Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Dave Rabe Crowned 2019 Idaho IronButt Winner

October 15 2019
by Merri

Nevada endurance rider Dave Rabe (73,000+ AERC miles) - with his matchless, accomplished gray equine companions White Cloud (10,000+ AERC miles), Rushcreek Okay (9000+ AERC miles), and Chey’s Cocamoe Joe (6700+ AERC miles) - is the winner of Idaho’s inaugural Idaho IronButt award after crossing the finish line of day 3 of the Autumn Sun Pioneer endurance ride on October 13.

This unique and demanding Idaho Ironhorse Challenge - 465 miles, nine days - took place over the summer and fall at the 3-day City of Rocks Pioneer near Almo, 3-day Top O’ the World Pioneer near Spencer, and 3-day Autumn Sun Pioneer near Gooding. 

Nance Worman’s mare Second Chance Fance was the last rider-horse in the running for the ultimate Idaho Ironhorse award (all 465 miles with one horse), but she couldn’t quite pull it off, Fancy being unable to start the final day of Autumn Sun.

Dave was the only rider to complete all 465 miles aboard three of his horses, to receive the IronButt award. “It was easy,” he quipped, “Just ride 3 different horses.” Despite the frigid temperatures and howling winds, he of course wore shorts and made other riders bundled in layers look pretty wimpy.

Shyla Williams and her mare Bes Soumra Bint Karah completed all 9 days of the rides combining 25-mile and 50-mile distances. 

Six horse and rider teams completed the Limited Distance rides all 9 days. Carrie Johnson and Payback Daysea Duke won first place in this division. Marlene Moss and SA Alamo finished second, with her husband Stace Moss and Cerro Blanco third. Fourth was Catherine Cook and HMR Diamonds R Forever. Fifth and sixth were daughter-mother team of Kaili Worth aboard Red, and Sandy Smallwood aboard Ty.

The Idaho IronHorse Challenge was arranged and overseen by the four Jessicas: (head vet Heinrick, vet Simons, Top O’ the World ride manager Cobbley, Autumn Sun ride manager Huber). It was endlessly entertaining when anybody hollered "Jessica!"

Congratulations to all the 2019 Idaho IronHorse champions!

More at:

Monday, October 14, 2019

Michigan: Trail riders snag front-row tickets to autumn color show - Full Article


Editor's note: This article was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's Fall 2019 issue. Pick up a free copy at area hotels, visitor's centers, chambers of commerce or at the Record-Eagle building on Front Street. Click here to read GT Scene in its entirety online.

The Michigan Trail Riders Association thinks the state Shore-to-Shore Trail is something to sing about. The organization’s annual October Color Ride completes the group’s 56th year of saddling up for the iconic Empire to Oscoda crossing.

Veteran rider Judy Schlink of Kalkaska has logged 5,000 miles in the saddle over the years. She completed five 220-mile Shore-to-Shore Trophy Ride crossings as one of the trail’s early riders. Back then, as now, the day’s ride concluded with the equestrian group singing around the campfire Old West style.

“We wrote two songs,” Schlink said. “One was about riding to Tawas — and it’s still in print.”

The original trail songs and others were assembled into the group’s official songbook celebrating trail life, said MTRA spokesperson Jan Wolfin. Wolfin plans to complete her 51st Lake Michigan to Lake Huron crossing in September.

“Just because I did 50 doesn’t mean I’m going to stop,” she said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Enter Your Photo in's Third Contest: Horse and Companions!

We're still accepting your entries and votes in the third photo contest: Horses and Companions.

Send us a photo you've taken of your horse with a favorite companion: goat - dog - cat - kid - to Vote every day (one vote per email address per day) for your favorite photo at

Great prizes on offer including, for first place by highest number of votes, a framed pastel giclee’ portrait* of your choice (horse or other pet), courtesy Steph Teeter (

Contest deadline is November 15.

*More details at:

Monday, October 07, 2019

3000 Miles for Cindy Collins' AUR Sierra Wind at the Virgin Outlaw

by Merri
October 7 2019

The Virgin Outlaw XP ride in Utah last month saw a number of horses reach high AERC mileage marks: 7000 miles for Bogar Tucker, 8000 miles for Fire Mt Malabar, and 9000 miles for DE Golden Ali.

Add one more to that list: AUR Sierra Wind, an Arabian mare by Bucephalos X Katies Image, by the legendary Sierra Fadwah, owned and ridden by Cindy Collins of Cody, Wyoming. Cindy (with over 11,000 AERC miles) and her mare completed 200 miles at the Virgin Outlaw, and on the last day Sierra hit the 3000 mark. 500 of those miles have come in the Big Horn 100 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 - Cindy's 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th finishes in that ride.)

Authors Hardesty and Perez Announce the Release of Their Fifth Book, Freedom – Wonder Horse Five on October 30, 2019

October 7 2019

Victoria Hardesty and Nancy Perez are pleased to announce the release of their fifth book Freedom – Wonder Horse Five, the fifth book in their series about Arabian Horses and the people who love them. Victoria will be at the American Endurance Ride Conference National Championships in Ridgecrest, CA from October 30 through November 2, 2019 to launch their new book. The AERC Championships will start from the Desert Empire Fairgrounds at 5205 Richmond Road, Ridgecrest, CA 93555 (760-375-8000). Victoria will be joined over the weekend by Vera Kalilla, founder of Love This Horse Equine Rescue in Acton, CA, the rescue that saved Freedom’s life; Gayle Pena, a devout follower, rider, and crew person at Tevis, and Virginia Jablonski, a nationally known Animal Communicator who actually communicated with Freedom when he first came into rescue.

Synopsis: Freedom was abused and betrayed by every human he came in contact with as a young horse. Despite his promise to his mother to grow up and become a “good horse,” he distrusted all humans while harboring the hope he would find his “Heart Human” someday. Nathan was born with Autism. He was brilliant but lacked the skill to communicate. His parents tried many forms of therapy to help their son and couldn’t find one that worked for him. He grew up isolated, passing his time on a computer learning about things he’d never be able to do. Freedom’s owner donated him to a therapeutic riding center. Nathan’s mother got an invitation to a fundraiser for that center and investigated equine therapy for her son. Something finally worked for Nathan. Then Nathan met Freedom and magic happened. Nathan wanted to ride the Tevis Cup Ride, the toughest 100 miles in one day ride in the world. Freedom’s previous owner conditioned Freedom for that ride before she donated him. Four new friends stepped up to help join the horse with the boy and help them make their dreams come true.

Per Victoria, their ideal reader is someone who loves to read a story about a horse that will make you laugh and make you cry and make you feel good you read the story when it ends. They initially wrote for the YA Market (12 to 18-year-old horse-crazy girls) but find their readers are 25 and older women who used to be them, and a surprising number of older gentlemen as well. One of their best reviews came from Paul Husband, son of Dr. Burt and Ruth Husband, breeders of the immortal Khemosabi++++////. Paul has read all four of their first books and says, “it is the best thing that has happened to Arabian Horses in North America in a long time.”

Victoria and her husband have owned, shown and bred Arabian horses since the early 1980’s. They owned and ran a small training/breeding/boarding facility for a number of years. Victoria says many of her stories come from the horses and the young people at their ranch as well as stories she’s heard over the years.

Nancy Perez worked for AT&T for more than 30 years selling, writing, editing, and proofing advertising copy. She wrote for herself from childhood, but never tackled something as difficult as a novel before the two paired up to write as a team. She was a city girl, through and through, except for the times she spent at Victoria’s ranch. She took over for them during vacations and holidays and discovered the joys of hay in your bra and mud on your boots for several days to a week at a time.

Nancy Perez and Victoria Hardesty have been friends since early high school years. (They will admit to 55 years of close friendship). They both suffered a life-threatening health crisis and decided to team up to write as they worked through them. Their first book was released in December 2017, their second came shortly after in April 2018, their third came out in July 2018 and their fourth was released in December 2018. Per Victoria, the first four books pair up four horse friends and four young human friends who will go on throughout the series to help other horses and their special young people.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

New York: From cowhide to horseback - Full Article

By Steve Lawrence Oct 4, 2019

Cody Middaugh is a sophomore at Ithaca High School, and when I learned that he had just completed a 30-mile endurance race last month, it got my attention. I always knew he was a determined young man, but 30 miles? That’s quite a distance.

