April 18, 2013, Ascot ~ The 120km route of the inaugural Royal Windsor Endurance CEI 2* ride being held in association with and presented by Royal Windsor Horse Show (8 – 12 May 2013) is set to take in a circuit of Ascot Racecourse, it has been announced.
Not only will the 60 riders participating in the newly introduced event on Friday 10th May get the opportunity to tackle a route around Windsor Great Park, they will have the thrill of completing a single circuit around the National Hunt section of the racecourse. The Ascot stage of the event will take place early in the race as later in the day it will be business as usual at the racecourse which hosts its meeting of the Flat season that evening.
Achieving speeds of between14-22km per hour, the endurance riders will complete the 120km route in four separate sections with riders returning to a single vetgate on the Review Ground for inspection by the team of international vets and judges. More than 90% of the course will be off-road. Several historic rides in the Great Park have been opened for the event including the Long Walk which it will cross. Endurance competitors will also be given the unique opportunity to ride up to and circuit the equestrian statue of HM Queen Elizabeth II, situated on the highest point of Queen Anne’s Ride. The sculpture, a Golden Jubilee gift from the Crown Estate, stands 12ft 6in tall on a 10 foot plinth and will be one of the focal points on the final loop of the event.
Continuing a tradition of association with international endurance competition, this event is generously supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain, who recently sponsored the FEI 2011 European Open Endurance Championship in Florac, France.
Royal Windsor Endurance Director Mike Shephard said: “The route around the Great Park and across to Ascot covers a surprising variety of terrain from parkland to woodland tracks where the going will be softer. There are some sandy sections and gentle inclines. Although there are some open straight sections, parts of the course are quite twisty and technical and will require horses to be well balanced. We are grateful to the team at Ascot Racecourse for allowing us access. The prospect of 60 horses on the circuit will be a thrilling spectacle and it will be without doubt a memorable experience for the riders.”
~end press release