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Endurance.Net Home 2021 Endurance Rides: A Look Back

2021 Endurance Rides!

A look back at some of this year's endurance rides!

there were others, these are just the ones we went to!

2021 Endurance Rides gallery

Eagle Canyon - April 3 - Eagle, ID

Eagle Canyon is Opener for 2021 Northwest Endurance Season in Idaho

54 horse and rider teams turned out near Eagle, Idaho, for the first Endurance ride of the season in the Northwest region. With the Covid pandemic (maybe) in the rear view mirror, endurance riders were looking forward to the beginning of a more normal season this year.

Eagle Canyon, managed by Layne Lewis in the Eagle foothills, is no pansy ride however: those deceptively gentle rolling green hills are a valid challenge to horses and riders. The weather cooperated this year - no excessive heat and no hurricane to blow riders off their mounts...


Antelope Island - April 9-10 - Antelope Island, Utah

25/50 - 2 days
2021 Antelope Island

Situated back in its regular April perch on the AERC calendar, the Antelope Island 2-day endurance ride on Antelope Island was a good start to the Utah endurance season. If you survived the windy drive on Thursday (the wind closed I-84 in eastern Idaho for a time, causing long detours for some Montana drivers, and it also ripped the rolled-up awning off a horse trailer and sailed it and deposited it on the Interstate median), and the windy Thursday and Saturday nights, the rest was mostly smooth sailing!

Weather ran the usual gamut from cold to cool to warm, wind (from every direction), no wind, (but this year sans precipitation); it was good riding weather for many horses' first out of the year. At least one of the loops on each distance each day had a good climb, but at an altitude of 5300 feet by the (receding) lake, the whole ride is a good workout. (Over the years, the lake has been shrinking, due to an ever-growing population sucking the rivers and creeks about dry before water reaches the lake, hence salt water ten times the salt content of an ocean.) ...


City of Rocks - June 4-6 - Almo, ID

25/50 - 3 days
2021 City of Rocks Pioneer: Great Trails, Great Tevis and AERCNC Training

This year's edition of the City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride in south-central Idaho - the 10th year/11th event, or thereabouts - provided riders and horses with the ambiance of plenty heat and wind and dust throughout the 3-day event!

"Great Tevis Cup conditioning," said first time City of Rocks rider, and 24-time Tevis Cup finisher Kathy Perry. And great prep for the AERC National Championships in Montana next weekend. A few people were going on from City of Rocks to there.

From the always-changing weather (maybe heat or cold or snow or rain or wind or dust or all of the above in one weekend) to the elevation change (basecamp at 5500' with climbs up to 7500' on some loops), it's always a challenging ride. But lest you think only Arabians can handle it, a variety of breeds took on this year's ride, including Quarter horses, American saddlebreds, mustangs, Missouri foxtrotters, Tennessee walkers, a Standardbred, a feisty Hackney pony (hopefully Tevis-bound with his Junior rider Kyla Law!), and not one, but two Icelandic horses!...


Spanish Peaks Pioneer - June 26-30 - La Veta, CO

25s/50s - 5 days
2021 Spanish Peaks 5-Day Pioneer Pictographic

The twin Spanish Peaks are the story here. Tennessee’s annual Spanish Peaks ride (multiday, and in 2017 site of the AERC National Championship) take place below the twin peaks). Called “Huajatolla” by the Comanches, they were named a National Natural Landmark in 1976 with their igneous dikes - or walls - radiating down the mountains, one of which the riders get to ride through...


Wahatoya Cup - July 2-3 - La Veta, CO

2021 Wahatoya Cup in Southern Colorado

This high Colorado mesa outside of La Veta, Colorado, has been in Tennessee Lane’s family for 25 years. She’d been dreaming of putting on an endurance ride and sharing the beauty of this country with riders, but with all the endurance rides she went to and competed in herself, she never had time.

“Until I busted my knee in 2015. Then I had time to design and develop trails, and talk to land owners, who graciously allowed me to use their private land.”

And so in 2016 was born SoCo Endurance, Ridecamp at 8000’ (you’re not going to find many higher base camps!), and trails from 7000-9000 feet below and on the flanks of the twin Spanish Peaks in southern Colorado near La Veta. ...


Tevis Cup - July 24 - Lake Tahoe-Auburn, CA

Tevis Cup Dispatches

It was equine family day at this year’s Tevis Cup.

Lindsay Fisher rode 23-year-old Bucephalos (Dexter) beside his 19-year-old son Monk, ridden by Nancy Martin. It was Lindsay’s 8th Tevis completion, and Dexter’s first Tevis attempt and finish. It was Nancy’s first 100 miler, and Monk’s 6th Tevis completion (and he and Lindsay won the Haggin Cup in 2019). And it was maybe his slowest ride ever :)

Lindsay said the start was quite interesting for Monk, who had his nose buried in Dexter’s tail, as Monk is used to going quite a bit faster. Lindsay said, “Monk is not an easy ride and the poor gal [Nancy] kept a huge smile on her face all day even when Monk was trying to run away with her from foresthill to the finish!!! What a tough woman!!!” ....


Old Selam Pioneer - September 3-5 - Idaho City, ID

25/50 - 3 days
2021 Old Selam Pioneer: Put This Ride on Your Bucket List

The Old Selam Endurance ride is named after a legendary horse named Old Selam who helped two prisoners escape from the Old Idaho State Penitentiary in 1901. The first man to try was Bob Meeks, of the Butch Cassidy gang. He unhitched Old Selam from the wagon and took off, headed north into the hills (the very hills the ride traverses), but he was caught the next day and returned to the prison with Old Selam.

5 days later another prisoner, Sam Bruner stole a saddle and bridle and Old Selam and escaped. Same was never caught, but Old Selam was found 6 months later far south near Swan Falls dam on the Snake River.

Nobody knows if Old Selam was drafted or if he was complicit in the escapes, but we’d all like to think he was gung ho for the adventures, and that we’re all chasing his spirited ghost out there on our Endurance ride trails. The Old Selam ride started in 1979 right out of the prison, (which opened in 1872 to “some of the West’s most desperate criminals,” and functioned until 1973), trying to retrace some of Old Selam’s escape trails, and eventually moved up to the current Ridecamp in New Centerville, which is surrounded by its own deep history of mining during the gold rush....


Autumn Sun Pioneer - October 8-10 - Gooding, ID

25/50 - 3 days
2021 Autumn Sun Pioneer: A Fine Trial Run for Next Year's Distance Horse National Championships

A more welcoming and well-organized group of ride management family and friends and vets you won’t find than at the Autumn Sun Pioneer ride in southern Idaho. Put on by Jessica Huber and her family at 4500’ in the Gooding foothills out of a spacious and sheltered Ridecamp, this year was the fourth year for this new(ish) Ride Manager, who next year will hold the The Distance Horse National Championships (50 and 100 miles), hosted by the Arabian Horse Association along with the usual Autumn Sun Pioneer.

The endurance of horses and riders were front and center, as Idaho presented all kinds of weather over this year’s 3-day event: sun, wind, rain, fog (trails were marked so well that nobody got lost in the fog!)...


Owyhee Halloween - October 30 - Oreana, ID

20,000 Mile-stone for the Northwest Region’s Karen Steenhof

n finishing the final ride of the Northwest Endurance season, the Owyhee Halloween ride in southwest Idaho, Karen Steenhof, 68, crossed the 20,000 AERC mile mark aboard her gelding WMA Proclaim (Riley).

She reached 18,000 miles in the 2016 Halloween ride (also aboard Riley). Back then she hoped she’d reach the 20K mark, but wasn’t sure her body would hold up. “It took me 5 years to get the last 2k. My body held up for 20,000 miles,” Karen said, “and then it broke!” She rode this season’s Halloween ride with a possible torn meniscus.

Karen started riding horses when she was 6 years old; she stumbled onto the sport of Endurance in 1985, with a pony cross mare named Sunday. She ultimately rode Sunday for 1910 AERC miles before she moved to Arabians...



Contact Regina Rose at rrose4u2002@yahoo.com