Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Tevis Educational Ride

Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

As of January 29, there is a waiting list for Day 1 from Robinson Flat. A shorter Day 1 option is now available as well. For more information about this year's July 7-9 Tevis Educational Ride go here.

The entry form is available here.

Coming Soon! Endurance Essentials Web-Based Course! - Full Article

By Patti Stedman | February 19th, 2017

A few years ago we got very involved in educating new and aspiring endurance riders.

Education is kind of in my blood. My mom was a teacher, and my safety consulting business — 18 years old last month — focuses on providing creative, engaging and interactive training about OSHA regulations to the employees of my clients.

So back a few years ago, while planning to teach a clinic for new folks at our farm, creating an Endurance 101 Powerpoint presentation felt a bit like falling off a log. It’s the sort of thing we do all of the time.

We shared that Powerpoint with AERC and other aspiring 101 clinic facilitators and held lots and lots of Endurance 101 Clinics all over our region.

In the mean time our consulting business evolved and started to catch up with the tech age. (Please understand that this has been a massive leap for me, she who still keeps a paper calendar and who can use her SmartPhone to do only a few basic things.)

We started a spin-off business, creating web-based training services to our clients who preferred to have their employees take their training in front of a computer instead of in a classroom.

Ahoy, PCS Custom Training Solutions LLC!

Then, this summer, we got inspired and involved in a little “passion project” as I like to call it …

We decided to take the Endurance 101 Clinics and bring them to the web via

Read more here:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

2017 February's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen in


Today on Karen Chaton's Endurance Episode USEF Endurance Chef d'Equipe Mark Dial explains the new team selection protocol, Randy Winter tells us about his invention the Rein Safe and Karen gives a history lesson. Listen in...

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

60 or Older? Win a Tevis Cup Entry!

February 13 2017

Are you 60 Years of age or older?

Would you like to win an entry to the 2017 Tevis Cup Ride?

Through the generous donation of a fellow horseman WSTF is offering an entry to the world famous Tevis Cup 100 Mile Ride. The entry will be awarded to a First-Time Rider that is 60 years of age or older who has successfully completed the Tevis Cup mileage requirement as of May 1, 2017.

 We want to hear about your dream of riding the Tevis Cup!

To enter the contest, in 500 words or less tell us about yourself, your horse and your journey together as a team. Please share the experiences that you feel have prepared you for this challenge. Let us know the impact this entry will have on reaching your dream of participating in the legendary Tevis Cup.

 Entries must be postmarked by May 20th, 2017. The winning rider 
Please include your name, mailing address, phone number and email address so we can contact you if you win.

Mail entries to:
Western States Trail Foundation,
150 Gum Lane #103
Auburn, CA 95603
Best of Luck!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Arabian Horse Life – AHA’s New Member Magazine Hits Mailboxes in February

February 2, 2017

(2-FEB-17) – AURORA, COLO. – The Arabian Horse Association (AHA)’s new member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the middle of this month. Now going to all AHA members, the publication is designed to emphasize and focus on all aspects of the Arabian breed and the Arabian horse industry.

The name of the magazine was selected by AHA members via survey and designed to reflect what the new magazine is all about – Arabian horses and the people who love them. The inaugural issue of the magazine boasts a cover photo that was submitted by an AHA member, via a photo submission contest that AHA hosted in January.

“Involving our members and making them feel like this is THEIR magazine, was really important to us,” says AHA Director of Marketing, Julian McPeak. “Our entire magazine, design and marketing staff have worked together to hopefully bring our members a magazine that they feel proud of; that they feel they are an integral part of. We want them to see pictures of their friends, their horses, their trainers and feel the feelings that Arabian horses give them when they flip through the pages.”

Editorial features will focus on the heritage, history and people, places and horses that have long impacted the breed. New columns bring important information about Arabian horse owners to light and feature the products they use, the stories they have to tell and the ownership tips they have to offer.

The column ‘Faves,’ highlights products used every day, around the barn, by AHA members and trainers. ‘Jibbah Jabber’ brings the latest news and interesting stories from around the industry. ‘Praiseworthy’ focuses entirely on highlighting AHA’s Achievement Awards, while ‘Focus Life’ shows off pictures that members submitted of themselves and their horses. Training tips, a newly design Youth section and so much more can be found within AHL’s completely re-designed pages.

The magazine has a brand new look and feel. With a fresh layout, divided sections for easy reading, it highlights all aspects of the industry - all disciplines, all levels of ages and participation, and most of all, the life that AHA members live, loving their Arabian horses.

With an increased circulation of nearly 23,000, AHL offers the perfect opportunity for advertisers to reach all AHA members with their message. Commercial and farm/breeder rates are available. To learn more about the magazine, to contact a sales team member, or for the media kit, specially priced packages and more, visit:


AHA is a major equine association serving 84,000 Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse owners across North America. AHA registers and maintains a database of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. AHA produces championship events, recognizes over 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities, education, and programs that promote breeding and ownership.

Contact: AHA

Thursday, January 19, 2017

AERC’s Century Club: Rider + Horse = 100 Years

January 19 2017

Endurance riding is a sport that mandates awards – it is the “to finish is to win” sport, after all.

Right in the rule book (rule 6.3) is the requirement that every finisher of every American Endurance Ride Conference competition “must receive a completion award.”

But those are just the start. AERC recognizes mileage accomplishments starting at 250 miles for both human and horse. There are best condition awards for exceptionally fit horses. There are awards specifically for stallions, for mares, for those who compete in Pioneer rides of three days or more in a row, for 100-mile riders, for high-mileage families. There are age-based awards, for junior riders, young riders, and for older riders, including one very special acknowledgement.

One of the more recent awards to catch the fancy of many riders is the Century Club Award, which honors rider/equine teams who earn the recognition when they complete a ride once their ages total 100 or more.

So far the roster of Century Club members totals four:

Connie Berto and Eco Stardust (California). Connie dreamed up the Century Club award. She is a long-time endurance rider and she and her Morgan gelding, Eco Stardust (AMHA 129921), completed 5,000 endurance miles in 2013 – after Connie’s hip replacement surgeries in 2007 and 2013.

Mary Chmielewski and Quicksilver (Ohio). Mary (her last name is pronounced “mah-les-key,” 83, is a typical older endurance rider. She still trots out her own horse at competitions, and enjoys riding her 18-year-old grey Arabian gelding, GKA Quick Silver (AHR 570114). Mary even completed the AERC Trail Master course in her home state of Ohio in 2016. Her AERC mileage totals to date: 2,515 endurance miles (of 50 miles or more) and 1,115 limited distance miles.

Dorothy Sue Phillips and Montana Flyer (Wyoming). Dorothy is the highest-mileage rider of this elite bunch, with 17,695 endurance miles (those are competition miles – that figure doesn’t count all her training miles!) and 1,035 limited distance miles. She switched over to the shorter-mileage rides in 2015. Montana Flyer (AHR 527262) has 7,945 endurance miles and 590 LD miles.

Leon Self, DVM, and Cole Younger (Missouri). Leon started out judging AERC rides, but was called to ride for the first time . . . at age 81. His mule, Cole Younger, was then 24 years old. They spent a half-year conditioning before entering the Pokie Okie 30-mile ride in 2014. Even with a combined age of 105, the pair wound up earning High Vet Score.

The American Endurance Ride Conference will be honoring the 2016 accomplishments of their members and equines at their annual convention March 9 and 10 in Grapevine, Texas. Yes, even more awards will be handed out, recognizing both annual and lifetime achievements.

Mary speaks for every endurance rider when she says, “I love the endurance riders, the camaraderie and friendships that I have developed over 40 years of long-distance riding. The endurance people have a true love of their horses and the horse discipline that they have chosen. I will always have a horse and ride until my body says to stop. As long as I can climb up on a horse, I will ride!”

To find out more about the “to finish is to win” sport, visit or phone the AERC national office at 866-271-2372.

# # #

About the AERC

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America and in 1993 Endurance became the fifth discipline under the United States Equestrian Team.
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or “Tevis,” covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage. For more information please visit us at

Contact: Troy Smith, AERC Publications, 866-271-2372,

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rushcreek: The Bloodlines Continue at Snell Valley Ranch

January 16 2017
by Merri

Tucked away in the oak and pine covered hills in a corner of the Napa Valley is the Snell Valley Ranch.

The fertile valleys with good soil and spring-fed irrigation is the ideal spot for growing organic, historic-sourced grapes for exceptional wines for the Flying Horse Winery. It's also a fine place to raise horses. The horses you see on the 1400-acre Snell Valley Ranch, running the fields, climbing the hills, picking their way through rough oak and pine hills, laying a good foundation for growth, athleticism, and intelligence, carry historic bloodlines from decades back when a good Arabian was bred to work and built to last and knew his way around a ranch and the endurance trails.

Hendrik and Lettie Smeding, owners of Flying Horse Winery and Snell Valley Ranch, are the owners of these Rushcreek mares and foals, who are carrying on the name and legacy of their forebears, after the Nebraska Rush Creek Land and Livestock company dispensed with the breeding of their famed Arabians.

It was after World War II that the Nebraska ranch, established in 1885, turned to breeding Arabians for their ranch work, because their original horses - "part work horses and part Thoroughbred" - just weren't working out that well. The Arabians proved to be good all-around ranch and cow horses with great endurance; and the habit of turning the horses out in herds for 3 or 4 years on excellent grazing land before breaking and training made for good formative years.

