Friday, February 23, 2007

Scottsdale, Arizona: Got Endurance?

By Jenny Powers Feb 16, 2007, 13:50
Scottsdale, Arizona

For those of you who crave a bit of challenge in your trail and pleasure riding – why not consider limited distance endurance riding? You will meet great people, have the attention of a team of vets and vet check assistants, experience well marked trails with water for horses and perhaps even an opportunity to be photographed!

The American Endurance Ride Conference sanctions endurance and limited distance rides that meet strict criteria for the welfare of the horse and these rides provide a wealth of information on caring for your horse on the trail and after the ride. Ride meetings are held with the ride manager and head veterinarian to ensure you understand the criteria and routes for the ride.

Most relatively fit horses capable of several hours of trail riding over varied terrain averaging five miles per hour are capable of completing a limited distance ride. Why not see if you’ve got what it takes to conquer the trail and live the AERC motto “to finish is to win?”Limited distance rides are generally 25 miles in length with at least one vet check located near the halfway point of the ride. Horses must pass a pre-ride vet exam prior to starting the ride, meet criteria at the mid-point vet check, and satisfactorily complete a post ride check to earn a completion.

Limited distance rides are open to any breed of equine that is 48 months old or older at the time of the ride. There is no minimum completion time limit and a maximum of six hours is permitted for rides of 25 miles including a hold time at the vet check (generally one hour). To discourage racing, the ride time of the competitor continues until the horse meets a preset heart rate criteria of 60 beats per minute at the finish.

An excellent opportunity to try limited distance endurance riding is at the Scottsdale McDowell Mountain Ride on April 7 at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Trails for the limited distance ride are within Park boundaries and are well maintained and well marked. In addition to the pre-ride vet check and ride meeting on Friday, April 6, there will be a New Riders meeting to allow those new to the sport to receive an overview and introduction to endurance riding from riders with thousands of miles of endurance experience. This ride is well managed and every effort is being made to ensure the comfort of the horses and riders.

So take advantage of this chance to conquer the challenge of the trail, meet new friends and enjoy a wonderful day in one of our area’s best parks. Riders receive an informative rider packet at registration, lunch on Saturday is provided, participation awards, and an awards dinner at base camp is being catered by area restaurant, L’Amore on Lincoln Drive. Bridle & Bit is sponsoring promotion for the ride and prizes are being sponsored by Farnam. Additional promotion and graphic services are provided by Endurance.Net. Horses Dacor of Dewey, AZ is also providing prizes and will have products and equipment available for sale at base camp. For more information visit or contact ride manager, Rusty Toth at or 480-473-2141.

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