Thursday, June 27, 2019

AHA Distance Nationals Entry Deadline is October 1

June 27 2019

The Distance Horse National Championships , to be held October 25-27 in Vinita, Oklahoma, is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which include Open Owl Hoot Rides along with breed National Championships. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA), the Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Registry (ASR).
Along with our many National Breed Championships we also offer an Open Owl Hoot Spook AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride and several Open Owl Hoot Spook Limited Distance, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile rides. This year all endurance Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC.) The Distance Horse National Championships have also added the LD Challenge to the event which is for the same rider/horse combination entered in the all three Open Limited Distance Rides; rules and the point schedule can be found under the Exhibitor Information tab. Remember that all Open Owl Hoot Spook Rides are open to all breeds and require no qualifications or memberships!
430799 E 220 Rd.
Vinita, OK 74301

For schedule and more information see:


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Robie Run: LS Steele Breeze ("Breezy") - Remington Steele x LS Shareem

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019

“Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are reading this article, you know exactly what Emerson meant.

Horses have been inspiring humans for centuries, and those that reach the pinnacle of the Wendell Robie Trophy - signifying five completions of the Tevis Cup - are demonstrably special individuals. Here we present the stories of two such creatures, both of which will be at the starting line (fingers crossed), ready to add their names to the trophy in 2019.

LS Steele Breeze ("Breezy") - Remington Steele x LS Shareem

[written by Erin Glassman]

You may have to train your ears to listen for one of the latest horses competing in the race for her 500th Tevis mile.

Robie Cup contender LS Steele Breeze15, Breezy, lost her voice due to a bout with strangles as a yearling.

Owner Connie Creech says that “people laugh at her whinny—it comes out as a whisper.”

Breezy’s endurance career, however, is no laughing matter.

Born and bred on Creech’s farm in 2000, the grey ⅞ Arabian mare was raised specifically to do endurance. Her current lifetime accumulation of 4,690 AERC miles reflects her inherent talent that also includes a propensity for 100 mile rides.

“Breezy has completed seventeen 100 mile rides, six of those at the Virginia City 100 and four at Tevis,” states Creech. “She is a strong and steady horse...”

Read more at:

2019 June's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

Jun 11, 2019

Karen catches us up on her adventures from the last month and shares an Endurance Tip on avoiding equipment failure. We’ll hear from Kristen about our Product of the Month. Mike Williams will join in to tell us how he recently rode his mustang a WHOLE LOT of miles from Norco to Bishop, CA. Cindy Collins comes on to talk about taking over ride management of the Big Horn 100 in Wyoming. Andrea Maitland gives us a ride report on a new ride in Arizona. And then, we’ll let you know about some upcoming events taking place all over the country. Listen in...

Monday, June 24, 2019

Nominations Due July 8 for AERC Awards

There are only a couple weeks left to make your nominations for Hall of Fame Person and Equine, Pard'ners Award, Volunteer Service Award and Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award. Only a few nominations have been received; don't delay in getting your nominations in by July 8!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

MERGA: Make Endurance Riding Great Again

by Merri Melde
June 19 2019

I love the stories of the Good Ol' Days of endurance riding. The days when AERC was new, people were younger, tougher, drove a decrepit 2-horse rig and threw their tack in the back of their beat up pickup and slept on the ground (or didn't sleep at all) and wore jeans and no helmets. (Lori Oleson wrote a good book, if you haven't read it: Endurance... Years Gone By)

It's time to face the fact that those Good Ol' Days are gone. I so wish I were wrong about this, but we are not going to see another Smokey Killen and Bandit, nor Donna Fitzgerald and Witezarif, nor Becky Hart and Rio. We won't see the fierce and fabled yearly mileage competition between Les Carr and Trilby Pederson.

There is not a groundswell of tough, young, obsessed riders coming up to replace us. Nobody drives a beat up rig and sleeps on the ground and wears jeans and a Western saddle anymore. Nobody's going to win Tevis and Virginia City 100 twelve times. Nobody's going to be king of the 5-day 255-mile endurance rides, because the stats say there aren't any, because nobody wants to ride them, or nobody has the horses to ride them, and ride managers don't have the entries to support them, because as an organization, the stats say we're all getting collectively old, and our horses are getting old and it's too hard or far to ride.

As it is now, if it were a for-profit business, AERC would fail. AERC as an organization is, to many, giving off the appearance of being exclusionary, blinkered and anti-change. For a business to survive, you have to give your customers what they want. If you can't provide the things that customers want, you have no customers, and you have no business. Those clients will go elsewhere. AERC has many different customers, and if it can't cater to all of them, category by category, they will go elsewhere to get what they want.

It is already happening right now in front of our eyes. We are all witnessing AERC splintering at all the seams, dropping off body parts one by one. AERC/FEI is toast. EDRA - whether it will remain viable or not - formed and (at times bitterly) split the Pacific Northwest region. The Duck rides had to adapt to change - to what the customers want - which may slice a large body part off if it splits from AERC. East vs West is coming. "LD" vs "Endurance" is a dagger in the heart of the sport. Crucifying the ride managers to conform to the Good Ol' Days mileage standards of AERC - which the Duck pointed out that many of those rides were before GPS and not measured accurately either - and which is not practical - is cutting off another limb.

What would that guy that used to have that TV show The Apprentice say if you brought AERC's current business plan to him? He'd say You're Fired. Your business plan is not viable.

AERC as an organization needs to decide what it wants. Is it just to provide mileage records and integrity and safety for the horses? Is it to maintain the integrity of Endurance as only 50 miles and up? Is it to keep long distance riding going in any form? Is it to only follow the rules and bylaws from the beginning of AERC? Is it to embrace riders of all distances and breeds to get out and ride - because does it really matter what breed you ride or how far? Is it to preserve the memories of Endurance in years gone by?

Are the semantics (you're only an endurance rider if you ride exactly 50 miles or more) more important than customers? The numbers of LD riders are growing across the country and helping support AERC rides. Most often now, they carry the events. Does AERC want that income? If semantics are more important, is AERC even necessary anymore? The unbeatable records and memories will always be there.

In another decade or two, will people look fondly back at AERC and think, "Whadda buncha Luddites. They were nice, but they all disappeared" or "They're still here, they were innovating and forward-thinking; they took from the old ways and adapted to the changing times" ?

Why do people ride endurance?

*I* define Endurance Riding as someone getting on a horse in an organized AERC ride, and attempting to ride 25 to 100 miles in one day. That is *MY* definition. I don't ride endurance to get awards or recognition. I don't care what people think of what distance I ride or where I finish. I currently ride endurance to get on a good horse out on trails I would normally never see. I ride it for the new stories I create and write about. I ride it for the challenge of getting a horse (and me) fit for 50 miles. I ride it because I love the partnership you develop getting a horse to this point. I ride it to share fun with like-minded friends who like riding in beautiful country. I ride it because I can choose from a myriad of goals within the sport. That is why I ride endurance right now. My goals will change over time, and it would be nice to still have all those options within AERC, and to have the support and encouragement from like-minded horse people, whether I decide to start riding 25 mile rides or attempt a 100 mile ride again, or do trail rides while the other crazies are riding farther.

AERC is approaching crisis mode. Where does the organization go from here? AERC *HAS* the willing customers. People *WANT* to pay to ride pre-marked trails of all distances. Maybe not as many people want to ride 255 miles or 100 miles or 75 miles or 50 miles anymore, but they want to ride. Repeat: people are still willing to *PAY MONEY* to do this, and they are willing to pay to be a member of *SOME* organization to be a part of it.

Yes, it was good times during the Good Ol' Days of endurance riding. Those ways and days are gone. Do we just let the sport die to prove a point? Or do we change to keep it going and give the willing customers what they want?

I am sad to see the Good Ol' Days are gone, but I would be sadder to see Endurance die off. Ignore everything, and the body continues to fall to pieces, limb by limb, until it can no longer support itself and it collapses.

It doesn't have to happen. We can start the new Good Ol' Days now. Americans were the leaders of the sport of endurance riding. We can still be the leaders into the new era. Change the rules, change the direction, change the purpose, or change the name of the organization. It's time for a new era in Endurance Riding.


**The opinions expressed above are my opinions on endurance, and I am always right. Unless I change my mind, in which case I am still right.

Endurance: A Look to the Future

by The Duck, Dave Nicholson

After being actively involved in the sport of endurance for fifty-seven years, fifty-one of those as an event manager Ann and I look to the future with a heavy heart. Plain and simple, the sport is fading away and I see nothing on the horizon to keep it going. Its not just endurance riding that is failing; its all of the activities I have spent my life enjoying. Horse racing, horse shows, endurance and all other equine disciplines are on a steep decline. The AERC, in their infinite inability to look to the future and see what their actions will result in, are on the brink of financial collapse as they move to drastically cut back on the attendance of their sanctioned events. Anyone who thinks increasing mileages of existing rides by ten to thirty-five percent is not living in the real world. The demographics of the sport have changed dramatically as riders have aged and there are too few of today’s youth willing or able to make up the difference. Every endurance rider now living is going to die and as they get older and closer to death and debilitating dysfunctions they are going to no longer be able to do 100’s, then 50’s then 25’s and finally they won’t be able to get out of bed and go pet their old favorite horse. That folks, is an eternal truth. The path to successful continuation of the sport is to deal with that fact and offer venues that will offer the least able of us to continue to enjoy.

There was a time when Endurance was a growth sport. That growth came mainly from horse people who were tired of the increasing structure (rules) in CTR and horse show events. Endurance was a new sport that took riders and their horses to beautiful new places where they could share their love of the outdoors with their horses. AERC was started as a record keeping organization based in the west. Ride managers were free to improvise under broad interpretations of the basic rules. Over time that concept has succumbed to the “too many cooks spoil the broth” theory. Every new rule results in tightening the noose around the neck of ride managers. Its easy to sit in a board room, far from an event and order ride managers to strict interpretations of the many rules, but its a far different story when a RM is face to face with someone who has supported their event for years, and have to tell them they have to abide by some edict “because its in the rules”. Over the many years we have been involved in the sport, Ann and I have always tried to do what was fair and reasonable in keeping the spirit of the rules in mind. However, that practice has resulted in increasing grief and criticism in which we are no longer willing to withstand.

The latest and most egregious, of the recent decisions is over the mileage issue. Let me be absolutely clear: AERC has never had accurate mileage in a large percentage of the sanctioned rides. I know this as I was one of the few who had the equipment and ability to ride motorcycles with accurate rally odometers over many of the courses of years past, including the Tevis. Even back in the day when most of the country was open to motorized vehicles, the common practice for measuring mileage was by drawing the trail on a topographical map and then using a string to lay over the trail and measure the mileage using the scale at the bottom. The potential for error was huge, especially in difficult terrain. Our events were historically long and accurate as most were measured by the motorcycle odometer. Winning times of five hours with the last riders coming in before the 12 hour cut off were reasonable and were the standard for the sport. Since the advent of the GPS, there is a possibility of more accurate mileage when used properly by knowledgeable technicians. However, that requires a drastic change in what has been done in the past and leaves future riders being forced to compete against mileage records that are completely unsubstantiated as to correct mileage. No rational person can honestly believe that holding the western rides, which generally take place over more challenging terrain, to additional mileage requirements of ten to thirty-five percent for sanctioning, as not having a serious draconian effect on the AERC and the individual events. It will kill some of them. Kat Swigart in her infinite wisdom has proved beyond a doubt that many beautiful trails and venues will not support “accurate GPS mileage”. There is plenty of historical statistics to show what happens to rides when a competing ride shortens their trail. AERC BOD members are the poster children of short rides. For years they have gotten away with pointing fingers at others while putting on events that were ludicrously short.

