Endurance is coming home to Britain
BEDMAX has been supporting the Endurance GB Northumberland & Tyneside Group for almost as long as we have been making our shavings (which is 12 years). We offer a BEDMAX Trophy for the Group's 4 For The North series, and this year we're delighted to congratulate Carolyn Cummings and her horse Peterbrook Sunset Surprise for carrying off the BEDMAX award.
Carolyn has accumulated more points than anyone else in her four best rides out of the 10 rides that the Northumberland & Tyneside Group holds at 48km or more during the year. This competition is open to any Endurance GB or SERC member from anywhere in the UK, so this is some achievement for the Lancashire Group rider and her bay mare, whose stable name is Carly.
Endurance riding is a fast-growing sport in the UK, and later this year it should receive a huge and well-deserved boost. On Saturday 25 August, just a few days after the equestrian competitions finish at the Olympics, the 2012 FEI World Endurance Championships will be held at Euston Park, near Newmarket.
If you live anywhere near this amazing venue we recommend you go and see what this sport is all about. If you have any vague ideas that Endurance riding is a stroll in the park, this will radically alter them. The top competitors from the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Britain will be required to ride 160 kms (100 miles) in under 12 hours, with regular veterinary checks to monitor their horse's fitness, heart rates and recovery rates. (Last year we think the winner completed in just over seven hours, which means an average of 22 kph over that time, but we may have got that wrong.)
And at the end of 100 miles, it might all come down to a 100 metre sprint for the line to decide the winner. It gets that exciting.
However, the real skill in this sport lies in getting your horse absolutely pin fit for long distance endurance, and then pacing your ride so that you cover the ground as fast as possible without endangering your horse's well-being. At the top of the sport both parts of that equation are as complex and sophisticated as they are in any other form of equestrian sport at the top level.
We will be posting more about this, how it works, and about the extraordinary horses who can carry a rider 100 miles in less than 10 hours - often in very high temperatures - and still impress the vet at the end of it.
In the meantime, we would also like to highlight the fact that Endurance riding is something that EVERYBODY can enjoy at all levels from FUN rides right up to the international marathons like the World Championships.
If you would like to find out more about endurance riding try these links: