Wednesday, March 30, 2022

2022 Distance Horse National Championships in Gooding, Idaho

Come ride with us at the 2022 Distance Horse National Championships in Gooding, Idaho on September 30-October 2.

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 Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA.)  

Along with the Breed National Championships we also offer an Open Autumn Sun Pioneer AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) and three Open Autumn Sun Pioneer Limited Distance (LD) & 50 Mile Rides along with an 100 Mile Ride. This year all endurance Open Autumn  Sun Pioneer Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC). 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 Autumn Sun Pioneer Rides are open to all equine and have not qualification or membership requirements!

Fore more information, see:!&utm_medium=email

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Oregonian thunders across Patagonia in epic horse race - Read and Listen to full story

By Elizabeth Castillo (OPB)
March 23, 2022 5 a.m.

Brenda Johnson is an avid adventurer. Earlier this month, she spent time thundering through South America’s Patagonia region on horseback. Johnson rode in this year’s Gaucho Derby. The race is billed as the “greatest test of horsemanship and wilderness skills on Earth.”

“I love being out in the woods with the animals and pushing myself and exploring and finding new places,” she said.

Johnson, of Wallowa County, is a live-in ranch hand, backcountry packer, horseshoer and veterinary assistant...

Read and listen here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

2022 March's Horses in the Morning Endurance Podcast - Listen

Longevity for Endurance Horses and Endurance Riders, Electrolytes 101, by World Equestrian Center for Mar 8, 2022

Mar 8, 2022

Jeanne Pepper is still competing with her Mustang Tahoe in her 70’s and she shares just a few of her many adventures. Mike Tracy shares how he got started in Endurance riding and tells us about his Hall of Fame horse Aaron Moon+//. Karen’s endurance tip zeros in on Electrolytes and hydration.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Katie Daley and Socks win 2021 American Saddlebred High Mileage EDRA award

by Shelah Wetter
March 14 2022

Katie Daley, a 15 year old from Washington state, wins the 2021 American Saddlebred High Miles Award from the Equine Distance Riding Association on her horse Three Socks.

Katie started taking lessons at Blue Haven Stable in 2016 from myself,Shelah Wetter, and her parents started leasing horses through the summer months in 2017. I sold Katie her first horse, Three Socks, a petite feisty chestnut mare July 2020. I knew it would be a great fit. But little did I know, the ball that had been set in motion.

Socks had a bright start to her career before Katie bought her. Socks had 50 mile starts and a 100% completion rate that still stands. Eleven year old Socks is now trained exclusively by Katie, and with a winter full of hard work, they came into the endurance scene in 2021 ready.

Socks and Katie completed their first 30 mile ride in May 2021 with a group of six other riders from Blue Haven Stables. Katie’s next ride would be one of the PNW hardest rides, the 50 miler at Renegade Rendezvous in the mountains of southern Washington State. That ride boasts more then 8,000 feet of elevation gains, with very steep ascent and descents. It's challenging mentally and physically for both horse and riders. They came through it with flying colors. Among several other 50 mile rides in 2021, they also completed their first multi day—a 50/30. Both Socks and Katie rocked it.

Katie takes impeccable care of Socks, often working her multiple times a day and cross training through the winter when she is stuck in an indoor arena. Socks has come to expect love and (treats) from all, often hanging out with humans loose more like a dog than a horse.

Katie will be attempting her first 75 mile ride to be completed in 18 hours to start her 2022 endurance season. She will also be taking on her first back to back 50/50 mile rides. Katie will be trying to get Socks her CH-SH, which is a champion sport horse designation through the American Saddlebred Registry. Watch out for these two in the years to come!

Katie and I have spent many hundreds of miles and hours training horses together. I'm very proud of her & I look forward to watching this amazing young womans journey with her American Saddlebred mare.

2021 Renegade Rendezvous 50, photo by Dave Honan

Top photo 2021 Crazy Days 50, photo by Apollos Griffin

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Arizona: Local horse, rider win 30 mile endurance race - Full Article

Mar 09, 2022 4:00 AM
By Jeanie Hankins

A local woman’s spirit of adventure matched up with the spirit of an Arabian horse named Ben to make a winning combination during the Land of the Sun Endurance Ride on Feb. 26 at Boyd Ranch near Wickenburg.

This makeshift team of horse and rider came together as a result of Ben’s owners being tied up. Maureen and Lawrence Serrano of Morristown are long-term competitors in equestrian endurance rides, but as organizers of the local event they did not have time to compete on their home course. Maureen Serrano works hard to keep Ben in shape and hungry for competition, so rather than having Ben sit this one out, she called on friend Cheri Noel to hop aboard for the 30-mile course.

An experienced endurance rider, Noel had not stepped into the saddle for a race since 2009, but when asked if she would like to compete on Ben she was rearing to go...

Read more here:

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

New U.S. Forest Service Guidance on Use of Equestrian Campsites

March 5, 2022
Press Release/by Ashley Harkins

(Washington D.C.) At the prompting of the equine community, last month the Forest Service national office circulated a memo to all national forests and national grasslands titled “Recommended Best Practices for Managing Stock Use Sites at Developed Campgrounds.” A copy of that memo can be found here.

The problem of occupied horse camps escalated across the nation during the COVID pandemic when many families and others chose close-to-home vacations in favor of long-distance travel. The Forest Service memo describes well the implications for stock users of this growing problem.

The American Horse Council would like to encourage equine organizations, such as local clubs, state horse councils, and others, to review this memo and, importantly, to use it as a reason to schedule a meeting with personnel at your local national forest to assist you to achieve the following objectives:

1. Ensure the memo was received by the local Forest Service office,
2. Discuss with forest staff the magnitude of the problem locally and the memo’s relevancy and implications, and
3. Come to an agreement on what adjustments in the management of equestrian campsites within Forest Service jurisdiction might be implemented in order to communicate to the public the need to prioritize equestrian campsites for use by parties with stock.

Back Country Horsemen of America (BCHA) and its allies have developed a Horse Camp Incident Report form for campsite users to capture and record incidents where parties without stock are occupying Forest Service equestrian campsites. The purpose of the form is to collect data should we need to make the case for new regulations to prevent parties without stock from occupying equestrian campsites. The form may be found here

For more information contact

And remember:
· Always be courteous to other campground users. It’s likely that any party without stock has occupied an equestrian campsite because regular campsites were already taken or reserved.
· Remember, it’s not illegal for others to camp in an equestrian campsite. Plus, some folks might not know the difference between an equestrian and regular campsites or why their occupancy of an equestrian campsite might force equestrian campers to travel far distances in order to find a legal campsite—if not forced to return home, an outing ruined.
· If you end up speaking with such parties, use these talking points to educate them about the scarcity of legal campsites for equestrian use and what happens when parties without stock occupy equestrian campsites.

About the American Horse Council

As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen’s associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils. Learn more at

Monday, March 07, 2022

Shotgun Rider repeats as High Mileage Standardbred

Columbus, OH — Shotgun Rider, a.k.a. Owyhee Shotgun Rider in endurance circles, is the third repeat High Mileage Standardbred since the USTA started recognizing the award in 2011. Merri Melde, Shotgun Rider’s partner and owner, was recognized this past weekend at the American Endurance Ride Conference convention at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada.

“The only changes (since we won the last award) is that I own him now!” exclaimed Melde. “Stephanie (Teeter, his previous owner) quit endurance and horses and generously gave him to me in April…he’s actually the first endurance horse I’ve owned.”

Shotgun Rider, a.k.a. Owyhee Shotgun Rider in endurance circles, is the third repeat High Mileage Standardbred since the USTA started recognizing the award in 2011. Steve Bradley photo.

Merri first started riding in 1998 and became involved competitively in endurance in 1999. According to AERC records, she has logged 9,040 miles in 200 rides, with an additional 360 LD (limited distance) miles.

“What I love about Endurance is the time you put into getting your horse fit and competing,” said Melde. “You can form a real partnership over hundreds or thousands of miles, and Standardbreds seem to really enjoy having a person. Standardbreds who raced have a great foundation under them and have been exposed to a lot so they can be quite steady and trustworthy.”

Shotgun Rider is by Distinguishedbaron out of the Big Towner mare Anatola Hanover. The now 10-year-old gelding earned just $10,319 during two racing seasons at Cal Expo and Running Aces, last racing in the summer of 2015. While he did take a mark of 1:56.2, he has found his groove in endurance, having recorded 1,040 miles at AERC sanctioned rides since 2017. Around the barn, and on her blog, Melde affectionately refers to Shotgun Rider as Hillbillie Willie.

“Steph’s trainer Ted, who broke Shotgun Rider to saddle, gave him the barn name Willie,” explained Melde. “Naturally I stuck Hillbillie on the front. It’s the perfect name for him because he can be a total dork. He’s a fun ride and he loves being out on trails and he loves to explore. He takes me to places I’d never make it on foot.”

The AERC High Mileage Standardbred award is given to the Standardbred that has the most miles ridden during the ride season (Dec. 1 through Nov. 30). All rides are considered, including the limited distance 24-35 mile rides, and standard endurance rides (50-plus miles). Riders must be a member of AERC in order to track horse and rider mileage. For more information on the AERC, visit their website at

Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with owners of off-the-track Standardbreds to educate the general public about the many disciplines Standardbreds excel at once they are retired from racing. For more information about the SEP at the USTA, visit

New AERC Hall of Fame Inductees

March 7 2022

Congratulations to new AERC Hall of Fame inductees Melissa and Robert Ribley! They have been actively involved in just about every aspect of the sport for decades and it was totally apropos to honor them while celebrating AERC’s 50th anniversary.

Hall of Fame Equine is Aron Moon+//, owned by Mike Tracy. They are one of AERC’s rare Double Decade teams, meaning they competed together for 20+ years. Congratulations!

Ann Kratochvil and GF Brazil’s Envy were awarded the Pard’ners Award, which is given to honor true partnership between rider and equine.

The Volunteer Service Award recipient was Nick Warhol, an generous, hardworking West Region member who gives so much back to the sport.

The Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award recipient went to Tony Troyer of Illinois who works tirelessly to support trails in the Midwest. (He couldn‘t be at convention—he is volunteering at the Illinois Horse Fair!)

AERC reinstated the Charlie Barieau Photography Award, which was presented to Lynne Glazer — she carries on Charlie’s legacy of excellence in photography and is mentoring new photographers to keep this tradition going.

Thanks to the evening’s outstanding MCs, Drs. Melissa Ribley and Mike Peralez, and showrunner Lisa Schneider, assisted by Susan Garlinghouse DVM.

A wonderful convention with excellent seminar presenters and a wildly fun dance. Thanks to all who attended, and hope to see lots of you next year in Jacksonville, Florida!

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

New Digital Entry Form for Tevis Cup 2022


California was blessed with 17 feet of fresh, wet snow in the Sierras in the month of December, 2021. Excitement does not begin to express how many of us felt as we continue to struggle with the droughts of the past several years. We even considered the possibility that we would not be able to get to the Tevis trails for maintenance and repair if the snowy winter continued into the next several months. We all know how that has turned out—dry, dry, dry January and February.

Should the “snow gods” become re-energized in March, April or May, we want you to know that we have reserved an alternate Ride date of August 13, 2022, should our trail return to a frozen state as we near the late spring. Currently, we feel strongly that July 16, 2022 will be the Ride date for this year’s Tevis.

Typically, the Ride Director’s EBlast goes over what to expect at Tevis: the agenda for Ride Week, traditions, the check in at Robie, the awards banquet on Sunday, etc. I will table those discussions until future Eblasts publish. This year, I am happy to announce that a fabulous new DIGITAL ENTRY FORM for the 2022 Ride. Jean Hixon and Luanne Holmsen (superstars who staff the Tevis office) will maintain and post the rider list as entries are submitted to the website digitally. Our entire organization is committed to starting as many qualified riders on the morning of July 16, 2022, as permits and circumstances allow. If you have any glitches with the website or the entry form, please reach out by email to Jean or Luanne ( We have backup systems ready to go.

For people who would like to volunteer for one of the critical 800 volunteer positions, please complete a volunteer registration form. Let us know if you are a rider and can take pulses, keep the mashes going for horses in a hurry, or are interested in keeping water flowing to cool out hot horses. We are always looking for experienced horse transport drivers who have a well-maintained rig to help with getting pulled horses to assigned destinations (as determined by veterinarians and ride management). Please send us your information by completing the form online. Our Volunteer Coordinator will contact you, and soon you will be on the team. Become part of the magic of Tevis—it’s just that easy. If you have a special request, please email or call the office. Jean Hixon will route your request to the correct person. Don’t be shy about asking for help or directions, we have had many varied requests and can usually assist with meeting them.

Also, hotels in Auburn fill up early for Tevis weekend. So if you need a reservation, please book lodging early. On behalf of the 29 members of the Western States Board of Governors, the ride committee and the community of Auburn, we look forward to seeing you at the 2022 Tevis Cup Ride!

Chuck Stalley