Equestrian - Endurance - History Print
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Thursday, 04 January 2007 06:08

Equestrian - Endurance - History

Proud winner with horse  Equestrian - Endurance - History
Endurance will be introduced to the 15th Asian Games for the first time in Doha

Throughout history there have been long distance rides, transporting armies, passengers and mail. The Pony Express, for instance, achieved incredible long-distance speed records. The person who is accredited with creating modern competitive long-distance riding is Wendell Robie, an American breeder of Arabian horses. In 1955, Robie founded the Western States Trail Ride, which was a 100-mile, one-day ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California via an old Pony Express route.

Originally, completion of the race was the goal because it was a real achievement considering the altitude, terrain and weather extremes. In 1959, the Tevis Cup was awarded for the first time to the rider with the fastest time. The Haggin Cup has been awarded since 1964 to the rider finishing in the top ten with the horse in best condition. Endurance rides have sprung up all over the world since then, based on Robie's competition, and last years World Championships took place in Dubai.

In 2003 alone, 251 international competitions took place and the number continues to rise every year. The average number of riders per competition is 45.

Equestrian events have been on the Olympic programme since 1900, when jumping contests were held in Paris. They next appeared in Stockholm in 1912 and have been a part of the Olympic Games since. Hopes are high that endurance riding will be introduced to the Olympic programme in the near future.

The Asian Games embraced equestrian sport at the 9th Asian Games in Delhi, India in 1982 and has been a regular part of the Asian Games programme since the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan in 1994.