ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] rider qualifications & limited distance

[endurance] rider qualifications & limited distance

Nikki Ward (nikki@griffith.dwr.csiro.au)
Sun, 3 Sep 1995 22:00:17 -0700

>> I also REALLY liked their rules which require riders to
>> "qualify" in shorter distance, regulated speed rides before
>> allowing them to move up to the true "endurance" events. My
>> hosts said the lower level rides often have up to 200 riders!

does this mean riders don't have any sort of qualification procedure to go
through in the US? or elsewhere? has it ever been considered?

here in australia riders start out as "novice riders", and a novice rider
has their speed resticted by either having to stay behind a pace rider or
having a set minimum time they can finish the course in, whichever the ride
organisers choose. either method restricts the riders to 14km/hr or slower
(um, about 8.7 mile/hr?). to qualify as an "endurance rider" novices must
successfully complete two 40km (25mile) training rides, then two 80km
(50mile) rides. only after they have completed these rides are they allowed
to a) go faster and b) go in longer rides.

horses also have to qualify as "endurance horses". a "novice horse" must
successfully complete 240km (150miles) in rides of less than 100km
(62.5miles) each, with the same time restrictions as the novice riders.
novice horses also cannot compete in (enter, not complete) more than 4 rides
in 3 months (i think). after this they become endurance horses and the
restrictions are lifted.

training rides in australia are usually 40km (25miles) or 56km (35miles).
training rides are just that - there are no prizes other than completions.
no line honours, no best-conditioned horse awards. training rides do not
accrue points for the state/national pointscores, nor do they count towards
a horse or rider's distance. people enter them because they have to to get
out of novice, to introduce a new horse to the sport (but they DON'T count
towards a novice horse's km required to get out of novice), or to bring a
horse back after injury etc. occasionally people will enter for the fun of
it, but there is no "recognition" for a training ride so it's not that common.

a standard ride in australia is 80km (50miles) - these are the "bread and
butter" rides that keep the sport going, and yes, they are run fast. the
last ride i was at was won in under 3 hours (and the first-place horse also
took out the BC award). other rides are longer - the state and the tom
quilty (national) championship rides are 160km (100miles).

what are the rules/restrictions in other countries?

Nikki Ward Griffith NSW Australia