So what is the way forward? I can’t speak for everyone, but this is what we are planning. This will be the last year that AERC sanctioned XP Rides will compensate for mileage with a time factor. Obviously our “short” rides that are taking 5.5 to 6.5 hours for people like Christoph Schork to win with some riders barely finishing or coming in overtime will become very difficult and close to impossible for people and horses to safely complete when additional miles are added. One of last years Mt Carmel rides would have only had two finishers on time if the remainder of riders continued the additional mileage at the same pace. If we are to do that, we will see the rides fade away as the number of riders and horses able to step up the pace are simply not available. The resulting drop in attendance can and will result in cancellation of rides as we will be unable to continue with the significantly fewer numbers. Bear in mind that Terry Wooley Howe cancelled a very popular and well attended ride because she needed a minimum of 65 riders a day to break even. Another west region manager told me they have to have a hundred riders to break even. While we can manage on smaller numbers we cant afford to drop to the level that will result with “accurate GPS mileage”. The only way forward I can presently see is to create a new association that will keep endurance records in the future. Keeping records is what AERC was originally all about but that has given way to micromanaging the ride managers in a mistaken attempt to “level the playing field”. Playing fields aren’t level when competing over varied terrain. Comparing 50 mile rides that are won in the 3 to 4 hour range with 35 to 40 mile rides that are won in the 6 to 7 hour range is ludicrous to say the least. It’s incredible the combined AERC BOD fail to see what increasing ride mileage from 10 to 35 percent is going to do to attendance. Its a no win situation for riders, management as well as the AERC. It has been suggested that we simply make the rides flat and easy so we can have accurate mileage. That is an antithesis to the XP model, which is to put on rides in scenic places on interesting but doable trails and over lands that can not be regularly accessed by the general public. Riders through the years have used the winning and final completion times in their decision making process when considering attending a ride that is new to them. I can see no way to come close to a “level playing field” than to include a time factor with GPS mileage. The standard in the west, as well as my personal standard was to adjust 50 mile rides to have a winning time of 5 to 5.5 hours and have all of the riders in by 11 hours. This worked in the past and will work for us in the future.

The way forward for XP Rides will be to continue doing the same rides as we always have with our same attitude towards being fair and consistent with everyone. We will do this by creating a new organization that will keep fees and rules to an absolute minimum. There is a model already in place for what we are planning. ECTRA, an eastern CTR organization has been co-sanctioning with endurance rides and keeping mileage records for their members that includes mileage from ANY organized distance event. As riders choose to participate in this new organization their combined mileages from AERC LD AND endurance miles will be combined, as will mileage from any other structured event, such as EDRA, FEI, NATRC and the XP Rides miles. LETS BE CLEAR: A FUTURE ORGANIZATION WILL ALLOW RIDERS TO START THEIR NEW MILEAGE RECORDS WITH THEIR CURRENT FEI, AERC, EDRA, XP AND CTR MILEAGES ALL COMBINED. After all, if creating a record of accomplishments for riders and horses is what is important, we should look at the big picture. A database is being created at present and we hope to have something up and running by then end of the AERC and FEI seasons. December 1st seems to be a common ending for competitive events and we hope a new Western Endurance Ride Association, composed of western endurance rides and riders will be in place at that time. The geographical area of the organization will start with the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and a small part of western South Dakota and include all states west of that geographic area. I want to be absolutely clear that we are not trying to replace AERC and we will continue to request AERC sanctioning but we will be more judicious in following the AERC rulebook. This will require significantly more effort on the part of riders. It will also require more effort on the part of management and judges. This is where the epigram “We can’t fix stupid but we can charge for it” comes into play. This is a good time to consider what it costs to conduct an FEI ride and why the entry fees are so high. The future, as I see it, is for western rides to offer events that offer dual opportunities to satisfy the needs of ride managers and riders alike.

I am truly sorry that it has come to this. I would have much preferred to see AERC become the a true National Body that would see a way forward to accommodate the many facets of our sport. Its about time we start looking at what we can do to save the sport.

A response from an AERC BOD member who “gets it”:

Comparing a mountainous and technically demanding course of western rides with flat and easy terrain in other parts of the country is just insane. It has been argued by SE riders that the humidity and high temps of some of these areas are also very demanding on the horses and match the challenges of our technical terrain. I have ridden in the winter months in these states and it is rather pleasant then. The rides are flat and have pleasant temperatures on top of it. The AERC Board could work on this mileage issue by implementing a difficulty rating in courses. That difficulty rating, or handicap system like they have in South Africa or Europe, is based on the winning time of the previous years course. This has worked well for ride managers in the west and is more in line with international practices. Marc Lindsay, from South Africa, who is working with me at the GETC has agreed to write a summary for us to explain how it is working and how it can get implemented.

Many riders just cannot do Multidays rides anymore when rides are excessively long. I have seen it with the Ft Stanton rides as an example. Years ago there were many Pioneer entries at Ft Stanton. It used to be a big ride. It was a rocky SOB, but it had good entry numbers nevertheless. Roger Taylor succumbed to the pressure by the AERC Board and made his rides so long that not one rider finished either of his Pioneer events last year. Not a single one! In fact, his entries for the 50 were down to 6 entries on the last day. The demographics have changed and the average age of riders is older and they just cannot and do not want to do it anymore. Ft Stanton entries are just a shadow from what they once were. In talking to Roger he said he felt pressured to make his rides now over 50 miles just to keep the critics at bay. He barely has any revenue anymore, surely not enough to continue without outside support. I’m not sure he can even afford to conduct them anymore. That is totally ludicrous.

The threats and intimidation tactics employed by some BOD members towards RMs for so-called short rides have to stop. Otherwise we soon won’t have any RMs anymore. Who is going to be willing to do all the work organizing rides, often loosing money while doing so, and then be expected to accept abuse by AERC Board members on top of it all?

According to statistics on the AERC website, if XP Rides were counted as a region they would be the third largest region in the AERC. Should XP Rides not be sanctioned in the future , the ripple effect could very well cause other ride managers to follow that path. That would spell disaster for AERC.


Those who have misrepresented that I have admitted to running 35 mile 50’s are wrong. We have never run a 35 mile 50. We have tried to explain, over and over that the tracks we give out at the ride are truncated. Those who do not know what a truncated track file is have no business commenting on GPS mileage. The tracks that I have from OTHER AERC RIDES, not XP Rides, are the ones that get down into the thirties. Many of the rides judged as “short” have inherent errors in the calculation. We have made it clear that we have done what was the industry standard over the years. The point is that AERC needs to adapt to new technology in a modern world. Once again, all riders know that Riding Time is the most accurate prediction of difficulty for a course. Hopefully the AERC, in a good faith effort will come up with a solution that will allow all the rides, east and west, to prosper. If not, the AERC and the sport is likely to cease to exist.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Minnesota: Horses compete in endurance rides with echoes of the Pony Express - Full Article

Andrew Link /

PRESTON - Riders and their horses rode through Forestville State Park this weekend in endurance rides reminiscent of the Pony Express of the 1860s.

The rides involved 50- and 25-mile contests — marathon horseback riding through the woods — but it wasn’t just about how far or how fast a horse could go.

It was also about stamina and conditioning. At the end of their first loop through the shaded park, the horses would stop at camp for a vet check...

Read more here:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Bemer Cuff, Scoot Boots and Fellow Endurance Riders Save the Day(s) at City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride

June 17 2019
by Merri

I felt something rip below my knee when I squatted down, 2 nights before the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride, and I'd been hoping to try and ride all 3 days on Hillbillie Willie.

Fortunately Naomi Preston saw me limping the next day. She offered me her Bemer Cuff for equines. "Bemer originated in Germany 20 years ago," Naomi said, "and delivers a patented PEMF (pulsed electro magnetic frequency) signal. It improves microcirculation and helps the body heal itself. Use it 3 times a day if you can." I did, because I really wanted to ride!

And it was either the BEMER cuff or a miracle or both, but the strain or sprain or whatever it was went away and I did not once feel it the rest of the weekend! (Naomi is a distributor of the BEMER cuff; if you want more information you can PM her.)

It was Hillbillie Willie's first attempt at finishing 3 days of a Pioneer ride at City of Rocks. His riding partner was Jackpot Jackson, with Debbie Grose aboard. The two geldings were moving along splendidly on Day 1, into the first vet check - when we discovered Jack had lost his right front shoe. With the vet check out of camp, no farrier was available, and when we hollered if anybody had an Easyboot to spare, there wasn't one.

However, Francis Lewis had a spare Scoot Boot that he offered. It happened to fit. Jack finished the ride with no problem, escorting and mentoring Hillbillie Willie through Day 1. Fellow rider Lee Pearce put a shoe and pad on Jack when we got back to camp, and Deb packed the Scoot Boot in her saddle bags for Day 2, just in case.

On Day 2's 55-miler, on the first loop we came upon 2 horses and riders on the Boise-Kelton stage trail, one of whom had lost a shoe. (Made us think of those old days where the horses and oxen lost their shoes, some of which you can still find on those old trails, if you know where to look.) Deb was able to offer Jeff and DWA Malik her new Scoot Boot - and Malik went on to finish 3rd and take Best Condition.

Wisely, at the vet check, Deb fetched the second Scoot Boot from Francis (she bought the pair), which happened to come in awful handy when, out on the second loop in one heck of a frigid wind storm blowing down off the mountain, one of Jack's hind shoes twisted. After wrangling the shoe off and the boot on (made challenging with human fingers freeing, and horses trying to keep butts to wind), Jack finished Day 2 sound and ready to continue.

Wisely, Deb packed the other spare boot in her saddle bag for Day 3. Which came in handy when, near the end of the first loop, the other of Jack's hind shoes started clinking! At the vet check, Regina got the shoe off and Deb put the second Scoot Boot on Jack's hind foot, and with the two hind Scoot Boots, he finished the third day of City of Rocks - his first 3-day pioneer ride completion.

That's one of the best parts of endurance riding - the willingness of other riders to help you get back on your horse and keep going. So, thank you Naomi Preston and BEMER, thank you Francis Lewis, thank you Scoot Boots, and thank you Lee Pearce for the shoe; all that effort got 1 rider and 3 horses through finishes at City of Rocks!

Friday, June 14, 2019

First Leg of Inaugural Idaho IronHorse Challenge a Boisterous Success

Three Pioneer Rides, Nine Days, One Amazing Challenge -- Are you made of Iron?

by Merri
June 15 2019

Challenging weather, beautiful scenery, tough desert and mountain trails: the first leg of the inaugural Idaho Ironhorse Challenge showcased a taste of what Idaho endurance riding has to offer at the City of Rocks Pioneer ride near Almo, Idaho on June 6-8.

Together with the July 26-28 Top O' The World Pioneer ride near Spencer, Idaho, and the Autumn Sun Pioneer ride October 10-13 near Gooding, Idaho, this 'Triple Crown' challenge idea was the brainchild of ride managers 'The Two Jessicas'.

"The idea was mine initially," said Autumn Sun ride manager Jessica Huber.  "Then [Top O' the World ride manager Jessica] Cobbley and I put it together as we marked trail across the desert!" Steph Teeter's City of Rocks Pioneer was the obvious choice for the first leg of the challenge.

One horse & rider, nine days, 465 miles

Following the conclusion of City of Rocks Pioneer, 27 horse and rider teams and/or riders are in contention for some version of the Idaho IronHorse crown.

The Idaho IronHorse

Four horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of 50's:
Lee Pearce & JAC Winterhawk
Merri Melde & Owyhee Shotgun Rider (owned by Steph Teeter)
Debbie Grose & Jackpot Jackson
Nance Worman & Second Chance Fance

The Idaho IronHorse LD
Fourteen horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of Limited Distance:
Joan Zachary & Chico
Carrie Johnson & Payback Daysea Duke
Catherine Cook & HMR Diamonds R Forever
Carol Delisi & DJ Restless Wind
Tonya Stroud-Oaks & Amara's Sonata
Terry Doyle & Benny
LuAnn Rod & Shakeel's Sparkle
Marlene Moss & SA Alamo
Stace Moss & Cerro Blanco
Donna Lacy-Bacon & Echcentric DPA
Katrin Levermann & Double Bey Latte
Clarissa Hale & SB Above The Law
Kaili Worth & Red
Sandy Smallwood & Ty

The Idaho IronButt
Six riders completed all 3 days on different horses, any distance:
Bill Hobbs & Segulls Jester/JV Remington
Dave Rabe & White Cloud/Rushcreek Okay/Cocamoe Joe
David Laws & Che Ole/Fancy Grace
Viginia Jenkins & TM Concealed Carrie/RA China Doll
Trinity Jackson & Ebony/Hope/Rusty
Christy Pogue & Serya Nyte Flyte/Stormy Mae

The Idaho IronTeam

Three horse and rider teams completed all 3 days of different distances:
Bobbi Walker & Dreamer
Valerie Jaques & BS Malabar Dark Demon
Shyla Williams & Bes Soumra Bint Karah

It's six weeks till the start of the second leg of the Idaho IronHorse Challenge at Top O' The World Pioneer. Stay tuned!

More info on the Idaho Ironhorse at:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Monk: Another Tevis Finish Means Robie Cup

by Jaya Mae Gregory

I first saw Monk during the Haggin Cup judging a few years ago. It was a year I had not finished the Tevis Cup myself and so I was rested well enough to enjoy the judging. His rider, Lindsay Graham Fisher, was a fit and young 30-something. She trotted him out with grace and ease, but he didn’t show as well as the other horses. “He doesn’t trot like a normal Arab, but that’s just him,” says Lindsay. Those who know him best call his trot the “Monk Shuffle.” According to Lindsay, there is no wasted movement in his gaits.

Lindsay first began riding Monk about 10 years ago. The now 17-year-old CMK Arab surprised his rider and owner when he casually trotted to a first place finish at the 2009 AERC National Championship. “We just cruised to first place completely by accident,” said Lindsay. “It was a very humbling experience. That was when I knew what kind of horse I had underneath me.”

Since 2009, Monk has completed several AERC and FEI rides. In 2012, Monk finished strong after 100 miles at the President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi. “He looked like a million bucks.” But then he went off to Texas and injured his suspensory. Monk suffered a 50% tear in the ligament, an injury which should have been career ending. However, Monk’s owner, Chris Martin, sent him to UC Davis for stem cell therapy. He was off the rest of 2012 and 2013, but came back strong in 2014.

Since recovering from his injury, Monk has finished the Tevis Cup with his rider Lindsay four consecutive times. Four consecutive times, all in the Top Ten. This year, Monk could not only earn the Robie Cup honor, awarded to those horses who have five Tevis Cup finishes, but if he also finishes in the Top Ten again, he could be the second horse to earn this honor five consecutive years all in the Top Ten, after the horse Wetezarif.

When asked about their secret to success, Lindsay replied, “He gets to just be a horse. He has intense training, but he also gets to just be a horse. He is always ready to go all season. He is always moving, he is always fit.” Owner Chris Martin has Monk living out on several acres and he carefully monitors his weight. He also incorporates a lot of hill work into Monk’s training and does a lot of conditioning miles without the weight of a rider. All of this has proven to work for Monk in the past, and hopefully, his ride through the Tevis Cup this coming August will be another success and earn him the honor of the Robie Cup award.

Regardless of whether or not Monk finishes the Tevis Cup this year, however, he will always hold a permanent place in Lindsay’s heart. “I just feel really lucky that he came into my life. I thought it was going to be a short one or two year thing and even though he’s not my horse, he feels like my horse. [One day] He will get to live out his life with me and get to be loved on by my kids. He’s a very special horse.”

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Tevis: The Road to the Start

Posted Monday, May 27, 2019 8:05pm

Ride Director Message

Tevis training is in full swing. It is always enjoyable to see riders training for Tevis at the west region 50-mile rides. Weather has been cooler than normal here in the west. All of us on the ride committee watch snow levels in the high country and continue to compare year-to-year numbers for patterns in snow melt for planning purposes.

This year’s snow levels, while significant, are behind those of 2017. The ride date has been pushed back to August 17, which in one of the latest dates we have used for running the ride. Therefore, I am confident we will start at Robie Park in August.

Please note that the Western States Endurance Run is happening on Saturday, June 29 and avoid training rides on the trail during that time. If you are in the area, I would encourage you to go to the Placer High School Stadium to watch the runner arrive. The bond between the runners and the riders continues to grow stronger as we support each other. We actually have WSER participants and Board members managing some vet checks and stops at the Tevis this year.

It will be a great year to ride, so please remember the ride date is one month later than previously published, and ride your horse accordingly for the longer season. If you are leasing a horse to ride in the Tevis, we strongly recommend that you check the horse’s record on the AERC website and do your due diligence in selecting your mount.

The Tevis committee does everything it can to make Tevis as safe and enjoyable as possible while maintaining the challenge of crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 24 hours.

The opportunity to support trail maintenance and development is a huge benefit to the organization and is achieved by participation in the Signature Rider Program. Signature riders receive an $800 tax-deductible donation letter in addition to some amazing, high quality swag. If you have questions regarding this program, please email Linda Glazier at We encourage you to be part of this program.

Much more information at: