Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Veronica Dyer Featured in San Diego News Report on Rose Parade Participation

December 23 2015

Endurance rider Veronica Dyer, of Encinitas, California, is featured in a CBS8-San Diego news video with reporter Jeff Zevely. Zevely rides along with Dyer as he interviews her about riding in the New Year's Day Pasadena Rose Parade - an item on her bucket list.

"Find Your Adventure" is the theme for this year's 127th annual Rose Parade. Dyer and her horse Tequila Sunrise will join 23 other AERC riders in their group in the Parade. They will be #49 in the march order.

See the video interview here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cheryl Van Deusen Nominated as 2015 USEF Equestrian of the Year

USEF Announces 2015 Equestrian of the Year Nominees

RELEASE: December 21, 2015

AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF Communications Department

Lexington, Ky.- The United States Equestrian Federation is pleased to announce the nine 2015 Equestrians of Honor: Laura Graves, Dressage; McLain Ward, Show jumping; Cheryl Van Deusen, Endurance; Misdee Wrigley Miller, Driving; Liza Boyd, Hunter; Elizabeth Goth, American Saddlebred; Michael Damianos, Arabian; Martha Rattner, Arabian; Bill Deeney, Andalusian/Lusitano.

Cheryl Van Deusen
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

The Becky Grand Hart Trophy is presented to international-level non-Olympic athletes.

2015 has been an amazing year for Cheryl Van Deusen, who is currently ranked number one on the FEI Open Riders World Endurance Rankings with 1,110 points. She completed 14 competitions this year, including a win in the CEI3* 120km in Pierce, Texas, with EBS Regal Majjaan. In addition to her personal success, two of the horses that Van Deusen bred and raised, Snake Eyes Leroy and Hoover and Moover, are ranked first and second, respectively, on the FEI Endurance Open Horse World Rankings out of 4,490 horses. Van Deusen and Snake Eyes Leroy also lead the FEI Open Combination World Endurance Rankings, and earned top honors as the 2015 AHA National Champion Half-Arabian Competitive Trail Horse.

This is the first time Van Deusen has been awarded the Becky Grand Hart Trophy.

For more on all the nominees, see

Friday, December 18, 2015

Kathy Broaddus, DVM, Takes Tevis Challenge in Stride - Full Article

By Lauren R. Giannini - December 18, 2015

Veterinarian Kathy Broaddus loves to go fast — she started running in high school, but horses deliver the best locomotion. Her sporting enthusiasms include foxhunting (she whips in at Snickersville Hounds), ultra marathon, adventure racing, pairs racing, Ride & Ties, and endurance riding. In August, Broaddus tackled the 100-mile Western States Trail Ride, aka the Tevis Cup, for the first time and finished 10th in 16 hours 25 minutes on Cowbboy Bob (aka Cowboy), 8-year-old Arabian, bred and owned by Terryl Reed.

Given the Tevis is the father of all endurance rides worldwide, to complete, let alone finish in the top 10 was a huge achievement. Broaddus, however, is a very accomplished horseman, in the old-fashioned, uber-complimentary sense that implies versatility and great skills, on and off horses. She knew that the Tevis was a true test of horsemanship and that the demanding and technical trail required a solid game plan.

In lieu of riding various segments of the Tevis in advance to get a feel for the terrain, Broaddus watched videos on YouTube, but quickly gave that up as a bad idea. Much of the trail is accessible only on foot, on horseback or by helicopter...

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tickets Still Available for Tevis Talks with Unbranded Mastermind, Ben Masters

Tickets are still available for the January 12, 2016 Tevis Talks, in Auburn, California, featuring an evening with the orchestrator behind the Unbranded film and adventure.

Join host Matt Scribner for an evening of conversation with Masters, whose film takes a deep and honest look at the current state of the American Mustang and its wild roaming spaces.

The event will be held at the State Theater in Auburn on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 with a no-host bar opening at 6pm and the main event to begin at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $40, and proceeds go towards the Western States Trail Foundation, a registered non-profit. They can be purchased through the Tevis store here:!/TEVIS-TALKS-Mastermind-Ben-Master-Jan-12-2016/c/14888581/offset=0&sort=nameAsc

Saturday, December 12, 2015

AERC Board of Directors - Agenda for December meeting

The American Endurance Ride Conference will be holding a board meeting by telephone conference call Monday evening, December 14.

Items on the agenda include:

Voting to accept nominees for Southwest Regional Director (Barbara Reinke) and for West Regional Director (Hillorie Bachman).

Budget approval

Strategic Plan status update re implementation plans

Veterinary Committee motion re use Drug Testing Reserves to Increase DrugTesting (outside of California)

The draft agenda can be viewed on the website at

Sarah Holloway Chosen as AERC Youth Representative

Sarah and Phinneas at City of Rocks. photo by Steve Bradley

The AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) has recently revived a formal opportunity for young AERC members (under the age of 21) to have a seat at the Board of Directors table. The Youth Representative will participate in all AERC board meetings with an opportunity to join in on discussions and express opinions on the many issues that come before the board.

Sarah Holloway was chosen as the primary Youth Representative for the 2016 season from a pool of applicants who submitted letters supporting their application. Sarah is a 13 year old rider with 1500 miles of AERC endurance rides and has been riding horses for six years. Sarah was instrumental in reviving the Youth Representative position with AERC by sending a letter to all board members telling us how important it was to keep youth active in the organization. She is also an active member in PNER (Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides).

Bryna Stevenson and Lily Turaski were chosen as Alternate Youth Representatives to attend AERC board meetings in case Sarah can not. They will all become members of AERC's Junior/Youth Committee and have an active role in helping shape AERC's future.

Welcome to all - we need you!

Steph Teeter
AERC NW Regional Director

Five Ways to Support the American Endurance Ride Conference During this Holiday Season and Beyond

AUBURN, California – December 12, 2015 – During this season of giving, we’ve compiled five easy ways to show your support for the American Endurance Ride Conference, the national governing body for endurance riding.

1. Join AERC or buy a membership for someone else. A new membership is $63.75, plus $42.50 for a second adult family member ($17 for a family member 17 and under), which includes tracking of AERC mileage for both you and your horse, a monthly issue of Endurance News magazine, and a new member packet filled with educational materials. To join, call 866-271-2372 or join online at

2. Renew your existing membership. The 2016 AERC ride season began on December 1, and rides are scheduled for every month of the ride year, which will run through November 30, 2016.

3. Donate to support a specific AERC initiative – your donations are tax deductible and will help to advance the sport through things like junior scholarships, research and trails, etc.

4. Buy AERC branded gear for yourself or the endurance enthusiast on your list. Show your support for AERC through the purchase of beautiful AERC shirts, hats, bumper stickers, travel mugs, trailer hitch covers and more! Visit AERC’s Cafe Press store ( or phone the office for in-house specials.

5. Support AERC while you shop online! has a special program for charitable donations called AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate .5% of every eligible purchase made through to 501(c) (3) public charitable organizations, including AERC.

Interested in endurance riding and want to learn more? The AERC office will send you a free information packet, including their “Discover Endurance Riding” booklet. Email your request to or call 866-271-2372 or by mail to AERC, P.O. Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604—please include your name and mailing address.

Happy Trails!

About the AERC

In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.

The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at

Candace FitzGerald
Dobbin Group LLC

December's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning with Karen Chaton - Listen in

HITM for 12-08-2015 by the AERC – Winter Horse Care Tip, Inspiration from Sousa & Vanderford

This month's AERC Endurance episode with Karen Chaton we feature Mike Mumford from Redmond Equine with some winter care tips, Joyce Sousa, Hugh Vanderford with some inspirational stories and Dr. Garlinghouse has the AERC update. The Distance Depot highlights the 25 Days of Giveaways. Listen in...

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tevis Annual Holiday Party

The Tevis Annual Holiday Party will be on Saturday, December 12, 2015 05:30pm - 11:30pm, at the Elks Lodge in Auburn, California.

Save the date for food, fun and good company. 
For tickets or more information contact the office at:

Monday, December 07, 2015

Virginia City 100 History - Full Article

by Cliff Lewis

1968 saw the turning point of modern day endurance riding. Where as a couple of years previously there had been only the Tevis Cup and a few "Pony Express Races", there were now several good endurance rides. The Castle Rock, the Tellington's, the Peaceful Valley Ride (in Colorado), and much talk about others.

In the early spring of 1968 I was doing a lot of training with Dean Hubbard. It had been as easy winter with little snow and we were able to get way up into the mountains. We looked at wild horses and searched for a crashed airplane. We saw many deer and coyote, and talked enthusiastically about the coming endurance rides in California. I told Dean about a fifty mile ride I went on the year before, that went twice around a twenty-five mile circle. On that ride we were given the combinations of several locks so we could open gates along the way. We were now riding atop Clark Mountain and could see for 40 miles out across the lava beds. There wasn't a single sign of a fence, a gate, or a "No Trespassing" sign anywhere. Dean looked at me and said, "Why don't we have an endurance ride here"?

I never would have dreamed that this simple statement would eventually foster so many rides.

Dean and I realized it would take more than the two of us to put on an endurance ride. We decided we would start looking for support. We talked to most of the horsemen in the Reno area. We asked if they would be interested in putting on an endurance ride. The responses were mostly negative but some did say they would support a ride if we could get it organized. We had a hard time finding anyone who would jump in and get his feet wet...

Read more here:

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sign Up Now for the February 19-20, 2016 AERC Convention

The Convention is early this year!

February 19 and 20, 2016 - Grand Sierra Resort and Casino - Reno, Nevada

AERC's convention is the most fun you can have without your horse! Two days of informative and thought-provoking seminars, shopping galore, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, awards presentations, Hot Topics seminars, plus fun Friday night entertainment and the awards banquet on Saturday night. Convention is on the early side this year, so it may be more of a winter wonderland than usual. (Plus the regional award winners may not have their jackets for convention wearing but the office will try their best!)

NEW! Register for the convention online, easily and quickly, with our new secure 2016 AERC Convention Registration.

You may also sign up with the cheerful gals at the AERC office by phone: 866-271-2372, or fill out the form in your December EN or in the flyer link in the next paragraph and mail it to AERC, PO Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604. (You can even fax it: 530-823-7805. Our fax machine doesn't get much of a workout lately and it would welcome your faxed form.)

Find out more about the convention with our 2016 AERC Convention flyer.

And don't forget to register with the Grand Sierra -- click for the AERC Convention - Grand Sierra Reservations. Or phone the hotel to reserve (be sure to mention you are with AERC, as we have a minimum number of rooms we must book!): 800-648-5080.

A favorite of AERC members, the Grand Sierra at 2500 East 2nd Street in Reno, has everything all in one spot, so it's a great place to stay, and eat, and shop -- all under one roof.

For more information about the Grand Sierra, visit the hotel website.

We're joining forces with NATRC for convention this year, and they are sponsoring Friday night's entertainment, featuring local singer/songwriter Richard Elloyan. If you purchase a seminar ticket, you'll get free entry to the Friday night shindig!

VETERINARIANS: The Veterinary Committee will be hosting a two-day Veterinary Continuing Education course in conjunction with the convention, on February 18 and 19, open to all veterinarians. Information to come soon!

TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS: We'd love to have you! Click for the Trade Show information page

2016 AERC Central Region Convention to be held January 15-17


AERC CENTRAL REGION CONVENTION will be held January 15-17, 2016

Make your plans now to join the Central Region AERC family for our annual mini-convention in Ardmore, OK. The event will start with a meet and greet on Friday night; continue with vendor browsing (including the popular used tack exchange), speakers and the Awards Banquet for TERA and OCER on Saturday, and conclude with our annual members meeting on Sunday morning.


Directions to Holiday Inn Ardmore are: From I-35 take exit 33 east to Rockford Rd. Turn south on Rockford Rd. Hotel on right 1/4 mile. This is a new facility with which we believe everyone will be pleased. All meetings and rooms will be in the same facility. There is a good grill/restaurant attached to the HI for easy access. This is a no-pet facility, but there are two motels within a half mile which do allow pets. The rooms are higher than we have paid in the past, but the hotel’s charges for meeting room and amenities, as well as the Banquet tickets will be noticeably lower. So, the registration fees have been drastically reduced in an effort to help people stay within approximately the same budget at they did last year.

HI has reserved a block of rooms for us at a special rate. The group block consists of 20 rooms with one king size bed and 20 rooms with two queen beds. The daily rate is $99.00 plus tax per room per night. Reservations can be made directly with the front desk staff at 580-226-3333 or online at . Please use the group code AER with booking online. The cutoff date for the group block is Friday January 1, 2016, and any remaining group inventory with be returned to hotel inventory at midnight January 1 2016 to be sold by the hotel at prevailing rates. SO TO GET THE CONVENTION RATE, YOU MUST HAVE RESERVATIONS MADE BY JANUARY 1, 2016. We will be sending out reminders to help folks remember to make their reservations.


Susan Garlinghouse will be our primary speaker. She will present two sessions: Ten Things You Can Do Better, on Saturday morning and The Myths of (Mostly Facebook) Equine Nutrition, in the afternoon.
Jamie Lemon will have a presentation on Mentoring and Membership, and our favorite Vet panel will close the sessions.
TERA and OCER awards will be presented at the annual awards banquet Saturday evening, followed by our “PARTY TIME”.


Louise Burton will again work with all the central region ride managers to coordinate the annual Ride Entry Raffle which will go on all day Saturday. Raffle tickets may be purchased by proxy—i.e., someone in attendance can buy them for folks who can’t join us.


Sunday morning all AERC members will join for an update from our Regional Directors and planning for 2017 convention.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

From Bucker to Blessing: 9000 Miles for Sousa's LV Integrity +/

November 28 2015
by Merri

When LV Integrity and Joyce Sousa crossed the finish line in last weekend's second day of the Gold Rush Shuffle endurance ride in California with their family - Joyce's husband, daughter, and granddaughter - the 22-year-old gelding's AERC lifetime mileage total tallied at 9065 miles. It's a milestone that less than 3 dozen horses have reached in their endurance careers.

Looking back at the beginning of his 17 seasons of competition, it was a rather unlikely proposition that anything like this would have evolved. There's really no other explanation for how LV Integrity came to be a successful part of the Sousa clan but Divine Intervention.

It started with Joyce saving a life. She was riding her Hall of Fame horse Jim Bob on a 100-mile ride in 1992 with Chris Knoch on his horse NV Fifth Ave. Cantering along the forested trail, Chris was turned in his saddle talking to Joyce behind him, when suddenly up loomed a big tree branch over the trail. No time for Joyce to do anything but flatten over her horse's neck and scream at Chris, "DUCK!"

"He didn't even turn around," Joyce says. "He just ducked down and the branch went over our heads. He said, 'I owe you one for that!' At the time, I just joked with him, 'Yea, you can just let me win this ride!'"

Though nobody could know it at the time, repayment was ultimately in the unlikely form of an unruly, mean gelding with a bad buck in his soul.

4th place in the Owyhee Fandango 100, May 2008

Fast forward a few years to the 1999 Big Bad Bally ride near Shasta, California. Chris was there with that very beast to sell. "He had to sell the horse because he was really mean and used to charge his little girls - he had to take a pitchfork to him once - and he was a bad bucker," Joyce says.

Nobody was interested in the 6-year-old LV Integrity because he was a rather wild looking thing. He'd been tethered all day between two trees on a highline. "He spent the day running back and forth, back and forth, all day long. He was covered with sweat; he was just a miserable looking thing."

Chris sought out Joyce that evening. Joyce recalls, "'I've got this horse," Chris told me. 'I can't keep him on my place; I can't trust him around the kids at all, and he bucks like a sonofagun. But I think you can do something with him. I will take anything you have to offer me for this horse.'

"I went to look at him. There wasn't much to look at, really. He was just a lanky, bay, sweaty-looking piece of horse flesh, but what captured my heart was his eyes. They just had a look of despair. They weren't able to love, and nobody was able to love him. He just looked like he was at the end of his rope. I didn't even really look at his conformation that much. It was his eyes that got me."

She conferred with her husband Dennis, and their kids Jenny and John; they said it was totally up to Joyce to decide. What Joyce decided was to write a check to Chris for the horse. "Chris told me that was great, but under no circumstances should I get on his back or try to ride him, because he'd kill me. And I believed him!"

at the finish line with Dennis and Joyce, May 2008

Auspiciously dubbed "Ritzy" by Joyce, the Sousas hauled him home, and Joyce called up an older cowboy trainer she knew named Rex Hinton, and told him Ritzy's story. He agreed to work with the horse, and they delivered Ritzy to Hinton's ranch.

3 weeks later Joyce got a call from Rex. "He told me, "'Joyce, I believe you've got a horse. Come on down and get him.'"

The first week of training hadn't been easy for Rex or Ritzy. The first day, Rex haltered the horse in a round pen and put a saddle on him, and as soon as he cinched the saddle, that horse went to bucking. "Vicious bucking," Joyce says. "Rex couldn't get near him. He just walked away and let Ritzy buck it out." After the horse eventually stopped, Rex was able to approach him and remove the saddle, and he put the horse away and let him be for the day. That same thing happened for 6 straight days. "No way Rex was even thinking about getting on him. Rex told me he'd cowboyed all his life, and he'd been on bucking horses, and he didn't think Arabs could buck. But Ritzy was a BUCKER."

But on the 7th day, when Rex went out and saddled Ritzy, this time the horse stood stock-still. He didn't move. Rex put the bit in his mouth with no problem, then very very carefully put a foot in the stirrup, expecting Ritzy to start bucking at any moment - but he didn't. Rex sat on his back a while, then asked the horse to move around the corral a bit, which he did with no problems at all; then Rex took the saddle off and put Ritzy away for the day.

1st place in the Owyhee Fandango 100, May 2009

Rex saddled and rode Ritzy for a week in the arena, and only one time did Ritzy act like he might think of bucking, but Rex popped him on the butt with his reins and told him to stop that, and he never did it again.

After a week of that, Rex took him out of the arena and rode him up and down the hills for another week. Ritzy never once made another move to buck, so he called Joyce up. "He told me there was nothing else he could do for the horse. He wasn't bucking, Rex was riding him, and now it was my turn.

"When Rex was telling me this, I was scared of that horse. Then I thought, well, God created the earth and he rested on the 7th day too… maybe that's what Ritzy is doing!

"It hit me then. I felt I had saved Chris's life, and he had told me, "I'll pay you back" - so I thought that this was God's way of showing me that Ritzy was Chris's gift to me. I have always felt that, because that horse NEVER, at any point in time, since then, has ever bucked with me, or ever tried to hurt me in any way."

Despite Ritzy's good behavior, Joyce was a bit tense riding him the first two seasons and 4 rides on the endurance trails, because she knew what Ritzy had been like.

But he never did anything wrong; and the next year was a real turning point for the gelding when he went on the 2001 XP ride from St Joseph, Missouri, to Virginia City, Nevada, with the Joyce family.

2nd place in the Bandit Springs 100, riding with daughter Jennifer Niehaus and MC Gallantly, July 2009

"We had 2 other horses along, and he was the closest horse to my camper door. When he wasn't being ridden, he hung out there. That's when we really bonded." Joyce rode him 500 miles in those 6 weeks across the country; and 2 weeks later, she rode him in the Tevis Cup to a 19th place finish on his first 100 mile ride. "He had proved to me that I could trust him with my life, literally. This horse was a solid horse."

This bonded team of Joyce Sousa and LV Integrity went on to phenomenal success, racking up 9,065 AERC miles over a 17-season career (to date), 143 completions in 151 starts, with 35 100-mile finishes out of 41 starts, including 4 Tevis Cup finishes without a pull. His record includes 18 first-place finishes, 7 of those in 100 mile rides. Ritzy picked up 12 Best Conditions along the way, and National 100-mile awards in 2002 and 2009, in addition to numerous Regional awards. This year he received the Arabian Horse Association's Legion of Supreme Honor award. He has never been pulled in a 50 or 75-mile ride.

Included in those accomplishments were two trips overseas. In 2003 Joyce and Ritzy were invited to Abu Dhabi to compete in the President's Cup; Ritzy made it 91 miles in the ride before the Sousas pulled him because he just wasn't acting right despite cruising through the vet checks with a pulse below 60. Turned out he had caught a bug and was running a high temperature the next day; and his return home was delayed until he recovered. In 2005 they qualified for the World Endurance Championship and returned to the UAE, though unfortunately they were unable to start.

4th place in the AERC National Championship 100, September 2009

"Life went on," as Joyce puts it - life on the U.S. endurance trails with another decade of multi-day 50 mile rides and 100-mile rides, until September of 2014, when at 21 years of age, Ritzy started showing some inconsistent, undiagnosable, slight rear end lameness.

"I thought he was starting to show the signs of aging, and thought I probably should take him out of endurance totally. I started riding a 9-year-old that I had. In the meantime, in 1 1/2 months, Ritzy wasn't showing any lameness at all; he was just going great guns. So I started riding him again as my mounted patrol horse."

But when Joyce's new horse was injured in September of this year, she started riding Ritzy on the endurance trails again. "He's just sound as a dollar. Getting all A's on attitude and gait. I give him a year off and he comes back better than the last couple of years I rode him!" Joyce's daughter, Jennifer, also took him on a 50 miler in October, riding with her daughter Alex.

"His time off was probably the best thing that ever happened to him," Joyce says. "He came back gangbusters. He's happy, real happy going down the trail. I was just thrilled. It felt so good to ride him again, I can't even tell you."

Joyce has over 23,000 AERC miles; and with one horse, Jim Bob, already in the Hall of Fame with 9005 miles (2005), and Ritzy having now gone over 9000 miles in his stellar career, one wonders what the Sousas' secret is.

Warming up for Tevis, 35th place (4th buckle), July 2013

She replies, "In all honesty, I believe there has to be Divine Intervention here.

"We are no different horse handlers than anybody else. We aren't gurus! We love our horses; we manage them the best way we can; we treat them as individuals. Each horse IS an individual. We try to train properly. We try not to overtrain. We try to figure out what training methods work for what horses.

"This isn't about me, or about Ritzy. It's about us all enjoying each other. It's about going and doing your business the best way you can and thanking God, living in a mode of total thankfulness. I just have to believe that.

"And that horse is a part of our family who will fill the bill wherever he's needed, and he is our blessing!"

Top photo:
4th place in the AERC National Championship 100, September 2009

Two friends can ‘ride on’ thanks to the generosity of the one - Full Article

By Gretta Stark on Nov 30, 2015

Cathe Cheesebrow and Janet Sarver met and became friends doing endurance riding with the American Endurance Ride Conference.

They grew closer in 2013, when both were competing in the same Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Rides Association (UMECA) category: rookie endurance.

Endurance riding involves spending hours on horseback, and the friends ended up spending that time riding together.

“We’re not riders that have to go for the first place finish...we just enjoy the ride,” Sarver said. “We were kind of jockeying each other for points, and so at rides we were together... we just started taking turns (crossing the finish line). People would come up and they would say, ‘Why are you riding with her, aren’t you competing for rookie of the year?”

Cheesebrow, 57, a River Falls resident since 2001, was asked the same question, and gave this reply, “because we have fun together.”

Today these close friends don’t just share a love of horses or endurance riding -- they share something more intimate -- a kidney.

One year ago, on Nov. 12, 2014, Sarver, of Wyoming, Minn., donated her kidney to Cheesebrow who had been struggling with kidney failure for years.

Cheesebrow, diagnosed years before with IGA nephropathy -- a common type of kidney failure caused by a virus -- learned from her nephrologist in spring 2014 that she would need a kidney transplant...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Discover Endurance Riding with the American Endurance Ride Conference

November 28 2015

If you (or your horse) are interested in endurance riding, there is no better time to get started than right now. The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) ride season began onDecember 1, and rides are scheduled for every month of the ride year, which will run through November 30, 2016.

“New members are welcomed into the sport,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “We have an active group of mentors who will help you get started and answer any questions you may have about this sport, which can seem a little intimidating at first.”

New memberships are $63.75, plus $43.75 for a second adult family member ($17 for a family member under 18), which includes tracking of AERC mileage for both you and your horse, a monthly issue of Endurance News—an actual magazine sent by mail, not online—and a new member packet filled with educational materials.

The nonprofit organization, formed in 1972, has both an annual awards program and a lifetime mileage recognition program. “One of our most recognized awards is the Decade Team,” said Henkel, “which recognizes those riders and equines who have competed together on rides of 50 miles or longer for 10 seasons. It’s something many of our riders have as a goal when they get started in the sport.”

For a more in-depth experience, all are invited to attend the organization’s annual convention, held February 19 and 20, 2016, at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. The two-day event includes a free trade show with all the newest gear for distance riders, plus seminars and awards presentations.

Among the 2016 convention presenters will be Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, a recognized expert in equine nutrition, with a seminar entitled “But I Read It Online!” which will examine the good and bad of online horse nutrition claims. Jeanette Mero, DVM, will cover the topic every equestrian needs to know: “Lameness: Prevention and Treatment.”
Dr. Robin Foster, a certified applied animal behaviorist, will present a seminar on horse-human communication in “The Social Horse.” Rider fitness will be covered by Deanna Guinasso, a longtime fitness expert. Other seminar topics are being finalized over the next couple of weeks.

At the 2016 convention, GF Brazil’s Envy, a 1998 Arabian mare owned by California rider Ann Kratochvil, will be recognized as a Perfect Ten equine—the horse has competed for 10 years, more than 10,000 AERC miles, and has won 10 first place finishes and 10 best conditions. “Ann and GF Brazil’s Envy are the epitome of what endurance is all about,” said Henkel.

Also honored will be hundreds of regional award winners, the AERC Hall of Fame rider and equine, and the horse and rider team that best exemplifies sportsmanship in AERC’s Pard’ners Award.

Just ready to find out more about endurance riding without making a commitment yet? The AERC office will send out a free information packet, including their “Discover Endurance Riding” booklet, upon request to or 866-271-2372 or by mail to AERC, P.O. Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604—just send your name and mailing address.

For AERC convention information, visit and click on Convention Information.

To join, call 866-271-2372 or join online at

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

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Ride Like Potato - ebook by Potato Richardson

Ride Like Potato: Learn to Enjoy Trail Riding More Than Ever from the Winner of the 2015 Tevis Cup Race

The Kindle version is here!

This first edition covers in detail the winning experience I had in 2015 while riding the 100 Mile One Day Race through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This event known as the Tevis Cup had nearly 200 riders from all over the world most riding their own horses brought from all parts of the world. Top rider in the sport participated and many were past winners as well as riding horses that had won in the past annual event. This annual event from Lake Tahoe to Auburn California was first held in 1955 and is now the most prominent Endurance Ride in the world.

Available on Amazon at

AERC Board Changes in November

November 25 2015

AERC Board member Randy Eiland of New Mexico announced his resignation after 23 years on the Board.

Carla Richardson of Colorado replaces him as a Director-at-Large.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2016 Ride Season starts in 6 days!‏

November 25 2015

From the AERC office:

First of all, THANKS to all of you for your support of endurance riding and AERC. Our membership numbers are up this year and it's all due to you, our enthusiastic members, those both new to the sport and longtime members.

Also, a big thank you to the 1,300 members who are already renewed for 2016. (If you're already renewed, skip the next paragraph!)

