Friday, January 19, 2007
By Jenny Powers
Jan 12, 2007, 13:36
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With a refreshing spirit of cooperation the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the City of Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Preserve approved plans to for the first annual Scottsdale McDowell Mountain Endurance Ride. Utilizing the well groomed trails of the Park and the extensive trail system of the Preserve, the ride offers both a 25 mile limited distance ride and a 55 mile endurance ride. The Scottsdale McDowell Mountain 55/25 is an American Endurance Ride Conference sanctioned event and will take place Saturday, April 7, 2007. The 55 mile ride will utilize trails in the Preserve that have not yet been opened to the public. Preserve trail regulations limit the number of entries in the 55 mile ride to 50 horses, but the limited distance ride is contained within the Regional Park and has unlimited entries.
Endurance riding is a sport that has many levels of appeal. For some it is a highly competitive and challenging athletic endeavor. For others it is a recreational activity combining a camping trip with a trail ride. For yet others it involves a search to experience our American heritage, to discover the country as our forefathers once did—from the back of a horse. Because endurance riders recognize the prime importance of finishing the event on a sound and healthy horse, the motto of the association is “To finish is to win.”
If you are curious about the rapidly growing sport of endurance riding, the limited distance ride offers exceptionally good trails, an easy course and AERC veterinary controls, as well as helpful ride management and volunteers. The Ride will host a New Riders meeting on Friday to ensure a rewarding experience for those new to the sport of endurance riding and to address any questions or concerns the riders may have.
An outstanding local Italian restaurant, L’Amore at 3159 E Lincoln Drive (602-381-3159) is catering the post-ride awards dinner. Horses Dacor (www.horsesdacor.com) of Dewey, AZ, whose products include Western and English tack, items for the long distance rider and horse, health supplies and supplements, has generously agreed to become a ride sponsor.
Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of positions throughout the weekend of April 7, 2007. Endurance rides provide opportunities for those knowledgeable about horses and for those who just want to help and enjoy the exciting atmosphere without direct involvement with the horse and rider teams. Endurance riding offers the chance to see top equine athletes take on a challenging long distance course while the riders ensure their horses meet all veterinary criteria to be “fit to continue.” Riders who create exciting races to the finish as well as those who adopt the motto “to finish is to win” will be present. Please help support this event and promote equestrian use of our Park and Preserve.
This is the first time an event has been permitted in the Preserve and the Regional Park is cooperating by providing adequate space for over-night horse camping, which is not usually permitted. Top level endurance riders from throughout the Southwest are expected to participate. Please come out to support this event taking place in our own backyard. Riders, volunteers and spectators are welcome! Please refer to the Web site at www.quacky.co.uk/~elsie/McDowell. If you have any questions, please contact ride manager, Rusty Toth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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