Sunday, July 27, 2008

Stalley sisters successfully ride 100 miles in Wyoming - Full Article

July 24, 2008 11:21:00 PM

Sisters Alyssa and Jennifer Stalley of Williams recently returned from Wyoming, where they participated in the Bighorn 100, a horseback endurance ride.

It was a replacement ride or sorts in that the Stalleys were scheduled to participate in the 54th annual Tevis Cup, a 100-mile ride from Truckee to Auburn on the same day. But because of all of the recent wildfires in Northern California, the air quality was poor and event organizers canceled the Tevis Cup.

The Stalleys rode in the 100-mile Wyoming event and their father, Chuck, rode in the 50-miler.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Pioneer farming alive and well in Fallon

By Jamie Winkler • Fallon Star Press • July 18, 2008

Bill Adams and Kathy Davis run a unique, old-fashioned farm which is definitely a step back in time as they use their mules and antique equipment to run it. Modern farm equipment is not allowed.

"When I was a boy, I grew up doing this stuff," said Adams, which explains his desire for keeping farming simple.

Davis and Adams met at Bishop Mule Days in Bishop, CA a few years back and they realized they had a lot in common. Davis was a racehorse trainer and endurance rider.

After they got to know each other, Davis moved to Fallon to help out on Adams' farm and she took to the mules right away. "Kathy just jumped on the wagon and it looked like she was born to do this," Adams said.

Davis, originally from California, grew up with a love for horses. Her parents couldn't afford one, so she bought a "dingbat Arab" with the money she earned from her first job. Soon after, she became certified to train racehorses.

Endurance riding came next. Davis has eight national championships in long distance riding and rode a tough section of the Pony Express route (Top Gun Speedway to Sand Mountain) this year. She is used to riding 25-30 miles at a clip.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Frazee, MN: Endurance Riding

The Frazee Forum

Maplewood State Park will host an endurance and competitive trail riding clinic Saturday, July 19.

The event will begin at 10 a.m., finishing by 4 p.m. A light lunch will be served, according to organizers. The cost is $25 for the event.

Persons curious about the fastest-growing equine sport in America are urged to attend and learn about the activity. Moreover, they can get questions answered that may even spur greater interest.

Topics to be covered include:
• the various distance riding organizations;

• the difference between endurance and competitive trail riding;

• tack, equipment and clothing;

• what to expect at your first ride;

• vet check procedures;

• feeding the endurance horse;

• choosing a good endurance or competitive trail horse;

• shoeing options for the distance riding horse;

• an explanation of the paperwork;

• conditioning your horse (where to start and what to do);

• a mock vet check.

There will also be Q and A concerning the "ins and outs" of endurance and competitive trail riding.

If it rains, the clinic will be held in the new shelter built this spring, otherwise it will be staged in the day rider area of the horse camp.

Participants may also decide to make the trip to camp in the park. In any case, a Minnesota State Park sticker is required. After the clinic, a ride will follow for those who wish to take part. A Minnesota Horse Trail Pass is required.

Reservations for camping can be obtained through the Minnesota State Park reservation system. Info: Charlotte Thompson, 28953 15th Ave. N, Hawley, MN 56549, 701-526-3734.

Related Stories
Thistle Down Run ride set for Aug. 16-17 near Frazee

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Worthington & Golden Lightening at Greenway Gallivant

FEI Results of Greenway Gallivant
Ocala, Florida July 5, 2008

Jan Worthington and Golden Lightening took top FEI placement and Best Condition award at the summer night ride in Florida.
FEI RiderHorseRide Time / Code
Jan WorthingtonGolden Lightning10:44:25 - BC
John Crandell IIIHH Saba Shams11:01:08
Cecilia Butler-StasiukDJB Sambrieul11:01:09
Lisa GreenLR Amana Tabi11:49:56
Heather ReynoldsCal Flaming Emit11:53:39
Debra IveyRaazyl Cha12:16:08
Hernon BarbosaSavvy12:43:05
Stephen RojekJulio12:43:06
Cheryl Van DeusenDA Al Capone12:53:31
Ann S. HallBogus Thunder14:40:16
Jonie BruckerPrince of GraceEL-ME
Darolyn ButlerDJB Mercy MerciEL_LA
Valerie KanavySaagre GoldEL_LA
Jeremy ReynoldsSir SmithEL_LA
Jeremy OlsonBerjo SmokeyEL_ME_TR
Mary FarrisThundering OvertimeEL_LA
Lynn KenellyReminisonce+/RET

