Wednesday, September 14, 2022

2022 Oak Leaf Run Endurance & Competitive Ride coming up in Michigan

Oak Leaf Run

Ride the "Dam" Trail

October 8-9, 2022
25•30•50•75•100 AERC•UMECRA
Silver Creek Park - Hamilton, Michigan​

The course will be held on the Allegan County Equine Trail System. The trail is mostly wooded with a relatively flat terrain, technical, single and two tracks consisting of sand and dirt. Saturday dam crossing routes will also have soft gravel roads, sections of pavement and busy road crossings. We are hoping to use Ride with GPS for this ride, along with trail markings. LED marking will be used for the last 25 miles of 100 trails. The out check will be at Pine Point Park parking lot (1792 44th Street, Allegan. GPS: 42.548527,-85.978355). Saturday 30 mile ride will have 1 away vet check. 50, 75 and 100 mile rides will have 2 away vet checks at same location. We are planning on having support with water and an assortment of hay/grain for horses and drinks/snacks for riders at various points along the trail.

For more information and to register online, see:

2022 August's Horses in the Morning Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Tevis Winner Gabriela Blakely, Jennifer Kaplan and Vet Checks for August 9, 2022

Aug 9, 2022 2022 Tevis Cup entrants Ross Carrie and Elaine Lemieux stop by for a pre-race chat, plus we look at this years pre-race stats. Karen Chaton talks about the AllTrails app.


Thursday, September 08, 2022

South Bend horse rider took on world's longest race, in Mongolia - Full Story

Joseph Dits - South Bend Tribune
September 7 2022

Heidi Falzon learned to ride horses when she was 4, and, she recalls, “It was the only thing I wanted to do.”

By the time she was 7 or 8, she says of her time at boarding stables near South Bend, “I’d be riding by myself, and I’d pretend I was on a semi-wild horse that only I got to ride.”

The now 29-year-old equestrian’s fantasy turned into reality, to a degree, in July.

Falzon rode 620 miles across vast stretches of grassland in Mongolia, wedged between China and Russia, in a nine-day race known as the Mongol Derby. Started in 2009, it calls itself the world’s longest horse race as it recreates a horse messenger system once developed by Genghis Khan...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

California: Out-of-Control Mosquito Fire Burns into Michigan Bluff


September 7 2022

The Mosquito fire in northern California started on September 6th and as of the afternoon of September 7 the Mosquito fire is 4.223 acres and 0% contained. Cause is under investigation.

Evacuation orders are in effect for Michigan Bluff, Gorman Ranch, and Chicken Hawk in Placer County, and Volcanoville in El Dorado County.

Weather conditions today with near record high temperatures, very low relative humidity, and critically low fuel moistures which will provide extreme burning conditions which are expected to
allow the fire to actively burn, with the potential for spotting.

For more information see:

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Entries for 2022 Distance National Championship in Idaho are Open

Ride with the best in Gooding, Idaho! Entries for the 2022 Distance National Championship ride are open!

Early Bird Discount entries ($20 per horse) must be received in the office by September 16th. Entries can still be received in the office from September 17th-23rd but are not eligible for Early Bird Discount. After September 23rd please hand carry all entries to the Ride.

For more information and entry forms, see:

Thursday, August 25, 2022

2022 July's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Tevis Cup Entry Stats, App for Trail Riders for July 12, 2022

Jul 12, 2022

2022 Tevis Cup entrants Ross Carrie and Elaine Lemieux stop by for a pre-race chat, plus we look at this years pre-race stats. Karen Chaton talks about the AllTrails app.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Halliday, N.D. woman places third in world-class endurance event - Full Article & Video

By Jody Kerzman
Published: Aug. 19, 2022

HALLIDAY, N.D. – You could say Dante LaPierre is an endurance junkie.

She’s been competing in 100-mile endurance horse races since she was a kid. When she’s not racing, she’s training for races on her ranch near Halliday.

Her hard work is paying off.

Dante LaPierre has spent the past year dreaming about and training for a victory lap...

Read more and watch video here:

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Riders in Sisters, Oregon, test endurance - Full ArticleJunior rider Joslynn Terry (front) and her sponsor, Kristen Grace, rode through Sisters forests during an endurance event last weekend. PHOTO BY BILL BARTLETT

By Bill Bartlett
8/16/2022 12:07 PM

Saturday saw 61 equestrians from four states gather at Sisters Cow Camp for a day of endurance riding competition. There was a 50-mile course run by 18, a 30-mile limited-distance route that had 36 riders, and seven riders who came out for a 12-mile introductory course.

Known as the Historic Santiam Cascade Endurance Ride, the Sisters-based group has been around for 58 years, with over 300 members on social media. The ride was AERC sanctioned (American Endurance Ride Conference).

The event took place in spectacular weather, cooler than forecast, with bright, sunny skies and temps just touching 80 by the time most riders finished. Joshua Handler won the 30-mile distance in 4 hours and 31 minutes with a 45-minute hold. Darlene Merlich was first-place finisher in the 50-mile course with a time of 7 hours and 35 minutes and a one-hour hold...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 13, 2022

2022 June's Horses in the Morning Podcast Podcast - Listen

Jun 14, 2022

Revisit: Karen Chaton chuckles over a list of things only Endurance Riders know, get to know Trilby Pederson, a women who has ridden the equivalent to 1/4 of the way to the moon and Nick Warhol tells the harrowing tale of how his horses were poisoned by common groundsel. Listen in...

Monday, August 08, 2022

Wyoming rider wins worldwide horse race - Full Article with audio

Abigail Landwehr
Aug 7, 2022

By the end of day one of the Mongol Derby, Jackson competitor Deidre Griffith finished last behind 46 riders. Eight days later, she, alongside her partner, were the first to cross the line.

The Mongol Derby is an annual horse race that has, since 2000, aimed to recreate Genghis Khan’s horse messenger system of 1224. It tests endurance of competitors who ride through the Mongolian Steppe. The path stretches over 1,000 km, or around 621 miles, and often lasts over the course of eight to 10 days, making it the longest horse race in the world.

July 23 marked the race’s return after a two year break courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was the most incredible feeling of accomplishment,” Griffith said when asked about reaching the end. “Two and a half years I’ve spent preparing for this and it all paid off. I would have been happy to finish at all, but to win was beyond belief...”

Read more and listen here:

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Meet Moss Rock Endurance: Amanda Johnson

“This just fell into my lap at the right time.”

by Merri
August 4 2022

It was a most unlikely career pivot.

“I had been doing accounting for 16 years,” Amanda Johnson, of Moss Rock Endurance, said. “But I was always too loud to be an accountant. I was always too in-your-face. I love numbers. I’m such a nerd, but none of us are exciting.”

And then her husband asked if she wanted to move from Black Forest, Colorado, to Penrose. “All of a sudden I had an opportunity to start a business.”

Lisa Douglass, Amanda’s neighbor in Black Forest, had owned Moss Rock Endurance, creating custom tack products for distance and trail riders. “I had bought tack from her for the last 6 years, which is how long I’ve been riding. She’s all I knew. She’s the best tack I’ve ever known, and she retired last year.

“Suddenly I had an opportunity to buy myself a job. And because I haven’t been in horses my whole life like some of these other riders, I knew that if I wanted to get into this, I couldn’t go be a vet. I couldn’t go be a farrier. I couldn’t do anything specialized that requires that knowledge.

“But saddles and tack - something that I believe whole-heartedly in is saddle fit. It’s one of the most important things as a rider to me. And this Beta Biothane (TM) tack, I think, is just bang for your buck. I just love it. It’s all I know because of Lisa. And before she retired, she taught me everything she knew.

“I had never sewn a thing my life. My mom finished laughing when I said ‘I’m going to sew tack!’ And she was like, ‘Yea, good luck.’ And I’m unstoppable now.”

That “in-your-face” quality Amanda describes is really pure enthusiasm and passion for her products and for people and their horses.

“I. Love. It. Horse people are great, because we’re all crazy about the same thing. And you always want to try to make it better. We changed a couple things. We added a lot of things to the lineup. Before, there were no horse head collars. There were no little knickknacks - padded nosebands and things. We added sponge leashes. And I like bling. It makes me extremely happy, so I try to add bling to a lot of things. I try to see what everyone needs and try to fill in those blanks.”

Amanda would not be Moss Rock Endurance without her mom, Sue, who helps with the sewing and creating, and accompanies her daughter and her business to Endurance rides. “Thank God for my mother! I couldn’t do this without my mom! She helps me in every way possible. My mom is my rock. She helps me with everything.

“When I cry over sponge leashes, she picks up the hardware and she makes them for me. She’ll cut pieces for me so that I can sew. She will set me up an assembly line so that I can crank it out and we can get orders in. She’s fantastic.”

Saddle fit is also something Amanda loves, though originally, she had no plans to actually carry and sell saddles.

“After I bought the business from Lisa, Marlene calls me.” Marlene was the original creator of Moss Rock in 2003. “Marlene says, ‘I am so excited you’re going to be doing saddles!’ I said, ‘I’m not doing saddles! I don’t like treeless saddles!’ And Marlene said, ‘Great! I’m sending one! It’ll be to you in 3 days!’ I said, ‘Marlene, no,’ and she hangs up!”

Amanda received the Ghost treeless saddle she didn’t ask for, and she was sold. “I love the Ghost and Cavallin treeless saddles. They changed my world. I now have 34 on order. They’re handmade in Italy in a small shop.

“I stand behind them 100%. There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in any world, but man, has it solved some really tough-to-fit saddle problems for me.”

Moss Rock is primarily a business dedicated to designing and making custom Beta Biothane (TM) tack for all sizes and shapes, and it now includes the Ghost treeless saddles. Amanda’s long term plan is to expand the business to not only meet the growing needs of Endurance, Competitive Trail and those who simply enjoy riding trail, but to also encompass those in the sports of Dressage, Hunter Jumper, Grand Prix and Eventing.

Watching Amanda interact with customers-turned-friends with her genuine, unstoppable enthusiasm, despite the hard work it’s obvious she has found her true calling in life.

“This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I thought I knew what busy was. I was really good at staying busy. This is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’m exhausted all the time.

“But I love it! I love horse people. This just fell into my lap at the right time.” is happy to have Moss Rock Endurance as a long-time advertiser!

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Track improvements for Tevis Cup endurance ride after two horse deaths

Photo by George Lamson - Full Article

August 3, 2022

An investigation is under way by organisers of the Tevis Cup endurance ride over three serious incidents at the California event, in which two horses died from injuries sustained while falling from the trail.

California’s 100-mile Western States Trail Ride (WSTR), popularly called the Tevis Cup, is organised by the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF).

Three horses fell off the trail during the 2022 event in mid-July; one died of his injuries while two others required rescue. One died in veterinary care a few days after the ride.

“We are deeply saddened … and very concerned that we had three separate accidents this year. (We) will dedicate time, resources, and money to figuring out what happened in these incidents,” the WSTF Board of Governors said...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

WSTF Action Plan

July 29, 2022

The Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors (WSTF BOG) joins the entire endurance community in grieving the accidents that occurred at this year’s Tevis Cup ride.

Three horses fell off the trail: one died of his injuries while two others required rescue. Ultimately one of those also died in veterinary care a few days after the ride.

We are committed to reducing the likelihood of future accidents and improving potential outcomes. To that end, we have identified two key areas on which to focus our time and resources.

• The WSTF BOG will work to improve emergency response with faster and more effective strategies. The horse-rescue teams WSTF contracts with will be on-site, stationed along the course and focused in areas identified as higher risk. We will also stage rescue equipment and provide veterinarian support to all rescue efforts. Our standard helicopter and ambulance infrastructure will continue to be on call.

• We will survey the trail and identify areas that are most in need of repair. Working with our partner, the Western States Endurance Run, and in cooperation with two primary agencies – Auburn State Recreational Area and the US Forest Service, we will review every foot from Last Chance to Francisco’s with the goal to improve the trail bed – widen it, stabilize the base, and remove obstacles as much as possible – specifically for horse safety. The higher risk areas will be prioritized and we’ll attempt to complete them as soon as possible.

As we continue to gather information on this year’s incidents, we realize that additional changes and recommendations/actions may be added to the above items. The Tevis Cup is an iconic ride like no other and – while there is an inherent risk to this trail, as there is to many others – we are committed to minimizing these incidents while at the same time being ready to respond as quickly, appropriately, and effectively as possible. Our goal is the best possible outcome should they occur.

We will keep our community updated as these changes are implemented, and as further actions are identified.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Mitchell's Emma Christopherson conquers Tevis Cup, featuring 100 mountainous miles on horseback in 24 hours - Full Story

One girl and one horse conquered the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range on a 100 mile trek in less than 24 hours

Cassie Williams
July 28, 2022 02:06 PM

TRUCKEE, California — A Mitchell native and her horse have conquered what's widely regarded as one of the most prestigious endurance equestrian contests in the world.

Emma Christopherson, 19, and her trusty Arabian steed, Diesel, completed the Tevis Cup on Sunday, July 24, successfully navigating a 100-mile strech of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in under 24 hours.

Beginning in Robie Equestrian Park in Truckee, California, Emma and Deisel were one of 131 teams who took part in the event. With a time of 23 hours and 13 minutes, she was one of 59 competitors to complete the trek in under 24 hours.

By completing the difficult trek through mountainous terrain, Christopherson checked of a memorable trip that was seven years in the making, which stemmed from an invite to go horseback riding after church...

Read more here:

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Auburn woman, 78, earns 25th Tevis belt buckle: 'I'll quit riding ... when it's not fun anymore' - Full Article

Kathie Perry completed the ride for the first time in 1975 and won it in '78

Jordan Georgeson Jul 23, 2022

Auburn woman, 78, earns 25th Tevis belt buckle: 'I'll quit riding ... when it's not fun anymore' Kathie Perry completed the ride for the first time in 1975 and won it in '78 Jordan Georgeson Jul 23, 2022 10:30 AM

At 78 years young, Kathie Perry is still kicking up dust in the sport of endurance riding. The Auburn resident earned her 25th Tevis Cup belt buckle Sunday, finishing 30th. She rides with nothing to prove and embraces the challenge each ride presents.

Perry started endurance riding in 1969, the same year as Woodstock and the moon landing. She was living in the Bay Area when her husband and brother decided to invest in quarter horses and try their hand at the sport. As the two prepared for their first ride in Virginia City, Nevada, Perry decided to give it a go herself.

“Of course, naturally, we had to buy a horse for me,” Perry says. “We went to the Arabian-type horse at the time, but because we lived in the Bay Area, we did not have a lot of space for the horse.”

That brought the Perrys to Auburn in 1972, where Kathie set her sights on the Tevis Cup...

Read more here:

Friday, July 22, 2022

Crewing for endurance riders requires strategy, feel, planning - but it's rewarding and fun - Full Article

Jordan Georgeson
Jul 21, 2022

To win the Tevis Cup, picking a quality horse is only half the battle. Not only does the rider need a sturdy steed to come out on top in the 100-mile event, a proper crew is needed as well.

Crewing for an endurance rider is much like being a member of a NASCAR pit crew. Crew members have a limited amount of time to get the horse and rider everything they need to get back on the trail.

“There's a lot of strategy to it,” said Kelsey Mayo, who has been crewing at Tevis since 2017...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Extraction of horse from canyon is a first for CAL FIRE chief; injury occurred during Tevis Cup - full article and video

Jordan Georgeson
Jul 20, 2022

Matt Furtado of CAL FIRE NEU Nevada, Yuba and Placer said while it's not uncommon to facilitate the rescue of a person falling while in the American River Canyon, it was the first time he has been involved with a horse rescue.

"The horse was a little bit of an anomaly," Furtado said. "But they were able to make that work and secure him well enough for the team to be able to secure the horse prior to the waist and lift him out."

Interim Fire Chief Jed Matcham said his crew received a call around 2 a.m. Sunday, stating a horse and rider competing in the Tevis Cup were in need of assistance following a fall near Foresthill...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

2 horses injured, 1 dies during Tevis Cup Ride on Western State Trail, Cal Fire says - Full Article

Daniel Macht
Digital Media Manager
July 19 2022

wo horses were injured and one died during the Tevis Cup 100-mile endurance ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn over the weekend, Cal Fire said.

Dramatic video showed one of the injured animals being hoisted to safety on a giant sling by a helicopter. Advertisement

The Tevis Cup took place Saturday on the Western States Trail in Placer County. The event’s website describes it as the oldest endurance ride of its kind, having been held each year since 1955.

On Monday, Cal Fire’s Nevada-Yuba-Placer unit shared a video on Facebook of rescuers helping a horse that had fallen over the end of the trail during the race...

Read more and see video here:

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Blakeley and LLC Pyros Choice Win the 2022 Tevis Cup - Full Article

Gabriela Blakeley and her 13-year-old Arabian gelding won the Western States Trail Ride’s 66th edition.

Posted by Merri Melde | Jul 18, 2022

The Western States Trail Ride, commonly called the Tevis Cup, is the longest-running modern-day endurance ride. The 66th running of the 100-mile event took place on July 16.

Gabriela Blakeley and her 13-year-old Arabian gelding, LLC Pyros Choice, crossed the Tevis Cup finish line in Auburn, California, at 10:24 p.m, completing the race in 17 hours and nine minutes. This was Blakeley’s first Tevis Cup win and eighth completion (her third on “Pyro”). The pair finished second in 2018 and sixth in 2017.

After a tight race over most of the last third of the course, Blakeley pulled away in the final 15 miles to finish 24 minutes ahead of Christoph Schork, a rider from Utah, aboard GE VA Blizzard of Ozz...

Read more here:

Cariboo Gold Rush Endurance Ride tests equestrian’s mettle

Mike Day of 100 Mile House completed 50 miles on each day of the Cariboo Gold Rush Endurance ride, riding his horse Lynna both days. (Monika Paterson photo) - full article

The event took place on the Canada Day long weekend

Patrick Davies
Jul. 14, 2022

Just shy of 40 equestrians and their mounts tested their stamina at the Cariboo Gold Rush Endurance Ride, which was held over the Canada Day long weekend on Ed and Cheryl Monical’s ranch south of Lac La Hache.

The two-day Endurance Riders Association of BC event attracted riders from Montana, Alberta, Vancouver Island, Fort St. John and 100 Mile House. Ride manager Joanne Macaluso said it was great to be hosting the event again after it was cancelled by COVID-19 and last summer’s wildfires.

“We usually hold distance riding events once a year, and our management team has been hosting riders for over a decade in the South Cariboo,” Macaluso said. “The event was excellent. It was very well-received, and people are looking forward to next year. Our group loves to share what the Cariboo has to offer. It’s a beautiful, scenic place...”

Read more at:

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Back in the saddle: Tevis Cup royalty Hall returns for another ride

Bill Poindexter photo - Full Article

After 8 years on the sideline, Hal Hall returns for another Tevis Cup ride: 'I missed the trail'

Jordan Georgeson
Jul 11, 2022

Hal Hall has nothing left to prove in the world of endurance riding.

The Auburn native has earned 30 buckles in 38 Tevis Cup rides, which complements his three championships and 14 top-10 finishes nicely. Hall earned his last buckle in 2013, which was also the last time he competed in the world-famous endurance ride.

Hall has spent the last eight years crewing for his wife, Ann, who finished ninth last year. This year, Hall will ride again.

“I still have a little burning desire to do this,” he says...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

66th Running of Oldest-Modern Day Endurance Ride Brings Equestrians From Across the Nation and Overseas to Sierra Nevada

At 5:15 am start on the morning of July 16th, 2022, the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup) will officially kick off for its 66th birthday. Endurance equestrians from all over the world and the United States will compete in the 100 miles-24 hour event, named by Time magazine as one of the world’s top ten endurance events. Considered the founding ride for modern day endurance, this trail ride boasts supreme athletic performances from both equine and human participants, as well as team work, life changing stories and a gathering of the endurance community.

The trail begins near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada, just east of Auburn, California, Endurance Capital of the World, where the finish line resides at the Gold County Fairgrounds. Strict veterinary criteria for the safety of the horses and challenging terrain add to the difficulty of this ride, contributing to the prestige of horse and rider teams that finish.

Historically started by area influencer and avid history buff Wendell Robie in the 1950s, this event brings partnerships of horse and rider teams together to test months and even years of rigorous training, to forge new friendships and to face Lady Luck herself in a quest for the coveted silver Tevis Buckle, held by an intrepid few the world over.

The Western States Trail Ride Board of Governors cordially invite you to cover this event either in person or with a provided press release post ride; media passes will be provided to those who inquire with the contact listed below. Alternatively we can submit stories geared toward your publication post ride with sports, humanitarian or inspirational geared themes that arise yearly with the Tevis Cup. Exclusive access to ride photography will be available and advice for locations to observe and meet the rider teams will be provided. We look forward to you joining us!

Contact information is as follows:
Western States Trail Ride
PR Chair Jenni Smith, ph. 925.876.4101

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Meet Holly Corcoran: A Top U.S. Endurance Rider - Full Article

by Emily Smith, MS,
Platinum Performance®

In 2020, She was the No. 1-Ranked FEI Endurance Rider Worldwide; Her Horse also Topped FEI's List

While Holly Corcoran has a history with horses from before she could walk, riding had to wait until 1998 when the single mother was almost 40 and had the choice between purchasing two horses: a Morgan or an Arabian. She bought FG Pennylane, an 8-year old gray Arabian mare, who holds the special credit of getting Corcoran back in the saddle after years away.

Corcoran became involved in endurance in 2003 and undertook the arduous task of conditioning both herself and her horse, Vvalentino. She entered her first 25-mile ride that summer. “I ‘turtled' that race, which means I finished dead last, but I was smitten,” recalls the Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, resident. This experience propelled her life's journey into the thrilling sport of endurance...

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Two Texans Tie for Wahatoya Cup 100 Win in Colorado

June 29 2022
by Merri

Texans Erin Lemmons of Waco and Cameron Holzer of Houston tied for first place in the 100-mile Wahatoya Cup Endurance ride in La Veta, Colorado, on June 26. Managed by Tennessee Blouin, the course mainly covers trails on private property on Tennessee's family's land and with the kind permission of neighbors.

Lemmons rode Tuscarora John (TJ), 16yo Arabian gelding by Line Dancer X Fawora by Fawor,and Holzer rode Lily Creek Kong, a 12yo half-Shagya half-Trakehner gelding, to the win.

The two riders smoked the challenging mountain course, (ride camp is in a meadow at 8000 feet) in a ride time of 9 hours 50 minutes. They rode under overcast skies and just finished their final vetting when the rain started falling. After riding close together all day, drawing further away from the field each loop on their phenomenal horses, the two agreed to tie at the finish. Kong received the Best Condition award.

Kong has now completed 12 of 15 AERC 100-milers, including Tevis in 2017 and 2019, and the Big Horn 100 (2nd place) in 2020. He won 1st place and Best Condition in the Broxton Bridge 100 in 2016 and 2018, the Ft Howes 100 in 2017, the FITS 100 in 2019 and 2021, and Hunting for Big Foot 100 in 2020

TJ has completed 3 of 7 100-milers over 9 seasons, including a win and Best Condition at Broxton Bridge 100, and in last year’s Wahatoya Cup.

More stories and photos at:

Monday, June 27, 2022

Monika Steller Passes


June 27 2022

It is with the deepest of sadness that I announce the passing of Monika Goerth Steller on June 15th, 2022.  

She was always a champion of kindness, forgiveness and generosity, Monika could dissolve inhibitions of social distance and connect on a basis of pure love.  She sought the most beautiful in all things.  One of her many joys was competing in endurance horse-racing.  She loved being with her horse and the great outdoors.  She felt peace and happiness knowing her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was always with her through trials and tribulations.

A memorial mass / reception will be held July 12th, at 10am at St Thomas Moore, 8035 S Quebec St, Englewood, CO 80112.  Reception starts immediately after the Celebration of Life at 11am at the Padre Restaurant, which is located in the same building.

Chris Steller


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Auburn's Tevis Cup Ride is on deck

Shannon Weil (middle) with Wendell Robie at a pre-race briefing in the early days of the Western States Endurance Run in 1979. - Full Article

Bill Poindexter
Jun 24, 2022

While the Western States Endurance Run is the oldest 100-mile ultra-running event in the world, it was conceived by the Tevis Ride.

And with the Western States stepping to the plate June 25 from Olympic Valley to Placer High School, the Tevis Cup Ride is on deck, scheduled for July 16 from Robie Park near Truckee to the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

Each is considered the granddaddy event in its discipline.

