On course for the Golden Horseshoe
The UK’s most famous endurance ride is set to go ahead as planned, despite the recent wet weather. Taking place on Exmoor from 13-15 May, 2012, this year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride promises to be as exciting as ever and has, as usual, attracted some world-class entries.
The course for 2012 has the usual combination of hills, moorland, firm tracks and river crossings. However, riders in the Exmoor Experience class (a class designed specifically for horse and rider combinations who are new to Golden Horseshoe) will be tackling a more hilly course than usual, adding a real sense of achievement for those who complete it.
This year’s Pleasure Ride will take riders through Staddon Hill, Bye Common, Winsford, Yellowcombe and Winsford Hill, while the main course crosses Exford Common, Almsworthy Common, Hawkcombe, Ley Hill, Horner Woods, Webbers Post, with half way at Burrow Farm outside Timberscombe. From the half way mark, riders will then tackle Exmoor’s steep Punchbowl onto Winsford Hill, Tarr Steps, Molland Common, Halscombe Allotment and finally Withypool Hill before crossing the famous Golden Horseshoe finish line.
Ride Organiser Barbara Wigley says: “Despite the fact that we’ve had all this rain, the moor is actually in reasonable condition at the moment. However, the going for the ride depends on what the weather throws at us over the next few days. Exmoor will never be too dry, but much more rain could cause problems in some areas.”
Like all endurance events, Golden Horseshoe always puts the horses’ welfare first, and if more bad weather causes Exmoor to become deep and boggy in places, organisers have already come up with alternative routes to by-pass these sections. “I know the moor like the back of my hand, and am well aware of the areas which are likely to become waterlogged,” says Barbara. “If the ground does get worse, I’ll keep riders to the edges rather than taking the course across the middle of the moor.”
For more information about this year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride, visit www.goldenhorseshoe-ride.co.uk
Published: 1 May 2012
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