A Guide to competing in your first Endurance/CTR Ride
After you have vetted and tacked up, head over to the start line just before your preallocated time. You will generally ride out in pairs at five minute intervals. Hand your day vet card or logbook to the starter. You must be mounted to cross the start and finish lines.
In CTR, the goal is to complete the marked course as close to the optimum time as possible. One penalty point will be added to your score for every minute over the optimum time, and two penalty points for every minute under time. You are not allowed to weave, zig zag, or halt to waste time and your horse must keep moving forward at all times unless they need a toilet stop, drink, or tack adjustment. You may dismount on course, but must be mounted from the control area, which is generally a few hundred metres from the finish line.
When you cross the finish line, you will be asked to dismount and your horses’ heartrate will be taken immediately. Collect your day vet card or logbook (If it isn’t at the finish line then it will be given to you when you go to the vet ring.) You then have up to 30 minutes to untack, cool your horse down, and then present to the vet with your vet card where the horses heart rate (HR) will be taken again and you will have to trot them up to check for lameness. If your horse’s heartrate is over 64 BPM, or you are late to the vet ring you will be eliminated.
Your across the line HR, final HR, and time penalties will be added together, with the lowest score winning.
After you have vetted and tacked up, head over to the start line just before your class pre-set start time (the starter will already have your day vet card). The class will usually head out together when the starter says ‘go’; however if you prefer you are allowed to hang back and start up to 15 minutes later.
For novice horses, there is a minimum and maximum riding time set by the technical delegate, and you must come within those times or face elimination. The time is generous and you should make it easily with a mix of walking and trotting, and perhaps the occasional canter.
You are allowed to stop and dismount on course whenever you want, however you must be mounted when you cross the start and finish lines. Your riding time stops the moment you cross the finish line for single loop classes.
You then have up to 30 minutes to untack, cool your horse down, and then re-present to the vet where your horse’s heartrate must be 64 BPM or less. If your horse’s heartrate drops quickly, you are allowed to call ‘time’ at the vet ring as soon as you wish as it doesn’t matter how low they go. However if you take more than 30 minutes to call ‘time’ you will be eliminated.
There are no placings for novice horses and riders, but you will receive a qualification and certificate and possibly a qualification ribbon as well, and the satisfaction of successfully completing the ride, fit, healthy and happy.