Wednesday, March 28, 2018

September's Crazy Daze of Summer to Host first Standardbred Distance Championship

March 28 2018

Any registered Standardbred is eligible to compete in the Standardbred Distance Championships. There will be two events, a West Coast Championship held over the 2018 Labor Day weekend and an East Coast Championship held over the first weekend in May 2019.

Crazy Daze of Summer I & II, a 2-day endurance ride at Riverside State Park Equestrian Area at Nine Mile Falls, Washington, will include the first Standardbred Distance Championship on September 2, 2018.

Competing registered Standardbreds will be awarded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and completions.

For more information, visit, and Crazy Daze of Summer on Facebook.

Marci Cunningham's Fire Mt Zoom+/ Reaches 5000-Mile Milestone

March 28 2018
by Merri

Marci Cunningham's Fire Mt Zoom+/ reached his 5000-mile endurance plateau in the Laurel Mountain ride in California on Saturday, March 24.

Foaled in 2001, the chestnut Arabian gelding is by the late Jackie Bumgardner's Hall of Fame horse Sierra Fadwah+/ out of Rushcreek La Hand, by Cougar Rock (son of the great endurance stallion Bezetal).

Marci was not looking for another endurance horse when her friends Marsha and Steve Workman contacted her about Fire Mt Zoom. "After I did the 2011 cross-country XP Pony Express ride (2000 miles from St. Joseph, MO to Virginia City, NV), I got a call from Marsha. She saw the results of the ride and said congratulations.

"Marsha and Steve had two Fadwah horses, two full brothers that were going to be their next endurance horses, but Steve started having back problems and he couldn't ride anymore. They thought about who they would want to have their horses, and they thought of me.

"I love Fadwah horses," Marci said. "I was really interested." One of Marci's previous endurance horses, FM Moonshyne+/ , was a daughter of Sierra Fadwah who accumulated 3000 endurance miles.

"And I was so grateful they thought of me, because they know that I keep my horses forever, and I don't over-ride them."

Marci didn't need another horse, and at 10 years of age, Zoom had never done endurance before. "But he had been trained and had been ridden on the trails a lot, and the more Marsha talked, the more I thought this was a once in a lifetime offer.

"Marsha sent me pictures, but I really bought Zoom off his pedigree. I know those horses; they're working horses. And after I rode him the first time, I made the decision to buy him. It was a no brainer."

Marci bought Zoom in the fall of 2011, and took him on his first endurance rides in February of 2012. They dove right in - the gelding efficiently completed three of the four 50-mile days of the Eastern Mojave Scenic Pioneer in California - and never looked back, finishing twelve 50-mile rides and 610 miles that first season.

Zoom loves the endurance trails and, as befits the son of durable Arabian horses, excels at it. "He's one of the toughest horses I've ever ridden," Marci said. "He's never had a pull. He has fabulous recoveries. He has a wonderful work ethic. And he loves it. At the end of a 5-day ride, he feels as strong or stronger than he did on the first day."

On endurance rides, Zoom is very independent and is comfortable being ridden alone or in a group, and he's a good eater. He also has "a fairly short back, and huge bone and huge feet," which have likely contributed to his soundness over the miles. And by Marci's reckoning, she's a low-key endurance rider, and she's been that way since she started competing in endurance in 1983. Her attitude has also likely contributed to Zoom's success.

Fire Mt Zoom was named Arabian Horse Association's Distance Horse of the Year in 2016, and he has now completed all 97 of his starts, including numerous multi-day rides, and the Tevis Cup in 2015. The pair look forward to many more miles together going down the endurance trails.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thomas VanGelder Passes Away

Thomas VanGelder
July 01, 1925 - March 19, 2018

Thomas Van Gelder died peacefully on Monday morning, March 19, 2018 at Heritage Specialty Care in Cedar Rapids, Iowa while under their care and Unity Point Hospice. A memorial ‘chat’ will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Elk’s Lodge at 4 PM, in Greybull, Wyoming. He will be inurned in Rock Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, April 28th next to his beloved wife, Arlene, following a service at Jurren Funeral Home. As Tom wished, memorials should be made to benefit the children at St. Jude’s Hospital.

Thomas Van Gelder was born on July 1, 1925 in rural Lyon County, Iowa near Rock Rapids to John & Johanna (Van Houten-Koelman) Van Gelder.

He attended one room schools and graduated from the 8th grade. When he was 13 he first saw Arlene Bessie Baustian in Rock Rapids and said that was who he was going to marry. They were wed on October 9, 1944.

Thomas was inducted into the US Army in October 1945 and served until March 1947. He served with the Occupation Forces in Germany from March 1946 until January 1947. He was decorated with the Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal. He told of the starving people of Europe, the misery of the displaced persons camps, and his run-ins with the ornery Russians. One of those incidents with the Russians nearly led to an American withdrawal from West Berlin. These provocations eventually led to the Berlin Airlift in 1948. In 2015 he went on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington DC.

He and Arlene settled into farming upon his return. If something could go wrong, sooner or later it would. More often, it was sooner rather than later. He tried his hand at trucking and then selling insurance. In 1954 he moved his family to Grundy Center, Iowa, and followed his star into farm equipment sales. First, with Farmhand for a short while and then with Fox River Tractor Company until 1970. These were very good years for Tom and his family. Tom was active with the United Methodist Church, served on the Grundy Center Recreation Commission, and was Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop #38.

In 1970, he uprooted Arlene and two youngest children, Cindi and David, and moved to Greybull, Wyoming, where he lived until 2014. He and Arlene bought the Greybull Elevator Co. In 1990, son David and wife Jeanne took over the business. Tom’s signature accomplishment while owner of the elevator was to bring Anheuser Busch into the Big Horn Basin as a malting barley contractor. While living in Greybull, Tom was a member of Rotary International, Elks Lodge BPOE 1431, and Legion Post #32.

Tom’s lifelong love of horses flourished in Wyoming. He and Arlene joined the Canyon Cavaliers shortly after moving to Greybull. This was a group of horse enthusiasts. The club was pursuing sponsorship of an endurance ride. This effort grew into the Big Horn 100. This is a one person, one horse, 24 hour ride; Tom completed six of these rides himself. Tom was dedicated to this ride until the day he left Wyoming in 2014. He worked tirelessly in promoting, and organizing this event, and others added later, with the considerable help of many friends, and of course, his wife Arlene who kept the paperwork and the money straight for many years. All together he had a total of 2400 miles of completed rides. In 2015 he was inducted into the Mountain Region Endurance Riders’ Hall of Fame.

Tom had an unquenchable thirst for adventure. You could not be close to him without being pulled along. There were camping trips with the Boy Scouts, fishing in northern Manitoba, hunting elk in the Wyoming Big Horns and many smaller ones. He was an excellent raconteur and loved telling and retelling his stories to all who would listen.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene in 1994; his great-grandson, Ian Felton, his son-in-law, Randall Ohrt; his brothers, Melvin Van Gelder and Jake Koelman; his sisters, Gertrude Van Dyke and Joann Elbers.

Tom is survived by a sister, Jennie Hanson of Rock Rapids, Iowa; his children Thomas (Karlyn) Van Gelder of East Dubuque, Illinois; Douglas (Ruth) Van Gelder of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Cynthia Ohrt of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; David (Jeanne) Van Gelder of Greybull, Wyoming and his Swedish ‘son’ Nils (Monica Anster) Pettersson of Stockholm. Also surviving are eleven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Annika (Jamie) Bankston, Fred & Jacob of Mounds View, Minnesota; Joshua (Abigail) of Portland, Oregon; Nathan and Jonas of Chicago, Illinois; Jom (Stephanie), Olive & Veda of Lincoln, Nebraska; Seth (Abby) of Waterloo, Iowa; Beau (Kelley) & Cael of West Des Moines, Iowa; Charlotte (Eric) Butikofer, Aaron & Andrew; Suzanne (Dale) Felton & McKenna all from Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Angela (Chris) Snyder & Carter of Davenport, Iowa; Heather (Chadd Steffes) of Sidney, Montana; and Caleb (Camila Meza) of Brooklyn, New York.

“When I die lead my pony from her stall. Take down my saddle that’s hangin’ on the wall. Tie my bones to her back, turn our faces to the West, and we’ll ride the mountains that we love the best.”

Adios, Pop.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 March's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen in

Mar 13, 2018

Endurance day features Karen Chaton’s tips on staying warm in and out of the saddle, Keith Kibler gives us the scoop on gaited endurance and AERC Pard’ners award winner Stephanie DuRoss stops by.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

AHA Membership Fees to Increase Starting April 1

Renew your membership before fees increase on April 1! As decided by delegate and board vote, membership fees will be increasing on April 1, 2018. 

The updated fees can be found in the chart below. The new fee charges are effective April 1. 

Base TypeBase Fee Competition w/ Club AffiliationCompetition w/o Club Affiliation
Adult Three Year$135$105$225

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Colorado: Miller Middle School student wins regional trail riding award - Full Article

Molly Stanifer rode 200 miles on her horse during season

By Forrest Stone Herald Staff Writer
Saturday, March 10, 2018 5:18 PM

Thirteen-year-old Miller Middle School student Molly Stanifer, daughter of Devon Daney and Mike Stanifer of Durango, with her horse Dixie, was recognized Feb. 11 as the winner of the North American Trail Ride Conference Region 3 junior team award for the 2017 season.

Molly started trail riding at 4 years old and entered her first competition two seasons ago. At first, it was a way to continue riding and have fun instead of be competitive, she said. She completed two rides that season, in 2016.

“My favorite ride was the first one at Chicken Creek in Mancos,” Molly said. “The scenery was really pretty. I just wanted to have fun...”

Read more here:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 AERC Convention Concludes

March 11 2018

With the Saturday night banquet and National Awards ceremony, the annual AERC Convention came to a close in Reno, Nevada, with new Hall of Fame inductees.

Recently retired SW Region Director, Roger Taylor, was named Hall of Fame person, and SW rider Stephanie DuRoss and Hadji Halef Omar were awarded the Pard’ners Award. No Hall of Fame horse was named for 2017. Monica Chapman was named the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award recipient, and Carol Thompson was honored with the Volunteer Service Award.

More photos and info to come at:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

2018 AERC Convention Underway

A celebration of 45 years of endurance riding is underway at the annual AERC convention in Reno, Nevada.

Friday's events opened with the Hot Topic of AERC and International riding, with passionate discussions on both sides of the debate. Throughout the day, a number of veterinarians tackled topics affecting endurance horse performance.

Dr Trish Dowling presented "When Good Drugs Do Bad Things," Dr Melissa Esser lectured on "GI Ultrasound Study Report," Dr Stephanie Valberg spoke on "Tying Up: Causes and Treatments," and Dr Joe Pagan presented "Current Topics in Equine Nutrition."

The tack swap and trade show kept visitors busy between talks, and the lively Regional Awards ceremony was held in the evening, followed by a concert and dance for those who could stay up late.

See photos and stay tuned for updates on Saturday's lectures and events at:

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

2018 AERC Convention Tack Swap

The Basics

• The Tack Swap is open the same hours as the Trade Show.
• AERC retains 10% of the sale price of each item.
• Cash or Check ONLY. Sorry, no credit cards accepted.
• Unsold items must be claimed no later than the closing of the Trade Show on the final day.
• AERC provides this event as a service and is not responsible for the condition of items sold or if
items are misplaced.


• A tag must be completed and attached to each item.
• The Seller is responsible for removing and maintaining the bottom half of the tag. This is your
claim ticket for payment or return of item if not sold.
• Each tag must be WRITTEN LEGIBLY and contain:
- Seller’s full name (first and last)
- Phone number, with area code, where the seller can be reached while at the convention
- Description of the item
- Sale price (reminder: AERC retains 10% of the sale price)
- Conditions of the sale such as “cash only.”


• When you find an item you want, bring it up to one of the volunteers who will collect the money
for the seller.
• If you wish to negotiate a price, contact the seller at the phone number on the tag to discuss.
• If paying by check you will need to wrote 2 checks for each item purchased:
- Make out one check to the Seller for 90% of the selling price
- Make out a 2nd check to AERC for 10% of the selling price.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

AHF Scholarship Deadline April 1

The Arabian Horse Foundation Scholarship Application form is available for youth members of AHA to apply for scholarship funding.

Deadline for submission of applications is April 1.

Established criteria for judging is applied. Once a youth has received notification of scholarship being awarded, they should then proceed to the Scholarship Payment Requirement Form on the AHF site.

For more information and forms see:

Saturday, March 03, 2018

2018 AERC Convention Trade Show

As part of the AERC Convention in Reno, Nevada on March 9 and 10, prepare to be dazzled by the array of good and vendors presenting their goods and services.

At least 35 booths will outfit you, your horse, and your trailer with the latest and most stylish art, riding gear, tack, boot-ware, feed, supplements, bug protection, ride and event information, breed information, and mentorship. You'll find items you definitely need, and things you don't need but must have.

Come enjoy the Trade Show and support the AERC vendors!

As of February 15, scheduled vendors are:

AERC Green Bean Endurance, 
AERC 2018 National Championship Rides, Al Khamsa – breed association, 
American Trail Gear, 
Arabian Horse Association, 
Arabian Saddle Company, 
Auburn Laboratories, Inc., 
Badlands Equine, 
Bar ALE Inc., 
Boz Saddlery/Bozzage Training, 
EasyCare Inc., 
Farmers Warehouse Co./LMF Feeds, 
5-Star Performance TheraPlate, 
Hawthorne Products, 
H02 Haarlem – equestrian rain gear; 
Hought Endurance Tack, 
Ann Kratochvil – art and practical accessories; Nevada All-State Trail Riders (NASTR), 
The ReactorPanel Saddle Company, 
Renegade Hoof Boots, 
Revitavet Therapy Systems, 
Ride & Tie Association, 
Riding Warehouse, 
Scoot Boot Pty Ltd, 
Shadowtree – tack sales, 
Spalding Fly Predators, 
Specialized Saddles, 
Starfire Design Studio – ceramics, clothing; Stonewall Saddle Company, 
Michaele Leah Tristram - artist; 
Vettec, Inc., 
WSTF – The Tevis Store.

Follow live convention updates at:

AHA Distance Nationals Payout Schedule Revamped for 2018

Breeders Sweepstakes

The Breeders Sweepstakes Commission has taken a look at the AHA Distance Nationals Payout Schedule and has revamped it for the 2018 Ride year. 

There is now $1,500 available for the National 50 Mile Championship; $1,500 available for the 100 Mile Championship and $1,500 available for the CTR National Championship. They have also now separated Arabians & Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabians for Payout, meaning there is $1,500 available in each Championship for Arabians and $1,500 available in each Championship for Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabians. 

These are great changes to the AHA Distance National Events as Distance is what Arabian/Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabians do best!

More information on the Distance Nationals is at:

Thursday, March 01, 2018

New for 2018 at the Distance Horse National Championships: The LD Challenge

February 28 2018

LD Challenge

The LD Challenge is a new event that the Distance Commission has added to the 2018 Distance Horse National Championships. This will be open to any horse/rider combination that plans to ride all three days (25 miles a day) in the Open LD Rides.

The rider must pay the $20 entry fee for the LD Challenge indicated on the Entry Form before the start of the first day's ride. This is in addition to the entry fee for each individual open ride. Because we encourage the very best care of our horses, all the LD riders must reach a 56 for pulse down criteria and will have a CRI in the final Vet Check for each day.

On the third day, the entries in the LD Challenge will have a final Vet Check score. The placings and CRI heart rates for each of the three days and the Vet Check at the end of the third day will be converted into a points score. This score will determine the awards for the 1st-5th winners and all completion riders. All rules and point schedule are available on the AHA Distance National web page under Exhibitor Information.