Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sinatra - In Memory

Sinatra's Endurance Adventures

In Memory
Friday, January 30, 2009
Crysta Turnage

I didn’t even suspect that Tevis 2007 would be my next to last completion with Sinatra. We had been battling squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, on Sinatra’s left upper lip/nose area for the past few years. That summer, the cancer was very much in remission and was nearly gone entirely. Unfortunately, in the Fall it came back with a vengeance. After numerous trips to several local vet clinics, and a trip down to UC Davis for a consult with the equine oncologist, the very hard decision to retire Sinatra to a life of leisure, food and fun out to pasture with a herd of other horses was made. Sinatra enjoyed 4 months of living in horsey paradise before having to be euthanized due to his cancer in December 2008.

I find it fitting that our very last ride together, was also our very first - The Rides of March here in Reno, Nevada. Also, they have now moved to a new ridecamp location, and Sinatra's ashes are scattered among the hills overlooking the new trail. From our very first 30-mile limited distance ride in March 2003, to our last 50-mile completion in March 2008, Sinatra was my partner and friend. He could be a total pain in the butt (heck, be bucked me off on BOTH of those rides), but he could also be my steady-eddy trustworthy trail partner. I'm very blessed with some of the precious memories he left me with:

* The faces he would make when I would scratch in all the right spots. I think he could stick his upper lip out 4" and roll his eyes clear back in his head. How I couldn't ever clean his corral without him "accidentally" backing up and WHOOPS! putting his butt right in my way to be scratched.
* An early morning start at the Tour de Washoo ride, where a coyote stood on a rock at eye-level with me not 50 feet from the trail and watched us trot by.
* Power trotting the California Loop at Tevis after 80 hard miles - so strong and sure in the lead, his dark coat gleaming in the moonlight.
* The time he went down on his knees unexpectedly, with me mounted, to get a drink out of a puddle that was in a deep depression, and forgot to LIFT his head to compensate and scuba dived clear up to his eye balls in mud. He blew mud balls out his nose for hours! I laughed so hard I nearly fell off.
* Having to stand in my stirrups to slow him down coming into camp on our first 100, I was so awed by him that day/night.
* Being asked to have Sinatra sponsor other horse's through a ride, many times! He had "steady chug" down to a science.
* Winning the Hairiest Horse Award at our Spring local schooling show... by a LONG shot!
* How he would go off the trail and plow over the top of taller bushes to scratch his belly and legs when he was sweaty. And how at Sunriver he did it with a small pine TREE and was grunting and groaning with pleasure while rocking back and forth, branches sticking out every which way, me on top. All 3 of us girls riding were laughing so hard, I was in tears.
* Our quiet moments together in the evenings
* His expectant face - waiting for something to eat - everytime I got in my trailer at a ridecamp, and how he wasn't often disappointed.

Good bye my buddy – on your back was accomplished the dream of a lifetime. You will always be in my heart. I miss you... so much!

[...full blog]

Whitehaven to host horse endurance ride in May - Full Article

Item Staff Writer

Whitehaven Plantation in the Turkey Creek community of Lee County will host a major horse endurance ride on May 23, officials announced Wednesday.

Turkey Creek Trot, sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, will feature endurance rides of 10, 25 and 50 miles, said ride manager Trisha Dingle of Whitehaven Plantation.

Whitehaven is no stranger to endurance rides, as it has been the site of J.D. Fountain's Thanksgiving Ride, Dingle said.

"But due to the increase in deer hunting in the fall, we have lost access to the trails in November," she said. "While using many of the same trails as J.D.'s ride, we are also thrilled to have brand new trails with limited road crossings."

In addition to the endurance ride on Saturday, a number of educational clinics will take place at Whitehaven on Friday, May 22, Dingle said.

Sponsors are needed for the various awards, she said.

The mostly sandy trails meander through cotton fields and pine trees. There are some hills, and very little paved road riding, Dingle said.

"There's excellent footing for barefoot horses," Dingle said.

Whitehaven will serve as the base camp and there will be primitive camping with no electrical hookup. The plantation is located seven miles from Bishopville on S.C. 341, just a half mile from Fountain's Grocery Store and Gas Station.

Whitehaven Plantation, owned and operated by David and Martha Lucas, has been in the Lucas family for more than 100 years. The century-old plantation is home to the Egyptian Arabian, one of the rarest horses in the world. Egyptian Arabians comprise less than 3 percent of all Arabian horses in the world, and are known for their beauty, intelligence and versatility.

Whitehaven Plantation is located on more than 200 acres and features a covered arena, jump course and breeding facilities. At any time, the farm averages 50 horses on the property, 22 of them being Egyptian Arabians owned by Whitehaven.

For more information, visit the Web site: or call Dingle at (803) 428-5656.

Contact Staff Writer Randy Burns at or (803) 491-4533.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Canada tightens rules over CEM in United States - Full Article

January 23, 2009

New restrictions have been imposed for horse imports into Canada from the United States following the outbreak of contagious equine metritis (CEM).

Eight stallions have so far tested positive for CEM and agricultural authorites in about 40 states are tracing 334 horses potentially exposed to the venereal disease.

Revised import requirements announced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) cover all live horses, semen and embryos entering Canada from the US.

No import permits are required for live horses provided the animals have not been on properties where the bacteria responsible for CEM has been detected during the previous 60 days or on premises currently under quarantine or investigation for CEM.

Any mares must not have been bred naturally to, or inseminated with, semen from a stallion positive for CEM, or a stallion living on a property where positive tests have been returned, or under quarantine or investigation for CEM.

Permits are still required for some horses from Florida, due to that state's outbreak of equine piroplasmosis.

Semen collected after December 15 last year will now require an import permit along with certification that the onor stallion has not been on a premises quarantined or positive for CEM in the preceding 60 days.

Requirements for embryos are similar.

National Parks Service Awards Grant to ELCR

January 22, 2009

Contact: Deb Balliet, CEO
Equestrian Land Conservation Resource
(859) 455-8383

National Parks Service Awards Grant to Equestrian Land Conservation Resource To Develop a National Equestrian Trails Organization

The National Parks Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS RTCA) has awarded the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) a technical assistance grant to develop a national equestrian trails organization. The terms of the grant include assigning an NPS RTCA staff person to facilitate of process, identify issues and needs of trail riders nationwide, determine an effective organizational structure to represent horse trail users; and provide a contact point for land managers to communicate with trail riders. The determination of the needs and appropriate organizational structure will be developed by conducting a series of meetings with stakeholders in 2009.

An organizing meeting was held in 2008 at the National Trails Conference. In 2009, a series of in-person and conference call meetings are planned. The plans also call for an on-line bulletin board to post the meeting agendas and notes. The on-line forum will also provide an opportunity for trail users and trail organization representatives to share their comments. In addition to ELCR and NPS RTCA representatives, representatives from the following organizations participated in the process: American Horse Council, Back Country Horsemen of America, Southeast Equestrian Trails Conference, Ohio Valley Equestrian Trails Symposium, Pennsylvania Equine Council, US Forest Service, and the US Department of Transportation Recreational Trails Program.

The project goals are to increase to the number of trails open to horses, promote good stewardship of the trails, enhance communication with land managers, develop positive relationships with other trail users groups, and serve in an advocacy role on the above issues and other issues identified during the grant process.

If your organization would like to join our national efforts to save land and trails for horses, visit, or call (859) 455-8383 for more information.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Southeast Equestrian Trails Conference

Info, Contact, Registration

The 2009 Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference has been scheduled for July 9 - 12, in Gainesville, Florida.

Hosted by SEDRA and The Goethe Trail, this year's conference is dedicated to the Heritage Horse of Florida, the Florida Cracker.

Green Horses
Making $ents out of Sustainability is the theme for SETC 2009. We will explore ways to build better trails...protect water quality at creek/river crossings, at horse camps, and at our own farms. Additional topics will be manure management, carbon footprints, invasive exotics, conservation easements and more! If we want to preserve historical use of horses on public lands, we need to educate ourselves to be good (green) stewards. Plan to attend to learn more about policy, planning and politics!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

California Among 39 States Testing Horses for CEM

Press Release
January 17 2009

California is among 39 states testing horses that might have been exposed to a highly contagious venereal disease of horses, contagious equine metritis (CEM).

California Department of Food and Agriculture veterinarians have quarantined 14 mares and are working with the USDA and regulatory veterinarians in other states to identify any additional exposed horses as this nationwide disease investigation unfolds. Following a course of negative cultures and treatment, the mares will be released from quarantine.

In mid-December 2008, a CEM-infected Quarter Horse stallion was detected in Kentucky during routine testing for international semen shipment. The USDA and Kentucky animal health authorities quickly initiated a disease investigation, leading to the identification of more exposed horses. To date, nine stallions have been confirmed to be infected: four in Kentucky, three in Indiana, one in Wisconsin, and one in Texas; and a total of 334 exposed stallions and mares in 39 states have been identified and placed under quarantine by state animal health authorities, pending test results.

CEM is considered a bacterial foreign animal disease and has only been detected in the United States on three previous occasions, in 1978 in Kentucky, 1979 in Missouri, and in 2006 in Wisconsin. In all instances, the disease was controlled and eliminated quickly. CEM is not known to affect humans or other livestock. It is spread between mares and stallions during mating or with infected semen used in artificial insemination. It can also be transmitted on contaminated breeding equipment. Stallions do not exhibit any clinical signs, but the infection may cause fertility problems in mares.

Additional national CEM information may be found on the USDA's Web site.

Friday, January 16, 2009

AERC Annual Convention 2009

FEBRUARY 20 & 21, 2009


Endurance riders and equestrians interested in checking out the "ultimate distance riding sport" are invited to attend the American Endurance Ride Conference's 2009 convention at the Galt House Hotel Louisville, Kentucky on February 20 and 21.

"We are excited to have our convention in Louisville," said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. "There is no admission charge for the trade show and mini-clinics on the trade show floor, and we are hoping to attract many local riders who may be interested in finding out more about endurance riding."

Highlights of AERC's convention will include a trade show featuring vendors from across the country. Regional awards will be presented at an evening reception on February 20, and the convention will culminate with AERC's national awards the evening of February 21.

The trade show will be located in the Galt House's exhibit hall from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Vendors will display a variety of products for long-distance riders - everything from saddles to jewelry to horse trailers. One feature of interest to local riders is the popular Tack Swap; attendees are welcome to bring their used tack to sell at the show.

Also open to the public is the convention's annual Friday night dance, which begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will be available at the convention for $10 per person.

Equine experts from across the U.S. will be featured at several seminar sessions as part of the convention's "Best Condition" theme.

Friday's seminar speakers are:

* Tom Sayvetz, MD, who will discuss pedigrees and performance, including gait efficiency, body and muscle types in horses, metabolic issues and weight-carrying capacity.
* Jim Moore, DVM, whose 3-D horse models and animations, currently used in veterinary schools worldwide, make understanding a horse's gastrointestinal tract much easier. He will discuss anatomical features that result in common causes of colic. Dr. Moore is a professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
* V.R. Maxwell, DVM, will present "Equine Degenerative Joint Disease in the Equine Athlete." Topics covered include healthy joints, the disease processes of degenerative joint disease and therapeutic options.

Saturday's seminar speakers are:

* Duane Barnett, DVM, a longtime AERC veterinarian, will discuss equine performance sports and drug rules. This important seminar focuses on principles and behavior that can be followed by endurance competitors to stay within the intent of AERC's drug rule.
* Laurie Lawrence, PhD, a professor of Equine Nutrition at the University of Kentucky, has authored more than 100 publications on equine nutrition. Her seminar will feature the importance of carbohydrates in the equine diet. Covered will be different types of carbohydrates, how they are digested and absorbed, and which are most important for endurance horses.
* A Veterinary Panel with Drs. Nick Kohut, Ken Marcella, Jeanette Mero and Melissa Ribley will instruct seminar attendees on the convention theme: Best Condition. One of endurance riding's most sought after awards, Best Condition requires speed and stamina from the equine, and this seminar will present ideas for getting and keeping your horse in best condition consideration.

Seminar prices are $45 per day ($25 for each additional family member) if purchased before February 6; the prices go up $10 after the pre-registration period. Seminars begin at 9:00 each day. Tickets are available at the door.

Veterinarians can take part in the seven-credit Continuing Education program on Thursday, February 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Galt House.

Convention registration can be made by phone to the AERC office at 866-271-2372. A complete convention overview and reservation forms are available online at The reservation line for the Galt House is 800-843-4258.

For information about AERC's upcoming convention or membership in AERC, visit or phone toll-free 866-271-2372.

Contact: Troy Smith

866-271-2372, 530-823-2260

Widower's gift sped Refuge approval - Full Article

Opinion - By RALPH "BUD" COOK
January 16, 2009

Thank you for the Record's excellent news coverage and strong editorial endorsement of the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, a milestone in land conservation not only in the Pocono region, but throughout the United States. Refuge funds will complement local and state funding for habitat conservation in the Cherry Valley area. The Refuge will use a willing-seller approach only, i.e., there will be no use of eminent domain by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Many, many local residents and community leaders worked together to bring a National Wildlife Refuge into the mix of conservation opportunities in Cherry Valley. The vast majority of these community-minded people worked inconspicuously, but diligently, to make the Refuge a reality. Their names would fill page after page of the Pocono Record, and it would be wonderful to publicly thank each one of them if space permitted.

I would like to single out one of these unsung heroes, John S. Potter Jr. of Snydersville. Mr. Potter made a major gift to The Nature Conservancy in memory of the late Margaret Price Potter (Maggy). The gift supported the study that looked at the feasibility of creating a new National Wildlife Refuge in the Cherry Valley area.

The Conservancy's efforts contributed to the scientific foundation of a report, issued Oct. 31 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which recommended moving forward with establishment of a Refuge, not far from where Maggy found joy in riding her beloved Arabian horses.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

USEF News - January 2009

From Vonita Bowers,
Director of Endurance Discipline
USEF - United States Equestrian Federation

Director’s Update January 6, 2009

The Athlete Elections have been completed. The following are the Athletes elected to the Eligible Athletes Committee 2009-2012:

Kathy Brunjes
Carol Giles
Valerie Kanavy
Heather Reynolds
Jeremy Reynolds
Stephen Rojek
Michele Roush
Christoph Schork
Meg Sleeper
Marcia Smith
Stephanie Teeter

Three of these Committee members will be elected by the members to serve on the High Performance Committee as Athlete Representatives.

The AERCI’s Technical Committee Recommendations have been forwarded to Mr. O’ Connor for appointment.

The new FEI Rules for Endurance have been circulated and are on the USEF Endurance page and the FEI website . There are also three other documents that are companions to the rules document. Those are posted just below the rules on both websites.

The procedures for the 2009 Pan American Championships are in their final stages of approval. The competition is April 24-26 in Costa Azul, Uruguay. It is a 120km race, and the qualification is the same as that listed for the Junior/Young Rider World Championships on the FEI website. There is no Athlete funding available. This information has been circulated to members of the Rider Ranking List.

The North American Planning is moving forward. The 4* Competition has been dropped, since there is no nations qualifying in the new FEI Rules. The Team Challenge CEI3* is planned for October 14.

The Endurance Committees will meet at the USEF Convention Jan. 16. The meetings are open. The primary agenda items are Selectors and Vet Panel for 2009-2010, Discussion of the past World Championship, and discussion of the High Performance Program going forward. The new Athletes committee will be seated. The new Technical Committee is not seated until March. Any of those new Technical members are invited to sit in on meetings between now and March. In addition to the meetings, the Youth Convention will be going on, and the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Trophy will be awarded to Valerie Kanavy at the Pegasus Awards Dinner Saturday, Jan 17th.

The AERC Convention meetings will be Sunday Afternoon from 1 to 5:00.

The Officials Course will be held beginning Sunday evening and continuing through Tuesday. For more information regarding the course, contact Mary Smith at

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Arizona: Wickenburg endurance ride slated for 8th year

January 8, 2009

Once again it is time for the Land of the Sun Endurance ride, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24.

This will be the eighth year for this wonderful ride through the desert and surrounding areas of Wickenburg.

The ride consists of two rides -- one a 50-mile ride and the other a 25-mile ride. There are two loops of 25 miles each.

The entire trail is cleaned by members of the Wickenburg Horseman’s Association and friends. All of them volunteer their time and energy to help make this one of the more successful rides in Arizona.

Within a few days of the ride, the trails will start to be marked with a red and white striped ribbon attached to a clothespin. The trails will be unmarked within a few days after the ride. It takes of lot of work to do this, and it keeps riders who are going fast down the trail from getting lost.

The ride committee appreciates people leaving the ribbons on the trails. When the trail-marking ribbons are removed, it causes problems for the endurance riders.

For more information, to participate in the ride, or to help with the preparations, call Nancy Halsey at 684-3415.

Australia: Microchipping

Australian Endurance Riders Association

At the recent AERA meeting the following motion was passed:

That as from 1st January 2010, all horses qualifying to endurance status must be microchipped to be eligible to compete.

The AERA Veterinary Panel made recommendations to AERA to have all horses microchipped, novice and endurance, including horses currently competing.

The AERA would like to encourage members to have all their horses microchipped irrespective of their status.

More information

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

AERC Election Results - Directors at Large

Congratulations to the following members
for being elected to the Director-at-Large positions
on the AERC Board of Directors.

John Crandell III
Randy Eiland
Kim Fuess
Roberta Harms
Laura Hayes
Susan Keil DVM
Mike Maul
Bruce Weary, D.C.

They will be installed in office at the Saturday meeting at the convention and serve for two years.

Mike Maul
AERC President

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Modern Mustangs and Mustangers Do the Distance

Original Article

Saturday, January 3, 2009
Compiled by Beverley J. Davis

It might seem like the accomplishments of Hidalgo and his kind are now a part of the past, something we only find in books and movies. But modern Mustangs and Mustangers are carrying on the old traditions and proving their mettle in this age of mechanized transportation and supersonic speeds. And in this world of flash and glamour, where the motto is bigger is better, the small Indian ponies of old, who carried the US mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, who followed the war trails with Quanah Parker and Chief Joseph, and taught the US cavalry that size had nothing to do with stamina and heart, are still hitting the trails and going the distance.

Finding a starting place for this journey is not an easy one, but since we must start somewhere, I’ll jump in with the tale Mal de Ojo and Indio Blanco. In the early 1970s, two young adventurers named Nathan and Elly Foote started out of Argentina with the intention of riding across North and South America on their Argentine Criollos, a breed closely related to the Spanish mustang. Unfortunately at the Texas border two of their horses died in quarantine due to a faulty drug administered by the USDA. It might have been the end of the journey, but Gilbert Jones, a Spanish mustang breeder from Oklahoma stepped up and offer them two of his horses, Mal de Ojo and Indio Blanco. Right away the mustangs proved themselves to be as tough and loyal as the horses that they had lost, carrying their new owners from the Rio Grande all the way to Alaska. Elly Foote said that these tough adventurers spent their last years in the green pastures of Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada. No doubt a well-earned reward.

In the world of competitive trail riding, there are two prominent organizations, The AERC, American Endurance Ride Conference, and the NATRC, North American Trail Ride Conference, both of which has regional rides and accumulates points accordingly.

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