Friday, May 26, 2023

Local Riders Complete Biltmore Endurance Ride - Full Article


Kylie Robinson, Lucky Jody Bring Home Junior Division Award

Nine-year-old Kylie Robinson and her grandmother, Pat Robinson, both of Oneonta, competed recently in the 27th annual Biltmore Challenge Endurance Rides. Hosted by the Biltmore Equestrian Center on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s historic Biltmore Estate on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6, the American Endurance Ride Conference event is comprised of a series of rides ranging from 25-100 miles.

Kylie, riding Lucky Jody, finished first in the Junior Division on Friday in the challenging limited distance course of 25 miles, one minute before the second-place junior competitor...

Read more here:

Friday, May 19, 2023

Endurance Canada presents the 2022 Hall of Fame Inductee Earle Baxter

The Hall of Fame Award is to be presented to a member of the Canadian endurance community in recognition of their long-term commitment and long-term active involvement, as well as their outstanding contributions and participation in the sport of endurance riding in Canada.

May 12 2023
Written by Kat Irvine

Earle Baxter of Ontario, now aged 82, started endurance riding in 1979. Since then, the list of rides he has ridden, and the awards he’s won, nationally and internationally, could fill a book. He has influenced and befriended elite riders, judges, veterinarians and those who are just starting out and need a little help. His horses have jaw-dropping accomplishments and awards most riders can’t even imagine. Among them, in 2007 " CH Catch Me If You Can” and Earle were awarded with American Endurance Riding Conference “Perfect Ten Equines”, the only Canadian horse to be recognized for this award where they must have completed 10 years, 10,000 miles (16,000km),10 first places, and 10 Best Conditions.

January 26, 2019, at the age of 19, I AM Amazing,(Champ) reached his 4200 km lifetime achievement with (AERC)American Endurance Riding Conference.

“We love Earle’s kind and trusting horses”, was an accolade given by those who have aquired them, a tribute to his training and insight of the horse as an individual.

In 1986 he was instrumental in supporting early FEI in Canada by trucking four horses to the first North American Endurance Championship in California. Earle's background as a self-employed long-haul trucker, and a horseman, had everything going forward making decisive, efficient decisions all the way. Attentive to junior riders, one year he trucked a promising young rider (later to become a Medical Doctor) to a FEI ride on the west coast of USA. Earle mentored several Young Riders, many of whom are in the sport today.

Earle went on to be a member on the FEI Canadian team at the first World Equestrian Championships in 1990 Stockholm, Sweden, where he was the first Canadian to finish the 160-km Endurance Championship. Earle went on to be team leader for five more Championship competitions in North America and overseas.

While he was leading teams to medals, and winning individual awards for himself and his horses, he was accumulating mileage in the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association, (OCTRA) as well as being integral in its growth by participating on the Board. He was gathering honors such as Best Conditioned and Heavyweight Championships in Canada and U.S. At the same time he was burning up the track in both competitive trail, and ride and tie events.

When he competes, he has a time goal, whether he is riding a young horse at a relatively slow speed, or a top-level horse at a championship pace. One of the secrets to his success is his ability to pace his horse according to trail conditions. He respects the trail as his main opponent.

He takes a set time at water stops and doesn’t move on until his horse’s heart rate has dropped to 64 beats per minute. When he comes into the vet check he dismounts and walks in. It’s no surprise to the crew team and vets that the horse’s pulse reaches parameters within 1-2 minutes.

In Ontario, in1991, he proposed the following motion regarding mandatory rest after treatment “That any horse that requires intensive therapy for Exhausted Horse Syndrome following a competition will be barred from competing for a minimum of 90 days after therapy is discontinued.” The motion was passed. This was well before the FEI implemented mandatory rest periods after competition and any treatment received as a result of competition.

Earle is a marathoner. Always advancing forward, riding every step of the trail regardless of distance or terrain.

A summary of his riding record documented over 40 years of competitions speaks for itself. It involves a total of more than 900 rides, and over 50 of them 160km long.

In Canada he has completed distances of 22,559km/14,041mi with Ontario Competitive Ride Association (OCTRA) and that includes competitive trail ride miles, but not all of them. OCTRA only counts one out-of-province ride during a year. AERC record doesn’t count endurance miles from non-AERC sanctioned rides such as OCTRA, nor from international rides, so it would be difficult to compile a complete record. We are not sure that Earle even knows his total mileage!

In April 2022, things took an unfortunate turn for Earle. During his normal daily chores, he sustained a back injury from which the doctors said he’d never walk.

With all the “move forward” attitude that make Earle who he is, guess what? He is now getting around with the use of a cane, but will likely retire from competition. This past winter he was mentoring a young man on his horses, what an honour.

He is an outstanding inspiration, combining science and spirit, education and sixth sense. He has been described as considerate, resourceful, determined, capable, helpful, competitive, efficient, and always moving forward. Earle’s education, determination, and horsemanship skills are a combination that has proven Earle a champion in Canada, United States, and overseas. It’s why he is called “Boss”.

#equestriancanada #enduranceincanada

Sunday, May 14, 2023

2023 May's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Developing Pacing Skills, Horseback Ride Across Europe, Ride Photo Tips for May 9, 2023

May 9, 2023

Karen explains the importance of being able to judge how fast you are going and how much energy your horse is expending at that pace, Luisa and Pete Breidahl talk about riding across Europe on horseback, and Becky Pearman has some tips on how to ‘say cheese’ to the ride photographer for the best pictures.


Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Covering the Distance: Canadian Endurance Award Recipients Announced - Full Article

26 April 2023

The Equestrian Canada (EC) Endurance Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 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.

The 2022 recipients are as follows:

Hall of Fame

Earle Baxter


First Place Canadian Rides/
First Place Overall Canadian Jaylene
Jaylene Janzen

Second Place Canadian Rides/
Third Place Overall
Nightwinds Indigo Bey
Colleen Devry

Third Place Canadian Rides/
Fourth Place Overall
GP Sirocca
Jaylene Janzen

Fourth Place Canadian Rides/
Fifth place overall
JV Brooklyn Bay
Jaylene Janzen

Fifth Place Canadian Rides/
Sixth Place Overall
Hungarian Treasure
Brittany Linnett

Sixth Place Canadian Rides/
Seventh Place Overall
Nightwind’s Michael
Kathy Irvine

Seventh Place Canadian Rides/
Second Place Overall
Amber Kiera
Dessia Miller

Eighth Place Canadian Rides/
JV Diamond Rio
Garry Forde

Ninth Place Canadian Rides/
Nightwind’s Orion
Colleen Devry

Tenth Place Canadian Rides/
Al Sharaz
Jaylene Janzen

More at:

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Mongol Derby girl to tell all with ‘wild’ event at the Sebastiani Theatre

This rider rode 10 days across 600 miles of Mongolian wilderness on wild horses.

Lena Haug, a Sebastopol native, completed the Mongol Derby in July 2022. The race severely tests the equestrian and survival skills of all who attempt it. The world’s most challenging horse race, it lasts 10 days across more than 600 miles of Mongolian wilderness.

April 28, 2023, 4:00PM

After competing in the world’s longest and toughest horse race, rider Lena Haug will tell-all about her experience over the grueling 10-day wilderness trek on Thursday, May 4.

Sebastiani Theatre will present “The Mongol Derby: A Wild Evening With Lena Haug.” The Mongol Derby severely tests the equestrian and survival skills of all who attempt it. In July, 2022, Sebastopol native Haug competed in the Mongol Derby, the world’s most challenging horse race, lasting 10 days across more than 600 miles of Mongolian wilderness.

The theater welcomes the community to join in this thrilling evening as Haug shares her dramatic story of racing across Mongolia on wild horses...

For more information and tickets see:

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Amendments Approved for U.S. Endurance FEI Calendar Policies and Procedures

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Apr 21, 2023, 10:00 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has approved several amendments to the U.S. Endurance FEI Calendar Policies and Procedures. These changes were made to align the Policies and Procedures with the internal approval process for late applications and calendar modifications which were made to help streamline the process. In addition, the deadlines for late applications and calendar modifications were amended to be more favorable for competition organizers.

Endurance competition organizers are encouraged to review the updated policies and procedures document here. The policies and procedures document outlines the process for application, review, and approval of the U.S. FEI Endurance competitions as a resource for competition organizers.

