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THE STYLE EDIT Editor Jenny Taggart talks childhood, training, travel and winning medals with International Endurance horse rider Amy McAuley from County Meath, Ireland
THE STYLE EDIT: Would you say that a career in Equestrianism was always written in the stars for you?
I always hoped horses would be a major aspect of my life, as they are of strong significance on both sides of my family, but truthfully a career in Equestrianism was something I didn’t expect. For as long as I can remember, I have attended the RDS Dublin Horse Show every summer with my family and from a young age the sight of the top, world class horse-rider combinations competing on such technical courses was a major catalyst of inspiration for me. However, my parents were firm believers in prioritising academics and often reminded me it would be best to maintain horse riding as a hobby, which is what I did for many years, until Endurance provided me with the opportunity to balance both with ease.
TSE: Would you be so kind as to explain exactly what Endurance Racing is and how it differs from other forms of horse-racing?
Endurance Racing is a long-distance horse race, ranging from distances of 80km to 160km in any given day, across differing terrains depending on the country of context. For example, we race across the desert in the United Arab Emirates.
The races are comprised of a number of loops depending on its length. For example, a typical 120km race would be split into four loops, descending in distance, usually 40km, 36km, 28km and 16km. Between each loop there are compulsory vet checks for the horses, where they are analysed on attributes such as heart rate, soundness in gait and hydration before they are permitted to proceed to the next loop. The most technical aspect of the sport, is the overall time taken between finishing the loop to presenting the horse at the vet check, this is deemed the recovery time and determines the position you will depart on the next loop, usually influencing your overall fate in a race...
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