Sunday, December 23, 2012

2013 Distance Nationals Dates Set

December 03, 2012
Contact: AHA

2013 Distance Nationals Dates Set

Aurora, CO (Nov. 3 2012) - The Arabian Horse Association (AHA), in cooperation with the Arabian Horse Distance Riding Association (AHDRA), will be hosting the 2013 AHA Distance Nationals at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area near Chandlerville, Illinois, October 23 – 28, 2013. Events offered will be:

October 24: 100 Mile AHA National Championship Ride
Open 100 Mile Endurance Ride
Open 50 Mile Endurance Ride
Open 25 Mile Limited Distance Ride
Open 25 Mile Competitive Ride
Open 12.5 Mile Novice Ride

October 26: 50 Mile AHA National Championship Ride
Open 50 Mile Endurance Ride
Open 25 Mile Limited Distance Ride
Open 25 Mile Competitive Ride
Open 12.5 Mile Novice Ride

October 27 – 28: 2-day 70 Mile AHA National Competitive Trail Ride
Open 70 Mile 2-Day Competitive Ride
Open 35 Mile Competitive Rides each day
Open 12.5 Mile Novice Ride, October 27 only

Awards are offered for completion, Top Ten, Reserve Champion and Champion in both the Arabian and Half-Arabian Divisions. AHDRA's forty-year-old traveling trophy – the Harry McGlothlen Trophy – will be given to the first purebred Arabian gelding across the line in the 100 Mile Event. Team awards are planned. All rides are recognized as AHA local rides (exception Novice CTRs) and are sanctioned by Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Rides Association (UMECRA). Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes nominated horses will earn points in all eligible rides.

Rules for competing and qualifying may be found at, under Competitions → National Events → Distance Nationals. More information about the ride venue, location, and schedules will be available on AHA's web site, on AHDRA's website, and on AHDRA's group Facebook page.

The Jim Edgar Panther Creek (JEPC) Park offers riders varied terrain, having hills and flat ground. There is occasional gravel, so shoes are recommended, though not required. The facilities offer 51 electric campsites, 38 of which may be reserved. Overflow camping in a primitive setting is also available. Showers and toilets are on-grounds. Cabins are available for non-campers. Reservations may be made in advance by going to

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A new ride season, goals and achievements - Karen Chaton Blog

“They say to touch Heaven, your soul must go higher, to streets that are paved with gold and with pearls;
But for me, it’s a ridge, high above an endless valley, being one with my horse, at the top of the world.
Thank you Chief, for showing me the world thru your ears.”


I wrote that many years ago and still feel that I am on top of the world when I am riding Granite Chief+/. He has carried me a long way and together we have experienced some really great adventures together.

At the Death Valley Warmup ride on December 9, 2012 Chief passed his final completion exam and in doing so passed the 13,000 lifetime mileage mark. I was never sure we’d make it this far and am both amazed and impressed that Chief is still so happily going down the trail.

Each time I ride Chief on a ride, I am both happy and sad. I’m happy that we are still getting to share the trails together, but also aware that it’s not going to last forever. That makes me cherish each ride all the more.

I haven’t been planning in advance as far as goals go. My biggest goal for Chief in the last year was to make this big milestone. With 13,020 miles Chief is now the 6th highest mileage horse with AERC, and also the 2nd highest mileage registered Arabian in the sport...

Read more here:

Kentucky’s Long Trail – Sheltowee Trace

Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet News Release

Dec. 19, 2012
Contact: Seth Wheat,
502-564-4270, ext 167

SLADE, Ky. – The Sheltowee Trace National Recreational Trail – the longest trail in Kentucky – is appropriately named in honor of Daniel Boone, the pioneer who hiked through Kentucky in the 1700s on hunting trips.

Sheltowee, or Big Turtle, was the name given to Boone by the Shawnees who captured him. This is why signs along the Sheltowee are blazed with the popular turtle logo.

Beginning in Tennessee at Pickett State Park, the trail stretches north from the Big South Fork National Recreation Area up through the Daniel Boone National Forest to just beyond Morehead, Ky. Some 269 miles of the trace’s 282 miles are found in Kentucky.

The Sheltowee Trace is often described as the backbone to the Daniel Boone National Forest. The forest is broken into four ranger districts: Cumberland, London, Redbird and Stearns. The Sheltowee Trace travels through all but the Redbird district.

Many hike the Sheltowee in sections, and a few brave adventurers tackle the entire trace at once. This trail is very popular as a training location for longer hikes such as the Appalachian Trail, the North Country Trail, the Continental Divide Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. Each of these trails is more than 2,000 miles in length, and the Sheltowee Trace gives hikers an idea of an extended hiking experience without ever being too far removed from developed areas.

Two of Kentucky’s most popular lakes for boating and fishing are located along the Sheltowee Trace. Laurel River Lake and Cave Run Lake attract thousands of visitors each year. Laurel River Lake continues to improve as a top destination for smallmouth and walleye, while Cave Run Lake has long held its reputation as the “Muskie Capital of the South.”

One truly exclusive attraction along the Sheltowee Trace is the Red River Gorge National Geological Area. This area is home to some of the most unique geological formations anywhere in the country. Due to the numerous cliff faces and rock outcroppings, the Red River Gorge has become a world-renowned climbing destination. There are several outfitters in the area that serve rock climbers, as well as places where people can climb on their own. Natural Bridge State Resort Park, with a lodge, cottages, campground and restaurant, serves as an excellent rest stop in the gorge.

Along with hiking, there are sections of the Sheltowee that are open to other users. Mountain bikers and equestrians have access to certain sections, as well as numerous spurs and adjacent trails.

There are four campgrounds that cater to horseback riders. White Sulphur is located in the Cumberland Ranger District, Little Lick in the London Ranger District and Barren Fork and Bell Farm campgrounds are in the Stearns Ranger District. ATV users will also enjoy a designated ATV/OHV campground at White Sulphur in the Cumberland Ranger District. The entire Redbird Ranger District’s trail system is also designed for use by ATV riders. There are several popular mountain bike trails surrounding Cave Run Lake, just outside of Morehead. The most popular single track for mountain biking on the Trace is from KY Hwy. 80 south to Laurel Lake and back.

There are several places to access the Sheltowee Trace, and many of these locations are working on enhancing their trailheads and services offered to trail users. Some of the communities the trace goes near include Morehead, McKee, Slade, Livingston, and Stearns.

Several towns throughout the national forest have begun to work towards becoming a certified Kentucky Trail Town through the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism. A Trail Town certification will signal to visitors that these locations have the needed services and accommodations one may need while enjoying the Sheltowee Trace or any of the other recreational activities in the forest.

“These Trail Towns should greatly enhance what is an already memorable trail experience on the Sheltowee Trace,” said Elaine Wilson, director of the Office of Adventure Tourism.

There are plenty of things to see and experience along the Sheltowee Trace, and the Sheltowee Trace Association works hard to keep the trail in the best possible condition.

“Over the past three years we have seen a significant increase in the number of users on the Trace, not only locally but from surrounding states,” said Steve Barbour, director of the Sheltowee Trace Association. “Volunteers are stepping forward to help us in our work to preserve, protect, and promote the Sheltowee Trace. The promotional efforts of the Office of Adventure Tourism and the development of the Trail Town initiative have significantly raised the awareness that this great trail, Kentucky's Long Trail, is available and within easy driving distance for weekend or vacation activities.”

The Sheltowee Trace Association hosts a website and helps organize trail work days and group hikes. To learn more about all it does, visit For questions about the Daniel Boone National Forest and any of the recreational opportunities it offers, visit the website at

To find information about all of the outdoor opportunities and locations, as well as a calendar of events happening all across Kentucky, visit the Office of Adventure Tourism’s website at Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook,, and follow us on Twitter at!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 AERC Year-End Awards

December 20 2012

The Pacific South region's Laurie Birch and her mare Scudd Run have won the 2012 National AERC Mileage championship, covering 2540 miles this season. Carla Richardson and SS Kharady Khid +/ from the Mountain region, last year's National Mileage Champions, were second with 2135 miles. Scudd Run's lifetime mileage stands at over 5400 miles, and SS Kharady Khid +/ is over 8800 miles.

Mountain region's Bev Gray's gelding Jolly Sickle won the National Best Condition award. He had 11 BC's over the season.

The National LD Mileage Championship went to Gayle Pena and GP Bold FX from the Pacific South region, with 550 miles. Alex Church and his pony Desert Sun Enchantress from the Northwest region won the Junior division with 450 miles. His sister Abrie Church and Moonlight Sarahnade were third.

Three Juniors are tied for the Junior National 100-Mile award, with 200 miles: Bryna Stevenson from the Northeast, Brooke Koehn from the Midwest, and Dillon Thomas from the West.

Ann Kratochvil's GF Brazil's Envy from the West region won the War Mare Award, the mare/rider team with the most points during the season. Laurie Birch and Scudd Run were second. Ann also won the Bill Stuckey award, honoring the rider 65 years of age or older who completed the greatest number of miles in the season. Cheri Briscoe's MMF Thunders Echo + from the Pacific South won the Jim Jones Stallion Award, for the stallion with the most miles completed in the season. Thunder had 1405 miles.

For more results and the regional point standings, see

*Most year-end results are in, but here results are unofficial. The official ride results appear in the Endurance New magazine.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Race Bred, Endurance Happy

Photo by Vicki Gaebe, Park City Photography - Full Article

December 18, 2012
By Pamela@horsereporter

In November, Horsereporter recognized Beverly Gray’s great record on her endurance horse, JollySickle. Recently, the American Endurance Ride Conference also recognized the top performance by this duo, culminating in the 2012 AERC National Best Condition award for the gelding.

Bred and trained for the track by Mandolynn Hill Farm in Texas, JollySickle’s (Jolly By Golly x El Dahma Okba) race career was unremarkable. The grey gelding hit his stride when he was retired to Gray’s endurance program in the high mountain trails and rare air of Kamas, Utah. Here his inborn ability to stay the distance has earned him top honors and Gray’s respect. “He is an incredible athlete and he loves endurance racing...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

AERC & NATRC Team Up For Distance-Riding Clinic - Full Article

Dec 10, 2012

When the Executive Administrator of the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) sends you an email, asking about providing representatives at a ride clinic, one would be wise to agree. This is exactly what happened when the “Arizona Triple Crown” ride managers received emails from Laurie DiNatale, asking if they would please represent NATRC at a clinic on November 27, 2012, in Benson, AZ. “Where,” you may be asking yourself, “is Benson, AZ?” Benson is a small town, about 45 minutes southeast of Tucson, AZ.

Despite the small-town location, there was nothing small minded about the clinic host, Heidi Vanderbilt, owner of Lucky Pup Ranch where the clinic was held. Heidi received assistance from Marilou Balloun, Southern Arizona Arabian Horse Association, and originally planned for the clinic focus to be for riders interested in learning about American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) competition. However, Vanderbilt has hosted and participated in numerous clinics, both at her ranch and around the country, so she decided to change things up for this clinic. She invited presenters from varied backgrounds to talk about the value each person feels they have gained from competing in either or both NATRC and AERC rides.

When asked how she felt the different components of the clinic fit together, Vanderbilt said that this format was her favorite. “I liked the balance of topics and presenters: Endurance, Heidi Vanderbilt; NATRC, Cris Ballard & Cathy Peterson; Endurance/NATRC/Ride & Tie, Wynne Brown (former NATRC National Champion); competing-on-the horse-you-have, Adele Youmans and her mustang Dream Weaver! (AERC Decade Team recipient); The value of crewing, Rhella Spearing; and nutrition for the distance horse, Patti Kuvic.” She went on to say that she felt that all of the approximately 25 participants, who came to listen to the presentations, seemed especially eager to soak up as much information as possible about both styles of distance riding...

Read more here:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Karen Chaton's Granite Chief +/ reaches 13,000 Miles

December 10 2012

Karen Chaton's Granite Chief +/ reached 13,000 career miles after completing day 2 of the Death Valley Warmup ride in California yesterday. Karen has handled the reins in every one of 17-year-old Chief's miles over 11 seasons. Chief has only 3 pulls in 258 starts. As all of Karen's endurance horses, Chief has excelled at multi-day rides, and he participated in the 2010 XP ride across the Pony Express trail from Missouri to Virginia City, Nevada.

A member of the "Decade Team" (horse and rider teams that have competed together for ten ride seasons in 50 miles and up), Karen got Chief, a Classical Spanish and CMK Arabian, from his breeder for free as a 5-year-old, because the breeder wanted him to "do something."

'Do Something' he did. Granite Chief +/ is currently 6th on the AERC list of high mileage equines.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

2013 AERC Convention: Endurance, endurance, and more endurance!

December 9 2012

The annual AERC Convention will be held in Reno, Nevada on March 8 and 9. "It's a fabulous 2 days of endurance, endurance and more endurance!" The lectures, seminars, dance, regional awards, national awards banquet, and trade show will take place at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.

Speakers include Trisha Dowling, DVM, MSc, DACVIM (LAIM), DACVP; Sarah Fletcher, MD; Karen Hassan, DVM, DACVS; Jeanette Mero, DVM; Hal Schott, DVM, PhD, ACVIM; Donna Snyder-Smith; Aarene Storms; and Jeannie Waldron, DVM.

Hot Topic sessions include: Liability issues at endurance rides; Dogs, guns and steel. Seminars include Hoof balance and lameness issues; Tying up; Better rider biomechanics; Lyme disease; Endurance 101; The secrets to winning Best Condition; Ethics and drugs in competition; and Equine metabolic diseases.

For more information, see the flyer: or contact AERC at

Monday, December 03, 2012

Tribute to Zap - 1983-2012

Karenshorsetales Blog - Karen Bumgarner

Zapped+/ May 18,1983- Nov 8, 2012

Flashback to November 1989:

The phone conversation went something like this:

Man: “I understand you folks buy problem horses.”

Me: “Well yes sometimes we do. It depends on the problem.”

He gave me a long drawn out “Well” and he took a deep breath, “he bucks.”

Thinking that can’t be all, I questioned. “And?”

“He is also hard to catch. My girlfriend can catch him but I can’t get near him.”

“Alright” I answered, “What type of horse is he?”

“Oh he’s six years old, grey A-rab. I don’t want to sell him to the meat plant but he is a handful and you folks were recommended to me.”

After a few more details bounced back and forth I said I'd come have a look. The next day I was headed to LaPine to look at what was probably going to be our next winter project. at that time we often bought these horses, put a lot of riding on them and made a good horse out of them again. We resold them in the spring or summer, whenever the horse was ready. We were thankful to be able to rescue these horses from what could be a terrible fate.

The hopeful seller came out and pointed me to the corral. Standing there was one shaggy, a bit thin, ewe necked and sickle hocked gelding. I scowled inwardly and pitched a little rock in his direction so he’d trot. I grinned inwardly at the result, it was actually a “wow” at a very floaty smooth efficient movement. We entered the corral as we chatted and the horse eyed us warily and took off.
As I watched the horse I was told “His name is Zapped, but I call him Bolt.”

“Really” I said. “And does he?”

“Does he what?”

“Bolt.” I replied looking from the horse to him.

“Uh, well,” he paused scratching his head. “Yes he has ran off a time or too...”

Read more here:

Ambers Thorn 1981-2012

Twenty-six years ago last month, a little red horse came into my life, and today his life ended.  He took me to some incredible places I never would have gone, and he changed my life forever. 
Ambers Thorn competed in endurance every year between 1987 and 2000, racking up over 7200 AERC miles. Most of his finishes were in the top 10, and he competed in 2 FEI rides and several 5-day rides.  He competed in 8 western states and Canada. His last endurance ride was at Bandit Springs in 2000.
I bought him from my friend, Andrea Day in 1986.  I first learned about him from a notice inside the door of an outhouse at a ride in Vale, Oregon.  He was a bargain at $200.
Thorn was a tough and determined competitor throughout his career.  He taught me alot of things, and he taught me more about equine veterinary medicine than I ever wanted to know.  He survived a torn check ligament, 2 annular ligament surgeries, a severe case of anterior enteritis, and a life-threatening nephrosplenic entrapment, among other things.  Like a cat, Thorn seemed to have 9 lives and he recovered from most of his brushes with death, stronger than ever.
Thorn enjoyed his retirement in Owyhee County, spending most of the time with his old buddy, Simon.  The last 6 weeks or so were rough on us.  About every week or so, he fell, and it was increasingly difficult for him to get up.  Until today, he was fine after he got up. Today, once up, he tottered over and fell again.
I had known he might not make it through the winter and almost put him down before I left on a 10-day trip last month.  I asked him to give me a sign, and he trotted in for breakfast and galloped in for dinner, so I decided it wasn’t time.  But I had my neighbor dig a grave for him anyway.  Fortunately, Thorn waited for me and had no problems in the 10 days while Skyla Stewart was house-sitting for me.  I got home Wednesday and was able to enjoy his company for a few more days.
This morning, when she heard about Thorn being down, Kris Troxel came to my place just before Idaho Equine veterinarian Pete Knox arrived.. It was great that Kris and Pete were the ones here. Thorn managed to muster the energy to get up one last time and allowed us to lead/push him to within a few feet of his grave. Once Thorn was gone, Pete used my tractor to take Thorn the rest of the way, and Kris and Pete lowered him into the grave. I am so grateful for their help. 
I will miss him more than anyone can imagine.
Karen Steenhof

Murphy, Idaho

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Endurance Rider Merri Melde's Tevis Essay Featured in New Book

November 20 2012

Endurance rider Merri Melde's short essay on the Tevis Cup is featured in the new book, The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges (Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2012). This 208-page illustrated book profiles 50 of the most extreme marathons, triathlons, bike rides, adventure races, climbs, open-water swims and other iconic endurance events from around the world.

Her essay is her take on the ride from the athlete's perspective. Merri rode and finished the Tevis Cup in August of 2009. The extraordinary adventure is chronicled in detail her blog, "Merri Travels" on in the July and August 2009 archives.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Garret Ford and Jenni Smith Join Tevis Board of Governors

November 19 2012

Garret Ford and Jenni Smith Join Tevis Board of Governors

Garret Ford, EasyCare
Tevis and endurance riding have been part of Garret's life from childhood through today.  The opportunity to ride Tevis as a junior in 1984 changed his life and, in many ways, guided him towards a career in the horse industry.  Garret's goal as a Tevis Board Of Governors member is to make sure the event continues and our children have the opportunity to be shaped by the event in the future.

Jenni Smith, Ariat
Jenni is a big fan of the Tevis Cup - She's tried it nine times on seven different horses and has seven buckles to show for her efforts.  Jenni brings a solid marketing background to the WSTF BOG - Nestle, PowerBar, Mother's Cookies and  Clorox are featured on her resume.  These days she's responsible for brand marketing at Ariat International, which she refers to as "the mother ship".  Jenni's excited to be inducted onto the board and looking forward to learning how the foundation functions and what's involved in putting on such an amazing, historic ride.

2013 Tevis Education Trail Ride Scheduled

Save the Date!
June 1st & 2nd, 2013
Mark your calendars for the next big event from the Western States Trail Foundation.  the first weekend of June 2013 promises to be an event the whole family can enjoy.  The Foresthill Mill Site, a regular vet check for Tevis, will be base camp for the combined Educational Ride and the Fun Ride from Thursday, May 30th through Monday, June 3rd. 
Hosted by the WSTF Educational Committee, participants will enjoy camping, riding, camaraderie, dining, educational lectures, access to experienced endurance veterans, Tevis mileage credit, campfire music and more.  The educational ride will offer a new format to give more personalized attention to participants.  The Fun Ride is also offered both Saturday and Sunday for those who prefer a more relaxed weekend in the same environment. 
Junior riders will receive a discount.  All proceeds go directly back into the preservation of the Western States Trail.  For a flier, see Flier

For more information see

Friday, November 16, 2012

USEF Announces 2013 U.S. CEI Events

November 16 2012

The list of CEI events in the U.S. in 2013 can be seen here:

Spooner rider completes her first endurance ride - Full Article

Wed Nov 14, 2012

Colleen Morgan of rural Spooner completed her first 50-mile endurance ride on Saturday, Oct. 13. The ride was held at the Ukarydee Campgrounds and Castle Rock Horse Trails near Arkdale (Wisconsin).

The ride was held under adverse weather conditions with temperatures not over 45 degrees and with more than 3 inches of rain falling during the ride.

The ride was hosted by the Midwest Distance Driving Association and sanctioned by the Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Rides Association and the American Endurance Rides Conference.

Morgan finished the ride in 9 hours and 20 minutes and placed fourth. She was riding her 6-year-old Arabian gelding SC Cassa Nova...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Julie Chaney Completes the 485 mile Colorado Trail!

Colorado Horse Council

The Colorado Trail is divided into 28 segments, stretching from Waterton Canyon to north of Durango. Each segment is between 11 and 33 miles for a total of about 485 miles. Ms. Julie Chaney, Colorado Horse Council Board Member and member of the Front Range Back Country Horsemen (FRBCH), has been working to complete the Colorado Trail for seven years.

Each year, the FRBCH spends a week riding another section of the trail. Ms. Chaney has ridden through some sections multiple times. They have been working to complete the Durango side of the trail over the last two years; riding 20-22 miles each day of their trip. The most difficult part of the trail is the last eight sections, from Creed to Durango, and is for advanced riders.

Ms. Chaney's favorite part of this seven year adventure is "the elation of being able to complete this challenge - being able to complete such a long and difficult trail on a horse that also has a mind of its own. Your responsible for not just yourself but for that horse as well."

A very dedicated ground crew made up of spouses and friends supports the FRBCH during their week-long rides. The ground crew drives ahead to each of the camp sites, making available clean clothes, hot meals, certified weed free hay and other essentials. This is a challenge for the ground crew as well. Many days they drive 180 miles to get to the next camp site, dealing with flat tires and vehicle changes because of the tough terrain. Ms. Chaney says, "This is not for the faint of heart." Six members of the FRBCH have completed the Colorado Trail and one member, twice.

For others that might want to take on this challenge, Ms. Chaney advises "research, research, research and buy the Colorado Trail book." Each year before their trip, members scout out the trails and campsites; the trails often change because of downfall.

In 2011 the FRBCH "contributed 1,689 volunteer hours for a total of $36,072 for the
Forest Service." The FRBCH volunteer many hours for the BLM, Forest Service and State Parks helping to maintain trails, clear away downfall and educating others about good land stewardship practices. The FRBCH has 13,000 members nationwide and ten Colorado chapters.

Learn how you can become an advocate for trail riding and support Back Country Horsemen, for more information about the Colorado Trail visit For more information about the FRBCH visit and find them on Facebook.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Adequan® to sponsor 2013 AERC National Championship

Adequan® is once again supporting the American Endurance Ride Conference with Title Sponsorship of it's banner National Championship event. The 2013 event will be held in the spectacular City of Rocks National Reserve outside of Almo, Idaho. The high elevation trails and natural beauty of this area will make for a memorable event.

Additional sponsors to date include Vettec, Easycare Inc, Endurance.Net and Drinkers of the Wind Arabians.

For more information, visit the website at

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Kathy Brunjes (Genie SS, Inc.)
Kathy Brunjes 1953-2012

USEF RELEASE: November 2, 2012

AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation mourns the loss of a great competitor and ambassador for equestrian sport. Kathy Brunjes passed November 1, 2012 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Brunjes was an avid endurance rider logging 6,745 lifetime competition miles. Her passion for the sport of endurance saw her compete all over the world including representing the United States in Jerez, Spain at the 2004 FEI World Endurance Championships. Brunjes then travelled to Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2008 to compete in the President’s Cup and later the same year as a member of the U.S. squad at the FEI World Endurance Championship in Malaysia.

In addition to being a renowned competitor Brunjes participated in governance of the sport as a member of the USEF Board of Directors since 2007. She served on the Youth Sports Committee, the Administration and Finance Working Group, the Endurance High Performance Committee and was the chair of the Endurance Eligible Athletes’ Committee. Brunjes was also active within the American Endurance Ride Conference as a former chair and as a member of the International Committee.

Brunjes’ contributions were not limited to equestrian sport; she served as the Director of Library Services in her home state of Maine. Brunjes was instrumental in instituting the Maine Humanities Council Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare program, receiving the Eleanor Cains Distinguished Medical Librarian Award in 2005. Governor John Baldacci appointed Brunjes to the Maine State Library/State of Maine Library Commission.

"The Federation sends our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Brunjes family and to the entire endurance community. Kathy was a tireless ambassador for the sport both on the field of play and off; her dedication to equestrian sport was unrivaled. She will be greatly missed," said John Long, USEF CEO.

Further information regarding memorial services will be posted when available.

Friday, November 02, 2012

FOSH Gaited Distance Program

October 30, 2012

Contact Person: Teresa Bippen

FOSH Gaited Distance Program

Friends of Sound Horses (FOSH) is pleased to announce the first distance recognition program for gaited horses beginning in 2013. The Gaited Distance Program promotes FOSH Sound Principles by recording mileage of the gaited distance horses competing in veterinarian sanctioned, endurance, limited distance or competitive trail events and recognizes, honors and rewards the work of that horse. Each year’s program will run from January 1 through December 31.

The FOSH Gaited Distance Program (GDP) includes Competitive Trail Riding and Endurance Riding, Year-End High Mileage Awards, 1,000 Mile Awards, and the FOSH Commemorative Award Program. Winners will be announced in the FOSH Sound Advocate magazine, on the FOSH website and in press releases.

Many gaited horse breeds have provided smooth comfortable rides for their riders while successfully competing in distance riding programs. Some of these breeds include the Tennessee Walking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse, Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, Racking Horse, Paso Fino, Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horses, Rocky Mountain Horse and more.

The Gaited Distance Program rules and forms are currently available at a newly developed FOSH website for individuals wishing to register their horses for 2013 competition. Both registered and unregistered gaited horses are eligible for participation. The website is open in advance of the January 1, 2013 start date to allow visitors to view the site and offer comments.

FOSH is pleased to announce that the Gaited Distance Program (GDP) is the first division under the FOSH Gaited Sport Horse initiative with the other divisions under development being Gaited Dressage and Gaited Equine Agility. As awards, eligibility and rules are developed for these divisions, they will be posted at

FOSH is a national leader in the promotion of natural, sound gaited horses and in the fight against abuse and soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. For more information about FOSH or to become a member, please visit or e-mail .

Dream Jobs: Endurance Rider

© 2012 John Nowell, Remuda Photography - Full Article

September 10, 2012

Champion endurance racer Darolyn Butler has made an equestrian career out of her passion for marathon rides.

by Karen Braschayko

Darolyn Butler has had a long career in several aspects of the equine industry, from winning rodeo queen pageants to selling Western wear and producing instructional videos on horsemanship. Today, she has knitted her love of endurance riding into a company of teaching clinics, leasing horses and training other endurance racers. From her ranch, Cypress Trails Equestrian Center north of Houston, Texas, she runs her family business, conditioning endurance horses while leading adventure trail rides and giving riding lessons.

Butler also uses her distance riding skills to serve the community. She helped form the Airport Rangers group at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), a unique program enabling fellow equestrians to enjoy hundreds of miles of pleasure trails while patrolling the vast airport grounds.

Butler began endurance riding at 31, when a trainer told her she should hurry up if she wanted to try it. Now 62, she has competed all over the Americas and on several continents in FEI endurance races. She has earned dozens of wins, including gold and silver medals, and has over 34,000 competitive miles under her saddle.

Having survived the devastation of two major floods and a shattered pelvis, Butler works as hard as ever. She travels widely and coaches other endurance riders. Here she tells us about conquering 100-mile races and the many ways to make a living with horses...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Want to Ride Endurance? Read "Endurance 101"!

For immediate release:

Triangle Ranch Communications is proud to announce the release of the first book written specifically for beginning endurance riders. Endurance 101: a gentle guide to the sport of long-distance riding is told in a comfortable narrative style with plenty of informative stories and photos.

“This is the manual I wish I’d had when I was a new rider in the sport,” says author Aarene Storms. “I read every book, every magazine article, every listserv and webpage, even the fine print of tack catalogs, and I still made mistakes that I could have avoided with more guidance.”

Storms uses the lessons she has learned in ten plus years of competition and combines them with practical advice from other experienced endurance riders. Endurance 101 enables new endurance riders to make better decisions when choosing a horse and tack, and to make good choices when feeding, conditioning, and competing with a novice endurance horse.

Endurance legend and author Julie Suhr says, “I wish I had this book when I discovered endurance riding!” And Merri Melde, equestrian traveller and correspondent, calls Endurance 101 “the next best thing to a two-legged mentor, unravelling the mysteries of getting you and your horse to the starting line, through your first ride, and through what happens afterwards, always with the goals of caring properly for your horse and having fun.”

Riders seeking a straightforward, easy-to-read book will love Endurance 101’s mix of narrative and practical, step-by-step advice on everything from packing the trailer to keeping their horse sane, sound and safe through the conditioning process. Storm’s enthusiasm for her chosen sport will rapidly infect newcomers, and even experienced riders will be look at their riding and training routines with fresh eyes.

You won’t want to miss taking a ride in the company of Storms while dodging her nemesis, the Bad Idea Fairy, along the trail. Laugh and learn. Endurance 101 is the book you’ve been waiting for.

In the words of endurance powerhouse Dennis Summers, “Read this book, cinch er up tight and get er done!”

Author Information: An advocate for Junior riders, equestrian trails, and novice endurance horse and rider teams, Aarene Storms has published numerous articles in Endurance News and other equestrian sport publications. She has completed more than 2000 AERC miles on several horses, and currently competes on a tall, opinionated Standardbred mare called Fiddle. Her adventures in the saddle and on the ground are documented with tongue firmly in cheek at the Haiku Farm blog.

Photographer: Storms recruited a fellow blogger and rider Monica Bretherton and her stockpile of photos to help bring endurance riding to life. From post-ride grins to the intricate details of endurance tack and ride rituals, the images help to draw the reader into the world of long-distance riding.

Publication Information: Anticipated release date for the ebook edition is October 31, 2012, to be available from and other e-book retailers at the price of $9.99. A print edition to follow shortly thereafter, price to be announced.

Contact Information:For further information about the book or for press photographs, please contact Triangle Ranch Communications via Author Aarene Storms can be reached on the book’s Facebook page: or for bookings at

Time in saddle gives county woman rare feat to go along with ‘legs of steel’ - Full Article

By: Cindy Klepper - Thursday, October 18, 2012

When Janet Kirkpatrick tells you she has "legs of steel," believe her.

The 74-year-old sticks out a well-toned gam -the result, she says, of the time she spends in the saddle.

"You're standing up the whole time," Kirkpatrick says. "And I think it helps the back, too."

She should know. A horse enthusiast her entire life, the Huntington County woman discovered endurance riding - a sport in which horse and rider race to finish trail rides of 25, 50 or 100 miles - in 1984. Fifteen years later, she became one of an elite group of endurance riders to log 5,000 competition miles on the same horse.

This summer, Kirkpatrick repeated that feat - piling up another 5,000 competition miles on a second horse.

"To do it on one horse is very unusual," she says. "To do it on two separate horses is just a dream."

In actuality, Kirkpatrick says she's probably accumulated three times her official miles - if you count in all the miles she's logged in training and just for pleasure.

"In the beginning of the year, I put in probably 300 miles just getting him ready to roll," she says.

Kirkpatrick's current equine companion - a purebred Arabian officially known as H.A. Highfire but answering to Booker - came into her life shortly after the unexpected death of another Arabian named Butch.

She and Butch had accumulated 6,168 competitive miles between 1990 and 2002, when the horse suddenly became ill and had to be euthanized.

"That was the longest night of my life," she says of Butch's death. "I held his head. I always told that horse I'd never let him hurt."

A friend connected her with Booker, an unbroken 4-year-old who "had never been out of the field he was born in." Another friend got Booker used to having a rider on his back, and Kirkpatrick spent some time playing with the horse before taking him to the woods for their first ride.

"He dumped me right off," she says...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Effort to bring attention to horse abuse stirs up a dust storm of its own - Full Article

Posted Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012


A cowboy preacher form North Texas who set off in July to ride around the world to publicize horse abuse has ridden into a social media dust storm.

A vigilant Facebook posse of horse and long-distance riding enthusiasts are dogging CW Cooper's every move after he lost two horses to injuries, including one that broke its leg on a cattle guard and had to be shot last month near Alamogordo N.M., in the first 600 or so miles of his marathon ride.

Mounted on his sixth donated horse, Cooper, a 53-year-old air conditioning repairman and one-time country musician from the Parker County town of Bluff Dale, has doubled backed into West Texas.

He's also dumped the notion of trying to make it around the globe, and dropped the horse abuse angle.

He now says he's simply in the saddle for God.

"I prayed about it and the Good Lord said let's go to Texas and spend the winter there. Apparently he has work for me to do in Texas," he said Friday.

Cooper, who spoke from the trail by cell phone from somewhere around Seminole, said he plans to ride until the "Good Lord tells me to stop.

"My whereabouts right now are unknown, brother," he said, in hopes of eluding the online tail which managed to have him checked out by the Gaines County Sheriff's Department on Thursday.

More than a thousand people in a Facebook group are tracking him on the "Stop the ride of Carl Wayne 'CW' Cooper" page. Since Oct. 5, they have been sniffing out his trail, discussing his horse troubles and questioning the shifting reasons for his ride as well as his claim of being an ordained minister of the Cowboy Church in Springtown.

"He just continues to prove that he is willing to risk the health and well-being of these horses to justify his own personal ambition," said Colleen Parmenter Hamer, a long-distance rider from Blair, Neb., who started the Facebook group.

Cooper's digital trackers have also called him out on a whale of a whopper.

While trying to gin up support in what he once proposed as a five-year ride around the globe, Cooper posted online that he was a widower who lost his wife to cancer.

But his wife, who once managed his band, is very much alive. They're still married but "more than estranged," he admitted.

"I did that before I was ordained and I forgot about it. I didn't want people to know my business. If you say you're a widower they tend to leave you alone."

A bumpy trail

Cooper's ride has been rocky since he set off from Springtown on July 23.

His first horse laid down on him just a few miles into the ride, said Hamer's aunt, Bambie Goodall, of Bellevue, Pa., who was acting as Cooper's ride coordinator...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Several hundred expected for endurance ride - Full Article

by Wayne Ruple

Anywhere from 100 – 400 endurance riders and their horses are expected to gather today in the Choccolocco Management Area in the Shoal Creek Division of the Talladega National forest just north of Heflin for the annual Alabama Yellowhammer Endurance Horse Ride.

Horses, from mules to Arabians, and their riders will begin today with timed 75-mile, 55-mile and 30-miles events near Coleman Lake throughout today and Friday with a 10-mile “fun ride” on Saturday.

An endurance ride is a marathon for horses across distances from 25-100 miles. The distances normally offered are 25, 30, 50, 55, 75 and 100 miles. Twenty-five milers have a maximum of six hours to complete, 30 – seven hours, 75 – 12 hrs, 55 – 13:15 hrs, 75 – 18 hrs and 100 – 24 hrs.

The ride is a run over a pre-marked, pre-measured trail. Trails are marked with color coded ribbons and directional arrows. Trails that will be used after dark will be marked with glow sticks. Each evening there is a briefing for the riders about the trails they will be following and the procedures they are to follow during the next day’s ride.

There are designated checks every 12-20 miles where the horses must stop and be examined by veterinarians and rest, drink and eat for a pre-determined time before continuing on the next leg of the ride. There are timers at the vet check location to officially release riders onto the trail and to record what time the riders come off the trail into a vet check. The vets examine the horse for signs of lameness, heart rate, dehydration, etc. to make sure the horse is fit to continue.

If the horse is judged not to be fit to continue, the horse and rider are not allowed to continue. Each evening after the ride, every horse/rider team that completes the ride with a sound and health horse within the maximum time limit gets a completion award.

Various awards are presented based on the sport motto “To Finish Is To Win” and the health of the horse always comes first...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 04, 2012

AERC Logo Contest

October 3 2012

AERC members: Get creative and come up with a logo to take AERC into the future. Must be a one-color design (printable, silk-screen-able, embroider-able) and designed by a current AERC member, who must agree to assign copyright to AERC.

Up to three designs may be submitted. A member vote will determine the top choices, with the board choosing the final selection.

DEADLINE is 12/1/12. Send submissions to

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

CVM Student Completes Grueling Endurance Ride Blogs - Full Story

October 1 2012

The Western States Trail Ride, also known as the Tevis Cup, is widely considered the toughest endurance ride in the world. The trail follows part of the original Pony Express route through 100 miles of steep canyons, rocky pinnacles, sheer drop-offs, and deep forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Competitors have only 24 hours to complete the ride so it’s not surprising that only half finish successfully.

Endurance riding is not a race. The challenge is for a rider to finish with a horse who is judged “fit to continue”, which means he is mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to keep going. Veterinarians make sure that happens. The Tevis has more vet stops per mile than any other endurance competition.

Fourth year vet med student Rita Wehrman has been dreaming of riding in the Tevis since she was seven years old. “I read a book about it and I was hooked,” she says. “I knew I was going to do this ride eventually.”

Wehrman grew up around horses and began riding in local endurance races six years ago with a plan to work up to the Tevis. This year, she got serious and started cross-training her Morgan horse, Thompson. They did the usual trail riding, where Wehrman tried to present Thompson with obstacles and other challenges, but they also spent time in an arena. “We did light dressage to keep the horse balanced and collected,” she says. “You want their back up and their head down and them really listening to you.”

In May, three months before the Tevis, Thompson was injured chasing a goat friend who had escaped from the pasture. Wehrman realized he would not be able to compete and calls it “heartbreaking.” But she didn’t give up. She had nine weeks to find another horse and get it ready. Fortunately, a friend who was pregnant and not participating in Tevis this year offered Wehrman her horse, Dragon, an experienced endurance competitor...

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Nationwide West Nile Case Count Continues to Rise - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
October 02 2012, Article # 20720

As fall begins and temperatures slowly drop, the number of confirmed equine West Nile virus (WNV) cases around the country continues to rise.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey disease maps, 364 cases of equine WNV had been confirmed at last update (Sept. 25). The current case total is the highest since 2007, when 468 horses were confirmed WNV-positive. The current total will likely rise, as mosquito season is not over in many parts of the country.

Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia have all confirmed WNV cases recently.

Iowa--The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship issued a statement Sept. 28 indicating more than 20 horses in that state had tested positive for WNV thus far in 2012. The statement reported only one case was confirmed in Iowa in 2011.

"Horse owners are encouraged to make sure they get their animals vaccinated and keep the vaccination up-to-date," Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said in the statement. "The cases we are seeing are in horses that have not been vaccinated or are not current on their vaccinations, so we are encouraging owners to talk to their veterinarian and make sure their animals are protected."

Kentucky--Kentucky animal health officials confirmed an additional case of equine WNV, according to a Sept. 28 statement from Kentucky Equine Programs Manager E.S. "Rusty" Ford.

An unvaccinated 26-year-old Quarter Horse stallion from Madison County began showing clinical signs--including recumbency (unable to rise after lying down), hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound), and miotic (constricted) pupils--on Sept. 25 and was euthanized the same day. Ford said the horse had no vaccination history...

Read more here:

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Aspen Lake tests riders’ endurance - Full Article

Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2012 12:00 am

Before the sun came up Saturday morning, more than 60 riders and their horses were getting ready to trek 10, 30 or 50 miles through the forest for the Aspen Lake endurance ride.

The ride is associated with the American Endurance Ride Conference. Organizer Diana Aldridge said a proper endurance ride is 100 miles, but 50 miles qualifies and 30 miles is a modified endurance ride. The 10-mile ride is just for fun.

The ride started off on Clover Creek Road, about 10 miles outside of Keno.

Riders didn’t seem to mind the early hours, and the horses were excited to go.

Anna Sampson, of Mololla, kept track of everyone’s numbers, greeting them by name. At 7 a.m. she called out that the course was open, and the riders trotted away down the dusty road...

Read more here:

Friday, September 21, 2012

2012 Virginia City 100

September 15, 2012

Kelly Williams and Diamond Ruler L won the 45th annual Virginia City 100 on September 15, 2012, in a ride time of 14:29. It was their 3rd time to complete the ride, after finishing 17th in 2010, and 5th in 2011. Dennis Tracy and Brilliant Disquize tied with Shannon Constanti and TR Sierra Dawn for second and third, in a ride time of 15:13. "VC 100 is a wonderful ride. Equal to, or tougher than Tevis," Shannon said later.

The challenging Virginia City 100 ride annually attracts some tough horses and riders.

Gina Hall and 15-year-old Fire Mt Destiny finished the ride in 9th place. It was Destiny's 8th Virginia City Completion and his 17th 100-mile completion. He has 5640 miles, and 95 rides starts with only 1 pull. In his ride prior to the VC 100, he completed the Tevis Cup. "He's a phenomenal athlete!" Gina's daughter, Carolyn Meier, said. Gina has over 13,000 miles. This was her 13th VC100 completion.

Connie Creech, a long-time supporter of the VC and NASTR (Nevada All-State Trail Riders, Inc) rides, finished in 20th place for her 21st VC100 completion. Connie is one of only 3 riders (the others being Phil Gardner and Al Beaupre) who have earned the 2000-mile Virginia City 100 Buckle. She rode LS Shardonney Bey +/, who has herself finished the ride 3 times. Connie has over 27,000 miles, Shardonney 3700 miles.

It was Kevin Waters and 13-year-old DE Golden Ali's first attempt at the VC100. They finished in 12th place at 1:03 AM, a ride time of 16:47. "He has now down ALL the big ones: Bryce, Mt Carmel, Shellborne five-day rides. Tevis. Old Dominion. Big Horn. VC100. Some more than once!" Kevin said afterwards. "All while carrying not necessarily the most technically advanced rider in the world!!! Go Ali!!!!" Ali went over 5000 miles in the VC ride. He has 90 starts with only 2 pulls, and he's 12 for 12 in 100-mile rides. Kevin has over 23,000 miles.

This year, Nicole Chappell became the youngest rider to earn her 2,000 mile buckle for having completed the Virginia City 100, 20 different times.  Nicole stated:
Goal accomplished! When I was 11 I wanted to be the youngest person to complete 20 times - yes 2000 miles over 20 years- the grueling and very rocky and hilly Virginia City 100 mile one day horse race! Golden Knight carried me to #20 just before midnight sept 15 2012 in 4th place. 3 for 3 top tens on this ride for him and his half sister Zoie!

There were 43 starters, 28 finishers.

Complete results can be seen here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride is a Hit - Full Article

BERLIN—"It was a blast, blast, blast," said Susie Reinheimer, of Bowdoin, Maine. "I've never been on a ride that was so well marked."

Reinheimer and her husband, Dave, were recreational riders among the some 50 who took part in the 2012 Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride Saturday, organized by Walter Nadeau of the Berlin/Coos County Historical Society and sponsored by many.

The event marked 100 years since W.R. Brown of the Brown Company started the Maynesboro Stud to breed Arabian horses, known then and now for their intelligence and endurance.
Reinheimer's remarks about the well-marked trail were echoed by others.

Some 13 signed up for the 50-mile endurance ride and 19 for the 25-mile endurance ride and nobody got lost—which is not all that unusual on endurance rides, according to some of the tales told by support crew as they waited for their horses and riders to finish.
The competitors in the American Endurance Ride Conference-sanctioned event included some of the top riders in the northeast.

Placing first in the 50 mile ride was a trio of expert women riders: Kathryn Downs, of Jefferson, Maine, riding her Arabian, Bey Gibby; Ruth Ferland, of Cornish, riding Jedidiah Blackguard, a half Arabian; and Sally White, of Marlboro, Vt., riding RSF Rusty, another half Arabian.

At the last hold, the women agreed to come in together, said Downs, because while the trail was well marked, it was "rocky."

"None of us can afford to trash a horse," she said.

Before anyone knew of their decision, the race finish was moved up the trail and parked cars were removed from the road at the end of the trail, for fear the racing horses would overshoot the road in their headlong dash to and past the finish.
But there was no headlong dash. The lead three riders finished at a slow pace, three abreast, holding hands—the rider in the center, Ferland, holding her reins in her teeth.

A crucial point of endurance rides is the condition of the horse. "Holds" are scheduled along a course. During these holds of 30 or 40 minutes, timed from when the horse's pulse rate drops to 60, the horse is checked by a veterinarian who observes a trotting test as well as testing heart rate and respiration, and watered and fed. In the trotting test, if the horse exhibits signs of uneven gait or refuses, the owner must withdraw.

"The horse is the athlete," remarked Downs at the first hold of Saturday's ride..."

Read more here:

Monday, September 17, 2012

2013 AERC National Championship at City of Rocks, Idaho

[More ...]

The 2013 AERC National Championship will be held at Almo, Idaho, near City of Rocks National Reserve on September 20 (50 miles) and September 22 (100 miles).

Rides will be held over varied terrain from 5300 to 8500 feet, traversing Bureau of Land Manageent (BLM) high sagebrush desert, City of Rocks National Reserve trails, City of Rocks State Park and alpine trails through aspen and fir forests in the Albion Mountains in the Sawtooth National Forest.

Besides stunning views, competitors will share the trails with the historic past, riding over old emigrant trails and stage routes, past old stage stops, historic school houses and cemeteries, and older Native American sites.

The town of Almo provides many amenities including restaurants, lodging, general stores and hot springs. City of Rocks offers some of the best rock climbing in the country, plus hiking and sight-seeing and fishing at nearby Independence Lakes.

For a video preview of one of the trails through the National Reserve, see:

Ride managers Steph Teeter and Regina Rose will host the event. The various land agencies and community of Almo Idaho are all highly supportive of equestrian events and welcome the AERC National Championship to Idaho in 2013.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

USEF Youth Sportsman Award


Applications for the USEF Youth Sportsman Award are available online at the USEF Youth Sportsman Page. The application and all supporting materials must be received by the AERC office by October 1, 2012.

USFS Management plan for Cumberland District in KY

The USFS has been working on a long range management plan for the trail system in the northern half of the Cumberland District of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky for going on five years.

On August 31 they revealed their alternatives and began a 30 day comment period.  This may be our last chance to influence the final outcome.  This is the USFS and comments may be submitted. by ANY US Citizen.

Currently, this area has over 110 miles of trails and gravel roads open to horse use and at least 80% of trail users in the area are equestrians. The AERC National Championship has been held on these trails twice in the last ten years.
Details may be viewed on the FS web site:

Once you get the FS web page: look on the left side and find "Land & Resource Management".  Go down and Click on "Projects".  A list will appear.  Go down to the sub-heading "Under Analysis".  Click on "Cave Run Non-motorized Trails Initiative".  There is a ton of stuff here but what you need is under "Analysis".  There you should find 7 maps and some narratives about the project. 

The FS "Alternatives" range from No Change (very unlikely) to reducing equine use to 19 miles (2 of the 5 alternatives) in the winter (months not specified but possibly six months of the year) and reducing equine trails by one third or more during the dryer months.  The trails taken from equine users would be given to the approximately 15% of users who ride mountain bikes.  Although the claim is made that the seasonal closures are to protect trails from excessive wear in wet weather, no science was applied to choosing which trails to close and no flexibility is provided.
Any reduction in trails available for equine use will result in greater impacts on the remaining trails, as well as a dramatically different experience.

Issues ignored or summarily dismissed by the USFS in the process (though brought up by equestrians) include; the Congressional mandate to the FS to foster local economic development, the fact that the vast majority of trail users are equestrians, the historical and cultural significance of local equine use, the fact that equine use is the ONLY predominately female activity in the forest while mountain bikers are the same 20 to 40 year old male group that makes up the majority of user groups in all other forest activities, equestrians also are older than any other user group, horse riding is the best means of access to back country for people with physical limitations, a reduction in bicycle use in the area since the only mountain bike shop in the area closed last year and Equestrians have a long history of cooperation and working with the USFS to improve trails while Mountain Bikers have openly flaunted regulations and even assaulted other users in an attempt to intimidate them into abandoning the trails.
There is room for compromise and we are not insisting on no changes, but the final plan must be reasonable!
Please send Comments calling for NO reduction in the total miles of equine trails.  These Comments will play a role in the selection of the preferred alternative.  Comments MUST be received by Friday September 28.
Written comments, or comments provided in person, must be submitted to Frank Beum, Forest Supervisor, 1700 Bypass Road, Winchester, KY 40391. Comments can be sent by facsimile to 859-737-3867. Electronic comments should be in a common digital format and sent to The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Oral comments via telephone must be provided during normal business hours to Becky Riegle, Project Leader at 989-724-9381.

Saturday, September 15, 2012



Click below for the AERC Scholarship Application which is due to AERC VP Jan Stevens by 1/1/13. AERC members from high school seniors through age 21 (must be younger than 22 on 1/1/13) are eligible to apply. Please see application info sheet for other requirements. The winner of the $1000 scholarship will be announced at the 2013 convention's national awards banquet.

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. In 2012, NPLD will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. In 2012, NPLD will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers. It proved to be a huge success and NPLD became a yearly tradition, typically held on the last Saturday in September.  Since the first NPLD, the event has grown by leaps and bounds. 
In 2011, more than 170,000 volunteers worked at 2,067 sites in every state, the District of Columbia and in many U.S. territories. NPLD volunteers:
Collected an estimated 23,000 pounds of invasive plants
Built and maintained an estimated 1,500 miles of trails
Planted an estimated 100,000 trees, shrubs and other native plants
Removed an estimated 500 tons of trash from trails and other places
Contributed an estimated $17 million through volunteer services to improve public lands across the country
Eight federal agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and state, regional and local governments participate in the annual day of caring for public lands.
National Public Lands Day keeps the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the "tree army" that worked from 1933-1942 to preserve and protect America's natural heritage. 

Why is National Public Lands Day Important?
NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands;
NPLD builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands; and
NPLD improves public lands for outdoor recreation, with volunteers assisting land managers in hands-on work.
Interested in National Public Lands Day? 

For more information, see
To volunteer, view our Find a Site map here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

‘To finish is to win’

Dylan Brown photo-Independent Record - Full Story

By DYLAN BROWN Independent Record
September 12 2012

Long before the sun breaks the horizon, Helenan Julie Muscutt is up feeding her horse a high protein mash with electrolytes. She fills a water bowl and heads back to bed. Muscutt says, “Just like marathon runners, horses need to hydrate.”

Her alarm buzzes and she’s back outside in the dark, strapping on a saddle. The horizon is burning red and her horse snorts in anticipation for the ride to come. She’s preparing for the seventh annual Pioneer Cabin Endurance Race, which is a two-day event on the Dagnell Ranch off Lincoln Road. She is one of several locals competing in the endurance race, which draws people from around the state and as far away as Calgary.

On Saturday, 12 racers competed in the 50-mile endurance race, 16 in the 25-mile limited race and two in the fun ride. On Sunday, three competed in the 50-mile endurance race and seven competed in the 30-mile limited distance race — this is the race Muscutt was preparing for.

As the sun beams across the wide Canyon Creek valley, the 50-mile riders let their reins down and head off across the dry landscape, kicking up dust streaked by rays of light. The 50-mile course is composed of two 15-mile laps, one 12-mile lap and one 8-mile lap. After each lap, the riders and their horses take a 45-minute break while veterinarians check the horses’ vitals, such as cardiovascular, skin tenting and gut sounds.

Muscutt says it’s all about the horse. “It’s really fun; it’s a thrill,” she says. “There isn’t a dress code, no political hype, none of that. Come be friendly and take care of your horse. If you don’t take care of your horse, you’ll get a bad rap really quick. If you don’t take care of your horse you won’t get along with these people...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride Draws the Horse World's Attention to Berlin - Full article

Written by Barbara Tetreault

BERLIN – The Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride will draw over 50 horses and riders to Berlin this weekend for an event that has captured the attention of the Arabian horse world.

The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Maynesboro Stud by William Robinson Brown. Brown, a member of the family that founded and operated the Brown Company paper mill, is considered the most important breeder of Arabian horses in the United States between 1912 and 1933.

An article about the event in the current issue of Modern Arabian Horse Magazine said Brown “once boasted the largest, finest and most influential herd of Arabian horses in the Western Hemisphere. W.R. Brown’s breeding program has such a positive and pervasive effect upon the breed in the United States, that the descendants of his many excellent stallions and mares are now omnipresent in modern bloodlines.”

Attending the festivities will be about a dozen Brown descendants including his daughter and son, Nancy Lee Snow and Fielding Brown, according to Walter Nadeau of the Berlin and Coos County Historical Society. The society has been working for over a year to plan and organize the event.

The highlight of the event is the 50-mile endurance race on Saturday. The race will start and finish at the Brown Company barns on the East Milan Road where Brown raised his horses. There will also be a 25-mile limited distance race and a 13-mile recreational ride.

Nadeau said riders are coming from across New England as well as New York, New Jersey, and North Carolina to compete here.

"This is a big deal in the Arabian horse world,” he said...

Read more here:

Friday, September 07, 2012

Horses and wine blend among the vines on Tamber Bey estate in Yountville - Full Article


For a substantial chunk of his business career, Barry Waitte “played with the big boys” in the worlds of high technology and venture capital.

When he wasn’t moving money around or investigating a tech breakthrough, Waitte and his fianceé — now wife — Jennifer, spent days on the backs of Arabian horses, taking part in single day endurance races that stretched for either 50 or 100 miles.

But the lure of the grapevine got to Waitte, and he decided he’d rather grow grapes than pound stakes in high finance.

Not only was he familiar with Napa Valley but he felt Napa was the best place to make the type of wine he likes to drink.

“My parents used to vacation in St. Helena ... I’ve been coming here since I was 2 years old,” he recalled over a glass of a lush merlot enjoyed on the veranda of his Yountville wine estate.

“I love wine,” Waitte said, “and I looked into all aspects of the business before I chose the role of a grower.”

Just about a dozen years ago, Waitte purchased a choice 60-acre vineyard at the northern end of the Yountville appellation, containing cabernet sauvignon, merlot and smaller tracts of red Bordeaux varieties. When he brought a couple of horses to the property, he named the property Deux Chevaux...

Read more here:

$100 Psychotic, Wild, Hell-Horse Wins The Tevis Cup Blog

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 by Garrett Ford

"He was going to shoot the horse!"

We all hear horror stories about horses that get into the wrong situation, with the wrong owners or are asked to compete in the wrong discipline. Many times these horses are one connection or one circumstance away from excellence and a chance to thrive in life. It's a common story in the life of a horse and many times they don't end well. But when the stars align and a horse finds his place magic can happen.

The Fury changed hands as a three year old for $100.00 and the sale possibly saved him from a bullet. The $100.00 purchase not only changed his life but started a chain of events that would give him the opportunity to win the most prestigious 100 mile horse event in the world.

In late 2009 I started looking for a new endurance horse. I had taken several years away from the from the sport of long distance racing and was looking for the right horse to help introduce several exciting EasyCare hoof boots. I wanted a horse with presence, with attitude, a horse that loved his job and a horse that people would remember. The horse in many ways would end up being associated with the barefoot movement, the Easyboot Glove and Easyboots in general.

After a bunch of searching I responded to a classified ad placed on I contacted Deena MacDonald from New Hampshire and started the process. Fury was described as a teenage boy that needed a job, he was powerful, forward and a bit of a handful. Sounded like my kind of horse. I had a him vetted and the vet quickly knew the horse. "He's the horse that dumped his rider on the hood of the car before the last competitive trail ride and ran off"...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Ben Fogle, The Adventurer: the world on horseback - Full Story

By Ben Fogle
11:36AM BST 06 Sep 2012

Last month, I became John Wayne for the day. Or that’s how I felt. Dressed in double denim, with spurs on my cowboy boots and leather chaps slung over my jeans, I was clutching a hand-stitched saddle on a horse called Hamburger. Vast, weather-beaten plains stretched out in front of me.

I was in Big Bend National Park in Texas, riding and filming with real-life cowboys – and yes, we were wearing Stetsons – as they herded cattle across the desert.

Creature comforts were sparse. When our horses began to gallop, sand lifted in great clouds. It felt like being in a hairdryer – not surprising when it was 110F (43C) in the shade. And then there were the rattlesnakes. Knowing that they could spook the horses at any moment as we wended our way through some of the wildest, most isolated country in the Lone Star State was just a little bit scary.

Welcome to the life of a proper cowboy; men who work the land all year – rounding up longhorn cattle, often for days at a time.

Despite the risks and discomfort, I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see this barren, remote corner of the world by horseback. For me, travelling this way is one of the best adventures you can have. You feel incredibly connected to the landscape, working in harmony with these beautiful animals. There are few better ways of seeing the world...

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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Injured rider returns home to family, friends, horses and dogs - Full Article

Costa hopes to eventually ride again

By Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer

After a long stay in a San Francisco rehabilitation center, Crystal Costa, a downed horse rider, has made it home.

Last Saturday, Costa, 50, came in through the decorated gates of her ranch in Cool. Handmade banners by Costa's son and neighbor reading "Welcome Home, Crystal" still hang a week later.

Costa is now a paraplegic after she suffered a broken back after an equestrian accident in June.

"Even though I know how sad it is I can't let it do that to me. I have to make the most of it and make it work," Costa said.

The accident happened while Costa, who has ridden horses for 40 years, was training to ride in the Tevis Cup near Francisco's checkpoint. The Tahoe-Sierra 100-Mile Mountain Bike Race was happening at the time, but Costa didn't know that.

"Always find out if there is a bike race on the narrow trails and on trails where you'd never think there would be bike," Costa said. "Riding horses, riding bikes, hiking out on the multiuse trails, it's a gamble."

Jon Hyatt, of Granite Bay, was around mile 85 into the Tahoe-Sierra 100 when he noticed three horseback riders ahead, one of them being Costa. Hyatt, who was in fifth place at the time, acknowledged the three riders and proceeded to go around a green gate and past them.

As Hyatt maneuvered around the gate, his bike tire slid in loose gravel and one of his shoes came unclipped from his bike peddle. The racket from the loose gravel and the unclipped shoe startled Costa's horse, along with one of its protective boots coming undone.

For the first time in her 40 years of riding, Costa knew she had to bail, and unfortunately when she did she landed on rocks, which broke her back, specifically the T10, T11 and T12 vertebrae...

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Sunday, September 02, 2012

2012 Tevis: 42 Legacy Buckles Awarded

September 2 2012

Instituted in 2012, the Tevis Legacy Buckle Program allows first time finishers to receive, at no charge, a buckle donated by a previous Tevis Cup Ride finisher. The buckles collected by the program this year were from rides as early as the 1960's and from rides as recent as 2011, thanks to the generosity of many donors. At the awards banquet on August 5th, 42 Legacy Buckles were awarded to first time finishers. The photo shows donor Julie Suhr with first time finishers John Donley, a junior rider, and Miriam Rezine. Plans are in place to award Legacy Buckles in 2013. Anyone who would like to donate past buckles is encouraged to do so. Please contact the WSTF office for additional information.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Local horse, rider never quit - Full Article


August 30, 2012 12:00 am • Staff report

A 15-year-old gelding with a history of overcoming debilitating injuries chalked up his latest comeback this month as he and his 67-year-old local rider completed a grueling, 24-hour endurance ride through the Sierra Nevada.

KHnight to Remember (Remy for short) and Dr. Peter Claydon placed 14th in the 100-mile Tevis Cup trail ride, which was finished by only 98 of the 204 horse and rider teams that began it Aug. 4.

“Remy is an amazing horse, and I am grateful to have such a wonderful partner,” Claydon said.

The ride starts at 5:15 a.m. at Robie Park, near Lake Tahoe, and takes 24 hours to complete the 100 miles on unlit, switchback trails, climbing to nearly 9,000 feet at Watson Monument, with sheer drops on one side, over a swinging bridge and down into river beds before it ends in Auburn, Calif.

The Tevis Cup, which has been held annually since 1955, is widely considered the most difficult equestrian endurance ride in the country.

Remy was born and raised in the Santa Ynez Valley and came to Claydon from Ryding Hy Arabians as a totally untrained 5-year-old.

They began their endurance-racing careers together and have finished in the top 10 more than 40 times, including 11 wins.

However, in late 2008 Remy suffered a serious injury to his right hind leg and was out of endurance competition for a year while he was treated by Dr. Ben Bramsen of Oak Leaf Veterinary in Los Olivos...

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

9 Questions for KER-Sponsored Endurance Rider Kelsey Kimbler - Full Article August 22, 2012

What's it like to train for and ride in endurance races? How can an interested rider get started in this discipline? Kelsey Kimbler, an endurance rider sponsored by Kentucky Equine Research, shared some information about her favorite sport.

When did you start riding, and how did you become involved in endurance riding?

My sister Kirsten, the oldest of us four girls, got Winnie, our first Arabian. Winnie was five years old and Kirsten was ten. She started showing at local Arabian horse shows and decided she wanted to show at the regional and national level. We started adding horses, and I began showing in walk-trot when I was eight. In 2004 I was the Canadian National Hunter Pleasure Walk-Trot Champion with my horse SR Diamond Lakota. Kirsten and my dad started endurance in 2003 after reading an article in the Arabian Horse Magazine about the Tevis Cup. That article ignited a spark that led us down this endurance path. After a few years of dividing our time between endurance and showing, we decided to focus on endurance! We love riding together as a family and spend our entire summers traveling to endurance rides.

Who are your influences in the sport?

We were very fortunate to cross paths with our family's mentor, Canadian rider Myna Cryderman, in our earliest days of endurance. She lives relatively close to us, about six hours straight north. She is still a great friend and mentor but somewhat retired from competitive endurance, choosing to go at a more leisurely pace now with her granddaughter Lyric, who is just getting started in the sport. I was also truly blessed last summer to get to train with John Crandell who won Tevis the two times I was there. I learned so much from him during that time, and I was able to ride his horse Motyf at the North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) last year. When I applied for the World Championship, I asked if he would consider coming to groom for me and my horse Cody and was so grateful when he agreed.

What is the most exciting part of endurance competition?...

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Hunterdon rider is highest placed American at World Endurance Championship - Full Article

August 27 2012
By Lillian Shupe/Hunterdon County Democrat

NEWMARKET, UNITED KINGDOM — Margaret “Meg” Sleeper, who was a last-minute substitution, was the highest placed American at the Longines FEI World Endurance Championship on Saturday, Aug. 25.

The day started out pleasant at Euston Park, but throughout the day the weather deteriorated into heavy downpours and severe thunderstorms. Due to the extreme weather, officials had to call the race off for the safety of the horses and riders. In an unusual finish to an endurance race, several riders were placed based on the position they were in at the time that the race was called, but the majority of the riders finished the sixth and final loop.

Sleeper finished 11th but since she was riding as an individual, her score did not count toward the team score. The team finished fourth.

Sleeper and Syrocco Reveille had a ride time of 07:49:11, averaging 20.46 kph...

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Oregon 100 Hosts 50-mile Appy Nat'l Championship


The Oregon 100 on September 15 near Brothers, Oregon, is also hosting the 50 mile Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride (ANCER) running consecutively with the 50 mile ride start. If you have a Registered Appaloosa and your horse is enrolled in the ApHC Distance Program and you have at least 100 distance miles accredited to your horse, then you are AUTOMATICALLY qualified to enter this championship ride.

You can find the ANCER entry form here:
You must enter BOTH the Oregon 100 ride and the ApHC's ANCER independently. Let's get those Appaloosas on the championship ride and let them SHINE! =) .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Downed rider’s home receives upgrade - Full Article

Cool woman adjusting to wheelchair
By Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer

Friends and family of an injured horseback rider from Cool have come together to bring her ranch up to snuff before she comes home this weekend.

Crystal Costa's ranch has been alive with activity the last few days as neighbors, friends and family work to make her home handicap accessible.

Costa, 50, of Cool, was thrown from her horse while she was training in July for the Tevis Cup near the Francisco's checkpoint. Her horse was startled when a passing mountain biker's wheel slid out in loose gravel.

The fall broke two vertebrae in Costa's back, her eye socket and her nose. The mountain bike rider, Jon Hyatt, of Granite Bay, was in fifth place in the Tahoe-Sierra 100 at the time, but he stayed with Costa until help arrived and has visited her in the hospital since then.

Costa has been in recovery at a San Francisco rehabilitation center since her fall, but has not regained her ability to walk, according to her friend and neighbor, Dan Schafer. He said she will be home from the center by Saturday.

"Her attitude is as aggressive as ever to get back on a horse," Schafer said.

Schafer said that despite having a positive attitude and working hard at the rehabilitation center, his friend he trained with for the Tevis Cup for so long will be bound to a wheelchair...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back Country Horsemen of America Double Diamond Award

August 14, 2012

Contact: Peg Greiwe, BCHA

Back Country Horsemen of America Double Diamond Award
By Sarah Wynne Jackson

As the United States’ leading organization defending our right to ride horses on public lands, Back Country Horsemen of America are people who pursue excellence in all they do, from clearing trails and repairing bridges to promoting horse-friendly legislation. Appropriately, they go out of their way to recognize those who go above and beyond with the Double Diamond Award.

Recognizing Excellence

Established in 2003 by the National Board of Directors, the Double Diamond Award honors special projects and programs that best exemplify collaborative spirit, community awareness, and devotion to the mission and purpose of BCHA. Eligible projects and programs include, but are not limited to, trail maintenance, trail construction, trailhead construction, educational programs and youth programs.

Applications are judged on the scope and purpose of the project; the ways that the project improved access or benefited the general public or public lands; what was involved in organizing the project; and how the project was accomplished from conception to completion. Applicants may include letters from agencies or private parties that worked with them on the project. Winners are announced at the Back Country Horsemen of America National Board Meeting annual banquet.

Last year, there were six nominations for the Double Diamond Award. As is true every year, all the nominations are outstanding. They demonstrate the broad spectrum of work, dedication to the job at hand, and love of the back country that typifies Back Country Horsemen of America.

Winner of the 2011 Double Diamond Award: John Burns of Salmon River Chapter of BCH Idaho

Demonstrating great initiative, John organized the first annual Heritage Days, a successful two-day event giving participants a taste of back country living, held at Sacajawea Center in Salmon, Idaho. Programs covered many BCH interests such as Leave No Trace, navigating the Rockies without GPS, and packing demonstrations, to illustrate life in the Salmon River area before it was settled.

All Back Country Horsemen activities were held in a camp-like atmosphere, called Camp Discovery. The chapter provided all tents, equipment, handouts, brochures, and maps for the event. The winner of this year’s Double Diamond Award covered all points of the BCHA mission statement: it involved the public (especially youth), was informative to the public, and everyone, volunteer and visitor alike had a fun.

Selway-Pintler Wilderness Chapter of BCH of Montana

The chapter submitted for consideration several projects they worked on this past year, including their Back Country Youth Day. Partnering with Future Farmers of America and 4-H students, this program gave local youth a glimpse into the “back country” lifestyle, such as packing and Dutch oven cooking.

This BCH chapter also provided labor and pack support to Forest Service employees for restoration of the May Creek Cabin on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in western Montana. These hardworking folks used horses and mules to haul 43 loads of shingles, cement, tar paper and native rock, weighing over three tons, a total of 172 miles from the trail head to the cabin site.

John McGray and Annette Howell of Los Padres Chapter of BCH California

Although the Gifford Tank Project required the effort of many volunteers, it was John McGray and Annette Howell’s leadership, very typical of BCH members, that made it happen. John realized that the water tank above the old Gifford Ranch house was seriously dilapidated. Located east of Santa Maria on California Department of Fish and Game land and surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, it provides water to a system of troughs used by livestock and wildlife.

Annette secured financial assistance from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a new tank was purchased in 2010. The Forest Service supplied a helicopter to fly the new tank in to the location and fly the old tank out. This project is another great example of how Back Country Horsemen of America folks work with other groups to accomplish a common goal.

Everett Lewis of Traildusters Chapter of BCH Washington

Exhibiting the “can-do” attitude seen in many BCH members, Everett Lewis expanded on a previously produced poster titled “What a Horse Sees,” which educates hikers and cyclists about what to do when they encounter a horse on the trail.

Everett gives many presentations on this topic at cycle shops but did not have visuals, which he felt would explain the message with more clarity. After many hours of preparation and filming, Everett has produced a short video he shows to the public, which is also posted on YouTube. In addition, he created a website and a Facebook page. His efforts have helped make the trails safer for all user groups when coming upon horses on the trail.

BCH of Central Arizona

This nomination is a glowing example of how Back Country Horsemen of America members seek to share trails and solve conflicts amicably rather than exclude other trail users. An unfortunate incident between equestrians and mountain bikers on a trail brought attention to the issue of riders and cyclists using the same trails. Some riders believed that horses had priority over cyclists, as equestrians had created, built and maintained these trails.

Jim and Gayle Higgs and other chapter members along with the Prescott Trail Safety Coalition, an organization formed by bikers and hikers, came together to work out solutions regarding trail use amenable to all parties. The two groups were able to resolve the situation and horses remain on the trails.

Bud Bailey of Priest River Chapter of BCH Idaho

This project at Trail Creek Trail, part of the trail system of the northern Cabinet Mountains of Idaho, took three years to complete. The trail head had no amenities, inadequate parking, and horse use was limited due to the lack of a turn-around for rigs and poor connector trail access to the rest of the trail system.

Under the leadership of Bud Bailey, the chapter and members of the community volunteered their time, labor and materials to construct horse corrals, highlines, hitch rails, tent pads, ample parking, and a modern vault toilet. They also refurbished the connector trails. The result is a modern, user-friendly trail head for all trail users to enjoy.

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!