Monday, March 12, 2012

Great Britain: Endurance rides get under way ahead of first competition - Full Article

Friday, March 09, 2012
Western Morning News

The new season of pleasure rides organised by the South West Group of Endurance Great Britain (GB) have now started.

Open to both members and non-members, these rides cover routes from ten miles up to 18 miles over a variety of terrain. For members, they are an opportunity to gauge the fitness of horses and ponies before the first competitive ride of the season. For non-members, they are a chance to experience an endurance ride and to enjoy riding across new and exciting countryside.

There was sunshine and a brisk wind for the first two rides, the first on Dartmoor from a venue at Okehampton and the second in Cornwall, around Cardinham Woods.

The Okehampton ride had a new venue this year, from the car park at Meldon Quarry, used with permission of the Okehampton Hamlets Parish Council. Some 30-plus horses and riders enjoyed a challenging route across north Dartmoor.

From the venue, the horses and riders headed up tracks on to the moor at Langstone Hill before riding down to Meldon reservoir and crossing the dam. The route then took them along the West Devon Way to Sourton Tors and the long canter up the grassy slope to the top of the ridge. From here the route carried on across Coombe Down, below Great Nodden, and on to the turning point at Nodden Gate.

On the way back, there was an alterative fast loop up towards Okehampton Camp, for those horses and riders who still had some energy left after the steep canter up Langstone Hill...

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