Endurance is a competition to test the competitor’s ability to safely manage the stamina and fitness of the horse over an endurance course in a competition against the track, the distance, the climate, the terrain and the clock.Endurance is included in the World Equestrian Games every four years and has either a World or European Championships in every other year.
Against the clock, the one day competition, set over a distance of 160km with five stops for vets to check the horses’ fitness to continue. The competitor who finishes in the shortest time and passes the final vet inspection wins. Horses can be of any breeding but must be at least 8 years old.
It is completed in 6 phases, with 5 ‘vet gates’ where the horses stop and are inspected by a vet before being allowed to continue onto the next phase, including one at the finish.
At each gate there is a minimum amount of time the horse is held for, ranging from 30-50 minutes. The clock is still running when a horse arrives at the vet check and runs until the horse is presented to the vet. At each gate, the horse must be declared fit to continue.
The individual winner is the rider and horse who finish the race first and pass the final vet inspection. The team title is awarded to the team with the best combined times from the fastest three of the four team riders, who also must each have passed the final vet inspection.