Saturday, December 20, 2014

AERC: Catch the Wave of Endurance Clinics

With the wave of Endurance 101 clinics gaining momentum among AERC volunteers with the goal of attracting new members and to help ‘newbie’ riders move up in distance, has created an “Endurance Clinics” page on its website. The page lists upcoming Endurance clinics, and gives information on holding Endurance Clinics for the beginner to more experienced riders who seek mentorship.

“Endurance 101” is mainly for ‘newbies’ to endurance; “Endurance 201” clinics are more hands-on, and often have mounted demos with a mock endurance ride and vet check. “Beyond the Basics” clinics are “to help riders get through the ‘sophomore slump,’” this who want to increase their level of performance in the sport.

AERC promo materials, and PowerPoint modules are available for those putting on endurance clinics.

For more information, see:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Time to Renew your AERC Membership for 2015

RENEW for 2015! You are welcome to renew online or by phone (866-271-2372). There are changes to the rule book, so 2015 membership cards will be mailed with rule books by late October. Ask about our 2-year membership, available only to those who call the office to renew. 

RENEW FOR TWO! Members can renew for 2015 & 2016 for $145 (first member) and $95 additional adult members. Here is the 2015 & 2016 AERC Membership Form for you to fill out and mail in with a check or fax in with a CC#.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

USEF Issues Joint Injection, Shock Wave Withdrawal Times

Edited Press Release
Nov 26, 2014

Effective Dec. 1 and for the 2015 competition year, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has implemented withdrawal practices following intra-articular (within the joint) injections and shock wave therapy.

The withdrawal practices are the result of rule changes passed at the USEF Annual Meeting in January 2014.

For intra-articular injections a four-day withdrawal time from competition has been instituted, while a three-day withdrawal from competition for shock wave therapy has been implemented.

Additionally, for the 2015 competition year, the USEF has created an online medication report form for therapeutic administration of forbidden substances, which is available online.

For more information about the USEF Drugs and Medications Program, visit

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AERC Director-At-Large Results

DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE election results are in: In alphabetical order, here are the directors who will be sworn in (or re-sworn in) at the 2015 AERC convention: Tom Bache, Olin Balch DVM, Randy Eiland, Susan Garlinghouse DVM, Terry Woolley Howe, Mollie Krumlaw-Smith, Mike Maul, Christoph Schork.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Effort equestrian Holly Corcoran strives for world-class standing - Full Article

By Wayne Witkowski
Pocono Record Writer
Posted Dec. 14, 2014

It’s the dream of every serious competitor: to be in an international arena representing the United States.
Holly Corcoran of Effort has carried that dream for the past nine years in equestrian endurance riding and got a taste of it recently when she returned from Brazil after participating in a 100-mile (160-kilometer) endurance race on a provided horse. She has five Arabian breeds of her own at home, the overwhelming horse of choice in this brand of competition.

With the season’s reversed and countries south of the equator in the thick of the summer season, Corcoran opted out of the race before her horse could have with a serious case of dehydration. Veterinarians are on site at stages during endurance riding competitions to see if the animals are fit to go on in the one-day event.

A certified public accountant by profession, Corcoran shared her stories at the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Kiwanis Club of the Stroudsburgs, and feels she and her horses are ready for a chance at the big international stage for the first time when they participate in qualifiers for one of the five spots (and one alternate) on the American team in the Pan American Endurance Games that take place in Toronto next August. Those selections will be determined in endurance trials at Biltmore Estates in Asheville, North Carolina in May...

- See more at:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning with Karen Chaton

Horses in the Morning - Listen!

December 9 2014 2014

Endurance Day with Karen Chaton opens with several helpful hints for riding in cold wet weather. Next up we hear the heart warming story of two gals who got to be friends through their shared love of endurance riding and now share something truly amazing. Rounding out the show Susie Schomburg goes over the latest AERC rule changes. Listen in...

Horses in the Morning Radio show

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Arabian Horse Association Announces 2014 Distance Horse of the Year Award Recipient

December 01, 2014

Arabian Horse Association Announces 2014 Distance Horse of the Year Award Recipient

(01-December-14 – AURORA, CO) – Arabian horses are known for their endurance, their beauty, and their ability to be versatile and strong. The Arabian Distance horse is no different and the Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) Distance Horse of the Year award recognizes these attributes and the significant accomplishments of an Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian horse in the distance sports each year. This year, with an impressive field of nominees, only one could be selected and the honor of this prestigious award was given to GF Brazils Envy.

Distance is the name and high mileage is this horse's game. Owned and ridden by Ann Kratochvil of Ridgecrest, Calif., GF Brazils Envy has been competing in American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) rides for nine years. Kratochvil is an accomplished rider herself, logging over 23,000 endurance miles, but considers Envy to be the best horse she has ever owned.

During her nine years of competition, Envy completed an unprecedented total of 8,560 miles and still has more rides to compete in before the 2014 year is through. Envy's impressive mileage career is as follows: in 2006, she completed 155 miles; in 2007, she completed 505 miles; in 2008, 950 miles; in 2009, 1,200 miles; in 2010, she completed 850 miles; in 2011, she completed 1,220 miles; in 2012, 1,690 miles; in 2013, 1,015 miles; and at the time of his nomination, Envy had completed 1,020 miles in 2014.

While high mileage is important for this award recipient, Envy has other monumental accolades. Having received 12 first place finishes, 105 Top Ten awards and 15 best Condition Awards, Envy has shown that she is not only fit and fast, but also a horse with a huge heart. Owner Ann Kratochvil and Carla Richardson believe these were just some of the many reasons Envy was deserving of the nomination and win.

AHA would like to congratulate GF Brazils Envy on her many accomplishments and her winning of this coveted award.

This year, the AHA Award Sub-Committee comprised of the Awards, AHA Distance Ride Commission and Distance Ride Committee chairs and two at-large Distance Committee members, had the distinguished task of reviewing ten nominees for the AHA Distance Horse of the Year award. They had a tough decision to make, with an impressive field of nominees.

AHA would like to congratulate all of the 2014 Distance Horse of the Year Award nominees: Amigo Rissar+, Awesomes Fire N Ice, Belesema Finalia, Cashin In, Davanna Tom Cat, MMF Thunders Echo+/, Sea Dragon, Sizedoesntmatter and Wyntez Buddy. Each of these horses were deserving nominees and AHA wishes them luck in 2015.

- See more at:

Contact: AHA

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Reed Donates Filly for NASTR Fundraiser

December 9 2014

The Nevada All-State Trail Riders are pleased to announce the 2015 NASTR Trails Fundraiser Auction featuring TR My Surprise. This beautiful 2012 Arabian filly has been donated by Terryl A Reed. Thank you Terryl for you generosity and support of equestrian trails.
TR MY SURPRISE- AHR*663030 is sired by COWBBOY BOB x HR AFLAME. COWBBOY BOB is the 2014 Virginia City 100 Mile Ride Best Condition winner. Dam is BOLD ROSE, a SANSKRIT daughter. BOLD ROSE is also the dam of TR MAVERIC who was the 2009 Virginia City 100 mile ride winner, TR JACKPOT, and TR JJAG, successful endurance horses.

Final bids will be taken at the Nevada Derby 50 mile AERC ride held on April 4, 2015, where SURPRISE will be on site. Watch for more photos and details about the NASTR Fundraiser Auction.

For more information, see

Monday, December 08, 2014

John Parke and Remington: AERC’s First Double Decade Team

December 8 2014

John Parke and his 2013 AERC Hall of Fame horse Remington became AERC’s only Double Decade team when they completed the Death Valley Warmup 50-mile ride on December 6, having completed a 50 mile ride for twenty years in a row.

The 26-year-old, 13.3-hand Icelandic pony, elected to AERC’s Hall of Fame for 2013, has 11,405 miles and is 11th on the all-time AERC mileage list. Park and Remington were also AERC’s Pard’ners Award winners in 2006.

“This was a beautiful ride in the high desert through the Joshua Trees with a view of snow capped Olancha Peak in the Sierras,” Parke said. “We finished under the full moon. It was a good day.”

Message from New President of Western States Trail Foundation

by Tony Benedetti

Being new to the job of President of the Western States Trail Foundation, I am just trying to get my foot up in the stirrup. WSTF has much to do each year, and this year is no different.  Besides putting on that little event called Tevis, a few of the WSTF projects include working with the American River Conservancy to protect 10,000 acres for recreational use just west of the Granite Chief Wilderness Area, working with the USFS to continue the development of the Chickenhawk trail head, continually maintaining the WSTF trail, and many other projects. All of this is after the work WSTF did in conjunction with other groups reconstructing the Swinging Bridge that was destroyed in the American Fire in 2013.

My success as president will be largely due to the hard work of the members of the Board of Governors.  Already this new fiscal year, planning and work has begun or continues on the projects I just mentioned. There are also many volunteers that work continuously on these projects who are not on the Board of Governors. I would like to introduce the new officers for the WSTF for 2014-15; Barbara White and Steve Hallmark as Vice Presidents, Shellie Hatfield as Treasurer, and Debby Lyon as Secretary. We'd also like to welcome Carrie Ellinwood to the Board of Governors this year. 

I am honored to be President of the WSTF and will do what I can to continue the legacy of what we call Tevis.
Tony Benedetti
Western States Trail Foundation

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Marine Completes 3000-Mile Cross Country Ride - Camp Pendleton Scout

Matt Littrell, a Marine veteran, completed a cross-country horseback ride from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina to Camp Pendleton, California on Nov. 30.

He calls the nearly 3,000 mile ride "The Long Trail Home" and made the journey to raise awareness for veterans that are suffering from PTSD.

“I didn’t really want to do this ride; however, I woke up one day and knew that I just had to do it. We’re losing 22 of our brothers and sisters every day and I was almost one of them," said Littrell. "I am doing this for them.”

Littrell started with his horse’s hoofs in the Atlantic Ocean and 2,800 miles later finished with them in the Pacific Ocean. He started on May 1 and rode 20 miles a day until completing the journey on November 30.

Littrell is an Elbert, Colorado native and served as an infantryman with Golf Co., 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment from 2001 to 2005.


Monday, December 01, 2014

17-year-old Fire Mt Destiny Reaches 7000 Miles

December 1 2014

Following in the hoof prints of his legendary sire Sierra Fadwah +/, Gina Hall’s 17-year-old gelding Fire Mt Destiny reached 7000 AERC endurance miles this weekend in the Gold Rush Shuffle in California.

Destiny was in “Beast Mode!” Hall said. “Beast Mode is right!!” said daughter Carolyn Meier, who rode with her mom Hall. “At 17 with 7,000 miles he was jigging coming into the finish!”

Destiny also reached a major milestone this year in becoming only the 5th horse to get his 1000-mile buckle in the Virginia City 100. That was also Destiny’s 20th 100-mile ride completion.

Fire Mt Destiny’s sire Sierra Fadwah +/ was the first endurance stallion to reach the 7000-mile mark. He entered the AERC Hall of Fame in 1992, and he retired in 1994 at age 21 with a total of 7280 miles over 87 rides without a single pull.

For a story on Fire Mt Destiny and Gina Hall before this year’s Virginia City 100, see

Tevis: Welcome Back Swinging Bridge!

Swinging Bridge Rehabilitation
Put a fork in it, we're done! The Swinging Bridge is finally back in business! The bridge, which spans the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River at the base of the Devil's Thumb climb, has been restored and brought back from the ashes following the 2013 American Fire. This was accomplished jointly with USFS employees and volunteers. The USFS did a stellar job in getting the bridge done exactly one year after the American Fire was contained.

Job well done! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

GF Brazils Envy is 2014 AHA Distance Horse of the Year

The Purebred Arabian mare GF Brazils Envy is the 2014 Arabian Horse Association Distance Horse of the Year. She is owned by Ann Kratochvil of California, and was bred by Jim and Cindy Gromelski of Colorado. GF Brazils Envy has competed in Endurance since 2006 and has 8625 lifetime miles.

Congratulations Ann!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Western States Trail Foundation Holiday Party

Join us for the annual Western States Trail Foundation Holiday Party!

Saturday, December 13th
5:30-11:30 pm
Elks Lodge, 195 Pine St. 
Auburn, CA

Full Bar--Dinner Buffet--Dessert
$40 per person

Dress in your best Western Wear
Raffle Prizes: 2015 Ride Entries, including Tevis
Music and Dancing
Please RSVP by sending a check and number of guests to the WSTF Office:

150 A Gum Lane, #103
Auburn, CA 95603

See for more information.

After 12/10, please RSVP by phone: 530-823-7282.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AERC Reaffirms Open Endurance Records

Date: November 2014

Membership in the American Endurance Ride Conference has always meant more to its members than just riding in long distance competitions. The organization supports trail building and maintenance, horse welfare through veterinary research and education, as well as tracking rider and equine mileage and points for its 700 endurance competitions held annually across the U.S. and Canada.
The nonprofit organization, and its 26-member board of directors, recently learned how much free access to rider and equine history meant to the organization’s nearly 5,000 riders, and a generation of past endurance riders. This fall, AERC’s board passed a proposal to make rider and horse endurance ride history available only to current members, via a computer log-in at the organization’s website,

Non-members have always been able to participate in AERC rides by paying a $15 day member fee for each ride, and their ride records had been accessible online.

But once the records became member-only, the outcry from endurance riders, past and present, as well as breeders of endurance horses, was immediate and vocal, and the board unanimously voted just recently to rescind their earlier decision.

Open access allows the public to check out records of some amazing endurance riders, like Dave Rabe of Nevada, who recently became AERC’s highest-mileage rider, with more than 60,500 miles in competitions of 50 miles or longer – that amount of miles is the equivalent of two and a half trips around the world!

AERC’s 2015 ride season begins on December 1, 2014, and the organization welcomes interested riders to contact the office, 866-271-2372, for a free informational packet about endurance riding.

AERC projects currently underway designed to encourage growth and stability for AERC include: hiring a marketing contractor to increase AERC's brand awareness; a mentor program for new endurance riders; educational clinics for new and intermediate riders; more educational videos available on AERC's YouTube channel; an updated website; and a program to recruit new ride managers.

Contact: Troy Smith
American Endurance Ride Conference
866-271-2372, 530-823-2260

2015 AERC Rule Changes

The following changes, effective 12/1/14, have been adopted by vote of the AERC Board of Directors.

• Equines must be 6 years of age (72 mo.) to start a one-day 100 mile ride. (Rule 3.1)

• Equines must have a body condition score between 3 and 8 to start an AERC ride. (3.4)

• All AERC rides, both limited distance and endurance, must have at least one check- point and hold. (2.1.7)

• Please carefully read over rule and 6.2.1-, detailing changes to the time to meet criteria.

• An initial triage and treatment plan must be in place for all AERC rides. (Sanction Form)

• Recovery pulse rate at the finish is lowered from 68 bpm to 64 bpm (although that may be raised in documented extreme weather conditions). (

• Low-dose omeprazole (at the preventive dosage of 1 mg/kg/day) will be allowable. It is still prohibited to use omeprazole at the full 4 mg/kg/day “treatment” dose at any time during competition. (Drug Rule Appendices)

For more information see:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

McCamey Kimbler Wins 2014 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award

John Nation Photo

RELEASE: November 17, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce McCamey Kimbler as the winner of the 2014 USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award. The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is designed to identify potential future leaders in the equine industry and provides an opportunity for the USEF to recognize outstanding youth members for their achievements. An international endurance rider from Aberdeen, S.D., Kimbler was nominated by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

The 18-year-old high school senior grew up with horses and has been competing in endurance for several years, training her horses herself. Within the last few years, she has been ranked in the top five in the USEF Endurance Junior/Young Rider Standings and the top ten in the FEI Young Riders World Endurance Ranking. In 2012, she was awarded the Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy and received a USEF High School Equestrian Athlete Program grant. Kimbler was the youngest rider named to the USEF Long List for the 2012 Longines FEI World Endurance Championships. The following year, she competed in the Tom Quilty Gold Cup race in Australia and the Pan American Endurance Championship in Uruguay. In 2014, she finished the Tevis Cup, a challenging 100 mille one-day trail ride.

Outside of her competitive success, Kimbler has been involved with many equestrian programs. She has held leadership roles in the equestrian industry, including liaising between the USEF and AERC and serving as Regional Youth Director and Vice President for the Arabian Horse Youth Association. Additionally, Kimbler is involved with her local 4-H group and was a member of the winning team at the 2012 Horse Quiz Bowl State Championship.

A student of Central High School, Kimbler is the President of the Student Senate and the State Student Council Secretary. The National Honor Society member also participates in Freshman Orientation, the debate team, and the cross country team, while maintaining a 3.837 GPA on a weighted scale. Kimbler plans to attend college and dental school.

Kimbler will receive a commemorative trophy, a $1,000 grant to the educational program of her choice, and a lifetime membership to USEF, valued at $2,500.

The reserve overall winner of the USEF Youth Sportsman’s Award is Elizabeth Traband (Centre Hall, Pa.), nominated by the United States Hunter Jumper Association. She will receive a $500 grant.

The other national nominees were:
Madeline Backus, Larkspur, Colo. (United States Eventing Association)
Sydney Collier, Ann Arbor, Mich. (United States Para-Equestrian Association)
Jessica Fan, Lake Jackson, Texas (United States Dressage Federation)
Connor Farley, Waverly, W.Va. (Western Dressage Association of America)
Malu Foley, Cedar Crest, N.M. (American Vaulting Association)
Rachel Frieman, Los Angeles, Calif. (International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Association)
Micah Furr, Salisbury, N.C. (Paso Fino Horse Association)
Reggie Glover, Weimar, Texas (American Driving Society)
Margo Goldfarb, Franklin, Tenn. (American Connemara Pony Society)
Melissa Heres, Aragon, Ga. (American Saddlebred Horse Association)
Emma Lemke, Franklin, Tenn. (Welsh Pony and Cob Society of America)
Ryan Melendez, Temecula, Calif. (Arabian Horse Association)
Anaiah Richter, Murrieta, Calif. (International Friesian Show Horse Association)

For more information on the USEF Youth Sportsman's Award, please contact Jennifer Mellenkamp, Director, National Breed/Discipline Affiliates, at or (859) 225-6955.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014's Book of the Month: Riding the Milky Way

by Babette Gallard, October 2006

On the warm spring day when Babette Gallard and Paul Chinn decided to ride 1600 kilometres along the St James Way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, he had never ridden before, she had only ever ridden under duress, their horses had yet to be found and the dog was a passing whim they were trying to forget. "Riding the Milky Way" tells the story of their journey. The humans were broke, burnt-out and vaguely hoping that early retirement would save their health and sanity. The horses were plucked off the equine scrap heap in France and still grappling with their new roles as something between mount and mountain goat. The dog was doing his best to understand why he was there. This inspiring, amusing and informative book sweeps the reader along with each member as he or she, horse or dog, progresses step by step towards a goal that has become more than just Santiago. The author not only explains how to avoid the pitfalls they encountered but also tells the reader what is expected of riders making this ancient pilgrimage. Packed with sketches and photographs, this book will inspire even the most timid traveller, while also giving practical guidance for someone wanting to do a similar journey. Finally, it is much more than just a good read. It is an excellent, if sometimes irreverent, guide to the legendary St James Way.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Endurance Rider Donates Kidney

November 12 2014

by Deb Moe

A truly selfless and courageous act of generosity and faith is happening today. Cathe Cheesebrow is receiving a life-saving kidney transplant, donated from her friend Janet Hedding Sarver. I have received word that the surgeries have gone well.

Most of you won't know these ladies. They met, as most of us have, through a love of riding distance horses. Their friendship grew even closer last year when both decided to ride 50's together. Cathe and her pistol of a mare, LB, even went on to win a top 5 AERC award.

Last fall, Cathe's health began to decline and she was diagnosed with kidney disease. I don't know the specifics, but I do know that the doctors told her it was likely she'd be on dialysis within a year. I don't need to remind anyone what that means.

Early this summer, Cathe got the news she was on the waiting list for a kidney transplant and although that was good news, the wait times can be several years. Cathe's positive attitude was inspiring.

Once Cathe announced she was on the wait list, Janet secretly began her own journey, as she calls it. She took the questionnaires and passed. She took preliminary screenings and passed. She came to realize she might actually be a match and decided then and there she would do this for her friend. She said on her FB page "From the very first blood test to the CT scan to the wonderful team at the U of M Donor program it has all been a bit of a whirlwind. So many times I had to give up all control to God and rest my mind from the unknown details."

One can only imagine the tears that were shed when Cathe learned Janet was the closest to being a match over everyone else that had tried.

In late October, they learned that Janet was in fact a very good match. The surgeries were scheduled asap because (God Dammit!) they were going to be back on horses in the spring!

As another friend said, this a friendship, developed from the love of horses, that turned into a gift of life.
I know they wouldn't want the attention, but this story is too uplifting to not share. It exemplifies just how wonderful this endurance family is.

Be well Cathe and Janet. Ride on.

*Nov 14 Update - Both Cathe and Janet are doing well!*

Friday, November 14, 2014

Modern Mustangs and Mustangers Do the Distance - Full Article

Compiled by Beverley J. Davis

It might seem like the accomplishments of Hidalgo and his kind are now a part of the past, something we only find in books and movies. But modern Mustangs and Mustangers are carrying on the old traditions and proving their mettle in this age of mechanized transportation and supersonic speeds. And in this world of flash and glamour, where the motto is bigger is better, the small Indian ponies of old, who carried the US mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, who followed the war trails with Quanah Parker and Chief Joseph, and taught the US cavalry that size had nothing to do with stamina and heart, are still hitting the trails and going the distance.

Finding a starting place for this journey is not an easy one, but since we must start somewhere, I’ll jump in with the tale Mal de Ojo and Indio Blanco. In the early 1970s, two young adventurers named Nathan and Elly Foote started out of Argentina with the intention of riding across North and South America on their Argentine Criollos, a breed closely related to the Spanish mustang. Unfortunately at the Texas border two of their horses died in quarantine due to a faulty drug administered by the USDA. It might have been the end of the journey, but Gilbert Jones, a Spanish mustang breeder from Oklahoma stepped up and offer them two of his horses, Mal de Ojo and Indio Blanco. Right away the mustangs proved themselves to be as tough and loyal as the horses that they had lost, carrying their new owners from the Rio Grande all the way to Alaska. Elly Foote said that these tough adventurers spent their last years in the green pastures of Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada. No doubt a well-earned reward.

In the world of competitive trail riding, there are two prominent organizations, The AERC, American Endurance Ride Conference, and the NATRC, North American Trail Ride Conference, both of which has regional rides and accumulates points accordingly.

In 1989, Chief Yellow Fox, owned by Kim Kingsley and a descendent of SMR 3 Yellow Fox, one of the foundation sires of the Spanish Mustang Registry and Horse of Americas, competed in the AERC and won the Jim Jones Award for the most miles, 1450 in the 1989 season. The previous year he had gone 800 miles in 17 rides...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning with Dianna Chapek and Tim Worden

Horses in the Morning - Listen!

November 11 2014

Endurance Day with Karen Chaton opens with a great app for dog lovers and how to respond to the alarm universal to all equestrians; "loose horse"! Guests Dianna Chapek and Tim Worden chat about the future of the AERC. Listen in...

Horses in the Morning Radio show

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

How Many Trips To The Well? Insights From A Sleep-Deprived Ride Manager

EnduranceInstrospection Blog - Full Story

by Patti Stedman
October 5 2014

Being an AERC Ride Manager has its challenges.

Chiropractors from all over will soon be summoned as those who have taken it on nod in near-violent agreement.

There are so many reasons we throw in the towel, permanently or temporarily, or contemplate doing so.

Perhaps writing about it all after a weekend of only a smattering of sleep is unwise. I recognize that I’m exhausted, and on an emotional tidal wave, teary and touched with joy and gratitude, then frustrated by the “why do we do this?” moments that every Ride Manager knows all too well.

Ride management means worrying. Over the course of the last ten days I’ve worried over the following: Too many entries (since we have a limited camp size), too few entries (since a horrible forecast and the usual attrition meant they were dropping like flies in the seventy-two hours before the ride), the weather (which I’ve learned I can do nothing about but fret over nonetheless), my newbie riders, having enough food and lodging for all of my volunteers and riders and the others who pop by for a free meal (I didn’t, but a last minute grocery run fixed that), the interstate construction near our ride camp, whether the trail markings would stay up (many didn’t), the last minute porta-potty charge from the Park, and the condition of our trails (which like most, are not made better by a deluge of rain)...

Read more here:

AERC Juniors Can Apply for Anne Ayala Scholarship

November 4 2014

AERC Juniors and Young Riders in good standing from their high school senior year through age 21 are invited to apply for the 2015 Anne Ayala Junior Scholarship. Applicants must have a minimum of 500 AERC lifetime miles, and an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0.

One scholarship of $1000 will be awarded, paid directly to the school and credited to your tuition.

Applicants will, in 1000 words total, write an essay answering specific questions about endurance riding and their personal experiences.

Applications must be received by January 7, 2015, and the recipient will be announced at the AERC convention in Reno, Nevada March 6-7, 2015.

For an application, see

Sunday, November 02, 2014

National horse endurance race here - Full Article

October 30 2014
By ANNETTE WHITE Tribune Staff Writer

The American Endurance Ride Conference kicked off its national championship event yesterday at the Priefert sales hangar.

The endurance race, which features the top riders and horses from across the nation, began Thursday at 6 a.m. with a 100-mile race and will wrap up Saturday with a 50-mile circuit.

“The 100-mile circuit is tough,” Michael Campbell, president of AERC, said. “They not only have to go that distance, but they have to complete it within 24 hours.”

Campbell said riders and horses train extensively for these races.

“This isn’t necessarily about who necessarily comes out first, but who finishes,” Campbell said. “The AERC motto says it all, to finish is to win.”

Racers from each circuit can expect to take home prizes for completing the race, while the winner will claim the national champion trophy...

Read more here:

2014 AERC National Championships
100 Mile Champion: Lisa Green and Amana Tabi
50 Mile Champion: Windsor Mundy and Kharismas Grace

Lisa Green and Amana Tabi won the AERC 100 mile National Championship on October 30 at the Priefert Ranch in Mt Pleasant, Texas. Amana Tabi also won the Best Condition award.

Windsor Mundy and Kharismas Grace won the AERC 50 mile National Championship on November 1. "Grace" received High Vet Score, and 7th place finishers, Gunnar Frank and Trinity won Best Condition. The following are partial unofficial finishers:

AERC 100 Miles
1st - Lisa Green and Amana Tabi
2nd - Vicki Roden and Jolly Juice
3rd - Gunnar Frank and Ansata
4th - Alanna Frank and Ramses Mr Midnight

AERC 50 miles
1 Windsor Mundy and Kharismas Grace - High Vet Score
2 Cameron Holtzer and Kong
3 Alisija Granger and Dixieland Dude
4 Megan Dunn and Mandys Gold
5 Verena Stock and King Tiki
6 Charlotte Baca and TFR Rafa Ibn Soheir
7 Gunnar Frank and Trinity - Best Condition
8 Marcelle Himanka and Oliver Swift
9 Claude Brewer and Hal Bents Miracl

More will be posted when available at:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

James “Jim” Helfter, 72, Sherrard, Ill - Full Article

James “Jim” Helfter, age 72, of Sherrard, Illinois, died Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Trinity Hospital in Rock Island, Illinois.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the Champion-Bucheit Funeral Home in Osage, Iowa, with Pastoral Minister Annette Uker officiating. Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery in New Haven, Iowa. Visitation will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Champion-Bucheit Funeral Home.

Jim was born June 6, 1942, in Osage, Iowa, the son of John and Merna (Coonradt) Helfter. He graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in New Haven in 1960. On December 30, 1988, he married Gwen Eileen Pike in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Jim worked at Martin Marietta in Colorado. He was currently CEO of Helfter Enterprises, Inc. in Osco, Illinois, in the field of customized organic feed animal supplements. He was a member of the American Endurance Riders Association and the Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Riders Association...

Read more here:

Woman Battles Stage 4 Breast Cancer, Shares Story of Hope - Full Article

Santa Ynez Valley woman surpasses two year life expectancy

Meredith Garofalo, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Meteorologist & Reporter,

October 29 2014

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. -
Two years ago, 34-year-old Lora Wereb and her horse, Merlin. were an unlikely pair.

"I never thought I'd love a horse," Wereb recalled.

But their paths crossed after this Santa Ynez Valley woman was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

"They found it throughout my chest, through my liver, up my neck," Wereb said. "It was everywhere. Everywhere but my bones, which was the best news I could have gotten."

Wereb was thrown into a whirlwind of chemotherapy, seven different surgeries, and many different medications. In addition, she received a terrible life expectancy.

"You're given six months to two years sometimes," she said.

It was a very scary moment for both Lora and her boyfriend, Bryan Snyder.

"I guess my reaction was, I guess, to hope for the best you know?" Snyder said. "Because it's just a big question mark."

However, it was hope that kept her from giving up and help from a four legged friend...

Read more here:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Survivor Run honors breast cancer survivors - Full Article

October 24 2014


Life-long horse enthusiast Megan Hruska of Canfield wanted to honor breast cancer survivors, including her mother, in the way she knew best - with a Survivor Run consisting of a 12.5 mile clinic ride to help spread awareness of early breast cancer detection and to get others involved in her mother’s passion for riding.

The Survivor Run took place at Buckeye Horse Park on Oct. 11.

Hruska’s mother, Sallie Sullivan, was diagnosed last October with first stage breast cancer...

- See more at:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014's Book of the Month: The Lighter Side of Endurance Riding

by Angie McGhee (Jan 1, 2006)

If you haven't read this book already, it's about time you did!

From one of the funniest story tellers on horseback, Angie looks at endurance riding like nobody else can.

"The only thing that might force you to put this book down before reading it cover to cover is the laughter induced, side splitting stomach ache you will experience within a few paragraphs. A must for everyone who has ever loved, and been confused by, horses and riding. Barbara White"

2015 Dates and Location Announced for Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North

RELEASE: October 16, 2014

Lexington, Ky. - The Organizing Committee of the 2015 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) presented by Gotham North is pleased to announce the dates and location of the 2015 Championships.

Returning to the Kentucky Horse Park, the best Junior and Young Rider competitors from North America will compete for prestigious Team and Individual medals July 14-19, 2015. With unwavering support, Adequan will mark its fifth consecutive year as title sponsor of the event.

“We are very excited to be returning to the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park next summer,” said USEF CEO Chris Welton. “NAJYRC is an important Championship for the future of equestrian sport, giving many top riders their first experiences in international competition. The wonderful support of Adequan, Gotham North, and all of our sponsors make the event possible.”

Supporting the only FEI multi-discipline Championship held annually in North America, NAJYRC is lucky to have a long list of dedicated sponsors, which include: Gotham North, SmartPak, U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, U.S. Dressage Federation, U.S. Eventing Association, Equine Canada, and the Federación Ecuestre Mexicana. For a full list of NAJYRC sponsors and to learn more about partnership opportunities, please visit

To get involved with NAJYRC please contact Mark Coley at

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Raffle Horse at 2014 Old Dominion on October 25

Time is running out to buy tickets for Kaptivant CS a 2009 gelding, donated by Asgard Arabians for 2014 Old Dominion endurance ride fundraiser. The drawing will be the weekend of October 25. Raffle information can be found at Raffle tickets are available at all OD endurance rides and clinics, and from any of the OD Board Members at any time. Contributions towards the raffle are tax deductible - please make checks payable to the Old Dominion Endurance Ride, Inc (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.) The winning ticket is pulled at the final OD ride of the year. Winners need not be present to win. Tickets are $10 each, or 5 for $40.

Need not be present to win, so all you riders looking for your next endurance horse, buy a ticket...... Or several. Cross country shipping really isn't that expensive and it's for a good cause. The Old Dominion club is a non-profit organization that puts on 3 endurance rides a year and one Ride and Tie.

The OD organization extends a very deep and appreciate thanks to Halldis and Tom Sayvetz of Asgard Arabians who have donated one of their purebred Arabian horses every year since 1998 to the Old Dominion organization as a raffle horse. Many of those raffle horses have gone on to have fabulous endurance careers with their happy owners with outstanding placings in AERC endurance rides.

Asgard Arabians also offers many outstanding horses for sale for endurance, show, and sporting disciplines. Several of Asgard horses are competing at the top endurance rides in the US and abroad, and also at the highest level of international FEI. Asgard Arabians is located in Sinks Grove, WV 24976. Telephone (304) 645-1670 to schedule an appointment.

For more information on OD or the Raffle Horse, see

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dave Rabe - AERC's Newest Highest Mileage Rider at 60,580 Miles

October 17 2014

At the October 10-12, 2014 Paunsaugunt XP endurance ride (also know as the Bryce Canyon XP), the accomplishments of AERC's newest highest-mileage rider at 60,580 miles, the incomparable Dave Rabe, were celebrated.

A party followed Saturday night's dinner, where fellow riders shared their comments about Dave around the campfire, and Annie Nicholson read Garrett Ford's tribute, "The Man With The +". "We all had a lump in our throat and tears in our eyes," Carla Richardson wrote afterwards. "Annie read it with a quivering voice."

Photographer Steve Bradley, who's been photographing Dave Rabe on endurance rides since at least 2007, presented Dave with a digital photo album of his rides (some are seen at the link below).

Informally known among many endurance riders as "The Ambassador of endurance riding", Dave is one of the most erudite, helpful, and selfless riders you can ever hope to share a mile of trail with, or have come to one of your rides, as he'll help you mark trails before the ride and unmark trails after the ride; and he'll stop at any time in the middle of a ride to help a fellow rider in need. He'll even jump your truck in ridecamp if you run the battery down, or help fix a flat, or he'll glue your Easyboots on.

He's most recognizable for his tradition of wearing shorts, no matter the weather. He's usually got a tank top on, though if it's snowing, he'll throw on a windbreaker and maybe a pair of gloves. He was elected to the AERC Hall of Fame in 2009, and was National Mileage Champion in 2010.

Overcoming a serious traumatic brain injury in December of 2012 when coming off a bucking horse, after surgery, a long hospitalization, and rehab, he returned to the endurance saddle (on the same horse that bucked him off) in June of 2013, with a helmet, and he hasn't looked back.

And Dave Rabe still has many more miles to go.

Steve Bradley Photos:

or slide show:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Idaho Endurance Riders Participate in Horsemanship Clinic

October 12 2014

Six endurance riders and a possible recruit attended a 3-day "Foundations and Beyond Horsemanship" clinic by clinician Ted Nicholes of Parma, Idaho. Up to a dozen others audited the clinic. The clinic was held over October 10-12 at the Teeter Ranch, basecamp for many endurance rides in the area.

Participants and their horses spent the first day learning ground work, and the next two days were practice at both ground work and riding exercises. Nicholes also demonstrated round penning on day 3 with an unbroken 2-year-old filly owned by Teeter.

Nicholes' clinics are designed to help the rider make her horse a better, safer, more willing partner. His goal is that everyone leaves with a good bunch of tools (exercises) which they have learned to use well and which increase their safety and their confidence with their horses.

A colt starting clinic is likely to happen at the Teeter ranch in the spring.

For more information on Ted Nicholes, see


Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning with Jessica Bishop and Janet Tipton - Listen!

October 14 2014

Endurance Day with Karen Chaton opens with her usual assortment of endurance adventure stories, tells us how to ICE a cell phone before we get the low down on leg protection from The Distance Depot. Our guests this month highlight the variety of equids that can excel at endurance; Jessica Bishop who competes with her mule Speed Racer and Janet Tipton tells us about her mustang Lady Jasmine. Listen in...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

AERC Records to Remain Open

October 14 2014

The AERC Board of Directors, after much consideration and enthusiastic input from our members, recently voted to return to an "Open Record" policy with regard to all horse and rider statistics as historically available on the AERC website.
In order to offer a more complete understanding as to how this issue has evolved, it should be noted that there were two main concerns that led to the experimental decision to close AERC's Horse and Rider History records: 1) How to reverse declining membership, and, 2) How to gain new members, primarily through adding value to AERC membership.

Our membership has steadily decreased since 2008. The "Open Records" policy hadn't seemed, historically, to have had a measurable effect in gaining or retaining members. It was suggested that making a part of those records a "membership-only" benefit might help encourage riders to join or renew. During the decision making process that led to closing the records on a trial basis, the Board had received significant member feedback, including complaints from current members that a non-member has almost all of the value of membership without paying dues. Their miles show up online in their history, even riding as a day member. AERC still adds to the lifetime miles of their horses every time they compete. They can still access a number of articles in Endurance News online and they have access to all the educational material AERC provides. They benefit from our trails support, grants, and research. While the records are open as they have been, a non-current member, at first glance, seemingly has almost all of the benefits of a dues paying member with the only disadvantage of paying a day member fee.

Under a completely open records system, some felt the impression could be given that the only advantages to joining are not having to pay a day-member fee and a more complete Endurance News, though, of course, full AERC membership offers much more indeed. Shining a brighter light on the value of membership was part of the reasoning behind the decision to make the Horse History and Rider History limited to members only. All other records such as the ride calendar, ride results, point standings, horses owned/ridden, member location, were to remain open.

However, in the time since the decision was made to close the records, there has been strong opposition voiced on the part of many of our members and non-members regarding the closure. While too numerous to mention here, many substantive examples have been put forth as to why open access to the AERC records on behalf of all interested parties of the general public benefits AERC, its members and prospective new members, as well as aids indirectly in horse welfare and trails preservation efforts. Upon re-examining this issue and the consideration of the associated member feedback, it was voted at the recent AERC Board of Directors teleconference on October 13, 2014, to reinstate open records access.

The Board would like to thank all the members who took the time to respond and give their feedback regarding records access. Member input is critical in assisting the Board as it leads AERC though times of economic uncertainty and declining membership. We have listened and responded. The records will be reopened shortly. The Board is tasked with assuring AERC remains a viable organization in the future, and to do that we must sometimes make decisions that are not popular. This has been a very positive experience in light of the magnitude of member feedback stimulated by this issue.

Other projects currently underway designed to encourage growth and stability for AERC include: hiring a marketing contractor to increase AERC's brand awareness; an improved mentor program; more educational clinics at many levels; more educational videos available on AERC's YouTube channel; an updated website; and a program to recruit new ride managers. We invite you to stay abreast of changes within AERC, now and in the future, through the AERC website. If you have any questions, comments or a desire to get more involved in helping AERC to grow and prosper, please feel free to contact the friendly AERC office staff or any Board member for further information. Thank you, and we hope to see you at an AERC event soon!

AERC Board of Directors

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 AHA Distance Horse of the Year Award Nomination Deadline Extended

October 11 2014

Submission deadline for Arabian Horse Association's Distance Horse of the Year has been extended to November 1. This award recognizes the significant accomplishment of an Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian Horse in the distance sports. Persons who wish to have their horse considered for this award or persons who know of an outstanding horse to be considered for this award must complete the official nomination FORM and submit it to the AHA office by November 1 2014.

Description of the criteria is as follows:

Arabian Handbook description
1. Purpose. This award is to recognize the significant accomplishment of an Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian Horse in the distance sports. As this is a special, significant recognition award there may be years when there is not a recipient.
2. Procedure.
a. The owner of the nominated horse must be a current Competition Card member of AHA in the nomination year. (BOD 2/11)
b. A nominated horse must be registered with the Arabian Horse Association, Canadian Arabian Horse Registry or the Canadian Partbred Arabian Registry.
1) The horse must be living at the time of nomination.
2) The horse to have competed in the year it was nominated.
3) There is no requirement for the horse to have competed in an AHA regional and/or national events.
4) Award is to be based on the horse’s overall distance career. Emphasis is to be placed on the horse’s overall miles and years in competition.
5) Endurance and CTR both to count. (BOD 2/11)
c. Any AHA member can nominate a horse by completing the official nomination form available on the AHA website or the AHA office.
d. A member’s horse may be nominated more than once, but may be selected for the award only once.
e. Nomination deadline is September 1st of each calendar year.
f. The Award Sub-Committee (Awards, AHA Distance Ride Commission and Distance Ride Committee Chairs plus two at-large from the Distance Committee for a total of 5 members) will make the selection at the annual AHA Convention. (BOD 2/11)
g. The owner of the chosen horse agrees to allow AHA to use a picture of the horse and his winning criteria both within AHA publications (magazine, website & brochures) as well as publications outside AHA.
3. Description. A bronze sculpture, designed by Joe Staheli, with a wooden base that includes plates for the engraving of the annual winners was purchased by AHOF and will be displayed in the AHA office. The award for each annual winner will be a suitable award presented to each recipient.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Idaho: First in nationals for equine endurance - Full Article

October 8 2014

The 2014 Arabian Horse Association Distance Nationals was held in Oreana. Emmett resident Flora Gertsch won first place for the Arabian 50-mile National Championship Endurance Ride. She and her horse Finalia took third place for all around. The event was held Saturday, Sept. 27, at Teeter Ranch in Oreana.

An endurance ride can best be described as a cross-country contest of 50 or more miles. It is an equestrian athletic event with the same horse and rider covering a measured course within a specified maximum time. Flora and the horse Belesemo Finalia, covered 50 miles in 4.5 hours...

Read more here:

Monday, October 06, 2014

Man vs. Horse: Riders cross finish line together for their animals - Full Article

10/5/2014 6:02:00 AM
31st Annual Man Against Horse Race
Man vs. Horse: Riders cross finish line together for their animals

Horseback riders Troy Eckard and Dayna Weary were dueling at the front of the pack throughout the Man Against Horse Race on Saturday, but you wouldn't have known it.

Instead of grinding it out until the bitter end, Eckard and Weary decided to trot their horses, OT Rymonigly and Max, respectively, to the finish line together to protect their animals from harm.

They crossed the line in just over 7 hours, becoming the first of about 35 riders in the 50-mile race to do so. Eckard and Weary lost to runner James Bonnett of Phoenix, but earned belt buckle prizes nonetheless.

"We're not ultra runners - it's not all about us and it's not all about the ego," Weary said of she and Eckard's rationale for coming in together. "It's about the relationship with the horse and what these horses give to us..."

Read more here:

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Now That's Endurance: the 2014 AHA Distance Nationals/Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer

October 1 2014

You can define endurance riding success in many ways: starting a horse, overcoming your fears and getting his first completion (as Lynne White so eloquently described here); completing your first 50 mile ride as a junior; finishing 4 days in a row of LDs when you're an older rider with a painful old injured knee; winning an AHA Distance National Championship; or finishing a dark, wet, cold 100 miler after about 23 hours.

All of that and more transpired over Sept 25-28 in southwest Idaho at the Teeter Ranch. Ride managers Steph Teeter and Regina Rose marked the trails, the AHA people came to run the 2014 Arabian Horse Association Distance Nationals/Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer CTR/endurance rides. Last year's AHA Distance Endurance and Competitive Trail Ride Championships took place in Illinois. While open to all, this year's rides in Idaho attracted riders from the West, Northwest, and Mountain regions (the USA is a big place, after all, and a long distance to drive for those further east and south).

Cooler weather prevailed - temperatures in the 70's and dropping over the weekend - great for horses. Some rain was predicted for the weekend, but the forecast kept changing, so there was no point worrying about it too soon.

Day 1 you had a choice of a 25 and 50-mile AERC ride, and the first half (40 miles) of the CTR Championship.

14 started and finished the LD, including the 2013 Haggin Cup winners Sue Hedgecock and LZP Julioslastchance, babysitting me and Sue's horse "D" (afterwards known as "Big D"!) on his first endurance ride.

16 started and finished the 50. Christoph Schork continued his winning ways on GE Starlit Way, coming in first place over an hour ahead of his nearest competitor in 4:24, and winning Best Condition, the horse's 10th BC award.

Day 2's 30 miler had 12 starters and finishers with David Brown and Chip, a first time rider, winning in 3:13 and getting Best Condition.

Day 2's 50-miler had 14 starters and finishers, with Christoph and GE Starlit Way repeating their win and Best Condition; they tied for first with Amanda Washington and Truly Majikhal in 5:04.

The second half of the CTR, 30 miles, brought a conclusion to the Arabian Horse Association Competitive Trail Ride on Day 3. Only 4 riders total competed in the CTR Open; only 1 rode in the Purebred Arabian division, and only 2 rode in the Half-Arab/Anglo-Arab Championship. Winner of the Purebred Arabian division with 196.5 points out of 200 was Montana rider Julie Muscutt and Satin Image AZ, a 7-year-old gelding experienced in both CTR and endurance. You could see Julie applying a technique at the mandatory pulse stops of getting her gelding to lower his head, which helped drop his pulse right away. He's a horse that likes to go, and since you have a set pace you must ride in the CTR (finishing 15 minutes either side of the finish time deducts points), between 5 and 7 mph, Julie tries to stay in front on him.

Winner of the Half-Arab/Anglo-Arab CTR Championship with 197 out of 200 points was another Montanan, Suzy Hayes and Sanstormm. The 6-year-old 16.3-hand half-Thoroughbred gelding is by Sanskrit out of Alta Snow, and is quite forward, and can be "intimidating," but he's "a very talented horse."

Suzy's been around the endurance and CTR block a time or two: she started CTR in 1966, and endurance in 1972. Her first endurance ride was the Tevis Cup. Almost 40 years later, she has close to 4000 CTR miles, over 21,000 endurance miles, two slots in the AERC Hall of Fame (her Kootenai Zizzero was 2011 Hall of Fame Equine, and they earned the 1997 Pard'ners Award). Suzy doesn't believe in running horses too fast too soon in endurance, particularly such a young horse who's so big. "The CTR ride was just the perfect way to make one little more step up."

Reserve Half Arab/Anglo-Arabian Champion was Lynn Lee and Londonn's Invader. Suzy Hayes won the Open CTR; Julie Muscutt was second; Lynn Lee was third; and Kathryn Lewandowsky was fourth on Majestic Kid. Only a half a point separated first and second, and a half a point separated second and third! These were some very fit and evenly-matched CTR horses.

Day 3's 25 miler had 11 starters and 10 finishers, with Carol Delisi and DJ Restless Wind winning first place and Best Condition. Ride manager Steph Teeter slipped out on the LD and rode her 23-year-old former World Endurance Championship competitor Nature's Khruschev (Trusty Krusty) with husband John Teeter on Sunny. They turtled, but they didn't tell Krusty that.

Day 3 was also the AHA 50 Mile Championship. 6 started and finished the Arabian purebred division. Winner of the Purebred Championship was Idaho's Flora Gertsch and Belesema Finalia in a ride time of 4:35. Flora started riding the Belesemo Trad mare in 2012; they most recently won the Old Selam 50 at the end of August.

Reserve Champion Purebred went to Colorado's Kerry Redente and 6-year-old AM Great Othello+. Kerry was a busy gal over the weekend. The AHA US Sporthorse Nationals were going on the same weekend in Nampa, Idaho, an hour away. Kerry stopped there first on Thursday and Friday with AM Great Othello+, and rode away with a Top Ten placing in the Purebred Sporthorse Under Saddle Amateur Owner to Ride out of 36 horses. Amanda Washington and Eternel Indian Summer scored a double Best Condition award, in the Purebred Arabian and the open AERC division.

Winner of the Half Arab/Anglo-Arabian Championship was Colorado's Pete Hommertzheim and his 8-year-old mare Classy Investment. "Jessi" and Pete won last year's 100-mile AHA Distance Nationals Championship in Illinois. Elizabeth Dagnall and Roses April Rain were the Reserve Champions; there were 3 starters and 2 finishers in this division.

26 starters were in the open AERC 50 with 22 finishers. Pete and Jessi won the overall ride by a galloping length over Boise's Errol Fife and Joker (yes, he has been called Errol Flynn many times). Another standout finisher in the open 50 on Day 3 was just-turned-12-yr-old Junior Greta Berner, completing her first 50-mile ride ride on the sometimes-naughty, always-cute pony Benjamin. Greta and her Junior sister Clara rode the LD the first day with their mom, who was, at times, she admitted, a nervous wreck. Riding with your kids in endurance is rewarding, but it can be stressful!

Day 4 featured the 100-mile AHA Championship, in addition to a 30 and 50 mile ride. 10 started and completed the 30-mile ride, with Sally Tarbet and Jassen's Legacy Stone winning first place in 3:07, and Best Condition. Carol Delisi finished 3rd; she was one of the 3 riders completing all 4 days of LDs on the same horse. Chris Cane did the same on her eye-catching Paso Fino Phaetana Del Padre, as did Carolyn Roberts on Manhattanincident - the older rider with the wrecked knee, which just goes to show, the definition of "endurance" is different to all people, but can be just as challenging and rewarding!

California's Ann Kratochvil won the 50 on GF Brazil's Envy in 5:58. Envy has won the AERC War Mare award the last 2 years (based on the most overall placing points accrued by the same mare/rider team during one season). She has over 8300 miles; Ann has over 23,000. Best Condition went to second place Lynne Mahoney and WCF Summ Cyte. 8 of 9 starters finished the 50.

Some of the country's best horses and riders showed up for the AHA 100-Mile Championship (well, those from the western half of the US, anyway!). The competitors signed up for the purebred AHA division were 22,000+ mile Joyce Sousa and 21-year-old, 8800+ mile LV Integrity; 2013 Haggin Cup winners Sue Hedgecock and LZP Julioslastchance from Utah; 16,000+ mile Suzanne Ford Huff and SD Expressa (second in last year's 100-mile AERC Championship) from Nevada; Idaho's Layne Simmons and Beauty's Harley; Californian Tom Johnson and AM Lady Liberty Wins; and 2012 Haggin Cup and 2013 Tevis Cup winner Rusty Toth of Colorado riding FV Aul Mystery.

Competing in the Half-Arab/Anglo-Arab division were 29,000+ mile Connie Creech and LS Steele Breeze from Nevada; AERC Hall of Famer Suzy Hayes riding Greenbriar Al Jabal from Montana; Washington's Carla Eigenauer and NEH Annie Oakley; Nevada's 12,000+ mile Beth Kauffmann and Pal-Ara Durango; and AERC's winningest rider Christoph Schork from Utah riding GE CMS Oso Elegant.

8 more open 100-mile riders rounded out the 18 starters, including 2 Juniors from BC, Canada - Katya and Anya Levermann - riding with a trio of Idaho girls, Carrie Johnson, Jodie Lucas, and Nance Worman as their sponsors.

Sadly, after driving all the way from California, LV Integrity was off in his trot-out at the vet in, and did not pass the starting inspection, so the Sousas loaded up Saturday and headed back home. While it dimmed the luster of the event a bit, it didn't diminish Joyce's gratefulness with her horse and the sport. "I'm just thrilled to be here," she said when they arrived. "I know Ritzy doesn't have too many rides left in his career, so I enjoy every one of them." This year's AHA Championship would turn out not to be one, but there will still be others.

Right about starting time, 7 AM, under heavy gray skies and about 65*F, the rain began. What had been weeks of dusty trails became slick clay in places for the first two loops. Rain held off the rest of the day until the next phase of the storm came in that night.

Six riders came in to the first vet check together off the first 15 mile loop: Huff, Hedgecock, Toth, Eigenauer, Hayes, and Tom Johnson. After a 15 minute hold in camp, they headed out on a big loop into the desert.

After 19 more miles, the field was separated into 3 definite groups. Front runners Huff, Eigenauer, Hedgecock, Toth, Tom Johnson, and Hayes were within 3 minutes of each other. The last group of Worman, Carrie Johnson, Lucas and the Levermann juniors were over an hour back already, walking in the last several miles because Johnson's horse was lame. The girls were all in good spirits, though Katya was riding with a bad cold, and mother Katrin was a nervous wreck. Notice this theme with mothers and endurance riding daughters?

After another 19 mile stretch around Wild Horse Butte along the Snake River, the same front runners again arrived within minutes of each other, and Toth's horse was pulled for lameness.

Another 12 miles back into basecamp for Vet check 4 completed the big loop. Three riders pulled Rider Option here: Eigenauer, and open riders Kaci Monroe and Sherrie Calaway.

After the 5th loop of 20 miles, at a total of 85 miles, Huff and Johnson led out on the final 15-mile trail, followed by Hedgecock a minute behind, and Hayes a few minutes after that. Tom Johnson earlier predicted he'd finish the ride in about 10 hours' ride time. And in 8 minutes short of 10 hours, just before dark, Johnson aboard AM Lady Liberty Wins came galloping in two lengths ahead of Sue Hedgecock and LZP Julioslastchance, the Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively, in the AHA Purebred division. Twelve minutes later, Suzanne Ford Huff and SD Expressa crossed the finish line.

37 minutes later, Suzy Hayes and Greenbriar Al Jabal crossed the finish line as the Half-Arab/Anglo-Arab Champions.

Just as Christoph Schork stepped off GE CMS Oso Elegant at the finish line over an hour later as the Reserve Half-Arab/Anglo-Arab Champion, the first drop of rain fell.

And it never stopped. All night. Kauffmann and Creech finished in the rain 2 1/2 hours later, followed by Simmons, and Swiss gal Marina Huber riding Schork's horse RR Jazz Dancer.

Jodie Lucas was pulled at the last vet check - 85 miles - which left Worman and the two Levermann juniors to ride the last 15 miles in the very dark, very wet, and very cold night. Nance Worman is a hero to most of the northwest endurance riders: an "Owyhee Tough Sucker" who has often ridden 50 miles, 50 miles, and 100 miles at our 3-day Fandango rides, with 9500+ AERC miles and an always-cheerful personality even when she's worn out. She's had some extreme endurance rides this year. Caught out on trail in a lightning storm at City of Rocks in September, she said "That was the most frightened I've ever been!"

Schork had said that on the way in on his last loop, he couldn't see his hand in front of his face, and that was before the rain started. Oreana must have gotten half its annual rainfall that night, during which Worman and the Levermann girls continued marching along in the wet, foggy, cold, dark night, where they could only walk over the snot-slick trails. After finishing near 6 AM in more than 12 hours of rain Worman commented (not complained), "I was soooooo cold!"

The girls were bleary-eyed late the next morning (Katya was still sick and had lost her voice; Anya was grinning as usual) but Anya had finished her 4th 100-mile ride, and Katya had finished her second. It would help make their 850-mile drive back home a little less tiring - and a bit shorter than their 100-mile time in the saddle!

Next morning, with basecamp looking like Malaysia during the monsoon season, 3 horses showed for Best Condition. Suzy Hayes and Green Briar Al Jabal won the Half Arabian/Anglo-Arabian BC award, and Suzanne Ford Huff and SD Expressa won the Purebred Arabian, and the AERC Open BC.

Attendance was down at the ride - as it has been in general around the country, and AHA was probably disappointed with the turnout for the championship rides (no juniors participated), though they did provide lovely prizes donated by excellent and supportive sponsors**.

And can I say enough about the volunteers who help put on a big ride like this? Endurance rider Clarissa Hale in particular drove all the way from Redding California, without a horse, just to help all 4 days. Sometimes when you have high stakes rides held simultaneously with local competitions, tensions among those with different endurance goals can flare tempers. However, the AHA people who came for the ride were a fun and helpful presence all week and they slid smoothly into the ride management team: eastern Canadian veterinarian Art King; Devon Smith from the AHA office in Colorado; Rusty Cook, the Region 8 director from New Mexico; and Distance Nationals Commission chairman, ride secretary, and volunteer extraordinaire Eric Reuter from Tennessee. AHA President Cynthia Richardson - whose first endurance ride was in 1996 in the Tevis Cup - dropped in for the 100-mile ride, all day and night, not only watching but helping out by pulsing riders. Head veterinarian Mike Foss and his fellow vets King, Robert Washington, and Dick Root kept the rides rolling smoothly.

And can I say enough about the horses, who carry us over the endurance trails? From the multi-thousand-mile horses to the first-time LD horses, carrying Haggin Cup winners to first-time junior riders, through the wind and rain, 25 miles, 50 miles, or 100 miles, they got us down the trail, through the dark and daylight and dark, helping us accomplish our very disparate goals of winning Championships or completing rides.

Now that's endurance.

Photos and complete results can be seen here:

**If you get a chance to thank the sponsors, please do so! Without them, these events can't take place: Corporate Sponsors WeatherBeeta and Wintec and Adequan; Regional Sponsors from Region 7, 8, 10 11, 12, 13, and 17; Private Sponsors Platinum, Al-Marah Arabians, Belesemo Arabians, Ms Cynthia Richardson, Distance Depot, Donovan Rubley, EasyCare, FlexSleeve, Global Equine Training Center, Mandolynn Hill Farm, Margo Shallcross, Schneider's Saddlery, Southeast Endurance Riders Association, Texas Arabian Distance Riders Association, Triangle Farms, Troxel, and Troy Nelson DVM.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

After tragic Western States Trail spill, Auburn man recovers to ride in Tevis Cup - Full Article

Tuesday Sep 30 2014

Local health club helps Schafer overcome broken knee, hip and collarbone

By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor

Daniel Schafer thought he’d never ride again.

In May of 2013, the 70-year-old Auburn resident was involved in a tragic accident along the Western States Trail, tumbling down a steep embankment at the Auburn State Recreation Area while riding his horse.

At the time of the incident, Supervising Park Ranger Scott Liske told the Journal Schafer fell down about 100 feet off the trail near the Ruck-a-Chucky Campground.

“I went off the cliff and when I woke up all I could see was blood,” said Schafer, who was then airlifted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. “I was pretty broken.”

The spill left Schafer with a broken knee, hip and collarbone and about 100 staples in his head and arm. He had plastic surgery on his eye, which needed some 70 stitches..

Read more here:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Popularity of endurance horse riding is growing in WNY - Full Article

By Teresa Sharp
Niagara correspondent
on September 28, 2014

They come from varied backgrounds and ride a range of breeds, but these athletes all have one goal in mind – to test their horsemanship across distances of 15, 30 – and for some – even 100 miles. And to do it on deadline.

They will move as one with their horses across demanding terrain, and in the end, they will know their own and their horses’ capabilities and maybe even their limits, more intimately than they ever had before.

Welcome to the exhilarating world of endurance horse riding, better known out West, but growing in popularity in Western New York.

A small group of local members of an “Endurance Green Bean Team,” or novice group, is preparing for a 30-mile endurance ride Saturday in Allegany State Park, called the “Allegany Shut Up and Ride,” endorsed by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC).

Sue Neidlinger, owner of Shoppe on Main in Newfane, will enter the competition with her 12-year-old pony, Spirit.

She said training for such an event is “very similar to training for a marathon...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Horse ride for Kristina Chesterman - Full Article

By Trevor Warner Assistant Managing Editor
09/23/2014 03:53:04 PM PDT

A year after Kristina Chesterman was killed by a drunk driver, the Chico State University nursing student is leaving her mark on the Ridge and the world. The inaugural Kristina Chesterman Memorial Ride on Sept. 13 at Meadowbrook Ranch last week, and with its success comes the promise of a healthier life for people in Ozu Abam, Nigeria.

"After she graduated, she wanted to spend her first year with Doctors Without Boarders," Dave Chesterman, Kristina's father, said. "After she died one of her teachers (Darcy Lewis) decided to start this project to build a clinic over in Africa in (Kristina's) name."

With the Chesterman's blessings, Lewis contacted JayaMae Gregory, a friend and long-time endurance trail horse rider, and talked to her about organizing a fundraiser...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Constanti and Crandell win Virginia City 100

September 20 2014

Shannon Constanti riding Raffle, and John Crandell riding Cowbboy Bob tied for first place in the 47th Virginia City 100 ride in Virginia City, Nevada on September 20th in a riding time of 13:47. Cowbboy Bob won Best Condition. Judith Ogus, riding Most Adoraable was third in 16:14.

29 riders of approximately 40 riders completed the ride. Fire Mt Destiny, ridden by Gina Hall, became only the 5th horse to ever attain a 1000-mile buckle. Connie Creech, riding LS Shardonney Bey + /, completed her 23rd VC 100. Pat Chappell, riding Dusty Starshine Zarif, finished her 16th VC 100.

For complete results and some photos from Alisanne Steel, see

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Endurance races to boost Leicester's Hope for Horses - Full Article

Mark Bennett, Citizen-Times correspondent
3:13 p.m. EDT September 17, 2014

With weekend after weekend of 5Ks, 8Ks and 10Ks, the distances covered by runners in Hope for Horses' second annual Endurance Race & Ultra Marathon this Saturday may look like typos: There's a 50K (about 31 miles) and an 80K (nearly 50).

For much of that distance along trails at the Biltmore Estate, two-legged runners will not be alone. Four-legged competitors will be sharing the route — or six-legged, if you add in the horses' riders, who will be taking on 30- and 50-mile courses.

The Biltmore trails are wider than a single-track course, said run manager Peter Ripmaster, proprietor of Black Mountain Running Co., so "there's plenty of space for runners and horseback riders to coexist on the trail.

"Last year I ran the race and didn't have anything close to an issue with the horses. They stay to one side of the path and you hear them coming," Ripmaster said. "Riders always slow the horses down as they come close to the runners and gently go by you." Words of encouragement are customarily exchanged in passing, he said...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Endurance is Life

Redheadedendurance Blog

September 16 2014
by Bird

Ask almost any endurance enthusiast to tell you a ride story and you'll probably be met with a broad grin and a tale that could contain completions, placings, goals met--or things going completely sideways--or both! Whatever the finishing result the story probably also contains excitement, joy, fear, frustration, pain, exhaustion; basically it's safe to assume you'll run through most of the gamut of human emotions out on the AERC trail. Whether you are riding your first LD, a long awaited 50, a bucket list 100, the mental and physical journey will be there. There are undoubtedly levels of difficulty and necessary preparation within those distances that must be acknowledged and respected. At the end of the day though, every person that crosses a start line at one of our beloved endurance rides has started somewhere, paid their dues in some form, packed their everything, kitchen sink, AND hopes into their rig, and if they're lucky, set out down the endurance trail on ride morning on a good friend with a dream in their heart...

Read more here:

Louisa woman has ride of a lifetime - Full Article

Posted: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 5:21 pm

Not many middle-aged women living in northeastern Kentucky would ever consider traveling halfway around the world to go on a 1,000-mile endurance ride on horseback in one of the most remote parts of the world. But Amy Whelan is not like most women.
To Whelan, who lives on a farm near Louisa, spending hours riding a horse across the high plains and mountains of Mongolia was an adventure for which she trained for a year. Her only disappointment is that she broke her collarbone in three places in an accident during the race and was unable to finish the 1,000-kilometer derby on a route that mirrors the postal route established by Genghis Kahn in the 13th century. Despite the disappointment of not finishing the endurance derby, Whelan is quick to tell anyone who is willing to listen that the experience was “awesome” — something that, despite her injuries, she does not at all regret doing.

The derby on tough Mongolian horses bred for endurance required Whelan to employ every skill she has learned in a half century of riding and to push herself to the limit. Needless to say, the other riders in the race were also riding “fanatics” who, like Whelan, came to Mongolia to pit themselves against nature.

The riders did have some modern conveniences not available to those postal riders in the 13th century. They all carried GPS units and electronic trackers to find their way and remain in touch with organizers and are supported by a network of way stations. They also changed horses about every 25 miles...

Read more here:`

Monday, September 15, 2014

Canada: Endurance racer thrown from horse and airlifted to hospital

September 14, 2014 - 9:55 AM

WEST KELOWNA – A woman taking part in an endurance horse race in the Jackpine Lake west of West Kelowna had to be airlifted to hospital Saturday morning after she was thrown from her horse.

The woman, in her 40’s, suffered upper body injuries and was knocked unconscious. Her horse got spooked and tossed her into a tree, according to a media release from Central Okanagan Search and Rescue.

An emergency room nurse and other racers performed first aid until B.C. Ambulance paramedics and a search and rescue volunteer arrived.

A helicopter was called and the injured woman was airlifted to Kelowna General. There’s no word on her condition.

She was taking part in the 2014 Champion Equestrian Endurance Horse Race at the Telemark Cross Country Ski Club’s trails. The competitors ride courses up to 120 kilometres in length within a 24 hour period.

Horse, rider being put to endurance test in West Kelowna, Canada - Full Article

September 14, 2014
JP Squire

This weekend is the B.C. equestrian endurance championships on the Telemark Cross-Country Ski Club’s trails in West Kelowna.
“Endurance is a long-distance competition against the clock, testing the speed and endurance of a horse, and challenging the rider who must safely manage the horse’s stamina and fitness,” explained championships co-manager Daphne Richard.

“Endurance involves a set course of up to 100 miles (160 kilometres) to be completed within a 24-hour period. Riders want to finish the course as quickly as possible with a sound, healthy horse. Welfare of the horse is paramount. There are multiple veterinary checks along each course at which horses receive a soundness exam to ensure that they are fit to continue..."

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Update: 248 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak

Date: September 4, 2014

Veterinarians and Livestock Owners: State Veterinarian’s Office, (303) 869-9130
Media: Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005,

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS): 248 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak

Guidelines for Livestock Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions, and Events

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – As of 9/4/2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 208 locations under quarantine after horses and cows tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); 40 of the 248 quarantines have now been released.

“The number of quarantined premises is actually going down in some counties as horses are healing and the quarantines are being released. We continue to see new cases so continue to ramp up your fly control. The State Veterinarian’s Office is following up on reports of horse owners who have moved their horses out of a quarantined facility. If requirements of the quarantine are not followed, the Department will investigate, write citations for violations, and institute fines according to the Livestock Health Act in State statute,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.

If you plan to transport your horse to another state, be sure to check with the State Veterinarian's Office in the state of destination as to any special new restrictions for movement of your horse into their state. Some states have instituted new requirements for the import of Colorado horses due to the VS outbreak.

VS can be painful for animals and costly to their owners. The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking. In Colorado, there have been 344 horses and 7 cows that tested positive for VS.

County totals for premises under quarantine are:

· Adams – 10 (1 released)

· Boulder – 61 (10 released)

· Broomfield – 2

· Douglas – 1

· El Paso – 1

· Jefferson – 16

· Larimer – 65

· Morgan - 1

· Weld – 51 (29 released)

For more info, see:

Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning with Meg Sleeper & Jeremy Olson - Listen!

September 9 2014

This month's Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning radio show with Karen Chaton and Glenn the Geek features WEG competitors Meg Sleeper and Jeremy Olson.

The show opens with a whole new way of looking at yogurt thanks to Karen being a little forgetful. Listen in:

Friday, September 05, 2014

AERC's Newest 4000 mile Horse!

Karenshorsetales Blog - Full Story

Thunder is living proof that some crooked legged colts can be more than pasture ornaments! He finished up the first day of the Old Selam 50 with a lifetime total of 4035 AERC miles!!

When Thunder was just a few months old he underwent surgery on his left front leg as it was so terribly crooked. He was born straight but by the time he was 6 weeks old the leg pointed west while he faced north. The veterinarians at Vale Vet Clinic calculated the angles and scraped the periosteum to straighten his leg, the same surgery used on the Kentucky Derby winner, Real Quiet. He was also given a large dose of selenium, copper and zinc as he was deficient and that is the main reason the leg went crooked. He then required special and frequent trimming, which I did. Every two weeks I'd go out and whittle on his front hooves to maintain the trim...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 02, 2014's Book of the Month: Suffering in Silence-Exploring the Painful Truth: The Saddle-Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses

by Jochen Schleese (Sep 15, 2014)

Each year riders, trainers, and horse owners spend fortunes (literally) on veterinary attention, farrier work, pharmaceuticals, supplements, and physical therapies, all in an attempt to keep their horses healthy, sound, and performing their best. They invest time and money in finding their own boots, breeches, helmets, and chaps to ensure what they wear in the saddle is safe, comfortable, flattering, and right for the job at hand.

And yet still many balk at thoroughly understanding and examining the most basic and fundamental means of connection with the horse in most equestrian sports: the saddle.

Master saddler and saddle ergonomist Jochen Schleese says it is time to think intelligently about saddle choice and saddle fit for both horse and rider. In his new book, SUFFERING IN SILENCE: THE SADDLE-FIT LINK TO PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA IN HORSES, Schleese calls on all those involved in caring for and working with horses—riders, trainers, veterinarians, farriers, saddle fitters—to not only educate themselves in terms of the detrimental impact of poor saddle fit, but to also find a way to work cooperatively together toward a better and brighter future for the horse.

We must ask ourselves how much better could we ride and how much better could our horses perform if our saddles:
• Fit optimally?
• Accommodated each horse’s unique conformation and natural asymmetry?
• Were built for the differing anatomy of men and women?

The answers to all these questions and more are in Jochen Schleese’s book SUFFERING IN SILENCE.

Jochen Schleese has been working in the equestrian industry as a master saddler and saddle fitter for over 34 years and studied and built “gender-appropriate saddles” for over 20 of those. He completed both his journeyman’s and master’s certification at Passier and Sohn in Germany. In 1986 he was asked to come to Canada as the Official Saddler for the World Dressage Championships, held for the first time outside of Europe, and in 2005, 2007, and 2009 he held the same position for the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 1990, Jochen developed a three-year certification program for the trade of saddlery together with the Ontario Ministry of Skills Development. He received a US Patent in 1996 for his innovative adjustable AdapTree® saddle tree, which is specifically made for the female anatomy, and he has been featured twice on Discovery Channel (How It’s Made and Harrowsmith Country Life). Jochen teaches his Saddlefit 4 Life® philosophy all over the world in conjunction with the German National Riding School, United States Dressage Federation, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Professional Trainers Verband in Germany, and at veterinary conferences in Brazil.