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Reno, Nevada

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2015 AERC Convention - Reno, NV
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2015 AERC Convention
photos by Merri Melde

2015 AERC Convention
photos by Merri Melde

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Reno, Nevada - February 19 & 20

Pard'ners Award
Gina Hall & Fire Mt Destiny

Hall of Fame Horse
LV Integrity +/

Hall of Fame Person
Ann Nicholson

Ann Parr Trails Award
Dog Wiggins

AERC Hall of Fame Inductees

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The AERC National Convention awards ceremony concluded with the announcement of the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame:

Hall of Fame Horse: LV Integrity

Hall of Fame Person: Annie Nicholson

In addition the following achievement awards were given:

Pard'ners Award: Gina Hall and Fire Mountain Destiny

Volunteer Award: Buck and Donna Shrader

Ann Parr Trails Award: Dot Wiggins

Congratulations to those who were granted these special awards and to all of those who reached goals worthy of mention during the 2015 season, and to all of those who simply rode and continued the tradition of Endurance Riding in the United States and Canada!

Destination Virginia City 100: Gina Hall and Fire Mt. Destiny

by Merri Melde
April 9, 2014

Wednesday April 9 2014

He still unloads her once or twice a year. He'll bolt. He can "spook like no other." He can trip and fall when he doesn't pay attention, because "it's not real important for him to stay up on all four feet." You could say Fire Mt. Destiny has "a few quirks," admits owner and rider Gina Hall, of Carson City, Nevada. Even now at 17 years old, Gina always respects Destiny, because she doesn't put anything past him. But the 15.3-hand chestnut gelding has more than made up for his quirks with his extraordinary accomplishments on the endurance trails.

Gina's friend Wanda Myers told her about Fire Mt. Destiny when he was for sale as a two-year-old. Bred by Jackie Bumgardner of Ridgecrest, California, Destiny is by Sierra Fadwah +/ (1992 AERC Hall of Fame horse, 7280 AERC miles, 87 for 87 record) out of a L.a.s. Talasman+/ mare.

Wanda had owned L.a.s.Talasman+/, an extraordinary endurance horse with a 4850-mile, 86 for 86 record, who traces back to the Bezaleel line (sire of Bezatal, 1987 AERC Hall of Fame horse).

"I had been riding a Talasman daughter," Gina related, "and Talasman and Sierra Fadwah were half brothers (both out of Judhi by Bezaleel), so I went and looked at him with Wanda."

He was a rather unlikely looking super horse then. "When I saw him, I thought - really? He was so gangly, at that awkward two-year-old stage - big pot belly, ewe neck. Wanda kept saying, 'Yep! Yep! You're buying him for his bone and his bloodlines' - so that's why I got him!"...


From Bucker to Blessing: 9000 Miles for Sousa's LV Integrity +/

by Merri Melde
December 01, 2015

When LV Integrity and Joyce Sousa crossed the finish line in last weekend's second day of the Gold Rush Shuffle endurance ride in California with their family - Joyce's husband, daughter, and granddaughter - the 22-year-old gelding's AERC lifetime mileage total tallied at 9065 miles. It's a milestone that less than 3 dozen horses have reached in their endurance careers.

Looking back at the beginning of his 17 seasons of competition, it was a rather unlikely proposition that anything like this would have evolved. There's really no other explanation for how LV Integrity came to be a successful part of the Sousa clan but Divine Intervention.

It started with Joyce saving a life. She was riding her Hall of Fame horse Jim Bob on a 100-mile ride in 1992 with Chris Knoch on his horse NV Fifth Ave. Cantering along the forested trail, Chris was turned in his saddle talking to Joyce behind him, when suddenly up loomed a big tree branch over the trail. No time for Joyce to do anything but flatten over her horse's neck and scream at Chris, "DUCK!"

"He didn't even turn around," Joyce says. "He just ducked down and the branch went over our heads. He said, 'I owe you one for that!' At the time, I just joked with him, 'Yea, you can just let me win this ride!'"

Though nobody could know it at the time, repayment was ultimately in the unlikely form of an unruly, mean gelding with a bad buck in his soul...


2016 AERC Convention Speaker Lineup

January 6 2016

The 2016 AERC Convention that will be held in Reno on February 19-20 has scheduled a line-up of speakers you won't want to miss.

On Friday February 19th, Robin Foster, PhD, CAAB, CHCB, will present "Interspecies Sports: Working Together in Partnership," addressing communication between you and your horse.

Jerry Zebrack, MD, will present "An M.D's Guide to the Endurance Body," which will show you ways to keep yourself in peak physical condition for as many miles and years as possible.

Mary Lassaline, DVM, PhD, MA, DACVO, will present "The Equine Eye," an introduction to the equine eye.

Sarah le Jeune, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CVA, Cert. Vet. Chiro, will present "Equine Integrative Sports Medicine," which will give you a whole new way of looking at your horse's performance.

On Saturday February 20th, Jeanette Mero, DVM, will present "Lameness: Prevention & Treatment," which will give you the tools to increase your chances of competing on a sound, healthy horse for as long as possible.

NATRC (which is holding their convention in conjunction with the AERC convention) will hold a Distance Rider Panel.

Deanna Guinasso, a longtime student of physiology and kinesiology, and the inventor of Suzanne Somers' "ButtMaster" machine, will present "Fit to Ride," giving you the impetus you need to get your body into condition to improve both your riding and your overall health.

Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, will present "But I Read It Onlineā€¦!", showing you how to sort out the good from the bad online, exposing some of the more outlandish equine myths.

For more information and to sign up for the convention, see:

AERC Trade Show Exhibitors


TRADE SHOW EXHIBITORS all signed up and ready to greet you at the AERC Convention in Reno on February 19 & 20:

American Trail Gear, Ann Kratochvil, Arabian Horse Association, Arabian Saddle Company, AthleticEquine.com, Auburn Laboratories, Inc., Blue Pegasos USA, Boz Saddlery/Bozzage Training, Designs by Lin, EasyCare Inc., Farmers Warehouse/LMF Feeds, Ghost Saddles - USA, Hawthorne Products, Hooves N Whiskers Tack, Hough Endurance Tack, Pro Earth Animal Health, Purina Animal Nutrition, Reactor Panel Saddle Company, Renegade Hoof Boots, RevitaVet Therapy Systems, Sage Brushes Studio, Specialized Saddles/Brenda Benkley, Star Milling, Starfire Design Studio, The Distance Depot, Trailwise Saddles, Triple Crown Nutrition, UndeRider, Vettec, Inc., Western States Trail Foundation, XP Rides, Young Living/Solution Sales.

PLUS: AERC Authors, Rose Parade Riders, Deanna Guinasso (rider fitness info), AERC Photographers, NATRC, 2016 AERC National Championships.


For more information on the Convention, see: