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 Endurance.net 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

Spooneradvocate.com - 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 coloradotrail.org. For more information about the FRBCH visit frontrangebackcountryhorsemen.org 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 http://www.endurance.net/AERCNC2013

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 www.foshgaitedsporthorse.com

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 www.fosh.info or e-mail data@fosh.info .

Dream Jobs: Endurance Rider

© 2012 John Nowell, Remuda Photography
Equitrekking.com - 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: