Saturday, December 25, 2010

Great Britain: Versatile Bobby is crowned Olympia veteran champion - Full Article

Ellie Hughes

23 December, 2010
Few horses that can boast such a comprehensive CV as 30-year-old Bobby, the 14.3hh skewbald who was recently crowned the Veteran Horse Society's in-hand champion at Olympia.

The Helme family's much-loved gelding started his ridden career competing in endurance with Becci Elme, who then passed over the reins to her younger sister Donna (now Kenyon).

Donna and Bobby went on to represent Great Britain in endurance at the World Equestrian Games in The Hague in 1994...

Read more here:

Kelsey Kimbler Named 2010 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year

Release: December 23 2010
Author: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Kelsey Kimbler as the 2010 Junior Equestrian of the Year. This highest of honor offered to a junior equestrian comes on the heels of another big honor Kelsey earned earlier this month - the 2010 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award, sponsored by Breyer Animal Creations. This puts Kelsey in elite company, as one of only a handful of junior equestrians to accomplish both feats in the same year.

"My sister Kirsten won this award in 2007 and I've always looked up to her. When she won, I decided 'That's my next goal!'" Kimbler related. "It has been a whirlwind experience."

The 17-year-old high school senior has shown an unwavering commitment to her sport. As a young child, she started in the show ring with walk-trot. Soon after, she continued her riding with endurance and has never looked back. Kimbler has won the AERC Junior National Hundred Mile Award twice in its four years of existence. This award is given to the junior rider who completes the most 100-mile rides in one year. Kimbler holds the record for being the only junior to complete five such endurance rides in one year. She also has represented the AHA Youth Association as her region's delegate and through involvement in 4-H events with her Arabians. She was nominated by both the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

Her commitment does not stop with her horses, and as Kimbler can attest, she's used to balancing quite a hectic schedule. She tested for the first professional level in ballet in the fall, and hopes to teach younger children, to fund her college education. In addition, she is a member of the Keystone National Honor Society which requires her to complete 30 hours of community service along with maintaining at least a 4.0 grade point average. She is also an active member of her school's cross-country team and Students Against Destructive Decisions club (SADD).

Kimbler plans to attend university near home next year, pursuing a degree in biology. While other future plans aren't yet set in stone, she's already sure of one thing: horses.

The Ruth O'Keefe Meredith Trophy was established in 1985 to honor a junior equestrian who has made outstanding contributions to equestrian competition while exemplifying exceptional talent, sportsmanship and dedication. After reviewing the many candidates nominated for one of the USEF's highest honors, the Awards Committee selected the young equestrian who exceeded the demanding qualification criteria.

To qualify, a young equestrian must have competed at USEF-recognized shows over the past year while displaying good sportsmanship and integrity. The winner is also someone who has excelled and has willingly given back to their sport.

Kimbler will be honored during the 2010 Pegasus Awards on January 22 in Lexington, KY, as part of the 2011 USEF Annual Meeting. She was nominated by both the Arabian Horse Associaton (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

For tickets to the 2011 USEF Annual Meeting and Pegasus Awards in Lexington, KY, visit and click on "2010 Annual Meeting" on the right side of the homepage.

For more information about the 2010 USEF Junior Equestrian of the Year, contact Trisha Watkins, USEF's Awards Manager, at (859) 225-6944 or

Thursday, December 23, 2010

America's Favorite Equestrian Campaign Launched

Wednesday December 22 2010

Tucson, AZ

United States Equestrian Foundation (USEF) and The EQUUS Foundation have launched America's Favorite Equestrian campaign.

Designed as an interactive fundraising effort, the unique program is designed to raise funds for equestrian sport on an annual basis. It relies on donations made via mobile texting through any cellphone or handheld mobile device. Each $5 donation made between December 15, 2010 and February 28, 2011 is considered a vote. A minimum of $10,000 in sport welfare grants will be awarded based on the donations made via this campaign, and an additional $5,000 grant will be made to the equestrian discilpline that generates the most votes.

Eight equestrian disciplines are listed, and within each discipline, between six and eight people are vying for your vote. The disciplines are dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, para-dressage, reining, and vaulting. Each of these disciplines were represented at the recent World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

EasyCare is well represented in the Endurance discipline. 2009 AERC Hall of Fame Recipient Dave Rabe and EasyCare's own President & CEO, Garrett Ford, are two of the eight nominees. "I'm humbled to be in the company of such fine ambassadors of our sport. To be included in a list of equestrians that includes Julie Suhr and Becky Grand Hart is a great honor," said Ford. "I'm obviously delighted that two of the eight Endurance nominees are representing Easyboot, but this also represents an opportunity for the broader sport of endurance to receive new funds regardless of the representative you vote for."

“It is our goal to bring recognition to all the equestrian disciplines and breeds, and to inspire all equestrians to support our overall efforts on behalf of horses. We hope this program will generate excitement and involvement for horse lovers everywhere,” said Lynn Coakley, President of The EQUUS Foundation.

The EQUUS Foundation is dedicated to securing homes and useful lives for all horses - competitively, recreationally and therapeutically - and to educating the public on the important role horses have in our everyday lives. In the short time since the Foundation’s establishment, over $1.5 million in grants has been awarded to horse and equestrian charities across the United States.

How To Vote
Visit the link at Select your favorite equestrian listed under each discipline and follow the instructions provided. After texting your vote, you must reply YES to confirm your vote/$5 donation. Each donation is 100% tax deductible.

If you want to cast more than six $5 votes in a single month ($30), simply follow the instructions listed on each equestrian profile. A credit card is required.

How It Works
Fans can vote for their favorite equestrians from among a slate of international athletes until Februray 28, 2011.

Winner Selections
The winners will be the athletes from each discipline with the most votes. The winners will be announced in March, 2011.

America's Favorite Equestrians
To Vote and Make a $5 Donation, text VOTE + (space) + (Equestrian's Number Below) to 85944:

Courtney King-Dye (57)
Debbie McDonald (58)
Guenter Seidel (59)
Katharine Bateson-Chandler (60)
Leslie Morse (61)
Steffen Peters (62)
Tina Konyot (63)
Todd Flettrich (64)

Chester Weber (1)
Fred Merriam (2)
Lisa Singer (3)
Rochelle Temple (4)
Suzy Stafford (5)
Tucker Johnson (6)

Becky Hart (41)
Bill Wilson (42)
Dave Rabe (43)
Earle Baxter (44)
Garrett Ford (45)
Julie Suhr (46)
Robert Ribley (47)
Valerie Kanavy (48)

Boyd Martin (9)
Bruce Davidson (10)
David O'Connor (11)
James C. Wofford (12)
Karen O'Connor (13)
Kimberly Severson (14)
Phillip Dutton (15)
Tiana Coudray (16)

Anne Kursinski (17)
Beezie Madden (18)
George H. Morris (19)
Joe Fargis (20)
Laura Kraut (21)
Margie Engle (22)
McLain Ward (23)
Peter Wylde (24)

Jennifer Baker (49)
Jonathan Wentz (50)
Laura Goldman (51)
Mary Jordan (52)
Rebecca Hart (53)
Robin Brueckmann (54)
Susan Treabess (55)
Wendy Fryke (56)

Andrea Fappani (25)
Casey Deary (26)
Craig Schmersal (27)
Matthew Palmer (28)
Randy Paul (29)
Shawn Flarida (30)
Tim McQuay (31)
Tom McCutcheon (32)

Ali Divita (33)
Devon Maitozo (34)
Katherine Wick (35)
Kenny Geisler (36)
Kristian Roberts (37)
Mary McCormick (38)
Megan Benjamin (39)
Todd Griffiths (40)

For more information on America's Favorite Equestrian Campaign, contact The EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880 (203) 259-1550,, website:

For more information on Easyboots, please see the EasyCare website at and the EasyCare blog at . For all additional questions, contact Kevin Myers, Director of Marketing at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Performance of the year: Lew Hollander - Full Article

By Matthew Dale,

In another of our "Performance of the year" stories, Matthew Dale catches up with a man who provided one of the year's highlights with his amazing race in Kona. Keep those e-mails coming to - we'll be posting some of those here on the site tomorrow.

Memo to journalists contemplating writing a story about Bend, Oregon’s ageless wonder, 80-year-old Lew Hollander -- do not begin your line of questioning as follows:

“What type of work did you do before retiring?”

“I resent you using the past tense,” said Hollander, a physicist who still works in his chosen field. “I think I’m still functioning.”

Still functioning? Uh, yeah. In October, Hollander finished the Ford Ironman World Championship for the 21st time (out of 21 starts), jogging down Alii Drive well ahead of the midnight deadline, coming home in 15 hours, 48 minutes. Four weeks later he completed the 70.3 world champs in Clearwater.

When Hollander checked out of his Clearwater hotel, a person at the front desk made a big deal about his feat at 80. A gentleman apparently in his 50s looked at Hollander and asked, “What do you take?”

Warning. Warning. Another foolish question.
“Do you want to spend a day with me?” Hollander told the man.
The guy thought for some time, then said, “No.”

“It’s like (the guy’s asking), ‘Is there a magic pill? I don’t want to do any of the training crap. I just want to take a prescription,’” says Hollander. “There isn’t any pill. It’s (and here he spells out the word) W-O-R-K.”

Work. Move. Explore. Be active. Be involved. Be curious. Splice them all together and you’ve got a peek into what makes Hollander tick...

Read more here:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kibler uses a twist when it comes to endurance horse racing

photo: Provided Keith Kibler at finish line of a 50-mile race near Kansas City on a mare named Kate. The horse won the race and was B.C. (Best Condition). (Courtesy)

Watching the 2004 movie "Hidalgo" changed Keith Kibler's life.

The movie told the story of the hardships endured by a cowboy, portrayed by Viggo Mortensen, and his horse, Hidalgo, during a long distance race across the North African desert. The movie inspired him to take up the sport of endurance horse racing.

"I had done over 80 triathlons and had accomplished about what I wanted to accomplish at that," Kibler said. "I thought I'd take a year off from punishing myself at that and spend some time with my wife and her horses.

"What really appeared to me was the relationship between the cowboy and his horse. I thought it would be fun to compete at something where you had more of a relationship than with your bike."

So, after a bit of research, Kibler decided to give endurance racing a shot.

Immediately, he discovered there was another parallel between the movie and real life.

In the movie, Mortensen rode an American mustang, a horse that many believed unsuited to the rigors of a long-distance race. Kibler, and his wife, Sandy, compete on Tennessee Walking Horses and Missouri Foxtrotters. Most endurance racers ride Arabians.

"I showed up at my first race, a 50-mile race, in May of 2005 and was told I was on the wrong kind of horse and should go home," he said. "They asked if I could really sit on a horse for 50 miles. An ironman is about 140 miles, so I thought I could. I had just completed my second one of those, and didn't know if I wanted to do that any more."

The races are sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference. About 92-93 percent of the competitors ride Arabians, a fact that piqued Kibler's curiosity.

"It made me wonder whether a gaited horse could do endurance," he said. "And, that's what I sought to find out. I used both the training techniques and training tools from my triathlon background to train the horse because I didn't know any better. Not only did it work, but it worked very well."

There is a real advantage to riding the gaited horses.

"To ride an Arabian horse for 50 of 100 miles, you have to have really strong legs and a strong back because you're jumping up and down," Kibler said. "Our horses are so smooth you don't have to do that. The saddles we use are cushioned. The one my wife has has a webbing in it. It's kind of like riding in an easy chair."

The Kiblers race nine different horses. In their five years they've had 47 races, 29 top-10 finishes and five best of condition awards.

"The best of condition award is the top honor in this sport," Kibler said. "It's a combination of where you place, the weight of the rider and how the veterinarians have scored the horses before the race, at each vet stop, at the end of the race and an hour after the race."

The presence of veterinarians is where real life deviates from the movie. At the end of Hidalgo, viewers weren't sure the horse would survive. The horses are monitored carefully in AERC events.

"Usually for a 50-mile race you'll have a stop at about 20 miles and another at 35 miles," Kibler said. "They're like pit stops in NASCAR, but they're vet stops. The vets check the horses. It's a very safe sport for the horses. You have 30 minutes for the horse's heart rate to drop. If it doesn't drop in time, you're disqualified. They watch the horses very carefully.

"The motto of the AERC is ‘To finish is to win.' You have to get it done (50-mile race) in 12 hours. That includes the vet stop time, and the vet stop time is around an hour. Your moving time is about 10 hours."

He said a top caliber horse can average about 12.5 miles per hour in a 50-mile race.

The nearest AERC races are held in Salem.

For more information on the sport, or gaited horses, go to / 618-351-5088

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Local volunteer wins 2010 State Trail Worker Award - Full Article

By The Staff
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Horse lover Helen Koehler, of Levy County, was recently rewarded for her on-going contributions to the trail systems in the area at the 20th National Trails Awards symposium held in Chattanooga, Tennessee in November.

The award "recognizes an individual that has demonstrated outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance."
A horse enthusiast since the 1980’s, she purchased her first horse and began enjoying trail riding and horse camping. This interest evolved into volunteering on various trail projects, as well as, serving on local land-use committees in the Gainesville area.

She moved to Levy County in 1995 with her husband Buck and together, they have marked over 100 miles of shared use trails. Additionally, they annually host the Goethe Challenge endurance ride which raises money for the Forest.

In her spare time, Koehler also serves as the Trail Grants Program Liaison for the American Endurance Riding Conference, chairs the Levy County Tourist Development Council, is president of The Goethe Trail, Inc., which promotes nature based equine tourism and actively participates on Florida’s Recreational Trails Program Committee.
She assists local, state and federal agencies with design and layout of equestrian trail facilities...

Read more here:

Report Your 2010 Access Issues on Federal Land

December 14, 2010

Contact: Bridget Harrison

The American Horse Council is continuing its effort to collect information on access issues equestrians are experiencing on federal lands. The center piece of this effort is an online form equestrians can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails that have been closed to them or other access issues on federal land. This online form is located at

Shortly, the AHC will be publishing a 2010 Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. “It is vital that all equestrians report their experiences on federal land good and bad,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass. “Equestrians need to relay their 2010 experiences to us by the end of the year so we can include them in the 2010 report. This information is vital to AHC efforts to protect equestrian recreation on federal land.”

Last February, the American Horse Council released its first Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. The 2009 report provided a brief overview of the responses the AHC received from equestrians to its ongoing access survey in 2009. The report can be viewed and downloaded on the Recreation Issues page on the AHC website.

The American Horse Council began its effort to collect information regarding equestrian access issues on federal lands in July of 2009. This effort was prompted by a growing concern among recreational riders around the country that they were seeing a reduction in the number of trails and trail heads open to equestrians on federal land.

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans use horses and pack stock to enjoy America’s great outdoors each year. However, it is an experience that cannot be enjoyed without access to public land, trail systems, and trailheads,” said Pendergrass.

“The AHC uses the survey and the year end report to illustrate some of the challenges facing recreational riders,” said AHC President Jay Hickey.” “Our federal land mangers work hard to provide recreational opportunities and we need to make sure they have adequate information about what some equestrians are experiencing. The annual Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land is just one part of our efforts to ensure equestrians continue to have recreational opportunities on federal land. “

The AHC asks all recreational riders now and in the future to visit the AHC website and report any access issues they have had using this electronic form.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Australia: Endurance Ride Tamworth in conjuntion with Australian National Arabian Championships

December 14, 2010 | Author AHOM Admin

20 March 2011

2011 is set to be a busy year for the Tamworth & District Endurance Club, backing up after a busy 2010 running 2 x 80km rides and the Quilty.
The year will start early with an 80km Endurance Ride and 40km Training Ride being held at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) in Tamworth. The club was approached by the Arabian Horse Society to run a ride in conjunction with their National Championship to showcase Endurance. Please note that the holding of this ride all depends on a suitable and appropriate course being available.
The ride base and camping will be at AELEC which boasts the best Equine facilities in the country. The camping fee has been kept to a minimum with the support of the Arabian Horse Society.

AELEC was opened in 2009 and the TDEC were involved in this, running an Endurance Demonstration in the Arena and manning an information booth. The Centre is a $30 million World Class Venue which has hosted many championship events to date a covers a massive 42 hectares. This will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase Endurance Riding to the rest of the Arabian Horse World and the general public. It is also a great chance to check out this amazing facility and the Arabian Horse Society event.

The Arabian Horse Society has been extremely supportive in getting the Endurance Ride as part of their championships, and we hope to have Riders and Horses who attend will create a lasting and positive impression of the sport of Endurance Riding. Further information can be found at or

The second event on the TDEC calendar will be the inaugural Manilla Muster. This will be a 3-day marathon ride and also an 80km ride on the final day of the marathon. Full details about this ride will be revealed soon.
Finally, the third and final event will be the Bendemeer Endurance Ride which is normally held in May. This has been moved to September and will take full advantage of the beautiful spring weather that the tablelands has to offer.
For information about any of these events, please call Jeff or Gay Bonham on (02) 67852055.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Canada: Terre O'Brennan Named 2010 BC Horse Council's Horse Person of the Year

Terre O’Brennan has made an outstanding contribution to horse sport, Endurance riding in particular, rising through the years to become the most respected Endurance rider in BC and one of Canada’s top riders. She started riding in the early 1980’s on her first pony Cavvie in Endurance moving up to her current mount Koszaar. The pair were recently named as alternates for the 2010 WEG team.

Terre isn’t just a determined and clever rider she also spends countless hours giving back to the horse sport. She is one of the original members and a current Director of the Endurance Riders Association of BC as well as an Affiliate director of Horse Council BC.

The “Over the Rainbow Ride” just celebrated its 21st year in existence and Terre has been actively involved as one of the Ride Manager for 17 of those years providing her computer savvy expertise. She has also been involved with the testing and improvements of the new Endurance software and training other Ride Managers. Most recently Terre has taken on the role of Vice-President of the newly formed Endurance Canada. Her first project is to develop a structure that would allow Endurance Canada to sanction rides in Canada. Other immediate responsibilities also include
implementing a points and mileage tracking system and annual awards.

Terre is a dedicated, hard working individual that continues to demonstrate a commitment to the sport of Endurance not only as an Ambassador, but as a competitor, Ride Manager and mentor to new riders coming into the sport.

Canada: Jewell named B.C. Horse Council’s Athlete of the Year - Full Article

By Kevin Parnell - Kelowna Capital News
Published: December 10, 2010 11:00 PM

Her chosen sport may be relatively obscure but thanks to an award from the Horse Council of B.C., Kelowna equestrian endurance rider Gail Jewell is hoping to keep pushing the sport of endurance riding into the main stream.

The Horse Council of B.C. named Jewell its athlete of the year at the 30th annual awards banquet late last month in Abbotsford.

“It just puts our sport so much more on the map,” said Jewell this week. “To have an endurance athlete be picked, it finally recognizes the gargantuan effort we go to to compete at a world class level.”

Jewell and her husband Elroy Karius not only compete in endurance horse racing around the world but they are among the top riders in the world. This past year they represented Canada at the World Equestrian Games, placing seventh out of 28 teams that started the 100 mile endurance ride...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Great Britain: Wendy Dunham Wins Two Awards

Wendy Dunham - awarded both the National Assistance Award and the Alec McGuinness

8th December 2010

Wendy received a standing ovation from members at the recent Awards Dinner when she was presented with the awards - her input to Endurance has been greatly appreciated over the years.

I was delighted that Wendy Dunham, in being awarded not one but two, ‘Unsung Hero’ trophies at the Awards Dinner, at last got the recognition she so highly deserves for all the hard work she has done for EnduranceGB before and since its formation in 2001.The standing ovation that she got from those present at the AGM Dinner showed how well her input has been appreciated.

As Chairman of EHPS she was part of the working party that united EHPS and BERA to form a single society for the benefit of all Endurance riders. She then served on the management committee of the new society including three years as chairman. When she retired from the committee she continued to do a huge amount of work behind the scenes, not only as the official results checker (a huge job as I know having done it myself for 3 years!) but also acting as Technical Steward at rides up and down the country and giving helpful advice to anyone with a problem. She has also been responsible, for as long as I can remember, for working out the results for the Annual Awards evening, purchasing all the rosettes and distance awards, and laying them out in such a way that the prizegiving runs smoothly, no mean undertaking. She says she is not going to do it again and she is going to be a very hard act to follow

Margaret McKiddie

Great Britain: Abby national GB success for rider - Full Article

8 December 2010

ABBY Chisholm from Lydford was awarded the top national award for a Young Rider at the Endurance GB National awards evening held in Daventry.

Abby, aged 15 on her 13.2hh PB Arab pony CFS Diana of Court, beat some of the top national young riders in the country by having the most points awarded for her top 10 rides over the year.

In the competition the more miles riders do and the better the speed and recovery rates for the pony at the end of the ride determine the number of points awarded for that ride. Although Abby’s pony is small compared to most of her rivals, she is a particularly tough little pony with a very determined attitude, and a very ground covering action...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Trail Riding Group Changes Long-Standing Hoof Protection Rule

by: Edited Press Release
November 22 2010, Article # 17240

Beginning with the 2011 ride year the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) will allow in competition all hoof boots designed for sole protection, including those that have attached straps, keepers, or gaiters, as long as these attachment devices do not extend above the pastern. The NATRC is the governing body for the sport of competitive trail riding.

The National Board of Directors voted the rule change in at their Nov. 13. board meeting in Denver, Colo. The restriction of having no hoof protection that extended above the coronet has long been a controversy within the organization especially since technology has progressed, offering an increasing amount of hoof boot options and designs that achieve more effective and reliable fit.

"There have been many recent advances in hoof protection technology," says Laurie DiNatale, the executive administrator for NATRC. "Previously the only hoof boots that were allowed in competition were those that did not cover or come above the coronary band. The new rule will give riders more of a choice in hoof protection during competition."

According to the NATRC, the organization's board of directors, judges committee, veterinarians, and other officials worked over recent years to make a rule that was right for the organization now and in the future. The wording was thought out very carefully, as well as wording for other rules impacted by this change. Leg protection, such as bell boots or wraps, is still not permitted.

These changes will give riders more choices for hoof protection. Judges may, and are encouraged to, check for fit and adjustment as well as rubs or chafes under any boot or its attachment.

Monday, December 06, 2010

USEF Honors Kelsey Kimbler with 2010 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce Kelsey Kimbler as the winner of the 2010 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award, sponsored by Breyer Animal Creations. Kimbler was selected from an outstanding group of youth representing their respective recognized breed/discipline affiliates from across the country. Kimbler, of Aberdeen, SD, was nominated from both the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

Kimbler has shown an unwavering commitment to her sport. She was chosen to win this award because of her impressive dedication to everything she attempts. Horses came into her life 11 years ago, when she started in the show ring as a walk-trot rider. A year later she started riding endurance and has never looked back. Kimbler has won the AERC Junior National Hundred Mile Award twice in its four years in existence. This award is given to the junior rider who completes the most 100 mile rides in one year. Kimbler also holds the record for being the only junior to complete five 100-mile rides in one year. She also has represented the AHA Youth Association as a Region 6 delegate and through involvement in 4-H events with her Arabians.

Her commitment does not stop witht her horses. Kimbler will test for her professional dance levels this year, and her goal is to teach younger children, to cover the cost of college. She also is a member of the Keystone National Honor Society which requires her to complete 30 hours of community service along with maintaining at least a 4.0 grade point average. Additionally, she is an active member of her school’s cross-country team and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

Kimbler’s future plans include professional school after a degree in biology. When it comes to endurance Kimbler says, “One day I hope to be helping juniors through their first ride as a sponsor and mentor.” Although she is not absolutely sure of her future endeavors, she is sure of one thing: “I really just love riding bareback in my backyard. So as long as I can do that I will be content, anything else is just icing.”

Kimbler will receive a trophy, a scholarship to the educational program of her choice, and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500. Kimbler, along with the other national nominees, will be recognized in January 2011 at the USEF Annual Meeting in Lexington, KY.

The other national nominees were:

• Kahlie Kroells, Hamburg, MN (American Hackney Horse Society)
• Rebecca Jones, Efland, NC (American Morgan Horse Association)
• Lauren Riggins, Winston Salem, NC (American Road Horse and Pony Association)
• Delynn Uttecht, Omaha, NE (American Saddlebred Horse Association)
• Macy Plemmons, Lewisville, NC (American Shetland Pony Club)
• Laura Orr, Topsail Beach, NC (Paso Fino Horse Association)
• Isabelle Leibler, Greenwich, CT (United States Dressage Federation)
• Gina Malito, Warren, OH (Unites States Eventing Association)
• Kara Dunegan, Manassas, VA (United States Hunter Jumper Association)
• Rachel Laufer, Utica, PA (Welsh Pony & Cob Society of America)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fort Ord endurance ride draws equestrians

Horseback riders weaved their way through 155 miles of trails on the Fort Ord Public Lands on Thanksgiving weekend during the fifth annual Desert Gold Pioneer I, II, III endurance ride.

photo: Dennis Tracy takes his horse Brilliant Disguise for a quick trot so that a veterinarian can check the horse's legs during the Desert Gold endurance horseback rides Nov. 26 through the Fort Ord Public Lands. (Conner Jay)

"The horses love it here with the rolling hills, natural grass and friendly people," said Tracy Hofstrand, chief steward of the race, referring to the hikers and mountain bikers who shared the trails with riders in the race. "This really is the perfect place for multiple disciplines and sports."
Riders chose to cover 90 miles (30 miles each day) or 155 miles (first day 55, second and third days 50 miles each) during the three-day event. While many riders stayed at a base camp at the old Fort Ord Travel Camp, others rented rooms at local lodgings.

