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FUNdraiser for Tristen Thomas
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2015 Owyhee River Challenge

FUNdraising event for Tristen Thomas - she got her new heart Saturday April 17 :)

Owyhee River Challenge: My Heart Beats For Tristen

Monday May 11 2015
by Merri Melde

"Though she may beĀ little, she is fierce"

It was all about the little girl, of course.

The idea of putting on an endurance ride (and Ride & Tie, and trail rides, and fun run), riders (and runners) coming to ride, volunteers showing up from all over the area, the Nicholes kids' baked goods, raffles - all to raise money for Tristen Lee, a 2-year-old girl born with a heart defect and who just received a heart transplant (at age two!!!).

Karen Bumgarner - Northwest endurance rider with over 24,000 miles - had too much time indoors this winter and came up with the idea of putting on a ride in her neck of the woods, showing off Succor Creek and the Owyhee River country in eastern Oregon.

"The course will have cows, gates and rocks completely free of any extra charge. However included in your entry fee will be dirt roads, trails, sand, sagebrush, a few trees, maybe a rattlesnake for a bonus!" It would be a scenic, challenging ride, with plenty of rocks and hills and more hills. Wildflowers decorated the trails, and indeed a few rattlesnakes were encountered, on trail and in camp. But nothing that hardy northwest desert endurance riders hadn't seen before or couldn't handle.

Then followed the idea of a FUNdraising event for the family of Tristen Thomas, who are neighbors and friends of Karen and her family.

And who doesn't like a good Cause? A big part of the SWITnDR gang showed up to ride or volunteer over the weekend, including the whole of Owyhee's Pickett Creek. Whole families came to participate. A herd of mules came to contest the trails. Enough volunteers allowed Karen to ride the 55 with her daughter Andi, their first endurance ride together in 14 years.

5 pairs did Friday's Ride N Tie, including 3 pairs of Nicholes kids, having probably the best time anyone's ever had on a Ride & Tie.

Sunday's 25-mile ride had 34 riders (33 finishing). The racing mules all finished the LD. The Peppersack family finished the LD (and stayed till Monday to pull ribbons), with Isabella winning Junior BC. Ben Volk won the LD on Marquitible Asset CCA, running a lot of the course, as if he didn't get enough running in after the previous day's Ride & Tie. They also won BC.

The 55-miler had 19 starters (15 finishers), with a 3-way tie for first with Richard White and Kryptoknight, Errol Fife and OMR Pristize, and Lee Pearce and Fire Mt Malabar. 2011's National BC horse and rider combo Lee and Malabar won Best Condition.

Many friends and area and national businesses donated goods for the raffle. Tristen's grandmother and brother and other friends and family were at the ride to hang out and help. They don't ride, but they're still part of the northwest endurance family. And sometimes, family is what endurance is all about.

If you want to help Tristen and family, see:




May 8 2015 - 3 PM - Bring your horse and vet in for the 25-50 mile endurance ride.
May 8 - 4 PM - 10 and 20 mile RIDE & TIE - $60 per team. Ride & Tie awards given at ride meeting.
May 8 - Ride meeting 8 PM

May 9 - 55 mile AERC endurance ride. Ride from Succor Creek west towards Owyhee Reservoir to the vet check at the Owyhee River. After your check ride along the canal, over Blackjack Roller Coaster to camp and a vet check at 40 miles. This is not a flat ride, but you'll get to finish up with an easy and scenic 10 mile loop through Succor Crk Canyon.

The 25's will have a 15 mile loop out towards Blackjack and a vet check in camp. They will finish up with a 10 mile loop through Succor Crk canyon.

The course will have cows, gates and rocks completely free of any extra charge. However included in your entry fee will be dirt roads, trails, sand, sagebrush, a few trees, maybe a rattlesnake for a bonus!

Ride Entry fees: enter by April 20 - $100. Add $15 if not an AERC member, AERC requirement. Completion shirts and lots of awards! Bring a dish to share for the Potluck dinner after last rider is in.

After dinner we will do the RAFFLE!!!! $1 ticket!!

We have FOUR great veterinarians to get you through the ride:
Head vet - Keith Ruble DVM
David Hayes DVM, Tom Bergstrom DVM and Jessica Heinrick DVM

Hoping some of my friends come to help with pulses, timing etc :) I will have hats for my volunteers!!

Sunday - Mother's Day - 8:30 AM TRAIL FUN RUN 7k ($30), a half marathon $30 The HALF runners will do an 8.6 mile loop through the canyon that returns to camp, then a 4.4 mile loop to finish up. Embroidered hats for all who enter by April 20

9:30 AM POKER Trail ride - 10 miles - embroidered hats for all who enter by April 20. $30 . Family or group discounts for the asking before April 20 only!

Any cancellations received the day prior to the event will be refunded - no refunds for no shows that becomes a donation to Tristen Thomas.

AND FUNdraising Raffle - this will be lots of fun and all for a good cause!! Participate all three days for the OWYHEE TRATHLON!!