Cody’s mom, Jan, is a longtime friend and former colleague, and I recall sitting with her at one of his Babe Ruth baseball games a couple of years ago. It was a continuation of a family legacy, as I had written a story about Cody’s brother, Brandon, who did a fine job on the diamond for the Little Red a decade earlier. Cody held his own as a baseball player, but it turned out that the sport just wasn’t his thing.

A few months after that, I asked Jan if Cody was doing any other sports, and she said that he had lost interest in baseball. I was sorry to hear that. Jan assured me that while her son had tossed the glove and bat into the closet, he had found another passion...

Read more here:

Friday, October 04, 2019

Alone across America: Montana long rider shares her stories - Full Article


We measure our lives in days, weeks and years.

Bernice Ende measures hers in mile markers.

Mile by mile, 10 miles at a time, 30 miles a day in a trot-walk-trot-walk cadence, the former ballet instructor from Trego in northwestern Montana lives with her horses of sturdy Norse heritage.

She’s up to more than 30,000 in 15 years of long rides that have taken her coast to coast (in one long ride) and to two other countries.


“The love and longing of the ride,” Ende said Wednesday. “I’m alone a lot. There I am in the desert with my little fire and the horses next to me with their bells. It’s like: And they wonder why I do this. It’s like it is so magical, it is so transforming. It’s just so ... submerged in life...”

Read more here:

Entries Still Open for AHA Distance Nationals in Oklahoma

The Distance Horse National Championships, which will be held October 25-27 in Vinita, Oklahoma, is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which include Open Owl Hoot Rides along with breed National Championships. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA), the Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Registry (ASR).

Along with our many National Breed Championships we also offer an Open Owl Hoot Spook AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride and several Open Owl Hoot Spook Limited Distance, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile rides. This year all endurance Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC.) The Distance Horse National Championships have also added the LD Challenge to the event which is for the same rider/horse combination entered in the all three Open Limited Distance Rides; rules and the point schedule can be found under the Exhibitor Information tab. Remember that all Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides are open to all breeds and require no qualifications or memberships!

For entry qualifications, entry forms and more information see:

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Resilience: Debbie Grose and Jackpot Jackson

by Jo Christensen
October 2 2019

Each month on the banner of the PNER (Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides) FB page, we have feature someone or something that exemplifies the “heart and soul” of the PNER. This month we feature a horse-rider team who exemplifies a core quality of the organization and our community of riders: RESILIENCE.

Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Resilience is exemplified in its extreme this month in our feature horse-rider team: Debbie Grose and Jackpot Jackson.

Debbie is an endurance rider from Mountain Home, Idaho. Her partner is a thoroughbred-something cross, “Jack.” Amazingly, she had never owned a horse in her entire life until 2013, when she was 48 years old, and Jack “fell in her lap.” He had a "sketchy" past, supposedly having been used to pack and move cattle. Sketchy as in it took her 2 years to get a farrier under him and to get him to load in a trailer. Yet somehow, the two of them worked it out.

Debbie wasn’t much interested in riding boring circles in an arena and neither was Jack. She had heard about endurance and said that’s for us! Four seasons of endurance followed and the two forged a close partnership on the endurance trails all across the PNER region. However, their partnership was tested by a very unfortunate turn of events in July.

On Day 1 of the Top of The World Pioneer ride, they were riding alone and nearing the end of the 1st loop of the 50-mile ride. She dismounted to go through a gate and then jumped up on a rock to climb back on her 16.2 hand horse. She dryly observes “apparently my rock picking skills need to be honed…” Her mounting rock rolled out from under her and she tumbled to the ground. As she fell down the incline, she instinctively put her right arm out to break her fall.

She reports when she came to rest, she looked up at her patiently waiting steed, who seemed to be saying – “nice stupid human trick, can we get on with this now?” The problem was, as she got to her feet, it was apparent that her arm was “not in its natural state of straight, and had some pretty sexy curves going on.” The limb was clearly broken, or at least severely dislocated. But nothing was falling off, and no blood was gushing so she remounted her horse (from a different, very stable, rock,) and rode the last ½ mile into camp for the vet check.

As she rode into camp, news of her brokenness had already spread, and the family that is endurance ride camp swung into action. Someone vetted her horse through while others fetched water and ice for her arm. Volunteers with medical training looked at her arm, and she informed them she intended to finish the ride. She reports that they looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders, and splinted her arm. Moreover, in true endurance rider fashion, she was thrilled that the vet wrap they used to keep it secure perfectly matched Jack’s tack!

When their hold was up, they headed back down the trail together. She declared she would not be getting off my horse for anything on the final loop and she was able to tag along with a couple other riders who opened the gates. She found that at a walk she could keep her arm stable and elevated across her chest but at a trot, it was necessary to hold her arm out at a 90-degree angle to allow for some shock absorption. She says “I kind of felt like I was stuck in some kind of weird parade wave pose, and suppose that I looked even stranger than I felt.”

Now, it was Jack’s turn to rise up and lead the partnership. She reports that he was a wonderful partner for that last 25 miles. “He was calm and patient even though my reins were all over the place, and my head was swimming.” They were able to finish the 50 miles, in 13th place and Jack earned his 1000 mile endurance patch that day.

Most of us are amazed at the well of resilience in Debbie- that she was able to remount her horse after a serious fracture, ride back to camp, and then go out and ride for another 25 miles! Yet she shrugs this off as nothing and credits the support from her fellow riders, vets, and volunteers.

It’s true that the support of our community allows us to dig deep and find resilience, yet it’s obvious that Debbie has quite a bit of inherent ability to “recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” She says “some have called me a 'badass' for riding with a broken arm, I just figure that’s what endurance riders do. Isn't it?”

Debbie goes on to reflect that “To finish is to Win – that’s what I heard when I was first introduced to this sport of Endurance. I love my big lug of a horse, and I think he loves me too. We have learned to take care of each other and work as a team. Now, we finish when we can, and learn something when we cannot. Either way, I feel that any day spent with my Jackpot Jackson is a WIN!”

Monday, September 30, 2019

7000 Miles for Morgan Endurance Horse Bogar Tucker

September 28 2019

Add another to the list of equines reaching new mileage milestones at the Virgin Outlaw XP ride near Penguitch, Utah last week.

Highest AERC mileage endurance Morgan, Bogar Tucker, owned and ridden by Cindy Bradley, crossed the 7000-mi plateau at the Virgin Outlaw XP ride on September 28.

Since his first Limited Distance ride at age 4 in 2003, Bo has racked up 7030 endurance miles and 555 LD miles in 16 seasons, with 155 completions in 165 starts. It's not unusual to see this pair cover over 500 miles a season. "Bo is twenty but it's his rider who is feeling her age!" Cindy said, though you can be sure their career together is not over yet.

While Bo's specialty are the multi-day XP rides at 50 miles a day, he and Cindy do have one 100-mile completion at the Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer in Idaho in 2017. "Our only 100 and first attempt," Cindy said. "I was 75 and Bo was 18 then."

Bo's outstanding endurance achievements have also garnered him numerous American Morgan Horse Association awards over the years.

Steve Bradley photos

For more on Cindy and Bogar Tucker, see:
5000 Miles of Morgan Power: Bogar Tucker and Cindy Bradley

Saturday, September 28, 2019

8000 Miles for Fire Mt Malabar; 9000 Miles for DE Golden Ali at Virgin Outlaw XP

Kevin and DE Golden Ali at the 2011 Big Horn 100

September 28 2019
Story and photos by Merri

Last week at the scenic Virgin Outlaw XP ride near Penguitch, Utah, a couple of major equine endurance milestones were celebrated.

On September 23, Kevin Waters crossed the finish line (accompanied for the photo op by his terriers Jay and Fritz) with his DE Golden Ali, a 3/4 Arabian gelding by Blacklord Baskhot X Salome RFN, by Rio Fire Nice. Ali is "19," Kevin said. "Or 20." The pair started Ali's endurance career in 2008, and after 12 seasons, Ali's record stands at 164 completions in 168 starts, with 14 out of 15 100-mile finishes.

