To Finish Is To Win

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Endurance News -- July 2019

President's Letter
Vice President's Letter
Education Update
Classified Advertising

Sending your ideas to the board

by Monica Chapman

The AERC Board of Directors gets a number of ideas from the membership on how to better AERC as an organization. It is great when our membership feels comfortable contacting us and giving us their ideas. This article is going to give the membership the "how to" and process to properly give their idea the best chance of getting approved. If a member has a suggestion for a change in AERC they should contact their regional director, a director they personally know, or me. Depending on the idea, that person should be able to tell them if their idea can be pursued or not. Some ideas are not feasible due to conflicts with AERC's nonprofit status, cost, AERC bylaws, laws, or the California Corporations Code. Once it has been determined that the idea can move forward then it will be sent to the appropriate committee. Some members may wonder why ideas for change can't go directly to the BOD for approval. The board meets monthly via phone to cover as much business as possible -- ride sanction approvals, protest appeals, minute approvals, etc. Since the board is composed of volunteers, it is difficult to stretch the monthly meetings past the hour mark. Committees play an important role in governing AERC. Committees allow AERC to follow a Board Best Practices protocol. The committee process allows our committees, composed of AERC members as well as BOD members, to vet an idea for its feasibility. The individual committee members are experts in the field. It would not make sense for the AERC BOD to adopt a new rule in regard to setting a new pulse requirement without the idea going through the Veterinary Committee and Welfare of the Horse committees. Once an idea has been accepted by a committee, the committee will research supporting information and submit everything into the form of a motion. At that point in time the motion will be sent to most other committees within AERC for comment. This process allows the BOD the best and most accurate information shared by all committees. Sometimes one idea can affect many different committees. When all committees have had adequate time for review, the motion will be put on the agenda for the next BOD meeting. Many things can happen to a motion once it gets to the BOD meeting. A motion can be amended, tabled for discussion at a later time, withdrawn, or sent back to the committee with recommendations for change by the BOD. Many motions will also be put on hold for them to go into Endurance News for member feedback. Some motions that are a minor clarification issue or are to approve a new Pioneer ride will get approved during the first BOD meeting they are presented in. Some motions may take many meetings to get approved and others never get approved. Sometimes I think the membership thinks the BOD spends our time thinking up controversial topics to get our membership excited over. That is very far from the truth. The AERC BOD is focusing on getting our strategic plan in place, growing membership, and righting our decreasing ride starts. Whenever a controversial issue arises it takes our time away from focusing on our main objective, running the organization. Occasionally members may feel a motion is not relevant because they don't see it as an issue in their region. Just because an issue is unfamiliar to you and your region does not mean it is not a hot-button issue in another region. It is hard to not have regional differences, and trying to make everyone happy is a difficult task for the BOD. Feel free to contact the AERC BOD with your thoughts and ideas, keeping in mind there is a process that will be enacted to funnel the issue through the proper channels. n

Vice President's Letter: Thinking ahead to the 2020 championships

by Nick Kohut, DVM

I realize that by the time this article appears in Endurance News there will still be two months to go until the 2019 AERC National Championship Rides at Twenty Mule Team. However, since I have just recently wrapped up vetting the Fort Howes rides, I decided to put a plug in for the 2020 Championships which will be held there at Fort Howes, located outside of Ashland, Montana, and hosted by the Stevens family. In my opinion, this is what I would call a "bucket list" ride. The trails here are among the most gorgeous ones I've encountered. You start out on the Stevens' ranch and wind your way out into the Custer/Gallatin National Forest land. The views on top of the vistas go on for miles and will take your breath away. While riding, you'll encounter grazing cattle along with mule deer and pronghorn. You can see ring-necked pheasants and grouse in the brush and the occasional prairie dog scampering across the trail. If you're lucky, you might even get the opportunity to glance at some elk. After the sun sets you can plan on being serenaded by the coyotes and maybe, like us this year, you'll even get a visit from a large owl taking a rest on top of one of the telephone poles at the far end of the vetting area while waiting for horses to arrive back in camp. The food is top-notch. The Stevens family has a wagon-sized charcoal grill where they cook up steaks the first night, then hamburgers and hot dogs -- along with French fries and onion rings -- the following evening. With the National Championships occurring over several days, we will all just have to wait and speculate on what Bill Stevens has planned for those extra evening meals. As a treat, the Montana Amish community comes out to the ride site and provides homemade donuts, pies and other assorted treats for sale to help support their children's school. There is also plenty to do during the down time as well. Walk down the lane towards the house and check out the "actual" Fort Howes, sitting on top of the hill by the barns. Hike up out of base camp and snap some fabulous scenic photos. If you have more time you can drive to Little Big Horn Battlefield, about an hour and a half away, or take a day trip to explore Yellowstone National Park. A big reason to put this ride on the fast track of your bucket list is that there is talk of it likely to be ending in 2021, which will mark the ride's 25th anniversary. Over the years, the entire Stevens family has put their heart and soul into making their ride one of the best in the country. Why not make the 2020 AERC Championships a spectacular send-off for this spectacular ride? Consider Canada While I'm plugging rides for your bucket list, let me add doing an "international" ride to your list. You are definitely missing out if you haven't headed up north and attended one of the Canadian rides. I've been fortunate enough to work rides in both Ontario and British Columbia and they have all been memorable (and not just for having my truck stolen and totaled while staying in Niagara Falls on my way to a ride). I have it on good authority that the rides held in other areas of Canada, such as Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, offer beautiful scenery at very well managed events. So, when you're looking to add another ride to your season, head across the border and visit with our northern members. Have some fun, try a bowl of poutine, and sip on some Tim Horton's coffee. n