Please note that applications for the 2024 competition year are due by June 1, 2023. FEI applications must be submitted online through your USEF Competition Dashboard at Paper applications will no longer be accepted. Any questions can be sent to Requests for national and lite licenses should be sent to Questions can be addressed to Steven Morrissey, Managing Director of Sport Logistics & Non-Olympic Disciplines, at

Friday, April 21, 2023

Richard Dawson 1930-1923

With great sadness we announce the death of Dick Dawson, husband, father, horseman, musician, piano technician, music teacher, Alfa Romeo nut and all around fantastic person. Think of music events throughout the Owens Valley area and Dick was there, either organizing events, tuning pianos, or fundraising. Think horse endurance riding, and Dick is sure to come to mind. Think Deep Springs College music? Yep, Dick Dawson. How many of you were taught piano by him? Or had your piano tuned by him? Yes, he will be missed on so many levels. A life celebration to be scheduled.

Published by Legacy Remembers from Apr. 20 to Apr. 25, 2023.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

2023 April's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Containing Your Horse at Competitions, Trail Maintenance Volunteers, 1st Time Ride Manager for Apr 11, 2023

Karen Chaton offers advice on how do you safely contain your horse at a competition. Tami Rogeau, AERC West Region Trails Rep, discusses some of the issues facing our trails in the US, and how volunteers from AERC ranks are filling the gap. Laura Mayes shares her experiences as a first time rider manager for this year’s Nevada Derby Ride.


Monday, April 17, 2023

Midcoast Maine dairy farmer takes on 1,000-kilometer horse race - Full Story

By Freyja Grey
Apr 14, 2023

In August, Jessie Dowling will be competing in the longest and most grueling horse race in the world. But in many ways, she has been preparing for the event her whole life.

The 1,000-kilometer Mongol Derby, a race which roughly follows the network of equestrian highways utilized by Genghis Khan, spans harsh stretches of land shifting from deserts to prairies to bogs. The extreme racing conditions force riders and horses across rivers and over mountains and brings the potential of both heatstroke and hypothermia within the same day.

Unlike other derby races, the official Mongol Derby website promises that “horse welfare comes first on every agenda” which is proven in the training and general rules of the race. If a rider were to pass another mount who was incapacitated in some way, and fail to render aid, the negligent rider would then become disqualified from the race. The derby’s unique guidelines set the tone for a different type of race, rooting itself in Mongol family traditions. And the mental and physical stamina requirements demand a rigorous training regimen.

Once Dowling was selected to participate in the Mongol Derby via an interview, she threw herself into training through the Equestrianists Mongol Derby Academy...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Chey’s Cocamoe Joe and Dave Rabe: A Perfect Ten

by Nina Bomar
April 6 2023

They did it… let’s all raise our glasses in celebration of our beautiful friend and hugely accomplished endurance rider Dave Rabe along with his handsome horse Cocamoe Joe. They never give up, which is why they have achieved the honorable perfect! We all know that it’s a challenge to get through one endurance ride but how about riding the same horse for 10+ years of 50 miles or more, competing at a high level that would include at least 10 wins and earning the most coveted 10 Best Condition Awards.

They achieved this long term goal on their own turf, while at the Nevada Derby Ride this past weekend… Dave had sent me a text saying “Cocamoe Joe and I finished at about 4:30PM.” He proudly stated, “Cocamoe did awesome and me… not so well. I’ve been sicker than a dog all week, my chest and my cough… it all felt horrible”. It was no surprise that he still went and pushed through the pain and the weakness, so that they could achieve their long term goal!

Dave was coughing horribly a few weeks back, while at the Cuyama @Laurel Mountain Ride and I suggested that he see a doctor. When I inquired about that, he did share… “I finally got some antibiotics from the VA and I tried them for five days and I never got any better, so I came out to the ride a day early and stayed in my trailer all day”.

Dave has a whole herd of amazing friends who genuinely love him and take very good care of him. He once told me that on occasion his dearest friend Tami Rougeau will buy him a new helmet, because surely she wants to insure his safety. He noted that at this ride “Tami was here and she and another nurse made me go to the Urgent Care”. They arranged for another gal to drive him down and see a doctor. Dave said… “I found out that I was on the wrong antibiotics, so they put me on some different ones and I am on Prednisone, which is a steroid pill”.

None of this stopped him from riding a tough 50 miles so he and Cocamoe could get’er done… Dave then explained, “I woke up on the following morning “ride day” feeling a little better so I rode. He then admitted, “It wasn’t a great day. I was dragging all day, but I made it and Cocamoe was really a good boy. I rode by myself almost the whole way, up until the end and Jim Brown rode in with me to the finish”.

Dave was understandably pretty tired but his champion friend was there for him and his horse. With a heartfelt gratitude he said, “Tami put my boots on my horse and saddled him up so I could ride and when I finished, she came and unsaddled him, took his boots off and wrapped his legs, while I rested”. It was obvious he felt incredibly thankful for her support and then he said… “I’m just ready to go home now, but I stayed at the ride again last night as I was completely beat after finishing the ride”.

The good news is that Dave says, “I’m finally starting to feel a little better and my shortness of breath has improved, but my terrible cough is still here.” Even through his weakness though, he still has a great sense of humor. When he asked me about my ride, I told him we’d finished 11th and he replied , “Well if you finished 11th, I beat you. I finished 9th, but we only had 22 riders on the 50.“ I sent him the pic of the Mojave Green we encountered and surprisingly he said… “I have never seen a live Mojave snake before, just our desert rattlesnakes. He looks pretty tame!”

Like always, I suggested that Dave get some rest now and let his lungs and body heal. He assured me, “I’m just taking it easy today. I’m on my last pill, so I’m going to call the VA and make an appointment and see if they will re-x-ray my chest and find out if I’ve gotten any better or what the deal is”. Then when I checked in on him throughout the day, I didn’t get a reply… hmmm? By sundown I got this message… “I’ve been outside working on my septic system. It’s all full of shit and not working. I haven’t gotten too far yet, but I smell like shit.”

All in all, Dave shared this… “It actually felt really good to get this completion. I didn’t know if I was going to make it physically, but I did have one beer, and then I was done for the day. I felt thankful that Tami who took care of my horse and it really helped me. I was very confident that Cocamoe could do it, but not so much for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick on a ride… actually never! I’ve been hung over quite a few times, but not like this”.

Dave being the strong man whom he is, he didn’t let his illness take away the joy… “I thought about everything, all the years, the wins and my horse’s Best Condition awards. I know Cocamoe Joe has all the talent to do all that but equally important was to always stay focused on keeping him sound. That’s always been important to me in order to get him through the miles. I thought that would be the hardest thing, but he came through amazingly.”

If you’ve ever wondered what the ingredients are to a super horse like Cocamoe… Dave says…”he has super recoveries. He can check in at a ride at 28 bpm and sometimes during a ride, he’s down to 32 bpm. He’s got awesome recoveries. He also has a great extended trot, if I let him use it, but sometimes he uses it on his own. He also has a great walk and if I would like him to, he could canter all day. He loves the canter but I don’t let him that often. He is a very straightforward horse and he just loves to go and go and go…”

I had asked Dave if he ever received the Perfect 10 Award prior to this recent achievement with Cocamoe Joe…? After all, with nearly 78,000 AERC endurance miles, 66 milers and winning almost as many Best Condition awards, he replied, “Cocamoe is my first horse for a first perfect 10. He is the 10th horse to ever achieve this feat”. He then sent me a list of the previous perfect 10 recipients.

AERC Perfect Ten Equines

Created in 1997 and sponsored by Joe Long, past president, former Southeast Region director, and member of the Hall of Fame. Must have completed 10 years, 10,000 miles, 10 first place finishes and 10 best conditions.

2016 LV Integrity+/ (Ritz)
Joyce Sousa

2015 GF Brazil's Envy
Ann Kratochvil

2011 MRR Pyro
Karen Fredrickson

2010 Robin Hood
Philip Ottinger, DD

2007 CH Catch Me If You Can
Earle Baxter

2004 Pandora's Pixy
Randy Coleman

2004 Sha-win
Roberta Harms

1997 Kahlil Khai
Joe & Robbie Long

1997 R.O. Grand Sultan+//
Becky G Hart

Dave did note… “White Cloud had 11,900 miles, but we only had a couple of wins and maybe one BC, mainly because I never raced him”.

It’s hard for Dave to sum up 10 years, 10 wins, 10 Best Conditions and 10,000 miles, but he does hold some very dear and momentous memories.

For example he explains, “When we are riding with other horses, Cocamoe can lose his mind, even after all these years and miles”. Dave then adds, “If we are by ourselves, Cocamoe Joe is very conservative and a joy to ride”.

Dave recalled how one year, not too far back, while at the at the Shamrock ride in Wyoming, Cocamoe won the ride and got Best Condition with a perfect score of 800 points. He was awesome on that ride and the veterinarians took great notice and interest. In order to get a perfect score, Dave said you have to have all tens on the vet scores and be the heaviest rider with the fastest time. Understandably, it was very memorable and a nod to just how magnificent of a horse Cocamoe is!

Another favorite memory Dave offered was at the Tevis when Charlie Gauchi from Australia came over and rode him. Dave said, “I told Charlie how I would ride him and he did as I told him and Cocamoe came through the ride, while also looking really good”.

Dave then continued, “That is how I got Cocamoe from Charlie. At the time, his only requests was that he wanted to come back one day and do the Tevis on him. Dave recounted “When Charlie had Cocamoe on the XP Ride and they were going to ride cross country in Nebraska, but Cocamoe stepped on a plastic water bottle and the noise from the bottle spooked him and then he took off bucking. Charlie finally came off and landed on his rib cage and broke three or four of his ribs. I was actually behind Charlie that day, so I saw it all. That is the reason I have Cocamoe, because at the end of the ride, Charlie sold all of his horses. Nobody would buy Cocamoe Joe because everyone was afraid of him and I didn’t want to see anyone get hurt. Charlie offered him to me and I took him home”.

Interestingly, Dave shared a little side note… “There was a girl in Virginia City at the end of the XP Ride and on the last day she tried to offer $3000 to Charlie for Cocamoe. Since Charlie would be returning to Australia and it was too expensive to bring all the horses back. That’s why he sold them. Only Charlie stuck to his word and said “no I already gave him away”. Dave continued, “that’s how I got him and I’m always very grateful to Charlie for giving me Cocamoe”.

At this past Nevada Derby Ride, Dave said along with earning the perfect 10, they gave him a lot of nice awards… “I got a nice halter for Top Ten, a beautiful set of reins, a beer mug, a bucket and lots of hugs!” He then said… “I didn’t want to hug because I didn’t want to get anybody else sick”.

Monday, April 03, 2023

AHA Recognizes 2022 AERC High Point Middle Distance Winners

Photo Credit: Becky Pearman Photography

The Arabian Horse Association recognizes the AERC high point earning Arabian and Half-Arabians/Anglo-Arabian in the AERC National 100 Mile and Middle Distance year-end standing that meets AHA membership and registration criteria. Congratulations to all the High Point winners!

Evanessence “Evee” (Syndicat X Evocativ) owned and ridden by Tracy Benedict a 2016 mare finishing the year with 921 points.

Tracy comments “This was Evee's first year of endurance mileage. We were only thinking of getting to the AERC National Championship this year but, She enjoyed the rides, so we took it easy and kept going. She ended up third in our division and tenth overall in the Southeast region. With 660 miles under her girth this season. She is gentle enough for the grandchildren to ride but, tough enough to go the distance.

Our favorite story about her is when we went to visit Tom Sayvetz at Asgard Arabians she kept following us around in the field, touging on my husband's shirt. I think she picked us instead of us picking her. She amazes us every day.”

GE Pistol Annie “Annie” (Sulte X Sissy) owned and ridden by Christoph Schork Is a 2008 mare finishing the year with a total of 1665 points.

"Annie has had many accomplishments over her career, she won the AERC National War Mare Award in 2016 along with the AERC National 100 Mile Award. In 2017 Annie also was the AHA National 100 Mile Half- Arabian Champion and now, 6 years later, she did it again and proved that she is still one of the best mares in AERC and AHA.

Christoph states “at Global Endurance Training Center we are all elated that Annie also has won the 2022 HA/AA AHA Middle Distance Award. At 14 years of age, Annie gives me so much pleasure. Not only does she know all the ropes, but she also still has the same enthusiasm for the trail and for the competition as she had when she did her first ride. It is pure bliss to ride her.”

Sunday, April 02, 2023

Arabian Horse Association Recognizes 2022 AERC High Point 100 Mile Winners

Photo Credit: Becky Pearman Photography

The Arabian Horse Association recognizes the AERC high point earning Arabian and Half-Arabians/Anglo-Arabian in the AERC National 100 Mile and Middle Distance year-end standing that meets AHA membership and registration criteria. Congratulations to all the High Point winners!

Poete (Bandjo De Falgas X Poetikka) is a 2007 gelding, who earned a total of 1515 points with Holly.

"Poete came from impeccable breeding representing premier Russian and French lines, hand selected by the Sayvetz family at Asgard Arabians. Poete has qualified for the 2016, 2018, and 2020 World Endurance Championships.

Since 2018, Poete has won most of his races and the 100 mile is their favorite distance. He just gets better and better as the day goes on.

In 2021, Poete represented the USA in Italy for the World Endurance Championship. For the 2022 season out of the 7 races he has been in, he has completed 5 and each of them a win and Best Condition."

Holly states “He is also a decade horse, meaning that he and I have completed a decade of competing together with at least one 50-mile ride or higher completion in each year."

"He is an incredibly fun horse to ride since he just loves to go and he has amazing stamina and recovery. Poete has been my heart horse and he has taught me so much over the years. I am honored that he trusts me. In times when we have been in a race and we were in a bad position where he started to become stressed, I would back him off and I felt blessed that he trusted me enough to comply. We have a once-in-a-lifetime bond, and I am so very grateful that I can call this horse mine.”

Artistri “Nick Knack” (DA Vinci FM X Color Me Beautiful) is a 16’1” 2011 gelding, earning a total of 675 points.

"Nick Knack was initially trained to be a show horse but he seemed to prefer the opposite; Nick likes to be free and expects to be entertained!

Heather originally started with an Arab, known as Prince who preferred to savor the trail versus consume every bit of it as fast as he could. He had less go than whoah. She was in the market for a spirited, but a not deadly horse. Heather comments that “most people look for confirmation, age, color, etc. I like spirit. I LOVE a horse who consumes the trail."

At 48 years old in the mud, rain, horse poop, sun, horse pond swimming with gators, and credit to Nick Knack, it was the first time in my life, my dad “got me”. From there we turned the page and we hit the endurance trail like a vengeance. I had Heather Reynolds as my coach who helped me set goals.

My spirit is like that of my horses “on the fly” and somehow after 4- 100s and a bunch of 50s in 2022, Nick Knack earned a ton of awards including 9th place Arab in the nation. Nick Knack is a lot to manage: he worries, more up than forward, loves to lay in the water, and is not phased by encouragement or discipline. If he feels it, he’s going to do it. I sound a little like him. I don’t believe in happen chance. I’m so thankful for that sleepless night that led Nick Knack to my pasture.”

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Standardbred Good Bet is a “good bet” in Endurance - Full Story

Good Bet and Lindsay Toms won the 2022 American Endurance Ride Conference High Mileage Standardbred award.

March 28, 2023
by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Membership Enrichment and Outreach Coordinator

Columbus, OH — The 2022 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) High Mileage Standardbred, presented by the United States Trotting Association, is Good Bet. The now 14-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding earned nearly $300,000 on the track but has found his second stride in the endurance world with new owner Lindsay Toms.

“I work for a company (Maryland Equine Dental, Inc.) that does horse teeth, and one of our clients is Winbak Farm,” said Toms. “Jimmy (Ladwig) said he had a friend that was looking for a home for his horse. Sight unseen, I drove to Delaware to pick him up. I’m honored that Jimmy recommended me and that Ben Stafford chose me. He is such a wonderful person, and he was selective with who ended up with his horse.”

That was in 2019, shortly after Good Bet’s last race in February at Dover Downs. Now known as GB, his first ride was in April 2021 at Foxcatcher, in Elkton, Md., where Toms and GB had a rocky start and finished 21st out of 48 finishers.

“I love working with the Standardbreds and I wanted my own,” Toms said. “You can’t beat their temperament. I broke him to ride when I got him. The first time I competed him was 2021; it was a disaster of a year, we were horrible. We really just about gave it up, which is funny because of what this (2022) year turned into..."

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

2023 Distance Nationals Schedule in Minnesota Posted Online

The schedule for the Distance Nationals, to be held in Menahga, Minnesota, on September 29-October 1, has been posted.

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event, hosted by AHA, which includes partnered Breed National Championships along with Huntersville Hundred Open Rides. Our partnered breeds are 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 Open Huntersville Hundred Competitive Trail Rides (12.5, 30 & 40 Miles) recognized by AHA, Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Rides Association (UMECRA) & Minnesota Distance Riding Association (MnDRA). We will also be holding four Open Huntersville Hundred Limited Distance Rides, three Open 50 Mile Endurance Rides and one Open 100 Mile Endurance Ride which is sanctioned by American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), AHA, UMECRA and MnDRA.

Also offered is a Limited Distance Challenge which is the same horse/rider combination entered in all three Open Huntersville Hundred Limited Distance Rides; rules and information can be found under the Rider Information tab. All Huntersville Hundred Rides are open to all equines and have no qualifications or membership requirements!

Sign up for email updates, and see the schedule here:

Monday, March 27, 2023

Endurance Rider-Turned-Artist Steph Teeter Featured in Gallery Show

by Merri
March 27 2023

Steph Teeter, founder of and former Endurance rider-turned-artist, will be April’s Featured Artist in the Art Source Gallery in Boise, Idaho.

Created in 1993, this artist-owned fine art gallery exhibits the works of more than 40 Idaho artists with paintings, sculptures, jewelry, pottery, photography and glass art.

Steph has been obsessed with horses her entire life. She’s ridden with sheiks and kings, the US Equestrian Team, on six continents - even Easter Island. Throughout her adventures, art-making has been a window into her soul and the world of the horse. Painting, sculpture, and drawing have satisfied her urge to create and share her adventures.

“At some point,” Steph said, “riding hundreds of miles on a splendid fast horse just didn’t feel as good as it used to! It became more of an obsession than a joy. The body wasn’t quite as tolerating. Time to move on.

“I miss the trail, the motion, the feel of the horse as it navigates the terrain… but have found that the time I spend creating art, particularly outdoor scenes and horses, has been a close second in terms of satisfying occupations.

“Memories become objects. I’m putting together a small show at the gallery I belong to, choosing horses and natural, outdoor scenes as the dominant theme. It’s been a fun experience so far, sort of wrapping things up. I’m still as driven as ever, but this new career is easier on me, and those around me!”

Meet Steph, see her work, and hear about her life on horseback First Thursday, April 6, 2023, at Art Source Gallery. Her show runs the full month of April.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

2023 March's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Pardners Award, WEG Review and Food Storage for March 14, 2023

Mar 14, 2023

Cindy Bradley and her horse Bo won the 2022 AERC HOF Pard’ners Award and she joins us to tell us about her endurance career. We get an update on last months Endurance World Equestrian Games in Abu Dabai from USA riders Karen Binns-Dicamillo and Jessica DiCamillo. Plus, Karen has some tips on food storage and other camping ideas to help reduce reuse or repurpose items that would otherwise end up in the garbage. Listen in...

Read more here:

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Cliff Lewis 1936-2023

It is with great sadness to inform you that NASTR Co-Founder Cliff Lewis, passed away on February 16, 2023.

Cliff was born in Hayward, CA on August 29, 1936. He was 86 years old and lived an adventurous and influential life. He died at home while being cared for by his wife Kathy and son Tom, after a long illness. May he rest in peace. There will be a Celebration of Life for Cliff later this spring, to be announced.

Condolences to Cliff’s family can be sent to Kathy or Tom Lewis at 4185 Mulberry St. Silver Springs, Nevada 89429.

Some of Cliff’s history....

Cliff was introduced to endurance riding in 1964 by Ernie & Agnes Hutton in Reno, Nevada. Neil Hutton their son won the Tevis Cup in 1964 on their Arabian mare Salalah. It wasn’t called endurance riding at the time, but was simply called 100 mile riding. Pat Fitzgerald, who lived next door invited Cliff to ride with them and soon he became hooked on riding 100 miles in one day.

One day in early spring of 1968Cliff was riding withDean Hubbard on the top of Clark Mountain overlooking the wide open back country and they talked about holding a ride in the vast country, where there were no fences or gates.

In Cliff’s words......

“Dean and I realized it would take more than the two of us to put on an endurance ride. We decided we would start looking for support. We never expected much response but went anyway to the 102 Ranch to approach Nick Mansfield about our idea. We were surprised by his enthusiasm and were told that if we were willing to make it a 100 Mile One Day ride, that would start and finish at his ranch, he would get us all the support we needed and generally insure the success of the ride. We set a date for the first meeting to be held at the 102 Ranch Cafe. About ten people showed up. When at least half of these people declared they would ride their horses 100 miles in one day, we decided then and there to have the ride, even if we were the only ones to enter, knowing that the Tevis Cup started with 5 riders the first year. We had an election of officers: Nick Mansfield was elected President, myself as Vice President,and Andy Steen as Secretary/Treasurer. We laid out some of the general details, and hashed over many names and accepted Nick Mansfield's suggestion to call it the Nevada All-State Trail Ride, implying that although it was a Nevada based ride, it would be open to riders from all states.”

On October 5, 1968, the first Nevada All-State Trail Ride 100 Mile in One Day ride was held.Cliff riding the7 year old half Arabian Blackjack were the overall winners in a riding time of 16:41. The duo won the ride again the following year in 1969. OnDecember17, 1968Articles of Incorporation were adopted to form the Nevada All-State Trail Riders Organization witnessed by Cliff Lewis, Pat Fitzgerald and Cliff Ford. The 100 mile ride was moved to Virginia City in 1969 and has been held there annually ever since, except for the two years2020 & 2022 when the ride was cancelled from wildfire smoke.

Cliff served as NASTR President, Vice-President and on the NASTR Board of Directors for numerous years. He also was the Ride Chairman of the Nevada All-State 100, also known as the Nevada 100 and later the Virginia City 100, as well as the Derby Ditch 50 several times. Cliff proposed having the progressive silver buckle for the Nevada All-State 100, denoting the number of times a rider has completed the ride.He was a member of the travelling Nevada All State Trail Rider Endurance Team formed in 1969. Cliff’s son Tommy Lewis, completed the VC100 at five years of age in 1977 with his horse Milika. Grandson Cliffy (Clifford) Lewis following in his Dad Tom Lewis’ footsteps, completed the ride also at five years old in 2002,riding his father’s horse,29 year old Spiderman. This marked three generations of the Lewis family to complete the ride.

It was Cliff’s idea to sponsor a 50 mile spring ride to help pay for the Virginia City 100 mile buckles. The first “Son of a Derby Ditch 50” was held in Fernley, Nevada on April 3, 1971.Cliff served as the Ride Chairman. He proposed using the stop and go spot pulse checks on the ride for the first time. This would allow the more fit horses to continue while the lesser fit horses would require a mandatory five minute rest stop, continuing until the horses pulse recovered.The Derby Ditch 50, now known as the Nevada Derby 25/50 has changed locations and has continued to run annually since 1971.

Cliff was the Publisher and Editor of the Endurance Digest and the Trails Digest National “Saddle Up and Ride” Magazines from 1972 –1991. He was a long standing ride manager for over 40years and hosted many endurance rides of all distances from 25, 35, 50, 75, 2day 100, 1 day 100 mile and 3 day 150 mile pioneer rides. He introduced hundreds of people to the sport of endurance riding and driving over the years.Cliff served on the AERC Board of Directors as West Region Director from1988-1991.He accumulated 12067 AERC Miles.He also founded the National Endurance Driving Association (NEDA) in 1990.

*Thanks to Connie Creech for sharing this.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

PNER Spotlight: Darla Westlake and RT Muffin - Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides

Spotlight on Darla Westlake • (PNER member #954)

Family, Fun & Fame!

Darla’s long successful endurance career has been an exhilarating journey based on the foundation of family participation, some truly GREAT horses and the ultimate achievement of Fame with one exceptional equine athlete.

Darla answered some questions for us about her life with horses, family and endurance. She shared several photos for this interview which truly bring her story to life. Her husband Terry Westlake, and their three children; Nathan, Alex Ann and Sierra have all been endurance riders. Endurance riding for the Westlakes was always a family affair. The family has owned several wonderful horses, but the true star of Darla’s life was her gelding RT Muffin (Muffy) who carried her to remarkable career highlights and went on to also be a trusty mount for all their kids.

Darla: “I was born in Eugene Oregon. Third generation Oregonian. (My mother's family has held a family reunion, in the same park for over 100 years.)”

“ I loved horses as long as I can remember. My older sister was the first to own a horse. She traded her western saddle for a pony for my twin sister and me when we were seven years old. We named the pony Amos. When we were 11 years old our older sister gave us her quarter horse Arab cross and her best friend gave us her palomino national show horse.”

“ I rode in 4-H and got lessons from the trainer down the road. Raised and trained my own horse in 4-h. Next I rode in equestrian team, jumping and drill team at Oregon State University.”

“Terry and I met because his brother's wife was my older sister's best friend. Terry's brother Dave, and sister-in-law Arthel started riding endurance in the 70's."

"I went to help out at some endurance rides with Terry, Dave and Arthel. That was in the mid to late 1970's. They lived in LaPine Oregon and put on some endurance rides into the 1980's including the Chief Paulina endurance ride, which is now the Lava Cast ride. I actually found Arthel's best endurance horse, because my friend was selling her Arab gelding Jasam. She rode him 4,000 + miles, and won one of the few 150 mile rides ever offered. Karen Bumgardner was also a finisher!”

“When Terry and I started endurancee riding we had the Hollander family (Lew, Hannah, Ellen and Lewis) as a roll model. The Hollander's rode and kept multiple horses conditioned, while making it look simple. It was just our life to do the same! Terry and I worked full-time and conditioned three or four horses”. “My first endurance ride was in 1981. Then I bought Muffy (RT Muffin) as a 3 1/2 year old, to be my Arabian English pleasure show horse! They told me that he had a month under saddle and that he had been ridden in a Western saddle; and to be sure you lunge him first! I only owned an English saddle. I lunged him the first day and then said ‘he doesn't need this’, and off we went!! He was so brave and forward I loved every minute! “

“As a 4-year-old, we thought why not take Muffy on some 25 miles, he did five, that year. He knew it was a race and wanted to finish first, our commitment, to him, was to not let him win a 25 miler. I remember I was riding at Prineville, I had my English saddle and a snaffle bit. At the last vet check I was supposed to check my girth and tighten it, I forgot. He saw the horses in front of him and wanted to catch them, he went cantering fast down a steep hill; the saddle was loose and it went up on his withers, I had my heels behind his elbows, we got to the bottom of the hill and I went no, no, you are going to trot into the finish, I got off tightened the girth, he got fifth place (that was the last time I rode him in a snaffle bit!)"

“I also rode Muffy, english and jumping and lessons in the winter and the off season . I wanted to be the best rider I could be, for him. He was meant to be an endurance horse, it's what he loved to do, there was no question. Our goal for Muffy was to keep him in the best shape possible, so that he could do what he did best! WIN. His attitude was, where do we go, when do we start, and how fast.”

“I rode rides a couple months after each of the kids were born. Nursed each for six months, one year and two years. Terry pit crewed, friend's sometimes helped. Sierra was pit crewing with Terry from the time she was a toddler. Heidi Smith DVM, told me after I finished a ride one time, that Sierra was saying “Muffy Muffy”, not “mommy mommy” when I took off out of a vet check. I love, that she has my love of horses.”

“Here are some highlights of Muffy’s career: Muffy was PNER Champion in 1983 as a five year old.Then he was PNER Champion 1985 & 1988. Third place at the Race of Champions in Colorado. (I nursed three month old, Alex Ann, at the vet checks.)”

“1990 PNER veteran horse. In 1991 he completed Tevis top ten, 1991 won North American championship. AERC BC award in 1988. RT Muffin was inducted into the AERC Endurance Horse Hall of Fame in 1991. Muffy was endurance ridden until 2000, his last ride by Nathan Westlake”

“Muffy then retired at home, continued uspc pony club, did show jump rally with Sierra, when she was 6 years old! Many kids rode rallies, and passed ratings on Muffy."

A kid was riding him in a lesson, the lesson was over she was cantering around, stopped came over to me and said how much can I canter him? I said as much as you want. He didn't sweat, he was still in great shape, he just did whatever they wanted.”

“After Muffy, I rode our wonderful gelding MC Rams Z starting in 1995. He was Terry’s horse first. Rams Z was the AERC BC horse in 1996. In 1997 we were 2nd individual and and silver team medal in the Pan American championship in Manitoba Canada. In 1998 we finished 19th at the World Championship in Dubai, 3rd team finisher for the silver medal. In 2000 we were selected for the world championship in France. Unfortunately Ram Z slipped on a root, during a training ride before the race, fell flat on his side, his hoof kicked my helmet when he stood up, I snapped my collarbone and had a concussion, was not able to ride the ride. Rams Z’s record is 6285 AERC miles (105 starts with 103 completions) ”

“A favorite ride memory: Sunriver ride, the 50, I was on RamsZ, Nathan 12 years old on Muffy, Alex Ann 8 years old on Karmie. We were at the last water trough, not far from the finish, Alex Ann was getting tired and a little whiny, I was getting all the horses water on the necks, making sure they drank, and I saw another horse coming and said in a loud voice somebody's catching us, we're out of here. Muffy heard my voice and took off with Nathan, Alex Ann and I went after them! Alex Ann said do we have to go this fast? I said we aren't going fast we're just keeping up with Muffy. We were going very fast!! We had to finish within a minute of Nathan because he was a junior, I could see him through the trees, mostly... we finished the race it was an exciting one! The Sunriver times interviewed Nathan, the winner on the 50 mile ride.” “I’ve been a PNER member snce 1981. I love PNER. For me it stands for family. My kids grew up with endurance riding and their PNER family. Ride managers always think of the junior riders. The adults encourage them, riders volunteer to sponsor them. Nathan would tell his sponsors all about Spiderman, Alex Ann would watch out for herself and her sponsor, Sierra would sponsor their Mom, Pat Super, was Sierra's favorite. I could go on forever”

“Presently, I'm very involved with horses. We (Sierra, myself and four grandkids) have six horses, two retired endurance horses. They are MJ Figaro 23 years, my retired endurance horse, BRR Carmen Storm 22 years who is Sierra's retired endurance horse, CS Timbrel 26 who was Alex Ann and Sierra's endurance, high school equestrian, eventing, dressage and cow horse.

The current endurance wanna be's are Ali, my Arab rescue gelding, who has done a few LD's and a few 50's and Tuffy, Sierra's young mare, related to Muffy, a great prospect. Last but not least is Broccoli, our 14 year old pony that jumps, drives, trail obstacle, the bravest equine on the property." “What advice would I offer to someone who is new to the endurance world?

Find the horse that wants to be an endurance horse, train them honestly, consistently, religiously, listen, watch, ask questions, trust yourself when evaluating your horse, you know your horse better than any veterinarian, trainer...”

Darla Westlake • AERC #964 • 13,435 AERC miles

RT Muffin more than 9865 AERC miles (144 starts - 142 completions) * 108 first place finishes, 75 BC’s

* Note: the AERC online data base before 1985 is incomplete, (we kept handwritten records of all Muffy’s endurance rides before computers)

Thursday, March 02, 2023

Dr. Gail Conway 1953-2023


Gail Conway was born in Gorman, Texas, June 9, 1953. His parents were Jerry Conway and Ruby Lavada Conway (Flanagan). He lived in Comanche County his whole life. He graduated from Comanche High School in 1971. He attended Tarleton State University from 1971 to 1973. He was accepted into Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine where he graduated in August 1976. Soon after, he opened Conway Veterinary Clinic where he practiced small and large animal medicine until his death. On February 2, 1979, he married Sylvia Kay Conway (Speer). They shared 44 years together.

He is preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, and many aunts and uncles, and several cousins. Gail is survived by his wife Kay; daughter Jenny Conway; Son Jon Conway; granddaughter Madison Conway-Gillette; and brother Cliff Conway; all of Comanche, many nieces and nephews.

Gail loved working with all animals and was especially gifted and capable of great care. He had several endurance horses over the years and loved riding them on trail rider and endurance riders. As a veterinarian, he helped check in the entrants' horses at the beginning of each ride. He then was at one of the check points of the riders. Later, he usually rode one of his horses 25 miles. These riders were mostly held all over Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. He loved working with his clients and their animals. He had a gift that allowed great compassion to the animals and their owners. He will be greatly missed by his family and all the people that knew him.

Visitation will be held on Monday, February 27, 2023, at the Comanche Funeral Home from 6:00p.m – 8:00p.m. His service will be held Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at the East Side Baptist Church with a graveside following at the Mayer Cemetery in Comanche, Tx. (Cemetery location is behind Board Church) In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be made in Gail's honor to your favorite charity or local veterinarian.

Published by Comanche Funeral Home - Comanche on Feb. 26, 2023.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

2023 February's Horses in the Morning Podcast

Horsesinthemorning Podcast - Listen

Endurance: World and National Endurance Championships for Feb 14, 2023

Feb 14, 2023

Mother/Daughter Karen Binns DiCamillo and Jessica DiCamillo share their excitement of representing the US Team at the World Endurance Championship in Abu Dhabi in March. Linda Parish, AERC National Championship ride manager, joins us to give us details on the 2023 National Championships in Texas. Plus, Karen’s Endurance Training Tip is the value of practicing trot-outs and doing CRI’s at home. Listen in...

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Spirit of Endurance: Ashley Wingert

On February 11, the Arizona Endurance Riders Club recognized Ashley Wingert with the “Spirit of Endurance” award. This award was started several years ago, originally in conjunction with the Tonto Twist endurance ride, as a way to “recognize an outstanding individual within the Arizona endurance riding community who exemplifies the characters of dedication, perseverance, and an enduring spirit.”

The endurance community is Ashley’s “tribe,” said her proud mom, Carol. “She and [her mare] Libby have worked hard and have become a great team. Ashley has communicated her passion for the sport to new riders and sponsored a junior rider this past year. She has volunteered at many of the rides and is a founding Board member of the local club.”

Ashley said:

“I am honored more than I can adequately put into words.

“To be recognized this way…I’m still speechless. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say endurance is my life. There have been very few things in my life that I have stuck with (besides horses themselves) the way I have endurance. I am a fairly driven and results-oriented person who gets bored easily, and I will admit to starting and not sticking with quite a few different activities and ventures because I haven’t been good enough or successful enough at it to keep on 'digging deep.'

“But endurance has been different. It has not been an easy road, at all. I have gone through numerous learning curves, experienced so many ups and downs, disappointments, fears, stresses, failures, and frustrations. I have wanted to quit at various times, convinced I was never going to 'get it right'. But something about it has always compelled me to keep going, to keep digging deep and finding my resolve and courage, to not quit. Because when it comes together, the successes are so rewarding. And it’s more than finishing a ride. It’s about the partnership that develops with a horse. When you have to put your trust in them, to rely on them to get the two of you through a tight spot. To experience how much they have and are willing to give…to hold myself accountable to being a partner worthy of that.

“Endurance has been an extraordinary journey. One that has largely been internal. I share my ride stories, my lessons learned, what went right — and what didn’t. But I’ve rarely expressed just how deep of a passion I have for this sport, and how much it’s impacted my life…mainly because it has been such a mental, internal thing that I find it hard to adequately put into words, but to call it my unwavering passion is probably one of the best descriptions I can think to apply.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The world’s toughest pony? Film tells inspiring story of history-making duo - Full Article

January 24, 2023

Just days after its premiere, more than half a million people have watched a documentary about a young girl and her pony who became the smallest horse ever to finish the world-famous Tevis Cup.

Based on the book Race Against Time by Claire Eckard, the documentary Two Enduring Spirits; The Inspiring Journey of Kyla Law and Her Pony Flash is part of the 2023 Equus Film and Art Festival.

Two Enduring Spirits tells the story of how Kyla Law and Piece of Perfection (aka Flash), her “wild” 11.2hh part Hackney pony, overcame insurmountable personal odds and together entered the history books of the world-famous Tevis Cup endurance ride. The Tevis Cup is one of the most challenging rides on the planet, covering 100 miles of brutal terrain in the Sierra Nevada mountains that must be crossed in no more than 24 hours...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 19, 2023

US Equestrian Announces Team for 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 18, 2023, 3:15 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete/horse combinations that will represent the United States at the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship, scheduled to take place February 25, 2023, at Butheeb, United Arab Emirates.

The following combinations will represent the U.S. Endurance Team and are listed in alphabetical order:

Marissa Bartmann (La Plata, N.M.) and RGS Rollo Ze Monarch, a 2010 Arabian gelding owned by Jessica DiCamillo

Karen Binns-DiCamillo (Las Cruces, N.M.) and RGS Ragnar Ze Monarch, her own 2009 Arabian gelding

Jessica DiCamillo (Las Cruces, N.M.) and I Remember September, her own 2009 Half-Arabian gelding

Jeremy Reynolds (Dunnellon, Fla.) and Treasured Moments, a 2010 Arabian mare owned by Jeremy and Heather Reynolds

Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) and JG General, her own 2012 Arabian gelding

The following combinations have been named as alternates to the U.S. Team for the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship and are listed in ranked order:

Karen Binns-DiCamillo and Just Believe, a 2008 Arabian Mare owned by Jessica DiCamillo

Jessica DiCamillo and Just Believe, her own 2008 Arabian mare

Heather Davis (The Plains, Va.) and Shyrocco Rimbaud, her own 2006 Anglo Arabian gelding

Holly Corcoran (Stroudsburg, Pa.) and Lorienn, her own 2012 Arabian mare

Competition Information

The FEI Endurance World Championship will consist of a 160-kilometer ride at the Butheeb International Endurance Village in El Khatim, Abu Dhabi. The ride will start at 5:45 a.m. local time on February 25, 2023. Learn more about the competition here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

First Season Success for NW Junior Lavway and Hackney Pony 'Tol'

by Shelah Wetter
January 18 2023

Aaby Lavway and her Hackney pony Truly A Surprise (AKA Tol) win PNER 'Champion Junior Best Condition Horse' as well as several other awards in their first season in endurance.

Aaby's story starts In my lesson program as a shy, small, blond haired blue eyed little girl. Little did I know what awaited her. She spent several years riding lesson horses. Then she moved on to leasing a couple of big strong and stubborn been there done that geldings who taught her a whole lot about how to handle horses with big personalities and opinions. They happened to be the perfect predecessors for the small but mighty Tol.

Tol is a Hackney pony bred by the same farm as the infamous Flash. Surely they grew up together. Tol came to me a year and a half ago as a very, very green broke 13-year-old who, like Flash, grew up in a huge pasture with minimal handling. I have a long history with the Hackney pony breed and also I have a habit of buying ponies I can't ride... Well, because they are cute and absolutely irresistible. I knew I would have to find Tol a kid at some point, or maybe get him pulling a cart well & sell him, as all of our horses must have a job.

Aaby's parents weren't quite ready to purchase a horse in the fall/winter of 2021 but she very much wanted to be a part of our endurance team... And I happened to have a half wild pony I couldnt ride... So I told her if she could ride him she could come along... And the game was on!

When Aaby and Tol met, he was absolutely terrified of her. She had to start from the beginning with him, as if he'd never been ridden at all. It took many months, but Aaby persisted and at just about 7 months since they started working together, they did their first endurance ride together. Still just a touch wild, I held his halter every time she had to mount or dismount. EDRA 30 mile endurance ride was a success and they earned the coveted award JR Best Condition. At the second ride they did their first 50, Tol didn't look tired at all. And 2 weeks later again they did a 50. Tol finished strong and bright eyed. Not a puff or a sore part on him. They again earned Jr Best Condition.

They have been working hard to be ready for the next ride season, watch out 2023, here they come!!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Apply for the 2023 Anne Ayala Scholarship - Deadline February 1

AERC members from senior year through age 21 are invited to apply for the Anne Ayala Scholarship. Applicants must have a minimum of 500 AERC miles and an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0. Other requirements and application instructions:

2023 Scholarship Application

Applications must be received by the AERC office by February 1, 2023.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

US Equestrian Congratulates 2022 Endurance Award Winners

©Becky Pearman Photography

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 11, 2023, 1:00 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the top endurance athletes from the 2022 competition season. Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) will receive the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award as the top U.S senior endurance rider. Avery Betz-Conway (Kingsland, Ga.) will receive the Brunges Junior/Young Rider Trophy as the top U.S. junior or young rider.

Cheryl Van Deusen

Van Deusen has maintained an exceptional level of success in endurance competition for many years, and 2022 was her sixth consecutive year finishing at the top of the U.S. senior rankings.

In the 2022 season, Van Deusen completed numerous CEI3* rides on several different horses, including the Greenway Gallivant with her own 2007 Arabian mare, Nazeefs Flashy Rose, and January’s Ride in the Low Country and Spring Ride in the Low Country in April with Tru Beau Sardi, her 2013 Arabian gelding. She finished in first place with her 2012 Arabian gelding, JG General, in three CEI3* competitions: Ride in the Low Country, Celebration 2022, and Spring Ride in the Low Country.

Avery Betz-Conway

Avery Betz-Conway started the 2022 season off with a completion in the Greenway Gallivant CEIYJ1* riding RR Soldier, Stephen Rojek’s 2012 Arabian gelding. The pair went on to win the Ride in the Low Country CEIYJ2* and complete the Spring Ride in the Low Country CEIYJ2*.

With Djets Mojo, a 2014 Arabian gelding owned by Christina Betz, Betz-Conway won the Ride in the Low Country 80 km ride and won the CEIYJ1* at JD’s Carolina.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

2023 January's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast Endurance Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Race Against Time, Rider Fitness and Ride Times for Jan 10, 2023

Jan 10, 2023

Author Claire Eckard joins us to talk about her new book “Race Against Time: A Girl, a Pony & the Toughest 100-Mile Race in the World”. It is the amazing story of Kyla Law and Her Hackney Pony Flash, the smallest horse to ever finish the Tevis Cup. Sarah Cuthbertson from Ride Like an Athlete helps us with what conditioning is needed for distance riders and Karen shares how she calculates ride times and speed. Listen in...

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Thomas Lee Sherwood, U.S. Veteran, 1939-2022

February 9, 1939 - December 12, 2022

Thomas Lee Sherwood 83, of Carson City, Nevada passed away peacefully at home on December 12, 2022. He was born to now deceased parents, Elbert Owen Sherwood and Ruth Evelyn Jones February 9, 1939 in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

He served as a Corporal in the US Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1968. Tom worked for the Local 16 Union of Asbestos / Insulators workers of Northern California and Western Nevada for 35 years. He was an avid horseman and ultra-runner, participating in endurance riding competition for 50 years, Ultramarathons, Ride & Tie, back country horse packing, Pony Express Re-ride and Nevada Day Parades. He holds the coveted 1000 mile 10 day buckles for the renowned Western States Tevis Cup and the Virginia City 100 mile endurance rides, as well as the Western States Ultra 100 Mile Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn, Ca. He was a conservationist, explorer and trail blazer. He spent many hours building, restoring and maintaining trails in the Sierra and local area. He was a member of the Nevada All-State Trail Riders, American Endurance Riding Conference, National Endurance Driving Association and National Pony Express Nevada Division.

Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 26 years, Sala (Firth) of Carson City, his brother Sam and sister-in-law Judy Sherwood and his sister Susie Lindstrom.

A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held later this spring, the place and date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the Western States Trail Foundation 150 Gum Lane, Suite 103, Auburn, CA 95603 or Nevada All-State Trail Riders, Inc. P.O. Box 4014, Carson City, NV 89701.

Thursday, January 05, 2023

A final mile: Local Wyoming endurance rider covers thousands of miles during career

Abby Vander Graaff/Boomerang photo - Full Article

Abby Vander Graaff | Laramie Boomerang
Jan 5, 2023

When visitors come to ride horses with Bonnie Swiatek at her home in Rogers Canyon, the first thing she does is point at the steep hill shooting up outside her dining room window.

“I’ll ask anybody who says they can ride well, ‘can you ride up that?’ That’s one of my tests,” she said.

While they may seem formidable to some, steep inclines and high altitude are two of the elements that drew Swiatek into the sport of endurance riding 22 years ago...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Arabian Horse Association's 2022 Distance Horse of the Year

VA Blizzard of Oz (Blitzen of Pico X Cavu Elana), an 8 year old gelding owned and ridden by Christoph Schork.

Ozzy began his Endurance career in 2017, and has since garnered an impressive 55 ride completions, 41 Best Condition awards, and a mileage total of 3,235. What's more, Ozzy has started and completed ten, 100 mile rides.

In 2022 Ozzy had quite the year on trail, earning the coveted Haggin Cup and the Best Condition award during the legendary Tevis Cup ride. Additionally, Ozzy earned a first place finish and Best Condition award at the Twenty Mule Team ride and AHA 100 Mile National Championship ride, along with winning six 50 mile Endurance rides and earning two 2nd place finishes.

The Distance Horse of the Year award aims to recognize significant accomplishments of registered Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian in distance sports.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Southern Utah teen who rode pony in 100-mile endurance race to be featured in book, documentary film - Full Article

LEEDS — The saga of a Leeds teenager who rode her pony 100 miles in a 24-hour endurance race in California last summer is being retold in a soon-to-be-published book.

Kyla Law and her pony Flash, Leeds, Utah, Nov. 16, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

As previously reported in St. George News, then-13-year-old Kyla Law and her mother Natalie Law both successfully completed the Tevis Cup horseback ride in July of 2021, starting at Lake Tahoe and ending in Auburn, California.

Kyla’s little black Hackney pony named Flash became the shortest horse ever to complete the Tevis Cup since the annual race’s inception in 1955. In contrast, Kyla’s mom rode an American Saddlebred named Brave, who stands a full 21 inches taller than Flash...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 22, 2022

2023 AERC Convention Seminar Speakers

The tentative schedule for speakers at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, for the February 24-25 AERC Convention is as follows:

Friday February 24

Claire Eckard
Meet the author of “Race Against Time,” the story of junior rider Kyla Law and her pony Flash and Kyla’s mom Natalie at the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup). Kyla and Natalie will also be there to share their stories.

Kenneth L. Marcella, DVM, AAT
Dr. Marcella will expand on his excellent December Endurance News article on post-exercise leg care in endurance horses. Information from this seminar will be put to use every time you enter an AERC ride.

Rachel Mottet, MS, PhD
Body condition scores will be the focus of this talk by equine nutritionist Dr. Mottet of Legacy Equine Nutrition. You’ll learn why endurance horses should be at a BCS of 4-6 versus being too skinny with no reserve in a tank, or too obese and risk musculoskeletal issues.

Melissa Ribley, DVM
Hall of Fame member, equine veterinarian and high-mileage rider Melissa Ribley will be presenting two seminars at the convention. This one will be focused on safe transport of your equine — learn all you can to help keep your equine safe and healthy whether your haul is a couple hours or several days

Saturday February 25

Jeanette (Jay) Mero, DVM
The chair of AERC’s Veterinary Committee will have a veterinary-focused seminar sure to enlighten you on a current topic of concern to endurance riders across the country. Dr. Mero is a frequent convention speaker who keeps abreast of all topics that are currently in the forefront of the sport.

Meg Sleeper, VMD, DACVIM
Clinical Professor and Cardiology Service Chief at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sleeper knows equine hearts. She’ll be sharing the latest information that you can use to help your horse achieve at the highest level possible, whether that’s completing a 50 or riding to top ten.

Melissa Ribley, DVM
Dr. Ribley’s Saturday seminar will cover moving up to 100s. No need to be wary — with a solid training plan, there may very well be a 100 in your future. (Hard no? You’ll still learn plenty if you’re making the leap from 25s to 50s, or 50s to 75s.)

Susan Garlinghouse, DVM
Always a convention favorite, Dr. Garlinghouse’s seminar topic is TBA, but sure to be shared with plenty of research to back up her information shared with a mix of no-nonsense lecture and good humor.

For more information, and to register, see:

Thursday, December 15, 2022

2022 December's Horses in the Morning Podcast - Listen

Endurance: From AERC’s Highest Mileage to Therapy Horse, GPS Tips for Equestrians for Dec 13, 2022

Dec 13, 2022 We’ll be chatting with current AERC mileage leader Kerry Lowrey, Cecilia Smith joins us to talk about AERC’s highest mileage horse Tulip who is excelling at his new career as a therapy horse at age 35. And to wrap up the show Max Merlich stops by for a preview of the 2022 Mary and Anna Memorial Ride.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Location Announced for the 2023 Distance Horse National Championship Ride

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and Distance Nationals Commission is excited to announce the location for the 2023 Distance Horse National Championship Ride as the Huntersville Hundred Site, located in Menahga, MN from September 29-October 1, 2023.

With fantastic trails worthy of a National Championship Ride, the Distance Nationals Commission is excited to be hosting the 2023 ride at the Huntersville Hundred Site. A tentative ride schedule will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in sponsoring the Distance Horse National Championship Ride, please reach out to Paige Lockard at or 720-648-9220.

Join the Distance Nationals Facebook Group

Sunday, December 11, 2022

2023 AERC Convention is in Jacksonville, Florida on February 24-5

We’re thrilled to be back in Florida for the 2023 AERC "The Joy of Riding" convention! The host hotel is a perfect venue for an action-packed two days of all things endurance. Hope you will join in the fun on February 24 & 25, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.

There will be in-person shopping with the always-fabulous trade show, and seminars to appeal to both your scientific and sentimental sides. The 2023 convention will feature both new and favorite returning speakers. Friday afternoon we’ll honor the regional award winners, followed by a dance party on Friday night with a live band. The convention will culminate in the national awards banquet on Saturday night.

Online registration is now open. Sign up by February 10 to receive the lowest seminar prices and to reserve your banquet tickets.

For more information, see:

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Well-Known Ontario Endurance Trainer Under Fire - Full Article

Solstice Pecile of Wishing Stone Farm inexplicably posted horrendous videos of her dragging a horse and later laughing at its injuries.

By: Horse Sport staff | November 25, 2022

Solstice Pecile of her family’s Wishing Stone Farm in Bailieboro, Ontario shared disturbing videos of her “training” a client’s horse recently by dragging it behind a moving vehicle. The videos ‒ one depicting a horse skidding on the pavement and another showing her laughing at the horse, bleeding from its hooves, calling it a “retard” ‒ have caused justified outrage on social media and have led to Northumberland OPP investigating a “possible cruelty to animal incident”. No other details were released by police at this time...

Read more here:

Walmart Purchase Ends in Suspension for Valerie Kanavy - Full Article

The former world endurance champ fell afoul of a rule she helped introduce after accidentally buying a massage cream containing capsaicin.
By: Horse Sport staff | November 23, 2022

Valerie Kanavy, a leading figure in the movement to improve welfare in FEI endurance, has been suspended for 12 months after a horse she trains, Fine Cut Gold, tested positive for the banned substance capsaicin.

Under the “strict liability” process, Kanavy is accountable, because in FEI endurance a horse’s registered trainer is now automatically joined with the rider in proceedings related to banned substances – a rule change Kanavy herself supported.

She was suspended by the FEI Tribunal for 12 months, and fined 3,500 Swiss francs. The mare’s rider, Alex Shampoe, was also suspended for 12 months but fined a reduced amount of 1,500 Swiss francs, due to her age (20) and low level of blame. The pair have already completed the 12-month suspension period, as it was credited against time served when provisional suspensions were imposed last year.

The US’s two-time endurance world champion pointed out the irony of her situation, having been a member of the special committee set up by the FEI to re-write the endurance rules in 2018...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Les Carr's Endurance horse Tulip is thriving as a therapy horse

Karen Chaton visits 35-year-old Tulip, AERC's highest mileage horse (22,280 mi), happily working as a therapy horse

November 20 2022
by Karen Chaton

Yesterday I mentioned getting to see an old friend while I was at the Cal-Neva Gratitude Ride & Drive. That old friend is Tulip.

For those that may not know who Tulip is - he is a 35 year old Morab gelding that also happens to be the highest mileage endurance horse in the sport of endurance. Well over 22,000+ miles over an incredibly long career. Tulip's owner, Les Carr, passed away in 2015 and Tulip ended up in the capable hands of his wife Jill and daughter Cecilia.

I was excited to learn that Tulip was alive and well and has a new job! He's been working as a therapy horse at the ROP Sierra Sage Equestrian Center. It turns out that Tulip has never liked being retired, which is understandable. Endurance horses love going places and seeing things. They thrive on it. When they are suddenly getting left home, especially when other horses are coming and going they absolutely know what they are missing and in Tulips case each time he was retired he got depressed.

Tulip's second career (therapy horse is at least his 3rd career, btw) was as an outrider on wagon train rides. The type where they travel in large groups over various passes in the Sierra's - like highway 50, 49 and 88. I remember when my junior excitedly told me that she got to ride Tulip and asked me if I knew who he was.

Of course I knew Tulip. I had ridden a lot of miles alongside him with Chief, and one time Les even invited me to ride Tulip on a 50. We had a great time. Tulip has a well known reputation for bucking people off. Tulip did try to buck with me many times but he wasn't serious and by the middle of the ride he stopped.

There was many a time that we saw Les getting back on after getting bucked off at a ride start. Once during a ride I was trotting along in a group to look over and see Tulip trotting alongside me with no Les. 

Cecilia told me that within 30 days of going to the therapy center that Tulip had gained 100 pounds, got his sparkle back and is loving his new job. It is clear that Tulip is being extremely well cared for, has good weight, his feet look fabulous and Tulip does indeed have a sparkle in his eye. I'd like to think that he remembered me as he came over and was very friendly. I brought a baggie of Strategy with me to feed him, and he enjoyed every bit not losing any so being 35 isn't affecting his ability to eat.

When we first rode up on Jovi and Apollo I could see a grey horse running around, quite frisky. I didn't know yet from a distance that it was Tulip (it was). It was nice to see an old friend looking happy and healthy.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Sebastopol rider finishes 14th in world’s longest horse race - Full Article

Sebastopol native Lena Haug endured a dog attack, got kicked in the face and lost her gear, yet lived to tell the tale of the Mongol Derby

November 18, 2022, 2:06PM

Lena Haug was close to finishing the longest and most punishing horse race in the world — 640 miles across the Mongolian steppe on half-wild horses, roughly tracing the route of 12th-century emperor Genghis Khan. Fellow competitors already had fallen out, one with a broken back, another a broken neck.

It was the final night of the race for the 31-year-old equestrian, who grew up in Sebastopol and attended Summerfield Waldorf School. She was just 4 miles from the finish line. But riders must stop for the night at 7 p.m. Haug stopped 10 minutes late, which meant another 20-minute penalty when she took off for the finish line the next morning. What weighed heavily on her mind that night was not the triumph of finishing the race, but her desperate desire to change her shirt...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Love of her Lifetime - Full Article

Amateur Felisa Read finds her perfect match with an unlikely partner

November 14, 2022
By Christina Keim

In the dark, damp, early morning hours of June 11, 2022, 34 endurance competitors were busily making final preparations for the American Endurance Ride Conference 100 Mile National Championship at Old Dominion in Virginia. A cold rain had started the night before, and continued now, just before dawn, where it soaked through gloves, ran into boots, and saturated the rocky trails that competitors were slated to tackle beginning at 5:30 AM. Perhaps most of the assembled riders did not consider these to be the ideal conditions for this long, grueling ride, respectfully nicknamed “the beast of the east” by those who have attempted it. But at least one rider smiled as raindrops fell from her hood.

“Lenny loves the rain,” says his owner/rider Felisa Read with a laugh. “That’s his Morgan half. It was really cool and wet, so for us it was a good advantage. I was happy—I think I said before the ride I’ll be happy if it rains all day.”

17 hours, 8 minutes, 35 seconds, and 100 sodden, slippery miles later, Read and her 22-year-old Morab partner would cross the finish line, pulse down and jog for the vets one last time before officially earning their new title of “Decade Team” from the AERC. This coveted award is presented to horse and rider teams that have completed at least one 50-mile endurance ride in each of ten years; a true testament not just to perseverance but to outstanding horsemanship...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

2022 November's Horses in the Morning Podcast - Listen

Endurance: Completing Your First 50, Decade Teams, Horse Trailer Winterization for Nov 8, 2022

Guests Joni Burden and Samantha Shoemaker join Karen Chaton for a fun filled chat about the perseverance required to ride endurance; whether finishing your first 50 or racking up the miles with three Decade Team horses. Plus, part two of our discussion on winterizing your horse trailer.


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Endurance Horse Podcast with Cameron Holzer

EnduranceHorsePocast - Listen

Cameron Holzer- TEVIS 2022

Episode 57 of Endurance Horse Podcast is being published 23rd of July 2022.

Today on Endurance Horse Podcast I have the pleasure of chatting with lifelong endurance rider, Cameron Holzer. Cameron has been involved with horses and endurance from a very young age. Cameron has 14,000 lifetime AERC miles and has represented the USA at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. This year Cameron and her homebred mare, CH Fancy Finesse, made it into the top 5 finish at Tevis 2022 placing 5th. Such an amazing accomplishment to have bred, raised, trained and competed on a horse that was once just a dream, and idea come to life.

Without further ado, I welcome you to episode 57 of Endurance Horse Podcast.