Following the success of a two-year trial period, every North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC)-sanctioned event now has a Distance Only option. It offers riders the choice of entering an event for mileage credit only. Riders still receive scorecards with comments from the vet and horsemanship judge but are not placed in the competition. It’s a way for riders to gain experience without competitive pressure.
The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) is one of a number of competitive trail ride organizations in the United States. A competitive trail ride is not a race, but instead, competitors cover a marked course in a given period of time. Distances vary depending on the division, but on average, riders cover 20-35 miles during one-day rides and up to 90 miles over the course of a three-day ride. Speeds average only about 3.5 to 6 mph. Horses are judged on condition, soundness and trail ability over natural trail obstacles. Riders are judged on presentation (not showmanship), grooming (no artificial enhancements, polished hooves, et cetera), trail equitation, trail safety/courtesy, stabling, et cetera. Sanctioned rides take place throughout the year.
For more information, visit www.natrc.org.