Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Equestrian Adventuresses Podcast: An Endurance Riding Tale for Young Adults & Young at Heart Podcast - Listen

by utetonia
October 27, 2021

If you love books, this is the perfect place for you. Once a month, Heather, Ute, and sometimes Krystal, will talk about their favorite horsey book. In today’s episode of the EQA Book Club, Ute is talking with Claire Eckhard about her book Gallant – Call of the Trail, a story of a young girl and her horse. The book is modelled loosely on the life of Julie Suhr, a legend among American Endurance Riders with 22 Tevis Cup Buckles and three times Haggin Cup winner. It has been written for young adults, buts its strong endurance riding angle and simple but strong language makes it a joy to read for every horse lover and endurance rider out there.


Monday, October 25, 2021

Santa Cruz California Fall Endurance Riding Clinic

Saturday, Nov 20, 20219:00 – 4:30

Santa Cruz County Horsemen’s Assn Showgrounds
1251 Graham Hill Road, Santa Cruz CA 95060.
Sponsored by SCCHA & Quicksilver Endurance Riders

Have you ever wanted to learn more about what it takes to compete in 25- or 50-mile endurance riding events? Join us for this fun and educational clinic to learn how to get started, or how to step up your game if you are new to the sport.

Whether you are a competitor at heart or are looking for a sport for your entire family, endurance riding has something for everyone. Endurance riding combines the opportunity of riding a challenging course with your equine partner with the camaraderie of camping and socializing with people who share your interests. In this full day clinic, you will learn • How to condition and care for your equine partner
• What the rules are at endurance events sanctioned by AERC
• What happens on the day of the ride
• Setting up a conditioning program
• How to gauge your horse’s fitness and set goals
• Tack and accessories to consider
• Feeding and supplementation for the endurance athlete
• How to pace your horse in an endurance ride

This clinic will be held at the lovely Santa Cruz County Horseman’s Association Showgrounds. We have shaded outdoor stalls for your horse to stay in, and the clinic fee includes one night of camping – your choice of Friday or Saturday night. Your instructors for the day will be several very experienced endurance riders who, together, have tens of thousands of miles of competitive experience in the sport. Through a combination of lecture, demonstration, and trail riding in small groups, we will help you increase your knowledge and skills so that you can successfully complete endurance rides with a healthy and happy horse

Cost: $50, which includes the full day clinic, lunch, and camping for you and your horse; OR $15 for the lecture and demonstrations, and lunch. We welcome all riders from any discipline, and their horses (unless auditing). For more information, contact Jill Kilty-Newburn at or Debbie Boscoe at

We are limited to 25 riders so don’t wait! For registration and payment, use this link:

Friday, October 22, 2021

"Slightly Broken," Nicole Wertz Wins Virginia City 100

Broken ribs? Banged up knee and ankle? Lost stirrups in the gallop in the dark to the finish line? No problem for veteran rider Nicole Wertz in the Virginia City 100

October 22 2021
By Merri

Two weeks before Nicole Wertz and All For You were to attempt Nicole’s 23rd Virginia City 100 finish, it looked doubtful that they’d even reach the starting line in front of the Delta Saloon.

Nicole’s 13-year-old mare All For You (“Tinga”) had a rider-option pull in her first 50-mile start in May of 2021.

In her second start two weeks prior to Virginia City, Tinga got hung up in a gate three miles into a 50-miler when Nicole’s stirrup got caught; it ripped Nicole’s leg and she eventually fell off onto a pile of rocks, breaking three ribs, hurting her knee and ankle, while Tinga ran off for two hours.

The obvious solution would have been to call it a day, but once Nicole caught her horse and had the vets thoroughly check her out and give her the all-clear, Nicole climbed back on Tinga for a 38-mile training ride. “She needed a good workout; she was going to VC!” Nicole laughed.

Tinga was the horse Nicole thought she could win VC on. “I won it in 2013, but it was a tie. So my goal was always, if I had the right horse, and the right setup, I would try to win it for real.”

Nicole took a (whole) week off from riding, then took Tinga on a test ride six days before VC. “Just to make sure I could ride balanced enough, and think that I could do a hundred miles. Yeah - that’s right - ride 100 miles slightly broken. But us endurance people are tough.”

Hence she and Tinga made it to the starting line in downtown Virginia City, Nevada, at 5:00 AM on Saturday, October 16th.

Nicole and her good friend Kassandra DiMaggio, aboard One Sun, rode together most of the ride, chasing the leader Melissa Montgomery aboard Guns “N” Roses.

“We were behind her by about 15 minutes most of the day,” Nicole said. “We just never seemed to be able to catch her. She’s a fierce competitor. She’s relentless. She had just done that Moab 240-mile foot race right before she came here. She’s just an amazing, amazing, amazing woman.”

At the 93-mile checkpoint, Nicole and Kassandra caught Melissa (she would cross the finish line, but her horse was pulled, as he had fallen with her on the last loop and ended up lame.)

That left Nicole and Kassandra vying for first place. Kassandra had a minute lead on Nicole out of the last vet check, but Nicole quickly caught her. “I think she thought she had me, and when I caught her she said, ‘Aw shoot, I knew this was going to happen!’”

The two riders knew the VC trail well, and knew that the hardest section was after 50 miles. “There’s an extreme amount of climbing between the 50 and 75 mile mark. It’s like literally non-stop climbing. That’s where you’ve got to conserve. And the last loop, the last 25 miles - if you’ve got horse - it’s mostly pretty flat, so you can really move. And it’s fairly good footing.”

The race was on between the two friends the last seven miles. “We just rode along and rode smart, and right about when it was time to go, we went, and like Kassandra said at our awards ceremony, ‘Nicole is a little more ballsy on the runaway down the hill!’

“And I ended up racing the last probably half mile with no stirrups, because I lost them. My ankle was a wreck. I almost fell off on the turn; Tinga switched leads and her saddle slipped. There was a moment where literally I thought, Ohmigod, I’m going to fall off and lose this race! And I was planning to fall off on the side I was already wrecked on…” Nicole’s ankle had started to bother her at the 65-mile mark, and the knee pain had returned (and she didn’t even mention her mending ribs). And now she was racing in the dark for the finish line with no stirrups.

“But I really didn’t want to fall off, so I grabbed her neck and mane and I just figured, well, I ride a Grand Prix dressage horse, so I was like, I can ride without stirrups racing at a full gallop!

“And I did! And as we went over the finish line, I won by about a horse length. Tinga gave it her all. She didn’t even have to dig into her gas tank. She really had a lot left.” They finished at 9:39 PM.

Eventual third place finisher Jay Mero, riding Ozark Kaolena SWA, left the last vet check about a half hour behind Nicole and Kassandra, but those two sped up so much they put another half hour on Jay.

“We were moving,” Nicole said. “But it was a beautiful night. Our horses know each other well. And Kassandra and I are actually really close friends.”

After that great effort, All For You completed the ride (her second VC finish) with an impressive 48-48 CRI.

The next morning, Kassandra’s Arabian gelding One Sun won the Best Condition award (One Sun is a son of French Open, who won the Tevis Cup with Heather Reynolds in 2014).

“That was icing on the cake. Her horse looked fabulous. It was great that both of us essentially got a win. I think that made it even more fun for friends, especially,” Nicole said.

Nicole has owned All For You for four seasons. She originally bought the mare from Endurance rider Gwen Hall for her husband Josh to ride. “But he’s not a serious rider, so I guess I stole her.”

While you’ve often seen Nicole riding her homebred Friesian crosses, Tinga is a well-bred Arabian (Nivour de Cardonne X Tu For All, by Tron Ku Tu) who is a delight to ride.

“She’s actually the funnest horse I’ve ever ridden, and I’ve ridden a lot of horses over the years. She is super fun. She’s kind of like riding a dirt bike on a trail. She’s very handy. She has a big floaty stride, but she’s very easy to half-halt and get around tight corners. When you watch her, she’s a pretty effortless mover. Her normal going-down-the-road trot is 12 mph. Big trot. That’s just her normal speed. Slow for her is 10. She’s a nice mover.”

But she’s a horse Nicole has had to manage metabolically. “She’s been a challenge in that respect.

“I had encouragement from Heather and Jeremy Reynolds, who really like this mare, and have told me many times, do not give her away!

“I’ve had to figure her out. The Reynolds gave me some professional advice with their electrolyte protocol. And this mare just needs more electrolytes than I’ve ever given. She’s one that needs it every two hours, and I just have to do that. And it seems to work.

“And we figured out that the best thing for her is she needs to do an Endurance ride two weeks before a hundred.” (Or, say, a 38-mile training ride despite the fact you just sustained broken ribs.)

As for Nicole receiving her 23rd Virginia City buckle (second only behind Connie Creech’s 26), that dream started when she was 10 or 11. “I don’t know why, but I had a goal of getting 20 buckles.

“I rode a pony the first time I rode it at age 11. And by the time I was 20, I did have 10 buckles. And I did 12 consecutive years without getting pulled. I begged, borrowed, stole a horse so I could ride.

“Then life, college, whatever, horse, no horse; the years went by. It’s been a while since my Friesian crosses have been going, so I haven’t really had anything recently to ride. So there was kind of a gap.”

Nicole obviously got her riding genes from her mom, 77-year-old Pat Chappell, a legend in her own right who rode this year for her 20th VC buckle. She and Nicole rode together until about mile 38, when her mom started dropping back. Pat ended up rider-option pulling at 60 miles. When Nicole isn’t riding Virginia City, she’s there helping crew for her mom or to support someone else.

All For You appears to like doing 100s, and it looks like she’s got a few more Virginia City buckles in her future.

“When I couldn’t start Tevis this year, (we had some issues with shoes falling off at the wrong time) Heather and Jeremy really encouraged me to get Tinga’s feet repaired and ‘Go win VC’.

“At the finish of Tevis [Jeremy won aboard Treasured Moments], Jeremy hugged me and told me I should have been right there with him with my mare.

“Their encouragement and positivity and believing in this horse really helped prepare us for VC this year.

“Despite many challenges we did it, and I am so proud!”

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

2021 October's Horses in the Morning Podcast

Horsesinthemorning podcast - Listen

Revisit Endurance Day: Endurance for the Clueless Equestrian for 10-12-2021 by Horseware

Oct 12, 2021

Revisit: Karen Chaton is joined by Patti Stedman to tell us just about everything we need to know to get through our first Endurance ride. Heather ‘Flash’ Accardo talks about her preparations for the Mongol Derby and common Endurance acronyms are deciphered, plus we make up a few new ones. Listen in...

Monday, October 18, 2021

Nicole Wertz Wins Virginia City 100 to Earn 23rd Buckle

October 18 2021

Nicole Wertz and All For You crossed the finish line of the Virginia City 100 on Saturday night at 10:39 PM to win the ride, earning her 23rd VC buckle. Kassandra DiMaggio aboard One Sun finished second, also at 10:39, and earned next morning's Best Condition award.

Nicole also won the VC 100 in 2013 (in a tie with Diane Stevens riding Banderaz LC) riding her one-eyed Friesian cross Golden Knight.

36 started the 100, with 20 finishing.

More to come at:

Man and horse travel 2,500 miles from California to Kentucky - Article & Video

Dominik Fuhrmann
Oct 7, 2021 Updated Oct 8, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- If anyone in Louisville saw a guy on a horse going across the Big Four Bridge this week, you weren't imagining things.

Patrick Sullivan is riding his horse, Gamilah, bareback and bridleless across country.

"We've traveled 2,400 miles from California to Kentucky here, and we're finishing at the Kentucky Horse Park," he said.

WDRB Photojournalist Dominik Fuhrmann caught up with Sullivan and his 9-year-old Egyptian Arabian mare while they were passing through Louisville.

Gamilah is a "liberty horse," which means Sullivan doesn't use ropes, reins, a saddle or a bridle. The horses are trained to choose to work with their rider, and it trains using positive reinforcement or clickers...

See more here:

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Junior Olivia Valtierra Claims Idaho IronHorse Title

by Merri
October 15 2021

11-year-old Endurance rider Olivia Valtierra claimed the 2021 Junior division Idaho IronHorse LD last weekend. This title is awarded to the rider who completes at least nine days of the 3-day City of Rocks Pioneer ride in Almo in June, the 3-day Top o’ the World Pioneer ride near Spencer in July, the 3-day Old Selam Pioneer in Idaho City in August, and the 3-day Autumn Sun Pioneer near Gooding in October. Olivia rode all days of LDs except Old Selam.

Riding her 19-year-old trusty gelding Tai Bo, Olivia was sponsored on most of the rides by her mom Jessica Valtierra and grandmother Veronica Simpson (these 3 were on the cover of the June Endurance News magazine) and her aunt Lindsay Fisher. She also rode parts of the Top O’ the World trails with Steven Coziah, who, aboard his mustang The Duchess of Beatty’s Butte, earned the senior division title of Idaho IronHorse LD.

2021 was Olivia’s first year of Endurance riding, completing all 11 of her rides with Tai Bo - watch out for this Junior in the future!

Friday, October 15, 2021

Bernice Ende's Last Long Ride

October 7, 2021

On Saturday, October 2, Bernice passed away in New Mexico at her sister’s home, peacefully and quietly. Just how she wanted. Her two sisters were by her side and the horses close by.

Bernice stated often how she had lived an extraordinary life. She loved horses, adventures, being outside and meeting all of you who were part of her Lady Long Rider journey. Her family is so thankful for the encouragement, support and love you provided.

Bernice requested a small and private memorial with family only. If you would like to do something in Bernice’s memory please give to your favorite charity and continue to pass on the kindness and love you have shown Bernice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

2021 Autumn Sun Pioneer: A Fine Trial Run for Next Year's Distance Horse National Championships

by Merri
October 12 2021

A more welcoming and well-organized group of ride management family and friends and vets you won’t find than at the Autumn Sun Pioneer ride in southern Idaho. Put on by Jessica Huber and her family at 4500’ in the Gooding foothills out of a spacious and sheltered Ridecamp,

this year was the fourth year for this new(ish) Ride Manager, who next year will hold the The Distance Horse National Championships (50 and 100 miles), hosted by the Arabian Horse Association along with the usual Autumn Sun Pioneer.

The endurance of horses and riders were front and center, as Idaho presented all kinds of weather over this year’s 3-day event: sun, wind, rain, fog (trails were marked so well that nobody got lost in the fog!)

The ride had a bit of Endurance royalty in attendance: AERC Hall of Famer and highest-mileage-rider-ever Dave Rabe (73,000+ miles) and two of his rather famous horses, White Cloud and Cocamoe Joe, parked next to us in Ridecamp; AERC’s winningest rider Christoph Schork rode the 100; Suzie Hayes (AERC Pard’ners Award with Kootenai Zizzero in 1997 and Hall of Fame equine in 2011) rode the 100; Joyce Sousa (AERC Pard’ners Award with Jim Bob in 2001; Hall of Fame equines Jim Bob in 2005 and LV Integrity in 2015) rode with her daughter Jennifer Neihaus in the 100. And you couldn’t miss Piece of Perfection, aka Flash the Hackney pony, (Tevis Cup finisher this year), who carried Kyla’s little sister Layla on day 2’s 55-miler.

The 100-miler, run on Sunday, day 3, had 13 starters and 7 finishers. Tying for first place were Suzie Hayes and Al Marah Triple Speed, Christoph Schork and VA Blizzard of Oz, and Tom Currier and Zell the Bull in a ride time of 13:50. Al Marah Triple Speed earned the Best Condition award, and Suzie finished her 96th 100-miler. Finishing 6th and 7th were Joyce Sousa on Shahs Gold Nugget and Jennifer Neihaus on Bak Jabari, for Joyce’s 93rd 100-mile completion.

The Idaho IronHorse senior champion was The Duchess of Beatty’s Butte (Ness), ridden by Steven Coziah. This pair finished all 3 Limited Distance days at Idaho’s City of Rocks Pioneer, all 3 days of LDs at Top O’ The World, and all 3 days of LDs at Autumn Sun. Congrats to Steven and his super mustang mare!

And the Junior Idaho Ironhorse champion was Tai Juan ridden by Olivia Valtierra, finishing all 3 LD days at City of Rocks, Top O' the WOrld, and Autumn Sun. She's one of our Idaho Super Juniors!

Day 3’s 100 was the first 100-miler that Jessica Huber put on; with her test pilot riders this year, and their wise inputs, next year’s Championship ride trails will be dialed in to perfection. And the ride will be a weekend earlier in 2022, so you can *almost* guarantee the weather will be perfect!

More photos and stories from the ride at:

2021 USEF Endurance National Championships & North American Endurance Championships – Application Deadlines and Chefs d’Equipe and Team Veterinarians Interest Forms


by U.S. Equestrian Communications Department | Oct 8, 2021, 2:15 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – The 2021 USEF Endurance National Championships & North American Endurance Championships will be held at Broxton Bridge in Ehrhardt, SC from November 10-14, 2021. More information for these Championships can be found on the US Equestrian website here as well as on the official competition website here.

National Championships Application of Intent
The USEF Endurance National Championships are open to all U.S. athletes and horses that have their relevant FEI qualifications and are in good standing with the FEI and USEF. The USEF Endurance National Championships have sections at the CEI1*, CEIYJ1*, CEI2*, and CEIYJ2* levels. Those interested in competing in the National Championships must submit their FEI Entry through the USEF website as well as submit an application of intent which can be found on the USEF website here by October 31st, 2021.

North American Endurance Championships Application of Intent
The U.S. Zone Teams at the North American Endurance Championships are open to the top 15 athletes in each Zone from the ranking list for the event per the qualifying requirements. In order to be listed on the ranking list, an athlete must have completed an FEI competition within the qualifying period. All athletes and horses must also have their relevant FEI qualifications and be in good standing with the FEI and USEF. The North American Endurance Championships have sections at the CEI1*, CEIYJ1*, CEI2*, and CEIYJ2* levels. Those interested in competing in the North American Endurance Championships must submit their FEI Entry through the USEF website as well as submit an application of intent which can be found on the USEF website here by October 31st, 2021.

Interest Form for Chefs d’Equipe and Team Veterinarians for the U.S. Zone Teams at the NAECs
Those interested in serving in the role of Chef d’Equipe or Team Veterinarian for one of the U.S. Zone Teams at the North American Endurance Championships should complete the form found here and submit to Steven Morrissey at by no later than October 25th, 2021.

One Team Chef d’Equipe and one Team Veterinarian will be recommended from each Zone by the USEF Endurance Sport Committee. The Zone Team Veterinarians must have an FEI Permitted Veterinarian card no later than the closing date for the FEI Definite Entry (per the FEI Definite Schedule). Every member of a U.S. Zone Team Staff, must successfully complete a criminal background check and Safe Sport training as required by the Safe Sport Policy prior to arrival to the North American Endurance Championships.

There will be no USEF funding or compensation for the Zone Team Chefs d’Equipe and Team Veterinarians.

Please contact Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at if you have any questions.

Follow USA Endurance
Stay up to date with U.S. Endurance by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on FacebookInstagramTikTok, and Twitter. Use #USAEndurance.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOPC, and USEF sponsors and members.


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Local Idaho Endurance Riding Group Pitches in on National Public Lands Day

October 5 2021
by Merri

Joining a group of Backcountry Horsemen, members of SWITnDR, Southwest Idaho Trail and Distance Riders, volunteered with projects on BLM land on September 25 National Public Lands Day.

Wilson Creek Trailhead in the BLM Owyhee Mountain foothills is a popular place for horseback riders, hikers and bikers, and several projects were attended to that were on a long To-Do list.

A much-needed gate was added to a fence line where a new cattle guard had been put in on the road and no other access was available for horse riders. Another sketchy gate was cleared for safe use. Trash was cleared from the area. Volunteers were enlisted for trail multi-use education (particularly for bikers and horse riders) for weekends, when this trailhead can be very busy. And led by the SWITnDR horseback riders, a couple of pack mules hauled safety signs that were installed on a dangerous sight-limited curve in a trail.

The Wilson Creek Trail Coalition sponsored the event with BLM. The Coalition is made up of representatives from each of the user groups and BLM land managers. The Idaho Horse Council initiated the forming of this coalition. Numerous horsemen groups, including Back Country Horsemen, TVBCH, SBBCH , Boise BCH, and Southwest Idaho Trail and Distance Riders are representated. Mountain biking groups include Wilson Creek Mountain Biking and SWIMBA.

Though the biker groups who belong to the coalition weren’t present on this day, there were groups of bikers out riding, and the horse riders had some very positive discussions with them. BLM representatives made an appearance, and the present volunteers interacted with hunters and other members of the public during the morning.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Endurance Horse Podcast Ep. 50: Hannah Catalino and Lisanne Fear - Mustang Discovery Trail 5000 Mile, 5000 Mustangs

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

Welcome to Episode 50 of Endurance Horse Podcast:
Hannah Catalino and Lisanne Fear

Created by: Christina Hyke

September 28th 2021

Hello & welcome to the 50th episode of Endurance Horse Podcast. Today on Endurance Horse Podcast we will be talking with Lisanne Fear and Hannah Catalino. Lisanne and Hannah are embarking on a wild ride across America to inspire adoptions of living legends. They began on the Delaware shores following along the American Discovery Trail Southern Route. Lisanne & Hannah plan to be at the Celebration of the Horse on October 2nd from 10am to 4pm in Queen Anne Maryland hosted at the Tuckahoe Equestrian Center.

It is their hope to help people discover how truly incredible these wild horses are, so Hannah and Lisanne are riding 5,000 miles across America to inspire the adoption of 5,000 mustangs.

We are celebrating the 50th episode of Endurance Horse Podcast, though also 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Velma B. Johnston, also known as “Wild Horse Annie, worked tirelessly to protect the Mustang, and now 50 years later we have two young riders on Endurance Horse Podcast carrying on the Legacy of Wild Horse Annie to protect and preserve America’s Horse on America’s Trail. Without further ado I bring to you episode 50 of Endurance Horse Podcast...

Read more and listen:

Selection Procedures Available for 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Sep 29, 2021, 12:00 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has published the Selection Procedures for the 2022 FEI Endurance World Championship, which is set to be held at Isola della Scala in Verona, Italy on October 22, 2022.

The Selection Procedures have been approved by an Ad Hoc of the USEF Board of Directors by recommendation of the USEF International Disciplines Council and USEF Endurance Sport Committee. These Selection Procedures and supporting documents can be found on the USEF website here.

Applications of intent for the Championship will open on October 1, 2021, at 12:00 AM ET. The early application deadline will be May 30, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET and the late application deadline will be August 20, 2022, at 11:59 PM ET. The application of intent will be made available here by October 1, 2021.

The ranking list used for selection will be posted in due course on the USEF website here. Following initial posting, the ranking list will be updated regularly to reflect new results throughout the qualifying period.

Please contact Steven Morrissey, Project Director of High Performance Programs, at if you have any questions.

Stay up to date with U.S. Endurance by following USA Endurance on Facebook and US Equestrian on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Use #USAEndurance.

The USEF International High Performance Programs are generously supported by the USET Foundation, USOPC, and USEF sponsors and members.

For more information, see: