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The 9th Annual Owyhee Tough Sucker (No Frills) I & II Endurance Ride

Tough Sucker II 25, 50, 75 and Trail: April 25 at Teeter Ranch!

Photos by Merri Melde

Tough Sucker I

Tough Sucker II

2015 Owyhee Tough Sucker II

Saturday April 25 2015
Merri Melde

You never know what you might see or hear or experience at an Owyhee Tough Sucker ride, particularly the 10th anniversary renewal.

You might ride through an Owyhee desert that's never been so green or had so much grass or so many wildflowers, while an unseasonably cool breezy day keeps your horses cool on trail and threatens to blow their blankets into the next county at the out vet check.

You might have interacted with the slew of SWITnDR volunteers who showed up just to help at the ride, even though it was a very cool blustery day on the flat, wind-whipped desert.

While trotting down the trail, you might have found yourself racing alongside antelope (!!), then watched them sprint across the trail close in front of you, circle around you and run back down the trail you came from (!!!!!).

On the trail you might have encountered a herd of kids and mules that Trinity Jackson and her dad Warren Matthews brought to do the LD. You might have even seen the riderless mule, who decided to depart from his (adult) rider when he got off to fix something, and who took off across the desert to be caught later elsewhere.

You might have met 2 first-time trail riders who just might have been bitten by the endurance bug.

If you rode the LD, you might have ridden alongside Naomi, a first-time LD rider, riding her horse Sage's first LD. Don't let it intimidate you when you find out that it was Naomi Preston, who has over 10,500 AERC endurance miles, and who has a horse in the AERC Hall of Fame, Mustang Lady.

And if you were riding with Naomi, you might have heard that fast horse that came motoring down the trail behind her and which got right on her horse's butt, which, as a proper endurance rider, you would know is a bad and unsafe breach of etiquette (it's a good way to clip heels, get your horse tripped into a fall, or get knocked off your horse and, say, break your ribs). You might have heard Naomi holler over her shoulder, "Would you get off my *ss?!" and see her turn to seeā€¦ the riderless mule. You would have seen that the mule did indeed get off her *ss, and ran on toward home!

You might have seen junior Sarah riding her aunt Connie's hot and bothered Finneas on the 50. You would have figured he was hot and bothered because he's been told way too many times he's the Grandson of the Black Stallion, and he thought he should be out front, as usual, and you might have seen a tired but happy Sarah afterwards.

You might have seen ride manager Steph Teeter, riding on Smokey, (also referred to as Her Smokeyness by her trainer Ted Nicholes), and finishing their first 50 together.

You might have ridden with Carol Brand, a Pickett Cricker, on the 50, when she got her 7000th AERC mile on her pal August!

You might have heard, near the end of your 50-mile ride, a great cacophony in the sky: a lost herd of very noisy seagulls flying around in confusion.

And if you stayed long enough after the dinner and awards, you might have been entertained by the first ever Teeterville Tough Sucker Jam with the Mostly Old-Time Pickett Creek Ramblers!

And the best sighting was The Raven, if you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this busy, hard-working bird!

TOUGH SUCKER I: First ride of the season came off well. The weather held out - cool and cloudy, but not uncomfortable, perfect for the first ride. We had several riders from Washington and Oregon as well as the Idaho regulars. Tons of grass on the trail, wildflowers, it was pretty out there in the desert.

There were 24 starters in the 50, a three-way tie for first (gotta love it!) Richard White, Layne Simmons Lewis and Jenny Carlton Espinoza with a ride time of 6:09, BC went to Richard's horse Kryptoknight. Two junior rider Sarah Holloway and Beth Nicholes.

21 started the 25 mile ride, first and BC went to Paul Hughes riding Syrocco DW with a ride time of 3:29. One junior rider, Isabella Peppersack.

We had quite a few trail riders too - everybody really enjoyed it. Thanks to Ann Kuck for subsidizing the trail riders' entry fee!

And a BIG THANKS! to all the volunteers - Barb, Dot, Yvonne, Pam - I'm probably missing a few. Plus a gang of rider/helpers (Merri, Carol, Connie, Virginia) before the ride marking trail and setting up camp, preparing food... all that stuff. We couldn't do it without you!!

Tough Sucker II is April 25, hopefully we'll see some of you back here again!

Steph & Regina

Hot Stuff: Endurance Rider Gives Back

April 6 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

Ann Kuck of Star, Idaho, discovered the sport of endurance riding in 2005 from the back of her big bay molly mule, Lamplighter Hot Stuff, whom she'd gotten as a yearling. 'Stuffy' was out of a quarter horse mare and a mammoth jack. "She was a pretty big girl - a bit over 15 hands," says Ann. "I quit measuring her when she turned three because it was getting too scary to know how far off the ground I was sitting (and how far it was to fall)."

Ann and her big girl shared the joys of 1280 miles of endurance trails over 8 seasons in the Northwest - and then something went wrong. Hot Stuff's bone marrow had stopped producing red blood cells in July of 2013. "There was nothing we could do to cure the condition that she had, and it could not be managed in a way that would keep her comfortable," Ann says; and tragically, she had to say goodbye to her 23-year-old partner.

A member of AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference), and SWIT&DR (Southwest Idaho Trail and Distance Riders) since 2005, and Vice-President of SWIT&DR for the last 3 years, Ann had been trying to think of new ways to encourage new riders, who might not know about endurance, to come to some rides and see what endurance is all about. Most Idaho endurance rides offer welcoming Trail Rides (distances of 10 to 15 miles), so that 'newbies' and their horses get to experience the flavor of endurance riding - from the camping with their horse in Ridecamp, the commotion of horses and riders coming and going different distances and different directions throughout the day, following marked trails, going through a vet check, and of course enjoying the camaraderie, dinners, and awards afterwards.

