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NERA is the official association for endurance riding in Namibia. Organizing rides, the riders and ensuring fair competition, is just a few basic tasks NERA undertakes. NERA ensures that a high standard of procedure is followed at local rides.
NERA provides the riders with opportunity to excel in the horse riding sport, internationally.
Endurance is a competition against the clock where the speed and endurance of a horse is put to the test, but where riders are also challenged with regards to effective use of pace and thorough knowledge of their horses and cross country. Indeed, although the rides are timed, the emphasis is on finishing in good condition rather than coming first. Endurance is a genuine test of horsemanship which began as a necessity rather than a sport.
Modern competitions consist of a number of sections called phases. At the end of each phase, in principle at least every 40 km, there is a compulsory halt for veterinary inspection, usually referred to as a vetgate. Riders are free to choose their own pace between the start and the finish of the competition. They may lead or follow their horses, but must be mounted crossing the starting line and the finish line. Each horse, which is thoroughly examined before it is allowed to start the ride, must be presented for inspection within a set time of reaching each vetgate. The aim of the check is to determine whether the horse is fit to continue the ride. A final veterinary inspection occurs at the end of all rides to ensure that horses completing the ride are not overly fatigued or lame. Excessive fatigue, signs of lameness and other indications of problems are grounds for elimination.
It can take years for a combination to be ready to compete in a 160 km ride. Endurance requires extensive preparation and a deep knowledge and understanding between horse and rider. In this way the well being of the horse can be maintained at all times.
The minimum distance for a one day
competition is between 40 and 160 km, depending on the type of
competition. For competitions of more than one day, the minimum
average distance for each day is 40 - 79 km for FEI * rides, 80
km to 119 km for FEI 2* and 120 km or more for FEI 3* events.
For a Championship FEI 4* one-day competition, the distance is
usually 160 km and the winning riding time about ten to twelve
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