Hofstrand said the Monterey area's many hotels and attractions provide extra comforts that aren't always available at endurance races.

After riders finish the day's race, they can enjoy tourist attractions, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a hot shower at a hotel.

"It's a great trail to ride," said Lindsay Graham, who is also a member of the U.S. Endurance Team. "These kinds of rides with multiple days are fun, 'cause after you take care of your horse for the day, you can have a glass of wine and kick back by the fireplace."

- Conner Jay

Saturday, November 27, 2010

International Adventurers: Exploration by Horse

Janetnewenham Blog

November 27 2010

Marianne Du Toit

In May 2002 South African born Marianne Du Toit left Ireland, where she had been living for 11 years, for South America embarking on a two year journey which her family labelled as “madness”. With two horses, named Mise and Tusa, for company, she set off to discover America, riding from Argentina to New York.

Du Toit based her trip on the journey of Aimé Tschiffely-hailed as the most famous long distance rider of the twentieth century- who rode the 10,000 miles from Buenos Aires to New York in 1925. She skimmed through his book about the journey as research but says she was “terrified to know too much”; afraid that if she knew how difficult the trip would be she may have decided she wasn’t up to it.

With limited equestrian experience and even a slight fear of horses, her love of animals, eternal optimism and lust for adventure helped her persevere.

“I remember since I was about 17 I would always read these articles about independent, daring women who had done these amazing journeys. There was always something deep down driving me to these adventurous things. I just loved the adrenaline and the excitement,” she says.

Du Toit spoke no Spanish, could barely ride a horse, knew nothing about horse care or saddling up, and didn’t know a soul in the Americas.

She had to ride across the high Bolivian Altiplano for over 40 days surviving the thinnest high altitude air and living on very little food. The only thing keeping her going was the thought of making it to the Bolivian capital, La Paz...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

EasyCare's 'Give Back to AERC' Campaign Almost Complete

Tuesday November 23, 2010

EasyCare Inc. and the American Endurance Ride Conference are delighted with the success of the unique 'EasyCare's Give Back to AERC' campaign.

"The 2010 ride year will draw to a close this week and the participation by our membership to generate funds for AERC has been astounding," said Kathleen Henkel, Executive Director of AERC. "By the time the 2010 ride season ends on November 30 and the mileage totals have been submitted and tallied, we anticipate EasyCare will have contributed more than $11,000 in new and unbudgeted funds to AERC. That will be the third largest sponsorship in AERC's 39-year history."

The total sum will represent cumulative mileage totals in the 2010 EasyCare Hoof Boot Contest well in excess of 41,000 competition miles, approximately twice the 2009 year total of 21,301 miles. "We wanted to help AERC at a time when the organization needed it most," said Garrett Ford, EasyCare's President and CEO. "The idea came to me during a race early in the season and it seemed like the perfect solution to provide support for the organization while building awareness of the EasyCare brand."

The concept was simple: EasyCare paid AERC 25 cents for every AERC mile completed in EasyCare hoof boots. Any and all AERC sanctioned distances counted towards total rider mileage. For example, if a registered rider completed an AERC sanctioned 50-mile event in Easyboots, EasyCare submitted $12.50 to AERC.

The partnership between Easyboot and AERC goes back as early as 1972, when nuclear physicist Dr. Neel Glass conducted his own test of the Original Easyboot in endurance riding. Other riders were beginning to use Easyboots to replace lost shoes in such rides.

The Easyboot of today uses updated technology. Now the best-selling horse hoof boot in the world, the Easyboot Glove is a form-fitting, seamless boot designed to hug the hoof and respond like a natural foot. Flexible and tough, this boot adds traction to the hoof while allowing free stride and early breakover. The material stretches over the hoof and clings to the wall so that debris stays out of the boot even through sandy, wet and muddy conditions. The absence of external hardware makes the hoof boot virtually maintenance free.

Participating riders should submit their miles to the EasyCare offices by December 31 to complete their participation in the 2010 EasyCare Gives Back to AERC Campaign.

Easyboot is the official hoof boot of AERC.

For more information on the campaign, please contact Kevin Myers, Director of Marketing at or 520-297-1900 X 2238. For more information on EasyCare Inc. please visit or

Monday, November 22, 2010

UAE horse owners spend up large on their animals - Full Article

November 23, 2010

Horse owners in the United Arab Emirates each spend an average of 120,000 UAE Dirhams - that's $NZ42,358 or $US32,654, on equestrian gear, agistment and treatment per year, it has been revealed.

The figure has been revealed in the lead-up to the International Equine Trade Fair, will open on November 29 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

About 200 companies from more than 20 countries will take part.

Saif Sultan Al Awani, a UAE-based equine industry expert and owner of Al Awani General Trading and Gulf Rider companies, said: "The average annual individual expenditure on equine equipment in the UAE is AED120,000, which includes the sheltering and treatment of horses...

Read more here:

Ride for the wounded - Full Article

Havasu cowboy to ride horseback across US to honor veterans

Today's News-Herald
Published Monday, November 22, 2010 6:08 AM MST

A local 63-year-old cowboy will saddle up with his 18-year-old son to ride horseback through 11 states across America in June to honor wounded U.S. military veterans.

Jef Keegan, a five-year resident of Lake Havasu City, said he anticipates beginning the trek in Virginia. The endurance ride should take him and his son about five months.

The path they have chosen is the American Discovery Trail, the nation’s first coast-to-coast non-motorized trail, according to the ADT website The trail’s terrain includes the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, the states of Ohio, Illinois, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the states of Utah and Nevada and ending in San Francisco.

The Keegans will travel with about six horses and plan to camp each night along the trail.

“Our horses are like part of the family,” Keegan said.

The trip is to help raise awareness for Wounded Warriors and to empower those wounded in battle, Keegan said...

Read more here:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Meg Wade is Back on a Horse Again!

Photos from the AERA website:

Congratulations Meg!

Great Britain: Local endurance rider finishes season with foreign success - Full Article

19 November 2010

LOCAL endurance rider Kirsty Wiscombe of Yawl has fought her way back to fitness after spending weeks in hospital last year to top the FEI worldwide rankings.

Her homebred seven-year-old stallion Yawl Hillbilly has just finished in 5th place at the tough, hilly, 130km FEI 2 star Mirwart ride in the Belgium Ardennes near the Luxembourg border.

‘Billy has had a great season of international rides the longest being 161km in a day at Euston Park in Norfolk and these results mean that Kirsty and Billy have now qualified for next year’s European Championships in Florac, France and are the highest placed GB combination in 64th place.

Kirsty’s other horse, 10-year-old Eskar has also had similar success and finished 13th in the flat fast 120km FEI 2-star ride in Tessenderlo in Belgium and also did a 161km ride this season...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Lone Star Ride

November 18 2010

Thanksgiving is next week.... Turkey and Dressing, pies, Cranberry sauce, gravy, pies, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, yummy rolls, pies, cookies, pies.... doesn't this make you hungry??? (I like pie...) Bring a covered dish to add to the fare.

Come on out to the Hill Country State Natural Area at Bandera, Texas and join us for the Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday evening from 4 to 6. Then ride the Lone Star I & II on Friday and Saturday; or ride one day and work the other.

Our trail crew, Peter Ansorge, Paulette Brehob, Eron Howell and Caryne Edwards, assures us the trails are ready for the riders. We will have everything from some technical to some flat, easier trails so there should be something for everyone.

When you arrive at The Hill Country State Natural Area, turn right across the low water crossing, following the AERC Ride signs, and continue to the Ranger Station. The Park is asking us to pay attention to the signs when you enter the Park this year. Drive through, but don't stop, in front of the Ranger Station. They are counting the rigs. When you reach the Lodge camping area, stop and you will be issued a parking permit and have your Coggins papers checked.

The Lodge camping area is open for us from Thursday morning at 8 am. Please don't plan on arriving before then. If you come in Friday, drive carefully down the road, there will be riders on the road at times.

We will have a manure station set up and marked clearly. Please bring a wheel barrow if you have one. The more the better.

And don't worry about rain. We are dry, it never seems to get down here to us. It is not in our forecast for Bandera. The roads are good. If it did shower, it will be over quickly. Trails are in good shape and will be well marked.

