Thursday, December 12, 2019

New Endurance Ride and More Multi-days Added in 2020 to Northwest Region

December 12 2019

More opportunities are on the AERC calendar for 2020 in the Northwest region for your endurance riding pleasure!

The Klickitat Trek in Glenwood, Washington, has added a third day, May 23-24-25, to become the Klickitat Trek Pioneer.

The Owyhee River Challenge outside of Adrian, Oregon, normally held in May, is now the 2-day Owyhee River now Succor Creek ride, June 27-28. A 75 miler has been added on both days.

Summertime Blues is a brand new ride that will be held near La Grande, Oregon, on August 22. Ride manager is Lora Bannan, and there will be a 25 and 50 miler, plus an introductory ride.

Old Selam near Centerville, Idaho, has been sanctioned as a 3-day Pioneer ride, September 4-5-6.

Watch the AERC calendar for more sanctioning:

Coming to Jacksonville Florida: The 2020 AERC Convention

March 6 and 7, 2020 - Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Join us in Jacksonville, Florida, for the AERC Convention March 6 and 7, 2020. The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and the convention will be held in conjunction with SERA, the Southeast Endurance Riders Association. We're planning for a fun and festive Florida celebration of endurance riding and endurance riders!

Seminar speakers will be added in (very) early December -- finalizing the lineup right now. All we can say is: You won't want to miss a single seminar! We're very excited about the presenters and topics for the 2020 convention!

AERC convention registration is OPEN! You can sign up online:

Or print out the 2020 convention paper form.

Book your room now at AERC's group rate: Hotel Reservation Page

Room rates are $129 plus tax ($147.23 total) for 2 people for the Hyatt's regular room with two queen beds. Additional people are $25 each plus tax. It's a beautiful hotel and the convention space will be fantastic!

More about the hotel: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Here's a link to Jacksonville visitor info

And some fun things to do (when you're not at convention, which of course is the most fun!): Top 22 Jacksonville attractions

Coming towards the end of 2019: online convention reservation, veterinary CE signups, and more!

2020 AERC CONVENTION SPONSORS! Special thanks to these companies for generously supporting our upcoming convention! (For information about sponsorship, phone 866-271-2372.)

Platinum Sponsors: Arabian Horse Association / Hawthorne Products

Gold Sponsors: The Distance Depot / Equisure, Inc. / Kentucky Equine Research / Vettec Hoofcare

Silver Sponsors: Specialized Saddles


TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS: We welcome exhibitors! Here is the link for 2020 Trade Show Information and Registration. Please contact the AERC office if you you have any questions: 866-271-2372 or email Kyra at the AERC office for Trade Show information. See you in Jacksonville!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Dates Set for 2020 and 2021 Distance Horse Nat'l Championships

The dates are set for both the 2020 and 2021 rotation of the Distance Horse National Championships!

• September 25-27, 2020 - Lava Cast Forest Site in La Pine, OR
• September 10-12, 2021 - Big South Fork Site in Oneida, TN

We are very excited to be going to these great locations and hope to see you next year in Oregon! 

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which traditionally have incorporated
partnered breeds including 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).

Thursday, December 05, 2019

2019 Distance Horse of the Year Award Winner

Congratulations to the 2019 Distance Horse of the Year, Giacomo “Jack”, a 15 year old gelding out of Gianni X Ahlaks Angel, and owned by Frances Muench.

Jack began his distance career in December of 2015 at not quite 12 years of age; since then this rock solid gelding has covered over 2000 miles. He has completed 36 North American Trail Conference (NATRC) rides and 4 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Limited Distance rides. The 2019 season was a stellar season for Jack as he completed 840 miles, 14 NATRC rides in 7 different states with 8 - 1st place awards, 7 of those being Sweepstakes. This year he takes the honor of earning NATRC’s prestigious President’s Cup (National Sweepstakes Champion award) and garnering other Regional NATRC awards. His previous accomplishments include multiple NATRC National Championships and AHA Region 9 Championships.

Jack originally was bred to be an endurance carriage driving horse but while waiting for him to mature, Jack’s original owner, who was battling cancer, realized that after 8 years, Jack should have a chance to do what he was bred for and gave him to a trainer. This is where Frances and Jack’s paths came together, Frances states “We literally hit the trails and haven’t looked back. He travels well, takes care of himself on the trail, eating and drinking when he can while covering miles of various terrain whether technically steep and rocky or flat and fast. Competing in NATRC has enabled our partnership to bloom thanks to mentoring and guidance from other successful friends and competitors in the sport”.

Monday, December 02, 2019

PNER Volunteer Extraordinaire: Terre O'Brennan

December 1 2019
by Jo Christensen

We have celebrated volunteers before in our monthly Facebook page feature post and banner photo- the folks out in ride camp and on the trail that are key to successful endurance rides. Yet many do not know there are a host of volunteers outside of rides silently carrying out the often-mundane business that keeps the PNER going as an organization. These things usually involve late nights pecking away at a computer, answering endless emails, or sitting on the phone during long tele-meetings. So this month we begin a series featuring on our banner some of those unsung heroes of the organization whose quiet, often uncelebrated efforts keep the PNER ticking!

Everybody, meet Terre O-Brennan, the PNER British Columbia Provincial Representative. Terre is first a horsewoman and of course an accomplished endurance rider outside of her more mundane PNER duties. Pictured on the banner are Terre and her horse Koszaar at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 where she represented Canada.

Terre’s involvement with horses started with riding rental horses at 16, as soon as she got her driver’s license. She had lived an entirely urban life with a military family, always moving, and no opportunities to ride. Determined to make a horses a part of her life, she used a student loan to buy her first horse (a totally appropriate use of student loans, right!?) “Cavvy” was a 14hh stockhorse-type pinto of unknown age. Showing was not much fun for them, so they hit the trail and never looked back. They hauled all over British Columbia, camping and riding together.

Sometime circa 1982, she saw a poster in a feed store for something called an “endurance ride." When she called the number on the poster, the person on the other end of the line said “just show up and we’ll tell you what to do.” So, she showed up with her stocky little pinto pony, in jeans and a cowboy hat. They finished the 25 quite happily, in the middle of the pack. Someone later suggested she give him some salt and that was it for post-ride care. But she was hooked and they went on to do a bunch more 25s- all top 10! And a couple of 50s! But by then, he was well into his 20s she felt endurance was too hard for him. So like many wanting to continue on in the sport, she went out and bought an Arabian… and kept going.

Fast forward to today, she has accrued around 8600 miles, most of it with AERC and some FEI. She has done 23-24 one-hundreds on 3 different horses. Tequila Sunrise and Koszaar were her main mounts. She and Koszaar twice qualified for Worlds.

Her partnership with Koszaar is incredibly close and he is still going strong at 24, closing in on 5000 miles, almost all Top Ten, many FEI rides, and has completed 13 one-hundreds. She describes him as her soul-mate. but reflects that she was also incredibly close to her first horse, the little pinto Cavvy. Despite being different breeds, the two horses are so alike in personality that a rather new-agey friend of Terre’s seriously believes that Koszaar is Cavvy’s soul, found its way back to her.

When asked what challenges has faced as an endurance rider, she reports “like everybody else, money and time.” She has overcome them by "not spending either on anything else."

Terre has been a member of the PNER for 20 or so years. To her, the PNER serves as "a big extended family of like-minded people who love the mountains and lakes and rivers and grasslands, who value and respect their horses, and who love the challenge and thrill of the sport of Endurance. "

She is quite active as the British Columbia Provincial Rep. She forwards copies of all BC ride results to the points secretary; she submits funding requests to the Anna Sampson -Marry Nunn Fund to sponsor Junior riders; She strives to promote then PNER whenever possible and would like the BC riders to have a Team again (at one time BC had TWO teams before the border became so problematic); and she nags people to declare for awards and such, and mentors quite a bit. Somehow, she has also found time to serve on the Education Committee and continues to be a Ride Manager.

She reflects that each smaller ‘region’ within PNER (state and province) have unique problems that need to be brought to the Board for the benefit of those riders; they may be economic, or political, or whatever. She says "we need as many voices and viewpoints as possible to stay in touch with the riders, vets, ride managers, and even vendors who operate locally, in our region."

When asked about her favorite memory riding endurance, not surprisingly, it doesn’t involve participating in late night board meetings for the PNER. Rather she celebrates a moment that happened in the dark of night, towards the end of a tough 100. “We suddenly got full literally could have read by the light it was so bright...and I could see my horse’s shadow...the reins, the sponge, every detail...flying across the ground beside me as he cantered for home. Unbelievable.” We can't help but believe Cavvy's spirit helped light their way to home that night.

2020 City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride - 10th Anniversary!

Mark your calendars for the 10th Anniversary of the City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride in Almo, Idaho, on June 11, 12, 13.

Come join us for this spectacular ride at the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. The park has amazing rock formations and scenery, as well as a rich pioneer history which you will experience on the trail. We will have marked Trail rides as well as 25 and 50 mile rides each day. There are plenty of things to do for families and fun. Durfy Hotsprings has swimming and soaking pools for every temperature preference (be sure to bring your swim suit!). Try the Great Pizza at Rock City, and explore the trails and scenic spots. Basecamp is a large field adjacent to the City of Rocks National Preserve, elevation 5500 ft. The trail footing in this area is very good, with just a few rocky sections - it is NOT a rocky ride! City of Rocks is known for its botanical diversity - you'll see cactus, pinion pine, sagebrush, aspen and sub-alpine fire - all on one day's ride! The wildflowers should be in full bloom in June!

Camp: We'll be renting the same basecamp as in years past, large fields on both sides of the gravel road. We haul all of the water for horses to camp, you will need your own potable water.You do not need certified weed free hay in camp. We will supply hay at the out-vet check.
Basecamp is at 5500 feet, this is a high elevation ride!

From Boise take I-84 to exit 216 (Declo); go south on Idaho 77 to Conner Creek Junction, then southwest on the Elba-Almo Road.
One mile south of the visitor center in Almo, PASS BY the intrance to City of Rocks/Equestrian Campground. Instead, continue straight south onto dirt road, and you'll shortly see Ridecamp on your right - Castle View RV Park.
From Pocatello and Idaho Falls, take I-86 and I-84 to exit 216 and proceed as above.
From Salt Lake City take I-84 to exit 245 (Sublett/Malta) then head west toward Malta.
Turn left (south) onto highway 81 for .2 miles to Highway 77, then turn right (west). At Connor Creek Junction, follow directions above toward Almo.

Trails: The trails are challenging with elevations up to 7500' on some of the days. Footing is very good though, very little rock (except for the scenery), some gravel road, lots of single track in the mountains and jeep roads and cow trails through the BLM land.

How it got started, in 2011:

City of Rocks, Almo Idaho

It's time to start thinking about our next event. We discovered this treasure in 2010. My son Clay had told me about an amazing place after his in-laws had their family reunion in the little town of Almo. Wynne's family came from the area, and it was a chance for them to revisit the old home place. Clay said "you gotta see this place!" .

So, I found myself veering off the Interstate when I saw the sign for 'City of Rocks' on our way home from Wyoming. Merri and I had been crewing for our friends Rusty, Kevin, and Kevin at the Big Horn 100. Heads full of adventure and beautiful scenery from several days in the Wyoming Bighorn Mountains, warm sunny July day ... just seemed like the right thing to do.

The road to Almo and City of Rocks passes through high desert scenery - farmland in the valleys, surrounded by mountains. We wind our way through the valleys and over a few passes and BOOM all of a sudden there is this immense world of granite.
and it just kept going, past Castle Rocks State Park and then into the City of Rocks National Reserve. An expansive stunning landscape of sagebrush, aspen, firs, pinon pines, cactus, sub-alpine firs, snowy peaks... dotted with cattle and old homesteads. This area was a major crossroads for emigrants as they traveled west toward California, Oregon and Nevada, or north to Idaho. Pioneer journal entries describe the site as "a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks," and "the silent city."

There are natural granite caves with names and dates of the pioneers inscribed in axle grease, or etched into the rock . There is a very strong sense of awe, and perhaps humility, when confronted by such magnificent scenery, and how it must have affected these travelers.

It didn't take long for the idea (compulsion) of an endurance ride took hold. Perhaps a few seconds. I talked with the park managers - they were very excited about the idea having invested heavily in making the park horse friendly with trail heads and well designed equestrian trail. Oh my, getting better. I spoke with the Forest Ranger (Sawtooth National Forest) and he was very supportive. We met a rancher happy to lease us a campsite. And after one evening in the hotsprings there was no going back...the rest is history. The first ride was a mid summer 5-day 250 mile event with trails going off in every direction. Ambitious? of course! and the 'Crick Gang' spent many glorious days scouting new trail, riding the country, basking in the high altitude sunshine.

I've changed a few things since our first 2011 event - only three days now, and in early June instead of mid summer. With the high altitude and mountain ranges summer thunderstorms can get pretty Exciting, and the heat is intense. So we're doing cooler weather, and simpler rides - and sticking with the most scenic trails and easiest logistics. (smarter with age?)

Now... just waiting for springtime to actually arrive! Might be a little snow up at Indian Grove in the high country...


See a video of the trails here:

More information on the ride at:

Saturday, November 30, 2019

AERC Members: Renew Now for 2020!

AERC members: renew by December 1st to be entered into our drawing to win $500 worth of tack from Taylored Tack. Renew online: or by calling the office at 866-271-2372. The office is trying to set a new record for renewals prior to 12/1-we’d love your help (and thank you in advance and to those who have already renewed-the renewals are flying in this week!)

Also, if you know anyone wanting to join, invite them with this link: New members receive a 15% discount courtesy of EasyCare Inc! We’d love to have your friends join and be part of our AERC family.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Exiting week of racing at Broxton Bridge Plantation - Full Article

29th November 2019
Race Report made with the assistance of Grace Ramsey

Broxton Bridge Plantation, Ehrhardt, SC, United States of America. Thursday 14, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November 2019. In the first ever United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) National Endurance Championships, the informal North American Endurance Team Championships and the Arabian Horses Association Region 12 Championships, combinations from ten countries started on the best trails at the Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, SC.

Although the trails were drying out from rain, the horses and riders felt great and additional rain held off during the 80 km championships for a CEI completion rate of 67%.

Three combinations rode out front all day having great fun finishing in 4:50:01. Cassandra Roberts on her Arabian gelding H Zeden H, Jairo Reisgo from Spain riding Pepe Ortega’s Timore, and Cheryl Van Deusen on her homebred Hoover the Mover raced off at the finish with Cheryl and Hoover as the USEF National Champion narrowly defeating Jairo and Timore, crossing as the First Foreign Rider on the Podium...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Becky Glaser Remembered

Becky Glaser passed away at home in California on November 17, 2019, "beneath the majestic redwoods she so loved. Her independent and vigorous spirit and overarching generosity were recounted by her closest friends, many of whom were able to visit her during those final days.

It is an unimaginable loss for those of us she leaves behind, but we are comforted by the knowledge that her final journey was just as she would have wanted.

Becky was beloved by so many. In the coming weeks, we (her family) plan to share more information on how and when we will celebrate her extraordinary life. Until then, your remembrances and love are a comfort we greatly appreciate.

With love and gratitude,
Doug, Lena, and Sam"

A celebration of life is planned next spring/summer.

Episode 28 - Unthemed Updates - Endurance Horse Podcast

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

Welcome to Episode 28 of Endurance Horse Podcast

Created September 29, 2019

Welcome to episode 28 of Endurance Horse Podcast! We are working overtime this weekend to you not only part one & part two of Tevis 2019 to you, though also episode 28! The first unthemed episode in awhile! Now back to regular programming as we get caught up with more friends from around the world! So sit back, hold on and enjoy the ride!

About the creator of the Endurance Horse Podcast:

Christina Hyke lives in southern Wisconsin with her sweet husband, Jim.

Chris is an equine & pet photographer who also happens to love the trails and distance riding. It was the love of covering miles through beautiful territory on good horses that inspired her to create a podcast about it to share stories with other riders from around the world.

Cheers & Happy Trails!


Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thanking Old and Welcoming New Tevis Board Members

President's Message

The Western States Trail Foundation thanks Andrew Gerhard, Phil Gardner, Lisa Schnieder and Brad Weston for the time and effort that they contributed as Governors over the past years. They all served on the Board for multiple terms and each one was the head of a committee during their tenure. Phil was also named Emeritus for his contributions to the sport of endurance for the past 50 years and as a past president of the Western States Trail Foundation. 

Lastly, The Board recognized Matthew Mackay-Smith with Honors for his contributions to the sport of endurance over the decades and his tireless promotion of the Tevis Cup Ride to the East Coast endurance riders which prompted many to venture across the country to compete in the Tevis Cup Ride.  

All of these people have been great contributors to the Western States Trail Foundation.

We'd also like to welcome three new Board of Governors members: 
Nanci Gabri, Melissa Formica, Holly Ulyate and Abigail Madden. 

Click HERE to learn more about each of them!  We're excited they are all joining the board for 2020 and look forward to their future contributions.
Tony Benedetti
President, WSTF 

Friday, November 22, 2019

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

Endurance Horses on Parade, National Championships, AERC Updates for Nov. 12, 2019
Nov 12, 2019

Karen tells us about riding in the Nevada Day Parade and offers a tip on scouting out the ride site before you hit the road. Guests include AERC President Monica Chapman, AERC Board Member Andrew Gerhard who review the National Championships and give a preview of the 2020 AERC Convention. Listen in...

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Four Champions Crowned at Inaugural USEF Endurance National Championship at Broxton Bridge Plantation

by US Equestrian Communications Department/Classic Communications | Nov 20, 2019, 5:13 PM EST

Ehrhardt, S.C. – The Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, S.C., played host to the inaugural USEF Endurance National Championships on November 14-16 as part of the 2019 North American Endurance Championships. In addition, an unofficial FEI team competition was integrated into the competition at the CEI2*/CEIYJ2* and CEI1*/CEIYJ1* levels to strengthen team development skills.

Taking a five-loop tour equating to a ride of 120.7 kilometers around Broxton Bridge Plantation, competitors in the two-star divisions made light work of the course. In the USEF CEI2* Endurance National Championship, Marcia Weilbach (Brooks, Ga.) and Zanthus Fury took home top honors. Weilbach and her 14-year-old Arabian gelding finished the ride in a time of 06:45:25 with an average speed of 17.8 kilometers per hour.

“It is such an honor to win a national championship title, especially when you know that everyone participating is every bit as eager as you to bring that title home,”Weilbach said. “It is humbling to realize that it is only through God's grace that we are able to physically do what we need to do to achieve such honor. What we ask and receive physically and mentally from our horses is truly so amazing; they are the stars, not us.”

In the USEF CEIYJ2* Endurance National Championship, Reine Pagliaro (Swannanoa, N.C.) and Beautiful Knightmare were crowned the national champions. As the rainy weather continued leading up to the start of the CEIYJ2* ride, Pagliaro adjusted her plans after consulting with her trainers and mentors to take a slower pace with Mary Kathryn Clark and Kathryn Clark’s nine-year-old Arabian gelding. The pair finished in a time of 13:44:56 with an average speed of 8.8 kilometers per hour.

“We started with a mindset of taking the time that we needed to get our horses though the whole ride safe, sound, happy, and healthy. At the end of the ride, I was thrilled that we had changed our objectives for that day and focused on a strong completion,” Pagliaro explained. “When I was first presented with the national championship title, I was truly shocked and hit with so many emotions. I felt excitement, accomplishment, and gratitude for everyone who had helped ‘Beau’ and me along the way.”

Riding in the one-star divisions with a course composed of three loops for a total of 80.6 kilometers, Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) won the USEF CEI1* Endurance National Championship aboard her longtime partner, Hoover the Mover. Van Deusen and her 15-year-old Arabian gelding finished the ride in a time of 04:50:01 with an average speed of 16.7 kilometers per hour.

"The Broxton Bridge Plantation is a wonderful venue. The trail system is established, and the volunteers were absolutely wonderful. Hats off to Grace Ramsey for managing a great ride and to the USEF for their support,” Van Deusen said of the competition.

The inaugural title was a meaningful one for Van Deusen because she was able to partner with her homebred Hoover the Mover, who has found much success. The pair has topped the FEI Endurance Open Combination World Rankings in the past, and “Hoover” has close to 6,000 competitive miles to his record.

“To be champion in the CEI1* at Broxton and the recipient of the Best Conditioned Horse award by the veterinary team was wonderful," Van Deusen said.

Sophia Carpentier (Pomfret, Md.) and Perseveranze brought home the title of USEF CEIYJ1* Endurance National Champion. Carpentier, who began competing in endurance rides last year, finished the ride with Melody Blittersdorf’s nine-year-old Arabian gelding in a time of 07:13:25 with an average speed of 11.1 kilometers per hour.

“The ride went really well. Our goal going in was for me and Perseveranze (‘Perci’) to finish, which we did,” said Carpentier. “I was happy that we achieved that. The title is unexpected and exciting. And this achievement does not just belong to me; many people and horses helped me get here.”

The team competition operated in a similar format to that of FEI Nations Cups™. Only the top three scores from each team counted towards the team classification. At the end of the competition, the U.S. Southeast Team won the CEI1* gold medal. The team consisted of Van Deusen and Hoover the Mover; Rae Shumate-Tysor (Shelbyville, Tenn.) and Kount Czester SWA, Misty McAdams’s eight-year-old Arabian gelding; Thomas Rajala (Hillsborough, N.C.) and Hheartbreaker, his eight-year-old Arabian mare; and Shawn Polke (Lake Mary, Fla.) and WMA Riversong, Mary Kathryn Clark and Kathryn Clark’s eight-year-old Arabian mare.

The CEI1* silver medal went to Mexico. The team consisted of Jose Luis Flores Morones and Nazeefs Flashy Rose, Van Deusen’s 12-year-old Arabian mare; Jose Enrique Partida Fonseca and Golden Lightning, Janice Worthington’s 19-year-old Arabian gelding; and Mercedes Acuña Tardis and Merlot MHF, Debra Lemmons’s seven-year-old Arabian mare.

The FEI recognized the overall order of finish with the top 12 combinations in each senior and young rider division receiving individual awards.

Results, photos and more at:

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Episode 27 - TEVIS 2019 PART TWO - Endurance Horse Podcast

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

Created September 28, 2019

Welcome to episode 27 of Endurance Horse Podcast! We are working overtime this weekend to get this part two of Tevis 2019 out to you. You will hear some construction sounds at the beginning of this episode as Jim & I share with you the excitement we have of putting up our new barn. We hear from a rider who went to the educational ride that is hosted on the Tevis trail and you can hear about her experience to see if this is a trip you would like to take. We will hear more from more riders and a lot more from crew and from long time Endurance Podcast contributor Keisha Wood as she is both crew/volunteer helping to mark trail at Tevis 2019 . So sit back, hold on and enjoy the ride!

Some of the audios sent in were quite a bit longer than average, though I chose to share the extra audio, as it is full of good information, and it fits appropriately as this episode is about an extra lengthy ride.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Jeanette Mero’s Ozark Kaolena SWA Wins Best Condition at AERC National Championship 100

by Merri
November 19 2019

Receiving the Best Condition award for the 2019 AERC National Championship 100-miler in Ridgecrest, California, was a perfect ending to an outstanding endurance season for Dr. Jeanette Mero’s mare Ozark Kaolena SWA. In the November 1st ride, Jay and Lena finished fourth in a ride time of 12:10, and next morning the mare was judged to be the best of the seven Top Ten horses showing for the BC award.

Most remarkable, this was Lena’s first season of endurance. The 7-year-old mare, by Kaolino X FMR Ozark Eklipse, by Cassels Roszlem, has achieved a record of 20 finishes in 21 rides, four of them wins, and two Best Conditions. Earlier this season they had easily satisfied the entry requirements for the National Championship, of 500 lifetime miles each (Lena now has 1110 miles; Jay has 5760), including completion of either a Pioneer ride together (they did several) or a 100-mile ride together. That was fulfilled with a 17th place finish in the Tevis Cup.

Lena was a former winning racehorse at four and five in Texas and California for breeder/owner Dr. Jim Wetsel and trainers Ken and Valerie Danyluk. A friend of Jay’s recommended Ozark Kaolina SWA as a prospective endurance horse; Jay put a deposit on her and another colt, and made a trip to Texas in March of 2018. “When I got there, the mare was everything that her picture showed - her body conformation is quite nice. She’s got a lot of depth and she’s very correct,” Jay said.

“So I basically met them, met the horse, put her in the round pen and said, ‘Yep, I’ll take her!’

“She went into heavy training with me and didn’t come out to an endurance ride till Death Valley nine months later. And she did a lot. I would use the XP rides to basically prep, harden, toughen her up, to get her ready for longer rides.”

As the 2019 season progressed, Jay knew she had a mare with not only a wonderful mind and a desire to compete, but one with great recoveries. That became evident on the Tevis ride.

“Most of the racehorses are reasonably good with their heart rates and recoveries, but you never know. I have never, ever had one that was having recoveries like this mare was,” Jay said. “She was coming into Deadwood, Chickenhawk, and - boom - her heart rate was down to 55. It was ridiculous!

“Her pace is just very methodical. Basically my plan for this Championship ride was, ok, she’s already spent almost a whole year doing a lot of sand work, which is perfect for this desert ride. And I was just going to ask a little bit more from her on pace - we’d been anywhere from eight to nine miles an hour - and the rest of it, we’re just going to see what happens.”

What happened was a lot of riders may have underestimate the course - which looks deceptively easy, and may have started out too fast in the beginning, and had less horse left at the end. (36 of 67 completed the 100-mile Championship.) After the 65-mile loop, Jay had a horse that was raring to go. “We left the 65 mile hold in eighth place. We had to go up a very long deceiving grade, and that’s where we caught seventh place, and then sixth and fifth place.

“At the last hold [at 90 miles], Lena immediately came down. She was just a freak all day - a minute, two minutes [to pulse down]. CRI’s of 50-50, 48-48. It was crazy!”

The last 10 miles was a repeat of what they’d done on the first loop, and Lena was feeling great, so they went for it. “We left at a canter. And the mare had so much gas, it was so much fun. And we did that same loop at the same speed we did it in the daylight, in a little over an hour.”

They crossed the finish line in fourth place at 9:20 PM. “Her finish CRI was 48-48. I mean, you could’ve picked me up off the floor.”

Just as astonishing was the announcement of the Best Condition winner the next morning by head veterinarian Dr. Michael Peralez: Ozark Kaolena SWA. “I knew the mare showed well,” Jay said, “but I didn’t really even factor into it. So it was just like - WHAT!?”

Actually receiving the award may have been a surprise, but during the ride it became a goal. “I’d say it was about after the 65-mile hold where my brain started thinking, ok, we’re not going to go for a win, of course - I’m not going to burn this horse up - but, you know, let’s be careful and cognizant of BC.

“And we had talked about that earlier in the days and weeks before. We knew we were not going to go after it for a win. I did not want to take that mare that speed. But there had been, in the back of my mind, if we did get high enough up in the overall Top Ten that maybe we would make an effort at BC.”

Lena’s entire season had been carefully orchestrated. “Like I said, I picked her up in March of 2018, and didn’t even bring her to a ride till nine months later, and she was just working, working, working at home getting ready. It was methodically planned out.

“It was a great season, and she’s a great mare.”

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rough and Ready woman, 65, earns endurance riding championship - Full Story

News | November 14, 2019

John Orona
Staff Writer

As Rough and Ready woman Susannah Jones broke the finish line near Ridgecrest atop her 17-year-old Arabian horse, she knew the pair had already gone through more together than the 50-mile endurance race could ever throw at them.

Jones, 65, and her horse Diablo Maj are now retired from endurance riding — the long-distance equestrian competition where riders aim to cross the finish line first while passing through periodic veterinary checks — after being crowned as American Endurance Ride Conference National Champions Oct. 31.

While the duo’s racing journey has ended with them retiring on top as champions, their start was anything but easy riding, and has grown their bond far beyond the course...

Read more here:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Legendary Endurance Stallion Sierra Fadwah+/ Scores Big in AERC National Championship 100

His descendants finish first and third in the 100 mile Championship

by Merri
November 15 2019

The legend that is endurance stallion Sierra Fadwah+/ carried on at the 2019 AERC 100-mile National Championship in Ridgecrest, California, on November 2.

Winner of the 100 miler in a ride time of 10:51 was 12-year-old RTR Rimfires Etta, a granddaughter of Sierra Fadwah; and third place, by 14 minutes, was 11-year-old RTR Thunders Nusabre, a grandson of Sierra Fadwah and half brother to Etta.

Sierra Fadwah+/ was bred by Bob and Lorry Wagner of Sierra Dawn Arabians in 1973, and purchased by Jim and Jackie Bumgardner of Ridgecrest as a 7-year-old in 1980. By Fadjur out of Judhi - a full sister to another endurance legend and sire Bezatal - the Bumgardners started Fadwah in endurance, where he proved to be exceptional.

He completed his final ride at age 21 in 1994. Over his 15-season career he carried more than 30 different riders in 87 starts to earn a record of 7280 endurance miles with zero pulls. He earned the Jim Jones Stallion award in 1983, the Legion of Honor award in 1984, and was elected to the AERC Hall of Fame in 1992. (Sierra Fadwah's son Sierra Fadrazal+/ and Jackie were given the AERC Pard'ners Award in 1998; "Ross" garnered 8500 AERC miles over more than 20 endurance seasons, including 4 consecutive Tevis finishes).

Sierra Fadwah died in 2004 at age 31, but his get continue to tear up the endurance trail. The gelding Fire Mt Malabar (Sierra Fadwah X Malabar Dawn, by Malabar Amir) continues to compete for Lee Pearce and Naomi Preston of Oregon at age 20 with over 8100 miles. Fire Mt Zoom+/ (Sierra Fadwah X Rushcreek La Hand, by Cougar Rock), 2016 AHA Distance Horse of the Year, continues to compete for Marci Cunningham of California at age 18 with over 5600 miles.

RTR Rimfires Etta is owned by Dublin "Tinker" Hart and her mother Kay Matthews of Nevada. The mare was ridden by regular partner Jeremy Reynolds of Dunnellon, Florida. Etta's sire is RTR Rimfire, a son of Sierra Fadwah, owned by Tinker. She bred and raised and trained Rimfire, and contributed 275 of his endurance miles during his 7 seasons of endurance, where he earned 1610 miles and completed 31 of 36 starts. He continues to stand at stud at Tinker's Running Thunder Ranch in Wellington, Nevada.

Tinker purchased the mare PS Sierra Sage from LAS Racing Arabians in Fernley, Nevada, and bred her to Rimfire, resulting in the bay mare RTR Rimfires Etta. Tinker foaled and raised her and advanced her through her FEI qualifications in endurance. Jeremy took over riding her in 2019, adding three 50-mile wins, and a second place in Tevis, to her record this season before winning the AERC National Championship 100. Her current AERC record stands at 30 completions in 34 starts, and 1565 miles.

14-year-old Caroline de Bourbon, of San Leandro, California, rode RTR Thunders Nusabre (RTR Rimfire X PS Donnas Star, by LAS Seykret Agent) to a third place finish, in Caroline's first 100-mile ride as an emancipated Junior. It was their third ride together; their previous partnership resulted in a 14th place finish in the Tevis Cup this year. Nusabre is owned by Bill Whitlock, also of San Leandro.

Countless other grandsons and granddaughters of Sierra Fadwah+/ are still active on the endurance trails.

Sierra Fadwah's Hall of Fame plaque sums up this great horse:

"Many of the stars we see in the night sky died millions of year ago, and yet we see their light. So it will be with Sierra Fadwah+/ . His greatness will shine on for future generations of equestrians through the memories of those who loved him and the continuing performance of his offspring. Sierra Fadwah+/ is truly a star in the constellation of endurance performance."

More photos and stories on the AERC National Championship are at:

Canadians Announced for North American Endurance Team Championships

7 November 2019

Ottawa, ON, Nov. 8, 2019 – Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce the Canadian team members for the 2019 North American Endurance Team Championships, to be held Nov. 13-17, 2019, at Broxton Bridge Planation in Ehrhardt, SC.

The maple leaf will be represented by the following athletes:

CEI 1*
Athlete / Hometown / Horse / Horse Owner
Robert Gielen / Flesherton, ON / More Bang For Your Buck / Robert Gielen
Yvette Vinton / Morriston, FL / Teese / Yvette Vinton

Athlete / Hometown / Horse / Horse Owner
Charlotte Tremblay / Ottawa, ON / Lorienn / Holly Cocoran

CEI 2*
Athlete / Hometown / Horse / Horse Owner
Wendy Benns / Campbellcroft, ON / Egalite / Wendy Benns
Emma Knapper / Cobourg, ON / B Impulsive Spice it Up / Emma Knapper
Yvette Vinton / Morriston, FL / Ebonys Easter Lilly / Yvette Vinton

For more information on the North American Endurance Team Championships, click here.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Contenders Unite for Shot at Inaugural USEF Endurance National Championship Titles

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Nov 13, 2019, 1:05 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – The Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, S.C., will host the inaugural USEF Endurance National Championships. Running November 14-16, as part of the 2019 North American Endurance Championship event, combinations will vie for USEF National Champion and Reserve National Champion honors at the CEI1*/CEIYJ1* and CEI2*/CEIYJ2* levels. In addition, an unofficial FEI team competition will be integrated into the competition at the CEI1*/CEIYJ1* and CEI2*/CEIYJ2* levels to strengthen team development skills. The CEI1*/CEIYJ1* divisions will complete a ride composed of three loops for a total of 80.6 kilometers, while the CEI2*/CEIYJ2* will ride 120.7 kilometers made up of five loops.

“It is awesome [adding a national championship], and it’s a privilege to compete in it. We are all close friends and like family. I have been riding with these people for years. I am very excited for it and happy they are [offering it],” said Annie Whelan, who competed in the 2017 FEI Endurance World Championship for Young Riders and Juniors and will compete in the CEIYJ2* division with Fine Cut Gold owned by Valerie Kanavy. “I am going to treat this like any other FEI ride, since I have ridden this course multiple times. My main goal is to finish.”

The team competition will operate in a similar format to that of FEI Nations Cups™, open to teams from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The USEF Endurance Sport Committee developed this concept as an avenue to provide additional exposure to the processes, responsibilities, and expectations of competing on a team. This opportunity replicates a similar team environment athletes will encounter as they represent the United States in world championship competition. For some athletes and crews, this will test their previous experiences.

“After just recently competing at the [FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors], I am excited about working together in [a team environment] again,” said Kate Bishop, who placed the highest for the U.S. team at the 2019 world championship and will compete on the CEIYJ2* Southeast team with EBS Regal Majjaan this week. “If [a team member is not helping you], then you’re helping someone else on the team, and that’s what I love so much about [the team setting]. Everything you do and every decision you make is for the team and to better the team.”

Teams can be composed of three to five combinations, with four U.S. teams fielded across the divisions. Only the top three scores from each team will count for the team classification, with medals awarded to the top three teams. Athletes from medal-winning teams who successfully complete, but whose scores did not contribute to the team result, will also receive a team medal. The FEI will recognize the overall order of finish.

USEF National and Reserve National Champion titles will be awarded to the two highest-placed competitors in each senior and young rider competition. The top 12 in each senior and young rider division will also be recognized with individual awards.

Keep up with U.S. Endurance by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram. Use #USAEndurance.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOPC, and USEF sponsors and members.

AERC Nationals: Florida rider wins endurance race - Full Story

Hundreds on horseback vie in local endurance championships

Florida rider wins endurance raceBy KELLY COSNER, News Review Correspondent

This year’s American Endurance Ride Championship at 20 Mule Team, known as the destination ride for our country’s most dedicated riders, was host to hundreds of competitive riders and their mounts from all over the United States and Canada.

The championship started with a 50-mile course on Oct. 31, with a 100-mile race on Nov. 2.

Riders departed from the start line at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds livestock entry gate and headed south for the foothills where they traversed dusty roads, rocky passes and moderate elevation changes.

In addition to the usual roster, this ride also had a Junior Division where riders age 16 and younger were accompanied by adult riders...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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

HITM Endurance: Angela Coast to Coast, Red Rock Rumble and AERC National Championship for Oct. 8, 2019

Oct 8, 2019

Endurance Episode with Karen Chaton. Angela Wood finishes her coast to coast trip but not in the way she started. Tami Rogeau tells us about the upcoming Red Rock Rumble and Brian Reeves gives us a preview on the AERC National Championship. Plus, riding apps and the Distance Depot talks fall riding gear. Listen in...

Episode 26 - TEVIS 2019 PART ONE - Endurance Horse Podcast

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen in

Created September 27, 2019

Welcome to episode 26 of Endurance Horse Podcast where we will hear from not only the winner of Tevis 2019, though also from volunteers, crew and more riders! Did you know that the Tevis Cup, also known as the The Western States Trail Ride, has been held every year since 1955? This makes Tevis the most established modern day endurance ride in the world, possibly the universe. Tevis has been the inspiration for other such great rides as The Big Horn 100 and The Tom Quilty Gold Cup. It is amazing to me how one group of riders, with an idea can establish something so inspirational that has been standing the test of time for several decades, and that has inspired others to build on what was started by Wendell Robie and his friends.

Only roughly half (54%) of the people who toe the line to begin Tevis will complete it. The statistics at show that from 1955 until 2017 roughly 10,365 have started Tevis and only 5,615 had finished. To finish, is truly to win. I am equally inspired by those who did not finish, as I am by those who did, because it takes the same amount of courage to even attempt to finish and ride the Tevis. No one truly knows what may happen during a ride or how their day will go. We are grateful for those of you who send in an audio, whether you found your buckle at the end of the ride or not this time, thank you for including the listeners of Endurance Horse Podcast in your journey.

Of course, there was one horse rider team that did cross the finish line first and that was the young and talented Miss Sanoma Blakeley of Oregon. Sanoma crossed the finish line at 9:27 pm just ahead of a three time winner of the Tevis Cup. It is a testament to this young lady that her horse, RA Ares Bay, aka Goober pulsed down quickly and vetted out sound at the end of arguably the world’ toughest one day 100 mile endurance ride in the world. Sanoma has a proud heritage of endurance riding. Sanoma’s mother has 6 Tevis buckles, Sanoma’s father has 5 Tevis Buckles and Sanoma’s brother won the Haggin Cup in 2014 at the age of 15. As if that is not an interesting enough of a tale for you, Sanoma’s 2019 Tevis Cup champion, Goober, was found as a two year old on Craigslist, an add was offering him up as a free horse. Goober is her dad’s horse, and apparently earned the name Goober by his silly antics such as leading other horses around. Sanoma has said she has the greatest parents in the world, and the greatest horse, and who could argue with that? Let’s hear a brief recount of the Tevis 2019 journey from Sanoma herself, without further ado, I bring to you episode 26 of Endurance Horse Podcast, enjoy.


Monday, November 04, 2019

Jeremy Reynolds and RTR Rimfires Etta Win AERC National Championship 100

November 4 2019
by Merri

Jeremy Reynolds, from Dunnellon, Florida, riding RTR Rimfires Etta, won the 100 mile AERC National Championship near Ridgecrest, California, on Saturday. The winning time for the desert ride was 10:51.

RTR Rimfires Etta is a 12-year-old Arabian mare by RTR Rimfire X PS Sierra Sage, by Kezoram. She is owned by Dublin "Tinker" Hart, of Wellington, Nevada, and her mom Kay Matthews. Tinker bred, raised, and trained the mare. Jeremy started campaigning her in late 2018; the pair finished second in this year's Tevis Cup by a whisker. Jeremy was First Middleweight in the Championship 100.

Best Condition went to fourth place Jeanette Mero and Ozark Kaolena SWA. First Heavyweight went to seventh place Bryce Hackley aboard Sericko. First Lightweight went to his mom, eighth place Peg Murphy-Hackley aboard HE Khem Chee. First Featherweight went to second place Alisija Zabavska-Rogers riding MSA Silver Gazal. First Junior was Ciera Schwartz, who finished in 28th place aboard Blue Hearrt, riding with her sponsor Robert Weldin.

67 started the Championship 100-mile ride with 36 finishing.

More stories and photos to come at:

Friday, November 01, 2019

Susannah Jones and Diablo Maj Win AERC National Championship 50

November 1 2019
by Merri

Susannah Jones, from Rough & Ready, California, and her gelding Diablo Maj smoked the 50 mile AERC National Championship course in the Mojave desert near Ridgecrest on Thursday. The winning time was 3:57. Diablo Maj is a 17-year-old Arabian by Rushan AHSB X Paradisa, by El Paso. Susannah was First Featherweight.

Best Condition, sixth place, and First Lightweight went to Heather Reynolds of Dunnellon, Florida, aboard A Sudden Gift MHF. First Middleweight and second place went to Mark Montgomery aboard MM Gus, and first Heavyweight was 8th place Allan Horn aboard Shez Mostly Zipped.

80 started the Championship 50-mile ride with 61 completing.

Festivities continue at the Ridgecrest Fairgrounds, basecamp for the rides, with seminars on Friday, and the Championship 100-mile ride, and a 35-miler, 50-miler, and 65-miler on Saturday.

More stories and photos to come at:

Sunday, October 27, 2019

National championship endurance rides slated - Full Article

By KELLY COSNER, News Review Correspondent

Each year the American Endurance Ride Conference selects a different region to host its premier event, the AERC National Championship Ride — and this year the conference selected the local 20 Mule Team 100-mile route.

This championship is considered the destination ride for America’s most dedicated endurance riders. And what better route to choose than one that recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary?

The 20 Mule Team ride route is one of four rides founded by Jackie Bumgardner who also managed and participated in the rides for more than 30 years. The route spans both day and night starting on the valley floor, heading west to the base of the Eastern Sierra and climbing back over the foothills crossing roads, highways and rugged terrain...

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

High Number of Entries for AERC Nat'l Championship Entries

October 22 2019
by Merri

More than 150 endurance riders will take to the Mojave Desert trails outside of Ridgecrest, California, on October 31 and November 2 for the 2019 AERC National Championships.

Some of the trails will be familiar to those who have ridden the Twenty Mule Team endurance ride, which is one of the longest-running 100-mile rides in the country.

The Twenty Mule Team ride was started in the mid-1970's, hosted by the Valley Riders club and managed by AERC Hall of Famer Jackie Bumgardner. Robert and Melissa Ribley took over as Ride Managers from 2007 to 2015; they are the RMs for this year's National Championship.

As of October 21, 77 are entered in Thursday's 50-mile Championship, and 63 are entered in Saturday's 100-mile Championship (with 3 in the open division).

In addition to these two rides, on Thursday there will also be a 25-mile ride, and Saturday will have 35, 50, and 65-mile rides.

Within each Championship ride, riders will also compete in their own weight divisions, so there will be layers of strategy in each race. During the rides, you'll be able to track the riders via You can see the tracking details, and the list of riders on this page:

A livecast, with streaming video, photos, and updates, will be coming from the AERC National Championship Facebook page: 

Alternatively, you can follow along on Twitter at:

If you were a betting person, here are just a couple of horse and rider teams you might want to keep an eye on.

In the Nat'l Championship 100 watch for:
• Gwen Hall and Sizedoesntmatter (4th in 2014 Tevis, 2nd in 2015 Tevis, 8th in 2019 Tevis)
• Jenni Smith (2015 Haggin Cup) and French Fry (3rd and BC in 2018 Twenty Mule Team 100)
• Ann Hall and Monk (5 time Tevis Cup Top Ten finisher, 2019 Haggin Cup; Ann and Monk 1st in 2019 Twenty Mule Team)
• Jacob Cukjati and Melika Kamaal (1st in 2018 Virginia City 100)
• Mark Montgomery and MM Woodrow (1st and BC in 2016 Twenty Mule Team; 1st in 2017 Virginia City 100)
• Jeremy Reynolds (2004, 2011, 2017 Haggin Cup; 2004, 2007, 2011 Tevis Cup winner) and RTR Rimfires Etta (2nd in 2019 Tevis)
• Christoph Schork (AERC's winningest rider) and GE Haat Rod Express
• Melissa Ribley (2009 Haggin Cup) and Ever Ready (3 time Tevis Cup finisher)

In the Nat'l Championship 50 watch for:
• Karen Donley and Royal Patron (2016 Tevis Cup winners)
• Heather Reynolds (1999, 2003 Haggin Cup; 2003, 2014, 2018 Tevis Cup winner) and Madgicall
• Diane Stevens and Rabbalad (1st in 2018 Twenty Mule Team)
• Jeremy Reynolds (2004, 2011, 2017 Haggin Cup; 2004, 2007, 2011 Tevis Cup winner) and Rictik
• Christoph Schork (AERC's winningest rider) and GE Pistol Annie

...and so many more!

Life After Standardbred Racing: Solar Partner - Full Story

September 30, 2019 Hoof Beats Magazine
by Megan Rider

Reaching the Summit

Solar Partner finds second career as an elite endurance horse

Standardbreds are consistently showing their versatility, whether it’s for riding or driving, for show or pleasure. Hoof Beats is happy to share stories from readers about their favorite retired Standardbreds. This month, Megan Rider writes about retired pacing gelding Solar Partner, who now goes by the name Trooper.

Bruce Weary has been an endurance rider for more than 35 years and has traveled over 13,000 miles in competitions. When he first began, Weary rode mostly Arabians.

“The sport of endurance is dominated by Arabians because they are desert-bred animals,” he said. “They are efficient with hydration, have denser bones, handle the heat well, and are bred to run like the wind across the desert.”

Weary, however, began to experiment with gaited horses about 15 years ago and has enjoyed success with them, including one by the name of John Henry, a Tennessee Walking Horse.

Hundreds of miles and many competitions later, John Henry and Weary conquered the Tevis Cup Ride and earned Weary his very first buckle in 2009.

Instituted in 1955, the Tevis Cup is the world’s best known and most difficult equestrian endurance competition. It consists of 100 miles of historic trails ranging from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to just east of Squaw Valley in California. Weary has continued to search for endurance prospects who have a chance at conquering this event yet again and he may have found a new partner in a Standardbred by the name of Solar Partner, who is now known as Trooper...

Read more here:

Friday, October 18, 2019

2019 Arabian Horse Association Scheduled for November 13-16 in Oklahoma

On behalf of the Arabian Horse Association, we are pleased to invite you to our Annual Convention. Our Convention is not like any other. Here you will collaborate with some of the top members within our industry. You will have access to numerious educational opportunities and have a little fun in the process.

The 2019 AHA Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, Okla. Located in the heart of Downtown Tulsa's cultural, entertainment, businesses and art districts. Explore the Tulsa Performing Arts Center of the BOK Center or enjoy fine dining at a local restaurant.

Click here to reserve your room today! Hyatt-Exteriors-1

Room rates are $99 USD plus applicable taxes and rooms will be booked on a first come, first served basis. All meetings will be held at the Hyatt Regency Tulsa:

100 East 2nd Street
Tulsa, Okla 74103

The hotel will honor room rates 3-days prior and 3-days post Convention dates for those of you looking to turn this into a vacation.

Please direct any further questions or concerns to the Convention and Sponsorship Specialist, Uriah Quezada at 303.696.4559 or

For more information, see

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.