Thursday, August 21, 2008

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

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