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: