Saturday, 17 November 2012

Endurance Riding... Perhaps My New Discipline?

Recently I have considered switching riding disciplines.  All I have ever known since I was seven years old, has been the world of Classical Riding, Dressage.  While I have enjoyed all that I have learned from it, sometimes you need a change of scenery.  I was introduced to the world of Competitive Trail Riding by a friend of mine.  It is something that she is looking into as well.  When we were at the Royal Winter Fair this weekend, we had the pleasure of speaking with a representative from the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association.  After speaking with him about what this discipline is all about, it prompted me to come home and learn some more about it.

Endurance riding was introduced by Wendell T. Robie.  The idea was to have a sport that involved rapport with one's horse; companionship on a trail; and the opportunity to share the incomparable scenery of the territory. The very first endurance ride was named the 100 Mile Telvis Cup, and due to it's success, 3 endurance organizations were soon created.  Endurance riding soon became a sport practiced by equestrian riders all over the world.

In 1968, Nancy Beacon, Di Regandaz, and Di Lindblad formed the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association (OCTRA).  OCTRA was formed after three founding rides.  The first was in 1967 when Di Linblad's Rockwood Trail Riders put on a competitive ride.  Following this ride, Nancy Beacon hosted a 30 mile competitive ride in Flesherton from Best's Stable.  The final founding ride was held by The Riding Canucks.  This was a 50 mile Endurance Ride that was open to everyone.  It began at Old Markham Fairgrounds in Markham Ontario, and ended in the Rouge Valley.  Only one horse failed to complete the ride.

Since its founding in 1968, OCTRA has grown to over 300 members in Ontario and Easter Quebec, and offers over a dozen competitions.  To find out more about how to join.  Visit OCTRA's website at

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