Monday, June 28, 2021

Revival of the Classifieds Classifieds

By popular request, the Classifieds are being Revived. (link in menu from home page)

Got extra tack? Planning to upgrade your horse trailer? Paring down on miscellaneous items? Want to share a trailer ride to an endurance ride with someone? Looking for a riding partner or mentor? Looking for an employee or house sitter?

Got a horse to sell?

You can’t sell your animals on Facebook. There are no restrictions on classifieds. Many a horse has found a good new home through the classified ads. You might find your next Dream Horse! Classifieds are back and they are free! Send the info and photos for your ad to and I’ll post them for you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Jeff Stuart and DWA Malik Win Heavyweight Title at AERC National Championship 50

DWA Arabians, in Bellevue, Idaho, want to congratulate Jeff Stuart and DWA Malik, who finished 11th in the 50-mile AERC National Championship in Ashland, Montana at Fort Howes on June 13. They were first Heavyweight, finishing in a ride time of 5:10.

14-year-old DWA Malik  (Monarch AH X DWA Croix Blanche by Ala Croixnoire) was bred by Robert "Archie" Bouttier’s DWA Arabians.

There are a number of Monarch AH offspring out in the endurance world. One well known endurance horse is Karen Donley's Royal Patron, a Monarch AH son, who won the Tevis in 2016 and finished in the Top Ten 4 other times. He has started and completed 7 100 mile rides.  

Susan Summer's Mags Motivator is a Monarch AH son who won 15 rides and finished 11 100 mile rides, including the 2013 AERC National Championship where he won the BC and placed 3rd.  

Archie bred four Monarch AH sons with frozen semen.  DWA Malik (2007) was the first,  DWA Papillon (2011) was the second, DWA Amir (2012) was the third, and DWA Superman (2013) was the fourth.  

DWA Malik has compiled 24 of 31 rides, most carrying Heavyweight Jeff Stuart.

DWA Papillon has been a stallion and he has sired 12 offspring so far.  Look for them in the near future in endurance rides.  

DWA Amir's owner lives in California and he is learning to be a mounted archery horse.  

DWA Superman was purchased by Robert and Melissa Ribley when he was three years old and is just beginning his endurance career with them.  

Malik's dam, DWA Croix Blanche, is by Ala Croixnoire and was one of Archie's best racehorses. French Open, who won Tevis in 2014, also has a dam who was sired by Ala Croixnoire.

top photo: Jeff Stuart and DWA Malik at City of Rocks, photo by Merri Melde

Tevis Cup: Enter by July 5 and Save!


. . . it's not too late to go for a buckle!

Entries arriving in the office after July 5, will be subject to a late entry fee of $100.

That date will be here sooner than we can imagine, so enter now!

Click here:!&utm_medium=email

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Two Weeks: Two Endurance Championships for the Reynolds, Abroad and At Home

by Merri
June 22 2021

The World Endurance Championship in Pisa, Italy, on May 22, was a total bust: the USA Team withdrew before the ride when one of the Team horses came down with a fever. 

Heather and Jeremy Reynolds were crushed, because they knew their Arabian mare Treasured Moments (DA Adios X Hidden Treasure, by RD Five Star) had a big performance in her. But bad luck turned into good luck, as Jeremy and Treasure (along with his teammates Holly Corcoran and Poete, and Cheryl Van Deusen and Hoover the Mover) were invited to participate in the May 29th 160-km Isola della Scala, the Italian Championship, and pre-ride for the 2022 World Endurance Championship.

And though they couldn’t technically be crowned the Italian Champions, since they are from the USA, Jeremy and Treasure, an 11-year-old mare bred by CreRun Farm, stormed home the winners. Jeremy was understandably quite emotional after the win, particularly after missing the previous weekend’s World Championship. 

“This horse is something special. It’s just that her easy way of going is just so fast and so effortless,” Jeremy says. “She’s in a rope halter from the start, she doesn’t stress about anything. She’s just a dream to be around. She’s just so special to me.”

Not ones to rest on their laurels, 3 days after arriving home in Florida, unpacking, repacking, and Jeremy shoeing their 24 horses, the Reynolds were in their horse van with a load of 6 horses, 3 dogs and a cat (“the traveling circus” Heather calls it) headed for the AERC National Championships at Fort Howes in Montana.

Jeremy and Heather both rode in the 50-mile race on June 11; and while Jeremy can’t technically be crowned the USA 50-mile Champion, since he rode in the open division, he and 9-year-old Arabian Supersonic Zell finished first, in a smoking ride time of 4:05. The Reynolds train Zell for Pegasus Racing and Richard Ferrari. 

Heather was crowned the AERC 50-mile Champion; finishing second just 11 minutes behind Jeremy and Zell, she rode Misfit Toi (A Noble Cause X Ames JLo, by Matoi) to the Championship division win. Also owned by Richard Ferrari, this 13-year-old Arabian gelding is “a very intense horse, he likes to go,” Heather says. “He’s not spooky at all; he’s the bravest horse in our barn. You could ride him through a burning building and he’d probably take off with you through it.

“He’s a funny horse! An interesting guy. And he’s very sweet, not a mean bone in his body. But you ask him, he is a champion in his own mind. He’ll win whatever race there is if you ask him.”

The Reynolds have ridden at Fort Howes many times, but say the Ride Managers, Jan and Bill Stevens, outdid themselves this time. 

“They did a spectacular job with all the different events,” Heather says.

Jeremy says, “And all the water they put out. It was just incredible.”

“And,” Heather adds, “they are not close to anything. So the fact that they can get anything done out there is amazing. And then for the numbers of people that were there, it was truly commendable. 

“And the steak dinner was just as good as ever!”

See more from the AERC National Championships at:

Monday, June 21, 2021

Alex Shampoe and Fine Cut Gold Win AERC Young Riders Championship

by Merri
June 19 2021

The finale of the AERC National Championships at Fort Howes near Ashland, Montana, showcased the AERC Young Riders in a 75-mile National Championship on June 14.

Of the 13 starters, 19-year-old Alex Shampoe, of Colorado Springs, and Fine Cut Gold (aka “Cut”) crossed the finish line first in 9 hours, an hour ahead of second place Kimberly Loutzenheiser and Shahqeem. Fine Cut Gold also got Best Condition and High Vet Score. The 10-year-old is a purebred Arabian mare with French lines who probably raced on the track, by Thoroughbred X Cashmeire, by Calin de Louve.

The win wouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who’s spent any time around Alex. Besides her excellent horsemanship and her self-effacing manner, most impressive is her AERC endurance record. In her 7 seasons and close to 3000 miles of AERC endurance, while she’s only owned 1 endurance horse (“He’s been retired, because he likes to hurt himself”), she’s ridden 52 different endurance horses for many different owners. One would have to be a good rider to be able to successfully handle so many different horses.  

Fine Cut Gold, owned by Valerie Kanavy, and Alex have been getting acquainted the last 8 months at Kanavy’s farms in Florida and Virginia, and Alex now works for Valerie. “I do a lot of FEI,” Alex said, “and last winter I asked Val if I could come ride some of her horses, because she’s got really nice horses!

“So I rode for her for a couple months, then in January we decided that I would try for the USA Young Rider World Championships in the Netherlands in September.

“We were thinking about our options as far as our horses go, and Cut was one of those options. So I rode her in January on a 75 [at Broxton Bridge, 2nd place], and then in February on a 75 [at FITS, 1st place], and then in May on a 75 [at Let’s Have Fun, 1st place], then this Championship 75.”

Due to the extreme heat wave that the 100-mile riders had to deal with on June 13 and that was forecast to continue, the start for the Young Rider Championship, scheduled for the morning of June 15, was changed on short notice, for the welfare of the horses and riders. It became a night ride, with a start time of 6:30 PM on June 14. It was still around a hundred degrees for the start, but as the sun set, the temperatures became comfortable.  

“I planned to ride a couple of loops with people,” Alex said, “and then see how my mare felt and see if she wanted to go faster or slower. But my strategy went out the window the first loop.

“First place kind of took off at the start, and I was riding with a few people on and off, all the way to the out vet check at 11 miles. Then from there, I rode with a guy for the last 15 miles back to camp.” Cut pulsed down quickly at the first hold, moving Alex up into first place. “After that, I rode alone for the rest of the race.”

They started the second (white) 14-mile loop in the dark, with a bit of a moon, and a little sunset light on the horizon. Loop 3 was a repeat of the white loop, and by then it was completely dark, which Alex rode sans light. “Cut goes better without a headlamp, so I rode without one, but I trust that mare. She did the whole thing with little to no help from me!” she laughed.

“We trotted out of camp, and Cut decided, OK, we’re cantering now, so I was like OK, whatever you want. She cantered everywhere she possibly could, and it was a little nerve-racking at first, but she wanted to do it. She knows what she’s doing, that’s for sure.”

Alex describes Cut as “very forward. She’s got good brakes, and she’s got a good mind. But you have to put her together and help her think a little bit clearer, and then she’s a dream to ride.”

There’s a little more to it than that, said Kelsey Russell, who works for Valerie. “Cut is not a push button and face her down the trail kind of horse. She takes support and reminding of how she should [be] carrying herself efficiently. Alex has played a huge role in making this talented mare into a ‘dragon’ who can now travel down the trail carrying herself properly.

“I don’t normally get emotional after many races, but this race pulled at my heart joy strings. Alex did such a great job keeping Cut in line and taking it one loop at a time. Alex and Fine Cut have been working hard on improving each other and their relationship since January this year as her other mounts changed the plans. Having watched her dedication and hours of work being put in, seeing this pair grow and improve with each lesson, and race, brings such satisfaction and joy.”

“Alex has become a very talented competitor and rider,” Valerie Kanavy said. “The cool thing about her accomplishment with Cut, is Cut may be my horse, but Alex has done the work that has made her a champion. It wasn’t that she just came and got on her horse. Cut had some special needs and Alex, through arena work and dedication, has made her into a top competitor.”

Alex really didn’t take any credit for her win, attributing all of it to Fine Cut Gold, and to Valerie and Kelsey and her mom Aileen Ellis, for being the “best crew,” and for helping her throughout the ride. “I’d ask them, ‘OK, how fast should I go, should I stay with other riders, should I just go.’ And they gave me a lot of advice on how to rate Cut so she could go all night all by herself, and how to bring her in so she could pulse down as fast as possible, and where to walk, where to trot, and where to canter.”

Every moment with Valerie is a teaching moment, Alex said. “I learn so much from her every day. Val has so many different things you can do with the horses, like swimming, and a canter field and a trot hill and a gallop hill, and long rides. Her place [in Virginia] is amazing. It’s really cool learning how to train on all those different terrains that she has in once place.”

Alex also credits Ride Manager Jan Stevens and her husband Bill for going above and beyond in this huge multi-Championship event.

“Bill and Jan were amazing all night. And Bill, he helped mark the trail and put out the glowsticks. Every single loop I’d come in, he’d ask, ‘Is it OK? Do I need to change anything? How can I fix it?’

“And Jan, on the two white loops in the dark, she was at the halfway point. We’d go up to her, and she’d take down our number, and she’d make us talk to her for a little bit to make sure we were OK and we were still chugging along. I can say that on the second white loop, I was really looking forward to seeing her!

“They put on an amazing ride, and the vets were all amazing. They took care of our horses all day.”

Alex’s mom sees the bond that exists between Alex, Valerie, and Kelsey. “[They] have an unspoken connection with each other. They all know their role and do it very well…

“There was a calmness about Alex, that I have never seen before. My daughter has grown up and found wonderful mentors, friends and family in Kelsey and Valerie. I am so grateful to both of them.”

*top photo: Alex and Fine Cut Gold. Photographer Becky Pearman donated a 4x6 print to all Championship entrants

Saturday, June 19, 2021

US Equestrian Announces Dates and Location for the 2021 North American Endurance Championships and USEF Endurance National Championships

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jun 16, 2021, 2:30 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce plans for the 2021 North American Endurance Championships (NAEC) and USEF Endurance National Championships. Both events will take place at the Broxton Bridge CEI in Ehrhardt, S.C., November 10-14.

Athletes in the USEF Endurance National Championships will compete for four titles:

• 2021 USEF Young Rider CEIYJ1* Endurance National Championship
• 2021 USEF Young Rider CEIYJ2* Endurance National Championship
• 2021 USEF Senior CEI1* Endurance National Championship
• 2021 USEF Senior CEI2* Endurance National Championship

The National Championships will run concurrently with the NAEC. The NAEC is a team competition that will be open to teams from USEF Zones, Canada, Mexico, and other nations in FEI Regional Group IV.

For more information, including qualifying requirements and ranking list, visit the USEF Endurance National Championships and NAEC page.

Stay Connected

Keep up with U.S. Endurance by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on Twitter and Instagram. Use #USAEndurance.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Virtual Tevis 2020 Unites the Endurance World - Full Article

The COVID-19 pandemic stalled many 2020 equine events, include the 100-mile Tevis Cup endurance ride. However, riders around the world supported the Tevis trail foundation and created a new tradition by completing the inaugural Virtual Tevis.

Posted by Marsha Hayes | Jun 17, 2021

In April 2020—early during the COVID-19 pandemic—the Western States Trail Foundation Board of Governors (BOG) met via Zoom to decide the fate of its Tevis 100-mile endurance event across the Sierra Nevada Mountains from near Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California. “Things were just too up in the air with COVID,” explained board member Abigail Madden. With riders from across the country and the world making plans, the board voted to cancel the ride.

Maintaining the trail has always been a financial struggle, so fellow board member Crysta Turnage suggested hosting a “Virtual Tevis” to raise trail funds. In honor of Tevis, participants would log 100 miles of movement over several months (initially 100 miles in 100 days, but unprecedented forest fires in the West caused the committee to extend the deadline). When the virtual dust settled, 1,639 participants signed up, including 1,373 riders and 266 who chose to walk, bike, swim, or otherwise move themselves 100 miles in 100 days. Seventy-seven percent completed the 100 miles. The event raised more than $80,000 and united people from around the world...

Read more here:

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Gwen Hall and Sizedoesntmatter are Victors in One Tough AERC National Championship 100

"This was the hardest 100 I have ever ridden."

by Merri
June 17 2021

Gwen Hall, of Woodland Park, Colorado, and the 15-year-old Arabian gelding Sizedoesntmatter (“Dakar”) already had an impressive resume before tackling this year’s AERC National Championship 100-mile ride outside of Ashland, Montana at Fort Howes on June 7: three Top Ten finishes in the Tevis Cup (4th in 2014, 2nd in 2015, and 8th in 2019); a first place in the 2017 AERC National Championship 100 in Colorado; USA team starters for the 2018 World Equestrian Games Endurance Championship in Tryon North Carolina; AERC Decade Team.

They’d won the Fort Howes 75-miler in 2017, and finished 2nd on the 100 in 2019, so they were familiar with the usual course; but this year things were different. Ride manager Jan Stevens had to change some of the regular loops, and, the weather was hot.

The 50-mile Championship, run on Thursday, June 11, was pleasant, but a heat wave hit for Saturday’s ride. Described by several riders as ”HOT" and "a brutal heat wave" and “absolutely brutal” and "incredibly hot" and "extreme heat," the weather conditions were a big contribution to the high pull rate (of 44 starters in the Championship 100, only 13 finished).

While the heat did have some effect on Dakar, Gwen and her gelding still won by almost 1 1/4 hours, in a total ride time of 13:14. Coincidentally, Hannah Johnson and Kourageus Hope (“Stuart”) finished second, just as they did to Gwen and Dakar in the 2017 Colorado Championship.

“It was a tough ride, not the flat and fast course that I think a lot of us had done in that race before,” Gwen said. “There was a lot of technicality to it.”

While 7 of the 13 finishers were from the Southeast and were used to heat and humidity, living at 8500 feet in Colorado was likely a bonus for Dakar, even though Gwen was concerned for him. They’d had no heat acclimation/training - they had frost on the ground at home as recently as 10 days before the race.

Gwen and Dakar started the 100 out in the front, with Jeremy Reynolds and Richard Ferrari. Jeremy was pulled after loop 1 and Richard after loop 4; the next 40 miles Gwen and Dakar did solo, “just another layer to the day’s challenge.” It was getting very hot, and Gwen was cooling both herself and her horse at the water stops on trail. “We toughed it out, walking all the steep/longer uphills/downhills and stopping to graze at several points along the way. We were able to slow down since the heat was taking out horse/rider combinations at an amazing rate.”

Gwen was very conservative with Dakar on the final 14 miles, finishing just before dark. “I was a little worried because he was showing a little tightness in the back end before we went out [for the final loop], although he was showing less than I was! But I didn’t want to jeopardize anything, so I literally got off and led him up all the longer steeper hills. I led him on the downhills. I jogged with him down the road coming in, trying to help him out as much as I could. I really thought we could be giving back a lot of time here, but I felt it was necessary, because you can’t win if you don’t finish!”

Gwen used some of her knowledge gained from the disaster of the Tryon World Equestrian Games Endurance Championship fiasco they participated in, to help get Dakar through the Fort Howes ride.

Gwen and Dakar follow Hannah Johnson and Stuart, en route to a win in the 2017 AERCNC 100 in Colorado

She and Dakar had started with her team, but officials messed up the start, and decided they would re-start the ride as a 75-miler. Then during the second loop, Hurricane Florence hit. “I have never ridden in a deluge like that in my life. It was like someone was shooting a fire hose at you sideways. It was the worst rain I have ever been in.

“And then of course the heat cranked up, and the horses started dropping like flies. It was probably 90 degrees and 95% humidity.” Dakar sank to mid-cannon bone on parts of the course in a mix of sand and clay. “I walked it. I didn’t want to hurt my horse.” And then the officials stopped the ride. “In some ways while I was disappointed they stopped the ride, from a welfare standpoint, I was glad they did, because I do think the attrition rate would’ve been worse.

“I'd had no experience riding in heat and humidity like that. I cannot express my gratitude enough to Valerie Kanavy. She opened up her home to me for the 4 weeks before we went and staged at Aiken. She let me live with her, and I trained with her and her horses. She had 5 horses going to WEG, 2 for the US team and 3 for other riders.

“And she was always very open with information, like ‘This is what we’re doing here.’ And while you’re always hesitant to change what’s been working for you, it opened up my eyes a lot to what I can do and what I should do.

“And that information, what I learned there with Valerie, directly translated into some of the management things that i did for this particular Championship race with the heat. And it was obviously very helpful."

And Gwen and Dakar couldn’t have won without the support of a crack crew. “I could not have been successful without the help from my crew, [my husband] Tim, Cassadee Jaksch and her mom Claudine as well as the support and encouragement from so many friends. I cannot tell you how much it meant to me.”

And the heroics of Ride Management did not go unnoticed by this grateful competitor.

Gwen and Dakar en route to a win in the 2017 AERCNC 100 in Colorado

“Ride management did an incredible job given the number of events, the normal challenges presented by managing a ride of this size and the particular challenges posed by the weather.

“[They] did a great job with the last minute changes (trail loop changes, light marking on trail, etc) and the vet team was amazing - I am not sure they slept much at all since vet in started Thursday.

“They were the real endurance champions of the weekend.”

*Top photo - Gwen and Sizedoesntmatter finishing 4th in the 2013 AERCNC 50 in Idaho

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Enter the AHA Distance Nationals in September in Tennessee

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event, hosted by AHA, which includes partnered Breed National Championships along with Big South Fork Open Rides. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA), Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Registry.

Along with the Breed National Championships we also offer an Open Big South Fork AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) and three Open Big South Fork Limited Distance (LD) & 50 Mile Rides and an 100 Mile Ride. This year all endurance Open Big South Fork Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and Southeast Endurance Riders Association (SERA). The Distance Horse National Championships also offer an LD Challenge which is for the same horse/rider combination entered in all three Open LD Rides; rules and points schedule can be found under the Rider Information tab. All Big South Fork Rides are open to all equine and have not qualification or membership requirements!">

For more information and to enter, see:

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Taking the Heat at the AERC National Championships

by Merri
June 15 2021

It's been a hot week at the AERC Nationals outside of Ashland, Montana.

Described at various times as "HOT" and "a brutal heat wave" and "incredibly hot" and "extreme heat," the ride was a challenge in more ways than just the terrain this year.

Friday was the 50-miler; Sunday was the 100-miler; Tuesday was scheduled to be the AERC Young Rider National Championship, but due to extreme heat forecast of 108*, the start time was moved up to 6:30 PM Monday evening - ride is still underway with 13 starters.

Winning the National Championship 50-miler was Heather Reynolds and Misfit Toi in 4:17. Niki Beck and Cloudy finished second in 4:18, and Rachel Land and Matla were third in 4:33. Best Condition and High Vet Score went to Matla. 48 finished the ride.

Jeremy Reynolds and Supersonic Zell won the open 50-miler in 4:05; they also got Best Condition and High Vet Score. 17 finished the ride.

Repeating their 2017 AERC National 100-mile victory in Colorado, Gwen Hall and Sizedoesntmatter ("Dakar") crossed the finish line first in 13:14. Also repeating the finish in Colorado was second place Hannah Johnson and Kourageus Hope ("Stuart"); they finished in 14:28.01. Third place went to Suzie Hayes and Sannstorm, who rode with Hannah all day. There were 13 finishers in 44 starters in the Championship. Best Condition and High Vet Score went to fourth place The Maclean Machine, ridden by Marvin Brangman, in a ride time of 14:29.

Two out of 9 starters completed the open 100, with Kelly Stoneburner finishing first aboard Reckless in 19:05.

More stories and results to come:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Endurance Ride Photographers Guild’s Becky Pearman Donates Photos for AERC National Championships

by Merri
June 13 2021

Becky Pearman, a member of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild, is the Official Photographer for this weekend’s AERC National Championships.

From Ivanhoe, Virginia, Becky traveled to Ashland, Montana to cover the championship even June 4-6.

As a sponsorship for the rides, she is donating a 4x6 commemorative portrait with the championship logo to all riders in the 50-mile and 100-mile championships with their horses wearing a garland that was used in the 2001 AERC National Championships in Kentucky.

Becky’s ride photos will be available online after the event at

Friday, June 11, 2021

Junior Endurance Rider Kyla Law Debuts Rock Horse Art at City of Rocks Ride

by Merri
June 11 2021

If she hasn’t already caught your eye at endurance rides as the tall, confident, 13-year-old pig-tailed pilot of a Hackney pony with an outsized personality, then it’s her burgeoning - as of last weekend - rock horse art business that will really stop you in your tracks.

“I started painting these rocks for fun,” Kyla said, “because my sister wanted to paint. Then I was thinking, why don’t I just paint horses because we’re at a Ridecamp.” That was at City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride in south-central Idaho June 4-6.

Dave Rabe saw the first fun rock painting she created of a gray horse, and since he had two rather famous gray horses, Cheys Cocamoe Joe and White Cloud at his trailer across the field, he bought it for $20.

“And then I thought, why don’t I paint people’s horses because then people would want them more.” Next she painted a rock for Naomi Preston and Lee Pearce of their horses, (Hall of Fame horse) Fire Mt Malabar and JAC Winterhawk. (top picture)

When I saw that rock, I made a beeline for Kyla for my own rock painting of Hillbillie Willie. It was good timing, because after that, the word got out.

Kyla takes a profile picture of her subject, finds a big flat rock (“sometimes that’s the hardest part!” - but luckily City of Rocks had just the right kind of rocks scattered around our Ridecamp field), then she sequesters herself with her acrylic paints for around an hour to produce a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art specific to the ride and horse(s) that’s guaranteed to delight its new owner.

She paints for fun, and for the pleasure she gives her clients, but it also serves another purpose.

“It’s so I can raise money so that I can pay for my horses’ shoes. Because if I don’t pay for them, I don’t get to ride them.”

Kyla has two horses, Prancy (Velvet Prancer), a saddlebred bay, and the aforementioned Flash (Piece of Perfection), the now-12-year-old Hackney pony. Kyla’s goal this year is riding the Tevis Cup with Flash.

“Flash is crazy. He has a huge personality. And he LOVES to run fast and he loves to win and he’s funny. And we share a really big connection with each other,” Kyla said.

Sheila Wetter had bought Flash several years ago and recruited Kyla to help break him. “He wasn’t even saddle broke. So we just worked from that, and when I was finally able to ride him, I couldn’t even talk while riding him or he’d spook. So we had to work all through that. 

“And we were moving to Utah from Washington state, and I thought, I can’t lose him, because I love him so much. Because training together, we just grew a huge connection.”

She asked her mom and dad if she could buy Flash; they approved and she raised the money to buy him in 2018. Kyla started endurance riding when she was 9, and has ridden 915 AERC, EDRA, and WDRA miles. She and Flash finished the Scottsdale ReMarkable 100-miler last December, and they are focused on the July 24th Tevis Cup.

“I know that my pony can do it,” Kyla said. “And it’s a huge ride and it looks really fun to do, and this year is free for juniors.”

Kyla loves custom painting her rocks with people’s horses, and it kept her busy during City of Rocks, and is likely to keep her busier at future rides. But get your order in early and be patient, because that won’t interfere with what she’s really there to do. “I have to ride!” she said. 

If you want your own custom rock, you can get in touch with her mom, Natalie Law. 

Or, Natalie says, “I guess the easiest way is to find the little black pony. And you’ll find Kyla.”

Thursday, June 10, 2021

2021 City of Rocks Pioneer: Great Trails, Great Tevis and AERCNC Training

by Merri
June 10 2021

This year's edition of the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride in south-central Idaho - the 10th year/11th event, or thereabouts - provided riders and horses with the ambiance of plenty heat and wind and dust throughout the 3-day event!

"Great Tevis Cup conditioning," said first time City of Rocks rider, and 24-time Tevis Cup finisher Kathy Perry. And great prep for the AERC National Championships in Montana next weekend. A few people were going on from City of Rocks to there.

From the always-changing weather (maybe heat or cold or snow or rain or wind or dust or all of the above in one weekend) to the elevation change (basecamp at 5500' with climbs up to 7500' on some loops), it's always a challenging ride. But lest you think only Arabians can handle it, a variety of breeds took on this year's ride, including Quarter horses, American saddlebreds, mustangs, Missouri foxtrotters, Tennessee walkers, a Standardbred, a feisty Hackney pony (hopefully Tevis-bound with his Junior rider Kyla Law!), and not one, but two Icelandic horses!

And always, the good trails and beautiful scenery left several more people saying it's one of their favorite rides anywhere in the country. The trails you ride through City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park offer the same breathtaking views that pioneers gandered at 150 years ago as they headed West on the California Trail on horseback and in covered wagons.

More than 70 riders hit the trails each day. The familiar face of Christoph Schork added 3 more wins and Best Conditions to his long resume, aboard GE VA Blizzard of Ozz (days 1 and 2) and GE Haat Wheelz (day 3). On the LDs, Greg Mayer and Khlua & Cream won Day 1, Carol Bischoff and Kenlyn Struts won Day 2, and Simone Mauhl and Boogey got first and Best Condition on Day 3. Carol and Kenlyn Struts got Best Condition days 1 and 2.

City of Rocks is the first in the Idaho IronHorse Challenge - 12 days of 50's or 25's in 4 Idaho Pioneer rides (next is the July 3-day Top o' the World in Spencer, the September 3-day Old Selam in Idaho City, and the October 3-day Autumn Sun in Gooding) for one horse-one rider.. or a combination of horses…. or whatever challenge you are up for! Good swag goes to those who accomplish IronHorse or IronButt challenges.

8 horses and riders completed all 3 days of 25s, including Junior Kinley Thunehorst and her Missouri Foxtrotted Lady. 4 horses and riders completed all days of 50s: John Stevens and Lil Dude AA, Elizabeth Grimshaw and Prinzymess SPS, Nance Worman and Owyhee Smoke Signal, and Virgina Jenkins and RA China Doll.

And even though we were completely wiped out after this year's City of Rocks ride, never fear because ride manager Regina Rose was already making plans for next year's edition!

More photos at:

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Enthusiasm for endurance: Western States Endurance Run co-founder continues trail support - Full Article

Western States Endurance Run co-founder Shannon Weil continues trail support

by Traci Newell
Auburn Journal
Jun 04, 2021 9:00 AM

From one big idea to the next, Shannon Weil has never stopped supporting Auburn’s endurance events since she helped create the first Western States Endurance Run.

This year’s big idea – a 48-feet-by-8-feet poster with past race champions out in front of City Hall – continues Weil’s mission to keep Auburn living up to the title: Endurance Capital of the World, a moniker she coined.

An experienced equestrian, Weil was competing in the Tevis Cup in 1977 while riding beside one of 14 runners partaking in the 100-mile race, which takes place over one day from Tahoe City to Auburn.

“While we were going through Volcano Canyon, I said, ‘This run is going to be a hit, and I’m going to make sure it is,’ ” Weil said.

Partnering with Mo Livermore, Curt Sproul and then-husband Phil Gardner, the “Gang of Four” worked to create the Western States Endurance Run. The event grew from 14 runners in 1977 to 64 the next year with runners from as far away as San Francisco.

Today, the race is considered the premier ultra-running event and hosts 369 athletes from around the world...

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