Para Endurance

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What is Para-Equestrian Endurance Rider membership?

Offering distances from 1km to the ultimate 160km in a day with Endurance GB, we are here to help you achieve your competitive ambitions. 

In partnership with Riding for the Disabled, we have developed a pathway which allows you, the rider, to train and ride on your own terms and at whatever level you choose to compete at, by providing you with the additional support you need at all stages of your personal journey. 

With Riding for the Disabled now having 100 centres offering endurance riding distances from 1km-15km giving you a great way to get a taste of our exciting discipline, Endurance GB then takes over the reins to provide you with low distance pleasure rides through our Local Groups structure ranging in distance from 5km-34km and with no minimum speeds required; we just ask that you get back to the venue by the latest time given by the ride organiser. You can then move on to graded and competitive endurance rides where you can benefit from reasonable adjustments to the Endurance GB rules to help you to compete on equal terms with your fellow competitors.

Improving Confidence and Mobility Workshop - 

10am – 4pm Sunday 10th February 2019


    TO BE HELD AT Risley Memorial Hall, 111 Derby Road, Derby DE72 3SS

    

    CLICK HERE for full details and access to download a booking form!


 

  We are also delighted to say that RDA Endurance will be back at the Riding for the Disabled National Championships from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July 2019 at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire; there will be a 'Have a Go' session over 1km and 2km distances and other events celebrating the RDA’s 50th Anniversary.  We hope to see you there!


Specialist Equipment

When you apply to be a Para-Endurance Rider, you will be signposted to our Para Registration Committee – this group of experienced Endurance volunteers will have an informal chat with you about your personal needs and look at what other adjustments might need to be made to best support you in riding with us.  Once that discussion has been held, the Para Registration Committee will contact the Endurance GB office with details of your specific, personalised requirements and the office will then issue you with your Para-Equestrian Endurance Rider card and team bibs – one for yourself as rider (P), one for your crew (C) and one for your escort (E - if one is deemed necessary).

Then all you need to do is find an event near you, enter and come and enjoy the freedom of the trail with your horse.

Please don’t worry that we might not be able to accommodate your needs, riders with all types of disability (including those traditionally regarded as “unclassifiable”) can apply for registration.  We’re here to help you achieve your dreams in any way we can.


Para-Endurance Ambassadors

Our Torq Fitness National Para-Endurance League Champion, Tracy Thompson, has competed in endurance for over 20 years and in 1998 she was shortlisted for the Endurance World Championships in Dubai.  Just a few days after the team was announced, she was involved in an accident on the family farm and a spinal injury left her paralysed from the waist down. 

“I had a very good surgeon and I started to get some feeling back in my legs.  I spent a lot of time at the Spinal Injury Centre at Pinderfield doing physio and rehabilitation”, explains Tracy, whose aim was to get back in the saddle.  “I went home 5 weeks after the accident and my husband borrowed a quiet pony, hoiked me out of my wheelchair and led me round on the pony for half an hour.  That was a real high point”, she says.  “My next aim was to take part in a ride and my first proper outing was in 2000 when I was allowed to participate in the Golden Oldies class at the Golden Horseshoe Ride.  Sally Hall volunteered to ride with me to do the gates which can be a problem as I cannot get off and on again without assistance.  But the endurance world is very friendly and even in a race, people will help out”.  Luckily, Tracy can ride on her own now, but she recognises the effort that is required for disabled riders to compete.  “Every endurance rider has a support crew, but mine are even more invaluable.  At vet gates my husband has to literally lift me off the horse and then he takes over.  I am more of a hindrance until they get me back on to continue the ride”, she explains. 

 “The camaraderie in endurance riding comes from spending several hours riding with fellow competitors during an event, whereas in dressage or jumping you rarely ride together.    Endurance is also a sport in which you can take part on a horse of any shape or size, which means that disabled riders can compete on the most suitable horse for them.  Para-Endurance riding is wonderful and I hope that many more disabled riders will be encouraged to enjoy the challenge of this unique sport”, added Tracy.

Bryony Parsler, our Reserve National Para-League Champion, started participating in endurance with EGB in 2010. She is an Open level rider who has ridden up to 64km and competes regularly with both EGB and the Pony Club. In 2018 she mainly competed at novice level with her young Arab as it was his first competitive season. They were placed in the top 6 for the Kings Cup; were 3rd individually in the Pony Club Open Championships; and were presented with the Master Saddlers Best Para Rider award at the EGB Novice National Championships.

Bryony has a number of learning difficulties, as well as having some minor co-ordination issues associated with this. Among other things she cannot read the ride map whilst riding, which is one of the reasons she almost always has an escort rider. Bryony says that “Organisation skills are something I find very difficult so I rely a lot on my family to help make sure I have everything with me for the ride and am ready and where I need to be on time (including at the start!).  I also have an assistance dog who helps me to cope with stressful situations and new places or people; the event organisers have all been really good about making adjustments and allowing her access.”

“ My horse Binky is very special, when my pony became too old to compete it took several years for us to find a horse with the right temperament for me. I have problems with balance and symmetricality. A lot of horses really don’t like my wobbles and legs flapping even though they might not be very obvious to someone just seeing me ride past. He also has to be calm and patient with me when I have a panic attack. But I don’t want my disabilities to stop me from competing so my horse has to be really talented too – a very difficult combination to find!”

 

Julies G R Parker, who rides with our Offa’s Dyke Group, is awaiting a double lung transplant and needs to ride with an O2 cylinder.  Julies rides with an adapted oxygen rucksack attached to her saddle which has a quick release system in place should Julies fall off.  Her wonderful mare Maisey was taught to ride with the O2 with all its sounds and noises; she is very sweet tempered and very well behaved.

Becka Northover uses a Specialized saddle on her horse as this sits her well and doesn’t interfere with her leg spasms which she supports with joint strapping and braces. Becka also uses Kvall stirrups to help stabilise her legs and rides with an “Oh Crap Strap!” which is attached to the D rings on the front of her saddle as this helps with her balance. 

Becka gets around the venues on her mobility scooter and, competing on an Appaloosa x TB, an Anglo and 2 giant ex racehorses, uses extra high folding steps to get on and off.

Tanya Manser, from our Iceni Group, has competed a 16hh Irish Draft x, a 13.3 Fjord, a 15.1 Arab x Connemara (to FEI 2*), and a 15.2 Arab (to FEI 1* and 103 km nationally).

Tanya uses standard tack with caged stirrups, plus sheepskin fluffies on a breastplate (for help mounting with one arm) and ladder or bar reins (Tanya prefers bar reins). Tanya also rides mainly bitless.

To find out more about Para-Equestrian Endurance Riding with Endurance GB, please contact the Alex Tennant at alextennant@endurancegb.co.uk

To find out more about Endurance riding with the Riding for the Disabled, contact Lucy Stokes on 01926 476307 or by emailing Lucy at lstokes@rda.org.uk