To Finish Is To Win

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Endurance News -- April 2017

President's Letter
Vice President's Message
Classified Advertising

President's Letter: Hope to see you on the trail

by Michael Campbell, AERC President

By the time you read this, the AERC Board of Directors will have elected a new president, so this will likely be my last letter.

It has truly been an honor to serve AERC, its members and horses, in this capacity. I would like to provide you with a list of my accomplishments and tell what a fine job I have done. But that would not be fair and would be a distortion of the true work and accomplishment of many others.

Being President of the AERC Board of Directors looks like a swell job. I get to stand in front of meetings and people come up and talk to me like I have real power and actually know what I'm doing. But the credit for this job is due to a lot of very hard-working members who may not always get the notice they are due. So, I will use this space to provide a brief and incomplete description of what really has occurred and who really deserves your appreciation these past three years.

First, Vice President Lisa Schneider had to assume an incredible load of responsibility to make up for my shortcomings. Lisa reads every President's Letter and provides intense editorial scrutiny to every word and thought. On one occasion, I wrote about a board meeting in Denver and tried to make a joke about Colorado's legalization of marijuana. It was a poor joke and Lisa graciously helped me avoid impropriety. Lisa led the team that revamped the AERC website. Every year, she chairs the Hall of Fame Committee meetings and organizes the extensive national awards presentations at our convention. Lisa also chairs the Rules Committee, helping to keep our rules simple and to the point. She is on the Executive Committee and easily gets to the heart of any controversial matter. Her judgment is always excellent. AERC is most fortunate to have her as a member and officer.

Mollie Krumlaw-Smith is our Treasurer. She has had to explain budgetary issues to me over and over but always does so with patience and forbearance. She has served as Chair of the Membership Committee, the Finance Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. Her nickname is M3 -- Mollie cubed -- because she is everywhere doing five things at a time and doing them all well. Mollie's acumen has kept our balance sheet in the black. Her experience with national horse-related issues is invaluable to the board and to AERC. I am most grateful for her guidance and advice.

Monica Chapman served as Secretary to the Board and chairs the Trails and Land Management Committee. She is also on the Executive Committee. As trails chair, she has brought organization and direction to the committee. She regularly attends trails related meetings all around the country at her own expense to represent AERC and to keep herself and her committee informed about trails issues. She is one of the most thoughtfully pragmatic people I have ever known. She is not afraid to work hard and does so for AERC.

Dr. Susan Garlinghouse is the current Secretary to the Board and chairs the Education Committee. Susan has led the effort to produce the YouTube videos for AERC. She has also traveled all over the country providing training for new and experienced members of the endurance community. Her presentations are always fascinating and charming. Susan is a regular advisor to members on the AERC Facebook page for veterinary questions and especially dietary questions for horses. She is quick-witted and insightful when problems arise.

Dr. Jay Mero chairs the Veterinary Committee and regularly provides motions to the board to safeguard our horses. She manages veterinary contributions to EN. Somehow, she manages to keep the rowdy and recalcitrant veterinarians on her committee under control. Jay also helped chaperon a group of young riders on a visit to Australia.

Dr. Jerry Gillespie chairs the Research Committee. This committee has not had strong funding support, mostly because AERC does not have a lot of money. However, Jerry is remarkably creative and has found ways to lead his committee to do significant research on behalf of our sport with very little funding.

Dr. Nick Kohut chairs the Welfare of the Horse Committee. Nick keeps the cases on track, communicates with the Vet Committee on each one, and monitors the write ups. This committee has a difficult job, examining horse fatalities, but Nick keeps everyone focused in a sensitive and efficient manner.

Jan Stevens chairs the Ride Managers Committee and serves as AERC's liaison to the United States Equestrian Federation. She has provided invaluable assistance in monitoring and communicating with the board about FEI and other international endurance matters.

Connie Caudill chairs the National Championship Committee and is a past president of AERC. She initiated the young rider exchange program with Australia, first hosting Australian youth and then arranging for young American riders to visit and ride in Australia. As a past president, Connie's advice and recommendations are always based on near complete knowledge of how AERC functions in addition to her own practical wisdom.

Other committee chairs who work hard for AERC are Dr. Meg Sleeper (International Committee), Dr. Mike Maul (Technical Committee), John Parke (Legal Counsel), Nicole Duarte (Protest and Grievance Committee), Terry Wooley Howe (Competition Committee), and Mary Howell (Membership Committee). I could write several paragraphs about each of these individuals and I may have overlooked someone. Each of these committee chairs works hard with their committees on behalf of AERC.

The AERC membership has elected a pretty solid Board of Directors. Every one of them is bright, competent and confident in their judgment and abilities. When issues come before the board, none of them is afraid to express an opinion or ask a probing question and then vote for the best interest of AERC. From time to time, they may argue and disagree, but in the end they maintain a respectful demeanor for their fellow board members.

Like the board, AERC members are not reticent. They have provided feedback to me and other board members on matters of importance to AERC. None of the individual accomplishments of officers, board members or committee chairs would occur without the sincere interest of supportive members.

I would be sorely remiss if I did not remind everyone of the hard-working staff in Auburn. Kathleen, our Executive Director, is a remarkable woman with the experience, judgment and wisdom to correct all kinds of mistakes and tangents that I erroneously tried to initiate. Troy Smith edits EN and corrects my grammar. She also handles website updates, graphics design and a hundred other tasks that keep AERC upright and functional. Kyra DeMartini answers phone calls, deals with membership and ride result computer entries and finds creative ways to fill in any gaps she sees in the daily functioning of our office. Under Kathleen's leadership, this team keeps AERC rolling through thick and thin.

I am grateful to the membership, Board and staff for the opportunity I have had to serve AERC these past three years. I am confident that our new president will lead us to greater things.

As President of AERC, I got to stand in front of groups and talk to members and look reasonably competent because all the folks mentioned above make AERC. The support of the staff, committee chairs and the members of the Board of Directors as well as the membership itself all deserve credit for the success of AERC.

Vice President's Message: Endurance riders come together to benefit trails

by Lisa Schneider

It is a cultural phenomenon that trash begets trash, meaning if people see litter somewhere, they behave as if it's appropriate to add more litter. The desert has long been a dumping ground for junk like wrecked cars, bed springs, washers, sofas and refrigerators. It is beyond me why people do this because there are a lot of dumps that don't charge any fees and the litter bugs are already transporting the trash!

Two of our local endurance rides use desert trails that for years have had a lot of trash and graffiti. The icing on the cake is the trash is then used for target practice so there are thousands of shotgun shell casings left on the ground.

Our local hero is Gretchen Montgomery, who puts on the Fire Mountain Ride and helps with the Twenty Mule Team ride. Both of these Pacific Southwest region rides use a common canyon trail that has general trash and extensive graffiti on the desert rock formations that include vulgar words and offensive symbols -- things you certainly would not want a child to see.

As an endurance rider herself, Gretchen has logged over 10,000 miles and conditions in the southern California desert where she lives, and she was sick of seeing this junk. We talked about the need to clean up the trails the endurance rides use and Gretchen sprang into action. On January 21, Gretchen coordinated with BLM personnel, volunteers from the local equestrian club called Valley Riders, High Sierra Cyclists, local high school students and staff.

The BLM had previously planned on eliminating the painted graffiti using a sand blaster but that equipment is no longer considered environmentally safe because it destroys too much of the rock. A new process with a chemical gel paint remover was used instead. This was the first time BLM had used the gel method, and the product did not work as well as expected due to the cold weather. The chemical gel was sprayed on the paint, then brushed heavily, then sprayed off with a pressure washer. It is going to take many attempts to get the entire canyon free of the offensive graffiti and the BLM will concentrate on removal when the weather gets warmer.

Gretchen said it was "a true team effort with volunteers picking up discarded tires, plastic coolers, tin, plastic cases, beer cans, water bottles and remnants of a hot tub."

She continued, "We also raked up numerous empty shotgun shell casings and broken bottles. Valley Riders, Inc. provided lunch to all people who showed up to help. Local businesses such as Home Depot and Walmart donated shovels, rakes, trash bags, gloves, bottled water, and buckets.

"Members of the Valley Riders equestrian club helped with providing their property as a meeting place, the lunch stop, and also provided a dump trailer to take all the trash to the local landfill. Valley Riders also provided transportation to the site."

Hats off to Gretchen, all the volunteers and the local businesses. This project took many helping hands and demonstrated how endurance riders can help the environment, improve the trails and the overall outdoor experience for riders, hikers, runners and cyclists. I know several riders who carry trash bags in their saddle packs because they don't want to see (and have their horses spook at) the trash left behind by inconsiderate users of the parks.

Imagine the difference we'd make if we all carried out just one piece of trash on each ride! Please consider organizing a cleanup day on your local trails and making a positive difference in the name of endurance riding.

Equine Longevity Pins

by Terry Woolley Howe

During the last week of February, longevity pins were mailed to 521 current AERC members recognizing 685 equines. Of those 685 pins, 62 were 15-year pins and 3 were 20-year pins.

This program originally started as the result of an email sent to me last year as Chair of the Competition Committee from Anne Sands requesting that the Decade Team recognize teams that complete at least 50 miles a year in any distance ride. I did not believe that this would get Board approval and that there also would be a great deal of negative response from those recipients of the Decade Team award if they felt the Decade Team award was going to be "watered down" with LD miles.

I did however agree that there should be more recognition of our members whose equines compete year after year at any distance, while maintaining the well-being and health of their equines. Unlike the Decade Team award, this program would recognize the equine regardless of who was the rider so long as the owner was an AERC member, the equine was entered in the mileage program and the equine completed at least 50 miles a year at any AERC sanctioned event.

The minimum number of years required to receive a longevity pin is 10 years, and additional recognition would be given at five-year increments. I submitted this proposal to the members of the Competition Committee and received their approval. This proposal was discussed with the Board at the convention in February, 2016, but a motion was not submitted and passed until the midyear meeting in August, with the program to begin in 2017. I asked Anne, of Starfire Design Studio, to design the pins, which have been very well received by the equine owners.

While I have left the AERC Board in March, I will still be coordinating the distribution of the longevity pins. The list of equines that qualify for this award is generated from the AERC computer records so there may be equines who qualify with miles ridden prior to the computerization of our records. Members who have an equine who they believe qualifies for this award (even those equines that have passed) and have not yet received a longevity pin, should contact me:

April 2017 Classified Advertising



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COOL, CALIFORNIA: UNIQUE 108 ACRES situated at the hub of trails in Cool. Property is surrounded by government land and is X-fenced safely into separate pastures. It has an arena and 2 bedroom/2 bath carriage house with small apartment and 2 car garage. Asking $1,900,000. Call Marjorie Pryor, agent, LN #00794498 @ 530-277-0642.


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NEW PER-EQ FIT PAD! 100% thick soft wool fleece, with insert $175. Handmade Mohair cinches, USA Made. 1-877-979-5979. CA.


Esler Arabians has spring openings for training and conditioning for the 2017 season. Get a head start on your competition by having your horse conditioned and well-behaved. Personal attention from Janine Esler. 100% finish rate on first 50 mile ride for new horses, 25 years and counting! Ten Tevis buckles and 14,000 miles. References available. Esler Arabians,, 916-652-8937. 4/17

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Endurance News is published monthly by American Endurance Ride Conference. Endurance News is sent without charge to AERC members as a benefit of membership in AERC. Subscriptions are also available to non-members for $40 per year within the United States, and $60 in Canada and Mexico. For those in other countries, subscriptions are available for $80. Single issues are $4 U.S.