Tuesday 31 May 2011

South Africa: Fauresmith Endurance Race


The ultimate challenge for horse and rider

06 July 2011 - 08 July 2011 - Fauresmith, Free State, South Africa

The Fauresmith Endurance Race is for the experienced horse rider looking for the ultimate test of endurance. An equestrian event that demands both skill and stamina from rider and horse, it is no ordinary horse race.

Highlight: The great camaraderie and banter between contestants.

The Fauresmith Endurance Race is widely regarded as one of the toughest equestrian events in the world: riders and their horses must complete 200km of high-speed off-road riding, over a wide range of terrain ranging from flat grassland to rocky slopes, in just 3 days.

Although the Fauresmith Endurance Race is only open to experienced riders, it attracts over 300 competitors annually. Some of the more established riders to have competed in recent events include Ami de Wet, Claire Amm and Chris Thiel.

During this horse race, riders must travel approximately 75km daily on the first 2 days, with a 54km ride on day 3 seeing them home.

Horse safety is taken very seriously during the event, with compulsory 20-minute stops for veterinary checks scheduled every 20km. Horses that are deemed stressed or unfit are immediately disqualified.

July is the middle of winter in South Africa and the evenings get very cold in the Free State, with temperatures dropping below zero. The days are warm and dry, however, providing comfortable conditions for the horses, riders and spectators.

Accommodation in Fauresmith during this equestrian event is at a premium so it's best to book well in advance. Other accommodation options in the area can be found in the nearby towns of Trompsburg and Springfontein.

The event was first held in 1964, following a debate in the Afrikaans agricultural magazine, Landbou Weekblad, about the fittest breed of horse. It has been held annually ever since.

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