Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Canada launches CEM investigation, 4th stallion infected - Full Article

January 1, 2009

Another Kentucky stallion has been found to be infected with contagious equine metritis as the outbreak extends its tentacles north into Canada.

Canada has confirmed that semen from one of the infected stallions was imported into the country and it has launched an inquiry.

In Kentucky, four stallions - three quarter horses and one paint - have been confirmed infected with the venereal disease.

Each of the four stallions stood the 2008 season at a breeding facility in Woodford County that specialises in stallion collection for artificial insemination.

Three of the four infected stallions remain at the original premises with the fourth at another Woodford County address.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ed Anderson's Thru-Ride on PCT

by Ed Anderson

On Sunday, August 17, 2008 Primo and I arrived at McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon, to complete our 1350-mile thru-journey of the Pacific Crest Trail. We had started from the border of Mexico on April 19. We had traveled through state parks, county parks, a national park, several wilderness areas and national forests, BLM lands, and across easements through private lands.

This account is a very brief description of what I saw and what it is like to solo-ride your horse on the Pacific Crest Trail.

My best friend and dear companion on the trail was TLC Primo Eclipse, my registered Arabian endurance horse. I chose Primo for this trip because he is brave, strong, tough, has excellent feet, is very sure-footed, and is exceptionally agile. All of these qualities would prove crucial on the trail in the weeks and months to follow. Primo would go through places and situations where others might not.

Primo was the only horse in the spring of 2008 to head north from the border of Mexico. There were hundreds of hikers from as far away as Europe and New Zealand. When you travel alone with your horse over such long distances and pass over an around so many challenging obstacles, a very close bond developes. We became best friends. I was the other horse, he the other person. A mutual trust and a real sense if inter-dependance developed between us. Primo bravely faced horse-scary places like fast rushing streams to cross, sand slides, rock slides, down trees, horse-eating stumps and wierd-shaped boulders, tunnels, many types of bridges, the windmills in the Tehachipi area, moving shadows of windmill blades across the trail, and wide, sloped snow banks to cross. In May, we rode through a snow storm in the Angeles Crest - rain had unexpectedly turned into heavy snow. We pushed on to North Fork Ranger Station where the very helpful caretaker let me put Primo in a corral. He even gave him pellets and let me sleep in the barracks. What a luxury after all the snow. Primo would go on, even through a storm, if I asked him to. And he knew that I would not lead him into danger. If the situation looked risky or if it was impassable for us, we would turn back and find another way.

Thanks to the help we got from the Equestrian Center at Warner Springs Resort (they took good care of Primo and gave me a ride down), I was able to attend the annual "kick-off" party at Lake Moreno nearly 100 miles south of Warner Springs. This is a great event, attended by several hundred people, angels, aspiring thru-hikers, past hikers, wanna-be thru-hikers and many others. The atmosphere was friendly and I met many people. There were several informative programs, including a forum, demonstrations, vender exhibits, and a great slide show by Eric Ryback who, at 17, was the first person to thru-hike, in 1970, the Pacific Crest Trail. The BBQ dinner was special as was the breakfast on Sunday morning. It was at this event that I was to learn that I was the only person planning to thru-ride the PCT in 2008. I got a ride back to Warner Springs on Sunday morning, tacked up and packed Primo, and we headed north again. Since we got a late start that day, we only went seven miles and camped alone at a magical spot along Agua Caliente Creek where Indians had camped long ago. I discovered several Indian morters, and to my surprise and delight, one that still had the pestle in it! Primo was hobbled and grazing while I was taking a solar shower. When I dressed and looked for him he was gone. His tracks showed that he was heading back on the trail towards Warner Springs to visit his horse friends there. When I caught up with him I discovered that he had covered about 1/2 mile, hobbles and all. He had been living at Warner Springs for 2 days while I was at the Kickoff Party. From then on I was to always keep his bell on while he grazed and also kept an eye on him. He never wandered far again.

Some have asked me how riding the PCT is different from hiking it. Most think that riding a horse would be much easier. Riding solo on the PCT, compared to hiking it is a very different, and more challenging experience. The hikers can have it really easy because they have so many options. They can easily climb over or duck under downed trees. And slides and boulders are less of a concern for them. Their hiking poles are certainly a lot of help on slides or in snow. Hikers can carry thier water with them and can "dry camp' almost anywhere, while I needed to find camps with graze, water, and trees to highline Primo at night - so, we often camped alone. When the trail crosses a road the hikers often hitch-hike into a town or city and take a day off, a "0-day"'. They can check into a motel, take a shower, resupply at the supermarket, eat in restaurants, visit the laundromat, maybe take in a movie, make phone calls and even use the computers at the local library. A rider with his horse can do none of the above. Mine was much more of a wilderness journey - a journey with very little contact with towns and cities. I like it better that way.

The scenery along the PCT was varied and often spectacular. The grand forests, the individual trees, the wide variety of the millions of wildflowers, the wildlife, the hundreds of lakes and ponds, the impressive rock formations, the mountains and hills, and the very special horse-friend who was always there, all of these will remain fixed in my memories as long as I live.

Detours were sometimes necessary to get past obstacles or to avoid taking serious risks. We encountered hundreds of down trees during our journey. Detours, taken for various reasons, would take minutes to several hours and sometimes required that I cut trees and branches to clear a way through. I had brought along a folding saw with a very sharp blade 14 1/2" long that could cut from the tip. I could, if necessary, cut trees up to 16" in diameter. I made wedges out of wood. Once, a! 4" diameter tree blocked a narrow trail and had come to rest at a steep angle. The slope above and below the trail was also very steep. Backtracking there would have been difficult, so I decided to cut the tree. It took more than an hour to cut that tree .I had to be very careful not to get my blade pinched and to be sure that when the upper section did fall, there would be enough room for Primo to get past. Primo, tied about 25 feet away, watched. He knew that we would go forward.

Primo came to understand, and accept, that we lived on the PCT, and that there were no other horses. It was interesting that he would sometimes, after his evening graze, come over and "join up" with myself and a group of hikers while we were talking in camp - as though this group of people were other horses, his substitute "human herd".

Primo enjoyed the "smorgasbord' of horse-edible plants that he found along the trail. Once he decided which plants were good, he would spot something that he wanted to eat from 20 feet away and would stop abruptly when we got there. I would always let him graze along the trail because I could never be sure what the graze would be like up ahead or at the next camp. Graze at our camps varied. Often it was excellent or good. Other times it was fair, thin, or none at all, and I would feed Primo extra feed. Arabians are desert horses and can go longer without drinking than some other breeds, and since we were walking, there was very little sweating. So, if Primo had recently had a good drink, and we came to a beautiful meadow off the trail, with lots of graze and nearby trees, but no water, we would make camp.

During our journey we had to trailer around Mt. San Jacento and the Sierra Nevada because of the risks of trying to cross deep snow with a horse. 2008 was a year of hundreds of lighting-started fires in Northern California. There was a long wait in Sierra City. I hoped that the fires affecting the PCT would come under control, and that the closed sections would be reopened. I had become very discouraged because of the fires and smoke. I decided that it would be best to trailer around the closed sections and much of the smoke and then pick up the trail again at Burney Falls, California. I would ride from there to a planned exit at at McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon. I had made a family commitment that I would return home by August 20, and we were to reach McKenzie Pass on August 17, where an endurance rider friend was to pick us up. She brought us down to her beautiful ranch in Sisters and another endurance rider friend trailered us to Ashland where I had left my rig. We made it home with a day to spare. Oregon had no fires going while we were there, and it was a really wonderful part of my trip to see blue skys and dramatic clouds while riding through its grand beauty of the several wilderness areas and Crater Lake National Park .

Some have asked how we resupplied and what Primo ate besides grass while we traveled. To supplement his graze I planned an average of six pounds of processed feed per day. This was sealed in Food-Saver bags without the vacuum so bags would be flexible for easier packing. I packed, three pounds in each bag, always including one five-pound bag that Primo could eat while I packed a resupply into the pommel bags and saddle bags. The air-tight seal of these feed bags prevented smells from attracting bears and other critters.

It was necessary to resupply many times during our journey. This took a lot of planning and I ended up relying on several different approches. The approach that I used most often, especially in Northern California and Oregon , was to drive ahead and hide or, most often, bury our caches near PCT trailheads or road crossings. All of our food was pre-packed in air-tight plastic bags as described above. I would bury a cache well away from the trail or trailhead. I would first carefully peel back the ground cover and then dig a shallow trench about three feet long, eight to ten inches deep and about ten inches wide. Primos food bags, and my main food bag (a 12 1/2" x 20" OPSAK with several Ziploc freezer bags containing different catagories of food), would be placed in along with exactly ten mothballs on top. Then the soil went in with the original ground cover on top, with leaves, pine needles, and branches over for camouflage. When we arrived at a cache, sometimes weeks later, I would, saving the original ground cover, dig up the cache with my digging trowel and recover the food bags and all ten moth balls for reuse in my "bear charms" (it would not be environmentally acceptable to leave them). I would then refill the hole and replace the ground cover and camoflage. My criteria was to leave that spot so that if a person were to pass by he would not notice that a hole had been there. What are bear charms? In parts of the Yukon cotton tobacco sacks with mothballs inside are known as "bear charms" To discourage bears I used them in camp around my main food sack (the OPSAK) and surrounding my tent. I would like to comment that no bear ever got into my caches or came into my camps.

The second method of resupply was directly from my well-stocked horse trailer. When we reached where I had left it parked. I would, leaving Primo in good care, drive my rig ahead, caching along the way. To return to Primo I would hitch a ride, take public transportation (if available), or get a pre-arranged ride back offered by an angel. I would have always obtained permission in advance to park the rig in a safe place.

The third approach to resupply required angels who would let me park my rig in a safe place on their property, or drop off my resupplies with them so I could pick them up when we passed through or near. Or, angels could meet us at pre-planned locations. This assumed that cell phone service was available. My wonderful wife, Jereen, met us several times while we passed through Southern California.

The following is my sincere thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, to all of those fellow endurance riders (members of the AERC - American Endurance Ride Conference), Back Country Horsemen, and other angels who helped in so many ways to make our journey possible. In this e-mail message I am including others who would want to know about our adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail. Next year I hope to return to McKenley Pass and continue north to Canada.

Ed Anderson aka "MendoRider" on the trail.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Topanga Ride and Tie

Topanga Messenger Online

By Jessica Jacobs

My favorite sport brought me to Topanga and keeps me here.

I was living in Northern California and competing in Ride and Tie events. I was at the 2006 Championship in San Diego and asked a fellow competitor if she recommended any communities in Southern California where I might move and gave her my list of requirements: commuting distance to Hollywood, near the ocean, near running trails for me, my dog, and my horse, and why not make it a liberal community. The woman laughed, "You have no choice, you have to live in Topanga." That was Topanga resident Kirsten Seyforth and now two years later we have trained and competed in several races together along with fellow Topangan Jennifer Siegel.

From Left to Right: Brioso (horse), Melanie Weir, Jessica Jacobs, Jennifer Siegel, Kirsten Seyforth, and Hoolie (horse), saddle up for another Ride and Tie event. photo by RUFUS SCHNEIDER
Okay, what the heck is Ride and Tie?

Ride and Tie is an extreme sport that combines endurance horse riding with endurance running. One team consists of two people and a horse. One person starts off on the horse while the other begins running on foot. Obviously the guy on the horse goes faster so when he gets far enough ahead, he gets off and ties the horse to a tree and takes off running. Meanwhile, the other person catches up to the horse, unties it and rides until she catches her partner, at which point they switch again. This "leapfrog" continues for about 35 hilly miles and usually, you can't walk very well the next day. Got it? The sport was started by Bud Johns in the early 70s as a publicity stunt for Levi Strauss and continues to challenge men, women and children (of all ages and sizes) every year.

Topanga trails, both the state park and the Old Canyon trails, are perfectly suited for Ride and Tie.

Jennifer, Kirsten, my partner, Melanie, and I just finished a race at Tejon ranch (pictured). It was 34 gruelling miles but we came in 5th and 6th place. The 2009 Championship will take place in Humboldt next summer and we would love for more Topanga folks to join us. If you like to run or ride or both, check out, or call Jessica at (310) 455-1987, and we will set up a training ride (you don't need to have your own horse)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Time Tevis Winners Now Barefoot and Riding in Renegades!

Renegade Hoofboots

2008 December 11

by renegadenews

Jeremy Reynolds using Renegade Glue-ons at Desert Gold won the two day hundred/two days of AERC 50’s and received AERC Best Condition on the first day and FEI Best Condition for the 2 day 100.

Jeremy’s horses have been barefoot for a year and he says that he will never go back to shoes since he now has horses sound now that he could never keep going at the speeds he and Heather ride.

Jeremy’s comments about Renegade boots: “They work”.

2008 AERC Ride Season Results:

Heather and Jeremy Reynolds 1,990 miles
Top tens: 20
Wins: 13
BC’s: 8


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Britain: Star brings Nikki some enduring title success - Full Article

Published Date: 12 December 2008
By Jill Armstrong

It was a brilliant occasion for 12-year-old Nikki Brown when her pony Bleachgreen Star of India, otherwise known as Star, became the Endurance GB National novice champion for 2008.

Nikki, who lives near Whitby, was awarded the MIRA trophy for the champion novice horse or pony gaining the most points in graded rides of less than 45km in its first season of competition.

The presentation was made at the Endurance GB awards dinner held at Kegworth, Derbyshire.

Endurance riding is a growing competitive sport and riders covered more than 249,000km in rides organised by Endurance GB during the 2008 season.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Horses and Invasive Weeds in Western USA

Are horses responsible for introducing noxious weeds onto trails and adjacent ecosytems in the western USA?

With the help of an AERC grant, Tom Gower of the Department of Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin, begins to answer this question.
Click here to download pdf file

Thursday, December 11, 2008

FEI and AERC Rules Comparisons for 2009

AERC November Veterinary Newsletter contains an article written by Tom Timmons, DVM . Pages 8 and 9 of this document explain differences between the new 2009 FEI Rules for Endurance and the AERC Rules, and potential confusions for competitors and managers of dual sanctioned rides.

November Veterinary Newsletter (download pdf)

Terri Tinkham and Oliver Twist WIn 2008 XP Gold Medal Award - Full story

Is that a Mustang??? Is that horse gaited??? What kinda horse is thaaaaat??? Well, no, yes and he’s a Tennessee Walker, Standardbred cross.

And, it is not just his appearance that baffles. To look at him you wouldn’t have a clue! Not only about his breed but that he just finished this year with 1925 Endurance miles; earning 2nd place in the AERC National Mileage Standings. Last year with 1120 miles, when we tied with Dave Rabe for 10th , I thought, “hey, we are really doing something” ! 2007 was our first year of doing serious 50 mile Endurance rides; in my three previous years in this sport, I was content to mostly ride LDs. But once you get hooked on the multi-day rides and especially the Duck rides, there is no going back ….. ever. I have become so addicted that I drove almost 14,000 miles last year to attend these rides.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Girl-horse team makes comeback after near death experience - Full Article

By David Green
The Weekly Observer Editor
Published: December 8, 2008

PATRICK - As the girl exited the arena on her Arabian gelding, a huge smile came over her face. She leaned down, hugged her horse, and told her trainer “I love my horse.” She had just had a spectacular ride, and was rewarded with an incredibly high score of 71% and a blue ribbon. By the end of the day, the teenager and her 9-year-old would have won all three classes they entered.

A sweet, but not unheard of story in the horse world—except that the horse was WH Gibraltar, who just 8 months before had undergone intensive abdominal surgery and was near death.

Flashback to March, 2008: Anna Caroline Chinnes, a 16-year-old Hemingway native, was doing what she enjoys most—competing in the sport of endurance with her horse Gibraltar. Endurance riding entails the same horse and rider competing over a course ranging in length from 50 to 100 miles. The trail is broken up into “loops”, with veterinary checks in between to ensure the well being of the horse. “AC”, as she is known to her friends, was competing for the Region 12 50-Mile Championships held at the Sand Hills Stampede in Patrick, SC.

Gibraltar was the fittest he’s ever been, and he covered the 50 miles effortlessly. They earned a coveted “Top 5” award for the Regional Championships, and AC and her trainer Trisha Dingle were busy preparing Gibraltar for the Best Condition judging. However, something was wrong—once the adrenaline from the ride wore off, Gibraltar acted “colicky”—he had a tummy ache.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Spain: CEI*** Santa Susana

Madrid, Dec. 4, 2008. - Tomorrow begins the first race of the 56th edition of the traditional Santa Susana Raid, the last big European Raid 2008. The first test will begin at 7:30 pm in the Parc de Colomer of the town of Barcelona. In the list of participants are 14 Spanish riders.

This classic, in addition to being the oldest rallies in Europe, has the honor of being the only one in Spain which is held in two days: the stage tomorrow is composed of 99 kilometers demanding in a scenario that is characterized by great difficulty, because it has a gap of more than 500 m. The final stage will take place on Saturday, and will consist of 99 km also Each of the two days will be divided into three stages of 40, 33 and 26 km.

Yesterday was the first veterinary review. It is planned that tomorrow at 15:00 am the review will be held on the first day of competition. Similarly, when finishing the final race on Saturday, will be held two further revisions: the very tender and will determine the award of "Best Fitness"

The celebration of the Santa Susana Raid closes a season in which this discipline has once again become a major player in the riding of our country, mainly thanks to the results obtained in the recently disputed World Championship, which has been repeated individual gold and has achieved a creditable 5th placed teams.

FEI - 2009 Rules - Explanation of changes

compiled by Anne Ayala

Endurance riders interested in FEI should go to the FEI website and go to Endurance/Rules and download a copy of the 2009 Rules for Endurance. Below I have tried to point out the most important changes in the Rules and offer some advice based on clarification received from Vonita Bowers at USEF.

In 2008 (before the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1), a rider should compete any horse that has not successfully competed in FEI within the last 24 months at the highest distance (50,75,100) that they are comfortable with. Successful completion is more important at this date than getting a COC. Then in 2009 the horse will be able to move up in the Star Qualifying system to the next level (i.e. FEI 50 completed, horse can then do an FEI 75, and with successful completion at that distance (2*), can attempt an FEI 100, and with completion of an FEI 100 can continue at that distance.

Rider’s FEI experience is lifetime, so if you have done FEI in the past, you are qualified at the next distance level. If, as a rider, you have not successfully completed an FEI ride, try to do so at a 50 or 75 or 100 mile level before January, 2009. Then you as a rider will be eligible to move up to the next Star level or continue at the 3* level.
To compete at the FEI 50 and 75 mile distances, you need: Descriptive Coggins papers that clearly identify the horse, and Veterinary papers confirming the two equine influenza vaccines. At the 100 mile level the horse must have an FEI Passport. All competitors must have: Competition Membership in USEF, USEF Horse Annual or Lifetime Registration, and FEI Horse and Rider Registration. All of these are done through the USEF office.

These levels do not need to be a horse/rider combination as the horse and rider are separately qualified. The only time there must be a combination is when a horse/rider team is trying to get a COC to qualify for an upcoming event (usually a Championship or World Cup event).

If you are just beginning either as a horse or rider in FEI competition after January 2009, each must first complete or verify Novice Qualifying rides before you can register you or your horse for the first FEI 1* (50 mile or 80 km ride). You will be able to count AERC rides for this experience. Transitional rules state: “Riders and Horses that have already successfully completed at least 3 National Events (AERC) within 2007 and 2008 at distances up to and including 90 km (56 miles), not subject to time restrictions, will not need to re-qualify prior to competing within FEI competitions. After, January, 2009, Article 816 of the 2009 rules explains what you need have on your record before doing an FEI 1* --- 2 LD rides and 2 50-mile rides no faster than 10 miles per hour (i.e. ride time of 5 hours or more on a 50 or 2.5 hrs or more on an LD). OR 3 50-mile rides at speeds 10 mph or less, meaning 5+ hours). You should look up your record for the past 2 years and be prepared to enter these qualifying rides on any FEI entry form in 2009.

New rule on horse age: Horse must be at least 5 yrs to qualify as Novice. One Star (50) and Two Star (75) must be 6 yrs. Three Star (100) must be 7 yrs and Four Star Championship horse must be 8 yrs old. USA horses are deemed to have their birthday on Jan. 1. That is, any horse born in 2004 is considered to be 5 yrs. old as of Jan 1, 2009. (Article 812)

Same rule on rider age: A rider is eligible to participate in a CEI from the year in which they reach their 14th birthday (any time within that year) and who has paid the required USEF membership and FEI registrations.

Rest periods: Once you begin the FEI Star Qualifying system, your horse must be given certain rest periods after a competition (Article 815.3): 13 days rest after an FEI 50 and 20 days rest after any distance above 50 miles. Likewise there are new rules regarding longer rest periods for a horse that is eliminated for metabolic reasons which require immediate invasive treatment at a CEI event (see Article 815.3).

Championships: For those of you who are interested in competing at the Championship (4*) level, please read Article 816.3 carefully for the requirements, noting in particular the number of CEI 2* events or higher required for horse (3) and rider (5).

FEI Endurance Log: It is anticipated that each horse shall have an official log that accompanies the Passport (Article 820.8) in which the results of each FEI competition undertaken will be recorded, including any details of treatment and required rest period. These entries will be made by the Vet Delegate or the President of the Ground Jury.

Weight of rider: At senior CEI 3* events the minimum riding weight may be between 75kg (as in the past) or 70 kg; however to serve as a qualifying event for Championships the minimum riding weight of 75 kg. must be in place. At 1* and 2* events other weight divisions may be allowed, if specified in the Definite Schedule.

Dress Code: For riders, the dress code for competition remains much the same: protective headgear, safe footwear with heels or boxed stirrups/equestrian safety stirrups, shirt with collar, appropriate riding gear.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Australia: Successful year for endurance - Full Article

4/12/2008 6:02:00 PM
It has been a successful year for the Mudgee Endurance Club with riders putting in outstanding performances across the state and internationally.

Local rider Paddy Smith was awarded the top spot for heavy weight division rides and his horse, Talisman was awarded fittest horse in each ride.

The pair placed second in the Q 60 100-kilometre ride at Colo, as well as best managed horse.

Mette Sutton placed in the middleweight competition in the 160-kilometre state championship in Manilla.

Sutton completed the course in a total time of 11 hours and three minutes.

During the year Sutton placed equal first and ride winner in both The Rock and Gundagai rides.

She took home the ride winner at Mudgee...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

USEF: High Performance Fees Rule Change

Attention All Athletes (including Life Members) Competing in Foreign FEI Competitions
From: United States Equestrian Federation


Please note that competitors (including Life Members) competing in FEI competitions will no longer be charged a $200 High Performance due. However in accordance with GR207 (attached), effective December 1, 2008, competitors competing in FEI competitions will be required to pay a $35 High Performance fee per horse for each FEI competition in which they enter. The fee is capped at $420 per horse per year. Please refer to the USEF website for policy and instructions on requesting reimbursement for payments over $420 in the same competition year. Please note that horse owners are no longer required to pay a High Performance fee.

Please contact our Customer Care Department in Kentucky at 859-258-2472 for any questions regarding the High Performance fee.

Thank you.
Cindy Stys, Director of Athlete Services
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc

Horse worth $10,000 recovered

The Arizona Republic
by Heidi Homa and Alyson Zepeda
Dec. 2, 2008 12:00 AM

A missing horse worth at least $10,000 was found by a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office mounted search and rescue unit around 4 p.m. Monday after he went missing Saturday.

During the two days the horse was missing, his owner was willing to give a $10,000 reward to the person who found his horse.

Lucian Spataro, 50, and Masquerade, the 7-year-old white Arabian, were competing in an endurance ride Saturday morning at McDowell Mountain Regional Park when the horse tripped and fell.

"He got up and was disoriented, I'm sure," Spataro said. "There's adrenaline rushing through your veins, so you don't know what's going on. He was hyped and probably went in the wrong direction."

Spataro, also filled with adrenaline, was able to run about 5 miles to a base camp, despite severe injuries.

About 20 family members, friends, and other riders and horses from the competition searched for the horse since Saturday.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office provided a helicopter when Masquerade first went missing and volunteer Sheriff's Posse members continued to help.

Irene Murphy, endurance-ride manager, was coordinating the search.

"In endurance rides, there are many incidents where horses do get lost," Murphy said. "A lot of times, the horse returns the same day."

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials said they were assisting park rangers due to the increased amount of activity in the park. They were able to escort the horse out but were not sure if he sustained any injuries over the two days he was missing.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Endurance Horse Missing in Arizona

A search party is combing the desert around Arizona's McDowell Mountain Park, after a 7-year-old grey Arabian horse competing in an endurance event lost his rider and disappeared, according to Phoenix television station KNXV-TV.

Rider Lucian Spataro fell off Masquerade when the horse tripped and fell about 20 miles into the race Saturday morning. Spataro was injured, but managed to walk more than five miles to get help, KNXV-TV reported.

Searchers are now using four-wheelers and helicopters to survey the area. Spataro told KNXV-TV that he is offering $10,000 for the horse's return.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Scottsdale Police Department at 480/312-5000.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Articles about astonishing Rides, Rescues and Horse Races

The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation-
The world’s first global hippological study

Articles about astonishing Rides, Rescues and Horse Races

Listed here, for the first time, are some of the amazing endurance races and astonishing rescues. Most of them are desperate journeys for help by men and women trying to save the lives of their comrades, or to stay alive themselves. In some cases, the horse takes his rightful place as hero of the hour; in others he is simply a necessary means of transport, and in a very few, sadly, he dies to save people trapped in desperate circumstances.

As most people know, the Turkomen people of Central Asia routinely rode up to 100 miles a day when raiding other tribes. Their horses were then expected to travel 100 miles back again at full speed, carrying the loot, which usually included a woman! These stories show that people of European origin were capable, when necessary, of travelling extraordinary distances too. They are listed in chronological order, with the earliest at the bottom of the page.

1945 - Mules for China - A description of the difficulties that were encountered, and lessons learned, when 900 mules were herded 750 miles from Burma into China in 1945.

The 300 Mile Endurance Ride of 1919

Forgotten Heroes - the 20,000 mile horse trek
across the US starting in 1912. This story is on the Internet equestrian news website, Horsetalk, and can also be found on The Long Riders' Guild website.

The Great Horse Race from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado in May, 1908.

Four short articles entitled "Pony Race from Chicago to Atlanta" (1895), "Cowboys in Long Race between Deadwood and Omaha" (1902), "President Disapproves of Long Race" (1902), and "Tables Turned on the Cowboys" (1893).

A Contest of Endurance:
Horses to run Against Bicyclists for Seventy-two Hours - 1894.

Bicyclist caught Runaway Horse
- Rode a Half-Mile Race to Save the Life of a Little Child - 1894.

Calamity Jane's crazy horse race

Anything goes - America's first Great Endurance Race, from Chadron to Chicago in 1893.

The Horses of Central Asia - a fascinating Russian military study translated by British Military Intelligence in 1883. Click here to go to the section of this document which deals with amazingly long journeys.

Historic Horse Drives.

George Cheney made a wild ride in an attempt to save an entire village when the Williamsburg dam burst in 1874.

Ride for Help! It was 1866: Surrounded, low on food and ammo - the only hope was Fort Laramie, 235 miles away. Could he make it?

Clarintha's Long Ride - The Old West had many courageous and hardy women pioneers, but the ride of this woman surpasses all in female bravery.

The incredible story of "Pony Bob" Haslam
- most famous of the Old West Mounted Mailmen.

Remme's Race for a Fortune. For six days he rode relentlessly on, hardly daring to sleep in this fantastic, little-known horseback race against time in 1855.

Ride through the "Journey of Death." In 1851, the Apaches wanted John Cremony's horse, and they were determined to get it.

Juan Flaco - California's Paul Revere. Juan Flaco's 1846 feat remains one of the truly great sagas of American history. He rode 52 hours to carry a message for help for the Los Angeles garrison, covering more than 400 miles.

Dick King's 600-Mile Ride. In 1842 a young Englishman, hunter and wagoner rode 600 miles in ten days on one horse - to get help.

A Message to Kearney.
Colonel John Charles Fremont rode from Los Angeles to Monterey and return in 1827 to carry an extraordinary message to General Stephen W. Kearney.

The Tremendous Ride of Post Rider Israel Bissell. In 1775 Israel Bissell went much further, much faster, rode much longer, and was probably responsible for the muster of many, many more patriots than Paul Revere was.

Dick Turpin's Famous Ride from London to York in 1735.

Monday, November 24, 2008

USEF: Valerie Kanavy to Receive Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award

By Joanie Morris

Lexington, KY - Endurance legend Valerie Kanavy will be honored at the USEF Annual Meeting during the Pegasus Awards Dinner on January 17, 2009 when she will receive the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award.

Named for international endurance rider Maggy Price, who was a Silver medalist at the 1992 World Championships and a pioneer for the sport, the award honors the athlete who earns the most points in selected Ranking Trials during the ride year. This year, Kanavy will have the distinction of receiving an award that she, her husband Larry and Gold Medal Farm sponsor in honor of Price.

Kanavy earned points in six 160km competitions in 2008, winning four to finish on top of the Ranking List, besting 90 Ranked Riders. Kanavy had a very successful year across the board. She also won the American Endurance Ride Conference 100 mile Championship riding King Ali Gold in October. Shortly thereafter, she rode Flash Flame to a 25th place finish out of 127 competitors at the Endurance World Championship in Malaysia.

The award is presented annually at the Pegasus Awards Dinner during the USEF Annual Meeting and the trophy is on display at the USEF headquarters in Lexington, KY.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

USEF Eligible Athletes Forum

FROM: James Wolf, USEF Executive Director of Sport Programs

DATE: November 21, 2008

RE: USEF Eligible Athlete Forum

A USEF Eligible Athlete Forum has been scheduled to discuss the development of the USEF Athlete Agreement. This meeting will take place at The Tavern on the Green located at 3401 Equestrian Club Rd, Wellington, Florida on Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00 PM EST time. This meeting is open to USEF Eligible Athletes from all disciplines and will be hosted by Chester Weber, Chairman of the Athlete’s Advisory Committee; Sonja Keating, USEF General Counsel and James Wolf, USEF Executive Director of Sport Programs.

Please respond to Christy Baxter on your availability by either email: or by phone: 908-326-1152.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

USA: Sleeper gets quite a jolt in Malaysia - Full Article

by Nancy Jaffer/for The Star-Ledger
Saturday November 22, 2008

A night ride through the Malaysian jungle during monsoon season sounds more like an Indiana Jones adventure than the World Endurance Championships -- especially after it became a harrowing cliffhanger for U.S. team member Meg Sleeper of Kingwood Township.

Sleeper, who returned last week from the competition, was riding her homebred Arabian Syrocco Reveille beside another U.S. competitor, Jan Worthington, on Nov. 9 when a bolt of lightning struck the ground by their horses, sending sparks flying as a clap of thunder followed. Worthington's mount, ironically named Golden Lightning, smacked into Reveille as both spooked horses galloped off the trail and into the jungle.

Sleeper's first thought?

"We're dead."


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Australia: Lachlan riders complete Shahzada

Cowra Guardian - Full Article


This year was the 28th anniversary of the Shahzada, a 400km endurance marathon held each year at St Albans near Wiseman’s Ferry.

This ultimate test of endurance riding is run over a 400km course of 80kms a day for five days.

This year was different from the last three, when the McDonald Valley was gripped by drought. There had been good rains and the river was flowing strongly, and together with beautiful sunny days, it was a fantastic scene after last year’s EI-affected event.

The course is varying from flat hard gravel roads, to climbs up and down steep rocky tracks and some lovely sandy trails along the ridges through national parks and private property.

The event this year was held from August 25-29, although riders and horses start to gather at the village of St Albans from the Wednesday before to allow the horses time to settle in and recoup from their sometimes long float trip.

It also allows riders time to relax and socialise before the marathon begins.

This year there were the usual blend of interstate riders, although following the enforced “detention camp” of 2007 due to EI, numbers were down considerably.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Passing: AERC Hall of Famer Jeri Scott

From Julie Suhr:

AERC Hall of Famer Jeri Scott's life was celebrated today at the Santa Clara County Horsemen's Grounds following her funeral services. Jeri was elected to the AERC Hall of Fame in 1989 for her dedicated service as a volunteer treasurer for many years.

The following from a letter she sent about a year ago when she knew her time was limited is quite poignant.

I have so many wonderful memories of all the hours with Pistol and riding with friends, endurance rides, meetings, board meetings, conferences, banquets, parties, QSER and AERC and all that both organizations meant to me. And all the behind the scenes hard work I did with both clubs as a member and a board member. I put in a lot of hours with QSER and even more with AERC crunching numbers. Bill Waters paid for an accountant to help me put together all the QSER paperwork, volumes of paperwork, to apply for non-profit status with IRS. Then there was the thrill of winning the IRS QSER audit. I prepared so hard for that audit and I won. I often wonder if QSER ever really understood that they could have lost their non-profit standing that day. Everything hung on that audit turning out well. I don't think the board members were that impressed at the time which was a bit of a downer for me but later in the week Pistol and I took a trail ride in QS park and we had our very special and rare treat of jelly donuts and I took along a small bottle of Champaign, most of which spilled due to being carried in a saddle bag, and we celebrated winning the audit. I have so many memories of debates over issues in QSER and AERC, the limited distance program, weight issues, juniors, protests, and always the budget and financial problems. It was a wonderful era with many changes going on.

I have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent with Pistol and the special bond we had, trail rides alone in the park where we just rode slow and enjoyed the experience or I just hung around in the pasture and watched him and the other horses interact or spent time grooming him and talking with him. And of course the endurance rides. Him with his front foot on the bumper of the camper bouncing it up and down trying to hurry me along with his hot bran and shredded carrot breakfast. Me calling him on my way back to the camper after a ride meeting and his answering me. All the smells of the morning at the beginning of an endurance ride, hot horse poop and horse sweat and excitement. I close my eyes and I am back there. The pride of finishing ride after ride on a horse no one but me had faith in to begin with. The pride of finishing Tevis. The respect that the vets and riders alike eventually gave the fat little horse who could and did.

When I think back I have a panorama, a smorgasbord, of the most wonderful thrilling memories anyone could have. I could write a book. In fact I always was going to write a book but I waited to long.

I shared everything with Pistol. My problems, my wins, my loses. We had a bond like no other and it spilled out and overflowed into my life and my work with both clubs. Well, now I've made myself cry and crying is not good. It makes my incision hurt. It has to be remembered that without Pistol I would never have become involved with QSER or AERC. Pistol was the glue that put it altogether.

I know Pistol was her first horse and when he died, I don't think she ever rode again. His saddle and her boots were at the services.

Julie Suhr

2009 FEI Rider and Horse Registration and Renewal Information

Release: November 14 2008

Lexington, KY— Following the decision of the General Assembly FEI Registration has been mandatory for all riders and horses competing in FEI competitions since January 1, 2006. Beginning January 1, 2009, any points acquired at a Competition where the rider or horse are not registered for that Competition year will not be included in the cumulative points. Competitions may not let these riders and/ or horses compete.

However, registration is not required for riders and horses who participate only in the FEI Children’s Competition and Challenges. Since October 2006, ranking points for rider and/or horses not registered are no longer taken into account.

FEI Registrations are Mandatory and must be renewed before entering your first FEI Competition each year. You must have this registration if you are competing in the following:
• CSI: Jumping
• CCI or CIC: Eventing
• CDI: Dressage
• CAI: Driving
• CRI: Reining
• CEI: Endurance
• CVI: Vaulting
• Para Equestrian

To renew your current FEI Rider Registration or complete a new FEI Rider Registration:
• The Rider must be an active USEF Member
• The Rider must be a U.S. Citizen

To renew a current FEI Horse Registration or complete a new FEI Horse Registration:
• The horse must:
1. Have an active USEF Life Recording
2. Be recorded with the correct owners
3. Have a current FEI or National Passport on Record with the USEF
4. Have an active USEF Member as an owner that is also a U.S. Citizen

To locate the FEI Registration Application:

FEI Registrations are Mandatory for All Riders and Horses competing in any FEI International Event. This number is free for riders that are under the age of 18 as of January 1, 2009 or riders competing in Para-Equestrian events only. For all other competitors, the Rider Registration is $15 and the Horse Registration is $15. It may take 4 weeks to process the FEI Registration. A Rush Fee of $30 will apply if the registration is received one week or less before the competition.

Please note: The FEI does not issue cards for FEI Registrations.

You may find your FEI Rider Registration Number when you sign-in through “My USEF Account” (also known as Authorized User Account) at If you have registered for FEI since 2006 your number will appear along with the status of your renewal. The FEI Horse Registration Number will appear under the owner’s “My USEF Account” (or Authorized User Account) along with passport information regarding the status of the passport. These numbers will also be listed under Searches/ FEI Registrations on the USEF website. Please check to see if your registration is listed prior to leaving for the competition.

You may also find the Registrations on the FEI Registration lists at under FEI Registration Lists. If your registration has been completed, your number will appear on the website.

FEI Registration Number Searches: Competition Management can now go to under searches and locate the FEI Registration Number for Any or All USA FEI Horse and Rider Registrations.

Please note, as of December 1, 2007, a Current FEI Passport or a USEF National Passport is mandatory for any 1* or 2* Event except Endurance Competitions within the United States. All other FEI Passport Rules apply.

For more information, please contact Andrea Kimmel at

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Trio conquer the Arizona Trail - Full Article

Sunday, November 09, 2008

800-mile trek "validating," Jackson says.

Traveling 800 miles across the state on horseback can do a lot to an individual.

For Dr. Ken Jackson, Molly Johnson and Kevin Morgan, the experience of following the Arizona Trail has changed them. They have learned more about themselves and each other than they ever have in the past.

"It's very validating for myself," Jackson said. "I'm different, even though I didn't expect to be."

Joined by family and friends during various parts of the 800-mile Arizona Trail, the three rode continuously for six weeks.

Part of the purpose of the trip was to honor the Arizona Trail, Jackson said.

"It's a magnificent state," Jackson said. "It's a magnificent trail."

Jackson, 60, has his own medical practice in Kingman and is known as the Cowboy Baby Doctor. During the last 30 years, he has served the Apache Tribe on the Whiteriver Reservation, the Hualapai Tribe at Peach Springs and the Havasupai Tribe in the Grand Canyon.

Jackson has known Morgan for more than 10 years. The pair had talked about making the voyage from the Utah border to the Mexico border for the past eight years, Jackson said.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nevada Day Parade

Nov 8th, 2008

More from the Nevada Day parade. East Washoe Valley resident Jacquelyn participated in this years parade and I asked her about their cool group and the beautiful costumes and she sent this in:

The Parade Arabians were established by a local Vet and her Husband
and have been participating in parades for over 10 years to
highlight the Arabian breed, wearing native costumes. (ex: Lawrence of Arabia)
They are mostly a group of endurance riders (endurance rides take place in natural-rural
settings whereby the horse & rider compete for time for 20 miles, 50 miles, 75 and sometimes
100 mile rides. There are Vet checks during endurance rides to ensure the horse
is fit enough to continue.
Great group of folks!
We will be participating/riding in the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Reno this Tuesday.

Thanks Jacquelyn and we’ll see you at the next parade!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Memorial gift Helped Fund Cherry Valley Analysis

Gift in Maggy Price Potter name supported study of the valley she loved

Snydersville, Pa.
- Oct. 31, 2008 - A major gift in memory of the late Margaret Price Potter (Maggy), of Snydersville, to the Nature Conservancy supported a study that looked at whether the environmental and economic conditions are right for a new national wildlife refuge in Pennsylvania's Cherry Valley.

The Conservancy's efforts contributed to the scientific foundation of a report, issued Oct. 31 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that recommends moving forward with establishment of a refuge in the Monroe County valley, not far from where Maggy found joy in riding her beloved Arabian horses.

The gift by John S. Potter Jr. in memory of his late wife supported a year-long study evaluating the biological value of the natural communities within Cherry Valley, and the environmental and socio-economic feasibility of establishing a national wildlife refuge in the area.

"I wanted to do something outdoors, something that would have a real impact on the land in northeastern Pennsylvania," said Potter, noting that Cherry Valley is just 15 minutes from the 189-acre farm where Maggy raised and rode her horses. She was well known through out the area as a champion endurance rider.

Potter, a retired international banker, said he wasn't aware of the status of the long-standing effort to establish a new national wildlife refuge before he contacted The Nature Conservancy about a gift in his late wife's memory, but "Cherry Valley turned out to be the kind of thing we wanted to do."

"Cherry Valley is a lovely area and it’s well worth preserving," commented Potter, who traces his relationship with the Conservancy back to the 1980s and his native Colorado.

If approved, the refuge at Cherry Valley will be the first national wildlife refuge in the Northeast states in at least a decade and only the third federal refuge in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski (Pa.-D-11th) and Rep. Charles Dent (R-15) co-sponsored a bill in 2005 to consider Cherry Valley as a prospective national wildlife refuge. A year later Congress approved the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge Study Act, which required the completion of the study by this month.

In a report based on that study and released today, the service evaluated the potential and offered three alternatives, including the "preferred alternative" of establishing a refuge protecting up to 20,000 acres in Cherry Valley. The other alternatives include a smaller refuge or taking no action on the proposal.

The service worked closely with the Conservancy to establish the scientific foundation for the study. The full study team also included representatives from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Monroe County Conservation District, Monroe County Planning Commission, National Park Service, East Stroudsburg University, Northampton Community College, and Pocono Avian Research Center.

The Cherry Valley area harbors several federally endangered species, including northeastern bulrush and dwarf wedge mussel. Endangered bog turtles also inhabit the valley. Rare plants in the valley include spreading globeflower, a member of the buttercup family, and grass-of-Parnassus.

The southern edge of the valley is formed by the Kittatiny Ridge, a globally important flyway for birds of prey, including bald eagles and broad-winged hawks during their annual fall migration. Numerous neo-tropical songbird species, such as Cerulean warbler, nest in the forests along Kittatinny Ridge.

While Maggy didn't ride her Arabian horses in the Cherry Valley, it was the type of place she valued as an outdoorswoman and champion endurance rider.

Maggy was a member of the U.S. Equestrian Team that in 1992 brought home a silver medal in endurance riding from the World Equestrian Games in Barcelona, Spain. She personally captured a bronze medal. She also was a past president and long-time member of the board of directors of the American Endurance Ride Conference, the governing body for the sport in the U.S.

Monroe County residents also knew her as the widow of the late Ray Price, of Ray Price Motors in Stroudsburg.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Elmer Bandit Did It! 37-Year-Old Horse Sets New Mileage Record - Full Article

by: Marsha Hayes
October 27 2008, Article # 12972

Half-Arabian Elmer Bandit trotted under the finish line to set a new competitive trail mileage record of 20,720 miles, 201 days after his 37th birthday. The North American Trail Conference event took place Oct. 25-26 at Kanopolis State Park near Lindsborg, Kan.

A heavy frost greeted the 43 riders starting the event early Saturday morning. Only 40 would complete the tough prairie course. Jerry Weil, DVM, and pulse and respiration crew leader noted, "I think we lost more points at this ride than any of the season."

Wood and Elmer started strong on the nearly 29-mile course Saturday, breezing the first two miles in 15 minutes. It took three more brisk miles before Elmer was comfortable on a loose rein. "It's normal for Elmer to be very forward the first few miles," explained Elmer's owner/rider Mary Anna Wood.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Skjoldur Passing ...

John Park

Image by Lynn Glazer

We returned home two weeks ago after our trip to Colorado for the funeral of my wife Marilyn’s young nephew. I went out at night to feed the horses and noticed that Skjoldur had a heavy discharge pouring out of his eyes. When I saw him the next morning, he was a little wobbly and his eyes were so opaque that he was effectively blind. I took him into the nearby Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Clinic where he was immediately put onto intravenous fluids. He was diagnosed with an internal infection of possibly his heart and of his liver. He slowly improved for a week until he worsened again. After test after test, his veterinarian informed us that it was clear that his liver was no longer functioning and that there was no hope of recovery. When she told me how he would suffer as his brain deteriorated, we made the decision to put him down last Friday. He was only eighteen years old.

I’ve been in trial but was able to get out early that afternoon and reach Alamo Pintado while the sun was still up. It was a beautiful day. I brought Remington over and met Marilyn at the clinic. I found Skjoldur in his stall at the intensive care barn wobbling on his feet with his head hanging down to the floor. After an intern disconnected his tubing, I haltered him and led him out into the sunlight. When he saw Remington, Skjoldur rushed over and laid his head against Remington’s neck. We put them into the large grassy “playpen” behind the hospital and turned them loose. They both had a good roll in the sand. They then grazed on the fresh grass together under the warm sun while we took turns petting them and taking pictures for half an hour or so. When one would move off a ways, the other would race over to be with him. They were obviously joyous to be in each other’s company again. As the sun started to dip below the horizon, the veterinarian and an intern came over. I fed Skjoldur a final cookie while they administered him an overdose of anesthetic. We left him lying peacefully in the grass under a sycamore tree. I pray his last thoughts were happy ones.

Although we didn’t think we had any tears left after Colorado, Marilyn and I cried our eyes out this weekend sharing memories of our lost pony. Skjoldur was a paradox. He was a stunningly beautiful little horse at just under 13.3 hands high. His summertime palomino pinto coat would turn snow white in the winter. His wavy full, flaxen colored mane was unusual even for an Icelandic. He looked like a toy horse come to life. He was gentle and affectionate. We sometimes used to call him little happiness. My friend Lynne Glazer told me once that Skjoldur was the pony every woman wanted when she was an eight year old girl.

But Skjoldur also proved himself to be one of the toughest horses in the sport of endurance riding. He had tremendous metabolic recoveries and was essentially tireless. During the XP 2001 ride from Missouri to California on the Pony Express trail, he completed 32 fifty mile rides, 1,600 miles, in a 52 day period. He was the first horse in the AERC to complete 1,000 miles of sanctioned endurance rides in a thirty day calendar period. He completed 40 rides that year for 2,010 miles with no pulls. He won first middleweight and first overall in our region, the regional mileage championship, the middleweight Pioneer Award for most points nationally in multi-day rides, and came in 2nd for the national mileage championship even though all of his rides but one were in the last half of the ride season. Almost all of his career miles came from multi-day rides. He was never entered in a ride less than fifty miles long.

Five gaited, he was just as smooth at the trot as he was at the tolt. He liked to poke along at a steady pace, preferably two or three feet behind Remington’s tail. But he was a demon going downhill. He would trot and canter at full speed down the tightest trails, flinging his body around the turns. He had a way of paddling out his front feet so that he didn’t have to slow down as the slope got steeper. My most thrilling ride ever was hi

Image by Lynn Glazer

s 2,000 foot wild descent from the mountain ridge down to the valley floor at 2 am near the end of the Californios 100 mile ride three years ago. I can still feel the exhilaration of not being able to see whether we would fly right or left or dip up or down as he rocketed down the single track trail in the pitch dark. It pains me to think I will never feel what it is like to ride him again except in my memory.

But it comforts me to know that so many people will remember Skjoldur. Although he was Remington’s back up for me, calling him a back up would be like calling Ginger Rogers Fred Astaire’s assistant. Skjoldur was the Icelandic my family and everybody else got to ride in endurance. Probably my most memorable endurance rides were with Marilyn in Utah, my son Andrew in Nevada and my son Willie in Wyoming. Nine different people completed fifty mile endurance rides on him. My friends Laura Hayes and Kat Swigart each completed several rides on him. Jane Blair rode a fifty miler on him wearing a cast at Bryce Canyon three days after breaking her arm falling off her own horse. Everyone who rode him thought he was the smoothest horse they had ever ridden. Lori Cox wrote after riding him in a seventy five miler in Nevada that it was like riding a horse on wheels.

Image by Lynn Glazer

Skjoldur was also the horse my non horsey friends felt safe on in weekend trail rides at the beach or in the mountains. The many children and other beginners who were introduced to horse back riding on his back were proud to know they were on a horse who could take them as far as they could imagine. Remington and I tend to be loners on the trail. By allowing people to ride with us, Sjoldur served as our bond with family and friends. My life is richer for the deep friendships we made throughout the endurance community in the years we shared with him. He was so much a part of our lives.

We never had the sense that Skjoldur relished going down the trail mile after mile for its own sake the way Remington does. Instead, it seemed that Skjoldur did the amazing things he did simply because we asked him to. When he was young, he would get nervous and sometimes spook and throw me when I would ride him alone on conditioning rides. The more angry I would get, the more nervous he would get. So I composed a dumb little song about how I loved him from the minute I picked him out of the herd and how lucky I was to have him. I would sing this out loud to him while we trotted along. It forced me to calm down which, of course, allowed him to relax. This dumb little song has been going through my head all day even while I’ve been in court. I hope it never stops.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Attention West Coast Riders - FEI Star Qualification

Attention: West Coast Riders

Last chance to get in the FEI Star system before it is changes in 2009.
Bring all of your horses and get them in the FEI system before it gets harder next year.
Desert Gold Pioneer Multiday
Fort Ord, CA
 has applied for FEI sanctioning for their ride.
November 28, 29 and 30.
Ride one, two or all three days.
Remember to get into the Star System you only need a completion,
so bring your young horses too.
Nov 28th CEI ** 90km/55miles
Nov 29th CEI ** 80km/50miles
Nov 30th CEI ** 80km/50miles
Nov 29th and 30th  CEI *** 2 day 160km/100miles 

We really NEED you to pre-register.
IHP fees must be paid prior or make a separate check to USEF.
FEI horse and rider registration also need to be current for 2008
For the CEI 3 *** your horse will need a FEI  passport
For the CEI 2** you only need a diagram of your horses and record all of your flu shots up to date per FEI  guidelines. No passport needed for 2**. 
FEI ride entry will be up on AERC Web site for Desert Gold Pioneer soon, so keep checking in.
We have submitted the application for FEI approval.  It is pending but expected to be approved.
May also be AHA Ride.
Thanks go to Scott Sansom for generously offering his venue to us, for this end of year FEI sanctioning.
Contact: Fred Cluskey with any questions 619 204-0366 or 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Equestrian2010 World Equestrian Games: Horse Park plans Kentucky Cup to serve as test

Herald-Leader Staff Report

A series of competitions will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2009 and 2010 to test the new arena, stadium and other facilities before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are held in 2010, Games organizers said Wednesday.

The competitions will be named The Kentucky Cup. The first will be a reining competition July 15-20, 2009, followed by vaulting July 28-Aug. 2, endurance Sept. 28-30, driving Oct. 1-4 and eventing, jumping and dressage April 20-25, 2010, during the 2010 Rolex Three-Day Event.

"These Kentucky Cup competitions will allow us to test each of our competition facilities well in advance of the 2010 Games, and will give us the opportunity to make modifications and adjustments in our planning based on these tests," said Games Competition Director Kate Jackson.

Related activities, including ticketing, transportation and hospitality, also will be tested at the Kentucky Cup events. More information about each event will be released as it becomes available, the foundation said.

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be held at the Horse Park Sept. 25-Oct. 10, 2010, and will determine world champions in eight disciplines, including para-equestrian dressage.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Southeast Endurance Riders Association

From The Horse's Mouth
Southeast Endurance Riders Association Newsletter
November 2007

Downloadable PDF file

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Man vs. Horse 2008: Horse bests man again in 50-mile Mingus race - Full Article

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

By Heidi Dahms-Foster, Editorial Manager

Endurance rider Kim Abbott has a history on Mingus Mountain, and she added another chapter Saturday with a win in the Annual 50-mile Man Against Horse Race.

Abbott galloped her Arabian horse, Sea Spot Run, across the finish line with an exhultant yell and a high-five for husband Greg Rose, also an endurance rider.

"Eight years ago today, I won this!" she said.

Abbott finished the grueling 50-mile loop course in 7 hours, 27 minutes, besting last year's winner, Dana Weary, by just three minutes.

Paul Bonnett of Scottsdale was just 20 minutes behind at 7 hours, 57 minutes.

"I was catching up on the mountain," he said, "But I couldn't catch the horse on the flats."

The runner has won the race in the past - most notably Dennis Poolheco, who scorched the course six straight times between 2001 and 2006.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Black and Smooth travel 260 miles in endurance ride

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008

Kim Black, Tonasket, finished all five days of the Owyhee Canyon lands Endurance Ride Sept. 24-28 in southern Idaho.

Out of four horses that participated in all five days of the ride, Black and her horse, Smooth, finished second. The duo covered the 260-mile course in 31 hours, 37 minutes.

The winner was about 50 minutes faster. Third- and fourth-place finished about an hour later.

The ride drew about 30 riders each day, with many opting to just compete for that day. On the last day only 15 horses started.

Canadian riders took four first places out of the five days, but none of the Canadian teams tried for all five days.

Riders had the choice to enter day by day in either the 30-mile limited distance course or the 50- to 55-mile endurance course.

Riders also had the choice as to whether they wanted to travel slowly and enjoy the canyon land views or move along to try for one of the top 10 finishing positions, reported Black.

“There are time limits for each distance, which include the mandatory veterinary exams to assure every horse is fit to continue,” she said.

Black and Smooth had top 10 finishes on three days - sixth, fifth and seventh.

Black attributed her and Smooth’s success to careful management during the ride as well as to their veterinarian (who also is the horse’s chiropractor) and the horse’s farrier.

“Both are very supportive in helping Smooth reach optimum performance,” Black said.

Monday, October 06, 2008

National Championship Endurance Ride

Posted by Steve – October 6th, 2008

Photo and report by Gerry Lukacik, Sooner ApHC

Here’s a picture from the National Championship Endurance Ride, held this past weekend in Oklahoma. This is your winning horse and rider, Kat Carter & THESPUROFTHEMOMENT. The picture was taken on the first 17 mile loop.

Not only were they first Appaloosa across the line, and the Best Conditioned Appaloosa, they were also the first over the line for the entire (all breeds) Indian Territory Ride! They came in second in the overall scoring for best conditioned for the entire ride. Not a bad showing for the breed!

Other Appaloosa results: 2nd place - Shilo Vanhart riding WAPS BLACKCHERRY, owned by Jeff Hartman; 3rd - Karen Gerken riding DKG PRINCE ARISTO; 4th - Lucie Hess riding COKE STRAW LAHAAM. Congratulations to all!

Carol Johnson, Sooner ApHC President also has tons of pictures, that I haven’t seen yet. The Indian Territory Ride had hired a professional photographer, and Marsha Hayes, who is doing an article for the Appaloosa Journal, was out on horseback, on the trail, taking pictures, as well.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Man Against Horse turns 25 - Full Article

By Doug Cook, The Daily Courier

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thrilling, yet risky, the uniquely popular Man vs. Horse Race reaches a considerable milestone on Saturday, Oct. 4, with its 25th running at the base of Mingus Mountain.

The event's main 50-mile endurance race goes from 6:30 a.m. to about 5 p.m., with an open-to-the-public awards banquet and barbecue dinner to follow at 5:30.

For race director and longtime Prescott resident Ron Barrett, 57, the competition that typically attracts 300 competitors from around the United States owns an intriguing history.


Patriot's Day Ride: 50-mile equestrian ride has increase in riders - Full Article

Shannon Morrow
Sports Editor

A good number of horse trailers rolled into Indian Valley a couple weeks ago for the Patriots' Day 50-mile, multi-day equestrian ride Sept. 13-14.

Not to be confused with the Patriots' Day 100-mile ride in May, the multi-day ride featured a 50-mile ride on both Saturday and Sunday.

A total of 110 riders took part in Saturday's 50-mile ride, and Sunday's ride had 78 participants. There were also seven junior riders under the age of 16.

Even though last year's event had to be cancelled due to the Moonlight Fire, this year's ride fetched twice as many entries than previous years.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Never too old for a challenge

Original Article

A LEADING businessman came out of sporting retirement at the age of 84 to become the oldest man in the UK to compete in a gruelling endurance horse race.

Derek Francis, who owns the Francis’ chain of furniture shops in Worcester Road, Malvern Link, rode Imperial Prince 40 miles over two days to take home a prestigious grade one rating.

Mr Francis, who was national champion at the sport in his younger days, was swayed by an urge to find out whether he was still up to the considerable task.

He said: “I have been playing with the idea for age because it’s a wrench to give up a major sport. Endurance racing is a hard game. You are pushing yourself and your horse to the parameters of what is possible.”

The venue for Mr Francis’ comeback was the Sherwood Ride in Nottinghamshire, where he found himself pitted against dozens of younger riders at the weekend.

Endurance riding involves maintaining an average speed while ensuring the horse’s heartbeat is kept below 64 beats per minute.

Frankie Turley, Imperial Prince’s trainer and part of Mr Francis’ three-person support crew, said: “Mentally and physically it’s very demanding. Most teenagers wouldn’t be able to walk after getting off their horses.”

The list of injuries suffered by Mr Francis over the years is testament to this fact. He has had concussion 12 to 15 times but said he was lucky not to have broken any bones.

Being back in the saddle, however, has not managed to quell Mr Francis’ thirst for adventure.

He now intends to enter the lowest level of major competition in March, consisting of 10 rides of 25 miles each.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

WEG 2010: Organizers release competition schedule - Full Article


Herald-Leader Staff Report

The competition schedule for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was released Monday by the World Games 2010 Foundation.

Competition director Kate Jackson said the schedule would provide "an exciting variety of top sport on each of the 16 days of the Games.

"I am particularly happy that we are able, for the first time, to include para-equestrian as an integral part of the World Equestrian Games," Jackson said.

The Games will begin with opening ceremonies on Sept. 25, 2010. Competition will take place in eight equestrian disciplines, and a world champion will be selected in each. Organizers say the Games will attract more than 800 athletes who will have at least 900 horses

The first weekend will include vaulting and endurance. Vaulting will continue into week one, along with dressage and eventing.

In week two, competition will take place in jumping, para-dressage, driving and reining.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Australia: Horse council argues against EI vaccination - Full Article

September 20, 2008

The Australia Horse Industry Council (AHIC) says it does not support ongoing vaccination against equine flu - a position it will take into next week's summit to discuss strategies to manage the risk of future outbreaks.

Its position will pit it against racing interests which have expressed a desire for an ongoing vaccination programme.

"To continue to vaccinate against EI, when it currently does not exist in Australia, can compromise future efforts to eradicate the disease, should it enter Australia," said AHIC president Dr Barry Smyth.

He said the AHIC did not support ongoing vaccination against EI for "certain sectors of the horse industry".


WEG 2010: The Hand on the Reins - Full Article

WEG 2010 Foundation's chair John Long discusses preparations

September 19, 2008

by Tom Martin

Since former World Games 2010 Foundation CEO Jack Kelly resigned for personal reasons in July, John Long, chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors, has become both a public face and guiding force behind the planning efforts for the 16-day event that is now two years away. Long, who serves as CEO for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), recently returned from the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, where he participated in leading the U.S. Equestrian Team. Back in Kentucky, the Shelbyville resident and former chief operating officer of Churchill Downs is setting his sights on preparing Lexington to welcome its global equestrian audience in 2010.

He recently discussed those preparations with Business Lexington editor-in-chief Tom Martin. The complete interview is available by clicking on the podcast below.

TM: With Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games now just two years away, what's been accomplished since it was announced that the event was coming to Lexington and what challenges remain ahead?

JL: A lot has been accomplished. I think if you look at the Horse Park and if you've driven out there recently, you can see that it is a giant construction zone — with the new indoor arena and the outdoor stadium literally gone, and driving on dirt roads and cones everywhere to make sure that you don't go off the road. So you can see, one of the big changes over the last years has happened at the Horse Park. Now many of those changes would have happened anyway. But they've been accelerated and made even more important as a result of the Games coming in 2010.

I think organizationally much has been accomplished. We've got a first-class management team. We've got some of the best consultants in the world that are used to working in big game environments: everything from security, traffic, parking to planning. We have a hospitality consultant that we brought onboard a couple of months ago who is just finishing up work in Beijing. We've identified the consultant that will be working with us on the opening and closing ceremonies. He did the Pan Am Games in Rio this past year, and he's also just coming back from Beijing, will be doing the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010. So we've really, I think, been able to round out the organization with a very sophisticated and experienced batch of consultants, and then our cracker-jack management team within. I think we're really, really well prepared to enter into this last two years.

TM: How do the improvements of the Horse Park inform the future and what might be happening there?

JL: The United States Equestrian Federation itself does not host or operate any kind of competitions. Rather it is the national governing body of the sport which licenses many of the competitions which occur in the country. So when we look at the Horse Park, we see all kinds of opportunities which did not exist before, as a result of the construction of this new indoor stadium, predominantly. The Horse Park has not been able to be competitive with places like Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Albuquerque for many of the breed and Western shows that occur over the winter months, simply because the Horse Park hasn't had a temperature-controlled facility to host them. So with this new arena ... it will be able to bid and compete for those competitions that they have not been able to chase before. The outdoor arena to have 6,500 or so permanent seats — expandable, which we will be doing for the Games, to in excess of 30,000 — will be another great opportunity to bring events that either were too small or too large to the Horse Park during the summer months.

And maybe the biggest thing of all to the horse lover and to the competitor is the quality of the footing that has been put into both the Walnut Arena, one of the current training arenas where there are competitions that are held, and that will be going into the new outdoor. It is state of the art. It's as good as anything that the Olympics have seen, and that kind of footing will be here at the Horse Park as well. So all of those things, with the possibility of new restaurants and new hospitality, new entry, new signage, it's going to look like a brand-new Horse Park ... at this time a year from now.

TM: Another big element that will have to be constructed during this time is the endurance course. Tell us about that.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Topekan learns about history, hardships on 15-day trek along Santa Fe Trail - Full Story

Published Monday, September 15, 2008

Topekan Becky McDowell recently participated in the Great Santa Fe Trail Endurance Ride, a 515-mile, 15-day horse race along a portion of the Santa Fe Trail stretching from New Mexico to Kansas. The race finished Saturday. The following are excerpts from McDowell's daily journal entries.

Day 1

The first night at Wagon Mound, N.M., there was the biggest lightning storm. My tent flooded, and when I was running to my truck, I dropped my cell phone. So much for an AT&T phone.

Our first day was riding through some ranches from Wagon Mound to Roy. Several ranches had different wildlife ranging from Przwalski wild horses and to Zebras.

The next section of the ride was through some canyons, then we crossed the Canadian River, which was up to my horse's belly because of the rain.

I ended up third and lost by five minutes due to my errors, not my horse's, One Eye.

Day 2

The second day I rode Prizzy...


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hot for trotting - Video and Full Article

Teams of three - two runners, one horse - compete for glory in the endurance sport called ride and tie
By Sam McManis -

Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, September 11, 2008

COOL – Lore has it that ride and tie, an obscure three-way equine-human endurance sport, has a lawless, unpredictable, Wild West ethos. Anything can happen, they tell us city slickers, when two runners and a horse traverse rough terrain for a near-marathon distance.

But, heck, last Saturday's The Coolest Run and Ride and Tie at Olmstead Trail in this baja-Auburn burg seems downright tame and civilized.

Until the start, that is.

Off the teams – one runner on foot, the other on horseback – go in a cloud of dust. The rules and objectives are simple. Two humans trade off running and riding, tying the horse to trees, fences, bushes, anything handy, so the partner can untie, mount and take off. First team to cross together wins.

But when that initial dust cloud clears, not even a half-mile down the path, the first incident in this wild and woolly, not to mention wildly entertaining, event comes to pass.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Riding the Santa Fe Trail - Full Article

Daily Globe
Posted Sep 08, 2008 @ 11:40 AM

DODGE CITY — Riders traveled from as far as Australia to participate in this year's Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race Endurance Ride, which covers 515 miles of the historic trail.

"It's a really nice thing, and it's interesting to watch them," said Jan Stevens, director of the Dodge City Center and Visitors Bureau.

The endurance ride is completed over a 14-day period, 10 of which are riding days. This year's ride began Aug. 31 in Wagon Mound, N.M. In order to complete the race in 10 days, participants ride approximately 50 miles a day.

The participants raced down the Arkansas River bed into Dodge City Roundup Arena Saturday afternoon and spent the night at the fairgrounds. Sunday, they spent the day resting and preparing for their next ride.

Nineteen riders began the ride, but not all of them signed up for the full race. Approximately 10 riders remain to complete the final few days of the course.

Charlie Gauci came from Sydney, Australia, to ride in the race this year. He found out about the race from other endurance riders online and spent a year planning for the trip.


Monday, September 08, 2008

ThinLine and Back On Track Join Forces to Develop the Contender II Saddle Pad

ThinLine and Back On Track Join Forces to 
Develop the Contender II Saddle Pad

Wellington, FL-Two of the leading manufacturers of equine back care products joined forces to develop what is now being touted as the "ultimate saddle pad." A joint effort of ThinLine® and Back on Track® has resulted in the Contender II Saddle Pad which is undeniably the most technically advanced saddle pad available in the world. The new saddle pad delivers therapeutic thermal heat from the Back on Track fabric combined with the renowned shock absorbing properties made famous by ThinLine. The technologically advanced Contender II Saddle Pad from ThinLine and Back On Track is available for Dressage and Jumping.

Top jumper and dressage riders who tested the Contender II Saddle Pad were overwhelmed by the pad’s performance. "I love the fit and stability that ThinLine brings to this pad," said former US Team rider, Betsy Steiner. "The rider’s impact is diffused across the horse’s back while the Back on Track fabric increases the blood flow and reduces inflammation during the ride. It is a powerful combination. I also notice that my horses supple more quickly and they show improved freedom of movement in the back and shoulder s with this perfect marriage of technology," she added.

Four-time Olympic jumper rider, Ann Kursinski also gave the saddle pad high praise. "The combination is simple and eliminates fitting challenges," said Kursinski, "Incorporating the Back on Track fabric with the ThinLine shock absorber in a single pad is better for horse and rider. The Back on Track fabric keeps my horses back soft and relaxed and the ThinLine pad is great for concussion," Kursinski added. She went on to praise the pad’s fit and stability on the horse and summed up it saying, "This pad allows my horses to use their backs properly and be more elastic because it makes the horses more comfortable."

Olympic medalist Michelle Gibson agrees, "I've started using this saddle pad on 95% of my horses. I like it because the ThinLine pad is thinner than a fleece pad, allowing you to be closer to the horse. Combined with the benefits of Back on Track, this saddle pad is excellent."

ThinLine is very well known for their lightweight shock absorbing saddle pads. The Ultra ThinLine is a popular item and the same technology is utilized in the Contender II saddle pad. Many top riders have ridden in the traditional Ultra ThinLine for years to absorb shock, distribute weight and stabilize the saddle by using a wonderful no-slip impact technology. The shock absorption is designed to help horses and riders reduce back pain.

In addition top riders in a number of disciplines depend on Back on Track products to maintain their horses in the best condition possible. Back on Track products are made from a one-of-a-kind fabric that blends ceramic powder into polyester threads. The result is the horse's body heat is reflected back in the form of a soothing thermal infrared ray that increases circulation. For horses, Back on Track manufactures a number of products including stable blankets, hock boots, saddle pads, and leg wraps. Each product has the ability to help reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and stiffness. Back on Track products are recommended for both the treatment and prevention of stress related injuries.

Elaine Lockhead, President of ThinLine, has been using a ThinLine pad over her Back on Track saddle pad for sometime with her own horses. That’s what inspired her to develop the Contender II , which combines these two products in one pad. Lockhead commented, "With both products in place, my horses have the best of everything I can provide them with. Now, I can have a single pad where my ThinLine is always in the right place on my favorite Back on Track pad. In conjunction, the two products provide the perfect amount of heat, stability and shock absorbsion under the saddle. The ThinLine will ventilate the excess heat trapped by the saddle and leave only the best therapeutic warming."

"Word has spread quickly and the demand for the Contender II pad in Europe has been exciting," says Lockhead." We are even offering a reduced international shipping fee on this pad, so more horses and riders can take advantage of all this pad has to offer," she added.
For riders who want to put this technologically advanced pad to the test for both themselves and their horses, the Contender II pad can be found in stores or online at or

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Elmer Bandit, 37, Completes Another Ride, On Track for Record - Full Article

by: Marsha Hayes
September 02 2008, Article # 12615

Elmer Bandit, the 37-year-old Half-Arabian gelding nearing a lifetime competitive mileage record, boosted his mileage to 20,480 over Labor Day weekend after completing the Nebraska National Forest event.

"Elmer loved trotting over the rock-free trails," reported his owner and rider, Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo. Elmer placed fourth in the open lightweight division and Wood garnered first place horsemanship honors.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fourteen-day endurance competition will take Topekan along the path of pioneers who rode the Santa Fe Trail - Full Article

Published Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When she heard about a horse ride more than 500 miles along one of the most historic trails in the United States, Becky McDowell thought "why not?"

"I've got the horses, and I've got the time," McDowell said. "I have a hard time getting a job anywhere.

"I don't know how to do anything. But I know how to ride horses."

Starting Sunday, McDowell will take part in the Great Santa Fe Trail endurance ride, a 14-day, 515-mile horse race along a section of the Santa Fe Trail.

This is the second year for the race, which starts in Mountain Wagon, N.M. The course takes riders along the Santa Fe Trail with stops in various cities along the way. The 515-mile course is broken into 10 rides of about 50 miles a day, with two-day stops in Clayton, N.M., Dodge City, Lyons and Council Grove, where the race finishes.

The race awards two winners — one who rides the same horse the entire 515 miles and another who uses more than one horse.

McDowell, who qualified 17th in a preliminary ride, is taking two horses, the appropriately named One Eye (really, he only has one eye) and Prizzy. While One Eye will be her primary mount, Prizzy will be coming along in case One Eye needs a break.

Race officials monitor the health of the horses and can force a rider to quit if the horse's heart rate is too high.

For McDowell, a Hutchinson native who has lived in Topeka since she was a child, the race is a chance to see some great countryside.

"We start high in the mountains," McDowell said. "I'll be able to experience a little bit of what the pioneers went through, a little. Not near as much because they had a lot of hardships. We'll have tents, and some people will have campers."

While the chance to see some historic sights along a piece of history is one aspect of the race, McDowell said most of the competitors have one thing in common.

"We all have one love," she said. "We love horses, and we love riding."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

37yo Horse Elmer Bandit Finishes Second at CTR

by: Marsha Hayes
August 18 2008, Article # 12530

Elmer Bandit, 37-year-old half-Arabian gelding, completed the Spotted Rump Ride Competitive Trail Event at Greensfelder Equestrian Park near St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 16 to boost his lifetime mileage to 20,420. Saddlebred Wing Tempo holds the current mileage record with 20,710 miles.

Elmer finished second in the Open Lightweight Division. Weight divisions are based on the weight the horse carries over the 60-mile, two-day event. Owner Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo., consistently weighs in (with tack) at around 150 lbs, well below the 189 lb limit for the Lightweight Division.


Thistle Down endurance run pulls nearly 100 riders to Frazee

Frazee-Vergas Forum

Endurance race features 50 miles of trails

by Dale Fett

The sound of diesel trucks and the whinny of horses filled the air on Friday afternoon as riders rolled in for the second running of the Thistle Down Run endurance ride.

photo: Along with hosting the ride, Teresa Fett rode the 25 miler both days which had 20 entries. She finished with a 4th place on Saturday and a 3rd on Sunday. Photo by Henry Gruber, St. Cloud

The endurance ride was hosted by Dale and Teresa Fett. The Aug. 16-17 event drew 96 entries over the two days, with riders coming from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Warm and dry weather made for great camping and riding thanks to the generosity of landowners, Ron Kertscher, Les and Pat Kertscher, Vinton and Joyce Vogler, and camp host, Ben Piche.

The check-in crew of Donna Fett, Orlyn Hanson, Robin Holmer, and Clio Jepson kept order to the events and Joyce Vogler used her great culinary skills to keep them fed. "Thanks to this great bunch of people," Dale Fett said.

photo: rlyn Hanson, Frazee, (left) was the official timer for the run. Dale Fett kept an eye on everything as ride manager and race organizer. Photo by Gale Kaas

Arabs in the top three of the Minnesota point standings with three more events to go for the season.

Tom Gower of Madison, Wis. was a double winner with first place finishes in the Saturday 50 miler and the Sunday 25 miler.

Sunday's 8-mile novice class had 12 participants with a few local riders doing very well. Diane Bellefeuille of Detroit Lakes took home 2nd, Gale Kaas of Frazee at 3rd, Clio Jepson of Frazee brought home 5th place, and Alisa Wendt of Frazee had a completion. "It was great to see these local people test their skills and to learn the condition of their horses," Fett said.

A potluck supper was held Saturday night and featured a cowboy dress-up contest and a campfire. Most riders hit the bed by 10 p.m. as they had to be up early for a 6 a.m. start.

The Thistle Down Run is considered one of the premier rides in Minnesota, so if local riders want to try this sport, "this would be your opportunity," Fett said.

Complete endurance ride rules and info can be found at

"Volunteers are always welcome and we can find a spot to use your talent," he added. For more info contact Teresa or Dale Fett at 218-334-5711 or

Full Story