Set Speed

What is Set Speed?

Set Speed is a discipline in its own right, and is considered a stepping stone to Endurance. It offers a distance and speed appropriate to the horse and riders’ experience, and challenges the riders ability to know and demonstrate their horses’ level of fitness.

Similar to CTR in as much as it has a set window to complete, incoming pulse checks, and a 30 min final pulse and vetting, it uses the Endurance vet card and, as in endurance, horses must meet certain health criteria, and parameters, and be judged FTC (fit to continue) to receive a completion.

How Does It Work?

Essentially non race events, SS Rides are Graded, and/or Placed. In a Graded Ride the goal is to achieve a Grade One finish (Perfect Score) at the speed the rider chooses within the Level entered.

Riders compete against a Standard of Performance, not each other, and are Graded from 1 (best) to 5 based on Level, distance, speed, and final pulse, Placed Events use a formula in which the score increases with speed, (good) but decreases with a higher pulse (not so good) so that a fast horse that is fit should score higher.

In both Graded and Placed rides entries who finish within the min/max speed, meet the 56/20 parameters, with a 30 min pulse of 64 or less, and are judged ‘FTC ‘ will receive a Completion, and, may also be eligible for Grade or Placing. (‘Fit to Continue’ is defined as: In the opinion of Veterinary Officials/Control Judge, horse may be able to travel another 15% of distance already ridden, without due pain, stress, or risk of irreversible damage.)


SS Rides may be up to 80 km / 50 mi. There is no minimum distance.

Levels, Qualifications

The 3 progressive Levels of entry all offer a generous speed/time to complete. Bronze level is open to everyone. Horse/Rider EACH must qualify to enter Silver/Gold Levels as these may be more challenging, and longer with higher min speed/time to complete. Horses must be 4 yrs old to enter Bronze events and 5 yrs to enter S/G Levels

  • Bronze Level: open to everyone, with distances up to 50 km / 31 miles may be ridden at 4 to 7 mph (6.5 to 11.5 kph).
  • Silver Level: open to horses and riders with 400 km / 250 miles on record, with distances up to 50 miles (80 km), may be ridden at  5 t0 8 mph (8 to 13 kph).
  • Gold Level: open to horses and riders with 800 km /500 miles on record, with distances up to 50 miles (80 km), may be ridden at 5 to 10 mph (8 to 16 kph).

(For more information see Qualifications, page 2, SS Rules,)


Parameters for Set Speed are 56 bpm within 20 minutes of arrival at all holds and from X Finish line. Parameters are not scored; but used as a reference point, to provide valuable feedback to both riders, and judges, when compared to the 30 minute pulse, and for Final Vetting. This gives a clearer idea of how the horse was stressed and if it was actually fit enough to do the job it was asked to do, since metabolic and soundness issues often manifest sometime after exersize has ceased. The purpose of the Final Pulse and Vetting AT 30 min is to protect the horse, inform the rider, and recognize the horse that is, ‘Fit to Continue’.

For more information, or to comment please contact the Set Speed Chair, or BoD.