Monday, July 24, 2017

The Tevis Board of Governors: A Year-Round Labor of Love

July 24 2017
Story and photo by Merri

Tevis Cup fever peaks every summer, but for many people, it's an all-year - or lifetime - obsession. Riders, crews, volunteers, and Board of Governors members all look forward to this annual weekend in July or August under the full moon when horses and riders carry out the tradition of following the 100-mile Western States Tevis trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California.

The Tevis Cup Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Foundation (WSTF) works tirelessly year round to continue Wendell Robie's tradition of this ride that he started in 1955. "The Tevis Cup 100 Miles One Day Ride represents the Foundation's commitment to the ideals of a pioneering experience along historically significant trails that traverse the scenic wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from east of Squaw Valley to Auburn," the website states. "The founders of the Tevis Cup event offered their vision of a majestic riding trail penetrating the wild beauty of mountain peaks and valleys hallowed by the Washoe and Maidu tribes and later crossed by explorers, settlers and gold-seekers. These founders declared that the virtue of such a trail would lie in helping preserve the historic significance of its route and would encourage people to return to a simple life perhaps furthering their appreciation of nature, history and the outdoors through the humane use of horses. Horsemen can trade the hectic world of traffic jammed freeways and skyscrapers for a realm of natural splendor while passing through cathedral-like groves of virgin forests that shelter vast numbers of wildlife. Therein lies the essence of the Tevis Cup Ride and the historic Western States Trail."

The name Barbara White is synonymous with Tevis: familiar to many as the person who has the most number of Tevis finishes (34), and of course as the daughter of Julie Suhr (22 finishes) - often called our First Lady of Endurance. The Tevis Cup fever runs high in their family.

What you may not know is that Barbara has been on the Tevis Board of Governors for 11 years. And you may not know what that means to Barbara, and you may not understand what being on the BoG means for all the members. It is a labor of love.

"It's easy to think that all the WSTF does is put on a 100 mile ride annually. In fact, the mission statement requires a lot of effort for education, veterinary research, and historical research which keep the Board busy all year," Barbara said.

"The Western States Trail Foundation is a non-profit corporation. The structure of the Board is committees, each committee headed by a governor who chooses the rest of the committee.  Committee people can be on the Board or not. Most Board members serve on several committees. The entire Board meets four times a year and votes on things such as rule or policy changes brought forth by the committees."

The very trail itself is a monumental challenge every year, and the last decade has been most testing, with one cancellation due to fires (2008), several other years of fire scares, and, 2 years, including 2017, just the opposite problem - too much snow. 2011 was a nightmare, with a fire delaying the usual summer date, and a shocking 22" of snowfall at Squaw Valley 3 days before the new October date, which caused a last minute scramble and miraculous effort to change the trail to an out-and-back from Auburn. Likewise, a high snowfall in the Sierra over the winter left some of the regular trails impassible this summer.

Barbara explained, "The Ride Committee makes most of the decisions for the Ride itself in terms of trail, volunteers, getting the permits, planning the ride week, etc. With 100 unique miles on a point to point course, it's challenging every year.  There are many property owners, ranging from the US Government to someone who may own an acre, all of whom must give permission and be insured every year.  Mother Nature throws many curve balls, but an incredible Trail Committee, in concert with the Western States Endurance Run, maintains and prepares the trail, working year round with an army of volunteers.

"The WSTF has dealt with fire, snow, raging rivers, endangered species, disgruntled property owners, opposition user groups, and other adversity over the years.  The commitment and generosity of those for whom the trail and event mean something keep it alive."

This year has been one of the most testing in terms of finding a passable trail. "About a month ago, there were four possible routes being considered.  The decision to cross the American River at Poverty Bar was made just a few days ago and finalized the route.  Too many people to name, both on and off the Board, have been instrumental in getting it all figured out this year, but Ride Director Chuck Stalley and his wife, Pam, deserve a lot of credit for not just throwing up their hands and taking up some other hobby to be passionate about.  They epitomize endurance."

Despite the year-round work, and the sleepless days and weeks surrounding the 24 hour event itself, it's clearly an obsession for some people. Or, let's just call it what it clearly is: a healthy addiction. Barbara agrees. "It's hard to 'quit Tevis.'  Some of the most active volunteers are former governors. After the Ride, those who worked hard sleep for about a week, except for those noble souls who get busy, right after the last finishers, taking down the trail markers.  The Board meets in October, and it all starts over again."

Put simply, the Tevis Board of Governors never stops, and Tevis is really a year-round event. "I don't think anyone realizes how much the BoG does," Barbara said. "New people are surprised when they join the board, and it is understood that it may take a couple of years for them to find their places.  Although the terms are two years, most people stay on for a long time and consider it an honor.  It's an interesting cross section of very committed people. 

"The 'work' doesn't feel like work because of the widespread belief on the BoG that the WSTF and the Ride have value and should endure through time.  Doing so gets more complicated and expensive every year.  Recognizing that this year is the 62nd Ride proves, I think, the tireless devotion of the BoG over the decades."

It is work, but it is enjoyable and rewarding. "It's a fun board because there is very little ego in it - it's about getting a job done well, and drawing more and more people into the unique realm that is the Tevis. 

"There's an addictive and cultish aspect to it all that makes it hard for many to escape…"

So next time you see a member of the Tevis Board of Governors, introduce yourself, and tell them thank you. Because if you've got the Fever, you might find yourself in their shoes one day.

*top photo: Barbara White and Djubilee, vetting in for Tevis 2013

Friday, July 21, 2017

South Dakota rider wins Big Horn 100 - Full Article

By Greybull Standard - July 20, 2017

By Marlys Good

Hannah Pruss of Belle Fourche, S.D., swept the field in the Big Horn 100 endurance ride held last weekend, crossing the finish line in a flat 15 hours, and tacking on the coveted Best Condition award and a first place in the middle weight class.

Kathy Arnold of Basin won the Big Horn 50, finishing in 7 hours, 37 minutes; her horse earned the Best Condition award.

Hot weather and the rough terrain took their toll on both riders and horses. Of the 18 100-mile riders leaving the gate at 4 a.m., just 15 finished; the 12-field, 50-mile endurance riders faded to seven.

Jeannette Tolman, a key component of the Big Horn 100, said the five 50-mile riders who did not complete the course pulled themselves from the ride. “We call it ‘rider option,’” she explained, adding that she used that option herself Saturday. “All the others who did not finish the 50 had no idea what the trail was like; they were used to flat land rides.

“The first 12 miles of the trail are easy; the next 13 miles includes four canyons. You go up, up, up, then down, down, down, etc. Complete that first 25 miles, the rest is easy. The first 25 miles are most definitely a determining factor,” she said on whether a rider/horse is pulled or finishes...

Read more here:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Final Trail for This Year's Tevis Cup Confirmed

July 19 2017
by Chuck Stalley, Ride Director

Tuesday evening the Board of Governors of the Western States Trail Ride made the decision on the trail for this year’s ride. We feel we have enough good information to publicly announce the following:

The ride will start at Soda Springs and travel to Lyon Ridge. Riders will use the Red Star Ridge trail to drop into Duncan Canyon, and ride the Duncan Canyon trail to Robinson Flat.

Robinson Flat is the 36-mile point of the ride and from Robinson Flat the trail will follow the traditional route to the finish in Auburn. We will not use Bald Mt., but rather stay on Road 43 to Miller’s Defeat.

The River: High water levels at Poverty Bar (3 miles west of Francisco’s and where riders cross the Middle fork of the American River) prevented us from examining the morphology of the river. We wanted to get in the river and verify that the bottom was solid and no troughs or dangers had been carved out from raging waters last winter. We were able to complete that evaluation last Sunday. In addition, we learned that Placer county water agency is now confident that they can hold back river flows on the night of our ride to enable riders to cross with close to normal Tevis ride water depth. 

We emphasize that the river is NOT CROSSABLE until August 5 as current flows are quite high, rapid, and dangerous. The first six miles of the trail known as the Royal Gorge Ski area are closed as well. We have been granted permission to use the trails for the event and are guests of this area for ONLY THE FEW DAYS LEADING UP TO AND INCLUDING THE RIDE. 

Duncan Canyon and the trail below Devil’s Thumb are also CLOSED due to major trail obstacles. Some of the high country trails are still wet, and some are on the USFS schedule awaiting yearly maintenance which will be completed in time for the ride. 

Please follow these trail guidelines, stay safe and happy training. Please plan to bring your own shade to the base camp as we are in gravel parking lots with little or no natural shade. In addition, we may have “big, high country bugs and pests” so bring repellant for you and your horses. 

Please check the Tevis social media pages as well as our website for trail condition updates as we get closer to the ride. 

Rider Packets will be emailed to the ride list this weekend. If you don’t receive a packet by Sunday night, please email to provide an active email address for us to send your packet. Please print the pages you find useful or necessary.

Vehicle passes will be mailed to all riders on Monday, July 24. If you plan to be enroute and not able to receive this mailing at your home address, please contact Jean in the Tevis office ( 530-823-7282) and ask to be put on the “hold” list for vehicle passes. Your envelop will be waiting for you at the Tevis office so you may pick it up when you arrive in Auburn. All foreign rider passes will be held automatically.

We wish you safe training, happy horses and good luck. We'll see you at Soda Springs where Tevis magic will happen.

Cougar attack won't deter Tevis Cup ride - Full Article

July 19 2017
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal

100-mile epic journey travels near where horse attacked

Snow – not a report of a mountain lion attack on a horse near the Western States Trail – are causing Tevis Cup officials concern enough to reroute the epic 100-mile ride.

With snow lingering in the high country, the Tevis Cup will go ahead as scheduled Aug. 5 but with a different start point at the Royal Gorge parking lot. The ride normally starts at the Robie Equestrian Park, south of Truckee, which is at a higher elevation.

The rerouting will help horses, which would have difficulty traveling through snowy terrain, to complete the journey to Auburn, Tevis Cup spokeswoman Jenni Smith said Thursday.

Mountain lion dangers for horses and riders along the trail are minimal, given the nature of cougars, Smith said.

“A mountain lion attacking a horse and rider on the trail is not a realistic risk,” Smith said. “With so many deer, to work up that much chutzpah … They’re smart. They’ll do the math.”

Smith’s comments come after Michigan Bluff resident John Wolfgram told the Journal that his horse was injured as it fought off a cougar attack that started in a corral next to his house. The fight for the horse’s life continued down a slope before the mountain lion departed. The house is about 100 yards from the Western States Trail. The trail is the route during a ride that attracts about a field of about 200 participants...

Read more here:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Big Horn 100: Hannah Pruss and Stuart win first and BC

July 15 2017

Hannah Pruss of Piedmont, South Dakota, and her one-eyed horse Stuart won the Big Horn 100 in Wyoming on Saturday, July 15, in a ride time of 15 hours. They also received the Best Condition award. It was Hannah's 5th consecutive Big Horn finish and her 3rd time to win the ride (on 3 different horses).

18 started the 100, with 15 finishing.

Carol Federighi and Lily Creek Stetson win Vermont 100

July 15 2017

Carol Federighi and Lily Creek Stetson won the Vermont 100 on Saturday, July 15. Their ride time was 13:08. Finishing second in 13:57 was Bryna Stevenson aboard TEF Lunar Eclipse, one minute ahead of third place Wendy Mancini and Sterling. There were 16 finishers in 21 starters.

All 12 starters completed the 75 mile ride, with Meg Sleeper and Syrocco Cadence winning in a ride time of 9:24. Heather Hoyns and Marchesa Garbo finished second in 10:57. There was a 3-way tie for third between Donna Smith Curtin, riding Syrocco Gabriel, Jenn Fisher riding Noble Promise, and Patti Piazo, riding Vallen O Mine, in a ride time of 12:38.

Hanna Wightman and Syrocco Rabia won the Vermont 50 in 5:59, more than 40 minutes ahead of the next two, who tied for second place. Sue Greenall, riding Shenanigans, and Douglas Lietzke, riding GE Meniara finished together in a ride time of 6:40.10. 26 out of 32 starters completed the ride.

More at:

Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 July's Endurance Horses in the Morning - Listen in

07-11-2017 Endurance Day – WEG Contender Schick, Green Bean Endurance, Tom Quilty Gold Cup

Jul 11, 2017

On today’s endurance episode Karen’s recent adventures inspire listeners to share the oddest objects they’ve ever come across on the trail, Sarah Schick updates us on her bid for WEG 2018, Ricky Stone talks about the Green Bean Endurance program and Paul Sidio tells us about his trip down under to ride in the Tom Quilty Gold Cup. Listen in...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dr. Mike Peralez is Head Veterinarian for Tevis 2017

WSTF President’s Message

Dr. Mike Peralez is the head veterinarian for the Tevis in 2017. Mike is a rider and rode in NATRC in the 1970s as a junior. I know this because I competed against him then. He also has four Tevis buckles, including one from 1983, when Tevis also started in Soda Springs due to excessive snow. He said riding the alternate route was a wonderful experience. In the article below, Mike shares his experience of riding the Tevis that started in Soda Springs with the riders who will start the 2017 Tevis also in Soda Springs.

Tony Benedetti, WSTF President

1983: The First Soda Springs Tevis Ride
by Dr Mike Peralez

Mother Nature has a way of messing with the Tevis Cup ride. Recently, we have had fire (2008),snow, subsequent postponement, and more snow (2011), and, of course, this year’s white trail. But how many of you remember the snow of year of 1983?

I was lucky enough to have ridden the 1983 Tevis Cup when we started out of Soda Springs in the ski area parking lot. I was young - not yet 20 years old - and anxious about another Tevis start. We all gathered in Squaw Valley on Friday, July 22, 1983 for the usual pre-ride vet checks and socializing (“partying” may have been more accurate, right?). Early the next morning, though, all of us had to load our horses into their trailers and drive almost 25 miles up highways 89 and 80 to Soda Springs. Many of us shared trailer rides to the start to avoid vehicle congestion. It was exciting as all 233 riders lined up for that 5:00 a.m. shotgun start. As many of you may recall, up until that time, the Tevis Cup always had staggered starts with as many as 30 groups. My memories of that fun and exciting mass start are still vivid - as if it were last year.

What I enjoyed most about that first Soda Springs start was the different trail early in the ride. Of course, the usual Tevis Cup trail is always beautiful; however, riding through the pine forests south of Soda Springs, through The Cedars, and into the first vet check at French Meadows Reservoir was profoundly gorgeous. We left the French Meadows vet check and rode up and over Red Star Ridge and into Duncan Canyon for the long climb to Robinson Flat...

Read the rest here:

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Alternate Route for first 8 Miles of Tevis Trail Locked Down

July 2017

Ride Director’s Message

Wild weather pounded the Sierras last winter, and as a result, the 2017 Tevis will start at Soda Springs, California. The last of the snow in the high country (at about 7000 feet) is finally melting. Since we cannot get into the Granite Chief wilderness to assess and repair the trail, an alternate route for the first eight miles of this year’s ride has been locked down.
We will camp at the town of Soda Springs one mile off Interstate 80 and just after the intersection of Donner Pass Road and Soda Springs Road next to the beautiful Yuba River. Camping is open from noon Wednesday August 2nd until Saturday the 5th. I recommend you arrive midday Thursday or mid-morning Friday because parking will be tight and shade scarce. Please bring a pop up for mid-day shade if possible.

Check in will be from 10 am until 6 pm Friday. Please allow sufficient time to check in at the camp and then walk or ride your horse to the sheep pens in the beautiful Van Norden Meadow to present to the veterinarians for vet in at that location starting at 12 noon.

The trail this year will proceed about five miles through the Royal Gorge cross country ski area connecting to the Soda Springs Road. From there you will ride to Forest Service Road 51, which will take you up to Lyon Ridge and the Western States Trail.
Once on the Western States Trail, you'll head west over Cougar Rock and on to the Red Star vet check. Just out of Red Star, you'll make a left turn onto Forest Service Road 96 for .7 mile then right on the historic Red Star Ridge trail to Duncan Canyon and up into Robinson Flat for the first one hour hold. At this point the time and mileage is almost identical as it would have been with the traditional start in Truckee.

The Duncan Canyon trail is technical and, therefore, slower but stunning. From the Robinson Flat vet check, we will follow the traditional trail on to Auburn.
If the water level in the American River is too high to cross at Poverty Bar, we have identified alternate trail above Francisco's that will take us across No Hands Bridge and into the Fairgrounds in Auburn. The highest altitude for this route is 7400 feet and will most certainly be clear of the last of the snow.

A note about crewing : The drive time from Soda Springs to Robinson Flat is more than an hour faster than the travel time from Robie Park in Truckee and we will be releasing crews from the start at 4:30 am to drive to Robinson Flat to optimize their ability to arrive ahead of their rider(s).

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Pagosa'a Past: The race is on, with Billy Kern in the running - Full Article

By John Motter, Pagosa’s Past

We continue with Pagosa pioneer Billy Kern’s involvement in the Denver Post’s Great Endurance Horse Race in 1908 from Evanston, Wyo., to Denver, a distance of 600 miles. As we finished last week, the 25 horses lined up on Main Street in Evanston had just received the command to “Go!”

The first of many checking stations along the way was Carter, Wyo., about 47 miles from the starting line in Evanston. A rider by the name of Workman reached Carter by 10:30 a.m., followed closely by J.A. Doling riding Little Minnie. The winners of the first lap had averaged about 10.5 miles an hour.

The next station was Green River, about 65 miles beyond Carter. Workman checked into Granger, about halfway to Green River, at 4 p.m. Doling had dropped back, but Smith on Dick Turpin and a man named Trew on Little Archie were only eight minutes later. The three men drank two glasses of milk each and by 5 p.m. were on the road again. Several of the riders who came into Granger decided to spend the night...

Read more here:

Sunday, July 02, 2017

US Equestrian Names Team for 2017 FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jul 1, 2017

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the following combinations that will make up the U.S. team at the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors in Verona, Italy, September 22-24. The U.S. will be led by Chef d'Equipe Mark Dial.

Katelyn Baldino (Marietta, Ga.) with Synthetic, Melody Blittersdorf’s 2000 Arabian gelding

Eilish Connor (Spring, Texas) with DJB Jolly Roger, Darolyn Butler’s 2002 Arabian gelding

Ragan Kelly (Waco, Texas) with Kharismas Grace, Tracy Kelly’s 2008 Arabian mare

Ainsley Suskey (Iola, Wisc.) with Princess Deelites MHF, Julie Jackson’s 2007 Arabian mare

Annie Whelan (Louisa, Ky.) with Wallace Hill Leo, Amy Wallace-Whelan’s 2004 Half-Arabian gelding

Alternate Horse:

HK Kruizer, Tracy Kelly’s 2005 Arabian gelding

For more information about contributing to and supporting the 2017 team efforts and competition, contact Kristen Brett, director of endurance, at

Find out more about the 2017 FEI World Endurance Championships for Young Riders and Juniors.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOC, and USEF Sponsors and Members.

Friday, June 30, 2017

AHA Distance Nationals Championships Tentative Schedule Announced

June 30 2017

The Arabian Horse Association has announced a tentative schedule for the October 5-9 Distance Horse National Championships, AERC Open rides and AHA Open CTR which will be held at the Teeter Ranch in Oreana, Idaho.

The AHA Distance Nationals will run concurrently with the Appaloosa National Championships (ANCER), Paso Fino National Championships, and Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer endurance ride.

Registration opens Thursday afternoon, October 5. Friday October 6 is the start of the AHA National and Open CTR. Saturday October 7 is the 50-mile AHA/ANCER/PFHA rides. Sunday October 8 is the 100 mile AHA Championship and open AERC ride. The Owyhee Canyonlands Pioneer AERC rides are Friday (55 miles, 30 miles), Saturday (50 miles, 30 miles), and Sunday (50 miles, 25 miles). Sunday will be the 100-mile Best Condition judging.

For details of the schedule, and for more information on the ride, see:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Distance riding champions make it a family affair - Full Story

June 28, 2017

Three members of the same family from Missouri – all riding home-bred Missouri Fox Trotters – have won National Championship titles for the past North American Trail Riding Conference season.

Bill Hinkebein and his granddaughters Josie and Jessica Reeter all won open level championship ribbons for the NATRC 2016 ride season.

This adventure began in 2015 when the granddaughters of Bill and Jeanne Hinkebein rode in the novice division, with Bill riding Competitive Pleasure. With their granddad, Josie, 14, and Jessie, 11, rode registered Missouri Fox Trotters born, raised and trained at the Hinkebein’s Indian Creek Equine Center northwest of Chillicothe, Missouri – Jessie on Shady Sunset WH, Josie on Country Mocha WH, and Grandpa on Roho Honoy Mocha WH. Grandma Jeanne had meals ready and helped when needed with hauling the three horses.

Jessie, left, and Josie, right, proudly show off their National Championship buckles.
Jessie, left, and Josie, right, proudly show off their National Championship buckles. © Andy Klamm
After finishing their last ride of the 2015 season, Josie suggested to her sister that they should ride Open the next season. Jessie looked at her and said, “Are you crazy? Do you know how long that is?” Josie quietly said “Yes, but we can ride faster, and besides we would have the opportunity to try for a National Championship which will give us a nice belt buckle to wear, and it really isn’t that much longer.” Before long her sister said, “Okay, we can give it a try...”


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2017 June's Endurance Horses in the Morning - Listen In

Jun 13, 2017
On today’s show Karen explains Cardiac Recovery Index and why its important, Dr. Mero explains the AERC Microchip program and Phyllis Keller has an update on her Pacific Coast Trail ride. Listen in...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Winning Entry for the Dreams Don't Die Tevis Essay Contest - Full Story

Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2017 3:06pm

Congratulations to Lorna Christopherson of Salem, Oregon for winning a free entry to the Tevis Cup 100-Miles-One-Day Western States Trail Ride (Tevis)!

Lorna has endurance in her blood with a family history of distance riding even before she officially started the sport. She just turned a frisky 61 and has been down many trails with her mare Alley-Bugs, a former rescue horse. She and Alley-Bugs started their endurance career in 2008 and, after a few initial hurdles, have been going strong ever since. The team just won and received Best Condition at the Klickitat Trek 75 this month. This team is ready to hit the Tevis trail.

An anonymous donor stepped forward earlier this year with an idea to sponsor an entry for someone who had a dream to ride Tevis but the years got away from them. The essay contest was limited to people that had never ridden the Tevis Cup ride before, who would be qualified to enter the Ride as of May 1st and they had to be at least 60 years of age...

Read more here:

Monday, June 19, 2017

AERC Annual Award Nominations Open

Nominate a candidate for AERC Hall of Fame (equine and human), Pard'ners Award, Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award or Volunteer Service Award with this online nomination form -- nominations due by August 1, 2017.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

2017 Tevis Cup Trail Changes: Start at Soda Springs

WSTF Ride Director's Message 6-5-17
June 5, 2017

The 2017 Tevis is going to start at the sheep pens in Van Norden Meadows, Soda Springs. The snow conditions today, June 1, dictate that we relocate the start to Soda Springs. Snow levels through the Granite Chief Wilderness will not provide WSTF enough time to have the Squaw Valley trail ready for our August 5th start. Not since 1983 have the snow conditions required us to put an alternate high country trail into service.

This year's start will travel south out of the Van Noreen meadow about five miles before entering Soda Springs Road and continuing to Road 51 which takes riders up to Lyon Ridge. At that point we will travel the traditional Tevis trail all the way to Francisco's vet check.

There is still uncertainty as to whether or not the Poverty Bar river crossing will be shallow enough to provide safe passage, as the snow melt has the river running at high levels. At this date, we are not able to make a definitive decision on the lower trail.

We have two options after Francisco’s. One is to make the crossing at Poverty Bar and using the old trail through the “upper” quarry to pointed rocks before crossing No Hands Bridge. The second choice, if we cannot cross the river, is to go up Drivers Flat Road, cross Foresthill Divide Road, and take the Clementine Trail. Riders would come down to the confluence, cross the Highway 49 Bridge, then pick up No Hands Bridge and travel on to the finish.

Riders are cautioned not to preride the Clementine Trail as parts of that trail are open to mountain bikers and hikers ONLY. Tevis riders will have the trail open to them and closed to bikes on the evening of August 5. Should we have to use the Clementine Trail, it will be a first for the Tevis in our 63 years of history.

We will keep everyone posted as we make the decision on the lower trail. We guarantee a trail that will include as much as the original trail as possible and the entire trail will offer an experience up to the standards expected of the Tevis.

Chuck Stalley

2017 Tevis Ride Director

Sunday, June 04, 2017

THE WENDELL ROBIE TROPHY - Recognizing Amazing Tevis Cup Horses

A sneak peek at the pre-foundry bronze piece, courtesy the artist Diana Hiiesalu.

The Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors voted at their January meeting to introduce a new trophy to the awards already given. In honor of our founder, it will be called the Wendell Robie Trophy.

The Robie Trophy will be awarded to all horses that have successfully completed at least five Tevis Cup rides.

The initial presentation of the Robie Trophy will be at the 2017 Awards Banquet. All horses who have previously - in the history of the ride - completed at least five times, to include horses that finish their fifth ride this year, will be recognized at that time.

The Board of Governors felt, given the difficulty of finishing a single ride, it would be appropriate to recognize the endurance and longevity of horses that have completed five or more rides.

The trophy itself is being created by talented sculptor, Diana Hiiesalu. Diana is capturing the iconic image of Wendell Robie giving his horse a drink from his water bottle.

In addition to recognition on the trophy, award recipients will also be given a medallion reflecting the same image.

In order to compile the names of Robie Trophy horses from the past, the board requests that riders and friends of the ride please report any qualified horses to Debby Lyon at

Also, any riders who will be riding a horse which will be attempting a fifth completion this year, please alert Debby.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Get Qualified for the 2017 AERC Nat'l Championships!

The AERC National Championships will be held August 18-20 by SoCo Endurance over 140 miles of private trails just outside of La Veta, CO at the base of the Spanish Peaks. The 50 will be on Friday the 18th and the 100 on Sunday the 20th.

a) All entrants must be current full members of AERC

b) All riders must ride in the declared weight division

c) Riders will be eligible* to participate in this event by qualifying under the AERC-NC criteria defined as follows:


50-mile ride: 300 lifetime AERC miles (horse) AND 300 lifetime AERC miles (rider) with at least 100 miles together. The mileage requirements must be met with endurance competitions of 50 miles or more only – no limited distance miles count towards qualification criteria.

100-mile ride: 500 lifetime AERC miles (horse) AND 500 AERC lifetime miles (rider) with at least one 100 mile, one day ride together. The mileage requirements must be met with AERC endurance competitions of 50 miles or more – no limited distance miles count towards qualification criteria.

Alternative qualifications for 100 mile ride: Horse/rider as a team have completed 1,000 AERC endurance miles together (rides of 50miles or more only).

Horse and rider being ranked as a team in the overall top 10 of their AERC region in the year preceding the National Championship Ride they are entering

d) Only eligible members under the AERC NC qualifications will be able to ride at this ride with the exception of riders who are designated to sponsor qualified junior entrants. This sponsoring rider will receive career lifetime mileage only for the unqualified horse and sponsoring rider, but will not affect the overall placement standings for the RIDE. The RM may choose to allow several unqualified riders to enter as eligible sponsors for riders whose sponsors may be pulled during the ride. These unqualified riders will be reported in the results as lifetime mileage only.

For more information, see:

A Young Equestrian Finds Her Sport

May 31 2017
By Jenna Asnault
When I first became interested in horses and riding, I was not sure what I wanted my “thing” to be. I knew of so many different riding styles and disciplines, like ships passing by the shore, but was unsure which I wanted to practice and improve in. I didn’t know which ship I wanted to board.

The first ship I saw was the one carrying my neighbor and her horses—the first horses I ever rode—and her style of riding. Primarily with her, I just rode on the trails in Bidwell Park in the town of Chico, California. I have always enjoyed the trail rides, but I knew that they were not all I wanted to do.

But another ship sailed by. On board was a different lady with a different style and a different discipline. So I started taking lessons from her. I soon discovered that she competed in schooling shows with her students, and under her training, I ended up in two different shows. Both resulted in ribbons for me and general pride in my accomplishment. However, I was not really learning as much as I could from this trainer, and I was not fond of her ideas about training and disciplining horses. So, I jumped off that boat and swam out to find a new one.

The next boat I boarded was closely related to my previous one. It was barrel racing, which was an exciting sport that I knew many people participated in and enjoyed. But poor preparation for my first official barrel race resulted in the horse throwing me off on the home stretch. I had by no means lost my confidence in my riding ability, but I did come to the conclusion that barrel racing was not for me.

But before I could commit myself to something knew, an unexpected boat sailed by and picked me up. On Christmas Day, 2012, my neighbor gave me my first horse. He was a horse that I had been riding and caring for frequently, and who I adored. I rode him frequently in Bidwell Park, taking trail rides of varying lengths, exploring the park further, and just having great adventures. Three spectacular years that horse and I were together, but his death in 2016 transferred me to a whole new ship as his sailed away forever and marked a turning point in my life.

He had been a good first horse, but now I was ready to move forward and try something new. But I still was unsure of which ship I wanted to board next.

I started by boarding a ship that got me back into taking lessons. I found a new trainer who was an old friend of my neighbor’s, and was better than my previous trainer by a wide margin. I knew she had been doing endurance riding for a long time, but did not quite picture myself as an endurance rider. I decided to give it a try, though, like I had done with shows and barrel racing.

Before I knew it, I was all aboard the SS Endurance. But recalling my lack of success in the previous disciplines, my expectations were not high.

My trainer, JayaMae Gregory, invited me out to my first endurance ride in October of 2016. I had a fantastic time. The course was beautiful, the weather was perfect, and I ended up finishing in the top ten. But I still was unsure if I wanted to stay aboard the SS Endurance. The second ride I did, however, was different.

Most of the ride was just a normal 50-mile endurance ride. Similar to the first ride, this one was beautiful with gorgeous weather. The first loop was a lot of fun. We rode happily around Camp Far West Lake, admiring the stunning landscape and laughing as we trotted down the trail. We had quite an adventure when our horses decided to have a race and we had to regain control. The copious amount of mud was frustrating, and we ran into some trouble at the vet check halfway through, when my horse’s heart rate was not slowing to the ideal rate. In addition, Jaya’s horse had a bloody nose, which concerned her and further delayed our departure time.

I was worried we might have to pull out of the ride, but we managed to continue into the second loop. It was slow going at first, since the trails were dense with mud. But we soon arrived at a long, straight trail that was much less muddy than the rest of the trails. It started with a very forward trot to cross the whole length of the extensive trail. Before I knew it, we were all cantering.

It had been a long time since I had had a good, long canter like that. I felt the roaring of the wind on my face and in my ears. I felt the horse moving effortlessly beneath me, and my hair being thrown backwards. I heard the pounding of three sets of hooves, Jaya’s joyous whooping, and the purest, lightest, most liberating sense of freedom I had ever felt. I stretched my arms upward and out, drinking in the feeling and letting it fill me.

Everything I had ever worried about or stressed over had been left behind at the beginning of that trail, and now nothing mattered except me and the horse. But even when we slowed our horses to a walk again, the feeling lingered.

It was that day, that moment, that I decided I wanted to ride endurance. I realized it was what I had always loved and wanted to do. For years I had ridden on trails, and loved it, and all I wanted was to just ride on trails all day, which is what endurance riding is. I found my calling on that winding ride, and now there is no way I can leave the SS Endurance.
I realized that day that I believe in long trail rides.

My life, like everyone else’s, has been a crazy, winding roller coaster. With all the ups and downs, those horses and those trails have always been there. I know that when the going gets rough, I can always go riding. Discovering a blooming passion for endurance has given me a vision of what I would like my life in the future to look like. I have begun building a scene of my future around the base of horses and endurance. My newly discovered passion has given me a greater sense of purpose to fulfill and direction to follow.

 #  #  #

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America with distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles in one day. For membership information or to request an informational brochure, write to, or visit For information about AERC or to request a Discover Endurance Riding booklet, visit

Contact: Troy Smith, AERC Publications, 866-271-2372,

Friday, May 26, 2017

Enduring Partners — Stagg and Cheryl Newman - Full Story

by Genie Stuart-Spears

Successfully completing 50- or 100-mile endurance rides in one day, one horse, one rider, requires building a partnership between horse and rider in order to enjoy mile after mile of trail. It begins with finding the right horse and doing lots of in-hand ground and arena work, lots of training and conditioning time on the trail, and most importantly, starting with short distances and riding to complete, not be competitive, for at least the first few years or more. It takes years to build a working partnership. And, emphasizes Stagg Newman, “Patience, patience, and patience!”

Having competed in endurance and competitive trail riding since the mid-1980s, Stagg and Cheryl Newman, both 68 years old, have over 15,000 combined career miles on some very tough trails and on some very tough Arabian horses.

Partnering up with a spouse or significant other to train and compete can be as difficult or as easy as partnering up with a horse. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

For the Newmans, training and competition is teamwork — an extension of their marriage. Stagg says, “Riding together has actually strengthened our marriage because of the quality time we spend together training and competing. We share the passion for horses and distance riding. We frequently help each other on trail, giving encouragement, making sure that each of us is eating and drinking, riding in balance, and so forth...

Read more here:

AERC Young Rider Division to begin in 2018

The motion to add a Young Rider Division for riders ages 16-21 was passed by the AERC Board in October of 2016 and was to be implemented in the 2017 ride season, the first of a three-year trial period.

Because the programming required for such an addition was more extensive than the Technical Committee originally estimated, the decision has been made to table the YR division until the 2018 ride season. This will allow the system to be updated and Young Rider AERC membership cards to be sent out at the start of the ride season.

Also affected are ride results forms and multiple annual awards. For 2017, all non-junior riders will ride and compete in their chosen weight divisions. Keep in mind that 200 endurance miles are the minimum to appear in the AERC regional points standings.

The AERC office will be creating personalized awards for the top 20 Young Riders for 2017, so keep on riding, Young Riders! If you have any questions, please contact Junior/Young Rider Committee Chair Steph Teeter ( or the AERC office (

Monday, May 22, 2017

Canadian Endurance Riders Rise to the CEI Biltmore Challenge - Full Article

May 21, 2017
by: Equestrian Canada

Canadian endurance riders recently took on the CEI Biltmore Challenge, and proved they have what it takes to tackle the trails. Held May 5-6 at the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, 2017 marked the 22nd year for the prestigious international competition.

Wendy MacCoubrey of Ste. Justine de Newton, QC, was the top-ranked Canadian in the CEI 2* 120 km, riding her homebred mare Black Bart’s Lolita to a podium finish. MacCoubrey and the eight-year-old Arabian/Standardbred-cross mare, sired by Vondar Black Bart, completed the challenging ride along the French Broad River in 11 hours and 18 minutes to bring home third.

“I’m so pleased with my horse’s performance and results,” MacCoubrey explained. “It was only her second 120 km, and in the mountains she certainly showed me that she has what it takes in this sport. I’d also like to thank my awesome crew – I couldn’t have done it without them!..."

Read more here:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kathie Perry to Receive Special Endurance Riding Contribution Award

May 18 2017

The Auburn Endurance Capital Committee is proud to announce that in 2017 Kathie Perry's contributions will be eternally (permanently?) honored with a commemorative tile.

In April 2003 the Auburn City Council declared Auburn as the "Endurance Capital of the World".

The city square of Auburn, located at High St and Lincoln Way, is a public gathering place that has revitalized downtown Auburn. The site offers seating, art, interpretive signs, and a fire circle. There is an Endurance Zone where commemorative tiles showcase citizens who have made significant contributions to endurance sports.

The Auburn Endurance Capital Committee is proud to announce that in 2017 Kathie Perry's contributions will be permanently honored with a commemorative tile.

A dedication ceremony is tentatively planned for the week before the ride in the city square. An official date and time will be posted on the Tevis Facebook page. Stay tuned! Please join us to honor Kathie Perry's many contributions to the sport of endurance riding.

Friday, May 19, 2017

20th Annual Mt. Adams Endurance Ride Expecting 150 Horses And Riders - Full Article

May 18 2017

One hundred and fifty horse riders from California to British Columbia are expected in Trout Lake on May 20. Riders and their horses are competing in the 20th Annual Mt. Adams Endurance Ride in distances from 30 to 100 miles.

This is a great ride for everyone from first-time endurance riders to world-class competitors with everything from a 12-mile trail ride to a 100-mile competition. Riders enjoy miles of forested trails in the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest and adjacent timber lands. Elevation ranges from 1900-feet to 3500-feet. The well-marked trails are single track or old Jeep roads.

An endurance ride is essentially a long trail race (of 50-100 miles) with vet checks periodically along the way and where the first one to cross the finish line wins. The 30-mile (aka Limited Distance) ride is intended for new riders to the sport. The 12-mile trail ride (not a race) is offered for anyone who has a horse and wants to come up, get their horse vet-checked, ride the marked trails, and enjoy a weekend of equine fun.

In addition, there will be a Ride & Tie option (one horse, two riders) where riders and runners join forces to cover 25 miles. Any breed can compete, but the Arabian generally dominates the top levels due to the breed’s natural endurance abilities.

Mt. Adams Endurance Ride is one of the premier endurance rides in the country. It’s well-organized, sports fabulous trails, and it has a great campsite in the middle of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (a huge field in the middle of the USFS with a view of Mt. Adams). Fifteen years ago, the ride hosted the Pan American Championships here with international competitors representing 11 different countries. This year, the 55 and 75 mile distances also serve as a qualifier ride for FEI riders who want to compete internationally...

Read more here:

Tevis Cup 2017 – History in the Making (Latest Newsletter)

Posted Tuesday, May 16, 2017 2:05pm

It is now middle of May and I was told that it might snow in the Sierra next week. This is the winter that will not end. I also saw on the forecast that it will be in the 90s next weekend. This is why the Ride Director and Committee are planning for all contingencies based on trail availability.

As I have stated previously, there is a strong possibility that the Tevis will start in Soda Springs in 2017. However, there is still a possibility that the Tevis could start at the traditional start at Robie Equestrian Park. We are also not sure if we can cross the American River. What I do know is that The Ride Director is planning ahead. There was a conference call last week with all the groups necessary to start in Soda Springs so that planning is well underway. The trail to avoid the crossing the American River has been scouted and mapped and we are working on finalizing that contingency.

Parts of the Tevis Cup Ride in 2017 may not be on the traditional trail but Lyon Ridge, Cougar Rock, Robinson Flat, Swinging Bridge, Michigan Bluff, Foresthill, and Franciscos will all be part of the 2017 ride. The start may be different, eliminating Watsons Monument and Granite Chief, and the eight miles after Franciscos could be different eliminating No Hands Bridge. The riders will still experience the canyons and at least 70 miles of the traditional trail.

My point in this message is that if an alternate trail is used in 2017, it will still be to the standards of the traditional ride. The challenge of the ride will be equal to traditional Tevis, and much of the traditional trail will be used. Years from now, riders who rode the Tevis in 2017 will get to say, I rode Tevis the year that it started in Soda Springs and didn't cross the American River. It will be memorable. I enjoy the stories told by the riders who rode the Tevis in 1983 which was the only other time Tevis started in Soda Springs. They tell of crossing snow banks on Lyon Ridge and that the snow reached the eves of the restrooms in Robinson Flat. The trail for the 1983 ride was changed two weeks before the start because they expected to start in Squaw Valley. Late snows after a heavy winter made crossing the Sierra impossible and a different course was laid out at the last minute. The 2017 Ride Committee is planning for alternatives months ahead of race day.

I can't tell you today what trail is going to be used for the Tevis in 2017, but I will tell you that it will be a memorable ride because it will be different.

Tony Benedetti

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Trent Peterson rides across PCT to raise awareness for genetic disease/Ataxia - Full Article

By CHRISTINA COX - May 12, 2017

Outside of Agua Dulce’s Hiker Heaven, Trent Peterson uses a steel hammer to pound and shape a new set of horseshoes for his mustangs, Gary and Minaret.

The shoeing of the horses and the stop at the popular hiker destination marks a small break for Peterson and his three Mustangs as they travel from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

Over the course of five and a half months, Peterson will complete the trail’s 2,659-mile journey on horseback to raise awareness and money for the Ataxia Foundation, which funds research projects to stop the hereditary disease that took his father’s life in 2014.

Ataxia comes in a variation of forms and names and is described as a disorder of the Central Nervous System which causes a slow progression or incoordination in walk and movements. Currently, there is no cure for the disease but doctors are making progress to stop its onset.

“I want to create a loud enough voice for the Ataxia community, a voice that it doesn’t have and it desperately needs,” Peterson said.

To support Ataxia research, Peterson is using all the money left from his GoFundMe page and from his countless sponsors to donate to the Ataxia Foundation and the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

“We have all the money we need to get to the border and the rest is going to the foundations,” Peterson said.

In addition, at the end of the trip, Peterson will sell his three mustangs in an auction and will donate all of the proceeds to the Ataxia Foundation.

“Money buys research and research buys a cure,” he said.

Peterson is also riding to honor the courageous spirit and love of adventure that his dad, Gary Peterson, exemplified in all parts of his life.

“He loved his family, he loved his kids and he loved the world around him and being out in it was his happy time,” Peterson said. “When he passed it was immediately that I wanted to do something that embodied that spirit for him.”

His trip across three countries, three states, 25 national forests and seven national parks, aims to give hope to those who need it and highlight “The Wild in Us,” which is the namesake for his journey...

Read more here:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Karen Binns DiCamillo finishes 50th 160km in Indian Springs - Full Article

14 May 2017
Race report made with the help from Jessica DiCamillo

Flight Leader Farm, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA. Saturday 29 April 2017. The Indian Springs management team choose for their April event a new site in the form of Flight Leader Farm owned by David and Tracy Kaden of Specialized Saddles.

Endurance World Indian Springs Riders approaching the finish.All competitors enjoyed the race Marissa Bartmann (Irish Cream MR, irregular gait in the CEI2* 120km) commented: “Enjoyed the trail and felt like I was home” the fight for top honours was less competitive than in the other rides.

The main reason seemed to be that there was another race the week prior to Indian Springs plus another one the week after.

“Thank you for a great ride and beautiful trails” reacted Katilin Cummins but the fast track along the Rio Grande River took a toll on the riders and their mounts.

Karen Binns DiCamillo (RGS Red Robin) kept her goal in check “to finish ” and it paid off big times even if she arrived after dark as the only finisher...

Read more here:

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Equine vet to make regular visits at equine sanctuary - Full Article

May 12, 2017 6:00 am
By Ruth Bourgeois - Equine Spirit Sanctuary

Equine Spirit Sanctuary is pleased to announce a new service to local horse owners. Beginning this week, equine veterinarian Dwight Hooton will be in Taos on a regular schedule weekly, Friday through Monday. He will be available to treat horses at the sanctuary on Fridays and Saturday mornings.

Hooton was raised in Albuquerque on his parent's quarter horse farm. He graduated in 1987 from Colorado State University, one of the premier centers for equine lameness worldwide, and is also certified in acupuncture and chiropractic. He became involved in endurance racing, which led to working with endurance races internationally. He is a veterinary judge for the Federation Equestrian International and has served as the team veterinarian for the United States Endurance Team...

Read more here:,40374

Friday, May 12, 2017

2017 May's Endurance Horses in the Morning - Listen In

05-09-2017 Endurance Day – Wildlife Encounters, Muddy Biltmore, Endurance Then and Now, Are We Improving?

Today's Endurance episode starts with Karen Chaton's advice for dealing with coyote encounters, Matt Scribner takes a philosophical look at endurance, Karen Bumgarner talks about how the sport has changed and the challenges of creating tracks for a ride, Lynne Gilbert shares her adventures at the recent Biltmore ride. Listen in...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Win a Tevis 2017 Entry in the "Dreams Don't Die" Essay Contest

The deadline is fast approaching!! It's May 20th

Here's the info:
Who can enter? Qualified First Time Entrants 60 years old or older

Through the generous donation of a fellow horseman WSTF is offering an entry to the world famous Tevis Cup 100 Mile Ride. The entry will be awarded to a First-Time Rider that is 60 years of age or older who has successfully completed the Tevis Cup mileage requirement as of May 1, 2017.

We want to hear about your dream of riding the Tevis Cup!

To enter the contest, in 500 words or less tell us about yourself, your horse and your journey together as a team. Please share the experiences that you feel have prepared you for this challenge. Let us know the impact this entry will have on reaching your dream of participating in the legendary Tevis Cup.

Entries must be postmarked by May 20th, 2017. The winning rider will officially be announced on June 7th 2017.

Please include your name, mailing address, phone number and email address so we can contact you if you win.

Mail entries to:
Western States Trail Foundation

150 Gum Lane #103

Auburn, CA 95603

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Tevis Trail/Snow Update

april 30

Message from the WSTF President

In California, the winter of 2016-17 is officially the wettest winter in recorded history. Now that it is spring, we were thinking the snow in the Sierra would start melting, but no, it snowed four inches this past weekend and a few more inches are expected this week. The extreme winter is presenting some significant challenges for the Tevis Cup Ride in 2017. The good news is that we have a determined and resourceful Ride Director and Ride Committee that will work diligently to make the 2017 ride equal to the standard expected of the Tevis Cup Ride every year.

There are three major challenges. One is to make sure the trail is in good shape and is safe. The trail will be worked on by volunteers, paid crews, the USFS, and the Western States Endurance Run, who does an enormous amount of trail work for their event. The second challenge is where to start. If the snow allows, we will start at the traditional site of Robie Equestrian Park. If there is too much snow on top of the Sierra, we will start near Soda Springs on the western slope. We are currently deciding which one of two possible sites is best. Lastly, we are concerned about the water level of the American River which we need to cross. If the water cannot be held back at the Oxbow Dam as usual, then we have an alternate route to use that was developed when we feared losing No Hands Bridge many years ago. The Ride Committee is literally planning two rides; the traditional ride and the traditional ride with changes. There is no plan to change the date because the Gold Country Fairgrounds is unable to accommodate us on possible alternate dates. Our goal for the 2017 Tevis Cup Ride, and expectation, is to have a safe, quality, 100-mile trail that will only deviate from the original trail as necessary.

In 2011, the ride date had to be changed its date to October due to snow. Then a huge, early snow storm struck 36 hours before the start of the ride. The Tevis Ride Committee rerouted the 100-mile trail, reorganized nearly 800 volunteers, and communicated these changes to almost 200 riders in four hours. Think what we can do when we have four months to address potential changes. The efforts our Ride Director, Ride Committee, and Trail Committee are making are extraordinary.

There will be a Tevis Cup Ride on August 5, 2017. It may be entirely on the original trail, or there may be some changes, but it will be a trail equal to the Tevis standard. I plan to be on the starting line August 5th, I hope you will be there also.

Tony Benedetti 
President, WSTF

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Wyoming Endurance horse remembered as companion, champion - Full Article

May 7 2017

Tala died on a Friday.

A month shy of 34 years old, the caramel-colored Arab mare with a fleck of white between her eyes looked up at her longtime owner, rider and friend, Bonnie Swiatek, whinnied weakly and struggled in vain to stand.

It was April 7. The wind was calm, and the sun was warm.

“She picked a good day to die,” Bonnie writes in memoriam.

Tala’s packmates — Sage, Rocket and Sky — knew she was dying for some time, Bonnie said.

But while the mares hung their heads and refused to eat, Bonnie wiped away her tears, straightened her back and took to the mountains to remember Tala as she truly was — an endurance horse.

Tala lived two lives. First, she was a cow pony at Connie Wilbur’s ranch east of Laramie, where she was born.

Tala put in 16 good years for Connie before meeting Bonnie, who bought her for endurance racing in 1998.

“I never expected her to win anything,” Bonnie recalled.

“But she was fearless — she would try anything and do anything...”

Read more here:

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

USA Applicants for 2018 WEG Endurance

May 1 2017

USEF has released a memorandum regarding applicants for the 2018 Longines FEI World Equestrian Games Endurance, scheduled to take place in Mill Spring, North Carolina, on September 10-23.

The memorandum lists the events that may be named as USEF Selection events, and explains necessary procedures along the road to qualifying for the US Team, including the Training List, FEI Certificate of Capability, and Team Selection.

The memorandum and more info can be seen here:

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Got Crabbet? Riding Tevis?

April 30 2017

The Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society will present awards to the highest placing purebred, half Arabian, or Anglo-Arabian Crabbet-related horse entered in the 2017 Tevis Cup. Ribbons will be awarded to a Senior and Junior rider.

You must be pre-entered, and your horse must be ECAHS certified to be 25% or greater Crabbet bloodlines before the deadline entry date.

The Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society was organized on December 4, 1994 for the preservation of Arabian Horses that trace their lineage to the original Arabian horses utilized by W.S. and Lady Anne Blunt, Judith, Lady Wentworth, C. Covey, the Crabbet Arabian Stud of England, and the Sheyk Obeyd Stud of Egypt.

For more information and an entry form, see:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saddle up: Arizona dude ranch offers 200 mile horseback adventure - Full Article

April 28 2017
By Trudy Balcom The Independent

Every dude ranch in the West tries to offer their guests a little taste of cowboy adventure.

An afternoon or an overnight trail ride with a campfire and a cookout under the stars fulfills most people’s hunger for a little cowboy flavor.

But there is another kind of adventurous soul out there, one who hankers for a big juicy bite of the wild; one who doesn’t mind a bit of gristle here and there.

That is the kind of soul Whitney Wiltbank likes to design trail rides for, and the kind of trails he likes to ride himself.

Wiltbank, a CPA based in Eagar, also helps run the other family business — Sprucedale Guest Ranch. The ranch is located southwest of Alpine along 11 miles of Forest Service gravel roads, near the headwaters of the Black River in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

Whitney spurred the idea forward for the ranch’s first-ever 200-plus mile trail ride, dubbed “Whitney’s Epic Trail.” The ride started Monday near Apache Junction and follows historic trails through the Tonto Basin and up over the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains...

Read more here:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Strenuous racing in Decatur Texas due to tough weather conditions - Full Story

April 28 2017
By Meghan Dunn

The idea of Lone Star Express was dreamt up early last fall with the intent to offer FEI and AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) riders with a new venue and three days of endurance fun.

Once the ride received approval from the AERC Board and Central Sanction Director, massive amounts of planning started. The Lemmons family, who very graciously managed the ride, spent countless hours and weekends at the Valley View Campground in Decatur Texas trying to make sure the trails were in good shape for the large crowd that was expected.

Endurance World Decatur Texas a rider in full race moodA week before the ride over 180 riders entered over the three days with riders flying in to compete from Israel, Chile and driving in from as far away as California, Colorado and Florida. Unfortunately, the weather gods were not completely on our side as the campground received over 3 inches of rain on the Monday before the ride making the trails rather slippery and muddy in places...

Read more here:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017 April's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen in

April 11 2017

Today's Endurance episode starts with Karen Chaton's advice for mud season, Ruth Ann Everett has a preview of the Biltmore Challenge ride, Gordon Ainsleigh shares some stories about the legendary Wendell Robie and Phyllis Keller reports live from the Pacific Crest Trail. Listen in...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

AHA Distance Nationals is Right Around the Corner!

April 20 2017

Distance Nationals is going back to Steph Teeter's Ranch in Oreana, Idaho, October 6-8, 2017. We are very excited this year to have added the Paso Fino Horse Association along with the return of our partner the Appaloosa Horse Club. These organizations have decided to partner with the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) in holding their National Championship Rides in conjunction with the AHA Distance National Championship Rides.

There are several ride opportunities at the Distance Horse National Championships starting on October 6 with the AHA Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) National Championship, AHA Open CTR, AHA/American Endurance Ride Conference(AERC) Open Limited Distance ride and AHA/AERC Open 50 Mile ride.

There will be offered on October 7 the AHA 50 Mile National Championship, Appaloosa National Championship Endurance Ride, Paso Fino National Championship Endurance Ride, AHA/AERC Open 50 Mile ride and AHA/AERC Open Limited Distance ride.

On the last day of Distance Nationals, October 8, there will be offered the AHA 100 Mile National Championship, AHA/AERC Open 100 Mile, AHA/AERC Open 50 Mile ride and an AHA/AERC Open Limited Distance ride. All Open CTR, Open 100 Mile, Open 50 Mile and Open Limited Distance rides are open to ALL BREEDS and are recognized by both AHA and AERC, so plan on attending the 2017 Distance Nationals in beautiful Oreana, Idaho!  

The Distance Commission would also like to thank all of our current 2017 Distance Horse National Championship Sponsors:
Corporate Sponsors
Awards Recognition Concepts (ARC)
Regional Sponsors
Region 8
Region 10
Region 12
Region 13
Club Sponsors
Rancho California AHA
• Green Country AHA
Texas Arabian Distance Riders Association (TADRA)
• Knoxville Arabian Horse Club
Individual Sponsors
• Lisa Blackstone
• Micky Hegg
Belesemo Arabians
• Cynthia Richardson
Product Sponsors
Valley Vet Supply
Hammer Nutrition
Riding Warehouse
If you would like to join our list of sponsors click here or contact Paige Lockard at or 303-696-4535.
All camping spots will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and will require a one-time processing fee of $10 per rider. Horse pens will be available for $50 each and must be reserved prior to arriving; reservations must be made through Steph Teeter at (208) 473-4877 or AHA is not responsible for any camping or horse pen reservations.           

Mongol Derby Racer Tim Finley on the WHOA Podcast - Listen in

APRIL 18, 2017 BY JOHN

Mongol Derby Racer Tim Finley

A few weeks ago I interviewed Keith Swenson of Stone Horse Expeditions, a horseback adventure company operating in Mongolia. Keith talks about the wonders of Mongolia and how you see them on horseback. It’s a good show, you can listen here: Play Stone Horse Podcast. I received several emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed hearing about Mongolia. One listener and friend, John Zeliff, emailed to suggest I interview Tim Finley who competed in something called the Mongol Derby. While I hadn’t heard of Tim or the Derby, I headed to the interweb for a little research.

The Derby

Wow! The Mongol Derby is the longest horse race in the world. One thousand kilometers or 621 miles across Mongolia. A group called Adventurists, who raise money to help environmental issues organizes the event and want to have fun doing it. While about 40-50 riders start the race, only a little more than half finish. They are riding Mongolian horses. Each horse rides 25 miles. Each rider picks one of the horses from a string. We learn the mechanics of the race from Tim Finley.

Tim Finley

Tim Finley had a career as an Air Force Captain with a tour in Iraq and was part of the Honor Guard. As with many servicemen, Tim struggled with PTSD from his experiences. Because the Air Force is unlike the other armed forces, getting help is more difficult. Horses turned out to be a great outlet for him, particularly when he found a horse at a killers sale. Tim worked with apparel maker Nine Line bringing awareness to returning veterans committing suicide after returning home.

Tim is out of the Air Force now and wrote a book he hopes to publish soon about his experience with horses. And, now he’s working on another about the Mongol Derby. This year he plans to ride in several endurance competitions...

Listen to Tim's interview here:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Equine Longevity Award Honors AERC Competitors

April 18 2017

In a sport with a motto that declares "to finish is to win," the American Endurance Ride Conference has produced a lot of winners.

The nonprofit organization has recently launched a new award program for horses that have competed for 10 or more years, completing at least 50 miles of AERC competitions each year. The award is a complement to the highly coveted AERC Decade Team Award, given for horses-and-rider teams who have completed endurance rides (50 miles or longer) for 10 or more years.

"There should be more recognition of our members whose equines compete year after year at any distance, while maintaining the well-being and health of their equines," said Terry Woolley Howe, of Southern California, the organizer of the award program.

"This program recognizes the equine regardless of who was the rider so long as the owner is an AERC member, the equine was entered in AERC's mileage program, and the equine completed at least 50 miles a year at any AERC-sanctioned event," said Howe.

To date, owners of nearly 800 equines have received 10-year pins. Five horses have been honored with 20-year pins, including AERC Hall of Fame equines Ramegwa Drubin, Remington and Robin Hood. Another 70 equines have earned 15-year pins.

"The Equine Longevity and Decade Team awards are unique to AERC," said the organization's executive director, Kathleen Henkel. "Many new members say that AERC's emphasis on long-term goals are a key reason for choosing to join." Members and their equines can accumulate lifetime mileage achievement awards, starting at 250 rider miles, and also compete for annual awards in a variety of categories.

Interested in pursuing a 10-year Equine Longevity Award for your horse? The trail to that recognition will start with a single 25- or 50-mile AERC ride.

For information about AERC or to request a Discover Endurance Riding booklet, visit

Contact: Troy Smith, AERC Publications, 866-271-2372,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Darley Awards Hollywood Sparkles With the Best - Full Article

HH Sheikh Mansoor Festival – sponsored Awards at Dolby Theater in Hollywood

by Pamela Burton

1 April 2017, Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Naziq was named the ‘Best 4-year-old filly’ in the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley (International) Awards while Scott Powell and his Champion Purebred Arabian race horse Paddys Day along with US owner-breeders Betty and Joe Gillis and US breeder Dianne Waldron stole the limelight at the 2016 US Darley Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Friday night, 31 March.

Once again the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival along with the Stewards of the Arabian Racing Cup put together a dazzling Award Ceremony at the very same venue where the Oscars was held just three weeks ago.

The Purebred Arabian fraternity was given star treatment walking the red-carpet at the famous Dolby Theater while the ceremony never faltered with racing commentators Derek Thompson (UK) and Victoria Shaw (AUS) as presenters with some innovative ‘Drone-dancing’ on the sidelines of the laser-lit theatre.

It was no surprise as Paddys Day scooped the Horse of the Year and the Best Older Horse awards while his owner Scott Powell was named Trainer of the Year in the 2016 US Darley Awards...

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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Sam Glaser Named EasyCare CEO

Easycare Blog - Full Article

Monday, April 3, 2017 by Garrett Ford

Exciting news! Sam Glaser has been named the organization’s next chief executive officer, effective April 3, 2017.

“Sam is a leader with a track record of leading teams that create measurable bottom line growth,” said EasyCare president and owner, Garrett Ford. “We are thrilled to bring Sam into the EasyCare family as we continue to position this company as the global pioneer in innovative equine products.”

Sam recently received his Executive MBA from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, and joins the EasyCare team after 15 years of experience in diverse leadership roles within the oil and gas, publishing, and outdoor service industries. In his most recent role, Sam served as Director of Operations for Abadie|Schill, PC, an energy law firm practicing in 14 states...

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Kansas: Big Hill to host national horse challenge - Full Article

March 29, 2017 7:43 pm
By Marsha Hayes Back Country Horsemen of Kansas member

CHERRYVALE — On Saturday the equestrian trails at Big Hill Lake, Cherryvale, will be the site of 50- and 25-mile challenges for horses.

Sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, the ride has drawn over 50 entires from various states including Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska as well as Kansas.

Ride manager Wendy Justice encourages anyone interested in the sport to visit Ride Camp at the South Big Hill Equestrian Area from Friday through Sunday. Judging for the Best Conditioned Award will be Saturday afternoon and evening as the first finishers return to camp.

“Attending a competition is one of the best ways to learn about the sport,” Justice said. “Everyone is really friendly, and there is so much to learn about horses...”

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Janice Kay Dean 1952 - 2017

Janice Kay Dean

August 20, 1952 - March 22, 2017

Salem, Oregon - Janice Kay (Wilson) Dean, 64, died March 22, 2017 with her family by her side at her home in Salem, Oregon. She was born August 20, 1952, in Oakland, California. She found her life partner when she married Tom Dean in 1971. In 1970, Jan graduated from Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, California. After moving to Oregon, Jan obtained her BA from Oregon State University and her Masters Degree from Portland State University. She retired in 2015 from her Assistant Director position at Oregon Youth Authority.

Jan is survived by her husband Tom, son Jeremy Dean (wife Sherice Dean) and her two grandchildren Gavin and Zander. She had the most generous and loving heart and touched the lives of all who knew her. Her family and friends will always be thankful for the gift that was her life. While Jan had many interests, she especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, running marathons, riding her endurance horse, cycling with her husband and creating gourmet meals. In keeping with the family wishes, there will be no funeral service. Comments can be sent to
Published in StatesmanJournal on Mar. 24, 2017

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 Tevis Cup Headlamp Policy

March 29 2017


In the early days of 100 mile rides, riders would carry flashlights when riding at night. The problem was that riders couldn’t hold the flashlight still while riding. The bobbing light would bother the horses and give the riders motion sickness. Etiquette did evolve for the use of flashlights during this period. Riders did not ride upon other horses with their flashlight beam flashing about and riders turned their flashlight off when asked. Flashlights were mostly used for an emergency or for equipment repair.

Now there are LED headlamps. They weigh almost nothing, mount nicely to a rider’s helmet, and for under $25, one can be purchased with lumens ranging from 150 to 2,200. The use of these headlamps is displeasing to many riders as the lights have become more common and brighter. There are complaints that these lights scare horses when coming from behind, these lights make it difficult for other riders and the horses to see in the dark as the beams are blinding, and the lights make some riders motion sick. Some riders complain that these bright lights ruin the enjoyment and solitude of riding down the trail in the dark. This is a situation where the equipment of some riders ruins the enjoyment for other riders.

After many years of complaints, the Board of Governors is now addressing this issue. The BOG has decided to implement a rule limiting the size of lights/headlamps and educate riders to the etiquette of their use. Of course the use of headlamps for emergencies and equipment repairs is always acceptable. The Cup Committee will enforce the following rules regarding the use of headlamps/lights during the ride.

Headlamps or any other devices providing light during the Tevis Cup Ride are subject the following policy:

• Headlamps shall not exceed 250 lumens.

• Riders shall turn their headlamps off as they approach other horses and riders from behind.

• Riders shall turn off headlamps at the request of other riders.

• Glow sticks attached to the front of a horse are allowed.

The Cup Committee will monitor for lights that are too bright and ask riders to not use them. The Cup Committee will also address complaints about riders that are disrespectful with their use of headlamps. The intent of this rule is to find a middle ground where some lights can be used but not to the annoyance of other riders.

Tevis Cup Snow Update

SNOW Update, because we know everyone is wondering:

March 27 2017

1. We believe there is a high probability that Tevis will be able to use the original trial since this is a late ride on August 5th. Hope for a warm spring and early summer .

2. If the trail is unsafe or impassible due to snow, we are working on having an alternate start near Soda Springs with overnight camping. We have two to three sites that we are in contact with and they seem to be definite possibilities. This plan will allow us to intersect the original trail at the Redstar vet check, at worse, and intersect Lyon Ridge before Cougar Rock, at best. The mileage will be made up in the Royal Gorge area ( This is very possible but not absolute.

3. In the very worse scenario, Robinson Flat will be snowed in and we will work on setting up a trial similar to 1983 which involved French Meadows. We think this is a remote possibility because the ride is on August 5th. We also have no absolute knowledge at this point if that is feasible.

Tony Benedetti, WSTF President

Holistic horse trainer April Battles comes to Maui - Full Article


The healing services of international horse expert April Battles are now available in Maui. Battles is an international certified instructor of equine musculoskeletal unwinding and owner of Holistic HorseWorks, which helps horse owners and trainers bring their horses back to proper form and function.

Kihei-based Battles offers services direct to horses, and training for owners in the form of group classes, one-on-one private sessions, and videos available free and for purchase. Her systematic approach facilitates physical, energetic and spiritual changes which are immediate and lasting.

“April empowers horse owners,” said Marla Braun-Miller of Kahalawai Farms and Stables...

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sisters planning cross-Canada horseback trek starting in N.S. - Full Story

Published March 27, 2017

Two young Canadian sisters are saddling up next month in Nova Scotia, then setting off on a journey of a million hoofprints.

Jewel and Katie Keca plan to dip their feet — and their horses’ hooves — in the Atlantic Ocean off Mahone Bay on April 22, then head to Canada’s Great Trail, hoping to reach the West Coast by November.

“We’re going to see how far we get,” said Jewel, 18. “We’ll just take our time and see where we end up.”

Katie, 23, said, “It’s just me and Jewel and our two horses. Our parents are driving to Nova Scotia with us, but just to send us off, and then we’re on our own.

“We’re hoping to not rely too much on other people. We’re planning to camp in a tent every night, but if we can find a barn to stock up on feed that will be amazing. Obviously, we will pay for the feed.”

The sisters have dreamed of a long-distance trip on horseback since they were small girls, said Jewel, who has been riding for eight years.

“I was in high school (when) I realized I didn’t really want to go to university,” she said. “So I decided to pursue this dream, hoping that Katie would come with me.

“At first, she was hesitant, but then I bought her a horse,” Jewel said with a laugh. “And she ended up coming.”

The sisters’ equipment list for the trip includes endurance saddles — with “special extra-padded seats, to avoid saddle sores,” Jewel said — and riding helmets.

“We’d love to wear cowboy hats, but we have to stay safe.”

The sisters have mapped out a rough route, but mostly they are “just winging it,” Jewel said...

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Alabama: RBCEP hosts Hodges Hootenanny - Full Story

By Alison James
Email the author
Published 8:28 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Last year, it was the Rock Bridge Canyon Canter. This year, it’s the Hodges Hootenanny. But whatever it’s called, the equestrian park’s endurance ride is a challenge that is open to all who are in it for the long haul.

The Hodges Hootenanny, which is set for April 21-22, will include a 50-mile and a 25-mile ride, as well as a 10-mile introductory ride. The competition is being coordinated by endurance rider Tina Cochran.

The event replaces the Rock Bridge Canyon Canter of last year, whose organizer decided to host her ride in Bankhead Forest. Not wanting to see the park lose its spring endurance ride, “I stepped up and decided I’d do it,” Cochran said...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oregon: Physical therapist and horse lover Wes Rau - Full Article

As a physical therapist and horse lover, Wes Rau finds satisfaction in knowing he can make an impact for both the animal and the rider.

by Lauren Davis Baker, for The Bulletin Special Projects
Published Mar 11, 2017 at 12:00AM / Updated Mar 21, 2017

Wes Rau is checking out the patrons of Wild Ride Brewing as they wander into the Redmond establishment in search of beer and a bite. He looks patrons up and down. As an experienced physical therapist, he can’t help assessing posture and gait as he people watches. By force of habit he scans for visual cues that indicate how well the bodies he seeing passing by are functioning. Rau is all about keeping bodies moving — running smoothly and efficiently — making it possible for his clients to keep doing the things they love to do.

From the Redmond office of Step and Spine Physical Therapy, Rau endeavors to help his clients achieve their goals by improving strength and mobility. From skiers to cyclists and from runners to golfers, physical therapy enables a wide range of athletes to remain active as long as possible.

Now in his 60s, Rau is well aware of the challenge of staying fit and healthy despite the ravages of time. He is meeting that challenge head-on.

“I want to be an aging competitive athlete,” he said, noting that his personal goal is to compete in a 100-mile competitive endurance horseback ride.

As an equestrian hiself, Rau has a special fondness for working with horse people.

“They’re easy,” he said. “They understand the relationship between movement and health.”

That understanding likely comes in part from knowing that movement is essential for horses to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Horse owners know that if a horse stops moving, every major organ in his body is effected, including the large intestine. If the intestines shut down, the condition can be serious — even life-threatening. So, horses are encouraged to keep moving within reason, through injury, illness and even surgical recovery.

While lack of movement may not be as life-threatening for humans, it significantly affects their quality of life.

“Wes helped me when I first started battling lower back issues,” said 81-year-old Dolly DeCair. “After my hip replacement, he had me back on a horse within six months.”

Getting back in the saddle was important to DeCair, an accomplished endurance rider who has competed in six Tevis Cup Trail Rides — a grueling 100-mile route that stretches from Salt Lake City to Sacramento, the very ride that Rau has set his own sights on...

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Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 March's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning

Horsesinthemorning - Listen in

March 14 2017

Today on Karen Chaton's Endurance Episode Tom MacGuinness shares why qualifying for WEG 2018 was so important, Sarah Schick talks about hoof balance for equine athletes, Patti Stedman introduces a web based course for Endurance riders. Listen in...