March 22 2020
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net
The secret’s out: At this year’s AERC Virtual Unconventional Convention, the rest of the Endurance world discovered what we in the Northwest Region have known for a very long time: Regina Rose sets a very high standard as an all-around Ride Manager/assistant RM, and Endurance volunteer, and as crew person extraordinaire (particularly at the Big Horn 100). She was awarded AERC’s Volunteer Service Award in a surprise Zoom meeting that was recorded and presented during the Virtual Convention.
From the moment that began 14,830 AERC trail miles ago (at the 1971 Wyoming 50) Regina Rose found her sport in Endurance riding. And since 1982 when she and her friend Tom Goton first managed the Jackalope Endurance ride in Wyoming, she found her métier.
The Big Horn country of Wyoming is in Regina’s blood and plays a big part in her Endurance history. She helped her riding club mark trail for the Big Horn ride from 1971 to 1992. She earned 12 finishes on the Big Horn 100, and she can still tell you every single sagebrush she passed and every turn she ever took on every trail (and not just on the Big Horn 100).
When Regina moved back to Idaho in 1992, she started helping Steph Teeter with her Owyhee Endurance rides, and she took those over last year when Steph retired from Endurance. She’s helped with other rides around the Northwest and in the Mountain region the last two decades.
The Coronavirus was no match for Regina last year when all the early-season rides were cancelled; she put her mind to the task and came up with a Covid plan for the multi-day City of Rocks Pioneer in June, which was one of the first rides held during the pandemic with safety protocols in effect. That plan was subsequently adopted by many Ride Managers in the NW region, and paved the way for Endurance to continue in Idaho and other parts of the country during Covid.
Known for her dedication to the sport, her cheerfulness in even the most dismal situations, her profound knowledge, her unparalleled generosity, and her matchless work ethic, she’s encouraged many people not only to try Endurance riding, but she’s infected some of them with the Ride Managing bug. She’s also crew extraordinaire for the Big Horn if you can get her.
Despite all this (and much more), Regina was taken completely by surprise by her award. Northwest Regional Directors Naomi Preston and Jessica Cobbley, and the AERC office’s Kyra DeMartini told Regina they’d be recording a convention video about the Covid protocols. Instead, a number of Regina’s friends popped on the call when Naomi told her the real reason for the Zoom meeting.
“They were sneaky!” Regina said. She was delighted by her award, particularly because it represents so many volunteers at rides who don’t even ride horses. “Rides have to have volunteers - we can’t have rides without them.
“The best part of putting on rides and volunteering at them is seeing all the Juniors come out and ride. It’s fun seeing new riders try Endurance, and join local riding clubs and get recognition. It’s also rewarding seeing some of these newer riders take on the challenge of managing rides.”
Mountain region rider and volunteer Lauren Coziah said it best in her nomination letter:
Why should Regina receive this award? Simply put, the woman works her fingers to the bone to make sure every ride she attends (which includes every ride in Idaho, the Big Horn, and several in surrounding states) is a roaring success. She’s always smiling and always more than willing to help anyone who’s willing to listen. If you need a question answered, ask Regina. Need advice about an issue or problem you’re having? Ask Regina. Need someone to tell you to buck up and get back on? Go to Regina. Have an injury during a ride that you need to figure out how to manage? Ask Regina. Need someone to run your ride registration booth? Ask Regina. Need a pulse done on your horse? Ask Regina. New to the sport and unsure what happens next? Ask Regina. Want to ride the Big Horn 100 for the first time and need amazing crew? Ask Regina. Need placings and awards figured? Ask Regina. Need a shoe nailed back on? Ask Regina. Need a truck to haul water? Ask Regina. Need a laugh? Go to Regina. Need someone to encourage you? Ask Regina.
Seriously. Ask Regina. Even the wildest request she’ll fill and she’ll do it with a smile because she loves horses, she loves serving people and she loves this sport.
Now that the secret’s out, Regina’s Endurance dance book will be filled. But we all still get first dibs on her!