Wednesday, August 24, 2011

USDA Forest Service Announced the Grand Opening Dry Creek Trail System

August 23 2011

Chatsworth, GA — The USDA Forest Service recently announced the grand opening of the 26-mile Dry Creek Trail System on the Chattahoochee National Forest in northwest Georgia. After several years of planning, new trails were built from the ground up to create a safer, more maintainable, and ecologically sustainable trail system from an unplanned network of older trails that did not meet current trail standards. Over $448,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds made a project of the size possible, providing a safer and more satisfying experience for horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers.

According to Chattahoochee-Oconee Forest Supervisor George Bain, “the success of this large trails project would not have been possible were it not for this funding and the involvement of our partners, the Back Country Horsemen of America and others. This partnership is a perfect example of the collaboration the forest is striving for in the management its trails program”. Five miles of old trail were closed and rehabilitated and 26 miles of new trail were surveyed, planned, and constructed.

Five years ago, Larry Wheat, President of the North West Georgia chapter of the BCHA, had the inspiration to design and push forward the development of a new 26 mile Dry Creek trail system. Larry spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours laying out, designing and working with the FS to construct a system that met or exceeded new trail construction requirements.  Larry, with his calm demeanor and in-depth knowledge championed this trail system to success and over the hurdles that such projects encounter.

The public was invited to a grand opening celebration on June 25, 2011. Festivities began at the Dry Creek Trailhead at 11AM. Refreshments were served and free, guided trail rides were offered. The Dry Creek Trail System and the connecting Pinhoti Trail are easy to moderate trails open to hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The large trailhead parking area accommodates horse trailers as well as passenger cars.

Back Country Horsemen of America is a volunteer service organization dedicated to: perpetuating the common sense use and enjoyment of horses in America’s back country and wilderness; working to insure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use; assisting the various government and private agencies in their maintenance and management of said resource; educating, encouraging and soliciting active participation in the wise use of the back country resource by horsemen and the general public commensurate with our heritage; and fostering and encouraging the formation of new state Back Country Horsemen organizations.

Since 1995 BCHA members have contributed over $63 million dollars in volunteer value to the US National Forest Service, the Federal Bureau of Land Management, various state land agencies throughout the US. BCHA is the largest volunteer contributor to federal land management agencies. For more information please visit:
Peg Greiwe
Back Country Horsemen of America

Monday, August 22, 2011

Revised Tevis Application Forms Available

August 22 2011

In consideration of the newly scheduled dates for our 2011 events, participants that have already signed up on the original applications are required to submit a completed Addendum for their respective event. Starting June 1, 2011 only the revised applications of the 2011 Tevis Ride will be considered.

In consideration of the newly scheduled dates for our 2011 events, participants that have already signed up on the original applications are required to submit a completed Addendum for their respective event. Starting June 1, 2011 only the revised applications of the 2011 Tevis Ride will be considered.

An Addendum will be emailed to anyone that has supplied a valid email address to the office, or by mailing address otherwise. Your help in expediting this matter is greatly appreciated.

Anyone with questions is encouraged to phone or email the office. Because our office hours are limited at this time, emails will generally receive a response the same day while phone calls may take up to a week.

The new application and addendum for the Western States 100 mile – 1 day Trail Ride are here:

With just over 6 weeks till the rescheduled Tevis Cup on October 8 2011, 191 riders have pre-registered for the ride as of August 2nd:

2011 Tevis Educational Ride

August 22 2011

This year's educational ride weekend was rescheduled to July 15th-17th and was a great time. There were 43 total participants, all of whom were able to become familiar with the trail and learn about important topics such as shoe padding, equine massage, horseshoeing, saddle fitting and more. Loomis Basin Veterinary Hospital was also there performing an ulcer study providing further awareness regarding ulcers and preventative measures.

The weekend was an educational experience for everyone involved; with the help of 30 guide riders and numerous other volunteers.

A big THANK YOU goes out to all of the sponsors who helped make this weekend possible: Somewhere Over the Rainbow Lodge, Platinum Performance, Inc., EasyCare, Inc., Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center, Echo Valley Ranch, Inc., LMF Horse Feeds, Vettec Hoof Care Products, Ariat International, Foresthill Divide Chamber of Commerce, Foresthill Joe's Coffee House, Subway-Foresthill, Chefs Orlando Sanchez, Red Dirt Saloon, Worton's Market, Triple Crown Nutrition, Inc., and Sypolt Insurance Services, Inc.

To see the weekend's results please click here.

Chief Joseph Trail riders camp out in West Yellowstone - Full Article

Posted: Sunday, August 21, 2011 3:13 pm
By ABBIE TUMBLESON West Yellowstone News

The Appaloosa Horse Club, which acts as the international breed registry, pulled into West Yellowstone on Aug. 5 as the final stop on their annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride.

The annual ride honors The Nez Perce Indians and the Appaloosas that they rode and bred.

Black, brown and white Appaloosas, some speckled and some with solid blocks of colored markings, trekked across a 100-mile segment of the Nez Perce National Historic Trail with 125 riders on horseback. More than 200 members of the club joined the group this year as they covered another leg of the historic trail, beginning at their assembly camp in Spencer, Idaho. The trip is the biggest trail ride the club has each year.

The Nez Perce National Historic Trail begins in Joseph, Ore., near Wallowa Lake and extends more than 1,000 miles, ending at the Bear Paw Battlefield in Chinook, Mont.

Members of the Appaloosa Horse Club started their annual ride 47 years ago in 1965 to recognize the journey made by Chief Joseph and his fellow Nez Perce Indians after the U.S. government attempted to move them from their homelands near Wallowa Lake to a reservation in 1877...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Local Endurance horse races challenge both animals and riders - Full Article

Sunday, August 21, 2011

By Vanessa Grieve - Idaho State Journal

A brief downpour of rain cooled horseback riders as they proceeded to finish the first loop of the Buckskin Challenge Saturday morning.

Event coordinator Kara Yost said the weather was ideal for horses involved in the 25-mile or 50-mile endurance races west of Pocatello that started in Buckskin Canyon.

“We don’t have a lot of endurance races around here,” Yost said. “We’re hoping to build up interest.”

Participants came from Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Oregon. Yost said 20 people competed in the 50-mile event and about 20 competed in the 25-mile event.

After losing her horse, Firth’s Peggy Taysom abstained from endurance riding for several years. This year she participated in the 25-mile event with her gelding, Maynard.

This was her third endurance race.

“It was hard. It was really hard,” Taysom said...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

West Nile Virus Confirmed in California, Nevada Horses - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
August 12 2011, Article # 18674

The 2011 mosquito-borne disease season continues to affect horse owners across the country. The most recent reports indicate Hthat a horse in California and a horse in Nevada have both tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

In 2010, the USDA's National Animal Health Surveillance System reported 125 confirmed cases of WNV in 28 states.

According to the California West Nile Virus Website (produced by the California Department of Public Health, the University of California Davis Center for Vectorborne Diseases, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California), a horse in Los Angeles county recently became the first horse in the state to be confirmed WNV-positive in 2011.

Additionally, a horse in Lyon County, Nev., was confirmed WNV-positive by the Nevada Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory earlier this week...

Read more here:

Endurance horseman completes Pony Express ride
Reported by Emily Schwing on August 15th, 2011 in In-depth Local News

Boise, ID – After a near 2000-mile horseback ride on the Pony Express Trail, Idaho resident Tom Noll is back home.

It took eight weeks for Noll and his two horses to cross prairie, mountains, and desert in eight states. Back in May, he said the trip took more than a year’s worth of planning. I sat down with Noll to talk about his journey.

Read Tom Noll’s email dispatches here:

Listen to Emily's interview with Tom here:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reining in my competitive spirit at Fireworks 50 - Full Article

August 12 2011
Julie Jag

Like in most races I enter, I had no designs on winning Saturday's Fireworks 50-mile endurance ride. Unlike the rest, I actually had a chance this time.

The route for the 38th running of this marathon horse race wound through trails in Henry Cowell State Park, the Pogonip, UC Santa Cruz and Wilder Ranch State Park, giving me the home field advantage. Furthermore, my steed -- an Arabian-mustang cross named Courage, who was loaned to me for the ride by my friend Steve Shaw -- was in excellent shape, thanks mainly to the conditioning he got while competing in ride-and-tie races all summer.

Most pertinent to our chances at winning, however, was that, unlike me, Courage actually possesses endurance, heart and speed -- qualities I have discovered to be universally held by athletes who win races.

But we weren't going to win. Steve had made that very clear.

If I wanted to continue to ride Courage after this race, I needed to stay in Steve's good graces, and he had warned me that he didn't want me going out and trying to win my very first 50-mile endurance race. But, then again, he didn't want me to soil the horse's reputation in the endurance world by taking last either.

So, in the first race I could actually win, we agreed I was instead going to aim for 10th.

It didn't take long to figure out that in a field of 50 riders, taking 10th was going to be harder than going for the gusto...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hay Shortage Hits Texas - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
August 05 2011, Article # 18643

As Texas residents battle extreme drought conditions, horse owners are struggling to get their hands on enough hay to feed their animals.

"The drought is quite widespread and covers nearly the entire state," said Dennis H. Sigler, PhD, a professor in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and the TAMU Extension Horse Specialist. "Although some areas are much worse than others, all but just a couple of counties out of 254 are under a severe drought, with little relief in sight."

Added Travis Miller, professor and associated head of the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at TAMU and Extension Program Leader, "We are experiencing the most severe one-year drought in Texas history. June 2011 was the warmest June and the fifth warmest month is our history of recorded weather. July 2011 set the record for the warmest month in recorded Texas history. While we made some good hay in 2010, our hay barns were empty from a very severe drought in 2009. We have been feeding livestock since October, and 2010 hays supplies are gone."

For area horse owners, this means having to make tough decisions, dig deep into resources to find hay to purchase and deep in their pockets to pay for the forage they've found...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monmouth Employee to Compete in Mongol Derby - Full Article

25 July 2011

Last summer, when Sophia Mangalee read a story on about the winner of the 2010 Mongol Derby, she was more than intrigued and entertained. She was inspired.

“I was 100% convinced from the minute I saw (the article) that I would do that race,” said Mangalee, 28, the marketing manager of Monmouth Park. “I thought about it for about a week before I applied, and every night I was having all these dreams of galloping my pony across the Mongolian steppe.”

Mangalee’s aspirations are coming to fruition sooner than she thought. After being accepted as one of the 26 entrants and one of only three Americans in the race, Mangalee began a year-long preparation for the biggest adventure of her life.

The Mongol Derby, a 1,000 km (about 600 miles) horse race across the wilderness of the Mongolian steppe is described on its website as “the longest, toughest horse race in the world.”

While Mangalee has been riding horses the majority of her life, she will have to get accustomed to the semi-wild Mongolian horses on which she will be traveling during her 10-day journey, which begins Aug. 6...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Endurance Riding: Endurance Riding North America’s fastest-growing equestrian sport is truly a family affair - Full Article

by Judy Andrekson

What is a dream vacation for endurance racing veteran Carol Wadey and her family? Traveling with three horses over 5,000 miles in three weeks to race together on 250 miles of some of the most spectacular trails in Canada and the United States. Sticking closer to home, but enjoying equally beautiful scenery and camaraderie, Mavis Holroyd and her 14-year-old son, Scott, have ridden as a team for the past seven years and have formed an unbreakable bond while racing over 1,000 miles of Alberta’s endurance trails. Between them, these two families have raced over 4,000 miles, regionally, nationally and internationally, and it has been mostly just for fun.

Endurance racing is one of the world’s fastest growing equestrian sports, and with all it has to offer, there is little doubt why. It is an ‘anybody’ sport – there are no age limits, no breed restrictions, no dress code (except for approved helmets for juniors), and no special tack is required. It is becoming very popular as a family sport. It is challenging and exciting, but serious accidents are rare, trails are usually well marked and easy to follow, and it is one of the only equestrian sports that is strictly monitored by veterinarians – the horse’s well-being comes first at all times. Riders of all ages learn excellent horsemanship skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship as they test themselves and their tough mounts against 25, 50, and even 100 miles of rugged trail. Surprisingly, even the youngest of riders quickly become hooked on this challenging sport, making it a perfect family affair.

For ten-year-old Rae-Anne Wadey and her seven-year-old sister, Robyn, endurance racing has always been a part of their lives...

Read more here:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Horses, riders forge distance bonds at Firework 50 - Full Article

By Vidur Malik
Posted: 08/07/2011

SANTA CRUZ -- The first time Ruth-Diane Trefethen rode in the Fireworks 25 & 50 Endurance Ride, a long-distance equestrian event, in 1985, she was too tired to enjoy the music of the live band playing after the race.

But after winning the 28th running of the race on Saturday, the 69-year-old from Mariposa said she would dance to the sounds of "Bluegrass By Default" -- the very same band that played after her first race some 26 years ago.

Trefethen didn't show any signs of fatigue after this race, though it came nearly three decades and one knee replacement after her first one.

"Tired is in the mind," she said after her victory with a purebred Arabian nicknamed Peekaboo.

While the more skilled or competitive participants rode the 50-mile course, those who wanted to train their horses for longer runs or were simply looking for a long, relaxing trot took part in the recreational 25-mile course. Riders who finished in the middle or end of the 50-mile pack received awards, while all 25-mile riders left with prizes for themselves and their horses.

"It's pretty inclusive so that every rider has a chance to do well," said Debbie Boscoe, an organizer for the event. "It's not just how fast you go."

The race, which had about 100 participants according to Boscoe, is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, and was created by members of the Santa Cruz County Horsemen's Association who wanted to ride on the town's scenic trails...

Read more here:

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Sandy man talks about joining Pony Express ride re-enactment

Berenice Tynan photo - Full Article

August 5 2011
By Special to The Oregonian The Oregonian
Berenice Tynan

On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express rider left St. Joseph, Mo., with the U.S. mail in his saddle pack, heading for California. A hundred and fifty-one years later, on May 24, 2011, Max Merlich of Sandy, along with 35 other riders, left St. Joseph to re-enact that maiden ride and pay homage to those hardy pioneers.

"I've been asked why I would take on such a trip," Merlich said on his return to Sandy two months later. "I can only say it was the experience of a lifetime."

The 21st-century riders covered 250 miles each week as they rode through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. California was the final stop on the original Pony Express route, but the state denied permits for the modern ride because the route went through wilderness terrain.

"We traveled along the original route through plains, deserts and over mountains as much as possible," Merlich said, "and stopped at the few Pony Express stations still standing." Time and civilization have obliterated much of the trail and stations.

Merlich traveled the 1,900-mile route with a support crew that included his ride partner, Dave Rabe; a lady wrangler; two farriers; a veterinarian; a mechanic for the pickups that followed; and a massage therapist, plus two mules and one horse...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 04, 2011

This Week in International Disciplines

4 August 2011

Euston, England- U.S. endurance rider Heather Reynolds stepped up and took the win at the 100-km Endurance Test Event Pre-Ride for the 2012 World Endurance Championship in Eustone Park, England, on July 24, 2011. Reynolds guided Opium Lord in the FEI CEI2* to cross the finish line in a time of 5 hours: 26 minutes: 03 seconds, averaging 22.45 km/hr. She was followed only eight seconds later by the United Arab Emirates Khalifa Ghanem Al Marri riding Taita. Team USA's Cheryl Van Deusen finished in 20th place aboard Dacora in a time of 8 hours: 23 minutes: 37 seconds. Thirty-eight riders started, 21 finished and 17 were eliminated during the ride.

In the 160-km race, Team USA's Becky Hart crossed the finish line in 13th place aboard Oued El Kebir Larzac, averaging 18.33 km/hr on a time of 8 hours: 43 minutes: 57 seconds.

For more information, visit, or for additional results.

Coast-to-coast horseback ride honors wounded warriors - Full Article

By Craig Sterrett

Magnolia resident Laurie Glenn was more than happy to provide a nice place to stay for a group of hot, tired men and women on a coast-to-coast horseback ride.
On Sunday, the five riders raising money and awareness for the Wounded Warriors Project had pitched tents and spent the night in a barrel-racing ring near downtown Wenona beside their horses, trailer and donated U-Haul truck carrying feed, water and all their gear. Often in their 3,000-mile trip that started June 10 at King George, Va., they’ve stayed in parks or behind churches where there’s grass for horses.
Glenn received a call from a friend, Claudette Halloran, who had told the group they might be able to stop for the night Monday near Magnolia at Glenn’s place, where she has four horses and six dogs. Glenn gladly opened her doors to the group to give them a chance to clean up and get inside into air conditioning. She offered a pasture for grazing for the horses, and offered the riders some grub.
“I didn’t feed them. They brought their own tonight,” Glenn said.
One of the riders, 20-year Army veteran Mike Proscia — a genuine wounded warrior who was in vehicles or injured nine different times in roadside bomb explosions in Iraq — cooked supper for the group. He made red beans and rice by adding more rice and Cajun seasonings to a previous batch of chili, but appreciated Glenn’s hospitality nonetheless.
“We’re really lucky Laurie volunteered to let us stay out here tonight,” Proscia said.
The group has been trying to ride as far as 20-25 miles per day. Usually three riders are on the road at a time, with the other two driving the van that pulls the horses in the trailer to keep them fresh.
Proscia’s goal is to make it the entire trip as a rider or driver to Camp Pendleton near San Diego, Calif...

Read more here:

Thistle Down Run horse event slated Aug. 20-21 near Frazee

August 3 2011

The Thistle Down Run endurance horse run will be held Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 20-21 near Frazee. There will be camping and endurance rides throughout the weekend.

Camping is available for $25 a night or $20 a night with two or more night's stay. Early camping is available so call ahead. There is a 15-mile novice ride for locals who would like to try the sport.

Local landowners Les and Pat Kertscher, Ron Kertscher, Vinton and Joyce Vogler and Scott and Lisa Piche have donated their land use for the Thistle Down Run for four years. There is hard work involved behind the scenes of the run including grooming the trails and keeping it new and exciting each year.

Location: Coming from the east on US Hwy 10 - 3 miles west of first Frazee exit/State Hwy rest area. Coming from the west on US Hwy 10 - 5.5 miles east of the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn. Site is right off the highway on south side and will be marked. Info: Teresa and Dale Fett or Sandy Fett, 320-247-0433, or

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Mary and her accomplished Arabians 'endure' - Full Article

By Mary Sikes Fields | Special to the Index

In Mineral Wells, Texas, a sea of Quarter Horses, there is a small Arabian island south of town. Our family moved here in 1993, when I began training my first gelding for endurance (50- and 100-mile rides). We entered our first 25-mile ride in 1995 and our first 50 in 1996.

Vincent Keis wrote the first article in the Mineral Wells Index about my Arabian gelding, Christiansen, aka, Pippy, in May of 1997. Pippy had just won Reserve Champion Purebred in the Region IX Texas Bluebonnet Classic Championship Endurance Ride, held in Decatur. My goal was to complete the Western States Trail Ride, aka, Tevis Cup Ride, in California in 1998.

Pippy’s accomplishments were chronicled in the Index by Lela Abernathy and Craig Holamon over the ensuing years. We completed the Tevis Cup ride in August of 1998. He was chosen to be part of the United States Equestrian Team, Central Zone, to compete in the North American Endurance Championship in Canada in 1999. We went to the National Championship Endurance Ride in 2000. He placed in the top five in the Region IX Endurance Championship again in 2001. For each of six consecutive years, 1997-2002, Pippy placed in the Region IX top 10 for the year in overall miles and points in endurance, completing 500-655 miles a year.

Pippy survived many injuries and EPM, a life-threatening disease. He had surgery on his right hind leg in May of 2004. After recovery, he finished two more 50-mile rides in 2007, but I could tell that his leg was not the same. I retired him from competition. He still does pleasure rides at the Lake Mineral Wells State Park, where we have done all of our training. Pippy completed 3,840 miles in his endurance career. If we count the miles of training and the rides from which we pulled after some miles, I would guess that we have ridden close to 10,000 miles together...

Read more here:

BLM to Require Use of Weed-Free Hay on Public Lands in Idaho

August 2 2011

BOISE, ID – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today published new rules
requiring the use of certified weed-free hay, straw and mulch on all
BLM-managed lands in Idaho. The supplementary rules, which were published
in today’s Federal Register, require all visitors, permittees and operators
to use certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch when visiting or conducting
authorized activities on BLM-managed lands in Idaho. The rules become
effective on August 20, 2011. The BLM will begin enforcing the new
requirement on September 19, 2011, to allow time for public outreach and

“This measure is needed to help slow the alarming spread of noxious and
invasive weeds on public lands,” said BLM Idaho State Director Steve Ellis.
“It’s consistent with existing policies of the State of Idaho and the U.S.
Forest Service, so in following these new rules, public land users will
join the growing effort in Idaho and other Western states to combat the
spread of weeds.”

Noxious and invasive weeds are a serious problem in the American West.
They spread an estimated 2,300 acres per day on BLM-managed lands and 4,600
acres per day on all Western public lands. Species like perennial
pepperweed, purple loosestrife, yellow starthistle, hoary cress (whitetop),
leafy spurge, diffuse knapweed, spotted knapweed, Russian knapweed, Scotch
thistle, Canada thistle, and rush skeleton weed are non-native to the
United States and have no natural competitors to keep them in ecological

“These weeds create all sorts of problems - from reducing grazing capacity
to damaging wildlife habitat and altering fire regimes,” Ellis said. “The
rules will standardize regulation for all users of public lands in Idaho
and allow coordinated and complementary management across jurisdictional

Use of non-certified hay, straw or mulch on BLM-managed lands in Idaho
carries a penalty of fines of up to $1,000, prison sentences of as many as
12 months, or both. Under the new rule, only hay, straw and mulch
certified by the State of Idaho as free of prohibited weed seed will be
allowed for use on public lands in Idaho.

Ellis said the 2 months between today’s publication and when the rules will
be enforced will give public land users time to become familiar with the
new requirement and to learn where to purchase weed-free products. “The
Forest Service and Idaho state agencies already require the use of
weed-free forage on lands they manage, so there are suppliers standing
ready to provide certified straw, hay and mulch.”

For more information about availability, vendor locations, and price of
certified weed-free hay, straw or mulch, contact BLM Idaho botanist Roger
Rosentreter, (208) 373-3824 or .

List of Idaho growers of weed-free forage and straw (by county):

Idaho Agriculture Dept.’s Noxious Weed-Free Forage and Straw Certification

Monday, August 01, 2011

Canada makes inroads into China horse market - Full Article

July 28, 2011

Four Canadian endurance riders have completed a race in China as part of a trade mission to Zhaosu County in the country's northwest.

The four were part of a group of six individuals representing Equine Canada's Export Market Development program (EC Export) whose objective was to experience firsthand, a Chinese-run equestrian sporting event, gain knowledge of China's current horse husbandry practices and demonstrate that Canada has the expertise to partner with China as it strives to develop a contemporary horse industry.

The event was run in Zhaosu County, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of northwest China.

In a different format from previous trade missions, four endurance riders, who took on the role as "Canadian Equestrian Ambassadors" represented Canada in a four-day equine festival called the Invitational Tournament of 2011 "Xinfadi Cup" the Second National Equestrianism Endurance Racing and Speed Competition in Pasture of Zhaosu County. Along with a flat racing meet for Chinese-owned thoroughbreds and native horses, the festival was comprised of three days of riding over 260km in the area's grasslands, which included an 80km endurance race on July 1...

Read more here:

Team USA Takes Double Golds in First-Ever North American Young Rider Endurance Championship at the 2011 Adequan/FEI North American

Endurance photo finish on a hot Kentucky summer day. Photo:

RELEASE: July 30, 2011

Lexington, KY - For first time in the event's history, the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North played host to the North American Young Rider Endurance Championship. The competition included both CEI2* and CEI4* divisions which were completed yesterday, and team medals were presented today in both divisions.


In the CEI4* divisions, Team USA took home the Gold medal after accruing a collective ride time of 25 hours, 25 minutes, and 31 seconds. The team was made up of Lindsay Bean and Tektonic, Devan Horn and DJB Sameill, Kyle Gibbon and Missu Koran, and Kelsey Russell and My Wild Irish Gold, who successfully negotiated the 75-mile track despite the intense heat and humidity of the Kentucky summer.

Individually in the CEI4*, Russell took home the Gold, Bean the Silver, and Gibbon the Bronze.

"I just took it slow and easy," Florida-resident Russell said. "I tried to let the
horse pace themselves because they're good at knowing how fast they can go.

"They were really nice trails, really well marked," she said, adding that although the grass was "a little slippery," she used a combination of Renegade boots and mud nails to gain traction.

Russell was able to preserve "Irish" well throughout the course and by the end, the horse still had enough steam to give Russell a memorable finish: "We trotted all the way until the last turn and then cantered around the last turn. There were horses behind us, and the horses just wanted to race, so we let them."

Bean, who hails from Maine, said the terrain at the Kentucky Horse Park was different than the mountainous ones she's used to riding on at home, but due to warm summer weather, she was glad for the change: "It was really hot, so the harder terrain would have made it difficult."

She also explained that leading up to the 75-mile ride, she used other competitive rides to prepare, as well as lots of walking and hill work in warm temperatures to build up Tektonic's endurance.

The rolling hills of Kentucky were also a change of scenery for Vermont-resident Gibbon, but he enjoyed his ride through the Bluegrass.

"It was a really pretty course...nice scenery," he said. "[The track] was really well marked; there was no way to make a wrong turn. That gives you a lot of confidence for the course."

Gibbon said in preparation for the NAJYRC, he and Missu Koran have been competing on a regular basis and did a few 100-mile rides, but interspersed adequate rest and some interval training for a rounding training program.

Also in the CEI4* division, Tektonic received the Best Conditioned Horse Award, which was decided earlier this morning.


In the CEI2* class, the Team Gold medal was awarded to Team USA Northeast A, whose collective ride time totaled 25 hours, 40 minutes, and 57 seconds. Team members included Bean and Tektonic, Gibbon and Missu Koran, Forest Green and LR Amana Tabi, and Steven Hay and Khalil Asam.

"[The track] was easy to follow," Hay said. "The heat was a big deal. It required smart riding."

The Team Silver was awarded to Team USA Southeast with a collective ride time of 25 hours, 49 minutes, and 19 seconds. Riders included Russell and My Wild Irish Gold, Mallory Capps and Precious Beaunita, Mary Kathryn Clark and DA Al Capone, and Cassandra Roberts and SA

Capps said that the heat influenced how the competitors cooled their horses out after each loop, and also the pace at which the ride was completed.

"We did lots of electrolyting and lots of ice water," she explained. "People took it slow. Usually we have faster times but we had a lot of people go slow."

Unfortunately for Capps, the heat was too much to handle: "The ride was too hard for me and the horse, but the one loop was nice. It was out in the sun and you just get pounded with heat all day long."

Conversely, Roberts said that her horse handled the heat well and that she enjoyed riding the well-marked trails.

Finally, Clark said she used a heart monitor during the ride to keep close tabs on her horse's heart rate. She also said, like many other competitors in the ride, she used a cell phone to keep in touch with her crew during her ride.

"I used a Bluetooth headset," she explained, adding that her crew called regularly "to check in, see how the horse is doing, and know what they have to have ready" for when she arrived from a loop. She also said she kept in touch with the team veterinarian throughout the ride and updated them on Al Capone's condition.

"That helped a lot," she said.

Individually in the CEI2*, the Gold medal was awarded to Sophia Bashir from Team USA Central and Dazed and Amazed, the Silver was presented to Roberts, and the Bronze to Hay.

Bashir, a Texas native, travelled to Virginia to train with Dazed and Amazed with lots of "fast walking in mountains and hills and intervals." Additionally, she was pleased with how her horse handled the heat.

"He handled the heat well," she said. "The first loop was better because it was cooler. We started slowing down throughout the day. I tried to keep a consistent pace and that seemed to help us out."

Bashir added that this competition was her first 75-mile ride, and that while she isn't sure what she'll do next, she'd like to continue and try a 100-mile ride.

Sir Valient, who represented Colombia in partnership with Camilo Andres-Villa, received the Best Conditioned Horse Award in the CEI2* division.

For more information, visit

For photos, videos and more, visit USEFNetwork's NAJYRC page at: