Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Historical Film Documentary on the Western States Trail 
to Air on KVIE Public Television for the Central Valley and Sierra

The Western States Trail Foundation, sponsors of the world-renowned 100-Mile Tevis Cup Ride, is proud to announce the airing of They Crossed the Mountains: The History of the Western States Trail on the PBS member station KVIE on Wednesday, April 14 at 7pm, Friday, April 16 at 4pm and Sunday, April 18 at 6pm. With one of the largest geographic signals in the country, KVIE can be viewed in 28 California counties through its digital signal and 110 cable systems and satellite providers combined. The 30-minute documentary covers the usage and history of the famous Western States Trail by Native Americans to Gold Rush miners and by endurance horseback riders and runners - a history spanning thousands of years. This poignant documentary portrays a wide scope of history, from John Fremont's discovery of Lake Tahoe to firsthand stories about Indian relatives who traveled this path. Tales of brave pioneers, both historic and contemporary, punctuate the film. Several historians were interviewed, giving the documentary a richness and depth about the trail route that traverses the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Carson City, Nevada, via Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

A portion of the documentary includes excerpts from a 1931 black-and-white silent film that features a group of Auburn men who traveled the trail on horseback, marking it along the way so that this original Emigrant Trail did not fade into the wilderness. The documentary also highlights a background of how the Tevis Cup 100 Mile Ride and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run evolved and became such integral parts of the trail's history.

The documentary's producer and director, Ginger Kathrens of Taurus Productions Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an Emmy award-winning producer, filmmaker, cinematographer, writer, and editor. Recently aired on PBS are her latest documentaries: "Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies" and "Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns." She has written two award-winning books about Cloud. Kathrens was also the co-producer and cinematographer of a two-hour special, "Spirits of the Rainforest," for The Discovery Channel, for which she earned an Emmy Award for Best Informational and Cultural Documentary. Other projects for Discovery include "The Ultimate Guide: Horses" and "The Ultimate Guide: Dogs," as well as producing segments for "Wild America" and filming for National Geographic and the BBC.

They Crossed the Mountains documentary was produced by the Western States Trail Foundation and was underwritten by the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, the Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation, the Placer County Historical Foundation, and the Western States Endurance Run Foundation. DVD copies of the They Crossed the Mountains: The History of the Western States Trail may be purchased from the Western States Trail Foundation by visiting The website will also indicate when and where future showings of the documentary will occur.

This program is airing on KVIE as part of the station's "ViewFinder" series, which is underwritten by AT&T and SAFE Credit Union.

About KVIE Public Television: 
KVIE Public Television, located in the heart of California's Central Valley, inspires audiences and enriches their lives through engaging programs and educational services. Established in 1959, KVIE serves more than 1.4 million households in the nation's 20th largest television market. KVIE actively creates original local programming and is one of the leading producers of public television programming in the country. For more information about how to find your KVIE channel designation and to learn more, visit KVIE’s Web site at

Contact: Kate Riordan 530.333.2002 /


ANSAmed) - PALERMO - A filly was born in the Institute for experimental zoology of Sicily, a crossbreed between a mare of a typical Sicilian race and an Arab stallion. The stallion is a gift of the Sultan of Omar. In December 2008 he donated the horse, via ambassador to Italy Said Nasser Al-Harthy, to the president of the Region, Raffaele Lombardo. Saaken is a 5-year old stallion of a pure Arab horse, son of Barabas and Zeenah. The splendid animal has a certificate of origin of the Sultan of Omar. Two of its offspring have won the first stage of the regional endurance championship held in Trapani early in March. The Institute's stables in Palermo already had stallions of various races: San Fratellano, Sella Francese, Trottatore, Quarter Horse, France Montaigne, Anglo-Arabo, Tintoretto and, last but not least, the stallion donkey from Ragusa. But the real star is the Arab horse. When the stallion arrived, the ISZ collected his semen, to be used by breeders who want to improve the gene pool of Sicilian horses. The Sultan of Oman has also given two mares to the Region, also from the royal stables. The three animals were delivered to Governor Raffaele Lombardo by ambassador to Italy Said Nasser Al-Harthy. ''We are grateful to the Sultan'' said Lombardo, ''because these gifts are an expression of the important relation that has been formed. We think we will expand it to other sectors as well''. On that occasion, the Region gave three Sicilian goats in return, ''to start a similar crossbreeding project in Oman'', in Lombardo's words. ''This seems to be an interesting way to continue exchanging gifts that can lead to more important results than the usual gifts'', the president of the Region concluded. (ANSAmed).

