dimanche 19 avril 2009

Australia: New ride for Cooyal endurance event adds a social element



Due to popular demand a new equestrian event will be added to the Mudgee Endurance Ride program this year, which will be contested in the middle of May.

The new Mudgee Endurance Riders Association Inc (MERA) committee agreed to make a 20km ‘social ride’ for riders who wanted to participate in the event.

It is part of a transformation to the Mudgee Endurance Race because the weekend at the Cooyal Hall grounds is getting popular with riders and spectators every year.

The committee spokesperson Pat Dickinson said the social ride is open to anyone who has a reasonably fit horse, provided the horse is at least three years old.

The Mudgee Endurance Race is on the weekend of May 16 and 17.

Organisers say there will be plenty of awards and trophies on offer for competitors who perform well at the Cooyal Ride.

Start time for the social ride is expected to be from 1.30pm and riders are advised to get to the grounds before 11am because pre-race vetting needs to be carried out on the horses.

Riders competing in the social ride will have to ride for a minimum of two hours with a permitted maximum average speed of 10km per hour.

The course is easy and travels over gravel lanes, back roads and private property with two very short stretchers of tar.

Dickinson says there are no special requirements regarding gear or clothing except that an Australian Standard riding helmet must be worn - no bike helmets.

Entry fee is $20, which includes insurance and day membership.

For more information contact the committee secretary Mette Sutton after hours on 6372 4960.

mercredi 1 avril 2009

Great Britain: I'm a Long Distance Horse Rider


Press Packer Hannah, nine, loves horse riding and takes part in really long races.

Here's her report.

"I have had my New Forest pony, Maisy, for two years but I only started taking part in long races - called endurance riding - a year ago.

This year a big race was held in Milton Keynes city centre and we rode round the parks and bridleways in the city. We even had to ride under a roller coaster and past the concrete cows.

Endurance riding

Endurance riding is when you ride for long distances. I rode 20km, and the most you can do is 37km!

It's not as easy as just going as fast as you can. In my class you are aiming to do the whole course at an average of 10km per hour.

My Mum helps me measure places on the map and we work out the time it should take us to get there at 10km.

When you get back, vets take your ponies' heart rate. If it's over 64 beats per minute you fail the ride! Both the heart rate and speed are used to work out your points.

Any one can do it

Pony Club Endurance is open to any member over the age of eight who has a pony.

Any pony that is ridden a couple of times a week for about an hour can do the shorter rides with no trouble at all. No special equipment is needed.

We've done rides all over the place and camped at some of them which is great fun.

On the longer courses the riders and the ponies have to be cooled down with water so Mum and my brother meet us on the way round making it something everyone joins in with.

New friends

I have made lots of new friends doing endurance and not just in Pony Club. In July we are doing a ride in Windsor right in the Queen's back garden!

Heading off into the countryside on a fast hack having to read a map is really good fun and I would really like lots more children to come and have a go!"

Hannah, 9, London