Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Endurance Riding: Endurance Riding North America’s fastest-growing equestrian sport is truly a family affair

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

by Judy Andrekson

What is a dream vacation for endurance racing veteran Carol Wadey and her family? Traveling with three horses over 5,000 miles in three weeks to race together on 250 miles of some of the most spectacular trails in Canada and the United States. Sticking closer to home, but enjoying equally beautiful scenery and camaraderie, Mavis Holroyd and her 14-year-old son, Scott, have ridden as a team for the past seven years and have formed an unbreakable bond while racing over 1,000 miles of Alberta’s endurance trails. Between them, these two families have raced over 4,000 miles, regionally, nationally and internationally, and it has been mostly just for fun.

Endurance racing is one of the world’s fastest growing equestrian sports, and with all it has to offer, there is little doubt why. It is an ‘anybody’ sport – there are no age limits, no breed restrictions, no dress code (except for approved helmets for juniors), and no special tack is required. It is becoming very popular as a family sport. It is challenging and exciting, but serious accidents are rare, trails are usually well marked and easy to follow, and it is one of the only equestrian sports that is strictly monitored by veterinarians – the horse’s well-being comes first at all times. Riders of all ages learn excellent horsemanship skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship as they test themselves and their tough mounts against 25, 50, and even 100 miles of rugged trail. Surprisingly, even the youngest of riders quickly become hooked on this challenging sport, making it a perfect family affair.

For ten-year-old Rae-Anne Wadey and her seven-year-old sister, Robyn, endurance racing has always been a part of their lives...

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