiated in 2003, the first course for Endurance Tutors was organised in Istanbul, Turkey, on 16-22 March 2016. 
    A total of five Tutors selected by the Endurance Committee gathered for an intense seven days of preparation and education. The Tutors were experts in the discipline of Endurance: Valerie Kanavy (USA), Penny Toft (AUS), Natalya Dolgikh (KAZ), Shanie Bosch-Fourie (NAM) and Brian Dunn (IRL).  
    Liam Moggan from Coaching Ireland, led this group of Tutors during the seven-day course. He has been a pillar in the development of the Coach Education Programme of the FEI and has been in called upon to educate Tutors in Jumping, Dressage, Eventing, Vaulting and now Endurance. 
    The first three days of the session were dedicated to the introduction of the Coach Education System and methodology of the adult learning process. The Turkish National Federation is currently looking at ways to develop the discipline of Endurance in the country, and on an International level offered to host a Pilot course for coaches as part of the Tutors’ session.
    During the 4 days that followed, ten National coaches took part in a pilot course which gave the Tutors the opportunity to put into practice the methodology learned over the previous days.
    With Endurance being the FEI’s second largest discipline after Jumping in terms of the number of competitions staged annually, it was only a matter of time before the discipline joined the FEI Coach Education programme. 
    The FEI Endurance Department, in collaboration with the FEI Solidarity Department with a group of experts composed of Roderick Fisher (GBR), Ignasi Casas Vaque (ESP) and Bénédicte Emond (FRA), worked on the content of the course in terms of technical specificities of the discipline, designing the content of the Level 1 course for coaches, following the model of the programme which aims to provide coaches with the ability to prepare riders for the first level of competition (in this case CEI1*), emphasizing skills, developing participation and ensuring enjoyment.
    Further information on the FEI Coach Education Programme can be found here: http://www.fei.org/fei/your-role/coach-education
    The FEI Solidarity Department and FEI Endurance Department would like to thank all of the people involved in the creation of the FEI Coach Education Endurance module and extend a special thank you to the Turkish National Federation for hosting the Tutors course and the Pilot course.
  • 22 Feb 2016
    Endurance - Horse Document Management
    Dear National Federations,
    Following the communication you received on the 19th November regarding Horse Document Management, we are pleased to inform you that this new interface is now live on the FEI Database.
    When a new FEI Passport or FEI Recognition Card is issued, or any modification is made to an existing FEI document, the FEI Database will request that the necessary documents are uploaded before the horse in question can be entered for a FEI event. The reason behind this procedure is that, in order to preserve the integrity of our sport, it is most important to have the copy of horses identification documents in the FEI Database.
    Further information and details on the necessary pages that need to be uploaded in certain situations can be found here.
    Your National Federation Members in charge of FEI horse documents have been contacted with the necessary information and links to online guidelines.
    If you have any questions regarding this important development, please do not hesitate to contact us: passport@fei.org
  • 19 Feb 2016
    Endurance - FEI insurance coverage for FEI Officials
    Dear National Federations,
    Please be advised that the summary of the current insurance coverage for FEI officials or any other person acting in an official capacity on behalf of the FEI, specifically appointed and sent by the FEI to an event or a meeting, is available under following link:
    This information will be updated if changes in insurance coverage occur.
  • 15 Feb 2016
    Endurance - FEI and EEF agree Endurance measures for 2016 season

    Please find here after the press release link about the measures between FEI and EEF for 2016 season:



  • 12 Feb 2016
    Endurance - 12 February statement - Endurance in UAE
    The FEI has received from the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF) their proposed list of measures to be implemented at CEIs, and importantly at CENs, for the remainder of the current season. 
    As explained on 5 February (see below), the EEF proactively postponed four Endurance events to urgently address a number of serious issues in Endurance and have since come up with appropriate measures to prevent future incidents. The EEF have taken bold decisions to protect the welfare of the horse, and we will continue to work together to ensure progress. 
    The measures received include, but are not limited to, heart rate reduction, recovery time, resting periods between loops, cars and crewing. The proposal also includes further measures for the UAE’s upcoming season, such as a new registration and qualifications system for trainers as well as a grooms’ registration programme.
    An important meeting will take place tomorrow (13 February) between the FEI and EEF, when the exact details on the measures will be finalised and communicated via a press release. 
    The CEI 3* 160km HH The President of UAE Endurance Cup will take place tomorrow (13 February) in Al Wathba, Abu Dhabi, as originally included in the FEI Calendar. A number of new measures will be implemented at the Event, such as presentation times and heart rate reduction. Our Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello will be present at tomorrow’s event.
    The FEI is standing firm on its position and will continue to focus efforts on introducing strong measures in Endurance in the UAE, working with the EEF. 
    The EEF are fully aware of what it is in the balance. The FEI is working with the EEF to overcome these challenges and is confident that agreed upon measures will have a deep impact on the sport in the region long term. 
    The FEI is pleased with the manner in which the EEF have swiftly addressed the issues. The actions proposed also go beyond the discussions held between both parties, and the FEI looks forward to finalising the exact details with the EEF. 
    The FEI will continue to keep its National Federations and equestrian community stakeholders aware of the current situation.
  • 5 Feb 2016
    Endurance - My FEI Guide

    We are delighted to announce that a new guide to the FEI has been published on the website.

    In this new digital publication aptly named MyFEIGuide you will find all kinds of relevant links and information about FEI Governance, the Rules and Regulations, the database, and the list goes on…


  • 5 Feb 2016
    Endurance - Endurance in the UAE
    The FEI is extremely concerned about recent Endurance competition images emerging from the UAE. 
    You have probably seen that our Endurance Director Manuel Bandeira de Mello has been quoted in the media stating that it is abundantly clear that speed is a major factor in these incidents and that it is necessary to introduce measures to slow down the horses in order to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries. We are working on this as a matter of urgency with the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF).
    Following meetings between the FEI and the Emirates Equestrian Federation (EEF), both in Switzerland and the UAE over the past week, the EEF has postponed four Endurance events so that agreement can be reached on proposed measures to urgently address a number of serious issues in Endurance in the region. The CEI1* in Dubai on 8 February has been postponed, along with national events on 4, 5 and 6 February. 
    The FEI has set a deadline of 11 February for the EEF to come back with an agreement on the proposed measures. No further events will be held in the region until agreement on these measures has been reached.
    In addition, The EEF has taken further action, suspending five riders and five trainers for a six-month period and also imposing fines following what they termed “gross offences” at the junior and young rider 120km ride at Al Wathba on 30 January (see attached EEF press release).
    We have very stringent rules and values which place the horse and the welfare of the horse above and beyond any sporting ambitions and are working tirelessly to ensure that these values are upheld at both international and national level competitions. Although the FEI does not have jurisdiction over national events, we are absolutely against all forms of equine abuse.
    We have made some progress in recent times but clearly there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the welfare of the horse in sport globally. This will not happen overnight. Changing perceptions and practices requires not only sanctions but also education and dialogue. We are doing this and we will continue to do so. 
    Please rest assured that we are committed and dedicated to eradicating horse abuse in competition.