Scottish Endurance Riding Championships 2010

Date posted: 19th July 2010

While searching through the internet one evening looking for shows to take my horses to I came across a link to the Scottish endurance riding club (SERC) and noticed an event taking place at Scone palace which is not far from us at all. I have had a number of people asking me over the last few years about the suitability of friesian horses for endurance, although I see no reason why a Friesian could not be used for endurance riding I could not say that I knew of any as I had never taken an interest in this sport. I read through the SERC website and thought this may be the perfect opportunity to give it a go as the Scottish championships were to be held from the 16 and 18th July at Scone palace.

As I was completely new to this I decided to do the non competitive ride on the friday which I believe was 21k. I rode Oscar and we were joined by my mother riding her mare Silke, Kirsty Moore who rode our 8 year old mare Iris and Roland Holmes who rode his own Friesian mare Sarina, bought from Friesians Scotland two years ago. We were all looking forward to the ride, three of us had no experience of endurance/pleasure rides but our fourth rider Kirsty kept us right. Kirstys usual mount is a 13.2hh Icelandic pony and so our 16hh Friesian mare Iris was quite a big difference in height and the length of stride took some getting used to but the pair got along very well together. I have to say the whole experience was great, all four of us really enjoyed the ride and most importantly so did the horses which makes such a big difference. Obviously we had spent time getting the horses fit before the ride but I had thought they would all begin to tire by the end but all of them managed really well and Im sure they could have gone twice the distance. They all enjoyed the change of scenery which was lovely, we rode through fields, a forest, along paths and only had to go a very short distance along the road.

After our introduction to endurance in the form of the pleasure ride I can confidently say that Friesian horses are perfectly capable of taking part. I fully intend to do more pleasure rides and quite probably do some competitive rides too as it was just such good fun with none of the usual stress which comes along with being at competitions and it also allows you to ride in areas where you have never previously ridden along carefully thought out routes. I would recommend this to anyone!

Pictures were taken by Robert Kilpatrick www.robkil.co.uk

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