Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ft. Meade Remount under way today - Full Article

By Jason Gross, MCTT staff | Friday, July 24, 2009

STURGIS - Equestrians from nine states and Canada are slated to compete in the Ft. Meade Remount, beginning today at Fort Meade.

This is an endurance ride in which horse-rider teams are timed on 25- and 50-mile courses. Ride manager Kerry Greear said she sanctioned those rides both days, and a 15-mile fun ride is planned for today.

Greear said riders from Missouri, Maryland, Kansas, Vermont, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming will represent the United States.

Plans are for the riders to use the Centennial Trail. Riders will see historic buildings, use a tunnel to go under South Dakota Highway 34, see the Bear Butte Horse Camp and enter United States Forest Service and BLM land.

Interested individuals may come to the Alkali Creek Horse Camp area to see the horses and chat with the riders. The camp is north of Interstate 90 off Exit 34 on the other side of the chapel building.

Greear said the 50-mile ride will begin at 6 a.m. today, and trotting will start by 7:30 a.m. The rides start and end at the camp.

Riders are sanctioned through the American Endurance Riders Conference. While the event is timed, Greear said, the conference’s motto is "To finish is to win." She said the horse must be judged fit to continue.

Liz Boo from Belle Fourche, Leon Self from Oklahoma and Irina Weese from Wyoming will be on site all weekend as control veterinarians. Horses participating in the 15-mile ride will undergo the same veterinarian checks as the limited distance (25 miles) and endurance (50 miles) events.

This is the third year for the event. Ninety riders from seven states participated last year, and Greear said the Hills have never hosted an event like this.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Carla Stroh wins third in 55 Mile Endurance Race - Full Article

Posted: Thursday, Jul 23rd, 2009
Phyllis Hahn/Contributing Writer

On July 2, Carla Stroh went to Wheatland to a historic ranch to enter an Endurance Race the next day.

It was her second Endurance Race after winning first place in a 30 mile ride the year before. Stroh rode the 2009 challenging ride of 55 miles on a horse that she affectionately calls "Spook". She recruited a visiting friend, Barb Orr from Mesa, Ariz., to be her "crew", a responsibility that involves helping out with the stops that are a part of the race.

Every rider had their horse checked by the vet, Max Smiley, before entering and then again at regular intervals for conditions, including hydration, capillary refill, pulse and respiration. Riders carry a card with them to be filled out at each check. If any horse shows signs of stress, it gets pulled from the race. The race began at 6 a.m. and Stroh and her crew member Orr rose at 4 a.m. to be sure they had time to feed Spook and be sure he was ready to ride without being rushed.

There were 44 starters at the beginning of the ride, with six riders starting out at a gallop up a steep and rocky hill. Stroh stated "I kept Spook with the second bunch of riders that took a more leisurely pace as I knew there were miles to go yet and the idea is to get your horse to the finish line...".


Monday, July 20, 2009

Riders find best of American in Nebraska Panhandle - Full Article

Monday, July 20, 2009

By MARK DYKES Alliance Times-Herald , The Associated Press - HEMINGFORD, Neb

Just over 1,200 miles.

That's the distance covered by a group 48 riders on horseback to make it from El Paso, Texas, to the home of Trell and Maggie Elliott 12 miles west of Hemingford.

Trail master Tom Seay said some of the riders stayed with the Elliotts during their brief visit to Box Butte County in the Panhandle recently. Others headed on to the next campsite a few miles up the road.

Trell noted that the riders have just been great, jokingly adding that he also gets his grass cut and free manure during their stay.

The riders would join up again the next morning to continue their journey _ a total of more than 2,000 miles when they reach their Canadian destination of Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Seay, who is from Virginia, said the journey began April 21 near El Paso, and is expected to end on Sept. 5.

The ride is being recorded for "Best of America by Horseback," a television program on the RFD-TV channel.

On the journey up, the riders passed through New Mexico and Colorado, and after leaving Nebraska they will go through South Dakota, North Dakota and briefly into Montana before crossing the border into Canada.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spain: Horse rescue using ATRM endurance tracking system

2 jours d'intense compétition dont le CEIOJY d'Espagne à côté de Madrid au pied d'un ancien monastère.