See you next week!
Linda, Bo and all the crew that are making this ride happen! :-)

2011 AERC National Championship

The AERC National Championship Committee is pleased to announce that the 2011 AERC National Championship is going to be held at Fort Stanton, New Mexico. Proposed dates are August 25-28, 2011. Ride managers will be Roger and Sue Taylor, famed for their Fort Stanton Multi-day ride held yearly in July. We are excited to showcase Fort Stanton and AERC's ongoing partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

More information will be passed on when available.

Jan Stevens
Chair AERC National Championship Committee

Linny and Sojourner: after 3,700 miles across the USA

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I have dreams to remember"-Otis Redding

We left Hayward, CA. on March 1st, 2010 to trailer Sojourner down to Los Angeles, CA where we would start what would turn out to be a 3,700 mile ride to Bath, New Hampshire.

Two days ago on November 14th at around 4:30pm, eight months and 14 days later, Sojourner, Walter and I stood at the end of the long driveway that led to my childhood home.

I can remember the first steps on Foothill Blvd. in Los Angeles. Every single person who passed by looked at us with their mouths open and most of them with gigantic smiles and I was thinking, “Well, here we go, Sojer. 5 steps down, and about a gazillion to go…”

And now we’re here.

I slipped down from the saddle and put my face close to Sojourner who was looking down the driveway. "This is my home, Soj. This is where we've been riding to all this time. Thank you, my sweet boy, thank you so much...."

Read more here:

Read about Linny and Sojourner's entire journey on their blog:

Live Webinar: 10 Key Concepts for Feeding the Performance Horse - Kentucky Equine Research

With so many different equine supplements and feed choices on the market today, it can be hard to know what to feed your horse to help ensure that he competes at the top of his game. Dr. Kathleen Crandell, a nutritionist for Kentucky Equine Research, explains the 10 key concepts for feeding the performance horse in a free one-hour Webinar, which will be held on Nov. 23, 2010, at 1 p.m. (EST). During the Webinar, Dr. Crandell will answer your questions about feeding your horse.
Dr. Crandell will cover:

1. Finding the right combination of energy sources.
2. Getting the right amount of energy.
3. Feeding for proper absorption of nutrients.
4. Keeping the digestive tract happy.
5. Getting the right amount of protein.
6. Balancing the diet.
7. Getting everything needed into the easy keeper.
8. Feeding the right kind of fat.
9. Getting the right type of antioxidant
10. Finding good advice.

What is a Webinar?

A Webinar is an online seminar that you can attend from anywhere with Internet access (we recommend you have high-speed internet). During the webinar, you will be able to send Dr. Crandell questions that she will answer live.
Who Should Attend?

The Webinar is geared toward performance horse owners and equine professionals, but everyone is encouraged to attend.
About Dr. Crandell

Dr. Kathleen Crandell received an M.S. in equine nutrition and exercise physiology from Virginia Tech under the direction of Dr. Tom Meacham and a Ph.D. in equine nutrition and reproduction under the direction of Dr. David Kronfeld. Her Masters research focused on the effects of added dietary fat in exercising growing horses and her Ph.D. work was in vitamin A depletion and supplementation in broodmares and growing horses. Dr. Crandell spent two years on the faculty of Virginia Tech as the Superintendent of the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Middleburg, Virginia. Before pursuing her degrees, Dr. Crandell spent several years abroad and is multilingual. As one of KER's technical staff members, Dr. Crandell provides support for KER Team Members and their customers through formulation, product development, and technical field service.

The Webinar is free, but attendance is limited. To reserve your spot, please go to to fill out the form.

Camaraderie Is Best Part Of Endurance Riding Sport - Full Article


Most of our articles are written on ride results and the competing portion of this sport. Well, I’m going to write about what it takes to become a true endurance rider. To some, endurance is all about the win, but to others it is a gathering of old friends and a great place to meet new ones. Not only do we consider each other as close friends, but family as well. An endurance family. We all get a kick out of each others stories of getting to the ride such as: “Yeah, I blew four trailer tires on the way here,” or “It took me an hour to catch my horse, sorry I’m late!” or the classic, “Wow! That’s a four beer road! I should get a completion for just getting here!” We give each other support, help and knowledge that isn’t easily forgotten.

It all starts with pulling into the ride, setting up and being greeted by our friends. For some of us, setting up is more of a challenge than it is for others. When it comes to parking, some people put a lot of effort into levelling their trailer while others don’t care if they park on a hill. Fencing comes next — from simple panels to tangled hot wire, or even just tying to the trailer. Next, we go register, which usually results in a long conversation about marking trail with the ride manager.

Once registered it’s time to grab your horse and head to the vet. Vetting is a great time to talk about your horse. We all know we love talking about our horses!...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

American Endurance Ride Conference Encourages New Members - Full Article

Interested in endurance? The AERC is offering incentives for newbies to the sport.
Edited Press Release
November 17, 2010

Endurance RidersFor trail riders who wish their rides didn’t end at five or 10 miles, endurance riding is the perfect next endeavor. “Our rides range from 25 to 100 miles, and our motto is ‘to finish is to win’,” said American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “Many fit trail horses are certainly capable of finishing one of the shorter distance rides, and the satisfaction that riders get from completing an AERC ride is incomparable.”

To welcome riders new to the sport, AERC is offering a drawing for a new Polar® Inzone Equine Heart Rate Monitor, sponsored by, for brand-new members who join by January 1, 2011. Using a heart rate monitor is popular with distance riders as it allows them to exercise their horses within a specific target heart rate zone.

Membership in AERC includes a subscription to the monthly Endurance News magazine, plus rider and equine mileage tracking in the organization’s mileage award program. Each new member also receives an endurance handbook, which introduces riders to the sport, plus a packet of education information, a rule book and eligibility in annual regional and national awards programs.

“Endurance riders take their sport seriously, because care for the horse is vital,” said Henkel. “But our members also enjoy being out with their horses and their fellow riders in beautiful locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

AERC’s ride season opens December 1, and prospective members can visit to check out the endurance ride calendar and explore the website’s extensive educational information and back issues of Endurance News, or phone AERC at 866-271-2372. The organization’s national office is in Auburn, California, home of the first modern endurance ride, the Western States Trail Ride, more often known as the Tevis Cup.

“The Tevis Cup is still the one ride that many new members aspire to ride. It’s a tough 100-mile ride and a true test of horsemanship and stamina,” said Henkel. “But once members try their first 25-mile ride, they know that even a 100-mile ride is not out of their reach, with proper knowledge and many miles on the trail together with their horse. Those miles together really bond the horse and rider into a true team, and that’s what endurance riding celebrates.”

To join AERC, or for more information about endurance riding, please contact the AERC office, located in Auburn, California, at 866-271-2372, email, or visit

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Great Britain: Endurance fans can keep up-to-date via Twitter - Full Article

Ellie Hughes

5 November, 2010

Endurance GB, the governing body of endurance riding in the UK, has embraced the social network site, Twitter, to keep its members up-to-date with the very latest news and action.

The crew began tweeting at the World Equestrian Games (25 September-10 October) when they posted information more than 70 times, including 50 tweets during the 129km ride.

With detailed and instant coverage, followers were kept abreast of the action as it unfolded.

Endurance GB plans to continue using Twitter as a way to communicate with its members and fans.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

An Equestrian's Paradise - Full Article

Wednesday, Nov. 03, 2010

Animal lover finds her 'nirvana' at Lynnwood Center

Allison Osman

Connie Jarzmik, 58, of Ballantyne has found a community of fellow riders and friends at the Lynnwood Equestrian Center just over the border in Fort Mill.

The barn boards 35 horses, and the 21 owners mainly are women age 30 to 65. Jarzmik rides with this group of women both locally and internationally.

The riders take their horses on the nearly two hours worth of trails on the center's property, and they have access to an additional 500 acres.

The riders also take day trips to the mountains, beaches and parks, including Boone, Blowing Rock, Asheville in North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, Springs Park and King Creek in South Carolina. Two years ago, 10 of the riders traveled to Barcelona to ride Spain's Andalusian horses.

"We rode 25 miles a day for six days," said Jarzmik. "We made camp for the horses and we stayed at little bed and breakfasts and a variety of places overnight...."

Read more here:

Monday, November 01, 2010

The race of a lifetime - Full Article

Neptune's Mangalee preparing to ride in 630-mile Mongol Derby

By DAVID BIGGY • STAFF WRITER • October 30, 2010

For Sophia Mangalee, life's adventures are best made on the back of a horse.

And the adventure of a lifetime seems to be just around the corner.

"It's going to come up on me really fast,'' she said. "I'm just going to have to make sure I'm as prepared as I can be.''

Come next Aug. 6, Mangalee will learn whether or not her preparations have paid off, when she embarks on the longest horse race in the world … the Mongol Derby.

