· Endurance GB sees riders registered for pleasure rides increase by more than 75% in a year
· Endurance GB Board is keen to offer the more than 3700 ‘supporters’ of the sport as well as riders completely new to the sport to step up to graded competition easily via #GoEnduranceGB
· Endurance GB members are being encouraged to help grow the competitive base of the sport by encouraging friends who ride outside the sport to take part in #GoEnduranceGB
Endurance GB is planning to build on a post-lockdown surge in grassroots membership and participation this season with a new scheme #GoEnduranceGB to encourage riders to step up to graded level competition.
#GoEnduranceGB offers the opportunity to enter up to two novice Graded Endurance Rides (GERs) up to 40km before becoming a full riding member of Endurance GB with a further £10 in membership or ride entry vouchers to all those who complete a ride under the scheme
Designed to smooth the path of riders who enjoy the experience of pleasure rides to challenge themselves and their horses at the next level, anyone entering a graded novice class through #GoEnduranceGB 2021 will have support from experienced riders and on completion an introduction to the vetting process with a post-ride pulse check for their horse.
The move comes as the number of registered supporters with Endurance GB has soared by over 75 per cent standing at 3724 compared to 2078 at the end of 2019, the last full season.
Phil Nunnerley, Endurance GB Chair said: “We are delighted to be launching our new scheme to tap into the real surge in enthusiasm we are seeing this year and support riders aiming to move from grassroots pleasure rides into the mainstream of the sport. #GoEnduranceGB offers a unique opportunity for riders who have tried pleasure rides over the shorter distances as well as those completely new to the sport to experience an endurance ride at the next ‘affiliated’ level before signing up for full membership.
“The scheme allows a Supporter or an Associate Member to pay a day membership fee and experience a Graded Endurance Ride, to see what speed must be achieved and how their horse copes with a slightly longer distance than that of a social or pleasure ride.
“There are mental and physical health benefits to getting out in open space and the benefits and enjoyment for both horse and rider from the challenge of taking part in endurance are being recognised as we have seen rising demand and record entries after the latest lockdown and we are looking forward to offering a warm welcome for faces coming into the sport.”
As well as reaching out via the existing 3724 supporters, as well as Pony Club endurance and Riding Club members, Endurance GB is encouraging current full members to ‘spread the word’ beyond their sport with #GoEnduranceGB both on social media and by word of mouth, at livery yards and in tack shops.
Esther Young, Endurance GB’s Director of Operations said: “The demand has been huge so far this season and we really feel endurance is poised to move forward this year. During the first lockdown, vets involved in the sport were reporting an increase in the number of newcomers having horses vetted for long distance riding and pleasure rides, and this has fed through into the dramatic increase in membership at supporter level.
“We are saying to our existing members, we want as a board to help you go out and spread the word, help us grow the competitive base of the sport now and this will be a springboard for a bigger future for everyone involved at every level from grassroots to international. By initiating this campaign we are working to support endurance riders at all levels in championing a sport firmly focussed on horsemanship, health, fitness with high veterinary, care and welfare values. Riders such as British Senior Team rider and You Tuber Beth Langley are working hard to promote the sport through social platforms and are giving an inspirational lead in encouraging new blood and this initiative is a way of supporting that hard work.”
Beth Langley, whose video on going to your first endurance ride will appear on the home page of www.goendurancegb.co.uk and said: “The whole reason we set up our BethEndurance YouTube channel was to inspire people to give the sport I love a go and when I hear of people going on a first social or endurance ride, it makes my day. Encouraging everyone to #GoEnduranceGB is something I really want to get behind and I hope my fellow riders across the country will also take the opportunity to help find more converts to our wonderful sport.”
To find out more about the 2021 #GoEnduranceGB try before you buy offer, along with other offers for new members such as the free Club Membership scheme, go to www.goendurancegb.co.uk