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2009 AERC
National Championship

AERC National Championship - pre-riding the trail
Images by Merri

AERC National Championship - pre-riding the trail
Images by Merri

Home || Official Website || Photo Galleries

STORIES: Gearing up for the AERC NC 100-Miler || AERC NC 100-Miler: Any Given Day
AERC NC 50-Miler

Final: 100 Mile Results || Final: 50 Mile Results

Friday, September 11:
100 Mile AERC Championship

100 Mile Best Condition - Monk
Final Official Results - download
Top Ten overall:
1. Lindsay Graham F Monk 9:58
2. Brad Green L Pawnee 10:33
3. Elroy Karius M Apache Eclypse 10:46
4. Joyce Sousa L LV Integrity 10:47
5. Jennifer Niehaus L NH Copper Blaze 10:47
6. Deanna Guinasso L RGR FlashFire 10:48
7. Crockett Dumas H OT Gunplay RSI 10:48
8. Suzanne Ford Huff F Chase the Wind AH 10:55
9. Janine Esler F CR Abu Kumait 11:09
10. Matt Medeiros H Ruschcreek Oladom (ole) 11:22
Top Three Featherweight:
Lindsay Graham - Monk 9:58
Suzanne Ford Huff - Chase the Wind AH 10:55
Janine Esler - CR Abu Kumait 11:09
Top Three Lightweight
Brad Green - Pawnee 10:33
Joyce Sousa - LV Integrity 10:47
Jennifer Niehaus L=- NH Copper Blaze 10:47
Top Three Middleweight
Elroy Karius - Apache Eclypse 10:46
Naomi Preston - Karlady 11:34
Doug Swingley - Pal of Mine 11:50
Top Three Heavyweight
Crockett Dumas - OT Gunplay RSI 10:48
Matt Medeiros - Ruschcreek Oladom (ole) 11:22
Roger Yohe - Red Sans Legend 11:34
Colton Medeiros - Rushcreek Lance 11:22

First to Finish: Lindsay Graham and Monk
(click to enlarge)

First to Finish: Lindsay Graham and Monk
(click to enlarge)