"Most new folks probably won't just enter a Limited Distance or Endurance ride to start with, but maybe they would enjoy a trail ride," Ann comments. "I decided to fund the 'Hot Stuff Memorial Trail Rider Encouragement Fund' to see if we can nudge folks into coming out to explore the places that we enjoy, and to meet others who ride endurance, LD or trail rides. I am hoping that, if we can help with some of the expense, we can encourage more new people to join in on all our fun."

This year in the SWIT&DR rides, Ann is subsidizing the ride registrations for trail riders with $10.00, up to 10 riders (total of $100.00). Ann would like to give priority to new trail riders, but, she said, "I really don't care who does a trail ride. The subsidy can be used by any trail rider."

At the first Northwest ride of the 2015 season, the Owyhee Tough Sucker I in Oreana, Idaho, on April 4, "We had four new trail riders!" Ann reports. "I know that two of the new trail riders are from The Western Riding Club and they had a great time. They were planning to attend their monthly WRC meeting [the same evening,] and I hope they gave a great report." The Western Riding Club of Idaho calls itself the "Oldest Family Riding Club in Idaho," and the group convenes to take on trail challenges, day and overnight rides, poker rides, parades, playdays, and more.

Ann is excited to be able to give back to the sport in which she shared so many wonderful memories looking down the trails through Hot Stuff's big ears. Part of Ann's family is gone now, but with her generous offer to new riders, the memories live on.

Driving directions

Tough Sucker II

Come join us for an Owyhee Springtime ride! The hills are covered in grass and the wildflowers are in full bloom.

Trail Ride:
2PM or prior arrangement. We will have two marked trails (5 miles, 8 miles) for you to ride at your leisure. Please contact us if you are planning to come. We will be out riding or at the Wildhorse Butte vetcheck until noon and need to arrange a time to register and show you the trails.

25 Mile Ride:
9AM start. Ride north across Hwy 78 and have a vetcheck at 13 miles. Nice single track trails. A 12 mile loop will bring you back to camp. We'll have one out vet check for all distances, plus a trail ride. 50's and 75's will have a loop around Wildhorse Butte along the Snake River.

50 Mile Ride:
8AM start. Ride north across Hwy 78 and have a vetcheck at 19 miles. Lots of nice single track trails. Ride a 19 mile loop over to the Snake River on dirt 2-track and trails and come back for a second vetcheck at the same location. 12 Mile loop home to basecamp. 75 Mile Ride:
7AM start: Ride a 5 mile shortie loop out of camp and then continue on with the 50 mile course. You will have a 3rd vetcheck at basecamp and then finish with a 20 mile loop.

Weed Free hay is required at the out vet check! (you won't need it here in camp, only if you want to take your own hay out to the vet check). We will take several bales out for you.

Bring everything else you will need (water, food, etc). We will have hotdogs at the vet check for riders, volunteers and staff.

Tough Sucker II Map:

Click to download pdf

Tough Sucker I - 25 miles, 50 miles, Introductory Trail Ride
An early spring ride - mostly good footing, cow paths, 2-track jeep roads, some sand washes. Trails will be north of the ranch in the lowlands. But we won't be going as far as Snake River and Wildhorse Butte.
Two loops each distance, holds in camp.

Start Times: 8:00AM for 50 milers, 9:00AM for 25 milers, Trail Riders - your choice.

Light switch cover Awards!

Download Printable Map

Google Earth map view

Watch the Tough Sucker Video

Ride Manager: Regina Rose
Head Veterinarian: Matt Dredge DVM
for more information, contact:
Regina Rose
Driving Directions to Teeter Ranch
  • From I-84 West (Oregon/Washington) Take Exit 35, south onto Nampa Blvd. (towards Nampa). Left on 3rd St, follow signs to Hwy 45 towards Murphy and Silver City. Right onto Hwy 45 (12th) to Dans Ferry (gas) and Snake River bridge (approx 15 miles). Go LEFT on Hwy 78 just after crossing Snake River. Stay on Hwy 78 approx. 23 miles. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road. Continue 5 miles to camp. Driving time from Nampa is about 1 hour.
  • From I-84 East (Boise, Mountain Home) take Idaho Center exit (exit 38), left off ramp, left at traffic light on Flamingo Rd (towards shopping center) and then take Right onto Happy Valley Rd. Follow Happy Valley several miles, take right on Bowmont Rd, then left onto Hwy 45. Continue south to Snake River (see above)

    OR Take the Simco Rd exit off of I-84. Go south on Simco Rd until you get to the Mountain Home highway. Turn right onto highway. Follow to Grandview. Turn right past Grandview onto Hwy 78. Turn Left (south) onto paved road (Oreana Loop Rd) just past mile marker 43. Go 1.5 miles on pavement, turn right past trailer house onto gravel road, just before dumpsters, onto Bates Creek Rd. Go 5 miles to camp.

  • From I-84 East (East Idaho,Utah/Wyoming) Take Exit 112 at Hammett. Follow signs to Hwy 78 West, towards Bruneau and Grandview. Continue west on 78 past Bruneau and Grandview (approx 50 miles), turn Left (south)onto - paved road, just past mile marker 43. Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.
  • From Hwy 95 (Nevada, California): continue north from Winnemucca, turn right on Hwy 55, then right on Marsing/Murphy Rd, this becomes Hwy 78. Follow 78 east along the Snake River, past Murphy. Turn right on Oreana Loop Rd. (past mile marker 42) Take first right past trailer houses onto gravel road (about 1.5 mi. from turnoff onto Oreana Loop Rd) Continue 5 miles to camp.