The 1,000-kilometer (630-mile) race across the steppes of Mongolia is a dream come true for Mangalee, who grew up with horses in Peshastin, Wash., and has been around and interacted with them ever since...

Read more here:

Friday, October 29, 2010

MILITARY: Horses help heal war's trauma - Full Article

By Tom Pfingsten - For the North County Times North County Times - Californian | Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010

RANCHO SANTA FE ---- Behind the gates of an exclusive neighborhood a few miles from the Del Mar racetrack, a group of volunteers who call themselves "Pegasus Rising" is taking a novel approach to post-traumatic stress disorder: Pairing sufferers with horses for an hour a week.

President and CEO Gary Adler said this week that because horses are deeply sensitive to human emotion, they make perfect partners for combat veterans, whose psychological wounds run deep.

"For post-traumatic stress disorder, horses are uniquely situated because they're prey animals ---- their very survival depends on being sensitive to smell, sound and movement," Adler said. "Those are all triggers for people with PTSD. They don't want to deal with human interaction because they've lost trust, constantly dealing with people who want to kill them."

Vietnam veteran Willie Baumann said his post-traumatic stress disorder surfaced in the mid-1970s after two tours with the Navy but was not diagnosed until 2008. Shortly thereafter, he was one of the first veterans to receive help from Pegasus Rising.

"The animals ... gave me an inner peace, and I'm hardly even able to find the words to tell you how relaxing and calming it was," he said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New AERC Members Eligible for Heart Rate Monitor Drawing

October 27 2010

For trail riders who wish their rides didn’t end at five or 10 miles, endurance riding is the perfect next endeavor. “Our rides range from 25 to 100 miles, and our motto is ‘to finish is to win’,” said American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “Many fit trail horses are certainly capable of finishing one of the shorter distance rides, and the satisfaction that riders get from completing an AERC ride is incomparable.”

To welcome riders new to the sport, AERC is offering a drawing for a new Polar® Inzone Equine Heart Rate Monitor, sponsored by, for brand-new members who join by January 1, 2011. Using a heart rate monitor is popular with distance riders as it allows them to exercise their horses within a specific target heart rate zone.

Membership in AERC includes a subscription to the monthly Endurance News magazine, plus rider and equine mileage tracking in the organization’s mileage award program. Each new member also receives an endurance handbook, which introduces riders to the sport, plus a packet of education information, a rule book and eligibility in annual regional and national awards programs.

“Endurance riders take their sport seriously, because care for the horse is vital,” said Henkel. “But our members also enjoy being out with their horses and their fellow riders in beautiful locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.”

AERC’s ride season opens December 1, and prospective members can visit to check out the endurance ride calendar and explore the website’s extensive educational information and back issues of Endurance News, or phone AERC at 866-271-2372. The organization’s national office is in Auburn, California, home of the first modern endurance ride, the Western States Trail Ride, more often known as the Tevis Cup.

“The Tevis Cup is still the one ride that many new members aspire to ride. It’s a tough 100-mile ride and a true test of horsemanship and stamina,” said Henkel. “But once members try their first 25-mile ride, they know that even a 100-mile ride is not out of their reach, with proper knowledge and many miles on the trail together with their horse. Those miles together really bond the horse and rider into a true team, and that’s what endurance riding celebrates.”

To join AERC, or for more information about endurance riding, please contact the AERC office, located in Auburn, California, at 866-271-2372, email, or visit

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Girl And Her Horse Take A Cross-Country Trip

WBNG News: Link to full article and video
By WBNG News
October 23, 2010

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) - A girl and her horse showed up in Binghamton today after a long journey that began nearly eight months ago.

Most people don't usually think about riding a horse all the way across the country but one girl has done just that and is encouraging others to follow their dreams.

On March 1st, 29-year-old Linny Kenney and her horse Sojourner began a coast to coast journey.

They took off from Los Angeles and Binghamton marks the near finale of their 3,400-mile trek.

Kenney says this has been a dream of her's since she was a little girl, getting her first horse at the age of 10.

5 years ago, her parents got a divorce, and that's why she rides.

"It's really just about endurance and getting through hard times and I try to focus on the good things that can come out of difficult times," said Kenney.

She rides in celebration of strong families and those dealing with divorce-related depression.

Kenney invited long time friend Walter Rowland along for the ride, and her four-legged friend has brought strangers together during their trip.

"You know he's an incredible wall breaker with people I mean just today we were riding through town and two neighbors met each other for the first time because a horse was in front of the house and it's been that way you know examples of that across the whole country," said Kenney.

Just a girl, a boy, and a horse. On the ride of a lifetime.

In Binghamton, Lindsay Nielsen, WBNG-TV Action News.

To keep track of where Kenney and Rowland are on their cross-country trip, go to

Sunday, they begin a 375 mile ride to their last stop in New Hampshire.

WBNG News: Link to full article and video

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Australia: New venue for Wagin Endurance Ride - Full Article

14 Oct, 2010 05:11 PM
FOR the past nine years the Wedgecarrup Hall has been the venue for the Wagin Endurance Ride which is organised by David and Anita Lunt in conjunction with the WA Endurance Riders Association.

The Wedgecarrup Hall has been an ideal venue in the past however with the event set to be promoted as an FEI international ride next year, a new venue has had to be sourced in order to comply with international standards.

With this in mind the organisers approached the Wagin shire, the Wagin Pony Club and Wagin Trotting Club resulting in the ride now being hosted at the Wagin Pony Club and adjacent trot training oval.

Organiser Anita Lunt said moving the ride to town this year will allow them to run their normal annual ride as a 'dummy' event in a lead up to the FEI ride giving them a chance to see how the course will run and what improvements and changes will need to be made for next year.

With the change of venue a new course covering two legs of 40 kilometres starting and finishing at the pony club has had to be sourced.

“We have been privileged in past years to have been granted access to a variety of properties west of Wagin,” Mrs Lunt said.

“This year new landholders have been approached in order to accommodate the new course and once again the support shown has been fantastic...

Read more here:

Family has ‘enduring’ love for horses - Full Article

Posted: Thursday, October 14, 2010 6:00 am | Updated: 11:38 pm, Wed Oct 13, 2010.

BY RANDY BURNS Special to The Item

BISHOPVILLE - A Lee County woman will spend time behind-the scenes at this week's national championship for endurance (horse) riders, but her impact and influence will be felt all the same.

Luciee Hancock, 64, the 2002 National Champion in the middleweight division, will have to sit out the 2010 American Endurance Ride Conference National Championship at Sand Hills State Forest in Chesterfield County. Hancock was forced to the sidelines when her mare Prissy was injured after they qualified for the national title.

A Spring Hill resident and wife of Harold Hancock, Luciee will instead serve as a volunteer on Wednesday through Friday, and then will become a fan on Saturday during the 55-mile championship ride. Luciee will then devote full attention to the rides of two granddaughters, a daughter-in-law and a close friend.

"I will be doing what I can on the ground to help and encourage them," Luciee said...

Read more here:

Australia: Endurance riders winning top awards

13 Oct, 2010 09:36 AM

Kylie Jonkers who lives at Broula just out of Cowra took part in her first 160km ride at the NSW State Championships held at Woodstock recently.

Her mother Linda rode the same stallion at the Shahzada memorial 400kms in August successfully.

Sarah Lymbery from Wagga Wagga was the second junior in the 160kms State Champions, her first attempt at a longer ride.

Lymbery won the rug donated by Cowra Machinery Centre and her horse Garonne Park Tiara also won the Junior Best Conditioned rug donated which was

donated by Jon-de-le Arabians.

The third placed Middleweight rug was donated by Helen and Alan Lindsay of Kintamani Arabians at Cowra and this was won by Kristie Tapprell of Castlebar Endruance Arabians riding Castlebar Dolittle.

During the weekend Kristie won the South Australian Championships 160kms and also recently won the FEI Australian Championships 160 in Queensland at Kenilworth.

The fourth Middleweight rug donated by Beechers Wool Services of Cowra was won by Jennifer Gilbertson of Webbs Creek.

The first Lightweight rug donated by Cowra Tyrepower was won by Carol Layton riding Omani Mr Sqiggle.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

U.S. disappointed in showing at World Equestrian Games - full article

October 10 2010
Nancy Jaffer/For The Star-Ledger

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- As the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games ends Sunday at the Kentucky Horse Park, the U.S. has a few more chances for glory, but there will be a lot of self-examination to analyze what happened with missed medals.

"We need to evaluate what went wrong and what went right; what we could have done differently. While we can't disregard the bad performances here, we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water,'' said Jim Wolf, the U.S. Equestrian Federation's director of sport programs.

