Sunday, March 11, 2012

AERC Convention

Sunday March 11 2012

We were in Reno this weekend for the annual American Endurance Ride Conference convention - a fun weekend with lots of friends from around the country, annual awards (mine and Jose's names were mentioned at the regional awards! Although I missed it because we were at another dinner, where I was of course wearing my VEST), good lectures, a busy trade show.

Like just about everybody else, I came away with material things I needed and didn't need (picture proof soon), way too much food ingested and way too little sleep, some valuable new knowledge, and happiness and enjoyment for some friends who truly deserved some awards they got for their partnership with their horses.

Carla Richardson and her horse SS Kharady Khid not only achieved their 5000 miles and 6000 miles last year but were the 2011 National Mileage Champions, with 2525 miles (they did it in 50 rides!).

Our own Northwest rider Lee Pearce and Fire Mt Malabar won the National Best Condition award - Malabar was 16 for 16 last year, with 5 wins and 12 Best Conditions (and he reached 3000 miles early in the season).

That's Suzy Hayes up top, also in our Northwest region, whose late horse Kootenai Zizzero (Kooter) was elected to the Hall of Fame. I don't know Kooter's whole story yet (we all will soon : ), but one look at his record (15 seasons, 6140 miles, only 3 pulls in 86 rides, 31 hundred mile finishes and 33, yes that's thirty-three Best Condition awards), and at the look on Suzy's face when it was announced, reinforced for us all of us why we ride endurance, and why we all dream of that once-in-a-lifetime heart horse.

Suzy's friend Bev Gray put together a fun video of some of Suzy and Kooter's races back in the 1990's that we'll have soon on (and I'll put a link here), and Suzy was presented with that awesome photo of her horse, taken long ago by my good photographer friend Genie Stewart-Spears.

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