Thursday, July 29, 2010

Getting through the Vet Checks at Tevis - Full Article

by Karen Chaton

One of the most useful pieces of advice I was given prior to riding the Tevis this year was to make sure I got in line to vet as soon as I got my horse’s pulse timed in.

This is good advice. If you stop for even a minute after getting your pulse and in-time to let your horse eat, or for you to run to the restroom – when you come back you could have a half a dozen horses or more in front of you in the line to vet through.

On a ride like Tevis, every minute counts. If you spend five extra minutes at 8 of the vet checks, that is forty minutes that you could have used walking later in the ride rather than trotting if you are pushing the cut-off times.
sara trot out tevis Medium 300x214 Getting through the Vet Checks at Tevis

Sara vetted behind me. I got to the other side and stopped at the hay to let Bo eat while we waited. This is Sarah trotting towards me.

I had luck on my side this year because I never had to wait in a line to vet. Perhaps there would be one horse in front of me but the majority of the time I just walked up to the vet and vetted right through...

Read more here:

Agoura's Queen of Equestrian - full article

By Mira Reverente

Agoura Hills resident and endurance rider Charisse Glenn is on the road less-traveled to Illinois and Kentucky, galloping her way to the World Endurance Games.

Willowy and lithe, Charisse Glenn moves with the confidence of an athlete. As a female in the not too common sport of endurance racing, she's unperturbed and used to the endless fascination and curiosity.

Training relentlessly for the last three years, Glenn has her sights set on one of five spots in the US Endurance Team. Endurance racing is one of eight disciplines in the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky this September. Since it has not been designated as an Olympic sport, the WEG is considered the pinnacle of endurance racing.

No Horsing Around

Endurance racing is a combination of the skills of one horse and one rider, who compete in 50- to 100-mile races and must finish within a specified amount of time. The Agoura Hills resident is the only rider from Southern California to qualify and be nominated to the World Equestrian Games. Her So Cal-bred horses, Bogart VF and Steel, have also qualified...

Read more here:

Equestrian rides off to Kentucky - full article

Bruce Hain
Jul 28, 2010

KENTUCKY — A young Springwater woman is in Kentucky this week preparing for an international competition.

Jessica Hendriks has qualified for the North American Young Riders Endurance event being held on July 29. In order to represent Canada, she showed well at the Canadian Long Distance Championships held in New Lowell where she finished 13th. She also rode for Team Ontario and captured a silver medal.

The 20-year-old began training when she was 10 and has collected more than 1,000 competitive miles in hopes of representing Canada on the international stage.

In Kentucky, Hendriks will take part in a 120 km. event.

She started riding when she was only eight years old...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

MONK: Corydon, Iowa - Part 2

FEIRedhorse blog - Full Story

Friday July 23 2010

Rode MONK on Wednesday, humidity was about 80 and the tempature was about 85, it was overcast with some heavy looking clouds. MONK was ready to go,he was shying at everything, we were booted and were just traveling the edge of these nice country roads. We had just had 6" of rain two days before so everything was nice and soft. We did about 12 miles at a pretty good clip, with a nice warm up and cool down. MONK wanted to go fast on the hilly parts so I let him, but you have to let him ease into it or he will think he can do what he wants and go as fast as he can. Most of the time our speed was somewhere between 12 and 15 miles an hour. When I brought MONK back to the farm we did not go to the barn, we went to where my trailer is parked and there is another very large metal building, probably 50x80 or so. Inside Angle has her two horse trailer parked deep inside the building. I had noticed previously that when I took MONK into the building the big horse fly or the little flies for that matter did not follow us in. The humidity inside the building is very high, kinda like a sauna but without the high tempatures. MONK got a nice bath I parked him inside the building for a couple of hours until the flies went to bed.

So my new plan is to maybe do a high line inside the metal building for the nights when we are going to have torrential rains with thunder and lightning.

I tried putting MONK out with Angie's other horses but they all ganged up on MONK so that did not work. One of Angie's neighbors who keeps her mini arab cross horses at the ranch thought we should try MONK with some of her little horses in the great big pasture. She put 5 of her little horses in the big pasture and I walked MONK out to the pasture gate, right past the mini's who were grazing along the fence line. I opened the gate and MONK ran into the pasture. He ran right past the mini's down towards the fence line where the other horses were…

Read more here:

Canada: Equestrian making name for herself in competition - Full Article

July 25 2010

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* Equestrian making name for herself in competition

Equestrian making name for herself in competition
Updated 3 days ago

Monica Grundmann has been involved in many competitions with her Morab horse, Excalibur Legend. Together they ve won many different awards including taking home first place in the Canadian National Morab Champianships. The goal is to come out of novice and into the open category doing 80k in a day, said Grundmann.

Monica Grundmann has only lost one competition since she's started competing with her Morab horse, Excalibur Legend 'Legend' and that was only because she helped another competitor.

Grundmann has won multiple awards for the competitions she has entered.

Her walls are covered with coloured ribbons and photos of her and Legend.

Some of her ribbons include a first place for the Canadian National Morab Championship in 2007, Canadian Morab Hall of Fame, 2007, Tulip Arabian Horse Show, 2008, and she has also been in the top five Novice Riders in Ontario for competitive trail riding...

Read more here:

Searle completes Tevis Cup - Full Article

July 25, 2010 \ Chicago Horse Examiner \ Kimberly Rinker

Rider Debbie Searle, 48, completed her very first attempt at the Tevis Cup, a 100-mile endurance ride that begins at Truckee, CA and ends at Auburn, CA, over some of the toughest and most demanding terrain found anywhere in the United States.

Searle, a resident of Beecher, Illinois, regularly competes on the UMECRA circuit in the Midwest with her 13-year-old Arabian-Quarter Horse cross, Ranger.

“I really enjoy trail riding because of the various types of trails that you encounter,” said Searle. “I’m not as competitive as I am adventurous. I wanted to do the Tevis because it’s a different kind of challenge and to see if I could...”

Read more here:

Tevis: New Mexicans halfway finished with endurance horse race - Full Article

Staci Matlock | The New Mexican
Posted: Saturday, July 24, 2010

Santa Fean Kathy Myers and her Arabian gelding Blue were more than halfway through the 24-hour, 100-mile Tevis Cup from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, Calif. at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Myers' husband, Pete Myers, who is part of her crew, said Blue "had an enormous amount of energy and was eating like a pig at the last check in. That's what you want to see in an endurance horse."

The crew are waiting for the team to reach the Forest Hills veterinary check point at the 68-mile mark.

The Tevis Cup, held since 1955 on the rugged Western States Trail in California, is considered the toughest horse and rider endurance race. This is Myers' and Blues' first attempt at the event...

Read more here:

2010 Tevis Cup 100 Mile One-Day Ride - Full Article & Slideshow

Fifty-five years of endurance riding tradition

Michael Kirby/Auburn Journal

Over 200 horse and riders saddled up at Robie Park in Truckee for the 2010 Tevis Cup Western States 100 Mile One-Day Ride to Auburn. Testing the endurance of horse and riders, through some tough trails and hot July weather, most will accomplish their goal of riding into the arena in the Gold Country Fairgrounds in under 24 hours. The Tevis dates back to 1955 when Wendell Robie, local businessman and horseman proclaimed that a horse and rider could cover the old Pony Express trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn in one day...

Article and slideshow here:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photographer injured in fall during Tevis Cup - Full Article


A photographer was airlifted to a Reno hospital after a fall from Cougar Rock on the Western States Trail during the Tevis Cup endurance ride Saturday.

Chris Gonzalez, 41, suffered a broken ankle, two broken wrists and a broken nose, according to Melinda Hughes-Berland, owner of Hughes Photography in Santa Rosa.

“He just stepped backward and all of a sudden he was airborne,” Hughes-Berland said Monday.

It was his first time to cover the ride for Hughes, the official Tevis Cup photographer for 30 years.

On Monday, Gonzalez, a Santa Rosa resident, was recovering at Renown Hospital in Reno and was to be transferred to a Kaiser facility, Hughes said.

Cougar Rock is 23.5 miles into the 100-mile trek, which runs from Robie Park near Truckee to Auburn. The accident happened a little after 9 a.m., ride director Mike Pickett said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Endurance Alaska! - Wilderness ride tests horses, riders

ANNUAL EVENT: This year a record number of people participated.
Original Article

WASILLA -- Early Saturday morning, in trampled-down hay fields at the foot of Bald Mountain, the horses seemed almost giddy to "giddyup," chatting as they stood next to their trailers, their riders just starting to stir from their campers and tents.The same time the next morning ... silence. Not a whinny nor a neigh. Not even heavy breathing. And they had another 25 miles or so left of tricky trails and even deeper river crossings in the 2010 Bald Mountain Butt Buster Competitive Trail Ride put on by the North American Trail Ride Conference.

K.T.MCKEE / Anchorage Daily News
Lindsay Mearkle became a fish out of water at the Bald Mountain Butt Buster Competititive Trail Ride in the Valley last weekend. Unaccustomed to such difficult trail conditions, her horse Demi refused to carry Mearkle on the first leg of Saturday's 25-mile trek, forcing her to walk the horse across the Little Susitna and nearly being swept down the river.

"It was dead quiet, the horses were so tired after Saturday's ride!" laughed event volunteer and Valley resident Tina Victory Sunday night while helping feed prime rib and potatoes to dozens of wet, worn-out riders gathered for the awards ceremony at the end of the 60-mile trek across park lands and at least 25 private properties.

For many local horses and riders, it was old hat -- just part of the thrill of testing your horsemanship skills, discipline and fitness in an annual event that brings teachers, doctors, nurses, accountants, writers, software engineers and their children together for a weekend in either Wasilla, Palmer or Fairbanks.

This year there was a record number of entrants -- 50 -- some coming from as far away as Tok, Fairbanks and Soldotna to pay at least $120 for the privilege to bust their butt and share some giggles along the way. In past years and in most similar competitions in the states, maybe 30 riders showed up.

"I don't know what it was that brought so many this year, but we love it -- even if it did offer some unusual challenges," said ride coordinator Nancy Williams, who diagnoses learning disabilities for Mat-Su schools when she's not doing horse-related activities.

Twenty first-time riders meant maps would be misinterpreted, riders would get lost and horses would be pushed to their limits because they weren't properly conditioned. For a few novice participants, it also meant having to scratch because of rule violations, such as walking a quarter horse mare across the Little Susitna River and nearly getting washed down with the frigid current.


"One thing that really caught us off guard this year was constantly having to change our schedule because of the number of riders coming into camp late on Saturday," ride manager Diane Sullivan of Chugiak said Monday. "Riders only get a window of 30 minutes late into camp before they receive a penalty point for each minute they were late. Two riders had 112 penalty points!"

Such an unexpected shift makes it difficult to make sure the event's two judges, flown in from out of state, are where they need to be as each rider goes through the various obstacles on the course, such as managing rocky river crossings where king salmon might swim between their horse's legs, or being able to walk their horse in a figure eight backward around a bush.


Or avoid a rather shocking experience, as one experienced rider working as a safety official managed to do.

"The funniest thing I heard about was when one of our safety riders backed her horse into an electric fence, thus doing a pirouette-type fall off the back of her horse as he shot forward," Sullivan recalled Monday.

"As she hit the ground, he hit the river, crossed it and stood on the other side looking at her as if to say 'Lady, are you nuts? I'm not hanging out with you anymore!' "

One of the first-timers in this year's event was Soldotna nurse Jane Faulkner, who was confident she could handle the trail after finishing this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race -- 53rd out of 55 mushers.

She had come with three other nurses and a pediatrician, all a little unsure of what to expect as they prepared to head out of camp Saturday morning.

"It's the only endurance ride in Alaska," Faulkner, 49, said as she tightened the saddle on her horse.

"I asked the organizers if there's any way to prepare for this and they told me you just have to do it once to find out you're not really prepared. But I like long distances. I may not be fast, but I get there eventually," she said.

Faulkner was riding a horse she had rescued 16 years ago.

She said she was able to put a couple hundred pounds on the horse in only eight weeks, he was that malnourished.

She said she was attracted to the event because of its emphasis on horse care and proper riding techniques.

Palmer High science teacher Susan Dent, a former veterinarian who runs Wildwood Farm in Meadow Lakes with Rae Arno, said she never would have gotten involved with the competitive trail rides in the early 1990s if she thought they weren't beneficial for horses and riders.

"It's a fun (event) name, but it's a misnomer because if you're riding correctly, your butt shouldn't get hurt because you're sitting lightly in your saddle, using your legs and taking your weight off your horse," said Dent, whose horse "Cheval" took top honors in her division and helped Dent garner enough points to win a first-place ribbon in the overall combined class.


She has consistently placed high in these events over the years because she doesn't just train a couple of months before they start as many might do.

"It's a lifestyle thing," she said Monday from her home off Pittman Road, explaining that she takes her horses on several long trail rides throughout the year, as well as making sure they are kept in good condition with some sort of exercise ritual throughout the year -- even in winter.

"The first time I did one of these rides I was so ignorant. But I learned so much about what they were looking for, behaviors and habits along the way. Now I just do what they've taught me as an everyday thing. That's why I keep doing it -- it makes daily riding so much more fun and safe. I don't do it to win a blue ribbon."

Monday, July 19, 2010

Horses and Divorces (Tevis 2010)

Sacramento Bee -
Tevis Cup rider Robert 'Potato' Richardson has had plenty of both, plus lots of friends and foes who agree he's quite the character
By Sam McManis
Published: Sunday, Jul. 18

A man named Potato needs a sense of humor. A thick skin, too.

He needs to do his name proud by being unconventional. Needs to abide the mockery, scorn, even jealousy spawned by his outsized behavior. Needs to thrive on the attention, live for the good times, good booze, good women, the unceasing quest for kicks.

And Potato must look the part: the leathery Old West sage, no buttoned-down Bob afraid to get his boots dirty. He must be part scoundrel, a lover of women and mares (not necessarily in that order), and know life in the saddle and in the hoosegow.

Robert Fordney "Potato" Richardson, 67 going on 13, is a throwback – "I could see him living in the 1800s," said friend Rho Bailey – yet too quirky to be a traditional Marlboro Man.

There's that world-class droopy mustache that makes him seem in a constant smirk. His wiry, 5-foot-7 frame may belie the stereotype of the tall, strapping cowboy, but it's a key to his horse-riding skill. A director casting the Potato biopic would choose the late Dennis Hopper – and give him Sam Elliott's 'stache.

Read more:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Australia: Horse riders to flock to Putty for second endurance - Full Article

13 Jul, 2010 11:10 AM
PUTTY Valley Endurance Ride 2010 Putty Valley will be home to over 100 riders and their horses on July 17 to 18 as they compete in the second Putty Valley Endurance Ride.

A presentation at the Putty Hall ride base at 11.30am on Sunday, July 18, will enable spectators to understand the rules governing the sport of endurance riding.

The lead riders are expected to arrive at the hall around 12 noon after a ride of up to 100km. The horses walk to the finish line and then tension mounts as the vet testing begins.

An endurance ride is won by the first rider to complete the 100km course with a fit horse.

The horse’s welfare is of prime importance and their temperature, pulse, and respiration are checked by vets throughout the ride.

Read more here:

New Zealand: Awards incentive for rider to go the distance - Full Article

July 10, 2010

Saddle soreness is not something Toko teenager Amanda Walton complains about, despite spending more time on the back of a horse in a day than most people would spend in their lives.

The 18-year-old is pretty good, too, having picked up the majority of junior titles at the national endurance horse riding prizegiving in Christchurch, being awarded rider of the year, while her horse, Sir Cae, was judged the best distance horse in the junior ranks.

The young farmhand has been involved in endurance riding for the past three years after being encouraged by her grandfather Trevor Walton, who used to take his young charge away to help with the strapping of the horses...

Read more here:

Australia: A sensational partnership - Full Article

14 Jul, 2010 09:07 AM
Rochelle Knihinicki rides horses for the love of it, but not in a lifetime did she thought she would achieve one of the greatest achievements in endurance riding.

Following the Tom Quilty Gold Cup ride late last month, Knihinicki was presented with her 10,000-kilometre Scroll for completing 10,000km in endurance rides on board her Purebred Arabian horse Tuldar Ronnie.

Knihinicki became the 12th Australian to receive the 10,000km scroll, and at 20 years of age, she is also the youngest.

She completed the milestone at the St Albans endurance ride in early June but was not presented with her scroll until after the Tom Quilty event.

“It was pretty exciting, pretty emotional,” Knihinicki said.

“Dad cracked a bottle of champagne in the veterinarian area. He was dying to do it... I got drenched. It was something I haven’t done before and probably would never do again..."

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back Country Horsemen of America Leads the Way in Preserving Public Lands Trails - Full Article

by Sarah Wynne Jackson
Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010

During these tough economic times when many folks have tightened their budgets and are spending less, Back Country Horsemen of America members have been donating more of their time, effort, and resources to preserving our heritage of equine use on public lands.

BCHA is proud to announce that its national volunteer value for 2009 was $7,500,000. That includes 345,700 hours of manual work; skilled labor; use of heavy equipment; hauling equipment, animals, and people to work sites; as well as Leave No Trace education and attendance at public meetings. What did BCHA members accomplish in all that time? Lots!

Making a Difference

Central Kentucky Back Country Horsemen have been working hard with the Kentucky Horse Council on the White Sulphur Horse Camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This primitive camp with 20 sites was started but never maintained. CKyBCH members eliminated a stagnant watering tank and laid a water line from a pond to the center of camp, providing clean, fresh water for campers' horses. Further improvements are planned for completion in 2010...

Read more here:

Canada: Endurance riders put in long miles at Horse Creek Ranch - Full Article

July 13 2010

Ian Kucerak
Leader Staff
Excellent athleticism from both horse and rider were on display during the second annual Horse Creek Ranch ride, held near Fort Assiniboine July 10-11.

Riders from across Alberta and British Columbia came out to compete under cloudy skies, which is the perfect weather to practice a sport that pushes horses and riders to their limits.

The Endurance Riders of Alberta sanctioned the ride, which had 50 registered adults riders and six junior riders. Riders took to the four-stage courses in four distance classes, including 25, 50, 75 and 100 mile distances.

Brenda Hendrikson and Joan Harris managed the ride alongside a staff of volunteers and veterinarians who took times and conducted horse health checks. Harris said they make sure the animals are in the proper shape after each leg of the race...

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mighty Amigo back under saddle - Full Article

July 13, 2010

by Neil Clarkson

Endurance horse Amigo, given only a two per cent chance of survival after a terrible impaling injury, is back under saddle.

The purebred Arabian got the all-clear for light riding on July 2 and excited owner Gary Sanderson saddled Amigo up that day and took him for walk around the 110-acre farm the horse grazes in Luttrell, Tennessee.

It has been a remarkable journey for Amigo, who overcame a series of life-threatening problems during his recovery, watched by a growing legion of fans on Facebook.

Amigo handled the ride well and the pair have since been out again.

Gary told Horsetalk that Amigo's vet bills amounted to $US35,000. He said that an anonymous donor who gave $US11,600 towards Amigo's care continued to meet the vet bills as the costs climbed well beyond his means.

The accomplished endurance horse accidentally impaled himself on a large branch in his paddock in mid-January...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Long Riders - Full Article

July 8, 2010
JIM MANN/Daily Inter Lake

A horseback endurance race in the upper Thompson River area is expected to attract more than 50 competitors from across the region July 17 and 18.

“We had quite a few last year so we’re hoping for 50 or more this year,” said Sherrie Calaway, manager of the Hooves and Co. Endurance Ride. “They are coming from everywhere.”

Riders are expected from Montana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, North Dakota and Canada.

Among the competitors are former Iditarod champion Doug Swingley and Suzie Hayes, a well-known endurance rider from Ovando who competes internationally.

The 50-mile race is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference and is a qualifier for prestigious endurance races such as The Tevis Cup in California.

Calaway said there will be a 35-mile race and the 50-mile race, both starting on July 17 at the Thompson River Ranch just off U.S. 2 west of Kalispell...

Read more here:

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Back Country Horsemen of America Leads the Way in Preserving Public Lands Trails

June 29 2010

By Sarah Wynne Jackson
During these tough economic times when many folks have tightened their budgets and are spending less, Back Country Horsemen of America members have been donating more of their time, effort, and resources to preserving our heritage of equine use on public lands.
BCHA is proud to announce that its national volunteer value for 2009 was $7,500,000. That includes 345,700 hours of manual work; skilled labor; use of heavy equipment; hauling equipment, animals, and people to work sites; as well as Leave No Trace education and attendance at public meetings. What did BCHA members accomplish in all that time? Lots!
Making a Difference
Central Kentucky Back Country Horsemen have been working hard with the Kentucky Horse Council on the White Sulphur Horse Camp in the Daniel Boone National Forest. This primitive camp with 20 sites was started but never maintained. CKyBCH members eliminated a stagnant watering tank and laid a water line from a pond to the center of camp, providing clean, fresh water for campers’ horses. Further improvements are planned for completion in 2010.
Back Country Horsemen of Alabama and Show Me Missouri Back Country Horsemen worked together to clean up trails in the Mark Twain National Forest after an inland hurricane. Most BCH units across the country do their best to get out on the trails as soon as possible after storms to clear aside fallen trees and branches, fix washed out trails, and replace bridges that have been swept away.
Members of the Skagit and Whatcom chapters of Back Country Horsemen of Washington State worked alongside the Department of Natural Resources to complete a monumental task that was sorely needed: using GPS equipment, they mapped the 76 trails (nearly 100 miles) of the Les Hilde Trails in the Harry Osborne State Forest. To assist users until DNR is able to post permanent signs, BCHW members posted over 200 temporary signs.
In addition to trail maintenance and watching over the ecosystem, the Chloride Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Arizona assisted large ranchers and the BLM with needs local to their area. They helped gather cattle in the very rough mountainous terrain, as well as packing in water for workers.
The lovely Spanish mustangs in the Cerbat Mountains of Arizona are still protected, and the Chloride Chapter of BCHAZ keeps an eye on them, counting the herds and tracking their condition, as well as making sure the watering holes are usable.
Back Country Horsemen of Idaho also had a busy year. The High Desert Chapter partnered with the Off Road Association and the Geocache Club in cleaning the North Rim. They filled five dumpsters with trash. They were also involved with a work project at the Porcupine Springs Campground with the U.S. Forest Service, where, in addition to regular trail maintenance, they built a horse riding loop and constructed four horse corrals for overnight camping. 
The North Central Idaho Chapter conducted the U.S. Forest Service Defensive Horsemanship Training at the rodeo grounds in Grangeville, Idaho. They also sprayed unwanted weeds on the Moose Creek Ranger District and the Lochsa Ranger District in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness; and in the Seven Devils/Windy Saddle area, they constructed a hitch rail, cleaned up the campground, and removed hazardous trees.
Buffalo River Back Country Horsemen of Arkansas have been battling their own “right to ride” issue on Buffalo National River lands. The general management plan is scheduled to be rewritten within the next five years, and BRBCH is determined to preserve our heritage of using pack and saddle stock on public lands. At public meetings held in various area towns, they encouraged other horse users to voice their opinions to the National Park Service regarding horse use on public lands.
BRBCH also packed out a variety of scrap from an old hunters’ camp in Rae Valley. Ten horses, six volunteers, and three park employees carried out rolls of old barbed and welded wire to Elephant Head, where a Park boat floated the load away.
Your Voice for Horse Use on Public Lands
As the leading organization in saving public lands trails for equestrian use, each one of these Back Country Horsemen of America groups is happy and eager to accomplish all these tasks and more; not just for users of pack and saddle stock, but for everyone who loves wild lands as much as they do.
It’s an unfortunate truth that federal, state, and local public lands managers simply don’t have the budget to maintain the majority of the trails under their jurisdiction. That means that the burden falls on the backs of dedicated and hard working volunteers across the country such as Back Country Horsemen of America.
Another difficult reality is that more trails, properties, and whole wildernesses are being designated “No Horses.” Without a unified voice such as that of Back Country Horsemen of America, our heritage of equine use and our right to ride on public lands is in serious jeopardy.
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes in regards to the use of horses and stock in the wilderness and public lands.
If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:, call 888-893-5161, or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Contact:  Peg Greiwe

USRider criticizes proposed digital license plates


For immediate release

Lexington, KY (June 30, 2010) - Advertising is everywhere these days. Flyers mysteriously appear on your front door as well as your windshield. At the filling station, blaring announcements attempt to entice you to go inside and spend more money. Even in the restroom, ads are strategically placed on the back of the stall doors. Now the California government is seeking to profit off what they consider the next prime piece of real estate for marketing efforts - license plates.

The idea is to show advertising on new digital license plates when a vehicle stops.

Facing $19 billion in debt, California is exploring the option of selling advertising on electronic license plates as a way to generate revenue. 

As reported by, the idea is contained in Senate Bill 1453, which has already passed the state Senate and is now before the Legislature. The proposal by Sen. Curren D. Price Jr. (D-Los Angeles) would give the California Department of Motor Vehicles the authority to investigate the emerging "digital electronic license plate" technology as a viable means for advertising and other communication. The idea is that when a vehicle is stopped for longer than four seconds, the license plate would transform into digital ad-space for which companies would pay to display an ad. 

“This proposal is totally irresponsible on behalf of the California legislature and will only serve to create more distractions and a more dangerous driving environment for drivers who face enough distractions already,” said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for equestrians.

Statistics show that driving while distracted is a factor in 25 percent of police reported crashes. Driving is an activity that demands close attention. Not only do drivers need to watch what they’re doing, but they also have to keep an eye on other drivers and road conditions.

“We urge the residents of California to contact their legislators and voice opposition to this proposal,” said Cole. “This is a no-brainer: drivers should be looking at the road - NOT at an advertisement on another vehicle's license plate.”
USRider provides roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its members through the Equestrian Motor Plan. It includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance and lockout services, plus towing up to 100 miles and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals and more. For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit online or call (800) 844-1409.

For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at

Tevis: We're Looking For Volunteers!

July 2, 2010

Be the proud owner of a 2010 Volunteer Tevis T-shirt!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Tevis Cup Ride, and we are so appreciative of everyone who helps out each year. About 800 people participate each year on Ride Day - a ratio of about four per rider! Being a volunteer is fun, adventurous, exciting - and you get a commemorative t-shirt!

This year we need your help!

Check the Latest News Bulletin page for postings by Ride/Checkpoint Officials who may actively be recruiting for volunteers. If you are uncertain which type of assistance you would like to offer, take a look at the list of functions shown in Ride Organization page of this site. If you know what you'd like to do, or if you just want to help wherever needed, fill out our online Volunteer Sign-up form.

Thanks for your help!
Mike Pickett
2010 Ride Director

For further information, see the Tevis Cup page at:

Friday, July 02, 2010

Heraldic And Crandell Make A Triumphant Return At Old Dominion 100 - Full Article

June 24 2010
By: Coree Reuter

After a potentially career-ending injury, John Crandell’s mount is back at the top of his game.

“He’s a freak of nature,” John Crandell III said of Heraldic after winning his sixth and Heraldic’s second Old Dominion 100 on June 12 in Orkney Springs, Va. “He’s not the easiest personality in the world to get along with, but physically, athletically, he’s a freak of nature. That’s the best way to describe him. He’s just athletic in every way you can imagine.”

Crandell, 48, was the first to finish in the 100-mile race, crossing the line in 13:32:58, and claimed the AERC best condition award and Old Dominion Trophy. About 13 minutes later, Sandra Conner and Elegant Pride finished second in 13:45:23. Crandell’s wife, Ann, finished third aboard HH Saba Shams in 14:30:26.

“This is his forté because he just has endless adrenaline,” said John...

Read more here:

How to get to the World Equestrian Games

Horsebytes blog - Monica Bretherton

July 1 2010

"He's a rock star!" I said.

Chris Martin grinned in agreement.

His face took a more reflective cast as he acknowledged his good
fortune, "He's a once-in-a-lifetime horse."

After my burst of enthusiasm, I felt a twinge of unease. Several horses I had been rooting for were already out of the ride. I glanced over at Monk, who was standing, one hoof cocked, outside the EZ-up canopy that sheltered his crew from the high desert sun. He had the physical attributes - a deep chest, short back, a strong hind end, straight, well angled legs and sturdy feet - a structure that had carried rider Lindsey Graham through the first three loops of the selection trials for the US Endurance team for the Western region. No obvious reason to worry there.

"The hardest thing is finding ways to get him fit," Chris said. He ponies Monk off a Quad, but that alone isn't enough.

Unlike a racetrack conditioner, Chris is not limited to workouts on a
level surface and uses the steep hills near his home for mounted
workouts too. "I'm 190 pounds," he pointed out. Even so, he has
trouble driving Monk's heart rate up into the zones that are
considered cardio-building. He has done most of the conditioning on
Monk, hauls him to rides, takes pictures and promotes him through his
blog - a combination trainer and stage dad...

Read more here: