Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mackey Hwy 89 - Full Article

May 17, 2012

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the Hell's Kitchen Horseback Endurance Ride held annually in Sanpete County. Sponsored by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the Hell's Kitchen ride is one of the most popular events of its kind in Utah.

This year's Endurance Ride will be held Saturday, May 19, and will begin with a meeting Friday night just north of the Gunnison Cemetery with the base camp at the "old rodeo grounds." Like most events that last, there's a story behind the story.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Reed Syndergaard, Manti, about the ride's early years before it was an actual AERC approved event. He said back in the 1970s and early 80s every town in the area had at least one riding club,and some had two or more, with more than 4,500 members statewide.

"I don't know of one in the county today," he observed. Syndergaard said the clubs were involved in promoting equine events, many of which had long been associated with rodeo. The groups were affiliated with a state-wide riding club association. He became involved at nearly every level of the organization's leadership, including at the state and district levels.

Syndergaard said he and Arlene Christensen, Mt. Pleasant, got together with a number of other people involved with area riding clubs to create an endurance ride as a fundraiser. They began to focus on the area south of the rugged country long known as Hell's Kitchen...

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