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2010 Dynamite Dash
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Snow Bird || Endurance Glitterati || A Soup Kinda Day || Resolution Ride Day 1 - What the Hail!
Resolution Ride Day 2 - A Cool Ride || Resolution Ride Day 3 - A Golden Day

Day 1 || Day 2 || Day 3

2011 Resolution Ride

Arizona Morning

Vet In Day

Day 1 Gallery I

Day 1 Gallery II

Day 1 Gallery III

Day 1 Gallery IV

Day 1 Gallery V
Stormy Sunset!

Day 2 Gallery I

Day 2 Gallery II

Day 2 Gallery III

Day 2 Gallery IV

Day 3 Gallery I

Day 3 Gallery II

Day 3 Gallery III

Day 3 Gallery IV

Resolution Ride Day 3 - A Golden Day

Wednesday January 5 2011

It was so cold this morning, that the water tank that Steve hauled all the way to the top of the climb on loop 1 was frozen. Fortunately there was a large puddle of ice - thick ice that took some serious beating to break apart - that yielded enough water for some of the 38 horses on the 55 miler to drink from. It was chilly, but the sun burned golden and bright for the third and last day of the Resolution Ride.

Dennis Summers and "Lola" (OMR Tsunami) were the first up the hill, Dennis running on foot leading her. Dennis is a runner, having done marathons and Ride N Ties. For those people thinking that hot horses shouldn't drink copious amounts of ice water, Lola proved that theory wrong. She tanked up in big gulps before Dennis ran on with her, up and over and down the next hill before hopping on her to trot on down the trail back toward camp.

Christoph Schork on DWA Powerball, and his gang of three were close on Dennis and Lola's heels, with Dana Weary and Maximum Heat next...


Resolution Ride Day 2 - A Cool Day

Sunday January 2 2011

In the early morning, long before you can see any horses and riders, from far across the desert comes the sound of cantering hooves. You can hear this when the wind isn't gusting to 30 mph like the day before, and your teeth aren't chattering loud enough to drown the wind out, while waiting to direct 40 riders in the 50 miler at crossroads.

Ice half an inch thick coated water buckets in camp and water puddles on the trails, ("what is up with this weather!?"), and didn't start to thaw until 10 AM, but the absence of wind made for great riding for the horses. Some riders were stripped down to 2 layers for their last loop - while I kept three and four on all day, even in the sunshine.

Head vet Stacey Sickler - a vet who plays polo and sews completely severed tendons back together, (resulting in Kevin Myers' horse Far acheiving a (so far) 4-season, 1700+ miles, 29 for 29 record, including Tevis and four other hundreds) - still hadn't quite thawed out from the Friday vet-in's rain, but she kept her hands wrapped around a cup of Starbucks coffee, and she kept a great sense of humor all weekend.


Resolution Ride Day 1 - What the Hail!

Thursday December 30 2010

It's not for the faint of heart, this endurance riding. When night comes and you're wet and chilled to the bone after vetting in your horse in the chilly down-pouring rain, and in the dead of night the spitting rain lashes your windows and the hurricane wind shakes the horse trailer you're sleeping in, your horse's tail is clamped to his butt and he shivers under his wet blankets, you entertain the thought... "I don't have to ride in the morning if I don't want to..."

But, when you get up in the dark morning, and it's just finger-freezing cold and the desert rain has abated to icy showers, and the howling wind has diminished to occasional tail-raising gusts, and the storm clouds hang low but hold back... you reason the weather's improved 100% and you're saddling up to hit the trail.


A Soup Kinda Day

Wednesday December 29 2010

Red skies at morning...

The predicted rain began around noon. Hesitantly at first, then casually, then boldly. A desert winter rain: steady, persistent, protracted (some might say: interminable). A gray, heavy, wet, soupy day. A good one to sit around the fire curled up around a hot cup of coffee and a hot bowl of soup.

Into the evening, little puddles became little lakes; little trickles became little streams down the washes and roads. Soggy horses, and a few stunned people who expected the sunny warm skies ("It's Phoenix for crying out loud!") and didn't bring rain gear or winter tights. Some people from New York and the Northwest and Utah thought they'd escape the snow and rain for the warm and dry Southwest.


Endurance Glitterati

Wednesday December 29 2010

The dinner party at Dennis and Sue Summers' house last night was like a Who's Who of endurance riding. Between just a handful of the long-time endurance riders there - Dennis and Sue, Christoph Schork, Dian Woodward, Kevin Waters, Pat Murray and Clydea Hastie - the total AERC endurance mileage added up to roughly 108,110 miles (plus 11 Tevis buckles).

That's more than 4 times around Planet Earth.


Speechless. Humbled.

- Merri Melde

Snow Bird

Tuesday December 28 2010

This is something totally alien - me fleeing the winter snow for southern climes!

I'm not running away though; I'm on assignment following endurance rides around the southwest for a couple of months. And while I'm sorely missing the frigid Pacific Northwest, and every snowflake that falls there, and every bone-chilling shiver down my spine, I'm soaking up the splendor of the Southwest (while sweating).

There is, however, some chilly, wet, blustery weather heading our way Wednesday and Wednesday night, but that will just set up the trails and the days perfectly for the 3-day Resolution Endurance Ride which begins on Thursday near Scottsdale Arizona.

Expect cool and spectacular sunny days (on Thursday after the rain stops) in this Sonoran desert, the hottest desert in North America (in the summer!), the only one where you'll see - and ride through - forests of Saguaro Cactus, the state flower of Arizona.

Here is a taste of the scenery you'll glimpse on the trails.

- Merri Melde

Ring in the New Year enjoying the Arizona desert at its best!

December 30 50/25, December 31 50/25, January 1 55/25

AERC and AHA sanctioned

Ride Manager: Rusty Toth
Email; rusty@endurance.net
Cell#: 480-390-9854

Entry Fee & Deadline: Entries must be received in our office by December 15, 2010. After that date a $25.00 administration fee will be added. Please send entry with one day's entry fee and your intended number of days to be ridden. A full refund of the entry fee will be given to any rider entered in the event provided that rider has not started the event. Once the rider starts in the event, the entry fee is not refundable. Entry Form

Trails: The trails are mostly excellent footing single track trails, you will also enjoy riding to the Verde river! The trail will be on some of trails as the Dynamite Dash 100 in 2010. There are some rocks, sandy washes, and an abundance of cactus. It is a single track trail. It is also it is a shared trail with hikers and ATV.

Campsite: Primitive camping, horse water and port-a-potties. Camp is located on private property with the homeowners on site. All manure and trash must be removed to ensure future rides at this site, we will have a dumpster for manure. Parking will be close, so please share the space.

Arrival: Camp opens on December 29, 2010. Early arrivals are welcome at a separate location. Please contact ride manager to arrange.

Weather: Typical weather for the end of December is a high of 65 and a low of 41, usually dry and sunny.

Location: 164th St and Wildcat Dr. in North Scottsdale. Mapquest

Intro Riders: The ride offers an opportunity for newcomers to see what endurance is all about. There is a six hour time for completion for the 25-mile ride (as long as your horse’s heart rate does not exceed 60 beats per minute). If your horse completes the ride, you will receive a completion award, and experience the sport of endurance.

Junior Riders: All junior riders must wear protective head gear at all times while on an equine and ride with adult sponsor. Those juniors who qualify to ride without a sponsor must have appropriate paperwork from AERC.

Rules and Regulations: This ride will be conducted in accordance with AERC.

Meals: Lunch will be provided for the riders on each ride day.

Dogs: All dogs must be on a leash at all times. Please pick up after your dog.