Saturday, March 23, 2013

Endurance rider racks up miles - Full Article

March 23, 2013 by Sally Fox

The winter months bring out the couch potato in many of us. Libby Llop of Caledonia has found another way to put in serious seat time waiting for spring to arrive.

This would involve flying to Colorado and then driving and riding more than 3,800 miles to compete two weekends in a row in endurance rides in Texas and California before returning to Fort Collins, Colo.

Llop has been an endurance rider for quite some time. She and her Arabian mare, Fly So Free, were recognized at this year’s American Endurance Ride Conference convention as a Decade Team for having completed at least one recognized 50-mile ride per year for 10 consecutive years.

About 10 years ago, Llop accompanied her husband, Dr. Quentin Llop, when he took part in a short course on embryo transplants at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Prior to the trip, Libby inquired in an online endurance riding group about anyone in that area that she might connect with to help pass the time while Quentin was in class.

Thus she came to meet Linda Fisher of Kenlyn Arabians in Aurora and Fort Collins. With more than 21,000 competition miles to her credit, Fisher’s primary interest nowadays is breeding quality endurance horses. The top market for her horses is, not surprisingly, Middle-Eastern sheiks with money to spare. Still, the preference of such buyers is for proven mounts with low wear and tear, but internationally-recognized competition mileage...

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