Endurance riding – a non-Olympic FEI discipline – currently the fastest growing of the entire equestrian sports around the world, second only to Jumping in number of competitions.
Endurance riding is a true test of speed, soundness and good horsemanship. The origins of Endurance riding in North America relate back to the time when the US Cavalry tested its horses on a five-day, 300-mile (483 km) ride, each carrying over 200 lbs (91 kg). It became a competitive sport when Wendell Robie traced the Pony Express route from Nevada to California in less than 24 hours. In 1982, when the FEI approved Endurance riding as an official discipline, there were only 4 international rides. The number reached 300 in 2004 and today well over 400 FEI Endurance events are held world-wide, nearly one third of all FEI competitions. The minimum distance for a one day competition is between 40 and 160 km -- FEI 1* to FEI 3* events. FEI 4* events represent the premier competitions -- the World Endurance Championships, the World Equestrian Games, the Pan American Championships and Continental Championships, including Junior and Young Rider divisions.