Writing Resume

My award-winning articles have appeared in over a dozen national and international
magazines. 
My award winning photography - which includes 48 covers - has appeared in more than 
two dozen magazines.
I'm the author of two books and numerous e-short stories, all available on Amazon.

Published details can be found here.

The following are writing samples of horse profiles and event recaps from various publications over the years




2017 Endurance News: "2017 AERC National Championships"
by Merri Melde

     Wahatoya is the Native American name of the two 12,000 and 13,000 foot peaks on the eastern front of the southern Colorado Rockies that have traditional and religious significance to the Comanche and Ute tribes. the Spanish called them Los Combres Espanolos.
     Ride Manager Tennessee Lane calls them home. When she left her career in molecular biology two years ago and moved here, she was coming back to her family and back to her ranching roots.
     She also calls the area "God's Country," and with its scenery and challenging mountain trails, it was the perfect place to host the 2017 AERC National Championships on August 18 to 20. The ride fell at a busy time: two weeks after Tennessee won the Tevis Cup aboard Rusty Toth's Auli Farwa (she trained him over these trails for a couple of months before Tevis), which was two weeks after she hosted her second ride this year, the two-day July Spanish Peaks. Needless to say, she's been busy. "I'll catch up on my sleep this winter!" said Tennessee...
     Read more here.


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by Merri Melde

     15-year-old Fire Mt Zoom+/, owned and ridden by Marci Cunningham of Bakersfield, Calif., is the recipient of the AHA 2016 Distance Horse of the Year award. He was chosen from among 15 stellar nominees.
     Recognizing the significant accomplishment of an Arabian or Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian horse in distance riding, the award was instituted in 2004.
     The flashy chestnut Arabian gelding with impeccable bloodlines was foaled in 2001. 
     Fire Mt Zoom's sire, Sierra Fadwah+/ (by Fadjur X Judhi, by Bezaleel), was bred by Lorry Wagner of Sierra Dawn Arabians and purchases as a 7-year-old by endurance riders Jim and Jackie Bumgardner of Ridgecrest, Calif., with the intent of breeding good endurance horses. Fadwah was campaigned by Jim and Jackie, and, later in his career, dozens of other riders - a testament to his terrific disposition. He accumulated 7,280 miles including two Tevis Cup finishes...
     Read more here.


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Arabian Horse World: "Artist Designs New Wendell Robie Trophy for Tevis Cup"
by Merri Melde

     Since 1955, the Tevis Cup has been the Holy Grail for endurance riders around the world. The iconic 100-mile ride from Lake Tahoe to Auburn, California, is a grueling test for horse and rider with a 24-hour time limit.
     For Auburn's Diana Hiiesalu, the Tevis Cup has been a dream come true in more ways than one. Tevis Cup fever gripped her when, in the late-1980s, she saw an Arabian Horse World cover of a horse climbing over the famous cliff in the ride. "When I saw this Cougar Rock photo and read the accompanying article I felt this incredible rush of wanting to be there. Getting there was a minor detail, because I already was a Tevis Rider in my heart..."
     Read more here.


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Idaho Magazine: "Oreana: Where the Deer and the Antelope Play"
Story and photos by Merri Melde

     "Oreana - Population 8, Maybe 9." That hand-painted sign tacked to a telephone pole greeted me as I drove down the hill into the little community of Oreana for the first time in 2005. I'd come to this fairly isolated corner of Owyhee County in southwestern Idaho to visit some endurance horse-riding friends for a week. I stayed on for a month. It took that short a time for the  high desert sagebrush country to get under my skin, because two years later, I was back to stay.
     That humorous population sign, painted by an Oreana resident I came to know, wasn't far from the truth. There's no store or post office, neither city hall nor town council nor mayor of Oreana. Technically it's not even a town, but an unincorporated community. Since its beginnings in the late-1800s, the Oreana community has generally encompassed the valleys of Bates, Pickett, Hart, Catherine, Browns, and Castle Creeks, while carrying the same zip code as the nearest "unincorporated census-designated place" of Murphy, twenty miles away by road, and the seat of Owyhee County...
     Read more here.


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Endurance News: "Enduring"
*This is also an excerpt from a chapter in my book, Soul Deep in Horses*
by Merri Melde

     It's all Al's fault. The blistering sun. The pitch dark. The sweltering heat, blinding dust, terrifying thunderstorms, and the stinging sleet. Deadly rattlesnakes, biting gnats, icy rivers, treacherous rocks, killer bogs, and perilous cliffs. Thirst, hunger, windburn, sunburn, frozen fingers. Sweat and tears and despair. The bruises, scrapes, sore muscles, and smashed toes.
     The shattered bones.
     The godawful rides that last forever. The crazy horses that pull your arms out of their sockets for 50 miles. The crotchety horses that buck and toss you on your shoulder. The horse that bolts. The horse that tries to die on you.
     It's all Al's fault...
     Read more here.


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Trail Blazer Magazine: City of Rocks National Reserve: A Treasure of a Trail
Story and photos by Merri Melde

     Gold fever was one of the main driving forces behind the flood of emigrants that traveled overland to the West in the mid-1800s. Others were looking for a new beginning in life. Some craved adventure. Over a quarter million of them found their way along the California Trail and laid eyes on the City of Rocks in what is now southern Idaho, at the southern end of the Albion Mountains.
     The park's name came from the description of James Wilkins, an emigrant passing through in 1849, who was impressed enough by the beauty of the landscape to write about it: "We encamped at the city of the rocks, a noted place from the granitic rocks rising abruptly out of the ground. They are in a romantic valley clustered together, which gives them the appearance of a city..."
     Read more here.





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