Endurance Riding is one of the newest and perhaps the fastest growing branch of equestrianism. Although organised endurance rides were held in the US as early as the mid- 1800s, the modern sport of endurance riding really began in the in 1955 when the Tevis Cup, a one day 100 mile ride from Squaw Valley, Nevada to Auburn California, was first run. Other rides followed and the first national endurance riding association, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972.
Although endurance rides are often hotly contested, at every level of endurance the welfare of the horse is paramount, with the strictest veterinary checks of all horse sports, and awards for best condition often being regarding as important as wining. For many people the unofficial motto of the sport 'To finish is to win' sums up the satisfaction they feel bringing their horse home sound and healthy
The Endurance Horse
In general a good endurance horse will have a balanced conformation, a relatively light build, a strong back and excellent feet. Most importantly the horse's temperament must suit the rider - 100 miles is a long way if you can't work as a team!
'Classic' Endurance Rides
Tevis Cup (USA)
Summer Solstice (UK)
Golden Horseshoe (UK)
All photographs are kindly provided by Peter Orr, specialist endurance photographer.
Please click here for further examples of Peter's work.
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Updated: October 2005.