The Countryside Code

The sport of Endurance riding by its very nature involves riding across land with the permission and/or goodwill of landowners and rural communities.  The rules and guidance given in the Handbook are intended to assist in the safe enjoyment of the sport and shall be observed by all members. 

Note: Listing in Bold indicates a change for 2018


Riding Rules

Order of Starting

The allocated start/vetting time will be sent to the rider with the ride information. Combinations shall present ready to start at the time allocated. Failure to do so may result in elimination or mandatory downgrade to a lesser distance.

The Ride Organiser will draw up the order of vetting. If riders wish to ask for a certain vet time or to ride with particular companions, such requests should be made when they send in their ride entry form (with online entries could such requests be made in the Comments box). Ride organisers will try to accommodate these requests but are under no obligation to do so. Late entries cannot expect to be accommodated in this way.

Completion of Course

Combinations which:

  • do not complete the entire course,
  • do not follow the route in the direction indicated on the master route map displayed at the venue,
  • do not pass through all checkpoints in the correct order,
  • miss out a checkpoint, or arrive at a checkpoint, mandatory halt or the finish from any direction other than that indicated on the master route map, and do not correct their error, may be penalised.




Riders Must Wear:

  • Hats

Permissible hat standards no longer include BSEN1384. All riders must wear one of the standards listed below. Failure to do so will invalidate your insurance.
a) British PAS 015: 1998 or 2011 provided they are BSI Kite marked.
b) European VG1 01.040: 2014-12 provided they are BSI Kite marked*
c) American ASTM F1163: 2004a or 04a onwards provided they are SEI marked
d) SNELL E2001.
e) Australian and New Zealand AS/NZS 3838: 2006 onwards provided they are SAI global marked.

Any new standard will be accepted once approved by the appropriate regulators.  Please refer to the Endurance GB website for the latest updates.
*Until any new standard hats are approved, and as per our 2017 interim guidance, Endurance GB will continue to accept VG1 01.040: 2014-12 hats without the Kitemark for the 2018 season.

  • Footwear with at least ½ an inch of heel unless a stirrup cage is used to prevent the foot from being able to slip through the stirrup. Wellington boots are not permitted in any circumstances.
  • A numbered bib.

Riders Should Wear:

  • Jodhpurs, riding breeches or riding tights, with chaps. Suitable foul weather clothing is permitted. Hi-Viz clothing is encouraged,
  • It is recommended that riders wear shirts with sleeves and a collar,
  • Riders with special medical conditions or needs should carry a medical card or similar, and leave a copy with the Ride Secretary for use in an emergency. The medical card may be downloaded  here

Artificial Aids:

  • Whips of a maximum length not exceeding 75cm (29.5") are permitted,
  • Whips or artificial aids are not permitted in National CERs from the last vet gate,
  • Spurs are not permitted.

Registered Para-Equestrian Endurance riders may be given exemption from the above, by applying to the Endurance GB Para-Equestrian Classifying Committee.

Survival/First Aid Kit:
It is recommended that riders carry a small First Aid Kit.
At some rides this may be mandatory; riders should refer to the individual ride schedules.
Suggested contents are as follows:

  • Triangular bandage
  • Wound bandage
  • Vet-wrap or equivalent
  • Space blanket
  • Glucose tablets or equivalent
  • Whistle
  • Baler twine
  • Mobile phone (switched on) or money for phone

It is recommended that riders carry a drink and appropriate warm and waterproof clothing.

Riders must:

  • Be polite at all times.
  • Give consideration to other riders and the general public.
  • Comply with instructions given by the Ride Organiser or other Ride Officials.
  • Be in control of their horse.
  • Make sure crews are properly briefed on the general rules and Ride specific rules – and the route.

Change of Class:

Riders may not change to a higher distance on the day of the ride. However, they may downgrade to a lower distance before the start of the ride subject to informing the Ride Organiser and/or Ride Secretary no less than 30 minutes before the original allocated vet time. Earlier notice is appreciated.


Riders wishing to overtake shall first obtain permission from the rider in front and then overtake with due care and attention. Any rider who is about to be overtaken should quickly clear the way. Wilful obstruction of an overtaking rider or inconsiderate and/or dangerous overtaking may be penalised by elimination.

Footpaths, Bridleway and Byways are all public highways where it is likely that participants will meet other users. Whether on a public highway or not, participants should meet other users in a safe manner, for example, making them aware of their presence and slowing to a walking pace while passing if unable to give them a wide berth. While using any public highway, participants should comply with the Highway Code at all times.


Unless otherwise indicated, gates should be left as found; leaving a gate other than as originally found may incur penalty.



Horses shall be ridden in a recognised form of bridle with or without a bit. Riding in a head collar, blinkers, draw-reins, Market Harborough or similar schooling aid is not permitted. Any suitable saddle may be used. Numnahs, saddle blankets and girth guards are permitted. It is the rider’s responsibility to make sure:

  • their horse is under control at all times
  • their tack is safe and fits correctly

Any riders with horses that have special needs for tack that is excluded by the above should apply in writing to Operations for permission to use the tack. Registered Para-Equestrian Endurance riders who require special tack should contact the Endurance GB Para-Equestrian Classifying Committee.

Tail Ribbons:

Tail ribbons should be used in these circumstances,

  • Red if a horse is nervous or bad tempered when other horses come too close to their hindquarters.
  • Green if the horse is young and/or a novice.
  • Blue is mandatory for a stallion.

Bridle Discs:

All Stallions must wear bridle discs. (These will be supplied by Endurance GB when the stallion is registered). Discs may be available for non-members use during the ride.


A horse may be ridden with shoes, in hoof-boots, other hoof-wear or barefoot. If shod, the horse must be adequately and correctly shod before the start of the ride. Pads are allowed.

Leg Protection:

Horses may wear leg protection including grease when competing in any ride. All leg protection must be removed prior to any veterinary inspection.

Lesions (injuries):

If horses are thought unfit to compete/continue after any veterinary inspection because they have saddle sores, girth galls, severe brushing injury or other lesion thought likely to be further aggravated by continuing to compete, or are generally in poor condition, the horse may be prevented from competing for 14 days or more. The TS will mark the Mastercard accordingly.

Prohibited Substances:

Endurance GB reserves the right to carry out, at any time, random testing for Prohibited Substances in accordance with the standard sampling procedure of the current FEI Veterinary Regulations. A refusal to submit a horse for sampling will constitute a breach of this rule.

The purpose of this rule is to ensure that the normal performance of a horse during an Endurance GB ride is not affected, either deliberately or unintentionally, by the influence of drugs or medications or any form of veterinary treatment. It is a contravention of this rule if the analysis of a sample taken from a horse participating in a ride shows the presence in its tissues, body fluids, excreta of Prohibited Substance or a metabolite of such a substance or an isomer of the substance or an isomer of a metabolite. Specific groups of substances prohibited under this rule are listed in the current FEI Veterinary Regulations.

Maximum threshold levels have been set for substances that may innocuously be found in samples taken from horses. Details of these may be found in the current FEI Veterinary Regulations.

The use of inhalation oxygen and the use of hypodermic injections, nasogastric intubation or rectal infusions for the administration of saline fluids, electrolytes, glucose etc., are forbidden during the ride. The administration of glucose and electrolyte solutions by voluntary consumption or by oral administration using a syringe is permitted.

Anti-ulcer oral treatment with ranitidine, cimetidine, and omeprazole is permitted. Treatment of mares for oestrus-related behavioural problems with altrenogest (Regumate) only is permitted provided, a) the manufacturer’s recommended dose rate and duration of treatment are used, b) the horse’s logbook contains a signed letter on headed notepaper from the rider’s or owner’s vet confirming that the drug has been prescribed for oestrus-related behavioural problems only.

Mares are not allowed to compete after their fourth month of pregnancy or with a foal at foot. If it is subsequently confirmed that a mare competed under either of these conditions, she will be disqualified from all events to which these conditions apply and the owner/rider will be referred to the Disciplinary Panel.

Cross Contamination:

Riders should be aware of the risks of cross contamination and try to prevent it, either between their own horses or other peoples, whether at home or at rides. For example special care is needed when Ventipulmin or Regumate is in use. Ingredients in feed and supplements may be checked using the search facility on the FEI website.

Withdrawal Times:

Where controlled medication has been prescribed, riders must ensure that sufficient time has been allowed on completion of treatment for the drug to clear from the horse’s system. The Veterinary Surgeon prescribing for the horse should be made aware that the horse competes and should be able to advise the rider on approximate withdrawal times.

Permitted Treatment:

Minor skin lesions may be treated using topical antibiotics only. Such treatments should only be applied after a Ride Veterinary Surgeon has inspected the lesion. Many topical (including herbal) preparations, some natural or herbal ‘calming’ feed supplements e.g. Valerian and some fly repellents e.g. lavender, contain Prohibited Substances. Riders are recommended that, if in doubt, veterinary advice should be sought.

Emergency Treatment:

If, during a ride, it is necessary to treat a horse or pony with a drug the permission of a ride Veterinary Surgeon must be sought. He/she will investigate the reason for treatment and make a report to the TS/Ground Jury who shall decide whether the horse is to be allowed to continue or shall be eliminated. Note that the ride is deemed to have started if the horse has been presented for initial vetting prior to the start of the ride itself.


Riders may dismount and proceed on foot leading their horse, but must be mounted to pass through the start and finish of the ride. Once on the course no other person may lead or ride the horse.


It is permitted to assist a rider and to attend to his horse (groom, feed, water, etc.) before the start, after the finish and at compulsory halts or veterinary inspections. During the ride it is permitted to help the rider to water and wash down the horse. However, the rider will be eliminated if followed or accompanied on any part of the course, by any vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian or a horse that is not authorised or approved by the TS/Ground Jury i.e. headed for a distance from the start by a vehicle, manned road-crossing and guidance in the dark. A rider may also be assisted to recover their horse, re-mount and retrieve their equipment after a fall or any other incident that separates horse and rider involuntarily. The combination must resume the ride at the point at which they became separated.

Retirement on Course

If a rider decides to retire on course they must inform the next Checkpoint and/or the Ride Organiser. It is their responsibility, and not that of the Ride Organiser, to arrange transport for the horse. The horse must be seen by an official Veterinary Surgeon immediately on their return to the Venue, prior to travelling home. This veterinary check must include an assessment of the horse's gait and metabolic health. If the horse is lame this should be recorded on the vet sheet and Mastercard together with the reason for the retirement on course.

Elimination of Horse

If a rider is eliminated at a veterinary inspection they then may not re-mount and ride away, unless given specific permission by an official Veterinary Surgeon. The horse must be seen by an official Veterinary Surgeon before they leave. It is the rider’s responsibility, and not that of the Ride Organiser, to arrange transport for themselves and their horse.

Travelling Horses after Competition

Horses must remain at the venue overnight at the end of any ride of more than 120km in one day or 180km over 2 days.

Assistance in the Event of an Accident

In the event of an accident to a horse or rider other riders must offer assistance. Refusal to offer assistance may lead to elimination. Those riders that stop and give assistance may claim an allowance for the time they stopped. They should note the time at which they stopped and once all required assistance has been given, should also note the time at which they restart. They, or their crews, should report the facts and claim an allowance at the next reasonable opportunity, for instance at the next Checkpoint. The TS shall, if necessary after making investigations to verify the facts as far as reasonably practicable, grant a dispensation in the form of an appropriate time allowance. This rule shall apply to all Endurance GB classes and shall not be overridden.

Note: FEI class rules do not have any provision for time allowances whatsoever.


Ride Rules and Procedures


Entries shall be made on the official entry form and shall include a large, ready to use (minimum A5 size) stamped, addressed envelope with adequate postage for the return of the ride details.
Most rides may be entered online. A nominal charge will be made for the return of the ride details.
A separate entry form shall be used for each horse.
Making an entry constitutes acceptance of the rules of Endurance GB.
A Ride Organiser has the right to refuse any entry.

