Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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

Cjonline.com - 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 www.mndra.com.

"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 fettbros@loretel.net.

Full Story

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

American Endurance Ride Conference National Championships 2008 Preview

Release: August 19 2008

By Genie Stewart-Spears

Southern Indiana and the Daniel Boone Distance Riders (DBDR) Association, on October 16 and 18, are offering American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) members a ride of a lifetime by hosting the National Championships on trails in the Clark State Forest. Recently the DBDR bridged an AERC/Clark State Forest partnership through trail funding. The oldest state forest in Indiana, Clark State Forest is comprised of 24,000 acres of wooded forestland, with headquarters in the town of Henryville, just 25 miles north of Louisville, KY.

Endurance rides have been held in the Clark State Forest for 15 years. With its varied terrain, from flat ridge tops and hills (referred to as "knobs" in this region), to low-lying creeks and valleys, neither you nor your horse will get bored in either the 50- or 100-mile championship. For the most part, the trails are wide enough for two horses abreast or to pass safely. The trails will be golden with the fall foliage and the views are breathtaking. Why would you want to miss such a spectacular ride?

Making It Possible
Feeling the money crunch with high fuel and food costs? Be creative in finding ways to make it to the AERC National Championships. Instead of a summer vacation, make the nationals your destination this fall. Base camp will open the Friday prior, and there are a number of nearby day trips you can take with family and friends to Louisville or Lexington.

If you normally travel alone, buddy up with a friend or two to save on expenses. Riders who buddy up can have a "money pot," where each person traveling together puts in, say, $100 or $200 or more, depending on the travel distance, to be used for fuel, oil, or any minor repairs (tire blow-out, for instance) on the road. When the trip is over, what is left is divided up and given back to the participating parties.

A Family Affair
Do you have a junior rider who would like to enter the championship? Meghan Delp and her mother Lisa drove from Maryland to preview the trails during the Top of the Rock Ride in late May. "I liked the pretty views, and although it wasn't always an easy trail because of some of the steep switchbacks, it wasn’t scary," said 14-year-old Meghan, who completed the 50-mile course in ninth place overall and first junior. "I really want to come and ride in the National Championship because the trails are enjoyable," she added.

Meghan's mother Lisa stated, "I would strongly encourage parents to bring their children to compete with them in the rides. What a wonderful way to spend time with your children! Think of the strength you are building in your children to be able to do this sport. They learn how to discipline themselves and it gives them confidence. And, when they fail to complete, although disappointing, it also teaches your child how to deal with problems, work on fixing them and move forward."

What to Expect at Base Camp
Base camp is on veteran endurance rider Bill Wilson's farm, with plenty of parking for rigs and grassy space for pens. While the twisty, narrow road to base camp may make a few pucker up, you'll quickly forget the less than a mile of road when you hit the trails.

Ride managers Amy Whelan and Cindy Young are working diligently to make this a classy event. Young said, "We're still lining up vendors and sponsors. Horse Lovers Outlet/Distance Depot with Kristen Lacy will be one of the vendors, as will Running Bear Farms with Teddy Lancaster. I am working with a local business, Metzger's Country Store, to have a truck on site with supplies such as hay, feed, shavings and other things riders might need."

Specialized Saddles (50-mile) and Native Spirit Saddlery (100-mile) have committed to donating saddles to the first-place winners.

Besides nice completion awards, each participant who enters the ride will receive a grooming bag, T-shirt and portrait. (I’ll be serving as ride and portrait photographer. Reminder: wear appropriate attire to the vet-in for your portrait session.)

For the 100-mile entrants, there will be a pasta dinner the evening before their event, and coffee, juice, fruit and doughnuts the morning of the start. Lunch and snacks will be available during the day for them, too. The awards brunch will be Friday mid-morning. (All meals subject to change.)

The 50-mile entrants will be treated to a pizza party the evening prior to their event and also be offered coffee, juice, fruit and doughnuts the next morning. There will be snacks during the ride and an awards banquet Saturday evening. (All meals subject to change.)

"I'm sure we'll have some sort of raffle drawing/prize giveaways," added Young. "And, the two events will wrap up with a great party and band on Saturday night.

What to Expect on the Trail
Tom Gower of Wisconsin, who recently won best condition on JG Saqr in May’s Biltmore 100, has competed over these trails and plans to enter both the 100-miler and 50-miler. "The course," said Gower, "has a little bit of everything: single track, dirt roads, a small amount of pavement (at least if we use the traditional course), rolling hills, flat sections for moving out, and some short steep climbs and descents. This is definitely not a course where the rider just sits back and asks his/her equine partner to canter an eight- or nine-hour 100 miles.

"It is a technical but fun trail and, at times, your equine partner will appreciate you hopping off and getting up the hill on your own on some of the short but steep hills!" said Gower.

"The course is technical," stated past AERC President Stagg Newman, "and smart riding takes advantage of a horse’s strengths. A climbing horse should use the hills to its advantage while galloping-type horses should use the flatter sections. Riders will need to keep reserves for the steeper hilly sections."

Because some of the trails have a base of white rock, Jan Worthington says she pads her horses. Although Worthington and a few riders recommend padding the horse’s feet or using hoof boots, especially for the 100-mile distance, Gower said, “Overall the course has good footing, with little rock. I have never used pads at Chicken Chase [spring ride] or Spook Run [fall ride]. I would not consider it a concussive ride.

"I have ridden this ride in rain, and that adds another fun challenge and requires riders to make smart horsemanship decisions about the trade-offs of risks versus gains," said Gower.

"There are many stream crossings," he continued, "and ride management does an excellent job making sure water tanks are at strategic locations and that they are full."

Speculating on the winning time for the 100, Gower said, "I suspect the winner will do the championship course in around 10 hours, but there are places where walking will be required.

"This is a great venue because of the great trails and because ride management is also all down-to-earth, easygoing endurance riders who will do everything in their powers to make you feel welcome and help you have a good time," said Gower.

A Word from the Ride Manager
Ride manager Cindy Young stated, “The National Championship is in a good central location this year, allowing riders from several adjoining states the opportunity to come because it’s close. I hope others traveling longer distances can buddy up to come.

"These are some of the most beautiful trails in this area, and challenging as well. I sometimes forget how fortunate I am to have these trails to train on a regular basis," said Young. "We’re all looking forward to putting on a great competition, and I hope people make the plans to come!"

For more information about AERC’s 2008 National Championship rides, visit http://www.dbdr.info/NC%20Home.htm or phone the AERC office at (866) 271-2372.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Karlstad couple behind new breed of horses

Grandforksherald - Full Article

An AP Member Exchange Feature By MATT BEWLEY Agweek
The Associated Press - Saturday, August 16, 2008


Leaning on the fence rail, you look him over and just scratch your head. It's like seeing one of those little Arabians, all decked out in his Sunday best.

"Well, someone must have crossed one of those hotbloods with some kind of a pinto," you tell yourself. "Or maybe a paint?"

His head comes up and his ears lock on to you. He's no paint. He's too sleek and almost pony-size. He ambles over to you, but doesn't sniff your hand for treats. He's just saying hello. You study the dished face and large nostrils set in a small muzzle. He's got to be Arabian, but you've never seen any Arabian that looks like this.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Mike Cottendon passes

Mike Cottenden, long-time partner of Nancy Beacon and wonderful friend to
Endurance, was killed on Sunday morning on his way home from work when a
driver went through a stop sign and hit his car. After all that they have
been through recently one cannot believe that this has happened - that this
is even possible. This will be such a difficult time for Nancy - we know all
of our prayers and our thoughts will be with her in the days ahead. Just
last week she was dancing the night away at the Rocky Mountain Challenge -
how sad that this joy has now been taken from her.

Mike started riding horses with Nancy in the early 80's. Mike went on to do close to 5000 miles, did over 12 100's, including Old Dominion, on at least 6 different horses, and was one of the first Canadians to complete an FEI ride in 1986.

Mike was not only was a master trail maker, but also applied his skills in constructing wonderful bridges and walkways for many rides in Grey County. He made a great bridge for last year's Ontario Championship. He made a series of bridges and walkways up a steep incline hill east of Pretty River Valley Provincial park that was a marvel of engineering.

Mike on his ATV monitored the horse rides with military precision, and many a person, rider or pit crew, were extremely happy to see Mike to get them out of a big mess when they ventured off the beaten path. I am sure no one will forget his "treats" along the trail.

Mike as a communicator, wowed all at ride wrap up time and Nancy's attempt to tone down his "observations" usually was met with an increase in elaboration. We should all cherish his last performance in 2007.

Mike on both sides of the border was known for his "Redneck" celebrations when his military comrades would gather for games, frivolity and good brew. He was referred to in the House of Commons as a true character and inspirational leader!

Mike will be missed

Wendy MacCoubrey

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ovando's Hayes wins equestrian event

By the Missoulian

Suzanne Hayes of Ovando turned in the fastest overall time last weekend at the Pink Flamingo Classic Endurance Ride, which is an annual equestrian event held south of Cascade.

Hayes was one of more than 120 riders from around Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Montana, California and Canada that attended the two-day competition.

Hayes won the award for the overall fastest ride of the two 50-mile rides, finishing fourth on the first day and first on the following day.

Hayes has logged nearly 18,000 endurance miles and began riding when she was 11 years old with her mother. She has not missed an endurance riding season in 43 years and has also been a member of the U.S. Endurance team in international competitions abroad. Her horse, Tezero's Gold, has nearly 4,000 miles in competition and has completed in 12 100-mile rides.