E-quest for glory
A rider from Warboys is aiming for international recognition in an unusual form of equestrianism. Along with her horse Paramal, Caroline Cherry, 29, is hoping to represent Britain in a discipline known as endurance riding. The sport involves covering long
A rider from Warboys is aiming for international recognition in an unusual form of equestrianism.
Along with her horse Paramal, Caroline Cherry, 29, is hoping to represent Britain in a discipline known as endurance riding.
The sport involves covering long distances - up to 100 miles in a day.
"When I first heard about the idea of endurance riding it sounded like my idea of hell," said Caroline.
"But as soon as I'd tried it for the first time I was hooked. I've always ridden horses and have worked in the racing industry, but this was a new way of enjoying riding and I began to get more and more serious about it."
Caroline took up endurance riding at a serious level in September 2006, competing in national team championships with Huntingdon & District Riding Club in 2006 and 2007.
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She is now competing at an advanced level in the British Development Squad, completing distances of up to 50 miles in a session.
Caroline said: "The secret of success is to adjust your riding, taking into account the conditions of the weather and the terrain to pace the horse accordingly."
Vets are on hand at 20 kilometre intervals to ensure the horses are fit to continue. Animals are checked for their heart rate and for signs of dehydration, and at the end of the race vets must deem the animal fit to complete another 10 per cent of the ride distance.
The ultimate goal for Caroline is to reach elite level and compete in the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, ideally on 12-year-old Paramal.
"I would love to go to Kentucky on Parry but he hasn't got many miles on his legs yet," Caroline said. "I am looking to build him up this year, starting with two 50-mile rides at Thetford next month."
Thanks to a sponsorship deal with Performance Endurance, Caroline is able to fund the equipment she needs to compete in the sport, but admits she is always on the lookout for additional support.
She said: "Endurance riding is the only self-financed sport in equestrian so any offers of help are more than welcome - from hard-wearing gloves to any farmers who might let me use the edge of their fields to practise on."
INFORMATION: For more on endurance riding visit www.endurancegb.co.uk or to sponsor Caroline contact The Hunts Post on 01480 411481.