Open Level

Open Level Horses:

The minimum age for a horse to take part in a Graded Endurance Ride (GER) at Open Level is 6 years.  The age of a horse is deemed to change on 1st January of the current year irrespective of the actual birth date during that year.

A first season horse, which has completed qualification to Open, may not start GERs exceeding a total distance of 450km during that season.  

Rides available to Open Horse/Rider combinations are GERs of up to 90km in one day or a maximum of 130km over two consecutive days. The rides should be ridden at speeds between 10-18kph.

However, an Open Level horse/rider combination may, if they wish enter a Novice class.  When an Open level horse and rider enter a Novice class this must be indicated clearly at the top of the vet sheet prior to presenting for vetting.  Failure to do so may result in the horse being classified as Open/Advanced. If an Open level horse enters a novice class then it will not receive grading points – only distance points will be awarded. 
The speed parameters in a Novice class are 8-15kph.  If entering a Pleasure Ride (PR) the speed parameters are 8-12kph.

Minimum Requirements for 

Open Level Horse or Rider to Progress to Advanced 

Minimum age of horse

Ride Types

Minimum No of Successful Completions







At least one must be 80km in one day


  • Riders require the same series of ride qualifications to upgrade.
  • Horses may not compete in National CERs (Competitive Endurance Rides) until they are 7 years old and at Advanced Level and must not be first season horses.
  • Competitors may choose to compete at or below the qualification level of the horse and rider combination.  For example, an Open Level rider with a Novice Level horse may only compete at Novice Level, whereas an Advanced Level rider with an Advanced Level horse may compete at Novice, Open or Advanced.
  • Horses competing in their first season may not start more than 10 rides and may only start rides to a maximum distance of 450kms, whether or not the rides are completed successfully. (A horse is considered to have started a ride once presented to the pre-ride vetting.) 

Upgrading of horse or rider is not mandatory once qualification criteria have been fulfilled, but riders or horses may not enter rides above their registered level, regardless of the level of experience attained.

  • The Technical Steward may upgrade the horse or rider on the day of the ride if requested by the rider/registered owner.
  • The Mastercard will be used to upgrade the horse.
  • In circumstances where a horse and/or rider complete the necessary qualification in order to enable them to upgrade, but have not been formally upgraded by a TS, and they then compete in a class necessitates that they have upgraded, the horse and/or rider shall be automatically upgraded by the Results Co-ordinator.  The Results Co-ordinator shall send notice to this effect.
  • If a horse or rider qualifies for the next level at a multi day event they may compete in one further class at that event at the next level.  Exceptions being First Season horses who have already reached the maximum 450km distance allowed for the year.

 Grading System

The grading system in GERs is designed to reward horse fitness and good horsemanship.

Horses passing the final vetting shall be awarded a Grade based on the horse’s finishing heart rate which shall be taken over a full 60 seconds.  Grading Parameters will apply.

 Download 30-55km grading chart (pdf) Download 30-55km grading chart (Excel Spreadsheet)

 Download 56km and above grading chart (pdf) Download 56km and above grading chart (Excel Spreadsheet)


 Open level horses/ponies ridden by seniors are eligible for the Royal Lord Trophy – donated by Lesley Caswell.

This trophy is awarded to the horse/pony, 7 years old and over, competing in their first season at Open level, and gaining the most points in Graded rides of 65km or less. Distances to be taken as published in the current handbook. Points gained in Novice classes and longer rides do not count and competing in Advanced classes will disqualify the horse/pony from this trophy.