Wednesday, February 21, 2024

2023 AERC National Championships - Full Story

By Shaunna Angell
All photos © Remuda Photography 2023

As featured in the Winter 2024 issue of Arabian Horse World.

As the late October sun rose over Davy Crockett National Forest in East Texas, riders from many states were well on their way along the pine and elm-lined trails of the 2023 AERC National Championship. The Armadillo Endurance Ride management hosted a competitive group of 40 horse and rider pairs in the 50-mile National Championship and 28 entries in the 100-mile National Championship. The day provided sunny skies and an abundance of anticipation and excitement for everyone involved, especially for the teams who battled through the forest for 2023 National Championship titles.

Being the fastest to conquer the course in the 50-mile competition was Alisija Zabavska aboard DA Luciano, a 10-year-old Arabian gelding who was bred for the show ring but found a true passion for endurance. “Luciano means ray of light in Italian,” Alisija says fondly. “He is just that! He is the sweetest horse, just a lap dog...”'


With an exhilarating win in the 100-mile national championship was Lily Creek Kong, a 15-year-old Shagya Arabian Trakehner cross, piloted by Jenna Harrison and owned by Cameron Holzer Gaytko...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2024

2023 Distance Horse of the Year is Cynthia Mettes' Nchantedprincevaliant+

February 13 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Greenwood Village, CO – February 13 – Congratulations to the 2023 Distance Horse of the Year, Nchantedprincevaliant+ (Valiant), an 13 year old gelding out of FSF Dakaros Enchanter X SHF South Comet and owned and ridden by Cynthia Mettes.

Valiant started his distance career in 2016 with his breeder/owner, Pamela Burrows. Valiant did 2 limited distance rides with Pam that year. In January 2017, Valiant was purchased by his current owner, Cynthia Mettes. Since Valiant’s career has blossomed, in between 2017 to 2022, Valiant completed several Endurance and Competitive Trail events. In his first year, he completed one limited distance ride and then moved up to 50 mile rides, completing three 50 mile rides that year, one at a distance of 55 miles.

Valiant completed a tough 50-mile AERC endurance ride in August of 2018, the Spanish Peaks ride in Colorado, placing fourth. Valiant also placed first in the AHA Region 9 CTR Championship with a perfect score of 200, he turned around and did the same thing again the following year. Valiant was also awarded his Legion of Honor in the 2019 season. Cindy states “Valiant is a total blast to camp with. Whenever I come around the trailer to his pen, I call out his name and he calls back to me with great gusto. He is very “verbal” and it puts a smile on my face every time.

For the 2023 competition year Valiant completed 11 NATRC Open competitive trail rides, placing first and Sweepstakes in 4 of those competitions. He earned his NATRC National Championship award along with placing third in the nation for the NATRC President’s Cup award. Amongst all the NATRC competitions, he completed two AERC 50-mile rides, Valiant was Reserve Champion in the AHA Region 9 50-mile ride and fourth in the AERC Open ride. Valiant then went on to win the AHA Region 9 Championship CTR and placed first and Sweepstakes in the Open competition.

Cindy states “Competitions are all about the food. I get up 4 hours before a competition starts and feed him an early breakfast. I hurry to get it to him as he won’t quit screaming until I get him his breakfast – just about wakes up the whole camp! It certainly gets all the other horses stirred up and wanting THEIR breakfast. Valiant has me trained when it comes to carrots. He “asks” for them in camp with lots of nickers, and I comply (those nickers just melt my heart). On the trail, he will stop and bend his head around for a carrot. I carry a LOT of carrots with me on the trail!! He always tries so hard to do what I ask. He is just a fun-fun-fun horse, no drama, just a joy to be with. And really, the best part is that after a competition I don’t feel like I have done anything. Valiant is a delight to ride and very easy on me since he has learned to carry himself so nicely.

In summary, Valiant is a horse that has continued to compete each year, placing well. He is a testament to the longevity and versatility of the Arabian horse.

For more information on the Arabian Horse Association, please go to

Thursday, February 08, 2024

Go Horseback Riding In Houston At This Urban Ranch Just Outside Downtown - Full Article

You don't need to travel out to the countryside to get a taste of the ranch life: Cypress Trail allows visitors to go horseback riding in Houston just 30 minutes outside of Downtown

Colby Smith Colby Smith • February 7, 2024

City meets country at Cypress Trails Ranch LLC. Located just 30 minutes outside Downtown, the ranch is a hidden gem in Houston for equestrians and adventure seekers alike.

