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:

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