Thursday, January 31, 2008

American Endurance Ride Conference to Kick-Off in Reno

January 30
By Troy Smith

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the national governing body for endurance riding in the United States, will hold its 2008 annual convention in Reno, NV. The two-day program of seminars, informational meetings and a free trade show is set for February 29-March 1 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.

Leading experts in equine health care and endurance-related fields will be featured at several seminar sessions as part of the convention’s “Riding With Education” theme. Other highlights of AERC's convention will include a trade show featuring vendors from across the country. Regional awards will be presented at an evening reception on February 29, and the convention will culminate with AERC's national awards the evening of March 1.

"Endurance riders emphasize the health and well-being of their horses. That is necessary for both beginning endurance riders and national champions in the sport,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. "We invite people who are interested in learning more about endurance riding to come to convention, attend the seminars, and visit the trade show. They will get a wonderful education in the sport.”

Friday's seminar speakers include Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, who will discuss practical uses for recent research; Dane Frazier, DVM, will give his seminar on “There Be Dragons in Those Hills,” on being your horse’s advocate and protector during competitions; and Rob Keene, DVM, who will discuss new concepts for pain management in the equine athlete. AERC’s Education Committee will present “Moving on Up” for riders who would like to move up to longer distances.

Rallie McAllister, MD, will kick off the Saturday sessions with her “Riding for Life: A Guide to Lifetime Health and Fitness,” which is based on her “Riding for Life” book (which she will be selling and autographing at the convention as well). Dr. Frazier’s Saturday session will be on avoiding mistakes at rides; Dr. Garlinghouse will discuss the 10 things riders can do better. An “ask the experts” panel will follow, with an open Q&A session with some of the top endurance riders from around the country.

Seminar prices are $45 per day ($25 for each additional family member) if purchased before February 14; the prices go up $10 after the pre-registration period.

The trade show will be located in the Reno Events Center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Vendors at the free trade show will display a variety of products for long-distance riders—everything from saddles to jewelry to horse trailers.

Also open to the public is the convention’s annual Friday night dance, which begins at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available at the convention for $10 per person.

Veterinarians can take part in the seven-credit continuing education program on Thursday, February 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the convention.

Convention registration can be made by phone to the AERC office at (866) 271-2372. A complete convention overview and reservation forms are available online at The reservation line for the Silver Legacy is (800) 687-8733.

For information about AERC's upcoming convention or membership in AERC, visit or phone toll-free (866) 271-2372.

AERC Convention:USEF Awards and Committee Meetings

USEF Awards and Committee Meetings at the AERC Convention

For the first Time the USEF will present awards for Endurance at the AERC Awards Banquet Saturday Evening in addition to awards and recognition at the Regional Awards on Friday evening.

Schedule of International Events for the American Endurance Ride Conference Convention at the Silver legacy Hotel in Reno, Nevada on Feb 28-March 2, 2008:

pdf file: Schedule of International Events

For more information regarding the AERC Convention, go to the AERC website

The United States Equestrian Federation

Sunday, January 20, 2008

USEF National Training List for Endurance

USEF Announces the Endurance Training List for 2008

The USEF National Training List for Endurance has been established. Competitors earned points over the past year at pre-determined Ranking Trials. Points were earned by the rider, regardless of mount. The Riders' two best performances were used to Rank the riders. The top 25 Riders comprise the National Training List. In addition, the Top 3 members of the winning FEI Team at the ZTEC Event are named to the List, and the Chef d' Equipe may name Wild Cards not to exceed the maximum number of 35 National Training List Riders.

More - and Full Listing

Friday, January 18, 2008

Two Canadian Riders Opt Out of Olympics - Jan 18 2008 - Full story

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
January 12 2008, Article # 11156

Three top dressage riders--one from Switzerland and two from Canada—have renounced their participation in the 2008 summer Olympics in China, citing potential equine health hazards posed by extreme climate and travel conditions.

Canadian riders Cindy Ishoy and Ashley Nicoll-Holzer, members of the 1988 bronze-winning team in Seoul, announced their withdrawal from the Hong Kong-based events late Thursday, according to Canada's Globe and Mail, two days after Swiss rider Silvia Iklé announced that she would not participate in the games in order to protect the health of her horses, Salieri CH and Romario.

"It was with great difficulty that I came to this decision …


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bin Laden Son Wants to Be Peace Activist - Jan 17 2008


CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Omar Osama bin Laden bears a striking resemblance to his notorious father - except for the dreadlocks that dangle halfway down his back. Then there's the black leather biker jacket.

The 26-year-old does not renounce his father, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, but in an interview with The Associated Press, he said there is better way to defend Islam than militancy: Omar wants to be an "ambassador for peace" between Muslims and the West.

Omar - one of bin Laden's 19 children - raised a tabloid storm last year when he married a 52-year-old British woman, Jane Felix-Browne, who took the name Zaina Alsabah. Now the couple say they want to be advocates, planning a 3,000-mile horse race across North Africa to draw attention to the cause of peace.

"It's about changing the ideas of the Western mind. A lot of people think Arabs - especially the bin Ladens, especially the sons of Osama - are all terrorists. This is not the truth," Omar told the AP last week at a cafe in a Cairo shopping mall.

Of course, many may have a hard time getting their mind around the idea of "bin Laden: peacenik."

"Omar thinks he can be a negotiator," said Alsabah, who is trying to bring her husband to Britain. "He's one of the only people who can do this in the world."

Omar lived with the al-Qaida leader in Sudan, then moved with him to Afghanistan in 1996.

There, Omar says he trained at an al-Qaida camp but in 2000 he decided there must be another way and he left his father, returning to his homeland of Saudi Arabia.

"I don't want to be in that situation to just fight. I like to find another way and this other way may be like we do now, talking," he said in English.

He suggested his father did not oppose his leaving - and Alsabah interjected that Omar was courageous in breaking away, but neither elaborated.

Although there is no way to confirm the details he describes of his childhood and upbringing, the strong family resemblance and Omar's knowledge of Osama's family life have convinced many that he is bin Laden's son.

U.S. and Egyptian intelligence officials have not commented on his identity, but Omar and his wife insist they have not been bothered by Egyptian officials.

Omar said he hasn't seen or been in contact with his father since leaving Afghanistan. "He doesn't have e-mail," Omar said. "He doesn't take a telephone ... if he had something like this, they will find him through satellites."

Omar doesn't criticize his father and says Osama bin Laden is just trying to defend the Islamic world.

"My father thinks he will be good for defending the Arab people and stop anyone from hurting the Arab or Muslim people any place in the world," he said, noting that the West didn't have a problem with his father when he was fighting the Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Omar is convinced a truce between the West and al-Qaida is possible.

"My father is asking for a truce but I don't think there is any government (that) respects him. At the same time they do not respect him, why everywhere in the world, they want to fight him? There is a contradiction," he said.

Osama bin Laden, believed to be in hiding in the Pakistan-Afghan border region, offered a truce to Europe in a 2004 audiotape and a conditional truce to the United States in a 2006 message. In November, he called on European nations to pull out of Afghanistan in a message seen by some experts as an effort to reach out to Europe.

But in a series of messages since last fall, he also has been calling for Muslims to rally around jihad, or "holy war," encouraging fighters in Iraq in particular to continue their battles with U.S. and Iraqi forces.

At least two of Osama bin Laden's sons, Hamza and Saad, are believed to have an active role in al-Qaida - with Hamza believed to be in the Pakistan-Afghan border zone and Saad thought to be in Iran, perhaps in Iranian custody.

But most of the al-Qaida leader's children, like Omar, live as legitimate businessmen. The family as a whole disowned Osama in 1994 when Saudi Arabia stripped him of his citizenship because of his militant activities.

The family is wealthy: Osama bin Laden's billionaire father Mohammed, who died in 1967, had more than 50 children and founded the Binladen Group, a construction conglomerate that gets many major building contracts in the kingdom.

Since leaving his father's side, Omar has lived in Saudi Arabia, where he runs a contracting company connected with the Binladen Group, but he spends much of his time in Egypt. It was during a desert horseback ride at the Pyramids of Giza that he met his wife.

Their marriage in April made them tabloid fodder, particularly in Britain, where headlines touted the "granny who married Osama bin Laden's son." Alsabah, who has married five times, has five grandchildren.

The couple has applied for a visa to Britain. And they are planning their endurance horse race across North Africa, which they hope to start in March. It is in the planning stages — they are seeking approval of governments along the route and need sponsors to help pay for the event and raise money for child victims of war.

Omar said they plan to ride 30 miles a day, with periodic weeklong rests in each country.

Teams from around the world will be encouraged to join in what the couple envisions as an equine version of the Paris-Dakar car rally. That rally was canceled this year due to fears over terrorist threats made by al-Qaida-affiliated groups in North Africa.

Omar, however, said he isn't worried.

"I heard the rally was stopped because of al-Qaida," he said. "I don't think they are going to stop me."

Full story

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2008 USEF Pegasus Awards Gala - Full story

Louisville, KY - It was a night for celebration and standing ovations during the much-anticipated Pegasus Awards where the equestrian world's brightest stars gathered to be honored and celebrate achievements from 2007, as well as a lifetime.

In addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award, Equestrian of the Year, and USEF Equestrians of Honor titles, the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award was awarded to endurance rider Kirsten Kimbler:

"Always one of the highlights from the evening is the awarding of the Junior Equestrian of the Year Award and the Ruth O'Keefe Meredith Memorial Trophy. South Dakota's Kirsten Kimbler, an 18-year-old endurance and Arabian rider also took the Youth Sportsman's Award. Her impressive, energetic and heartfelt address charmed the packed ballroom."

Full story and awards

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

USEF: 2008 National Training List Announced

USEF Announces the Endurance Training List for 2008

The First-Ever US National Training List for Endurance has been established. Competitors earned points over the past year at pre-determined Ranking Trials. Points were earned by the rider, regardless of mount. The Riders’ two best performances were used to Rank the riders. The top 25 Riders comprise the National Training List. In addition, the Top 3 members of the winning FEI Team at the ZTEC Event are named to the List, and the Chef d’ Equipe may name Wild Cards not to exceed the maximum number of 35 National Training List Riders. The riders must now declare a horse or horses to participate in the Training Program in preparation for future events. The riders and their chosen horses will attend Training Sessions to prepare for the 2008 Endurance World Championship in Terranganu, Malaysia in November and for other future competitions. The list is updated on a regular basis, and riders may be added, or may drop from the list by virtue of performances at 2008 Trials. All Riders who are on the National Training List at any time during a competition’s application period are eligible to apply to compete at the competition.

The Endurance National Training List as of December 1, 2007

1. 500 John Crandell III
2.490 Steve Rojek
3.480 Margaret Sleeper
3.480 Kathryn Brunjes
3.480 Valerie Kanavy
6.450 Darolyn Butler
7.380 Janice Worthington (ZTEC)
8.370 Ann Hall
9.350 Heather Reynolds
9.350 Joyce Sousa
11.300 Jeremy Reynolds
12.230 Cheryl Dell
12.230 Danielle McGunigal
14.220 Jeremy Olson
14.220 Christoph Schork
16.205 Jennifer Poling
17.195 Hal V. Hall
18.190 Fred Emigh
19.180 Lynn Kenelly
19.180 Cheryl Van Deusen
21.160 Suzanne Hayes
21.160 Heather Stevens
21.160 Jennifer Stavens
24.125 Tammy Robinson
25.120 Charisse Glenn
25.120 Sandra E. Conner
25.120 Julie Jackson (ZTEC Addition)
25.120 Guy Worthington (ZTEC Addition)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Olympic Organizers Confident Hong Kong Weather will not Endanger Horses - Jan 10 2008 - Full story

by: The Associated Press
January 10 2008, Article # 11140

Olympic organizers do not expect other equestrian teams to follow the lead of Switzerland by pulling out of events at this year's Games due to Hong Kong's heat and humidity.

The Swiss team said Wednesday that it would not take part in the dressage event in Hong Kong because top rider Silvia Ikle was concerned about the stress of the weather and travel on her horse.

"We haven't been officially notified by the Swiss team, but we will respect their decision," Christopher Yip, media manager of the Equestrian Company, the body overseeing the Games' equestrian events said Thursday.

"We don't expect to see any other teams pulling out."

Hong Kong, which has a well-established racing circuit, was chosen to host the equestrian events at this year's Olympics...


Thursday, January 03, 2008

APEX Clinic coming to Canada in 2008

Excellence in Endurance - APEX clinic in CANADA!!
A Partnership in Endurance Xcellence©

Seaway Valley Arabian Horse Association (SVAHA) is pleased and excited to present an APEX team clinic ( for the first time in Canada.

Have you thought about distance riding and asked yourself,
Can my horse and I do the distance?

Are you already competing in distance riding and wondered,
Am I doing the right things in my training program?
Did I make the right choices during a competition?
How can my horse and I ‘peak’ at just the right time?

Are you a pit crew and want to learn more about how to help your team?
Are you a veterinarian or lay judge and want to learn more about what to watch for during endurance competition or training?

Then this clinic is FOR YOU!,2165.msg10681.html#msg10681
...More info, contact

Australia: Happy Trails Again - Jan 3 2008

Travel and movement restrictions on horses in some areas of Australia affected by equine flu are starting to ease. By the end of this month, some riders will be able to leave their properties to ride, and by March or April, begin participating in local competitions again. has the Full Story