Southeast Region's 100 mile mentor program

by SE Region Riders Marcia Weilbach, Sudi Lenhart, Stagg Newman, Laurie Underwood and Laura Worden

The dream of Christo Dinkelmann of Dinkelmann Arabians to form and nurture a 100 mile mentor program in the Southeast is bearing fruit. Under Christo's guidance, we have an active Facebook group, regular webinars (see sidebar) and an upcoming 100 mile mentored endurance ride this October. The alarming decline in the number of 100 mile rides on the calendar and the steady decline in the number of entries in 100 mile rides made Christo decide that it was now or never. Such a large undertaking has taken a village and that is why Christo has been working behind the scenes, bringing individuals together who have been willing to work, brainstorm and share their knowledge to grow, encourage and further develop the sport of endurance we all so dearly love. Even folks who don't live in the South have an idea of what Southern personalities are like. Many see Southerners as friendly, neighborly and eager to help others. This is an accurate description. If you ever travel in the South and break down with your rig and horses, you are likely to have more than one truck stop to make sure you are okay. This attitude is what Christo has so adeptly tapped into. There exists at endurance rides an overwhelming feeling of support, encouragement for newbies and congratulations on achievements. There is, as well, a large group of dedicated timers, volunteers, vets and seasoned riders who love giving to the sport. So when Christo began approaching key folks with his idea, the response was "Yes! How can I be involved?" This program is taking a multi-faceted approached. A Facebook group was started where questions can be posed to experienced riders. Webinars have been held on various topics such as pacing, nutrition, balanced footfalls and simplifying your ride strategy. Future webinars on electrolytes, conditioning, crewing, shoeing and taking care of yourself as a rider are planned. Many endurance riders, particularly future 100 mile riders, are the happy beneficiaries of the wealth, depth and breadth of knowledge which our presenters are willing to share. Southeast Endurance Riders Association (SERA) has sponsored the webinars and made them available to the endurance community at large. The audio and video files are available on the SERA website at for those who are unable to participate in the original broadcast. The second part of this program is an AERC-sanctioned 100 mile ride that will take place on October 19, 2019, during the Hunting for Big Foot Ride in the DeSoto National Forest in Wiggins, Mississippi. A huge thank you is in order to ride manager Jane Bonner Lee for stepping up and making her ride available to launch this program. Together with Jane, ride managers Kim Williams and Christo Dinkelmann will be putting in the hard labor and long hours to get the trails marked and the ride organized for this epic 100 mile event. Several of the 100 mile mentors will be available to ride with riders wanting to ride the 100 and learn from them about the various things that make riding a 100 different from other distances. This includes the challenge of pacing for a 100 miles, riding in the dark, feeding and electrolyting for both the horse and the rider for more than 12 hours of competition, etc. Mentors and other volunteers will also help at vet checks and various crew points for riders who want or need assistance with crewing, presenting horses at the vet check, presenting for best condition, etc. Not only will riders have the opportunity to learn from seasoned 100 mile riders, but the rider's crew and others can learn crewing skills and endurance horse management skills from mentors with vast experience. The mentors have collectively and successfully completed over one hundred 100 mile rides with many wins and best conditions. These mentors will teach and assist in camp. Hot food will be available for riders, crew and of course officials and volunteers. It is our hope and desire that this program will be the first step in an ongoing project that will re-kindle the fire of the classic 100-mile rides that once burned so brightly in days gone by.

August 2019 Classified Advertising



CEDAR RIDGE RANCH ARABIANS: Endurance & Sporthorse Arabians for sale from young stock to finished. Customized riding lease options for 100 mile one day rides to multi-day rides all over the country. CO. Contact Kerry at 719-207-0121 or

CYPRESS TRAILS ENDURANCE HORSES. Well seasoned DJB horses and slow-started prospects available for sale. 40 plus horses to choose from! KM–the human electrolyte for sale. TX. for sale lists or call 1-800-228-8768.

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ENDURANCE CONSULTANT. Conditioning, racing, veterinary, sales. Michele Roush Rowe, DVM. 530-292-1902, CA. 12/18 NEWS FLASH!! These cool vintage events are now yours on DVD: 1986 North American Championship, 1988 N.A. Championship, 1989 N.A. Championship, 1989 ROC, 1991 ROC, 1992 ROC, 1992 AERC Natl. Championship, 1992 World Championship, and Long Distance Riding (training video with Darolyn Butler, vets: Dane Frazier and Matthew Mackay-Smith). Check out the full list of training videos . . . some great sales . . . visit or call 1-800-228-8768, TX


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LOVATT AND RICKETTS SOLSTICE endurance saddle. 18", wide, black. Perfect condition, used less than 6 hours. $3300 new. $2500. or (530)305-3194

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

How far will you ride this year? Join AERC and we'll help you count the miles!

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.