Distance Riding Association of Wisconsin (DRAW) is a non-profit organization that is supporting and encouraging the growth of distance riding in Wisconsin. Distance riding is a sport with different levels of competition.
Competitive: usually 25 miles or longer, this discipline is a measure of the horse’s condition and ability to perform. Each rider/horse team begins the ride with 400 points. Points are then deducted throughout the ride for high pulse or respiration, lameness, attitude or fatigue. The team with the most points at the end is awarded first place. Places 1 – 6 are awarded in heavyweight, lightweight, and junior divisions. This is a good beginning sport to learn distance riding and many ride managers offer a shortened version (12 – 15 miles) for Novice riders.
Limited Distance: usually 25 – 35 miles long; this is a shortened version of endurance riding. This ride is a race. There are no weight divisions; the only divisions being senior and junior (under 18). The first six horse and rider teams to finish the distance and meet criteria (no lameness and 60 pulse) place in this competition. there are usually two sections of this race with a veterinarian check (hold) in the middle.
Endurance: this is a long distance race of 50 – 100 miles in one day, or up to 250 miles over several days. there are weight divisions of heavyweight (over 180 lbs) and lightweight. There is also a junior division (under 18 years of age). These races have several “legs” or sections with veterinarian checks (holds) in between the sections. The first six riders in each division to finish the distance in the required time and meet criteria (no lameness and correct pulse) place for awards. This is not recommended for beginners.
Driving: distance varies from 10 to 25 miles with scoring being the same as competitive riding (see above). Participants may drive a single or pair hitched to a 2 wheeled cart or 4 wheeled vehicle. Competition is ope to any size equine from miniature horse through draft. The only restriction on harness or vehicle is that it must be able to endure the trails without endangering the horse, driver or others on the trail. More details about competitive driving may be found at the Midwest Distance Driving Association website.