The Endurance GB Inaugural Ride at Swingfield, Folkstone
by Anne Cunningham.

Eldor and Gill.

A few weeks ago when Theresa delivered my feed, she said “Did you know about the 10 mile Endurance GB Inaugural Ride at Swingfield, Perhaps Eldor would like to go?” 

I immediately spoke to Gill, who is Eldor’s rider in competition this year. As neither horse nor rider had ever done endurance before, they thought they would have a go.  “Should be fun” she said.

As she and Eldor had been doing regular workouts throughout the winter fitness wasn’t a problem.  We also decided that, as the event was only 4 ½ miles from home that he should hack there and back to avoid any over excitement as the trailer means in hand showing. The organizers were very helpful when entering and suggested that as he is a stallion we should put a red ribbon in his tail to let other competitors know that he is an entire. 

Sunday 17th February dawned dry and very cold with little wind; we were lucky as the weather during the previous week had not been very good. We all, including husband to take the photos, friend for moral support and non-horsey mother-in-law because she happened to be visiting, arrived at the venue in plenty of time, checked in and Gill and Eldor set off.

At the venue there were refreshments, toilets and a photographer available. The route consisted mainly of bridleways and by-ways, when you needed to cross main roads there were stewards to see you across.

There were several places around the route that you could wait for the horses; we went to meet Eldor about halfway round.  Eldor seemed to be settling into the ride and was thoroughly enjoying himself.

We then returned to the venue to wait for the riders to come home and have a very welcome cup of coffee.

Eldor arrived back in 1 hour 52 mins after having had a few disagreements with Gill because he thought he knew the route better than she did!

All horses that finished, and they all did, received a commemorative plaque for their stables.

Horse and rider then hacked home, Gill to veg out in front of the TV and Eldor said, “Can we go round again!”  It was such an enjoyable experience that we are going to do it again. This time the Primrose Ride at Canterbury on 24Th March. Although endurance is usually linked with the Arab, there were horses and ponies of all types and sizes and they all completed the course..  Everyone young and old were made very welcome.  You don’t need any special tack at this level; we went in a snaffle bridle and a working hunter saddle.  So why not have a go!

Eldor is a predominantly Polish stallion, he has been placed at both National and International shows.  He is by the European Champion Stallion ELDON, who was also a winner on the racetrack in Poland.  He is siring some excellent stock, some of which may be for sale.

For further information please contact Anne on 01303 894023 or visit our website

For more information on Endurance GB, please visit

For more photos of the Folkstone Inaugural ride please visit

The View from above
by Gill McLoughlin

Working with horses is great but sometimes it loses it’s sparkle, through no fault of the horse, I must say, so it was a great to feel the excited nervous state again, I was about to take Eldor, the stallion I had backed and introduced into the world of hacking and schooling, into a new adventure, that of the endurance ride.

I had a route plan and I knew he would be fit enough.  What I didn’t know was how he would react to the other horses.  In the early days our rides had been eventful with Eldor either wanting to increase his stunning crop of children, determined to pick his own broodmares, regardless of any obstacles that may have been in his way, or making sure that the geldings were firmly put in their place with a skilful display of boxing, snorting and prancing if you were lucky!

The organizers however, had liaised with Anne, his owner, and we were so pleased with how helpful Endurance GB was.

We decided to take Eldor by surprise because as a European qualified show stallion he    knows what a bath usually means!   I even hacked him there to avoid the “Where am I going “ excitement that he usually gets when boxed.  It would also take away some of his exuberance.  I needn’t have worried as the organizers    were true to their word and we were able to keep his away from the other entrants, I was also able to choose, within reason, when we set off.  I could have gone in a group but chose to go alone, this was a wise move as during the first few miles we had some difficulties, but the route was well marked and we were even warned on the route plan of deep mud, there were no real surprises, even the pigs had been mentioned.

The route was safe, there were stewards to escort you across the roads.  So with Eldor now settled into a steady pace, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, I know Eldor did too!

I told myself off after the ride for worrying but hey, without that, I wouldn’t have felt the nervous excitement that reminds you of the real joy of horses and that is having fun together.

Gill McLoughlin


If you would like to have an article included in this section then please send your article to


© Arabian Lines 2002 - 2003  All Rights Reserved