Waitaki Saddles up for Longest Ride


​​Endurance rider

Waitaki District Council is proud to announce it will be the event naming sponsor of the prestigious 2020 National Endurance and CTR (Competitive Trail Riding) Championship. This is being held for the first time in Waitaki by the Waitaki Endurance & CTR Club in the stunning Nenthorn Valley, Macraes, over Easter weekend from April 10-12 with horse riding professionals from all over New Zealand and Australia competing for the national titles and prizes. There will also be a chance for those who have never ridden in an endurance or CTR event to take part with a 5k lead rein event for absolute beginners.

Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races up 160km (100 miles). It is one of the fastest growing Equestrian Sports in the world with over 70 participating nations worldwide. Endurance is one of the few sports where men and women can compete alongside each other, with equal opportunities, from introductory level right through to World Championship level. It is a sport for all. The whole family can compete together, with adults riding alongside children. The horse with the fastest ride time which meets the “fit to continue” criteria, determined by a veterinary panel, is the winner.

Horse Welfare is the highest priority in endurance. The horses are checked by registered veterinarians before a ride, throughout the ride, at predetermined checkpoints and on completion. If at any time the horse is judged to be unsound or metabolically unfit to continue it will be withdrawn from the ride and fail to qualify. Each ride has mandatory rest periods for the horses throughout the rides.

Waitaki Endurance & CTR Club Chair, Rachel Stocks said, “The National endurance event will cater for everyone. From a 5km lead rein for beginners and really young children up to 64km CTR and the ultimate 160km (100mile) endurance event, which competitors have up 16 hours in the saddle to complete this event. It is not only competitive against others but also a personal challenge, both physically and mentally. To complete is definitely to win!”

Waitaki Endurance and CTR Club is an incorporated society and part of Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ). The National Event is run under international (FEI) rules with officials travelling from as far as India and the UAE. The president of the club is local, Susie Latta, a previous 160km Nationals winner. Rachel Stocks, the President of the Nationals Organising Committee as well as club vice-president, is competing in her first ever 160km competition. As well as organising this prestigious event, Rachel has also been working her way through the endurance levels over the past two seasons with her horse and best friend, BTR Windsong.

Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher, was pleased to have the event in Waitaki. “This is a huge opportunity to hold the event here in Waitaki, and in one of the areas of the district which was developed on the back of the horses which were used to get locals around the huge runs, and from one place to another. The Macraes area is large and generally quite remote. Modern roads and transport make the distances

less of an issue today, but the endurance event will take riders back to the days when it was often a significant event to visit a neighbour.” The economic benefits of the event were also recognised. “Becoming a naming rights sponsor is a way for Council to not only support another wonderful group in our community, it is also recognising that the event will bring Waitaki national publicity and help with the local economy. It will be a fantastic event!”

The committee are still seeking further sponsorship and support for the event. Those wishing to register or find out more can email waitakiendurance@gmail.com​​.

Page reviewed: 26 Feb 2020 12:08pm