Monday, January 29, 2018

Kenlyn Arabians, Part II: A Great 50 Years of Breeding

Taylor Fisher and Kenlyn Kourvy, 2017 Junior 50 mile AERC National Champions

Part I is here:

January 29 2018
by Merri

If you type "Kenlyn" under horse history on the AERC website, you'll come up with nearly 100 Kenlyn Arabian horses who have been down the endurance trail with their owners.

In 2011, seven Kenlyn-bred horses finished Tevis. In 2014, four Kenlyn-bred horses finished Tevis. Kenlyn horses have been AERC National LD mileage champions numerous years. Kenlyn Psyche+// (TW GG Psyche X Sacred Rendezvous, by Bask Flame), owned by Lynn Oslick, is still going strong, with 5235 miles in 15 seasons of endurance.

Kenlyn Struts (KL Alkatraz Tu X Devosion, by Safire), owned and ridden by Linda's sister, Carol Bischoff, was 2017 first place National Limited Distance Mileage Champion. "Carol has the same bad knees as I do, so she won't ride past the LDs!" Linda said.

And it was only about 7 years ago that most of Linda's horses were named with the Kenlyn prefix. There are a lot out there that people don't realize were Kenlyn-breds.

One phenomenal Kenlyn horse missing that prefix is Hannah Pruss' Kourageus Hope. More of you probably know him as "Stuart" the one-eyed horse. Linda calls him a "grandchild," since Hannah bred her mare Shazams Zhope (by Ibn Shazam) to Linda's stallion Kourageus.

Stuart currently has almost 1700 AERC miles in 8 seasons, 27 completions in 29 starts, two Tevis finishes (9th and 15th), 6 out of 7 100-mile completions, 13 Best Conditions, and twelve first-place finishes, including the Big Horn 100 twice. Hannah and Stuart finished second in the 2017 AERC 100-mile Championship in Colorado by a nose, and were awarded Best Condition. They ended up third in the 2017 National Best Condition standings.

Another home-bred horse Linda likes to mention is Kenlyn Kourvy, a 2010 mare by Linda's stallion Awesome Knight out of Kourvaceous, currently being ridden by Taylor Fisher - and that brings us to one of Linda's human grandchildren.

"She's my little clone!" Linda says of her 14-year-old granddaughter Taylor. "She rides just like me - in fact she can outride me, and she breathes horses just like I did. Her father, my son, wasn't interested in horses, so I guess it skipped a generation. Taylor lives in Ft Collins, 80 miles from me. So when I could, I used to train together with her and teach her. I started riding endurance with her and her little sister Samantha. Sammi will ride now when she has to, but she doesn't have quite the enthusiasm that Taylor has."

Taylor's first endurance ride was at age 5 in 2009, in a 25-miler aboard one of her grandmother's horses, Tupelo Honey Tu+, riding, of course, with Linda. "Because of my bad knees," Linda said, "I've held Taylor back - she's been riding with me on the Limited Distance rides. But last year I let her go and I put her with all my 50 miler friends, and she was able to do the 50s."

Taylor not only started riding 50's in 2017, but she logged a total of 405 endurance miles, and she qualified for, and won, the Junior AERC National Championship 50-mile honors in Colorado in August, riding Kenlyn Kourvy.

Steve Downs and Kenlyn Porsche, 2017 AERC 50-mile National Championship

Taylor's sponsor for that ride was Steve Downs, of Phelan, California, riding Kenlyn Porsche (Night Runner GWA X Mahoganaska, by Padrons Mahogany). That's one of three Kenlyn horses that Steve currently owns, the other two being 7-year-old Kenlyn Sonata (Awesome Knight X Kenlyn Steele, by Remington Steele), and 6-year-old Kenlyn Hot Shot (Pistol Pete X Baska Flamin, by Bask Flame), who's due to make his first endurance start in January.

In only the last two seasons of riding, Steve racked up numerous AERC Regional awards and CSHA (California State Horsemen's Association) awards with both Porsche and Sonata. Additionally, Steve finished Tevis in 2014 on a loaned Kenlyn Aisha (Inkouredible X Mahoganaska), owned by Linda.

To say Steve is a Kenlyn Arabians fan is an understatement. "Linda has been the best support all along, particularly loving the National Championship ride with her horses and her granddaughter! This has been and is a fun ride!"

Steve Downs and Kenlyn Porsche, 2016 Virgin Outlaw, Steve Bradley photo

Linda currently stands two stallions at Kenlyn Arabians. Linda bred, raised, showed, and stood for breeding her now-27-year-old stallion, Awesome Knight (Bask Knight X Na Tabarrok, by Comar Regal). "He's beautiful, and he's bred well. My little daughter used to handle him all the time, taking him to the 4H and AHA shows. His temperament is wonderful."

Linda's 'up-and-comer' stallion, Kenlyn Psyclone (Psky FA X Destin Tu Be, by MCA Cardigan) is just 7. "He's out of one of my well bred endurance mares, and I've only done one thing with him. I took him to one show when he was just 4. A dressage trainer from my barn rode him, and he won the training level and first level and regional championship in his only show."

Normally, Linda would produce around 20 foals each year, but she's cut back the last couple of years because of her bad knees (which she just had replaced). "I believe when these babies hit the ground, they have to be handled and worked immediately. They need to be led, loaded in the trailer, taught to tie, their feet picked up, and handled all the time, and right now I can't do that. I knew I couldn't do it this year, and probably not until next year."

So while there will be a kind of a 'dry spell' for new Kenlyn Arabians for a couple of years, Linda still gets her thrills watching the current Kenlyn get going down the trail, and enjoys watching some of her home-bred horses grow old in her pastures.

"Right now I still own probably 40 horses, but over half of them are in their 20s. I kept a lot of my old mares, and I'm letting them retire in luxury. We've got to take good of the old famous ones, and the not-so famous ones.

