Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Information About the Upcoming Tevis Cup Ride

Renegadehorseboot.com - Full Article


It is just over one week away from the “Western States Trail Ride,” most commonly referred to as the “Tevis Cup Ride,” or simply, “the Tevis.” The Tevis is the world’s oldest modern endurance ride, first held in 1955, and is also considered “the world’s best-known and most difficult equestrian endurance ride.” The Tevis is officially sanctioned by the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference.)

Riders have 24 hours to travel the 100-mile course: from the starting point near the shores of Lake Tahoe, just outside of Truckee, CA, across the rugged Sierra Nevadas, to the finishing point in Auburn, CA. Riders must finish with a horse that is deemed “fit to continue” by a team of veterinarians.

Horses must also pass a number of thorough vet-checks held at multiple locations along the trail, some of which also include mandatory rest periods, before being allowed to continue. They are checked for their pulse and respiration, metabolics including hydration and gut function, and a trot-out to evaluate attitude, way of going, and to check for any unsoundness.

The trail can take its toll: historically, only about 50% of those who start the ride will cross the finish line. Horses and riders both have to contend with the mountain trail that is both physically and mentally demanding. The trail itself is rugged, traversing the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range. The footing is often extremely rocky, with parts of the trail going through sections of granite rock wilderness. Other parts of the trail travel along hard-packed forest service roads, and even on paved streets through the small towns of Michigan Bluff and Foresthill.
In the last number of years, anywhere from 175-200 horses have started the ride each year: both horse and rider have to be able to contend with the excitement and chaos of that many horses at the start. The ride is held in July or August, as close to the full moon as possible. Summer temperatures soar as the ride descends towards lower elevations, and it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach triple digits within the canyons in the middle of the day.

Riders who cross the finish line with a horse that is deemed “fit to continue” (just as it sounds: the horse should be metabolically and physically sound and able to continue on; a horse who is lame at the finish or is presenting a metabolic issue will not be awarded a completion) are awarded one of the coveted silver completion buckles.

In addition, several other awards are presented:

The Tevis Cup is awarded to the first-place finisher who finished with the fastest time and a horse still “fit to continue.”

The Haggin Cup is the “Best Condition” awarded to the horse finishing in the Top Ten placings who is judged by a team of veterinarians to be “in the most superior physical condition.”

The Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation Cup recognizes all of the junior riders who complete each year...

Read more here:

Auburn woman to ride 30th Tevis Cup

Auburnjournal.com - Full Article

July 29 2012

Perry has completed race 21 times
By Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer

Kathie Perry has seen her fair share of the trail over the years, but fear has never ridden with her.

Perry, of Auburn, will ride in her 30th Tevis Cup next week. She has 21 completions under her belt, one first-place finish in 1978 and has been pulled from the race eight times. She is also the president of the Western States Trail Foundation.

Since she began endurance riding and competing in the Tevis Cup in 1975, Perry has dealt with the challenges of the trail and taken everything that comes with it in stride, including three broken ribs last year.

But when it comes to the day of the ride, she knows no fear.

"Once it starts you're out there but a week after I'll go out and ride the trails again and pull down ribbons and say ‘wow, I did this in the dark or at a trot,'" Perry said. "It all comes back to you and you realize the thing that you've conquered."

Perry started endurance riding around 40 years ago, but she's been around horses her entire life. Originally a Kansas girl, Perry grew up on a farm surrounded by horses.

Her father decided that California would be a better place to raise his children, so they moved to the Bay Area. Eventually, a love of endurance riding would bring Perry and her husband, Ernie Perry, to Auburn. The Perrys rode quarter horses early on in their marriage but switched to Arabians when they became involved in endurance rides.

As a matter of fact, the sole reason Perry wanted to move here was the Tevis Cup...

Read more here:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Horsin' around: A dude rides the trails of Rock County

Gazettextra.com - Full Article

JANESVILLE — Before last week, I hadn't ridden a horse in earnest since I was 11 years old.

Back then, I'd put on boots and jeans and saddle up old Patch, my Shetland pony, and we'd ride for hours along the fringes of my folks' northern Illinois farm. We'd swish through tall grass, scout fencerows for pheasants and dawdle in the stream that wound through the back yard.

That was years ago. I'm no longer a cowboy. I'm now a guy in his 30s who types for a living. Truth is, I can't remember exactly how to hold a horse's reins, and I couldn't tell a trot from a canter.

So how did I find myself on horseback at Gibbs Lake County Park in rural Janesville, neck deep in of one of Rock County's scattered public equine trails?

Well, I was told by riders, by trail maintenance volunteers and by county parks officials that the county's parks, though limited in size, foster a number of horseback riding trails that serve a growing number of riders.

The idea was to learn about the trails from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

As usually is the case when I get a bright idea for a story, I got in over my head, fast. I agreed to do a ride with bunch of competitive endurance trail riders—a few of them from Australia. All I could do was try to keep up.

"Hey, dude. The trail's this way," said Steve Clibborn, one of the Aussies, from atop his mustang...

Read more here:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tevis Cup: Dedicated Mile

Sue Walz, Tevis buckle winner in 2004 & 2006, would like to invite all of her father, Bob's friends to participate in the adoption of a mile of trail in Bob's honor. Sue is facing some health challenges of her own and it is her wish that the plaque to commemorate this mile could be presented at the Awards Banquet following this year's ride, August 5, 2012.
Bob's mile, the "Bob Walz Easy Ride Mile", will be mile 76 of the trail, a beautiful stretch of the California Street Loop where can be found a clear spring which fills a trough donated by Julie Suhr. There are many of us who ride Easy Ride Stirrups, now brought to us by our friends at Easy Care.
Bob finished the Tevis in 1976, 1984, 1985, 1986, & 1987.
Donations can be sent care of the Bob Walz Mile, Western States Trail Endowment, 150 Gum Lane, Suite 103, Auburn, CA 95603."

Friday, July 27, 2012

Aberdeen rider, horses shine through endurance

Aberdeennews.com - Full Article

BY JOHN PAPENDICK, jpapendick@aberdeennews.com
3:05 a.m. CDT, July 27, 2012

An Aberdeen endurance horse-riding athlete is continuing to add to her world-class resume.

Kelsey Kimbler won the silver medal aboard her family's purebred Arabian horse Fringant at last week's Federation Equestre Internationale 4-Star Championship 75-mile Endurance Race in Kentucky. Plus, Fringant earned the best-conditioned horse award.

Kimbler and Fringant's time was 6 hours, 11 minutes.

Kimbler is a 19-year-old, 2011 Aberdeen Central graduate who will be a sophomore this fall at Northern State.

On Aug. 4, Kimbler and her Arabian horse Cody Canuck - trained by her older sister Kirsten - will tackle the 57th annual Tevis Cup “100 Miles One Day” Ride in California. The American Profile magazine in Monday's American News called the test “the nation's most grueling equine endurance ride.”..

Read more here:

Previously injured Tevis rider to compete again with son

Auburnjournal.com - Full Article


Thomas was thrown from horse in 2008, broke pelvis, crushed bladder
By Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
It's been four years since Luanne Thomas was thrown from a horse in San Francisco, but she still gets nervous when she's in the saddle and things get a little shifty.

Even after completing last year's Tevis Cup, Thomas, of Cool, is still unsure when she's on a trail she isn't comfortable with.

"I still have little panic attacks if my horse stumbles. It takes everything I have to get through some of these narrow trails, even though the accident didn't happen on the trail," Thomas said. "I'm just nervous about waking up in the hospital again."

Thomas will ride in this year's Tevis Cup, but she won't do it alone. This will be the first time her son, Dillon, 13, has ridden the 100-mile endurance race, but he said he's ready, especially after placing first in the junior level of the American Endurance Ride Conference's west region.

"It's just the thrill of it, really. It's just the thrill of Tevis," Dillon said.

Thomas finished the race last year, a big accomplishment for her after taking a few years off from riding.

She did not finish her first attempt at the race and was eager to give it another go in 2008. Thomas was a member of the Sacramento Police Mounted Association for 16 years and decided to attend a training session being held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.

That's when Thomas's life was uprooted...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Look at the Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew

Tevis Trail Maintenance Report
Watson Monument through the Granite Chief Wilderness Area vicinity of Tevis Milepost 14.5 to 19 — Tuesday, July 17, 2012 Tahoe National Forest

by Robert H. Sydnor, Engineering Geologist
AERC Trail Master & Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew

The Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew carpooled from Auburn, assembled in Squaw Valley, then began work at the historic Watson Monument.


The six-person Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew included: Michael Shackelford (Trail Crew Boss), Phyllis Keller (deputy leader), Austin Violette, Rob Habel, Zachary Brankline, and Robert H. Sydnor. The team included two AERC Trail Masters.

Phyllis Keller (M-AERC), resides with her husband Bryce Keller (retired CDF Battalion Chief) in Truckee, and is a highly-experienced rider in the Robie Park — Squaw Valley — Truckee area. Her knowledge was valuable for cleverly navigating the complicated network of unmarked jeep roads used in the summertime for ski-lift repair and installation of new ski-lifts. Phyllis Keller has faithfully and diligently served for many years on the Tevis Trail Crew, particularly in the eastern 36 mile-segment from Robie Park to Robinson Flat.

We were able to adroitly ascend on steep gravel roads in a 4-wheel drive truck to a ski-lift terminal that is above High Camp, and only one-half mile from the summit of Emigrant Pass. We parked the truck at about elevation 8,400 feet, and quickly hiked to the Watson Monument at elevation 8,675 feet. During our trail work, we would drop more than 1,100 feet, then return and hike back out over Emigrant Pass.

It was about 68°F with a brisk steady wind at 10 to 15 m.p.h., with bright sunshine and intermittent cumulus clouds; alpine visibility about 40 miles. We used sunblock for ultraviolet protection at high altitude.

The six-person Tevis Trail Maintenance Crew carried three long-handled loppers, hand-held hedge- trimmers, a bow-rake, a machete for chopping brush, and hand-held cross-cut saws.

Hand-Held Trail Tools for the Granite Chief Wilderness Area

Gas-powered engines are not allowed in the wilderness area, so that precluded weed-eaters, high- reach pole-saws, and chainsaws for fallen trees.

U.S. Forest Service officer Mary Sullivan of the American River Ranger District (in Foresthill), Tahoe National Forest, generously lent us a cross-cut saw.

The focus of our work was to improve lateral and vertical clearance for our horses, and to ascertain that there were no newly-fallen trees across the Tevis Trail. Minimal work was performed on the trail-bed.

We carried our daypacks with ample water and lunches, plus an AERC Trail Master carried a "wilderness" First-Aid Kit (that is considerably larger and more specialized than a "standard" First-Aid Kit).

The Tevis Trail Crew paused briefly at the summit of Emigrant Pass to pay homage to the pioneer sheriff Robert Montgomery Watson, who marked this historic route in September 1931...

Read more here:
http://www.endurance.net/international/USA/2012Tevis/WatsonMonumenttoGranite Chief_TevisTrail.pdf

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Endurance riding at Parrie Haynes Ranch

Austin360.com - Full Article

By Pam LeBlanc | Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Toodles and I teamed up for a long-distance ride at the Parrie Haynes Ranch northwest of Florence this weekend.

Toodles, you may recall, is a sturdy, sure-footed mare with a velvety nose and a trot that feels sort of like sitting in a gently swaying Barcalounger. She belongs to my friend Elaine Swiss, an all-around awesome gal who competes in distance riding and competitive trail riding events.

Elaine let me ride Toodles in a competitive trail ride a few months ago. We chugged through a course spiced up with obstacles like loading and unloading a trailer, side stepping a log, and opening a gate while mounted.

Now Elaine is preparing Toodles and one of her other horses, a gray mare named Roulette, for a distance ride, where horse and rider teams trot cross-country, racing to see who can cover a marked route in the shortest amount of time.

