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Canandaigua couple cherishes their Arabian adventures
June 10 2013
Ed Varno never had pets growing up and had never been on a horse. Then Vanessa Waters came into his life — along with her horses — and the adventure began. It took them on horseback across the United States, to Canada, to national parks out West, and to Europe and Asia.
In the 1990s, Waters was a well-known competitive horsewoman. When she and Varno became a couple in 1994, Waters taught Varno to ride. Her teaching brought remarkable results: The following year, Varno was able to enter a national trail-riding competition in which horse and rider follow a course of up to 35 miles.
“Competitive trail riding is similar to a road rally,” Varno explains. “The horse in the best condition at the end wins.”
Waters competed in endurance racing — 100-mile races that take place over the toughest terrain in the U.S. and Canada. Riders gather points for national awards.
“I went along as her ‘water boy’ for that,” Varno jokes.
Varno, executive director of the Ontario County Historical Society for 18 years, also wrote for The Trail Rider Magazine for 14 years under the pen name Ben Theyre...
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