Late entries should be made on line. Late entries are only accepted at the discretion of the Ride Organiser and not all Organisers accept late entries. However, if accepted, all entries for endurance rides will carry a surcharge of £15.00. Late entries as a result of the cancellation of another ride whose date is within 2 weeks of the ride being entered will be exempt from this surcharge. Pleasure rides do not attract a late entry surcharge.

Fax and email entries are not acceptable. Cheques or postal orders for the relevant entry fee must accompany a postal entry.

Note: Blank entry forms may be photocopied and new ones are available from the Endurance GB office or may be downloaded


All entry fees quoted by Ride Organisers shall show, where applicable, itemised fees for ride entries, stabling, corralling, camping, accommodation and any other obligatory charges.

Payment shall be made in full in advance by credit card (on-line), cheque or postal order (posted entries) for any entry for any Endurance GB ride.

On the first occasion of a dishonoured payment the member may be charged an administration fee, and will contacted by the Endurance GB Finance Committee to be given the opportunity to supply the necessary finances to cover the entry made. If there is a similar occurrence at a later date, the Member will be notified that his details are being forwarded to the Disciplinary Panel for disciplinary action. Any subsequent difficulties in obtaining payment from the Member will result in the immediate suspension of his membership.

Withdrawals and Refunds

Before the Ride Close Date

The rider must withdraw online or contact the Ride Secretary (postal entries). The refund is made by the online system or the Ride Secretary. The online system will advise the Secretary of the rider’s withdrawal.

100% of the ride entry fee will be refunded.

Any additional charges will be refunded unless it states otherwise in the online schedule.

After the Ride Close Date and before the rider’s Vet Time.

All riders must notify the Ride Secretary (postal or online). The Ride Secretary will require proof supporting the refund to be forwarded within 10 days of contacting the Ride Secretary.

Supporting proof that can be considered is:

     a doctor’s note or certificate,

     a veterinary note or certificate,

     a copy of the horse’s Mastercard showing that the horse was eliminated on veterinary grounds, not more than 16 days before the ride date.

If the refund is approved by the Ride Secretary then the online entries will be refunded against the original card, but if the original entry was by post then the Ride Secretary will forward a cheque.

100% of the ride entry fee will be refunded.

Late entry surcharge is not refundable.

Post and packing charge (if charged) is not refundable.

If there are additional charges (stabling, camping parking, forestry permit etc.), then it must be specified in the online schedule and the ride schedule which of these are not fully refundable.

Suitable proof must be received within 10 days of the notification of withdrawal for a refund to be made.

Ride Information

Ride details such as vetting/start times, map, crew card, route description and other details will be dispatched after close of entries, usually 7-10 days before the event.

Special Ride Instructions

Instructions that are particular to a specific ride, the contravention of which may lead to elimination, should be included in the ride information sent to competitors beforehand, and be prominently displayed on the ride notice board.


Ride distances will be quoted in kilometres and speeds will be quoted in kilometres per hour only.


A rider or a horse (but not both) may be substituted up to half an hour before the allocated vet time of competition provided that the substitute rider or horse is eligible according to the conditions of the class and the rules of Endurance GB.

Veterinary Sheets

Details of horse, rider, bib number and class must be completed on the vet sheet in ballpoint pen, clearly legible, before the pre-ride vetting.

When an Open/Advanced horse is competing in 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.

Pre-Ride Declaration

A valid Horse Passport must be brought to the Ride and be available for inspection if required.

Current proof of Membership, and Horse Registration and Endurance Horse Logbooks must be presented to the Ride Secretary before the start of the ride.

Replacements for lost membership or horse registration cards are available from the Endurance GB Office or can be downloaded.

Number Bibs

Number bibs must be worn by the person in charge of the horse at all Veterinary/Farrier inspections and at all times by the rider when competing in the ride.

Duplicate bibs or numbered armbands should be issued for the use of the member of the crew attending the horse in vet gates in CERs and FEI rides.

Competitors who are eliminated at the pre-ride vetting must surrender their number and may not hack out from the venue. Failure to adhere to this rule will be referred to the Disciplinary Panel.

Payment for Services

All riders on Endurance GB rides are responsible for costs incurred for any special attention from the Veterinary Surgeons, farriers and use of a horse ambulance, etc. These services must be paid for on the day.


Objections shall be submitted only by the owner, his or her authorised agent, or the rider of a horse taking part in the ride and shall be made in writing to the Ride Organiser, accompanied by a deposit of £20, on the day of the ride. The Ride Organiser will pass all objections to the TS or Ground Jury, who will inform the objector in writing of the decision and the reasons for it. The deposit shall be refunded if the TS or the Ground Jury upholds the objection.

Ground Jury

All National rides must have a Technical Steward (TS), Major Rides and all those with CER classes will have a Ground Jury – minimum of 3 persons, one of whom may be the TS. All members of a Ground Jury must be over 18 and have been full members of Endurance GB for at least three full seasons.


Should an owner or rider wish to appeal against a decision of the TS or Ground Jury then he/she shall follow the procedure laid down in Endurance GB’s Disciplinary Code,  or FEI Regulations as appropriate.

Ride Rules

The Handbook constitutes the full set of Ride Rules for Endurance GB and shall be available for inspection at all Ride Venues. Copies are available from the Endurance GB office.


It is recommended that all riders should have a crew.

Ride Organisers may, at their discretion, require a rider to have a crew for all distances if one or more of the following apply:

  • The route covers difficult terrain
  • Water is not available and cannot be made available on the route
  • The route is a complete circuit and does not return to the venue during the ride

Each rider must have their own crew when competing in CERs.

Vehicles used for crewing must not exceed 6m in length or have a GVW over 3.5t. A Ride Organiser may prohibit or restrict certain classes of vehicles from crewing at their ride. For rides up to 60km, only one crew vehicle per rider is allowed. At rides of 61km or above, the Ride Organiser may specify the number of crew vehicles permitted per competitor.

Where crew with transport is not available, and it becomes necessary to remove the horse from the course, the horse may be transported, at the rider’s and/or the owner’s risk, by a third party, e.g. the Ride Organiser, Horse Ambulance or fellow competitor.

It is the rider’s responsibility, and not that of the Ride Organiser to arrange transport for themselves and their horse.

Crews are the responsibility of their rider. Failure by crews to observe the rules and instructions of a Ride Organiser, including crewing restrictions, may incur a penalty which may include elimination of the rider, and/or reporting the rider to the Disciplinary Panel.

Crews shall not:

  • Obstruct roads, other riders, houses, gateways or the route.
  • Obscure riders’ vision of Check Point location or markers.
  • Race around the roads.
  • Precede or follow their rider(s) on the route.
  • Use a horsebox exceeding 3.5 tonne for crewing.
  • Leave any litter, which includes horse droppings from horseboxes and trailers.

Prize Money

Ride Organisers may, at their discretion, award prize money in addition to or instead of goods in kind.

Gate Allowance

Ride Organisers should declare the likely number of gates on the route that cannot remain open for the duration of the ride or be opened or closed by a Steward. If this number of gates exceeds 5, then a Gate Allowance of 1 minute for each gate thereafter will be allowed. The riders will be informed of the Gate Allowance for the class in the ride information sent to the competitors beforehand and it will be prominently displayed on the ride notice board. It is the responsibility of the rider to check such information prior to the start. This Allowance is compulsory for Pleasure Rides and Graded Endurance Rides. There is no gate allowance for Competitive Endurance Rides.


Dogs are only allowed at a Ride Venue at the Ride Organiser’s discretion and subject to being on a short lead and under control at all times, including when accompanying crews on course. Dogs shall not be allowed to cause a nuisance to other competitors and horses, particularly where riders have early start times and may easily be disturbed by barking. Dogs must not be left unattended in vehicles at the venue overnight or in vehicles during hot weather. Failure to observe may result in elimination and the owner may be reported to the RSPCA and/or relevant authorities.

Ride Rules.

A full copy of the Ride Rules for Endurance GB shall be available for inspection at Rides Venues.  Copies are available from the Endurance GB office.