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wild West's famous sticky buns are back in Eagle - Full Article


Former owner Naomi Preston wants to revive her Eagle bakery and espresso shop

Naomi Preston always enjoyed competition, whether participating in endurance horse racing or trying to unseat then-Idaho Congressman Butch Otter in 2004.

It was no surprise, then, when Preston couldn't resist the challenge of returning to her former Eagle business, Wild West Bakery & Espresso, in the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades.

"I feel a little bit like Jay Leno," Preston said about her return to her old location at 83 E. State St., where she opened 16 years ago in space leased from a downtown plumbing supply shop.

Preston and her husband, Lee Pearce, were living on their 300-acre horse ranch outside of Baker City, Ore., in December when her former store manager, Michelle Baker, called with news that Preston's former business - which had been converted to a bistro and wine bar - was going under.

"That's when my world changed," Preston said. "This (business) had always been my baby. I could have walked away, or I could try and save my investment."

Read more here

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

40th Annual Ride & Tie World Championship - Full Article
Mar 22, 2010

Mount Adams, Washington selected for June 19th 2010 race

March 22, 2010 - Premier endurance event of 2010, the 40th Annual Ride & Tie World Championship, is to take place in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington. The race is to stage at the foot of glacier-topped Mount Adams, notably the site of the 2003 Pan-American Endurance ride. Camp and course open to athletes and their crews one week prior to the event which takes place Saturday, June 19th 2010.

"We wanted to do something really special for our fortieth running of the sport's signature race,” explains Don Betts, president of the Ride and Tie Association, "and there's nothing our athletes like better than a well-run event at a world-class facility." The course starts at a base of twenty-five hundred feet and will see runners and horses climb more than a thousand feet multiple times during the three loops of the thirty-five mile race.

Veteran ride and tie competitors will be arriving by truck and horse-trailer from all over the western states, with more distant athletes flying in, some from overseas. "This will be the first time in the history of the sport that our Championship race is held in Washington," said Betts. "And aside from the great venue, our biggest reason for coming here is to entice local runners and local riders to attempt the sport. We call it our World Championship, but it's open to anyone who is game to try it. We welcome newcomers with open arms."

In addition to open arms, in the coming months the Association also welcomes newcomers with local practices, a wealth of assistance including help finding team mates, and shorter pre-Championship races in mid-May so new competitors can work out their "big race" strategy on parts of the Championship race course. The Ride & Tie World Championship race features over five-thousand dollars in cash prizes, belt buckles for all who complete, a Specialized brand saddle for the Best of Condition horse, followed by a catered salmon dinner and live music.

Read more here:

Horse riders' hopes dashed as Columbia drops equestrian course

BY Ryan Martin

COLUMBIA — Lucie Hess loves to ride her horse on the trails in Boone County. The 55-year-old Columbia resident enjoys seeing the "beautiful valleys, wildflowers and rock formations."

The area features plenty of spots for pleasure riding, Hess said. Riders have access to more than 50 miles of trails and the 750 acres in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. But Hess said mid-Missouri horse riders lack access to cross-country courses, which use natural obstacles such as logs and creeks to let riders and their horses practice jumping.

"Those courses that are around are private and don't open up to the public," she said.

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department initially included a public course in the southeast regional park plan, but it was cut in favor of a natural preservation area after local environmental groups opposed it.

Department officials originally thought restricting the horses to 17 acres would limit their impact on the environment, but they decided the "the wide open and dispersed nature of the activity" was too difficult to manage, according to the proposal presented at the Feb. 1 Columbia City Council meeting.

The report noted that water laced with horse manure could travel into caves and springs, causing ecological problems.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Wasatch riders take to island to explore, volunteer

By JaNae Francis (Standard-Examiner staff)
Mar 21 2010

ANTELOPE ISLAND STATE PARK -- Two riders headed through thick cattails to get to the crystal-white lakeshore at White Rock Bay choose a path where the plants are already parted.

Just as they begin making their own way, they hear a rustling nearby.

Emerging from the path, they spot a white-tailed deer running from its hiding place.

During their ride for several hours over the weekend, the two riders also saw seven bison, five mule deer and a group of chuckers scampering through the brush.

"There's not a better place to ride among the wildlife that are not being hunted," said Janet Harrison, of West Haven.

"There's some awesome game on the south end. There are some trophy-sized racks."

Harrison is one of about 60 members of the Wasatch Front Back Country Horseman who spent the weekend riding horses and volunteering their services at Antelope Island State Park.

The members, who ride the trails throughout the state and help with maintenance wherever they go, said they can't think of a better place to ride horses in the fall, winter and spring than Antelope Island.

Read more here:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ride & Tie Race Set In Sunrise Canyon - Full Article

By Loretto J. Hulse, Herald staff writer
Published: 03/19/10

If you enjoy long-distance running, riding a horse and competing against others who enjoy the same, there's a special race just for you called Ride & Tie.

The sport combines trail running, endurance riding and strategy as teams of two people and a horse compete against other trios.

Ride & Tie races have been held for 40 years, but rarely in Washington. And the championship race, scheduled June 19 at Trout Lake at Mount Adams, has never been held in this state.

Two Ride & Tie races are scheduled for Eastern Washington prior to the championship. The first will be held Saturday in Sunrise Canyon, outside Kennewick, and will go either 11 or 22 miles. The second, a 25-miler, will be May 15 at Trout Lake at Mount Adams.

Read more here:

Aurora stables and trails provide a rural 'oasis' - Full Article

The Aurora Sentinel
Published: Friday, March 19, 2010

AURORA | With its spacious show barns and indoor and outdoor arenas, Linda Fischer's property can hold up to 130 horses.

Fischer said that her stables don't always reach that capacity, but she added that her barns are constantly full and that 10 foals have been born on her 12-acre property in the past year. Customers have come from as far away as Saudi Arabia to buy her Arabians, she said, and riders from all across the western United States have come to participate in a biannual endurance ride she hosts near the property.

And all of this takes place within plain view of the most urban parts of Aurora.

"I would just say that we have a good northern rural community," said Fischer, 60, who moved to Aurora from California in 1977. "I hate to see cities turn into pure cities. I think the more encroachment that happens in peoples' lives, the more they move out ... (But) I think the city of Aurora has been extremely progressive in that manner."

For 30 years, Fischer and her husband have operated Kenlyn Stables on a tract of land near South Airport Boulevard and East Sixth Avenue, a spot that’s now only a 10-minute drive from the nearest interstate highway. It’s a spot surrounded by a wide variety of developments - some of her closest neighbors include an Air Force base, tract housing and a golf course.

Read more here:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 WEG Update - Full Article
by Joe Gillespie

Planners discuss temporary stadium, transportation as WEG draws closer

Lexington, KY - "The countdown clock is probably the good Lord's sentence on me, because every time I wake up and see it's 218 days, then 217 days, then bang, bang, bang. Yes, it's going to happen."

Those are the words of Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder of Alltech, who has been doing a lot of clock watching since he committed to the title sponsorship of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. With its $10 million investment, Alltech launched an international campaign getting customers from around the world on board. Now dozens have joined in, and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 logo can be seen on products from Europe to Asia.

Lyons said the Games logo on dozens of products also includes Lexington. "I'm as proud of that as anything else," he added.

The 16 days of equine glory begin on September 25, but World Games 2010 Foundation CEO Jamie Link is facing an earlier deadline. Link is gearing up for a massive building project, to begin in June. The new indoor arena and other permanent structures are complete, but more than 300 temporary structures must be built. Link said the new outdoor arena was built to seat 7,500, but temporary seating will be added to seat almost 30,000. Workers will create a temporary driving stadium to seat 6,000. Other structures will be erected for the trade show and the "Kentucky Experience" and the "Alltech Experience" pavilion, along with a 30,000-square-foot hospitality tent. Countless support buildings must also be created.

When it's built, will they come?

Read more here:

Four Outstanding Horses Named Arabian Horse Association Ambassadors

Release: March 18 2010
Author: By Hilary Nixon

The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) recently honored four outstanding horses with Ambassador Awards. Athena+++// (LS Zane Grey+// x Little Badger Baby), Gilet+/ (Gil x El Eta), TH Barbarian+ (Barbary+++ x TH Annimai), and TS Black Tie Affair (Tardar x EVG Lady Di) are all recognized for an outstanding achievement in representing the Arabian horse to the general public. To be named an AHA Ambassador, an Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian must achieve a unique accomplishment that showcases the breed.

Athena, a 1997 Anglo-Arabian mare, owned by Rita Mason of Fair Oaks, CA, was expected to be a hearty endurance horse, thanks to her sire's successful endurance career, but at age three, Athena started training level dressage and began winning from day one. "When Athena was four, Rita took her on a 30-mile limited-distance ride and they finished, but Athena clearly wasn't having fun—so back to the show ring they went," said Peggy Ingles, one of Athena’'s nominators.

Athena has gone on to win a national championship at Fourth Level, several AHA regional wins, open and United States Dressage Federation (USDF) honors, but it is Athena’s presence at horse expos, charity events and educational seminars that bring the versatility and trainability of the Arabian breed to the general public. Athena and Rita's bridle-less dressage demonstration is a crowd favorite.

"Athena is truly a noble and gracious mare, in the tradition of her proud and ancient heritage. She is beautiful to behold," said Marjory Hammer Pope, AHA Life Member.

Gilet is a 24-year-old purebred gelding that has seen racetracks, show rings and football fields. As the mascot for the Conemaugh Township Indians, Gilet has pleased football fans for eight years, galloping from one end zone to the other and then standing with a quiet and dignified demeanor for the young and old to come by and meet him. Gilet's other ambassador-worthy activities include being part of the annual high school homecoming parade and playing the native costume model as elementary school students learn about the Arabian breed.

But Gilet, owned by Lisa Devineni of Johnstown, PA, can also hold his own in the show ring. Started on the race track, Gilet was sold and made rounds as a competitive trail horse before landing with Caitlyn Thomas, daughter of trainer Beth Thomas, where the pair hit it off and eventually went Top 10 at U.S. Nationals in the open working hunter division. When it was Devineni's chance with the gentle gelding, the two shined with two National Top 10s in working hunter and hunter hack as well as the AAOTR working hunter regional championship. Devineni even earned her Rider of Honor with Gilet.

"Calling Gilet just a horse is below him and all that he does. He is a friend. He is a companion, and a true ambassador to the Arabian breed," said Caitlyn Thomas.

TH Barbarian or "Bear" is owned by Jean and Maddie O'Leary of Fontana, WI. Bear is a son of the great Barbary+++ and started life as a show horse, winning numerous titles in English pleasure, pleasure driving and equitation. With a "go forward" attitude, Bear became known as the "Little Engine that Could." At only 14.2 hands, Bear is everything an Arabian should be. “"Aside from his beauty, intelligence, and athleticism, he is friendly and adores people," said Stacey Dunn, one of his nominators.

Now at 28, Bear serves as an ambassador to the breed in many ways. He stars as a demonstration horse for the breed in a variety of venues, including the Midwest Horse Fair, 4-H education days, Girl Scout meetings and also serves as an academy horse, teaching four- and five-year-olds to ride. "What makes Bear special are those intangible qualities; when you know you are in the presence of a truly great horse," said Dunn.

TS Black Tie Affair has spent the last 16 years giving his all in the show ring, on the trail, but most importantly, to entertaining and educating the public about horses, especially the Arabian horse. The black and white pinto Half-Arabian stallion was bought by Jan Sharp as a three-year-old and began to display his intelligent, gentle nature immediately.

Since I trick train all my horses as an additional way to interact with them, I immediately started training Black Tie. On day two, I began to teach him to lie down. On day three, I walked past his stall and he jumped at me. I yelled at him and he went to the back of his stall and lay down. He didn’t know what I wanted, but he learned that laying down made me happy, said Sharp.

Black Tie has traveled to schools, story hours, libraries, rodeos, churches, Equine Affaires, been featured in magazines and even has made several television appearances. "He's stood among thousands of tiny feet, wheelchairs, and walkers. He lowers his head into baby strollers, closes his eyes, and lets the touching and poking of his nose begin," said Sharp.

For more information about the Arabian Horse Association’s Ambassador Award visit or call (303) 696-4500.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 7

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton

This is the third of three articles that I wrote for Endurance News after the 2001 XP ride. This one was about the accomplishments of the horses and riders. It was pretty amazing when you think about it. Here is an excerpt:

230 horses were ridden 67,400 AERC miles by 104 riders in eight weeks. That works out to 1,348 fifty mile rides. This in itself is quite amazing, given that there are a few regions in the AERC that don’t contribute this much mileage over an entire year.

2001 XP Accomplishments

by Karen Chaton, Copyright 2002
Part 3 of 3

There were so many great accomplishments on this summer’s 2001 Pony Express ride by both horse and rider that it’s not easy to pick any one as being the best. Was there a winner? There were lots of winners. Everybody who enjoyed riding the trail and had a great time was a winner. The most common goal, by far, was the desire to ride the Pony Express trail. During the course of the two month event riders and crews alike became like a big close family and worked together to achieve these goals. Everybody wanted to help each other within this tight knit group. Friendships and bonds were formed that will continue to draw these people together for the rest of their lifetimes.

All told, 230 horses were ridden 67,400 AERC miles by 104 riders in eight weeks. That works out to 1,348 fifty mile rides. This in itself is quite amazing, given that there are a few regions in the AERC that don’t contribute this much mileage over an entire year. The ride started in the Central region and went thru the Midwest, Mountain and West regions, traveling thru Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. Riders attending came from Canada the Southeast, Central, Southwest, Northeast, Northwest, Pacific South, Mountain and West AERC regions.

Read More Here:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AHC Releases Report on Equestrian Access

March 9, 2010

Today, the American Horse Council released its 2009 Report on Equestrian Access on Federal Land. The 2009 report is intended to provide 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 AHC's website at: ReportEqAccessFedLand.pdf.

In July of 2009 the American Horse Council launched an effort to collect information regarding equestrian access issues on federal lands. 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.

The center piece of this effort has been an AHC online form riders can use to report their personal experiences regarding trails on federal lands that have been closed to them or other access issues. This online form is located at

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.

"The AHC will use this 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 resource and equestrians need to work with them at all levels. However, sometimes there are issues and conflicts that need to documented and brought to there attention. This report is just one part of our efforts to ensure equestrian continue to have recreational opportunities on federal land."

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

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

American Horse Council - 1616 H Street NW 7th Floor - Washington, DC 20006

Contact: Bridget Harrison

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mrs Golden Horseshoe - Barbara Wigley - Full Article

They call her, Mrs Golden Horseshoe.

They also say you need lots of endurance to keep up with her.

For Barbara Wigley, a busy, fast-talking, no-nonsense, endurance rider is the driving force behind what over the years has become one of the great, legendary endurance rides in the world.

Not that there haven't been set-backs along the way. In fact, at one time it looked as though the days of the Golden Horseshoe, which today covers 100 miles of the toughest terrain in the country, were very nearly over.

Barbara was born in Stretford, Manchester. Her family were distinctly non-horsey. Her father was a painter and decorator. Eventually, he opened a painting and decorating shop in nearby Urmston.

"As a kid, I can remember begging and pleading with them to let me have a pony," she says. "When I was 11-years-old I managed to persuade my mother to let me have riding lessons. She agreed. But it was on condition I didn't tell my father..."

For more of the article:

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 6

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton

Anybody planning on going on the 2011 XP ride should read this (click on link below) to get an idea of what to expect. Also, because this stuff is a decade old take it with a grain of salt and realize that while some of it still applies there may be parts that don't. I'm just posting this to give people an idea of what to expect.

It can't be stressed enough how important it is to have a good relationship with your crew. My advice for anybody going on the 2011 XP is to work out all of the fine details ahead of time. Start out with apologizing in advance for anything that you might do that'll irritate your crew... because you will no doubt do that. They will probably irritate you as well. Figuring out how to get along will go a long way towards making the trip a lot more enjoyable for everyone.

I will post some thoughts later on planning and preparing for this event based upon what I learned from doing it in 2001. I've posted a lot so far that should help. I will also do some reviews and recommendations of GPS's, map software and other techno type gadgets that will be both useful AND necessary for riders to have. btw - if you get Trail Blazer magazine look in an upcoming issue for my review on the Garmin 550t.

For those that want to enter simply send me an email and I'll tell you how to do that! Hopefully within the next month I'll have a bulletin board set up on the XP site where people can go to advertise that they are looking for a crew, or that they want to be a crew, or share an entry, etc.

More at:

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 5

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton


By Lori Stewart

I won't bore you with why, but in '76 I rode the entire XP trail with barely the minimums. My husband and I slept under the stars or in the back of a stock trailer when it rained. We survived mostly on Velveeta cheese, Triscuits, Salami, apples and tangerine Lifesavers (no refrigeration needed). The occasional dinner at a local cafe was heaven. We bathed quite irregularly with no ill effects. The horses lived tied to the trailer at night and in a portable electric fence before dark. Supplies included two hay nets, two five-gallon jugs, two buckets, and one brush. First aid amounted to little more than Desitine, cotton and tape. My saddle had a flexible tree, i.e. an old Argentine saddle with a broken tree. No sore backs resulted. Both horses were unfit and overweight in St. Joseph, Mo., but the almost 2000 miles of XP trail transformed them into lean mean endurance machines. I always thought about the XP trail in its entirety and not by the trail or events of any one day. The ups and downs fell into perspective. I never got overconfident but never gave up. I won the award for most miles AND high point. The '76 XP was my first endurance ride.

Take the Duck's words to heart. They speak volumes. I will give you my perspective on his key points. Let two principles guide you as you prepare - Respect and the KISS Theory

Respect that this is not an "E" ride at Disney Land. Fun and safety cannot be guaranteed. Rely on your common sense and good judgement as your safety net and your off-beat sense of humor for fun.

Respect the folks who make the land along this trail their home. They are the salt of the earth and possess wealth beyond the material in their kindness and pride in their heritage.

Respect your fellow XP club members no matter the seemingly stupid things they may do. When the summer is over you will have lived the old sayings "No man is an island" "But for the grace of God go I" and "What goes around comes around".

The KISS Theory - Keep It Simple Stupid:

1) The trail is tougher on rigs than horses.


Enthusiasts seek to have rare breed named Arizona’s official state horse - Full Article

By KRISTENA HANSEN/Cronkite News Service
Sunday, March 7, 2010

ST. DAVID - Arroyo may not have the size of a quarter horse, the speed of a thoroughbred or the elegance of an Arabian.

But this colonial Spanish horse can eat nearly any native grass, has hooves so firm they don't require shoes and is renowned for its stamina. In the late 1600s, its ancestors carried Father Eusebio Kino from Mexico into present-day Arizona, where he credited the breed for helping him establish missions.

As cattle ranchers sought bigger and stronger horses in the 300-plus years since, they cross-bred the colonial Spanish horse into many of today’s most popular pedigrees. It's nearly vanished in its native Spain and is a novelty breed kept alive by people such as Marjorie Dixon, Arroyo's owner.

Ten years ago, Dixon sold her quarter horses and began breeding the colonial Spanish horse at her 1,200-acre ranch set beneath the Dragoon Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Her passion inspired a suggestion from her husband, Jerry.

"My husband looked at me and said, 'Marjorie, these horses should be the Arizona state horse. You should really get on that,'" Dixon said with a laugh.

That could happen this year, as a bill inspired by Dixon and other members of Arizona's Colonial Spanish Horse Project is moving through the state Legislature. HB 2634, sponsored by Rep. Patricia V. Fleming, D-Sierra Vista, is awaiting a vote by the full House that would send it to the Senate.

If it passes, the colonial Spanish horse would join a list of state emblems that includes an official fossil (petrified wood), amphibian (tree frog) and neckwear (bola tie).

"These horses are a state treasure because of the history behind them," said Fleming, whose district includes St. David. "This is recognizing a piece of Arizona heritage."


USEF Announces Selection Procedure For WEG Endurance Team

The U.S. Equestrian Federation selection procedure and application for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Endurance Team are now available online at

Athletes who are on the National Training List at any time between Dec. 1, 2008, and May 10, 2010, are eligible to apply for the WEG. Selectors will also issue wild card invitations to endurance athletes who are not eligible to apply for the WEG. Applications to request a wild card invitation are also available online at Wild card requests must be received no later than April 19.

There will be three regional USEF Selection Trials:

The Central Selection Trial – June 19, 2010, in Danville, Ill.
The East Selection Trial – June 22, 2010, in Fairhill, Md.
The West Selection Trial – June 26, 2010, in Prineville, Ore.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 4

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton

This was the 2nd of 3 articles I wrote for Endurance News following the 2001 XP.

XP'loring the Trail, 2000 Miles of Memories. Be sure to click on the link to read the entire thing! If you want to read my diary from the ride and see photos from all 8 weeks, click here. Karen

Talk about anticipation! Most of the riders had waited months, years even…for the start of this ride and it was quite a spectacular one. The horses were loaded into trailers in St. Joseph, Missouri and hauled across the river to Elwood, Kansas. The morning was dark, humid, and dark clouds loomed menacingly overhead. Baseball sized butterflies fluttered around inside my stomach on the short trip to the start. We unloaded our already tacked up horses and just like that, we were off. After all the months spent dreaming about the ride here we were actually embarking on the adventure of a lifetime...

XP'loring the Trail, 2000 Miles of Memories

2001 Pony Express Ride

by Karen Chaton, Copyright 2002

Part 2 of 3

For many of us, riding the Pony Express trail brought on a whole new aspect to endurance riding. We were riding through history. I’ll try my best to cover some of the more historical aspects of the trail and the parts that the riders remember the most. Many of us are still realizing the significance and enormity of it all. To condense the details of the trail into mere words is not an easy task. Words really cannot contain the emotions or the experiences of what we went thru. Every traveler along this historical route 140 years ago encountered adventure, discovery and hardship which was revealed to each of us on the back of a horse as we progressed on our incredible journey.


Friday, March 05, 2010

Dynamite Dash 50 in Scottsdale - Amanda Washington

Easycare Blog - Full Story

I had the amazingly generous opportunity to ride one of Garrett's horses, Belesemo Inferno, in the 50 at the Dynamite Dash endurance ride put on by Rusty Toth on February 27. This is the first year for the ride, and despite monsoon-type weather in Scottsdale the month prior to the ride, a change of ridecamp a week before and quite frankly a really scary weekend forecast, the ride went off without a hitch!

Rusty contacted me a few months ago to see if my husband, Robert, might be interested in vetting. Of course I said yes, so long as I could ride! I then convinced my husband it would be a great thing to do while we were on our annual migration south. Didn't take much to convince him.

Garrett Ford quickly offered me a horse and we were all set! Being from the northwest, I am one of the few doing the "barefoot thing" in endurance. I was super excited to watch Mr. Easyboot himself apply the glue-ons to horses prior to the ride. I have been riding in Easycare boots for three years but have only been gluing boots for rides since last June. Considering we don't have the option up in the NW for others to glue on for us, we have had to learn ourselves. I can tell you, it wasn't pretty at first, but we got the job done! I was feeling pretty good about my glue jobs towards the end of last season, but watching Garrett and seeing his end product was the equivalent of thinking you sound pretty good singing in the shower and getting laughed off the audition stage at American Idol!


The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 3

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton

This is an article I wrote for endurance news about preparing for the 2001 XP. “Preparing for the 2001 XP”.

I surveyed and interviewed many if not most of the riders that went on the ‘01 XP and got a lot of varied responses.

This may help some of you that are planning for the 2011 event. I’ve got lots more to post, so keep checking back.

Enjoy! Karen

Preparing for the 2001 XP

by Karen Chaton, Copyright 2002

Part 1 of 3

This summer a group of about 60 endurance riders rode from Saint Joseph, Missouri on the original Pony Express trail to Virginia City, Nevada. So just what does one do to prepare for an 8 week, 2,000 mile multiday endurance ride? I asked several riders who went and found that there are as many different ways to prepare for a monumental event such as this as there were miles to be ridden.

Many of the riders had planned on doing this event for 2 ½ to 3 years, when Dave Nicholson, DVM made the announcement at the 1998 Death Valley Encounter. At that time riders began purchasing entries and making plans and dreaming!

For some, preparation included reading up on the actual trail itself. In 1992 the Pony Express National Historic Trail, which covers the entire route followed by pony express riders, was designated part of the National Trails System. It goes over much of the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails, which are also of great historical significance. The most read book by riders was the Traveler’s Guide to the Pony Express Trail, by Joe Bensen. Other books read included the 1976 Great American Horse Race and Graves and Sites on the Oregon Trail. A great number of riders felt a connection since they had ancestors who had come across the trail, some as immigrants in wagon trains and at least one relative who pushed a handcart.

A lot of horses brought on the trip were solid competitors, having completed multidays previously. Nearly every rider polled mentioned completing 5 day rides such as Outlaw Trail, Fort Schellbourne, Applegate-Lassen, Lost Wagon Train, the Fall XP, Renegade and Timberon rides. Quite a few horses had over 3,000 career miles and some more than 5,000 and 7,000 miles. Many others had very few career miles but had been conditioned for several months. The riders themselves as a whole were a very experienced bunch, and included ride managers, veterinarians and AERC Directors. Not everybody had a lot of experience, for at least one rider this was his first endurance ride.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 2 - Karen Chaton
Here is more basic information on the 2011 XP ride. This is also posted on the website.

If you are interested in attending this event be sure to read a lot of the information that is on the XP website about the 2001 and 2004 XP rides.

The 2011 ride will be essentially the same as the 2001 ride was. This one will definitely be the last time it’s done by XP/The Duck.

XP 2011

December 31, 2009

For quite some time we talked and dreamed about doing the MexiCan Ride, a ride from Mexico to Canada similar to the XP2001 and XP2004 rides. After several years of preliminary work we were finally forced to give up on the idea for many reasons, not the least of which is the increasingly difficult permitting process on public lands. In lieu of the MexiCan Ride we announced that we would do one more ride on the Pony Express Trail before we got too old and tired. Much has happened since making that decision. Obviously the collapse of the world economic system plays a gigantic role in all of our plans. Not only are all of our finances in jeopardy, according to some of the prophets of doom, the world is going to end in December of 2012, Obviously we will be unable to do the ride if the world comes to an end. That being said, we are committed to going ahead with the XP2011 on the Pony Express Trail. We have made some important changes in the terms of engagement, especially the financial terms.

The event will consist of eight weeks of five-day rides, starting on Tuesday, May 24th in St. Joseph Missouri. Each ride will be 50 miles and will be conducted as all of our XP point-to-point rides have been in the past. We will ride five days and rest on Sundays and Mondays. In previous years we started in June and suffered more from the heat later in the ride. The early pioneers left Missouri in April but they were traveling much slower and needed more time to get to through the western mountains by snowfall. Since we are traveling at a faster pace we will be able to enjoy the best of weather throughout our trip. We have notified AERC of our plans and have requested time to meet with the AERC BOD in Reno to advise them of our plans and to request sanctioning as we did in 2001 and 2004. Although the ride will follow the original Pony Express Trail, as close as possible, we will be making some detours that provide a better horse/rider experience.


Another Setback for Amigo

Wednesday March 3 2010

Gary Sanderson's horse Amigo, who was impaled by a tree branch on January 17 and who has been fighting courageously for his life since at the University of Tennessee Large Animal Clinic had another serious setback yesterday.

After pulling through several crises over the weeks, Amigo was strong enough to be scheduled for one more surgery to remove one abscess that hasn't gone away with antibiotics.

He collapsed during surgery. "Both lungs collapsed," Gary reported. "they lost him. They were able to get him back and then put him to sleep via IV drugs. He is having an extremely rough time getting through being out cold!" Gary's girlfriend Kara reported Amigo looked the worst he'd looked throughout the whole ordeal.

Gary and his girlfriend seriously discussed euthanizing Amigo, but once again, Amigo pulled through; by evening his bloodwork looked good, he was stabilized, and he was standing on his own.

You can follow Gary and Kara's daily updates on Amigo on Facebook at Amigo - One Amazing Horse!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 1

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton

There is going to be another epic endurance ride on the Pony Express trail in 2011.

The ride will start in St. Joseph, MO on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 and finish in Virginia City, Nevada. The route will follow the original Pony Express trail as closely as possible and will be 2,000 miles. Riders will ride 50 miles per day, five days a week for eight weeks, Tuesday through Saturday. Sunday and Monday will be rest days.

The entry fee is $5,000.00 if you enter and pay your $500.00 deposit by June 1st. After that entries will go up and if the ride fills up (there is a limit) then you run the risk of not getting in.

I will post a series of posts with more information on this ride as well as some stuff on the 2001 XP. It will be a great adventure and is truly is one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. When I did the 2001 ride I thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I haven’t done anything since that has been anywhere near that much of a challenge. It was also a tremendous life changing event that really made me learn to appreciate how lucky I am (we all are). It was a great way to learn about the human condition. I came away really appreciating what my ancestors went through moving West on the Oregon Trail (which is the same in many parts as the Pony Express Trail).

It’s now ten years later, can we all do this again? We’re older and wiser and will know what to expect. I like that we are wiser, but the older part might make it harder on us. I had a great adventure last time. I rode my two horses, Dream Weaver and Rocky every day except for one and a half out of the forty. My horses did 1925 miles between them. It was quite a thrill to be able to start and finish with the same two horses. They were incredible and I had the adventure of a lifetime. I also rode sponsoring juniors most of the way and we had a great time. I hope there will be a few kids along on this trip. It was such a great experience for them.

Stay tuned for more, lots more on the 2011 ride!

For more info, see Karen Chaton's Enduranceridestuff page

Monday, March 01, 2010

Great Britain: Inside look at Golden Horseshoe ride for writers - Full Article

March 2, 2010

Editors from some of Britain's leading equestrian magazines and websites have said they will ride at this year's Golden Horseshoe Ride over Exmoor.

The ride's organising committee has put on an extra class of 25 miles (40km) for the journalists. They will be escorted by riders from Endurance Great Britain's Elite Squad. These are horse-and-rider combinations from which the British endurance team will be chosen for the World Championships in Kentucky.

The Golden Horseshoe Ride, run this year from May 16 to 18, will again start and finish from the show field at Exford and will attract leading endurance riders from all over the country.