Des épreuves chronométrées par ATRM, à suivre en cliquant ICI. (si liaison internet) avec suivi GPS en direct sur le site ATRM par SF Tracking (une compagnie EUVE).

Une première technique qui préfigure d'autres innovations en matière de communication pour l'endurance au niveau international. Une coopération européenne France - Espagne (ou l'inverse comme on veut).

Le CEI * 80 km a débuté à 9h00. 1/2 heure après, le GPS a montré son utilité pour la sécurité lors de la chute d'une cavalière. En appuyant sur le bouton SOS, elle a signalé sa chute (avec possibilité de parler et communiquer). L'hélicoptère de sécurité et l'ambulance se sont immédiatement rendus sur les lieux (il s'agit d'un parc naturel avec peu d'accès)..
Le GPS a permis la relation, la localisation précise et l'envoi immédiat des secours. La cavalière a été emmenée à Madrid pour observation. On note en sus que l'organisateur a pris les moyens nécessaires pour assurer la sécurité.

UMA MENCIA (ESP) vainqueur du CEIOJY ** 120 km à 18.320 km/h (voir site ATRM).
FERNANDEZ VILAR DAVID (ESP) vainqueur du CEI ** 120 km à 18.763 km/h (voir site ATRM).
DIAZ FEITO PLACIDO (ESP) vainqueur du CEI * 80 km à 16.338 km/h (voir site ATRM).

Anne-Sophie Laborde (FRA) 6ème sur le CEI** 120 km

Au final, on a assisté là à la première édition de ce qui deviendra un lieu de référence en Espagne avec circuits balisés en dur dans un parc naturel d'une grande beauté sis à 1200m d' Nord de Madrid. Des améliorations sont déjà prévues pour maintenir et compléter un haut niveau de mise en oeuvre (piste remarquée par la qualité de ses sols, paysages superbes, organisation générale de qualité malgré une obligation de changement de dernière minute pour 2 phases, chronométrage automatique ATRM et suivi GPS EUVE SF Sport Tracking avec diffusion sur Internet, niveau de sécurité exceptionnel, etc.).

Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ICI.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Kentucky: Local resident competes in endurance riding - orignal article
July 15, 2009

Hopkins County, KY - Local resident competes in endurance riding.

To have a horse in your life is truly a gift. It is a lifelong passion that began for me as a child. Now well into middle age I continue my obsession as I compete as an Endurance rider. My background in riding has always been in Cross Country jumping and Dressage. Nothing has captivated my spirit like teaming up with my horse to cover 25-50 miles of trail at a time.

Endurance riding is an equestrian competition where horse and rider as a team ride cross country on marked trails for 25-50-100 miles. You and your horse must be fit as you are evaluated at the start, middle and end of your ride by a veterinarian.

To keep my horse’s fitness level where it needs to be ,I take advantage of Western Kentucky’s many trails. I train during the week either at Pennyrile State Park, or Land Between the Lakes. My competition horse Guinness and I log around 15-30 miles a week. Most Endurance horses are Arabian; however my little guy is a Pinto. I have seen walking horses, Quarter horses and even ponies at rides. I don’t receive ribbons or trophies, but the satisfaction of completion. Rides are sanctioned by AERC(American Endurance Ride Conference) and there are rules to follow. All mileage and points are recorded by AERC.The motto of any Endurance rider is “To finish is to win”.

If you face your fears, swallow your pride and are willing to work at it, you’ll learn lessons in courage, commitment, and compassion. You’ll discover just how hard you’re willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. If you would like to know more about the wonderful sport of Endurance please feel free to email me at : e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Submitted to iSurf News by Staci Collins

USEF - Adequan Junior and Young Riders Championships

2009 Adequan NAJYRC presented by Gotham North Readies for Kick-Off
USEF Release: July 16 2009

Beginning Wednesday, July 22, with a kick-off celebration and opening ceremonies, the 2009 Adequan FEI North American Junior & Young Riders Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North will welcome junior and young riders from across the expanse of the continent to a much-anticipated and highly-regarded series of championships.

The NAJYRC is the premiere equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders age 14-21. Young equestrians come from the United States, Canada and Mexico to vie for championship titles in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing, plus the Western-style discipline of reining. The competition is run under rules of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport.

The 2009 series of championships will be one of the biggest in the history of the event with an increase in the number of entries, as well as the number of demonstration events having grown substantially. In addition to the higher number of competitors seeking a victory, there are two non-Olympic equestrian disciplines participating with riders taking to the endurance trail and the vaulting arena in non-championship events.

Many of North America’s best equestrians got their start at the NAJYRC including Olympic medalists Greg Best, Karen O'Connor, Chris Kappler and McLain Ward.

The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A dressage championship was added in 1981, and show jumping was added in 1982. The first complete Young Riders championship was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982. The Championships were expanded to officially include a championship division for juniors in 2006. The discipline of reining was added to the official schedule in 2008.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22, and admission is free of charge (there is a nominal parking fee for the Kentucky Horse Park). For more information, visit www.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

AETA and ELCR Formalize their Partnership

The American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) and Equestrian Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) have formed a partnership that will benefit both riders and the equestrian trade. The Associations - AETA is a non-profit trade association and ELCR is a non-profit educational organization - have agreed to share informational resources and work together to encourage and nurture interest in equestrian activities in the United States. AETA's members, many who are avid riders and landowners, actively support ELCR's mission of advancing the conservation of land for horse-related activity. AETA, as an Association, recognizes that without riders and land for equestrian activities, there is no equestrian trade.

According to the US Department of Agriculture statistics, open space in the US is being developed at the rate of 250 acres per hour. Land once available to raise hay and grain and to raise, train, and ride horses is becoming more scarce, expensive and fragmented as fields give way to rooftops and strip malls. Economic pressures are tempting many landowners to sell farms for suburban and industrial development.

Since its establishment in 1997, ELCR has assisted equestrian sport, recreation and industry in advancing responsible land stewardship and conservation for horse-related activity. The organization educates and facilitates partnerships to preserve access to trails on public and private lands. It provides information on best farm management practices to protect soil and water quality. It provides guidance to both large and small landowners in the protection of open space through conservation easements, the purchase of development rights' programs (PDR's) and community land use and comprehensive planning.

Fortunately, there are better options for horse farm owners than just selling their land to developers. Landowners can receive tax benefits by donating conservation easements with equestrian provisions on their property, or receive payments by entering into a purchase/transfer of development rights. Doing so allows them to conserve their open land and keep or ride horses on their property in perpetuity. These opportunities vary from state to state and even within states. Persons seeking state-specific statutory and regulatory information regarding land trusts should contact ELCR or their local land trust for the most current land conservation tax incentives.

With guidance from ELCR and their local land trusts, communities are conducting comprehensive planning that accommodates appropriate development while keeping prime farmland in equestrian and agricultural use. Many rural areas are opting to preserve their heritage and way of life while accommodating newcomers who have similar interests. Horse owners, horse enthusiasts, and the professionals upon whom they depend are an important component of rural living.

Keeping sufficient land for horses, in terms of both quantity and quality, is vital to a thriving horse industry. The Equestrian Land Conservation Resource is working on many fronts to ensure that future. ELCR welcomes the involvement and assistance of the American Equestrian Trade Association and its members in their conservation efforts.

For more information on ELCR, please call us at 859/455-8383, email or visit their website at

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Great Britain: Flintshire woman has sights on horseriding endurance challenge

Sarah Braithwaite is taking part in an endurance
trek on Morris, who will travel over 260 miles to
Devon without shoes on his hooves. - Full Article

07 July 2009
By Liam Newman

A KEEN Flintshire horserider is to take on a major endurance challenge.
Sarah Braithwaite, of Nercwys, is travelling 260 miles from North Wales to North Devon to highlight the level of performance that can be achieved from barefoot horses.

She will be riding on six-year-old Chestnut Arab horse, Morris.

Sarah is experienced in the field of endurance rides, and said she is extremely excited about the challenge.

She said: "We started talking about a possible trip at Christmas after coming across many riders who didn't fully appreciate what barefoot horses can do.

"I've always wanted to ride the Long Mynd in Shropshire, and we've intentionally drawn up the map so we can ride along it on this journey."


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Canada: Endurance Canada Releases Selection Criteria
Endurance Canada Releases Selection Criteria for the 2009 Endurance Kentucky Cup CEI3* Event

July 3, 2009

Ottawa, Ontario—Endurance Canada and Equine Canada are pleased to announce that the selection criteria for the 2009 Endurance Kentucky Cup CEI3* event has now been posted on the Equine Canada website.

Riders who are interested in representing Canada at the 2009 Kentucky Cup must achieve all the required selection criteria during the qualifying period of January 1, 2004 through August 1, 2009. Riders who would like to be considered for selection must declare their interest to Equine Canada by August 6, 2009, in accordance with the selection criteria.

The 2009 Endurance Kentucky Cup CEI3* will be held October 14, 2009, at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, KY, USA. This top international venue has been completely redesigned to host the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

For additional information on the CRC and its programs, please visit the Endurance section of the Equine Canada website or e-mail

About Endurance Canada
Endurance Canada is a committee of Equine Canada, and the National governing body of the sport of Endurance Riding in Canada, from the grassroots to the international level. Endurance Canada is responsible for the growth and pursuit of excellence at all levels of the sport, providing support and guidance through various programs and committees: veterinary; rules and sanctioning; athlete and sport development; education and coaching; communication and awards. For more information, please visit the Endurance Canada section of the Equine Canada website.

About Equine Canada
Equine Canada is a member-based association that represents, promotes and services Canada’s equine community and industry. Its core areas of activity involve sport, equine health and welfare, education and safety, governance and marketing, representation and communication. Equine Canada is recognized by Sport Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Coaching Association of Canada as the national organization representing equestrian sport and equine interests in Canada. For more information about Equine Canada, please visit

Written by Julie Cull

Belgium: Start, Run, Win - Leonard Liesens

The community of endurance riding had no recent and comprehensive book written by a top level competitor. The vacuum is now filled with the book "Endurance - Start, manage, win" by Leonard Liesen.

The foreword is by Jack Bégaud. With the participation of Dr. Jean-Marc Lamolle for veterinary checks.
With photos of Carroll Gatelier.

The book covers all aspects of equestrian endurance: the choice of horse, the regulations, the principles of education, training of horses and young inexperienced horse, horse training experienced tactical race, l assistance, care for horses, the preparation vetgate, criteria veterinarians, advanced training, problems and their solutions, how do the other, etc ...

Pierre Arnould: "warning, understandable and sometimes poetic." It says "The vision is not completely monolithic, but pluralistic and is a leader of ideas and tracks."

Begaud Jack writes in his preface: "Thank you for this bold initiative led to a precise panorama, well researched, balanced between reason and feeling, which reads in one."

Vincent Dupont: "Clear, precise and full of lessons for beginners and for others."

The sisters Houassin: "This is a book that is clear and not running around the bush".

Christian Depuille: "I do that at the half but I have reviewed my training and my approach to discipline."

Anne-Gaelle Goachet: "The foundations of the discipline are finally put on paper. And for researchers like me, your book is a reference solid," Liesen, 2009 "probably appear in my next scientific!"

144 pages
Price: 20 euros
Written in French

The book is available in France, Belgium and elsewhere.

Friday, July 03, 2009

AHA: National Distance Championships Combine

Arabian Horse Association
Release: July 02 2009

By Hilary Nixon

For the first time ever, the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) will combine the National Endurance Ride and National Competitive Trail Ride into one week of exciting competition, which will include American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC)-sanctioned rides, October 27-31, at Lake Carl Blackwell in Stillwater, OK.

Competition begins Tuesday, October 27, with the AHA National Championship 100-Mile Endurance Ride, coupled with three coinciding AERC endurance rides— a 100-mile, a 50-mile and a 25-mile ride. The AHA National Championship competitive trail ride (CTR) spans two days, October 28-29. The last days of national competition will feature the AHA National 50-Mile Endurance Ride, along with a 50-mile and 25-mile AERC-sanctioned ride on October 30. The Ozark Country Endurance Riders (OCER) will host a Halloween special, Witch Way Ride, on October 31, as well.

Also new to the Distance National Championships is the opportunity to win Allocated Sweepstakes prize money. If a horse is competing in the National 100-Mile Endurance Ride or the National Competitive Trail Ride, a horse can earn Allocated Money. Allocated Sweepstakes prize money is in addition to the Sweepstakes Points Program money, which requires annual enrollment prior to the event.

The dates of the National Distance Championships coincide with that of the U.S. Nationals in Tulsa, OK, about an hour and half away, giving horse lovers in Oklahoma plenty to watch in October. Arabians, Half-Arabians and Anglo-Arabians, known for their versatility and athleticism will be on display at the National Distance Championships and U.S. Nationals for the public to enjoy everything from the grueling 100-mile endurance ride to the glitz and glamour of English pleasure and the excitement of working cow classes.

For more information visit or call (303) 696-4500.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Teamwork Key for the 2009 Old Dominion Endurance Rides

By Beth Liechti Johnson (

Teamwork proved key to the successful running of the 35th Old Dominion Endurance Rides, held this June in the Appalachian Mountains along the Virginia/West Virginia state line. Throughout the ride, teamwork made the difference: between horses, riders and crew, between ride management, veterinarians and farriers, and between radio operators, drag riders and emergency rescue personnel.

By June 12, 158 horse and rider teams had arrived at base camp outside Orkney Springs, a quaint little town located at the foot of Great North Mountain, part of the George Washington National Forest. Of the 33 100-mile teams who started on the humid morning of June 13, 24 completed. Of 69 55-mile teams who started, 56 completed. And the 25-mile limited distance ride had 43 starters and 40 finishers, a 93 percent completion rate.

Since its evolution from the U.S. Calvary Mounted Service Cup, the Old Dominion (OD) endurance ride stands out as a true test of teamwork between horse and rider on a spectacular, but undeniably difficult trail. In addition to the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association (ECTRA) sanctioning, the 55- and 100-mile distances of this year's event also served as the Arabian Horse Association Region 15 Championship.

By June, the spring rains had pelted the Virginia landscape for several weeks, so trails were muddy and footing was slippery. The rain held off most of ride day, and ominous clouds rolled across the sky, bringing cool breezes and keeping temperatures in the low 80s. The air was thick with humidity that made pulsing down tough.

Trailmaster Gus Politis, assisted by several OD members, marked this year's trail. Old Dominion Endurance Rides, Inc., board member John Marsh said the 100-milers faced three major climbs: a 1500' climb to the top of Great North Mountain at mile 6, a 1600' climb to the top of Devil's Hole 40 miles into the ride, and a 1000' climb up Little Sluice Mountain 70 miles into the ride.

Marsh noted that the majority of trail consisted of rolling, forested terrain over a combination of trail and Forest Service roads with frequent elevation changes of 300 to 400 feet. Riders enjoyed the display of mountain laurel in full bloom, along with ample streams for drinking and plenty of grass on trail for horses.

Veterinary checks at five locations revealed scene after scene of the incredible synchronization between riders and crews, as well as ride management, station heads, timers, volunteers, vets, farriers, and traffic control.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., OD member Claire Godwin, DVM, on her 10-year-old Arabian gelding EH Ahmose was first to finish the 100 miler in 12 hours and 17 minutes. "Ahmose is a cantering horse, which held him in good stead on this ride," said Dr. Godwin, who was thrilled with her first 100-mile win on a horse who had never before done a 100.

Dr. Godwin added, "The trail was challenging, but doable - a blast. The miles melted away since the scenery was so gorgeous." The Godwin family epitomized teamwork: daughter Katie crewed for her mom and husband Pete assisted with trail marking and filling water tanks at key points along the trail.

Stagg Newman and Ruth Anne Everett rode with Godwin most of the day, with teamwork and sportsmanship going hand-in-hoof. All three watched each others' horses for problems and Newman even lent Dr. Godwin an hoof boot when Ahmose lost a shoe.

Everett's Anglo-Arab Razz crossed the finish second and earned the best condition award. Katherine Shank on WindDancer-Bey was top finisher in the 100-mile Calvary Division, which precludes receiving any outside assistance. Shank also received the Old Dominion Trophy for the team that demonstrates optimum performance based on the horse's post-ride recovery and condition.

In the 55-miler, Bonni Hannah finished first on Rezus Respite. Kara Lee Thomas finished second on AF Big Bucks. And junior Hunter Green was third on Gotcha Covered PW. Veterinarian Meg Sleeper's horse Syrocco Gabriel received best condition.

As with most endurance rides, not everything went as planned. Two situations demonstrated the sound leadership, solid teamwork, and invincible spirit of OD ride management, who handled each situation with urgency, care and professionalism.

Around 5:00 p.m., one 55-mile team was unaccounted for - an unwelcome discovery considering that night was approaching and the mountainous terrain had intermittent cell phone coverage.

OD ride management initiated a search and rescue operation with the Shenandoah County Emergency Response Team, Orkney Springs Volunteer Fire Department, volunteer radio operators and drag riders. For six hours, drag riders, motorcycle riders and ATVs combed the marked trails and side trails.

Just before midnight, drag rider Lynn Golemon located the missing horse and rider unharmed, at the Bucktail vet check in West Virginia. Golemon was driving her rig back from the Big 92 vet check when she heard the rider whistling to attract her attention.

The rider had missed the sign indicating a left turn for the 55-milers leaving the second vet check, instead continuing straight on the 100-mile trail and eventually arriving at Bucktail. Since all of the 100-milers had long since passed through, the check was closed, but fortunately the rider remained in place until help arrived.

In another incident, one of the 100-mile horses quit in a remote location between the 82-mile gate-and-go and the 94-mile veterinary check. Drag riders Karen McMullen and Jamie Bladen discovered the horse and rider about 3:30 a.m. The horse was exhibiting dehydration symptoms, so they administered field first aid using a squirt bottle to get water into the horse, and offered moral support to the rider.

McMullen used her multi-use radio service (MURS) radio to contact base camp, guide emergency vehicles to the site, and confer with the treatment vet. Extraction maps developed by John Marsh proved invaluable in pinpointing the rider's probable location and head drag rider Zoe Sollenberger hiked in to assist.

As daylight approached, OD members cleared the narrow trail with chainsaws so a rig could reach the horse. Treatment vet Lynne Johnson, DVM, checked the horse before releasing it for the ride back to base camp around 7:00 a.m.

Co-ride manager Nancy Smart said, "The safe extraction of this horse showed how important drag riders are, how critical radio operations are, and how lucky we were that John Marsh developed extraction maps of the entire course."

AERC Vice President Laura Hayes, who rode the OD 100 in 2008 and volunteered this year remarked, "The magnitude of coordination to put on a continuous 100 mile ride is incredible, and the Old Dominion club does it with class. Kudos to a great group of dedicated endurance riders."

OD Vice President and co-Ride Manager Joe Selden said, "The tremendous success of this year's OD was due to the terrific team effort from all involved." That teamwork started with the ride management and involved a variety of participants, including the Shenandoah County Emergency Response team, members of the Northern Virginia Trail Riders motorcycle club, who checked all of the trails ahead of the riders to ensure markers remained in place, the volunteer fire department, who prepared several excellent meals as well as assisting with the search for the lost 55-mile rider, head vet Nick Kohut, DVM, who led a top-notch team of 13 veterinarians, and 10 amateur radio operators, who ensured ride management had radio communications with station heads, vets, and drag riders, and finally Henry Mulbauer, who timed the finishers until the wee hours of the morning as he has every year since the inception of the OD ride.

Zoe Sollenberger led an indomitable team of 18 Old Dominion Drag (ODD) Riders, many who are wilderness first aid trained and amateur radio licensed, and three who are search and rescue trained. The ODD Riders proved, once again, that drag riders are the unsung heroes of endurance. OD board members Mary Howell and Bonnie Snodgrass coordinated more than 30 volunteers serving as timers, vet scribes and pulse and respiration (P&R) takers.

Finally, all OD participants owe a big thanks to OD board member Gus Politis, who single-handedly built the quarter-mile gravel road, now called Politis Boulevard, that runs the length of base camp, greatly reducing the chance of trucks and trailers getting stuck. Politis coordinated the movement of several hundred dump truck loads to the site, spreading the gravel between loads - a gargantuan effort by a dedicated man that greatly improved this critical aspect of the Old Dominion.

Old Dominion Endurance Rides Inc. (, is a 501C(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1973 to promote and support the sport of endurance riding through competition, training, education and trails preservation. The club is located in Virginia, but membership comes from all over the country. The OD currently hosts three endurance rides annually - No Frills, Old Dominion, and Ft. Valley - as well as Ride and Tie competitions in conjunction with the endurance rides.