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There is no point in setting off quickly, you have to manage the race as a whole according to your horse's fatigue. Endurance is based first and foremost on RESPECT for the horse. Veterinary inspections therefore take place before, during and after the event. They are used to check the heart rate, respiratory rate, mucous membrane colour, dehydration and the gait of the trot. Horses may be eliminated at each inspection if they present any physical weaknesses.

One of the characteristics of the event is the presence of a support team for the riders. These teams, which are essential for the well-being of the horse, can be found at support points planned by the organiser of the race. "Armed" with buckets and bottles of water, the team will give the horse a drink and shower them with water to help prevent dehydration. Joining a competition support team is a great way to experience this sport from the inside if you are not familiar with it. You will discover a world where competition rhymes with "helping one another" and "enjoyment".

For riding long distances, it is important that the rider feels comfortable in their clothes and that the horse's equipment is as comfortable and lightweight as possible. The rider wears hiking or trekking shoes, trainers or boots and their helmet needs to be light and ventilated.

For the horse, a synthetic halter-bridle is recommended. It has the advantage of combining the bridle and the halter which can be easily separated for veterinary checks, which is a real time-saver. From 120 km (up to 140 km), the horse must carry a minimum weight of 70 kg (weight of the rider and the saddle). The rider may therefore have to ride with weights or use a weighted saddle pad. There are special endurance saddles that make this possible. If you have any further questions on endurance riding, do not hesitate to consult the current regulations on the French Equestrian Federation website.

Which horse for endurance racing?

There is no race or model that excels in endurance riding. A good endurance horse should have a long, slender neck, a weight-bearing back, good legs and a good ability to move. However, from 90 km, 80% of horses are purebred Arabian or half-Arabian and 15% are Anglo-Arabian or Thoroughbreds. In general, the horses are not very large, they measure between 14.1 h and 15.3 h maximum.

Catherine, sales assistant at Decathlon Beauvais, regularly practises endurance riding and is happy to be able to give you an insight into this discipline.

A few words from Catherine: "What I like most about endurance riding is that it is about having respect for the horse, the special bond that you have with your horse, the team spirit during race with the support crew and the discovery of new regions and landscapes."

Catherine's competition results

My results:
- 3 times 2nd place over 90 km
- 2nd place in the CEI * 90 km in Sommant (Bourgogne)
- 1st place over 90 km at the Picardie Regional Championships in 2010
- 1st place over 60 km in Compiègne (Oise) in 2006
- 1st place over 20 km in Bréviaires (Yvelines) in 2008
- 3rd place over 160 km in Rambouillet in 2009
- 5th place as part of a team at the Sponsors Trophy in Compiègne (Oise) over 130 km in 2009
- 6th place in Huelgoat (Brittany) over 130 km in 2009
- 11th place at the French Championships in Corlay (Brittany) in 2010
- 14th place in Argentan (Orne) in 2007

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