Not yet renewed? Please take a moment and do so now. You may give us a call, 866-271-2372, or use the form in your October EN. Or renew online:

The office will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, but we plan to mail out lots of 2016 AERC cards before then.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and best of luck to those of you getting in one last ride this coming weekend.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Standardbred Racehorse Transitions to Endurance

Twohorsetack Blog - Full Story

Congratulations to Jen and Sidney Rain!
October 30 2015

Sidney Rain isn’t pulling a sulkey anymore, but that doesn’t mean his racing days are over. The 15-year-old Standardbred has transitioned to a new career with his human Jen.

Jen adopted Sidney four years ago from the American Standardbred Adoption Program and describes him as “my big love.” The pair are in the midst of their second full season of endurance riding and the ex-racehorse loves his new gig.

“He loves just being at ride camp and going new places,” Jen told us. “Zooming through the woods is one of our favorite things to do, whether training or at a competition...”

Read more here:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Celebration of Life for Sue Hedgecock on December 12

Suzanne "Sue" Chase White Hedgecock
July 16, 1952 – October 22, 2015

Suzanne Chase White Hedgecock passed away peacefully in the Hedgecock Family home on Hedgecock Hill in Park City on Oct. 22, 2015, with her son, Wesley Anson Hedgecock, by her side. She was surrounded by the support of Andrea Shotwell and close friends. Sue was born on July 16, 1952 in Brattleboro, Vermont with her identical twin sister Sally. Sue was the daughter of Arnold Miller and Ruth Ann Cerosky White. Sue was preceded in death by her father Arnold Miller White and her husband William "Tony" Anson Hedgecock, Jr., on March 16, 2014.

Sue grew up at her family farm in Marlboro, Vermont, with her identical twin sister Sally, both girls riding horses in the summer, and skiing every day in the winter at the family-owned Hogback Mountain Ski Area in Marlboro. Sue attended school in Marlboro and Brattleboro, Vermont. She went to college at Johnson State College in Vermont, Keene State College in New Hampshire, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Sue went on to a career in Alpine Ski Racing as an amateur enjoying success locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In the early 1970's Sue was named to the USST and competed in domestic World Cup Races.

Sue worked for UVEX in Salt Lake City for a time. She was a Certified USSCA Alpine Ski Coach Level 3, and a PSIA Level 3 Instructor for 40 or more years. She taught skiing in the family business at Hogback Mountain Ski Area, and she worked at Skyline Restaurant and Hogback Mountain Gift Shop in Marlboro, and later at Haystack Ski Area, Ski Club Vail, Aspen Ski Club, Alyeska Ski Club, and Juneau Ski Club. She spent time coaching the Women's Team at the University of Utah and spent approximately 35 years as a ski instructor at Deer Valley in Park City. During her years in Alaska, Sue worked as an Interpretive Guide and Naturalist for the U.S. Forest Service at Portage Glacier, and had a similar job in Juneau, Alaska. She was also a successful business woman, and worked for a number of years as Store Manager at the Guess Park City Outlet Store when it was first opened.

Her love for and involvement with horses never diminished, and later in life she was able to get back to her roots with horses. She became a highly regarded competitor in the Endurance horse racing field, having won numerous races and Best Condition awards both locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally with her own horses. Sue was a sought-after horse trainer, and highly-respected horsewoman.

Sue leaves behind her son Wesley Anson Hedgecock, her nephew Justin White Chandler (whom she called her other son), her identical twin sister Sally Miller White, and her mother Ruth Ann Cerosky White and cousins, aunts, and uncles in the Cerosky, Douglas, and Hamilton families, nieces Jessica and Jennifer Ray and many, many friends in the Alpine Ski Racing World and Winter Sports Industry, and the Endurance Horse Racing World, as well as her many close friends that she loved. Sue lived her dream in Park City.

Celebration of Life will be held at Mountain Life Church, 7375 Silver Creek Rd., Park City on Dec. 12 at 4 p.m.

- See more at:

New sport gives Baris chance to run – and ride – her way to national ranking - Full Article

By Andy Rhinehart - November 15, 2015

As did her older sister, Laney, Carrie Baris ran cross country and track competitively in high school.

Some 10 years ago, Laney began running again, and so too did Carrie. Laney entered the Death Valley Marathon, so Carrie entered and ran with her.

But when Laney suggested Carrie follow her lead and take up a new sport, one that involved both riding on and running with horses, Carrie wasn’t exactly certain whether to stay that course or not.

“She told me many stories about this crazy sport,” Baris said of the perhaps not-so-well-known sport of Ride and Tie.

“In 2013, when a race was held at Clemson for the first time, one of her regular partners, Janice Heltibridle, needed a partner for the 30-mile course. Laney volunteered me, and I partnered with Janice and her horse, Bubba. Hot, steamy, exhausted and filthy, we crossed the finish line last in my first race. But I had been instantly drawn in by the close-knit community...”

Read more here:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

AERC Board of DIrectors Meeting Nov 10

The AERC Board of Directors met by phone conference November 10. The membership report shows significant increases over last year in the 8-10% range with about a 12% increase in rider fees.

The board heard reports on USEF and FEI from Jan Stevens (AERC liaison to USEF), Dr. Meg Sleeper (chair of the AERC-I Cmte.) and Valerie Kanavy (athlete representative to the FEI Technical Committee). Board members asked questions and the ladies were very helpful.

The Board also reviewed the Strategic Plan.

The Board passed a motion from the Trails and Land Management Committee to fund a Trails Grant project in Wisconsin.

The Board passed a motion to include Phenibut in the prohibited substance and referred back to committee the addition of Levothyroxine a drug used to treat hypothyroidism in horses. If you have a competing horse that is treated with Levothyroxine, the Board would like to hear from you.

Posted by AERC President, Michael Campbell

Thursday, November 12, 2015

5000 Miles of Morgan Power: Bogar Tucker and Cindy Bradley

November 12 2015
by Merri

"How was he?" Steve Bradley asked his wife Cindy, as she led Bogar Tucker, her big bouncing Morgan back to the horse trailer after vetting in for the Owyhee Canyonlands endurance ride.

"Airs above the ground," Cindy said, trying to sound exasperated, but clearly delighted. "He thinks he's 4 years old again!"

It's a typical scenario for the 16-year-old gelding, who is in his 12th year of endurance competition - always full of himself, confident, and very opinionated.

He's been that way since he was a foal, when Cindy first saw him and fell for him at Karl Morris's Morgan farm near Boise, Idaho. "Some horses just hit me right off, and he was a lot like an old horse I had that my dad gave me when i was 15."

Morgans have been in Cindy's family since she was a little girl, and they've been an integral part of her life ever since. And as her primary endurance horse was getting old and Cindy was looking to replace him, it was inevitable she'd want another Morgan for endurance.

She'd previously trained some of Karl's Morgan horses to drive, and Cindy really liked Bo's sire, Stick Tucker. When she asked Karl about the foal, he answered her with a little sarcasm. "Karl told me, 'Well, everything here is for sale, for the right price.' I made an offer for him, and Karl's mouth just dropped. He said, 'Well, I guess he's sold then,' but he wasn't too happy, because he kind of wanted to keep him. So I picked Bo up when he was 3 months old, because Karl was kind of angry about it!"

When Cindy and Steve pulled up at Karl's farm in their horse trailer to fetch Bo, out of the kitchen came Karl, followed by Bo, as if it were completely normal to have a foal in your house. "He loaded right in the trailer and came home with me."

Bo was an easy horse to break. "When I took him home at 3 months, I started taking him out and hand-walking him with me, just down the side of the road, through the creeks, and playing in the water. And when he got a little bit older, I started ponying him. I think that's where he learned to walk so fast. He's got a very fast walk, because he had to keep up. I drove him first, before I put a saddle on him."

At 16 hands, Bo's a big horse. And because he grew so big so fast, that's probably why he had some issues with stifle joints in his early years. Cindy started Bo on 25-mile endurance rides when he was 4 years old. "I was told, oh, he'll never be an endurance horse," Cindy said, "so for quite a few years I did 25's. And they said oh, he's only going to be able to do a couple of 25's, he won't be able to do any more that that; but after about 4 years of riding 25's, I said 'Well, maybe he can do a 50.' And that's when I started riding him on 50's.

"He's got 5000 miles of 'em now! But slowing him down for those 25 miles for several years was probably the best thing I could have done for him."

After finishing 3 of 4 50 mile rides as as an 8-year-old in 2007, and then finishing all 5 of his 50-mile starts in 2008, Bo and Cindy never looked back. In 2009, Bo finished all 22 of his 50-mile starts, for a total of 1,010 miles. He did two days in a row for the first time that season, at Old Selam in Idaho, the Owyhee Canyonlands in Idaho, and the Grand Canyon XP in Arizona.

Cindy and Bo became a familiar sight: the big dark bay opinionated horse and his rider gliding down the endurance trails solo in the West, Southwest, Northwest, and Mountain regions. But don't try to catch up and ride with them, because Bo won't let you.

Bo does best alone on a ride, and Cindy prefers it that way anyway. "He's better by himself," she said. "He doesn't like to be alongside others. He's sort of competitive - he likes to get ahead of everybody. And I can actually tell when a horse is feeling better when they're alone, because they're not interacting with another horse."

The 'slow and steady wins the race' motto has been a key to success for this pair over the seasons, where they've consistently finished mid to back of the pack. "We've done slow miles just because I want to ride slower, and I wanted him to get to 5000 miles. He doesn't want to go slower. I think slow and steady is better than trying to race."

Riding solo so many miles together builds close communication and a strong bond between horse and rider. A few years back in an Idaho ride, Bo and Cindy came to a 3-way intersection where the ribbons were down. "It was an area where it was hard to tell by ground hoof prints which way to go," Cindy recalled. "I remembered riding there sometime before and decided to go left. I urged Bo with leg pressure.  His ears went back... more urging and he started backing, whirling, and being an ass.  

"After several minutes of this I got angry and said, 'Okay, go your way, but you're wrong, and you will see!' About half a mile his way we ran into the right color ribbons. I patted him on the neck and thanked him! Many people went the wrong way that day.  

"Doing all those miles together, you get really bonded. Riding with somebody else, you lose all that special connection with your horse." It's a closeness that Cindy treasures with her special gelding. "Some people miss the whole issue of being that connected with a horse, I think. "

In 2010, Bo did 5 days in a row at the Paunsagaunt XP at Bryce Canyon in Utah. "That's a very tough ride," Cindy said, "and I just had it in my head, we would do all 5 days - not even thinking he had only done 2 50's in a row before that. He did it easily. That was our biggest event!"

Their next biggest milestone was when Bo passed 5000 endurance miles, at this year's Grand Canyon XP on September 6th. He was only the 5th Morgan (or part Morgan) in AERC history to reach this laudable, coveted milestone.

Bo's is an outstanding AERC record: (to date) 5090 endurance miles, 495 LD miles over 12 seasons. He has only 6 pulls in 124 starts. The pair made the cover of the 2012 December Endurance News magazine issue, in a spectacular photo taken by Cindy's husband Steve at the Grand Canyon XP that year.

In addition to his AERC achievements, Bogar Tucker won the American Morgan horse high point award for endurance twice. He also won 2 reserve championships in endurance from the American Morgan Horse Association.

One more AERC award is waiting just around the corner: the Decade Team. According to, "this special award recognizes an achievement that represents the foundation on which AERC was formed, by acknowledging a rider who, over a long period of time, has kept an equine sound and actively competing. The Decade Team award recognizes those equine and rider teams who completed at least one endurance ride (50 miles or more) each year for 10 years."

With the new endurance season set to begin in December, Cindy is looking toward the Death Valley XP, in California on December 28-31, to reach this next milestone with Bo.

Cindy said she'll start to back off on Bo, now that he's reached 5000 miles. "We're going to do some 25's and a few 50's." Just don't tell the big horse that, though, since he might have a few other opinions about that.

"I have owned and ridden many horses in my life, but Bo is my once-in-a-life time horse," Cindy said.

"I hope we have many more years together!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning with Karen Chaton - Listen

HITM for 11-10-2015 by the AERC – Endurance Listeners Radiothon Challenge, Mechanics of Better Riding, Flax Myths Busted

This month's AERC Endurance episode with Karen Chaton: following our usual adventures with Karen's re-cap we'll get down to the mechanics of better riding with Donna Snyder Smith, The Distance Depot offers up clever covers for your consideration, and rounding out the show, Dr Susan Garlinghouse offers some advice on social media etiquette and busts a few online myths. Listen in...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Equine masseuse practicing in Warren County - Full Article

Paige Godden,
November 9, 2015

Martha Becker slowly ran her hand down the neck of a mild mannered horse named Chevy at the Ridgetop Horse Ranch in Milo one recent weeknight.

When she hit just the right spot, the horse blinked. The simple action told Becker Chevy had some tension built up at that spot in his neck.

Becker kept her hand still and waited. It tells the horse where the tension is so he can release it. This time, Chevy let out a heavy sigh.

Other times the horse will start licking its mouth or chewing, which is another signal of release according to Becker.

"All horses carry tension," Becker said. "It doesn't mean they hurt or are in pain, it's just because they're prey animals and they're thinking everything is trying to eat them."

In fact, if the horses are hurt, Becker won't work on them because she's not a veterinarian. She's a masseuse.

Technically, Becker is a Masterson Method Equine practitioner.

The city clerk for Melcher-Dallas said she's been practicing the technique for more than two years, and became certified through classes with the man who developed the Masterson Method, Jim Masterson, in Fairfield.

Becker said Masterson stumbled on the technique by watching other massage therapists and acupuncturists work on his horses.

"He noticed the horse would start blinking when they got to a certain spot, or get fidgety and decided it was interesting," Becker said. "So he started mapping out all these different techniques and over the course of the years he has just put it all together."

Now, Becker said, Masterson works as the massage therapist for the United States Equine Endurance team and has programs in Australia, Ireland, England and across the United States...

Read more here:

Friend’s living kidney donation keeps Cathe in the saddle Blog - Full Story

A former hobby farm-owner and endurance horseback rider, Cathe Cheesebrow never sat still. But when kidney failure threatened her quality of life, a close friend stepped up to become a living donor.

November 9 2015
Staff Writer
M Health

Cathe Cheesebrow is not the type of person who likes sitting still. A former hobby farm owner and an avid endurance horseback rider, Cathe describes herself as a “doer and goer.”

“The only time I ever sat still was when I came in for supper and then went to bed,” Cathe said.

When Cathe’s energy levels bottomed out in the winter of 2013, she knew something was very wrong. Diagnosed in the early 2000s with kidney failure, the rural Wisconsin resident visited her nephrologist. After testing determined she had reached end-stage kidney failure, the doctor gave her two options: Wait for a donor from the National Kidney Registry—a lengthy process that would likely involve dialysis—or seek out a living kidney donor.

“Dialysis terrified the heck out of me. I did not want to be tethered down,” said Cathe, who received the unwelcome news on July 3, 2014. But on a getaway over the July 4 weekend, her failing health made it impossible for her to get into the saddle without help from her friends.

Desperate for help, Cathe posted a message on Facebook when she returned home seeking a volunteer donor. Little did she know a close friend had already taken matters into her own hands.

An uncommon gift

Enter Janet Sarver, who met Cathe in 2003 at a long-distance horseback riding competition. The sport is known as endurance riding, and participants often compete over distances ranging from 25 up to 100 miles. Like Cathe, Janet is an enthusiastic endurance rider, and participates in trail riding competitions across the state. Janet and Cathe’s friendship was cemented in 2012, during a 25-mile endurance race...

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Deirdre Monroe—If you map it, they will come - Full Story

November 2 2015

During her spare time, Lab engineer and endurance rider Deirdre Monroe helped make Santa Fe's Caja del Rio plateau more accessible for hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers and equestrian trail riders.

When the Weapon Systems Engineering Division’s Deirdre Monroe and a horseback riding friend left her horse’s boarding stable on the fringes of Santa Fe to ride west toward the Santa Fe National Forest’s “Caja del Rio Unit” for the first time, she could not have imagined that the “Caja” would capture her heart so dramatically and completely as to turn her into a dedicated endurance rider, Caja advocate, trail developer and cartographer over the next 18 years.

Today, thanks in large part to Monroe’s efforts, the Caja is one of Santa Fe’s best high-desert plateau areas for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and equestrian trail riding.

“Our initial ride took place in 1997,” Monroe recalls. “It was a crystal-clear but chilly fall day as we rode out, just the two of us, over the rolling, piñon-dotted hills that are now developed as part of Santa Fe’s Las Campañas subdivision. We rode past periodic homes at first and then across nothing but open land interrupted by an occasional stock tank for cattle, which was welcome to both of us and our horses...”

Read more here:

AERC Youth Representative (reminder)

Are you a young rider between the age of 12 and 21? Do you want to help AERC grow into the future?

AERC has a Youth Representative position - an opportunity for you to attend board meetings, learn how AERC does business, and help the Board of Directors make decisions about the sport. Statistically, we are an aging organization, with a median age of 52 according to recent numbers. We need more juniors and young riders participating - and you can help us figure out how to energize the sport.

You should be willing to attend board meetings and take part in discussions. You will be encouraged to speak on all of the issues but will not have a formal vote. There are two board meetings at AERC convention: Thursday evening and Sunday morning. Additionally the board meets every month by conference call and holds one mid-year meeting. You should have ideas to share with the board about improving junior and young rider participation and keeping the board in tune with the younger generation. You will also become an active member of the Junior Committee.

We would like to select a few individuals to qualify as Youth Representatives so that one person doesn't have to do it all. If you are interested send a letter by post or by email to the AERC office telling us your age, your riding experience, and why you would like to be an AERC Youth Representative. Please include a letter of recommendation from a senior AERC member.

Deadline for application is December 1.