Robie and four others – Bill Patrick, Nick Mansfield, Dick Highfill and Pat Sewell – completed the first ride from Tahoe City to Auburn in 22 hours, 45 minutes on Aug. 7, 1955...

Read more here:

Friday, June 17, 2022

Enter Tevis by July 1 to Avoid Late Fee

On the fence? Don't falter! The full moon awaits!

To avoid the $100 late fee, entries must be received on / before July 1st. Do it! Enter at:

Also, if you haven’t yet declared your mount for this year, this also needs to be done on / before July 1st - after that date, a $30 fee will be collected. You may use the “Add/Change Equine” form at:

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Road Dog Podcast: Hal Hall Introduces the Western States Trail Museum

Road Dog Podcast - Listen

“We have the Tevis Cup ride and ultimately concluding with the Western States endurance run. The 47 or 48 years of history capsulated right here in a display.”

Hal Hall is a 30 time finisher and 3 time winner of the Tevis Cup. He is also a founding member of the upcoming Western States Trail Museum. Hear all about the museum and the rich history of the trail. Also Hal describes what it takes to be successful at the Tevis Cup.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

AERC Unveils New Website

The American Endurance Ride Conference has a brand-new look with a new website and database software program at

This is the first database upgrade in over 20 years and we are excited for you to check it out. There is a LOT to explore and we know it will be tricky at first to find things. We're thrilled that Veterinarians and Ride Managers have their own tabs!

If you're a current member, you can log in to register a horse (we have a second way if you don't want to log in, too). Look for the "Hello" box in the middle of the home page to find out how to get your log-in. Your recent log-in should still work!

We know this major update will not be seamless, and some pages will need tweaking. Be patient, let us know what you think, and hope you have fun exploring the all-new!

Your AERC Office Crew

Friday, June 10, 2022

History of Western States Trail to show at Auburn State Theatre - Full Article

by Kate Riordan
June 07, 2022

The Auburn State Theatre will present a special showing of “They Crossed the Mountains: The History of the Western States Trail” on Thursday, June 16.

Doors open at 6 p.m. with “meet-and-greet” special guests (many of whom are in the film), and at 7 p.m., a showing of the film will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The theatre is located at 985 Lincoln Way. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at

The documentary spans the recorded life of the trans-Sierra route from Carson City, Nevada, to Auburn. The Western States Trail is one of only a few east-west Sierra Nevada mountains trail routes that remain largely untouched by development and, for the most part, remain much like what early-day users would have recognized...

Read more here:

Monday, June 06, 2022

OTT Standardbred Hillbillie Willie Rocks Endurance - Full Article

June 3, 2022

The Equestrian Vagabond is back to tell us all about her horse - Hillbillie Willie

By Merri Melde

"He’s a lot of horse: tall, lean, forward and fast. Hillbillie Willie is a 10-year-old off-the-track Standardbred turned-Endurance horse living in the Wild West - the desert of Owyhee County, southwest Idaho."

You could say I fell in love with Standardbreds as a tween back in the ’70’s. I discovered Hoofbeats magazine, and in those pages met the fillies Silk Stockings and Handle With Care, and Steady Star when he paced a world record 1:52 mile.

There wasn’t much chance I’d ever meet a Standardbred in south Texas though, and with no harness races ever on the television, my attention eventually drifted toward Thoroughbred racing.

I grew to know Thoroughbreds as a racetrack groom for a decade, and then I discovered my sport in Endurance riding in the late 90’s. I started working for the website, and I cared for and rode my boss Steph Teeter’s herd of Arabians in Endurance for 10 years.

It was early 2016 when, serendipitously, Steph decided on a whim that she’d like to try a Standardbred in Endurance. Through a friend with racing connections, she bought, sight-unseen, a 4-year-old gelding off the track. Steph asked for a short trotter and got a tall pacer. The story we heard was that Shotgun Rider raced at two and three (winning two races) and injured a hind leg. He’d gotten time off to heal, but when they tried bringing him back to racing, he was uninterested...

Read more here:

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Through a Local’s Lens: Deirdre Griffith

Photo: Stevie Delahunt // @adventuristbarbie - Full Article

by Buckrail @ Lindsay
May 27, 2022

JACKSON, Wyo. — Two years in the making, Deirdre Griffith is finally headed to race in the Mongol Derby, a grueling 621-mile (100km) race across the Mongolian steppe.

Griffith will use the race to raise funding for the new Parental Mental Wellness Program she helped create at St. John’s Health.

“I struggled with [postpartum depression] myself, so when I was thinking about this race, I wanted to use it as a platform for something. When I thought about it it was something that seemed like such a simple fix, and it would have a big impact on the community...”

Read more at:

AERC Hall of Fame Nominations Due July 18

Be sure to get your AERC Hall of Fame nominations in by July 18 for Hall of Fame people, Hall of Fame equines, Pard'ners Award, Volunteer Service Award, and Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award.

You can find the nomination forms and info here:

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Standardbred Incentive Program introduced by USTA

20 May 2022

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Trotting Association announced the launch of the Standardbred Incentive Program (SIP) on Thursday to recognize harness racing horses who participate in disciplines other than racing and to provide awards for leading contestants.

Participants (riders and drivers) who take a registered Standardbred to a show or endurance ride can now submit placings via their UTSA MyAccount to accumulate points for year-end awards.

A formula will determine the number of points earned during each event based on the horse’s placing, the number of entries in the class/ride and whether it is a Standardbred-only or open event.

Read more at:

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

South Carolina: Spring Ride in the Low Country - Full Article

8th May 2022
Race Report made with the assistance of Cheryl Van Deusen

Lodge, South Carolina, United States of America. Thursday 14, Friday 15 and Saturday 16 April 2022.

The race for the five positions on Team USA for the World Endurance Championships in Verona, Italy this October continued with three days of 160 km in the Low Country of South Carolina. Three days of CEI 1*, 2*, and 3* events were held so that riders may qualify more than one horse, given the few number of CEI events in the USA. Unlike most other countries in the world, most endurance rides are not CEI events. In the USA, there are very few CEI events making it difficult to qualify and increase the star levels of horses and athletes. Dr. Martha Mischeff and Dr. Iciar Tarancon Heras from Spain conducted hyposensitivity testing over the three day event. They were accompanied by Liaison Judge Francois Kerboul. It was a terrific learning opportunity for USA athletes and horses to experience the equipment, learn about the ranges, and see the changes over the distances competed.

The weather was variable with high heat and humidity on day one, followed by glorious weather on day two, and cooler weather with rain on day three. Heather Davis on Shyrocco Rimbaud won the first Day and earned Best Condition as well. Heather Davis is a frequent FEI competitor from Virginia. She commented “I am grateful that the Broxton trails have wonderful footing and are well marked. Because my horse is so steady, he endured the hot, humid 95 degree weather and finished fabulously strong. I couldn’t have asked more of him...”

Read more at:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

2022 May's Horses in the Morning Podcast Podcast - Listen

Endurance: 11 Yr Old Biltmore Winner, Endurance Race Volunteering for May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

We have 11 year old, Mia Moore, who won the Biltmore 100 over the weekend, what an amazing difficult ride. Also, Mia’s sponsor Sarah Marie Arthur and Erin Grogan tells us what it is like volunteer at a 100 mile ride. Plus, Karen’s Endurance Tip: What to pack in your endurance crew bag. Listen in...

Monday, May 09, 2022

Remembering Jeanette Tolman - 1942-2022

Jeanette Wardell Tolman, 79, died peacefully at home on Friday, April 22, 2022, from a cardiac event. She was born April 29, 1942, in San Diego, CA to Ross and Delsa Wardell. A year later, the family moved back to Otto where she was raised. She graduated from Greybull High School.

While her parents were serving a building mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia, she was called to serve a proselyting mission in the same mission. She then attended BYU and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in family development and a master’s in music. She was married and sealed to Wally Tolman on June 22, 1965, in the Idaho Falls Temple. The couple had seven children.

She taught music in Basin, Burlington, Greybull, Ten Sleep, and Peerless (Montana). Jeanette loved to bowl and was a Hall of Fame bowler. She had a life-long love for horses. For many years, she raised and bred Arabians. She will be remembered for the many endurance rides she held, most especially the Big Horn 100 – a ride she helped start over 50 years ago.

Jeanette loved spending time with her family and always enjoyed visits with her children and grandchildren. At family meals, food would keep showing up on the table until people insisted they were full!

She is survived by her husband, Wally, children, Paula (Mike) Riley of Burlington, Patti (Jeff) Zealley of Riverton, UT, Rodney Tolman of Otto, Randy (Marcie) Tolman of Otto, Ricky Tolman of Cody, Ross (Cassidy) Tolman of Laramie, and Robby Tolman (Luke) of Norwich, CT, sister, Beth Holdaway of Hurricane, UT, 15 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by one sister and four brothers.

A visitation will be held on Jeanette’s birthday, Friday, April 29 from 7 – 8 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Burlington and on Saturday at 10 a.m. Funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in the Otto Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jeanette Tolman please visit our Tribute Store.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Canada's 2021 Endurance Year-End Award Recipients Announced

About the Endurance Awards

The EC Endurance Committee provides a variety of awards programs for the endurance community in order to recognize outstanding athletes, owners, horses, volunteers and more.

Ottawa, ON, May 4, 2022 – The Equestrian Canada (EC) Endurance Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 Endurance Year-End Awards. These awards recognize individuals and equines that have put countless hours and tireless effort towards the pursuit of personal excellence in endurance, and the sport’s growth in Canada.

See the winners here:

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

2022 AERC National Championship at Old Dominion in June

2022 AERC National Championships @ Old Dominion:
Orkney Springs, Virginia (Northeast Region)

55 Mile Championship: Thursday, June 9, 2022

100 Mile Championship: Saturday, June 11, 2022

National Championship only for 2022; no open rides.

Qualifications for the National Championship Rides:

All entrants must be current full members of AERC.

All riders must ride in their declared weight division.

55-mile AERC National Championship:

• Horse: 300 AERC lifetime miles (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

• Rider: 300 AERC lifetime miles (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

• 100 AERC miles together as a team (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

100-mile AERC National Championship:

• Horse: 500 AERC lifetime miles (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

• Rider: 500 AERC lifetime miles (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

• One 1-day 100-mile AERC ride together as a team OR a two-day 100 mile ride OR two back-to-back 50 mile rides

Alternate 100-mile AERC National Championship Qualification:

• Horse/Rider, as a team, have completed 1,000 AERC lifetime miles (50 miles or more, no LD miles)

Alternate 50-mile OR 100-mile AERC National Championship Qualification:

• Horse/Rider, as a team, are listed in the overall Top 10 of their AERC Region in the year preceding the AERC National Championship Ride (because of Covid, this option will include both the 2019 and 2020 competition years).

For more information, see:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

2022 April's Horses in the Morning Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Ride and Tie, South East Region Events for April 12, 2022

Apr 12, 2022

We learn all about Ride and Tie with Rufus Schneider, then Susan Kasemeyer, SE Region Director of the American Endurance Ride Conference, tells us all about the Southeast rides coming up in 2022. Plus, Karen does a training tip on the riding apps she has been using. Listen in...

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Clay County woman saddling up for world’s longest horse race in Mongolia - Full Story

by Lauren Fox
April 20 2022

Abbi Bell will ride roughly 620 miles through the Mongolian wilderness on the backs of semi-feral horses this August as a contestant in the world’s longest horse race.

“It's raw, it's untouched and it makes you feel so small,” the Clay County resident recounted from her time riding through the Mongolian Steppe in 2019. “You’ll come around a corner, and there’ll be a herd of camels just sitting there eating grass, taking naps… You’ll be galloping and a band of wild horses will come up to you.”

Bell went to Mongolia for the first time in 2019 to participate in the 620 mile Mongol Derby. Inspired by the postal routes made by Genghis Khan, the race takes riders through the remote grasslands of Mongolia, riding semi-feral horses...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

US Equestrian Announces Five-Point Plan for USA Endurance Program

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Apr 13, 2022, 11:00 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – Since 2020, the USEF Endurance Sport Committee has worked on building an accessible, sustainable endurance program to bridge the gap between grassroots endurance rides to the FEI level. The committee has released its five-point plan known as Endurance for Tomorrow, which establishes the following five programs:

1. New national endurance zones
2. Annual Zone Qualification Championships
3. A biennial Zone Team Challenge
4. A USEF Endurance National Championship
5. USEF year-end and career awards, achievement programs, and revised ranking programs.

The goal of the USA Endurance program is to develop opportunities for participation at all levels of the sport, an increased number of events across zones, and collaboration with grassroots organizations and individuals. The program aims to promote a cooperative working relationship between US Equestrian and other national, regional, and breed organizations that have developed and supported American endurance riding for decades.

New USA Endurance Zones and Zone Championships

The proposed new National Endurance Zones consist of a northern and southern region within each of the four time zones in the continental U.S.

Zone team events will provide more accessible opportunities for endurance athletes to have team experience. These events will create more opportunities to enjoy the sport and facilitate more riders entering the pathway toward potential future U.S. Endurance Team selection. Additionally, annual Zone Qualification Championships will be a points-based program in which riders can earn points for US Equestrian year-end awards and potential long listing for team selection.

Zone Team Challenge and USEF Endurance National Championship

The Zone Team Challenge is proposed as a biennial event with divisions for Seniors and Young Riders/Junior Riders, at the 160 km and 120 km distances, respectively. Athletes will have the opportunity to represent their Zone on a team with three to five riders.

The newly revised USEF Endurance National Championship will welcome competitors who qualify at a Zone Qualifying Championship or completing an FEI-recognized ride at the same or greater distance.

Both of these proposed championships will also include team competition opportunities at shorter distances to promote inclusivity and grassroots participation.

New Year-End and Achievement Awards

A series of new achievement awards will recognize athletes and horses for their accomplishments in the preceding season and over their careers. The proposed awards include the following:

• Career Horse Mileage Recognition
• Career Rider Mileage Recognition
• Career Horse/Rider Combination Recognition
• International Achievement Recognition
• Top Three National-Ranked Senior Riders
• Top Three National-Ranked Junior Riders
• Endurance Horse of the Year Award
• Endurance Rider of the Year Award
• Endurance Best Condition Season Award
• Endurance Iron Horse Award
• Top Five Endurance Lite Riders
• Top Five National Riders

For more information on US Equestrian Endurance Programs, visit or contact US Equestrian Director of Endurance Susan Edwards at

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Announcing the 2022 Virtual Tevis Cup!

Teviscup.orgVirtually travel along the Tevis Cup (Western States) Trail – Robie Park (Truckee, CA) to Auburn, CA – Your Trails, Your Location.

This year’s Virtual Event starts on Wednesday, April 6 – and will run for 100 days until Sunday, July 17, 2022* – as the riders of the Traditional Tevis Cup are finishing their own physical journeys under the Tevis Moon!

(*natural disasters-permitting)

Once again, there will be both Riding and Non-Riding Divisions so everyone can enjoy the fun.

You can complete the 100-miles in as many smaller excursions as you choose to finish the goal. As you log your completed miles, you will receive updates of where you now are on the historic Western States Trail.

* How to submit your miles
* Our FAQs

Please note – mileage tracking should not start until the trail is “open” at 5:15 am (Pacific) on Wednesday April 6th.

Click to signup

And once again, as in 2021, we will be outsourcing our fulfillment and shipping for this year’s event to ensure that awards get sent out in a timely manner 🙂

To reduce the load on our volunteers, awards will be sent out in batches on a monthly basis...

Find out more at:

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2022 Distance Horse National Championships in Gooding, Idaho

Come ride with us at the 2022 Distance Horse National Championships in Gooding, Idaho on September 30-October 2.

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event, hosted by AHA, which includes partnered Breed National Championships along with Big South Fork Open Rides. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA), Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA.)  

Along with the Breed National Championships we also offer an Open Autumn Sun Pioneer AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) and three Open Autumn Sun Pioneer Limited Distance (LD) & 50 Mile Rides along with an 100 Mile Ride. This year all endurance Open Autumn  Sun Pioneer Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC). The Distance Horse National Championships also offer an LD Challenge which is for the same horse/rider combination entered in all three Open LD Rides; rules and points schedule can be found under the Rider Information tab. All Autumn Sun Pioneer Rides are open to all equine and have not qualification or membership requirements!

Fore more information, see:!&utm_medium=email

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Oregonian thunders across Patagonia in epic horse race - Read and Listen to full story

By Elizabeth Castillo (OPB)
March 23, 2022 5 a.m.

Brenda Johnson is an avid adventurer. Earlier this month, she spent time thundering through South America’s Patagonia region on horseback. Johnson rode in this year’s Gaucho Derby. The race is billed as the “greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on Earth.”

“I love being out in the woods with the animals and pushing myself and exploring and finding new places,” she said.

Johnson, of Wallowa County, is a live-in ranch hand, backcountry packer, horseshoer and veterinary assistant...

Read and listen here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

2022 March's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast - Listen

Longevity for Endurance Horses and Endurance Riders, Electrolytes 101, by World Equestrian Center for Mar 8, 2022

Mar 8, 2022

Jeanne Pepper is still competing with her Mustang Tahoe in her 70’s and she shares just a few of her many adventures. Mike Tracy shares how he got started in Endurance riding and tells us about his Hall of Fame horse Aaron Moon+//. Karen’s endurance tip zeros in on Electrolytes and hydration.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Katie Daley and Socks win 2021 American Saddlebred High Mileage EDRA award

by Shelah Wetter
March 14 2022

Katie Daley, a 15 year old from Washington state, wins the 2021 American Saddlebred High Miles Award from the Equine Distance Riding Association on her horse Three Socks.

Katie started taking lessons at Blue Haven Stable in 2016 from myself,Shelah Wetter, and her parents started leasing horses through the summer months in 2017. I sold Katie her first horse, Three Socks, a petite feisty chestnut mare July 2020. I knew it would be a great fit. But little did I know, the ball that had been set in motion.

Socks had a bright start to her career before Katie bought her. Socks had 50 mile starts and a 100% completion rate that still stands. Eleven year old Socks is now trained exclusively by Katie, and with a winter full of hard work, they came into the endurance scene in 2021 ready.

Socks and Katie completed their first 30 mile ride in May 2021 with a group of six other riders from Blue Haven Stables. Katie’s next ride would be one of the PNW hardest rides, the 50 miler at Renegade Rendezvous in the mountains of southern Washington State. That ride boasts more then 8,000 feet of elevation gains, with very steep ascent and descents. It's challenging mentally and physically for both horse and riders. They came through it with flying colors. Among several other 50 mile rides in 2021, they also completed their first multi day—a 50/30. Both Socks and Katie rocked it.

Katie takes impeccable care of Socks, often working her multiple times a day and cross training through the winter when she is stuck in an indoor arena. Socks has come to expect love and (treats) from all, often hanging out with humans loose more like a dog than a horse.

Katie will be attempting her first 75 mile ride to be completed in 18 hours to start her 2022 endurance season. She will also be taking on her first back to back 50/50 mile rides. Katie will be trying to get Socks her CH-SH, which is a champion sport horse designation through the American Saddlebred Registry. Watch out for these two in the years to come!

Katie and I have spent many hundreds of miles and hours training horses together. I'm very proud of her & I look forward to watching this amazing young womans journey with her American Saddlebred mare.

2021 Renegade Rendezvous 50, photo by Dave Honan

Top photo 2021 Crazy Days 50, photo by Apollos Griffin

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Arizona: Local horse, rider win 30 mile endurance race - Full Article

Mar 09, 2022 4:00 AM
By Jeanie Hankins

A local woman’s spirit of adventure matched up with the spirit of an Arabian horse named Ben to make a winning combination during the Land of the Sun Endurance Ride on Feb. 26 at Boyd Ranch near Wickenburg.

This makeshift team of horse and rider came together as a result of Ben’s owners being tied up. Maureen and Lawrence Serrano of Morristown are long-term competitors in equestrian endurance rides, but as organizers of the local event they did not have time to compete on their home course. Maureen Serrano works hard to keep Ben in shape and hungry for competition, so rather than having Ben sit this one out, she called on friend Cheri Noel to hop aboard for the 30-mile course.

An experienced endurance rider, Noel had not stepped into the saddle for a race since 2009, but when asked if she would like to compete on Ben she was rearing to go...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

New U.S. Forest Service Guidance on Use of Equestrian Campsites

March 5, 2022
Press Release/by Ashley Harkins

(Washington D.C.) At the prompting of the equine community, last month the Forest Service national office circulated a memo to all national forests and national grasslands titled “Recommended Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds.” A copy of that memo can be found here.

The problem of occupied horse camps escalated across the nation during the COVID pandemic when many families and others chose close-to-home vacations in favor of long-distance travel. The Forest Service memo describes well the implications for stock users of this growing problem.

The American Horse Council would like to encourage equine organizations, such as local clubs, state horse councils, and others, to review this memo and, importantly, to use it as a reason to schedule a meeting with personnel at your local national forest to assist you to achieve the following objectives:

1. Ensure the memo was received by the local Forest Service office,
2. Discuss with forest staff the magnitude of the problem locally and the memo’s relevancy and implications, and
3. Come to an agreement on what adjustments in the management of equestrian campsites within Forest Service jurisdiction might be implemented in order to communicate to the public the need to prioritize equestrian campsites for use by parties with stock.

Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) and its allies have developed a Horse Camp Incident Report form for campsite users to capture and record incidents where parties without stock are occupying Forest Service equestrian campsites. The purpose of the form is to collect data should we need to make the case for new regulations to prevent parties without stock from occupying equestrian campsites. The form may be found here

For more information contact

And remember:
· Always be courteous to other campground users. It’s likely that any party without stock has occupied an equestrian campsite because regular campsites were already taken or reserved.
· Remember, it’s not illegal for others to camp in an equestrian campsite. Plus, some folks might not know the difference between an equestrian and regular campsites or why their occupancy of an equestrian campsite might force equestrian campers to travel far distances in order to find a legal campsite—if not forced to return home, an outing ruined.
· If you end up speaking with such parties, use these talking points to educate them about the scarcity of legal campsites for equestrian use and what happens when parties without stock occupy equestrian campsites.

About the American Horse Council

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils. Learn more at

Monday, March 07, 2022

Shotgun Rider repeats as High Mileage Standardbred

Columbus, OH — Shotgun Rider, a.k.a. Owyhee Shotgun Rider in endurance circles, is the third repeat High Mileage Standardbred since the USTA started recognizing the award in 2011. Merri Melde, Shotgun Rider’s partner and owner, was recognized this past weekend at the American Endurance Ride Conference convention at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.

“The only changes (since we won the last award) is that I own him now!” exclaimed Melde. “Stephanie (Teeter, his previous owner) quit endurance and horses and generously gave him to me in April…he’s actually the first endurance horse I’ve owned.”

Shotgun Rider, a.k.a. Owyhee Shotgun Rider in endurance circles, is the third repeat High Mileage Standardbred since the USTA started recognizing the award in 2011. Steve Bradley photo.

Merri first started riding in 1998 and became involved competitively in endurance in 1999. According to AERC records, she has logged 9,040 miles in 200 rides, with an additional 360 LD (limited distance) miles.

“What I love about Endurance is the time you put into getting your horse fit and competing,” said Melde. “You can form a real partnership over hundreds or thousands of miles, and Standardbreds seem to really enjoy having a person. Standardbreds who raced have a great foundation under them and have been exposed to a lot so they can be quite steady and trustworthy.”

Shotgun Rider is by Distinguishedbaron out of the Big Towner mare Anatola Hanover. The now 10-year-old gelding earned just $10,319 during two racing seasons at Cal Expo and Running Aces, last racing in the summer of 2015. While he did take a mark of 1:56.2, he has found his groove in endurance, having recorded 1,040 miles at AERC sanctioned rides since 2017. Around the barn, and on her blog, Melde affectionately refers to Shotgun Rider as Hillbillie Willie.

“Steph’s trainer Ted, who broke Shotgun Rider to saddle, gave him the barn name Willie,” explained Melde. “Naturally I stuck Hillbillie on the front. It’s the perfect name for him because he can be a total dork. He’s a fun ride and he loves being out on trails and he loves to explore. He takes me to places I’d never make it on foot.”

The AERC High Mileage Standardbred award is given to the Standardbred that has the most miles ridden during the ride season (Dec. 1 through Nov. 30). All rides are considered, including the limited distance 24-35 mile rides, and standard endurance rides (50-plus miles). Riders must be a member of AERC in order to track horse and rider mileage. For more information on the AERC, visit their website at

Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with owners of off-the-track Standardbreds to educate the general public about the many disciplines Standardbreds excel at once they are retired from racing. For more information about the SEP at the USTA, visit