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100 Miles || 100 Mile Teams || 50 Miles

2012 Adequan AERC National Championship

and AHA Distance Nationals

20 September 2012 (100-Mile)
22 September 2012 (50-Mile)
23-24 September 2012 (Open and AHA CTR)

Meg Sleeper and Syrocco Cadence win the 100-mile Championship in a race to the finish over Eone Willemse riding My Wild Irish Gold!

Nicki Meuten 3rd, Lynn Kennelly 4th, Mustafa Tehrani 5th
first place National Championship Team was won by the team from the Southeast. Team members were Nicki Meuten, Lynn Sparks Kenelly, Becky Bunnell and Ruth Anne Everett.


Morgan Watson and My Lords Elisha win the 50-mile Championship!

Erin Champion/My Lords Solomon 2nd, Theresa Carroll/More Than Faith 3rd


Endurance riding’s national championships under way in North Carolina

The AERC National Championship is being held on the grounds of the historic Biltmore Estate. September 20, 2012

The hilly, verdant land around the Biltmore estate in Asheville, N.C. is the setting for this year’s Adequan/American Endurance Ride Conference National Championships. Top U.S. endurance riders and their horses are competing for national titles in the 100-mile and 50-mile distances.

The 100-mile championship took place yesterday, Sept. 20, with 53 entries kicking off their ride at the pre-dawn time of 6:30 a.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, the 50-mile contenders will take to the course, which loops around the historic Biltmore Equestrian Center with competitors returning to a central area for the required vet checks. The hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains promise a scenic but challenging ride.

During the competition, Dr. Meg Sleeper, a competitive endurance rider and professor at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine, will be conducting a study of heart rate variability (variation in the heart rhythm) in endurance horses. Riders who volunteer for the study will have their horses wear a heart rate monitor during the pre-ride vet check and after completing the ride. The study is the first of its kind on endurance horses.

On Sept. 23 and 24, the Arabian Horse Association’s Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) championship will take place on the grounds. This 70-mile competition is open only to Arabians and half-Arabians that have qualified through results at earlier regional or national CTRs. An open CTR will also be held in conjunction with this ride that will allow riders of all breeds to compete.

CTRs differ from endurance riding in that they are not a race. In endurance, the first horse-and-rider team to cross the finish line is the winner, provided the horse passes the final vet check. In CTR, competitors must finish between the minimum and maximum time, and they are judged on the horse’s manners and the rider’s horsemanship. Horses may be checked at any point on the ride (rather than at set vet checks at certain mileage as is done in endurance) and riders may be asked to demonstrate skills such as mounting, sidepassing and backing at any point along the ride. Competitors are even judged on their stabling and campsite areas.

Learn more about this year’s AERC National Championship at aercatbiltmore.com

[More ...]

Entries as of 9/1/12:

100 Mile Entries:
Hernan Barbosa, Karen Bell, Mike Bostic, Debbie Bullis, Becky Bunnell, Darolyn Butler, Cat Carter, Ronald Chapman, Lisa Delp, Meghan Delp, Diane Doll, Ruth Anne Everett, Amanda Fant, Farzad Faryadi, Stephen Faryadi, Suzette Fegan, Sarah Fletcher, Sandra Fretelliere, Debra Lynne Gilbert, Gina Hagis, Diane Hawthorne, Heather Hoyns, Tom Hutchinson, Jesse Jarrett, April Johnson, Lynn Kenelly, Marbie Kollath, Sudi Lenhart, Tracy McIntosh, Don Meuten, Nicki Young Meuten, Natalie Muzzio, LeighAnn Pauley, Patti Pizzo, Erin Riley-Kelley, Sarah Rogerson, Steve Rojek, Nelia Rueter, Megan Savory-Davis, Katherine Shank, Meg Sleeper, Nancy Sluys, Suzanne Solis, Margaret Clare Summers, Mustafa Tehrani, Cheryl Van Deusen, Bob Walsh, Amy Whelan, Autumn Whitt, Eone Willemse, Anna Wolfe, Guy Worthington.

50 Mile Entries:
James Agnew, Jennifer Alexander, Leslie Anderson, Anna Ayers, Laurie Bacopolous, Alison Bailey, Katie Baldino, Nina Barnett, Scott Bianchi, Rebecca Bianchi, Michael Bishop, Stephen Boles, Claude Brewer, Marion Brewer, Jerry Brown, Ron Brown, Alice Bryant Goff, Rusty Bryant, Patricia Bullock, McKaleigh Burton, Darolyn Butler, Mariann Byknish, Katherine Capps, Lyle Capps, Mallory Capps, Theresa Carroll, Connie Caudill, Erin Champion, Amie Chenault, Roxanne Ciccone, Radu Ciubuc, MK Clark, Peggy Clark, Wesley Crowe, Karen Cummings, Stephen Cummings, Amy Dedafoe, Patricia DeMott, Melina Efthimiadis, Mary Farris, Alanna Pope Frank, Gunnar Frank, Patty Gale, Keith Galloway, Liz Galloway, Amy Gantt, Suysan Gerisch, Patsy Gowen, Bonni Hannah, Trish Harrop, Stephanie Hendrickson, Sheree Holmes, Heather Hoyns, Donna Huettemann, Steve Irvin, Jesse Jarrett, Trisha Juerling, Susan Kain, Karen De Paola, Mary S. Kolb, Taryn Lorey, Diana Macdonald, Rose Miller, Cindy Nelson, Heidi Perreault, Johnny Petras, Marzena Piwko, Emily Richardson, Meta Sadlon, Tim Sadlon, Samantha Sandler, Megan Savory-Davis, Holly Schenk, Sarah Schick, Joe Schoech, Tamra Schoech, Denise Secino, Jennifer Simpson, Henry Smith, Elaine Steele, Vance Stine, Vickie Stine, Joe Stump, Margaret Clare Summers, Amy Sumrall, Rebecca Supinger, Janice Taylor, Gail Thompson, Lorena Truett, Lily Turaski, Cheryl Van Deusen, Maria Villeneuve, TJ Vore, Melissa Wagoner, Morgan Watson, Amy Whelan, Annie Whelan, Josie Whelan, Taylor White, Nolan Whitesell, Eone Willemse, Sharon Wilson, Lara Worden, Guy Worthington, Tara Wyatt, Terry Wyatt, Cindy Young.

The Biltmore Equestrian Center, located on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is pleased to host the 2012 AERC National Championship. The 100-mile ride will be 20 September (Thursday), and the 50-mile ride will be 22 September. All riders must meet the Championship ride qualifications. Riders will also have the option to enter the AHA National Championship ride competitions (separate liability form required) that have the same qualifications, but some additional rules.

The AHA Distance National Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) will be held 23 September (Sunday) and 24 September (Monday). The AHA National CTR has its own AHA qualifications and specific entry. An Open competitive trail ride (all breeds, no qualifications) will be held in conjunction with this event.

Team Competitions!: We are very excited to offer team competitions in association with the endurance championships. Check them out: Open, Inter-Regional, and AERC Spirit.

General Conditions: Built in 1895, the Estate trails promise a challenging ride along the French Broad River and over rolling hills and low mountains. Pads are often used but are not necessary. We recommend that all horses be shod, and in the 100 mile distances, think about padding. Breast collars/cruppers may be helpful. Each loop will circle back to a central vetting area adjacent to the main camping area. Weather tends to be dry in September, but can be unpredictable. Temperatures in the 70s for the high is normal.

Controlled Entry to Biltmore Estate. As part of the need for security on the Estate, and to provide a more official mode of access for attendees to the Estate grounds, names are provided for a list used by the front gate guards for initial entry (the "Gate List"). Subsequent re-entry will be via wristbands available at the ride site. Entry for one named crew member is covered as part of the ride entry fees. On the Estate, including at the ride site, colored wristbands will be required to be worn as visible proof of permission. Additional entry permits may be purchased for each additional named crew members for $25 each. Note: children 16 and under are free, but must still have their names on the "Gate List" and wear the wristbands.

Special: Come early and combine your competition with visits to the Biltmore House. Tickets for the House come with the length of stay pass at a special price of $70 per adult -- which covers multiple visits through the House. Note, single visits can be 7-day-advance-purchased for as little as $44.

Leader Board: Maintained during the event by Eric Rueter

Research Project: Dr Margaret Sleeper, of University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Vet School, will be hosting a study to evaluate heart rate variability in endurance horses. Two veterinary students from Utrecht (Holland) will be collecting data at the ride in the round pen outside the main arena. Heart rate variability is the variation in the cardiac rhythm. Changes in this measurement have been correlated with various diseases and it is a parameter that is being studied in human athletes. Some studies have been performed in the horse, but none in the endurance horse. We hope to collect data from as many horses as possible at this event.

The bottom line (as far as what enrolling in the study will entail for you as the rider) is that your horse will need to wear a heart rate monitor belt or surcingle to collect data for approximately 8-10 minutes on 2 different occasions:
1. at the time of the pre-ride vetting and
2. after completing the ride and the final vetting.
Note: If your horse is eliminated during the event (hopefully not) the second data acquisition time will be while he or she is with the treatment veterinarian rather than in the round pen. The horse can eat or do essentially whatever while the monitor is in place

If you have any questions regarding the study, please don't hesitate to contact Meg Sleeper (sleeper@vet.upenn.edu).

AERC Research Project: AERC Research Committee wants input from 100-milers to help understand the physiology in those distances. They have a questionaire they want you to fill out -- check out the further information and the questionaire

Farrier: Jeff Pauley, Journeyman Farrier and farrier to US endurance teams, will be the ride farrier, along with John Arndt. Jeff will be on the grounds during the endurance rides and late afternoons pre-endurance rides. To make an appointment in advance, please call Jeff at 828-712-2343.

Human Massage: Nancy MacDonald, who has worked with athletes from endurance riders through Olympic rowing teams, will be the human massage therapist on the grounds. To make an appointment with Nancy, call her at 828 225 5022.

Horse Massage: Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, well-known for both his massage work as well as his efforts in continuing education and publications, will be the equine massage therapist on the grounds. He is offering two services -- a special 'tune-up' massage for $50, and a full-body massage for $100. To make an appointment with him, call him at 561 537 0366, or email him at jptopmassage@yahoo.com.

Septic Service: AAAAA is offering for a $35 flat fee a septic dumping service on Friday of ride week. Sign up in advance through the ride manager.