Rule changes at Endurance GB Annual General Meeting cement bid to grow the sport

Endurance GB’s Annual General Meeting held at Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa on Saturday, 27 November 2021 saw some key changes to Endurance GB's rule book approved by the membership...

Rule changes at Endurance GB Annual General Meeting cement bid to grow the sport

Rule changes at Endurance GB Annual General Meeting cement bid to grow the sport 

  • Minimum speed for all open/advanced Graded Endurance Rides was reduced from 10kph to 9kph  
  • Compulsory midway vetgate to be introduced at all rides over 46km to strengthen horse welfare 
  • Three new board appointees announced each dedicated to supporting existing board in building Endurance GB participation and membership  

Endurance GB’s Annual General Meeting held at Woodland Grange in Leamington Spa on Saturday, 27 November 2021 saw some key changes to Endurance GB's rule book approved by the membership: 

    • The minimum speed for all open/advanced Graded Endurance Rides was reduced from 10kph to 9kph, and ride organisers were also given the ability to apply to the Endurance GB Board to lower their minimum speed further on a ride-by-ride basis. This will make more challenging courses a more attractive prospect to riders. It will also allow riders to better prepare their horses for longer distances by following the old adage: increase distance before speed 
    • There will be a compulsory midway vetgate in all rides over 46km, strengthening horse welfare and making longer rides more attractive to riders attempting a longer distance for the first time  
    • Riders who retire at a midway vetgate following a successful vetting will be able to claim a completion and grading for the distance that they have ridden up to that point. This will encourage people to have a go at longer distances  
    • 1st-3rd 'Performance Formula' placings will be offered for all Graded Endurance Rides alongside the existing grading awards, giving an additional competitive challenge for riders 
    • Some of the championship rules and eligibility criteria were amended and clarified. The minimum distance for the Young Rider National Championship was reduced from 120km to 80km, putting it within reach of a wider range of young riders 
    • Some minor amendments have been made to the Para-Equestrian Endurance rules to simplify the administrative process for Para-Equestrian riders.  

Operations Director Esther Young said: "These are exciting changes which will increase our appeal in the wider equestrian community and will make progression both to higher distances and to more challenging courses far more attractive whilst keeping horse welfare at our heart. We have a full season planned for 2022 with distances from 5km to 160km and we are very much looking forwards to welcoming all levels of riders to our events. Endurance riding really is a sport that has something for everyone."   

Three new Board Directors have been appointed.  

Shelley Bates, who is an Army Officer, succeeds Rosemary Henderson as Director of Groups and has responsibility for Endurance GB’s Office.  

Shelley warmly welcomed the changes to the rules being introduced as part of a strategy to grow the sport. She said: “I am excited by the opportunities that the rule changes bring this year; the membership are clearly keen to pull together and help Endurance GB become an attractive proposition to current and future members. We need to carry on that momentum, continue sharing good ideas and maintain open communications between the Board and the membership. I am truly honoured to be on the Board where I hope to represent a wide range of views and I will do my best to support and grow the sport we all love.” 

Shelley has been a member of Endurance GB since 2012, having finally followed a girlhood dream to own an Arabian horse and have a go at endurance riding (after reading about it in Pony Magazine!).  

Shelley explains: “My riding journey has had its ups and downs but I’ve enjoyed the constant learning curve and more importantly met some fantastic horses and people along the way. I threw myself in at the deep end pretty quickly, training as a Technical Steward and running (or assisting with) rides from PRs to FEI. I love nothing more than seeing happy people returning from a ride that I’ve had involvement in.  

“In taking over the Office and Groups role on the Board, I hope that my experience both in my full-time career as an Army Officer and in my role on the South East Group committee will stand me in good stead to carry on the excellent work of Rosemary Henderson and help me to support both elements moving forwards.  

Heather Giles succeeds Kerry Dawson as Director of PR and Communications.  

Heather has worked as PR and Marketing Manager at Hilton Herbs for 21 years and been an endurance rider for over 30 years. Her introduction to the sport came in 1987 when she was living in France and where she competed nationally and internationally for 15 years. Since returning to the UK she has taken several horses from Novice to Advanced level for their owners and has ridden major rides such as Golden Horseshoe and Red Dragon. She has also crewed extensively both in the UK and abroad. 

Heather said: “My many years in endurance gives me, I believe, the ability to understand and empathise with riders at both the top and the bottom of the pyramid. I’ve been a ride organiser and a volunteer both with Endurance GB and British Eventing and I’m very keen on nurturing and rewarding our volunteers who are indispensable to the sport. I would also like to help take endurance riding to a wider audience and raise its profile in the equestrian world. 

“It’s clear that we need to grow the membership for our sport to survive and I’d like to think I can be a part of this journey. I’m articulate, proactive and opinionated but discreet at all times. I’m approachable and happy to talk to anyone about the sport that we’re all passionate about.” 

Heather lives in Dorset with her husband, David, and retired greyhound Olive and in her spare time she enjoys long-distance walking, reading, and cooking. Her new pony project is a British Sport Pony called Swift who she is hoping to introduce to pleasure rides in 2022. 

Accountant Louise McCann joins the board as Governance Director and Company Secretary. Louise became a member of Endurance GB in February 2020 and completed two 40km Novice rides before Covid-19 hit. 

Louise explains: “Sadly, I have been unable to compete since then, but am very much looking forward to the 2022 season and will be an active rider and supporter wherever possible. My goal is to ride for Wales and complete a 160km ride. 

Louise has run her own Accountancy Practice for the past twenty years and has both extensive business and director experience. 

She said: ““I’m passionate about raising the profile of Endurance GB particularly here in North Wales. I would love to work with Sports Wales to encourage Grass Roots involvement and be able to setup rides locally as we have some beautiful and challenging landscape. I would like the sport to be more accessible for riders and supporters and to help encourage new members to join. 

“I look forward to working together with the Board and the Members in building on and improving the future of the sport.” 

Louise is married with two young boys and the family lives on a sheep and beef farm on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey.  

Following the end of Claire Barry’s year-long secondment to the Board as Sponsorship Director, Phil Nunnerley will now take on responsibility for Sponsorship alongside the role of Chair.