It was around the 1970's that endurance riders discovered that these Rush Creek-raised Arabians made excellent mounts for their long distance riding passion.

And it was in 2012 when the Rush Creek board of directors decided to liquidate their Arabian herd. "Our understanding from Lyle," Lettie said, "was that Rushcreek Land and Cattle Company decided not to have a herd of horses of any kind. They wanted their workers (cowboys) to bring and use their own personal mounts whatever breed they are," Lettie said.

It was a sad day for aficionados of the Rush Creek-bred Arabians, and it galvanized a number of people to action. Laura Hayes, from New York, who had owned and ridden numerous Rushcreek horses in endurance, was instrumental in getting every one of the ranch's exceptional Arabians sold and into new homes.

Hendrik and Lettie Smeding, who had bred CMK Arabians in the past, were interested in starting up breeding again. "We'd both always admired the Rushcreek horses on the trail, and a friend told us in 2012 that Rush Creek was selling their horses," Lettie recalled.

Unbeknownst to Lettie, Hendrik had already made a call to Lyle Sherfey, horse ranch manager for Rush Creek Arabians, a couple of times saying he wanted some of those mares. "I just wanted to see foals on the ranch again," Hendrik said.

He left several phone messages for Lyle, and it wasn't till weeks later that Lyle got back to them. Lettie was taken aback when she heard who it was and what it was about. They did some quick investigating and negotiating, and eventually the Smedings ended up with 10 of the very top Rushcreek broodmares.

They also bought some youngsters and one of the ranch's current stallions, HV Suns Heaven and Earth, who had been the Rush Creek herd sire for about 7 years.

"The Smedings were extremely good to work with during the dispersal," Laura Hayes said. "I will be forever indebted to them for that. During the dispersal, my main goal was to not allow one of those 80+ horses to be euthanized or go to a sale. We accomplished that in less than 90 days using only social media and not spending a cent on advertising. The Smedings had a big part in that as they were our biggest buyers."

After getting the herd ensconced in 2012 into their new California surroundings, and letting the mares settle, even though Heaven had a nice temperament and attractive babies, the Smedings decided they wanted to look for a different stallion for their new herd.

"We have articles from way back in Western Horseman, and Rush Creek was known for really big horses - 15.2, 15.3 hands - big, stout, strong rope horses, because they were doing ranch work," Lettie said. "We were more interested in getting back to that long-ago path to Rush Creek horses. There's Polish and Russian in the Rushcreeks, but there's also really heavy Raffles, so we figured the best thing was to do was an outcross."

The Smedings ended up talking to former endurance rider Dianne Waldron, of Rosebrook Farms in Florida, about a stallion that they felt might compliment their mares. French import Doran SFBAR (Dormane X Ortie, by Djouran) was a U.S. stakes-winning racehorse, and stakes producer. He was the outcross the Smedings were looking for, with "big size and big bone and good movement."

In the 3 1/2 years since the Smedings started their hobby to continue the Rushcreek Arabian breeding, the future looks very bright indeed.

They have carefully winnowed their Rushcreek broodmares down to 5: Rushcreek Patti, Rushcreek Pecan, Rushcreek Tiki, Rushcreek Reata, and Rushcreek Tigger. With Doran SBFAR as sire, these 5 mares have so far produced 7 offspring.

Rushcreek Patti (Rushcreek Kip X Rushcreek Alibi, by Rushcreek Quincy) has a coming 2-year-old filly, SVR Patticake.

Rushcreek Pecan (Rushcreek Kip X Rushcreek Freon, by Shalimar Rhett) has a coming 2-year-old filly, SVR Pecan Pie.

"Both of those, oh gosh, when crossed with Doran, it's just like a magic cross with these horses," Lettie said. "They're huge. I was looking at some of the old Rush Creek pictures, you know, when you get the 15.1 and 15.2 hand, big, stout, horses. That's what we're getting again. It's awesome."

Rushcreek Tiki (Comar Raphael x Rushcreek Joni by SAHR Magnafy) has a coming 3-year-old filly, SVR Firefox. "Oh my goodness. She looks almost like a warmblood, a big dressage type of horse. She's also beautiful - big bones, super sweet, really really nice."

Rushcreek Reata (Comar Raphael X Rushcreek Gwen, by Sahr Magnafy) has a coming yearling filly, SVR Reata Creek, and a coming 3-year-old colt, SVR Firestorm. "'Creek' is a very nice looking bay horse, big for her age. Firestorm - I would say he's close to 15.2 hands - is a big tank. And he's a really sweet horse too."

Rushcreek Tigger (Comar Raphael X Rushcreek Kitti, by Sahr Magnafy) has a coming wearing filly, SVR Eyeofthetigger, and a coming 3-year-old colt, SVR Spitfire. "Spitfire is about 15.1, bay, and he's just gorgeous. 'Tigger' is nice also. They both have nice legs under them, and they're smart."

"They all have good minds. Just good horses."

Through Lyle Sherfey, the Smedings got permission from the Rushcreek Board of Directors to use the Rushcreek brand and and the name for their Arabians (Rush Creek continues to use it for their Nebraska ranch). Currently they are using SVR (Snell Valley Ranch) as a prefix, though they may decide to use Rushcreek at times. They will also freeze brand their horses with both the SVR and Rushcreek brands (Rushcreek is a clover leaf).

The Smedings plan to breed the mares back with frozen semen from Doran this spring (Doran is at stud in the UAE, and the Smedings collected and kept frozen semen from him for their breeding operation). They plan to keep the youngsters they have right now, and possibly try some on the racetrack. They will let some of them grow up a while and then see what they have. Right now, they are just enjoying the new horseflesh on their ranch.

Lettie said, "We're getting excellent crosses with Doran and these mares. They have such beautiful babies, and I personally think the babies can go on the racetrack, they can do endurance, and they can do dressage.

"The babies are getting Doran's laid back shoulder, and they're solid builds, with the good legs and hooves. They really look like the old Rushcreeks." Doran has an exceptionally calm and gentle temperament for a stallion, which seems to be passing on to his Rushcreek offspring.

The youngsters are getting a good upbringing on the ranch. "The mares take them everywhere. They make routes all over the place, literally miles every day. In the evening they're down in the valley, and in the morning first of daybreak, they're way up on top of the hills. Some of that is scrambling, picking through the rocks and going up and downhill. They can rock-pick like nobody's business! They drink from the creek and the lake, and they go through everything. They like to be on the move."

It is the Smedings' main desire to get back to the big old Rushcreek Arabians. "We were hoping that's what we'd get out here," Lettie said, "and it looks like we are. That was our goal, to get those nice big solid horses again. We're very excited about them!"

Back in the day, "Rush Creek-bred" and "Rush Creek-raised" meant something. Everybody knew what a Rushcreek horse was and what he/she was made of, and what they could expect out on the endurance trails.

Thanks to the Smedings, just a handful of breeders who wanted to see the Rushcreek lines continue, that day may once again be on the horizon.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Longtime New Mexico Veterinarian Sid Zarges Dies - Full Article

EL PASO, TX—JANUARY 14, 2016—Longtime New Mexico veterinarian Dr. Sidney T. Zarges, 80, passed away on January 8th in El Paso, Texas.
Dr. Sid was born in Raton, New Mexico on April 12, 1936. His father was Henry W. Zarges of Cimarron, New Mexico, and mother was Alma C. McDaniel of Roswell, New Mexico.

Dr. Sid married Sue Schroeder on Sept. 12, 1958 in Monte Vista, Colorado. The couple graduated veterinary school in 1960 from Colorado State University. They moved to El Paso where they practiced veterinary medicine and opened Zarges Animal Clinic in 1965.

They were the first veterinarians to perform equine surgery in the area. Dr. Sid focused on equine medicine and worked at Sunland Park Racetrack and Ruidoso Downs Racetrack.

In semi-retirement, he vetted equine Endurance rides all over the country...

- See more at:

NATRC convention focus--Fun, Mind, Body & Soul - Full Article

January 16 2017

The North American Trail Ride Conference convention, being held Feb. 17 and 18 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has a two-fold focus: fun and fellowship on Feb. 17, seminars Feb. 18 to enhance the mind, body and soul of the rider.

The fun begins with humorous stories written by author Angie McGhee from the world of distance riding; followed by an Equine Jeopardy game “show”; tours of the area; a presentation by Jean Abernethy, creator of the cartoon horse, Fergus, about his first NATRC ride; and ends with refreshments and old time mountain music performed by The Trail Buddies.

On Feb. 18, seminars will be held on photographing equines; a prescription for healthy, balanced and beautiful riding; the mental and physical approach to trail obstacles; keeping cool in a crisis; and a presentation on “The Legacy of NATRC.” The day will close with a banquet, raffle drawing sponsored by Riding Warehouse, and celebration of the amazing accomplishments of NATRC members and their equine partners...

Read more here:

Friday, January 13, 2017

USEF Unveils Complete Rebrand, Launches New Member Benefits

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce a rebranding, launch of a new fan membership, and additional membership benefits. Effective January 11, 2017, the Federation has become US Equestrian and has adopted a refreshed identity as part of a new overall strategic plan for the organization. This includes a refreshed logo that removes the shield element and better aligns the brand with other successful national governing bodies.

Introduced by incoming President, Murray Kessler, at the Annual Meeting in Lexington, Ky. on Wednesday, the vision of the new US Equestrian is to bring the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. This closely coincides with the organization’s mission to provide access to and increase participation in equestrian sports at all levels by ensuring fairness, safety, and enjoyment. US Equestrian will strive to engage horse sport enthusiasts at all levels through enhanced member offerings and consistent championing of horse welfare and fair play initiatives.

The website, is now and has been completely reengineered into a user-focused and mobile-friendly site that offers many useful tools and resources. Member-only benefits on the website include horse and rider searches, standings, and competition results...

Read more here:

Justin Nelzen Passes Away

January 13 2017

Endurance rider Justin Nelzen, 40, died January 11 in Montgomery, Texas.

He was a veteran of the Marine Corps and Navy, and was an endurance rider, trainer, and farrier.

Justin won the 1000-km Mongol Derby in 2010, and he was part of a dramatic rescue of horses stranded by floods in Texas last year.

He leaves behind two children, aged 14 and 12, and a large community of endurance friends.

A fund has been set up to raise money for funeral expenses at:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

OT Rasa RSI wins 2016 Drinkers of the Wind Challenge

One more time our own Crockett Dumas has bred, trained and ridden the winner of the 2016 Drinkers of the Wind Challenge. His name goes one more time on the Schimanski trophy. This year Crockett won the award on OT Rasa RSI, a home bred that Crockett just started riding this year. Rasa got both trained and conditioned simultaneously as they competed very successfully in long mileage rides.

Crockett's lines hale back to Richard Pritzlaff's RSI horses, thus the RSI he continues to use in their names in respect for Richard. This breeding produced the wonderful OT Sara Moniet who is also sister to OT Rasa. Blood will tell!

Crockett and his horses exemplify the soundness, strength and durability of the best of the Desert Arabians and we are so proud to have him on the Board of Directors of the Institute because we feel it is so very important that the best of the best are proven, used and bred on so that the future will remain bright for these wonderful horses.

Every time a Desert Arabian goes into a group of horses and comes out the victor it is a great step towards preserving the qualities that we held dear with the horses that first intrigued us and even if the horses do not win, it they compete, they are promoting their breed by showing their quality to the world.

The Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse is committed to the global preservation of the Desert Arabian horse. We aim to identify the worldwide population, demonstrate publicly their athleticism and versatility, provide models of sound breeding practices, and conduct historical and scientific research.

See more at:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jackie Bumgardner Passes

January 11 2017

Endurance riding icon Jackie Bumgardner passed away Tuesday morning at a care facility in California.

Jackie started endurance riding in the 1970's and accumulated over 30,000 miles. She owned 1992 AERC Hall of Fame Stallion Sierra Fadwah+/ , AERC 1996 Partners Award Winner Sierra Fadrazal+/ , and 2002 AERC Hall of Fame horse Zayante. Jackie and her husband at the time, Jim, bred Fadwah at their Fire Mt Arabians ranch in Ridgecrest, California, and developed a successful line of endurance horses that are still coveted today.

She was a mentor to many in the endurance world, and she left many more friends behind.

She will be missed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 January's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen in

January 10 2017

Today on Karen Chaton's Endurance Episode Karen shares the joys of having a barn camera and a helpful hint on keeping your horse competitive for the long haul, Courtney Krueger explains Ride & Tie, Chrystal Woodhouse provides some pointers for riding and conditioning in cold weather Listen in...

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Kelsey Russell wins 2016 Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy

January 5 2017

USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) has announced Kelsey Russell as the winner of the 2016 Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy.

The Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy is awarded in memory of Kathy Brunjes, who was a successful endurance athlete and an active supporter of the Junior/Young Rider program.

As she closes out her young rider career, Kelsey enjoyed a successful year in 2016, starting the year with a win at the CEIJ2* 80-kilometer competition in Dunnellon, Florida, aboard Gesta Gold. Her next win also came in January at the Broxton Bridge Plantation CEIYJ3*, where she took home the title with Just Gold. Kelsey amassed four more titles throughout the year, two wins at the CEIYJ1* at Spruce Woods with Theatric and Fireman Gold.

The presentation of awards will be during the USEF Year-End Awards Gala on Saturday, January 14.

Meg Sleeper wins 2016 Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award

January 5 2017

USEF (United States Equestrian Federation) has announced Meg Sleeper as the winner of the 2016 Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award.

The Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award, sponsored by Gold Medal Farm, and Larry and Valerie Kanavy, is in memory of Maggy Price, who was the 1992 FEI World Endurance Championship Silver medalist instrumental in the development of international endurance in the U.S.

In 2016, Meg's success includes wins in the CEI3* 160-kilometer Biltmore Challenge with Syrocco Rabia, and in the CEI3* at Broxton Bridge Plantation with Syrocco Cadence. She also earned Top 5 honors in the CEI3* FITS event with Syrocco Cadence and in the CEI3* Fort Howes Zone Team Endurance Challenge with Shyrocco Rimbaud. She represented the U.S. with Shyrocco Rimbaud at the World Endurance Championship in Samorin, Slovakia.

The presentation of awards will be during the USEF Year-End Awards Gala on Saturday, January 14.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

2017 AERC Junior/Young Rider Scholarship Deadline

The deadline for the 2017 Anne Ayala AERC Scholarship is approaching fast! The completed application with supporting documents and letters of recommendation must be received in the AERC office by January 7th.

The $1000 scholarship is open to AERC Juniors and Young Riders in good standing from their high school senior year through age 21 (must be younger than 22 as of 1/1/2017).

Applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0 and a minimum of 500 AERC lifetime miles.

For more information and an application, see:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Breeding Program of Belesemo Arabians

Belesemo Arabians stallions carry on after foundation stallion Belesemo Trad

December 27 2016
by Merri

Belesemo Arabian's foundation sire, Belesemo Trad, died in 1997. His sons Belesemo Magic, Belesemo Image, and Belesemo Ibn Trad have carried on their sire's lines during and after Trad's death. They were outlined in this story - Belesemo Arabians: Beautiful and Enduring.

The breeding program of Belesemo Arabians continued through other stallions during and after the time of Belesemo Trad.

Owner Kim Johnson said, “In looking for outcross stallions to use on the Belesemo Trad daughters, we were extremely blessed to be gifted with the stallion RD Arizon, a Crabbet Ferzon/Raffles cross stallion that had a successful show career in many different divisions including Scottsdale.”

RD Arizon (Perlezon X Na Warda, by Comar Garit) is the sire of many successful show and endurance horses for Belesemo Arabians, including Belesemo Sundance, who accumulated nearly 1000 miles, and BA Fantizon, bred by Belesemo Arabians and bought and campaigned by Ralph & JoAnn Kewish, earning 2,640 miles and the AERC National Jim Jones Champion stallion award.

RD Arizon’s offspring, who are still producing the next generation at Belesemo Arabians, include Belesemo Obsidian and Belesema Arizona.

Belesemo Obsidan (RD Arizon X Velvet Dawn, by Misimma Ibn Shiko), an Idaho Futurity Champion Stallion, has produced several more winning grand-get for RD Arizon in the U.S. Reserve National Champion Sport Horse Yearling Colt, and several up-and-coming endurance and sport horses. RD Arizon's great grandson, HHR Jammazon, has over 1400 miles with Tamara Baysinger.

“RD Arizon’s most famous offspring, BA Fantizon (RD Arizon X ASA Miss Fantasia, by Barich de Washoe), came back to stand here at the farm in 2000 and 2004,” Kim said. “To date, Fantizon has produced 12 winning offspring that have over 1,000 AERC miles, and they will still be racking up the miles and titles for years to come.”

Four of BA Fantizon's best offspring sired on his return to Belesemo Arabians include Belesemo Impresario (over 3,800 miles, National Pioneer Heavyweight and Lightweight Champion, and 2016 100-mile AERC National Championship 1st place Heavyweight), Kismet Fandansk, (5,400 miles and 3rd National Champion Pioneer Award), Belesemo Emperor (over 1,100 miles), Belesemo Odyssey (over 1,000 miles), and Performizon (over 1,300 miles).

BA Fantizon continued prior to his death in 2014 to produce 1000+ mile offspring for his owners, the Kewish's Kismet Arabians, including Kismet Janina, WF Fantazee, Kismet Bolero, and Beauty’s Fantasy.

“The next stallion to become a part of the Belesemo program with RD Arizon was Overlook Farwa (Abu Farwa X Al-Marah Zaibaq, by Indraff), acquired in 1994,” Kim said. “Overlook Farwa had been a National Champion cutting horse owned by the Guytons from Nevada. Due to his advanced age, we were able to get 9 of 21 foals he produced during his time with us.”

Of those 9 foals for Belesemo Arabians, his most noted offspring were Belesema Keepsake (1,120 miles; 23 completions in 24 starts), Belesema Charrika (over 1,400 miles; holder of multiple AERC regional mileage awards), Belesemo Legend (3,200 miles; AERC title holder), and Belesema Silvress (805 miles). “Overlook Farwa was indeed a piece of history we were blessed to have for a short time.”

“We were also blessed to have Belesemo Epic+++/ , a multiple sport horse/dressage stallion purchased from Belesemo Arabians by Mona Tobias, return to stand at Belesemo Arabians for two seasons,” Kim added. This Belesemo Trad son has produced several National Sport Horse offspring which include National Champion Half-Arabian In Hand mare, four National Top Ten Jackpot 2-year-old colts, and multiple others. “He has been a phenomenal sire with limited offspring being shown.”

A third stallion to join the Belesemo roster late in life was Sanskrit (*El Shaklan X KA Samantha, by Boreau), at age 26, owned by Dee and Victor Matlock of Singing Springs Ranch. “Sanskrit was a true gift from his owners, as he came to us as an already well established sire of endurance and sport horses,” Kim said.

“He brought in different bloodlines to Belesemo Arabians through his sire, *El Shaklan, but his dam line still possessed the CMK breeding we value so highly through Raseyn, Abu Farwa and Naseem. His cross on our Belesemo Trad, Belesemo Magic, and BA Fantizon daughters is phenomenal, and although we only had him for 3 short years we still have frozen semen we are using from him that will ensure more of his foals in the future.”

Prior to coming to stand at Belesemo Arabians, Sanskrit had many notable offspring. Excalaber+/ was bred by the Matlocks and owned and ridden by Sue Nance. He had over 2,000 miles to his credit with 30 1st place finishes, including 16 Best Conditions and many titles. Sancja earned over 2,600 miles with 29 Top Tens and 4 Best Condition awards. Bailie Skrit Ablaze currently has 1,830 miles and 17 Top Tens, including four Tevis completions. In 2016, he and Pam Bailie were 1st Featherweights in the 100-mile AERC National Championship. Jessie Caswell's Sanskrit son, Appolo LH, has 1,065 miles to date with 6th place in the 2016 Tevis and 7 Best Conditions. Sans Premium Edge and Six Shooter Ruger are among some of Sanskrit's National Champion sport horse/dressage competitors.

Belesemo Arabian's most recent addition to the stallion roster is the pure Crabbet stallion BR Gold Sovereign (Seffer X PR Silver Dream, by Silver Vanity). He achieved 3 National Top Ten Sport Horse Stallion in hand wins, in addition to Regional Reserve Champion Stallion and Top Five Sport horse under saddle. His first foals arrived at Belesemo Arabians in 2016. “We are looking forward to his great addition to our breeding program for the future,” Kim said, “returning to even more Crabbet infusion.”

The broodmares of Belesemo Arabians have also contributed to the ranch's legacy. “We have been so blessed in not only the great stallions that have been a part of our breeding program, but the phenomenal mares that have produced outstanding offspring,” Kim said.

“Many of our broodmares are top endurance and sport horse champion mares themselves. They have thousands of endurance miles to their credit and many show ring placings. Our mares include multiple 1,000+ mile mares, National and Regional AERC winners, AHA 50 Mile Champion, Pioneer Award winners and WEG alternate team mares. These mares are bred to excel in the performance divisions but can still win in beauty and conformation classes.

“Mares are the bread and butter of any breeding program and are even more important than the stallions, especially in the disposition department.”

Kim sums up the challenges, hard work, successes, and joys of her lifetime developing the Belesemo breeding program:

“One, is that a breeding program should not be judged just by the number of winning horses produced or seen out on the trail, but by the percentage of winners vs. the number of horses produced. A breeding program can produce 30 foals per year and perhaps have 2 or 3 winning horses out of each foal crop. However, if a breeding program is producing only 5 foals per year and has the same 2 or 3 winning horses out of each crop, that is the true test of breeding success.

“Secondly, all of the Belesemo horses have been taken to their wins by their respective purchaser/owners. We ourselves have never ridden any of our horses to their titles – their wonderful owners have. We offer this as proof that the Belesemo horses are some of the most versatile and competitive horses being produced, with multitudes of different individuals having accomplished wonderful goals with their trail companions.

“This is the real test of a breeding program. We have been supremely blessed in the individuals that have taken our horses to ride and compete with. They are truly the wind beneath our wings as breeders, and we give them all the credit for our horses achieving their success on the trail and in the ring.

“We are honored they chose a Belesemo horse to share their journey with. We cannot thank them enough for their confidence in our breeding program. We look forward to the future welcoming even more members, both human and equine, to the Belesemo family.”

For more information on Belesemo Arabians, see:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Marci Cunningham's Fire Mt Zoom+/ is 2016 AHA Distance Horse of the Year

December 21 2016
by Merri

15-year-old Fire Mt Zoom+/ , owned and ridden by Marci Cunningham of Bakersfield, California, is the recipient of the Arabian Horse Association's 2016 Distance Horse of the Year award. He was chosen from among 15 nominees.

Recognizing the significant accomplishment of an Arabian or Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horse in distance riding, the award was instituted in 2004.

"Zoom," bred by Mary Dale Underwood, is by Sierra Fadwah X Rushcreek La Hand, by Cougar Rock. Cunningham bought the gelding in 2011 from Steve and Marsha Workman, and she started him in endurance in 2012.

Over 5 seasons, Fire Mt Zoom has accumulated 3940 miles, with 76 completions in 76 starts, including the 100-mile Tevis Cup. During 2016, the pair completed all 24 of their rides for a total of 1205 miles.

"I've always loved Fadwah horses," Cunningham said. "Zoom is one of the toughest horse I've ever ridden."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Endurance Riding Convention Set for March 10 and 11, 2017

December 19 2016

Endurance competitors and enthusiasts from all over the United States and Canada will gather for the annual American Endurance Ride Conference convention March 10-11, 2017, in Grapevine, Texas.

Education is a main component of the 44-year-old nonprofit organization, which sanctions rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles in one day, and the convention’s eight seminars will provide cutting-edge knowledge for current and prospective endurance riders.

Seminars at the 2017 AERC convention:

· Seeing Yourself as a Public Lands Advocate with Back Country Horsemen of America’s Randy Rasmussen

· Gadgets for Gait Analysis with Yvette Nout-Lomas, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVECC, an assistant professor of equine internal medicine at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary and Medical Science

· Equine Transport Research Results – a look at breaking research into transport stress on horses, with Jerry Gillespie, DVM

· Equine Learning and Human-Horse Relationships with Jessica A. Klassen, PhD, a lecturer at Texas A&M University in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

· Colic and the Endurance Horse with AERC Veterinary Committee Chair Jeanette (Jay) Mero, DVM

· 2016 Member Survey Results with AERC Education Chair Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, which will discuss member opinions on the future of the sport of endurance riding

· Murmurs, Arrhythmias and Heart Rate Recovery with Meg Sleeper, VMD, DACVIM, of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine

· Simple Carbohydrates: Rocket Fuel or Failure to Launch? A second seminar presented by Dr. Garlinghouse, a well-respected equine nutrition expert.

Two early-morning free “hot topic” sessions involve endurance riders in thought-provoking discussions. This year’s topics include “Revisiting the AERC Drug Rule” (one of the strictest in all equine sports) and “Responsible Equine Management.” Both are hosted by AERC legal counsel and board member John Parke.

But the convention isn’t all serious education. It’s also a celebration of accomplishments, with both regional and national award ceremonies, and a Friday night dance.

In addition, conference attendees always enjoy the popular annual Tack Swap that allows riders to pick up tack and related items at bargain prices, with 10% of proceeds benefitting the AERC.

All visitors are welcome at the free trade show which runs Friday 9:00-6:00 and Saturday 9:00-5:00 and features a wide variety of vendors offering endurance gear—everything from tack and saddles to heart rate monitors and rider clothing.

Located a quick shuttle ride away from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the Hilton DFW Lakes (800-984-1344) is a spectacular site for the midsize convention, with plentiful public and private hotel space, dining options, and indoor gym and pool. Special AERC convention rates are limited so early reservations are a must.

For more information, and to register and receive the best pricing on conference seminars, please visit

About the AERC

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America and in 1993 Endurance became the fifth discipline under the United States Equestrian Team.

In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or “Tevis,” covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage. For more information please visit us at

Contact: Troy Smith, AERC Publications, 866-271-2372,

Friday, December 16, 2016

2017 Owyhee Endurance Ride Dates Sanctioned

December 16 2016

The long-running Owyhee endurance ride dates in southwest Idaho have been sanctioned for 2017.

The Owyhee April Fools 25/50 (Tough Sucker) is April 1.

The City of Rocks Pioneer 3-day ride is June 8-10 in Almo, Idaho (almost Owyhee!).

The Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer, which also includes the 2017 Distance Horse National Championships AHA & ApHC (Appaloosa) hosted by the Arabian Horse Association, is October 6-8.

The Owyhee Hallowed Weenies 25/50 is October 28.

For more information as it becomes available, see

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2017 AERC National Championships to Colorado

by Merri
December 15 2016

The 2017 AERC National Championships have been awarded to Tennessee Lane's SoCo Endurance venue at the base of the Spanish Peaks in La Veta, Colorado.

Tennessee has designed the trail loops "to mix it up, nice easy fast stretches interspersed with slow challenging climbs, descents, and fun technical stuff to keep you awake and give you something to write home about.  

"The scenery is truly unbeatable, the ride camp setting is gorgeous, and as I said, the trails are diverse, with footing varying from flat, canterable-sandy-loam, to steep, walk-it-rocky."

Last year was Tennessee's first year to host Spanish Peaks rides out of her Remuda Run ranch, from 25 to 100 miles, and they proved highly successful and satisfying to competitors.

The AERC National Championships will be held August 18th (50 miles) and August 20 (100 miles).

Tennessee is delighted to host the championships. "Game on! This is God's country. The Rockies are what endurance legends are made of.

"Let's remind the world what real endurance is about: not just speed, metabolics and logistics... but a horse and its strategic and attentive partner, overcoming gorgeous, fun, and challenging terrain.

"I'm stoked. You'll love the trails. See you in SoCo!"

For more information, check back at

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oreana Idaho to Host 2017 Distance Horse National Championships AHA & ApHC hosted by the Arabian Horse Association

December 14 2016

Oreana, Idaho will repeat as host for the 2017 Distance Nationals in October, newly renamed as the "Distance Horse National Championships AHA & ApHC hosted by the Arabian Horse Association." The new name is because the event is starting to include different breeds in the Distance Championships. The dates will be October 6-8.

The ride will be held in conjunction with the annual Owyhee Canyonlands 3-day Pioneer endurance ride. Additional events in 2017 will include the AHA (Arabian Horse Association) Distance Nationals (endurance 50 miles, endurance 100 miles, and Competitive Trail for purebred and half Arabians), and the ApHC (Appaloosa Horse Club) Appaloosa National
Championship Endurance Ride.

More events may be added. Stay tuned for more information at:

December's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen


Today on Karen Chaton's Endurance Episode Valerie Ashker talks about what she learned on her 3,000 mile ride across the U.S. and Matt Scribner shares his adventures at the Equus Film Festival where his film "Untethered" won a Winnie. Listen in...

Saturday, December 10, 2016

AERC Director at Large Election Results

The following individuals have been elected to serve on the AERC Board of Directors as 'Directors at Large' for the 2017 and 2018 ride seasons. The board is composed of 18 Regional Directors elected by members of their own region (two from each of the nine regions) and eight Directors at Large elected by the entire membership.

Susan Garlinghouse

Michael Maul

Olin Balch

Mollie Krumlaw-Smith

Heather Reynolds

Robert Marshall

Christopher Schork

Paul Sidio

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

AERC Lauds Passage of Trails Stewardship Act

December 5 2016

Late last month, the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act (NFSTSA) was signed by President Obama. The American Endurance Ride Conference, along with partner organizations like the American Hiking Society, American Horse Council, Back Country Horsemen of American and the Wilderness Society, were proud to be proponents of the bill.

The bill requires the U.S. Forest Service to partner with organizations that can help to decrease the backlog of trail maintenance plans, currently at $314 million. With 158,000 miles of trails, the U.S. Forest Service’s trails are integral to many endurance rides, and AERC welcomes the opportunity to work with the USFS to plan and coordinate trail maintenance wherever possible.

“The signing of the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act by President Obama is a great opportunity for volunteer trail advocates of America to keep our trails open on United States Forest Service property. So much of the forest service budget is used yearly to fight wildfires, leaving little funds to maintain trails,” said AERC Trails and Land Management Chair Monica Chapman of Pleasanton, Kansas.

“Now is the time for AERC members and other interested equestrians to get organized and contact your local Forest Service Ranger and ask how you can help keep trails maintained for an endurance ride, to condition your horse, or just enjoying nature,” Chapman said.

Chapman traveled multiple times to Washington, DC, to promote the bill and expressed her gratitude to Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), the bill’s sponsor.

Because AERC members compete in distances from 25 to 100 miles per day, well-maintained trails are an integral part of the nonprofit organization. The group has more than 100 members who are AERC-Certified Trail Masters, who have the knowledge to properly design and build new trails and maintain and improve existing trails.
The organization, founded in 1972, also has an active trail grant program and is the nation's leader in encouraging the use, protection and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historical significance.

More information on endurance riding is available by visiting or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members.

Contact: Troy Smith
American Endurance Ride Conference
866-271-2372, 530-823-2260

Monday, December 05, 2016

18,000 Miles for Karen Steenhof: A Long Way From Sunday

by Merri
December 4 2016

It's a ways back to 1985 and Karen Steenhof's first endurance riding season aboard her little pony cross mare, Sunday. But she remembers the most fun ride she's ever had like it was last week.

"That was the year we had a very early snow. It started snowing on November 2nd, and it never stopped. We did not see the ground until February. There was a Cold Turkey endurance ride on Thanksgiving weekend in Eagle, Idaho. And this was my first year, so i didn't know that much about anything. And Sunday's shoes had been pulled because of winter."

Karen ran into someone in the grocery store who asked if she was going to the ride. "I said, 'They're not really having the ride, are they?' Well of course they were! I said my mare didn't have shoes, and they said, 'So much the better! We're on a foot of snow, you don't need shoes!'

"The ride was on a Saturday and Sunday, and I drove my car out on the first day just to see, and everybody was having a great time. So I hitched up my trailer and drove out there with little Sunday - and I got the trailer stuck in the ditch on the way.

"But that ride was the most fun. It was the last ride of my rookie season. Sunday just went along on this 50 mile ride in the snow, and the great part was learning that you could do things that you never thought you could do."

31 years and some 17,655 miles later, Karen Steenhof is still having the same enjoyment riding the endurance trails aboard her current gelding, WMA Proclaim (Riley).

Born in Illinois outside of Chicago, Karen grew up in a very horsey community. "There were 14 polo fields and a fox hunt, so I started riding when I was 6. I got my first horse when I was 11. I rode English hunt seat; I was a junior member of the hunt, which was fun. Endurance riding is kind of like fox hunting without having the jumps."

Karen moved to Colorado in when she was 14, then attended Colorado State University, then the University of Missouri before moving to Idaho where she started working for BLM as a graduate student. She became an analytical wildlife biologist then ultimately retired as a research wildlife biologist for the USGS in 2008. If you're a birder, it's a real treat to ride the trails with Karen.

Sunday was Karen's first horse she owned as an adult, after finding her in the newspaper in 1983. "I boarded her near Eagle, and I would go out riding in the foothills every once in a while. I used to have a dog, and in his last days, just before and after he died, my grief was to kind of transfer my attention to the horse and ride farther and farther into the hills. At that point I started running into endurance riders.

"I finished my first 2 LDs (Limited Distance - 25 miles and 30 miles) on Sunday. She had amazing sickle hocks, and the veterinarian Loretta Burman told me when she completed me on the second LD, 'You're fine, but don't ever take this horse on a 50!'

"2000 miles later…" Karen laughed.

"Sunday did fine. But after 2 years in endurance, I realized I had to get an Arabian."

And so started Karen's lifetime of endurance riding aboard Arabians. She's put serious miles on almost all of them, and each one found a good home - often Karen's back yard - after their endurance careers. She's ridden mostly in 50 mile rides, though she's completed 19 out of 20 75's and 9 out of 13 100's along the way. "I always loved 75s and multi days. But I don't know if my body's up for 75s anymore."

Her seasons have ranged from 50 miles to 1290 miles completed. She snagged 25 Best Condition awards along the way (thank her previous gelding Rusty for most of those), and with 336 completions in 357 starts she has a 94% completion rate.

Two of her most favorite rides over the years - which exist no more - have been the 5-day Ft Schellborne XP in Nevada, and the 50-mile Buckskin Challenge in eastern Idaho. "Ft Schellborne was peaceful. It was the hidden Nevada. You know, the Nevada you see on the highway is flat, and then you go into this beautiful country on horseback.

"The Buckskin Challenge was a really hard ride. There aren't that many rides that I can remember saying, 'Oh no, it's over already!' Usually you're like, 'Whew - finally, I'm finished!' But this one I was thinking, 'Oh, I wish we could go longer!' I was crushed when they decided not to have that ride anymore."

Ambers Thorn was Karen's first Arabian, and her "most special horse."

"Where I grew up was all Thoroughbreds; Arabians were these little prissy horses. So I found this ad on the outhouse door at one of the rides, about this 5-year-old chestnut gelding named Ambers Thorn (War Zarim x Amber) with chrome, 14.1 hands, and a big trot.

"I went and picked him up at my friend Andrea Day's. She jumped on him bareback and rode him around in a circle. I guess I didn't ask her that much; he just looked very broke. So I just got on him and started riding him at home.

"I'd call Andrea now and then and say, 'Oh yea, we had a great ride,' and every time she'd say, 'Wow, that's amazing, he didn't really have that much time under saddle.' Each time I'd tell her about some progress, and she finally said, 'You know, he only had a saddle on twice when I sold him to you!'" Karen laughed.

Karen and Thorn covered 7200 miles of endurance trails together, (they ranked 8th in National mileage standings in 1995), though he actually wasn't that easy to ride and he had a lot of physical issues.

"I worked through so many problems on him. He was the next best thing to going to vet school, because he had almost every kind of issue there was." The gelding was diagnosed with osteochondritis dessicans (OCD) in his shoulder, and he came back from that. He had 2 annular ligament surgeries - one in front, one behind, and he came back completely from the first one in front, though the second one in back he never completely came back from. He also had an anterior enteritis where he almost died in Calgary in the North American Championships (one of Karen's 1 3/4 FEI rides). Then he started having tying up issues, and it took a while for Karen to figure out that her cross-training in dressage was causing that.

"Thorn was also always a challenge in that he was very hard to rate. And he did spook at things, but I was elastic back then!"

Karen started looking for another endurance horse after the Calgary ride. She got Cyandarac (Cyam x Prairie Dawn, by Gallant Royal) from Andrea Day again. "'Simon' had a few more miles on him than Thorn had, but he also was very opinionated!" Karen said. "In a 5-day ride I could never get him to relax and stand at one of the out checks and eat his own food. He would always drag me around until sometimes maybe on day 5. He was a character. He still is a character!"

Karen's first ride on Simon was in 1994 (Thorn's last ride, at age 19, was in July of 2000). They went on to earn a little over 4000 miles together. Simon was the PNER (Pacific Northwest Endurance Riding) Champion in 2002.

"Simon is not a personable horse. He's the boss of the pasture, even though he's 28 now. He's still just always kind of cranky and opinionated."

WSR Spellbinder was Karen's next endurance horse. This gelding came from Gail Williams in Washington in 2000. "Spellbinder was a character too. I think I put 1300 miles on him. He was just a handful - he just wanted to race. So he was kind of not that fun for me to ride.

"When he came up lame in the fall of 2005, Ona Lawrence decided to trade me him for her gelding El Jay Zalal (Willow).

"What a sweet little horse he was. He came to me having done 2 endurance rides. On the second one with me, he broke my wrist when he fell down and tripped." Did she finish the ride? "Of course! it was 45 miles into a 60, and it never occurred to me not to go on. Never crossed my mind." And of course, she was still elastic back then!

"I kept riding Willow after my arm healed, but not in endurance, because he kept stumbling." Willow ended up with the life of luxury, after Karen's neighbor Tish bought and lavished love on him. "Willow hit the lottery!" Karen said.

Admiral Gil (AM Gilded Gypsy x AM Bay Bridge, by AM Sea Captain) was Karen's next endurance horse. He was 5 or 6 years old when Karen found him in Oregon on the Dreamhorse website.

The pair rode 1500 miles of trail together starting in 2006, even though Gil turned out to be Karen's most insecure horse to ride. He was a stumbler and a spooker too, and she came off him many times.

Looking for an additional endurance horse, Karen tried out a mare for a couple of months. Getting off to lead her across a creek when she balked, the mare knocked her down, ran over her ankle, and broke her fibula. The incident only added to her own growing insecurities.

"By now I'd had a couple of these injuries, and I was losing my confidence. And Gil is the most insecure horse I've ever had, so I was in a slump for a while there. Because Gil wasn't giving me the confidence, and I wasn't giving him the confidence, it was kind of a bad mix."

When in the fall of 2009 Gil started having some lameness issues, Karen put out the word she was still looking for another endurance horse. Her friend Skyla send her an ad of a horse to check out. "The person who had him had no ideas how to take pictures," Karen recalled. "The horse had this giant head, and this teeny little butt. I thought he was the ugliest horse I'd ever seen! He was advertised as half Arab and half Quarter horse."

But when Karen went to look at him, the horse didn't look like that at all - he looked much better. And when she lunged the horse she really liked how he moved, and she knew she wanted him. Turned out a neighbor Regina had owned this horse several years prior and she recognized him and confirmed that HMR Redstone (Rusty) was no part Quarter, horse, but purebred Arabian (DA Athir Muharrik X Mistanny Dab, by HMR Mistabi).

Rusty was 10 when Karen got him, and the pair started down the endurance trails in 2010. "He was such a handful. He was always competitive. You had to have him near the front so he couldn't see a bunch of horses in front of him. And that was hard."

Over 1830 miles together, Rusty was PNER champ in 2013, 7th in the National Best Condition standings in 2012, and 2nd (reserve champion) in the National Best Condition standings in 2013. 

It was ultimately bilateral lameness - caused by bad shoeing - that did Rusty in. That happened roughly around the time Karen had major family issues to take care of, so she had a forced sabbatical from endurance for almost 1 1/2 years. Because of this she wasn't in a rush to find another endurance horse, and she had time to shop around.

Last year she was turned onto a gelding in Oregon owned by Karen Standefer. Friends pointed out he had great racing bloodlines, to which Karen replied, "I don't need another hot horse! I don't want to race!" WMA Proclaim (Riley) actually had raced on the track, twice, and race results say he was "not a factor."

WMA Proclaim had already done a few endurance rides (several LDs and 2 50s), and he had proved to be calm and rate-able, finishing first, top ten, or mid-pack, and earning a Best Condition award. Karen arranged to try him out during a fall endurance ride, riding him by herself and trail riding with a friend, and he never got excited or worried, nor spooked from anything.

So it was Riley who brought Karen back to the endurance trails in 2016. The pair got to know each other, as they established a strong base together of 12 LDs and 3 50 mile rides, in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah, finishing top ten, or mid-pack, and earning a Best Condition award.

And Karen timed it just right to earn her 18,005th endurance mile in her Idaho back yard with a 6th place finish in the October Owyhee Hallowed Weenies, the last ride of the season.

She looks like she's found her "safe, sane, short" endurance horse - as Julie Suhr has put it - for the older rider, because, as Karen said with a laugh, "I'm 63, and my body's falling apart!"

Karen can look out her back window and see both her past in endurance and her future: she still has 4 of her endurance horses. Simon is 28, Gil is 20, Rusty is 17, and Riley is 9. (Thorn died in 2012 at age 31.)

"I seem to get roughly 1000 miles every 2 years, and it would be fun to get to 20,000 miles, but I don't know if my body will hold up. And now my whole thing is to go to different rides that I've never been to. I really want to do that."

During the 2016 season, she and Riley competed in 3 new rides for Karen: the Pacific Crest in Oregon, and Strawberry Fields and the Outlaw and the Virgin in Utah.

The future trails look bright and inviting, as Karen and Riley have a good start on their way to accomplishing her new endurance goals.

Top photo: Karen and Riley finish 3rd in the 2016 Old Selam, their first 50 miler together

Sunday, December 04, 2016

10,000 Miles for Gretchen Montgomery

December 1 2016

by Merri

The West region's Gretchen Montgomery reached the 10,000 mile mark in AERC competition at the Gold Rush Shuffle over Thanksgiving weekend. Spending her retirement time between Bridgeport and Ridgecrest, California, Gretchen hit the cent-mark aboard her part Standardbred mare HS Coquette.

Gretchen and Coquette have over a thousand miles, and many other thousands of miles have come aboard her mare Definetly Spice (formerly known somewhat affectionately as "Bitchy Spice") - her Decade Team horse, and the gallant gelding Royal Raffiq, who died in 2010.

Gretchen manages the Fire Mountain ride in Ridgecrest in January, and the Eastern High Sierra Classic in Bridgeport in August.

See more on Gretchen here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sign Up Now for the 2016 AERC Convention

March 10 and 11, 2017 - Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center - Grapevine, Texas

We're counting down the days!

We're looking forward to heading to Texas for the 2017 AERC convention! AERC's convention is the most fun you can have without your horse! Two days of informative and thought-provoking seminars on Friday and Saturday, shopping galore, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, awards presentations, Hot Topics seminars, plus fun Friday night entertainment and the awards banquet on Saturday night.


Prefer to send in the form by mail or fax? Click here for the printable registration form.

Other options: You can sign up by phone: 866-271-2372, or fill out the form in your December EN and mail it to AERC, PO Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604. (You can even fax it: 530-823-7805. Our fax machine doesn't get much of a workout lately and it would welcome your faxed form.)

Friday's speaker lineup includes Randy Rasmussen of Back Country Horsemen of America and Dr. Yvette Nout-Lomas, Colorado State University Vet School Assistant Professor (plus one additional speaker TBA). Saturday's speakers are Drs. Jeanette Mero, Meg Sleeper and Susan Garlinghouse. These will be two days of intense learning, all at the spectacular Hilton DFW Lakes

From the Hilton DFW Lakes website: "We offer everything you need on 40 lushly landscaped, lakeside acres. Our award-winning hotel features a refreshing blend of spacious accommodations, limitless recreation and unmatched conference facilities. Lose yourself in a unique resort-style setting while enjoying all of the services and amenities of a modern conference center. Recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award for the past six consecutive years. Find out more at the hotel website.

FREE airport shuttle provided from nearby DFW Airport (but not Love Field, which is about 20 miles away).

Make your hotel reservations! Call toll-free 800-984-1344, and reference 2017 AERC Convention, or use this Hilton DFW Lakes online reservation link.

What to do before or after the convention? Check out some Dallas area attractions.

VETERINARIANS: The Veterinary Committee will be hosting a two-day Veterinary Continuing Education course in conjunction with the convention. Watch for details coming your way in late Fall 2016.

TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS: We'd love to have you! Trade show information will be available in the Fall.
For more information on the convention, and to sign up for 2017 Trade Show see

Monday, November 28, 2016

Perfect Ten Equine: LV Integrity +/

November 28 2016
by Merri

LV Integrity +/ , owned by Joyce and Dennis Sousa, achieved the exceptional honor of "AERC Perfect Ten Equine" over the weekend at the Gold Rush Shuffle in California by surpassing 10,000 AERC miles.

Created in 1997 and sponsored by Joe Long, past AERC president, former Southeast Region director, and member of the AERC Hall of Fame, this award is for equines that have completed 10 years, 10,000 miles, 10 first place finishes and 10 best conditions throughout their career.

LV Integrity +/ is only the 9th horse to achieve this honor since the inception of the award.

Ridden by Joyce for most of his career (he also carried Dennis, and their daughter Jennifer Niehaus), 23-year-old "Ritzy" earned his miles and Perfect Ten award over 18 seasons.

This year was arguably one of Ritzy's best. In addition to his Perfect Ten Equine accomplishment, he achieved his 2016 Hall of Fame induction and his 40th 100-mile completion. Additionally, Joyce and Ritzy escorted Joyce's granddaughter, Alex Niehaus and her gelding Airborne along 855 miles of trail, including 5 100-mile rides.

"Yes, it was a great ride season," Dennis wrote. "We have been truly blessed."

For more on Joyce and Ritzy, see:

AERC Juniors Kick 100-Mile Butt

or, Ride Like a Girl! Anya Levermann and Alex Neihaus Set New Junior National 100 Miles Championship Standards for AERC in 2016

by Merri
November 28 2016

What started out as a simple personal goals for two endurance riding Juniors ended up as an exciting, neck-and-neck 'race' throughout the 2016 season for the Junior National 100 Miles Championship.

14-year-old Alex Neihaus, of Cloverdale, California, and 16-year-old Anya Levermann, of 100 Mile House, BC, Canada, both surpassed the previous record of 500 miles in their 100-mile adventures around the country.

Alex ultimately finished the 2016 season with 605 miles in 100 milers, riding two different horses, and Anya finished with 805 miles in 100-milers aboard four different horses.

Alex and Airborne in the 2016 100-mile AERC National Championship

For Alex, the competition for the Junior National 100-mile champion "just sort of happened. We just wanted to get out there on the trails," she said. "It was only my first year of doing 100s, so I just wanted to learn about it, how to do it, really. So my grandma decided that she would help me along the way." That Alex's grandma happens to be 24,000-mile endurance rider Joyce Sousa who happens to have two horses in the AERC Hall of Fame, including her 23-year-old mount LV Integrity (Ritzy), was just icing on the cake. "We just did as much as we could, and it was really fun."

Alex started riding endurance in 2010, finishing her first LD with her mom Jennifer and dad Jon. Before this season, she had accumulated 1085 lifetime endurance miles and 310 LD miles.

Throughout the 2016 season, but for one of the 100-mile rides, Alex rode her 15-year-old gelding Airborne. "I got him in 2014 from a friend, Robert Weldin, who lives in my area in California. Robert got hurt and thought he wasn't going to be able to do any more 100 mile rides. So he gave Airborne to me." Alex and Airborne completed 305 miles together their first season, and 730 the next season. "We've just been really good together," she said.

The 100-mile odyssey started in the 20 Mule Team in southern California in February. Joyce and Alex finished near midnight in a ride time of 15:33, for Alex's first 100-mile completion. "I was ecstatic," Alex exclaimed. "I thought it was so cool. It was tiring! I remember we were on the last loop, and I was practically sleeping on Airborne - I couldn't hardly keep my eyes open!"

Alex and Joyce's next 100-miler was at Mt Adams in Washington in May. It was one of Alex's favorite rides. "It was hard mountainous terrain, but it was really fun and really well marked," she said. It was a ride where Alex learned about doing what was best for a horse to get him through a 100. Ritzy was a bit tight in the hind end with 15 miles left, so they walked most of that 15 mile loop in the dark. Their finish time of 14:58 still put them in the Top Ten at the finish with horses fit to continue.

In June, chalk up another 100-mile finish - and win - in the 105-mile Sunriver Classic in Oregon in June. (105 miles because some radio guys on the last loop accidentally sent riders the wrong direction.) This ride was also, needless to say, one of Alex's favorite rides.

Alex recalled, "The weather was pretty crazy. It was sunny sometimes, raining sometimes, snowing sometimes. We stayed in around fifth place all day, then on the last loop we just started passing people. Our horses felt great. We finally caught up to the first place rider, and we cantered past her, and we stayed up in front the rest of the loop! It was pretty amazing!" Their finish time of 13:48 brought them home just as it was getting dark. (Anya also rode and finished Sunriver.)

Both girls were tied at 305 miles when they both rode the same course in the 100-miler at Santiam Cascade in Oregon in August. They both also finished this challenging ride to remain tied at 405 miles. Alex said, "I wore a bandana around my face the whole day because I rode behind my grandma, and the dust was just terrible. It was a very tough ride. We got lost on one of the loops; we were doing circles. At the end of the ride we figured that we probably did about close to 120 miles." Alex admitted that being lost in the dark was frustrating, but that's all part of endurance riding. "I just dealt with it!" Joyce and Alex finished in eighth and ninth place in a ride time of 17:21 hrs.

Alex and Airborne in the 2016 100-mile AERC National Championship

Alex and Anya were the only two Juniors to ride in the 100-mile AERC National Championship in Utah in September. Both finished to remain tied at 505 miles. Despite Joyce, on Ritzy, and Alex, on Airborne, missing a turn (some bikers had politely pulled over to let them ride by - accidentally obscuring a trail turn sign) and doing extra mileage again, it was an exciting experience for Alex, both for just participating and for completing, finishing eleventh in a ride time of 17:48.

It was only a week after the AERCNC that Alex found herself at the starting line of the the iconic Virginia City 100, in Virginia City, Nevada, on a different horse. Airborne needed a rest, and Robert Weldin had hoped to provide a horse for Alex, but it didn't work out. So he enlisted the help of Carolyn Meier, from Nevada, who offered up her horse Silmarils Diamond. "I just hopped on him," said Alex. "I had never even ridden him before, and that was a tough, tough ride. I can't even believe I finished it. I was ready to Rider Option! But I didn't.

"The SOBs (the infamous Sons of B*tches hills that you hit during the hottest part of the day) - those were extremely hard. And Diamond was a tough horse, one of the toughest horses I've ever ridden. It was only his second 100 mile ride. He was really extremely headstrong; it was a lot different from riding Airborne! But he was sure on his feet, and he never got tired, it seemed. That was really awesome."

Alex's Virginia City 100 buckle left her tied yet again with Anya (who finished a 100 that same weekend across the country) at 605 miles, but it ended up being her final 100-mile ride of the season, while Anya ultimately went on to complete two more.

But Alex accomplished her original goal of learning all about riding 100s and completing them. "I learned a lot about pacing and horsemanship and taking care of the horses at the vet checks, that the horse always comes first. And on the trail, whenever we would get the chance, we'd get off and walk or run the horses to give them a break."

Anya and Monk in the 2016 100-mile AERC National Championship

Anya Levermann's goal was simply to ride as many 100 mile rides as possible during the season. "I knew the 100-mile Junior Championship record was 500 miles, but I didn't necessarily want to beat the record. I just wanted to win the award since it was my last year as a Junior rider."

That quest didn't start out so well, when Anya was pulled from her first two 100-mile rides. At the Biltmore 100 in May in North Carolina, Anya's mount Amber Kiera, owned by Dessia Miller, was pulled at 86 miles.

At the Titanium 3-day Pioneer FEI ride two weeks later in Canada, Anya planned to ride the 100-milers on both Saturday and Sunday - because what endurance rider wouldn't be up for riding two 100s in a row? It turned out to be a rainy-snowy-muddy weekend.

Riding her own 14-year-old gelding, Sey Wiking Tu (Tootsie), on Saturday, resulted in a pull at 40 miles from a slight lameness. The next day she hopped on her sister Katya's horse, 11-year-old Kharmichel LK (Draco), and, riding with mom Katrin aboard Double Exposure PW (Buddy), finished third and fourth in 18:35. "There were only five riders, and one pulled, so we finished third and fourth and last!" Anya said. "My sister is focusing on school this year, so she let me ride her horse."

Anya's next 100-mile ride was the Sunriver Classic in June in Oregon aboard the top international horse Monk (the same ride that Alex won). Owner Chris Martin had contacted Katrin earlier in the year, looking for a rider for Monk, because regular rider Lindsay Graham had a baby, and Monk was idling and itching for a ride.

What was it like climbing aboard this fast horse, who was part of the USA Team at the Kentucky World Equestrian Games Endurance Championship in 2010? "He did really well; I had a lot of fun riding him. And it was really to nice to ride with Hannah Pruss and Salome." Anya and Hannah had met briefly at an AERC Convention, and she volunteered to sponsor Anya at Sunriver when the word went out.

What Anya doesn't mention is that she got sick the last part of the ride and started throwing up. And every endurance rider either knows or can imagine that it's no fun being sick and throwing up while riding on the back of a horse. Owner Chris Martin recalls, "The ride went horrible; it rained and snowed. Anya and Hanna were top 3 or 4 during the last half of the ride, then Anya got really sick. I still remember the look on her face when I told her I had no problem with her pulling. She let us know that she was not pulling!" The pair finished fifth and sixth in a ride time of 14:17.

Next, Anya earned a coveted Big Horn 100 belt buckle in July. Riding Draco again with her mom (aboard Buddy) the pair finished the historic ride in 13th and 14th place, in a ride time of 20:26.

"That was a hard ride!" Anya recalled. "The whole time we knew we were under a time pressure. And we had heard the stories about getting lost, and we didn't want to get lost. And my mom was also worried about how the horses would do, because they hadn't really done a big mountain ride yet. But the horses did great. They finished with all A's and pulses in the 40's."

Next up: the dusty and rocky Santiam 100 in Oregon in August aboard Draco again. Riding with her mom, and with Junior Sanoma Blakeley, the trio ended up finishing second, third, and fourth, when several of the front runners ended up being pulled. They finished in a ride time of 16:30.

Anya and Alex - now tied at 405 miles - next shared the trails in the AERC National 100-mile Championship in September. Anya's ride aboard Monk in this one was a bit less tame than her previous one. He was fast and full of beans. "Monk knew horses were in front of him all day. And once we turned for home - forget it!" Riding with sponsor Pam Bailie aboard Bailie Skrit Ablaze, the pair finished second and third in 10:34.

Just a week later - the same weekend that Alex was adding the Virginia City 100 to her resume, Anya and Draco, and Katrin and Buddy, zipped down south for the Oregon 100. Riding with Sanoma Blakeley again the trio completed that ride in 15:56, again finishing second, third, and fourth.

By this point, both Alex and Anya - tied at 605 miles in the Junior National 100 Miles Championship, had exceeded both their personal goals and the previous record, and it had provided an exciting 'horse race' for those following these two young, tough, enthusiastic riders.

Anya went on to complete two more 100s this season. Kevin Waters had offered his horse DE Golden Ali to Anya for the October Las Cienegas ride in Arizona, but when Kevin was unable to ride with Anya, he enlisted Christoph Schork's help. Christoph provided her with GE RR Jazz Dancer (Pinky), and, riding with Kerry Redente and Rushcreek Stub, the pair finished sixth and seventh in 17:15. "Pinky was great!" Anya said. "He was still bouncing down the trail on the last loop!"

Anya wrapped up her 100-mile season, finishing the November Broxton Bridge 100-mile ride in South Carolina aboard Dessia Miller's horse Cognac Amberfyre (Farley). (And with the ever-unending energy of youth, she also finished the 75-mile North American Young Rider Team Challenge the next day.)

It's not so easy for aging endurance riders to climb aboard strange horses for an endurance ride, and while Junior riders make everything look easy, it gave Anya pause for thought. She said, "This year I rode a bunch of different horses, but most of the horses are trained very well. I'm just nervous sometimes for the start because I don't know how they're going to react.

"But I never had a problem. A couple of the 75s I rode this year, I got bucked off on the pre-ride. Most of the horses are very competitive for the FEI, but most of the horses I rode were all really good horses."

While the two girls jet-setted around the country in what turned out to be a friendly, mild 100-mile championship 'race' throughout the season, neither rider saw it as much more than accomplishing a personal endurance riding goal. And in doing so, both passed the previous 100-mile mileage record of 500.

And lest you think the girls rested on their laurels between their 100-mile rides, think again: Alex added 300 more miles of 50s, for a perfect 12 for 12 season and a total of 905 miles, and Anya added another 175 miles, for an 11 out of 13 season and a total of 980 miles. Both girls plan to have a little more relaxed season next year.

"The last two years we've really been going hard," Alex said. "So I think next year I'm just going to ride with my dad; he's bringing up a horse that's only done one 50. Maybe I'll do a 100 or two with my mom, and I think that'll be about it."

"I kind of have to go to school sometimes," Anya laughed. "I didn't know I was going to the AERC National Championship until the Tuesday before, and on Wednesday school started. The first thing one of my teachers had said was that to pass his class, we had to have good attendance. And then I left for two weeks.

"But I still get good grades; I have all As, so I think that's pretty good. But I think I already have 15 absences this year.

"Next year, for FEI I want to get my elite status, which is ten 75-mile rides. I think I want to do some more 100s, and do some more rides with [my horse] Tootsie because I didn't get to ride him very much this year."

Families and friends of the girls are understandably delighted by their accomplishments.

"I am sooo proud of my girls (mom Joyce and daughter Alex)," Jennifer Neihaus said. "It was a wonderful finish to the season."

Katrin Levermann echoed that thought. "I am worn out by the travels, but that's what we do for the girls... right!? They work hard for it. And it does seem to pay off at the end. [Katya just got awarded a full scholarship for University - top academic student in her school]. I'm proud of both of my girls!"

This season, these two gracious, poised young Juniors set a stellar example for AERC endurance riders of what it means to just get out and Ride.

Top photo: Anya Levermann and Monk, Pam Bailie and Bailie Skrit Ablaze in the 2016 100-mile AERC National Championship

Sunday, November 20, 2016

USA’s forest and horse riding trails to get TLC at last - Full Article

November 20, 2016

The US Senate has passed the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act (H.R.845/ S.1110), which would direct the Forest Service to take action to address the current trail maintenance backlog.

The move has been applauded by the American Horse Council, which has made trails a priority. The AHC has been working with Backcountry Horsemen of America, the Wilderness Society and many other recreational groups to advance the bill.

The passing of the act follows House passage of the bill earlier this fall, introduced by Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

A June 2013 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half a billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.

The AHC’s Ben Pendergrass said many people had worked to achieve passage of the bill over the last couple of years, and it was an important victory for equestrians and everyone who enjoys national forests...

Read more:

Walter Tibbitts: October 14, 1923 - November 07, 2016 - Full Article

Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Foundation honors the memory of Walt Tibbitts, an amazing man whose devotion and contributions to the Western States Trail, to the Tevis Cup Ride, and to the horses and people who challenge them, is legendary. Walt passed away after a short illness on November 7, 2016 at the age of 93.

Infusing the imperatives of the present with the best of the past, Walt’s steady guidance helped the WSTF meet many challenges along a winding trail that spanned 45 years. With the wisdom of experience and unfailing good humor, his values were a keystone for the Foundation, and the energy and motivation he possessed continue to inspire.

As a young horseman with the heart of an explorer, Walt was intrigued when he first heard about this crazy 100-mile adventure held annually in his beloved High Sierra. After a successful Tevis debut in 1967, he was totally hooked — by both the excitement of the sport of endurance riding and the magic of the Western States Trail. With Tevis Cup completions in each of four successive decades (1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996), Walt earned the coveted 1000 Mile Buckle in 1996, notching a Haggin Cup win along the way in 1969 with his wonderful Appaloosa gelding, Ruff Spots Banner.

Walt lent his prodigious organizational talents to the Western States Trail Foundation when he joined its Board of Governors in 1971. He served as WSTF President in 1995 and 1996, and was particularly instrumental in securing safe access through Section 29 in the high country. Adapting the proven principles of Wendell Robie’s founding vision to the changing face of the future characterized Walt’s 40-year tenure on the Board; he guided the Foundation toward strategic decisions which have kept the Ride at the pinnacle of the sport...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning with Karen Chaton - Listen

This month on Karen Chaton's Endurance Episode we get to know some endurance Mustangs with Mark Montgomery, and Long Rider Samantha Szesciorka talks about her Nevada Discovery Ride. Listen in...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Kristina Chesterman Memorial Ride Pays It Forward

November 9 2016
by Ride Manager JayaMae Gregory

What makes the Kristina Chesterman Memorial Ride so special isn't just the riders, the horses, the camp, the trail, or the prizes, or even the cause, but the feeling. It's going down the trail and knowing you are riding for something beyond just miles, points, or finishes. It's that feeling you get that you are keeping a memory alive, that feeling that we are all connected somehow, in our shared passion for horses with a girl who died too young.

It's also that feeling that we get knowing our entry fee is being used to help another someone, someone just like ourselves, from our own endurance family...

Sunday's Pay-It-Forward ride benefitted two of our fellow endurance riders this year (I couldn't pick just one recipient this year)...

Amber Clark is a local Northern CA rider and trainer who broke her back earlier this year after falling from a horse. She will be going through extensive rehab, and won't be able to train or ride for awhile. She has been an active member of the endurance community and a good friend to many, and we are proud to give a little Pay-It-Forward to her!

Kevin Myers left us earlier this year. He was such an influential human being, a talented ballet dancer, a runner, a rider, an advocate for the well being of horses, and progressive in his hoof care work with horses and the EasyCare company. A small donation is being made to Rusty James Toth, in Kevin's memory, which will go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Pyramid Society Announces Enrollment Dates for This Year’s Egyptian Arabian Performance Horse Award Program

November 9 2016

Lexington, KY – (November 10, 2016) The Pyramid Society’s Performance Horse Award Program is now open for enrollment through March 31st, 2017. Designed to support and promote the versatility of Egyptian Arabian horses in a wide range of performance disciplines, this innovative program will recognize those Straight Egyptian and Egyptian Sired/Bred horses competing throughout North America during the 2016 competition season. This program offers complimentary enrollment for all eligible horses with no Pyramid Society membership requirements.

“We are so pleased to provide this world-wide visibility for our talented Egyptian Arabian performance horses. Although representing a small percentage of bloodlines throughout the Arabian breed, Egyptian Arabians continually take home a high percentage of top awards in the show ring and in other competitive disciplines. We invite and encourage your participation and sponsorship to help assure the continued growth of this valuable program.” states Jaleen Hacklander, Chair of the Performance Horse Award Program Committee.

The 2016 point system and awards are divided into four specific competitive divisions including disciplines ranging from Hunter to Dressage and Endurance to Driving, Sport Horse, and more. Respective winners will be recognized at the 2017 Egyptian Event and will receive custom awards, as well as visibility through international publications, and extensive online promotions.

The Performance Horse Award Program is made possible solely through the generosity of our Supporting Sponsors: Hadaya Arabians, Miars Arabians, Kehilan Arabians, J&J Arabians, Cariswood Farm, Al Ameen Arabians and Aimbri Arabians.

For complete program information and guidelines and sponsorship information, visit; call (859) 231-0771 or email

The Pyramid Society is the world’s leading international membership organization dedicated to the Egyptian Arabian horse. Founded in 1969, it has maintained its mission to promote and advance these unique bloodlines through educational venues, local and regional activities, international representation and an active online community. The Society’s focus culminates at the Egyptian Event, the organization’s breed showcase and competition held at The Kentucky Horse Park annually the first week in June.

The Pyramid Society
Carol Aldridge, Member Services
Ph: (859) 231-0771