Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Virginia City 100 - 50 Years of Memories… and Rocks

September 20 2017
by Merri

Rock, rocks and more rock! You couldn't see the trees for the rocks. - Kipling the horse, 7th with rider Ronda Eden

I think it [the first loop] was rockier than cr@p, but it was so dark, I couldn't see. - Matt Scribner, 10th on MM Cody

If you see enough rocks on the trail over all daylight hours then it is quite possible you will see rocks at night when there are no rocks! - Max Merlich, 11th on TCF Miles High

The rocks - you guys got that nailed! - Darlene Anderson, 12th on Xtreme Surprise

I love the trail. And the rocks - I don't care, I still love 'em. - Kaitlyn Cummins, 13th on VA Anastahzi

Nevada does have the record for most rocks in the US. We rode over most of them yesterday! - Janet Worts, 14th on MG Sedona

Thanks for letting me ride through your rock garden! - Troy Eckard, 15th on OT Rymoni GLY

You don't have to squint too hard, as you drive up the narrow canyon and incline from Dayton, Nevada, past Silver City and Gold Hill and on up into Virginia City at 6200 feet, to imagine how it was in the old days: loaded wagons pulled by horse and mule teams up the rough steep canyon roads, wild horses, unforgiving rocky mountains, a multitude of gold and silver mines, shafts and tailings, and rocky trails.

The first gold discovered in Nevada was in 1849 in Dayton, and with the discovery of the Comstock Lode strike in 1859 (the first major silver strike in America), Virginia City sprang up more or less overnight. Much of the old time panache is still alive, with people strolling boardwalks and visiting saloons lining a narrow main street, and much of the city is perched on the terraced multitudes of old mine tailings.

It's not too hard to imagine the horses and riders of yesteryear, gathering in a group in front of Virginia City's Delta Saloon (est. 1865), forming a posse or gearing up for a cattle drive, striking out early on the trails out of town. Those old trails in the rugged desert mountains are still there, and for 50 years, on an early morning in September, endurance riders have congregated in front of the Delta Saloon, and ridden 100 miles in this rocky, mountainous terrain for the bragging rights of earning a Virginia City 100 buckle upon finishing with their amazing equine equine partner within 24 hours.

The 100-mile Virginia City trail is itself one of the stars of the show - a demanding, unforgiving trail. It's always been rocky, but after last winter's heavy snowfall (after years of drought) and spring rains, much of the topsoil washed away to - you guessed it - expose more rocks. One rider said, "My mare remembered every rock from last year… there were just more of them!" If you think about it, it's very possible that riders probably trampled over some of the very same rocks the miners and their burros stumbled over 157 years ago! (People new to southwest Idaho endurance rides often ask me, "Are the Owyhee rides rocky?" I say, "I don't know, have you ever ridden in Nevada?" Because it all depends on your perspective.)

And Bailey Canyon, on the first loop, is extra famous for its extra rocks. It'll take you about an hour to get through there if you take it steadily and carefully. If you try to rush through it, you might shave a whole 5 minutes off your time.

And there's not just rocks, but 12,064 feet of elevation gain and loss to shoulder through. The SOB's are famous - 3 short but very steep Sons o' Bitches hills (which you will agree is a wholly appropriate name, once you have ridden or walked or tailed them, particularly in the high desert heat of an afternoon) that test your horse's mettle. There's the climb up Jumbo Grade to 7629 feet not that far from the top of Mt Davidson (and don't discount the climb down), plus myriad little mountains between the start and finish lines.

With the spirits of endurance riding history and tradition behind it, 70 riders showed up at the starting line for the 50th anniversary of the Virginia City 100 at 5 AM on September 16, 2017. The ride hadn't seen that many participants in 17 years.

Horses and riders were obviously stars of the 50th Anniversary show, as well. "Magnificent horses," said Jerry Gillespie, who, with his wife Martha and daughter Cheryl and son-in-law, plus a whole group of volunteers, were on site with 2 giant horse scales to conduct a dehydration/weight loss study with willing participants. The Virginia City 100 competitors were indeed a fabulous looking group of horseflesh - sleek, fit, athletic, none too heavy, none too skinny, but just right for the rigors of the trail ahead.

The biggest star on Saturday was the 10-year-old mustang named MM Woodrow (Woody), who carried his rider, Mark Montgomery to the win in a ride time of 15:13.

Mark and Woody were in third place leaving the out vet check at 24 miles, 11 minutes behind the leader Leah Cain and OT Dyamonte Santo, and 6 minutes behind Ann Marie Barnett aboard Ravens Allure. Coming up in the next 15 mile section was Bailey Canyon. "Bailey Canyon is not the place you're going to make up time," ride manager Crysta Turnage said Friday night at the ride meeting. "Be smart, take your time through there."

But Bailey Canyon is exactly where Mark and Woody made up time, and possibly even where they won the ride. They passed both Leah and Ann Marie in that canyon, arriving at the Washoe Lake vet check and 20 minute hold at 39 miles with the lead. Ann Marie was hot on Mark's tail, (both had the same out time of 10:31 AM), with Leah 25 minutes back. "That's his kind of trail," Mark said. "I wish the whole ride was like that! He just skipped through there."

Mark and Woody retained the lead throughout the ride, getting a little breathing room twice, when his nearest competitors were eliminated, first Ann Marie and Ravens Allure at 51 miles, then Leah Cain and OT Dyamonte Santo at 92 miles. The mustang finished at 11:33 PM, 36 minutes ahead of Lois Wifall and Morroccan Spice (ride time of 15:49).

Mark, from Penn Valley, California, first started in endurance in 2010 and has over 4000 miles. He's well known for the mustangs he trains and rides.

MM Woodrow has been somewhat of a phenomenon since Mark started him in endurance. He got Woody from a woman in Wyoming who couldn't train him, and who gave him to Mark as a 5-year-old. The now 10-year-old gelding has a record of 1905 miles with 33 completions in 35 starts, all but one of those in the Top Ten, and 17 first place finishes. His 4 100-mile completions include a first place in the 2016 Twenty Mule Team and a 34th place finish in this year's Tevis Cup (with rider Simone Krahnen), his last ride before Virginia City.

10th place Matt Scribner (who rode another of Mark's mustangs, MM Cody) said, "Mark made that horse. He was amazing."

Second place went to Lois Wifall and her 15-year-old gelding Morroccan Spice in 15:49. She was followed by the mother-son team of Peg Murphy-Hackley aboard HE Khem Chee and Bryce Hackley riding Sericko, in 16:14.

The biggest star on Sunday was HE Khem Chee. All the 4 horses (2nd place Morroccan Spice, 3rd place HE Khem Chee, 4th place Sericko, and 6th place Lynn Rigney and Predictable) that showed for Best Condition Sunday morning looked good - certainly not looking any worse for 100-mile wear - but Khemi looked absolutely fabulous in her trot outs.

Peg Murphy-Hackley bred her 11-year-old mare, by Khemistreetu x RT Johanna, by Wazirs Karahty. The mare has a record of 935 miles over 7 seasons, with 22 completions in 25 starts, and 4 100-mile completions, including Tevis (2013 and 2016), and last year's Virginia City (10th place). This year Peg, from Foresthill, California, earned her 1000-mile Tevis buckle, (she has also finished Australia's Tom Quilty twice) and with her second Virginia City buckle, she's hooked. "I'm a Tevis person, and now I'm chipping away at Virginia City. We'll be back!"

The ultimate star of the Virginia City 100 event is NASTR. Organized in 1968, the Nevada All-State Trail Riders came together for the purpose of preserving historical trails in Nevada by sponsoring and promoting horse back riding on these trails. It's made up of a grand group of dedicated individuals who diligently maintain the legacy of these Nevada rides with old photos and stories (did all of you get to page through the photo albums on the tables in the Ice House?), and who sink their heart and teeth into putting on several Nevada rides throughout the years, including the crown jewel, the Virginia City 100.

This year's ride manager, Crysta Turnage, declined credit. "It's all of you [NASTR members]. I'm just the face of it. This wouldn't happen without everybody's help." Consensus was that this year's was the best marked trail ever. Extra effort was put into not only the awards for the finishers (and each sponsor/award was recognized at the Sunday awards presentation), but each rider received a special 50th anniversary program, "Virginia City 100, 1968-2017 - 50 Years of Memories," containing stats of past VC rides and riders and horses, and special stories from some of the early ride pioneers.

And NASTR knows how to put on an awards ceremony. Special speakers Cliff Lewis (first VC 100 winner, and a founding member of NASTR), Phil Gardner (first 2000-mile VC buckle recipient), Connie Creech (2000-mile VC rider), and Gina Hall (owner of Fire Mt Destiny, who holds the record of 12 VC finishes and a 100% completion rate) gave a short talk, some of which had the audience either laughing or wiping away tears. Each finisher got a chance to speak if they wished.

