Wednesday, July 27, 2011

North American Junior & Young Rider Championships begin today - Full Article

Top young equestrians in five disciplines compete this week at the Kentucky Horse Park.
July 27, 2011

Up-and-coming riders from dressage, endurance, eventing, show jumping and reining are competing today through Sunday at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC). Teams and individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 come from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean Islands and all regions on the United States.

The NAJYRC began as a Canadian/American eventing competition in 1974. Dressage and show jumping were added in the early 1980s and reining joined the competition in 2008. This year marks the first NAJYRC that includes an endurance championship. Para-dressage is also featured this year as a non-championship event...

More, with video:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NAJYRC Stars on the Rise at the Kentucky Horse Park

Release: July 26 2011
Author: Brian Sosby

Lexington, KY - It's "all hands on deck" as the final touches are being made and the horses and riders are arriving at the Kentucky Horse Park for what has become a celebrated annual event - the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North. And for the 2011 competition, there are some exciting additions to this highly-regarded series of international championships.

In addition to championships being contested in dressage, eventing, and show jumping, for the first time at the NAJYRC, the discipline of endurance will contest a CEI4* 100-mile championship race (a CEI2* 75-mile, non-championship race will also be run concurrently). Additionally, reining, which joined the championships in 2008 for the first time, will have two divisions for the first time in 2011. Non-championship events will also take place in the form of a vaulting demonstration during the Opening Ceremonies and a pair of para-dressage freestyles prior to the dressage freestyle championships on Saturday.

In all, some 250 riders spanning six countries have made the pilgrimage to the Kentucky Horse Park to battle for medals. Among them include:

•174 riders from the U.S. (57 dressage, 19 endurance, 39 eventing, 52 jumping, 7 reining)
•59 riders from Canada (21 dressage, 3 endurance, 9 eventing, 12 jumping, 14 reining)
•10 riders from Mexico (3 endurance, 3 jumping, 4 reining)
•2 riders from Columbia (endurance)
•1 rider from Germany (endurance)
•1 rider from Spain (endurance)

Endurance - CEI2*
U.S. Central (Sophie Bashir, McKinzie Flanagan, Kelsey Kimbler, and McCamey Kimbler)
U.S. Northeast (Meghan Delp, Katherine Gardener, Forest Green, Steven Hay, Liz Morgan, and Alayna Wagner)
U.S. Pacific South (Frances Chase-Dunn)
U.S. Southeast (Mallory Capps and Cassandra Roberts)
Canada (Jessica Yavis and Emma Webb)
Columbia (Francisco Quintana Barrera and Camilo Andres Villa)
Germany (Pauline Wadewitz)
Mexico (Mariana Meixueiro Guzman, Gabriel Mendoza Gagnier, and Christopher Ugarte)
Spain (Maira Capdevila de Chopitea)

Endurance - CEI4*
U.S. Central (Devan Horn)
U.S. Mountain (Jessica DiCamillo)
U.S. Northeast (Kyle Gibbon and Lindsay Bean)
U.S. Southeast (Mary Kathryn Clark and Kelsey Russell)
Canada (Lee Hutten)

NAJYRC: Canadian Endurance Riders Set to Compete

July 25 2011

Endurance Canada is pleased to announce the riders representing Canada at the 2011 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Riders Championships. Presented by Gotham North, these Championships will be held July 27–31 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Riders will compete for top honours in two divisions—NAJYRC-CH 4* FEI Championship, where horses must be eight-years-old or older and the CEIJY 2* Championship, where horses must be six-years-old or older. All riders must be qualified to enter a CEI2*

Lee Hutton of Chesterville, ON, riding I Bee Jazzin, her own 10-year-old Anglo Arabian mare, will compete in the NAJYRC-CH 4* FEI Championship race.

Competing in the CEIJY 2* Championship race is Jessica Yavis of Winfield, AB, riding Kit, a 10-year-old Arabian cross gelding owned by Jaye Yavis, and Emma Webb of Flesherton, ON, who will ride Nancy Beacon’s CWM Felen Zillary, a seven-year-old Arabian cross gelding.

All three riders will also compete together in the team competition as all 4* entries will be considered entered in the 2*, and eligible to be on 2* teams and win 2* awards.

July 28, 2011 - Jog
July 29, 2011 - Race day
July 30, 2011 - Endurance Team Medals and Best Conditioned Horse

The North American Junior/Young Riders’ Championships are held annually under the rules of the Federation Equestre Internationale—the international governing body for equestrian sport. The 2011 competition hosts the Olympic disciplines of eventing, dressage and show jumping as well as FEI disciplines of reining and endurance. Many of the world’s top event riders, including many Olympic gold medalists, began their careers at the NAJYRC.

For more information on NAJYRC, please visit

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Entries for North American Jr/Young Rider Championship Announced

July 24 2011

Entries have been announced for the North American Junior/Young Rider FEI Regional Endurance Championship 4* & CEI 2* to be held on Friday July 29, 2011 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky

Sponsored by Equine Monitors and Distance Depot, the Endurance Championship will be held in conjuntion with the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North July 27-31.

The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, age 14-21. Young equestrians come from the United States, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance. The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport, and is the only FEI championship held annually on this continent.

Entries and updates on the ride can be seen at

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Endurance Ride to take place in Bridger Valley this weekend - Full Article

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2011


Pioneer Sports Reporter

Horseback riders in Uinta county will have a chance to compete in the �I Know You Rider� endurance ride this weekend in Bridger Valley.

�This is our first, hopefully, annual endurance ride that we have managed,� said Beth Beuzis, Ride Manager.

She said the event, sanctioned American Endurance Riders Conference and the Arabian Horse Association, will be held on Friday and Saturday.

"We have a 15-mile loop on the BLM which is good, two track footing. It's a little bit rough, but not bad. It's really sandy footing," she said.

Beuzis said the event would be open to all ages, though junior riders (age 16 and under) are required to wear helmets as per AERC rules and regulations.

"There are rides all over nationally through the American Endurance Riders Conference. They sanction the rides, and keep track of a horse's mileage and rider's mileage. They give awards for milestones that are reached," she said..

Read more here:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

To finish is to win for these horseback riders

Nancy Haughian of Grande Prairie gives her 13-year-old horse named Buckaroo a cooling bath after completing their 50-mile endurance race on July 16 at Horse Creek Ranch. - Full Article

Horse Creek Ranch hosts endurance race that covers 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles
Jul 19, 2011 06:00 am | Chris Ribau

Endurance riders have been descending on a secluded ranch just east of Fort Assiniboine for the past four years.

The annual Horse Creek Ranch Endurance Ride brings out riders of all ages to compete in either a 25-, 50-, 75- or 100-mile endurance race.

"Our motto is 'to finish is to win.' Your first goal when you do an endurance race is to finish it. You're taking your horse and you're spending a lot of time with them, and you're trying to ensure your horse finishes the race healthy," said ride organizer Brenda Henrikson.

The fun race is competitive, but the primary focus is horse husbandry and looking after the horse out on the trails.

"Endurance races require a lot of horse conditioning. You just don't go out and decide I'm going to ride 50 miles today. It takes months and months of conditioning to get them to that point," said Henrikson.

The allure of endurance races comes in the form of the close contact a rider has with their horse for hours on end, the competition and the speed...

Read more here:

Still Time for Ranch Riders in Endurance Competition - Full Article

By Milo Dailey BCP staff Rapid City Journal | Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BELLE FOURCHE - Three days of horse endurance ride competition is scheduled for the BLM-administered Fort Meade Recreation Area located east of Sturgis, July 29 through 31, 2011.

The primary camping areas at Alkali Creek Recreation Site and Alkali Horse Camp have been reserved for event participants from July 27 through Aug. 1.

The Centennial Trail Fort Meade Trailhead will be used as an event staging area and veterinary check-point on all three days. The public is invited to watch the competition. There will be 25 and 50 mile events on Friday and Sunday; on Saturday there will be 30, 55 and 75 mile events.

Kerry Greear of Whitewood is ride manager.

It's not the first modern endurance ride in the Fort Meade area where once the U.S. Cavalry trained on maneuvers and trail riding.

Greear calls the combination of events the Fort Meade Remount Ride.

"The idea for the ride at this site came from my mom, Millie Humphrey, an avid horse and mule rider who rode cavalry horses in this area in the 1940s," she said. "Anyone who loves history will love riding The Remount."

"The last time we had it two years ago, we had people from 17 states, Germany and Canada," Greear said of the potential turnout. "I am planning to have 50 riders a day..."

Read more here:

Road to NAJYRC - Endurance - Post 1 - Devan Horn

7/19/2011 By: Devan Horn

My name is Devan Horn, and I am an 18-year-old Endurance competitor from Kingwood, Texas. This will be my third year competing in the Young Rider Endurance event held annually in July, but as this is the first time we’ve been welcomed into the official Championship FEI event, this year is certainly special! I’m helped along this path by my loving parents, (Mom who pays, Dad who crews!), my friends, and my mentor, boss, and friend Darolyn Butler-who’s amazing horses I ride in all of my competitions. DJB Sameil and I have definitely worked hard to get here, and are looking forward to proving ourselves, and our sport, worthy of notice!

To qualify for the Endurance 4 Star event, my horse and I had to meet the standard age criteria, and qualify through other FEI competitions. We both had to have 3 events ranked 2 star or higher, and for endurance riders, that means a lot of miles! Endurance riders at this competition will have at least 200 competitive miles to their names, and many of us have a lot more. And honestly, that is only a drop in the bucket compared to our conditioning hours (yesterday, Sameil and I got in a good 5 hours of continuous, slow flatwork on our Texas trails). Our journey began at last year’s Young Rider competition, where Central Team earned the silver medal. I decided right then and there to start planning for next year’s ride!

But what started out as an easy process (get qualified and go!) turned into a wild ride. My barn was furnishing 4 horses to compete in the 2011 World Equestrian Games, and it became our job to obtain the qualifying rides for our overseas clients. Completely by accident, I obtained a Certificate of Completion on Sam, whom I was qualifying for Mauricio Gaitan, a Columbian rider in the WEG. When my main endurance horse, whom I had planed to compete on this year , was sold by my farm, I found myself only qualified for the 4 Star competition on Sam! Glad to have a horse to compete on, I transferred all of my plans and attention to him.

And then things got even better! I was granted the opportunity to attend the Test Event in Euston Park, England-the Pre-WEG, a week before Young Riders. I found out that USEF was going to allow me to go and represent America about a week ago, and have been scrambling ever since. Sam’s conditioning has been thrown into overdrive, the trailer’s being scrubbed and readied, and my whole team is rushing to get everything done-because I’ll be flying directly from the Pre-WEG into Lexington for Young Riders! My trainer, Darolyn, will be attending as well in both locations, and we’re both working hard to ensure everything runs smoothly. These days have been full of frantic packing for both events, and tons of preparation. With all the hard work out of the way, Sam and I are concentrating on having fun and enjoying ourselves before the race!

Photo: Completing last year's Young Rider Endurance championship on DJB Deste Jazzman. Photo provided by Devan Horn.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Flett and Bandit are quite a pair - Full Article

July 19 2011

Siskiyou County —

Montague V Bandit is a tall (16:2 hand) 11-year-old bay Arabian Gelding who, together with his partner, Laura Flett, have entered and completed 200 miles of 50-mile endurance races.

The American Endurance Rider’s Conference (AERC) sanctions endurance races all over the United States. To enter a race the horse first must pass a pre-ride Veterinary check in which they are examined for heart, capillary refill, respiratory, hydration, muscle tone, leg soundness, lack of back soreness, gut sounds and general attitude. The rider is given a ride card (much like a report card) grading all of the above which must be presented throughout the ride and upon completion. A problem in any of the above areas may result in horse and rider being “pulled” from the ride.

Very early the following morning, the race is underway and has been flagged in advance by the ride committee. The rides are “very beautiful,” Flett said, and consist of a course that will lead the horse and rider to a number of veterinary checks along the way.

At each check, the horse must first have a recovery heart rate of 60 beats per minute at which time a mandatory hold time of 15 or 30 minutes up to one hour starts. During that time the horse must again pass another thorough vet check, similar to the pre-ride check, have food and water, cool down and then be ready to leave on the next loop. Thus, a horse that is fast on the trail and fast to recover in heart rate tends to make its way to the front of the pack. Fitness is obviously key. Any horse not fit to continue is immediately “pulled” by the staff of veterinarians (or in some cases by rider option).

Upon completion of the ride and a final vet check, the top 10 finishers are then checked for the “Best Condition” award. The AERC motto is “To Finish is to Win”. Riders tend to help one another when in trouble and find a niche of horses that have a similar traveling speed throughout the day. In a 50-mile race, the finish time can be as soon as five hours of riding. If horse and rider have not crossed the finish line by the 12-hour mark then the team is “pulled” for overtime. One hundred mile rides generally allow 24 hours for completion.

Whiskeytown Chaser
In April, Bandit and Laura completed the Whiskeytown Chaser in the mountains surrounding Whiskeytown Lake, riding in with a Redding horse four minutes off of the first place time for a tie for second place and a ride time of 7 hours 14 minutes...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Easycare Announces the Much-Anticipated Launch of the New Easyboot Glove Wide

July 13 2011
Tucson, Arizona

EasyCare announced today the much-anticipated launch of the new Easyboot Glove Wide.

"This is the perfect time to bring this boot to market," said Garrett Ford, president and CEO of EasyCare. "Since its launch in 2009, the Easyboot Glove has proved itself as the most reliable horse hoof boot in the world. The addition of the new Easyboot Glove Wide caters to the horse whose feet are wider than long."

A limited number of boots will be available directly from EasyCare starting on August 1, 2011, with a second wave of product becoming available by the end of that month.

"We've spent a lot of time working with our customers and our worldwide dealer network in order to properly understand the size and shape of hooves in this market segment," said Brian Mueller, EasyCare's director of sales. "The dimensions of this boot have been determined through analysis of a massive database of hoof profiles."

The Glove Wide is available in half sizes from 0 through 3.

Review the Easyboot Glove Wide size chart to see if this boot is for your horse.

Place your Easyboot Glove Wide order online or call our one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-447-8836. Customers who wish to purchase this boot should place their orders immediately.

For more information on horse hoof boots, please visit the EasyCare website and the EasyCare blog. For questions from dealers, please contact Brian Mueller , Director of Sales. For all additional questions, contact Kevin Myers, Director of Marketing.

EasyCare Inc. Vision: We will be the global innovator in hoof care solutions that enhance the horse/human relationship.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Problem Solving Horse Clinic to Benefit Monument Fire Victims

Heidi Vanderbilt is hosting a benefit clinic on July 23 in Benson, Arizona, for victims of the Monument fire that burned the mountains near Sierra Vista last month. That fire and others in the area affected a lot of endurance riders, some of whom had to evacuate. Many of their conditioning trails burned--some are still smoldering. The clinic is to help all victims of the fire, especially evacuated and abandoned horses. Some of the horse rescues burned. Some folks had to leave their animals behind.

The benefit at LuckyPup Ranch is in the form of a clinic (see flyer link). Five trainers will work with horses and owners on any problems they have. The trainers are each donating about 30 hours (!) over five clinic dates to help out. We also have wonderful items donated for raffles--Kevin Meyers  and Easyboot have donated FOUR PAIRS of boots! --with more items coming.

If anyone wants to donate items to raffle or sell, or donate money to help with feed, it will be appreciated.

Heidi Vanderbilt

Riders4Helmets to host 2nd Helmet Safety Symposium

July 11 2011

Helmet Safety Topics to be Discussed by Leading Equestrians and Representatives from Equestrian Organizations and Corporations.

Lexington, KY (July 11th, 2011)—The popular helmet awareness campaign Riders4Helmets will be hosting the 2nd Riders4Helmets Helmet Safety Symposium on July 23rd, 2011, at the Kentucky Horse Park (theater room), Lexington, KY, from 8.30am to 5pm. The symposium is being sponsored by Tipperary, Troxel Helmets, Charles Owen, Samshield, Ovation, Equestrian Professional and the Equestrian Aid Foundation.

The Helmet Safety Symposium has been organized to bring together representatives from various corners of the equestrian world to discuss the importance of wearing helmets, rider safety and to improve helmet designs, rules and more. The event will provide a series of lectures and panel discussions throughout the day. Many in attendance will also sit on the panels, including equestrians, representatives from the helmet safety testing authorities, helmet manufacturers, equestrian organizations, and neurosurgeons. The hosts of the meeting will be Dr. Craig Ferrell, physician to the United States Equestrian Team and Chair FEI Medical Council, and, Lyndsey White, co-founder Riders4Helmets.

“We are very excited to be hosting the 2nd Riders4Helmets Helmet Safety Symposium and to see it continue to expand,” said Lyndsey White, co-founder Riders4Helmets. "Since US Olympian Courtney King Dye’s accident in 2010, awareness of the importance of helmets has grown significantly and we are delighted to be bringing together individuals, corporations and organizations all in one place, to continue important discussions of equestrian safety related to helmets.”

Symposium topics will include the following: Expect The Unexpected, A Parents Perspective On Helmets, Traumatic Brain Injury in Equestrian Sport, Helmet Use In Equestrian Sports – We Are ALL Role Models, A Strapping Success: Understanding and Promoting Helmet Use with Performance Psychology, Current Helmet Rules – A Discussion, and, Cowboy Hat To Cowboy Helmet: The Transition. Speakers include: Equestrian Sports Psychology Consultant Tonya Johnston, Neurosurgeon Lola Chambless M.D, Barrel Racing and Extreme Mustang Makeover Competitor Mary Miller Jordan, USEF CEO John Long, and, a special video presentation by US Olympian Courtney King Dye. To view the full symposium agenda and speakers, please visit

A fashion show sponsored by Equisafety and Equestrian Collections will be held during the lunch break of the symposium. Models will wear items from the UK based Equisafety high-viz apparel range, in addition to the Riders4Helmets logo wear collection available through equestrian retailer Equestrian Collections.

Attendance to the symposium is open to any member of the public, but individuals who plan to attend are requested to either pre-register in advance, or, will need to register upon arrival at the symposium. To pre-register, please visit

For information on sponsoring the Helmet Safety Symposium, or, for more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign, visit or contact You can also follow the campaign at and Riders4Helmets logo wear is available for purchase at with all proceeds supporting the campaign.

Riders4Helmets was founded in early 2010 after Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye was seriously injured in a riding accident. King Dye, who remained in a coma for a month following her accident, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and continues to undergo rehabilitation. The goal of the Riders4Helmets Campaign is to educate equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitted and secured, certified helmet.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Wanted: Your Problem Horse

Stephenville, Texas (July 8, 2011) – Are you fed up, frustrated or downright scared of your horse’s disrespectful behavior and bad habits? Clinician Clinton Anderson is on the hunt for the country’s worst problem horses to showcase on his award-winning television show “Downunder Horsemanship” that airs on Fox Sports Net and RFD-TV. Whether your horse is dangerous on the ground, reckless under saddle or uncontrollable on the trail, Clinton wants to help – for free!

We are specifically looking for horses with the following problems:

On the Ground and Under Saddle:

* Bites
* Can’t Worm
* Aggressive in the Stall
* Afraid of Fly Spray
* Aggressive at Feed Time
* Can’t Blanket
* Spooky
* Kicks out when Groomed
* Bathing Problems
* Leading Problems
* Can’t Handle Legs
* Won’t Stand Still for Mounting
* Head Shy
* Buddy/Barn Sour
* Hard to Bridle
* Arena Sour
* Pulls Back when Tied Up
* Bolts
* Hard to Catch
* Rears
* Trailering Problems
* Cinchy/Saddling Problems
* Afraid of Clippers
* Can’t Give Vaccinations
* Won’t Stop
* Won’t Go Forward

On the Trail:

* Trouble Crossing Obstacles – Water, Logs, Gullies, Bridges, etc.
* Spooky at Objects – Other Animals, Vehicles, etc.
* Bites other Horses
* Kicks out at other Horses
* Races Ahead when Ridden in a Group
* “Fresh” when Ridden on Trails
* Jigging
* Grass Snatching

Selected horses and their owners will be invited to the Downunder Horsemanship Ranch in Stephenville, Texas to work one-on-one with Clinton while cameras roll. Renowned for his step-by-step instruction, no nonsense approach to horsemanship and ability to get inside a horse’s mind, Clinton has worked with thousands of horses and their owners to help them build a mutually safe and enjoyable partnership.

To apply, visit the Downunder Horsemanship website and click on the “Problem Horse TV Application” link on the lower right hand of the screen. All applications must be accompanied with a short video illustrating the horse’s problem at its worst. The better able you are to catch your horse’s dangerous behavior in action, the better chance you have of getting Clinton’s help at no cost to yourself. Act quickly, only a selected number of horses will be chosen for this unique opportunity.

To hear Clinton explain what he’s looking for, follow this link

No phone calls please. Only applicants chosen will be contacted.

Riders retrace Pony Express route

Terrell Williams/For the Capital Press
Horse trainer and endurance rider P.J. Blonshine of Gooding, Idaho, is riding her purebred Arabian, Pasha, cross country along the Pony Express route. She says a good endurance horse needs to be strong-willed to be ridden 50 to 100 miles in a day. - Full Article

July 7 2011

Club follows the original trail, participates in races


For the Capital Press

GOODING, Idaho -- In 1860 and 1861, Pony Express riders made a relay run from St. Joseph, Mo., to Sacramento, covering 2,000 miles in nine days and 23 hours.

This month a riding club of 35 riders is on the same trail, feeling the accomplishment -- and pain -- of those hardy, historic mail carriers.

"It's kind of a once-in-a-lifetime deal," said retired businessman Max Merlich of Sandy, Ore., who is riding the cross-county route. "What would possess a person to do something like this, I have no idea. ... The Pony Express only lasted 18 months before telegraphs took over, but there's a huge amount of folklore."

Merlich has read numerous books on the Pony Express era, and was always fascinated by this brief but dramatic events. So he decided to take his endurance riding hobby to a new level.

His riding club, called XP, left from St. Joseph over Memorial Day weekend, and is covering an average of 50 miles a day, five days a week, for about eight weeks.

The ride's manager has worked hard to secure the trails, Merlich said, so the riders can travel on back roads and across wide open space most of the way.

Each rider has a support crew to drive trailers and campers. They are following the original route from Missouri, across Kansas and Nebraska, through Wyoming and Utah, then into Nevada, where the ride will end in Virginia City, since they cannot get permits to continue into California...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

'I love my life as a lady long rider' - Full Article

July 6 2011

Woman talks about her adventures after 16,000 miles in the saddle

KRISTI ALBERTSON/Daily Inter Lake Daily Inter Lake

Even after several years and 16,000 miles on the trail, Bernice Ende isn’t sure why she became a long rider.

She withstands shin splints, horrific weather and swarms of bugs that make the local mosquito population hardly worth mentioning. She has been hungry and thirsty. She has lost four-legged friends along the way.

But Ende has also seen breathtaking places as she, her horses and dog plod across the country. She has been the recipient of boundless generosity more times than she can count. And while she can’t explain why she rides, she knows she’s lucky to get to live a life she loves.

“I’m just captivated by this,” she said. “In my tent it says above my head, ‘I love my life as a lady long rider.’”

Ende shared photos and stories from that life during a recent presentation in Kalispell. About 25 people attended her talk at the Flathead County Library.

That day, Ende had wrapped up her fourth long ride, a 6,000-mile circuit from Trego to Oregon to Texas to Minnesota to Montana. The trip, Ende’s fourth long ride, took two years, three months and 10 days...

Read more here:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Back Country Horsemen of America Welcomes Minnesota Trail Riders as Advocacy Partner

July 5 2011

By Sarah Wynne Jackson

Back Country Horsemen of America is the major advocate for preserving our right to ride horses on public lands. Accomplishing that goal takes a unified effort of pooled resources, networking, and shared information, which is why BCHA created their Advocacy Partnership Program.

Back Country Horsemen of America welcomes the Minnesota Trail Riders Association as their newest Advocacy Partner. MTRA shares BCHA’s mission in promoting, developing, and maintaining trails for equestrian use, and providing assistance to public land managers in the performance of their stewardship responsibilities to provide the public with safe and well-maintained equine trail systems.

Minnesota Trail Riders Association

A statewide 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, MTRA was originally formed in 1978 to identify rides and ride sites sponsored by groups and individuals across Minnesota. Although that communications effort is still an essential mission, the group has since then moved into the promotion of trail development, management, and assistance to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources with the vision of maintaining and gaining trails for riding. All of MTRA’s Officers and Board of Directors donate their time and skills to benefit the organization.

Since 2000 MTRA has channeled over $250,000 to trail and campground maintenance and improvement projects in local, county, state, and national forests and parks. These projects include trail maintenance, erosion control, map printing, trail signing, and campground improvements such as corrals, picnic tables, fire rings, picket lines, electrical hookups, and assistance with new campground development. As an added bonus, MTRA partners with the Minnesota DNR to secure matching funds from the Federal Recreational Trail Program for all MTRA dollars used on trails and campgrounds.

Minnesota Trail Riders Association’s Board of Directors is active with the MN Trail Pass Advisory Committee and Parks & Trails Council. They also work closely with the MN Horse Council and MN DNR. They strive to keep their members updated with current affairs that affect our right to ride horses on public lands. MTRA’s 600 memberships represent families, which translate to over 2000 riders.

MTRA advocated for a long time for the MN Horse Trail Pass, an annual pass for access with horses to any DNR managed lands. Once it was enacted in 2008, they found land managers far easier to work with because there was more money to support the care and maintenance of their park.

Also in 2008, the citizens of Minnesota adopted the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment which authorized 3/8 of one percent of all sales tax revenues for certain environmental concerns such as protecting wildlife habitats and water quality. Of that amount, 14.25% is dedicated to parks and trails.

This funding mechanism is carried outside of the normal conservation efforts sponsored by the legislature. The Minnesota Trail Riders Association sees this as a major step forward in preserving our right to ride horses on public lands.

With the Legacy Fund moneys, MTRA would like to build loops and connecting trails across about 150 miles of the Minnesota River Valley and promote another 150 to 250 miles of DNR managed trails.

MTRA also supports the Minnesota DNR Volunteer Campground Host Program and will work with any forest or park management that would like to have a Campground Host at their facility. Volunteers greet visitors, pass out self-registration envelopes, offer information and trail maps, and help maintain camping and parking areas.

Partner Up

Formed in 2008, BCHA’s Advocacy Partnership Program seeks to share strengths, information, and support with horse groups of any size and any focus, as long as they believe in the mission of preserving trails for horseback riding.

As Advocacy Partners with BCHA, groups have a stronger voice on all issues – local, state, and national. They can also contact the BCHA national office with their concerns and receive advice, support, and information for dealing with right to ride battles in their area.

Partnering with Back Country Horsemen of America makes your group part of a nationwide network of folks who keep up with the happenings that affect your experience as a trail rider. They pass on information and updates to the BCHA national office so this vital information can be dispersed to the rest of the BCHA family and the issues handled in a timely manner.

Advocacy Partners also get a link on BCHA’s popular and informative website; a business card advertisement in BCHA’s quarterly newsletter; and recognition in BCHA’s annual report to the membership. Partners also receive a 25% discount on all advertising in the newsletter or on the website for the first year of partnership, and a 20% discount on all BCHA publications and merchandise.

Back Country Horsemen of America’s Advocacy Partnership Program gives the national organization an increased number of constituents, which broadens their influence and strengthens their voice when working with land management agencies. BCHA hopes the program will additionally expand the volunteer base locally as state BCHA organizations and their chapter’s network with Advocacy Partners in their area and include them in volunteer projects.

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 regarding 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!

For Additional Information Contact: Peg Greiwe
Back Country Horsemen of America