Endurance GB has launched a #GoEnduranceGB campaign to enable riders interested in competitive long-distance riding to have a go at a graded level competition before becoming a full member.
This ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme is open to those who are new to endurance riding and allows them to enter a novice graded endurance ride up to 40km (just under 25 miles).
These miles also count towards a #Hack1000Miles challenger’s tally.
As part of the promotion, finishers will receive a £10 Endurance GB voucher and club membership is free for riding club teams, as well as retraining of racehorses, Pony Club and Riding for the Disabled members.
The move comes following a post-lockdown surge in grassroots entries. The number of registered supporters with Endurance GB has increased by more than 75% to 3,724 in total, compared to 2,078 at the end of 2019 — the last full season before the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are delighted to be launching our new scheme to tap into the real surge in enthusiasm we are seeing this year and support riders aiming to move from grassroots pleasure rides into the mainstream of the sport,” said Endurance GB’s chair, Phil Nunnerley.
“#GoEnduranceGB offers a unique opportunity for riders who have tried pleasure rides over the shorter distances as well as those completely new to the sport to experience an endurance ride at the next ‘affiliated’ level before signing up for full membership.”
The scheme allows a supporter or an associate member to pay a day’s membership fee and compete in a graded endurance ride and experience what speed must be achieved and how their horse copes with the distance. It is limited to two rides per rider.
Mental and physical benefits
“There are mental and physical health benefits to getting out in open space,” added Phil.
“The benefits and enjoyment for both horse and rider from the challenge of taking part in endurance are being recognised, as we have seen rising demand and record entries after the latest lockdown and we are looking forward to offering a warm welcome for faces coming into the sport.”
Riders who complete the graded ride receive a rosette and a grade is given based on the speed achieved and the horse’s pulse rate at the final inspection.
“Demand has been huge so far this season and we really feel endurance is poised to move forward this year,” said Endurance GB’s director of operations Esther Young.
“During the first lockdown, vets involved in the sport were reporting an increase in the number of newcomers having horses vetted for long distance riding and pleasure rides, and this has fed through into the dramatic increase in membership at supporter level.
“By initiating this campaign we are working to support endurance riders at all levels in championing a sport firmly focussed on horsemanship, health, fitness with high veterinary, care and welfare values.”
How it works
A #GoEnduranceGB entry can be only made online and the rider must not have previously been a member of Endurance GB or competed in a graded ride before.
No trophy points will be accumulated and progression towards novice qualification cannot be gained from the scheme.
Signing up as a supporter and horse registration is free. Find out more here.
Photo credit: Endurance GB/Kerry Dawson