Sunday, July 21, 2019

2019 TEVIS Riders!  Contribute to Research and Win Cool Stuff!

Again this year, the Western States Trail Foundation is sponsoring a cutting edge veterinary study on the horses doing the ride.  

Jerry Gillespie, DVM, professor/retired at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and his colleagues will be conducting a study of the level of dehydration in competing horses by following the weight loss in the horses during the ride.  In addition this study will measure the transport dehydration of the horses traveling to the ride.  This is an important aspect of this study because it will provide the absolute extent of dehydration of these exceptional athletes during the Tevis performance.
Dehydration, as measured by weight loss, is a critical factor affecting performance. Preliminary studies have shown that  travel time to the ride and exertion in the early portion of the ride may represent a major portion of the weight loss. This year's study will examine that premise.

Dr. Gillespie is requesting that participating riders have their horses weighed prior to transport to the ride (home-stable weights). Riders can usually find a veterinary practice, livestock-sales scale or other facilities that can accurately weigh their horses in their neighborhood (within an hour's travel from their home stable).  The Research Team will be prepared to collect “arrival weights” at at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn or at Robie Park within hours of your of your arrival at the Tevis venue. Then, all horses will be weighed at Robie Park after their vet exam, representing their ride starting weight. During the ride, horses will be weighed at Robinson Flat, Foresthill, at the finish, and the morning after.  

The results of this study will provide riders with critical information regarding their travel plans to rides. The Western States Trail Foundation has as part of its mission the scientific study of horses in endurance competition. Much of what has been learned and published about equine endurance physiology was from studies conducted at the Tevis Ride.  

We hope riders will participate enthusiastically in Dr. Gillespie's study. Those who fully participate (home weight through finish weight) will receive an amazing collection of thank you gifts, including;
• One entry into an exclusive drawing for a wireless hylofit heart monitor ($600+ value), donated by Hylofit
• A $10 gift certificate for the Tevis Store
• A photo plaque with an image from the ride, courtesy of the research team
• A beautiful commemorative map of the trail from Starfire Design Studio 
In addition, Dr. Jamie Kerr will award $100 to the rider who provides the most thorough/informative log of their travel to the Tevis (along with home weight)!

With appreciation,

Jeff Herten, MD 
Chair, Tevis Veterinary Committee

More information at:

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Historic hoof steps: Posse members ride in tradition of Pony Express - Full Article

By Hali Bernstein Saylor Boulder City Review
July 17, 2019

In her long-sleeved red shirt, brown hat and vest, Julie Sprague followed in the footsteps — or more appropriately hoof steps — of her great-great-grandfather, Elijah Nicholas Wilson, participating in the 2019 Pony Express Re-ride.

Sprague and her friend Krissy Bishop, members of the Boulder City Mounted Posse, rode a 7-mile leg June 19 between Fort Churchill and Carson City in Northern Nevada during the annual event that commemorates the rides taken nearly 160 years ago.

They followed the route from Saint Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, that the original riders traveled, including Wilson, who was one of the 53 original Pony Express riders.

“The fact that we get to keep history alive is pretty special,” Sprague said. “Every time I think about it I get so emotional. I hope I made him proud...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sallie Suzanna Kimmel Sullivan Passes

LAURENS, S.C. – Sallie Suzanna Kimmel Sullivan, 66, of 274 Johnson Road and formerly of Canfield, wife of James Earl “Jim” Sullivan, passed away on July 9, 2019, at her home.

Sallie worked side by side her husband of 42 years from 1999 to 2019. She was the Vice President of RB Fabricators, Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio.

Born in Youngstown, she was a daughter of the late Richard Calvin and Patricia Bartholomy Kimmel. Sallie grew up around and dedicated her life pursuits to her passion for horses. She grew up working for the family business, Kimmel’s Saddle Shop, making browbands, cavessons, gun holsters and rebuilding saddles. Sallie was a member of 4-H and a member of the Mahoning County Saddle and Bridle Association that sponsored the well-renowned Youngstown Charity Horse Show.

She was a founding lifetime member and board member of Buckeye Horse Park. Sallie also operated her own seamstress business, Mateef Equine Designs, where she created show apparel and competitive gear for endurance riders. She was also a member of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) with 3,540 registered miles with many more miles under saddle training and pleasure riding. As an endurance rider, Sallie was as passionate about mentoring other riders as she was about racing. Sallie was also a member of the Greenford Christian Church in Greenford, Ohio.

Sallie and her daughter Megan hosted the Survivor Run event at Buckeye Horse Park since 2014 to share her passion of endurance riding and to promote awareness to early breast cancer detection.

In addition to her husband, Sallie leaves behind her children: Megan S. Hruska and husband Steve of Greenville, S.C.; Adam James Sullivan of Greenville, S.C.; a brother, Brian Kimmel of Burton; a sister, Gail “Cookie” Hull and husband Michael of Boardman; two grandchildren, Tyler Sullivan, and Evan Hruska. She also leaves behind her beloved animals, especially Penny the Pug.

A visitation will be held at The Kennedy Mortuary on Saturday, July 13, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m.

A celebration of life will be held at Greenford Christian Church in Canfield on Saturday, July 27, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Flowers are welcomed and memorials may be made to Greenford Christian Church, 11767 Lisbon Rd, Greenford, OH 44422.

Visit to express condolences to the family.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Calling for Horse Selfie Photo Contest Entries and Votes!

We're still taking entries for's second photo contest, "HORSIE" - a selfie photo of you and your horse!

Top prize up for grabs is a custom painting by artist Steph Teeter.

Second through sixth prizes up for grabs are listed on our Contest page.

Highest number of votes wins - one vote per email address per day.

Enter your photos and vote now! at

See more of Steph's artwork at:

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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

July 9, 2019

Karen Chaton explains what tailing in an endurance ride is and how to do it safely, Alex Lewis tells us about her upcoming adventure to ride in the Gobi Desert Cup and, Plan, Prepare, Implement: Large Animal Emergency Evacuation Planning author Vicky Beelik offers some tips.

Listen in...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

“To finish is to win” mantra of Barriere 50 mile endurance ride - Full Article

'No Bitch'in Barriere Ride-Just Ride' came off for both horses and riders without a hitch

Jul. 11, 2019

When the first truck and trailer arrived on Wednesday it became a reality, we were hosting the ‘No Bitch’in Barriere Ride – Just Ride’ endurance ride! After months of planning, strategizing, three trips to our property in the Barriere area to clear parking spots, mark trail, and do set up, we were ready. All 35 parking spots were filled and 46 horses were ready to go. We had capped the number of entries for the ride, to ensure adequate parking and being newbie ride managers, we wanted to make it a memorable manageable experience.

Endurance rides are races over a trail consisting of varied and challenging terrain. Horses are checked by qualified veterinarians and judges before, during, and after the ride. Endurance riders have to learn to condition their horse so that it can maintain a steady, fast pace over long distances. Riders and the ride crews work diligently to have the horses finish sound and healthy. The mantra for long distance riders is “to finish is to win...”

Read more at:

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

2019 Tevis Cup: First 8 Junior Entries are Free!

JUNIORS RIDE FOR FREE! Thanks to several generous sponsors who have contributed to a fund dedicated to Junior Rider entries – the first EIGHT Junior Riders will have their entry fee PAID! Juniors are between 12 and 18 years old as of August 17, 2019. Both the junior and the sponsor must be qualified. The sponsor’s entry must accompany the junior’s entry. Sponsors must be 18 years of age by the ride date. Riders are responsible for their own stall and/or buckle fees.

More information at

Monday, July 08, 2019

Volunteering for Tevis

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Tevis Cup Ride. About 800 people participate each year on Ride Day – more than four per rider!

If you know what you'd like to do, or if you just want to help wherever needed, fill out our Volunteer Signup form. Our Volunteer Coordinator will respond and try to place you appropriately according to the needs of the Ride and to your needs and skills.

For help volunteer on trail maintenance contact Nicole (Chappell) Wertz or go to

Go here to get more information about volunteering with Communications or complete the Communications Signup Form.

To participate as a Sweep Rider, check out the S.O.S. website:

Please Note:
As you might imagine, the Ride is a huge effort that relies completely on volunteers. There are Head Volunteers who provide the leadership for each of the many vet checks, as well as other areas of Ride activity. These "HV's" necessarily operate with a good deal of independence, but under the overall guidance and coordination of the Ride Director and the Core Ride Committee. The need for volunteers in some areas may not be known until late in the weeks leading up to Ride Day.

More information at:

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Now Taking Entries for Endurance.Net's "HORSIE" Photo Contest!

May 22 2019

Self photographers and voters from around the world enthusiastically participated in's first photo contest, "Between the Ears", sharing their favorite trail views from the saddle. Bonnie Girod, from Libby, Montana, and her grade half Arabian Luna won first place and a custom painting by Steph Teeter.

Now it's time to enter's second photo contest, "HORSIE"!

A "HORSIE" shot is a Horse + Selfie. Take a selfie photo of you with your horse. Be creative, be humorous, be artistic. Email them to and include a few short details - your name, horse's name, and where the photo was taken.

Then start voting! One vote per email address per day is allowed. Anybody can enter; anybody can vote. Send your daily votes to .

We'll upload the photos to this page on, and post updates on's Facebook page, and everybody will be able to choose their favorite and vote via email. Contest begins today, July 2, and closes July 31.

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth places will be determined by sheer number of votes and will receive special prizes. Previous first place winners are not eligible for the first place prize :) .

First Place will receive a small painted portrait of your choice (horse or other pet), courtesy Steph Teeter ( ).

Second place will receive a copy of Merri Melde's book, Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest Endurance Ride (soft cover or ebook, your choice).

Third place will receive a copy of Leonard Liesen’s book ‘Endurance: a French Perspective'.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth places will receive a gift certificate from Riding Warehouse for $50, $25, and $10, respectively.

Send in your photos now, and vote once a day, now!

**Photos can be taken anywhere around the world, but USA addresses only are eligible for prizes, unless you want to pay postage and insurance**

Thursday, June 27, 2019

AHA Distance Nationals Entry Deadline is October 1

June 27 2019

The Distance Horse National Championships , to be held October 25-27 in Vinita, Oklahoma, is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which include Open Owl Hoot Rides along with breed National Championships. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA), the Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Registry (ASR).
Along with our many National Breed Championships we also offer an Open Owl Hoot Spook AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride and several Open Owl Hoot Spook Limited Distance, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile rides. This year all endurance Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC.) The Distance Horse National Championships have also added the LD Challenge to the event which is for the same rider/horse combination entered in the all three Open Limited Distance Rides; rules and the point schedule can be found under the Exhibitor Information tab. Remember that all Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides are open to all breeds and require no qualifications or memberships!
430799 E 220 Rd.
Vinita, OK 74301

For schedule and more information see:


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Robie Run: LS Steele Breeze ("Breezy") - Remington Steele x LS Shareem

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019

“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are reading this article, you know exactly what Emerson meant.

Horses have been inspiring humans for centuries, and those that reach the pinnacle of the Wendell Robie Trophy - signifying five completions of the Tevis Cup - are demonstrably special individuals. Here we present the stories of two such creatures, both of which will be at the starting line (fingers crossed), ready to add their names to the trophy in 2019.

LS Steele Breeze ("Breezy") - Remington Steele x LS Shareem

[written by Erin Glassman]

You may have to train your ears to listen for one of the latest horses competing in the race for her 500th Tevis mile.

Robie Cup contender LS Steele Breeze15, Breezy, lost her voice due to a bout with strangles as a yearling.

Owner Connie Creech says that “people laugh at her whinny—it comes out as a whisper.”

Breezy’s endurance career, however, is no laughing matter.

Born and bred on Creech’s farm in 2000, the grey ⅞ Arabian mare was raised specifically to do endurance. Her current lifetime accumulation of 4,690 AERC miles reflects her inherent talent that also includes a propensity for 100 mile rides.

“Breezy has completed seventeen 100 mile rides, six of those at the Virginia City 100 and four at Tevis,” states Creech. “She is a strong and steady horse...”

Read more at:

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

Jun 11, 2019

Karen catches us up on her adventures from the last month and shares an Endurance Tip on avoiding equipment failure. We’ll hear from Kristen about our Product of the Month. Mike Williams will join in to tell us how he recently rode his mustang a WHOLE LOT of miles from Norco to Bishop, CA. Cindy Collins comes on to talk about taking over ride management of the Big Horn 100 in Wyoming. Andrea Maitland gives us a ride report on a new ride in Arizona. And then, we’ll let you know about some upcoming events taking place all over the country. Listen in...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Nominations Due July 8 for AERC Awards

There are only a couple weeks left to make your nominations for Hall of Fame Person and Equine, Pard'ners Award, Volunteer Service Award and Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award. Only a few nominations have been received; don't delay in getting your nominations in by July 8!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

MERGA: Make Endurance Riding Great Again

by Merri Melde
June 19 2019

I love the stories of the Good Ol' Days of endurance riding. The days when AERC was new, people were younger, tougher, drove a decrepit 2-horse rig and threw their tack in the back of their beat up pickup and slept on the ground (or didn't sleep at all) and wore jeans and no helmets. (Lori Oleson wrote a good book, if you haven't read it: Endurance... Years Gone By)

It's time to face the fact that those Good Ol' Days are gone. I so wish I were wrong about this, but we are not going to see another Smokey Killen and Bandit, nor Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif, nor Becky Hart and Rio. We won't see the fierce and fabled yearly mileage competition between Les Carr and Trilby Pederson.

There is not a groundswell of tough, young, obsessed riders coming up to replace us. Nobody drives a beat up rig and sleeps on the ground and wears jeans and a Western saddle anymore. Nobody's going to win Tevis and Virginia City 100 twelve times. Nobody's going to be king of the 5-day 255-mile endurance rides, because the stats say there aren't any, because nobody wants to ride them, or nobody has the horses to ride them, and ride managers don't have the entries to support them, because as an organization, the stats say we're all getting collectively old, and our horses are getting old and it's too hard or far to ride.

As it is now, if it were a for-profit business, AERC would fail. AERC as an organization is, to many, giving off the appearance of being exclusionary, blinkered and anti-change. For a business to survive, you have to give your customers what they want. If you can't provide the things that customers want, you have no customers, and you have no business. Those clients will go elsewhere. AERC has many different customers, and if it can't cater to all of them, category by category, they will go elsewhere to get what they want.

It is already happening right now in front of our eyes. We are all witnessing AERC splintering at all the seams, dropping off body parts one by one. AERC/FEI is toast. EDRA - whether it will remain viable or not - formed and (at times bitterly) split the Pacific Northwest region. The Duck rides had to adapt to change - to what the customers want - which may slice a large body part off if it splits from AERC. East vs West is coming. "LD" vs "Endurance" is a dagger in the heart of the sport. Crucifying the ride managers to conform to the Good Ol' Days mileage standards of AERC - which the Duck pointed out that many of those rides were before GPS and not measured accurately either - and which is not practical - is cutting off another limb.

What would that guy that used to have that TV show The Apprentice say if you brought AERC's current business plan to him? He'd say You're Fired. Your business plan is not viable.

AERC as an organization needs to decide what it wants. Is it just to provide mileage records and integrity and safety for the horses? Is it to maintain the integrity of Endurance as only 50 miles and up? Is it to keep long distance riding going in any form? Is it to only follow the rules and bylaws from the beginning of AERC? Is it to embrace riders of all distances and breeds to get out and ride - because does it really matter what breed you ride or how far? Is it to preserve the memories of Endurance in years gone by?

Are the semantics (you're only an endurance rider if you ride exactly 50 miles or more) more important than customers? The numbers of LD riders are growing across the country and helping support AERC rides. Most often now, they carry the events. Does AERC want that income? If semantics are more important, is AERC even necessary anymore? The unbeatable records and memories will always be there.

In another decade or two, will people look fondly back at AERC and think, "Whadda buncha Luddites. They were nice, but they all disappeared" or "They're still here, they were innovating and forward-thinking; they took from the old ways and adapted to the changing times" ?

Why do people ride endurance?

*I* define Endurance Riding as someone getting on a horse in an organized AERC ride, and attempting to ride 25 to 100 miles in one day. That is *MY* definition. I don't ride endurance to get awards or recognition. I don't care what people think of what distance I ride or where I finish. I currently ride endurance to get on a good horse out on trails I would normally never see. I ride it for the new stories I create and write about. I ride it for the challenge of getting a horse (and me) fit for 50 miles. I ride it because I love the partnership you develop getting a horse to this point. I ride it to share fun with like-minded friends who like riding in beautiful country. I ride it because I can choose from a myriad of goals within the sport. That is why I ride endurance right now. My goals will change over time, and it would be nice to still have all those options within AERC, and to have the support and encouragement from like-minded horse people, whether I decide to start riding 25 mile rides or attempt a 100 mile ride again, or do trail rides while the other crazies are riding farther.

AERC is approaching crisis mode. Where does the organization go from here? AERC *HAS* the willing customers. People *WANT* to pay to ride pre-marked trails of all distances. Maybe not as many people want to ride 255 miles or 100 miles or 75 miles or 50 miles anymore, but they want to ride. Repeat: people are still willing to *PAY MONEY* to do this, and they are willing to pay to be a member of *SOME* organization to be a part of it.

Yes, it was good times during the Good Ol' Days of endurance riding. Those ways and days are gone. Do we just let the sport die to prove a point? Or do we change to keep it going and give the willing customers what they want?

I am sad to see the Good Ol' Days are gone, but I would be sadder to see Endurance die off. Ignore everything, and the body continues to fall to pieces, limb by limb, until it can no longer support itself and it collapses.

It doesn't have to happen. We can start the new Good Ol' Days now. Americans were the leaders of the sport of endurance riding. We can still be the leaders into the new era. Change the rules, change the direction, change the purpose, or change the name of the organization. It's time for a new era in Endurance Riding.


**The opinions expressed above are my opinions on endurance, and I am always right. Unless I change my mind, in which case I am still right.

Endurance: A Look to the Future

by The Duck, Dave Nicholson

After being actively involved in the sport of endurance for fifty-seven years, fifty-one of those as an event manager Ann and I look to the future with a heavy heart. Plain and simple, the sport is fading away and I see nothing on the horizon to keep it going. Its not just endurance riding that is failing; its all of the activities I have spent my life enjoying. Horse racing, horse shows, endurance and all other equine disciplines are on a steep decline. The AERC, in their infinite inability to look to the future and see what their actions will result in, are on the brink of financial collapse as they move to drastically cut back on the attendance of their sanctioned events. Anyone who thinks increasing mileages of existing rides by ten to thirty-five percent is not living in the real world. The demographics of the sport have changed dramatically as riders have aged and there are too few of today’s youth willing or able to make up the difference. Every endurance rider now living is going to die and as they get older and closer to death and debilitating dysfunctions they are going to no longer be able to do 100’s, then 50’s then 25’s and finally they won’t be able to get out of bed and go pet their old favorite horse. That folks, is an eternal truth. The path to successful continuation of the sport is to deal with that fact and offer venues that will offer the least able of us to continue to enjoy.

There was a time when Endurance was a growth sport. That growth came mainly from horse people who were tired of the increasing structure (rules) in CTR and horse show events. Endurance was a new sport that took riders and their horses to beautiful new places where they could share their love of the outdoors with their horses. AERC was started as a record keeping organization based in the west. Ride managers were free to improvise under broad interpretations of the basic rules. Over time that concept has succumbed to the “too many cooks spoil the broth” theory. Every new rule results in tightening the noose around the neck of ride managers. Its easy to sit in a board room, far from an event and order ride managers to strict interpretations of the many rules, but its a far different story when a RM is face to face with someone who has supported their event for years, and have to tell them they have to abide by some edict “because its in the rules”. Over the many years we have been involved in the sport, Ann and I have always tried to do what was fair and reasonable in keeping the spirit of the rules in mind. However, that practice has resulted in increasing grief and criticism in which we are no longer willing to withstand.

The latest and most egregious, of the recent decisions is over the mileage issue. Let me be absolutely clear: AERC has never had accurate mileage in a large percentage of the sanctioned rides. I know this as I was one of the few who had the equipment and ability to ride motorcycles with accurate rally odometers over many of the courses of years past, including the Tevis. Even back in the day when most of the country was open to motorized vehicles, the common practice for measuring mileage was by drawing the trail on a topographical map and then using a string to lay over the trail and measure the mileage using the scale at the bottom. The potential for error was huge, especially in difficult terrain. Our events were historically long and accurate as most were measured by the motorcycle odometer. Winning times of five hours with the last riders coming in before the 12 hour cut off were reasonable and were the standard for the sport. Since the advent of the GPS, there is a possibility of more accurate mileage when used properly by knowledgeable technicians. However, that requires a drastic change in what has been done in the past and leaves future riders being forced to compete against mileage records that are completely unsubstantiated as to correct mileage. No rational person can honestly believe that holding the western rides, which generally take place over more challenging terrain, to additional mileage requirements of ten to thirty-five percent for sanctioning, as not having a serious draconian effect on the AERC and the individual events. It will kill some of them. Kat Swigart in her infinite wisdom has proved beyond a doubt that many beautiful trails and venues will not support “accurate GPS mileage”. There is plenty of historical statistics to show what happens to rides when a competing ride shortens their trail. AERC BOD members are the poster children of short rides. For years they have gotten away with pointing fingers at others while putting on events that were ludicrously short.

So what is the way forward? I can’t speak for everyone, but this is what we are planning. This will be the last year that AERC sanctioned XP Rides will compensate for mileage with a time factor. Obviously our “short” rides that are taking 5.5 to 6.5 hours for people like Christoph Schork to win with some riders barely finishing or coming in overtime will become very difficult and close to impossible for people and horses to safely complete when additional miles are added. One of last years Mt Carmel rides would have only had two finishers on time if the remainder of riders continued the additional mileage at the same pace. If we are to do that, we will see the rides fade away as the number of riders and horses able to step up the pace are simply not available. The resulting drop in attendance can and will result in cancellation of rides as we will be unable to continue with the significantly fewer numbers. Bear in mind that Terry Wooley Howe cancelled a very popular and well attended ride because she needed a minimum of 65 riders a day to break even. Another west region manager told me they have to have a hundred riders to break even. While we can manage on smaller numbers we cant afford to drop to the level that will result with “accurate GPS mileage”. The only way forward I can presently see is to create a new association that will keep endurance records in the future. Keeping records is what AERC was originally all about but that has given way to micromanaging the ride managers in a mistaken attempt to “level the playing field”. Playing fields aren’t level when competing over varied terrain. Comparing 50 mile rides that are won in the 3 to 4 hour range with 35 to 40 mile rides that are won in the 6 to 7 hour range is ludicrous to say the least. It’s incredible the combined AERC BOD fail to see what increasing ride mileage from 10 to 35 percent is going to do to attendance. Its a no win situation for riders, management as well as the AERC. It has been suggested that we simply make the rides flat and easy so we can have accurate mileage. That is an antithesis to the XP model, which is to put on rides in scenic places on interesting but doable trails and over lands that can not be regularly accessed by the general public. Riders through the years have used the winning and final completion times in their decision making process when considering attending a ride that is new to them. I can see no way to come close to a “level playing field” than to include a time factor with GPS mileage. The standard in the west, as well as my personal standard was to adjust 50 mile rides to have a winning time of 5 to 5.5 hours and have all of the riders in by 11 hours. This worked in the past and will work for us in the future.

The way forward for XP Rides will be to continue doing the same rides as we always have with our same attitude towards being fair and consistent with everyone. We will do this by creating a new organization that will keep fees and rules to an absolute minimum. There is a model already in place for what we are planning. ECTRA, an eastern CTR organization has been co-sanctioning with endurance rides and keeping mileage records for their members that includes mileage from ANY organized distance event. As riders choose to participate in this new organization their combined mileages from AERC LD AND endurance miles will be combined, as will mileage from any other structured event, such as EDRA, FEI, NATRC and the XP Rides miles. LETS BE CLEAR: A FUTURE ORGANIZATION WILL ALLOW RIDERS TO START THEIR NEW MILEAGE RECORDS WITH THEIR CURRENT FEI, AERC, EDRA, XP AND CTR MILEAGES ALL COMBINED. After all, if creating a record of accomplishments for riders and horses is what is important, we should look at the big picture. A database is being created at present and we hope to have something up and running by then end of the AERC and FEI seasons. December 1st seems to be a common ending for competitive events and we hope a new Western Endurance Ride Association, composed of western endurance rides and riders will be in place at that time. The geographical area of the organization will start with the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and a small part of western South Dakota and include all states west of that geographic area. I want to be absolutely clear that we are not trying to replace AERC and we will continue to request AERC sanctioning but we will be more judicious in following the AERC rulebook. This will require significantly more effort on the part of riders. It will also require more effort on the part of management and judges. This is where the epigram “We can’t fix stupid but we can charge for it” comes into play. This is a good time to consider what it costs to conduct an FEI ride and why the entry fees are so high. The future, as I see it, is for western rides to offer events that offer dual opportunities to satisfy the needs of ride managers and riders alike.

I am truly sorry that it has come to this. I would have much preferred to see AERC become the a true National Body that would see a way forward to accommodate the many facets of our sport. Its about time we start looking at what we can do to save the sport.

A response from an AERC BOD member who “gets it”:

Comparing a mountainous and technically demanding course of western rides with flat and easy terrain in other parts of the country is just insane. It has been argued by SE riders that the humidity and high temps of some of these areas are also very demanding on the horses and match the challenges of our technical terrain. I have ridden in the winter months in these states and it is rather pleasant then. The rides are flat and have pleasant temperatures on top of it. The AERC Board could work on this mileage issue by implementing a difficulty rating in courses. That difficulty rating, or handicap system like they have in South Africa or Europe, is based on the winning time of the previous years course. This has worked well for ride managers in the west and is more in line with international practices. Marc Lindsay, from South Africa, who is working with me at the GETC has agreed to write a summary for us to explain how it is working and how it can get implemented.

Many riders just cannot do Multidays rides anymore when rides are excessively long. I have seen it with the Ft Stanton rides as an example. Years ago there were many Pioneer entries at Ft Stanton. It used to be a big ride. It was a rocky SOB, but it had good entry numbers nevertheless. Roger Taylor succumbed to the pressure by the AERC Board and made his rides so long that not one rider finished either of his Pioneer events last year. Not a single one! In fact, his entries for the 50 were down to 6 entries on the last day. The demographics have changed and the average age of riders is older and they just cannot and do not want to do it anymore. Ft Stanton entries are just a shadow from what they once were. In talking to Roger he said he felt pressured to make his rides now over 50 miles just to keep the critics at bay. He barely has any revenue anymore, surely not enough to continue without outside support. I’m not sure he can even afford to conduct them anymore. That is totally ludicrous.

The threats and intimidation tactics employed by some BOD members towards RMs for so-called short rides have to stop. Otherwise we soon won’t have any RMs anymore. Who is going to be willing to do all the work organizing rides, often loosing money while doing so, and then be expected to accept abuse by AERC Board members on top of it all?

According to statistics on the AERC website, if XP Rides were counted as a region they would be the third largest region in the AERC. Should XP Rides not be sanctioned in the future , the ripple effect could very well cause other ride managers to follow that path. That would spell disaster for AERC.


Those who have misrepresented that I have admitted to running 35 mile 50’s are wrong. We have never run a 35 mile 50. We have tried to explain, over and over that the tracks we give out at the ride are truncated. Those who do not know what a truncated track file is have no business commenting on GPS mileage. The tracks that I have from OTHER AERC RIDES, not XP Rides, are the ones that get down into the thirties. Many of the rides judged as “short” have inherent errors in the calculation. We have made it clear that we have done what was the industry standard over the years. The point is that AERC needs to adapt to new technology in a modern world. Once again, all riders know that Riding Time is the most accurate prediction of difficulty for a course. Hopefully the AERC, in a good faith effort will come up with a solution that will allow all the rides, east and west, to prosper. If not, the AERC and the sport is likely to cease to exist.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Minnesota: Horses compete in endurance rides with echoes of the Pony Express - Full Article

Andrew Link /

PRESTON - Riders and their horses rode through Forestville State Park this weekend in endurance rides reminiscent of the Pony Express of the 1860s.

The rides involved 50- and 25-mile contests — marathon horseback riding through the woods — but it wasn’t just about how far or how fast a horse could go.

It was also about stamina and conditioning. At the end of their first loop through the shaded park, the horses would stop at camp for a vet check...

Read more here:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bemer Cuff, Scoot Boots and Fellow Endurance Riders Save the Day(s) at City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride

June 17 2019
by Merri

I felt something rip below my knee when I squatted down, 2 nights before the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride, and I'd been hoping to try and ride all 3 days on Hillbillie Willie.

Fortunately Naomi Preston saw me limping the next day. She offered me her Bemer Cuff for equines. "Bemer originated in Germany 20 years ago," Naomi said, "and delivers a patented PEMF (pulsed electro magnetic frequency) signal. It improves microcirculation and helps the body heal itself. Use it 3 times a day if you can." I did, because I really wanted to ride!

And it was either the BEMER cuff or a miracle or both, but the strain or sprain or whatever it was went away and I did not once feel it the rest of the weekend! (Naomi is a distributor of the BEMER cuff; if you want more information you can PM her.)

It was Hillbillie Willie's first attempt at finishing 3 days of a Pioneer ride at City of Rocks. His riding partner was Jackpot Jackson, with Debbie Grose aboard. The two geldings were moving along splendidly on Day 1, into the first vet check - when we discovered Jack had lost his right front shoe. With the vet check out of camp, no farrier was available, and when we hollered if anybody had an Easyboot to spare, there wasn't one.

However, Francis Lewis had a spare Scoot Boot that he offered. It happened to fit. Jack finished the ride with no problem, escorting and mentoring Hillbillie Willie through Day 1. Fellow rider Lee Pearce put a shoe and pad on Jack when we got back to camp, and Deb packed the Scoot Boot in her saddle bags for Day 2, just in case.

On Day 2's 55-miler, on the first loop we came upon 2 horses and riders on the Boise-Kelton stage trail, one of whom had lost a shoe. (Made us think of those old days where the horses and oxen lost their shoes, some of which you can still find on those old trails, if you know where to look.) Deb was able to offer Jeff and DWA Malik her new Scoot Boot - and Malik went on to finish 3rd and take Best Condition.

Wisely, at the vet check, Deb fetched the second Scoot Boot from Francis (she bought the pair), which happened to come in awful handy when, out on the second loop in one heck of a frigid wind storm blowing down off the mountain, one of Jack's hind shoes twisted. After wrangling the shoe off and the boot on (made challenging with human fingers freeing, and horses trying to keep butts to wind), Jack finished Day 2 sound and ready to continue.

Wisely, Deb packed the other spare boot in her saddle bag for Day 3. Which came in handy when, near the end of the first loop, the other of Jack's hind shoes started clinking! At the vet check, Regina got the shoe off and Deb put the second Scoot Boot on Jack's hind foot, and with the two hind Scoot Boots, he finished the third day of City of Rocks - his first 3-day pioneer ride completion.

That's one of the best parts of endurance riding - the willingness of other riders to help you get back on your horse and keep going. So, thank you Naomi Preston and BEMER, thank you Francis Lewis, thank you Scoot Boots, and thank you Lee Pearce for the shoe; all that effort got 1 rider and 3 horses through finishes at City of Rocks!

Friday, June 14, 2019

First Leg of Inaugural Idaho IronHorse Challenge a Boisterous Success

Three Pioneer Rides, Nine Days, One Amazing Challenge -- Are you made of Iron?

by Merri
June 15 2019

Challenging weather, beautiful scenery, tough desert and mountain trails: the first leg of the inaugural Idaho Ironhorse Challenge showcased a taste of what Idaho endurance riding has to offer at the City of Rocks Pioneer ride near Almo, Idaho on June 6-8.

Together with the July 26-28 Top O' The World Pioneer ride near Spencer, Idaho, and the Autumn Sun Pioneer ride October 10-13 near Gooding, Idaho, this 'Triple Crown' challenge idea was the brainchild of ride managers 'The Two Jessicas'.

"The idea was mine initially," said Autumn Sun ride manager Jessica Huber.  "Then [Top O' the World ride manager Jessica] Cobbley and I put it together as we marked trail across the desert!" Steph Teeter's City of Rocks Pioneer was the obvious choice for the first leg of the challenge.

One horse & rider, nine days, 465 miles

Following the conclusion of City of Rocks Pioneer, 27 horse and rider teams and/or riders are in contention for some version of the Idaho IronHorse crown.

The Idaho IronHorse

Four horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of 50's:
Lee Pearce & JAC Winterhawk
Merri Melde & Owyhee Shotgun Rider (owned by Steph Teeter)
Debbie Grose & Jackpot Jackson
Nance Worman & Second Chance Fance

The Idaho IronHorse LD
Fourteen horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of Limited Distance:
Joan Zachary & Chico
Carrie Johnson & Payback Daysea Duke
Catherine Cook & HMR Diamonds R Forever
Carol Delisi & DJ Restless Wind
Tonya Stroud-Oaks & Amara's Sonata
Terry Doyle & Benny
LuAnn Rod & Shakeel's Sparkle
Marlene Moss & SA Alamo
Stace Moss & Cerro Blanco
Donna Lacy-Bacon & Echcentric DPA
Katrin Levermann & Double Bey Latte
Clarissa Hale & SB Above The Law
Kaili Worth & Red
Sandy Smallwood & Ty

The Idaho IronButt
Six riders completed all 3 days on different horses, any distance:
Bill Hobbs & Segulls Jester/JV Remington
Dave Rabe & White Cloud/Rushcreek Okay/Cocamoe Joe
David Laws & Che Ole/Fancy Grace
Viginia Jenkins & TM Concealed Carrie/RA China Doll
Trinity Jackson & Ebony/Hope/Rusty
Christy Pogue & Serya Nyte Flyte/Stormy Mae

The Idaho IronTeam

Three horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of different distances:
Bobbi Walker & Dreamer
Valerie Jaques & BS Malabar Dark Demon
Shyla Williams & Bes Soumra Bint Karah

It's six weeks till the start of the second leg of the Idaho IronHorse Challenge at Top O' The World Pioneer. Stay tuned!

More info on the Idaho Ironhorse at:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Monk: Another Tevis Finish Means Robie Cup

by Jaya Mae Gregory

I first saw Monk during the Haggin Cup judging a few years ago. It was a year I had not finished the Tevis Cup myself and so I was rested well enough to enjoy the judging. His rider, Lindsay Graham Fisher, was a fit and young 30-something. She trotted him out with grace and ease, but he didn’t show as well as the other horses. “He doesn’t trot like a normal Arab, but that’s just him,” says Lindsay. Those who know him best call his trot the “Monk Shuffle.” According to Lindsay, there is no wasted movement in his gaits.

Lindsay first began riding Monk about 10 years ago. The now 17-year-old CMK Arab surprised his rider and owner when he casually trotted to a first place finish at the 2009 AERC National Championship. “We just cruised to first place completely by accident,” said Lindsay. “It was a very humbling experience. That was when I knew what kind of horse I had underneath me.”

Since 2009, Monk has completed several AERC and FEI rides. In 2012, Monk finished strong after 100 miles at the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi. “He looked like a million bucks.” But then he went off to Texas and injured his suspensory. Monk suffered a 50% tear in the ligament, an injury which should have been career ending. However, Monk’s owner, Chris Martin, sent him to UC Davis for stem cell therapy. He was off the rest of 2012 and 2013, but came back strong in 2014.

Since recovering from his injury, Monk has finished the Tevis Cup with his rider Lindsay four consecutive times. Four consecutive times, all in the Top Ten. This year, Monk could not only earn the Robie Cup honor, awarded to those horses who have five Tevis Cup finishes, but if he also finishes in the Top Ten again, he could be the second horse to earn this honor five consecutive years all in the Top Ten, after the horse Wetezarif.

When asked about their secret to success, Lindsay replied, “He gets to just be a horse. He has intense training, but he also gets to just be a horse. He is always ready to go all season. He is always moving, he is always fit.” Owner Chris Martin has Monk living out on several acres and he carefully monitors his weight. He also incorporates a lot of hill work into Monk’s training and does a lot of conditioning miles without the weight of a rider. All of this has proven to work for Monk in the past, and hopefully, his ride through the Tevis Cup this coming August will be another success and earn him the honor of the Robie Cup award.

Regardless of whether or not Monk finishes the Tevis Cup this year, however, he will always hold a permanent place in Lindsay’s heart. “I just feel really lucky that he came into my life. I thought it was going to be a short one or two year thing and even though he’s not my horse, he feels like my horse. [One day] He will get to live out his life with me and get to be loved on by my kids. He’s a very special horse.”

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Tevis: The Road to the Start

Posted Monday, May 27, 2019 8:05pm

Ride Director Message

Tevis training is in full swing. It is always enjoyable to see riders training for Tevis at the west region 50-mile rides. Weather has been cooler than normal here in the west. All of us on the ride committee watch snow levels in the high country and continue to compare year-to-year numbers for patterns in snow melt for planning purposes.

This year’s snow levels, while significant, are behind those of 2017. The ride date has been pushed back to August 17, which in one of the latest dates we have used for running the ride. Therefore, I am confident we will start at Robie Park in August.

Please note that the Western States Endurance Run is happening on Saturday, June 29 and avoid training rides on the trail during that time. If you are in the area, I would encourage you to go to the Placer High School Stadium to watch the runner arrive. The bond between the runners and the riders continues to grow stronger as we support each other. We actually have WSER participants and Board members managing some vet checks and stops at the Tevis this year.

It will be a great year to ride, so please remember the ride date is one month later than previously published, and ride your horse accordingly for the longer season. If you are leasing a horse to ride in the Tevis, we strongly recommend that you check the horse’s record on the AERC website and do your due diligence in selecting your mount.

The Tevis committee does everything it can to make Tevis as safe and enjoyable as possible while maintaining the challenge of crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 24 hours.

The opportunity to support trail maintenance and development is a huge benefit to the organization and is achieved by participation in the Signature Rider Program. Signature riders receive an $800 tax-deductible donation letter in addition to some amazing, high quality swag. If you have questions regarding this program, please email Linda Glazier at We encourage you to be part of this program.

Much more information at:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

2019 Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North

The Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North is the premier equestrian competition in North America for children, junior and young riders, age 12-21. Young equestrians vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing.The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport, and is the only FEI championship held annually on this continent.

The NAYC for Eventing will be held in conjunction with The Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, Mont.), an existing CCI one-two-, and three-star, as well as a CIC three-star, from July 24-28, 2019. The NAYC for Jumping and Dressage will be held as a stand-alone event at Old Salem Farm (North Salem, N.Y.) from July 30-August 4, 2019.

The 2019 NAYC will feature many new improvements which include:

• Expanded prizes including $50,000 in the Junior Jumping Championship and $75,000 in the Young Rider Jumping Championship
• USEF Network live streaming of all competitions as well as FEITV live streaming
• Educational events to provide competitors and parents the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to pursue a career in competitive riding from some of equestrian sports’ greatest stars
• Enhanced social media will allow followers to connect with the Adequan/FEI North American Youth Championships presented by Gotham North @FEINAYC on Facebook and Twitter. Use #FEINAYC.

More information at:

Monday, May 27, 2019

Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback - Full Article

Carole Ann Clark, For the Tribune Published 9:00 a.m. MT May 26, 2019

“In the midst of space--age, high-speed technologies, a band of humans has slowed down the earth and sky sweeping past them by seeing the world from the back of a horse. They are called Long Riders”—quoted from the Long Riders Guild.

If you picked up a copy of the October/November 2018 issue of Montana Senior News, you are already familiar with Bernice Ende and her famous straw hat. The cover of her book gives a back view of Bernice, her hat, her two horses and her dog, Claire. The back view is fitting, since this famed member of the Long Riders Guild seems always to be heading away, down the road, on to the next adventure, leaving behind new-found friends...

Read more here:

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Ready to Ride at City of Rocks Pioneer

The 9th rendition of City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride is coming up: June 6-7-8 in Almo, Idaho.

Basecamp is a large field adjacent to the City of Rocks National Preserve, elevation 5500 ft. The trail footing in this area is very good, with just a few rocky sections - it is NOT a rocky ride! City of Rocks is known for its botanical diversity - you'll see cactus, pinion pine, sagebrush, aspen and sub-alpine fire - all on one day's ride! The wildflowers should be in full bloom in June!

The park has amazing rock formations and scenery, as well as a rich pioneer history which you will experience on the trail. We will have marked Trail rides as well as 25 and 50 mile rides each day. There are plenty of things to do for families and fun. Durfee Hotsprings has swimming and soaking pools for every temperature preference (be sure to bring your swim suit!). Try the Great Pizza at Rock City, and explore the trails and scenic spots. 

City of Rocks is also the first leg of the Idaho Ironhorse: One Horse & Rider, Nine Days, 465 Miles, of City of Rocks, Top O' The World Pioneer (July 26-28) and Autumn Sun Pioneer (October 11-13).

Trail maps have been updated: Day 1, with a 30- and 50-miler, takes you to and through Castle Rocks State Park; day 2 and 3 trails are in COR National Reserve up to Indian Grove at the top of the park, with a 25/55 on day 2 and a 25/50 on day 3.

Riders may register on site, or you can also email your info: [Name, AERC#, Horse(s) AERC# ] to Regina Rose at to give us a head count.

For more information see

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Prepare For the Next Endurance.Net "HORSIE" Photo Contest!

May 22 2019

Self photographers and voters from around the world enthusiastically participated in's first photo contest, "Between the Ears", sharing their favorite trail views from the saddle. Bonnie Girod, from Libby, Montana, and her grade half Arabian Luna won first place and a custom painting by Steph Teeter.

Now, plan your creation and charge your camera batteries, and prepare to enter the's second photo contest, "HORSIE"!

Soon we will take entries for this event with your "HORSIE" shots - Horse + Selfie. Take a selfie photo of you with your horse. Be creative, be humorous, be artistic. Include a few short details - your name, horse's name, and where the photo was taken.

We'll upload them to a page on, and post updates on Facebook, and everybody will be able to choose their favorite and vote via email. First, second, third, fourth, and fifth places will be determined by sheer number of votes and will receive special prizes.

First Place will receive a small painted portrait of your choice (horse or other pet), courtesy Steph Teeter ( ).

Second place will receive a copy of Merri Melde's book, Tevis Cup Magic: Taking on the World's Toughest Endurance Ride (soft cover or ebook).

Third place will receive a copy of Leonard Liesen’s book ‘Endurance: a French Perspective'.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth places will receive a gift certificate from Riding Warehouse for $50, $25, and $10, respectively.

We'll open up entries and voting right after the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride, so look for details and be ready beginning June 10!

Once we open the contest, you can vote for your favorite photo by email. Only one vote per email address per day. Previous first place winners are not eligible for prizes.

After the contest we'll post your photos in an album on our EnduranceNet Facebook page to ogle in perpetuity.

**Photos can be taken anywhere around the world, but USA addresses only are eligible for prizes, unless you want to pay postage and insurance**

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

City of Rocks Pioneer: Got Your Swimsuit?

May 21 2019

Don't forget to pack your swimsuit for the Durfee Hot Springs (reasonable fee required) plunge every evening at City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride, June 6-7-8.

Don't forget to pack your horse for the trails: trail rides, 25/30 milers and 50/55 milers each day through City of Rocks National Reserve and/or Castle Rocks State Park.

City of Rocks is the first leg of the Idaho Ironhorse - 9 days, 465 miles, one horse & rider (or variations thereof!) - which includes Top O' The World Pioneer July 26-28 near Spencer, and Autumn Sun Pioneer October 10-13 near Gooding.

City of Rocks begins in just over two weeks. For more information see:

Monday, May 20, 2019

Biltmore Endurance Challenge attracts big number of competitors - Full Article

20 May 2019
Race Report made with the assistance of Becky Pearman

Biltmore Equestrian Center; Asheville, NC. Friday 3 and Saturday 4 May 2019. The 26th running of the Biltmore Endurance Challenge drew 228 competitors from at least twelve different countries. Both open and FEI races were offered.

The ride, which is un-arguably one of the largest two-day endurance events held in the United States, has a history of traveling through one of the most beautiful estates on American soil.

The Biltmore estate is an 8000 acre working farm and vineyard situated along the French Broad River in Ashville, North Carolina. The trail system traverses hills and woodlands as well as open vineyards and pastures on the west side of the river. Many grand views of the Vanderbilt mansion can be seen from points along the course. This trail can also be technical, with very little flat country.

On Friday, fifty-seven horses started the 50 mile race, and another fifty-three started on the 25 mile ride...

Read more here:

Friday, May 17, 2019

Virginia Tech graduate takes love for horses around the globe - Full Article

May 16 2019
By Robby Korth

CHRISTIANSBURG — Hanna Bartnick loves horses and adventure — and she got to combine the two in her academic career and beyond at Virginia Tech.

She’ll graduate Friday with a degree in animal science, specializing in equine sciences.

To get to graduation, Bartnick took a winding, grinding journey where she worked hard and got her fill of adventure along the way, traveling across continents on horseback. The journey is encapsulated in her capstone class, where she took her passion for endurance riding and wrote a term paper about horse care in the process.

“My whole life revolves around these animals,” said Bartnick, 23, a Roanoke native who graduated from Auburn High School in Riner.

Bartnick’s love for horses started when she was about 5 years old and attending Penn Forest Elementary School in Roanoke County. She would see horses in a nearby field on her way to school and ask her father if she could ride them, she said.

Thinking she’d give up, he said she could get lessons when she turned 8. Bartnick never did, however, and she began taking lessons and clearing stalls and taking care of horses in exchange for riding lessons at that age. By 14, she’d purchased a 6-month-old foal.

Bartnick has a way with troubled horses, her friend and former Tech classmate Casey Lowe said.

Lowe, who worked with Bartnick at Flanagan Stables in Christiansburg, said Bartnick could consistently take in an abused or difficult horse and get them used to people and ready to ride.

“You have to really have a love and trust and respect for the animal,” Lowe said. “Hanna cares deeply about the well-being of her horses...

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

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

Hoof Jewelry, AERC Young Rider Programs, Torrey Creek Pioneer Ride, Endurance Day May 14, 2019
May 14, 2019

Sheila Noel talks about hoof art and Mustangs, Connie Caudill has the latest on the AERC Young Riders programs, and Erin Riley Kelley has a preview of the upcoming Torrey Creek ride in Eureka, NV.

Listen in:

USEF Announces Positive Tests of Cannabinoids (CBD) Will Result in GR4 Violations as of September 1, 2019

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 14, 2019, 4:06 PM EST

Tasked with protecting the welfare of equine athletes and ensuring the balance of competition, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Equine Drugs and Medications Program consistently monitors new products and product claims. From time to time, new products appear on the equine supplement market claiming to enhance a horse’s performance. Over the last several years, cannabinoids have gained increased attention and have become nearly mainstream.

In 2018 Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the “Farm Bill”, which defines “hemp” as both the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any derivatives of cannabis with less than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With the enactment of this bill, “hemp” is no longer considered a controlled substance under federal law, but THC remains a Schedule I drug with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The passage of the Farm Bill has created some potential confusion with respect to the use of these substances with competition horses.

USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Rules prohibit cannabidiols (CBD) and their metabolites. While hemp does not contain more than 0.3% THC, it does contain CBD. CBD, both natural and synthetic forms, are likely to effect the performance of a horse due to its reported anxiolytic effects. This substance is no different than legitimate therapeutics that effect mentation and behavior in horses. It is for these reasons that USEF prohibits CBD and all related cannabinoids. Horses competing under USEF rules who test positive for natural cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids and other cannabimimetics will be considered in violation of GR4 beginning September 1, 2019.

It is important to note that analytical methods are being implemented to detect CBD and similar cannabinoids. Both USEF and FEI list natural cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and other cannabimimetics as prohibited substances. Caution is important when using these products as their composition widely varies and may not be representative of their label claims as there is no regulatory oversight from the FDA, nor guarantee of their safety in horses.

As published literature does not exist noting detection times of these substances in the horse, and because products can widely vary in their compositions and concentrations, detections prior to September 1 will receive warnings. They will be considered to be in “Prior” violation if there are additional detections of cannabinoids following September 1. GR411 Conditions For Therapeutic Administrations of Prohibited Substances does not apply for cannabinoids and medication report forms do not apply.

With regards to human use, any athlete who is subject to testing under the World Anti-Doping Code can refer to the regulations for human use of cannabinoids here.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

First Leg of Idaho Ironhorse Begins in a Month at City of Rocks Pioneer

Wednesday May 8 2019

Idaho Ironhorse Challenge: One Horse & Rider, 9 Days, 465 Miles

What are you and your horse made of?

You're just a month away from the first leg of the Idaho 'endurance Triple Crown': the Idaho Ironhorse. This ultimate endurance riding challenge consists of all 3 days of City of Rocks Pioneer June 6-8 in Almo, Idaho; all 3 days of Top O The World Pioneer July 26-28 near Spencer, Idaho; and all 3 days of the Autumn Sun Pioneer October 11-13 near Gooding, Idaho. Ride the California Trail, the Continental Divide, and the Magic Valley. It will test your horse's ability and your management skill as a rider whether you are riding LDs or 50s.

Rules are: get a completion with the same horse, same rider, same distance, ALL NINE DAYS of City Of Rocks Pioneer, Top O The World Pioneer, and Autumn Sun Pioneer. That’s the whole challenge!

Beginning Friday, June 6, and offering a 25 or 30, or a 50 or 55 every day, City of Rocks Pioneer trails traverse City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park.

Basecamp is in a meadow at 5000' outside the park. The trails are challenging with elevations up to 6700' on Day 1, and 7500' on Days 2 and 3. Footing is very good though, very little rock (except for the scenery), some gravel road, lots of single track in the mountains and jeep roads and cow trails through the BLM land. 

Amenities, you ask? Almo has THE BEST pizza (and an amazing beer collection) at Rock City, a nice steak house at the Almo Inn, and don't forget the hot springs/pools every night at Durfee Hot Springs!

And Juniors ride free in every leg of the Idaho Ironhorse!

If you know you are coming to City of Rocks, please pre-register with Regina Rose at so we have an idea of the numbers coming.

All information for City of Rocks, including trail maps, photos, videos, and stories, can be seen here:

For more information on the Idaho Ironhorse challenge, see:

Friday, May 03, 2019

Lady Long Rider touches the heart of a nation - Full Article

By Jasmine Willis / Genesee Country Express
Posted May 2, 2019 at 12:44 PM
Updated May 2, 2019 at 12:44 PM

DANSVILLE — Imagine embarking on a personal quest across the nation on horseback, and being able to see the human spirit in a very unique way.

Bernice Ende, of Montana, did just that when she began her 15 year journey in 2005 as Lady Long Rider. Ende has traveled all across America and parts of Canada in a 30,000 mile adventure on horseback. This is a historic accomplishment no other has done in recent times. Last year she did hundreds of miles in France as well. However, in all of her travels she feels the northeast is her favorite.

“I had ridden the southwest quite a bit, I had crossed the plains, and been through the rocky mountains. At that time I had crossed the rocky mountains about eight times,” Ende said. “I had ridden through the Sahara desert and little red desert a few times. I had never been out northeast, and I kept wondering what those people were like. I had never had enough money to haul over there. I never had a truck or trailer until this book tour...”

Read more here:

Application Period Open for US Equestrian Youth Sportsman’s Award

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 2, 2019, 1:30 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce that the application period for the 2019 Youth Sportsman’s Award is now open. The award serves to identify future leaders across US Equestrian’s 29 recognized breeds and disciplines and to distinguish outstanding youth for their achievements.

Active members aged 17 years and younger as of December 1, 2018, and in good standing with US Equestrian and their recognized national affiliate/international discipline associations are eligible to apply.

The winner will receive a commemorative trophy, a $1,000 grant payable to the educational program of their choice, and a nomination to the US Equestrian Junior Equestrian of the Year award. The reserve winner receives a $500 grant payable to the educational program of their choice.

Applicants should demonstrate an ongoing commitment and dedication to the promotion of equestrian sport, serve as positive role models, and exhibit characteristics that exemplify sportsmanship principles. Applicants must also demonstrate their involvement in their community’s equestrian activities, as well as involvement at any level of competition, including local, regional, and national events.

To apply, download the application online or contact your recognized affiliate. Applicants must submit a résumé that outlines their participation in various equestrian organizations and activities and obtain three references. The résumé will be accepted in lieu of the essays previously required for consideration for the award.

All required materials must be submitted directly to your respective US Equestrian-recognized affiliate on or before September 5, 2019. Each affiliate may select one national nominee after this deadline.

Find more information about the US Equestrian Youth Sportsman’s Award application guidelines and requirements, affiliate contact information, and selection procedures here. Additional questions may be directed to Natalie Norwood, Director, National Affiliates, at or (859) 225-6951.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Oregon: Sisters hosts endurance boot camp - Full Article

By Sasha Komar
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 1:37 PM

The grassy field of the Sisters Rodeo Grounds was full of horses, camping trailers, and excited riders on Saturday, April 27, for the beginning of the Sisters Endurance Boot Camp. In this boot camp, horses and riders learned the basics of endurance riding, tips on how to be more a efficient trail rider, and endurance riding horse care.

The first event of the boot camp was learning how to do a vet check, led by Dr. Kelly Jones. A vet check consists of a veterinarian evaluating the condition that the horse is in by checking its heart rate, gait, level of hydration and gut sounds. The vet check is important because it lets the rider know if her/his horse is fit and healthy enough to compete or go on with the race.

Riders learned how to make sure their horse stands still while the vet evaluates it, and the importance of making sure that the horse is comfortable with the stethoscope. Dr. Jones identified two horses that were not fit to compete due to lameness issues, so they were “pulled” — a good thing for the horse but a big letdown for the excited rider.

Next on the endurance ride boot camp agenda was a seminar in which many speakers shared their strategies, “hacks,” and experiences with endurance riding...

Read more here:

Monday, April 29, 2019

With horses in tow, ‘Lady Long Rider’ returning to area on book tour - Full Article & video


Bernice Ende, the Lady Long Rider who stopped five years ago in Dansville and Caledonia, is making a return to the area.

Ende will again be accompanied by her two Norwegian Fjord horses, Montana Spirit and Liska Pearl, but she’s traveling by truck and trailer as part of a book tour for her memoir “Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback” (FarCountry Press).

“It is a long ride in the sense that it is just plain long,” Ende said in an email to The Livingston County News. “I do find myself talking as I do when traveling with the horses, like ‘stay focused; you’ll be OK; and just get through the day.’ Things like that. I still sleep with the horses. I still hear them at night. I still cook outside and have the sense of travel with my horses..."

Read and see more at:

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Endurance Horse Podcast - Episode 17

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

April 27 2019

Welcome to Episode 17 of the Endurance Horse Podcast

It is April in Wisconsin, so one day could be beautiful, 70 degree weather, like when I recorded the intro/outro for this episode and then by today (the following week) when I am stitching together episode 17- it is 30 degrees and snowing! It wont last long, I’m sure we will back to seeing turtles sunbathing on the logs in our front pond, frogs singing us to sleep at night and enjoying a bonfire and the sunny trails again soon.

In episode 17 you will hear about a national champion TN Walking horse, an American Quarter horse working on their second season working on 50’s, hear about Keisha’s first time night riding, an update from a young rider and so much more! Tune in to hear from riders across the globe!

Without further ado, I bring to you episode 17 of Endurance Horse Podcast, may you be encouraged, inspired and find a few riders you can relate to or at the very least, laugh with! Please let me know how you are enjoying the podcast by sending us an email.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Long Distance Rider Gillian Larson Interview Part 2 - Full Article

An interview with long distance rider Gillian Larson - on the support plans behind her expeditions, the highlights of her trails so far and advice for those wanting to give it a go!

23 April 2019
Hannah Phenix

Gillian has completed four amazing journeys on horseback, it was impossible to fit it all into one article! Here, we cover what she takes with her on her journeys and get a better insight into what it takes to start (and finish) a long distance ride. If you want to read about how it all began for Gillian and some of her biggest challenges riding along the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada check here:

How do you structure your expeditions, do you aim to keep moving to somewhere new or stay around one place for a couple of days before moving on?

With a long distance ride I don't have the luxury to stay anywhere for any stretch of time; I have to cover an average of 125 to 150 miles a week if I have any chance of getting to the end of the ride before the arrival of winter weather makes it impossible. The further North we go, the sooner the snow starts falling. In both 2016 on the Pacific Crest Trail and 2018 on the Continental Divide Trail, I spent the last few nights before I reached Canada camping in snow. Both times shortly after I finished, big storms came that would have made it impossible to continue. So I am very respectful of Mother Nature!

If I am riding self-supported, as I did on both the Arizona Trail and the Colorado Trail in 2017, and through most of my second Pacific Crest Trail ride in 2016, I have to take a break once a week to resupply and to move my support vehicles to the next location. That's of course where the luxury of having a support person along to help out is an incredible blessing...

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Join the Appaloosa Horse Club at the 55th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride

April 17 2019

MOSCOW, IDAHO — The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) will host its 55th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride, July 22 – 26, 2019. The full route requires thirteen years to complete. This year, the third 100-mile leg will be ridden of the 1,300-mile historic trail, beginning in Grangeville, ID and finishing at Musselshell Meadows (near Pierce, ID). The trail closely follows the route taken by Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce while attempting to escape the US Cavalry in 1877. A quote from George B. Hatley reflecting on the first ApHC ride held in 1965 reads, “Riders recaptured the romance and heartbreak, the heroism and the tragedy of the Nez Perce War of 1877 as they mounted their Appaloosas at Lake Wallowa to follow the footprints which mark the pages of a stirring chapter in the history of the West.”

Forty riders participated in the first Chief Joseph Trail Ride fifty-four years ago, and last year there were more than 125 horses and their riders in attendance. The ride is restricted exclusively to registered Appaloosas, represented in a quote by ApHC Director, Kristen Reiter: “Blankets, leopards, snow caps, roans and snowflake patterns of every color and variety were represented among the herd and reiterated that this was, most definitely, an Appaloosa event.”

If you are ready to experience an epic trail riding adventure, nothing is better than attending one of the ApHC’s organized rides. You will meet new friends from around the world, view breathtaking and seldom trafficked scenery, and return home with enough memories to last a lifetime. Saddle up your horse and come enjoy the ride of your life!

The ApHC is now accepting applications online for the Chief Joseph Trail Ride. For additional information on this year’s Chief Joseph Trail Ride and the official trail ride application, visit

The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established in 1938 with a mission of honoring the heritage and promoting the future of the Appaloosa horse. The ApHC has since registered more than 700,000 Appaloosas, which are known for their distinctive color, intelligence and even temperament. True to their reputation as an extremely versatile breed, Appaloosas can be found in nearly every discipline including racing, endurance riding and serving as reliable family horses. The international breed registry is headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, the heart of the Palouse region—the Appaloosa breed’s namesake and point of origin.

Monday, April 22, 2019

WSER/WSTF Volunteer Steward Program Announcement

The Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF, organizer of the Tevis Cup) and Western States Endurance Run Foundation (WSERF, organizer of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run), in partnership with the American River Ranger District and Truckee Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA), wish to announce the creation and implementation of a new model to maintain and improve the trail(s) used by both events. The new Volunteer Steward Program, modeled after successful approaches used to maintain the Pacific Crest Trail and Tahoe Rim Trail, will rely on relatively small well-trained and highly committed groups of volunteers to maintain and improve the Western States and Tevis Trail system.

Although the courses for the Western States Endurance Run and the Tevis Cup vary in certain areas, they share the same trail over the majority of their 100 mile reach. Both organizations have a long history with respect to use of the trail system, and have individually and in partnership built and maintained much of the trail that exists today. Therefore it makes sense to draw from the resources of both organizations to create a focused and efficient system for trail maintenance and improvement.

This new system of trail management will be lead by John Catts (WSER finisher and volunteer, and equestrian), with support from Nicole Wertz (WSTF Trail Manager). To facilitate trail management, the Western States trail system has been segregated into eight Trail Sections. Each Trail Section has a designated Trail Section Lead, and these Section Leads are currently in the process of assembling their respective Trail Section Teams. With a defined management structure and designated Section Leads our goal is to work closely with the USFS and ASRA to identify trail maintenance needs, and work with the USFS and ASRA to both maintain the trails and plan and implement special projects.

The Trail Sections and Trail Section Leads are as follows:

• Robie Equestrian Park to Watson Monument – Jim Mather
• Watson Monument to Red Star Ridge Aid Station – Craig Thornley
• Red Star Ridge Aid Station to Robinson Flat – Kynan Matz
• Robinson Flat to Pacific Slab Mine – Mark Falcone
• Pacific Slab Mine to Foresthill – Chaz Sheya
• Foresthill to Rucky Chucky/ Poverty Bar – Tim & Austin Twietmeyer
• Rucky Chucky to Browns Bar Trail at Quarry Road – Jay Marsh
• Browns Bar Trail at Quarry Road to Finish Lines – Kassandra DiMaggio & Andy Mayo

Although a number of our Section Leads have current chain saw and first aid (with CPR) certification, we have set up training classes to keep our Section Leads and their core team members current with their training, and to provide training for those not yet certified. We have encouraged our Section Leads to participate in trail crew leadership workshops. With a higher level of training and skill our Trail Section Teams should be able to more efficiently respond to trail related issues, and help plan and implement both regular maintenance and special projects over a greater portion of the year.

With respect to entrants selected to participate in the Western States Endurance Run, and their mandatory volunteer requirement, the WSERF and WSTF want to continue to encourage participants to give back to our community, so the volunteer requirement will remain in effect. Although there may be fewer opportunities to fulfill an 8-hour volunteer requirement on the Western States Trail system, there will likely be a one or two trail work opportunities each year that will be advertised on the WSER ( and Tevis Cup ( webpages. These events will likely be special projects where we need greater numbers of people to move or place materials. We will still organize the Robinson Flat Trail Work Campout and Celebration (June 21/22, 2019) to complete trail work in the High Country in advance of WSER and the Tevis Cup. And you are encouraged to join one of our Trail Section Teams by contacting a Section Lead or John Catts (

In addition there are many other opportunities to help our trail community, by volunteering your time to either do trail work or work an aid station or vet check (see the WSER and Tevis volunteer pages). As an example The Canyons Endurance Run has already planned local trail work days on April 13/14, May 11/12, and July 6/7, with signup at ultrasignup. Because this is a shift in how the WSER and Tevis Cup trails have been maintained in the past (a handful of core individuals and a number of large volunteer days), it will take some time to optimize our new Volunteer Steward Program. So please feel free to join a team, provide constructive feedback, or participate in our Robinson Flat Campout to learn how you can help.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spring is Here - Let the (Tevis) Training Begin! - More news

April 8 2019

Ride Director's Message

chuckOld man winter blasted us again in 2018-19, and I am sitting here looking east to very snow covered mountains. Spring is arriving ever so slowly and that snow just keeps building rather than melting. As a result, the 2019 Tevis has been pushed out a month to August 17. However, the weather can change at any time, and we are looking forward to some warm weather to help us out. As of now, it looks like our trail will be “traditional.” We will ride from Robie Park to Auburn.

You are encouraged to participate in trail work days and help WSTF/ WSER trail groups get the trail ready for the 64th running of the Tevis Cup. The joint WSTF and WSER trail committee has scheduled work days between now and the end of June, and we welcome your participation on the trail teams. You would need to go to and click on the “sign up---be a trail volunteer” tab. No matter your conditioning or skill level you will be welcome to join and participate. Everyone learns something they did not know when they work on trail days.

Many times foreign riders lease local horses to make the 100 mile ride. If you are interested in that program, please notify the office, and someone will get back to you with updates and options. We have a link on the Tevis website. Just click on the “links” tab, and you will find “Rider Resources.” You can contact Linda Glazier who will help you by posting that you are interested in a horse or you have a horse to lease. The sooner you monitor that site, the better your chances of getting a good match with your goals. As always, you are encouraged to look up the AERC horse record for the horse you are considering leasing to verify the strength of the horse’s finishing record.

As of now, we are planning to stay with the new location for the first full vet check at Red Star. The layout there handles the large crowd that comes through early in the race. Many positive comments were heard from the 2017 & 2018 riders about the ease of the traffic flow getting through this location. I would like to welcome John Catts of Western States Endurance Run (WSER) fame to the Head Volunteer team. John will be heading up the crew at Red Star this year and will be joined by a few of his running buddies to get the job done.

This is also the time of year for vendors and sponsors to sign up to participate at Robie Park, Foresthill, and/or Auburn. Information about these two programs are also on the website. If you have questions about the vendor program, you can email Pam Stalley at or for sponsors please contact Pam Bailie at

I often get asked the question, "How many 50-mile rides should I do with my horse in the year I want to complete Tevis." I have heard Tevis Veterinarian Jamie Kerr recommend, that in a perfect year, you want to finish three 50s before Tevis. In a year with warm dry weather, we see success from horses in that type of program. However, this year has been extremely wet all over the state of California and many of us are way behind in getting our horses out to train nevertheless getting them to a competition. Just be patient and careful as you cannot make up for lost time by just going faster. Ride long and slow for success at Tevis.

I would like to acknowledge Brad Weston (of API Printing and Marketing) for heading up the 2019 horse transport team. Brad has lots of experience with the Tevis ride having served at Lower Quarry for the past several years. He’ll do a fine job getting those horses to safety if they need a trailer to Auburn. We are excited to have him in this critical spot as he has great skills in this area.

Happy Training,

Chuck Stalley

2019 Tevis Ride Director