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Hilton Herbs
Hilton Herbs Golden Horseshoe Ride
14/15 May 2001

The Millennium Hilton Herbs Golden Horseshoe in May 2000 was acknowledged by all concerned as an extremely successful event with a striking course and Gold and Premier Awards across all three classes. "Horseshoe" has always been a unique and prestigious event in the endurance riders calendar and next year brings a number of important changes to the 2001 event.

After a number of years at the helm ride chairman and organiser Mr. David Newton has decided to stand down. Mr. Newton said that the decision was made with some reluctance and considerable sadness but that business and personal commitments meant that finding the time required was getting increasingly more difficult.

The BERA board who have overall responsibility for the ride have asked Martin and Estelle Pickard to take on the task and lead the organising team for the 2001 Hilton Herbs Golden Horseshoe Ride. The Pickards, both active endurance riders, live relatively close to the horseshoe venue at Exford and because they exercise their horses on Exmoor they have a local understanding of the idiosyncracies of both the Moor and its Weather.

Building from the success of this years Millennium Horseshoe and using virtually the same gold standard course the 2001 Hilton Herbs Golden Horseshoe scheduled for the 14th and 15th May has been increased in scope with the addition of an FEI two day CEI A ride to be ridden under FEI Rules over the horseshoe route.

This reflects not only the status of "Horseshoe" as one of the countries foremost rides, but acknowledges the increasing need for our senior and international riders to compete on a European and World ranking platform.

The addition of an FEI class to the established set speed criteria of the Horseshoe classes represents a departure from the norm but as both BERA and the ride organisers point out:- "The Golden Horseshoe Ride has regularly changed and updated with the times - it has never been static! The inclusion of the FEI class alongside the classic set speed classes represents an addition to the Golden Horseshoe Ride as it enters and reflects the increasing demands of the 21st century and increased diversity of rider requirements".

The classic Golden Horseshoe formula will not be lost. With set speed rides over two days across difficult open country both the BERA board and Martin & Estelle Pickard recognise the unique and historical atmosphere of "Horseshoe" and cannot emphasise enough that, as ride organisers, it is their intention to maintain this.

"It is the ultimate goal of virtually every novice and aspiring endurance rider to one day qualify and ride at "Horseshoe". Bronze, Silver or Gold awards are really an added bonus; as to compete at Horseshoe is an achievement in itself and when a rider crosses under the finishing arch for that first time they KNOW they are an Endurance rider. The spirit of "Horseshoe" will not be lost".

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