Photo Galleries

trail preview


Photo Galleries

100-Miler: AM

100-Miler: Noon

Photo Galleries

100-Miler: PM

100-Miler: Finish

Photo Galleries

100-Miler: BC

50-Mile Vet-In
100-Mi Awards
Photo Galleries

50-Miler: Morning I

50-Miler: Morning II
Photo Galleries

50-Miler: Noon

50-Miler: Finish I
Photo Galleries

50-Miler: Finish II
and Awards

Sunday September 13:
AERC 50 Mile Championship

6:00AM Start
April Cyrek on DB Air Alamahn and Kenneth Keele on Ravenwood Shabar race across the finish line!
AERC Best Condition: TR Olena
FEI Best Condition: MaKazin
Finishers! (final/official results coming soon)
1. 4:03 Kenneth Keele M Ravenwood Shahbar
2. 4:10 Becky Spencer L Alchemy LR
3. 4:15 Heather Reynolds L MaKazin
4. 4:20 Terry Reed L TR Olena
5. 4:20 Michael Thomas M Kasino GM
6. 4:22 Karen Deaver L Simeon Shaizam
7. 4:25 Cheryl Dell F TR Reason to Believe
8. 4:30 Christoph Schork M Stars Aflame
9. 4:32 Gail Jewell L KD Colonel
10. 4:40 Julie Muscutt M MTN Montgomery
11. 4:42 Dian Woodward H Halyva Night
12. 4:44 Mark Engemann M PR Comet
13. 4:44 Judy Reens F Streek
14. 4:53 Lari Shea L Indiana Jones
15. 4:54 Jenni Smith F Lakota Dancer
16. 4:59 Dianne Dalton F Honeymoon Knight
17. 5:01 Robert Weldin H Airborne/Syrocko
18. 5:09 Kim Mileo F Tika Sherri
19. 5:09 Kim Fuess F Ben
20. 5:13 Beverly Gray F Extrah
21. 5:13 David Kaden H Xtreme Fire
22. 5:18 Susan Graham Seibert F Phoenix Affair
23. 5:18 Michelle Roush F Awna Flame
24. 5:18 Becky Lange L Mocha Jack
25. 5:30 Linda Klee L Follow Hope
26. 5:33 Julienne Buxton M JB's Colorado
27. 5:38 Fred Emigh H Gil
28. 5:48 Kadee Felton J Virga
29. 5:48 Beth Felton L Varoom
30. 5:49 Mikayla Gardella-Betzer J Spark-Stars-Magic
31. 5:50 Jill Kilty-Newburn L CA Marquise
32. 5:59 Ann Hall L SMR Fayette de Cameo
33. 6:05 Laura Burns L Easter Fandango
34. 6:19 Susan Lauenstein F Bey Ashif BL
35. 6:23 Jill Pass L Hallany Flame "Caboose"
36. 6:23 Loreley (Lori) Stewart L AM Radient Raven
37. 6:24 Elizabeth C. Dagnall L Roses April Rain
38. 6:28 Janine Esler F C.R. Sampson
39. 6:29 Linda Glazier M Nova Starr
40. 6:29 Jeanne A. Pepper F North Bey
41. 7:09 Forrest Tancer M Miss T Mahogany (Terra)
42. 7:09 Lorna Dobrovolny L Thee Final Touch
43. 7:20 Theresa Kays-Tillotson M Reprint ME Too
44. 7:25 Stacy James-Ryan L Morgain de Faye
45. 7:25 Barbara White F Djubilee
46. 7:30 Dennis Miller H Les Classic Surprise
47. 7:34 Rosalie Bradley M SF Lottie Brown
48. 7:54 Pamela Netuschil L BR Crystal de Soi
49. 7:54 Jackie Bumgardner M Fire Mountain Odyssey
50. 7:54 Jerry Zebrack M BR Kugel de Soi
51. 7:55 Clarissa Hale L NH High Falotin
52. 7:55 Janet B. Walker M Kenlyn Exotica
53. 7:59 Carol Wooster L Dhama El Rimal
54. 7:59 Donna Biteman L Kat
55. 8:13 Joyce Mocilan L Special Edishahn
56: 8:13 Robin Everett M Ice Storm AAM
57. 8:22 Brenda K. Benkly M Canadian Dash
58. 8:22 Jamie Fend L Stormy Weather MA
59. 8:22 Connie Hughes M Milford Way
60. 8:25 Dave Rabe M Rushcreek OK
61. 8:25 Annabelle Toothaker M Miss Sylent Thunder (Sy)
62. 8:25 Annabelle Toothaker M Miss Sylent Thunder (Sy)
63. 8:35 Gretchen Montgomery F Kustom Kavalier
64. 8:56 Shel Schneider M Barnard DeSoi
65. 8:56 Lisa Schneider F Drew
66. 8:56 John Mayeroff M Silver Legacy (Lacey)
67. 9:22 Ron Lear M Andy B
68. 9:27 Charley Williams M Bouree The Turtle!

Completion Candace Kahn F PSR Snickers
Completion Karen Gardella L Ima Tiki Too
Completion Elroy Karius M Diamond Reo
Completion Timothy Reynolds M Rising Heat
Completion Carl Mergenthaler H Karahtys Cayman AHR
Completion Hal Hall M HCC Zara RR
Lame Charmain Driscoll M Magic Murmur FOA
Lame Dean Moon H Midnight Blue
Lame Gary Fend H Zanys Zinjifrah
Lame Jeremy Reynolds M ITA Chicashah Bey
Lame Dorothy Miller L Grab Your Socks
Lame Chuck Centers M Evenstar Bint Solszar
Lame Michael Mocilan M Count on Psyche
Lame Dennis Tracy L San Ffrancisco
Lame Emily LeDoux-Bloom L Kann Sam Count
Metabolic Melissa Harris F Sol De Valiante
Metabolic April Cyrek L DM Air Alamahn
Metabolic Ericka Bjorum-Nelson L WP Kardshark
Metabolic Lynn Oslick Williams L Kenlyn Psyche
Metabolic Blake Potter H FLF Forever Champion
Rider Option Joanne Crane F Juanazel
Rider Option-Metabolic Penny McGinnis M Rstar Spirit

Rushcreek Thor: Raffle winners Jim & Cindy Brown!

AERC National Championship 50

Sunday September 13 2009

by Merri Melde

A record number of starters - 91 - hit the trail at 6 AM for the start of the AERC National Championship 50-miler.

From the outset, riders were setting a cracking pace. The 13 mile first phase - the one with the 2500' climb - was covered in less than the predicted 1 hour and 20 minutes based on last year's pace.

The first riders arrived at the vet check around 7:15, skirting Mountain Meadows Reservoir as the sun crept over the hills and across the water in the cool, clear morning. The first four horses cantering together in a group included Ken Keele on Ravenwood Shahbar, and April Cyrek on DB Air Alamahn.

Dr Rob Lydon zoomed by on the dirt road headed further out along the trail, followed by a truck and trailer. A horse had tied up out there on the trail; he was hauled back in to camp and treated.

It was 45 minute drive back to basecamp for the second vet check, and 24 miles by trail for the riders, and the leaders were absolutely flying. April Cyrek and her stallion DB Air Alamahn arrived in camp one minute ahead of Ken Keele and Ravenwood Shabar and Dennis Tracy on San Ffrancisco, with Chuck Centers and Evenstar Bint Solszar 2 minutes behind them.


AERC National Championship 100: Any Given Day

Friday September 11 2009

by Merri Melde

Any given day in endurance riding, anything can happen. What happens with you and your horse may not be what you carefully planned ahead of time. You might come to try and win, and you might only get a completion instead, or you might get pulled. You might come for a completion and you might win instead. You might come just to complete, and your horse may end up in the treatment barn. You just never know.

It was quite dark as 63 riders gathered along the road to await the controlled walking start of the 100. A little bit of moonlight filtered down through the tall pine trees in camp, but it would be very dark on the trail till the dawn began lightening things up a bit.

Most of the horses were either efficiently warming up by trotting up and down the road; other horses were standing quietly; but a few were wound up. One horse was spinning in circles with the rider saying WHOA! WHOA! and trying to hang on. Brad Green's horse, Pawnee, the "sweetheart," a ghostly gray in the darkness, skittered his way through horses, bulling his way to near the front of the line, plunging and whirling his way into a small meadow near the front, standing and trembling when he wasn't plunging his head anxiously to the ground.

The first phase of 13 miles was not an easy one: a climb of 2500 feet to the first out vet check near Mountain Meadows Reservoir and a 30 minute hold. It would still be too dark for pictures out there, so instead I headed up some logging roads and found a spot at about 32 miles and waited there as the sun came up over the mountains. I heard cantering hoofbeats across the broad valley long before I saw anything - first around the corner kicking up dust was Tamara Nute on her two-time Tevis cup finisher Crossing Jordan and Caroline Williams on Perpetual Bliss. Within the next 8 minutes came Rachel Shackelford on BR Cody de Soi (a 3500 mile horse, and Tevis Cup finisher in August), Lori Oleson and Ms Roze Grey, Suzanne Ford-Huff on Chase the Wind AH, Ron Belknap on Sussman, Brad Green and Pawnee, and Lindsay Graham and Monk.


MONK wins AERC Champ Ride (9:58Hr. 100miles, BC Aerc, BC FEI, 1st place FW)

Monday, September 14, 2009

by Chris Martin - FEIRedhorse.blogspot.com

Lucky numbers?

The morning I went to pick him up (the 9th) I was listening to a local radio talk show, while waiting for my broken down truck in Oakland, and they were talking about the ridiculous notion that the 09 09 2009 was some lucky day or numbers or something like that. I picked MONK up and when I went home and weighed him he weighed 909#'s and that was on 09092009. I thought that it was pretty unusually and although I am a non believer had it in the back of my mind that it was a good sign that MONK would do well.

The fat farm was Lindsay's mom's house in Napa where MONK spend 3 weeks getting pampered with 3 meals a day, two back to back days of nice riding at Point Reyes. I was supposed to pick MONK up on Sunday on our way home from the airport, but we were in a rental car because my truck broke down in the middle of beautiful downtown Oakland.

I picked up MONK an headed home to start loading the trailer, even though two days late. MONK still needed to be trimmed and new boots glued on plus mega hours getting loaded. The broke down truck and all the driving put me way behind. As soon as I got home I put MONK on the scale. He weighed in at 909#'s. The talk on the radio station immediately came to mind. 909 on 09092009. I did immediately send a text to Lindsay as they thought MONK had gained quite a bit of weight at the fat farm. His usual fit conditioning weight is 860#'s, his high weight is #882, so 909#'s is a good gain.


Thursday September 10 2009 - Gearing up for the AERC NC 100-Miler

by Merri Melde

For the 5th year, Kassandra Dimaggio has put on the Patriot's Day endurance rides outside of Greenville, California. She added a 100-miler in 2007, saw that it could be done, and began her work for the National Championship this year.

Basecamp is at Coppercreek, a private family-owned and operated summer camp - ample meadows for parking; cabins; a large kitchen and dining area; showers; swimming pool (with frigid water!); petting zoo; and, most important, access to hundreds of miles of trails and logging roads in the Plumas National Forest, and over some privately owned lands.

Every year the proceeds of the ride go local charities, and to the Veterans Guest House of Reno, a "home away from home" for US military service veterans receiving outpatient treatment, and for families of veterans who are hospitalized at medical facilities in the Reno/Sparks area.

The community of Greenville and the surrounding area turns out en masse to volunteer for the ride - many have been working with Kassandra for two years to make these National Championships happen. If that wasn't challenge enough, she took on the added labor of making both the 100 and the 50 FEI rides also, to help riders get their horses qualified, or get their COC's for the World Championship in Kentucky in October of 2010.

Ridecamp was already packed with horse trailers by Wednesday afternoon. The first person I see is Naomi Preston, from Baker City, Oregon, who runs up to me and says, rather frantically, "We have an extra horse - can you ride?" (Of course I brought my helmet and chaps and Raven, just in case...) "YES! Oh - wait - I'm not qualified on your horse!" "Gotcha! We know how you like to get on strange horses at the last minute and do rides!"


August 27, 2009

Each year endurance riders from around the U.S. and Canada gather to compete for the American Endurance Ride Conference's top honors in the National Championship rides.

This year, tiny Greenville, California (population 1,150) will be the launching point for the 100-mile ride on September 11 and 50-mile ride on September 13. Midway between Redding and Reno, the Northern California location has all riders ask of a trail: elevation changes, gorgeous views, shallow creek crossings, and wildlife sightings.

"From the base camp at 3500 feet, riders will climb to 6040 feet on the first loop. There are a few good climbs, with the largest climb first thing in the morning," said Ride Manager Kassandra DiMaggio. "Besides a few rocky dry creek beds, the footing is really good. On areas with drop-offs, there is a wide road."

At the trail's highest point, riders will be rewarded with views of Lake Almanor and the whole of Indian Valley. While riding alongside Walker Lake, riders can watch freshwater pelicans dive for fish.

At the checkpoints, where the horses are examined by veterinarians before going on in the ride, DiMaggio plans to pamper both horses and riders. "We have food and water for the horses and we spoil the riders with drinks, candy and snacks." Later in the ride, the checkpoint closest to dinnertime will boast a barbecue dinner for ride participants.

DiMaggio has hosted the Patriot's Day rides at the same site for the past several years, and is looking forward to welcoming high-caliber riders to AERC's premier event. Riders and horses must meet a mileage requirement in order to be eligible for the ride, and there is no 25-mile distance for this event.

Among the top endurance riders vying for the 100-mile championship is Joyce Sousa of Hydesville, California, who has placed in the top 5 of two previous National Championships. Sousa's 16-year-old bay Arabian gelding, LV Integrity+ ("Ritz"), has already completed 24 100-mile rides in 10 years of competition.

"Ritz has done four one-day 100s this ride season," said Sousa. "I have to be careful not to overtrain for this ride. I basically concentrate on giving him plenty of rest and recovery time." On those four 100s, Ritz was first in two rides and second in two rides. His last competition was in mid-July so he should be rested and ready for a quick pace at the championship ride.

Participants in the 50-mile ride are probably breathing a sigh of relief that one of their top competitors is riding just for mileage and not to win. Two-time endurance world champion Becky Grand Hart, of San Juan Bautista, California, is bringing her new bay Arabian gelding, No Repeat, and will likely sponsor a junior rider through the ride.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Hart. "It looks like a beautiful trail." With 20,485 AERC miles to her credit, Hart enjoys both going for wins and riding along the lines of AERC's motto, "To finish is to win."

"Don't look for us in the winners' circle," said Hart. "We are still getting to know one another."

Hart, who serves as the U.S. chef d'equipe (team manager) for the U.S. endurance team, noted she will try to practice what she preaches to team members: no over-racing and adherence to another endurance adage, 'never hurry, never tarry.' "Mostly I am trying to make it through a 100 myself, enjoying the trail and the time with my horse."

Awards will be given to the top three riders in each of five weight divisions in both distances. Saddles will be presented to the best-conditioned horses in both events and to the first-place finisher in the 100. The 50-mile winner will win a handmade cedar chest, to which a local artist will add the winning horse's portrait. Winners of both rides will also receive a ton of feed, courtesy of Purina. Gail Hought of Hought Tack has donated a great many gift certificates.

The day between the rides will be filled with clinics and demonstrations, as well as the awards presentation for the 100-mile riders.

DiMaggio won't get a chance to ride the trails while she is busy managing. What she'll miss most is coming back down to base camp at night on the Manzanita Trail: The single-track switchback winds around manzanita bushes, and it feels like you are on a roller coaster."

Map of the course

Click here to enlarge