Endurance returns to HOY in 2008 with a full FEI CEI** 119km event in both open, junior events. In addition there will be a team event featuring a New Zealand HOY team competing against a South African team.

The event commences on Thursday the 6th March at Hastings showground with the pre ride vetting of all horses and a rider briefing.

The riding will commence at the Hastings Show ground main stadium on Friday 7th March at 6:00 AM, a convenient time for the riders as start times can be as early a 1:00AM. The course will take the riders 32 km across the Tukituk River and out to Haupiri

Station at Ocean beach to end the first loop. Three more loops of 22, 22 and 16 km will be run on the station and take riders well down towards Cape Kidnappers. The final loop 27 km will recross the Tukituk and finish around 4 - 5 PM in the center of Havelock North.

The second phase of the contest is the judging on Saturday the 8th of March of the Best Conditioned Horse. This will take place at the Hastings Show ground.

This event typifies the advancement of the sport in recent times. Endurance riding in NZ began in Tokoroa in 1970. The distance covered was 50miles.

The sport has grown becoming a member of NZEF in 2004.

The concept of Endurance is for horse and rider to cover a set distance between 40 and 160km and satisfy a vet at the end that the horses are "fit to continue". The format entails a preride vet check, a massed start and a well marked course. Riders have up to 15 minutes after the official start to cross the start line and young or excitable horses often do this. The distances of each loop vary

between 20-30 kms and after each loop horses are required to pass a vet check to ensure they are still fit to continue. Riders must be mounted to cross the start and finish of a ride but can walk and lead at any other time on the course.


On the course they may travel at whatever speed they desire taking into account weather, terrain, heat, tactics and fitness of rider and horse. Those wishing to gain a placing naturally riding faster than those merely on the ride to enjoy the scenery and their horses.

At this event the horse's heart rate must return to 64 beats or lower within 20mins of crossing the line at each loop. They must also be sound and their metabolics indicating a happy fit horse. Riders can ride in any gear they wish providing they wear an approved safety hat and if they don't have safety boots on their stirrups they must have footwear with a heel. Other than these safety concerns there is no constraint on appearance.


The HOY 2008 event will prove a challenging test for both horse and rider. The course being 19 kms longer than in 2007. While starts and finishes in town are common overseas HOY is the only event in NZ that includes this challenge. In conjunction with the event will be a Bi nation's team event featuring a team from NZ competing against a team from South Africa. 2007 saw NZ win against South Africa at Hastings and again on the rematch in South Africa.