Wednesday, February 19, 2014

American Endurance Ride Conference Annual Convention March 2014 in Atlanta

Date: February 19, 2014
Contact: Troy Smith
American Endurance Ride Conference
866-271-2372, 530-823-2260

Endurance riders from across the U.S. and Canada will converge on Atlanta, Georgia, for the American Endurance Ride Conference’s 2014 convention March 7 and 8 at the Sheraton Gateway Atlanta Airport Hotel.
The convention combines free events – a trade show for distanced riders, early morning “hot topics” discussions, and an always-popular tack swap – with seminars ($55 per day), a dance on Friday night, and the nonprofit organization’s national awards banquet on Saturday evening.
The trade show and tack swap are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, March 7, and until 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 8.
Complete information about the convention can be found on AERC’s website:
The theme for this year’s gathering is “Horses First,” which reflects AERC’s commitment to horse welfare. “With rides of up to 100 miles in one day, it is imperative that our riders always put their horses first,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “Every competition includes a pre-ride check for the horse, with multiple checks during and after the competition.” Endurance riders today, Henkel emphasized, strive to do well with their horses over the long run. “One of our most coveted awards is the Decade Team award, which honors riders and equines who have competed together for 10 or more years,” she said.
Many rides offer introductory, fun rides of 10 to 15 miles, to acquaint new distance riders with veterinary checks and following ribbons along the marked course of a ride. The organization is also expanding the number of clinics so new riders become familiar with training methods, suggested tack, and common feeding protocols.
“It’s a pretty low-cost sport for riders compared to other equine disciplines,” said Henkel. “Plus our members and their horses have the benefit of riding together, building their partnership, over miles of trails as they train and compete.”
The American Endurance Ride Conference motto is “To finish is to win,” and last year AERC’s 5,000 members completed more than 650,000 miles of competitions in rides across the U.S. and Canada.
The national governing body for endurance riding in the U.S., AERC was founded in 1972 and has grown over the years as both a membership organization that tracks points and mileage for its rides of 25 to 100 miles per day, and as a leading force behind preservation and construction of new equestrian trails.
For more information about AERC or endurance riding, please contact the AERC office, located in Auburn, California, at 866-271-2372, email, or visit

New endurance riders wanted!
Is endurance riding for cowboys wanting to ride over hill and dale? For dressage riders wanting to take their skills out of the arena? Or for trail riders who feel their outings are never long enough?
Endurance riding is all that, and more.
Most people with a reasonably conditioned horse or mule will be able to complete what the American Endurance Ride Conference calls a “limited distance” ride of 25 miles, and by AERC rules, they have six hours to complete that ride.
At local endurance rides, you’ll find everyone from high-level competitors to families with multiple kids making their way through marked trails on their way to the finish and their award – it’s written into the rules that all finishers must receive an award of some kind.
But no wild riding is involved as the rides are overseen by veterinarians, known as control judges, who check over the equine athletes before, during and after the ride to be sure each one is “fit to continue” as they make their way along the course.
All equines are eligible to compete, and while Arabian horses proliferate, there are a growing number of gaited horses participating. Mules and quarter horses are common mounts, but even draft horses and at least one zebra have competed in endurance.
Hundreds of endurance rides are held annually around the U.S. and Canada, with everything from small, low-key rides to ultra-competitive races.
The organization’s national office, headquartered in the self-proclaimed “Endurance Capital of the World” in Auburn, California, tracks miles and points for all members and their horses, and confers annual awards in both regional and national competitions, including a family award and an award given to the rider 65 or older who completes the most miles each year.
AERC’s monthly publication, Endurance News, includes an extensive ride calendar and awards standings each month as well as education articles and features. Memberships are $75 per year, with a 15% discount for first-time members.
More information on endurance riding is available by visiting or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members.

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