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.

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