Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April 1 Deadline for National Recognition of your Trail Project

Coalition for Recreational Trails

Awards for projects funded through the federal Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration

The Coalition for Recreational Trails, a federation of national and regional trail-related organizations, is pleased to announce its 2015 achievement awards to recognize outstanding trail projects funded by the national Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The awards will be presented in Washington, D.C. during Great Outdoors Month™ in June 2015 as part of the Coalition’s ongoing effort to build awareness and appreciation of this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. We will be holding the awards ceremony on Capitol Hill and will encourage Members of Congress to join us in honoring the outstanding achievements of their constituents.
As an additional benefit, American Trails makes a web page for each winning project. See the over 100 award pages we have created since 2003. We hope you will join us in this important effort to recognize the significant contributions to our nationwide system of trails and greenways that the Recreational Trails Program is supporting all across the country

Awards are given in several categories:
• Maintenance and Rehabilitation – maintaining, repairing damage to, or upgrading the quality of a trail to improve the trail experience, increase user safety, and/or enhance protection of the environment, including wildlife
• Construction and Design – planning and building a trail, portions of a trail (e.g., a bridge), or trail-related facilities (e.g., a trailhead, shelter, etc.)
• Public-Private Partnerships and Access to/Use of Public Lands – facilitating and/or encouraging cost-effective partnerships between public and private entities, especially to increase access to and use of federal, state and local public lands, including parks, forests and wildlife refuges
• Community Linkage – providing and/or enhancing opportunities for trail-based recreation and transportation within or near local communities
• Education and Communication – using a variety of established and/or technologically innovative communications tools (e.g., web sites, social media and peer-to-peer information sharing) to increase environmental awareness, promote trail-related safety, encourage trail-related outdoor recreation and, overall, enhance trail use and enjoyment
• Multiple-Use Management & Corridor Sharing – facilitating and/or encouraging the use of a trail corridor by more than one type of trail enthusiast, particularly those enthusiasts that do not ordinarily share trails or trail-related facilities
• Accessibility Enhancement – facilitating and/or encouraging increased access to trail-related recreation opportunities for people with disabilities
• Youth Conservation/Service Corps and Community Outreach – making effective use of the services and skills of qualified youth conservation or service corps and other community organizations as project partners and supporters

Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Projects must be completed in order to receive an award. In addition, projects completed before 2007 are ineligible.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 1, 2015. The nomination form and any supporting materials, including pictures, should be returned via e-mail by April 1, 2015 to the Chair of the Coalition’s Awards Committee: Duane Taylor, Director of Federal Affairs, Motorcycle Industry Council, at coalitionforrectrails@gmail.com. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call him at (703) 416-0444 or send him an e-mail. Winners should be notified no later than May 8, 2015.

The 2015 nomination form can be found on this page:

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Trails4Transplants Ride being organized

Page1publications.com - Full Article

March 30 2015

I have heard a phrase that says “There are horse people and then there are other people.” Riding horses certainly seems to set this group apart.

We ride for a noble cause! Trails4Transplants is a long-distance, multiple week long trail ride, organized to raise awareness about organ, eye, and tissue donation, alleviate major health issues by simply raising awareness for the immense needs of organ donation and promote donor registration.

Proceeds go to the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, MN, which is a facility where organ recipients and their families can stay at a reduced cost while awaiting or following a life-saving organ or tissue transplant.

The organization urges everyone to give the gift of life and register to be a donor today at donatelife.net/register-now/.

It was this need that prompted the Hilles and the Petersons from Warren to organize a long distance trail ride called Trails4Transplants. Both couples have had experiences with organ transplants, but in very different ways.

Roger Hille was inspired by a success story, saying, "My son-in-law, Dave, received a liver transplant in 1998 when he was 26 years old. He went on to marry my daughter and have two children. Without the gift of organ donation, I would not have my precious grandchildren..."

Read more here:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

At 84, he's not just any old Ironman

Telegraph.co.uk - Full Article

by Theo Merz
8:29AM GMT 25 Mar 2015

You swim for 2.4 miles, then you cycle for 112 miles. Then you run a marathon. Often in the heat, sometimes with the wind against you.

Even the idea of the Ironman triathlon – which is held all around the world and widely considered to be among the toughest endurance races going – is enough to make most men in their twenties quake.

And yet Lew Hollander, an 84-year-old from Oregon, USA, is now preparing for his 59th such race – and gearing up to break the Guinness World Record for oldest competitor, which he set himself at the age of 82.

“Use it or lose it,” Hollander says when asked the secret of his longevity. “Don’t say, ‘Ow, my knee hurts’. If you get out and use it, your body will tend to make it better again...”

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back Country Horsemen of California Clears Storm Damage in the Sierra Mountains

March 6, 2015
by Sarah Wynne Jackson
The folks at Back Country Horsemen of America feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful country, and are dedicated to protecting our right to travel this stunning landscape by horseback, as our ancestors did. An important part of that goal is the down and dirty labor required to re-open trails and access roads after storms of rain, snow, ice, and wind.
A Special Place
A storm with winds in excess of 140 mph hit the Sierra Mountains in November 2013, leaving many popular campgrounds and trails inaccessible due to toppled trees. Since then, various groups have made cleanup efforts in the affected area.
The Mother Lode Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California spent two days in the Eldorado National Forest opening up trails around the Tells Creek Horse Camp, which is nestled among the pristine lakes of the Crystal Basin at 6,300 feet above sea level.
From there, adventurers on foot, horseback, mountain bikes, skis or snowshoes explore the local land that was the Van Vleck cattle ranch from the 1860s to the 1960s. Some also take longer trips into the Desolation Wilderness, 63,960 acres of alpine forest, granite peaks, and glacially-formed valleys and lakes.
A Big Job
BCHC’s first work day began with a mandatory safety briefing, then the volunteer sawyers, trained by the US Forest Service, and their helpers began work on a two-mile section of the Two Peaks Trail from the Tells Creek Horse Camp to the Bassi Creek crossing. The most experienced crewmember commented that this was the worst storm damage he’d seen in 18 years of trail maintenance.
Leapfrog Isn’t Just a Game
Seven workers each rode a saddle horse and four pack animals hauled an assort­ment of chainsaws, axes, shovels, and other equipment, including a Peavey pry bar. This odd apparatus looks like a five-foot pry bar with a hinged fish hook near the end, which enables a single person to roll large, heavy log segments off the trail without back strain.
The Mother Lode Back Country Horsemen work group separated into two teams and used the very effective leapfrog technique. The first team unpacked and cut the first obstacle. While they cleared the area of debris and repacked the gear, the second team proceeded to the second obstacle, unpacked and cut that one.
Teams of three or four people makes quick work of the task without members getting in each other’s way. Working in shifts also allows teams to last a bit longer at this exhausting elevation. If they en­countered a nest of tangled logs, the two teams took turns cutting and removing debris.
Up to the Challenge
The Mother Lode Unit spent six hours clearing about three dozen trees from two miles of trail. After watering their stock at the Bassi Creek crossing, the return trip took only 45 minutes on the now open track. The next morning, the group crossed Bassi Creek and cleared about 20 trees from the next part of the Two Peaks Trail. There they met up with another work party who had cleared trails around Barrett Lake and Pearl Lake on the far side of the summit of Two Peaks East.
The job is tough, but projects like this are essential to preserving our access to America’s wild places. Back Country Horsemen groups from coast to coast routinely spend over 300,000 volunteer hours each year maintaining trails, trail heads, and camps for all users.
About Back Country Horsemen of America
BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.
If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website: www.backcountryhorse.com; call 888-893-5161; or write PO Box 1367, Graham, WA 98338-1367. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Peg Greiwe

Sunday, March 22, 2015

National Forest Trail Bill Introduced


Submitted by admin on Wed, 02/11/2015 - 14:01

On February 10, 2015, Congresswomen Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Tim Walz (D-MN) re-introduced the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act of 2015 (H.R.845). The bill would direct the Forest Service to take several actions to help address the current trail maintenance backlog that is adversely impacting all trail users on many national forests, including equestrians. The bill was first introduced during the last Congress. The American Horse Council, Backcountry Horsemen of America, and the Wilderness Society were significantly involved in the creation of this bill.

A June 2013, study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Forest Service has deferred trail maintenance needs that exceed half-billion dollars, and only one-quarter of the agency’s 158,000 miles of trails meets agency standards for maintenance. This maintenance backlog is causing access and safety issues for equestrians and all trail users on national forests.

The National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act would direct the Forest Service to develop a strategy to more effectively utilize volunteers and partners to assist in maintaining national forest trails. It will also provide outfitters and guides the ability to perform trail maintenance activities in lieu of permit fees. Additionally, the bill would address a liability issue that has discouraged some national forests from utilizing volunteers and partner organizations to help perform trail maintenance and would direct the Forest Service to identify and prioritize specific areas with the greatest need for trail maintenance in the national forest system.

In the current fiscal environment it is unlikely Congress will appropriate additional funds to directly address the trail maintenance backlog. This bill will help improve trail maintenance without the need for additional funding.

The bill is supported by the AHC and many other recreation organizations.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Equine Land Conservation - Planning and Zoning Webinar and On-line Guide

The Basics of Planning and Zoning for Horse-Friendly Communities

Date: March 24, 2015
Speaker: Christine Hughes, AICP Senior Long Range Planner, City of Wilmington Planning, Development, & Transportation.

ELCR and My Horse University are partnering to bring you this informative webinar. Local governments of all shapes and sizes are using planning and zoning tools in their communities. This webinar will discuss the basics of planning and zoning, and will cover the tools of zoning codes and the comprehensive plan. In plain terms, learn how to understand what your property is zoned, how to get involved in the planning process, and what to look for relative to horse-friendly plans and regulations. Click here to register.

Planning and Zoning Guide for Horse Friendly Communities Now Available On-Line - click here

Planning and zoning decisions can affect how land is taxed, what it may be used for, and which standards and regulations are applied to it. These regulations determine not only whether individuals may keep horses on their own property, but also whether horses have access to community parks and trails.

Since land is saved locally it is vital that horsemen understand the basics of planning and zoning and how this impacts horse keeping, breeding, competing and recreating, as well as equine related businesses in their communities, in order to retain access to horses and enjoy their benefits.

The Planning and Zoning Guide for Horse-Friendly Communities is an important comprehensive resource for horsemen providing users with the tools they need to understand comprehensive planning, land use mapping, zoning ordinances, and the effects of these on horse keeping and other horse-related activitie s within their own local communities. The information will help them to be engaged in the process, to activate their equine community and to educate planners and decision makers on the benefits of horses in their communities.

National Recognition For Your Trails Project


Coalition for Recreational Trails ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

Awards for projects funded through the federal Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration

Has your trail received funding through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP)?

Here is a great opportunity for national recognition that also helps all of us make the case for continued funding for trails!

Learn more about the Coalition for Recreational Trails Annual Achievement Awards and download the Nomination Form...

Friday, March 13, 2015

March's Endurance Day on Horses In The Morning with Karen Chaton

Horsesinthemorning.com - Listen!

March 10 2015

Endurance Day with Karen Chaton opens with yet another camping with horses adventure story. Guests include Natasha Willemse with Pandora Saddles and Wayne Woolway talks about starting out in Endurance as an adult. Listen in...


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

$100,000 Time to Ride Challenge Now Open for Registration


RELEASE: March 11, 2015
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: American Horse Council

Washington, D.C. - Registration is now open at www.timetoride.com for the 2015 Time to Ride Challenge, a grassroots campaign offering $100,000 cash and prizes to horse professionals to grow the horse industry by introducing people to horses through beginner­ friendly horse experiences.

Entrants will organize Time to Ride Challenge events to take place from May 30 ­ September 30, 2015 and offer a unique opportunity for stables, horse clubs, veterinarians, feed stores, businesses and organizations to welcome new participants to horse activities. Event “Hosts” are organized into Small, Medium and Large divisions and are encouraged to be creative in providing fun, safe and educational horse events that encourage attendees to become further involved in riding and other horse activities. The Hosts who provide an introductory experience to the greatest number of newcomers, determined by contact information collected, will win cash awards.

Last year’s winner of the Small Division and the $10,000 cash prize was 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex of Union Grove, Wisconsin. “Time to Ride paid me to market myself. The Challenge has opened doors,” said Jody Halladay, owner. 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex reached hundreds of newcomers at a time by participating in many community events such as “Dairy Days” at a local farm, farmers’ markets, festivals, storytelling times, and community gatherings at children’s activity centers. When speaking of her delight in winning the cash prize, Halladay states, “it’s done more than just get us a new barn roof. We are going to be running the educational booth at the county fair next year; our lesson program has grown… things have come our way because of this!” In 2014, 16 Acres shared the joy of horses with 2,840 newcomers.

Statistics show that current horse owners are an aging population and that moms with children hold the greatest potential for campaigns such as the Time to Ride Challenge. Many of the stables that participated in the 2014 Challenge held events that introduced children to horses and offered parents information on how to get their families involved in riding. A post­ Challenge survey revealed that 92% of the 25,281 newcomers who participated in a Time to Ride event said they wanted to participate in more horse activities.Challenge updates for 2015 include more cash prizes, with grand prize winners in each division receiving $10,000, and cash awards given through tenth place. The completely redesigned and user ­friendly website is now accessible at www.timetoridechallenge.com. Hosts will receive free marketing resources including a toolkit, an event idea guide, customizable ads and posters, media templates and more.

Registration for the 2015 Challenge will be open until May 26, 2015. To learn more about the Time to Ride Challenge, please visit www.timetoridechallenge.com or email info@timetoride.com.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AERC Board of Directors Convention Wrap Up

2015 Convention Summary of AERC BoD meetings

The American Endurance Ride Conference held its annual convention March 5-8 in Reno, Nevada. I don’t have official attendance numbers, but I’m confident that attendance was higher than last year. In particular, the tack sale area had more saddles and other goodies than I have seen in years. I managed to snag copies of out of print Walter Farley books (remember how we all got started on horses as kids reading the Black Stallion series?).

At the Thursday Board of Directors (BoD) meeting, the Board approved changes to the deadlines for Special Sanctioning requests; the time requirements are shorter now with improved electronic communication. The Board and attending members were introduced to our new Marketing Director, Candace FitzGerald. John Parke provided a briefing on our insurance and also reviewed Board functions and obligations for new Board members. I have heard John give this lecture many times and I always look forward to it and learn from it. The Board also had extended discussions of AERC concerns regarding FEI endurance competition in the UAE. Valery Kanavy (USEF Technical Committee) and Dr. Dwight Hooten (USEF Veterinary Committee) graciously provided insights from their years of experience with international competition. Further discussion was deferred to the Sunday meeting (see below).

Throughout the day, on Friday and Saturday, various AERC committees held their meetings and a variety of seminars were offered on Body Condition Scoring, conducting a clinic for new riders, protecting trail access, equine gastric ulcers, veterinary analysis of the horse’s back, promoting longevity in endurance horses, nutrition for endurance horses and presenting your horse for the Best Condition award at rides.

On both days, John Parke (assisted by his Great Pyrenees, Biscuit) conducted his Hot Topics; Friday on problems in the international endurance competition, especially re: the UAE, and Saturday on developing new members. John always does an excellent job at eliciting the ideas of members and maintaining a constructive dialog.
Friday evening, John Parke hosted the Regional Awards ceremony, again assisted by Biscuit. John made the evening fun for everyone so that all awardees felt deservedly special for their accomplishments. Following the awards, members enjoyed music and dancing.

The Saturday BoD meeting opened with a State of the Conference update by President Michael Campbell. New members, Christoph Schork, Kevin Waters, and Tom Bache, were sworn in and appreciation for their service extended to departing members, Bruce Weary, Rusty Toth and Leslie Anderson. Officers were elected/re-elected: President Michael Campbell, Vice President Lisa Schneider, Secretary Susan Garlinghouse (replacing Monica Chapman) and Treasurer Mollie Krumlaw-Smith. The Board then heard comments/feedback from the members in attendance. The comments included concerns about the reporting of equine fatalities, equine health insurance, ride insurance, forming chapters of AERC, developing plans of succession for retiring ride managers, adjusting ride time for difficult terrain, and requests that AERC not “dumb down” ride standards by making the sport easier.
Saturday evening was the National Awards ceremony and banquet featuring Masters of Ceremony John Parke and Bruce Weary assisted by Susan Garlinghouse in her “Vanna White” role. I won’t list all the winners here, but they will be published on the website and in Endurance News.

Sunday morning, the Board, and a few die hard members, met for a marathon discussion of several important issues. Our new Marketing Director, Candace FitzGerald, presented her plan for promoting AERC throughout the coming year. Committee chairs for several committees were approved. The Strategic Plan for AERC’s future growth and development was presented by John Parke and approved by the Board. Progress on the development of the Supporting Organization for AERC was also presented by John Parke. The Budget for 2015 was presented by Treasurer Mollie Krumlaw-Smith and approved by the Board. Vice President Lisa Schneider and Board Member Mike Maul presented the new web site to be installed in the near future. The Board voted to approve Special Sanctioning for two rides. AERC-I, AERC’s international committee, sent the Board a report re: the 2016 World Equestrian Championship (WEC) scheduled for Dubai. The committee recommended that AERC withhold support for that location due to UAE violations of FEI rules re: horse welfare and fair play. The Board discussed concerns about FEI competition in the UAE, especially the scheduled 2016 WEC in Dubai. The Board voted to send USEF (our National Federation) AERC’s insistence that FEI open for bids the location of the 2016 WEC and disallow any bid from the UAE. If no acceptable bids are received, AERC expects FEI to cancel the 2016 WEC rather than hold it in the UAE. A letter from AERC to USEF to this effect is being prepared and will go out this week.

This was one of the most productive and successful conventions that I have attended. Special thanks are owed by us all to AERC staff: Executive Director Kathleen Henkel, Troy Smith, Kyra and, especially, Kathleen’s husband, Lary, and her sisters and their families for organizing and staffing the many functions necessary for a successful convention. With Kathleen, we get a lot of bang for our buck.

American Endurance Ride Conference Names 2014 Honorees


RENO, Nevada – March 10, 2015 – In a sport where simply crossing the finish line takes determination and grit, earning Hall of Fame honors in the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is reserved for those riders and equines with true tenacity. Endurance enthusiasts from all over the country gathered this weekend in Reno to attend the AERC Annual Conference and national awards banquet where Pat Oliva, 78, was named AERC’s Hall of Fame person. Pat has been competing in endurance riding for more than 40 years, with a 21,495 lifetime miles on rides of 50 miles or longer. An inspiration to all who know her, the Woodbine, Maryland, septuagenarian completed 575 miles of endurance competition in 2014.

Introduced by one of the many riders Pat has mentored over the years, AERC Board Member Skip Kemerer, Pat took to the stage with her characteristic modesty and good humor. “I want you to know that it’s because of all of you that I’m still riding,” she said. “We race each other but in the afternoon, when the ride is over, we’re all friends.” Upon accepting her award, Pat encouraged her fellow endurance riders to “pass that kindness on to others.” Known for her loud and frequent laugh, Pat rode the first-ever Old Dominion endurance ride, back in 1974, as well as the 40th anniversary ride in 2014. Her main mount over the past year has been Colonel Pepper, an 18-year-old bay Arabian gelding.

AERC’s Hall of Fame horse for 2014 is MRR Pyro (“Murphy”), owned by Karen Fredrickson of Kneeland, California. Murphy is a ranch horse who just happens to have captured just about every honor an equine can earn in AERC: Decade Team (10 years of competition with a single rider), Perfect Ten (10,000 miles, 10 years of competition, 10 first place wins, 10 Best Condition wins), and the Pard’ners Award, for the ultimate in sportsmanship and team partnership, with his human counterpart.

Murphy, 18, has a 97% completion rate, remarkable in a sport where so much can happen over 50 miles of competition out on trails in the wilderness. Karen accepted the award for Murphy, calling him her “once-in-a-lifetime horse” and said he was the personification of all the horses in children’s stories, cowboy tales and Disney movies you could imagine.

American Endurance Ride Conference Names 2014 Honorees 2-2-2-2

The organization’s Pard’ners Award went to Ron Barrett and Rafuro HCC. With 132 finishes out of 134 starts, the duo teamed up to compete for 19 seasons before Raf retired in 2006. To date, Ron has completed 11,200 AERC miles and Raf retired with 7,380 miles.

Gail Williams of Zillah, Washington, won the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award for her trail building (and re-building) work in endurance riding’s Northwest Region. The Anne Ayala Junior Scholarship went to young rider Starla Dale of Murrieta, California.

Members of the nonprofit American Endurance Ride Conference, which sanctions distance rides of 25 to 100 miles, will again gather for their annual awards presentations next March in Reno, Nevada. More information on endurance riding is available by visiting www.aerc.org or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members.

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

Sunday, March 08, 2015

National AERC Award Winners for 2014 Announced

March 8 2015

At the annual AERC Convention last night in Reno, Nevada, the new AERC Hall of Fame recipients were announced in front of a festive dinner crowd.

Pat Oliva from Maryland in the Northeast region was named the 2014 Hall of Fame Person. Pat has well over 21,000 endurance miles and is known for her good humor and for helping people along the way. "If you can't take the time to stop and help somebody. you don't belong in this sport," she said in her acceptance speech.

MRR Pyro, owned and ridden by Karen Fredrickson from the West region was named the 2014 Hall of Fame Horse. With over 10,400 miles, "Murph" and Karen won the 2011 Pard'ners Award. Endurance isn't his only career, said Dr Dave Nicholson who presented the award. He's also "just an ol' ranch horse," who's put on plenty of miles over the years in that aspect.

2014 Pard'ners Award went to Ron Barrett from the Southwest region and Rafuro HCC. With over 7400 miles on his record, "Raff" is 35 years old now and "he could still outrun me," Barrett said in his acceptance speech.

Gail Williams from the Northwest region was surprised with the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award. Aarene Storms presented the award.

More National Awards will be found on the AERC website.

More updates from the weekend convention can be found here: http://www.endurance.net/international/USA/2015AERC/

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Slight Redesign of This Year's Tevis Buckle

A minimally redesigned 60th anniversary Tevis buckle will be available for those horse-and-rider teams who complete the 60th anniversary running of the Western States Trail Ride on August 1st, 2015.

According to Tevis Ride Director President Chuck Stalley, "We have drafted, and the BOG has approved, a slight redesign of the award buckle to include "60th Anniversary" on the top banner in the location where "Award" usually sits.

"Pending final negotiations with our buckle production company, this will become reality for our ride finishers in August. Stay tuned for confirmation of news on the special buckle for this year's ride. It will be beautiful either way."

For more information on the 60th anniversary ride or for an entry form, see

Monday, March 02, 2015

AERC Convention HOT TOPICS Session Heating Up


March 2 2015

Due to the current raging debates and controversies on multiple forums and discussion groups world-wide over the Middle East racing debacles and the passions that proposed solutions have raised, AERC Convention Hot Topics are getting hotter!

John Parke has announced that the Friday morning Hot Topic seminar, from 7:30 - 8:45 AM, will now be: “How Should the AERC Respond to Horse Welfare Issues in International Endurance Riding?”

It's an opportunity for your voices to be heard. Please attend, listen, discuss, and learn!