Rest periods are planned into the course, and veterinarians periodically check the horses along the way to make sure they’re sound and healthy. (The humans, however, are on their own!)

Elaine plans to ride Roulette at the Arabian Horse Association Distance National in September, held on the grounds of the swanky and historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C. Her sister will ride Toodles in the two-day event, which consists of a 50-mile and 100-mile endurance ride.

I’m Toodles’ backup rider. If I get the last-minute call, I will swoop in and ride Toodles through the cool, misty hills of George Vanderbilt’s old stomping ground...

Read more here:

Squaw Valley Construction


July 24 2012

From now until Ride Day on August 4th, there will be no riding allowed on the Squaw Valley portions of the trail for safety reasons. There is construction going on, which includes large, noisy trucks traveling down the roads. WSTF will receive special permission to use this property on Ride Day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

NAJYRC’s First FEI 4* Endurance Race Is a Great Success


The endurance team gold medal went to Canada this year with three teammates riding purebred Arabians. In a great show of team unity, all three members crossed the finish line together. In official times, Lee Hutton and Parker AES finished in seven hours and 33 seconds, Emma Webb and Serloki in seven hours and 34 seconds, and Jessica Yavis and Jahlad in seven hours and 35 seconds. Chef d’Equipe Maura Leahy noted that the overcast weather helped the team by providing a better environment for racing.

Emma Webb (18 Flesherton, ON, CAN), borrowed her horse from American endurance rider Jan Worthington. “My horse felt really good all day,” she said. “There are not very many of us (on the team), so it’s hard to get a team together and get all of us to finish.”

Jessica Yavis (16, Winfield, AB, CAN) rode her own horse and despite a slip where they almost fell on Loop 3, she finished strong. “It scared me pretty bad, so I went to check with the team vet,” she explained. “I decided to back off after that. He’s fine now; it’s just a little scrape. I’ve been riding my horse for eight years, so I know him pretty well. I keep in check with him all the time. I take the vet’s advice and go from there.”

Yavis added, “I’m so glad that we finished as a team yesterday.”

Hutton echoed the team sentiments, “It was awesome crossing the finish line together. We talked about it before. We decided if we met out on the trail, we’d stick together. We kept our pace and rode it smart to complete everybody. We would not have any of the speeds or completion rates if we had no crew. They’re amazing and don’t get nearly enough credit. There should be enough medals for everybody.” The 20-year-old from Chesterville, Ontario, Canada showed here last year and won the silver medal at the 2009 NAJYRC when endurance was a USEF rated competition.

In the Individual Endurance championships, it was 20-year-old Katherine Gardner of Coventry, RI, who rode AF Big Bucks owned by Pam Wydell to victory. The pair was able to complete the 120 km race in 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 48 seconds.

“My ride went really well. I went into it mostly because I wanted a completion, to do well but get across the finish line making sure my horse is okay. Along the way, we still had a lot of horse left and he was doing really well,” Gardener explained of her race performance.

AF Big Bucks is an experienced endurance horse who has set record times in shorter races. Gardener rode him in a 120 km race a few months ago, but this is only their second big competition together. “He knows how to race and do well,” she described. “When he comes into the hold, he knows to chill and relax and conserve energy. His pulse is down within seconds. That’s his biggest strength, is pulsing down.”

Since the endurance race at NAJYRC is an FEI four-star rated competition (for the first time in NAJYRC history), it will dramatically help the young riders that finished the race. By having this four-star qualification, they will be able to compete in more international competitions.

Also competing at the NAJYRC this week were three members from the American team that traveled to Abu Dhabi to ride in the Young Rider World Endurance Championship this past December. Under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Emmett Ross, they posted amazing results by placing fourth out of 29 teams from all over the world.

Joining Mary Kathryn Clark and Kelsey Russell in Abu Dhabi last year was NAJYRC silver medalist Kelsey Kimbler (19, Aberdeen, SD). Here at the NAJYRC, Kimbler rode Fringant and finished in six hours, 11 minutes, and 49 seconds.

Fringant was also named the “Best Conditioned Horse” of the event. “I think conformationally he is very correct, which has helped him stay sound in the races. He has a very big heart,” Kimbler said.

Kimbler has ridden Fringant since he was three years old. “He’s the first horse that we’ve had since he was a baby and we’ve been able to bring him up and do our own training. It’s been very rewarding. I know he has a lot of potential; this was his personal best and my personal best.”

The bronze medal went to 15-year-old Cassandra Roberts of Bronson, FL. Roberts and C A Classy Marina (a three-quarters Arabian, one-quarter Saddlebred horse) have been together for three years. “We had a good plan,” Roberts said. “The weather didn’t change the plan. She went how she normally goes and I let her do her own thing.”

With the three NAJYRC medalists and the two riders that competed in Abu Dhabi, the American endurance team’s future is very strong. Ross said, “All of these young ladies are the future of our sport. I expect to have at least one of them on the World Equestrian Games team two years from now.”

For full results or to learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.

Monday, July 23, 2012

New AERC Store!

July 20 2012


Just underway is the AERC STORE with short- and long-sleeve T-shirts, hoodies, caps, etc. We'll be adding more items as we can. A portion of every sale goes to AERC. If you have any suggestions for items you'd like to order through the AERC store, please write to the Publications Desk. Thanks!

Events conclude at the 2012 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships

Horsechannel.com - Full Article

Top youth riders from five equestrian sports take home medals and the experience of international competition.

July 22, 2012

After a week of challenging weather and top competition, The FEI/Adequan North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) concluded this weekend with the final medals awarded in eventing, freestyle dressage, individual reining and show jumping. Additionally, the endurance winners received their awards in a special presentation in the Alltech Arena on Saturday.

The United States had a sweep of the individual medals in endurance with a trio of seasoned young riders. Gold went to Katherine Gardner, 20, riding AF Big Bucks for the U.S.A. combined regional team. Gardner finished the 75-mile race in just six hours, 11 minutes and 48 seconds. Kelsey Kimbler, 19, of the U.S. Central team finished just one second behind to earn silver with Fringant. Fingant also received the coveted “Best Conditioned” award, which is based on the horse’s condition at the final vet check at the end of the race. Taking home the bronze was Cassandra Roberts, 16, of the U.S. Southeast team riding her Arabian/Saddlebred mare, CA Classy Marina.

The three riders from Canada were confirmed as the gold medalists in the team competition. Lee Hutten and Parker AES, Jessica Yavis and Jahlad, and Emma Webb and Serloki finished together and were the only team to have three riders complete the race. When the three Arabian horses had passed the final vet check, Canada’s gold-medal status was confirmed.

The team, individual and best-conditioned medals were awarded the day after the race in the Alltech Arena where the riders took a well-deserved victory lap.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Canada Wins Team Gold at NAJYRC


Endurance headlines the third day of North American Junior Young Rider Championship competition in Kentucky

July 21, 2012

At 6:30 on Friday morning, a set of intrepid horses and riders set off on a 75-mile ride from base camp at the Kentucky Horse Park. The day started cloudy and cool, favorable conditions for the race, which is made up of five loops through the park and surrounding farms.

Although it is one of the most popular equestrian sports worldwide, endurance is still growing in North America. But with the group of seasoned young equestrians participating in this year’s competition, the future of the sport here is bright.

Four teams started the day, plus two individual riders for a total of 17 competitors. Riders represented three U.S. regions: Southeast, Central, and a combined team comprised of riders from other regions. Canada sent a single team of three riders. Mexico and Guatemala sent one rider each.

In order to qualify for a team medal, three riders must complete the race and have their horses pass the final vet check. This put the team from Canada at a disadvantage as they only had three riders instead of the four that each U.S. regional team had. However, by the end of the day, Canada was the only team to still have three riders in contention. The team cantered to the finish line together victoriously, with only the final check standing between them and team gold.

On the individual side, Katherine Gardner came through the finish line first and headed to the vet check. When her horse, AF Big Bucks, passed the final inspection, cheers erupted from Garnder’s U.S. combined teammates. USEF Youth Equestrian of the Year Kelsey Kimbler rode Fringant to a silver medal finish.

The medal ceremony for the endurance riders will be held on Saturday.

Partial, unofficial order of finish:

1. Katherine Gardner - Big Bucks (owner Pam Weidel)
2. Kelsey Kimbler - Fringant
3. Sondra Roberts (Southeast) - CA Classy Marina
4. Mallory Capps
5. Emma Webb (Ontario)
6. Lee Hutton (Ontario)
7. Jessica Yavis (Alberta)

CANADA - Team Gold

Friday, July 20, 2012

EasyCare announces the EasyCare Let's Go! Contest

Easycareinc Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2012
by Kevin Myers

Where did your Easyboots take you this summer?

Today marks the launch of the EasyCare Let's Go! contest on the Easyboot Facebook page. We're giving away one pair of Easyboots every Friday for six weeks.

But that's not all: on Friday, August 31, 2012, we will have a drawing for the grand prize: a three-day get-away for two people at a Meadow Home at The Resort at Paws Up near Missoula, Montana.

Entering is easy: all you have to do is to submit a photo of where your Easyboots took you this summer. Go to the Easyboot Facebook page, then click on the Easyboot Let's Go! tab.

Once you're on the contest page within Facebook, click on the 'Enter Now' button and follow the instructions to upload your photo.

You can only enter the contest once, but you can increase your chances of winning by inviting your friends to participate. That's it - there is nothing else to do but sit back and wait to see if you win - and what. Due to US gaming laws, this contest is open only to residents of the United States.

So Let's Go! Together we'll go far.

Lost Arabian Endurance Horse in Oregon

July 18 2012

(Has full tack on… saddle, bridle, tie down, chest collar, pack)

He is a Chestnut colored horse with a flaxen mane/tail with white blaze on his forehead. His name is Baron. He is 15.3 hands tall, one white sock on front leg and one white sock on the back leg.

He was lost at the Bandit Springs Endurance Ride on Saturday, July 14, 2012 around 8:00 a.am @ Corral Flat in the Ochocos. The GPS coordinates are 44-27-59.74N and 120-22-21.96W.

Please contact Charlene Carlson-Norman at (541)385-1084 or Jeff Norman at (541) 848-1842.

Carla Stroh Places Well in the Shamrock Endurance Ride...

Luskherald.com - Full Article

Posted: Thursday, Jul 19th, 2012
Phyllis Hahn/Contributing Writer

Carla Stroh rides on her horse Spook during the Shamrock Endurance Ride. Courtesy Photo

On July 6, Carla Stroh hauled her husband Harold’s Arabian horse, Spook, to the Shamrock Endurance Race, which began west of Wheatland. This was the first race she has participated in for over a year since the Equine Herpes threat last year caused Stroh to decide not to risk Spook contracting the virus. The thought of doing an easy 30 mile race was very inviting since the last race she’d ridden in was the grueling Big Horn 100 mile.

On Saturday morning, Stroh’s crew joined her in a second cup of coffee as they watched the 50 milers start out. At 7:45 a.m. Spook was saddled and Stroh was ready for roll call. The first loop of the race was approximately 22 miles long with a vet check back at base camp. The pace started out brisk and they were trotting about 12 miles an hour. The weather was cool and misty as it had rained all night so keeping the pace in the cool weather and the soft ground was not a problem. Riders usually end up riding in groups of 3 or 4 where the horses are of a similar fitness level. According to Stroh, “Spook must have had someone read him the tale of ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’, because when it came his turn to take the lead he would jump sideways or slam on the brakes at every horse eating rock or tree branch he thought looked suspicious.” (Could this be the source of his name?) When another horse took the lead he would keep pace with them because perhaps he thought that if anything were to eat a horse it would eat the lead horse first and give him time to run away. Needless to say, Spook did not take the lead often. The riders ran into a herd of cows but that didn’t present a problem, except Spook is accustomed to being used for ranch work and must have thought he was there for a roundup. Stroh had to convince him to leave the cows there and get back on the trail! They got back to the base camp earlier than expected because of their blazing pace. Stroh’s crew was just coming into the cool down area to wait for her, but she was already there. She had ridden 22 miles in just under 2 hours. Spook was the first horse in the group to pulse down before submitting to the vet check. There are a series of tests done on each horse to make sure he is fit to continue and to avoid any problems. Spook walked away with straight “A’s”...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

America’s Toughest Ride: The Tevis Cup

Americanprofile.com - Full Article

by Sherry Phillips
July 17, 2012

Barbara White, 64, rides her 11-year-old mare across No Hands Bridge east of Auburn, Calif. (pop. 13,330), trotting through early morning fog in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

White grins and waves to her mother, Julie Suhr, 88, who stands at the end of the bridge alongside other well-wishers cheering for competitors in the Tevis Cup, the nation’s most grueling equine endurance ride.

“I know the nervousness and excitement they’re all feeling,” says Suhr, a former competitor who 22 times completed the one-day, 100-mile ride on the Western States Trail.

Last October, 177 horsemen and women from around the world, ranging in age from 12 to 69, began the ride, and 123 finished within the required 24 hours to earn a coveted sterling silver belt buckle emblazoned with a Pony Express rider. White received her 31st buckle, more than any other entrant.

“For me the challenge has always been the trail, not the other riders,” says White, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Scotts Valley, Calif. (pop. 11,580). “We cheer for each other, and there’s no shame in not finishing. The slogan of endurance riding is ‘to finish is to win...’”

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North Welcomes 261 Athletes in Five Disciplines


RELEASE: July 17, 2012

Lexington, KY - The 2012 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North (NAJYRC) is proud to welcome all of the 261 young athletes that will compete in five disciplines over the next five days. The NAJYRC is held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. Today, the NAJYRC hosted the athletes, trainers, friends, and family at the Opening Ceremonies.

Five disciplines (a total of 9 championships for juniors and young riders) will take part in the only FEI Championship to be held annually in North America. The NAJYRC is the premier equestrian competition in North America for junior and young riders, ages 14-21. This year, young equestrians have come from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala to vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping, dressage, eventing and the FEI World Equestrian Games disciplines of reining and endurance.

The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport. Many of North America's best equestrians who now regularly represent their country on Olympic, World Championship and Nations Cup teams got their first taste of International experience at NAJYRC. These include show jumpers Greg Best, Chris Kappler and McLain Ward, five-time Olympian and three-day eventer Karen O'Connor, and dressage rider Todd Flettrich.

The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A dressage championship was added in 1981, and show jumping was added in 1982. The first complete Young Riders championship was held in British Columbia, Canada, in 1982. The Championships were expanded to officially include a championship division for juniors in 2006. The discipline of reining was added to the official schedule in 2008; endurance joined the championship for the first time in 2011. Vaulting competition is held at the NAJYRC, but is not officially part of the championship.

The opening ceremonies featured all of the teams from the six disciplines in a parade to honor the members and their Chefs d'Equipe. The teams posed for photos before leaving on a golf cart parade to sponsor Spy Coast Farm for an exhibitor barbeque. The golf cart parade featured many brightly decorated carts all vying for the win as "Best Dressed."

Held at the site of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), the NAJYRC brings together a multitude of disciplines similar to the WEG. Show jumping and dressage had their jogs today, where horses were tested for soundness before the officials and veterinarians. This is a key part of FEI level competition, and the junior and young riders of all disciplines here at NAJYRC are learning valuable information about international rules and regulations that will serve them well when they go to represent their country at senior-level events.

Dressage kicks off the competition tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. with the junior and young rider team tests. There are 80 dressage riders slated to ride at the NAJYRC this year. In the afternoon, medals will be awarded to the junior and young rider dressage teams, with the winning team honored with their national anthem. On Friday, the individual tests are held, and riders return on Saturday for their freestyle tests. Both days' competition will award medals to the top three finishers.

Show jumping will hold their first individual qualifiers on Wednesday afternoon with 58 starters and will return on Thursday morning to compete in their team finals. Medals will be awarded for the junior teams, followed by the young rider teams. The individual finals will be held on Saturday.

Three-Day Eventing starts on Thursday with dressage tests for both the CCI 2* and CCI 1* riders (which total 59 in all), and the always exciting cross country will take place on Saturday. The eventers wrap up their competition on Sunday morning with the stadium jumping phase and receive their individual and team medals.

Reining composes 20 riders, and they will start with a welcome competition on Wednesday afternoon in the Alltech Arena. Their team championship is held on Thursday where they will receive medals in a podium presentation, while individual medals will be contested on Saturday.

Seventeen Endurance riders will travel on a 120 kilometer course around the Kentucky Horse Park bright and early on Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. Awards for the Best Conditioned Horse and the team and individual medals will be awarded on Saturday morning.

Vaulting competition will be featured in the Mary Murphy Ring on Thursday morning. The 26 vaulters will return on Friday morning for their final competition.

More exciting news and results will be forthcoming as the week progresses. To learn more about the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, please visit www.youngriders.org.

NAJYRC showcases the best young rider and junior horse/rider combinations in dressage, eventing, jumping, reining, and endurance. Young equestrians from across the continent will descend on the Kentucky Horse Park to vie for FEI medals at these Championships.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

57th Tevis Cup: Just Over 2 Weeks Away!

July 17 2012

The 209 riders from 4 countries are currently registered for the 57th annual Tevis Cup.

Current rider list:

The ride agenda has been posted here:

The 2012 Checkpoint information has been posted:

For more information on the ride, see

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Endurance riding ‘To finish is to win’

Lagrandeobserver.com - Full Article

Written by By Dick Mason The Observer July 06, 2012

ELGIN — This Elgin equestrian is more concerned with the pace of her horses’s pulse than the speed of his gait.

Meet Vicki Nickels, an Elgin endurance rider with more than 25 25-to-50 mile endurance rides to her credit and a record which is gaining sparkle.

Nickels recently placed fifth in the first day competition at the Eagle (Idaho) Spring Fling 50-mile endurance ride. She also received a coveted complement — Ruger, her Morgan-Arabian mix, was rated by the ride’s veterinarian as the best in terms of physical condition of any of the nine horses ridden at the Eagle Spring Fling.

“To me that was more important than coming in first,’’ Nickels said.

Endurance ride participants must have their horses checked by veterinarians five times in the course of a 50-mile event — at the start and finish and three times during the ride. The horses’ heart rates, hydration levels, leg condition and much more are closely checked by veterinarians. When veterinarians determine that a horse is not fit to continue, riders are asked to pull their horse from the competition.

“It is all about the animal,’’ Nickels said. “There is no shame in pulling out...’’

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Kimery's biggest endurance ride yet coming up

Southcountyleader.com - Full Article

July 6 2012

Christina Kimery, 14, Bixby, who’s becoming well known for endurance rides, says her June 30 weekend was fabulous. She rode her mom’s little mare, Angel, in a 30-mile distance ride. Twenty-seven riders from four states started out at 4 p.m. at Camp Carl in a local ride sponsored by the Ozark Country Endurance Riders (AERC) which sanctions endurance rides in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Angel, Christina’s teammate for the day, is a 13.3 fox trotter which means she’s 13.3 hands tall and a breed appreciated for stamina and known for an ambling gait known as the fox trot.

Every 12 miles the horses were thoroughly examined to make sure there were no physical problems. Christina’s mother Gail said two veterinarians were available in addition to several veterinarian students from Oklahoma State University.

The riders were taken care of as well. “We had fans, shade, and frozen Popsicles for the riders in camp,” said Gail.

Christina came in third place with a riding time of five hours. Angel won High Vet Score and Best Condition...

Read more here: