Responding to recent news that FEI is considering changing the format for World Endurance Championship competition from a 1-Day 160 km Race, to a 2-Day 200 km Race, Endurance.Net would like to offer the following comments:
1) A 2-Day format will make it possible to hold WEC's on more challenging and technical courses. Over the last two decades WEC courses have become flatter and less challenging. This is primarily due to the desire to make it more practical for spectators, staff and organizers. A traditional 24 hour 1-Day 160 km ride such as Tevis, Florac or Quilty, does not fit in the desired time frame for a 'friendly' championship event. By holding the championship over a 2 day period, organizers can choose more difficult and technical trails, and still meet the goal of a spectator friendly event. This will reduce the difficulties organizers face both in practical and logistical terms.
2) Horse and rider teams will be challenged in a different way - and ultimately we believe there will be fewer injuries and metabolic collapses. Horses will have at least 12 hours to rest and rehydrate between the first and second days.
3) Though speeds might be faster over an 100km course, given the current speeds displayed over 160km WEC courses, this will probably not be a profound change, especially if courses have more technical difficulty. The benefit from a period of rest, energy replenishment and hydration for both horse and rider will out-weigh the dangers from greater course speeds.
4) Multi-day rides have become a common occurrence, particularly in the Western United States. This is an enjoyable and challenging format and it would benefit the sport world-wide if more Nations adopted this style of riding.
We support this proposal.
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