ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Great Northern Connection

[endurance] Great Northern Connection

George Dorward (george.dorward@mb.sympatico.ca)
Fri, 09 Aug 1996 16:43:51 -0700

For the first time ever, the MidWest Regional Championship endurance ride was held
outside the U.S. in Manitoba's Turtle Mountains. Competitors came from far and wide to
enjoy our scenic trails in a challenging 100 mile over one day race. The MidWest Region
consists of nine U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. This special event was hosted
by the Distance Riders of Manitoba as part of their annual Great Northern Connection
ride, a three day endurance ride moving from Spruce Woods Park, to Souris Bend Wildlife
Management Area, to Turtle Mountain Park. The diversity of trails and the number of
different rides offered attracted competitors from great distances. No one goes away
disappointed; again this year our trails got rave reviews from all competitors.

This year's ride was the subject of a television documentary. A television crew
followed us all three days capturing the thrill of the horses meeting the challenges of
the many obstacles on the trail. They documented the ministering of riders and pit
crews to the horses to pass through the veterinary checks. Th complete tv show will be
a half hour in length and broadcast sometime this fall.

The highlight of this year's ride would have to be the American Endurance Ride
Conference Championship 100 mile event. One hundred miles in one day is the ultimate
test of a horse and rider's skills and conditioning. A member of the U.S. national team
long list for the World Championship was competing in the ride. The winning horse was
from right here in Manitoba. V.B. Bey Ruler, owned and ridden by Myna Cryderman of
Boissevain, Manitoba, completed in a time of 12 hours and 39 minutes. In second place
and "best conditioned" was Audrey Gehrig of Janesville, Wisconsin, riding Czar Louis.

Another highlight of the weekend was the 50 mile International Arabian Horse Association
Region 17 (all of Western Canada) Championship. The winner of this ride was Connie
Farmer from Witchita, Kansas riding Czech, and second was Liz Whitcomb of Byron,
Minnesota, riding AJ Anton.

There was a total of 78 entries over the three days. Most said they wanted to come back
and make this a regular event. Special mention should be made of two juniors, Jessica
and Phillip Voeller of Menoken, North Dakota, who rode 50 miles all three days on the
same horses. There was also a grandmother and her granddaughter, Shirley Donaghue and
Jessie Vinkemeier of Clearwater, Minnesota, who rode a 50 on the first day and the 100
miler on the third day.

Ride management wishes to express their deepest appreciation for the support given by
the local businesses in Boissevain, especially the Boissevain Co-op. Without this
sponsorship, an event of this calibre would not be possible. The ride has brought
people from far and wide and dispelled the notion that Manitoba is flat and not very
scenic. Between the first hand experiences and the upcoming tv documentary, we should
see an increase in tourism because of this event.

[ I will send the detailed results on Monday]