Get involved, we need you!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

UnBranded in Madras

October 20 2015

3,000 Miles. 18 Wild Horses. 6 Months. 5 States. 4 Men. A documentary about Conservation, Exploration, and Wild Mustangs

November 13th, 6:30 pm the doors will open to the State of the Art Madras Performing Arts Center. Once inside be ready to experience an exhilarating wild ride documentary along with “four young Texans who have hatched an outrageous plot to adopt, train, and ride wild mustangs 3000 miles.” Beginning at the Mexican border these four men travel the great American West through public lands which include the States of Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Montana to the Canadian Border. Accomplished remarkably on the backs of recently trained wild mustangs adopted from the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in little over a five month period. Through the wildest terrain of American public lands, these men endure the wilderness of a romanticized American West to find not only magnificent vistas as stunning as the old master’s paintings but what their own souls hold within. They discover endurance is not just making it to the end of a finish line it entails life skills pushed to the brink of human nature. Strength to provide the ability to survive in what the real American West was and is about today. These men and mustangs experience a journey that faces them down through sickness, death, injury and reveals true meaning of endurance and courage. “The Audience Award winner at Telluride Mountainfilm and Hot Docs Film Festival, Unbranded is a soaring tale of danger and resilience, an emotionally charged odyssey that shines a bright light on the complex plight of our country's wild horses.”

The local nonprofit group, The Warm Springs Horse Network (WSHN) is proud to bring this passionate film for review, as it brings to the forefront the need to recognize these amazing animals for their true value in many cultures historically as well as in today’s world. Many liken these challenges to mankind itself realizing the confines of thriving in today’s world. Horses face yet intensified challenges presented on lands compromised by fire, drought and government regulations. Changing equine perception, we as a people face mounting trials testing even the strongest of men, bringing awareness to the mustang will begin the conversation necessary for the reality of “Wild” and “Mustang” to maintain its origin. The efforts of homing the local mustang foals from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs became apparent in May 2014. WSHN has been working with the Range Management department since that time. Enabling foals to become welcome productive members of the equine society, winning blue ribbons at the Oregon State Fair, numerous first place ribbons, awards and cash prizes for participation in yearling shows and the hearts of any family who proudly houses a Mustang. The foals from the Warm Springs Reservation are now referred to as Pacific Northwest American Heritage Horses and may be registered as such with the American Indian Horse Registry. As WSHN fast approaches 400 horses’ successfully homed, costs continue to rise for continued care of these orphans. All proceeds from this presentation will go to enable continued efforts to house, care and provide loving homes for foals, along with some mare foal pairs. The WSHN board members wanted to provide a value to the community by showing this exhilarating documentary as it relates in many ways to the foals in our own backyard. WSHN acted quickly to bring this majestically presented production to our own Performing Arts Center here in Madras, Oregon. We know it will touch your heart as it did ours.

Tickets are on sale now - $10.00 may be purchased through the website - or at the door, November 13th, 2015 6:30 pm.

Warm Springs Horse Network (WSHN)
Contact Person: Beth Matanane 928-221-7601

Monday, November 02, 2015

AERC Riders Win Nevada Day Parade Award

Pictured L to R: Connie Creech on LS Shardonney Bey, Phyllis Keller on Curious George, Karen Chaton on Granite Chief, Riley McHenry on Pro Bono D

November 2 2015
by Merri

16 AERC horses and riders placed first in the "Parading Arabians" group in the 2015 Nevada Day Parade on October 31 in Carson City, Nevada. Four of the riders (Creech, Keller, Chaton, and Crysta Turnage) and five of the horses who participated are part of the AERC Rose Parade Riders headed to the Rosebowl Parade on January 1st.

Now in its 77th year, the Nevada Day Parade celebrates Nevada Day, a grand celebration commemorating admission to statehood on October 31, 1864.

"It was a big parade, over 200 entries, and an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 people," said participant Karen Chaton, a member of the northern group of AERC Rose Parade riders. "There were several other equestrian groups - military horses, dancing horses, vaqueros, Pony Express, and politicians riding."

10-year-old Junior AERC rider Riley McHenry, who just recently joined AERC and completed her first 50 mile ride, participated in her first Nevada Day Parade. She was aboard Pro Bono D, owned by Chaton. Before the Parade was over, McHenry said to Chaton, "I'd rather ride a 50 than do a parade!"

The "Parading Arabians" are all dressed in Native Arabian Costumes. Veterinarian Susan McCartney provided some of the horses, and several of the costumes for the parade riders, and her husband Dave Cookware rode in the lead on one of their 33-year-old horses.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Endurance riders converge on Big Foot

Melissa Woicek (left) of Stone County begins the 25-mile portion of the AERC race at Big Foot Saturday. Woicek won the Turtle Award as the last finisher. Enterprise photo by Jody O'Hara

Stone County Enterprise

By Jody O'Hara
Oct 30, 2015

The Big Foot Horse Trail in the DeSoto National Forest was the focus of the American Endurance Ride Conference this past weekend.
Hunting for Big Foot involved 16 riders in a 50-mile endurance ride and 24 more in a 25-mile ride.
Jane Lee of Poplarville was the manager for the event and said she had wanted to share the riding facilities at Big Foot with a larger group of riders.
"This is where I come to train and condition and I thought, 'We should share this,' because it's such a fantastic facility and it's really rather unknown," she said.
Lee owns the No. 1 horse in the Southeast Region of the AERC, a paint named Ruby, and has been involved in the sport for seven years.
She took on the task of managing a race because she believes she's taken a lot from it.
"I felt the need to give something back to the sport," she said.
On Friday, riders brought their horses to a check-in station where veterinarians gave them a thorough going over, checking for hydration, muscle tone, soreness, tack galls, soundness and heart rate.
Steve Huffman of Tupelo was on hand with his Spanish mustang, Choctaw Warrior.
"We came down to support Miss Jane because she's putting on this race in Mississippi," he said. "There used to be a lot of races in the state, but it's kind of died off over the past several years."
On Saturday morning, the 50-milers left first, followed shortly by the 25-milers.
Local rider Melissa Woicek, aboard her rescued walking horse, Peotyr, was participating in her first endurance ride and was presented the Turtle Award for being the last finisher in the 25-mile event.
"That's really quite an accomplishment, to go out on your first endurance ride and finish with a horse that is happy, safe and sound," Lee said. "Our motto is, 'To Finish is to Win,' and she certainly did that."
Lee said the overall event was a huge success.
"For our first time, we had great participation and the feedback was all really positive," she said. "We were able to introduce a bunch of riders from several states to our beautiful DeSoto National Forest and the amenities we have to offer for riders here."
Riders were on hand from Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Owhyee Hallowed Weenies Ride to Benefit Injured Endurance Rider

October 28 2015

Ride managers Steph Teeter and Regina Rose have designated proceeds from the Owyhee Hallowed Weenies ride, on October 31, 2015, in Oreana, Idaho, to go to northwest endurance rider Julia Corbin, who was injured in a horse accident in September.

"We've all been there, or been close..." Teeter said.

Corbin explained her situation:

On September 26, 2015 I was at an endurance ride, just going for a trail ride with friends. On our way back from our trail ride, A rider who was in the competition, came galloping up on our horses and failed to listen or heed to our verbal warnings and slow down gestures, and spooked our horses. My horse reared and stumbled over backwards on top of me, breaking my pelvis in the process. Luckily we were in cell service and we could get a call out to get me life flighted to the trauma center. Certainly it could have been much much worse and I am eternally grateful that it was not. And that no other riders or horses were involved. 

Currently I am unable to walk. I am bound to a wheelchair. I can stand on one leg with the assistance of a walker. Idaho does not offer short-term disability and I do not qualify for any unemployment. 

I have not had a clear diagnosis as to where and how badly my pelvis is broken. I do know that I have a very large bone chip off of my pelvic symphysis. I am trying to get a team of doctors to me figure out exactly what I need to be doing and what I need to not be doing in order to heal properly so that not only can I ride in the coming year but so that I can ride well in the next 50 years. Like any horse person can relate, I need to know about stall rest, and hand walking, turn out, and cold hosing lol!

  I absolutely live to ride and to be confined to a chair and not be able to just sit on a horse is absolutely crushing to me.  But I need as much love and support as I can get as I go through this process. I have never been through anything more physically demanding nor mentally taxing and I am struggling.  I'm asking for support for my medical expenses BUT mostly to ensure my horses always have a safe place to live and are able to be provided for properly. And  if something should happen to them, I would be able to ensure their health. 

This next  part is very hard for me to write because I have kept this part of my life a secret to many of my  friends and much of my family.

In March 2015 I went to the ER very ill thinking I had pneumonia. My lymph nodes, spleen, and liver were extremely enlarged to the point where you could not feel my lower ribs and I had no definition to my waist. Through x-rays and ultrasounds and CT scans we found out that my lymph nodes were numerous and abnormally enlarged. I tested positive and was diagnosed with Mononucleosis. It wrecked absolute havoc on my body and left me very weak. I was also diagnosed with possibly having lymphoma. I also found out I have a very large ovarian cyst that needs to be surgically removed. I was hoping it got smooshed in the accident, but alas my luck was needed elsewhere :)  It is larger than my uterus and could possibly compromise my future fertility. Months have gone by playing the waiting game to see if my lymph nodes will continue to reduce in size and they have not. Living in cancer limbo is no fun at all. I need to have my lymph nodes biopsied and my ovarian cyst removed.

One of THE most important things for me to be able to produce from this is rider education, so that equestrians in the sport of endurance, understand that trail etiquette is not just for the safety of your own horse, but  the actions you take in a split second can change the life of someone else permanently and in a very terrible way. And most of these actions are easy to do! Slow down! Don't run up on horses whether or not they have ribbons in their tail! Talk to your fellow riders, ensure their safety as well as yours, and treat them as though you would wish to be treated yourself. I am absolutely not looking to point fingers or put the blame on anyone, Shit happens, but at the same time some future shit can be prevented by others learning from my accident.

In the Endurance world the motto is "To Finish Is To Win" To me that is the shortened version of "TO FINISH (Knowing You Did All You Could To Help And Assist Your Equine Partner, Yourself, And Your Fellow Competitors Without Hesitation Through To Completion) IS TO WIN"

Corbin's Gofundme campaign is here:

Come ride or help at the Owyhee Hallowed Weenies ride:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Newest Perfect Ten Equine: Ann Kratochvil and GF Brazils Envy

"She doesn't know slow!"

October 26 2015
by Merri

If you've been lucky enough to ride a 5000-mile endurance equine, you have an idea of the soundness and persistence required for a horse to reach such a milestone in the sport.

There are a few equines that rise above that, to the very top of the sport. The hallmark traits of these equine athletes in the U.S. are toughness, consistency, and longevity.

No award in AERC - or in any endurance conference in the world - demonstrates the excellence of the true endurance horse more than the Perfect Ten Equine: a horse who has completed 10 years, 10,000 miles, 10 first place finishes and 10 Best Conditions over their career.

Only seven horses had accomplished this feat since it was created in 1997. It's an elite group: Becky Hart's great R.O. Grand Sultan+// (1997), Joe and Robbie Long's Kahlil Khai (1997), Roberta Harms' Sha-win (2004), Randy Coleman's Pandora's Pixy (2004), Earle Baxter's CH Catch Me If You Can (2007), Philip Ottinger's Robin Hood (2010), and Karen Fredrickson's MRR Pyro (2011).

On Saturday, October 24th, after completing the 50 miles at the Bill Thornburgh Friends and Family ride in California, another equine joined this elite group: Ann Kratochvil's mare GF Brazils Envy.

Looking back some 12 years (Envy is 17 now), there wasn't much indication of what was to come over the next decade. "When I brought her home to Ridgecrest [California] from Utah," Ann says, "everybody asked me, 'Why'd you buy a Quarter Horse?' She was enormous! She'd lived for 5 years in a 5-acre alfalfa field, totally flat, no rocks, no water crossings, and did nothing but eat."

Ann still liked the looks of the mare, by Brazil DWF out of LL Jealousy, by Lamolin. Those lines are mostly CMK, with a little Russian and a little Spanish. But Ann turned the mare down when she flunked her pre-purchase exam. The owner took Envy to a vet clinic outside of Salt Lake City, where they did numerous radiographs on her. "They said there's absolutely nothing wrong with this horse - she was just shod so badly," Ann says. Even today, Envy 'paddles' a a bit with her hind end, if veterinarians want to get nit picky when Ann vets her in for rides. "It's hard to keep shoes on her back feet because of the way she moves. She wears them off. I really thought that was going to do her in, but it hasn't been an issue. Yep, she's been like that for 9000 miles!"

Envy had only been started a little a two; at 5 she was worked in a round pen indoors, and "she may have been out on the trail 3 times." To say she was spooky was a bit of an understatement. "She'd spook and do a 180 and run off. But I'd already fallen in love with her!" Ann says.

Ann called up her friend and trainer Callie Thornburgh, who lives close to Ann in the Mojave Desert. Callie told her the green horse just needed more wet saddle pads. "Envy was real spooky, and she didn't really know how to rate her speed," Callie says. She's known Ann for over 20 years. "It was either a fast trot or a slow walk. We started training her, put Ann on her in lessons - and now look what happened!"

Envy's first endurance season in 2006 was a modest one, with two Limited Distance finishes and 3 50-mile finishes. In 2007 she completed 10 of 12 50-mile rides. By 2008, Envy was piling on the miles in a pattern that would carry her steadily throughout her career on her march to the Perfect Ten.

Any horse that accomplishes 600 endurance miles in one season (finishing 12 50-mile rides) could be said to have had an outstanding year. From 2008 onward, Envy has racked up from between 950 to nearly 1700 miles per year, starting to finish more consistently in the Top Ten each ride, and garnering an occasional first place finish and a Best Condition award along the way.

Envy excels at 50-mile multi-day rides, having done many of the XP Duck rides in the West and Southwest. She's completed 4 out of 4 75 mile rides, winning 2 of them. In the only 100-mile ride Ann and Envy attempted, they came in first at the 20 Mule Team in 2010 - and were pulled at the finish line. It was a cold, windy, rainy day as it can be in February in the Mojave Desert, and Envy's butt muscles stiffened up. She'd previously had some trouble with tying up issues during training rides, and upon advice of Callie Thornburgh, Ann changed Envy's diet. Now subsisting (amply) on grass hay, beet pulp, timothy pellets, and no grain (only a little senior and oats during a ride), Envy has never had a problem since.

The mare thrived on a busy ride schedule and did not require much in the way of training rides in between. Ann rode her with her neighbor Carol on the occasional 5 mile slow desert amble; and Ann's friend Cliff has for years enjoyed hand-walking Envy for 5 miles in the desert several days a week.

2012 and 2013 were outstanding years for the pair. In 2012, Envy finished 33 of 33 rides and 1690 miles, with 26 Top Tens, 4 wins, and 4 Best Conditions. In 2013, she finished 20 of 20 rides and 1015 miles, with 18 Top Tens, 1 win, and 4 Best Conditions. Both of these years Ann and Envy won AERC's year-end War Mare award, based on the most points accrued by the same mare/rider team during one season. They are on track to repeat that feat this season.

It hasn't always been easy, though. Although Envy doesn't dump Ann so much anymore by her spooking, she does "other things." Like trip. It was in the spring of 2014 at the New Cuyama ride where Envy was trotting up a road that had just been graded, when the worst happened. "She tripped over a rock sticking up, and lost her balance, then hit the berm, and she fell on top of me," Ann recalls. "I broke my clavicle, 3 ribs, had blood on the brain, and chipped my ankle. I was in the hospital 3 days, but I don't remember 2 of them at all."

But as most long-time endurance rider addicts (Ann has 25,000 AERC miles in 25 years of riding) have this gene that makes you want to get back to riding as soon as possible, Ann was back in the saddle 2 months later, finishing 4th in a 50-mile ride in Idaho's Owyhee Fandango. She credits her friend Cliff, who continued to take Envy out on 5-mile walks several times a week while Ann was recuperating, for keeping Envy exercised and loosened up.

Ann and Envy ultimately completed 1125 miles and 22 of 23 rides that year (the only pull was Ann's "rider option" accident), with 18 Top Tens, 2 wins, and 2 Best Conditions.

Ann, now 68, was nervous getting on her the first ride back after her accident - and she's still always a little nervous about riding Envy. In fact, Ann says, "She scares the sh*t out of me half the time. Oh, gosh, does she ever pull. In fact, she's gotten way, way worse the last couple of years. She doesn't know slow!

"She can be really bad coming in sometimes [to the finish]. There's rides where she's not controllable at all. Last year when we came to the finish at Death Valley the first day I rode her, I said, 'Anybody got a gun?'" Ann laughs. "It wasn't like I could let her go! She'd start bucking if I did. She's dumped me a lot of times, that's why I wear a vest!"

Saturday's 'Perfect Ten' ride may have been her scariest yet. "Envy was the worst she's ever been. Ever! I was absolutely terrified! I didn't know if I was going to make it," Ann says. "Along with constantly pulling on me, she was shaking her head. Every 15 to 30 seconds, constantly, she'd throw her head down, almost to the ground, almost yanking me out of the saddle, I can't believe I didn't come off!"

Envy probably sensed the pressure Ann had been feeling in the weeks up to this final 'Perfect Ten' ride. "This was so built up," she says, "and I'd been so worried about this for weeks. I'd been a total wreck."

But when Ann made it to the finish line, many people were there to watch their final trot-out for completion. It was, after all, history being made. "Everybody cheered when we trotted out sound, and yes, I cried!"

Ann will now start to ease off on Envy's ride schedule - and take the time to get her hips replaced, something she's been putting off for years, riding with constant pain.

Callie Thornburgh, who was ride manager for the ride, was so proud that her friend Ann reached the historic milestone at her ride. Callie says, "We gave a little speech about it at the awards ceremony, about what the Perfect Ten is, what Ann and Envy accomplished. We all did the 'Hip Hip Hoorays' and stood up and yelled and screamed.

"I feel very honored to be a part of her story. It's such an accomplishment. So few people have done it; it's something that takes a special horse and a special rider to even think about getting there. She and Envy are just incredible!"

For all Envy's quirks, Ann is overwhelmed with love for the tough mare. "She's just so amazing. I love her to death, and I don't know if she likes me or not!" Ann laughs. "But I think she does. She trusts me for sure.

"I'll do anything for her!"

Pertinent side note:

Ann actually has two Perfect Ten horses in her back yard. Pandora's Pixy was owned by Ann's long-time partner, Randy Coleman. Randy passed away in the fall of 2006. The mare is around 30 now.

Callie Thornburgh also knew Randy and Pandora. "Pandora was a cranky mare. She was one of those kind of horses that didn't want you to pet her or mess with her - just get on her, do the job, and leave her alone," she says.

"I still have Pandora. She hates me!" Ann laughs. "She always hated me; she used to kick me and bite me, because she was jealous of me with Randy.

"And I lost my Red horse last year; it just broke my heart. Pandora never forgave me for that, either. He was her best friend. Red was colicking, and I left for the vet with him in the trailer, and he died. When I came back, she was all excited to see Red again, but there was no horse in the trailer. It was so heartbreaking. She still hates me, because she thinks I took Randy away from her, and she thinks I took Red away from her.

"But I take really good care of her."

Friday, October 23, 2015

16-year-old crowned 100-mile winner at AERC National Championships

by Mary Howell
October 21, 201

On October 8 and 10, the Old Dominion Endurance Rides Inc. hosted the 50- and 100-mile American Endurance Ride Conference National Championship rides for the third time, using the same trails used for the organization’s venerable 100-mile ride, which has been held in Virginia each June for more than 40 years.

Veteran ride managers Joe Selden and Nancy Smart headed up a virtual army of experienced staff who were vital to the success of the championship event. Organized by volunteer coordinator Claire Godwin, DVM, volunteers staffed the multiple vet checks on the point-to-point trail. Among them were experienced Old Dominion drag riders and ham radio operators who provided a crucial safety net for this remote area with its spotty mobile phone coverage and limited vehicle access.

Despite several periods of heavy rain on Friday evening, the 100-mile riders awoke early Saturday to starry skies and cool temperatures. Less than two hours after the 27 starters also got underway at 7 a.m., a rush of front-runners arrived at the Bird Haven vet check at the 15.7 mile mark within seconds of each other.

This fast pace continued past Laurel Run, with five horse-and-rider teams arriving together at the 45.6 mile Bucktail hold. The pace slowed around noon, as horses negotiated technical single-track trail along the mountain ridge marking the Virginia/West Virginia state line, giving riders time to enjoy the spectacle of the sun illuminating the fall foliage in the surrounding mountains.

By the Wates Run “gate and go” hold at the 51.1 mile mark, the course had begun to take its toll, with two horses pulled there. But the pace didn’t slacken for the front-runners, even as darkness took hold.

Sixteen-year-old Bryna Stevenson of Newton, NJ, was on Whispersteams Atropine (Maddie), the $500 mare her family purchased four years earlier, while Carol Federighi of Takoma Park, MD, was aboard Lily Creek Stetson, a Shagya Arabian gelding bred by her fiancé’s mother. The two had swapped the lead throughout the day, with Federighi’s mount pulsing a bit faster at several holds, but Stevenson’s mount soon catching up on trail.

“I was impressed by Bryna’s exquisite balance and horsemanship,” said Federighi, who explained that she’d assured Stevenson that if they could stay together on trail, she wouldn’t challenge the teenager in a race-off to the finish.

At 10:24 p.m., the two galloped in together, with Stevenson crossing the finish line as first in the featherweight division in a ride time of 12:14:57, four seconds ahead of Federighi, who placed as first lightweight. It was the second 100-mile win for Stevenson and Maddie, as she surprised the endurance world by winning the Old Dominion 100 in 2014, as a 14-year-old.

A little over an hour later, Sara Schick of Chesapeake, VA, and Lynne Gilbert of Raphine, VA, finished together, both on Asgard Arabians. Schick placed third on Legalas, the horse she won in the OD’s 2006 fund-raising raffle.

Despite the best efforts of her crew and being triple blanketed, Gilbert’s horse Mercuric was pulled at the finish for a hind end cramp. Gilbert is a veteran 100-mile rider who’d completed the 2012 AERC National Championship on Mercuric and had won the Old Dominion 100 in 2002 and again a decade later. In 2012 she also won the coveted Old Dominion Trophy, along with a best condition and the traditional cavalry award, meaning she had to carry everything she and Mercuric needed on the ride without accepting any help along the way.

But endurance riding’s rules are explicit about the horse being “fit to continue” to get a completion, and Gilbert was philosophical about Mercuric’s pull.

Rounding out the top 10 were Godwin, of Laytonsville, MD, on PL Mercury; Ann Mebane of Star Tannery, VA, on HH Saba Shams; Pam Karner, DVM, of Ithaca, NY, on Clunk; Jennifer Poling of Moatsville, WV, Prado CF; Tom Hagis of Fries, VA (first middleweight), on Ali Mostafa; Nancy Sluys of Westfield, NC, on FYF InZane+, and Trisha Juerling of Broad Run, VA, on Busy.

Two days earlier, the 50-mile championship had also dawned cool and clear. The perfect fall weather contributed to a 79 percent completion rate, with 33 out of 42 completing the ride. Following the 7 a.m. start, nearly a dozen front-runners were closely packed as they arrived at Bird Haven, the 15.7-mile hold.

Trail Master and OD Board Member Bob Walsh had modified the second loop to replace a portion of single-track trail that had become eroded and potentially dangerous with gravel road. As a result, many competitors covered this 16.4-mile leg into the second vet check at Laurel Run in under two hours.

Only three horses had been retired from competition after Laurel Run, but the rocks and pace eventually took their toll and six horses failed to meet the “fit to continue” criteria upon returning to Bird Haven for the third and final vet check.

With a 25-minute lead, Cheryl Newman of Chandler, NC, on JS Comet (O’Ryan) crossed the finish line first in a ride time of 5:12:10, also earning first place in the featherweight division. Next was first lightweight Colleen Greene of Rayland, OH, one of three Ohio riders to finish in the top ten.

Shortly after, the quartet of Laura Bramel of East Liverpool, OH, on RHS Sitara; Alex Upsenski of Rock Creek, OH; and Gina Hagis of Fries, VA, on Lumina, and Godwin, riding EH Ahmose, tied for third place with a ride time of 5:43:54. Uspenski was first in the heavyweight division on his Arabian gelding Marton, who’d earned three best conditions in a row just prior to the National Championship.

Next in were Verena Stock of Camden, SC, on King Tiki, in seventh. Sallie Sullivan, of Canfield, OH, finished eighth on Ivan Groznyi and Jesse Jarrett, of Lenoir, NC, was the ninth place finisher and first middleweight on Smoke Deuce. Rounding out the top ten were Holly Corcoran and Poete, who traveled from Stroudsburg, PA, for the championships.

Newman’s horse, O’Ryan, earned both best condition and high vet score. As manager of the Biltmore endurance ride in North Carolina each May, O’Ryan had been piloted by family friends for his several 100-mile finishes on Biltmore trails, including the 2012 AERC National Championship, but this was their time to shine together.

Traveling all the way from Brunswick, ME, junior Sarah Buckley was sponsored by three riders, Kelly Lane, Jennifer Smith and Elyse Carreno, who each had years of experience riding the technical OD trails. “Elyse and Jen needed to slow their pace, so they sent Sarah on with me,” explained Lane. “We’re really proud of helping ensure her completion despite her pony having never encountered that many rocks before!” Buckley ended up tying for 21st overall with Lane and Karen Neuenschwander.

For the first time, both a 25-mile limited distance open ride and a ride-and-tie event were held in conjunction with the AERC National Championship, on the day between the 50- and 100-mile competitions. A total of 44 limited distance riders and nine ride-and-tie teams added both revenue and more spectators to the event.

“While we were prepared for many more entries,” said Walsh, “we were delighted by the sportsmanship of all who competed and grateful to our sponsors, who together provided nearly $12,000 in cash or in-kind donations.”

Smart added, “Joe and I were delighted with the good spirit and attitude of all who were there, enjoying the beautiful weather and the difficult trail, whether rider, crew or volunteer, or some of the most dedicated and experienced veterinary judges in our sport. Everyone seemed to capture that special feeling that only a championship can bring.”

AERC’s 2016 national championship will be held September 8 and 10 on the riding trails of Antelope Island State Park, which lies within the Great Salt Lake in Utah.
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For more information about endurance riding, or to request a free information packet, please contact the AERC office, located in Auburn, California, at 866-271-2372, email, or visit


About the Old Dominion Rides, Inc.
Formed in 1973 as a 501c(3) nonprofit to promote and support the sport of endurance riding, the Old Dominion offers three AERC-sanctioned rides as well as several ride-and-tie events each year, but takes seriously its mission to preserve trails and educate riders “in the enjoyment, safety and well-being of the working endurance horses” by offering regular clinics and training rides.

The Old Dominion previously hosted the 1988 AERC National Championship in Front Royal and 2006 AERC National Championship in Fort Valley. In 2008, loss of those trails from development led the organization to move its 100-mile ride south and west to Orkney Springs, with nearly all of its trails now within the George Washington National Forest, in Virginia and West Virginia.

Since then, “Dozens of volunteers have worked countless hours to develop our new trail system and vet check locations, as well as improve our base camp along Happy Valley Road,” explained Jack Weber, an Old Dominion board member who managed the ride’s base camp and emceed the national championship award ceremonies.

Weber credits OD board member Virginia Ingram for the base camp’s cheerful and beautiful landscaping. She and her son and daughter installed footbridges across the creek dividing the meals tent from the vetting, vendor and camping areas. Bright flowerbeds and Halloween-themed decorations, with lights woven through tree limbs and along paths, adding a festive flair to the event.

The Old Dominion looks forward to welcoming endurance riders to its beautiful base camp for many years to come.