Saturday, December 23, 2017

Patti Jo Duncan Crawford Passes Away

Patti Jo Duncan Crawford of Shawnee, Kansas, passed away at her home, on December 19, 2017, due to complications of rheumatoid arthritis. She was born May 28, 1941, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Lester LeRoy and Dorothy Creason Duncan. Before moving back to the Kansas City area in 1949, she lived with her parents in Oklahoma City, OK, Minneapolis, MN, and Los Angeles, CA.

She attended Roesland Grade School and graduated in the first class of Shawnee Mission North in 1959, where she was editor of the year book. She attended Stanford University and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in zoology. She was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Later she received her nursing degree from Johnson County Community College and worked in the allergy clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital for 6 years. On July 16, of 1975 she married Samuel J. Crawford. Together they formed Crawford and Kinder, a building company, and for 9 years she had a house painting business employing the neighborhood high school and college students.

In 1975-76, they lived in Germany for a year with their sons Kurt & Kyle, who were 9 and 6 at the time. They spent that summer traveling and camping all over Europe. Her love for horses began in 1978 when her son Kurt bought his first horse, Butterscotch. This was the beginning of what was to become her life’s passion in the world of endurance riding and racing. She eventually owned as many as eight horses. She was a member of the equine associations AERC, OCER, & MOTDRA. Some of her favorite memories were of the Great Santa Fe Trail Ride, a 500 mile ride from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Hillsdale, Kansas; riding in the Pan American Championship in Woodstock, Vermont; being on the organizing committee for the 1996 World Championship for endurance held in Junction City, KS and especially organizing and finding trail for the 100 mile ride to open the American Royal on their 100th anniversary. Patti and Sam built a second home in Arkansas where they hosted many endurance rides and racing events, and had great fun with their kids and grandkids. Patti loved to spend time on her horse marking and clearing trails for events. But the most fun she had was competing in the 50 and 100 mile rides with her faithful loving sherpa, Sam. She enjoyed playing Bridge, Gin Rummy, and other challenging games. She loved all animals, and saved many in need.

She is preceded in death by her parents, and son Kyle Robert Niemackl (2009). She is remembered by her husband Sam of 42 superb years, her sister Judith Duncan Stanton (Roger) of Prairie Village, KS; son Kurt William Niemackl (Aimey) of Lenexa, KS; Sam’s children Kimberly Jensen (Dave) of Overland Park, KS, and their children Mallory, Lauren, and Sarah; Stephanie Sitko (Phil) of Corona, CA, and their children McKenna and Hayden, and Weston Crawford (Mary) of Seattle, WA; and her grandchildren Nick, Maddie, Jason and Joseph Niemackl of Lenexa, KS, and Allison and Mason Niemackl of Shawnee, KS; Kyle’s widow Vanessa Hamm; and cousins, nieces and nephews. Also special to her is a “daughter” Kirsi Vaarama, of Helsinki, Finland, her husband Juha and their children Roope and Ronja.


A memorial celebration will be held at Old Mission United Methodist Church, on Wednesday, December 27, @ 2:00 pm, where she has been a member since 1950. Reception to follow.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What the Hell is Rose Doing Now? - A Camel Trek in Mongolia. In January.

December 20 2017
by Merri

It seems that Poway California's Rose Sandler can't get enough adventure.

She finished the Mongol Derby in 2014. She finished South Africa's Race the Wild Coast in 2015. She finished Tevis in 2017.

And then what? Post adventure letdown. "There’s a certain letdown after a huge accomplishment."

The antidote for that is, of course, another adventure. Rose was hoping to be chosen to participate in the Fjallraven Polar, an epic annual event where 20 people from around the world have the opportunity to compete in an Iditarod style dogsled race in the Norwegian arctic. For each of 10 regions of the world, two people get a spot. One is selected by Fjallraven jury, the other by popular vote. (This adventure is still possible: while Rose didn't win the popular vote, she could still be juried in by Fjallraven).

But of course she had a backup plan. A 200-mile winter camel trek in the Gobi desert with friend and fellow explorer Chloe Phillips-Harris. What else?

"In January 2018 with the help of Tsestgee and Unenburen, Chloe is leading a winter expedition through the Gobi Desert. The inspiration came from a trek she did in the Simpson Desert of Australia. 

We will be trekking across the Gobi by camel, covering about 300km in total. As part of this we will be saddling, packing and caring for the camels with the help and guidance of local herders. We change camels every two days as not to take them to far out of their home range.

Why winter? Because the camels look truly beautiful this time of year with their winter coats, and its a very different way of life to experience compared to the summer months. There will be snow and its going to be cold.  Average temperatures in January in the Gobi range from -4 F down to -40 F.  

We will be staying with different families along the way in gers and will give us a chance to experience a way of life that hasn’t changed in hundreds, even thousands of years. 

Unenburen has already selected the route and it looks amazing. Everything from mountains, flat steppe to sand dunes.

Some of the highlights will obviously be the scenery, but also traveling through areas rich in wildlife ( antelope, saga, camels, horses, foxes, wolves, big horn sheep, snow leopords etc), and historically significant mountains where monks used to hide in caves from persecution. We should also be able to see some bronze age cave paintings and a huge frozen waterfall. But most of all getting to learn how to care for, ride and travel with camels, in a very unique way. 

One last bit of great news is that we are going to start  our trek from a Camel Festival. There will be 300 camels in one place, with beauty competitions, races and a chance to milk camels and taste camel vodka. 

Who has a proper parka and -20 sleeping bag I can borrow??" 

To keep up with Rose and her adventure(s), see

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Arizona: Endurance horse riders hit the trails Jan. 20 in Apache Junction - Full Article

Dec 17th, 2017 · by Apache Junction Independent staff reports

A fast-growing equine sport, endurance riding, combines the appreciation for nature and a trail ride with the athleticism of extreme endurance sports. On Saturday, Jan. 20, riders will be hauling trailers from miles to converge on Apache Junction for the inaugural Tonto Twist 50 Endurance Ride.

The Tonto Twist 50 is the first endurance ride to be held in Apache Junction since 1991 and will support the Western heritage of the area. Base camp is at the Rodeo Park Event Center, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd. in Apache Junction.

The public is invited to cheer on the horses and riders as the course passes by Prospector Park three times during the day...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Virginia: HItting the Trail - Full Article

By Lauren Wester
Published 6:07 am Thursday, December 14, 2017

Spectators watch with bated breath then cheer as cowboys and cowgirls alike mount bucking broncos, speed around barrels on horseback or skillfully execute pistol shoots from the backs of their equestrian counterparts at rodeos and specialized events. These equine sports and more are showcased at these events – but there is one sport that is not represented because of its extended nature.

Many people might not even be aware of the challenging sport of endurance riding and racing.

Vina resident Elizabeth Turbyfill has recently started competing in this sport and has placed first in the three competitions she has participated in so far...

Read more here:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

$5 OFF AERC Horse Registrations on National Day of the Horse

December 11 2017

$5 OFF AERC HORSE REGISTRATIONS on December 13 in honor of the National Day of the Horse!

If you've been waiting to register your equine with AERC, it will be $15 instead of $20 on Wednesday, December 13 only.

Happy trails! For current AERC members only (or you can call the office to renew AND sign up your equine at the same time!).

This is the horse registration link to use:

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Anne Ayala Junior Scholarship Applications Due January 5

You are invited to apply for the 2018 Anne Ayala Junior Scholarship

Open to AERC Juniors and Young Riders in good standing from their high school senior year through age 21 (must be younger than 22 as of 1/1/2017)

Applicants must have a minimum of 500 AERC lifetime miles

Applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.0

One scholarship of $1000 will be awarded. This scholarship can be applied to colleges and universities as well as technical schools and specialized training programs.

Applications will be reviewed by the AERC Hall of Fame Committee

The 2018 AERC scholarship recipient will be announced at the AERC Annual Convention on March 10, 2018, in Reno, Nevada

Past recipients are not eligible

Applications must be received by January 5, 2018, and must be submitted to the AERC office via mail:
AERC, Attn: Scholarship, P.O. Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604

or e-mail: (see application form for details)

For the application see:

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Canadian Riders Swarm the Finish Line at USA Fall FEI Fundraiser Rides - Full Article

Canadian endurance riders had strong performances across the board at the USA Fall FEI Fundraiser Rides at Broxton Bridge Plantation in Ehrhardt, SC, held Nov. 9-12, 2017.

Robert Gielen of Flesherton, ON was first to cross the finish line in the CEI 2* 120km division on his eight-year-old Arabian gelding, More Bang for Your Buck (Doran x Forty Thieves). The two averaged a speed of 15.11 km/hr to complete the course in just under eight hours – an impressive feat, particularly when considering that Gielen underwent knee replacement surgery just four months earlier in July, and hadn’t ridden such a distance since.

“I had quite a layoff with my horse this summer, so I wasn’t really planning to go out and go for a win,” explained Gielen. “But, we just kept going along at that regular pace and on the second-to-last loop I passed the person who was in first place and I thought, ‘Well, might as well just go for it then.’ So, we just kept going and ended up crossing the finish line 10 minutes ahead...”

Read more here:

Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Endurance “Green Bean” Movement — an evolution! - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Nov 26, 2017

I’m the first to admit that I was primarily a sidelines spectator and cheerleader for the Green Bean movement in endurance riding.
Like most movements, it was started by a small group of motivated people who saw a gap and found a way to fill a need. It started with the term Green Bean, which came via the Pacific Northwest region and Sharalyn Hay, and then it spread and grew and evolved, changed course a time or two and continues to grow and evolve today.

(Note: As a witness more than a participant in the cause, I hope I will be forgiven any errors or omissions about its roots and its history! Be gentle with me, dear readers.)

In this case, the crusaders were a group of relatively new endurance riders who found that the world of social media was not always particularly kind and welcoming to prospective or sniffing-at-the-collective-water-tank endurance riders. For those of us who have been around for a while, well, we survived the hazing. The folks were around for Ridecamp in the ’90s probably still bear some bruises. The reality is that one could and should assume that a lot of folks interested in the sport found it unwelcoming and simply turned heel to head in another equestrian direction.

The Green Bean crew was determined to help new riders find their way to the sport and the endurance riding family so many of us know and love, to build a sense of community...

Read more here:

Saturday, December 02, 2017

2018 AERC Convention Information

March 9 and 10, 2018 - Grand Sierra Resort – Reno, Nevada

We're counting down the days!
96 days, 23 hours, 44 minutes, 28 seconds

We're looking forward to heading back to Reno for the 2018 AERC convention. AERC's convention is the most fun you can have without your horse! Two days of informative and thought-provoking seminars on Friday and Saturday, shopping galore, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, awards presentations, Hot Topics seminars, plus fun Friday night entertainment and the awards banquet on Saturday night.

Convention registration is now OPEN! Sign up with our simple, secure 2018 AERC Convention Registration, or by phone: 866-271-2372, or fill out the form in your December EN or print this 2018 AERC convention form PDF.

Seminar schedule (subject to change):

Current Topics in Nutrition with Joe Pagan, PhD, of Kentucky Equine Research
Research Findings from the Virginia City 100 Mile Dehydration Study with Jerry Gillespie, DVM, AERC Research Committee Chair
Tevis Ultrasound GI Study (from 2017 ride) with Melissa Esser, DVM, MS, DACVIM, of Michigan State University
Trail Marking: Incorporating the Best from all Regions with Michelle Grald of GMHA

From Start to Finish: Managing the 100 Mile Endurance Horse with Jay Mero, DVM, AERC Veterinary Committee Chair
Exertional Rhabdomyolysis (Tying Up): What You Need to Know with Stephanie Valberg, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, ACVSMR, of Michigan State Univerity
Health Tips to Keep Riders Strong in the Saddle with Lori McIntosh, Health and Wellness Coach

HOTEL: A favorite of AERC members, the Grand Sierra Resort has everything all in one spot, so it's a great place to stay, and eat, and shop -- all under one roof.

Grand Sierra reservations are now OPEN! Use this AERC Booking Link. Or call directly, 800-648-5080; note you are with the American Endurance Ride 2018 Convention. Reservations MUST be made by February 4 to qualify for the special group rate.

2018 AERC Grand Sierra Rates -- 13% room tax will be added: Wednesday and Thursday nights (3/7 and 3/8): GSR room-$59; Summit room-$79; Friday and Saturday nights (3/9 and 3/10): GSR room-$99; Summit room-$119. These are rates for single or double occupancy; third/fourth person in room will be an additional $25 each.

Room rates include unlimited fitness center use, in-room wireless internet, and round-trip shuttle to/from Reno Tahoe International Airport.

VETERINARIANS: The Veterinary Committee will be hosting a two-day Veterinary Continuing Education course in conjunction with the convention. Tentative dates: March 8 and 9, 2018. This two-day program is very popular with AERC veterinarians and we hope you will join in.

TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS: We'd love to have you be part of the 2018 convention! Click to see the 2018 Trade Show information/registration. Contact the AERC Office if you have any questions or to reserve a booth by phone.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Lots at stake at Broxton Bridge Plantation, Ehrhardt SC. - Full Article

30 November 2017
Race Report made with the assistance of Cheryl Van Deusen

Broxton Bridge Plantation, Ehrhardt SC, United States of America. Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November. Broxton Bridge Plantation and USA South East Endurance were pleased to host the 2017 Young Riders Endurance Team Challenge in the Low Country of South Carolina.

Grace Ramsey and Jan Worthington came down to manage the ride making it possible to provide a fun and learning environment for the young riders. This event was held with one 160 and two 120 senior events as athletes work towards WEG 2018 qualifications.

In the senior event, 160km race, 32 horses started. The event comprised of CEN and CEI3* combinations. In the FEI division, 13 of the 26 pairs with athletes from ten different countries successfully completed the course. There was a strong rivalry all day between Kelsey Russell – USA (Fireman Gold) and Pilar Saravia – URU (Am Mysterious Mopsa), both riding horses owned by Valerie Kanavy – USA...

Read more here: