Tuesday, December 31, 2019

A Look Back at 2019 Idaho Endurance Rides


2019 endurance rides in Idaho had it all: sun, rain, sleet, snow, hail, wind, and, of course, beauty.

We had the first Idaho Ironhorse Challenge - all 9 days of the City of Rocks Pioneer, Top O' The World Pioneer, and Autumn Sun Pioneer (Dave Rabe was crowned the first Idaho IronButt rider).

And we had fun!

Check out the photos and the recaps here:

Friday, December 27, 2019

Endurance horse races to be held this weekend in Ocala

WCJB.com - Full Story

By Landon Harrar | Posted: Thu 11:54 PM, Dec 26, 2019


Not all horse races are about finishing first; some are simply about finishing. Here's how this weekend's endurance race in Ocala will test more than a hundred horses' true stamina and strength.

The Gallop on the Greenway is 3 days of long-distance horse racing and it all starts at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala.

Endurance racing is one of the least known horse sports but has a rich history.

Doug Shearer is the ride manager who explained, "it was started by the calvary a long time ago that's how they decided which horses were good enough to be stallions. They started in Virginia doing this where they would race them to see which had the best endurance and what lines they wanted to keep going."

Over the 3 day event, the horses and their riders will take on 5 different lengths of challenges...

Read more here:

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2019 December's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning

Horsesinthemorning.com - Listen

Seven Year Old Endurance Rider, Vitamins and Minerals and Horse Forums for Dec 16, 2019 by Omega Alpha Equine

Today we meet seven year old endurance rider Liam and his Mom Rachael, Liam completed his first 30 mile ride with her this fall at Big South Fork, TN. Dr. Chang of Omega Alpha Equine shares why it is important to have a good combination of vitamins and minerals in your horses’ diet. Plus, Equestrian First World Problems and DeAnn from Horse Nation on horse forums and how little horse people make. Listen in...


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Potato: Still Competitive

ComstockMag.com - Full Story

Seniors in the Capital Region don’t let age and injury keep them away from sports

By Steve Martarano

It took a protruding tree branch this summer to finally sideline Potato Richardson, the legendary 76-year-old endurance horse rider.

The impact with the branch occurred 2 miles from his 35-acre ranch in Greenwood, near Auburn, while he was training with Arabian horse La Princessa Tzia for the Tevis Cup, a grueling 100-mile one-day mountain race geared to elite riders. Richardson has competed in the race more than 20 times without getting injured, winning it three times, including in 2015 at age 73.

Princessa wasn’t hurt during the stumble, but the fall broke Richardson’s leg in three places, shelving competitions for the rest of the year. As a fitness advocate who worked out with icon Jack LaLanne in the 1960s, the mishap took Richardson away from riding for the first time in his career.

A riding coach for almost 50 years, Richardson says a tree branch isn’t enough to take him down. He says he’s plotting his return for 2020...

Read more here:

Cheryl Van Deusen Awarded Becky Grand Hart Trophy

Cheryl Van Deusen of Companion Arabians of Florida has been awarded Becky Grand Hart Trophy by USEF in the endurance division. Cheryl is an asset and proud horsewoman in the equine community.

Dear Cheryl,
Congratulations for being chosen as a 2019 USEF Equestrian of Honor and a recipient of the Becky Grand Hart Trophy! This award recognizes horsemen or horsewomen who have excelled above all others in equestrian competition for the current year, while demonstrating superior sportsmanship and dedication to the principles, vision, and mission of the United States Equestrian Federation. In addition, as an Equestrian of Honor you will be in contention for the 2019 USEF Equestrian of the Year. The Equestrian of the Year is chosen through a voting process by our membership, in mid-December we will notify everyone through a press release and social media when the voting will be live. To receive this award is a tremendous honor and we are pleased to add your name to the list of distinguished winners.

As the recipient of this award, you are invited to attend our 2019 US Equestrian Pegasus Awards held at the Hilton West Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Florida on Friday, January 10th. The awards dinner is held during our 2020 US Equestrian Annual Meeting.