"I want to thank my husband of 46 years, Ken, for his belief and support of my dreams. Without his help, I could not have achieved my successes.

"It's really exciting. It's been what I call a great 50 years of breeding."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Kenlyn Arabians, Part I: A Great 50 Years of Breeding

Linda Fisher on Kenlyn Fantasy

January 23 2018
by Merri

You could say Kenlyn Arabians was born out of a death.

"In 1973," says Linda Fisher, founder of Kenlyn Arabians in Aurora, Colorado, "I had my first purebred Arabian, and I was going to take her to Tevis. She was a spectacular horse." The Tevis Cup had been Linda's endurance riding goal for some time, and she knew she had the horse in Haycrest Zendina. She also had, as a mentor for conditioning, a British Olympic team rider.

It turned out that right before Tevis, Linda's mare died of colic during a drastic change in weather temperature. It also turned out that her mentor, Minette Rice-Edwards, went on to not only finish Tevis in 4th place aboard Bright Hope, but to also win the Haggin Cup.

"I was so devastated after that mare died. I'd always wanted to breed horses, and that mare was part of my plans. I asked my accountant, 'What am I going to do?' and he said, 'Well, we're going to get you a name. Pick a name for your breeding business.' My husband is Ken and I'm Linda, so the name became Kenlyn - Kenlyn Arabians.

"After teaching high school and having two kids, I decided to be a stay home mom, and I was going to become the breeder I always wanted to be.

"I was 15 [in 1965] when I bred my first horses. I bred my Standardbred trotter mare and a Quarter horse mare to the Arab stallion across the street - he turned out to be an Abu Farwa son. Those two half Arabian babies were so fabulous. They won everything for us - horse shows, endurance rides, CTRs (Competitive Trail Riding), everything. And I just wanted to start eventually getting into purebreds too. And so Kenlyn Arabians became a reality after that mare died.

"Most people don't start businesses when their business fails!"

And most people don't have the longevity and determination and focus that creates and sustains a breeding business for half a century, but when Linda sets her mind to something, count it done.

"I've been a focused horse person since I was born. My mom said I could whinny before I could walk," she laughs. "We didn't have horses, and they didn't care for horses at all. But when I was 11, they got me a horse, and boy, I was horse crazy ever since."

With Kenlyn Arabians set up, Linda plunged into the breeding, shrewdly acquiring the best mares she could, and breeding to the best stallions she could, and pursuing what she needed to do to get the word out about her homebred horses. "We did horse shows, endurance riding, NATRAC (North American Trail Ride Conference), everything. I really tried to make sure I sold my horses to the best people I could who would do things with them."

Linda wasn't necessarily specifically breeding endurance horses; she was just focused on breeding good horses. But it's not surprising so many of those turned out to be good endurance horses. "I bred to the best Arabian stallions in the country: Khemosabi, *Bask++ sons, Barbary, a lot of the big famous names that were National Champions."

The first stallion that Linda purchased for her purebred Arabian program put her on the map as a breeder. She acquired Miraffles (Azrhand X Mira Roga, by Ibn Rogue) in the early 1980s. Linda recalls, "He was a US National Top 10 Halter Stallion, a Western Pleasure Champion.

"And he was probably the most correct, perfect horse I've ever owned or seen. He was a Crabbet horse, and what he lent to my program was not only beauty, correctness, huge big feet and bones, but low, low heart rates. Almost all the horses that I've bred go back to him at some point in their pedigree. I still have a couple of granddaughters of his, considering he died 20 years ago or so."

Linda employed trainers who showed and won with her horses, and even though they beat the millionaires' horses, Linda just couldn't sell her horses to the people they sold to. "It was very frustrating," she says.

"At one point I realized I had to go back to my roots, which was riding all over the hills and just doing the endurance stuff. Trail riding was my forte; that was what I could do well. I thought maybe I could be a David Boggs [founder of Midwest Arabians] in the endurance world and make a name for myself, because endurance was something I could do myself.

"I no longer had to spend all the money on the trainers, and I rode and enjoyed my horses myself. I took all those great mares and started competing them, and they were good horses." Linda pauses, then amends that: "They were great horses.

"One of my mares, Kouver Girl (Kouvay Bey X Subtle Diversion, by Kaiyoum), was filly of the year in Colorado as a weanling, yearling, and a 3-year-old in the show world. Then she went on to do Tevis for me, and be first in the overall standings in the Mountain region for 50 milers and 100 milers. She was just one of my show horses that became my endurance horses.

"What I used to do is breed a mare, and if I made the great baby I thought I did, I'd breed the mare again and again. One would stay home and be the mother, and one would be out there promoting that bloodline. So while Kouver Girl was doing great things on the trail (2355 miles in 7 seasons, 47 completions in 49 starts), her full sister Kourvacious was producing foals."

Many of Linda's endurance mares went into her breeding program. "I kept a lot of my mares to breed if they'd performed well. I probably have bred over 500 foals. I've had US National Champions in Western Pleasure, Scottsdale Champions in cutting. One of my babies was Canadian National Champion in reining. And even jumping. One winter we took 6 horses down to Scottsdale, and every single one of them did Top Ten in jumping, and 1 was Reserve Champion of the whole show in jumping. That was fun!"

In other words, Kenlyn Arabians are all-around superior athletes. "That's what I'm trying to do, produce not only a beautiful horse but a very athletic horse. Most people when they're trotting down the trail will go, 'Is that a Kenlyn horse?' because it's beautiful and a talented athlete."

Up next: Part II
[Part II is here ]

Hartmann Appoints John Parke to Planning Commission - Full Article

By Jefferson Litten for Santa Barbara County 3rd District | January 23, 2018

The County Board of Supervisors has approved Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s appointment of John Parke as the Planning Commissioner representing the 3rd District.

Parke is a senior partner at the law firm of Allen & Kimbell, LLP, where he emphasizes litigation in real estate and trust matters, with significant experience in land-use.

Parke also served as the 3rd Dist. appointee to the Historical Landmarks Advisory Commission, from which he recently resigned.

A lifelong resident of Santa Barbara County (save two years in Alaska), Parke has an intimate knowledge of the county, including the backcountry, Hartmann's office reports.

He has a strong interest in agriculture as both sides of his family have history in farming and ranching.

“I believe agriculture has proven to be the most constant part of the county’s economy and most valuable component of our quality of life, with continuing importance in soil health and removal of carbon from the atmosphere,” Parke said.

Parke has served on and chaired a number of local nonprofit boards including Channel Counties Legal Services Corporation and the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County. He currently is on the board of trustees for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

Parke is a graduate of Santa Barbara High School and earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science at UCSB and law degree from UCLA.

Parke’s familiarity with the Santa Barbara backcountry stems in part from his passion for endurance horseback riding.

His Icelandic horse, Remington, is in the American Endurance Ride Conference Hall of Fame with nearly 12,000 miles of competition, Hartmann's office said...

Read more here:

Monday, January 22, 2018

Robin Hood, 15,000 Mile Horse!

January 21 2018

by Troy Smith, AERC

A big congratulations to 1990 BLM Mustang Robin Hood, owned by Philip Ottinger, DDS, and ridden by Vicki Giles, DVM. He was named to AERC's Hall of Fame in 2010, but keeps on going! He racked up 765 endurance miles in 2017 and earned his 15,000 mile plaque which will be presented at the National Awards Banquet at convention.

2018 January's Endurance Horses in the Morning - Listen in!

The Monkeys Know Nothing and 15 Types of People You’ve Definitely Seen at an Endurance Ride – Endurance Day for 01-09-18

Jan 9, 2018

On this Endurance Episode, we meet Ronnie and Kit from the “The Monkey Knows Nothing” blog, we speak with Sarah Cuthbertson about the “15 Types of People You’ve Definitely Seen at an Endurance Ride” and Karen’s Training Tip is about Dollar Store hacks.

Listen in:

2018 AERC Convention Registration Open

The 2018 AERC Convention will be held March 9 and 10, 2018 - Grand Sierra Resort – Reno, Nevada

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 University
Health Tips to Keep Riders Strong in the Saddle with Lori McIntosh, Health and Wellness Coach

The Veterinary CE is all day Thursday and Friday, March 8 & 9, and AERC's convention is Friday and Saturday, March 9 & 10. All are welcome to the FREE VENDOR AREA and to buy and sell at the TACK SWAP!

To register and for more information, see:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

USEF Letter of Response to AERC's Letter of Concern Regarding UAE

January 17 2018

Will Connell, Director of Sport at USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), has penned a response to AERC's Letter of Concern regarding the ongoing endurance horse crisis and abuse in the some Group VII countries, namely the UAE.

While Abu Dhabi's Boudthieb Initiative has taken the lead on horse welfare, statistics venues at Dubai and Al Wathba still produce routine drug violations and catastrophic injuries in endurance races, and it is this ongoing situation that the AERC addresses with its proposals to promote endurance horse safety and welfare. You can read the AERC letter here:

Will Connell's response letter is as follows:

15th January 2018

Mr Paul Latiolais
American Endurance Ride Conference

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your letter dated 29th December 2017. As I indicated in my email, I apologize for the delay in responding but I wanted to clarify a number of the points you raised with the FEI. I have now had a very useful call with the FEI and they were able to provide the detail I requested and a valuable insight in to how the UAE Equestrian Federation is approaching the governance of Endurance in their country, which is where regrettably recent fatalities have taken place, with five reported at National and two in FEI Events.

Of course these are unacceptable, a sentiment shared by all parties, and we agree that fatalities damage the reputation of equestrian sport in general and endurance in particular. Whilst there are not yet statistics in the public domain that analyze the impact of the procedures put in place by the FEI and the UAE during 2017 the reports are that there has been a very positive change in attitude and far more effective communication and the sharing of information with the FEI. There has also been the introduction of training and education courses for officials, grooms, trainers and athletes in UAE. I know the FEI will be monitoring these changes and the impact they have. In March 2015 the FEI suspended the UAE National Federation, demonstrating that the FEI will take severe measures if needs must. The US Equestrian Federation has full confidence in the leadership of the FEI and supports the steps they have taken to address horse welfare in Group VII. However, US Equestrian will continue to require that at the appropriate time the FEI backs up progress reports with analytical facts.

Like the AERC, US Equestrian applauds the steps taken by HH Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan through the Bouthieb Initiative. These initiatives will contribute to the sustainability of the sport of Endurance and we would support the FEI in promoting these initiatives throughout Endurance.

Having discussed the subject with the FEI, it is clear that the UAE Federation recognises its responsibilities in managing and governing a sport that is growing annually in terms of numbers of athletes, horses and events. They are also aware that the increasing numbers of starters can result in increased number of injuries. Of course what we must all focus on is ensuring that the percentage of injuries versus starters is reduced and dramatically reduced when it comes to catastrophic injuries.

The UAE Federation has taken strong action to minimise injuries and fatalities at its national events, and introduced increased sanctions in February 2017, in the form of fines, penalty points and suspensions for:

* Catastrophic Injuries and metabolic issues (for both athlete and trainer) 

* Non-compliance with mandatory rest periods 

* Breaches of equipment and weight regulations 

* Unauthorised substitution of athlete or horse 

* Unauthorised veterinary treatment

Information on the Rule changes can be found at; EnduranceNationalRules-SanctionsWithEffectivefrom19-2-2017%D8%B4%D8%B4.pdf

My understanding is that the UAE Federation is the only National Federation (NF) that imposes additional sanctions on athletes and trainers linked to eliminations and minimum rest period offences. The UAE NF also supplies the FEI with all results and information on its National rides, including details on injuries and fatalities, and is the only NF to do so. Sadly, there have been a number of fatalities this season, including two at international rides, and the FEI has assured USEF that they continue to work closely with the UAE Federation to ensure that both FEI and national rules protecting horse welfare are adhered to.

Where it is felt the UAE Federation could be more effective is in communicating what sanctions have been applied at a National level and also the extent of the testing they are carrying out at National level. US Equestrian has requested that the FEI request of the UAE that this information is published. The FEI have agreed to make this request. 

The Emirates also recently (December 2017) held its first meeting of the Emirates Equestrian and Racing Federation (UREEF) Disciplinary Committee. As with the increased sanctions and their implementation, it will be the actions of the Committee that will cause change and they should be judged by those actions but the Head of UREEF, Major General Dr. Ahmed Nassar Al- Rissi was clear that their focus is to ensure a clean sport and to protect horses from abuse.

The second part of your letter proposes some Rule changes. US Equestrian completely supports the proposal to remove or significantly decrease the speed requirement linked to the Certificate of Capability. We have lobbied the FEI on this and will continue to do so. We agree that there is a welfare issue but also we are very concerned that the speed requirement is impacting on Events that have traditionally been run over terrain where the required speed would be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

The balance between “winning and finishing” is an interesting proposal. Requiring athletes and or horses to maintain a completion rate of above 66.6% could encourage athletes to continue in a competition when the “right” thing to do would be to retire and save their horse for another day. There are, within FEI Rules (Article 815), sanctions for athletes that are eliminated and also mandatory rest periods for horses; I am sure you are familiar with these. In discussions with the FEI I have asked that the FEI’s Endurance Technical Committee consider how athletes that do maintain a high finishing percentage could be recognized. We would welcome suggestions from AERC as to how US Equestrian and AERC could work together to recognize U.S. athletes and horses that achieve sustained completions.

Under existing FEI Rules, Trainers can and have been suspended for Clean Sport violations. The AERC’s proposal that when Trainers are suspended they be suspended from training “any of the horses listed under them” makes perfect sense. Our understanding, following discussions with the FEI, is that the principle applied (this is of course flexible and each case would be looked at on its merits) by the FEI is that Trainers are sanctioned, including suspensions, when there are two or more doping violations recorded against them. Suspensions of course mean they cannot train any horse at any FEI Event.

We agree with AERC (and the wider Endurance community) that Trainers must be held responsible for their actions and we will continue to be proactive in pushing for this. For example, US Equestrian successfully lobbied for an FEI Rule change that was approved by the 2017 General Assembly that states that the Trainer as well as the athlete receives 100 penalty points if the Horse is not brought to the Final Horse Inspection. Recent media reports, following the publication of positive test results, have again emphasized the need for Trainers to understand that if they do not follow the Rules they will be sanctioned.

The need for Trainer education and Trainer sanctions (when applicable) will again be emphasized by USEF to the FEI.

There is a necessary rule change process that, as an NF, we need to follow with the FEI. We welcome suggestions and proposals which we channel through our Endurance Sport Committee to the FEI. As you will be well aware, the Rule changes are discussed by the FEI Endurance Technical Committee, presented to NFs for comment and then voted on at the FEI’s annual General Assembly.

We join the AERC in looking forward to a wonderful World Equestrian Games in September, which celebrates and promotes the rich tradition of Endurance that exists in the U.S. WEG is of course run by the Organizing Committee in partnership with the FEI. The USEF is a co-signatory to the Hosting Agreement and supports the Organizing Committee and the FEI where possible and when permitted (i.e. we cannot gain a competitive advantage over other Nations). We are very pleased that a number of U.S. officials have been appointed to officiate at the WEG Endurance competition and are certain that they will maintain the high standards that collectively we expect of Endurance competitions in the U.S.

In closing, we would like to work with the President of the AERC, the FEI and HH Sheik Sultan to try to facilitate a visit by the President of AERC to Bouthieb and an Endurance event in the UAE
(maybe the President’s Cup). We hope that this would allow AERC to better understand, first
hand, what progress is being made.

Kind regards

Will Connell
Director of Sport
Office 8592257682

You can see the original letter here:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Shagya and Morgan Breeds Join 2018 AHA Distance Nationals

January 15 2018

The Arabian Horse Association has added both the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry and the American Morgan Horse Association to the Distance Horse National Championships. These organization will be joining AHA and the returning partners, the Appaloosa Horse Club and Paso Fino Horse Association in 2018!

Don’t forget along with our many National Championship Rides we also offer several Open Limited Distance, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile AERC/AHA recognized rides and an Open AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride; these rides are open to all breeds and require no qualifications or memberships.

The Distance Nationals take place this year in Henryville, Indiana, on October 26-28. For more information, see:

N.J. Woman And her Mustang Are a Dynamic Endurance Duo - Full article

January 15, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Don’t underestimate the power of a diminutive woman and her diminutive horse, especially when she’s wearing “cheap and brightly colored riding tights,” her signature style. The 4’ 10” Kate Vogel, and her 14.3 mustang, Fez, won three of the New Jersey Trail Ride Association’s (NJTRA) competitive trail rides (CTR) last year — the Bunny Hop, a 25-mile ride; the New Jersey 3-Day 100 and the Jersey Devil, a two-day 50-mile ride.

They also participated in several endurance rides, where they finished in the top 10. Along the way, Vogel and Fez won the highest number of points in the Colts Neck Trail Riders Club open hunter pace division, as well as riding in parades and doing meet-and-greets for equine organizations at the Monmouth County Library. This year, the duo hopes to compete in more 3-day 100 CTRs, as well as a 75-mile endurance ride and possibly the Moonlight in Vermont ride, a 50-miler held during a full moon...

Read more here:

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cheryl Van Deusen and Eilish Connor Awarded Top Honors in Endurance

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 9, 2018, 9:07 AM EST

Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the winners of two prestigious awards in the discipline of endurance. Cheryl Van Deusen has been awarded the Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award and Eilish Connor has been awarded the Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy.

The Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award is presented to the top Senior rider. This award is sponsored by Gold Medal Farm and Larry and Valerie Kanavy, in memory of Maggy Price. Price was the 1992 FEI World Endurance Championship Silver medalist and was instrumental in the development of international endurance in the U.S. The Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy is presented to the top Young Rider and is awarded in memory of Kathy Brunjes. Brunjes was a successful endurance athlete and an active supporter of the Junior/Young Rider program.

Currently ranked second in the FEI’s Open Riders World Endurance Ranking, Cheryl Van Deusen (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) has demonstrated consistency and success in competition throughout her career, and 2017 was no exception. In March, Van Deusen won the CEI2* 120km with Hoover the Mover, her 13-year-old Arabian gelding, at the Fun in the Sun Endurance Ride. Hoover the Mover currently tops the list of over 6,000 horses on the FEI Open Horse World Endurance Ranking. She then secured a win in the CEI3* 160km at Spruce Woods Provincial Park in Manitoba, Canada, aboard Spotless Summer Magic, her 13-year-old half-Arabian mare and third ranking horse on the 2017 FEI Open Horse World Endurance Ranking list. Another significant success came at the Lone Star Express Ride in Decatur, Texas, where Van Deusen and Precious Beaunita, her 16-year-old Arabian mare, claimed second place in the CEI3* 160km. Precious Beaunita is ranked fifth on the 2017 FEI Open Horse World Endurance Ranking list. Van Deusen ranked sixth in 2013 and second in 2015 in the FEI’s Open Riders World Endurance Ranking.

Eilish Connor (Spring, Texas) has proven to be a strong competitor throughout her time in the Young Rider division, handling the ups and downs of endurance competition with poise. In her last year as a Young Rider, Connor made the Distance Depot/U.S. Endurance Team for the FEI World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors in Italy. In her 2017 season, Connor won four CEIYJ2* 120km events aboard Darolyn Butler’s DJB Jolly Roger, a 15-year-old Arabian gelding, Butler’s Mattingley Wizard, an 11-year-old Arabian gelding, and Lisa Green’s LR Amana Tabi, a 17-year-old Arabian mare. Connor ended the season ranked in the top 50 on the FEI Young Riders World Endurance Ranking.

The 2017 Maggy Price Endurance Excellence Award and the Brunjes Junior/Young Rider Trophy will be presented at the 2018 AERC Convention on Saturday, March 10, in Reno, Nev.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Important Sweepstakes Updates for Distance Nationals

The Sweepstakes Commission has decided to separate Arabians and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabians for Sweepstakes payout at both the Regional and National level, effective January 1, 2018. They have also increased the payout to $1,500 available for Nationals, and $600 available for Regionals. Below is the payout schedule:

Distance:                                    National                      Regional
Endurance Purebred 50 Mile      $1,500                          $600
Endurance HA/AA 50 Mile        $1,500                          $600

Endurance Purebred 100 Mile    $1,500                          $600
Endurance HA/AA 100 Mile      $1,500                          $600

Competitive Trail Purebred         $1,500                          $600
Competitive Trail HA/AA           $1,500                          $600

Payback Schedule:
National:                                    $1,500
Champion                                   $400
Reserve Champion                     $300
Top Ten                                       $100

Regional:                                   $600
Champion                                   $250
Reserve Champion                     $120
Top Ten                                       $75

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Clark Dennis Palfreyman Passes Away


“He who builds no castles in the air builds no castles anywhere.” Clark Dennis Palfreyman was a builder. He built homes and commercial buildings, but also built dreams, friendships, and built up everyone he met. After a life of building, Clark passed away peacefully in his home on January 3, 2018 from complications related to being struck by a car on November 8, 2017. The family would like to thank all medical personnel who cared for Clark and for the support of family and friends throughout this time. He was born May 20, 1939 to Gene and Nola Palfreyman.

Clark learned to work on his family farm and even though the track coach said he was the fastest kid in school, he didn’t play high school sports because he had to go home and milk the cows. He was an usher in the thespian club and graduated a Red Devil from Springville High School. He attended one year at Brigham Young University where, in his own words, he “majored in fun.” He must have excelled as he was great at having fun his whole life. After buying his red convertible MGA, he re-won the heart of his high school sweetheart from a rival suitor with a Corvette and married Catherine Aldeen Cazier on October 13, 1959 in Mapleton, Utah. They were later sealed in the Manti Temple.

Clark was self-employed most of his life. He started his career as a general contractor and built over 100 homes in Springville and surrounding areas. He went on to become a real estate developer and was part owner with Monte Allman of United Exchange Realty. He built and owned Supreme Court Racquetball Club (Later changed to Feelin’ Great Racquet Club). He also sold Little Giant Ladders for a time and later in life owned and ran Clark’s Home Inspection Service. Above all he was a horse trader, a real wheeler dealer, who would buy, sell, and trade just about anything.

He loved the outdoors, especially his horses and loved to share by taking others for rides. He enjoyed riding around town, mountain pack trips, and most of all competitive endurance rides. He logged over 9,000 miles of competitive rides, including five finishes on the Tevis Cup; the Pony Express Trail from St. Joseph Missouri to Virginia City, Nevada; and the 1999 Pan American Games in Manitoba, Canada. He kept fit playing racquetball early in the morning with a large group of friends for most of his life and competed in many tournaments. He enjoyed the arts, collected many paintings and sculptures, and was friends with many local artists.

He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities including librarian, Sunday school teacher, Scout leader, and many other callings. He and Aldeen loved the people of Hope, Arkansas where they recently served a church mission. He mostly valued spending time with his family, including traveling, camping, hunting, going to sports games, having family dinner, and many other activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Sherry. He is survived by his wife Aldeen; six children, Bentley (Bev), Andre’ (Boni), Travis (Karla), Regan, Caleb (Emilee), Chalan (Ryan), and daughter-in-law Mena; two brothers, Robert and Derk; three sisters Noleen, Gena, and Ann; 21 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and extended family.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 11:00 am in the LDS chapel at 245 S. 600 E. in Springville. There will be a viewing held Monday evening from 6-8 pm at the same LDS chapel and also one hour prior to services.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Fire, Devastation, and Living Life to the Fullest

by Merri
January 8 2018

'The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new’ - Socrates

It takes a very special person to suddenly lose almost everything you own, and still exude rays of sunshine, overflowing with gratitude and humor, leaving no room for any self-pity and sparing few thoughts for your own predicament.

Endurance rider Kristine Hartman is just such a person.

In the destructive wake of the Thomas Fire, which started December 4, 2017, near Ventura, and ultimately grew in to California's largest wildfire by size in recorded history (as of January 5, the fire is still burning at over 280,000 acres and 92% contained), the Hartmans lost everything except for their two endurance horses, truck and horse trailer, a 1967 VW bug, and the clothes on their backs.

From very early on the morning of December 4, things were just strange in Ventura. "It was one of those things," Kristine recalls, "where you wake up in the middle of the night and think, 'Holy cr@p, why is it so windy?' I went out to run that morning, and it was just a Different Wind. I think back to it, it was like the Devil Winds. It was eerie. I couldn't even run, the wind was so bad."

Instead, Kristine spent the morning playing with their two endurance horses, Sam and Tessie, boarding at the historic Aliso Ranch, a stable/working cattle ranch 12 miles away. With the Santa Ana winds still gusting horrendously, it was impossible to ride, so she just worked the horses a bit in the round pen and hung out with them a while.

"Mike [Kristine's husband of almost 30 years] had an early flight to San Antonio early that morning. Thank God I was home that evening, because I got a call from a ranch manager at about 8:30, asking everybody to come and just hook up their horse trailers and stay and be ready to pull out, because there was a fire in Santa Paula." That was around 13 miles from the ranch, and the winds were howling in their direction.

"There's so many times we're not home - we travel, and we're gone a lot, or I'm busy, or sometimes Mike has the truck with him at the airport. It's so good things worked out the way they did."

Kristine drove to the stables and hitched up and, with the other boarders, waited to see what might happen. "It was dark now, and you could see the glow of the fire. And in my mind I was thinking, oh how horrible that Santa Paula is on fire. Turns out that town was barely touched.

"Then all of a sudden this glow got bright, within 20 minutes. It moved FAST. They say it was burning a football field every 10 seconds. 9:06 PM was a glow, and by 9:20 we were pulling out and the fire was literally coming, and by 9:34 the flames were there."

Thanks to fast thinking ranch managers, everybody got out, all the horses were saved, and despite 7000 of their 7500 acres burning, they saved all the old buildings on the place as well.

With drivers literally watching over their shoulders as the flames approached the ranch, the caravan of trailers headed to the Ventura Fairgrounds 15 miles away, located right on the beach.

By then, Ventura had lost all power and was completely dark, and the Fairgrounds had just one generator running one light. The scene there was organized chaos. Kristine put her two horses in stalls, and spent the next hour getting them settled and fed while battling wind and dust and the smell of smoke.

"It was around 11 PM, and I finally paused and looked up towards the mountains and Ventura, and I saw the glow of fire. It was like - holy $@*#. I remember exclaiming the F word, and 'My hill's on fire.'

"And I took off running in my Mary Jane shoes for our condo."

Kristine is an ultra-runner, so running a mile and a half uphill didn't strike her as odd. Neither, at the time, did the fact that she was running toward a catastrophic, raging fire in gale force winds.

"I got to our street. It was so eerie because cars were driving down - and in the movies, you expect to hear the firemen saying 'Get out, fire!' and all that, but because it caught everybody so off guard there was nobody. No sirens, no firemen, nothing. Besides the roar of the fire and wind, there was silence. It was weird."

At this point, the fire had reached Kristine's street, but the building wasn't yet burning. Kristine ran inside her dark and smoky home, and she grabbed a computer hard drive and the keys to her 1967 Volkswagen, which was in the carport.

"I love this Bug. I couldn't believe she started, because I hadn't driven her for a while. And on a side note, I'm a major Bob Marley nut and I just love reggae. When my Bug finally started after a few tries, Bob Marley started blasting. I remember actually smiling, because he always makes me so happy, and it was almost like - it's going to be OK, because there's my reggae music."

She got the car downhill 3 blocks to a main street and parked - then she got out, and ran - back up toward her house. "I don't know why I thought I was going to be able to do anything. But I ran back to the house, which was now starting to burn, and I got up 4 steps. And that's when I felt the suck of hot air, and the palm fronds were exploding and dropping embers on me. I turned and ran back." She even took photos and a video while running. "I truly still thought everything was going to be okay, that firemen were going to show up and put out the fire, because that's what happens in the movies. I thought, 'Mike's never going to believe me how close the fire was.'" Kristine laughs about it now. "Those were my thoughts at that moment."

But now with her home burning and the fire raging just less than 2 miles from the Fairgrounds, her instinct was to get back to her horses. "So I was the crazy lady in the old VW. There were traffic jams everywhere, so I drove in the wrong lanes against traffic. I didn't care. I ran red lights, and went right back to my horses. It was all so surreal."

Kristine sat up all night in her truck, watching the fire burn the town just a few blocks away, and getting out to check on her horses, ready to take them for a swim in the Pacific Ocean if the flames or sparks reached the Fairgrounds barns. She thinks she called Mike around 1:30 AM (3:30 AM in Texas), waking and shocking him with the news of the fire and destruction.

He made it home the next night, and they lived in their horse trailer at the Fairgrounds for the next few days. Friends in Auburn offered to keep their horses, so Mike hauled them up there to get out of the smoke.

And now the hillside above what was Ventura is charcoal, and the homes on the hillside - including theirs - are nothing but rubble. "It is just so sad," Kristine laments. "The devastation is absolutely incredible. But the community of Ventura has been very, very strong. Patagonia as a company - ohmigod. I'm like a walking billboard for Patagonia [based in Ventura], because they gave us coats when they had not even yet opened for business 10 days after the fire, and they gave everything else at a wholesale discount. The manager, the VP, the employees, they literally put their arms around us. Everybody was so gracious.

"It's weird to be on the receiving end. I'm sure you've donated or volunteered. We all do that. But I never ever ever thought I would be in need. At first it was hard to accept anything. But when you find out how slow insurance is, and how we ended up being so underinsured - well that free coat was very special, and that $10 t-shirt instead of $30 t-shirt was very special."

The Hartmans were able to take a break over the Chrismas holidays visiting family. "Life was really good. Then we said bye to them, and we got sad again, because then all of a sudden it was reality again. It's not like we're down and out, but we definitely have our ups and downs because we're discombobulated, especially not knowing where we're going to lay our heads down.

"But we're going to stick it out. We're not giving up on Ventura. We love it here."

The Hartmans are hoping they'll soon be able to visit the ruins of their house, to see if anything at all is salvageable. They had downsized over the years from a 5-bedroom house where they raised their kids, to a 1000 square foot condo for just the two of them, so that everything inside was precious and irreplaceable, from dishware to furniture to mementos: their special wedding rings, her mom's wedding ring, their many years of hand-written travel journals, old photographs, her Tevis and Virginia City 100 buckles and bracelets.

"We would also love to find our special pottery pieces made by a longtime friend that were a spirit horse for Amber [Kristine's former endurance horse] that had her ashes mixed with the glaze and it was filled with Amber’s ashes. Same with the spirit dog for Velika. I swear we feel like we lost these two special girls all over again. It’s all those kind of things that cannot be replaced. Yes, simply personal and priceless treasures."

Throughout this disaster, however, Kristine still tends to think more of other people and organizations that helped victims. Instead of concentrating on her own difficulties, she's been giving shouts out to the community of Ventura that opened their stores and cafes to give free coats and meals, the Red Cross who was there instantly to provide help and food and shelter, the Ventura Disaster Assistance, and the many dear friends that offered help, clothes, shelter, horse board, and new treasures.

She wrote, "I cannot list each of you… as there is simply too many special people to thank. We have been so blessed to have the friends and family that we have.

"It’s simply amazing and we don’t even know how to say thanks and not make that word sound trivial."

Tessie and Sam are now back at their boarding stable. "It's charcoal there, too, trails are burned, but we're hoping for some rain and some spring flowers, and there'll be regrowth again," she affirms optimistically.

Both Mike and Kristine have their down moments, but overall, they are are focused on a favorable future. "What else can you do?" Kristine matter-of-factly says. "Even firemen have asked me how I stay positive. They were hugging me and asking me that, and I said I didn't know.

"It is hard; I mean, i'm 60 now, and Mike's 65, but I just treasure life. Mike and I live life to the fullest. We just try to shine above things, particularly ever since 1995, when he had a massive heart attack when he was only 42 yrs old. I would have been a widow with kids from 3 to 13. I think that taught us a lot. Then shortly after that, we lost all 4 of our parents to cancer.

"And we love each other dearly, and we think as long as we have each other, we can get through anything. And also," she says with a big smile, "how horses are good for our soul."

And ironically - speaking of horses - in the middle of everything, when the AERC year-end points came out on December 15, Kristine learned that her mare, Count On Tessie Flyin finished 8th Featherweight in the Belesemo Arabians Pioneer award, 10th War Mare, and first Featherweight in the Pacific South region. "I've never done that well with a horse in one season. I don't even know about all those points. I don't follow all that. That was definitely icing on the cake!"

Kristine's ridden over 6300 miles of soul-lifting endurance miles since 1996, and that includes 2 Decade teams with FS Amber (whose ashes were likely lost in the fire), and Klassy Sam.

The Hartmans will continue to move forward, taking one day at a time. "We're not yet sure of our plans, but Ventura's a little slice of heaven. And now the ponies are back here safe, we're going to try to get back to normal life. We're going on vacation for a couple of weeks, and then we'll figure out where life's taking us. We're pretty good about rising above adversity.

"Life's been good!"

Photos by Kristine Hartman

**For another story on Kristine and her 2015 Tevis Cup finish on Tessie, riding ever determinedly and ever cheerfully with a broken arm, it's here:
2015 Tevis Cup: Honor and Grit and Kristine Hartman

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Prairieville, LA woman marks one off her bucket list with 1,000-kilometer Mongolian horse race - Full Article

George Morris

JAN 6, 2018

When Heather Brasse Accardo started riding horses as a girl, she had no idea how far her pastime would take her. This summer, it’s taking her all the way to Mongolia.

Accardo, a dental hygienist by day and horse woman by weekend, will ride in the 2018 Mongol Derby, which bills itself as the longest and toughest horse race on earth. Riders have only 10 days to cover 621 miles through the remote and windswept steppes in the landlocked Asian nation bordered by China and Russia.

The August race, which pays homage to the postal route established by Genghis Khan in 1224, began in 2009. Riders apply from all over the world, and Accardo knew it would be a long shot to get one of the 40 slots.

“I kind of put it on my bucket list that one day, that’s what I want to do,” she said. “This past year, some things have happened. Some friends of mine, for various reasons, passed away, and I thought, ‘What am I waiting for? Why am I waiting?’ Just as a whim, I decided to apply...”

Read more here:

Saturday, January 06, 2018

AERC Honors Equine Longevity: 10, 15, and 20 Years of Competition

January 6 2018

AERC's Equine Longevity endurance program welcomed 223 new horses in the 2017 competition year.

"This is a wonderful program," writes Troy Smith of the AERC office, "that honors the marvelous horses and mules that carry our members for many years of participation in the friendliest sport on horseback."

Equines which have reached these milestones have completed 10, 15 or 20 years of competition over their endurance careers (at least 50 miles per year, either endurance or LD or a combo), and AERC member/owners will be receiving Longevity pins.

In the 2017 season (results tracked Between 2017 Convention and end of 2017 Ride Year), 204 horses completed 10 years, 18 horses completed 15 years, and 1 equine, Heather Hoyns' Just Bill, completed 20 years of competition.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Road To The Mongol Derby: Go Big Or Go Home - Full Article

January 4 2018

By Kelsey Riley

Do you really dislike me? Would you like to see me thrown off, trampled, and bolted on by 25 horses, or suffer chafing in unmentionable locations from 14-hour days in a saddle? Perhaps be chased by wild dogs?

If you really dislike me and want to help ensure all these things happen to me, you should donate to my Mongol Derby effort, more details of which are on my Go Fund Me page.

The good news is, if you really LIKE me, this is also the cause for you! That is because I’m riding to benefit what I think is a really fantastic charity in Lexington, the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances program at the Blackburn Correctional Complex. ‘Blackburn’ is a mutually beneficial program for retired racehorses and the inmates who are responsible for their care. The Thoroughbreds learn how to adapt to life off the track and are prepared for second careers, while the inmates gain new skill sets through hands-on work with the horses and classes in horse care. The inmates also experience the invaluable psychological benefits (that we all know about) of simply being around horses...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

AERC letter of concern to USEF Regarding UAE

January 3 2018

AERC President M Paul Latiolais has written a letter on behalf of the AERC board and members to Will Connell, USEF director of sport programs, regarding the continued abuse of horses in some Group VII competitions. You are invited to read and send your own letters to Mr. Connell at the address on the letter below.

December 29, 2017

Mr. Will Connell, Director of Sport Programs

United States Equestrian Federation

P.O. Box 83, Gladstone, NJ 07934-2053

Dear Mr. Connell,

I am writing on behalf of the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) members and Board of Directors to request that the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) register to the Federation Equestrian Internationale our disappointment, outrage and protest at the continued abuse of horses owned by certain stables in Group VII nations.

Social media around the world has circulated details of more than eight equine fatalities at the Dubai and Al Wathba venues sustained in just the first five weeks this season, each due to Catastrophic Injury. A dozen similar deaths occurred at these same two venues the previous seasons.

These catastrophic injuries and obvious lack of concern of the violating parties is now a very serious liability not only for the sport of endurance, but for all equestrian sports worldwide. Various animal rights groups are getting stronger every year, and these deaths are adding fuel to their fire. If the FEI is not implementing drastic measures now to curtail these disasters occurring in Group VII, the equestrian sports worldwide will be jeopardized. Even the Olympic Equestrian Disciplines won’t get spared from the backlash these irresponsible actions of some in Group VII are exposing all of us to.
We are concerned that the sanctions imposed by the FEI and the recent FEI rule changes are not having sufficient effect on the issues at hand. We are deeply troubled that the risk of leg fractures at Group VII endurance events is similar to that documented in flat-track racing. That being said, we see a bright light in the Bouthieb Initiative set out by Sheik Sultan. This format is showing promise with a definite decrease in the number of fatalities at this venue.

We would like to propose some changes that we feel would help promote horse welfare for the sport of endurance.

• The requirement of the “set speed” Certificate of Capability (COC) needs to be abandoned. Unfortunately, the current format for the COC has forced organizing committees worldwide to create faster, flatter courses to make it easier for horses and riders to qualify. This has promoted faster and faster winning times and ultimately has caused horse welfare issues. We feel that the COC is outdated and unnecessary.

• There should be a balance between winning and finishing endurance events. We suggest that both horses and riders need to maintain a 66.6% completion rate (finish two out of three attempts).

• There should be an increase in the number of events that horses and riders need to complete before they are allowed to promote to the next level. Horses and riders would need to complete three 1* events prior to being allowed to compete in a 2*, complete two 2* events prior to being allowed to compete in a 3*, and complete two 3* events prior to being allowed to compete in a 4* event. The 66.6% completion rate needs to extend through these additional requirements.

• If a horse or rider falls below the 66.6%, they would have 24 months to raise their “score” or they would lose the level that they are qualified for.

• When a rider is suspended, especially for a drug violation, the trainer should also receive a suspension – a suspension that would not allow them to train any of the horses listed under them for the period of the suspension.

As the recognized endurance affiliate in the U.S., the AERC not only asks USEF representatives to register our ongoing concerns with the FEI, but join with the AERC in celebrating sustained equine performance and multi-year completion records as well as individual victories. By bestowing such awards such as the AERC’s Decade Team Award (based on equine and rider teams who have completed at least one 50-mile endurance ride or more each year for 10 years), USEF can help demonstrate that long-term health and active careers for competition horses is attainable, regardless of the specific sport.

With USEF’s support, we believe it is possible for the 2018 WEG to not only remain fatality free, but also be remembered as a celebration of the horse-human bond.

We would greatly appreciate USEF’s support in joining us and forwarding our concerns about the issues we are unfortunately still seeing in Group VII. With the 2018 WEG being on U.S. soil, we hope that we will all be able to remember it as a celebration of the horse-human bond, not as something that will taint all of equestrian sport.


Paul Latiolais, President
American Endurance Ride Conference

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Anne Ayala Junior Scholarship Applications Due January 5

Friday January 5 is the deadline 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:

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

Dec 12, 2017

Today’s Endurance episode features Janis Pegg telling us about crewing for her husband on the Pacific Crest Trail and Vicky Torres has an update on the Ventura fires. Karen answers a listener question about a horse who gets ‘race brain’. Listen in...