QUICKSILVER QUIPS

MARCH 2002

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

 

Our February 9th QS Awards Banquet was a time when old friends get together for dinner, awards and making plans for the coming year.   Maryben did a wonderful job of rounding up great awards for this year’s awards banquet! 

 

AERC’s national convention is on March 1 and 2.   There is a board meeting on February 28th at 6 p.m. as well as Sunday, March 3 at 7 a.m.   There are four members from our club who are board members.   Be sure to let them know how you feel about issues that are coming before the board the end of this month.   Speakers at convention this year will be Char Antuzzi, Blake Brown, Susan Garlinghouse, Erin Klentos and Dan Myler.   There are a record number of vendors also for shopping purposes!            

 

Our spring Quicksilver ride is coming together nicely.   Trilby is hard at work on award blankets for all finishers.   We will stage out of Calero Park.   Volunteers are needed at the vet stops for timing, vet secretaries, etc.  If you are available let Trilby or Lori Oleson know.  

 

Hope to see you at the AERC Convention in Reno!!  

 

Jan Jeffers

President

 

 

 

 




  President:                  Jan Jeffers

  Vice President:          Judy Etheridge

  Secretary:                 LInda Cowles

  Treasurer:                 Kathy Miller

  Board Member:         Steve Lenheim

  Board Member:         Pat MacKendry

  Board Member:         Marilyn Orlando

  Board Member:         Trilby Pederson

 

  Published by the Quicksilver Endurance Riders, Inc.

  P.O. Box 71

  New Almaden, CA 95042

 

  Kathy Mayeda, Editor – Fax/Phone (650) 967-2050;

  Cell/Message (650) 996-7709; e-mail: qser-quips@att.net

  Kay Allison, Distribution Coordinator

  Mike Maul, Chief Mover and Shaker

 

 
 



 




































AWARDS BANQUET

 


by Kathy Mayeda

 

As always, the Awards Banquet at Harry’s Hoffbrau was a resounding success.   Judging by the amount of happy crowd chatter of short-attention spanned friendly QSER members, e the Award Presenters, Maryben,   and Steve Lenheim had their work cut out for them!

 

Mike Maul flew up from Southern California only to turn around and fly back that same night so that he can train in another day in the Santa Ana winds. His mathematical mind was ticking again and he estimated that there were excess of 100 QSER members, friends and family enjoying the festivities.

 

Diane Enderle was presented the Eleanor Norton Award by 2000 award recipient, Pat McKendry.   Horse Hall of Fame was Aron Moon+// owned and ridden by Mike Tracy.   The QSER Horse of the Year was awarded to LS Zane Grey+//, with Michele Shaw noting that, like Robin Hood, he was a horse ridden by another besides the owner (?!?).  Eric, Kathy and Katelynn were all on hand to receive the award for Zane.   The QSER Rider Hall of Fame went to Heather Bergantz.   Since Heather was on the way back from UAE, her family was ther and sister Holly picks the award for her in absentia.

 

Steve Lenheim shows off and passes out the new QSER Calendar, again with the artwork of Judith Ogus.  This year’s cover is a graphic of Becky Hart racing.

 

I was sitting next to Bing Voigt at the Banquet.   He told me a story that exemplifies what being a Quicksilver member and endurance rider means – helping each other out in times of need…He helped me at DVE, and was in turn in need of help.    Bing pulled into the ridecamp at Fire Mountain and found that he was missing a tire on his trailer!  The horses spent the night being tied to Suzy Kelly’s trailer.   Brian Reeves and Val Weizer hauled his horse home, and Trilby hauled Jennifer’s horse home.  Bing said that he’s not much for writing, so he wanted to convey a big hearty THANK YOU to Brian and Val.

 

Last but not least, Julie Suhr debuted her new book “Ten Feet Tall, Still”.   From all accounts from those who have yacked it up on the internet, it’s a totally good read!  Apparently, Julie will be at the Sportack booth at the AERC Convention with her book.   All proceeds go AERC and WSTF Trail Committees.   Wow, Julie, another great accomplishment!

 

 

 

 

QUICKSILVER

JACKETS!

 

Jan Jeffers will be embroidering club jackets with the QSER logo on the back and the member’s name on the front for the price of $55.00 plus tax.   The jackets come in navy, hunter or wine with grey fleece lining.   Nice way for club name recognition so order yours today!

 


ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

IMPORTANT TRAILS NOTICE!

 

Lynge is a former member of QSER that has moved to the Sierra Foothills.   This is in response to the closure of Camp Far West to the popular endurance ride held there annually over the Memorial Day weekend. The following was submitted by Julie Suhr.

 

Friends, A great step was made on Sat. We now have an organization which is dedicated to the fight to save trails in this area of the State. We will have a name and officers and plans soon. We will meet By-monthly. 16 or 17 clubs were represented. This number will grow as more groups are contacted. California has already made some organizational strides to serve horsemen. Now the focus must include defending the places we ride and keep our horses. We are getting strong. We have CSHA, Back Country Horsemen and Heritage Trails. Most breeds and separate disciplines have their own clubs to put on activities. A new wave of issues has come up in recent years, which have closed many trails to our use.

 

A small group of us created EnviroHorse to encourage studies, and collect information as well as make this information available to equestrians to answer to the new issues which are baring us from our trails. The Calif. Horse Council is now on board to help horsemen. The Internet is such a wonderful way of distributing information to everyone we need to reach, it is now possible for people from one end of the state to help with a problem in another area. Now we have an organization (name to come) which will step in to fight to keep our trails. This will put us in a much better place to deal with upcoming trail loss. I have never seen a group of equestrians so focused on the future of trails, and willing to put their time out, to jump in and fight!

 

We need to have a contact person from every group, so that information can be shared, as well as help form all clubs can be given to problem location. We need to have an equestrian in attendance at every public meeting of Fish and Game, BLM, Forest Service, National and State Parks, as well as the Local Park Systems. We need to develop relationships with our Local and State Politicians, so we can talk to them and gain their support when we need it. Please share this information with other equestrian clubs. Our strength will be in numbers. We will do our best to develop a simple effective means of communicating with members.

 

Lynge Simoni

 

Julie Suhr will be at the SportTack booth at the AERC Convention with copies of her much acclaimed new book “Ten Feet Tall, Still”:

TO ORDER:$24.95 (+ $5 shipping), MasterCard – VISA, Check or Money Order
Send to: Marinera Publishing, 100 Marinera Road, Scotts Valley, CA 95066
marinera@aol.com ,Phone: (831) 335-5948,FAX: (831) 335-5933,www.endurance.net/juliesuhr

 

WANNA TRAILER?

·          Robert's correct phone no. is 831-761-1184. He has a Miley in fair condition for sale for $800 and is looking for pipe corral for   his expanding herd.

·          Carla Ambriz has a Miley for sale also.. It is 1977, white great shape and has new tailgate, new axles, new lock on tack doors and other work has been done to it. . would like $2300 but will listen to reasonable offer. 408-779-1496 or leave message on cell phone 408-690-3196.

 

WANNA TRUCK?

·          1997 F250 Diesel, Standard Cab 65,000 miles 5th wheel and standard hitch Excellent Condition, White Please call Ramona Koch (831) 628-3838

WANNA BATHTUB?

·          Pat McKendry has two bathtubs that she will give away to someone in need. They make great water troughs. Her phone number is 408 779-3648.

 

 

 

TOTALLY COOL CLINIC!

 

JEAN  PHILIPPE   GIACOMINI Will be Conducting a Clinic in Gilroy, CA May 17, 18 and 19, 2002  “JP” will be available for a series of three intensive training sessions   for horses and riders at all levels of training.    A general format for  JP's clinic includes:  1) Introduction to establishing rider authority, 2)  Relaxation thru endo-tapping, 3) Basic lungeing, 4) Endo-tapping in-hand in  movement, and 5) Basic equitation using endo-aids.

 

“JP’s  Essential   Horsemanship” Jean Philippe Giacomini has studied and taught classical dressage in Europe  and the USA since 1966.  He has kept his early passion for baroque horses  through a career dedicated to training and coaching in the Olympic   disciplines.  JP is a French Federation Certified Instructor and a former   Assistant Trainer at the Portuguese National Stud of Alter Real.   He has  produced top international Dressage, 3 Day Event and Show Jumping  horses.  JP is also the inventor of “JP’s Essential Horsemanship” and “The   Relax Reflex Reward System for Emotional Conditioning.”

 

“The 3R’s of Riding...”© is to adult horses what imprinting is to newborn foals: obedience, performance & soundness through relaxation. “THE 3 R’s OF RIDING...”© is a complete system of physical and emotional   conditioning for horses at any level of training which induces a reliable  state of relaxation.   This method brings a radical solution to the oldest   problem of horse training:  how to get the horse to replace the primal   stress reflex (tensing-up in preparation for “flee or flight”) with the  “RELAX REFLEX that REWARDS”©, an automatic, on cue, pleasurable response   that softens his/her body instantly and brings attention back to the rider  and the task at hand.   “The 3 R’s of Riding...”© is easily taught at once   through an initial period of a few hours, and stays with the horse a  lifetime.

 

The “ENDO-AIDS”©  (tools of ”The “3 R’s of Riding...”©) redefine the use of   the aids (the basic riding cues) into a process of comfort and   collaboration for the horse.   It reforms the very notion of the whip from   an implement of threat or punishment to the “Endo-stick” and “Endo-Whip”,   instruments of relaxation, pleasure and education which increase the  horse’s receptivity.    The “3 R’s” method reconciles the firmness of   leadership with the softness of sensorial integration.

 

Cost to attend per horse:  $150 per day

Overnight stabling per horse:  $15 per night

Cost to audit:  $30 per day, or $75 for all three days

 

Participants are currently being selected to take part in this clinic.   If  you wish to attend, please call Carolyn Acceturo at 408-578-1917 (evenings)   to reserve your space.  Please specify how many horses you plan to bring   and whether or not you require overnight stabling.   Also specify if you  would like to audit the clinic, and don't forget to leave your phone   number.  Please make payment to JP Giacomini, and mail to Carolyn Acceturo,   94 Bernal Road, San Jose, CA  95119.   Payment is due by April 20,   2002.   Please add 20% surcharge after April 20.

 

The clinic will be held at California Stables, 11590 New Ave., Gilroy, CA. Directions to California Stables:  From Rte. 101 going South:  take San   Martin Ave. exit, go East (left) on San Martin Ave. for 1.3 miles (San  Martin Ave. ends at New Ave.).   Go right on New Ave. for 1.8 miles (past   Church Ave.).  California Stables is on your left at 11590 New Ave. (white   sign with blue horse head).  If you pass Rucker Ave., you've gone too far.

 

From Rte. 101 going North: Take Masten Ave. exit, go East (right)   on  Masten Ave., right on Center Ave., left on Rucker Ave., left on New   Ave.  California Stables is 9/10 mile North of Rucker, on your right at   11590 New Ave. (white sign with blue horse head).

 

VISIT JP GIACOMINI’S WEBSITE:   http://www.equus.net 



INTERNATIONAL SCENE:

February 9, 2002

From: Art Priesz Jr., USET VP of Endurance, USA Chef d'Equipe

 

THE LEARNING CURVE

 

The posts from here in the UAE recounting Tom Johnson's race against an endurance horse over 50 miles and regarding the 100 mile President's Cup are helpful and important for a number of reasons.

 

The basic point of all of those reasons is this: We (Americans, Europeans, Arabs from the Emirates or elsewhere, Asians and others) all have even more to learn about ourselves, each other and our equine partners. The important thing is we are learning and are willing and able to continue doing so.

 

Four US riders competed in the President's Cup at the Al Wathba Endurance Village near Abu Dhabi this last Thursday. Heather Bergantz on Red, Marcia Smith, DVM, on Saamson, Hal Hall on Thunder and Jan Worthington on Bon Vi Vant (owned and offered by Shk. Faisal of Rosalkama, UAE. Three completed, placing very well under very different circumstances for each of them and their horses.

 

Heather's 11th place finish was impressive for what it demonstrated about her and her crew's ability to safely get a solid ride out of a premier horse on its first overseas trip, while still saving that horse as a likely US Endurance National Team nominee. The horses each of these successful riders were competing against had not spent a season competing hard as each of these horses had, and most US horses and riders do. They were pointed to this race. It is not a matter of one way being better; it's just a matter of recognizing the difference and competing within it safely and successfully.

 

As well, Marcia came in and also put together a solid performance, despite some small "officiating" bumps which were quickly resolved and which, to her credit, did not derail her concentration. She also coasted Saamson in on the final loop as she continued to look forward to preserving his potential to nominate to represent her country in the upcoming WEG. One problem in USET's, the Active Riders' Committee's and AERC International's plan or wish for a more activist approach to team-building and team staff (Chef d'Equipe and Team Vet, primarilly) attention and attendance of International events and clinics, etc. is meeting these riders again, or better, and meeting some you've heard of but never met. The team-building is working. Our performances are improving. But, you end up wishing for a team of hundreds, not just 6 plus 9 alternates. They all become your "favorites".

 

That is true for both Heather and Marcia, and for Jennifer and Salime from Al Wathba Stables, and for Tom, Jeremy and a tireless and intense but upbeat Skip. It's true for Jan and Grace after Jan's unexpected retirement from the race after 105km, when they went out on the last loop to help crew and follow the other 3 Americans in.

 

And it's also so very true for Hal Hall, and notably his family. Hal always appeared, at check-in and inspection, in full USET uniform, in a pleasant mood, willing to listen and freely provide plain-spoken and complete information, and competed hard and safely on a relatively young horse (8y.o.) for experience and for the horse's future. Hal and Thunder moved up throughout the day as discussed and planned from 37th to 30th to 25th to eventually a 15th place finish. And he was very well crewed. Ann and the kids were efficient and happy and on top of everything. Hal may not be a nominee for the 2002 WEG, but I surely do hope he and his family come anyway, and that we have him as a future nominee.

 

See what I mean? They all become your favorites. I anticipate filling out a very long Potential Conflict of Interest Disclosure. That is part of the point, though. The Endurance Family for all of us is large and expanding.

 

Two years ago, the UAE Federation and its officials were dismayed and, surprisingly even, opposed to US Team officials and staff attending these individual events, even when 3 or more US competitors were involved (3 is the number at which the FEI recommends and authorizes Chef participation.) It might be fairly stated there was some feeling that US opinion and good will was not a necessary component of the growth of international endurance (my perception). That has changed significantly. We are welcomed now.

 

It has changed because we have stepped up to speak and reason, not just because "they" (infamous and dark words, "they" or "them") have listened. Those discussions have come through participation, even constructive argument. We have listened, too. All of us need to continue to do so.

 

Right now, Endurance in the US is only economically and by real service supported by the USET and by the many and numerous AERC volunteers who have stepped up to do so. Our NF may be changing and so real support from our NF may occur in the future, but right now it is just us and the USET, which continues to attempt to negotiate the details of a new NF to replace AHSA/USAE, and give us true NF support. For the coming WEG, there are consequences to us. The USET attempt to displace or change the NF has been costly. Some staff changes have occurred at the USET (not substantive program discipline staff, thank goodness, but attempts to cost-save). The large donors from the other disciplines who have carried us in the past, are waiting for the proverbial dust to clear. We cannot afford to do so.

 

Our budget, to take 6 horses and crews and support to Jerez, which the USET is trying to raise and retain is approximately $250,000. In truth, it may end up slightly higher. We are going to the WEG to win, not just go around.

 

So, here is the deal. It is time for us to lead. We have been leaders in fighting for the health and safety of our horses, in fighting for a level international playing field, in fighting for equal and fair opportunities to compete internationally and for our country, in fighting for rules, and in fighting for a more responsive and more service-oriented NF. Now, we need to fight for and promote our, and other discipline, opportunity(ies) to compete at the WEG. That means we need to donate and to raise money and sponsorships. Please start thinking about this now, and what you can personally do, and suggest.

 

In being tapped to take the place of Maggie Price I was honored to carry on her work for each of you. When I was named US Chef d'Equipe last year I was honored and humbled, again, and a bit in awe of the responsibility. The time and expense committment are significant, but all of you who ride and care for your horses have made and make similar committments. But I am now in the position of asking you to do more. On Thursday night, after the race, I took part in the USET Board conference call discussing the WEG budgets and other issues. In discussing this issue and in asking the Board, including our NF representative to the Board, whether the current NF could be expected to assist in the funding for the WEG, there was no answer from the NF and a response from more experienced members of both Boards that our current NF has not helped before (at least in recent times). Obviously, that was not a pleasant way to end a day of such pride in our US competitors in a far-away land. But, the learning curve continues. I will be in touch with many of you, if not each of you, over the next several months. I will be asking for your help in both money and ideas. If you have a suggestion as to where to look or whom to ask or talk to, I will go to do it. The goal is $500,000. I, we, you, need all of your help. We can do it. And in doing it, we will both help, teach and continue to lead others. Thanks in advance. See you at convention and remember to relax, aprieszjr. E-mail: <czagincourt@earthlink.net> US Mail: 135 Eighth Avenue Granite Falls, MN 56241 Mobile(US): 612/940-0008 Home (if I'm there): 507-694-1751 Office: 320-564-2100 Fax: 320-564-4474

 

SHINE AND SHINE ONLY II

BY MARYBEN

The weather was great.  Cloud, sun, cloud sun.  Good thing.   There were a few very round and fuzzy horses.   There were a few minor glitches.   Some people who were entered did not show which makes the records less than great when the ride secretary is out on the trail.   We had the usual number of people who entered the 25 and then said they were riding the 50.  They did not read their form and checked the wrong ride.   I am not clarivoyent and don't know which ride they really want to do.  But it all worked out in the end.

 

50 mile finish is as follows:

 

Heather Bergantz     JS Raisa

Dana Tryde           Novelist

Mike Tracy           Aron Moon  

Nancy Corbelletta    Steele Fire II

Megna Agosto         DA Cameo

Ellen Bridges        Barbasway

Darrell Levesque     Mosaic Reign

Maryann Levesque     Afrit

Frank Rothschild     Double Quick

Michael Black        Dawids Dude

Cassandra Schuler    ELD Triton

Melissa Schuler      Nureyev

Jeremy Reynolds      Taboo   [Dolly this is a Kharanty son out of Skips mare Spirit]

Ken Cook             Kruzyr

Nina Cooke           Majic

Linda Glazier Yohe   Tamarron Red Rapture

Fred Emigh           Lil Smok

Jennifer Castner     Huck's Heartbeat

Connie Berto         Eco's Stardust

Stephanie Beebe      LLU Zakir     First Junior

Jeff Luternauer      PC Phoenix      

Robin Everett        The Mischief Maker

Katie Alton          HBC Tyler Too   (Second Junior riding Heather Bergantz's junior horse who decided retirement was not nearly as much fun as racing)

Maryben Stover       Jake

Kathleen Myers       Witex Sirinity

Scott Sansom         Tigree

Hillorie Bachmann    ME Pyrope [ ME for Morris Enterprises]

Lucas Belser         Khontessa E

Gary Belser          Ebony Icee

Trilby Pederson      Exclaimation A

Leise Belser         April Windstar    DNF  (Was second but horse was lame at finish due to kick from another horse)

 

 


 

20 MULE TEAM

 


BY JUDY ETHERIDGE

This year's 20 Mule Team was blessed with just about perfect weather and because I was taking it easy I actually had time to appreciate the beautiful desert scenery. The ride was to be my friend Catherine's 1st 100 but it was not to be. After many gut wrenching problems with the bad effects of her horse's recent shoeing she had to pull him from the ride at the last minute. She was determined to ride anyway and she was able to borrow a 15" 3' rocket, a NSH named Maggie, who is in training with Jackie Bumgardner.

 

We waited until 6:15 AM or so to begin and walked all the way the Jackie's house to give Maggie as quiet a start as possible. Unfortunately others had waited even later to start and passed us breaking Maggie's concentration on her job; then the 65s started catching up, dang! Catherine worked very hard with Maggie, actually getting her to listen and to round up a little from time to time and to stay off the horse's butt in front of her. I feel confident that had Maggie stayed sound she would been pretty well trained at the ride's end:):) We rode for a while with Tammy Robinson's daughter, Charlene, and her junior. Charlene trains and conditions horses and was kind enough to give Catherine some good advice on how to work with Maggie. About 15-20 miles out Catherine could feel an occasional offness in Maggie's right front. So we took it as easy as we could, ha ha, to the lunch stop where Maggie was indeed found to be off so Catherine pulled her. I decided that a 65 mile training ride would suit me just fine so Orion and I zipped on in to camp. Since Catherine did not finish, my promise to do her 1st 100 with her has not been fulfilled so stay tuned.

 

BY MIKE MAUL

 

Just a quick report before I have to go to Costco to get my months groceries. Full report later.

 

The 100 was won by Joyce Sousa with Crockett Dumas second., Lori Oleson in 16:45 but don't know the placing, Karen Chaton at 18th at 17:28, Gloria Vanderford at 21, Jennifer Kurtzhall at 23. Robert Ribley, Becky Hart took ROs at 92 miles, Ken Cook earlier than that. Dom freeman pulled, Judy Etheridge took a RO.

 

In the 65 - won by s.sexton in 5:51. Michele Shaw and Robin Hood in 5th, Judith Ogus in 9th, Hugh V in 14th, Jeff L in 47th, Pat Verheul in 48th, Brian and Val in 55-56, Trilby 66 of 67. Pulled include Mike Maul, Bing,

 

More later,

 

Mike

 

The 20 Mule Team Armchair Report

by Kathy Mayeda

 

A lot of you already know, but I sliced my hand trying to take a wayward EquiThane cartridge out of the applicator with a utility knife.  Judith did a great wrap job and I drove myself to the emergency room with nice colored vetwrap over sterile guaze and horse roll cotton to get 21 stitches.   Was given prescriptions for Vicodin and Keflex but the Keflex made me sick.  (Saving Vicodin for when I REALLY need it – like endurance rides!)   Well, enough of my sad story, but I spent the weekend gleaning little bits and pieces from the internet lists of some of the happenings at 20 Mule Team instead of riding the 65 miles as planned.   If there are any inaccuracies, consider the source!!!!

 

The finish line was apparently pretty exciting.   Jazon Wonders and/or Elfta’s horse(s) were pulled for not meeting AERC criteria in an hour.  Sharon Kirkpatrick and Randy Coleman apparently raced to the finish line for 7 th/8th place.  The results of the race was  Sharon Kirkpatrick in the hospital with 5 broken ribs after colliding and spinning a horse around with a kid on top.  Kid stayed on, but Sharon didn’t.  Joyce Souza did not do BC judging.  “The nice lady who won overall BC at DVE” won BC.   If this was Carolyn Hock, I rode quite a bit with her at DVE on all three days.  6th place and first junior finisher Heather Hackworth was DQ’d at finish line. Michele Shaw, you caused a lot of ruckus on the ride lists!   We had some people applauding strict vetting and others crying, but it made for good discussion.

 

Lori Oleson told me she came in 12th and that Flame did good by her because she wasn’t feeling well during the ride. Flame and Lori are a true team!

 

Lynne Glazer e-mailed me to tell me that even though she was pulled at 15 miles due to trip on the rock lameness, ReactorPanel sadddles did well with the AERC 3rd/FEI 1st place winner Wendy Meridini and BC –Carolyn Hock riding in ReactorPanel saddles.   She quoted a pull rate of 1/3 and miserable cold winds for the 100’s.

 

Ridecamp was posted with some positive results.   DPD Enterprises had 6 horses finish – 3 in the 100, 3 in the 65, and three of them are for sale.  Tammy Robinson of TrailRite,  the lady riding with the walkie-talkie during DVE, posted about her rescue horse Sharkee coming in 7thAERC/4th FEI after a steady paced ride.   First 100 for Sharkee.  He’s for sale, too.

 

I would be interested to see what the final results are when they are posted.  Seems like a lot of people  came in 7th place, huh?  I look forward to Mike writing a more detailed ride report. 

 

K.

 

HERE’S THE DETAILED RIDE REPORT AND REFLECTION ON THE YEAR OF THE HORSE!

 

by Mike Maul

It's February 16 - the end of the Chinese New Year - and the beginning of the Year of the Horse for a large portion of the worlds population. It's also the day of the 20 Mule Team ride in the desert of Southern California where it's the Year of the Horse at Jackie Bumbgarner's largest ride on record. Two-hundred-twenty-six entries show up for the LD, the 65 mile ride, and the FEI/AERC 100 mile ride. There are 59 in the 100 - 19 of them FEI, 104 in the 65 mile ride, and 63 in the 35 mile LD. There are world class international competitors like Wendi Merendini, Becky Hart, and Steph Teeter as well as riders who are doing their first endurance ride. This is a sport for us all - no matter what our level of experience, finances, and goals.

 

The ride starts at the Desert Empire fairgrounds in Ridgecrest where there are showers, stalls, and good sites for the large rigs. There is everything from the least expensive setups to seven horse rigs supporting large groups. There are many from southern California but others from as far away as Idaho and Oregon. I've always liked this name - Desert Empire- somehow it conjures up the feeling I had as a boy about hidden places far from the centers of civilization. Death Valley certainly fits this.

 

The ride starts under a slim silver crescent moon with cool weather during the day turning to cold, dark, and windy for the 100s on Saturday night. The night-time views you see out in the country show the star flecked Milkyway framed by the millions of stars we never see in the cities with the constellation Orion The Hunter striding across the sky.

 

I've ridden this ride several times now and the trails are starting to be familiar. We ride along roads where it's dry now but were bordered by snow in past years. It's not a hard ride but deceptive in some ways. Much of it is flat but with enough downhills so that a number of horses show up with tight muscles in the rear and pull at the last vet check. There's a nice long 6 mile stretch right after lunch for trotting leading into the rockier trails after that.

 

The "citizens" of this part of the desert don't appear until well into the ride - the Joshua trees cluster together here more than they did on the Death Valley ride six weeks earlier. The mountains are minus the snow that made them so spectacular in December but they still bring an interesting image to mind. They march across the horizon bordering our ride - and with the ups and downs - look like a huge representation of the drawings we see in the Tevis literature showing the elevations of the trail from start to finish.

 

We see a lot of motorcross riders in the desert. They are always polite and stop for us. Wearing their body armor and helmets - they look like something out of Mel Gibson's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome(1985)". I've mixed feelings on seeing them there - on the one hand - they deserve the right to use our national areas as we do - but on the other - it feels a whole lot more "natural" for us to be out there on horses.

 

I learn some more about my horse on this ride. He's always had a buddy on rides before and this time - loses her at the first vet check at 15 miles. He doesn't want to go out and when alone - asks why am I doing this.... We are alone for most of the time for the next 15 miles until he finally picks up another buddy. He isn't enjoying the ride alone.

 

Some observations about this ride and 100 mile rides:

 

Every once in a while - you find a magic moment where the clouds and mountains are just right at sunset to give the effect of a sky at the mountains edge that looks like molten gold. I've seen this over the Santa Cruz mountains and at this ride too. It's something remember that we have the chance to see things on rides like this that we never see in the cities.

 

A lot of horses were pulled or out by rider option at the last vet check in both the 65 and the 100. It's a long way to go and pull just eight miles from the finish. But one story from this ride illustrates how some riders are thinking of their horses first and completing second. In the 100 - a world class rider gets an OK to go out and finish from the last vet check at 92 miles. Her horse is tired and she says - he could go on and finish but he won't know the difference. He doesn't need to do this and I don't need to do it to get another 100 miles. So she pulls and lets him rest on the trailer ride back.

 

The winds can be fierce out here. On Sunday morning after the ride - it's really blowing. I see crows trying to fly and getting blown backwards. I'm really glad we had such a nice day for the ride.

 

I'm sitting here writing in the awards and dinner area watching the vetting for the 65 mile point in the 100 mile ride where the finishers will be examined and the incoming riders will know whether they go back out for another 35 miles in the dark.

 

I've some thoughts on this that I'd like to share. I've done only a few 100s - Tevis is one of those I've completed and I've been pulled at 90 miles in one I didn't complete. I'm certainly not an expert on 100s.

 

But 100s are a decreasing part of our sport - the 2001 ride season is down 7% from 2000 - and at best - participation in 100s is flat from 1996 while the rest of the distances have grown well. This is true even with the encouragement the AERC gives to 100s by adding bonus points for overall scoring. Winning an 11 entry 100 provides the same overall points as winning 3 large 50s. Just completing a 100 gives the rider the same points as winning a 50.

 

Ride managers find it more expensive to put on 100s - vets, volunteers, marking the trails, and with decreasing entries - even more of a problem at least breaking even on the 100 mile part of a ride.

 

It's cold and windy here tonight in the desert while I'm writing this and I'm happy not to be going back out after having been in the 65. I'm glad to have had the chance to socialize - in most rides to attend the awards, and to take care of my horse after doing the shorter ride. In most 100s - riders finish early in the morning, take care of their horses, get the leftovers from the other distances dinners, go to sleep, drag themselves out of their trailers early for a small breakfast - get an award with only a few people present - then head for home.

 

 There are a few rides that break out of this mold and make the next morning something to remember for the riders - Tevis, Old Dominion, Swanton-Pacific, and 20 Mule Team but they are few.

 

100s are significantly harder on your horse - average completion rates are only 61% compared to 86% for 50s. Completion rates drop significantly after 75 miles - only slightly from LD to 50 to 75s.

 

So why would these riders I see going back out in this dark cold windy night want to be doing so?

 

For some - it's the entrance qualification for taking part in international competition. This is a growing part of the sport internationally. Some of our membership certainly want to do this - FEI rides are becoming more common.

 For others - it's a way to generate points for regional and divisional awards.

 

For most though - I'm seeing people go out for the ultimate test with their horse. They've set this as a personal goal and see this as what endurance is all about. One rider - one horse - one day. Some only do it once for the goal and others do it over and over again

 

But they are doing it less and less each year - unless FEI competition starts rebuilding interest in 100 - or there is something equivalent to ROC that requires it for qualification. The AERC National Championship 100 could drive this but it's just not seen in the way the ROC is by the membership.

 

LD and multidays are the growing parts of our sport and represent something different than the founders of the AERC envisioned. Change is a part of our culture - and a requirement for a growing organization. So these are areas for the AERC to find present and future ways to support.

 

But on the other hand - we seem be losing a part of the reason our sport started - an important part of our heritage - 100 miles - One Rider, One Horse - One Day. Do we want to see this become a smaller and smaller part of our future sport?

 

Are 100s important to our sport - I think so and the riders going back out on this cold dark windy night seem to think so too...

 

Some QSER statistics from the ride:

 

Gloria Vanderford was 7th in the FEI which was won by Wendi Merendini. Becky Hart and Dom Freeman took ROs. 11 of 19 completed the FEI portion of the ride.

 

Joyce Sousa won the AERC 100 in 11:45 with Crockett Dumas in second quite a bit behind. Lori Oleson was the next finisher from QSER with a time of 16:45(placing 7th or 8th??). Karen Chaton was in 18th at 17:28, Gloria in 21st with 17:31, Jennifer Kurtzhall in 23rd at 17:40. Ken Cook, Judy Etheridge, Robert Ribley all pulled or took rider options. Judy was mentoring a friend on her first 100 and after the friend was pulled - decided to pull as well. The completion rate in the 100 mile distance was about the normal 2/3 for this ride.

 

The 65 mile ride was won in 5:51 by S. Sexton with the highest placing QSER member Michele Shaw at 5th on Robin Hood followed by Judith Ogus at 9th in 7:41, Hugh Vanderford at 14th in 7:57, Jeff Luternauer 47th in 10:01, Pat Verheul in 48th, Brian and Val in 55-56, followed by Trilby at next to last in 66th. 67 out of 96 starting completed - down from the 104 entered. Bing Voight and Mike Maul didn't complete.

 

Last year - this was Jennifer's first try at a 100 and she was pulled at the 15 mile vet check. This year - she came back and did it well. Trilby was a victim of food poisoning last year but finished this one.

 

In the LDs - 51 of 62 starting finished.

 

It's another great ride from Jackie and for her horses as well. Her Zayante is about 30 miles short of 10,000 and her other horse in the ride ridden well by Nick Warhol comes in about 5th in the 100.

 

It's a very nice start to the Chinese Year of the Horse.

 

Mike 


 


march 2002

 

03/01/02- AERC CONVENTION

03/02/02         SILVER LEGACY, RENO NV

 

03/13/02         QSER MEETING

                        7:30 p.m. at Trilby’s

 

3/16/02           LAND OF THE NEVERSWEATS 25/55

                        Lassen County, CA

                        Ginger Bill 530-254-6449

 

                        GEO BUN BUSTERS

                        Chris Elton 760-764-2593

 

 

 

3/23/02           SHINE AND SHINE ONLY III

                        Becky Hart 408-997-0814

 

3/23/00-          CUYAMA OAKS XP PIONEER

Ann Nicholson 435-644-2008 (LIMITED ENTRIES – WAITING LIST NOW!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/31/02           EASTER SUNDAY


NEXT MEETING:    WILL BE AT TRILBY’S -  HEATHER BERGANTZ WILL TALK ABOUT HER AND RED’S ADVENTURE IN THE SAND!!!!!


 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

Quicksilver Endurance Riders, Inc.

P.O. Box 71

New Almaden, CA 95042