Sincerely, United States Equestrian Federation

Saturday, December 21, 2019

WDRA: Western Distance Riders Alliance - “It’s not a ride, it’s an adventure!”


We are a regional organization to promote distance riding in the West. WDRA will honor all past & future mileage from other distance organizations.
Our Mission Statement

WDRA brings together all equestrians who enjoy the companionship of their human & equine friends in natural trail settings in the West.

We welcome anyone with the best interest of their horse at heart, and eager to participate with like-minded riders in fun & challenging events, regardless of the distances.

Our Board of Directors include present and past AERC BOD members, riders and ride managers and Hall of Fame members who truly care about the future of our sport. They include Andrew Gerhard, Tennessee Lane, David Nicholson, Tom Noll, Kerry Redente, Christoph Schork, Tonya Oaks Stroud. Our new website is coming soon! WDRA.net

WDRA Reason to Ride

The Western Distance Riders Alliance brings together all equestrians who enjoy the companionship of their human and equine friends in the natural trail settings found in our beautiful country. The WDRA supports all aspects of equine distance riding – distance riding as it has been in the past, as it is practiced today, and equine distance riding in the future.

We define a distance riding event as an equine event, taking place over natural terrain, demonstrating the ability of an equine and its rider to perform. There are many equine distance riding events that are sanctioned by various organizations worldwide. Equine distance riding includes the traditional distance riding activities of the AERC, FEI, EDRA, USEF, along with other equine distance riding activities such as endurance driving, NATRC, CTR, and Ride and Tie, and even extending to the epic distance riding achievements recognized by the Long Riders Guild.

As an organization, we welcome anyone who has the best interest of their horse in their heart and is eager to participate with like-minded riders in fun and challenging events throughout the west. We look with favor upon those who are willing to saddle up and ride regardless of the distances and effort involved. We leave it up to the individual riders to decide for themselves and their horses what is a worthy challenge.

We feel that no other event, worldwide, offers the challenge of the Western States Trail Ride, known as the Tevis Cup Ride. We encourage those who set their sights on that ultimate distance riding event. While the Tevis Cup is the definitive challenge, there are many other events that offer important building blocks to reach that ultimate goal. The Western Distance Riders Alliance welcomes all equines and all riders whether they are preparing for the unmatched championship challenge of the Western States Tevis Cup 100-mile ride, or whether they are embarking on their own personal accomplishment of a long ride through natural terrain with their equine partner.

The WDRA honors all accomplishments of its members in any sanctioned event demonstrating the ability of a horse and its rider to perform in a natural setting. Members of the WDRA can have their personal records from other distance riding organizations incorporated into the WDRA records

We strive for an all-inclusive approach to the sport of distance riding. We take no issue with any of the other distance riding organizations, including AERC, EDRA, USEF, NATRC, and the others. We believe that we are all branches springing from the same roots. We offer ride managers a format that complements their primary sanctioning organization with the additional opportunity to experiment with new ideas to bring new people and new horses to the sport.

The WDRA is an alliance. An alliance is a “union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations.” The WDRA is an alliance between riders, drivers, equines, ride and event managers, ride volunteers, ride veterinarians, and all of the organizations that sanction equine distance riding events — equine events that demonstrate the ability of a horse and rider to perform in a natural environment. Join us and Ride On.

The overall intent of our rules is to operate with integrity supporting the best interest of the horse and rider.

1. The event must be of sufficient difficulty to test the performance of equestrians and equines.
2. The event must be under the control of control judges or veterinarians experienced with equines.
3. The Event Manager may set a specific time limit for completion and will make any decisions about allowing variations for extenuating circumstances.
4. The Event Manager will determine if an equestrian has met the completion requirements.
5. Placements will be determined by the Event Manager.
6. Event Managers reserve the right to make decisions about the proper conduct of equestrians and any person attending their event.
7. The WDRA believes all equines should compete on their own natural ability. The use of all drugs and performance enhancing substances and procedures is forbidden. Any exceptions must come from the head control judge or the head veterinarian in writing.
8. Protests will be handled through the primary sanctioning organization. Protests concerning the WDRA will be handled first by the Event Manager at the time of the event, provided that the protestor delivers a signed written description of the situation to the Event Manager at time of the event. Persons dissatisfied by the Event Manager’s decision can escalate the protest to the WDRA Board of Directors by submitting a signed written statement describing the situation for evaluation and possible decision. The decision of the WDRA Board of Directors is final.
9. WDRA will record mileage for members who have successfully completed any distance event sanctioned by other recognized distance riding organizations.

More information will be forthcoming

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Cheryl Van Deusen Nominated as US Equestrian's 2019 Equestrian of the Year Award

December 19 2019

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to introduce the 2019 Equestrians of Honor. For the first time, an International Equestrian of the Year and a National Equestrian of the Year will be named for their achievements in 2019. Winners are determined based on the results of online voting, which is now open through Thursday, January 2, 2020, at midnight. The 2019 International and National Equestrians of the Year will be awarded on January 10, 2020, during the 2019 Pegasus Awards presented by Adequan® at the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in West Palm Beach, Fla. US Equestrian’s Pegasus Awards honor some of the great men and women of equestrian sport.

Cheryl Van Deusen, endurance rider from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, is one of ten equestrians nominated as US Equestrian's 2019 Equestrians of Honor award.

The Becky Grand Hart Trophy is presented to international-level non-Olympic athletes.

Cheryl Van Deusen has consistently been the top-ranked U.S. endurance athlete, and she collected numerous top placings. She partnered with four different horses to earn four first-place finishes in endurance rides in 2019. Van Deusen rode to the win in the Fun in the Sun CEI1* 80 kilometer ride with Spotless Summer Magic. Her next win came with LR April Breeze in the Indian Springs Endurance Ride CEI2* 120 kilometer division. The Biltmore Challenge was another successful ride for Van Deusen with a win in the CEI1* 80 kilometer aboard Snake Eyes Leroy. Her final win of 2019 was the inaugural USEF CEI1* Endurance National Championship at the Broxton Bridge Plantation ride aboard longtime partner Hoover the Mover.

Van Deusen tallied 13 other top-six finishes in rides across the U.S., ranging from 80 kilometers to 160 kilometers in length. She consistently ranked at or near the top of the FEI Endurance Open Rider World Ranking List in 2019. In addition to her riding accomplishments, she organizes endurance rides and serves on the Endurance Sport Committee.

See the rest of the nominees here:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

New Endurance Ride and More Multi-days Added in 2020 to Northwest Region

December 12 2019
by Endurance.net

More opportunities are on the AERC calendar for 2020 in the Northwest region for your endurance riding pleasure!

The Klickitat Trek in Glenwood, Washington, has added a third day, May 23-24-25, to become the Klickitat Trek Pioneer.

The Owyhee River Challenge outside of Adrian, Oregon, normally held in May, is now the 2-day Owyhee River now Succor Creek ride, June 27-28. A 75 miler has been added on both days.

Summertime Blues is a brand new ride that will be held near La Grande, Oregon, on August 22. Ride manager is Lora Bannan, and there will be a 25 and 50 miler, plus an introductory ride.

Old Selam near Centerville, Idaho, has been sanctioned as a 3-day Pioneer ride, September 4-5-6.

Watch the AERC calendar for more sanctioning:

Coming to Jacksonville Florida: The 2020 AERC Convention

March 6 and 7, 2020 - Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Join us in Jacksonville, Florida, for the AERC Convention March 6 and 7, 2020. The host hotel is the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and the convention will be held in conjunction with SERA, the Southeast Endurance Riders Association. We're planning for a fun and festive Florida celebration of endurance riding and endurance riders!

Seminar speakers will be added in (very) early December -- finalizing the lineup right now. All we can say is: You won't want to miss a single seminar! We're very excited about the presenters and topics for the 2020 convention!

AERC convention registration is OPEN! You can sign up online: AERC.org/2020Convention

Or print out the 2020 convention paper form.

Book your room now at AERC's group rate: Hotel Reservation Page

Room rates are $129 plus tax ($147.23 total) for 2 people for the Hyatt's regular room with two queen beds. Additional people are $25 each plus tax. It's a beautiful hotel and the convention space will be fantastic!

More about the hotel: Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

Here's a link to Jacksonville visitor info

And some fun things to do (when you're not at convention, which of course is the most fun!): Top 22 Jacksonville attractions

Coming towards the end of 2019: online convention reservation, veterinary CE signups, and more!

2020 AERC CONVENTION SPONSORS! Special thanks to these companies for generously supporting our upcoming convention! (For information about sponsorship, phone 866-271-2372.)

Platinum Sponsors: Arabian Horse Association / Hawthorne Products

Gold Sponsors: The Distance Depot / Equisure, Inc. / Kentucky Equine Research / Vettec Hoofcare

Silver Sponsors: Specialized Saddles


TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS: We welcome exhibitors! Here is the link for 2020 Trade Show Information and Registration. Please contact the AERC office if you you have any questions: 866-271-2372 or email Kyra at the AERC office for Trade Show information. See you in Jacksonville!

Friday, December 06, 2019

Dates Set for 2020 and 2021 Distance Horse Nat'l Championships


The dates are set for both the 2020 and 2021 rotation of the Distance Horse National Championships!

• September 25-27, 2020 - Lava Cast Forest Site in La Pine, OR
• September 10-12, 2021 - Big South Fork Site in Oneida, TN

We are very excited to be going to these great locations and hope to see you next year in Oregon! 

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which traditionally have incorporated
partnered breeds including 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).

Thursday, December 05, 2019

2019 Distance Horse of the Year Award Winner


Congratulations to the 2019 Distance Horse of the Year, Giacomo “Jack”, a 15 year old gelding out of Gianni X Ahlaks Angel, and owned by Frances Muench.

Jack began his distance career in December of 2015 at not quite 12 years of age; since then this rock solid gelding has covered over 2000 miles. He has completed 36 North American Trail Conference (NATRC) rides and 4 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) Limited Distance rides. The 2019 season was a stellar season for Jack as he completed 840 miles, 14 NATRC rides in 7 different states with 8 - 1st place awards, 7 of those being Sweepstakes. This year he takes the honor of earning NATRC’s prestigious President’s Cup (National Sweepstakes Champion award) and garnering other Regional NATRC awards. His previous accomplishments include multiple NATRC National Championships and AHA Region 9 Championships.

Jack originally was bred to be an endurance carriage driving horse but while waiting for him to mature, Jack’s original owner, who was battling cancer, realized that after 8 years, Jack should have a chance to do what he was bred for and gave him to a trainer. This is where Frances and Jack’s paths came together, Frances states “We literally hit the trails and haven’t looked back. He travels well, takes care of himself on the trail, eating and drinking when he can while covering miles of various terrain whether technically steep and rocky or flat and fast. Competing in NATRC has enabled our partnership to bloom thanks to mentoring and guidance from other successful friends and competitors in the sport”.

Monday, December 02, 2019

PNER Volunteer Extraordinaire: Terre O'Brennan

December 1 2019
by Jo Christensen

We have celebrated volunteers before in our monthly Facebook page feature post and banner photo- the folks out in ride camp and on the trail that are key to successful endurance rides. Yet many do not know there are a host of volunteers outside of rides silently carrying out the often-mundane business that keeps the PNER going as an organization. These things usually involve late nights pecking away at a computer, answering endless emails, or sitting on the phone during long tele-meetings. So this month we begin a series featuring on our banner some of those unsung heroes of the organization whose quiet, often uncelebrated efforts keep the PNER ticking!

Everybody, meet Terre O-Brennan, the PNER British Columbia Provincial Representative. Terre is first a horsewoman and of course an accomplished endurance rider outside of her more mundane PNER duties. Pictured on the banner are Terre and her horse Koszaar at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 where she represented Canada.

Terre’s involvement with horses started with riding rental horses at 16, as soon as she got her driver’s license. She had lived an entirely urban life with a military family, always moving, and no opportunities to ride. Determined to make a horses a part of her life, she used a student loan to buy her first horse (a totally appropriate use of student loans, right!?) “Cavvy” was a 14hh stockhorse-type pinto of unknown age. Showing was not much fun for them, so they hit the trail and never looked back. They hauled all over British Columbia, camping and riding together.

Sometime circa 1982, she saw a poster in a feed store for something called an “endurance ride." When she called the number on the poster, the person on the other end of the line said “just show up and we’ll tell you what to do.” So, she showed up with her stocky little pinto pony, in jeans and a cowboy hat. They finished the 25 quite happily, in the middle of the pack. Someone later suggested she give him some salt and that was it for post-ride care. But she was hooked and they went on to do a bunch more 25s- all top 10! And a couple of 50s! But by then, he was well into his 20s she felt endurance was too hard for him. So like many wanting to continue on in the sport, she went out and bought an Arabian… and kept going.

Fast forward to today, she has accrued around 8600 miles, most of it with AERC and some FEI. She has done 23-24 one-hundreds on 3 different horses. Tequila Sunrise and Koszaar were her main mounts. She and Koszaar twice qualified for Worlds.

Her partnership with Koszaar is incredibly close and he is still going strong at 24, closing in on 5000 miles, almost all Top Ten, many FEI rides, and has completed 13 one-hundreds. She describes him as her soul-mate. but reflects that she was also incredibly close to her first horse, the little pinto Cavvy. Despite being different breeds, the two horses are so alike in personality that a rather new-agey friend of Terre’s seriously believes that Koszaar is Cavvy’s soul, found its way back to her.

When asked what challenges has faced as an endurance rider, she reports “like everybody else, money and time.” She has overcome them by "not spending either on anything else."

Terre has been a member of the PNER for 20 or so years. To her, the PNER serves as "a big extended family of like-minded people who love the mountains and lakes and rivers and grasslands, who value and respect their horses, and who love the challenge and thrill of the sport of Endurance. "

She is quite active as the British Columbia Provincial Rep. She forwards copies of all BC ride results to the points secretary; she submits funding requests to the Anna Sampson -Marry Nunn Fund to sponsor Junior riders; She strives to promote then PNER whenever possible and would like the BC riders to have a Team again (at one time BC had TWO teams before the border became so problematic); and she nags people to declare for awards and such, and mentors quite a bit. Somehow, she has also found time to serve on the Education Committee and continues to be a Ride Manager.

She reflects that each smaller ‘region’ within PNER (state and province) have unique problems that need to be brought to the Board for the benefit of those riders; they may be economic, or political, or whatever. She says "we need as many voices and viewpoints as possible to stay in touch with the riders, vets, ride managers, and even vendors who operate locally, in our region."

When asked about her favorite memory riding endurance, not surprisingly, it doesn’t involve participating in late night board meetings for the PNER. Rather she celebrates a moment that happened in the dark of night, towards the end of a tough 100. “We suddenly got full moon-light...you literally could have read by the light it was so bright...and I could see my horse’s shadow...the reins, the sponge, every detail...flying across the ground beside me as he cantered for home. Unbelievable.” We can't help but believe Cavvy's spirit helped light their way to home that night.

2020 City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride - 10th Anniversary!

Mark your calendars for the 10th Anniversary of the City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride in Almo, Idaho, on June 11, 12, 13.

Come join us for this spectacular ride at the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. The park has amazing rock formations and scenery, as well as a rich pioneer history which you will experience on the trail. We will have marked Trail rides as well as 25 and 50 mile rides each day. There are plenty of things to do for families and fun. Durfy Hotsprings has swimming and soaking pools for every temperature preference (be sure to bring your swim suit!). Try the Great Pizza at Rock City, and explore the trails and scenic spots. Basecamp is a large field adjacent to the City of Rocks National Preserve, elevation 5500 ft. The trail footing in this area is very good, with just a few rocky sections - it is NOT a rocky ride! City of Rocks is known for its botanical diversity - you'll see cactus, pinion pine, sagebrush, aspen and sub-alpine fire - all on one day's ride! The wildflowers should be in full bloom in June!

Camp: We'll be renting the same basecamp as in years past, large fields on both sides of the gravel road. We haul all of the water for horses to camp, you will need your own potable water.You do not need certified weed free hay in camp. We will supply hay at the out-vet check.
Basecamp is at 5500 feet, this is a high elevation ride!

From Boise take I-84 to exit 216 (Declo); go south on Idaho 77 to Conner Creek Junction, then southwest on the Elba-Almo Road.
One mile south of the visitor center in Almo, PASS BY the intrance to City of Rocks/Equestrian Campground. Instead, continue straight south onto dirt road, and you'll shortly see Ridecamp on your right - Castle View RV Park.
From Pocatello and Idaho Falls, take I-86 and I-84 to exit 216 and proceed as above.
From Salt Lake City take I-84 to exit 245 (Sublett/Malta) then head west toward Malta.
Turn left (south) onto highway 81 for .2 miles to Highway 77, then turn right (west). At Connor Creek Junction, follow directions above toward Almo.

Trails: The trails are challenging with elevations up to 7500' on some of the days. Footing is very good though, very little rock (except for the scenery), some gravel road, lots of single track in the mountains and jeep roads and cow trails through the BLM land.

How it got started, in 2011:

City of Rocks, Almo Idaho

It's time to start thinking about our next event. We discovered this treasure in 2010. My son Clay had told me about an amazing place after his in-laws had their family reunion in the little town of Almo. Wynne's family came from the area, and it was a chance for them to revisit the old home place. Clay said "you gotta see this place!" .

So, I found myself veering off the Interstate when I saw the sign for 'City of Rocks' on our way home from Wyoming. Merri and I had been crewing for our friends Rusty, Kevin, and Kevin at the Big Horn 100. Heads full of adventure and beautiful scenery from several days in the Wyoming Bighorn Mountains, warm sunny July day ... just seemed like the right thing to do.

The road to Almo and City of Rocks passes through high desert scenery - farmland in the valleys, surrounded by mountains. We wind our way through the valleys and over a few passes and BOOM all of a sudden there is this immense world of granite.
and it just kept going, past Castle Rocks State Park and then into the City of Rocks National Reserve. An expansive stunning landscape of sagebrush, aspen, firs, pinon pines, cactus, sub-alpine firs, snowy peaks... dotted with cattle and old homesteads. This area was a major crossroads for emigrants as they traveled west toward California, Oregon and Nevada, or north to Idaho. Pioneer journal entries describe the site as "a city of tall spires,” “steeple rocks," and "the silent city."

There are natural granite caves with names and dates of the pioneers inscribed in axle grease, or etched into the rock . There is a very strong sense of awe, and perhaps humility, when confronted by such magnificent scenery, and how it must have affected these travelers.

It didn't take long for the idea (compulsion) of an endurance ride took hold. Perhaps a few seconds. I talked with the park managers - they were very excited about the idea having invested heavily in making the park horse friendly with trail heads and well designed equestrian trail. Oh my, getting better. I spoke with the Forest Ranger (Sawtooth National Forest) and he was very supportive. We met a rancher happy to lease us a campsite. And after one evening in the hotsprings there was no going back...the rest is history. The first ride was a mid summer 5-day 250 mile event with trails going off in every direction. Ambitious? of course! and the 'Crick Gang' spent many glorious days scouting new trail, riding the country, basking in the high altitude sunshine.

I've changed a few things since our first 2011 event - only three days now, and in early June instead of mid summer. With the high altitude and mountain ranges summer thunderstorms can get pretty Exciting, and the heat is intense. So we're doing cooler weather, and simpler rides - and sticking with the most scenic trails and easiest logistics. (smarter with age?)

Now... just waiting for springtime to actually arrive! Might be a little snow up at Indian Grove in the high country...


See a video of the trails here:

More information on the ride at: