Thursday, December 31, 2020

New ‘stepping stone’ endurance riding level introduced in US - Full Article

December 31, 2020

A new endurance level has been introduced in the US to encourage more participants into the discipline and lower the barriers to competition.

US Equestrian has launched USEF Endurance Competition Lite as a stepping stone for athletes and competition organisers in the transition to national licensed competitions. The USEF’s Board of Directors approved the program earlier this month, and the competition made its debut last week at the Greenway Gallivant in Dunnellon, Florida.

US Equestrian says the introduction of the USEF Endurance Lite competition model will lower financial and other barriers to entry for athletes and endurance competition organisers interested in participating in or hosting USEF sanctioned events, while maintaining a safe and level playing field...

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Monday, December 28, 2020

US Equestrian Launches New Endurance Lite Competition Format

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Dec 23, 2020, 1:50 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - US Equestrian is pleased to announce the launch of USEF Endurance Competition Lite. The USEF Endurance Lite program was created as a stepping stone for athletes and competition organizers in the transition to USEF national licensed competitions and will welcome more participants into the sport of endurance at a national level. The program made its debut at the Greenway Gallivant in Dunnellon, Florida, December 19-21, 2020.

The introduction of the USEF Endurance Lite competition model will lower financial and other barriers to entry for athletes and endurance competition organizers interested in participating in or hosting USEF sanctioned events, while maintaining a safe and level playing field for all. The USEF Endurance Sport Committee created the USEF Endurance Lite Rules based on the approved Endurance chapter of the USEF Rulebook. The USEF Board of Directors approved the program earlier this month.

“How exciting to see Endurance Lite from USEF now available for equestrians wanting to make this unique sport a part of their equestrian experience,” said Lisanne Dorion, FEI athlete and Co-chair of the USEF Endurance Sport Committee. “Endurance not only takes you and your horse through some of the most amazing natural settings, but also, the skills one learns in endurance can translate into other disciplines and benefit everything else you do with your equine partner! I am thrilled to welcome newcomers to come out and see what Endurance Lite is all about.”

The current USEF Endurance Lite Rules are in effect until November 30th, 2022. Prior to this date, the USEF Endurance Sport Committee will review this program. While this program is being piloted at competitions during 2021, competition organizers can provide feedback on the program to Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at

Any competition organizers interested in holding a USEF Endurance Competition Lite should refer to the Competition Licensing section of and contact Hannah Gabbard, Competition Licensing Coordinator, at with any questions. USEF Endurance Competition Lite license applications should be submitted 30 days prior to the desired competition dates. However, this requirement will be waived for Endurance Lite competitions being held prior to January 25th, 2021.

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Monday, December 14, 2020

2020 December's Horses In The Morning

Horsesinthemorning Podast - Listen

Dec 8, 2020

Endurance Episode: Earle Baxter is a 2002 AERC Hall of Fame rider and has logged 43,980 miles and Earle and his horse “I Am Amazing” (Champ) became Century Club members. Plus, we hear some gift ideas from Distance Depot, national mileage leader for 2020, Kerry Lowrey, joins us and the Endurance Tip is calculating how far ahead or behind your competition is during an endurance ride. Listen in...

Friday, December 11, 2020

Dot Wiggins Passes Away

Dot Wiggins passed away on November 28, 2020.  

Dot started riding horses before she was born; she believes she may have been conceived on Bear Tooth Pass, Montana, as her Mother and Father rode from Red Lodge to Cook City. Dot's first endurance ride was in Vale, Oregon, in 1976. She joined AERC in 1980 when she was in her 50’s.  She came to endurance after a lifetime of punching cows and breeding Quarter horses.  She quickly excelled, riding her beautiful palomino Quarter Horse Stallion, Scotch and Soda. She completed six 100-mile rides on Scotch, including the Race of Champions.  Scotch retired with almost  3,500 career endurance miles and was never pulled. Known as a great gentleman of the trail, Scotch pulled many tired horses and young competitors across the finish line. Many will remember Dot’s other endurance mounts:  Duffy, Tess, Zinger, and Kris.  Dot always put her horse first and was a role model and mentor for many endurance riders. Of the 188 rides she started, she finished 182. She completed 8,090 miles of endurance and rode her last 50-miler in 2009 at the age of 79 1/2.  In her later years she dropped back to Limited Distance Rides and completed exactly 2000 LD miles from 1996 to 2013.  

Dot was a fierce advocate for trails. Over the years she worked with the Forest Service and BLM as well as private land owners to preserve equestrian trails.  In 2016, AERC recognized Dot by presenting her wth the Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award. Dot was one of the founding directors of the Friends of the Weiser River Rail trail.  The 85-mile Weiser River Trail is one of the few rails to trails in the nation owned and managed by a nonprofit organization. From 1982 through 2000, Dot managed the Hells Canyon Endurance Ride. As a Forest Service employee, she worked at the Sturgill Peak Fire Lookout. As she performed her job, she scoped out and plotted the beautiful and challenging trails that became the Hells Canyon Ride. Dot was always eager to help search for good trails, clear trails, mark and un-mark ride trails.  She will be missed.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

A Bright Spot - the 2020 Virtual Tevis Cup

We have so much to be thankful for.virtual buckle

Of course, looking back on the events of 2020, many folks may not feel this way, and rightfully so. The year has been fraught with emotional triggers. Pandemic, politics, economics, environment, personal health and well-being. But there really is a bright spot to each stressor. We just have to look for it.

At WSTF, I think we all had a bit of a desperate feeling of dread when we made the decision in April to cancel the 65th annual Tevis Cup ride slated for August 1, 2020.

While the ride itself does not bring in a lot of money, as it’s a huge financial outlay to put it on, it does illicit revenue via donations and associated activities. None of those were going to happen and like so many other organizations effected by Covid-19 we asked, “How will we pay our bills?”

Then our by bright spot made its appearance. One of our BOG members suggested that we host a virtual Tevis. Instead of 100 miles in one day, we would do 100 miles in 100 days. Your trails, your equine, your speed.

The event was slated to start on August 1 (the date the actual ride was to occur on) and end on November 9th . We set up a riding, and a non-riding division. Just like the Tevis Cup you had to complete the 100 miles on one horse. The non-riding division allowed walking, running, hiking, cycling, swimming, etc. Pretty much any type of physical activity, but for 100 miles.

We watched tentatively as the registration started. There was even a side bet among the BOGs for tacos as to whether we would reach 1500 entries.

Tevis fans insured that the taco lover in the group would not go wanting. As of this writing, we have 1637 total participants. 1388 in the riding division and 285 in the non-riding division. Participants are from 12 different countries, with an age range from four years old to the mid 80s.

We had to change the event midway through and extend the completion deadline beyond 100 days. This was due to the poor air quality from the multiple wildland fires that plagued the western states in August and September. Tevis fans continued to endure. You hunkered down, took care of your ponies and once the air cleared and their lungs recovered, you hit the trail again.

As a remembrance of the virtual ride, each participant completing the trail will receive a long sleeve T-shirt designed specifically for the event, and a virtual Tevis buckle sticker, also created just for the event. International participants will receive a bandanna with a similar design to the T-shirt and the sticker.

The event has its own Facebook page where folks have shared their ride stories along the hundred mile journey. As they record their miles and log into the race organization site, they can read about the various landmarks and points of interest as they virtually complete the Tevis Trail.

If you do the math with our $65 registration fee and 1600+ participants, you’ll come up with a number fatter than a Thanksgiving turkey. Out of that number we still have to buy shirts and stickers, pay postage and the race organizing site, etc., but we still had a nice piece of the pie. And the whip cream on that pie? More than $15,000 in just good old-fashioned cash donations for WSTF. The Virtual Tevis Cup ride has been a hit, and has really helped WSTF with some large expenses and trail improvement projects. We are looking at the possibility of making it an annual event and welcome the input and suggestions of all.

As I round this out, your BOG elves are busy stuffing T-shirts and bandannas into envelopes so that the first group of completion awards can be mailed next week, and continue throughout the end of the event on 12-31-2020.

Thank you Tevis fans. You are our bright spot.

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Christina Hyke's Endurance Horse Podcast Wins Winnie Award

The Endurance Horse Podcast, created by Christina Hyke, has won a Winnie Award in the Equus Film & Arts Festival as best podcast. "We entered with the wonderful episode on the Big Horn 100," Christina wrote, "so thank you [ride manager] Cindy Collins for your wonderful description of your ride. It is your stories that make the podcast what it is. Such an honor to share the story of your event and thank you to everyone for your support!"

Christina is an equine and pet photographer who also happens to love the trails and distance riding. It was the love of covering miles through beautiful territory on good horses that inspired her to create a podcast about it to share stories with other riders from around the world.

With 41 episodes, the Endurance Horse Podcast is almost at 27,000 downloads. 2021 will be the third year podcasting.