A few more milestones were reached during this year's 50th anniversary. Shawn Bowling got his 1000-mile buckle award. Dave Rabe finished his 16th VC 100. Pat Chappell completed her 18th VC 100. And Connie Creech not only completed her 26th Virginia City ride, but her mare LS Steele Breeze finished her 4000th AERC mile, her 15th 100 mile ride, and her 5th Virginia City ride. That makes five horses that Connie has ridden to 5 Virginia City completions. (And for those of you who did not complete your first attempt at the VC ride, just keep in mind that Connie didn't finish her first one. :)

I'll conclude with a few more memorable quotes from this iconic 50th anniversary ride, which don't refer to rocks:

There's nowhere else I'd rather be then riding a horse here today. I don't have to be anywhere else. I don't have to do anything else but ride the VC 100! - Matt Scribner, 10th on MM Cody, at the 5 AM start

Last year I had "Virginia Shitty" engraved on my buckle. I like punishment. - Shawn Bowling, 37th on Rushcreek Spur, after receiving his 10th buckle

I swore off Virginia City after my second finish, but, oh well. Fergus just gets better and better. Now I have to come back. - Lucy Trumbull, 32nd on Fergus, her 5th buckle

Thanks for making me skip class and show up! - Bryce Hackley, 4th on Sericko, to his mom

You know you've *been somewhere* when you finish this ride! - Darlene Anderson, 12th on Xtreme Surprise

Folks in the know have said this ride is tougher than Tevis. It is possible they are right. - Max Merlich, 11th on TCF Miles High

Best ride EVER! - Tracy John (an Aussie), 31st on Al Marah Land Robin

Real Men Wear Jeans - Junior rider Jack Bowling 34th aboard Rushcreek Caribou, his second VC finish

To the little guy [Jack Bowling] who said real men wear jeans, Real Men Wear Shorts. - Dave Rabe, 20th on Cocamoe Joe

Well, ultimately the stars weren't quite in alignment for us yesterday and we were pulled at the 76-mile point...a combo of being both overtime and Beeba was off on the right hind at the trot.
Still, can't complain...that red mare poured her heart out for me all day long over some incredible and challenging trail. This was the longest either of us have gone before, and she headed out of camp for that second loop after 50 miles without any fuss or question. She was an energizer bunny all day, steadily eating up the miles, and eating and drinking amazingly well.
And me? More 75s and 100s, please! There's something special about these longer distances and I can't wait to do more of them.
Much more later...this was an incredible ride and I'm glad to have had the chance to start it this year. The VC magic got its hooks in me and you can be sure I'll return for another go at it! - Ashley Wingert, OT pull on The Habibah RA

Success. So grateful for all the support. I feel like one must feel when standing atop Mt Everest. To take on the huge challenge and achieve that goal. Knowing you still have work ahead to complete the journey. But treasuring the moment and the intense feelings. - Crysta Turnage, Ride Manager

More from the ride at:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mustang Wins 50th Virginia City 100

September 18 2017

Mark Montgomery of Penn Valley, California, and his Wyoming mustang WW Woodrow (Woody) won the 50th running of the Virginia City 100 ride out of Virginia City, Nevada on September 16th. They completed the ride in 15 hours 13 minutes.

Coming in second was Lois Wifall aboard Morroccan Spice in a ride time of 15:49.

Third and fourth went to the mother-son Hackley team. Mom Peg Murphy-Hackley rode HE Khem-Chee, and son Bryce rode Sericko to finish in 16:14. HE Khem-Chee won Best Condition the next morning.

41 completed the ride out of 70 starters.

Finish list, photos, and more stories to come at:

AHA Distance Nationals - update from Ride Management

Tentative Schedule *modifications below

Ride Entry Form

Corral Rentals - there are several stock panel corrals available for rent, $30 for the week. If you wish to reserve a corral, please email Regina or Steph

Maps (click to download) or view at

Day 1, October 6

Day 2, October 7

Day 3 100 Miles, October 8

Day 3 25/55 Miles, October 8

Live Music Saturday night! The Country Club will be playing country/bluegrass music Saturday evening from 5-7pm. Be sure to bring your 'horse/cow/ranch/rodeo' song requests!
Country Club facebook page

Update, trail modifications:

Footing is generally good with trails and dirt 2-track roads but there are rocky sections, shoes or hoof protection advised. Trails will likely be dusty in places.

Day 1 : AHA CTR Championship(40 miles), AERC 30, AHA National and AERC Open 50 mile rides will be one loop out of camp to Wildhorse Butte with a single out-vetcheck location.

Day 2 : AERC open 25, AHA/AERC open 50, ANCER/PFHA (Apaloosa, Paso Fino) 50 mile Championships will be 2 loops out of basecamp, north into Birds of Prey and south to Hart Creek (there will be more rock on this loop). Holds will be at basecamp.

Day 3: AERC open 25, AHA/AERC open 55, AERC open and AHA Championship 100 will be one big loop out of camp for 25 and 55, and 60 miles of the 100 mile event. Ride along the base of the mountains (some rocky sections along the road), drop down and ride around Sinker Reservoir, then to Wildhorse Butte and the Snake River, then home. 100 mile riders will have a 20 mile loop out of basecamp in the morning, then repeat the 20 mile loop out of basecamp for the final 20 miles.

Dinners by Two Trees Catering will be provided with ride entry, and all meals available for purchase beginning Thursday evening.

Ride entry is through AHA, so fill out their registration form at

See ya there!

Steph Teeter

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Endurance rider competes in world championships

Only Canadian to ride in Verona

100 Mile Free Press, Tara Sprickerhoff

An elite rider, Anya Levermann has competed across North America, riding both her own and others’ horses in endurance events — a sport designed to test both a rider’s and horse’s teamwork, knowledge, skill and endurance.

On Sept. 23, the 16-year-old will be joining 0ver 150 athletes from 34 countries in Verona, Italy to ride at the Young Rider’s World Endurance Championships.

Levermann will be the only rider representing Canada at the event. She’ll be riding a 120 km track on Kataki, a 10-year-old Arabian mare from Bratislava.

While Levermann has her own horses that she competes with that live on her family’s property north of 100 Mile House, she also regularly rides other horses at events throughout the United States and Canada.

Endurance riding puts horses and riders on tracks of anywhere from 50 to 100 miles in distance. At regular intervals, the horses are examined by veterinarians for both a recoveries check, in terms of heart rate, and a physical check. If the horse doesn’t meet the requirements they are disqualified, or the rider can disqualify themselves if they feel something is off with the horse.

As a result, the events test the rider’s horsemanship — riders must effectively use pacing and the knowledge of their horse against the difficulties of the course.

The World Championship requires that riders complete the 120 km track in under nine hours and 50 minutes.

The track in Verona is mostly flat, says Levermann, which allows riders to ride faster. She’ll be heading to Italy a week ahead of time to do some touring, as well as to familiarize herself with the horse.

Levermann started riding endurance when she was six.

“I did my very first ride because my mom did it, and me and my sister wanted to do it too. It was something we could do with our mom.”

As a junior competitor, Levermann earned the national 100 Mile Award. Given to an American or Canadian rider under 16, the award is for the most 100 mile rides completed in a year.

Levermann had ridden eight, breaking the previous record of five.

To qualify for the world championships, Leverman had to do ten 120 km races without being disqualified.

“It’s something different. Not many people know about it. The challenge — it’s always different, it’s not always the same thing and you can do it anywhere in the world. You get to see so much, you get to experience things other people don’t.”

Training for an endurance ride is similar to training for long distance running. Horses have their distances increased in increments, and Levermann herself trains through riding regularly, running daily and playing hockey.

During an endurance ride, she says it’s nerve-wracking.

“I get stressed. I worry about the horse. If it’s my own horse I know what they are capable of. It takes a few miles for the horse to settle down because they want to go. They love doing it.”

Kataki’s owner wants Levermann to set a specific pace during the championship, other than that her goal is to finish and finish strongly.

“There’s going to be a high disqualification rate because some people just take off and go extremely fast. I just want to finish and have a healthy horse at the end.”

While she has been on rides that have been quite stressful on the body — where the terrain or track are difficult or where she needs to get off and run beside her horse — normally she finishes feeling a very little amount of soreness, she says.

Still, she’s just excited for the championships and the love of riding in general.

“It’s getting to spend all day with horses because I love them — and getting to see so much.”

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Distance Nationals Right Around The Corner!

The Early Bird Drawing deadline is September 18 for Distance Horse National Championships! The ride is returning to Steph Teeter's Ranch this year in Oreana, Idaho from Oct. 6 to 8. We are very excited to have the Appaloosa Horse Club again this Fall, along with the Paso Fino Horse Association an additional partner. There will also be a live, local bluegrass/country music band playing on Saturday night, October 7.

There are several ride opportunities at the Distance Horse National Championships, including the AHA Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) National Championship starting on October 6; AHA Open CTR; American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC); Open Limited Distance and 50 Mile rides. Rides on October 7 will be the AHA 50 Mile National Championship; Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride; Paso Fino National Championship Endurance Ride; AERC Open Limited Distance and 50 Mile rides. Rides on October 8 will be the AHA 100 Mile National Championship; AERC Open Limited Distance; 50 Mile and 100 Mile rides.

All Open CTR, 50 Mile, 100 Mile and Open Limited Distance rides are open to ALL BREEDS and are recognized by both AHA and AERC.

As a reminder, if you own a Half-Arabian that is also a registered Appaloosa, you may enter both 50 Mile National Championship rides.

Make your plans now to attend the 2017 Distance Nationals in beautiful Oreana, Idaho! It's not too early to enter the National & Open Rides; the Early Bird Drawing deadline is September 18. To enter, please click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Marietta native preps for world equestrian event - Full Article

Lanie Angel
MDJ Sports Writer
September 13 2017

Katie Baldino, an equestrian athlete from Marietta, will compete in the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors from Sept. 22-24 in Verona, Italy.

Forty-two nations were invited to send up to five athlete/horse combinations to compete for a team and an individual title, and the 19-year-old Baldino was one of the individuals selected by the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

Endurance riding focuses on long distances and contains different variations of terrain, altitude and weather. The race is primarily conducted on a trail.

“The distance of the race is 75 miles, which is divided into 15- to 25-mile intervals,” Baldino said. “After each 15- to 25-mile interval, the horses are given a one-hour break where they can eat and relax. They are also given vet exams during their rest to make sure they are healthy and that they can continue the race.”

The Walton High School graduate races Synthetic, a grey Arabian gelding that Baldino has been competing with since May...

Read more here:

Two Oakland-based teens endure ‘grueling’ 100-mile trail ride through Sierra - Full Article

By MIKE MCGREEHAN | Correspondent
PUBLISHED: September 13, 2017

OAKLAND — From the break of dawn through the daytime’s broiling heat and into the nighttime moonlight, the Western States Trail Ride, better known as the Tevis Cup, widens and narrows over a historic Sierra Nevada trail that challenges both horse and rider up some steep inclines and near-perpendicular descents.

Over hills and through valleys, each horse and its rider must complete this 100-mile one-day trail ride within 24 hours.

This year’s Tevis Cup began at 5:15 a.m., on Aug. 5, and ended at 5:15 a.m., on Aug. 6, and saw 92 of the original 174 entries finish the race. Those who endured the full 100 miles included Mollie Quiroz and Juliana McElroy, members of a junior rider program/team known as the Dream Girls that trains out of the Chabot Equestrian Center in the Oakland hills.

Official results from the event website list Quiroz, a 14-year-old student at Redwood Christian High School, and Bishop O’Dowd student McElroy, 15, as having finished 77th and 78th, respectively. Quiroz crossed the finish line at 4:52 a.m. on Aug. 6. aboard Goose, an 8-year-old gray Arabian gelding. McElroy clocked in at 4:53 a.m., riding Chief, a 13-year-old branded chestnut mustang gelding...

Read more here:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Virginia City 100 on Google Earth

Here is the Google Earth File from last year's Virginia City 100 track.

The loops shown as:
Loop 1 - Red

Loop 2 - Yellow (white?)

Loop 3 - Blue

Shown are the Vet Checks, Camp, Start, Finish, Trot-Bys, and Jumbo Hay Stop. I've also added water sources - note there will be more troughs than shown here, these are just some of the critical ones, along with "highlights" (Bailey Canyon - chortle), and locations you might want to hop off and hand-walk your horse.

The trail may vary slightly from what is shown (I found a few variations from year to year), but very minimally so.

Crysta Turnage
Ride Manager

Google Earth file:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Attention Virginia City 100 Riders and Crews

Please read this for important information about parking and housekeeping.

PARKING NOTICE: As most of you know, the parking at the Ice House (95 Toll Rd, Virginia City, NV) is limited and we have to conserve space as efficiently as possible. If you can trailer pool, that would be very helpful. The Storey County rock and sand piles are as big as ever in base camp. For those arriving at the Ice House Thursday afternoon (camp opens at 2:00 pm) or early Friday morning you will need to park along the back perimeters, so as not to block off any access. Please be aware of this, as we will ask you to move if there is parking behind you and no one can get to it.

If you are in the upper parking area at the Ice House, please BACK in (unload your horse first as needed) and park like the spokes of a wheel, with everyone facing out. Park as close to each other as possible. Yes, unfortunately this means that you yourself might become blocked, so plan with your neighbor a route to get your crew vehicles in and out. On the bottom level we will mark off from the entrance road a vehicle lane to access the back near the rock and sand piles.

**OVERFLOW PARKING** This year we have access to the Virginia City Rodeo Grounds at 575 H Street (see map attached). This is 1 mile from the Ice House and is better overnight accommodations for your horses. The footing is softer and there is an arena on-site you can use to turn out your horse for a while before/after the ride (take turns). For LARGE rigs, this is the better parking option as space is less limited. There will be hose water and restrooms on site.

For anyone camping at the Rodeo Grounds – we will rope off a large CREW AREA at the Ice House. You can bring your crew supplies up and treat the Ice House as an “away” check. Crews can drop off your supplies and then park their vehicles at the paved lot near the Fire House, which is less than a block from camp. It should make for easy access and quick retrieval of any forgotten items which you suddenly realize you need.

Horse camping will not be allowed on any adjacent city streets. Volunteer camping and parking will be allowed on the paved area to the right near the Fire House on Toll Road before dropping down into the Ice House or at the Rodeo Grounds (if camping). Extra crew parking will be available here also. The Fire House doors cannot be blocked in case of an emergency. NO HORSES ARE ALLOWED TO CAMP IN THE PAVED LOT.

We will have a few individuals available to assist in getting you parked. It might be a good idea for you to stop at the entrance before you drive in and take a look around before driving into camp. Once the Ice House is full, all other rigs will be directed to the Rodeo Grounds for parking.

For crews interested in staying at a motel/hotel, please see the list below:

Sugarloaf Mountain Motel - 430 South C. St. Rooms - $85.00 / (775) 847-0551 /
Virginia City Motel - 675 South C. St. - Rooms - $80.00-$90.00 / (775) 847-0551 /
Gold Hill Hotel - 1540 Main St. Gold Hill, - historic hotel / (775) 847-0111 /

Please be prepared to clean up ALL HAY AND MANURE from your campsite – regardless of where you are camped. A dump trailer will be available at the ride site for your disposal. Please DO NOT TOSS ANY HAY OR MANURE off the side of the hill. This is very important for NASTR to receive the HEFTY cleaning deposit back. If you have laid out shavings or hay for bedding, make sure this is completely cleaned up.

Thanks so much for your cooperation. We are excited that you all will be joining us. It is going to be a great event and a lot of fun!

Please pass on this notice to anyone you may know that has not yet entered. If you have any questions, please call me at (775) 762-8086 or email at

Crysta Turnage

Virginia City 100 Ride Manager

Nevada All-State Trail Riders, Inc.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

50th Virginia City 100 Next Weekend


1968-2016 Total Completions = 1,942
1968-2016 Total Riders = 940

1968 Ride:

October 5th, 1968 marked the inaugural Virginia City 100 ride, known at its onset as the Nevada All-State Trail Ride, 100 Mile - One Day. Cliff Lewis and Dean Hubbard approached Nick Mansfield who hosted the start and finish of the Ride at his 102 Ranch in Sparks, NV. They wanted to make sure that the trail included all the great features of the area. The ride ended up being way over 100 miles - and there was a also lunar eclipse.

33 riders started, with 11 finishers - and 2 more finishers over the 24 hour limit. Horses had to carry a minimum of 150 lbs. Shannon Yewell Weil and Cliff Lewis finished first with the same time - 19 hours 41 minutes (minus the three hours of vet holds, for a 16:41 riding time). The ride chart shows that the two overtime riders - Shirley Wheeler and Mark Steen - received buckles.

The original finishing chart can be found here, along with photos from the ride that year.

2017 Ride

This Year's Trail: Consists of three loops (51, 25, 24 miles), each returning to base camp in Virginia City. There will be an outlying vet check on the first and last loop, with (2) one hour hold vet checks at base camp. Crews will have easy access to meet riders along the trail. The trail covers hard pack and rocky terrain on historical wagon (now jeep) roads with some sandy single track footing and several mountain climbs. There is also pavement through town and across highways. Riders are responsible for their own safety while crossing paved roads. We do advise the use of pads and/or boots. Elevations range between 5000 and 7800 feet. Each loop will be marked with a different color of ribbon, along with chalk and glow sticks (after dark). Water & hay will be provided on the trail and at the two outlying vet checks. The ride will start in front of the Delta Saloon at 5:00 a.m., Saturday. Allow yourself time to get from camp to the Delta by 5:00 a.m. (approximately 20 minutes). There will be a controlled start out of town. Virginia City 100 is the final ride of the Triple Crown Challenge.

Base Camp: will be at the Ice House on Toll Road in Gold Hill. Parking will be on grindings (asphalt), and will be very crowded. There will be limited room for portable corrals. If you have the ability, it would be helpful if you could car pool. The camp site will be open from Thursday evening to Sunday evening. Horse water will be available. COME PREPARED, the elevation of Virginia City is over 6000 feet and can get cold at night. The comforts of motels and cafes can be found, as well as shopping and sightseeing within walking distance of base camp.

Overflow Parking: Due to this year being the 50th Anniversary, we are expecting a larger than normal amount of entries. Rather than limit the number of riders who can attend, we have obtained permission to have additional ride parking at the Virginia City Rodeo Arena, located at 575 H Street. The arena is 0.8 miles from the Ice House, about a 15-minute walk. We will set aside a designated crewing area at the Ice House base camp for any riders who are parked at the rodeo arena to drop off any crewing and ride supplies they would like to have accessible. Crew vehicles, sans trailer, can park in the paved county lot for volunteer parking direct next to the Ice House. There will be hay and mash available in base camp. The rodeo arena features tons of flat parking as well as space to turn out your horse before and after the ride. Horses are NOT allowed to camp in the arena or designated pens overnight. There is water and porta potties on site. All ride functions and vetting will be at the Ice House.

Directions to Base Camp:
From Reno take I-580 S/US-395 S. Take the US-395 S exit (Exit 57B) toward Virginia City/Carson City/So. Lake Tahoe. Merge onto US-395 Alt S/S. Virginia St. Turn left on to Geiger Grade/NV-341 to Virginia City. Drive through downtown Virginia City towards Gold Hill. Turn left on Toll Road (before heading down the hill). Watch for ribbons and follow to the Ice House.
From Carson City take Hwy. 50 East to NV-341, follow the truck route to the right. When you reach Virginia City turn left at the stop sign (NV-342/C Street), towards Gold Hill. Turn left again on Toll Road (before heading down the hill). Watch for ribbons and follow to the Ice House.

Calcutta: Following the pre-ride meeting, we will have a fun filled Calcutta. Payoffs will be given to buyers of the top three in each division, and announced at the awards banquet. BRING LOTS OF DOUGH; EACH AND EVERY RIDER WILL BE AUCTIONED! Your favorite horse and rider team may pay off for you!

500/1,000 Mile Horses: Horses completing the ride five times will receive a 500 mile halter. Also, horses completing the ride ten times will receive a 1,000 mile blanket.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

2017 AHA Distance Nat'ls/Owyhee Canyonlands Update

September 6 Update:

AHA Distance Nationals, Owyhee Canyonlands - October 6,7,8 Footing is generally good with trails and dirt 2-track roads. Might be dusty though.

Day 1 : CTR/30/50 will be one loop out of camp to Wildhorse Butte with an out-vetcheck.

Day 2 : 30/50 will be 2 loops out of basecamp, north into Birds of Prey and south to Hart Creek (there will be more rock on this loop).

Day 3: 25/55/100 will be one loop out of camp for 25 and 55, and 60 miles for 100’s. Ride along the base of the mountains, to Sinker Reservoir, then Wildhorse Butte, then home. 100 mile riders will then have 2 twenty mile loops out of basecamp. There will be some rocky road in the morning, mostly good footing remainder of the day.

Dinners will be provided with ride entry, and all meals available for purchase beginning Thursday evening.

Ride entry is through AHA, so fill out their registration form at

Unfortunately there is no Junior discount (or fee waiver) through AHA. We suggest Juniors do a fundraiser at the venue (sell cookies?) and we will try to encourage staff and riders to help with entry fees.

Info: and

We don’t anticipate problems with fires in our desert region this fall - but stay posted.

Monday, August 28, 2017

AERC NC Nuggets: 50-Mile National Champions Sami Browneller and Kaytwo

AERC NC Nuggets are Short Soundbites from the 2017 AERC National Championships!

Story and photos by Merri
August 28 2017

Even if you're not a mountain climber, you've probably heard of K2, the second highest mountain in the world, thrusting skyward on the China-Pakistan border. What K2 makes up for in height compared with its first-highest counterpart Mt. Everest is that it's considered the world's toughest 8000-meter peak to climb.

That's why Samantha Browneller named her gelding Kaytwo, hoping he'd be the toughest horse around.

He certainly was on the August 18th 50-mile AERC National Championship in La Veta, Colorado. The 6-year-old homebred bay Arabian (HV Suns Heaven and Earth X Royal Damsel, by Monarch AH), owned by Sami's mom Linda, finished first of 34 starters, in a time of 4:32.59, over the tough mountain course.

Their nearest competitors were Cassidy Jaksch and Give Us a Kiss in second place in a ride time of 4:45.04, and Jennifer Poling aboard Eagle Baikal in third place, finishing in 4:45.06.

Sami, 30, broke and trained Kaytwo, and started him in endurance last year. The gelding now has a 10 for 10 record (includes 3 LDs) with 355 miles, all finishes in the top 3, with 7 wins and 3 Best Condition awards. One of Kaytwo's wins - the ride just before the AERC NC - was the Spanish Peaks 50 on July 22 with Sami aboard, over some of the same trails as the AERC NC. Sami started riding endurance in 2000, and now has just over 1300 miles.

"That's fast for this course!" said ride manager Tennessee Lane. "I'm happy for Sami; she was defending her home turf."

From Monument, Colorado, the Brownellers train their endurance horses over very similar terrain. Kaytwo digs this kind of tough, mountain trail, Sami said.

"Put him up against any mountain, and he'll show how tough he is!"

More stories, photos and videos from the ride at:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Barnyard Basics: Remarkable Comeback After Surgery - Full Article

August 25, 2017 at 5:00 am | By HEATHER SMITH THOMAS

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of two parts about an endurance horse’s recovery.

Mike Maul, an endurance rider in Texas, has been campaigning a horse named Rroc (Rroco-My-Sol) for many years, with more than 11,000 career miles on endurance rides.

At one point, however, this horse had a life-threatening emergency.

“In 2004, we were headed out from Houston for a ride west of El Paso in New Mexico,” Maul says. “We got out in the middle of nowhere in west Texas and I stopped the pickup because Rroc was biting at his side and wanting to roll. So I found the closest vet, in a very small town.”

That vet had a mobile practice and gave Rroc the standard medications. These didn’t help, so Maul took Rroc to the nearest vet clinic. That veterinarian worked on Rroc from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.

“He wasn’t making any progress so he recommended we head for Texas A&M for colic surgery. I left my other horse there, loaded Rroc and drove 350 miles to Texas A&M, getting there about 5 in the morning,” recalls Maul...

Read more here:

Friday, August 25, 2017

AERC NC Nugget: Where in the World is Carter Hounsel?

AERC NC Nuggets are Short Soundbites from the 2017 AERC National Championships!

by Merri
August 25 2017

I arrive in La Veta on Wednesday before the AERC National Championships. Tennessee settles me in a rented house with the V.I.P.s, the non-local veterinarians.

Jim Baldwin, from Oklahoma, is already there and settled in. Head vet Tom Currier, from Montana, should arrive with Carter Hounsel, from Virginia, around 1 AM. They're flying into Denver at night, hooking up there and driving Tennessee's jeep, that she left there for them, to La Veta, a 3 hour drive.

7 AM Thursday morning, my phone wakes me. It's Tennessee. "Seen Carter?" I shuffle out of my bedroom, and I see a bleary-eyed Tom, who says Carter wasn't in Denver, so Tom drove down alone. And Carter hasn't miraculously turned up on his own this morning.

"Ah, the joys of being a ride manager," I comment.

"My stomach hurts," Tennessee says.

She comes to the house in the midst of a whirlwind of ride prep activity, and says she's tracked him down. She talks the airlines into telling her that Carter is on a little plane from Denver to Alamosa, an hour away. "Can you possibly go get him?" she asks. "If you leave in 5 minutes, you should arrive right about the time he lands."

Sure, not a problem; one less unexpected time-consuming thing for a ride manager to do.

I take the pretty drive over La Veta Pass to Alamosa, arriving as the 6 passengers are getting their bags. No Carter. I talk to the nice Tiny Airline guy, who says, "Well, he *might* be on the next plane, which leaves Denver at noon."

I text Tennessee the news.

She texts back:




Where the #$(& is that man?"

She finally tracks him down, and he is on the next flight, and, after spending some long hours in Alamosa, where there really is not much to do, except walk through J.C. Penneys, and try the one coffee shop that has rather weak Americanos, I pick up Carter and zip him back to La Veta. He's been awake for over 24 hours, but he's still quite cheerful and humor-ful.

It's a good group of veterinarians for this AERC National Championship ride.

I was amazed Tom Currier even came to the ride - there's a fire raging right by his house. He evacuated all the animals and people from it and came down to vet this AERC NC ride. I'd be freaking out if that was my house. He shrugged. "Nothing I can do about it anyway." Tom's an endurance rider and endurance ride vet.

Jim Baldwin's been around forever. He's got a story for every occasion, from recently to forever ago. He originally worked on the racetrack, and he was one of Secretariat's vets when he was racing. One of his goals is to be the oldest vet at Tevis, and he thinks he accomplished that this year.

Many of you know Carter Hounsel as being from Texas, but now he's living in Virginia and is the emergency coordinator for 3 eastern states for the USDA. Carter's a good vet and a good teacher, and will explain anything you have questions about, if you want to learn.

Local vets Laura Blanton (and her assistant Vanilla the golden retriever - or, as I liked to refer to her as, Vanilla Pudding - who could imitate a flying squirrel and a sharpei) and Miranda Andress rounded out the excellent vet team for the Championships.

Good camaraderie, good laughs, good weekend.

More stories, photos and videos from the ride at:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Becky Grand Hart Desert Ride Series

The Becky Grand Hart Desert Ride Series is pleased to announce 4 upcoming FEI rides in Southern California.

Come experience some warm winter riding and no mud.

Proven trails
Git R Done FEI 1*2*3* Nov 4, 2017 Inyokern, CA.

Get that COC done! Or check off another 2*
Fire Mountain FEI 1* and Two day 2* January 13-14, 2018 Ridgecrest, CA

Twenty Mule Team FEI 1*2* February 24, 2018 Ridgecrest, CA

Fire Up FEI 1*2*3* April 21-22, 2018 Ridgecrest, CA same location as Fire Mt with a faster 3* trail.

All rides are subject to approval from AERC, USEF and FEI

Shagya-Arabians Display Endurance and Longevity at the 2017 Tevis Cup Ride

August 2017

The Shagya-Arabians entering The Tevis Cup Ride this year proved true to their heritage of a horse bred to master the rigors and versatility of a good cavalry horse.  The Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR) congratulates their registered horses Lily Creek Kong, a Shagya-Arabian Sporthorse, ridden by Cameron Holzer and Ninja PFF, a Shagya-Arabian gelding, ridden by Shauna Glorioso on their Tevis completions as they placed 16th and 43rd out of 174 starters August 5-6, 2017.   

The Tevis Cup, a 100 mile endurance ride staged out of Auburn, CA, is considered one of the toughest rides in North America with an average completion rate of only 50%.  Ninja PFF received special recognition this year as a recipient of the Wendell Robie Trophy.  Named after the founder of the Tevis ride this honor is for any horse who has completed five times.   

Only a small group of elite horses have reached this status with 60 recognized since the beginning of the ride in 1955 according to Deborah Lyon with the Western States Trail Foundation. 
When asked about the ride Cameron Holzer, rider and owner of Lily Creek Kong, and Judith Moore, owner of Ninja PFF, both had glowing reports of how their horses handled the ride.   Holzer stated that “Kong never tires, and just keeps trucking along.  Every time I asked him for more speed he would give it to me.  This is an inherent trait for him, he never gives up on me the whole 100 miles.”  Moore had similar comments for Ninja PFF who “has a resting heart rate of 36 beats per minute, so he just breezes through the vet checks.  Ninja makes a 100 mile ride look easy and keeps getting better every time.”  That last statement is reinforced by the fact that despite a potential career ending stifle injury as a 5 year old Ninja has completed Tevis 5 times and currently has 2590 miles recorded in competitions.  Moore said her proudest moment of the day was when Ninja was awarded the Wendell Robie Trophy and stated that it was “nice to have an award recognizing the horse” and that Ninja receiving it made her tear up a little.    

Holzer’s proud moment of the day was how Kong handled the canyons.  “I thought they would be hard on him and he breezed through.  I was the tired one!  I felt like I was holding him back all day.” 

While Shagya-Arabians are less common than other breeds, both Moore and Holzer can’t stop singing the praises of their Shagya-Arabians and are sure that once a person loves a Shagya-Arabian you’re hooked for life.   Holzer says that “you won’t find a tougher or more loyal horse than a Shagya-Arabian.”  Moore said that the number one quality of the horses is “a great temperament, they are very personable, smart and sweet.”  However she also notes that the Shagya-Arabian is “the best all-purpose horse and can do whatever they want to do.”
About Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry

The Shagya-Arabian was started in 1789 when the Hungarian military set out to develop a new breed of horse that combined the very best of Bedouin Arabians -- elegance, endurance, hardiness, athleticism, temperament, and devotion to their rider -- with larger size, jumping ability, and riding ease to master the rigors and versatility of a cavalry horse.
The Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry was established to ensure the integrity and legacy of the Shagya-Arabian bred horses in North America.  To accomplish these goals the organization holds regular breed inspections and utilizes performance testing in compliance with internationally established criteria for all horses in the registry.   For more information on the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry and our horses please visit our website:

For More Information and Photos
Contact: Nicole Mauser-Storer

A Long Ride for a Long Ride: Vt., Ga. Women Unite for Equestrian Endurance Event - Full Article

By Jared Pendak
Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hartland — Elite young equestrian rider Katelyn Baldino enjoys the endurance discipline more than any other, relishing the bond between herself and the horses through miles of natural terrain.

For the upcoming FEI World Championships for Young Riders and Juniors, both Baldino and her horse will be traveling great lengths just to get to the 75-mile course.

Baldino, a University of Georgia sophomore, and Synthetic, a 17-year-old Arabian gelding owned by Hartland rider Melody Blittersdorf, will be flying to Verona, Italy, for the world championships from Sept. 22-24.

It’s not the first time either will have gone to a different continent to compete. Two years ago, Baldino competed in the same event at a venue in Santo Domingo, Chile, the same course where Blittersdorf rode Synthetic at the 2011 Senior Pan Am Games...

Read more here:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

AERC NC Nuggets: Ride Manager Tennessee Lane

AERC NC Nuggets are Short Soundbites from the 2017 AERC National Championships!

by Merri
August 22 2017

She calls this southwest corner of Colorado "God's Country."


"You'll know why we call it God's country when you get here," AERC National Championship ride manager Tennessee Lane said.

Indeed, the scenery and terrain of the 2017 AERC National Championships outside of La Veta, Colorado, are impressive. Los Cumbres Espanolos, the two 12,000 and 13,000-foot Spanish Peaks, tower above Ridecamp for the Spanish Peaks endurance rides and this year's AERC National Championships.

National Forest land covers the upper thousands of feet of the peaks, and ranchers own the lower graze-able mesas and grass lands, over which the entire 50-mile and 100-mile AERCNC rides took place, 130 miles of unrepeated trails. Tennessee had to bend over backwards to keep the ranchers happy to use these private trails - over 20 local ranchers allow Tennessee the use of their lands - and one can only ride these trails during her endurance rides.

Tennessee's ridden some 9700 AERC endurance miles since 2006, but she only started hosting endurance rides in God's Country in 2016. Her SoCo Endurance was an ambitious project, putting on a tough mountainous 2-day ride in June and a 25/50/100 in September, and this year a 3-day ride in June and a 2-day in July. It was one of the reasons AERC approached her to put on this year's National Championships in August.

Constricted by hunting dates (bow hunting season started a few days after the NC, and hunters were afraid the horses would scare the game off their game trails), August 18-20 was the only weekend Tennessee could host the National Championships. And the event happened to fall at a very busy time: two weeks after she rode in and won the Tevis Cup, which was 2 weeks after she put on her July ride.

Talk about pressure. "Yeah I'm a little crazy," she said. "But… it should be easier than putting on multi-days rides with multi-distances, right? I'll catch up on my sleep in the winter."

A microbiologist in a former life, Tennessee has returned to her ranching roots. She manages the family's cattle land/leasing operation in the area, manages another family business, and owns and runs her own Remuda Run Ranch, where she breeds/trains/sells endurance horses, and offers endurance clinics, hoof boot consultation and services, and, of course puts on endurance rides.

It's great country for endurance ride training. It's where Auli Farwa - Tennessee's mount for this year's Tevis - trained for a couple of months before the pair took the Tevis Cup win on August 5.

"These endurance rides are a true representation of the Southern Colorado Rockies," Tennessee stated, "with miles of fast, flowing sections broken up by challenging, technical stretches and plenty of up and down.  These rides have been thoughtfully designed to be very enjoyable and safe but also stimulating and demanding on endurance athletes both equine and human. They're tough, technical mountain endurance rides."

It's great country for gasping and gawking, too. Riders and horses would experience the lower flanks of the western Spanish Peak, with vistas of the layers of Rocky Mountains to the West and the Colorado plains to the east, and they'd ride through one of the iconic rock walls that radiate out from the peaks.

Altitudes for the National Championships would range from 7000 to 9000 feet. One particular loop would have a 1000 foot drop. "I ride up it to train," Tennessee said. "but I felt it was safer to take riders down the trail."

The National Championionships in God's Country below the Spanish Peaks would serve up scenery, fun, and a challenging endurance trail that tested a rider's horsemanship.

Tennessee and enthusiastic landowner George Albright, who helped build trails and lent his hay field for Albright vet check

More stories, photos and videos from the ride at:

Thank You to Our Distance Horse National Championship Sponsors!

The Distance Horse National Championships (DHNC), including the AHA Distance Nationals, would not be possible without all of our sponsors!

Our sponsors receive great exposure through Eblasts, the DHNC Program, links posted on our website and other industry advertisements. The great and unique thing about being a sponsor with the DHNC is increased industry exposure due to our efforts of partnering with outside breeds like the Appaloosa Horse Club and the Paso Fino Horse Association. We are still growing and will be adding more breed organizations in the years to come.

Now is the time to show your support for Distance Riding. Click here to fill out a sponsorship form and add your Region, Club, business or farm to the growing list of sponsors of this national multi-breed event.

THANK YOU to our current 2017 Distance Horse National Championship Sponsors!

Corporate Sponsors:

Awards Recognition Concepts (ARC)

Regional Sponsors:

Region 8

Region 10
Region 11
Region 12
Region 13
Region 14

Club Sponsors:

Rancho California AHA
Green Country AHA
Texas Arabian Distance Riders Association (TADRA)
Knoxville Arabian Horse Club
Minnesota AHA Inc.

Individual Sponsors:

Lisa Blackstone
Micky Hegg
Belesemo Arabians
Cynthia Richardson

Product Sponsors:

Valley Vet Supply
Hammer Nutrition
Riding Warehouse
All Things Equine

ApHC Sponsors:

Tioga Territory
Texas Equine Mercantile
Appaloosa Horse Club

Endurance Rider Turaski earns full scholarship to Georgia Tech - Full Article

From Staff Reports
August 21 2017

Local home-schooled student Lily Turaski has been awarded the prestigious Stamps President’s Scholarship to attend Georgia Tech. The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance for four years plus a stipend to be used for additional enrichment activities like study abroad. The scholarship is valued at over $200,000.

The Stamps Foundation invests in 225 students who will attend 43 different universities nationwide. Stamps Scholars are chosen for their strong leadership potential, academic merit, strong work ethic, and exceptional character. At Georgia Tech, Lily plans to study materials science engineering, which combines her love of physics, chemistry and math...

Read more here:

Turaski earns full scholarship to Georgia Tech

Endurance Rider Lily Turaski earns full scholarship to Georgia Tech

Local home-schooled student Lily Turaski has been awarded the prestigious Stamps President’s Scholarship to attend Georgia Tech. The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance for four years plus a stipend to be used for additional enrichment activities like study abroad. The scholarship is valued at over $200,000.

The Stamps Foundation invests in 225 students who will attend 43 different universities nationwide. Stamps Scholars are chosen for their strong leadership potential, academic merit, strong work ethic, and exceptional character. At Georgia Tech, Lily plans to study materials science engineering, which combines her love of physics, chemistry and math.

Turaski graduated with a 4.0 GPA as a Tennessee Scholar with distinction. She earned perfect scores on both the SAT and the ACT, and she is a National Merit Finalist. She represented Tennessee at the National Science Bowl three times, placing first in the nation in 2013 with her team in the engineering design document presentation. She placed in the top ten in the state three times in the Tennessee Mathematics Teacher’s Association (TMTA) High School Mathematics contest and first in the Southeast USA in the Student Math League contest. She was a national semifinalist in both the USABO Biology Olympiad and the USAChO Chemistry Olympiad.

In 2015 Turaski was selected to attend the Governor’s School for the Sciences, where she was voted Ms. Governor’s School. Last winter she entered the Quantum Shorts international essay contest, where she won the People’s Choice prize among entries from 25 countries. Turaski placed first in the state in the 4-H Public Speaking extemporaneous division, and her 4-H Hippology team represented Tennessee at the Eastern National contest last year where the team placed seventh and Lily placed fifth individually.

Turaski is a member of the Cedar Springs Homeschool Association, where she was the captain of her Scholars’ Bowl and Science Bowl teams and coached the middle school Science Bowl team. She has published several articles, including the results of a three-year science fair project about horse temperature regulation.

She has also been awarded the National Merit Scholarship, the Anne Ayala Endurance Horse Racing Scholarship and a Coca-Cola Scholarship.

[More ...]

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gwen Hall and Sizedoesntmatter Win AERC National Championship 100

August 20 2017
by Merri

Gwen Hall, 51, of Woodland Park, Colorado, and her 11-year-old Arabian gelding Sizedoesntmatter won the 100-mile AERC National Championship Sunday in La Veta, Colorado. The duo won by a head over Hannah Pruss and Stuart (the one-eyed horse) in a ride time of 11:21.17. Gwen was also First Featherweight; Hannah was First Middleweight.

The two ladies rode together much of the day. By mile 56, they had outdistanced the next riders by almost an hour, and they increased their lead the rest of the ride to 2 1/2 hours at the finish.

Christoph Schork, of Moab, Utah, aboard GE Stars Aflame, finished third in a ride time of 13:53.20 (*my math is suspect this time of night*). Carla was First Lightweight.

German Carla Lakenbrink, riding Schork's Medina MHF was 4th in 13:53.30*.

Fifth place went to Gunnar Frank, of Vinita, Oklahoma, and Trinity, in a ride time of 15:17.10*. Gunnar was First Heavyweight.

4 riders were still out on course at 10 PM.

Three horses were eliminated in the first mile of the first loop after an unfortunate trail snafu and a couple of unplanned, forced dismounts in the dark: Alanna Frank's Maverick, Connie Caudill's Tans Terminator, and Lois McAfee's Macho Man. Tans Terminator and Macho Man were lost till daylight, but the 3 horses received only minor injuries, and the riders are fine.

Tammy Gagnon and Secret Lover dropped out after the first 24-mile loop. They passed the vet check, but the mare was uncharacteristically ADR - Ain't Doin' Right, so they pulled.

Marcella Hughes and her gelding Oliver Swift made it to 89 miles, the last Gate and Go vet check, before a hind end lameness took them out.

Best Condition judging is at 9:30 tomorrow morning, more to come.

Photos and results and more (videos coming!) from the day, and every day at the AERCNC, at

Rebuilding a community of riders

Hannah Hunsinger Journal staff

“Who else would I want to spend all day with, besides my horse?” Michele Seaman said about why she loves endurance rides.

Seaman and a group of dedicated friends want to build a community of endurance riders by restarting the Fort Meade Remount Endurance Ride, which took place for the second year on Saturday morning at the Fort Meade Recreational Area. Although the ride had taken place for many years under Kerry Greear, it languished after her retirement. With no one else willing to lead the charge, Seaman finally took up the reins.

“The heart (of the event) is to keep the organization to keep going,” said Seaman. “Because so many equestrian events are dying rather than growing.”

This year, 63 riders from six states turned out to test their horses and their skills in three different rides: a 50-miler, a 25-miler and an introductory 12-miler. The 50-mile race, broken into three legs with mandatory one-hour rest periods between, included a loop all the way to Bear Butte Lake.

“Some of the horses love to get out on the trail, and they just like to move,” said Seaman. “It’s like, why does anybody like to do long distance marathon running? The other part is the training … it’s just an amazing partnership that you have with your horse.”

[Full story]

Saturday, August 19, 2017

AERC Nat'l Championships: Fun Day, Rest Day, Prep Day

August 19 2017
by Merri

Saturday at the AERC National Championships in La Veta, Colorado, was a day of fun, relaxation, and prep for Sunday's 100-mile Championship.

All day pig roast, fantastic musician/singer Bruce Hayes, an L.D. ride, getting ready for tomorrow's National Championship 100-mile ride.

Loops for the 100-mile ride are:
Loop 1 - 24 miles, in camp gate and go
Loop 2 - 17 miles, out vet check, 1 hour
Loop 3 - 15 miles, out vet check, gate and go
Loop 4 - 15 miles, in camp vet check, 1 hour
Loop 5 - 18 miles, in camp gate and go
Loop 6 - 11 miles, in camp finish

Pulse is 64 all day. Start time is 4:30 AM. Best Condition judging will be at 9:30 Monday morning.

Last year's 100-mile Spanish Peaks ride was won in a ride time of 17:40. It's a true mountainous 100-mile ride!

Updates of the ride (crossing my fingers!!!!!) will come at each vet check:


Twitter: @endurancenet


Colorado: AERC National Championship 100-Mile Start List

#100 MW Christoph Schork - Stars Aflame
#101 — Carla Lakenbrink - Medina MHF
#102 FW Tammy Gagnon - Secret Lover
#103 HW Gunnar Frank - Mi Clever Ansata
#104 FW Alanna Frank - Maverick
#105 HW Neil McLaughlin - Hastyflyer Zeus
#106 FW Gwen Hall - Sizedoesntmatter
#107 FW Hannah Pruss - Stuart
#108 FW Marcelle Hughes - Oliver Swift
#109 FW Kerry Redente - AM Great Othello
#110 FW Connie Caudill - Tans Terminator
#111 FW Lois McAfee - Macho Man
#112 FW Kelsie Lewis - IA Donovan
#113 FW Jennifer Poling - Prado CF

14 starters

Updates will be posted (fingers crossed!!!!!) from each vet check.
Start time 4:30 AM.

Distance Nationals Right Around The Corner!

August 18 2017

The Distance Horse National Championships is returning to Steph Teeter's Ranch this year in Oreana, Idaho from Oct. 6 to 8. We are very excited to have the Appaloosa Horse Club again this Fall, along with the Paso Fino Horse Association an additional partner.

There are several ride opportunities at the Distance Horse National Championships, including the AHA Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) National Championship starting on October 6; AHA Open CTR; American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC); Open Limited Distance and 50 Mile rides. Rides on October 7 will be the AHA 50 Mile National Championship; Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride; Paso Fino National Championship Endurance Ride; AERC Open Limited Distance and 50 Mile rides. Rides on October 8 will be the AHA 100 Mile National Championship; AERC Open Limited Distance; 50 Mile and 100 Mile rides.

All Open CTR, 50 Mile, 100 Mile and Open Limited Distance rides are open to ALL BREEDS and are recognized by both AHA and AERC.

As a reminder, if you own a Half-Arabian that is also a registered Appaloosa, you may enter both 50 Mile National Championship rides.

Make your plans now to attend the 2017 Distance Nationals in beautiful Oreana, Idaho! It is never too early to enter the National & Open Rides. To enter, please click here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sami Browneller and Kaytwo Win AERC National Championship 50

August 18 2017
by Merri

Local riders took 3 of the 4 top spots in the AERC National Championship 50 mile ride in La Veta, Colorado, on August 18, 2017.

Sami Browneller, 30, of Monument, Colorado, and her mom's 6-year-old Arabian gelding Kaytwo won the 50 miler in a ride time of 4:32.59. Sami was also first Lightweight. 16-year-old Cassidy Jaksch, from Sedalia, Colorado, finished second aboard her 10-year-old Arabian gelding Give Us a Kiss in a ride time of 4:45.04.

Third place Jennifer Poling and her 12-year-old Arabian gelding Eagle Baikal travelled to Colorado from West Virginia for the Championship. They finished in 4:45.06. Jennifer was first Featherweight.

Fourth place went to Sami's mom Linda Browneller and her 18-year-old Arabian gelding Khaaruso in 4:51.06. Linda was first Middleweight.

Fifth across the finish line was Jessica Woolery and WA Borkata, who was unfortunately pulled at the final vet check.

Fifth place went to Cheryl Van Deusen of Dayton, Florida, riding Jeff Stuart's 10-year-old Arabian gelding DWA Malik, in a ride time of 5:14.30. This pair *just* nipped Canadian Elroy Karius and his 15-year-old Arabian gelding Jolly Holiday at the finish line.

Seventh place went to Jeff Stuart of Utah and his 13-year-old Arabian gelding JV Remington in 5:14.33. Jeff was first Heavyweight.

Eighth place was Bill Fuller and Emmie Lou in 5:14.40; ninth was Tammy Gagnon and Ginger Rogers in 5:26.15; tenth was Carla Lackenbrink, riding Christoph Schork's RR Jazz Dancer in 5:28.29.

First and only Junior finisher was Taylor Fisher of Aurora, Colorado and Kenlyn Kourvy. Her sponsor was Steve Downs riding Kenlyn Porsche.

Best Condition went to Jennifer Poling and Eagle Baikal.

31 out of 34 starters finished the ride. 4 open riders completed. Of the 3 pulls, 1 was a Rider Option, 1 was Metabolic, 1 was Lame.

Photos of the day, and more stories and photos at:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

AERC National Championship 50-Miler Tomorrow

August 17 2017

Starting tomorrow (Friday) at 7 AM, 35 riders will leave the starting line of the 50-mile ride near La Veta, Colorado. We have one Junior riding (Taylor Fisher). 4 of the riders are Open riders, who will start after the Championship riders (and will pick up Taylor anywhere along the way, if her sponsor can't continue).

First loop is 17 miles, with an out vet check and hold of 1 hour, then a 15-mile loop back to camp for a 45 minute hold, then a final 18 mile loop back to camp for the finish.

"It's a tough, technical trail," said ride manager Tennessee Lane. "You'll have some steep climbs and steep descents, and some places you'll be able to move out on. Go slow where you need to go, and move out where you can.

"And have fun. We do this because we enjoy it."

"Ride safe, ride smart," head veterinarian Tom Courier said. "This ride is in the true spirit of endurance. Take care of your horses."

I'll try to send out updates and keep you up to date of at least the top ten throughout the day, and the pulls. Updates will be at:


Twitter: @endurancenet


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

AERC National Championships: A Big Venture

August 16 2017

Ride Manager Tennessee Lane's got a lot on her plate right now. In case you didn't notice, she won Tevis less than 2 weeks ago. She's back in La Veta, Colorado, putting the finishing touches on this year's National Championships course.

It's only her second year putting on rides, so what on earth would possess her to put on a National Championship? "Yeah," she said. "I'm a little crazy." But AERC actually approached her about putting on a challenging National Championship ride at this venue.

Tennessee has created some 130 miles of trails, so nothing but the ins and outs of camp repeat, and it's all on private land. She's worked very hard with the local ranchers to get their permission to put on her rides over trails on their land. You can't ride these trails except at Tennessee's rides.

The trails are stunningly beautiful (the twin Spanish Peaks dominate the southern skyline); ridecamp is at 8,000 feet, and it will indeed be a challenging mountain trail. "This is a true representation of the southern Colorado Rockies and I don't intend to butter that up for you," her SoCoEndurance website says. There's plenty of diverse terrain, with climbs and descents and technical stretches to slow you down (so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery) and plenty of flat miles to cruise on.

Currently there are about 20 signed up for the 100 mile ride on Sunday, and about 40 for the 50 on Friday.

More to come at:

AERC National Championship Coverage will be bringing you daily reports from the AERC National Championships in La Veta, Colorado, beginning this evening.

The 50 mile championship is Friday (7 AM start time) and the 100 mile championship is Sunday (5 AM start time). Updates will be hopefully be posted during the day (depending on reception), and if not, definitely at night!

Tune in for stories, photos and more!

Follow stories and twitter updates at:


Twitter: @endurancenet


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Paradise teen completes 100-mile, 24-hour horse ride - Full Article

By Eli Stillman, Paradise Post
POSTED: 08/11/17

The 100-mile race known as the Tevis Cup provides horsemen with some of the toughest terrain to traverse and only 24 hours to do it.

Jakob Gregory, a 15-year-old Paradise resident, has been competing in endurance races like these since he was young, but this was the first year he was complete the course which is known as one of the toughest in the world.

Sponsored by Echo Valley Ranch, a feed store in Auburn, Gregory and his crew traveled to Tahoe in anticipation of the 5 a.m. start time on Aug. 5.

Beginning at Squaw Valley, the riders embark on the Western States Trail that leads them across tall peaks and through hot valleys until they arrive at the finish line Auburn.

Along the way there are checkpoints and rest stops for the riders and their horses. Known as vet stations, the stops examine the horses’ health by taking their pulses, checking muscle soreness and levels of hydration. If a horse’s wellness is below the acceptable level in any of the criteria, it is pulled from the race.

Each year, nearly half of the horses and their riders drop out.

For Gregory, an incoming sophomore at Paradise High School, the endurance races provide a different kind of challenge than the three sports he plays a year...

Read more here:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

One Week Till the AERC National Championships in Colorado

August 10 2017

"Holy mother of distractions! #Tevis #WorthIt," AERC National Championship Ride Manager Tennessee Lane posted. For those of you who missed it (!), Tennessee and Auli Farwa won the Tevis Cup last weekend, August 5th. But she's back in Colorado, putting the last minute touches on the organization and trails for the AERC Nat'l Championship 50-mile ride (Friday August 18) and 100-mile ride (Sunday August 20).

You can still sign up for the rides (click here)

Veterinarians will be: Head Vet: Dr Tom Currier. Treatment Vet: Dr Laura Blanton. Vet Panel: Dr Carter Hounsel, Dr Jim Baldwin.  Assisting Vets: Dr Miranda Andress, Dr Larry Moore.

Base Camp will be primitive camping; horse water will be provided at the tanks in camp (RV-hookups are coming in the future!) There will be porta-potties and a trash dumpster available to you. Please spread your manure and fill in any holes your horse digs. Dogs are allowed in camp, any aggressive dogs should be left at home or kept on a very short leash. Any dogs that bark incessantly or instigate fights will be given a large bowl of spicy chili and a king-size snickers, and then locked in your LQ.

Be prepared for any weather, as Colorado is known for packing 4 seasons into a day. Highs are predicted in the mid-to-upper 70's, wth lows expected in the mid-50's. Thundershowers are possible in the afternoons. will be onsite to report and keep you up to date as possible, and, upon finding internet each night, will send short titillating stories. 

Follow along at:

and on Ridecamp:

and on Twitter @endurancenet with the hashtag #AERCNationalChampionships :

and on Facebook - Endurance Net

Elayne Barclay's Missing Horse in Three Sisters Wilderness


Fletch is missing in the Three Sisters wilderness not far from Whispering Pines horse camp. He was last seen at Milican Crater Trail. He is an appoloosa/paso fino gelding and is an Endurance horse, capable of 50-100 miles a day.

Incident Details

Incident Date: 8/2/2017
Location: Sisters (Deschutes County), OR, 97759, USA Rider stopped to have lunch on the trail, and when she want to get back on the horse, he escaped and ran away.
Fletch was wearing red tack. US Forest Land near Whispering Pines Horse Camp, 3 Sisters Wilderness Area, Oregon. Last Seen Millican Crater Trail.

Equine Name: APP Flecha de la Estrella
Breed:Appaloosa - Paso Gender:Gelding
Age:13 years
Height:14.3 hands
Weight:800 lbs
All Markings
Face: Star
Details: White across forehead with brown markings mottled in.
Leg Markings: Left Front Leg - Sock • Left Rear Leg - Sock • Right Front Leg - Stocking • Right Rear Leg - None •
Other Details: Bay roan with mixed white in tail and body.
Endurance Riding, Trail Riding: Recreational


For more information see:

Venable pair wins Ride & Tie world championship - Full Article

by Jim McGrath

Augut 6 2017

Rhonda and Dave Venable of Toano won the 47th annual Ride and Tie World Championship held July 22 in Orkney Springs, in Shenandoah County.

Twenty-eight teams from across the country participated in the 35-mile race, which was held on the East Coast for the first time. Ride and Tie has a long history in the West, where it was first sponsored by Levi's in 1971.

In eight years of competition, the Venables had won yearlong point championships three times, as well as the past two East Coast championships. However, this was their first world title.

Rhonda Venable, a former cross-country coach at Bethel High, is a teacher at Crittenden Middle School in Newport News. She and husband Dave relocated from Yorktown to Toano in June, and trained at York River Park for the final six weeks leading to the event.

Participants alternate between endurance riding on horses and trail running on their own. Each team must get all three members (two humans and one horse) across the cross-country course by alternately riding and running.

A favorite strategy is for the rider, being faster, to gallop ahead and tie the horse to a tree before beginning his/her running portion of the race. Subsequently, the team member who started off running on foot will reach the horse, untie it, mount and begin riding, all the way past the first runner. The leapfrog type of activity continues throughout the race...

Read more here:

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

2017 August's Endurance Horses in the Morning

Horsesinthemorning - Listen

08-08-2017 Endurance Day – Tevis Winner Tenney, Haggin Cup Winner Reynolds, Farkas Completes Again

Aug 8, 2017

On today’s Endurance episode with Karen Chaton we chat with Tevis Cup winner Tenney Lane, Haggin Cup winner Jeremy Reynolds and Molly Farkas shares her adventures riding this year’s race on her Appaloosa Spotted Wap; 49 years after her first Tevis Cup. Listen in...

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

2017 Appaloosa Nat'l Championship Endurance Ride in Idaho, October 7

2017 Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride, Oreana, Idaho, October 7. The 2017 Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride (ANCER) will be held in conjunction with the Arabian Horse Association Distance Nationals in Oreana, Idaho on October 7, 2017. The ride is called "Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer" and is an AERC-sanctioned 50-mile ride.

ANCER has been held in locations across the country from Maine to California. It is rotating to the Western U.S. this year. The Arabian Horse Association and Appaloosa Horse Club are partnering for the second year to hold a multi-breed National Endurance Championship ride. Registered Appaloosas that are also registered with AHA as ½ Arabian may enter both National Championships.
Go to to download forms.

The ANCER will be held in conjunction with the Arabian Distance Horse National Championships.

Auli Farwa and Tennessee Lane Win 2017 Tevis Cup

Photo: Ron Osborn - Full Article

By Marsha Hayes Aug 7, 2017

At 10 p.m. on Aug. 5, Tennessee Lane and the 17-year-old Arabian gelding Auli Farwa (or “Farr”) crossed the finish line 12 minutes ahead of their nearest competitors to win the 62nd Tevis Cup.

The iconic endurance challenge requires each horse and rider team to cover 100 miles within 24 hours. Multiple veterinary checkpoints, including a final vetting after finishing, are designed to keep equine athletes healthy and safe throughout the competition. Of this year’s 174 starters, 92 finished the course for a 52% completion rate.

This win brought Farr’s life-time endurance competition record to 74 starts with 74 finishes, now including eight Tevis completions...

Read more here:

Monday, August 07, 2017

A Brief Look at the AERC National Championship Trails in Colorado

August 7 2017

With less than 2 weeks to go till the AERC National Championships in Colorado, here's a quick overview of the trails you'll ride on the 50 mile ride (Friday August 18) and the 100 (Sunday August 20).

This is a true representation of the Southern Colorado Rockies and I don’t intend to butter that up for you. If you are worried about it being too challenging or technical, then ride the LD, I will make sure the LD is geared back so that inexperienced riders and horses can enjoy a less challenging but equally beautiful ride. The awesome geology around here makes for diverse terrain, with lots of climbs and descents as well as a few flat easy miles to cruise on. There will be some brief technical stretches to keep you entertained, so dismount when prompted if you are nervous. As for the endurance riders (50+ miles,) yes, this will be a challenging ride interspersed with technical stretches that will slow you down, so be smart with your pacing, make up time on the easy stuff and take your time in the tough stuff. I have designed the loops to mix it up, nice easy fast stretches interspersed with slow challenging climbs, descents, and fun technical stuff to keep you awake and give you something to write home about. The scenery is truly unbeatable, the ride camp setting is gorgeous, and as I said, the trails are diverse, with footing varying from flat, canterable-sandy-loam, to steep, walk-it-rocky. The land we are riding across is cattle country – there will be gates. I’m doing my best to minimize the number of gates, and improve the functionality of the ones we must keep closed. There is ample water on the trail, mostly cow tanks but also natural streams and ponds. Altitude: Camp is at >8000′ and the ride will range from 7000′ to a little over 9000′. Please remember that we just got through our FIRST YEAR, we want you guys to be safe and have a BLAST, we are still building trails.  Please feel free to give us constructive comments, advice, and recommendations, we’re doing our best for you!

To sign up for the ride, go to:

Ride coverage will be at:

Fast Lane - Full Article

Saturday Aug 05 2017
62nd annual Tevis Cup

Colorado rider surges past front-runner in final stretch to make a two-time winner out of her horse, Auli Farwa

By: Jeff Nicholson, Sports Editor

Some good old-fashioned whiskey took down fine wine.

Tennessee Lane, riding Auli Farwa, nipped at Napa resident Lindsay Fisher’s heels from the Soda Springs start on Saturday and surged past her in the homestretch to finish at 10 p.m. and win the 62nd annual Tevis Cup Ride.

Fisher, aboard Monk, held the slimmest of leads at the Francisco’s checkpoint, but Lane pulled even by River Crossing and eventually won the race by 12 minutes.

This is the second time Auli Farwa has won the Tevis Cup; Jennie Smith rode him to victory in 2015.

The two finished well ahead of the rest of the pack. Jeremy Reynolds, riding Treasured Moments, looked to be solidly placed for third, with a lead of at least 15 minutes, but the rider chasing him was defending champion Dr. Karen Donley, again riding Royal Patron, who surged up the leaderboard in the last third of the race but ran out of time to chase down the front-runners...

Read more here:

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Jeremy Reynolds and Treasured Moments Win 2017 Haggin Cup

August 6 2017
by Merri

Third place Tevis Cup finisher Jeremy Reynolds and the Reynolds' 7-year-old Arabian mare Treasured Moments have won the 2017 Haggin Cup award, the horse in "most superior physical condition" of yesterday's Top Ten Tevis finishers. The pair finished 1 hour 9 minutes behind the winners, Tennessee Lane and Auli Farwa.

Treasured Moments, by DA Adios X Hidden Treasure, by RD Five Star, has an 11 for 11 AERC finish record. This was her first 100 mile ride. Jeremy is a 3-time Tevis Cup and now 3-time Haggin Cup winner.

Complete finish is here:

More stories from the 2017 Tevis Cup are here: