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Horse Welfare in Endurance


In all aspects of Endurance in NZ this Code of Conduct is Paramount. All Riders, Owners and Trainers are required to adhere to this Code of Conduct and to acknowledge and accept that at all times the welfare of the horse must be paramount and must never be subordinate to competitive or commercial influences. 1. At all stages during the preparation and training of competition horses, welfare must take precedence over all other demands. This includes good horse management, training methods, farriery and tack, and transportation. 2. Horses and competitors must be fit, competent and in good health before they are allowed to compete. This encompasses medication use, surgical procedures that threaten welfare or safety, pregnancy in mares and the misuse of aids. 3. Events must not prejudice horse welfare. This involves paying careful attention to the competition areas, ground surfaces, weather conditions, stabling, site safety and fitness of the horse for onward travel after the event. 4. Every effort must be made to ensure that horses receive proper attention after they have competed and that they are treated humanely when their competition careers are over. This covers proper veterinary care, competition injuries, euthanasia and retirement. 5. All those involved with the sport are urged to attain the highest levels of education in their areas of expertise.

Vetting: Heart Rates At all rides horses shall have a: 

  • a) Maximum pulse at all Vet Gates of 64bpm within 20 minutes

  • b) Maximum pulse at Final Vetting of 64bpm within 30 minutes.

Mandatory Rest for Horses Competing at National Events: After competing in any ride, a horse must be given a mandatory minimum rest period, as defined, before it is again eligible to participate in another ride. Distance completed: 0 – 46 km  5 days 

Over 46 – 86 km 12 days                     Over 126 km -146 km      26 days      

Over 86 – 126 km 19 days                   Over 146 Km                     33 days.

In addition to the above mandatory rest period seven extra days of rest will be added to horses that reach average speeds of 20 km/hr or higher at completion. This rest period will also apply to horses which do not complete the competition whose average speed of completed phases is 20 km/hr or higher. Extended rest periods will apply if a horse has Failed to Qualify following immediate Invasive Treatment or for Irregular Gait reasons.

This is an excerpt from the ESNZ Endurance Competition Rules. For more information please read the ESNZ Endurance Competition Rules for the full text.

Fun riders show that there is no better way to see the countryside than on a horse.

Brothers Zahi and Arahi Zinzan meet prior to vetting. By Arahi Supremo, Out of Zena.

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