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.