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Integrated Team Endurance (ITE)
Basics about ITE
Integrated Team Endurance (ITE) – Endurance Riding for Integrated Teams – means to be a sanctioned equestrian sport in which the various competing teams are made of able-bodied riders besides some disabled riders. ITE is inspired by Endurance riding, a discipline that enhances the abilities of both a horse and a rider (the binomial), who have to complete rides on open and varied terrains in a determined time, always safeguarding the horse welfare. Riders varies in length and type, depending on the competition categories.
In the organization of ITE competitions, parameters used in Italian settings for Pony endurance and Equestrian Rehabilitation (R.E.) will be taken in due consideration.
ITE is a sport discipline most suited for older people and also a sport in which women often do better than men.
According to ITE philosophy, it is important to control the animal efforts and fatigue, completing the rider in due time without this being too strenuous for the horse: it is not sensible to require too much from the animal, the most important ability of an endurance rider is that of optimizing the resources of his/her animal mate: if the final vet check is passed, just the completion of the rider is a good result, regardless of the placing at the arrival.
An important feature of ITE is the paramount consideration of horse wellbeing. Both before the start and at the arrival the animal undergoes a thorough veterinary examination. The vet checks the horse’s heartbeat, intestinal motility, breathing and all metabolic and mechanic parameters. Through a trotting test, also the way the horse moves is checked by the vet. The initial checks are meant to assess the animal soundness for the competition. The horse is then checked also at the arrival: only if the horse physiologic and health parameters are in the established range, is the horse arrival placement homologated. For example, the heart rate must not exceed 64 bpm (beats per minute). If a parameter is not within the due range, the horse is pulled from the competition.
Teams are made up of 3 to 5 riders, one of whom (at least) with a disability. When applying for entering the competition, a form must be filled in with data about the horse and the rider, as well as a disclaimer clause; the form must be signed by the rider (or by his/her parents in case of an underage) and by the instructor.
Ponies and horses measuring not over 1,55 m at the wither are allowed to ITE. Each rider has to take care of the transfer of his/her animal to the competition location. Upon request, horses can be provided by the organizers for riders from outside Sardinia.
Two categories for ITE competitions are foreseen:
• 1^ category: rides of approximately 5-7 Km, to be completed at 6Km per hour gait. In this category trot and gallop gaits are not obligatory in the so called “Tratto a Vista” (the final part before finish line).
• 2^ category: rides of approximately 8-12 Km, to be completed at 10 km per hour.
For all categories riders must be mounted when crossing the starting and finish lines. During the ride, riders are free to decide the pace/gait, to stop, to walk alongside their horses except for the 2^ category in the final part before the finish line. This will be at least 50 meters long and properly indicated by a signalling card: it is the so-called “tratto a vista”. In the “tratto a vista” the binomial must move forward, at trot or gallop till the finish line: walking, stopping, zigzaging and spinning round are not allowed. If a binomial breaks this rule, a penalty is applied, consisting in 20’ seconds being added to its completion time at arrival, except for special cases deemed by the jury.
A ranking order will be made taking into consideration:
• Time for ride completion: binomials have to complete the ride in the time established by the jury. Each second before or after the determined time will bring a penalty, as established in the regulations;
• Horse heartbeat, signifying that the animal has not been overridden. Heartbeat at vet check will influence the final score of the binomial, according to parameters set in the regulations.
To calculate the final ranking order, the best three scores of a team will be considered, one of them being that of the disabled rider.
1. Games with the horse (unmounted participants) with Horsemanship techniques; two disabled and two non-disabled athletes will participate.
2. Games with the horse (mounted participants) with Horsemanship techniques; two disabled athletes, two non-disabled athletes and two technicians will participate.
3. Activities with mounted participants in the first two phases of integrated horse-riding, with saddle, vaulting surcingle and velcro straps; both disabled and non-disabled athletes involved.
4. Trails and game with the horse with participants mounted and dismounted, called “il gioco della pedana e del telone” (=the game of board and tend); the activity is carried out by binomials composed of a disabled and a non-disabled athlete.
5. Games of the flags, with participants mounted and dismounted, involving all athletes (able-bodied and disabled); the activity is carried out by binomials composed of a disabled and a non-disabled athlete
6. Final activity with objects, balls, sticks, rings, involving all athletes (able-bodied and disabled); the activity is carried out by binomials composed of a disabled and a non-disabled athlete.
At the activity start, athletes will be in the dedicated fields, wearing appropriate attire for horse-riding and properly equipped for personal safety with :
• certified safety helmet for horse-riding;
• body protector (so called “tartaruga”= turtle);
• horse-riding trausers;
• equestrian homologated shoes without heels.
•Only qualified technicians and assistants-as appointed by organizers and Sport clubs involved- will be allowed to deal with athletes;
• People not involved in integrated horse-riding activities will not be allowed in the dedicated area.