A question that needs to be answered, he explained, is, "Are we spending money the right way? We invest a lot of money to prepare teams..."

Read more here:

Endurance in France - Full Article

Endurance Competitions are very well supported in France. It is a highly respected and growing sport with promotion and marketing of competitions on large billboards before events. Those competing for France at International level are (as in most equestrian disciplines in France) held in high esteem and complete respect as athletes, both to horse and rider is afforded. The demands and scientific/technical knowledge required plus the complete rapport between rider and horse and crew are not understated as they may be in other countries from time to time...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Woman Keeps her Distance - Full Article

Friday October 8 2010

Scales Mound woman, 70, competes in endurance equestrian events around the nation and world.

SCALES MOUND, Ill. — Jan Worthington recently rode 100 miles in one day, on a horse.

That is not uncommon for an endurance rider, except Worthington is 70.

The mother of three and grandmother of four competed last week on the five-woman team representing the United States at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. Her event required a one-day ride of 100 miles at roughly 13 mph.

Worthington said competitive endurance riding is a race with mandatory stops for veterinarian checks.

"They check the horses for lameness and metabolics," she said. "They don't check the riders. We are human and can talk."

She said veterinarians pulled her from competition last week in Lexington at the third check, or about the 60-mile mark.

"I have a really good horse and he had never been lame, but he went lame at the big deal," Worthington said.

Worthington said a veterinarian checked her horse, named Golden Lightning, by using ultrasound and found no major muscle tears...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Trade-off brings first Arabian race to Keeneland - Full Article

By Marty McGee

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The genesis of the first Arabian race in Keeneland history stems from conversations that track officials had last winter in Abu Dhabi, the capital and government seat of the United Arab Emirates.

“We’re always looking to extend our sales reach, and there has been increasing interest in Thoroughbreds in that part of the world,” said Rogers Beasley, director of racing at Keeneland. “Basically in exchange for their sponsorship of one of our Grade 1 races,” referring to the $400,000 First Lady, “we agreed to stage an Arabian race, with them putting up all the purse money. We believe it’s a worthwhile thing to do.”

The result is the $50,000 President of the UAE Cup, part of a worldwide series of Abu Dhabi-sponsored races for Arabians, a breed far better known for endurance than speed. The 1 1/4-mile Polytrack event is carded as the third race Saturday, with the 4-year-old filly Sand Witchh, unbeaten in nine career starts, likely to be the heavy favorite in a field of 10...

Read more here:

Horses must endure at the FEI World Games. - Full Article

Tuesday, October 05, 2010 By Mary Chesnut

When Kentuckians think of horse racing, they think of the most famous two minutes in sports, the Derby. The horses fly past with impossible speed. But there is a new kind of race in Lexington that is much more extreme.

The World Equestrian Games have arrived, including the Endurance Competition, which sends horses racing along a 100 mile long course. The endurance competitors start at seven in the morning, riding all day long and into the night. Three hundred glow sticks were used to light the path after sunset. The race involves four types of terrain, mostly grass trails and pastures with three miles of paved road, two miles of gravel, and some dirt trails. Due to the extreme conditions of the competition, horses have to be checked by a team of equine vets six times during the race, each round leading to several disqualifications.

“They check for almost everything: capillary refill, jugular refill, skin tinting for dehydration, gut sounds in all quadrants, muscle tone, tack and leg area for injuries, and heart rate for regularity,” Jack Weber, one of the vets working in the competition, said.

Read more here:

World of endurance sport mourns loss of Moorthy
By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: 00:00 October 6, 2010

Abu Dhabi: Endurance sport suffered a major loss when Vijay Moorthy, the former Head of Endurance and currently the Technical Advisor at the Emirates Equestrian Federation, passed away in Pune, India on Tuesday morning.

The 61-year-old Moorthy, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year ago, breathed his last at a Pune hospital after a multiple-organ failure, according to his daughter Vijaya Moorthy.

He was buried on Tuesday afternoon, leaving behind his wife Phalguni, son Raja Moorthy and daughter Vijaya.

Moorthy, who first joined the then UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation as a Handicapper for thoroughbred horses, later became the head of Racing Department before he took a keen interest in endurance and went on to head the Endurance Department at the UAE Federation.

He was one of the pillars of endurance sport both in the UAE and in the world and officiated at major international endurance rides. Vijay was one of the members of the FEI (World Equestrian Federation) Task Force set up in January 2009 to formulate endurance rules and regulations.

Aziz Sheikh, Endurance Chief at the Federation, who has been working with Moorthy since 1986, said, "We were together in Bombay/Pune until 1992 and he came first here in November 92 and brought me here in April 93. Ever since we have worked together and he was the first Handicapper here before the ERA was formed."

"Very straightforward in his approach, Moorthy maintained a high standard and applied the rules uniformly. He always used to tell me 'Rules are like a bible for us'. We will miss him and his helpful nature," Aziz said.

Esmaeel Mohammad, who trained the UAE endurance horses when they won the first European Open team gold in 1999 and has chalked out many medal-winning horses for the UAE riders said, "Vijay has done a lot for endurance in the UAE and most UAE riders and trainers will miss him. He laid great emphasis in regulating the sport."

Former FEI Endurance Chief Dr Hallvard Sommerseth, who is now Head of Veterinary dept at the EEF, said, "I dad the privilege of traveling to many countries with Vijay, apart from officiating in the local endurance championships. An endurance expert of international repute, Vijay Moorthy was very fair, gracious, polite and friendly in his judgments and he never worked as a 'policeman.'"

"The Emirates Equestrian Federation he called his home. He will be dearly missed," the Norwegian said.

Dr. Surendra Babu Bobby, Veterinarian doctor at the Dubai Equine Hospital said, "I know Vijay as a little humble man who joined the Bangalore Turf Club in 1984. We came closer after we started working together in the UAE. His acumen, dedication and sacrifice for the development of endurance sport have no parallels and I salute him for that. A man of great principles, he practiced what he preached."

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Horsewoman rides 600 miles in Mongolia

Orange County Register

photo: Kathy Swigart of Orange Park Acres gets ready to take her horse Windy for a ride. Swigert was chosen to compete in the 2010 Mongol Derby last August. PAUL RODRIGUEZ, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

There are times when we take a deep breath, leap over the precipice that marks the end of our comfort zone and discover we can fly.

In many respects, Kat Swigart embodies the bold men and women who built Orange County astride thousand-pound animals that could carry them from San Clemente to La Habra in a single day.

In short, Swigart is a self-described horse person.

But you might call her a horse whisperer. She doesn't just ride, teach riding and care for horses. This woman who chucked her MBA and a Wall Street career tackles the tough horse stuff too.

She transforms untamed beasts into animals that stand stock still when you tighten a saddle beneath their belly and climb aboard.

But as talented a horse whisperer as Swigart is, nothing prepared her for looking out the plane window at the vast steppe below and seeing for the first time the quest on which she was about to embark.

Riding 600 miles, on horse, across Mongolia.


Swigart and I ride through Santiago Oaks Regional Park. I'm on a big boy named Jackson, a powerful animal with the loyal disposition of the Lone Ranger's horse, Silver.

Swigart is working. She rides one of her four horses, a frisky pony named Windy. As she rides, she clutches a short green rope tethered to a larger horse that she is exercising for its busy owner.

This means Swigart is riding with one hand – a significant thing considering what happens next.

We break into a trot. Then a canter. Soon, we're going about 15 mph, slow in a car but not so slow when you are seated five feet above the ground bouncing along over hilly terrain.

"You only have as much control as the horse lets you have," Swigart reminds me. "The horse is in control."

Like, I get that.

I resist reaching for a leather strap at the front of the English saddle. But I grab it with my left hand and hold the reins in my right, doing my best to avoid bouncing down on Jackson's up or up on Jackson's down.

Swigart canters with the grace of a dancer. Horse and human move in harmony. It's the kind of moment when someone is so good at what they do, you think, "Hey, that's easy."

And it is – when you've chosen to live your passion.


The connection between horses and Orange County goes back half a millennium, to the Spanish conquistadores. It continued through the rancho and ranch periods when men with names such as Jose Yorba and, later, James Irvine hired cowboys to run huge herds of cattle.

How many horses today in Orange County? Swigart estimates at least 5,000.

For some, horse people are difficult to fathom. But, fortunately, Swigart, of Fullerton, is as adept with analogies as she is with riding.

If you're a dog or cat person, you share a similar gene with horse people. If you're a motorcycle-loving dog person you're even closer to being a horse person.

Part of the appeal for many is the majesty and power of the animal, Swigart explains. Imagine something so strong it can easily carry its 1,000-pound weight – plus a human adult and saddle. Now imagine that something bounding uphill with you on top.

Exciting? You bet.

Jackson waits at the bottom of a steep rocky trail. Swigart and horses move up. With a twitch and a nod, Jackson signals he's ready. With a little more give on the reins, so do I. Jackson surges.

Massive shoulder and haunch muscles click into action. The pure power is something I've not felt since climbing on a Harley. And this is bigger. Much bigger.

But the real magic of riding is the bond with a living, breathing mammal. Riding is a partnership; you may be smarter, but the horse is stronger.

Swigart started riding bareback as a kid on neighbors' horses. She was 25 when she bought her first horse, her current stallion's father. He was untrained, "unbroken" in horse-speak.

Soon, Swigart discovered she had a gift for breaking horses. And it reached deeper into her soul than corporate finance. These days, she cares for up to 10 horses a day and averages 30 hours a week in the saddle.

She's had her nose broken and her feet stomped. She's been pushed against walls; bitten, flipped.

But that's nothing compared to what happened in Mongolia, where riding is more than a livelihood — it's a way of life.


As the plane drops out of the clouds, Swigart sees nothing but grassland and a few dirt roads.

"That's what I'm going to be riding across," she tells herself. "Boy, that is a big empty place."

And she's right. Mongolia, which shares a border with northern China, is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Mongolia has 100,000 fewer people than Orange County, but they are spread out over about 600 times more land.

Swigart has signed up for something called the Mongol Derby. It is an endurance race over nine days that requires riders to navigate their way from yurt to yurt over land they've never seen – with endless plains and few distinct markings.

They will ride a breed of horses that has changed little since the days of Genghis Khan.

And the horse whisperers for such beasts? Mongolian nomads, who are considered some of the finest riders on the planet.

Swigart, however, was a Boy Scouts of America Explorer, (yes, Scouts!), and has ridden 100-mile endurance races that meant 22 hours in the saddle. She knows her way around a GPS unit.

Her stirrup leathers break after a few days. She fixes it. A horse falls, her with it. Her metal water bottle is crushed. But her helmet saves her skull. A fellow rider gets lost overnight. But Swigart stays on course, her spirit in flight.

"There's nothing better than galloping across an open field," she tells me.

She doesn't win, but she doesn't come in last either. When you hurl yourself over the precipice in Mongolia, finish times don't matter.

The only thing that matters is discovering you can fly.

On a horse with wings.

full article at

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WEC Aussie Endurance Rider Penny Toft takes time out to talk to us... - Full Article

Written by Kelly Bauer | Friday, 24 September 2010 03:37

Penny toft has horses in her blood, coming from an equestrian family she started out making a name for herself in the show ring. Having won many champion hack & pony, in harness and ridden classes aswell as winning Horse of the Year titles, Penny decided to make the switch to endurance.

This change of direction proved hugely successful and Penny is well known among the best endurance riders Internationally.

In 2001 Penny was third at the WA Tom Quilty, in 2002 she was a member of the bronze medal winning team at WEG in Jerez. In 2003 at the Tom Quilty in NSW she was 3rd and in 2004 she competed in the Tevis Cup USA for a 17th place overall. Penny has competed and in and won many Gold, silver, and bronze medals at World Championships.

Penny will be riding Don, a seasoned Part Arabian Endurance Horse. He is bay,14 years and over the last 5 years has been succesfully completing 160km rides with Penny. He competed in the World Endurance Championships in Malaysia for an overall 18th place. Penny says „Don is in his prime and has never been better“.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Penny while she is based at the amazing Kentucky Equine Research faciltiy and she shared some of her thoughts with us…

When did you arrive in the US?

1st September.

Where have you and Don been based since arriving?

We have been extremely priveleged to have been based at theKentucky Equine Research Farm in Versailles. We have had the use of the Farms fascilities including Walker, Treadmill, paddocks and convenient trails. The Horses have settled in well to their routine and it will be hard to move on to the Horse Park later this week. My Husband, Peter and Daughter (Groom), Alexandra are staying on the Farm with DON.

Read more here:

Hunterdon residents bound for World Equestrian Games in Kentucky - Full Article

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Lillian Shupe/Hunterdon County Democrat

Some Hunterdon residents are headed down to Kentucky for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Some will be there to watch, some compete and others will be working behind the scenes.

The games get underway with opening ceremonies on Saturday. It is the first time the Games have been held on American soil and the first time all eight world championships will be held together.

Kingwood Township resident Meg Sleeper will compete in endurance riding which will start on Sunday morning.

An Endurance Ride is a competition testing the speed and the endurance ability of the horse. To be successful, the competitor must have knowledge of pace and efficient and safe use of his horse across country. The competition is against the clock over a distance of 100 miles with at least five stops for veterinarians to check the horses’ fitness to continue. The competitor who finishes the ride in the shortest time wins.

Last fall Sleeper was on the team that won a test event at the same location as the Games. Sleeper finished sixth overall in the event...

Read more here:

New Zealand: World quest for Higgins combo - Full Article

Last updated 13:04 24/09/2010

Representing New Zealand is becoming a bit of a family affair in the Higgins household.

This time it isn't shooter Phillip wearing the silver fern. Instead, it is wife Alison's turn to do the nation proud.

On Sunday, she and their horse Twynham El Omar will line up in the 160km endurance race at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

The Nelson-based combination will be one of three Kiwi combos on the starting line.

But it was Phillip who started Omar, breaking him in and riding him for the first three years.

As a shooter, Phillip represented New Zealand at both world championship and world cup level. These days, he's happier grooming for his wife in her bid for glory.

Omar is the third of the late Leo Nisbett's horses to represent New Zealand at world championship level. In the hands of Alison, he won the 2010 100-mile South Island Championship.

She's got no qualms about the world games race she faces this week, but says that starting line will be something else.

"We're used to 1am starts, when everyone is calm – we'll be in a pack with 130 or so others. It's going to be tough."

It's not the first time she has been chosen to represent New Zealand. In 2008, she and Omar got the nod for the World Endurance Championships in Malaysia but turned it down over worries about heat and humidity...

Read more here:

New Zealand: WEGwatch – Tuesday 21 September 2010 - Full Article

22/09/2010 4:27:53 p.m.
It is a cacophony of sight and sound at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington...and the Kiwis are right in the midst of it.
There are accents, languages, signs, flags, vehicles and more as thousands gear up for the World Equestrian Games which get underway on Sunday (25th September). Everyone has a smile on their face and welcoming words. The Kiwis are coming in from all over.
The endurance crews are settled on a farm not far from the Park and will head in to the Games stables over the next day of two. The horses all travelled well and are getting used to their new world. Equine physio Nikki Lourie spent several hours with the endurance horses yesterday and is back out there again this morning.
The endurance riders are settled in a comfy RV right at the farm and the rest of the them are sleeping marae-style in a nearby farm house.
They've become kings and queens of Wallmart, and able to spot a bargain from a mile off. A nearby cowboy boot store has a new appreciation for all things New Zealand after nearly all of them bought at least one pair of boots this week.
And they're pretty sharp at identifying the local wildlife too, with coyotes, skunks, fire flies, raccoons and more all regulars in their patch.
Eventer Clarke Johnstone travelled out with the Aussies and the UK based eventers are set to arrive later this afternoon. Watching the enormous silver trucks – each of which have to carry at least 12 horses – roll in and out of the park is something else. They're so shiny they could be used as mirrors and in a convoy look most impressive.
Showjumper Katie McVean and Dunstan Delphi have made themselves quite at home in a somewhat mobile barn right at the equestrian park. The rest of the showjumping team arrive next week.
The NZ support team have been busy making sure all the important details are seen to – like decorating the stables and ensuring there are cold drinks on hand for riders and grooms...among plenty of other things...

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Nearby farms are part of WEG endurance course - Full Article


Sept. 22--Imagine hosting a party on scale so grand you'll need to ask a neighbor to open his yard for your party.

And another neighbor, and another and ... .

That's what it's been like for Emmett Ross.

Endurance discipline manager for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Ross has led the way in cobbling together a 100-mile course over 24 pieces of private property for Sunday's endurance competition.

The endurance race -- essentially a long-distance race in which the rider must pace the horse so that it remains fit to finish -- will begin and end at the Kentucky Horse Park, but it is the one WEG competition whose course will extend beyond the park.

Originally, 65 landowners gave permission to use their property. That proved to be a bit much logistically, so Ross "just drove around all the time" and came up with a more precise route. Still, it's the largest course on private land to be used in a World Championship, according to Ross.

"It's a pretty neat trail," he said. "The big thing is the relationships I've had with the landowners and farm owners..."

Read more here: