Sunday, February 26, 2012

Springdale Romp enjoys warm weather - Full Article

Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2012
contributed article

The second annual Springdale Romp Endurance Ride was held Feb. 3, 4 and 5.
Readers may remember that, last year, the ride faced the coldest weather in Arizona history. What a difference a year makes. This year, riders and horses enjoyed warm weather, good, well-marked trails and great facilities at the Graham County Fairgrounds.

The event began with riders “vetting in” their horses Thursday for Friday’s ride. At 6 p.m., a potluck dinner was held, with a ride meeting afterwards to explain trails and answer questions.
Riders came from Canada, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. One rider, Ute Schrimpf, flew in that week from Germany just for Springdale Romp and went back Tuesday...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride planning well underway

By Barbara Tetreault
Feb 24, 2012 12:00 am

BERLIN – The eyes of the horse world will be on Berlin this September when the Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride is expected to draw endurance riders from across New England and beyond.

The event, being organized by the Berlin and Coos County Historical Society, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Maynesboro Stud by William Robinson Brown. An avid horseman and endurance rider, Brown was considered the most important breeder of Arabian horses in the United States between 1912 and 1933. The lineage of Arabian horses he developed is still recognized today among horse breeders. Brown was also a member of the family that founded and operated the Brown Company paper mill complex in Berlin-Gorham.

Walter Nadeau, of the Berlin and Coos County Historical Society, said the planning for the Saturday, Sept. 15 event is well underway. While the 50-mile endurance race will be the main focus, there will also be a 25-mile ride and a 12-mile pleasure ride. The event is open to all breeds of horse although it is expected to be of particular interest to Arabian horse owners. Nadeau said the historical society is in the process of sending out fund-raising packets to area businesses and Arabian horse owners seeking donations to help offset the cost of putting on the event.

“I'm confident we'll get some major sponsors,” he said.

Nadeau said the historical society will also be applying to the Arabian Horse Association for a grant. He said he believes the various fund-raising efforts, combined with proceeds from the entry fee, will provide the necessary money to cover expenses.

The historical society is also seeking volunteers willing to help out with the event. Nadeau said he has contacted the UNH Extension Service to see if 4-H horse owners are interested in volunteering.

“I am going to need help,” he said.

The route for the endurance race has been set and Nadeau said he has received the necessary permission from 17 different landowners, including the state of New Hampshire. The race will started at the Brown Company barns on the East Milan Road where Brown raised his horses. From there the route will enter the woods across from the barns on property owned by Barry Kelley. The route will travel five miles on various wood roads and come out at White Mountain Lumber Company's saw mill. It will then travel along the East Milan Road, crossing the Androscoggin River at the Twelfth Street bridge, and traveling up Twelfth Street, connecting with the snowmobile system on Cates Hill. The From there, the route will continue to the Jericho Mountain State Park where it will run along the Head Pond section of the ATV trail system. The horses will follow the same route back, finishing at the Brown barns. Along the way, it will pass by the high school soccer field to coincide with Berlin High Homecoming festivities.

Nadeau said the goal of an endurance race to to provide a challenging course for the horses and said the route put together has some steep sections. Along the route, the horses must have three mandatory veterinarian stops - Two will be held at the Bisson Farm on Cates Hill and the third will come about 25 miles into the race. Including the mandatory stops, Nadeau said it will take riders six to eight hours to complete the ride.

Assisting the historical society in putting together the route have been Tom and Sandy Hutchinson of Bethel, Maine, who have competed in such events. The rides are sanctioned by the American Endurance Riders Conference and the Eastern Competitive Trail Ride Association.
Brown has one surviving child, Nancy Lee Snow of Falmouth, Maine, and she has pledged to try and make the event.

People interested in donating or volunteering for the Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride should contact Nadeau at 752-7928 or e-mail

Picture (clockwise from right) W.R. Brown's premiere Arabian stallion, Abu Zeyd, which sired 46 foals. A current photo of the Maynesboro Stud Barn which housed Brown's Arabians. The Arabian horses outside the barn and in the fields. (Photos provided by the Berlin and Coos County Historical Society)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Alabama Wagon Train prepares for 32nd annual ride to Montgomery, hopes it won't be the last - Full Story

February 21 2012
By Amber Acker,

Montgomery Alabama - -- In a few weeks, riding enthusiasts from around the country will gather for an annual horseback and wagon ride that tours the natural landscape of Alabama, starting in Talladega and ending at the state rodeo in Montgomery.

For a generation, the Alabama Wagon Train has culminated at the Southeastern Livestock Exposition and Rodeo, with participants forgoing modern transportation in exchange for the chance to experience travel in the style of their ancestors.

Now, the Alabama Wagon Train faces hard times. A lack of sponsors, traffic issues and other problems may prevent the tradition from continuing after this year.

The last founding member and "train boss," Don Thomas, is retiring and the Sand Mountain Saddle Ranch is no longer able to sponsor the ride.

The train started in 1980 when a group of five men in the Sand Mountain Saddle Club decided to ride in wagons and on horseback to the exposition and rodeo instead of driving. While at the time it just seemed a chance to bond with each other and their animals, the idea soon spawned into a tradition that attracted horse enthusiasts from around the country.

"They had an idea to try it out and just do something different that grew from 40 riders to 72 wagons and 1,200 horses," said assistant train boss Ronnie Jones...

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Great Endurance Horse Race begins - Full Article

By John Motter columnist
Thursday, February 16, 2012
We are continuing the story of The Great Endurance Horse Race, sponsored by the Denver Post in 1908.

One of the entrants was William H. (Billy) Kern, a pioneer of Pagosa Country.

It was six in the morning of May 27, 1908, when the Denver Post sponsoring train dubbed the “Pony Express” pulled into Evanston, Wyo., the starting point of the race.

The finish line was 600 miles away, in Denver.

Late season snow flurries covered the ground. Evanston seemed determined to set a new Wyoming record for rip-roaring Western hospitality.

Out of the freight cars came the horses, some loaded at Denver and others at various stops along the way.

Dick Turpin, a coal-black half-breed thoroughbred came out bucking and, with his rider, Jack Smith, the only entry from New Mexico put on a miniature rodeo for the enthusiastic crowd.

Adding to the excitement were two white broncos: Bob Brennan’s Luxus, and Otto Rush’s Scotty; and another thoroughbred called Archie. Almost unnoticed by the gaggle of reporters was a chunky strawberry roan, picked up in Severance, Colo., and led by a big, unassuming cowboy...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

A horse story to beat them all - Full Article

By John M. Motter columnist

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My favorite horse story was printed in a 1908 edition of the Denver Post.

My copy of the story was provided by Karen Hine, a descendant of Pagosa pioneer Maude Hart, whose son-in-law was Billy Kern. Both were Pagosa pioneers from the earliest days of settlement.

The Rocky Mountain West of the first decade of the 1900s still had a lot of Wild West character. Cars and trains and steamboats — even the Wright Brothers’ airplane — had all been invented. Still, horses were the main means of transportation “way out west.”

Everybody knows westerners loved a good horse race.

One-time famous cartoonist Homer Davenport was apparently a horse enthusiast. He happened to remark while visiting Denver that Arabian horses could travel farther and faster than any other breed.

Davenport’s remarks incited the Denver Post to promote a long distance race to see if Arabians really were better.

After much debate, conditions for the race were established.

Called the Great Endurance Race, the path stretched from Evanston in the southwest corner of Wyoming to Denver. It was a treacherous trail over the Continental Divide, some of the roughest of western terrain.

The race would start the morning of May 30, but all entries were due by midnight of the twentieth. The Post would charter a special train leaving Denver on the twenty-sixth to carry the riders and their horses assembled there and would pick up others at specific points along the way. Other expenses and all risks would be borne by the entrants.

There were prizes for the top six finishers; $500, $350, $200, $150, $100 and $50. An additional $300 in gold would be paid to the one finishing in the best condition...

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Vintage grad Graham, horse Monk among finishers in Abu Dhabi - Full Article

ANDY WILCOX | Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lindsay Graham rode 10-year-old gelding Monk to a 32nd-place finish in the annual 100-mile President’s Cup Endurance Ride on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Graham, a veterinarian at Napa Valley Veterinary Hospital, said only 46 of 140 starters finished the prestigious event.

The 2000 Vintage High School graduate went into the six-loop race planning to ride at a competitive but comfortable pace.

She wanted to make sure Monk, owned by Chris Martin of Penn Valley, would come home healthy and be ready for their bigger goal — a successful tryout next month in Texas for the biannual World Endurance Championship that will be held in England in August.
Graham and Monk finished in 8 hours, 53 minutes.

The only other American invited to the race, four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Doug Swingley of Montana, finished 38th.

“The race went really well,” Graham said. “The day went as I had hoped for, to start off in the back and keep a steady but slowly increasing pace throughout the day...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jane Beshear Announces Over $1.8 Million for Recreational Trails Projects

Governors Communication Office

15 February 2012 14:37

FRANKFORT, KY (2/15/12) – First Lady Jane Beshear joined Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Marcheta Sparrow and Department for Local Government (DLG) Commissioner Tony Wilder to announce more than $1.8 million in grants to local communities to develop and maintain recreational trails across Kentucky.

The total of $1,849,648 in federal grant dollars will go to 38 applicants for hiking, biking, horseback riding and other types of trails as part of the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The applicants include city and county government as well as state and federal agencies.

“Developing Kentucky trails is instrumental in increasing overall adventure tourism efforts and boosting local economies throughout the state,” said Mrs. Beshear. “These federal funds help communities get trail projects off the ground so they can bring in tourism dollars and provide areas for their citizens to be active and live healthier lifestyles.”

At the event, Mrs. Beshear also recognized award recipients from last year’s Mid America Trails and Greenway (MATAG) conference. Lynda Bray Schaffer was recognized for being an outstanding volunteer to help expand trials in Kentucky and the Legacy Trail in Lexington was recognized for being and outstanding trail or greenway in Kentucky.

RTP is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. Kentucky’s RTP grants are administered by DLG and require that applicants match the amount of funds requested. The grants may be used to provide assistance for acquisition of easements; development and/or maintenance of recreational trails; and trailhead facilities for both motorized and non-motorized use. Examples of trail uses include hiking, bicycling, inline skating, equestrian use, off-road motorcycling and all-terrain vehicle riding.
FY11 applicants that have been approved for RTP project grants include:

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Friday, February 10, 2012

OT Sara Moniet RSI is 2011 AHA Distance Horse of the Year - Full Article

February 9, 2012 -- OT Sara Moniet RSI (Rave On Ravenwood x OT Dysara RSI), a 2004 dark chestnut owned by M.A. “Crockett” Dumas of Escalante, Utah was named the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) 2011 Distance Horse of the Year, adding one more award to a long list of 2011 accomplishments.

“Sara” covered 1,675 competition miles in 2011, completing 31 of 31 rides with 10 overall wins and 9 Best Conditions. The 7 year-old mare won two 200-mile rides, one 165-miler, one 155-miler, and finished all but one of her rides in the Top Ten. Coupled with Distance Horse of the Year honors, Sara was named the AHA High Point 50-99 mile Endurance horse. The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) awarded Sara the War Mare Award and the Belesemo Arabians Pioneer Award for the Heavyweight Division. Lastly, Sara was awarded the Drinkers of the Wind performance award by the Institute of the Desert Arabian Horse.

“Well everybody thinks their horse is the greatest horse in the world,” says Crockett Dumas. “But she is really a great all-around horse. I bred her and her mother and father … after riding 37,500 miles, I don’t spend a lot of time on good horses. She’s a great horse...”

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Thursday, February 09, 2012

Foiled by Paperwork, Steven Hay Selected for, Misses Young Rider Endurance Worlds - Full Article

February 2012 - by Suzanne Bush

When Steven Hay was just six years old, he knew that he was in love with horses. He rode horses at his grandmother’s farm, and spent several years taking advantage of all the opportunities available to a young rider, such as showing and 4H. But he was hungry for more. “When I was younger I had showed, and I did 4H and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t feel like going in the show ring and riding around in a circle. It didn’t test us. It wasn’t enough.”

Hay, a 21 year-old junior at Penn State University, sought the kinds of equestrian competitions that would challenge him and his horses both mentally and physically. He got involved in competitive trail riding, “then I got into endurance and distance riding and that was it.”

The Port Matilda resident loves the challenge of conditioning a horse for competition, and preparing himself and the horse mentally for the races. He was named to the first ever United States team competing at the FEI Junior and Young Rider World Endurance Championship, which was held in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December. Although he has been competing in endurance races since 2005, Hay has achieved enviable success. In 2010 he placed eighth out of 79 competitors in the Biltmore FEI 50, and fifth in the Canter Over the Mountain Endurance Competition. That same year he was on the gold medal team at the North American Champions, where he was also the Individual Bronze Medalist...

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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

An endurance riding queen - Full Article

Jennifer Allen
Princeton Horse Examiner

“If I were in a bar fight I would want Brian Urlacher, Jared Allen, and Grace Ramsey.” Many people know the first two people; few outside of the endurance world know the third. And the author of the phrase is known by the community she lives in and surrounds herself by—Lori Windows.

Born in Canada, raised in Bloomington, taught in Indianapolis, working in Princeton, and living in Wyanet, IL, Windows wastes no time living her life. From an early age she always had to be busy, always had to be saving money for her first horse, Chico. A Mr. Fowler set her on horses and said “You’re not getting a saddle until you learn how to ride,” then would hide out in the woods to scare the horse and dump the rider.

Now sixty one, one would think Windows would start slowing down. Try telling that to her face and you will get an emphatic “No! Why would I want to slow down? So I can get old and decrepit?” She still works as a veterinary technician at Bureau Valley Veterinary Service (Princeton, IL), travels the world, dives with rays and sharks, and rides those horses and mules...

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Vintage grad one of two Americans chosen to compete in 100-mile Abu Dhabi race - Full Article

ANDY WILCOX | Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012

Lindsay Graham is excited about her latest chance to team up with 10-year-old gelding Monk, the horse she rode for a North American-record time for 100 miles last summer.

The 2000 Vintage High graduate is one of only two Americans who have been invited to compete in the annual President of the UAE Endurance Ride in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Feb. 11.
Despite her record last summer, and fourth-place finish in the North American Endurance Championships in Greenville, Calif. — just north of Truckee — in September, Graham isn’t planning to push Monk as hard as she can to claim a victory in the Middle East.

This is just the first race of a year she expects to be busy.

“What our goal is this year,” she said of herself and Monk’s owner, Chris Martin of Penn Valley, “is to make it to the World Endurance Championship in England in August, and we have trial for that, a tryout, at the end of March in Texas. So I have to be careful. If Monk has a problem over there he might be out for the tryout. So I’m going to use it as a really good conditioning ride and work on a good pace. He’s still going to be working, but we’re not going to be out there racing for the win. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can but also enjoy the experience...”

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Airport Express is This Weekend - Full Article

January 30, 2012

The 2nd Annual "Airport Express Endurance Ride" will take place on February 4 and February 5.

Almost a hundred horseback riders are set to take off through the scenic trails of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, as the 2nd Annual “Airport Express Endurance Ride” gets underway.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5, 2011. Riders traveling 50 miles will see a start time of 7:30 a.m., while the 25 mile riders will begin at 8:00 a.m. All riders need to check-in at least 15 minutes prior to their start time. A dinner, with musical entertainment provided, will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3 and Saturday, February 4. Both the dinner and the musical entertainment are free of charge.

“The two day event features a 25 and 50 mile ride on each day throughout 13,000 acres of groomed riding trails at George Bush Intercontinental Airport,” says Ronnie Pickard, director of strategic constituent planning & special projects for the Houston Airport System.

EEndurance riding is an athletic event for both horse and rider. The goal is to complete the marked trail within the time given, as established by the American Endurance Ride Conference standards. All horses must pass a complete veterinary check before, during and after the ride.

In addition, a 10+ mile “Fun Ride” is simultaneously hosted for those that are novice riders and would like to find out more about the sport of Endurance. They also become more familiar with the beautiful airport trails and the Airport Ranger program.

“As a volunteer Airport Ranger we provide a low-key, additional layer of security,” said Darolyn Butler, Airport Express Ride Manager and Airport Ranger. “After a rigorous background check, we get a chance to ride in some of the most breathtaking areas of the state.”

The event raises funds for Houston based charitable 501 (c) (3) organizations, SIRE – Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers and the HAS Interfaith Chapels. This year marks a meaningful addition, making it the first of three commemorative rides in the Texas Mortl Challenge Series honoring April Mortl.

A variety of activities will also take place each day including educational demonstrations showcasing SIRE and Houston Police Department Mounted Patrol.

For more information, visit