Going the Distance With Dengie
The Sport Endurance ride at Blidworth Forest took place on the 4th and 5th of July, with Dengie sponsoring a number of classes. Around 200 combinations, made up of both competitive and pleasure riders and their horses, took part in the ride, which was run over private farmland and forestry commission woodland.
“Sport Endurance is to Endurance GB what Trailblazers is to British Showjumping or British Dressage,” said rider Liz Benwell. “It’s all about encouraging people to have a go and try something new with their horse, even if they aren’t competitive. At Blidworth, we had everything from lead-rein riders doing a two mile route to people competing over forty miles.”
Dengie were sponsoring the Next Step class on both days, with riders from 1st to 6th place receiving Dengie goodie bags and feed vouchers. Next Step is designed to allow riders to get a taste of endurance riding without upgrading to a competitive membership – it is open to all pleasure riders who have not previously competed in a twenty mile ride. There is a speed limit of 8mph and the ride is normally run over 15 miles.
However, after only two riders completed the Next Step course without error on the Saturday, the decision was made to donate the leftover prizes to those doing twenty and forty mile competitive rides. These are divided into two categories – free speed (FS), where there are no upper speed restrictions, and limited speed (LS), where riders have to stay below 10mph. Both categories have a minimum speed of 6mph. It is not necessarily the fastest horse to cross the line that wins – instead, points are awarded depending on the ratio between speed and heart rates at the vet inspections that precede and follow the race.
“We are so grateful to Dengie for their sponsorship yet again and the winners were delighted with their prizes,” enthused Liz. “Endurance riders are very switched on to the benefits of fibre feeding, so Dengie were the perfect partners for this event.”
Saturday 4th July
1st Nikki Freeman and J. J. Bready (pictured below)
2nd Margaret Allison and Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sunday 5th July
1st Gary Tidy and Archie (pictured below)
2nd Sarah Reece and Ice
3rd Sam Watton and April
4th Pam Chiddey and Shalina
5th Emily Bratby and Holly
6th Deanna Waitland and Fudge
Jess Smith and Flash – winners of the 40FS on Saturday
Kathryn Ellis and Talavary Mystic (aka Meg) – winners of the 20FS on Saturday
Lucy Sanderson and Bob – winners of the 20LS on the Saturday
Marie Russell and Equinox – winners of the 20FS on the Sunday
Photos courtsey of Indie Pics (Ruth Saunby)