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30 June 2011
AFTER five years of riding Endurance Woodroffe School sixth form pupil Dace Saunders, part of the British U21 squad, competed in her first international ride at Nottingham recently.
Endurance is not a widely known sport in Great Britain, it involves riding distances up to 160km in a day with intermittent vet gates to ensure the horse is fit and ready to continue.
However next year the Endurance World Championships are being held in Great Britain in conjunction with the Olympics which it is hoped will raise awareness of this demanding sport.
Competing on Ballota (Lottie) a pure bred Arabian, Dace explained: “I had entered the 90km FEI class and had spent the previous months training Lottie, this training seemed to pay off as before the first vet gat we had already acquired a lead of 15 minutes. The ride ended in success with a win, and an immense feeling of pride in Lottie”.
“This success gave me confidence for the second ride of the year at Euston Park near Thetford.
“This ride is notably one of the most prestigious in Europe, the highlight being the presence of The Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates competing in the event.
The 80km ride at Euston Park also included the British Young Rider Championships in which riders under 21 compete in to claim the title for the year.
“I have to say this ride was the most nerve racking and exciting I have ever done in my years of doing endurance..."
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