Monday, December 31, 2007

Arabian Horse Association Now Included in World Registries

DENVER, CO - After nearly a decade of negotiations, an agreement has been made between the Purebred Arabian Trust (representing the Arabian Horse Association’s 100-year old purebred Arabian horse registry) and the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) that grants the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) Registry exclusive authority over American registrations as recognized by WAHO. This status change is effective January 01, 2008, and returns all associated responsibilities from the Purebred Arabian Horse Registry (PAHR) to the AHA Registry.

"We are delighted in the success of this agreement," said Bob Fauls, Chairman of the Purebred Arabian Trust (PAT), "and believe this to be a momentous occasion promising a bright future of significant benefit to the Arabian horse community."

While this changes nothing relating to domestic registration procedures for AHA members, it does affect registration activity requiring WAHO involvement - namely certain international importation and exportation procedures of purebred Arabian horses and semen. Beginning January 01, 2008, the PAT in conjunction with the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) will be the only registering authority in the United States recognized by WAHO.

In order to facilitate PAT’s admission to WAHO membership, PAHR has agreed it will cease its activities December 31, 2007 and refer new and pending transactions to AHA. Since the WAHO membership of the AHA Registry’s predecessor, the Arabian Horse Registry of America, was terminated in 1997, PAHR has provided to the American Arabian horse community a venue for international Arabian horse transactions, importations and exportations.

A major consideration in achieving this agreement with WAHO is the fact that the Studbooks have been closed and the purebred Arabian database is now firmly established and defined. Hans Nagel, president of WAHO, said From now on, the world-wide Arabian horse breed is an exclusive and closed population and will be guarded as such.

More information will be forthcoming, including but not limited to the next AHA President’s Letter, Modern Arabian Horse magazine, and

Saturday, December 22, 2007

About Birthdays and Riding and Getting Older

Hi Bob,

I don't think we've ever had a personal conversation, but I certainly always admire and respect your comments out there in the world of endurance.

A few years ago, a lovely lady named Connie Reeves came to ride on one of my week-long Redwood Coast Riding Vacations. Connie was 97 years old at the time. She was bringing with her 9 of her former riding students, who ranged from 47-72 years of age. I figured Connie would get on a horse, have her picture taken, and sit in a rocking chair for the rest of the week. WRONG!

Connie rode every step of the way, up hills and down mountains, walking, trotting and cantering. She'd never worn a riding helmet in her life, but in deference to me, she did that week... except for photos. At the end of the second day, she said "Tezero's Glory is a lovely little Arabian, Lari.... But I'm used to an Arab with a little more SPIRIT!!" So I put her on Chardonney, a Tevis horse who had completed the Kansas World Cup Endurance Race with his leaser from South Africa. Yeah, she and Chardy were a team! And Connie was the life of the party around the dinner table each night, in her fringed shirts, high-heeled knee-high red cowboy boots and lipstick to match.

You may have read about Connie... she was the first woman to be inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame. She hit the dirt for the last time when she was 101, pushing cattle when her horse boogered and bucked her off.

Before meeting Connie, I used to think of myself riding seriously until about my 8th decade. Now, at age 62, I'm thinking that the colt I'm breaking this spring will probably die before I'm done competing!



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Laramie horse, rider celebrate 1,000 miles of endurance riding

Billings article
By The Associated Press
LARAMIE - It's an unlikely story of a 25-year-old mare and her 62-year-old rider competing on the endurance ride circuit.

Over a seven-year span, the duo, starting at age 18 and 54 respectively, completed more than 1,000 miles. The horse is now semiretired.

Bonnie Swiatek said she wanted to compete in the endurance rides because her husband Don had been competing. She went on a couple of non-sanctioned rides in the mid 1990s with a Tennessee Walker mare called Gleam.

In 1997, Swiatek decided to give the endurance riding a real go and began looking for the right horse. She said she had seen the trouble her husband had with his Tennessee Walker in the heat, so she began looking for an Arabian because they are thinner skinned, handle the heat better and are bred for long-distance riding.

She found a 16-year-old chestnut Arabian mare named Tala. Tala was trained at the age of 16 and 17 and the two competed for the first time in June 1999.

Swiatek admits she didn't really know what she was doing and started Tala out too fast on her first ride. She said when Tala stumbled she decided to pull the horse. Family commitments kept Swiatek and Tala off the circuit for the rest of 1999 and 2000.

Both were wiser and better conditioned in 2001 when the 1,000-mile journey began riding 41 American Endurance Ride Conference sanctioned races over seven years.

During the 2001 season, Swiatek and Tala completed 110 miles together, with a best finish of third, never finishing out of the top 10. The two had shortened seasons in 2002 and 2004, riding only 25 and 60 miles respectively.

They rode 130 miles together in 2003.

Swiatek said the two have learned a lot about endurance rides. Swiatek learned that it's a lot more technical than she realized. She said it is important to keep yourself and your horse as hydrated as possible before, during and after the ride.

She said she prepares by drinking V-8 a few days before the ride including the night before, the morning of, during the race and right after.

This season, Tala was fed a special senior feed and sugar beet pulp, Swiatek said. Swiatek also learned to wear appropriate clothing for the heat, taking tips from bicyclists and avoiding cotton, while Tala learned how to read the ribbons, usually bright orange or pink, which mark the trail.

"It's like having four eyes out there on the trail. She's an amazing old horse," Swiatek said.

The big push Swiatek said she and Tala made the big push these past three years in endurance rides, but she never expected to reach 1,000 miles when she started out in 1999.

She said when she first bought Tala she figured she would start riding with her and then look for a younger mare. Swiatek said she prefers mares because she's had nothing but trouble with geldings.

In 2005, Swiatek and Tala competed in nine rides covering 250 miles; the first time the duo topped 200 miles.

The duo competed in eight rides for 210 miles in 2006. Swiatek said she only competes in limited distance rides (25 to 30 miles) with Tala. The longest season was this year when the two competed in 10 rides covering 270 miles for a total of 1,055 miles.

Swiatek said they rode mainly for "completion" and not for place. She added that the motto for the AERC is "to finish is to win."

The 1,000-mile milestone came in August at the Colorado Horse Park Challenge. The duo rode 25 miles to put them at 1,005 miles that day. They finished in 13th place, completing the ride in three hours and 29 minutes.

Swiatek said an average ride for limited distance is four to 4 hours. Riders have six hours to complete the ride. The horse and rider have finished a few rides in 2 hours.

On Sept. 2, 2006, at the Colorado Horse Park Challenge, the duo finished in first place in 2 hours, 33 minutes. Tala was also honored as the best conditioned horse. The mare also won best conditioned in 2005 at the Black Hills I & II ride where Swiatek and Tala finished third. To finish first was an amazing feat, Swiatek said, because she and Tala are competing against much younger horses and riders.

To be honored as best conditioned twice in her career is also amazing, Swiatek said, since most horses are retiring at age 18, the same age Tala was when she started.

"She loves it. Obviously she was bred for it," Swiatek said.

Swiatek said that just this season, Tala started showing signs of aging. Tala will likely stay retired but she may go on a few endurance rides next season. Swiatek said since they ended their season in September, Tala will give her a look and then look out at the wide-open country, ready for a long ride.

Preparing for Tala's eventual retirement, Don and Bonnie purchased two mares that are the likely heirs apparent to Tala - a 10-year-old gray named Skylark and an 11-year-old black bay named Rocket.

Swiatek grew up a city girl in Lombard, Ill. At the age of 12 her sister married and lived on a farm. Swiatek would visit her sister in the summers and learned to ride a horse then. After the age of 15, Swiatek went 10 years without a horse.

She purchased her first horse when she and Don lived in Tucson, swapping her old car for a horse at the age of 25. She said she always had a love for horses, reading every horse book she could get her hands on.

She especially loved the stories by Mary O'Hara and told her mother one day she would live on a ranch in Wyoming. It took nearly half her life, but she and Don arrived in Wyoming when she was 51. She said she was fortunate to work on a ranch next to O'Hara's ranch for a short time.

For 12 years while in Laramie, Swiatek had plenty of horses while the couple raised Tennessee Walkers. Now they are down to four horses, Sage, Don's horse; and Bonnie's three mares, Tala, Rocket and Skylark.

Bonnie said when she first began looking for a horse she was looking for an Arabian, but truthfully she was looking for a short horse. Most of the horses she has ridden were 15 hands high. Tala is 14 hands. Skylark and Rocket are slightly taller than Tala.

"I look for short, safe, steady and smart," Swiatek said.

To celebrate Bonnie and Tala's 1,000-mile achievement, a party was thrown for them at the couple's home in September. Bonnie said many of her supporters were in attendance, including Barbara Burns, whom she rides with to stay in condition with; her trainers, her husband Don, Jack Evers and Bob Atherton; and Sheri Olson and Gary Brown, her teammates this season on team rides.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mountain Region Endurance Riders (MRER) Convention

The Mountain Region Endurance Riders annual convention will be held in Denver, Colorado on Feb 8-10, 2008. For more information go to the website link:

USEF Ranked Rider List - December 2007

USEF Ranked Rider Standings

December 2007

1 John Crandell
2 Steve Rojek
3 Margaret Sleeper
3 Kathy Brunjes
3 Valerie Kanavy
6 Darolyn Butler
7 Janice Worthington
8 Ann Hall
9 Heather Reynolds
9 Joyce Sousa
11 Jeremy Reynolds
12 Cheryl Dell
12 Danielle McGunigal
14 Jeremy Olson
14 Christoph Schork
16 Jennifer Poling
17 Hal V Hall
18 Fred Emigh
19 Lynn Kenelly
19 Cheryl Van Deusen
21 Suzanne Hayes
21 Heather Stevens
21 Jennifer Stevens
24 Tammy Robinson
25 Charisse Glenn
25 Sandra E Conner

Friday, December 14, 2007

Flu outbreak cancels show horse events - Dec 12 2007

THE equine influenza (EI) outbreak has claimed another victim, with the cancellation of horse competition from next year's Royal Easter show in Sydney.

Organisers today said they were left with little choice when faced with uncertainty over when the statewide restrictions on horse transport would be lifted.

The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) president Rob Vickery said the 2008 Sydney Royal Horse Show had been cancelled.

"While it was our greatest desire to accept entries for the Sydney Royal, the reality is that come March the disease may not be at the stage where horses can be easily moved between zones, without extraordinary quarantine and biosecurity arrangements and some inherent risks," Mr Vickery said.

The Sydney Royal Show will not be totally devoid of horses however, with horse activities to include carriage displays, saddler and farrier demonstrations, along with horse and pony displays.

Quarantine zones remain in place across NSW, with testing for EI continuing on properties that have had direct contact with infected horses.

Getting the hump - Dec 14 2007 - Full Story By Mike Norrish

Cranky camels have been kicked out of the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge after a mass show of desert defiance. The gruelling endurance event hit major problems during the desert trekking stage, after the 25 camels enlisted to carry essential supplies lived up to their cantankerous reputations.

And after camel-related problems prevented several teams from finishing the 87-kilometre journey, organisers decided to void the stage. That ruling meant the leaders before the desert trek - Team Eurosport NZ - returned back to first place ahead of the penultimate day's mountain bike trial.

The week-long, multi-event endurance event has been staged by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, and features intrepid teams from all over the world. Although two teams from the UAE are taking part, many of the competitors were entirely unfamiliar with the 'ships of the desert'.

Camel training was provided...


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Western Slope No-Fee Coalition

P.O. Box 135, Durango, CO 81302


The day has finally arrived when we can begin to see the end of
access fees for public lands. A bill has been introduced in the
U.S. Senate, with bipartisan sponsorship, to repeal the Federal
Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, also known as the Recreation
Access Tax, or RAT.

Please take a few moments to celebrate, and pat yourself on the
back for all the effort over the last 10 years by every one of you
that has brought this about.

Then get ready to go to work. This landmark legislation is going
to require an all-out grassroots effort to achieve passage. We do
not yet have a bill number assigned, so hold off briefly from
contacting Congress, as having a number will be important when you
ask for their support.

We will be sending more details about the bill and how you can
help get it passed in the coming days and weeks.

THANK YOU for your support, which is what made this happen.

Kitty Benzar, President

*News Release*

Press Release of Senator Crapo


Montana, Idaho Sens. Team Up To Repeal Recreation Access Tax

*Contact:* Susan Wheeler
Monday, December 10, 2007

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Forest Service and other federal
agencies would be blocked from charging Americans higher fees to
access their public lands under legislation introduced today by
two prominent Western lawmakers.

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today joined Finance Committee Chairman
Max Baucus (D-Montana) in introducing the much-anticipated Fee
Repeal and Expanded Access Act of 2007.

The bill would revoke authority given federal agencies, with the
exception of the National Park Service, in 2004 to institute new
fees and increase existing fees at campgrounds, trailheads, and
other public areas.

Specifically, the bill repeals the 2004-passed Federal Lands
Recreational Enhancement Act, sometimes called the recreational
access tax, and reinstates legislation dating back to 1965 that
limits the use of fees on public lands.

Baucus, a long-time critic of the fees, said the current system
amounts to double taxation.

"Americans already pay to use their public lands on April 15,"
Baucus said. "We shouldn?t be taxed twice to go fishing, hiking,
or camping on OUR public lands. It just doesn't make any sense.
That's why Mike and I are going to fight like the dickens to get
this bill passed."

The senators noted that both the Montana and Idaho State
Legislatures passed resolutions to repeal FLREA.

Crapo said, "As an outdoorsman and legislator, I have always
supported fair and reasonable access to our nation's public lands.
Mandatory user fees for access to many of those lands limits
accessibility to those who can afford the cost and results in a
"pay-to-play" system that is unacceptable. I also fully recognize
that we need to adequately fund recreation activities on federal
lands and will continue to fight in Congress to make sure the
funding needs of our public lands management agencies are met."

Debates have flared up in communities across the West as fees
began to rise after the 2004 bill was passed. Baucus said he hopes
his bill will help resolve those disputes.

Kitty Benzar, president of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition,
hailed the bill. Baucus worked closely with Benzar as well as the
late Robert Funkhouser, who recently passed away, in crafting the

"This bill will bring an end to a failed experiment that has for
10 years burdened Americans with a double tax and kept them away
from public lands they have always enjoyed, Benzar said. "I
applaud this bipartisan effort."

The Baucus-Crapo bill would:

Repeal the FLREA

Reinstate the fee authorities established by the 1965 Land and Water Conservation Act

Reinstate the National Parks Pass system

Cap the amount that can be charged for entrance to national parks. Wes

Additional Information:

Local horse, rider go the distance to win national championship endurance ride - Dec 13 2007 - Full Article By Cynthia Cather Burton - The Winchester Star

MOUNTAIN FALLS — A Frederick County horse’s ability to go the distance has made it a national champion.

Kody, a 7-year-old Arab-Appaloosa blend, was first across the finish line in the Appaloosa Horse Club’s second annual National Championship Endurance Ride on Sept. 8 in Oneida, Tenn.

The win earned Kody the title of 2007 Appaloosa National Champion Endurance Horse.

Kody is owned by Karen Wade of Willowbrook Farm in the Frederick County community of Mountain Falls. He was bred by Val Van Meter of Little Ripple Farm, also in Mountain Falls.

Wade’s son, 18-year-old Nicholas Irianni, a Virginia Tech freshman and 2007 Handley High School graduate, rode Kody to victory in the 50-mile endurance ride.

He competed for the title against horse-and-rider teams from seven states and Canada.

The event took place in the Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area...


Ice skater turned horse rider gallops to success Dec 12 2007 - Full Story By Gordon McCully

A former Chorley ice skater has galloped to success in another sport.

Shelby-Jade France (pictured) has just taken the horse riding endurance event by storm.

Shelby Jade used to be an ice skating star until unfortunately her mum Michelle began to suffer from ill health.

Shelby started to ride her mum's horse and this year began competing on him in endurance riding.

Shelby has just taken the endurance world by storm and has just be crowned the Junior Endurance Champion of GB in this, her first season, beating 26 other riders from across the country to take the title.

Points gained from each ride are added together for the championship.

Shelby competes on her mum's horse Streamcross Dakota and rides on average 80k in one day and an average speed of 15kph over varying terrains.

The fitness of the horse and rider is paramount. Shelby is hoping to retain her title next year and will be competing on two horses. Shelby is always supported up and down the country by her mum and dad and brothers Johnathon and Thomas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

AERC Regional Director Election Results

The regional Directors for AERC after the installation of
Directors at the convention will be

Mike Campbell
Monica Chapman

Susan Schomburg
Jan Stevens

Connie Caudill
Joyce Mocilan

Patti Pizzo
Sandy Terp

Tom Noll
Gail Williams

Pacific South
John Parke
Terry Woolley-Howe

Susan Kasemeyer
Joe Schoech

Roger Taylor
Jeff Trinkle

Maryben Stover
Vacant - Nomination by Maryben and approval of the BoD

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Horse welfare at top of FEI endurance review
Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor

2 December, 2007
A working party charged with developing new ideas for the sport of endurance submitted a raft of proposals to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) last week.

Among them were suggestions for a new qualifying system for riders; suspending horses and riders from competition after they are eliminated from a race; and more specialised training for vets and officials.

The FEI announced plans to overhaul the rules of endurance in the spring, following vast growth in the sport, and a number of equine deaths in recent years.

Under review is qualification, organisation, equine protection, education, legal controls and competition structure — with the welfare of the horse a major priority.

Newmarket vet Fred Barrelet led a group charged with looking at horse welfare.

"One of the criticisms of endurance is that people can get on a horse and six months later ride in an international-level competition," he said. "A proper system of qualification could ensure that riders are competent to negotiate an endurance competition as they move up through the levels."

Mr Barrelet's group has also proposed more research is done on endurance, and that rest periods between rides be imposed.

"We've looked at whether a rider should be suspended if their horse is eliminated [at a vet check]," he said.

The introduction of an FEI-standard logbook and better training for officials have also been suggested, as well as ideas to make the sport more marketable and attractive to the public.

FEI endurance judge and technical delegate John Robertson has been chairing the group looking at competition structure.

"There's a lot of talk about different finishes, distances and the removal of weights for endurance horses," he said. "But nothing has been decided yet, these are only ideas."

Ian Williams, FEI head of endurance who presented the report, said: "The task force will produce their final recommendations by March 2008, after which the proposals will be sent to national federations for comment."

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (29 November, '07)