Get a taste of the Old West at Cypress Trails Ranch LLC. Here, Houstonians can escape from the urban hustle and bustle by connecting with nature and horseback riding through picturesque trails.

Riders can choose from a variety of trails that cater to different preferences and skill levels, ensuring that each journey is a unique and personalized experience. Whether you’re a beginner seeking a leisurely ride or an experienced equestrian craving a more challenging adventure, Cypress Trails Ranch LLC has the perfect trail to match your aspirations...

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Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Endurance Horse Podcast: Erin Glassman on Overcoming Obstacles & Achieving Goals - Tevis 2023

Endurance Horse Podcast - Listen

Jan 17, 2024

Episode 61

I'd like to welcome back to Endurance Horse Podcast rider, writer, musician, mother and goal setter, Erin Glassman. Erin has been on Endurance Horse Podcast back in the day when it was send in audio, before the interviews started! She has completed Tevis three times on two different horses and is so in love with the sport that she decided to help preserve some of the Rushcreek Arabians bloodlines by continuing them at her PrairieSylvania Arabians in Hutchinson, Kansas, USA.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Erin today, I know I did. We did go off trail a little bit at the end when discussing the topic of how to handle negativity, and I did ponder the thought of taking it out- though chose to leave it in. Hope you enjoy!

If you DO like the podcast please take a moment to like, subscribe and leave a positive review.

If you'd like to support the podcast, please consider going over to our website at and sign up for one of our 100 mile challenges. We have been free and commercial free here at Endurance Horse Podcast since 2018. Also, check out our other podcast - The Warhorse Journal Podcast- also on Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio and Podbean. Happy Trails!

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Baubletina is 2023 AERC High Mileage Standardbred

Noelle Snyder photo. - Full Story

February 2, 2024, by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Membership Enrichment and Outreach Coordinator

Columbus, OH – The 2023 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) High Mileage Standardbred, presented by the U.S. Trotting Association, is Baubletina. The 15-year-old mare is fresh into her third career, courtesy of long-time endurance enthusiast Larry Gray from Pennsylvania.

“I actually started endurance as a teenager, it was a family sport for us,” said Gray. “While I took many years off, I was excited to jump back in after 20 years.”

Gray has a lifetime lease on Baubletina from breeder Winning Key Farms and took her home in April of 2022. She completed her first 50-mile ride in November of 2022.

“’Baubles’ has flourished in her new career and absolutely loves the trail,” continued Gray. “The off-the-track mentality and conditioning gives her a competitive edge. I cannot say enough good things about Winning Keys (who have been) supportive in every way.”

For the 2023 ride season, Baubletina and Gray went to seven rides and accumulated 200 competition miles. They placed first in two of those rides, and both times were also awarded the “Best Condition” score...

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Friday, February 02, 2024

2024 Tevis Cup entries are open

The link for entries will is here:

~Remember, ALL entries will be done online, including payment. So, you will need a credit card or debit card to complete the process. This includes reserving stalls, RV spaces, and North Lot camping spots.

~You will also sign the liability release and waiver online with a “DocuSign” form. This part of the entry MUST be completed, or your entry will not be accepted.

~You must meet the minimum qualifications to enter BEFORE submitting your entry. Those qualifications can be found here:

~Lastly, reservations are “First come, First served.” Even if you are the first person to submit an entry, if you don’t fill out the online forms in their entirety, provide the necessary documentation, pay the fees, and sign the waiver, your entry won’t be accepted and you won’t get that reservation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can call or email the office (530-823-7282 Please be patient when waiting for a return call or email. At this time of year our office is not staffed full-time. You can also ask questions here via social media, but be aware that while some folks mean well, they do not always have the most accurate or up to date information.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

'The gold is right there, keep going': Dunlap woman to compete in grueling endurance horseback race - Full Article

WCBU | By Collin Schopp
Published February 1, 2024

Laurie Kaplan started riding horses when she was 5. She told her mother she was interested and her mom got to work finding a barn in her hometown of East Lansing, Michigan.

Now, Laurie Kaplan lives outside Dunlap, Illinois and the barn is her own. Snow, slush and mud covers the ground at the Kaplan farm, home to chickens, cats, a large friendly dog, sheep and, of course, two horses.

“It’s the connection with the horse, they connect with us energetically,” said Kaplan about her passion for horseback riding. “When we show up in a bad mood, or a grumpy mood, if we don’t change that mood while we’re working with them, they may reflect back on us. They’re mirrors.”

Kaplan said she did a few competitive events in childhood, as well as teaching summer camps. Now, she’s about to take on the biggest challenge of her horseback riding career: the Gaucho Derby...

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