Monday, July 14, 2008

USEF: Top 25 Ranked USEF Riders, July 2008

July 14, 2008

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) began a ranking system for riders in 2007. With this system, riders earn points at specific 100 mile 'ranking' rides based upon their placement relative to the entire field of riders. These points are awarded to the rider, independent of the horse being ridden. Points earned during a 2 year 'rolling' period will remain in effect; all points earned within 24 months of the most recent ranking calculation will apply. The ranking list is updated each month, with results of the most recent rides being factored in. The two best performances of each rider, within this 24 month period, are used to calculate overall ranking.

The top 25 ranked riders earn placement on the USEF Endurance Training Team, with prioritized eligibility to participate in USEF Training Events, and selection to the National Squad.

Top 25 USEF Ranked Riders
July, 2008:

1.Crandell, John
1.Kanavy, Valerie
3.Rojek, Steve
4.Worthington, Jan
5.Sleeper, Meg
5.Brunjes, Kathryn
5.Butler, Darolyn
8.Sousa, Joyce
9.Dell, Cheryl
10.Reynolds, Heather
10.Reynolds, Jeremy
12.Green, Lisa
13.Hall, Ann
14.Niehaus, Jennifer
14.Stasiuk, Ceci Butler
16.Schork, Christoph
17.Glenn, Charisse
18.Hayes, Suzanne
19.Fuess, Kimberley
20.Worthington, Guy ZTEC
21.Summers, Dennis
22.Van Deusen, Cheryl
23.McGunigal, Danielle Kanavy
23.Summers, Susan
25.Olson, Jeremy
25.Stevens, Heather

Australia: Outback Queensland's camel races set to begin - Full Story

July 14 2008

Camels and their trainers have begun arriving in outback Queensland for the start of the state's camel racing circuit.

Boulia Camel Races is offering $30,000 prize money for this weekend's races and another $50,000 will be offered next month at a camel endurance race in Hughendon.

There is another race meet in Winton later this month.

Camel racing identity Paddy McHugh says events are becoming more popular.

"Certainly when the horse influenza thing went through our phones ran hot for us to do more and more races," he said.

"It's gained in popularity but it will never give horse racing a run for its money, it's just a different industry you know.

"There is a serious side to it though, in the fact that Middle Eastern market is worth millions and millions of dollars to the industry."

Mr McHugh says high fuel prices may deter some competitors from making the trip to western Queensland.

"It seems the tourism hasn't really slowed down a great deal," he said.

"The camel people like to have a bit of a moan and groan, but you know $50,000, $30,000 at Boulia and Winton is another little bit as well, it's pretty good prize money.

"It's not as if there's a lot of them in the business so whoever wins makes pretty good money for three or four months of the year."

Mounting a bid for the cure - Full Story

Journal Star
Posted Jul 13, 2008 @ 12:20 PM

As competitors race, sponsors pony up for cancer research


For Keith and Kristi Kesick, horse riding is a lifestyle.

'We're horse people, straight up,' Keith Kesick said Saturday.

So when the Wisconsin couple decided to get involved in the search for a cure for cancer, a disease they have watched family members struggle with for years, they managed to incorporate their passion.

They donated a handmade saddle to the cause.

The equestrian accessory is the top prize in the three-day Endure for the Cure horse ride at Farmdale Park. The competition, which included race lengths ranging from 12.5 miles to 100 miles, brought in money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The three-day event will conclude today...


Friday, July 11, 2008

Smoky skies mean change of plans for endurance riders

Colusa County Sun Herald

Thursday, Jul 10 2008, 8:19 pm
By Richard Myers/Freedom News Service

The Grinch, blanketed in soot and smoke, stole Christmas from Jennifer Stalley.

Stalley her sister, Alyssa, were looking forward to participating in the 54th annual Tevis Cup, a 100-mile, 24-hour equestrian endurance ride slated for July 19.

“It’s like Christmas to me,” Jennifer said.

But, less than two hours after talking Wednesday about the upcoming event, Jennifer, 21, and Alyssa, 18, both from Williams, learned the ride had been canceled because of poor air quality caused by the rash of forest fires in Northern California.

“We were really excited after talking about it,” Jennifer said.

Canceling the Tevis Cup, however, might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, Alyssa admitted.

That’s because the Stalleys now have the opportunity to participate in a similar 100-mile, 24-hour endurance ride, the Bighorn 100 in Wyoming.

“It’s the same day as the Tevis Cup, so we’re never able to ride in it,” Alyssa said.

“We’re pretty excited about getting the chance to go to the Bighorn 100,” Jennifer added. “It sounds pretty challenging.”

Both of their parents have ridden in the Bighorn 100 and told their daughters about it.

“A lot of the ride is at the 10,000-foot elevation,” Chuck said, noting while there are some trees there also are a lot of open meadows.

Stalley added his wife, Pam, finished the Bighorn 100 first one year and also has a second- and a third-place finish to her credit.

While all four Stalleys have ridden in the Tevis Cup together, this was to have been the first year that the two sisters were going to participate without their parents.

“You have to be 18 before you can ride without an adult,” Alyssa said, adding she is disappointed she won’t get the opportunity this year.

But, the Stalleys are content knowing the ride was canceled for a good reason.

“(Ride director) Mike Pickett said the health and safety of the horses and riders take precedence over everything else,” Alyssa said.

Chuck Stalley, who is a member of the Tevis Cup Board of Governors, said the U.S. Forest Service had given ride officials an alternate route around a portion of the trail near Foresthill that was closed because of fire. But, because of the air quality, directors opted to cancel the ride now rather than wait until the last minute.

“I know of some riders from Florida who already left home and are headed here,” he said. “They planned to be on the road for a week.”

Canceling now also means riders can opt to participate in the Bighorn 100, he added. Usually, the Bighorn 100 is a much smaller race with perhaps 50 riders, as compared to the Tevis Cup, which has as many as 250 riders.

“The cool thing about the Bighorn 100 is that riders who successfully complete the event within 24 hours receive a belt buckle,” Alyssa said about the same “trophy” awarded to successful riders in the Tevis Cup.

Both Stalley sisters have earned four Tevis Cup belt buckles.

They inherited their love for horses from their parents. Their father, who loved running cross country, first began competing in ride-and-ties, Alyssa said, which involves two riders and one horse. One person goes out ahead on horseback, stops at some point, dismounts and ties the horse and then takes off running. The second person, who started out running, catches up to the tied horse and takes off on horseback. They keep alternating through the end of the race.

Chuck Stalley won several ride-and-tie events.

Pam Stalley, meanwhile, has earned 11 Tevis Cup belt buckles, finishing as high as sixth one year.

Besides participating in national events, the Stalleys also have ridden overseas. Alyssa said she and her sister served as grooms while their mother participated in an endurance race in the United Arab Emirates. Their father was the team captain. Pam Stalley also has ridden in France.

While the Stalley sisters are excited about the opportunity to ride in Wyoming, it could be quite an interesting trek. That’s because, unlike the Tevis Cup, they will be riding on an unfamiliar trail.

Since both events take place during daylight and night-time hours, riders have to rely a lot on their horses. In the Tevis Cup, Alyssa pointed out a portion of that ride traverses a narrow trail hundreds of feet above the American River Canyon.

Glow bars attached to the breastplates on the horses help light the trail for the riders, Alyssa said.

One year she thought the trail was clear so she kept urging her horse, Tiki, to start trotting. But he wouldn’t, she said, and pretty soon they encountered a very rocky section of trail.

“As soon as we were through the rocks, he took off trotting,” Alyssa said, adding, “horses can see a lot better at night than we can.”

Both girls said they love riding in the Tevis Cup each year because of the beautiful scenery.

“There’s a mystical, magical feeling about the Tevis Cup,” said Jennifer.

“There’s no other ride like it,” added Chuck Stalley, who has three Tevis Cup buckles.

Contact sports reporter Richard Myers at 749-4714 or

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Farrier makes mark in Dubai

It’s a long way from Forbes to Dubai but the equine industry can take you places, just ask local man Shaun Moss.

Moss has long been renowned in the local region as a quality horseman and master farrier.

But the past six months has seen him ply his trade further a field, working for the ruling family of the Middle Eastern Emirate of Dubai.

Last year’s Equine Influenza outbreak decimated the horse racing industry and had severe consequences for Moss’ business as a master farrier.

“It was a disaster really. It flattened my business,” he said.

“A friend who was there about three years ago put me on to it.”

The ‘it’ is working with the endurance horses of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the brother of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.

His Highness Shiekh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been in the news recently after taking control of Australian racing legend Bob Ingham’s vast Woodlands Stud for $460 million.

Moss has been working with the family’s stable of endurance horses which race in events across the desert in distances ranging between 120kms and 160kms.

Any one race can see up to 50 competitors and Moss is charged with the care of approximately 150 horses at a complex located around half an hour’s drive from Dubai City.

He was home on vacation when the Advocate spoke to him last week.

“It’s a big culture shock,” he said.

“There’s a lot of new people in a strange place.”

“I am enjoying it, having a great time but it’s hard being away from the family,” he said.

Dubai is a city on the move with massive developments now dotting the skyline.

“There’s work going on 24 hours a day, just construction, construction and building sites.”

“They’re very serious, very quiet but once you get to know them they’re good people,” Moss said when asked of the locals.

Dubai has a largely foreign work force and Moss said this is also the case with the horse industry.

Moss said he had been given an introduction to the country by a vet from Uruguay, Mario Castro.

“We’ve been working together for the last six months now and he’s one of the best vets I’ve ever seen,” Moss said.

“He’s sort of taken me under his wing a little bit.”

Castro was also one of those responsible for bringing the 2007 Dubai World Cup (this race carries a purse of $6 million) champion Invasor to the country and Moss has two apprentices both of whom are Indian.

“I am rubbing shoulders with some of the best tradesmen,” he said.

He said the shoeing methods used in the country are different but the change has not taken long to adjust.

Moss got his start in the industry here in Forbes with a four year apprenticeship to Don Mulqueeney, while at the same time travelling to Hawkesbury Agricultural College and studying veterinary science.

Now with approximately 15 years industry experience, Moss said the trip has been an excellent chance to further his skills.

“This is a great opportunity to further my career. It’s a bit further up the ladder and I’ve already had ­offers to go to South America,” he said.

Moss flies out for Dubai again tomorrow.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It’s been a long ride for Marilyn Smart

She's won many endurance riding awards in her career
HEREFORD — For nearly 30 years, competitive endurance riding has been Marilyn Smart’s life. After a highly successful year in 2007, the Hereford resident is hanging up her helmet and retiring her saddle, looking forward to a more relaxing lifestyle with her husband of 50 years, Lee.

“I’m 68 years old, and this sport can take a lot out of you,” Marilyn said. “For 40 years, Lee has been nothing but supportive when it comes to my horses. I couldn’t have competed like this without him. So now it’s my turn to give back to him.”But Marilyn didn’t retire quietly. Hoping to achieve some “lofty goals,” on her way out, she set her sights on specific endurance competitions that she wanted to win, a kind of grand finale to top off her impressive endurance resume.

“I conferred with my trusty adviser, husband Lee, and together we decided to set another lofty goal and pursue it with vigor — I would train and condition my Morgans and compete for the Bill Stuckey Award.”

And that’s exactly what they did.

The Smarts logged more than 15,000 driving miles in 2007 alone, as they traveled to different endurance competitions in six states.

In a sport dominated by Arabian horses, a breed known for its stamina and endurance, Marilyn’s two horses were an exception. She won top honors and national recognition with two Morgan horses, brother and sister Excalibur Gabriel and Excalibur Annakate. Gabe was Marilyn’s primary horse during the competitions, carrying her 1,735 miles of the 2,095 total miles that she logged.

The year 2007 was a stellar one for Marilyn and her horses. They earned the Morgan Open High-Point Award two different times that year. In addition, Marilyn achieved a number of national accolades, to include a personal aspiration, the Bill Stuckey Award. It’s an award that honors a rider 65 years of age or older, who has the greatest number of miles in a season. Stuckey was a personal friend of Marilyn’s, someone she met when she started competing in endurance in the early ’80s. A highly competitive senior endurance rider, Stuckey actually died on the trail.

“He (Stuckey) was a legend in endurance riding then, as he is today,” Marilyn said of her friend. “I’m honored to receive the award bearing his name.”

Also in 2007, Marilyn and Gabe won the Pioneer Award, presented to the competitor with the most points in a multi-day event of 155 or more miles. She earned second place in the National Mileage Championship and was honored with six regional awards, to include first place wins in the Regional Point Standings, Southwest Region Featherweight Division and the Regional Rider Mileage Award for the Southwest Region.

Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled, long-distance rides, usually varying between 50 and 100 miles. There are, however, shorter rides for beginners and longer, multi-day events for the die-hard, experienced competitors like Marilyn Smart. It’s a sport that takes competitors and their horses through scenic country, faraway destinations, rugged trails and nights spent under the stars or in the sleeping quarters of horse trailers.

Riders chose their pace during a competition, making adjustments with changes in terrain and the horse’s condition. Before each ride, horses are inspected by a veterinarian to ensure they are fit enough to tackle the course.

In addition, horses are checked at different points throughout a race, where veterinarians look for soundness and dehydration. The horse’s pulse and respiration are taken at the veterinarian inspection points, as well. Veterinarians will eliminate horses from a competition if deemed unfit to continue.

Horses are fed and watered after the inspection, giving them a break before continuing on.

The following is taken from Marilyn’s 2007 competition experiences, in what she dubbed the “June Campaign.”

“Our posse, Lee and I, scout dogs Dingo and Spunky and my mounts Gabe and Annakate, left our home in Hereford at 5 a.m. on June 1st, on an odyssey that would take us through four states and cover 3,578 miles,” Marilyn wrote.

The first ride of that odyssey was the Pony Express out of Fort Shellbourne, Nev., a five-day, 250-mile ride through the rugged Shell Creek Mountain Range. On the third day of the competition, riders faced high wind and driving snow as they tackled an uphill climb over a mountainous pass. The weather was so cold that day, a vet check was cut from 45 minutes to 15 so the horses could stay warmed up.

“Fortunately, I was riding with three knowledgeable endurance riders that knew the trail,” Marilyn wrote in her journal. “As we continued to climb, the bad weather got worse. We were now riding in driving winds, sleet beating into our faces and almost white-out conditions ... It was all I could do to keep Gabe on the trail.” As riders dropped to the other side of the mountain, the weather let up. Marilyn recalls being “grateful but not surprised that Gabe never faltered as we rode on to the finish line.”

The fourth day was much easier. The riders stayed in lower elevations and snow was minimal. On day five, Mother Nature gave the riders a welcome reprieve, with a sunny day, calmer winds and temperatures in the low 80s. Marilyn and Gabe finished second overall. Seventy-one horse/rider teams started the competition, with 13 horse/rider teams completing all five days.

According to the American Endurance Ride Conference, in 2006 there were more than 3,000 Arabian and Arabian crosses involved with endurance competition, as compared with 60 Morgans. “Her accomplishments with our two Morgans are amazing, something we’re very proud of,” Lee said of his wife.

Marilyn’s attraction to horses goes way back, when she started riding as a teen on a ranch in Northern California. In 1970, Lee was stationed in Ethiopia, where Marilyn, her three daughters and one son all rode horses, competing in gymkhanas and open jumping classes.

From 1972 through 1975, the family lived in Germany, where they rode, as well. While living in Missouri, the family owned two horses, a thoroughbred and a paint. During that time, Marilyn competed in dressage. “I started endurance riding in 1980 when we were living in Southern California,” Marilyn said. “At that time, I was riding Arabians, and did well in regional competitions.”

When her two Arabs passed their competitive prime, Marilyn thought her endurance days might be over. But she acquired the two Morgans, trained and conditioned them, and started competing again, with Lee’s support.

Now that she has accomplished her competition goals, Marilyn is stepping out of endurance riding. She is selling her Morgans and plans to enjoy a life of leisure with Lee, golfing and traveling.

Smart’s achievements

The following statistics are provided by American Endurance Ride Conference in the 2007 Yearbook of Endurance Riding:

• Marilyn Smart and Excalibur Gabriel finished first in the Southwest Region Featherweight Division, logging 1,735 miles with 3,608.5 division points.

• Marilyn Smart and her two horses Excalibur Gabriel and Excalibur Annakate finished first in the Southwest Region for the most miles, logging a total of 1,990 miles.

• Marilyn Smart and Excalibur Gabriel won first place in the Featherweight Division of the Belesemo Arabians Pioneer Award competition, with 1,305 miles and 2,528 points.

The 2007 American Morgan Horse Association Open Competition High Point and Medallion Report provided the following information:

• Excalibur Gabriel was the Morgan that won the champion honors for the 2007 Open Competition High-Point Award for endurance trail riding.

• Excalibur Annakate was the Morgan that placed fourth for the 2007 Open Competition High-Point Award for endurance trail riding.

Original Article