Kevin said, "Glad it was at an XP ride with Hall of Fame riders , Ride Managers and horses all around!"

Naomi and Fire Mt Malabar at 2018 Old Selam
The next day, Naomi Preston and 20-year-old Fire Mt Malabar (Sierra Fadwah X Malabar Dawn, by Malabar Amir) crossed the finish line to hit Malabar's 9000 mile mark. Malabar started his endurance career in 2006; he's competed 143 out of 150 starts, and 7 out of 10 100 milers.

Here's what Naomi said on September 25:

"As a horseowner, if you're really lucky, you get to have a once-in-a-lifetime horse who exceeds all your goals! I'm feeling especially blessed, because I've gotten to experience that twice now. First, with Mustang Lady, and now, thanks to the generosity of my hubby Lee Pearce, I've had the privilege of riding Fire Mt Malabar, his once-in-a-lifetime horse. Lee did over 5,000 miles with Malabar, achieving countless awards, including National Best Condition.

Yesterday, at age 20, Malabar hit 8,000 competition miles with me at the beautiful Virgin Outlaw ride. Thank you Lee and Malabar!"

Ride Schedule for AERC National Championship Available

A full schedule of events is planned for the weekend extravaganza at the National Championship Ride. 

Wednesday October 30
• Ridecamp at the Fairgrounds in Ridgecrest, California, opens at 8 AM
• Vetting in from 3-5 PM for Thursday rides
• 5-7 PM Welcome reception

Thursday October 31
• 50 mile Championship, 25 mile ride
• 7 PM Awards for 25 and 50 mile rides

Friday November 1
• 9 AM-Noon Live demonstrations and clinics
• Vetting in from 3-6 PM for Saturday rides

Saturday November 2
• 100 mile Championship, 35, 50, and 65 mile rides
• 7 PM Awards for 35 and 50 mile rides

Sunday November 3
• 8 AM Best Condition judging
• 9 AM Awards for 65 and 100 mile rides

…and much more!

View the complete ride schedule by clicking here.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Lois Fox's Iced Mocha Reaches 5000 Miles in the Oregon 100

September 14 2019

On Saturday September 14 at the Oregon 100 in Brothers, Oregon, Lois Fox and Iced Mocha crossed the finish line of the 50 mile ride with a small crowd of cheering fans. Mocha had just completed 5000 AERC endurance miles. It is the second horse Lois has achieved this milestone with.

Here is Lois' write-up of the day:

I want to thank all of the people who took the time last week to send wonderful posts or in person comments at Oregon 100 regarding Mocha's recent 5000 mile achievement. The response was overwhelming and appreciated. If Mocha could read, I know he would smile. I thought Tani Bates and I were the only ones who knew about the milestone. Tani stayed at the ride, even though she had decided not to start her horse and could have gone home early. She volunteered at the ride and crewed for me when possible and waited anxiously for Mocha's completion. She brought champaign for all to enjoy. Les Rouska needs some instruction on popping the corks. lol

Achieving 5000 miles with an endurance horse is truly amazing. Getting to 3000 miles is relatively easy with a sound, adequately conditioned equine and a determined rider. The problems increase with the mileage totals. Serious injuries usually curtail the quest for high mileage. However, a myriad of minor stuff seems never ending.

Mocha's challenges have been primarily saddle fit. I have been through several saddles, including 3 that were "custom" fit. The saddle fitters I used simply didn't understand endurance. I finally relented and went to Marlene Moss and Ghost treeless saddles. Marlene and Helga Grimsrud Pratt didn't give up until Mocha had a successful 50 mile completion 3 months after we started trying to fit him. I am forever grateful to these two women for salvaging Mocha's uncertain future.

I'm optimistic that Mocha has lots of miles left to go. Again, thank you all for your encouraging words. The response was overwhelming to me and totally unexpected. I appreciated all of it.

With the gift of life Heart transplant survivor shares her journey - Full Article

Written By: Josiah Cuellar | Sep 24th 2019 - 1am.

Angie Mikkelson was born in Kalispell, Mont. and very well may have been put in the saddle immediately, and still boasts that she has the energy and pep of a young soul.

Living in Reeder, N.D., where her free spirit allows her to enjoy outdoor recreations, she participates in triathlons, foot races, long distance endurance horse rides and weekend long bike rides. To her there is a unique joy in pushing herself to the limits, beyond the scope of most people — but her special journey becomes all the more inspiring when you hear her share her story.

“I used to think it was a big deal if I could get on the treadmill and jog at five miles an hour for two miles,” said Mikkelson. “I enjoyed it. It was one of those things that I wasn't able to do before, so it was amazing.”

Mikkelson splits her time between being an avid outdoor recreationist and endurance athlete with donning her hat as a Lifesource Ambassador. Born with endocardial fibroelastosis that she says took all control away from her, but never crushed her spirit.

“It's scary not being in control of your life,” Mikkelson said. “I can exercise, eat good, take care of myself, but it could all come tumbling down and end in a blink of an eye...”

Read more here:

Saturday, September 21, 2019

U.S. Endurance Team Secures a Strong Sixth-Place Finish in FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Riders & Juniors - Full Story

by US Equestrian Communications Department/Jump Media | Sep 19, 2019, 12:14 PM EST
Maria Muzzio and Landroval (Mark Baldino photo)

The U.S. Endurance Team had a great finish in the FEI Endurance World Championships for Young Riders & Juniors on Wednesday, September 18. The prestigious 120-kilometer competition was held at the San Rossore Racecourse in Pisa, Italy, during the Toscana Endurance Lifestyle event.

“This is a really good result for the program,” said the U.S. team’s chef d’equipe, Mark Dial. "This is the fastest we’ve ridden, and the best team finish we’ve had since I’ve been with the program.” Dial was named U.S. Endurance Team Technical Advisor and Chef d’Equipe in April of 2015.

“This was a great group,” Dial continued. “They rode to instructions, and they could communicate any issues they were having. They were riding some very good horses. Over the past several years, we’ve put together an incredible staff. I have to give the staff credit, too—our vet staff, Kristen Brett, and the selectors. We’ve put together a really good program and we’re starting to see the results.”

In her first U.S. team appearance, Kate Bishop, 16, (Raleigh, N.C.) rode to the top individual placing, finishing in 41st with LR April Breeze, Lisa Green’s 12-year-old Arabian mare. A crew member handed Bishop an American flag as she approached the finish. “I held it high as we cantered across the finish line. That was my favorite moment of the whole ride,” Bishop said...

Read more here:

Endurance Insight: 10 Essentials Lexi Vollman Brought to the FEI World Championship for Young Riders and Juniors - Full Story

18 September 2019

Lexi Vollman of Regina, SK, has trekked across Canada, the United States and even the United Arab Emirates during just three short years of FEI competition. But the 20-year-old is determined to check more countries off her bucket list, and Italy was the latest on the docket as the host country for the 2019 FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Riders & Juniors, held Sept. 17-18 in Pisa, San Rossore.

Partnered with Hosam I-16 SK / KALA, an eight-year-old Shagya-Arab mare owned by Lucia Starovecka of Slovakia, Lexi tackled the 120km Junior division race, finishing in just over seven hours with an average speed of 16.92km/hr for 53rd place against over 100 of the top junior endurance athletes in the world.

Want insight on what Lexi packed to tackle the race? Keep reading to learn the essentials Lexi couldn’t leave home without for this championship journey...

Read more here:

Friday, September 20, 2019

Now Taking Entries for Endurance.Net's "Horse and Companions" Photo Contest!

September 20 2019

Self photographers and voters from around the world enthusiastically participated in's first photo contest, "Between the Ears", and's second photo contest, "HORSIE", sharing their favorite trail and HORSIE (horse + selfie) pictures.

Now it's time to enter's third photo contest, Horse+Companions! Take a photo of your horse and favorite companion. Got dog? Goat? Parrot? Sure, it can be a human too. Email the photos to and include a few short details - your name, horse's name, and where the photo was taken. You can enter as many photos as you like. And make sure you take your own photo - no pictures from professional photographers allowed (unless you're taking your own photo!).

We'll upload the photos to this page on, and post updates on's Facebook page and everybody will be able to choose their favorite and vote via email.

Voting will start in one week, September 27! Then you can begin voting for your favorite photo or person; one vote per email address per day is allowed. Anybody can enter; anybody can vote. You will send your daily votes to

Contest opens today, September 20, accepting your entries, and closes November 15.

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth places will be determined by sheer number of votes and will receive special prizes. Previous first place winners are not eligible for the first place prize :) .

Bonnie Girod, from Libby, Montana, and her grade half Arabian Luna won first place in the Between the Ears contest.

Michelle Sharp, from Prescott Valley, Arizona won first place in the HORSIE contest.

First Place for the new Horse & Companions photo contest will receive a framed pastel giclee’ portrait* of your choice (horse or other pet), courtesy Steph Teeter (

Second place will receive a copy of Merri Melde's book, Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest Endurance Ride (soft cover or ebook, your choice).

Third place will receive a copy of Leonard Liesen’s book ‘Endurance: a French Perspective'.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth places will receive something... we're not sure yet!

Send in your photos now, and vote once a day, now!

**Photos can be taken anywhere around the world, but USA addresses only are eligible for prizes, unless you want to pay postage and insurance**

*Endurance.Net will frame and ship a giclee’ painting (archival, high resolution reproduction) of the winner’s choice of images.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Man-Mule Race returns - Full Article

September 18 2019
Cynthia Delaney

LAMOILLE – The jury is still out on which is the champion: man or mule. The annual Man-Mule race in Lamoille is now in its 41st year, and it’s time for people to sign up.

The race is a multifaceted fundraiser for the Ruby Mountain Riding for the Handicapped Association. It will take place Sept. 28 in Lamoille.

The race began in 1978 as a wager between a long distance runner, Tony Lamort, and a mule rider, Fred Harris. They made a bet on who could travel the 20 miles between Elko and Lamoille in the shortest time, event coordinator Carolyn Steninger said. As rumors of the wager spread throughout the community it was decided that the proceeds would be donated to the newly formed therapeutic riding program...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 September's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

Endurance: Mongol Derby Winner Robert Long, Long Distance Driver Angela Wood and Ride with GPS App for Sept. 10, 2019

Sep 10, 2019

Mongol Derby winner Robert Long tells us how he prepared and eventually won the Mongol Derby at the age of 70. Angela Wood shares some stories from her 4,000 mile trek across the United States driving her pair of horses and we learn all about the App that is taking the long distance riding community by storm, Ride with GPS. Listen in...

James Lee Porter August 29, 1947 - August 16, 2019

James Lee Porter of Cool, California, passed away on August 16 in Putney Vermont.

Porter was born and raised in Brattleboro Vermont and was the son of Margaret C. and James E. Porter. He attended Saint Michael's elementary school and graduated Saint Michael's High School in 1965. Since 1976, Porter was an extremely skilled farrier and took great pride in his meticulous work. He reluctantly and sadly retired from the trade in June of 2019 due to being diagnosed with stage four cancer. Over the course of his life-long career, Porter shod thousands of horses throughout the lower 48 states. The concentration of his work was based mostly in and around Northern California. He was introduced to the world of horses at around the age of 18 when he was hired as a horse groomer at the former harness racetrack in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. It was then and there that he began his life’s dedication to the equestrian trades and culture of the equestrian community. Porter enjoyed competing in endurance horse racing and accumulated over 1,700 competitive miles. He was excellent at crewing for riders and their horses and traveled to many rides to support the success of others, including helping his daughter Lainey achieve over 6,000 competitive miles. Besides Porter’s passion for the health and wellness of the horse, he was a diehard New England Patriots fan and loved Bob Dylan, as well as Outlaw Country music. He composed raw and profound prose, tried like hell to learn the guitar and took great pride in his gypsy roots, making countless cross-country road trips in his faithful Chevy pickup truck.

Porter is survived by his four children, Christa J. Porter of Putney, VT, Joel A. Porter Sr., of Northfield, MA, Lainey Porter of Georgetown, CA, and Jenna Charest of Henderson, CO, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Besides his family, Porter leaves behind several dear friends, a bunch of horseshoeing buddies and a slew of loyal customers throughout the Northern California landscape and the great wild west.

written by Christa Porter, one of Porter’s daughters

Friday, September 06, 2019

A Breed Apart: Dolly DeCair was Born to Ride, and Ride Fast - Full Article

Published September 4, 2019

Written by Cathy Carroll
Photos Jeff Kennedy

83-year-old Dolly DeCair continues inspiring riders in the world’s toughest endurance race.

A slim, five-foot, four-inch-tall, platinum blonde with hot pink lipstick, red, fitted t-shirt and lavender riding tights slides her boot into the stirrup of a chestnut stallion, his muscles rippling. She whispers in his ear, “Mama’s gonna try and not scream now,” as she throws her leg over the latest in her line of champion stallions, which in the last forty years she’s raced roughly 7,500 miles. Simply mounting the Arabian reminds Dolly DeCair of her two hip replacements, the most recent done last year.

But at 83, with 100 top-ten endurance race finishes — including a second-place finish at age 65 in the world renowned 100-miles in twenty-four-hours Tevis Cup — to her, there’s no other option than to push through the pain. She was born to ride, and ride fast — even on Tevis’s narrow trails through remote mountain wilderness, with riders racing to the finish in the dark.

Known for her speed, her flair, and for slowing down to help others on the trail, the Crooked River Ranch “blonde at the O.K. Corral” as friends call her, has been inspiring riders throughout the West’s endurance racing community...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 05, 2019

An Enduring Ride For Standardbred West Grey Bay - Full Story

August 26 2019

Sarah Cuthbertson, a noted equestrian with a decade of endurance riding and training to her credit, had no plans to adopt a Standardbred horse. A charismatic and talented trotter, West Grey Bay, quickly changed her mind.

Cuthbertson has schooled many horses and students including training Standardbreds to compete in the Racing Under Saddle program. Julie Walker, a trainer largely responsible for getting the RUS program established in Ontario, had heard that West Grey Bay – a potential RUS horse – could be finding his way to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society.

“Julie had always thought he would make a great RUS horse. We put the bug in Joanne's (OSAS’s Joanne Colville) ear that we would like to foster him for me to practice RUS on and train him for a second career,” explained Sarah, who spends her days as a contracts administrator for an executive aviation management company.

In June of last year, not long after West Grey Bay was sent to Karen Briggs to foster and Cuthbertson to train, they took him for rides in the Dufferin Forest. At this point he’d only been under saddle for three weeks, and the group encountered a few obstacles and interruptions, but he handled them like a pro...

Read more here:

Monday, September 02, 2019

Tevis Cup 100-Miles-One-Day Trail Ride: Napa vet Lindsay Fisher, horse Monk finish ninth, win Haggin, Robie cups - Full Article

Aug 30, 2019

The first horse to cross the finish line of the 64th Tevis Cup 100-Miles One-Day Trail Ride on Aug. 17 won by the length of its body over the runner-up.

It was the kind of close finish Lindsay Fisher might have been involved in two years before, had the Napa veterinarian not believed in the true spirit of the event from Truckee to Auburn along the Western States Trail – that it’s a ride, not a race, and that winning should not take precedence over the horse’s health. She and another rider were at the last veterinary check together in 2017, leading the field, when the other rider took off. Rather than give chase, Fisher finished getting gelding “Monk” ready for the last six miles and ended up in second place by 12 minutes...

Read more here:

Gardnerville woman fifth at endurance ride - Full Article

August 30, 2019

Staff Reports

Gardnerville resident Suzanne Huff came in fifth on her mare Sessa in the 100 Mile Western States Endurance Horseback Ride between Truckee and Auburn, Calif. on Aug. 17-18.

Huff bred, raised, trained and competes Sessa.

According to the web site, she completed the ride by 9:54 p.m. after 16 hours on the trail...

Read more at:

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Gillette woman finishes 16th in 100-mile equestrian endurance ride - Full Article

By JACK WARRICK News Record Writer
September 1 2019

Recently, Gillette native Niki Beck competed in a 100-mile horse race at the Tevis Cup in Northern California, considered one of the most difficult horse races in the world.

Beck finished in 16th place out of 98 who finished the race. There were about 180 riders at the start, she said. The trail is so long and the terrain so tough that many horses, or their riders can’t finish the race.

It took the first place finisher over 16 hours to complete the trail...

Read more here:

Sierra Lutheran pair earn national equestrian honors - Full Article

August 30, 2019
Brian Underwood

Their shared ancestry to the rich equestrian tradition found in the United Kingdom offers natural synergy to the horsemanship tradition they have in common, but that’s where the trail and spoils split for Kailey Fitzpatrick and Riley McHenry.

The Gardnerville teens, who have been in the saddle and competing for most of their lives, have enjoyed strong success for a number of years on their respective competition circuits of show jumping and endurance riding. Recently, each took a quantum leap by garnering national attention in her individual series, and, in the process, noteworthy distinction to the local equestrian community.

Fitzpatrick, 14, won three Reserve National Championship titles on three different horses earlier this month at the Canadian Nationals. Outside the arena, McHenry, 14, was one of only 99 riders out of an opening field of 184 entries, to complete the grueling 100-mile Tevis Cup endurance ride from Tahoe to Auburn...

Read more here:

Big opportunity for local Georgia rider - Full Article

By Kevin Eckleberry
Published 12:42 am Saturday, August 31, 2019

She’s ready to test herself, as well as her faithful horse, against the best in the world.

Kimberly Loutzenheiser, who lives in Troup County and is a junior at Heard County High, has qualified for the FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Riders.

The elite competition, which features more than 100 riders and their horses competing on a 75-mile course, will be held in September in Italy.

Loutzenheiser is one of five riders from the United States from the ages of 16 to 21 who will take part in the competition.

Loutzenheiser, who at the age of 16 is the youngest member of the United States team, will ride DM Michaelangelo, who is owned by Rae Shumate-Tysor...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Hometown boy makes good: Wyoming native wins world’s longest horse race - Published on August 19, 2019August 18, 2019 in Community/News
Nicole Blanchard, special to Cowboy State Daily

It’s only fitting that a man dubbed “the most badass cowboy you will ever meet” hails from the Cowboy State.

Robert Long, a native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, earned the title after winning the Mongol Derby, a 620-mile race across the Mongolian Steppe, earlier this week. At 70 years old, Long is not only the oldest person to win the race but the oldest person to even finish the grueling trek, designed to replicate the route of Genghis Khan’s 13th century postal system.

“I’ve never in my life seen anybody as intense, as skilled, as intelligent, as driven as Bob,”said Gary Schaeffer, former Cheyenne mayor and one of Long’s closest friends. Both men now live in Boise, Idaho.

Long crossed the finish line on Wednesday, Aug. 14, the eighth day of the race. He and 41 other competitors had ridden upwards of 12 hours a day on “semi-wild” Mongolian horses, switching out mounts at checkpoints to ensure the horses didn’t become fatigued.

“Those horses aren’t ridden every day like ours,” said Cheyenne rancher Doug Samuelson, who has spent time hunting in Mongolia. “They’re not our highly trained quarter horses.”

By the end of the race, Long had ridden 28 different horses.

Schaeffer, who first met Long in 1968, said his friend’s upbringing in Cheyenne no doubt came in handy in the race.

“He was born and raised on horses, used to break them, train them for people,” Schaeffer said. “Besides being a confident horseman and cowboy, he always takes care of his animals, and that shows in the race.”

Samuelson, who doesn’t know Long, joked that Long must be something of a horse whisperer.

“I’d love to shake his hand,” Samuelson said. “Maybe it’ll rub off on me.”

At each checkpoint, veterinarians inspected the small, hardy Mongolian horses to see that they hadn’t been overworked.

“They’re small horses, but they’re tough,” Samuelson said. “They’re incredibly agile and surefooted.”

Riders received penalties if their horses weren’t in top condition, but by the end of the derby, Long earned a perfect record from the race vets.

“At one point they said he veered off-course to go get his horse water,” Schaeffer added. “I’m sure it cost him some time, but he was more worried about taking care of his horse. And he’s always been that way.”

Schaeffer said Long was matter-of-fact when he first shared his plans to ride in the Mongol Derby, which holds the Guinness World Record for longest horse race.

“He came over to the house and told us ‘I’ve entered the Mongol Derby,’” Schaeffer said. “We said, ‘What? Why?'”

“He said, ‘Because people told me I couldn’t. It’s there, it’s a challenge. I don’t like people to say because of my age I won’t be able to make it. It’s the toughest, most grueling thing a horseman can do, and I want to prove I can do it,’” Schaeffer recalled.

From day one, Schaeffer said, Long’s loved ones had no doubt he could complete the race, in part thanks to his impeccable research, planning and preparation.

Because Mongolian horses tend to be under 14 hands, there’s a weight limit for riders and gear to keep the horses safe. Long lost 30 pounds and practiced packing and repacking his bag to be sure he could make weight. He consulted with previous Mongol Derby riders and spent months building his riding endurance.

“He had this planned down to the inch,” Schaeffer said.

And while Long already had impeccable navigation skills (Schaeffer recalled how Long could always find his way back to the horse trailer during hunting trips in the Snowy Mountains), he honed those skills even more to prepare for the unmarked Mongol Derby route.

“He would try to get himself lost and work with the GPS to get himself back on course,” Schaeffer said. “Though I doubt if he ever got lost. He just doesn’t do that.”

According to a Mongol Derby news release, the riders faced arctic winds and downpours at the start of the race. They also had to watch out for rodent holes and marshy areas as they trekked across the steppe.

“(The terrain there) is a lot like Wyoming,” Samuelson said. “You’ll see really flat plains areas and kind of high mountains on the side. The grasses are also similar.”

As the weather cleared up later in the race, Long took a lead that he maintained until the end.

Schaeffer wasn’t surprised when Long galloped across the finish line in a live video broadcast on Facebook by the Mongol Derby –but he was emotional.

“I was crying, tears were streaming down my face. We knew he could do it,” Schaeffer said.

“I’ve never seen anything he can’t do,” he added. “If he says he’s going to do it, he’s going to do it.”

Long, on the other hand, was cracking jokes the moment he dismounted.

“My horse just won the Mongol Derby,” he said. “It’s nothing, you just ride 650 miles on a death march. There’s nothing to it.”

Find out more about the Mongol Derby here. And for a great read on the Mongols and Genghis Khan’s 13th century postal system check out Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Midnight Rider: The Magical Experience of Riding in the Dark

by Merri
August 19 2019

The Northwest region's Bobbi Walker put on the Midnight Rider endurance ride outside of Chehalis, Washington this past weekend.

The previous two years Bobbi put on an unofficial 25-miler and a trail ride to work out the kinks; this year the Midnight Rider was PNER-endorsed and AERC-sanctioned. Bobbi is an avid endurance rider who loves riding in the dark, and wants to help acquaint and encourage inexperienced night-riding endurance riders to dip their toes into the magic of night riding, to help them with long-range goals of attempting 100-mile rides. Starting times - from afternoon to evening - were arranged so that each distance would ride at least part of their second loop in the dark.

It was a bit of a blow when, during the summer, Tevis was rescheduled to the same weekend as Midnight Rider (due to concern over late snowpack in the High Sierra trails), but it was fitting (and certainly exciting!) that the Northwest Region's Sanoma Blakeley won Tevis right around the same time the first riders were crossing Bobbi's finish line at Midnight Rider.

Supported by PNER - Pacific Northwest Endurance Riders - Saturday morning, a night riding clinic was held, designed to give first-time night riders an idea of what to expect, tools to use, and tips on being brave and staying confident. Conducted by Northwest rider Merri Melde, she led a lecture and demonstration and discussion session on riding in the dark, and related experiences of her rides and tips from other highly experienced international endurance riders.

An after-ride session on Sunday morning indicated that the first-time night riders (who numbered around 20, including an 11-year-old Junior who also rode her first 50) had very good experiences, and an eagerness to try night riding again.

Taking place on the Willapa Hills State Park trail - one of five long-distance routes managed by Washington State Parks - this relatively flat, multi-use 56-mile trail is a key segment in the cross-state network spanning from the Idaho border to the shores of Willapa Bay. It was originally acquired by State Parks from the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1993. 

Here's the history of the trail:
"In the late 1800s, the Northern Pacific Railway used the line as a spur track for logging. Train tracks once crossed more than 2,000 miles from Willapa Bay to Lake Superior, but freight traffic declined in the late 1950s, and the Willapa Hills route was abandoned in 1990. State Parks acquired the railroad right-of-way for use as a trail in 1993.
The railroad brought rapid change to the land around Willapa Bay. Small communities, many with sawmills, rose up to process lumber. Newly cleared acreage was converted into farmland. Crops were loaded onto railroad cars and carried to markets throughout the American West. Railroad bridges and trestles were also added, spanning big and small waterways along the route.
With the rise of automobiles, passenger service along the route ended in 1954. Freight traffic declined during this period as well, and the route was abandoned in 1990. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission acquired the railroad right-of-way for use as a trail in 1993."

The Willapa Hills trail is in Bobbi's back yard, and one day while riding the trail, she passed the Willapa Hills Farm and pegged it as a great place for a Ridecamp. She rode in, introduced herself and her idea, and the owners were all in, offering the fields for parking and their gorgeous restored 1938 barn as a meeting spot for ride meetings. Willapa Hills Farm is a working family farm nestled on the banks of the Chehalis river, with a committed goal of natural farming, sustainability and environmental Stewardship.

The successful turnout for the trail rides, 25-miler and 50-miler, and the great night-riding experience for the majority of riders gives Bobbi hope that she can continue to put on this ride, and continue to provide a safe and fun environment and trail experience of riding in the dark, with a long-range goal of elevating more endurance riders to 100-mile endurance riders.

Endurance riders hit trail in fast growing equine sport - Full Article

August 16 2019

The world’s fastest growing equine sport, endurance riding, combines the appreciation for nature of a trail ride with the athleticism of endurance sports.

This Oct. 4, 5 and 6, riders will be hauling their trailers from miles around to the Horserider’s Campground in the stunning Southern Kettle Moraine State Forrest for the first running of the DRAW Festivus Ride. DRAW, the Distance Riding Association of Wisconsin, sponsors several distance trail rides each year. Riders will choose distances of 15, 25, 50 or a 2-day 100 mile event. The 15-mile ride for novice horses or riders is approximately three hours with the 25-mile course generally taking four to five hours to complete.

The night before the ride, horses will be examined by a ride veterinarian, and then during the event, there will be checks during the ride and again during a final veterinarian examination shortly after the finish. Each 25-mile ride has one mandatory rest period and, 50-mile rides have at least two mandatory rest periods.

This year’s Festivus theme will have the traditional airing of grievances and feats of strength...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sanoma Blakeley and RA Ares Bay Win 2019 Tevis Cup - Full Story

The 18-year-old and her Arabian edged Jeremy Reynolds and RTR Rimfires Etta to win.

Posted by Marsha Hayes | Aug 18, 2019

Eighteen-year-old Sanoma Blakeley of Terrebonne, Oregon, and 10-year-old dark bay Arabian gelding, RA Ares Bay, crossed the 2019 Tevis finish line at 9:27 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, in Auburn, California. They were just feet ahead of three-time Tevis winner Jeremy Reynolds to claim the Tevis Cup.

Both RA Ares Bay, aka “Goober,” and Reynold’s mount, bay mare RTR Rimfires Etta, pulsed down quickly (heart rates recovered) and vetted out sound after the 100-mile journey, which Blakeley said involved some intense racing during the last several miles.

“I left Lower Quarry (six miles from the finish line) first, but Jeremy and I leapfrogged a couple of times before the finish,” said Blakeley...

Read more here:

Young Regina woman heading to Italy for world riding championship

Growing up with mother Tracy Vollman — a competitive endurance rider — being around horses was normal, but a couple of tumbles as a young child left Lexi frightened to climb in the saddle. Her mother’s gentle and persistent coaching, however, always convinced her to get back on a horse.

While she did come to enjoy horses, Lexi was not interested in the sport of endurance riding her mother loved. Endurance riding is a timed race where an individual horse and rider duo have to travel a distance ranging from 80 to 160 kilometres over a marked cross-country trail in a single day. Instead, she only began riding longer distances as a 12-year-old as a way of spending time with her mother.

“I was going to do it with her because I loved my mom and then one day it was like something switched and it was like, ‘Oh you know, I really like doing this,’ ” said Lexi in a recent phone interview.

But Tracy said Lexi’s shyness initially held her back from excelling in the sport. Lexi declared she would never ride a race by herself and would never ride anyone else’s horse, and Tracy didn’t push her. A few years passed of Lexi continuing to ride longer distances — up to 80 kilometres — with her mom, but refusing to go any further.

Then when Lexi was 16, an opportunity came up to take part in a young rider endurance challenge in North Carolina. Because she would have to ride 120 kilometres by herself and ride someone else’s horse, Tracy was sure Lexi would turn the invitation down, but asked her anyway.

“I guess I was in a good mood and I was like, ‘Sure, yeah of course.’ And now that’s I think my favourite distance,” said the now 19-year-old with a laugh.

Her parents were shocked, but thrilled, at her response.

“We thought either she’s going to absolutely hate it … or maybe she’ll blossom. And lucky for us, she really blossomed. She got to know the other girls. She went out, she rode the 75-mile race,” said Tracy. From that point there was no turning back, and Lexi began endurance riding competitively around the world.

“All of a sudden now she’s travelling around the world, riding all these different horses for different people. She’s a completely different kid. It has done so much for her, and now here she is going to worlds.”

Full article at Star Phoenix

Sonoma Blakely and Jeremy Reynolds win Tevis 2019

Top Ten Tevis finishers:

1 Blakeley, Sanoma (#203) 09:27PM
2 Reynolds, Jeremy (#12) 09:27PM
3 Moquin, Haley (#112) 09:36PM
4 George, Richard (#158) 09:37PM
5 Huff, Suzanne (#142) 09:54PM
6 DONLEY, KAREN (#14) 09:54PM
7 Meuten, Nicki (#114) 10:06PM
8 HALL, GWEN (#150) 10:20PM
9 Fisher, Lindsay (#4) 10:28PM
10 Hayes, Suzanne (#147) 10:29PM

(from )

Official Tevis Cup webpage:

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

How to Follow Tevis Online

IT'S THAT TIME!!! Here's your annual summary of how best to follow along online:

The Western States Trail Foundation has a loyal group of volunteers that will be working hard to bring you up to date information during the ride weekend. When the ride starts, there will be a link on the main website to the LIVE WEBCAST. That link will allow you to search the progress of a specific rider, information status by checkpoint, current leaders, and a list of pulled riders. You can even save a list of Favorites to make checking on their progress throughout the day more streamlined!

You can also find ride updates, **LIVE** streaming videos, photos and more during the course of the ride on our Facebook page: We have webcast photographers and crew at nearly all checkpoints. We will be doing our best to provide continual coverage, upload pictures and video live during the event. Live streaming is always a big hit and we try to provide as much as the service allows!

Additionally, this year we have a GPS tracking for riders! For an additional fee, riders can elect to carry a live tracker, which will send pings to update the riders’ status on the trail every 5 minutes. There may be locations on the trail where GPS signal is too weak to successfully send a ping, the unit will try three times before waiting for the next 5 minute interval. You can follow along with those riders who have elected this optional service here: Individual riders GPS units should also be linked to their “Where’s My Rider” webcast page.

All of the people helping to man our EIGHTEEN various checkpoints are volunteers, typically working long hours for nothing more than the love of the event and a spiffy Tshirt. They do their best. Several new innovations have been introduced to provide updates as quickly and error-free as possible. Most stops are either direct internet uploading from the checkpoint or through technology which enables emails/uploads to be sent over HAM radios run by our communications volunteers. These two things allow us to be as accurate as possible. We will do our best to keep everyone up to date on their rider. Lag time from the rider checking in to the webcast being updated may be around 20-30 minutes for the more remote locations, others may be nearly real time!

You can imagine how hard it is to not transpose numbers, either verbally when reading/calling them out (especially for tired riders), or while writing them down/typing them in (think of 3-4 people having to hear/write the number for each instance), especially when you've been awake 20+ hours. Keep in mind it's possible to miss a rider # if they all arrive in a big group. If your rider shows up pulled or in a strange place - check again later and don't automatically take it as gospel. There are automated database checking tools to help the webcast volunteers find and correct a mistake at the next update.

Also just because your rider stops at a particular location for longer than usual/planned, it's not necessarily significant. It could be that the spotters missed their number going out, or perhaps they stayed longer than planned to let their horse eat or rest for the upcoming trail segment. There will be volunteers in Foresthill with computers if you need assistance in looking up a rider.

Summary of how to follow us online:

Main Tevis Website:

Official Checkpoint Webcast:

Official Tevis Facebook page:

Event GPS tracking:

Twitter Account:

Flickr Photos:


2019 Tevis Equine Research to Focus on Weight and Hydration - Full Article


Posted by Marsha Hayes | Aug 13, 2019

Horses competing in the 2019 Tevis Cup endurance ride are prepping to hit the trail on Saturday, Aug. 17. But before they load up for the trip to Northern California, they’ll get weighed as part of a research project to investigate the correlation between weight and hydration in horses during endurance competitions. Jerry Gillespie DVM, PhD, of Hopland, California, will conduct the research project.

Tevis offers unique equine research opportunities, because it gathers nearly 200 top endurance athletes from across the country to traverse the difficult 100-mile course. Gillespie’s study actually begins when competing horses leave home. “We know horses dehydrate when traveling, and knowing the magnitude and starting point of dehydration is important,” he said.

The voluntary study requests competitors weigh horses before transport and keep a detailed log of the horses’ food and water intake, stops, and miles and hours traveled per day...

Read more here:

Friday, August 09, 2019

2019 August's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

Aug 10, 2016

On today’s Endurance Episode features reports on the Olympics, Mongol Derby and of course Tevis Cup with Darice Whyte and Wayne Woolway talks about the Tahoe Rim Trail. Listen in...

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

What’s So Great About Tevis

August 6 2019

The 64th running of the Tevis Cup (aka Western States Endurance Ride) gets underway on Saturday, August 17. This is one of the best-known endurance rides in the world, and attracts riders from all corners of the U.S. and around the world to follow 100 miles of single-track trail from Robie Park, outside of Truckee, California, to Auburn, California, known as the “Endurance Capital of the World.” It is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, headquartered in Auburn, just a stone’s throw from the ride’s finish line.

Among those attempting the grueling test of equestrian skill will be Bruce Weary, DC, of Prescott, Arizona, whose mount this year is an 11-year-old Standardbred gelding named Trooper. Bruce has a history with the Tevis Cup ride: he’s attempted it multiple times, and has only completed the ride once, in 2009, with John Henry, a Tennessee Walker owned by Susan Garlinghouse, DVM.

Let’s let Bruce tell the story:

In anticipation of the annual of the Tevis Cup, aka Western States Trail Ride, I was asked to share some thoughts about my experiences with this ride, what it means to me, and what it might mean to those who dream of swingin’ a leg over a good horse and meeting the Tevis trail head-on.

I’m not sure if being asked to do so was a compliment or not. You see, it took me 15 years and seven attempts to finish this ride—just once. Compared to the efforts of some select riders who have collected a couple dozen buckles or more, I might just as well be the poster child for how not to conquer the Tevis trail.

My first attempt was in 1994, on a grade horse named Thor who had a few hundred miles on him. I had heard of this 100-mile ride in the Sierras, and I decided we’d take a shot at it—with two weeks of preparation. I worked him on some steep hills a few times, put new shoes on him, and figured we were ready.

I planned to get off and lead Thor any time I came to a hill, just to help him out a little. I tried that all the way to Robinson Flat and, upon my arrival, I promptly told my crew, “I wish to die now. Please kill me.”

I had never been so exhausted in my life. With fluids and food I regained some strength, however, and the Mighty Thor, as he was affectionately known, dragged me onward—through Dusty Corners, Last Chance, Deadwood, Michigan Bluff, and the hot, steep canyons that link them together.

Thor literally learned to tail at the bottom of the first canyon, and did it like he had known how all his life.

On reaching Michigan Bluff, I silently prayed that the control judges would find something wrong with Thor, that this madness might end. “You’re good to go!” bellowed the vet who examined Thor. Certain that this vet probably never entered, much less graduated from vet school, and that he was likely taking pleasure in my suffering, I begrudgingly took Thor’s reins, swung my dying carcass up on his noble back and headed into “The Darkness.”

If you’ve never ridden this ride, you don’t know what darkness can be. At times you can wave your hand in front of your face and can’t see it. I was greeted every few minutes by waves of increasing nausea and delirium as we wound our way down, down, down to the Francisco’s vet check, a God-forsaken patch of grass that seemed as good a place as any to die.

I offered my horse to the control judge, and I cursed him under my breath as he told me, “Your horse looks good. You better get moving.” And then “those words” came out of my mouth. Words I hate to ever say, that sounded as if someone else was speaking them, that tasted bitter as I said them, that were driven by nausea and fatigue: “I can’t.”

I remember lying down on a lounge chair. Someone threw a sleeping bag over me, and I passed out. I slipped in and out of consciousness for a few hours, and I remember Thor’s soft footsteps as he quietly grazed next to me and never left my side. Then there was the arduous trailer ride back to Auburn—rough and slow, perfectly punctuating the end of that fateful day. That moment—when I decided I couldn’t go on—haunts me to this day, and likely is a large part of what drives me to accept the challenge of the Tevis trail every year that I can.

I have learned to enjoy the beauty of that trail, and to relish the sometimes harsh lessons it can dish out. There are few adventures left for us to experience in today’s world that challenge us, show us what we’re made of, force us to face our fears, overcome our weaknesses and keep moving on the way that the Tevis does. Sunburn, the sting of sweat in your eye, the gritty feel of Tevis dust between your teeth and in your nose and ears and socks and eyes and hair and places I can’t mention here. Chafing, aching, fatigue, sleep deprivation—you name it, it’s all there for you.

As Hal Hall, 30-time Tevis finisher, is fond of saying, the Sierras are “unforgiving to the ill-prepared.”

(Incidentally, Thor’s final career record was perfect—except for the day I asked him to quit at Tevis. Dang.)

I made five more attempts, each ending short of the finish line. Some were due to unpreparedness on my part, one lameness, and one very frightening colic that could have easily taken the life of my horse if not for the caliber of vets that work the Tevis each year.

I have watched my wife, whom I introduced to the sport, win a 50th Anniversary buckle while I was still holding my pants up with baling twine.

Then, finally, the Tevis gods had apparently had enough entertainment at my expense, and something magical happened. I had converted to riding gaited horses around 2002, and in 2008 I bought an unlikely looking, unpapered Tennessee Walker named John Henry. He’s compact and muscley, and not much to look at. I just thought he would be a fun play-thing kind of horse, but I soon saw that this horse had a toughness that came from within—he showed up with it, so to speak.

He cruised easily through his first few 50s, and I decided (well, my wife gave me permission) to see if I could get him ready for Tevis. I groveled so thoroughly that Dr. Michele Roush agreed to coach me, and we set about the job of getting John Henry fit enough to tackle something as brutal as what the Tevis offers up. John Henry took everything we threw at him, and I swear I could hear him laughing at me down at the barn late at night. Probably while he was getting another tattoo.

Ride day finally arrived in 2009, and John Henry fought his way valiantly to Robinson Flat, but Coach Roush said she didn’t think he looked as good as he should at that point in the ride. With my heart in my throat, almost fully expecting another pull at some point that day, we headed out from Robinson to tackle as much of the trail as we could. I felt we at least had to put in a good effort.

Michele stopped me before I departed, handed me four double-dose syringes of electrolytes, looked at me sternly, and said, “These will be gone by Foresthill!” I remember mumbling, “Yes, ma’am,” as we turned to leave, and I think I sucked my thumb halfway to Dusty Corners.

Well, I did what I was told, and John Henry began to drink like a sailor on shore leave in response to his electrolytes. At Foresthill, Dr. Jim Baldwin examined him and told me, “Let him rest and get some chow, and he’ll take you home. You have a lot of horse here.”

From that point on, John Henry became nearly unstoppable—a runaway freight train. He ate and drank feverishly, pounded through the night and, finally, deposited me at the finish line for my first Tevis completion. Ever. I still have to take a moment whenever I remember it.

Nice story, but what could it mean for those who aspire to wear that elusive Tevis buckle? (Side note: More people have summitted Mt. Everest than wear a Tevis buckle.) I hope it can mean that the longer and tougher the journey, the sweeter the rewards. It can mean finding something in yourself and your horse that you have felt but have never proven to yourself is there. It can mean that several failures can be the stepping stones to success. Or, it can simply mean a very scenic ride on a good horse for as long as the two of you choose to carry on. All pretty heady stuff, and worth lying awake a few nights to ponder.

With a little luck I hope to ride the Tevis once again. Oh, and John Henry? He has finished three in a row—2013, 2014 and 2015—under the guiding hand of his new owner, Dr. Susan Garlinghouse. Together, they have found things in each other they might not have found otherwise. It’s all good stuff.

Lastly, some words for you Tevis dreamers, and I know you’re out there: Life is so very short. It’s good to get a little dirty every now and then. I double-dog dare ya.

You can follow Bruce and Trooper and all the entrants at this year’s Tevis Cup ride via

Monday, August 05, 2019

Winners of's "HORSIE" Photo Contest Announced

August 5 2019's second photo contest, "HORSIE" (Horse+Selfie) displayed the enjoyment and hilarity that our equine companions can give us. Riders shared their favorite photos of some of their favorite companions.
The gallery is here:

First place winner, by highest number of votes, is Michelle Sharp. Her HORSIE photos included her 16yo Arab gelding Sterling (GAA Sterling Grey) -"He LOVES having his picture taken and is always game for a photo bomb", her 17yo Arab gelding Dream (Dream on SA) - "He thinks the only reason to take a sefie is to get a cookie and he nudged a little reminder here", her 26yo gelding Zyn (Zynzation) - "after a ride and a friend's horse decided to photo bomb. Zyn did 2 LD's last year at the ripe age of 25!", and her mare Rue (ROL Burning Love) - "with our Tevis buckle from 2016!".

Congratulations Michelle! She will receive a small painted portrait of her choice, courtesy Steph Teeter (

Second place goes to Linda Ferguson. Linda's endurance horse, Menominee Windstorm, also serves as a qualified police horse for the Wyoming County, NY, Sheriffs Department Mounted Unit. Proud mom Linda is a mounted officer as well. Linda will receive a copy of Merri Melde's book Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest Endurance Ride.

Third place goes to Sandi Harris. Sandi sent in two photos. One is of her 18-year-old Arabian cross Sayir, riding in the Southern California desert, about 5 miles form the US/Mexico border. Together they have over 2000 LD miles. The second photo is of her Arabian Aart AJF. She rescued him in Southern California, "and now he's a beautiful 3-year-old!" Sandi will receive a copy of Leonard Liesen's book, Leonard Liesen’s book ‘Endurance: a French Perspective'.

Fourth place goes to Cat Cook. Cat calls her horse Diamonds her "better half." Her photos show them after 10 miles of training in the sand dunes and heat in Bruneau, Idaho. Cat will receive a $50 Riding Warehouse gift certificate.

Fifth place goes to Chris Samson, of Ola, Idaho. Chris sent in photos of her BLM mustang Shaman Samson. Shaman came from the HMA herd in Nevada. "He is a sweet big boy, 15.2 hands at 4 years old." Adopt a mustang, Chris says. "They are awesome!" Chris will receive a $25 Riding Warehouse gift certificate.

Sixth place goes to Karen Bumgarner of Parma, Idaho, who sent in a selfie of her new Appy foal, Pard. Karen will receive a $10 Riding Warehouse gift certificate.

Thanks to all who participated in our second photo contest!'s first photo contest was "Between the Ears". Stay tuned for the next one this fall!

Friday, August 02, 2019

2019 Tevis Cup Headlamp Policy

RIDERS: Don't forget about the Headlamp Policy this year. Headlamps or any other devices providing light during the Tevis Cup Ride are subject the following policy:

- Headlamps shall not exceed 250 lumens

- Riders shall turn their headlamps off as they approach other horses and riders from behind.

- Riders shall turn off headlamps at the request of other riders.

- Glow sticks attached to the front of a horse are allowed

- Red or other colored lights are subject to the same lumens restriction as white lights

The Cup Committee will monitor for lights that are too bright and ask riders to not use them. The Cup Committee will also address complaints about riders that are disrespectful with their use of headlamps. The intent of this rule is to find a middle ground where some lights can be used but not to the annoyance of other riders.

More information at:

Thursday, August 01, 2019

American Endurance Ride Conference 2019 Endurance Championships

July 31 2019

This year’s American Endurance Ride Conference National Championship Ride will be located in Ridgecrest, California, home of the spectacular Mojave Desert (and the recent series of earthquakes). Luckily, there was no damage to the ride area and the event should be an unforgettable celebration of distance riding from October 31 to November 3.

While there are qualifying requirements for the National Championship 50- and 100-mile rides, there are open rides beginning at 25 miles (on October 31) and 35 miles (on November 2). Most riders with fit trail horses are capable of competing in the limited distance rides and are welcome to attend the ride, regardless of AERC membership.

Ridgecrest is located at the base of the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountains between the continental United States’ lowest point of elevation, Death Valley (282 feet below sea level) and highest peak, Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet). The fall is a beautiful time of year for a visit to either of these destinations and the timing is perfect for your journey.

Of course the focus of the rides will be the Championship events, where top endurance riders from across the U.S. and Canada come to compete in the classic endurance distances of 50 or 100 miles with their equestrian partners. Last year's event was held at Biltmore in North Carolina, and Holly Corcoran and Poete, from Pennsylvania, were first to finish and earned best condition in the 100 mile ride, finishing in 12 hours and 26 minutes. The 50 mile winners were Erin Lemmons, DVM, of Texas, riding Tuscarora John, and Jeremy Reynolds of Florida riding Anydaynow in a tie at 5 hours and 20 minutes of riding time.

Every weight division winner and the junior division winner in the 100-mile Championship ride will take home a brand new saddle, thanks to the generous donations of Ghost Treeless Saddles, Pandora Saddles, Saddle Up/Freeform Saddles, Specialized Saddles and Stonewall Saddle Company.

Top ten riders in the 100-mile Championship division will receive HAF saddle pads, and every completing rider in the 50- and 100-mile rides will earn a buckle commemorating their finish. There are special awards for top 10 in both distances and for the top 3 winners in each of AERC's four weight divisions, and the junior division, for riders under 16.

Riders in the open events will take home finish awards (it's one of AERC's rules that all who finish a ride must be awarded a completion award) handmade by a local petroglyph artist.

This year's ride, according to ride managers Robert and Melissa Ribley, is highlighted by spectacular scenery. The trail boasts "water from the ancient glacier-fed lakes below the desert," plus "forever Kodak moments of incredible sunsets upon the towering Sierra Nevadas" and "dark sky locations where glimpses of the Milky Way and a star-filled sky are a welcome treat," according to Melissa.

The ride is held on the site of the annual Twenty Mule Team AERC ride—and would not be complete without mules! The organizers will have a special demonstration in the main arena of the Desert Empire Fairgrounds, the ride's base camp, by local mule trainer JoDe Collins who will show what mules and donkeys can really do. Fun local activities are on the schedule as well: a tour of the BLM horse and burro facility, a group trip to the Trona Pinnacles and a group trip to the Maturango Natural History Museum.

To find out more about the ride, or to sign up to ride or come volunteer, visit

The website also lists the ride’s many sponsors who have generously donated numerous completion awards for the seven separate competitions.

For those wanting to follow the excitement remotely, rider updates will be available on the ride website each ride day and on the ride's Facebook page: You can easily follow your favorite rider throughout the day as he or she progresses towards the finish line and a successful completion.

Make the AERC Championship Ride a goal in 2019 for you and your equine, and join us this fall at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds in Ridgecrest, California, for a festival of endurance riding fun, competition and camaraderie.