Florida rider wins endurance race

Hundreds on horseback vie in local endurance championships

Florida rider wins endurance raceBy KELLY COSNER, News Review Correspondent

This year’s American Endurance Ride Championship at 20 Mule Team, known as the destination ride for our country’s most dedicated riders, was host to hundreds of competitive riders and their mounts from all over the United States and Canada.

The championship started with a 50-mile course on Oct. 31, with a 100-mile race on Nov. 2.

Riders departed from the start line at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds livestock entry gate and headed south for the foothills where they traversed dusty roads, rocky passes and moderate elevation changes.

In addition to the usual roster, this ride also had a Junior Division where riders age 16 and younger were accompanied by adult riders.

Every 15 to 20 miles along the course were a Vet Check stations where both horse and rider had the opportunity for a short rest where they could hydrate and the horse was examined by a veterinarian to prove its soundness. At this point if a horse did not pass the exam it was disqualified. The 100- mile ride had a 55-percent completion rate, which is typical with this length of ride where the average across the country for such a ride is 50 percent.

The overall champion of the 50-mile ride was Susannah Jones on her horse Diablo Maj (Beauty), with a time of 3 hours and 57 minutes. The Junior Division champion was Kaeli Wills on Pro Bono D (Bo), with a time of 9 hours and 14 minutes.

The overall champion of the 100 mile ride was Jeremy Reynolds of Florida on RTR Rimfires Etta (Etta), who won with a time of 10 hours and 51 minute. Ciera Shwartz of Northern California, riding Blue Hearrt (Blue), won the Junior Division championship with a time of 19 hours and 10 minutes.

Jeanette Mero of Mariposa won the Best Condition award for her horse Lena. This award is given to one to the first 10 horses to complete the 100-mile course and is judged by the ride veterinarians the morning following the ride when they examine each horse and award the one that is in the best condition.

“No riders or horses were seriously injured, and it was overall a great day with perfect weather,” said Melissa Ribley, ride manager.

Ribley and her husband also competed in the 100-mile ride, finishing just before 5 a.m. on Nov. 3.

A complete list of the ride results can be found at 2019NC.com.

Pictured: Junior Division competitors near a checkpoint on the 100-mile course. — Photo by Kelly Cosner

Story First Published: 2019-11-08