Thursday, July 13, 2023

Distance Horse Racing: The Best-Conditioned Horse Wins - Full Article

Jane Meggitt, Correspondent
July 13 2023

Are you a passionate trail rider who wants to expand your equine journey? Consider competitive trail riding or endurance riding. These competitions can take you on the adventure of a lifetime while forming the deepest bond with your horse.

Competitive trail riding (CTR) competitions take place over a specified distance and must be completed within a specified time. At the completion of the ride, horses are judged by a veterinarian and a “lay” judge on their condition. The best-conditioned horse wins.

Endurance competitions are sanctioned through the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and unlike CTR, endurance is a race. Here’s how it works:

There is a specified distance and trail and, based on the number of miles, there is a time limit to complete it. Throughout the ride, there are rest stops where veterinarians check each horse. A horse must be deemed fit to continue. At completion, the horse must again be examined by a veterinarian and be fit to place and/or win. Even though the endurance ride is a race, completion is a win. The motto of AERC is “To Finish is to Win.”

In both CTR and endurance, the welfare of the horse is of the utmost importance. The veterinary judges at all the competitions make every effort to assist riders and their horses to complete their rides with happy, healthy horses. Endurance Enthusiasts

Wendy Mancini of Wall, New Jersey, has been competing in endurance rides for 22 years after “getting hooked” from her first 25-mile CTR at Brendan Byrne State Forest in New Lisbon, New Jersey. She competed with Jimmy, a registered Quarter Horse, for more than 10 years and over 5,000 miles. Endurance kept Jimmy in good shape — he retired at the age of 30. Currently, she competes with a gray Arabian/Quarter Horse named Sterling, whom she chose specifically for endurance...

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