Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Canada launches CEM investigation, 4th stallion infected - Full Article

January 1, 2009

Another Kentucky stallion has been found to be infected with contagious equine metritis as the outbreak extends its tentacles north into Canada.

Canada has confirmed that semen from one of the infected stallions was imported into the country and it has launched an inquiry.

In Kentucky, four stallions - three quarter horses and one paint - have been confirmed infected with the venereal disease.

Each of the four stallions stood the 2008 season at a breeding facility in Woodford County that specialises in stallion collection for artificial insemination.

Three of the four infected stallions remain at the original premises with the fourth at another Woodford County address.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ed Anderson's Thru-Ride on PCT

by Ed Anderson

On Sunday, August 17, 2008 Primo and I arrived at McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon, to complete our 1350-mile thru-journey of the Pacific Crest Trail. We had started from the border of Mexico on April 19. We had traveled through state parks, county parks, a national park, several wilderness areas and national forests, BLM lands, and across easements through private lands.

This account is a very brief description of what I saw and what it is like to solo-ride your horse on the Pacific Crest Trail.

My best friend and dear companion on the trail was TLC Primo Eclipse, my registered Arabian endurance horse. I chose Primo for this trip because he is brave, strong, tough, has excellent feet, is very sure-footed, and is exceptionally agile. All of these qualities would prove crucial on the trail in the weeks and months to follow. Primo would go through places and situations where others might not.

Primo was the only horse in the spring of 2008 to head north from the border of Mexico. There were hundreds of hikers from as far away as Europe and New Zealand. When you travel alone with your horse over such long distances and pass over an around so many challenging obstacles, a very close bond developes. We became best friends. I was the other horse, he the other person. A mutual trust and a real sense if inter-dependance developed between us. Primo bravely faced horse-scary places like fast rushing streams to cross, sand slides, rock slides, down trees, horse-eating stumps and wierd-shaped boulders, tunnels, many types of bridges, the windmills in the Tehachipi area, moving shadows of windmill blades across the trail, and wide, sloped snow banks to cross. In May, we rode through a snow storm in the Angeles Crest - rain had unexpectedly turned into heavy snow. We pushed on to North Fork Ranger Station where the very helpful caretaker let me put Primo in a corral. He even gave him pellets and let me sleep in the barracks. What a luxury after all the snow. Primo would go on, even through a storm, if I asked him to. And he knew that I would not lead him into danger. If the situation looked risky or if it was impassable for us, we would turn back and find another way.

Thanks to the help we got from the Equestrian Center at Warner Springs Resort (they took good care of Primo and gave me a ride down), I was able to attend the annual "kick-off" party at Lake Moreno nearly 100 miles south of Warner Springs. This is a great event, attended by several hundred people, angels, aspiring thru-hikers, past hikers, wanna-be thru-hikers and many others. The atmosphere was friendly and I met many people. There were several informative programs, including a forum, demonstrations, vender exhibits, and a great slide show by Eric Ryback who, at 17, was the first person to thru-hike, in 1970, the Pacific Crest Trail. The BBQ dinner was special as was the breakfast on Sunday morning. It was at this event that I was to learn that I was the only person planning to thru-ride the PCT in 2008. I got a ride back to Warner Springs on Sunday morning, tacked up and packed Primo, and we headed north again. Since we got a late start that day, we only went seven miles and camped alone at a magical spot along Agua Caliente Creek where Indians had camped long ago. I discovered several Indian morters, and to my surprise and delight, one that still had the pestle in it! Primo was hobbled and grazing while I was taking a solar shower. When I dressed and looked for him he was gone. His tracks showed that he was heading back on the trail towards Warner Springs to visit his horse friends there. When I caught up with him I discovered that he had covered about 1/2 mile, hobbles and all. He had been living at Warner Springs for 2 days while I was at the Kickoff Party. From then on I was to always keep his bell on while he grazed and also kept an eye on him. He never wandered far again.

Some have asked me how riding the PCT is different from hiking it. Most think that riding a horse would be much easier. Riding solo on the PCT, compared to hiking it is a very different, and more challenging experience. The hikers can have it really easy because they have so many options. They can easily climb over or duck under downed trees. And slides and boulders are less of a concern for them. Their hiking poles are certainly a lot of help on slides or in snow. Hikers can carry thier water with them and can "dry camp' almost anywhere, while I needed to find camps with graze, water, and trees to highline Primo at night - so, we often camped alone. When the trail crosses a road the hikers often hitch-hike into a town or city and take a day off, a "0-day"'. They can check into a motel, take a shower, resupply at the supermarket, eat in restaurants, visit the laundromat, maybe take in a movie, make phone calls and even use the computers at the local library. A rider with his horse can do none of the above. Mine was much more of a wilderness journey - a journey with very little contact with towns and cities. I like it better that way.

The scenery along the PCT was varied and often spectacular. The grand forests, the individual trees, the wide variety of the millions of wildflowers, the wildlife, the hundreds of lakes and ponds, the impressive rock formations, the mountains and hills, and the very special horse-friend who was always there, all of these will remain fixed in my memories as long as I live.

Detours were sometimes necessary to get past obstacles or to avoid taking serious risks. We encountered hundreds of down trees during our journey. Detours, taken for various reasons, would take minutes to several hours and sometimes required that I cut trees and branches to clear a way through. I had brought along a folding saw with a very sharp blade 14 1/2" long that could cut from the tip. I could, if necessary, cut trees up to 16" in diameter. I made wedges out of wood. Once, a! 4" diameter tree blocked a narrow trail and had come to rest at a steep angle. The slope above and below the trail was also very steep. Backtracking there would have been difficult, so I decided to cut the tree. It took more than an hour to cut that tree .I had to be very careful not to get my blade pinched and to be sure that when the upper section did fall, there would be enough room for Primo to get past. Primo, tied about 25 feet away, watched. He knew that we would go forward.

Primo came to understand, and accept, that we lived on the PCT, and that there were no other horses. It was interesting that he would sometimes, after his evening graze, come over and "join up" with myself and a group of hikers while we were talking in camp - as though this group of people were other horses, his substitute "human herd".

Primo enjoyed the "smorgasbord' of horse-edible plants that he found along the trail. Once he decided which plants were good, he would spot something that he wanted to eat from 20 feet away and would stop abruptly when we got there. I would always let him graze along the trail because I could never be sure what the graze would be like up ahead or at the next camp. Graze at our camps varied. Often it was excellent or good. Other times it was fair, thin, or none at all, and I would feed Primo extra feed. Arabians are desert horses and can go longer without drinking than some other breeds, and since we were walking, there was very little sweating. So, if Primo had recently had a good drink, and we came to a beautiful meadow off the trail, with lots of graze and nearby trees, but no water, we would make camp.

During our journey we had to trailer around Mt. San Jacento and the Sierra Nevada because of the risks of trying to cross deep snow with a horse. 2008 was a year of hundreds of lighting-started fires in Northern California. There was a long wait in Sierra City. I hoped that the fires affecting the PCT would come under control, and that the closed sections would be reopened. I had become very discouraged because of the fires and smoke. I decided that it would be best to trailer around the closed sections and much of the smoke and then pick up the trail again at Burney Falls, California. I would ride from there to a planned exit at at McKenzie Pass near Sisters, Oregon. I had made a family commitment that I would return home by August 20, and we were to reach McKenzie Pass on August 17, where an endurance rider friend was to pick us up. She brought us down to her beautiful ranch in Sisters and another endurance rider friend trailered us to Ashland where I had left my rig. We made it home with a day to spare. Oregon had no fires going while we were there, and it was a really wonderful part of my trip to see blue skys and dramatic clouds while riding through its grand beauty of the several wilderness areas and Crater Lake National Park .

Some have asked how we resupplied and what Primo ate besides grass while we traveled. To supplement his graze I planned an average of six pounds of processed feed per day. This was sealed in Food-Saver bags without the vacuum so bags would be flexible for easier packing. I packed, three pounds in each bag, always including one five-pound bag that Primo could eat while I packed a resupply into the pommel bags and saddle bags. The air-tight seal of these feed bags prevented smells from attracting bears and other critters.

It was necessary to resupply many times during our journey. This took a lot of planning and I ended up relying on several different approches. The approach that I used most often, especially in Northern California and Oregon , was to drive ahead and hide or, most often, bury our caches near PCT trailheads or road crossings. All of our food was pre-packed in air-tight plastic bags as described above. I would bury a cache well away from the trail or trailhead. I would first carefully peel back the ground cover and then dig a shallow trench about three feet long, eight to ten inches deep and about ten inches wide. Primos food bags, and my main food bag (a 12 1/2" x 20" OPSAK with several Ziploc freezer bags containing different catagories of food), would be placed in along with exactly ten mothballs on top. Then the soil went in with the original ground cover on top, with leaves, pine needles, and branches over for camouflage. When we arrived at a cache, sometimes weeks later, I would, saving the original ground cover, dig up the cache with my digging trowel and recover the food bags and all ten moth balls for reuse in my "bear charms" (it would not be environmentally acceptable to leave them). I would then refill the hole and replace the ground cover and camoflage. My criteria was to leave that spot so that if a person were to pass by he would not notice that a hole had been there. What are bear charms? In parts of the Yukon cotton tobacco sacks with mothballs inside are known as "bear charms" To discourage bears I used them in camp around my main food sack (the OPSAK) and surrounding my tent. I would like to comment that no bear ever got into my caches or came into my camps.

The second method of resupply was directly from my well-stocked horse trailer. When we reached where I had left it parked. I would, leaving Primo in good care, drive my rig ahead, caching along the way. To return to Primo I would hitch a ride, take public transportation (if available), or get a pre-arranged ride back offered by an angel. I would have always obtained permission in advance to park the rig in a safe place.

The third approach to resupply required angels who would let me park my rig in a safe place on their property, or drop off my resupplies with them so I could pick them up when we passed through or near. Or, angels could meet us at pre-planned locations. This assumed that cell phone service was available. My wonderful wife, Jereen, met us several times while we passed through Southern California.

The following is my sincere thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, to all of those fellow endurance riders (members of the AERC - American Endurance Ride Conference), Back Country Horsemen, and other angels who helped in so many ways to make our journey possible. In this e-mail message I am including others who would want to know about our adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail. Next year I hope to return to McKenley Pass and continue north to Canada.

Ed Anderson aka "MendoRider" on the trail.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Topanga Ride and Tie

Topanga Messenger Online

By Jessica Jacobs

My favorite sport brought me to Topanga and keeps me here.

I was living in Northern California and competing in Ride and Tie events. I was at the 2006 Championship in San Diego and asked a fellow competitor if she recommended any communities in Southern California where I might move and gave her my list of requirements: commuting distance to Hollywood, near the ocean, near running trails for me, my dog, and my horse, and why not make it a liberal community. The woman laughed, "You have no choice, you have to live in Topanga." That was Topanga resident Kirsten Seyforth and now two years later we have trained and competed in several races together along with fellow Topangan Jennifer Siegel.

From Left to Right: Brioso (horse), Melanie Weir, Jessica Jacobs, Jennifer Siegel, Kirsten Seyforth, and Hoolie (horse), saddle up for another Ride and Tie event. photo by RUFUS SCHNEIDER
Okay, what the heck is Ride and Tie?

Ride and Tie is an extreme sport that combines endurance horse riding with endurance running. One team consists of two people and a horse. One person starts off on the horse while the other begins running on foot. Obviously the guy on the horse goes faster so when he gets far enough ahead, he gets off and ties the horse to a tree and takes off running. Meanwhile, the other person catches up to the horse, unties it and rides until she catches her partner, at which point they switch again. This "leapfrog" continues for about 35 hilly miles and usually, you can't walk very well the next day. Got it? The sport was started by Bud Johns in the early 70s as a publicity stunt for Levi Strauss and continues to challenge men, women and children (of all ages and sizes) every year.

Topanga trails, both the state park and the Old Canyon trails, are perfectly suited for Ride and Tie.

Jennifer, Kirsten, my partner, Melanie, and I just finished a race at Tejon ranch (pictured). It was 34 gruelling miles but we came in 5th and 6th place. The 2009 Championship will take place in Humboldt next summer and we would love for more Topanga folks to join us. If you like to run or ride or both, check out, or call Jessica at (310) 455-1987, and we will set up a training ride (you don't need to have your own horse)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Three Time Tevis Winners Now Barefoot and Riding in Renegades!

Renegade Hoofboots

2008 December 11

by renegadenews

Jeremy Reynolds using Renegade Glue-ons at Desert Gold won the two day hundred/two days of AERC 50’s and received AERC Best Condition on the first day and FEI Best Condition for the 2 day 100.

Jeremy’s horses have been barefoot for a year and he says that he will never go back to shoes since he now has horses sound now that he could never keep going at the speeds he and Heather ride.

Jeremy’s comments about Renegade boots: “They work”.

2008 AERC Ride Season Results:

Heather and Jeremy Reynolds 1,990 miles
Top tens: 20
Wins: 13
BC’s: 8


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Britain: Star brings Nikki some enduring title success - Full Article

Published Date: 12 December 2008
By Jill Armstrong

It was a brilliant occasion for 12-year-old Nikki Brown when her pony Bleachgreen Star of India, otherwise known as Star, became the Endurance GB National novice champion for 2008.

Nikki, who lives near Whitby, was awarded the MIRA trophy for the champion novice horse or pony gaining the most points in graded rides of less than 45km in its first season of competition.

The presentation was made at the Endurance GB awards dinner held at Kegworth, Derbyshire.

Endurance riding is a growing competitive sport and riders covered more than 249,000km in rides organised by Endurance GB during the 2008 season.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Horses and Invasive Weeds in Western USA

Are horses responsible for introducing noxious weeds onto trails and adjacent ecosytems in the western USA?

With the help of an AERC grant, Tom Gower of the Department of Ecology and Management, University of Wisconsin, begins to answer this question.
Click here to download pdf file

Thursday, December 11, 2008

FEI and AERC Rules Comparisons for 2009

AERC November Veterinary Newsletter contains an article written by Tom Timmons, DVM . Pages 8 and 9 of this document explain differences between the new 2009 FEI Rules for Endurance and the AERC Rules, and potential confusions for competitors and managers of dual sanctioned rides.

November Veterinary Newsletter (download pdf)

Terri Tinkham and Oliver Twist WIn 2008 XP Gold Medal Award - Full story

Is that a Mustang??? Is that horse gaited??? What kinda horse is thaaaaat??? Well, no, yes and he’s a Tennessee Walker, Standardbred cross.

And, it is not just his appearance that baffles. To look at him you wouldn’t have a clue! Not only about his breed but that he just finished this year with 1925 Endurance miles; earning 2nd place in the AERC National Mileage Standings. Last year with 1120 miles, when we tied with Dave Rabe for 10th , I thought, “hey, we are really doing something” ! 2007 was our first year of doing serious 50 mile Endurance rides; in my three previous years in this sport, I was content to mostly ride LDs. But once you get hooked on the multi-day rides and especially the Duck rides, there is no going back ….. ever. I have become so addicted that I drove almost 14,000 miles last year to attend these rides.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Girl-horse team makes comeback after near death experience - Full Article

By David Green
The Weekly Observer Editor
Published: December 8, 2008

PATRICK - As the girl exited the arena on her Arabian gelding, a huge smile came over her face. She leaned down, hugged her horse, and told her trainer “I love my horse.” She had just had a spectacular ride, and was rewarded with an incredibly high score of 71% and a blue ribbon. By the end of the day, the teenager and her 9-year-old would have won all three classes they entered.

A sweet, but not unheard of story in the horse world—except that the horse was WH Gibraltar, who just 8 months before had undergone intensive abdominal surgery and was near death.

Flashback to March, 2008: Anna Caroline Chinnes, a 16-year-old Hemingway native, was doing what she enjoys most—competing in the sport of endurance with her horse Gibraltar. Endurance riding entails the same horse and rider competing over a course ranging in length from 50 to 100 miles. The trail is broken up into “loops”, with veterinary checks in between to ensure the well being of the horse. “AC”, as she is known to her friends, was competing for the Region 12 50-Mile Championships held at the Sand Hills Stampede in Patrick, SC.

Gibraltar was the fittest he’s ever been, and he covered the 50 miles effortlessly. They earned a coveted “Top 5” award for the Regional Championships, and AC and her trainer Trisha Dingle were busy preparing Gibraltar for the Best Condition judging. However, something was wrong—once the adrenaline from the ride wore off, Gibraltar acted “colicky”—he had a tummy ache.


Saturday, December 06, 2008

Spain: CEI*** Santa Susana

Madrid, Dec. 4, 2008. - Tomorrow begins the first race of the 56th edition of the traditional Santa Susana Raid, the last big European Raid 2008. The first test will begin at 7:30 pm in the Parc de Colomer of the town of Barcelona. In the list of participants are 14 Spanish riders.

This classic, in addition to being the oldest rallies in Europe, has the honor of being the only one in Spain which is held in two days: the stage tomorrow is composed of 99 kilometers demanding in a scenario that is characterized by great difficulty, because it has a gap of more than 500 m. The final stage will take place on Saturday, and will consist of 99 km also Each of the two days will be divided into three stages of 40, 33 and 26 km.

Yesterday was the first veterinary review. It is planned that tomorrow at 15:00 am the review will be held on the first day of competition. Similarly, when finishing the final race on Saturday, will be held two further revisions: the very tender and will determine the award of "Best Fitness"

The celebration of the Santa Susana Raid closes a season in which this discipline has once again become a major player in the riding of our country, mainly thanks to the results obtained in the recently disputed World Championship, which has been repeated individual gold and has achieved a creditable 5th placed teams.

FEI - 2009 Rules - Explanation of changes

compiled by Anne Ayala

Endurance riders interested in FEI should go to the FEI website and go to Endurance/Rules and download a copy of the 2009 Rules for Endurance. Below I have tried to point out the most important changes in the Rules and offer some advice based on clarification received from Vonita Bowers at USEF.

In 2008 (before the new rules go into effect on Jan. 1), a rider should compete any horse that has not successfully competed in FEI within the last 24 months at the highest distance (50,75,100) that they are comfortable with. Successful completion is more important at this date than getting a COC. Then in 2009 the horse will be able to move up in the Star Qualifying system to the next level (i.e. FEI 50 completed, horse can then do an FEI 75, and with successful completion at that distance (2*), can attempt an FEI 100, and with completion of an FEI 100 can continue at that distance.

Rider’s FEI experience is lifetime, so if you have done FEI in the past, you are qualified at the next distance level. If, as a rider, you have not successfully completed an FEI ride, try to do so at a 50 or 75 or 100 mile level before January, 2009. Then you as a rider will be eligible to move up to the next Star level or continue at the 3* level.
To compete at the FEI 50 and 75 mile distances, you need: Descriptive Coggins papers that clearly identify the horse, and Veterinary papers confirming the two equine influenza vaccines. At the 100 mile level the horse must have an FEI Passport. All competitors must have: Competition Membership in USEF, USEF Horse Annual or Lifetime Registration, and FEI Horse and Rider Registration. All of these are done through the USEF office.

These levels do not need to be a horse/rider combination as the horse and rider are separately qualified. The only time there must be a combination is when a horse/rider team is trying to get a COC to qualify for an upcoming event (usually a Championship or World Cup event).

If you are just beginning either as a horse or rider in FEI competition after January 2009, each must first complete or verify Novice Qualifying rides before you can register you or your horse for the first FEI 1* (50 mile or 80 km ride). You will be able to count AERC rides for this experience. Transitional rules state: “Riders and Horses that have already successfully completed at least 3 National Events (AERC) within 2007 and 2008 at distances up to and including 90 km (56 miles), not subject to time restrictions, will not need to re-qualify prior to competing within FEI competitions. After, January, 2009, Article 816 of the 2009 rules explains what you need have on your record before doing an FEI 1* --- 2 LD rides and 2 50-mile rides no faster than 10 miles per hour (i.e. ride time of 5 hours or more on a 50 or 2.5 hrs or more on an LD). OR 3 50-mile rides at speeds 10 mph or less, meaning 5+ hours). You should look up your record for the past 2 years and be prepared to enter these qualifying rides on any FEI entry form in 2009.

New rule on horse age: Horse must be at least 5 yrs to qualify as Novice. One Star (50) and Two Star (75) must be 6 yrs. Three Star (100) must be 7 yrs and Four Star Championship horse must be 8 yrs old. USA horses are deemed to have their birthday on Jan. 1. That is, any horse born in 2004 is considered to be 5 yrs. old as of Jan 1, 2009. (Article 812)

Same rule on rider age: A rider is eligible to participate in a CEI from the year in which they reach their 14th birthday (any time within that year) and who has paid the required USEF membership and FEI registrations.

Rest periods: Once you begin the FEI Star Qualifying system, your horse must be given certain rest periods after a competition (Article 815.3): 13 days rest after an FEI 50 and 20 days rest after any distance above 50 miles. Likewise there are new rules regarding longer rest periods for a horse that is eliminated for metabolic reasons which require immediate invasive treatment at a CEI event (see Article 815.3).

Championships: For those of you who are interested in competing at the Championship (4*) level, please read Article 816.3 carefully for the requirements, noting in particular the number of CEI 2* events or higher required for horse (3) and rider (5).

FEI Endurance Log: It is anticipated that each horse shall have an official log that accompanies the Passport (Article 820.8) in which the results of each FEI competition undertaken will be recorded, including any details of treatment and required rest period. These entries will be made by the Vet Delegate or the President of the Ground Jury.

Weight of rider: At senior CEI 3* events the minimum riding weight may be between 75kg (as in the past) or 70 kg; however to serve as a qualifying event for Championships the minimum riding weight of 75 kg. must be in place. At 1* and 2* events other weight divisions may be allowed, if specified in the Definite Schedule.

Dress Code: For riders, the dress code for competition remains much the same: protective headgear, safe footwear with heels or boxed stirrups/equestrian safety stirrups, shirt with collar, appropriate riding gear.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Australia: Successful year for endurance - Full Article

4/12/2008 6:02:00 PM
It has been a successful year for the Mudgee Endurance Club with riders putting in outstanding performances across the state and internationally.

Local rider Paddy Smith was awarded the top spot for heavy weight division rides and his horse, Talisman was awarded fittest horse in each ride.

The pair placed second in the Q 60 100-kilometre ride at Colo, as well as best managed horse.

Mette Sutton placed in the middleweight competition in the 160-kilometre state championship in Manilla.

Sutton completed the course in a total time of 11 hours and three minutes.

During the year Sutton placed equal first and ride winner in both The Rock and Gundagai rides.

She took home the ride winner at Mudgee...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

USEF: High Performance Fees Rule Change

Attention All Athletes (including Life Members) Competing in Foreign FEI Competitions
From: United States Equestrian Federation


Please note that competitors (including Life Members) competing in FEI competitions will no longer be charged a $200 High Performance due. However in accordance with GR207 (attached), effective December 1, 2008, competitors competing in FEI competitions will be required to pay a $35 High Performance fee per horse for each FEI competition in which they enter. The fee is capped at $420 per horse per year. Please refer to the USEF website for policy and instructions on requesting reimbursement for payments over $420 in the same competition year. Please note that horse owners are no longer required to pay a High Performance fee.

Please contact our Customer Care Department in Kentucky at 859-258-2472 for any questions regarding the High Performance fee.

Thank you.
Cindy Stys, Director of Athlete Services
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc

Horse worth $10,000 recovered

The Arizona Republic
by Heidi Homa and Alyson Zepeda
Dec. 2, 2008 12:00 AM

A missing horse worth at least $10,000 was found by a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office mounted search and rescue unit around 4 p.m. Monday after he went missing Saturday.

During the two days the horse was missing, his owner was willing to give a $10,000 reward to the person who found his horse.

Lucian Spataro, 50, and Masquerade, the 7-year-old white Arabian, were competing in an endurance ride Saturday morning at McDowell Mountain Regional Park when the horse tripped and fell.

"He got up and was disoriented, I'm sure," Spataro said. "There's adrenaline rushing through your veins, so you don't know what's going on. He was hyped and probably went in the wrong direction."

Spataro, also filled with adrenaline, was able to run about 5 miles to a base camp, despite severe injuries.

About 20 family members, friends, and other riders and horses from the competition searched for the horse since Saturday.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office provided a helicopter when Masquerade first went missing and volunteer Sheriff's Posse members continued to help.

Irene Murphy, endurance-ride manager, was coordinating the search.

"In endurance rides, there are many incidents where horses do get lost," Murphy said. "A lot of times, the horse returns the same day."

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office officials said they were assisting park rangers due to the increased amount of activity in the park. They were able to escort the horse out but were not sure if he sustained any injuries over the two days he was missing.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Endurance Horse Missing in Arizona

A search party is combing the desert around Arizona's McDowell Mountain Park, after a 7-year-old grey Arabian horse competing in an endurance event lost his rider and disappeared, according to Phoenix television station KNXV-TV.

Rider Lucian Spataro fell off Masquerade when the horse tripped and fell about 20 miles into the race Saturday morning. Spataro was injured, but managed to walk more than five miles to get help, KNXV-TV reported.

Searchers are now using four-wheelers and helicopters to survey the area. Spataro told KNXV-TV that he is offering $10,000 for the horse's return.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Scottsdale Police Department at 480/312-5000.