Friday, March 05, 2021

$5,000 reward offered for horse lost in Wickenburg - Full Article

By Stephanie Olmo
March 4 2021

Big reward offered for horse lost in Wickenburg

A woman who is visiting Arizona from Washington state is asking for help, after her horse, an Arabian Mare named Ameera, went missing following an accident in the Wickenburg area.

WICKENBURG, Ariz. - A woman who is visiting the Valley is pleading for help in finding her lost endurance horse, after it ran off following an accident. Now, a local man has stepped up by offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help bring this horse home.

Lori Van Zuyen, who is visiting from Washington state, says she's never had this happen to her before, and is hoping to get her horse, Ameera, back.

Van Zuyen was just a few miles into her endurance ride on Feb. 27 at Boyd Ranch in Wickenburg when her horse got spooked and bolted.

"I saw her run over the hill, and I got up," said Van Zuyen. "I got up right off the ground and pulled my phone out of my pocket and called Boyd management..."

Read more here:

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Equestrian Adventuresses Podcast Ep 104: An Unlikely Endurance Horse – Competing her Tennessee Walker in the Tevis Cup - Listen

March 3, 2021

In today’s episode, Ute talks with Susan Garlinghouse, DVM and Endurance Rider. Susan is on the AERC (American Endurance Riders Conference) board and lives in Tevis Country. She has competed in Endurance competitions all her life. After riding Arabians and Arabian crosses, she fell in love with a big, portly Tennessee Walking Horse called John Henry. John Henry was a trail turned Endurance horse and he was the most comfortable horse she ever rode. When her owner offered him to her for sale, she did not waste a minute and brought him home. Since then, she has trained him and ridden him in many Endurance competitions including the Tevis Cup. Both of them won three of his five Tevis Buckles together. Susan tells us all about training your non-Arabian endurance horse, why gaited horses are different and why she wants to stick with them for the rest of her riding career. So if you are interested in Endurance riding, this is going to be your episode!


Wednesday, March 03, 2021

US Equestrian Expands Eligibility for $1,000 Higher Education Equestrian Scholarships for High School Seniors

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 3, 2021, 10:00 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce that it has expanded the eligibility requirements for the Higher Education Equestrian Scholarship, which provides five $1,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors committed to continuing their involvement in equestrian sport while in college.

US Equestrian is now accepting applications for the scholarship. Applicants must be active US Equestrian competing or fan members preparing to enter any college or university full-time in fall 2021. The scholarship is open to all 29 recognized breeds and disciplines.

Previously, applicants were required to be enrolled in an equine-related degree or to participate on an intercollegiate equestrian team. Now, applicants can provide other forms of evidence that they will continue their involvement in equestrian-related experiences while in college. This can be through enrollment in an equestrian-related degree or classes, participation in an intercollegiate equestrian team or club, an equestrian-related internship, job, volunteer work, or other proven commitment to continued involvement in equestrian sport.

Funds awarded by the Higher Education Equestrian Scholarship will be issued directly to the recipients’ educational institutions to be applied to tuition costs.

To Apply, and for more information, see:

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Last Chance to Sign Up for AERC Convention

March 2 2021

Thinking about attending the Virtual AERC Convention? Last chance to sign up is noon (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, March 3, to be part of it!

Link to sign up:

Convention brochure:

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Owyhee Tough Sucker to Offer Early-Season 100

February 28 2021
by Merri Melde

Idaho's Owyhee Tough Sucker, normally scheduled as the first endurance ride of the Northwest season, has moved this year to the last weekend in April, and will offer a 100-mile ride in addition to a 25, 50 and 75-miler.

Ride manager Regina Rose said, "Several people were asking me if I'd put on a 100, but the first of April is pretty early in the season. So I talked with Layne Lewis (ride manager of the Eagle Canyon ride in Eagle, Idaho), and we decided to switch dates." Lewis' Eagle Canyon 25 and 50-mile ride will be held on April 3rd, and the Owyhee Tough Sucker will be held April 24th.

In the Owyhee desert, near 3500 feet, the ride will offer up a moderate, do-able early-season 100-mile trail, over 2-track roads and cow trails, with minimum sand and minimum rocks to negotiate. Parts of the trail will follow the historic Oregon Trail near the Snake River.

"The trails are not hard, but not easy," Rose said. "The 100 will have several gentle climbs and descents of 1000 feet throughout the ride. It's an early-season opportunity for folks to start preparing for the National Championships in Montana in June, and Tevis in July."

For more information and to register, see

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Christina Hyke Selected as 2021 Wisconsin Horse Council "Horseperson of the Year"

Wisconsin Horse Council District 4

Congratulations to Christina Hyke on being selected as the 2021 Wisconsin Horse Council "Horseperson of the Year"!

Christina was nominated by a District 4 resident and selected by the WHC Board of Directors for her leadership and contributions to Wisconsin's equine industry.

Christina is an equine photographer located in Jefferson, WI. . Through development of programs such as Endurance Horse Podcast ( ) and her "Warhorse Challenges" she has created platforms where horse enthusiasts from all over the world can enjoy and share stories of their horses together, inspire and support each other, and give back to charitable organizations - both local and nationally! She encourages and supports youth, honors and helps preserve equine history, and continues to positively impact lives all over the world!

Congratulations on a well deserved honor!!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

List of Early Tevis Cup Entries Released

Posted Sunday, February 21, 2021 6:02pm

All entrants are listed in the order entries were received by the Tevis office whether by post mail or email. This ranking will be posted on the Tevis website and will only change when there are entrant withdrawals.

We will not know the number of starters allowed until we are much closer to the actual ride date.

Our current rider list for 2021:

The number of Tevis starters in 2021 will depend on several factors that are beyond the control of ride management:

• The number of participants may be limited by the usable area at the Robinson Flat vet check due to hazardous tree logging by the US Forest Service.

• Additionally, ride management does not yet know if restrictions may be placed on us by land owners, the US Forest Service, or the Auburn State Recreation Area due to Covid-19 concerns.

Because of these factors, Tevis wants to be clear about how the entry list was ranked and how it will be updated. Thank you for your understanding during these unusual times.

Tevis Cup Ride Director Message - February 2021

February 24 2020

As a member of the Board of Governors and the Director of the Ride, I hold Tevis traditions and the effort to sustain and preserve them close to my heart. Then Covid 19 happened, and we are all struggling with what that means. What is normal anymore, and we’ve seen how fragile traditions are as we reconstructed our holiday season across the nation and the world.

Usually the Ride Director’s message goes over what to expect at Tevis: the Ride Week, traditions, the check in at Robie, the awards banquet on Sunday, etc. I think we should keep it simple. ENTER EARLY!! Our numbers may be limited by government regulations, local agencies, and property owners. We will maintain and post the rider list as entries are logged in at the office ( Our whole organization is committed to starting as many riders on the morning of July 24, 2021, as permits and circumstances allow.

For people who would like to volunteer for one of the critical 800 volunteer positions, please go to to complete a volunteer registration form. Let us know if you are a rider and can take pulses, keep the mashes going for horses in a hurry, or are interested in keeping water flowing to cool out hot horses. We are always looking for experienced horse transport drivers who have a well-maintained rig to help with getting pulled horses to assigned destinations (as determined by veterinarians and ride management). Please send us your information by completing the form on line ( Our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you, and you are on the team. Become part of the magic of Tevis—it’s just that easy.

If you have a special request, please email or call the office. Jean Hixon will route your request to the correct person. Don't be shy about asking for help or directions, we have had many varied requests and can usually assist with meeting them. Also, hotels in Auburn fill up early for Tevis weekend. So if you need a reservation, please book lodging early.

On behalf of the 29 members of the Western States Board of Governors, the ride committee and the community of Auburn, we look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Tevis Cup Ride!

Chuck Stalley
Ride Director

Monday, February 22, 2021

Talkin' Trot Podcast: Talkin AERC 2021 "Unconventional" Convention with the AERC Offic‪e‬

Talkin' Trot Podcast - Listen

Join us for a chat with the ladies of AERC about the Unconventional Convention coming up March 6 and 7! They give us the details on the speakers, the raffle, the vendors and more! The app we will get to use sounds awesome!!! This will be a great opportunity for anyone in any discipline in any country to attend the AERC National Convention!

Look for the details at and listen now at:

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Keeping open land open in Scotts Valley - Full Article

Land trust helps owner to fulfill wish to keep property near Scotts Valley undeveloped

By Jessica A. York | | Santa Cruz Sentinel
PUBLISHED: February 12, 2021

SCOTTS VALLEY — With an unquenchable love of horse riding and country living cultivated since childhood, Julie Weston Suhr did not have to be asked twice when her husband proposed buying up a vast swath of undeveloped land in the Santa Cruz Mountains some 50 years ago.

“I grew up in Santa Clara Valley in an orchard out in the country with no neighbors and I saw what happened to it, covered with concrete and it was disturbing,” Suhr said during a recent interview with the Sentinel. “And I had a very wonderful husband and he said, you’d like to live in the country with your horses, wouldn’t you? And I said yes, so we came over here and found this piece of property for sale and that was 1971 and then we built the home in ’73 and I’ve had horses here ever since.”

Suhr and her husband, Robert Suhr Sr., transported their life from Saratoga to unincorporated Scotts Valley off Weston Road, making their home in a place echoing Julie Suhr’s maiden name as a pure coincidence, she said. Robert Suhr died in 2010, after 64 years of marriage to Julie Suhr.

As with her horses, the nearly 300 acres of undeveloped land which the Suhrs and, often, their neighbors, have roamed for hours on end in the past half century have left their indelible mark on Suhr. So much so that she devised a way to protect the property’s sanctity, long after she is no longer around to watch over it. Working with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County and a private financial gift from neighbor Ed Fenster, cofounder of Sunrun Solar, Suhr said her land will never be developed beyond an existing picnic table that overlooks a stunning view of the area. Through a conservation easement developed in the past three years, Suhr has entrusted her property’s development rights to the land trust in perpetuity, with an agreement that nothing will be built on nor taken from the land...

Read more here:

Friday, February 12, 2021

AERC Middle Distance High Point Winner

February 8 2021

The Arabian Horse Association recognizes the AERC high point earning Arabian and Half-Arabians/Anglo-Arabian of the AERC National 100 Mile year-end standing and the Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian High Point Middle Distance applicants that meet AHA membership and registration criteria.

The AERC Middle Distance High Point is an AHA nomination-based annual award given to the Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian with the highest AERC points accumulated in the year through 50-99 mile Endurance rides.

Keeping Faith+ is the winner of the Arabian AERC 50-99 Mile High Point award earning a total of 450 points with owner and rider Mindy Wolfe.

Keeping Faith+ won competing in 6 Endurance Rides during the season and since 2013, the pair has completed a total of 2,330 Endurance miles together. Mindy states "The past couple years have been challenging for a lot of people and myself personally, but my girl Keeping Faith+ has been my rock through it all! She was given to me as an unbroke 5 year old and her quiet sweet nature melted into my heart! She was going to be my project horse while I bred my 1/2 Arab mare and when my mare could not carry, ended up being my embryo transfer recipient mare and was a wonderful mother! After weaning she went right back to work training for Endurance and she has surpassed my expectations! We are looking forward to many more miles down the trail together!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Arabian AERC 100 Mile High Point Winner

February 8 2021

The Arabian Horse Association recognizes the AERC high point earning Arabian and Half-Arabians/Anglo-Arabian of the AERC National 100 Mile year-end standing and the Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian High Point Middle Distance applicants that meet AHA membership and registration criteria.

Poete (Bandjo De Falgas X Poetikka), a 2007 gelding is the winner of the Arabian AERC 100 Mile High Point!

Poete earned a total of 940 points for completing three 100 mile rides with owner and rider Holly Corcoran. Holly states “He’s a big horse, with a BIG personality and on the ground he can be the sweetest, most endearing horse. In competition he loves to go and loves being out front.

Early in the ride that is not always the best ride plan, so that is when we are most often “negotiating.” While I have ridden other horses where I know it is my love and desire that fills their sails, with him, our competitive spirit is mutual … and he makes it just so much FUN (most of the time)! I am honored to be owned by this awesome horse and while he is truly a talented athlete, we both are blessed by amazing supportive crew who take great care of us and keep us fresh in the game. For all of his wins, we have had such amazing support from friends who ride with me to condition and who travel to rides to help crew. It is with sincere gratitude that the Sayvetz family/Asgard Arabians entrusted this amazing horse to me.” In addition Holly says both “Poete and his ¾ sister Poetrie are fully qualified and nominated for the World Endurance Championships to be held in San Rossore, Italy in May 2021. Both have the maximum scores for USA selection so I am fervently hoping that we will have the opportunity to represent the USA together in May.”

Lillie Slifka Hall 1930 - 2020

Lillie Adele Slifka Hall
April 14,1930 - December 7, 2020

Lillie Slifka Hall (April 14, 1930 to December 7, 2020) was born in Torrington, Wyoming, the 3rd daughter of Roy and Elsie York. She was named Lillie Adele York but her family called her "Pete". She and her two older sisters, Lavonne and Lois spent their early years on a ranch near Lance Creek in Eastern Wyoming, 26 miles from town. The winters were tough, and the Depression conditions persuaded the family to move to Idaho. They bought a ranch 12 miles West of Cambridge, Idaho on Mill Creek at the end of a wagon road. This wagon road is now highway 71. Lillie started first grade at the Pine Grove School on Seid Creek. She and her sisters rode horses, walked, or rode the horse drawn "school bus" 4 miles to the one room school for 2 years.

In 1939 the family relocated to a ranch in Cow Valley, near Brogan in Eastern Oregon. It was 4 miles horseback to this school too. Lillie loved horses, so this mode of transportation was never a problem for her.

In 1943, during the war years, ranch help was hard to find, so Lillie, at age 13 helped work their farm with draft horses. She always prefered working outdoors. She mowed hay with a sickle bar, raked with a dump rake dodging rattlesnakes, and helped stack loose hay. She also worked on neighboring ranches where she stayed during summer harvest , working their horses. Her passion for horses started very young in her life, and embraced her to the end of her 90 years.

In 1944 the family relocated to Cascade, Idaho. Their farm was in the valley, and was eventually buried under the waters of Cascade Reservoir when the dam was built. At this time the family moved to town where the girls got to attend a "town school" for the first time. Lillie attended Cascade High School and formed some of her dearest memories there. She met Elden Slifka at school where she was a cheer leader and he was a football player. In 1948 they were married at the Methodist Church in Cascade. Elden called her "Dusty" all of his life. Lillie adored her in laws, Joe and Margaret Slifka.

When she was 18 Lillie cooked for a remote logging crew near Burgdorf, Idaho.

1n 1949 Lillie and Elden moved 28 miles from Hungry Horse, Montana where Elden worked construction on the new dam. They then moved to Boise where Elden attended Boise Junior College.

They later moved to Ketchikan, Alaska where Elden worked on a logging operation. When they moved back to Boise their first child, Mark Steven Slifka was born January, 1955. In April, 1956 Trudy Lois Slifka was born. The young family moved to Moscow, Idaho where Elden attended the University of Idaho and earned a degree as an Electrical Engineer. Lillie kept plenty busy caring for her babies.

The family moved to Bountiful, Utah where Elden worked for Utah Engineering Labs, but their roots in their beloved Idaho were calling. After 4 years in Utah, the family including horses and dogs moved to an acreage between Boise and Meridian where Lillie pursued her passion for horses and they began raising Arabian horses. It was not long before the horse operation needed room to expand, and the family moved to the end of South Cole road near Boise. They built a beautiful horse facility known as Desert Edge Arabians where they raised, trained, and marketed horses for several years. They were involved with the Des Arab Horse Club from it's first meeting. Elden was the charter president. Their stallion, Las Trad was Lillies pride and joy. He won numerous championships at horse shows from 3 states competing in halter, western, english, and driving. He was ridden in parades as well as back country mountain trails, and was the Boise State Bronco Mascot at the football games. He sired 167 colts and lived to be 33...


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Selection Memo Available for 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Feb 8, 2021, 11:59 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has published a selection memo for the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship with helpful information for potential applicants.

In December 2020, the FEI Board considered a series of key decisions on allocation, cancellation, and reopening of bids for FEI Championships. The FEI Board agreed to allocate the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship to Isola della Scala in Verona, Italy.

Following this decision, the USEF Endurance Sport Committee produced a selection memo for the championship, which can be found here.

This preliminary information is provided to assist athletes with their competition planning and is subject to change. Please remember that this information is based upon the recommendations of the USEF Endurance Sport Committee and is subject to approval by the USEF Board of Directors or an Ad Hoc Selection Group approved by the USEF Board of Directors when the selection procedures are compiled. Therefore, the information outlined in the selection memo is subject to change.

Please contact Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at if you have any questions.

More at:

2021 February's Horses in the Morning - Listen

Tevis Winner and Dressage Trainer Erin McChesney: Endurance for Feb 9, 2021

Feb 9, 2021

Endurance Episode: Multiple Tevis and Haggin Cup winner Erin McChesney joins us. Karen shares her recipe for thrush control and we catch up on how her new horse Apollo is doing. Listen in...

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian AERC 100 Mile High Point Winner

February 8 2021

The Arabian Horse Association recognizes the AERC high point earning Arabian and Half-Arabians/Anglo-Arabian of the AERC National 100 Mile year-end standing and the Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian High Point Middle Distance applicants that meet AHA membership and registration criteria.

Our 2020 Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian AERC 100 Mile High Point winner is Shyrocco Rimbaud owned by Heather Davis!

Shyrocco Rimbaud “Rim” (Rimmon X Poetic Pride) is a 2006 gelding, earned a total of 885 points for completing three 100 mile rides with owner and rider Heather Davis. “Rim is the ultimate athlete - brains, brawn, speed, agility but most importantly heart. Every ride on him is pure joy” Heather states.

Monday, February 08, 2021

Talkin' Trot Podcast: Talkin AERC National Championships with Bill & Jan Steven‪s‬

Talkin' Trot Podcast - Listen

January 27 2021

Episode 17: Talkin about AERC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS with Bill and Jan Stevens!

In preparation for the 2021 Championships at Fort Howes in Montana we talk to Bill and Jan about it all: How to qualify, ranch history, ride camp, trail conditions, young rider championships, area attractions and more. If you're going to attend this an episode you'll want to listen to!

Friday, January 29, 2021

2021 Tevis Cup: New Juniors Ride Free! - More information

Posted Monday, January 11, 2021

This year we are offering free entries* to any junior who has not previously finished Tevis**.

Their entry must be accompanied by a paid entry from a sponsor (who must be at least 21 years old on ride day).

Both sponsor and junior must have their qualifying miles.

** Does not include the cost of a buckle or stabling.
* Includes Juniors who previously entered the ride but did not complete.

The Scripps Foundation Cup

The Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation Trophy recognizes Junior finishers of the Western States Trail Ride. Roxanne Greene, who donated the Cup, and her daughter Rebecca Greene, the youngest rider ever to win ten Tevis buckles, presented the cup for the first time in 1994. The trophy honors all junior riders and their horses who complete the Ride.

The award was founded to encourage good horsemanshipand to recognize cooperation between the junior rider, horse, family and friends. The base of the Scripps Cup bears the names of both horse and rider. Each junior rider, upon completion of the 100 Mile Ride, receives a photograph of the Cup and an inscribed brass plate for the rider's saddle. The Cup is on permanent display along with the Lloyd Tevis Cup and the James Ben Ali Haggin Cup in the foyer display case at the Auburn City Hall.

For more information see:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

US Equestrian Now Accepting Applications for 2021 U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe Position

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 26, 2021, 12:30 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has opened application submissions for the position of U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe for the following 2021 Championship events. The U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe will serve as Chef d’Equipe and USEF’s representative (per FEI General Regulations) for the 2021 FEI Senior World Endurance Championships in San Rossore (Pisa), Italy from May 19-24, 2021, the 2021 FEI Junior & Young Rider World Endurance Championship in Ermelo, Netherlands from September 6-13, 2021, as well as (subject to funding and entries) the 2021 FEI Pan American Endurance Championships in Campinas, Brazil from July 26-30, 2021. Applications are due by February 15, 2021.

The U.S. Endurance Chef d’Equipe position requires a minimum of five (5) years of involvement in the FEI Endurance discipline, as well as an intricate knowledge of the 2021 FEI Endurance Rules, and a good understanding of the FEI EADCMRs. The position also includes several other eligibility requirements necessary for consideration. Applicants will be asked, where possible, to declare all Conflicts of Interest with possible athlete applicants.

Responsibilities of the role will include attendance at Chef d’Equipe meetings during any championship where they are managing a team, liaison with the Technical Delegate, Ground Jury, and Organizing Committee, as well as define and discuss competition strategy for U.S. athletes to perform to the best of their abilities to be competitive on an international stage.

The selected applicant will be required to pass a background check and must remain current with the USEF Safe Sport training requirements. The full application is available here.

For more information, please contact Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Endurance Riding Convention Goes Virtual for 2021

January 20 2021

Obstacles aren’t insurmountable, especially for distance riders! Instead of their usual in-person convention this March, the American Endurance Ride Conference decided to go virtual with their 2021 Unconventional Convention. Participants can watch live on the 6th and 7th, and content will remain available to watch throughout the month.

Open to interested equestrians in the U.S., Canada and around the world, the convention features eight seminars that will appeal to everyone from new riders to experienced endurance enthusiasts.

Vendors will have virtual booths and many are offering convention-only specials. The convention also includes raffles, including one for a Treeless Saddle, valued at more than $3,000, donated by Saddle Up LLC. Awards and virtual get-togethers for various regions are scheduled for Friday afternoon, with the national awards ceremony presentation on Saturday to close out the convention.

“Although our in-person conventions are always terrific, going virtual this year will allow many more people to experience an AERC convention,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “The opportunity to see so many eminent speakers for such a low cost is one that should appeal to trail riders and distance riders alike.”

The seminar schedule can be accessed in real time, which allows attendees to present questions and comments to the speakers. Can’t make one or more of the seminars live? The seminars can be watched at any time through March 2021.

The first day includes “How Your Body Works With Your Horse” with Stephanie Seheult, DPT, followed by Langdon Fielding, DVM, discussing “Thumps and Other Electrolyte problems.” Melissa Ribley, DVM, a longtime ride vet and rider, will cover “Riding for Your Climate Conditions,” followed by “Find and Make a Good Endurance Horse” with Nick Warhol.

Day two begins with Dr. Seheult presenting an exercise routine geared for riders. Dean Hendrickson, DVM, a Colorado State University veterinary school professor, will speak on “Wound Care on the Trail,” followed by “The State of Equine Drug Testing” with Heather Knych, DVM, PhD, equine pharmacologist at UC Davis’s K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Pharmacology Lab. Dr. Fielding will close out the seminars with “What to Watch for—Before Your Ride” to help riders arrive at their ride with the healthiest horse possible.

Through February 18, the cost to attend all convention activities is $60 ($50 for current AERC members). Additional household members are an extra $10. After February 18, the cost increases to $65 for the first attendee.

For full details, schedule and speaker bios, and a link to convention registration, see

Saddle raffle tickets are $5 and all sales benefit the nonprofit association that celebrates distance riding, with emphasis on equine welfare, research and trail building and maintenance. Additional raffles include gift certificates and products in the national raffles and ride entries and local goods specifically for AERC’s nine regions.

Virtual vendor booths are priced low to encourage businesses, small and large, to reach distance riders, with options for live videos and chats, contests and special sales. For vendor information, see

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Introducing the 2021 International Equestrian Virtual Clinic

A FREE 3-day online event on how to be better riders, trainers & coaches (no matter your discipline!) JANUARY 26-28, 2021

The ultimate event for show jumpers, endurance riders, trail riders, dressage riders, cowboys/cowgirls, liberty and natural horsemanship enthusiasts, eventers and more!

Learn how to be the best equestrian in your town with secrets from 16 top riders, coaches, trainers, best-selling authors, podcasters and global leaders in the equine industry.

Among the many speakers, Jessica Isbrecht will discuss Endurance Riding 101: Getting a Non-Arabian to 50 miles.

For more information and for access to the online summit, see:

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 January's Horses in the Morning - Listen

Junior Riders Distance Derby, My First Year in Endurance: Endurance Day for Jan 12, 2021

Jan 12, 2021

Endurance Episode: Natalie Mayer Law shares her Junior Rider Derby that encourages riders to put in miles under saddle and Kara stops by to recount her first season as an endurance rider, complete with shemozzles! Karen’s endurance riding tip is about headlamps. Listen in...

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Cheryl Van Deusen and Katie Bumgarner Win USEF Endurance Awards for 2020

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 7, 2021, 12:50 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian congratulates the top endurance athletes from the 2020 competition season. Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) has won the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award, which is presented annually to the top U.S. senior endurance rider. Katie Bumgarner (Raleigh, N.C.) will receive the Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy as the top U.S. junior or young rider in the sport.

Van Deusen had a successful season with her own EBS Regal Majjaan, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding. Together they completed CEI3* rides at Greenway Gallivant in Florida and Broxton Bridge in South Carolina early in the 2020 competition season. With her 16-year-old Arabian gelding, Hoover the Mover, Van Deusen earned second-place finishes in the CEI3* at Indian Springs in New Mexico and the CEI2* at the Broxton Bridge November ride. She completed her final CEI3* of the year at Broxton Bridge where she finished in second place with Holly Corcoran’s 8-year-old Arabian mare, Lorienn.

This year marks Van Deusen’s fourth consecutive season as the top U.S. senior endurance athlete. She is currently ranked 4th in the FEI Endurance Open Riders World Ranking.

Bumgarner had three top finishes in CEI rides with three different horses during the 2020 season. She rode Golden Lightning, Janice Worthington’s 20-year-old Arabian gelding, to a second-place finish at the CEIYJ1* at Broxton Bridge in January. In November, she added two wins to her record at Broxton Bridge, placing first in the CEIYJ1* with Khomets Boss Hoss, a 14-year-old half-Arabian gelding, and in the CEIYJ2* with Nazeefs Flashy Rose, a 13-year-old Arabian mare. Both horses are owned by Cheryl Van Deusen.

The Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award is generously sponsored by Gold Medal Farm and Larry and Valerie Kanavy in memory of Maggy Price. Price was the 1992 FEI Endurance World Championship silver medalist and was instrumental in developing international endurance in the U.S. The Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy is awarded in memory of Kathy Brunjes, a successful endurance athlete and active supporter of the junior/young rider program.

Stay up to date with U.S. endurance by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on Instagram and Twitter. Use #USAEndurance.

More at:

Thursday, December 31, 2020

New ‘stepping stone’ endurance riding level introduced in US - Full Article

December 31, 2020

A new endurance level has been introduced in the US to encourage more participants into the discipline and lower the barriers to competition.

US Equestrian has launched USEF Endurance Competition Lite as a stepping stone for athletes and competition organisers in the transition to national licensed competitions. The USEF’s Board of Directors approved the program earlier this month, and the competition made its debut last week at the Greenway Gallivant in Dunnellon, Florida.

US Equestrian says the introduction of the USEF Endurance Lite competition model will lower financial and other barriers to entry for athletes and endurance competition organisers interested in participating in or hosting USEF sanctioned events, while maintaining a safe and level playing field...

Read more here:

Monday, December 28, 2020

US Equestrian Launches New Endurance Lite Competition Format

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Dec 23, 2020, 1:50 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - US Equestrian is pleased to announce the launch of USEF Endurance Competition Lite. The USEF Endurance Lite program was created as a stepping stone for athletes and competition organizers in the transition to USEF national licensed competitions and will welcome more participants into the sport of endurance at a national level. The program made its debut at the Greenway Gallivant in Dunnellon, Florida, December 19-21, 2020.

The introduction of the USEF Endurance Lite competition model will lower financial and other barriers to entry for athletes and endurance competition organizers interested in participating in or hosting USEF sanctioned events, while maintaining a safe and level playing field for all. The USEF Endurance Sport Committee created the USEF Endurance Lite Rules based on the approved Endurance chapter of the USEF Rulebook. The USEF Board of Directors approved the program earlier this month.

“How exciting to see Endurance Lite from USEF now available for equestrians wanting to make this unique sport a part of their equestrian experience,” said Lisanne Dorion, FEI athlete and Co-chair of the USEF Endurance Sport Committee. “Endurance not only takes you and your horse through some of the most amazing natural settings, but also, the skills one learns in endurance can translate into other disciplines and benefit everything else you do with your equine partner! I am thrilled to welcome newcomers to come out and see what Endurance Lite is all about.”

The current USEF Endurance Lite Rules are in effect until November 30th, 2022. Prior to this date, the USEF Endurance Sport Committee will review this program. While this program is being piloted at competitions during 2021, competition organizers can provide feedback on the program to Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at

Any competition organizers interested in holding a USEF Endurance Competition Lite should refer to the Competition Licensing section of and contact Hannah Gabbard, Competition Licensing Coordinator, at with any questions. USEF Endurance Competition Lite license applications should be submitted 30 days prior to the desired competition dates. However, this requirement will be waived for Endurance Lite competitions being held prior to January 25th, 2021.

Read more at:

Monday, December 14, 2020

2020 December's Horses In The Morning

Horsesinthemorning Podast - Listen

Dec 8, 2020

Endurance Episode: Earle Baxter is a 2002 AERC Hall of Fame rider and has logged 43,980 miles and Earle and his horse “I Am Amazing” (Champ) became Century Club members. Plus, we hear some gift ideas from Distance Depot, national mileage leader for 2020, Kerry Lowrey, joins us and the Endurance Tip is calculating how far ahead or behind your competition is during an endurance ride. Listen in...

Friday, December 11, 2020

Dot Wiggins Passes Away

Dot Wiggins passed away on November 28, 2020.  

Dot started riding horses before she was born; she believes she may have been conceived on Bear Tooth Pass, Montana, as her Mother and Father rode from Red Lodge to Cook City. Dot's first endurance ride was in Vale, Oregon, in 1976. She joined AERC in 1980 when she was in her 50’s.  She came to endurance after a lifetime of punching cows and breeding Quarter horses.  She quickly excelled, riding her beautiful palomino Quarter Horse Stallion, Scotch and Soda. She completed six 100-mile rides on Scotch, including the Race of Champions.  Scotch retired with almost  3,500 career endurance miles and was never pulled. Known as a great gentleman of the trail, Scotch pulled many tired horses and young competitors across the finish line. Many will remember Dot’s other endurance mounts:  Duffy, Tess, Zinger, and Kris.  Dot always put her horse first and was a role model and mentor for many endurance riders. Of the 188 rides she started, she finished 182. She completed 8,090 miles of endurance and rode her last 50-miler in 2009 at the age of 79 1/2.  In her later years she dropped back to Limited Distance Rides and completed exactly 2000 LD miles from 1996 to 2013.  

Dot was a fierce advocate for trails. Over the years she worked with the Forest Service and BLM as well as private land owners to preserve equestrian trails.  In 2016, AERC recognized Dot by presenting her wth the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award. Dot was one of the founding directors of the Friends of the Weiser River Rail trail.  The 85-mile Weiser River Trail is one of the few rails to trails in the nation owned and managed by a nonprofit organization. From 1982 through 2000, Dot managed the Hells Canyon Endurance Ride. As a Forest Service employee, she worked at the Sturgill Peak Fire Lookout. As she performed her job, she scoped out and plotted the beautiful and challenging trails that became the Hells Canyon Ride. Dot was always eager to help search for good trails, clear trails, mark and un-mark ride trails.  She will be missed.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

A Bright Spot - the 2020 Virtual Tevis Cup

We have so much to be thankful for.virtual buckle

Of course, looking back on the events of 2020, many folks may not feel this way, and rightfully so. The year has been fraught with emotional triggers. Pandemic, politics, economics, environment, personal health and well-being. But there really is a bright spot to each stressor. We just have to look for it.

At WSTF, I think we all had a bit of a desperate feeling of dread when we made the decision in April to cancel the 65th annual Tevis Cup ride slated for August 1, 2020.

While the ride itself does not bring in a lot of money, as it’s a huge financial outlay to put it on, it does illicit revenue via donations and associated activities. None of those were going to happen and like so many other organizations effected by Covid-19 we asked, “How will we pay our bills?”

Then our by bright spot made its appearance. One of our BOG members suggested that we host a virtual Tevis. Instead of 100 miles in one day, we would do 100 miles in 100 days. Your trails, your equine, your speed.

The event was slated to start on August 1 (the date the actual ride was to occur on) and end on November 9th . We set up a riding, and a non-riding division. Just like the Tevis Cup you had to complete the 100 miles on one horse. The non-riding division allowed walking, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, etc. Pretty much any type of physical activity, but for 100 miles.

We watched tentatively as the registration started. There was even a side bet among the BOGs for tacos as to whether we would reach 1500 entries.

Tevis fans insured that the taco lover in the group would not go wanting. As of this writing, we have 1637 total participants. 1388 in the riding division and 285 in the non-riding division. Participants are from 12 different countries, with an age range from four years old to the mid 80s.

We had to change the event midway through and extend the completion deadline beyond 100 days. This was due to the poor air quality from the multiple wildland fires that plagued the western states in August and September. Tevis fans continued to endure. You hunkered down, took care of your ponies and once the air cleared and their lungs recovered, you hit the trail again.

As a remembrance of the virtual ride, each participant completing the trail will receive a long sleeve T-shirt designed specifically for the event, and a virtual Tevis buckle sticker, also created just for the event. International participants will receive a bandanna with a similar design to the T-shirt and the sticker.

The event has its own Facebook page where folks have shared their ride stories along the hundred mile journey. As they record their miles and log into the race organization site, they can read about the various landmarks and points of interest as they virtually complete the Tevis Trail.

If you do the math with our $65 registration fee and 1600+ participants, you’ll come up with a number fatter than a Thanksgiving turkey. Out of that number we still have to buy shirts and stickers, pay postage and the race organizing site, etc., but we still had a nice piece of the pie. And the whip cream on that pie? More than $15,000 in just good old-fashioned cash donations for WSTF. The Virtual Tevis Cup ride has been a hit, and has really helped WSTF with some large expenses and trail improvement projects. We are looking at the possibility of making it an annual event and welcome the input and suggestions of all.

As I round this out, your BOG elves are busy stuffing T-shirts and bandannas into envelopes so that the first group of completion awards can be mailed next week, and continue throughout the end of the event on 12-31-2020.

Thank you Tevis fans. You are our bright spot.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Christina Hyke's Endurance Horse Podcast Wins Winnie Award

The Endurance Horse Podcast, created by Christina Hyke, has won a Winnie Award in the Equus Film & Arts Festival as best podcast. "We entered with the wonderful episode on the Big Horn 100," Christina wrote, "so thank you [ride manager] Cindy Collins for your wonderful description of your ride. It is your stories that make the podcast what it is. Such an honor to share the story of your event and thank you to everyone for your support!"

Christina is an equine and 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.

With 41 episodes, the Endurance Horse Podcast is almost at 27,000 downloads. 2021 will be the third year podcasting.

Monday, November 30, 2020

An Unconventional AERC Convention - More information

March 6 and 7, 2021 – Virtual Convention – participate from wherever you are!

With our 2021 San Antonio convention off the table, AERC had to find the best way to get together and enjoy all the perks of convention (except for the very best part of all, seeing each other in person!). We're excited to be planning an "Unconventional" Convention that ALL can attend (virtually).

There will be seminars! There will be vendors and vendor specials! There will be a raffle (including a special raffle for a brand-new Treeless Saddle)! There will be seminar speakers and awards programs!

We will have lots of details to come . . . but for now, mark those calendars for March 6 and 7, and watch Endurance News and for updates.

Interested in becoming a virtual vendor and/or convention sponsor? Please contact the AERC office, 866-271-2372, or, to be added to our exhibitor mailing list.

Coming in 2022: AERC's 50th Anniversary Celebration Convention!

Monday, November 23, 2020

Bob Morris 1927-2020

Robert John Morris (Bob Morris)
December 30, 1927 - November 21, 2020

Bob Morris and his wife Arlene were two of the founders of the Southwest Idaho Trail & Distance Riding club in 1979. Bob was an excellent horseman, trainer and rider, known as a mentor to many endurance riders, and remembered for putting on some tough endurance rides.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

A Closer Look at AERC Endurance Ride Pull Codes

Monday August 8 2011
by Merri Melde

Veterinarian Melissa Ribley kindly provided an article in Endurance News a couple of years ago elucidating pull codes for horses and riders on endurance rides:

M – Metabolic
L – Lameness
OT – Overtime
SF – Surface Factors

Then there’s the RO – Rider Option, when there is nothing wrong with the horse and it has been cleared by a vet, but the rider wishes to pull; RO-L, when the horse has been cleared by the vet, but the rider feels there may be some lameness issue, and RO-M, when the horse has been cleared by the vet but the rider feels there may be some metabolic issue.

After my recollection of some old records where a tough-as-nails, highly competitive endurance rider I used to know had an inordinate number of Rider Option pulls (granted, this was before the RO-L and RO-M were implemented), where I knew there was no way this rider would ever willingly quit a ride when the horse was fine, it comes to my mind that there needs to be a little more detailed clarification of the RO codes.

I propose the following additions to the pull codes, and none of these should be ridiculed by other riders (well, except for RO-IC):

RO-ITDC – It’s Too Damn Cold. Well, for some sunny southern California fair weather types, sometimes it is just too damn cold to be out there riding 50 or (you gotta be kidding me) 100 miles when the mercury hovers around 35* and it’s spitting rain or sleet and the wind is howling 35 mph (known as a “35-35 day” or comparatively, even harsher, a “30-30 day” for the tough hides in Wyoming used to this sort of weather nonsense), when one could just as easily circle the next ride on the calendar in 2 weeks’ time a hundred miles and 2000’ of elevation further south, while one is sitting by a fire sipping hot toddies, instead of becoming a miserable popsicle on a horse for up to 24 hours. BEWARE, however, of abusing this code, when Dave Rabe is in the ride. If he is wearing a long-sleeved shirt under his tank top, you may be right, it’s darn cold, but are you man (or woman) enough to pull yourself and your horse with RO-ITDC even wearing your 5 layers of clothing, when he’s riding beside you in shorts?

RO-IGP – I’m Gonna Puke. Now, this does not necessarily separate the girls from the women and the boys from the men. If you feel like you are going to puke, sure, you can probably do it from your horse, but, let’s face it, it is really no fun to do it from the back of a horse moving 7 – 20 mph, and if you really are going to puke, you are probably not doing your horse any favors because you are probably not sitting him correctly (bending over to try to miss both of you), and if you are bending over trying to do this at 20 mph you may likely fall off. (And then you might be able to opt for the RO-BB pull code, see below). There are those who will tough it out, make it to a vet check, and puke there, but it is perfectly acceptable to pull with a RO-IGP, because after all, most of us are in this sport to have fun, and not to compare most mileage accomplished while feeling worst of anybody. I have not yet seen regional awards handed out for this exploit. A few tips on preventative for this pull code: do not eat a bowl of beans the night before a 100. Do not feel obligated to eat several slices of cake or handfuls of cookies at every single refreshment point on a 100 mile trail where volunteers hand out goodies.

RO-HGC – Horse Gone Crazy. This is not only an acceptable pull, but one that may save your life and those of others on the trail. And yes, this can happen to any normally calm horse on any given ride.

RO-BTDT – Been There Done That. This one is a little iffy – I mean, if you start a ride that you have done before, and in the middle of it you decide you’re bored with the trail, you really shouldn’t have entered again, should you?

RO-BB – Broken Bones (yours or the horse, before or during the ride). ‘Nuff said.

RO-HBL – Hopelessly Beyond Lost. If it’s a pitch black night under a thick forest canopy, and there are approximately 40 glowbars covering the entire 100 mile trail, and you and fellow riders have been wandering astray and disoriented for hours, and you have collapsed in an exhausted heap and are content to just stay there and die on the trail, this is a perfectly acceptable pull. (If you are found before you die).

RO-DOD – Disappeared or Dead. This code is only for those who are never found after an RO-HBL ride, and hopefully will never be used.

RO-IC – I’m Cheating. Either you cut trail and know you will be the recipient of a lodged protest; you switched similar-looking horses in the middle of the ride and you know someone is onto you; you carelessly blew others off a trail to get ahead, at much danger to them; or you administered your horse illegal drugs and you see there is a state pee tester at the first vet check who you know by your luck will stick that cup under your horse next time. You better take this pull code. Now.

RO-IJCTIA(AIDHT) – I Just Can’t Take It Anymore (And I Don’t Have To). This could refer to: the lame annoying riders around you (because you, of course, are decidedly not); aches and pains too numerous for massive doses of ibuprofen to take care of; realizing on your first endurance ride that this sport and everybody in it is, truly, insane; you’ve been unceremoniously dumped once, or twice, or more (on the same day); or little combinations of the above RO pull codes. Or, you’ve just had enough today, period. This is perfectly acceptable; we all hit the wall sooner or later.

I believe these additional pull codes will help make clear for nosy people the real reasons riders choose “RO” - Rider Option. Let’s help keep our sport open and honest, so we all have plenty to talk and tease others about. Ride managers can help by typing up little cheat RO note cards for riders to carry with their rider cards and maps for quick and easy reference coming into vet checks.

**This article was originally published in Endurance News, April 2006
**and again on Merri Travels on, August 8, 2011
It deserves another reprint!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Clovis, NM woman gives horse new home - Full Article

By Sandra Jaramillo For The New Mexican
Nov 18, 2020

“New Mexico has proven to be rich in blessings, both in allowing me to build my dream of my own horse property and adopting my first young horse to bring up in the ranks,” Suzanne Diesel said.

Diesel was led to The Horse Shelter when she decided to adopt. What she didn’t anticipate was meeting Roni, a 4-year-old grade Arabian mare now affectionately known as Zuni, and the amazing staff that came with her during the adoption process.

The Horse Shelter staffers, Michele and Cori, “welcomed me to the shelter multiple times to meet and build my relationship with Zuni prior to adopting her, including three rides to ensure we bonded,” Diesel said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Apply for AERC's 2021 Anne Ayala Scholarship

November 18 2020

If you are an AERC Junior or Young Rider, check out the Anne Ayala Scholarship which is open to those in their senior year of high school through age 21 (must be younger than 22 as of 1/1/2020).

More details and application here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Talkin' Trot Podcast: Episode 14

Talkin' Trot Podcast - Listen

Talkin' Trot: Endurance Riding News and Views

Episode 14: Benefits of Flax: An interview with Outlaw Feed LLC


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

A Blast From the Past: A different kind of endurance race

Howard Reid, of Barre, astride the winning horse, Halcyon.
Vermont Historical Society - Full Article

By Paul Heller For Weekend Magazine
Aug 22, 2020

From the Boston Marathon to the Indianapolis 500, endurance and strength have always been celebrated. Even in the bygone age of horse power, a stress test to find the best horse and rider was first staged by the Morgan Horse Club of New England in a feat of stamina and survival for Vermont horsemen and their mounts.

The “Endurance Ride of 1913” followed a route that started in Northfield and made its way through Waterbury, Stowe, Hardwick, St. Johnsbury, Wells River and concluded in White River Junction – a distance of 154 miles. The route took two days – Sept. 16-17 – and was the focus of every equestrian in New England.

The Vermont Horse and Bridle Trail Bulletin called this event “the first test in America of weight carrying over long distances.” This occasion also marks the beginning of the endurance ride as a sport, and it was a Norwich University cadet from Barre who won this first-ever public competition.

Developed by the U.S. Cavalry as a way to grade military mounts, the “Endurance Ride” became a way for breeders to establish favorable bloodlines and for equestrians to establish bragging rights...

Read more here:

2020 November's Horses in the Morning - Listen

Living on the Road With Horses, Friesian Rocks the LD Rides: Endurance Day for Nov 10, 2020

Nov 10, 2020

Michelle and her daughter Scout share how they are living full time on the road with their horses. Magali McGreevy is kicking butt with her Friesian Harlaam and she stops by to tell us all about it. Rump rugs, quarter sheets, or exercise rugs; whatever you call them we answer the questions you never thought to ask. Listen in...

Monday, November 09, 2020

Renew or join AERC now for 2021!

AERC's next ride season begins December 1. Be sure to renew for the 2021 ride season! Special bonus: all 2020 members who renew by 12/1/20 will be eligible for a drawing for $500 in custom tack, donated by Taylored Tack.

See to see more and sign up.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Trailblazer: Auburn's Barger completes first known Western States 200 - Full Article

Nick Pecoraro
Nov 03, 2020

After nearly 60 hours from early Friday morning to Sunday evening, Auburn’s Dan Barger finally reached his 200-mile finish line.

After a failed attempt at doubling up on the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run on July 31, Barger regrouped and re-attacked the course last weekend with a new game plan, new optimism and new success. Beginning the trek at 5 a.m. Friday from Placer High School’s LeFebvre Stadium, the 55-year-old Auburn resident journeyed up to Squaw Valley and returned to the Placer track just before 5 p.m. Sunday for the first 200-mile completion of the Western States trail.

“I’m still processing it, really,” an emotionally and physically spent Barger said Monday afternoon. “It’s hard to put into words. I’m not really sharp right now.”

Barger was greeted at the finish line by a warm embrace from his mother.

“When I got to the track, there was no one there but close-knit friends and family,” he said. “I just ran around smiling big. I ran around that last quarter mile just happy to be done.”

Barger’s first attempt, which included a bear encounter and searing summer heat, saw him reach 125 miles in about 37 hours before getting bitten by “the sleep monster” and calling it quits. In retrospect, Barger said he probably had a little fuel left in the tank...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Distance Horse Nationals Update

October 29 2020

In late July 2020 the AHA Distance Commission, in consultation with the AHA President, Nancy Harvey made the difficult decision to suspend the Distance Horse National Championships (DHNC), scheduled for September 25-27, 2020 at Ogden Group Camp near La Pine, OR.

This decision was not made lightly. Considerations included the possibility that crews would not be camping on site, a lack of awards ceremony, additional costs and assignment of volunteers dedicated to assuring compliance with Oregon State Department of Health requirements, possibility on size limitations, and the burden on travelers during COVID-19.

With all this in consideration and discussion from the community, the AHA Distance National Commission, in association with the breed liaisons of who are partnered with the DHNC have made the decision to modify the rotation schedule and host the ride in the Western region in 2022, if we can find a viable location. We have begun the search for a site to hold the 2022 event in the Western region of the US; If you have any suggestions or would like to bid to hold the event, please contact: Paige Lockard - Distance National Coordinator at 303-696-4535 or

Thank you for your time and support! We are thrilled to continue the Distance National Champion Tradition with you all.

Monday, November 02, 2020

Happy Trails Podcast: Alaskan Adventure - Happy Trails Podcast - Listen

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ride in Alaska? Well, my guests, Frank and Claudia Sihler can answer that!

With a plethora of public land available there’s no shortage of places to ride and camp. However, only certain areas are actually developed for recreation. Riding in Alaska is great for those with an adventurous streak.

In this interview, we discuss everything from wildlife encounters (moose, wolves, and bears, of my!) to riding on frozen rivers in winter time. We also talk about their long journey down to Arizona for mounted archery competitions. They tell me about outrunning bad weather on the way back and give some tips for anyone thinking about taking the trip themselves...

Read more and listen at:

Friday, October 30, 2020

AERC's National Championship rides are back on the calendar for 2021

AERC's National Championship rides are back on the calendar for 2021:
June 11 (50 mile championships)
June 12 (open 50 and 2 open LDs)
June 13 (100 mile championships)

The place: Fort Howes in Ashland, Montana.

The even bigger news is that on June 15, there will be an AERC Young Rider Championship 75-mile ride! This will be open to weight division riders age 14-21. (14-15 year olds with unsponsored junior status are welcome. See rule 10.3 for details.)

This link gives YR Championship qualification specifics:

Also, watch Endurance News for information on all 2021 National Championships at Fort Howes rides and check out the Fort Howes website:

Happy trails from the AERC Office
and 2021 National Championship Ride hosts Jan and Bill Stevens

P.S. Don't forget to renew your AERC membership by December 1 to be eligible for our drawing for a $500 custom tack package from Taylored Tack:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Fair Hill International made up for cancelled April event - Full Article

25 October 2020
Race Report made with the assistance of Alissa Norman

When manager Holly MacDonald was not allowed to run an endurance ride in her home state due to COVID restrictions, she approached Fair Hill International to ask them to host. As Fair Hill International’s national distance ride was cancelled in April, the venue was happy to host both national and CEI rides. Distances offered included the 40, 80, 100, 120 and 160km events.

In the 160km ride, Holly Corcoran (USA) rode her own Poete to the win through perfect fall weather, with dry footing and a hint of trees changing colour. She rode the entire ride with two of her other horses – Poetrie, ridden by Hanna Weightman (USA) and Lorienn, ridden by Carmine Villani (GBR)...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Christoph Schork is AERC’s Four Hundred Win Man

An ongoing passion for the sport of endurance riding leads Christoph Schork to a phenomenal 400 wins

October 24 2020
by Merri

To the casual eye, the 5-day Autumn Sun Pioneer ride in October in Gooding, Idaho, was just another endurance ride. It wasn’t even all that unusual when Christoph Schork won all 5 days of the 50 milers. But what will be remembered of this now-historical event is that with his wins, Schork set another AERC record that’s unlikely to ever be touched. The Three Hundred Win Man transformed into The Four Hundred Win Man. If it wasn’t enough setting that win record, he also became the first rider to reach 200 Best Condition awards with his mounts.

According to AERC records, the endurance riders with the next most wins are the Midwest region’s Linda Hamrick with 178 wins, and the Central region’s Darolyn Butler with 168. The riders with the next most Best Condition awards are the Mountain region’s Crockett Dumas with 147, and the Pacific South region’s Suzy Kelley (who passed away in April 2020) with 138.

And if you think he’s excessively busy with just riding 50-milers and winning, you’d be missing the whole picture. Particularly during this strange COVID season, where his usual interns from Europe have been prevented from flying to the US, Schork has been handling a trailer full of horses at a multi-day ride by himself. After he pulls into Ridecamp, he’ll set up his 4 or 5 horses with food and water, and get each horse’s equipment ready. (He’ll also have several busy, opinionated little dogs to take care of.) After he finishes competing on Day 1, he’ll get back to camp, take care of the other horses, and take Day 2’s horse out for a warm-up ride, and so on throughout the event.

But he also stays busy helping other riders. Need advice or help with hoof care or glueing on boots? Schork will help. Need a saddle fitted before your ride? He will make time to do that also. His helpfulness is bountiful and his energy seems limitless.

Schork set the tone of his 33-year endurance career from his first ride in 1988 with a win. Since then he has completed 676 rides in 730 starts for a 92.6% finish percentage with over 38,000 miles, an outstanding figure when you realize he’s almost always competing to win. And many of his horses have had long careers, several having surpassed the 3000-mile mark, including:

• GE Double Zell (Brusally Orlen X Little Sisterzell, by Brusally Orlen) 3150 miles, 58 finishes in 58 starts, 8 seasons, 12 BCs, 6 of 6 100s (Schork’s most wins, 41, came aboard this horse)

• GE BW Triple Divide (Kishkov X BW Pavlova, by *Statuss) 3230 miles, 63 finishes in 69 starts, 9 seasons, 7 BCs

• GE Pistol Annie (Sulte X Sissy, by Baahy) 3550 miles, 63 finishes in 66 starts, 7 seasons, 31 BCs, 7 of 9 100s

• GE Stars Aflame (Flaming Tigre X Samoa Star, by Samstar) 3660 miles, 67 finishes in 72 starts, 12 seasons, 16 BCs, 5 of 8 100s

• DWA Powerball (*Sabson X WMA Lotto, by Cacko) 3720 miles, 72 finishes in 75 starts, 8 seasons, 7 BCs, 2 of 3 100s

• DWA Sabku +// (*Sabson X Saranade, by El Camino Samir) 4320 miles, 78 finishes in 85 starts, 15 seasons, 18 BCs, 11 of 14 100s

Schork’s Global Endurance Training Center in Moab, Utah, an ambitious endurance venture which he started with Dian Woodward in 2002, (she has since left), is the base of his endurance operations. Here he conditions his horses and also trains endurance riders, most notably for Mongolia’s Mongol Derby and the Gobi Gallop. He also leases his horses to endurance riders; multiple clients have earned Tevis Cup buckles aboard his horses.

Such a rise to the top rung in this sport has come with trials and errors and growing knowledge and fine tuning of Schork’s techniques over the decades. Though he makes it look easy, he’s the first to maintain he’s not an expert.

Asked how he’s earned such success, Schork summed up his methods.

First you have to have an inherent sense of competitiveness. If you’re not really competitive by nature, you’re probably not going to be that successful.

After that, you have to have a commitment to success. You must want to succeed. That only works if you have the dedication to the sport, that you actually love what you’re doing. If you don’t really have the passion for it, then you’re not going to succeed. That’s kind of the foundation.

Then after that, you have to have a plan. And in that plan, I think what’s really important is to have an alternate plan, or plan B, if it’s not working the way you want it to work.

And with both plans, the key is attention to the detail - the little things that could make or break success. If everything goes well, you’re doing OK. But if not, and you’re missing a detail, you might not succeed.

Never stop learning. That’s a big one. You have to learn from others, as well as from your own mistakes.

Also for success is my willingness to help others. If you actually sacrifice yourself sometimes for others, it always comes back to you and turns out as a benefit for you. So the time you spend and the energy you put into helping others to succeed also will come back as an additional benefit to you.

And last, whatever happens, always stay humble. Always be open to learn more. Be willing to admit to your own mistakes and your own shortcomings and work on improving on it. Learn from your own mistakes.

Schork also attributes part of his success to doing his own hoof care, changing over years ago to synthetic shoes and boots made by Easycare. Schork says, “Easycare was one of the front runners in that, and that certainly helped my horses to cover ground more expediently and more efficiently, and it also helps protect the joints and cartilage of the lower legs. Easycare’s R&D [research and development], their support, and their commitment to the welfare of the horse is a big thing for me.”

Asked what Schork has learned between win #300 (July 3, 2016 aboard GE Pistol Annie) and win #400 (October 11, 2020 aboard GE VA Blizzard of Oz), he points first to his horses’ mental states. “The more I work with horses, I realize how important it is to work with the psyche and the mind of the horses - getting more in touch with their minds and feeling the horses more, feel their strengths and weaknesses, and work close within these parameters,” he says. “I want to keep them happy, because a happy horse performs better.”

Schork has also learned to take each horse’s mind and ability into account. “A horse can have the perfect body and the best heart rate and lots of skills and talents, but if there is no drive or desire on the horse’s behalf, the best body does not bring home the gold. But the best mind can often overcome physical shortcomings. Discipline and mental toughness trump talent and conformation almost all the time.

“Another thing I realized as I learn more, that the more you try to force something or the more you are wanting something really bad, like forcing the win, the less it might happen. So I give much consideration to a horse’s mental state, allowing a win to happen, not forcing it. Stay relaxed about it, as the more relaxed you can be about it, the more relaxed the horse is going to be, and the better you’re going to perform as a team with the horse.”

He adheres to the phrase he coined years ago: “‘At any given day, ride the horse you have, not the horse you wish to have.’ Always be astute about the stage your horse is in at any given day; that will help minimize failures.”

While Schork himself is a person many endurance riders look up to, he cites several people who he has admired over the years, starting with his first mentors, Arlene and Bob Morris, longtime endurance riders now retired in the Northwest. Schork got his first endurance horse, Dahn Hallany from them.

“I was always looking up to Kevin Myers. He’s not with us anymore, but his dedication, his knowledge, and his problem-solving skills were always very inspiring, and we were also good friends.

“Another person I always look up to and admire is Garrett Ford, for his endless strive, for his ability to think outside the box, and to come up with solutions to problems. His mind is never resting. I think I’m able to say that I’m always busy, but not compared to Garrett, who’s in hyperactive mode in his mind all the time and physically. I certainly look up to him, and he’s also a friend. I can always learn something from him.

“I’m also always looking to Suzie Hayes for her tenaciousness, for being how relaxed she is, how successful, for how she never gives up no matter what comes her way. She’s always overcoming obstacles. She definitely falls in that category as somebody I look up to and respect highly.”

While Schork won’t single out a favorite horse (he says, “I have a lot of favorite horses. And what makes them my favorite horses is they work with me, if I want to get off and run, if they tail, if they are eager to compete, if they are high spirited, if they love the sport. That's what makes them my favorite”), he does have some favorite accomplishments over the years.

"The National 100 mile award on Pistol Annie in 2016 is one of my favorites, then the National Best Condition Award on Ozzy last year, then the two times War Mare Award on Stars Aflame and Pistol Annie in 2013 and 2017, and also the National Championship in 50 and 100 on Stars Aflame.

“Certainly the Top Ten finishes at Tevis fall in that category. (His highest finish was a 3rd on Taj Rai Hasan in 2005). The Big Horn 100 win (on DWA Express in 2008). The Virginia City 100 Best Condition (BC and 2nd place on GE VA Blizzard of Oz in 2018). The Australian Quilty win (in 2007 aboard Arovo Mini Harvest, owned by Anton Reid, who tied with Schork aboard Endurowest Kumari). The Gobi Desert Cup win in Mongolia (2018).

“And that win is maybe one that really sticks out, because you ride different horses, most of them are half wild, and they’re not really conditioned for 50 miles. They are conditioned for 30 or 35 miles, so you have to read the horse, know how you can ride the horse to their full potential, but not over their potential, but not too much under their potential, because otherwise you’re not going to win. So it’s a very fine line. Riding these horses to that exact point is just a special challenge, compared to one where you know exactly how it’s going to perform because you know their strength and weakness. There you have to really feel the horses and get in synch with them rather quickly.”

As for Schork’s goals, the 67-year-old is not ready to slow down yet. “Certainly I want to reach the 40,000 miles, which hopefully will happen in the next couple of years if the Coronavirus doesn’t cancel too many rides.” Schork is 7th on the all-time AERC mileage list, and during many normal ride seasons, he’s ridden well over 1800 miles.

“I would like another try at the French Florac (France’s most famous 100-mile ride). I also want to reach my 10 Tevis finishes. I have 6, and I’d definitely like to get the 1000 mile buckle.

“And, who knows what the future brings, but maybe I’ll make it to 500 wins before the inevitable retirement, sooner or later, when the body isn’t as strong anymore as the mind,” Schork laughs.

With Schork’s sustained passion for the sport of endurance and his quest to continue learning, it’s entirely conceivable he’ll achieve all of these goals.

Garrett Ford sums up his friend:

“There is not another person in the sport that is close [to his wins and BC records]. I would bet these marks will never be surpassed.

“Christoph has achieved these accomplishments with respect for his horses and fellow competitors. He’s a class act that is most often helping others with Hoofcare or saddle fit during events.

“I’m proud to call Christoph Schork a close friend.

“I’ll shed some tears when he enters the AERC Hall Of Fame.”

*top photo, Day 4 of Autumn Sun, Christoph Schork hitting win #400 aboard GE VA Blizzard of Oz
**bottom photo, Day 1 of Autumn Sun, Christoph Schork and GE Pistol Annie tie for the win with Ellen Hensley and Amira Bint Jahbon, and Suzie Hayes and Sanstormm. Pistol Annie also provided Schork with his 300th win in 2016

Friday, October 23, 2020

Angela Kay Davidson Passes Away

Angela Kay Davidson – age 61 of Laurel

October 22, 2020 Cook-Rosenberger Funeral Home

Angela Kay Davidson, of Laurel, was born on January 7, 1959 in West Harrison, a daughter to Robert and Laura Wolfe Farmer. She married Terry Davidson on January 11, 2000 in Brookville. Angela worked at Sperry Rubber for 25 years but her love was horses. She enjoyed endurance riding and was a member of the Daniel Boone Distance Riders and the Arabian Horse Association. On Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at the age of 61, she passed away at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Illinois.

Those surviving who will cherish Angela’s memory include her loving husband, Terry Davidson; son, Wade Markland; daughters, Lorayne (Jason) Heaston and Karissa Markland; 16 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; 3 brothers, Robert Farmer, Mitchel Farmer and Curtis Farmer; a special aunt, Norma Geis and several nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Dylin.

Friends may visit with the family on Monday, October 26, 2020 from 5 until time of service at 7 p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 929 Main Street, Brookville.

Due to the COVID-19 precautions and state mandates, all attending will be asked to follow proper social distancing protocol, including wearing a mask that covers the face and mouth while inside the funeral home. If you are not feeling well, or if you have compromised immune system, you are encouraged to stay home.

Memorial donations can be directed to the American Cancer Society. To sign the online guestbook or to leave a personal condolence, please visit The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to care for the family of Angela Davidson.

Friday, October 16, 2020

2020 October's Horses in the Morning Podcast - Listen

Gobi Gallop Solo Endurance Challenge, Young Barrel Racer Shooting for National Finals for Oct. 7, 2020 by State Line Tack

Oct 7, 2020

Julie Veloo from the Veloo Foundation joins us to talk about her solo ride across Mongolia; setting off to ride the longest annual charity endurance adventure, the 700 km Gobi Gallop…by herself. Along the way she will be sharing the adventure in real time via various social media platforms.

In our monthly Black Reins magazine segment we are joined by Tori Bush, a young barrel racer who has her sights set on qualifying for the National Finals High School Rodeo.

Debbie Loucks tells us about the new Monty Roberts’ Mustang & Transition Horse Program at Flag Is Up Farm streaming on Horse & Country TV.

Listen in...

Mary Margaret Byergo 1930-2020

October 13, 2020

Mary Margaret Byergo


Mary Margaret Byergo passed peacefully at her home in Warrenton Virginia on October 9, 2020. She was born in Maryville, Missouri on October 26, 1930, the daughter of the late Austin Gregory Felton and Eva Margaret Felton. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Keith Morris Byergo. They were high school sweethearts, married December 23, 1950. Mary Margaret is also survived by her three daughters Elaine Margaret Byergo and her husband, John Burghardt; Madalyn Barbara White and her husband, David White; and Laura Gay Byergo and her husband, Mark Willis; and four grandchildren Megan White, Chris White, Nora Burghardt and Keith Burghardt.

Mary Margaret loved nothing more than a challenge. After earning her B.S. degree in Home Economics from the University of Missouri she joined her new husband Keith in California where he was serving in the United State Air Force for three years. Returning to Missouri, she taught High school Home Economics for several years before the two of them decided to go see the world with their three daughters. Keith joined the Agency for International Development and in February 1960 they took their first international flight to Iran.

Mary Margaret was an adventurous traveler, always curious about exploring another country. Keith and Mary Margaret lived in Asia and the Middle East for 15 years. Mary Margaret made a true home for her family in each posting. She looked forward to every new country telling her daughters, “Every posting is what you make of it.” She said that about life too. For herself she relished the chance to ride horses with Iranian tribal chiefs, teach nutrition to Iranian nurses and English to Pakistani and Turkish ladies. She developed a curiosity about Hittite ruins in Turkey and eventually began teaching the archivist of the national museum how to use cloth rubbings to bring out the secrets of carved stones thousands of years old. She used to tell us, “Be a ‘Momengator;’ a catalyst, a force of action.”

A savvy businesswoman, Mary Margaret managed family farms in Missouri, Iowa, and Wyoming, from around the world. When she came home to Missouri she brought the spice and color of the world back home with her. The farmers and businesspeople who worked with her told us many times with respect, “Your Mother was smart, she never missed a trick.”

Mary Margaret was a natural competitor. She found her passion raising, training and competing Arabian horses. Her grandfather gifted her a former circus pony when she was three years old and she grew-up riding horses while helping her father with the cattle. Settling in Virginia after their years overseas, Mary Margaret returned to riding. One of her proudest achievements was successfully raising a set of Arabian twin foals, a rare feat. She served as the Field Master of the Pohick Hunt in Virginia for several years. In her Fifties she began competing in 100 mile endurance trail riding, completing dozens of 100 mile races. In 1990 she competed in the World Equestrian Games as a member of the United States Endurance Team in Stockholm, Sweden.

She was a lifelong member of PEO, a Sorority Sister of Alpha Gama Delta, and a member of the Warrenton antiquarians.

She is deeply missed and remembered by friends and family for her strong spirit, keen wit, and the firm support she gave each of us to be true to ourselves.

A private family graveside service will be held October 14, 2020 at the Little Georgetown Cemetery. The service will be conducted by Rector Weston Mathews of Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains, Virginia.

A public celebration of her life will be scheduled in the spring.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, friends wishing to may provide a donation to:

The Grace Episcopal Church: 6507 Main Street, P.O. Box 32, The Plains, Virginia 20198

The Alzheimer’s Association: 225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601,

PEO International: 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50312,