Convention News for 2020

XP Rides will no longer have a booth at the AERC Convention.  We have decided to support those who support us and have decided to have our booth at the MRER convention in Denver, Colorado. We will present the 2019 XP Awards at that time.  

The articles:

A LOOK TO THE FUTURE

and 

A RATIONAL DISCUSSION ON AERC MILES  

have been moved to the the Potpourri Page

 

 2018 XP Results are now available on the main result page. Congratulations to Crockett Dumas, Phyllis and Otis Bartholomew and Heidi Helly our Gold Medal Riders for 2018. 

Results are now posted up thru 2019 Sesenta Años

 

OUR NEXT RIDE

Coso Junction XP

December 14-15, 2019

AERC Has approved the date change !!!!

XP Announcement regarding Coso Junction:

We are still short of riders who have committed but we have made the decision to hold the ride on the 14th and 15th.  The NOAA forecast discussion talks about warming and drier conditions moving into the area next week.  We hope that holds true as we will be at Coso rain or shine.  Please try to get your fair weather friends to show up.  

dve warmup, death valley warmup, coso junction, 2011 ride season 021

Region: Pacific South, California.

Name: Coso Junction I & II ( Intro/Fun Ride + 55 & 50/50 & 25/25

Date: December 14 &15 , 2019 

Directions: Ridecamp will be at Coso Junction, approximately 35 miles north of Ridgecrest on Hwy 395, behind the Chevron gas station. Click here to get directions via google.

Trail Description: This ride will be on jeep roads and single track trails with a moderate amount of elevation gain. Footing will be sandy with a few occasional rocky sections. Earlier this year we were forced to move the Eastern Mojave ride to this location due to the government shutdown. We found this to be a good move and decided to expand the ride to three days for the 2019 season.  We expect to have some exciting new changes for the coming year which we will announce at the ride. 

Ride Rules: AERC rules apply. The management, unlike the AERC Board of Directors, is able to differentiate between an endurance ride and an endurance race. If you are into endurance riding you will probably enjoy this ride. If you are a real competitor and are looking for a race you are likely to find the lack of structure here to be an abomination. This is an old time endurance ride like we used to have when you could print all the AERC rules on a single page. Back in the good old days we used to ride more and read less. Those were better times.  Those who prefer even less structure and challenge than the minimal AERC format may find the fun trail rides more to their liking. 

 

ENTER THIS RIDE

 

There are several pertinent web sites for information on this ride.

http://www.xprides.com/ for general information on XP Rides

http://www.xprides.com/ride-entry/riding-and-racing for information on Riding vs Racing

http://www.xprides.com//veterinary-pre-ride-info for veterinary information

 

Riding and Racing

Some years back I wrote an article on riding vs. racing that explained my personal opinions on the differences. At the time I was supportive of the FEI for those who chose to go that route.  Although I do not have the time at the moment to edit that editorial, which is posted below, I have to now state publicly that I have become disgusted about where the FEI has taken our sport and fear the backlash will come to haunt us for years to come.  AERC needs to make some clear distinctions between what the FEI is doing and what a large number of our members are doing. The Western States Trail Ride remains the ultimate accomplishment for this sport. I knew Wendell Robie personally and I can assure you he is rolling and twisting in his grave over what this sport is becoming. There is no connection between what is happening at the FEI level and what the sport of endurance riding is all about. 

Endurance Racing and Riding – a discussion by Dr. David Nicholson

Apparently there are many who are unable to understand the difference between Endurance Riding and Endurance Racing. While the fine points of the definition can be argued forever, a race is an event where the first entrant across the finish line is the winner. I suggest that a ride is an event where the entrants set their personal goals and only those entrants know if those goals were realized during the event. The XP Rides have catered to those who enjoy long distance riding and the personal challenges offered. We have placed little emphasis on winning or going fast on any given day, feeling that true endurance champions are proven over years and many different conditions. Events like the AERC National Championships, the Race of Champions and FEI sponsored events are Endurance Races. There is a place for both and the sooner we stop arguing about it and appreciate that both venues offer a place for horses and riders to enjoy the great outdoors, the better off we will all be. I suggest that ride managers have the prerogative to set the tone for the type of event that they desire to conduct and that they have the responsibility to design their event accordingly.

While our rides appeal to many, they offend others. Some consider them a detriment to the sport of Endurance Racing that prevents the sport from attaining Olympic status. Others insist that the FEI and hardcore racers are threatening the gentle sport they love. While there is some truth to both points of view, the real truth lies in the mind of the beholder; both racing and riding have their place. Obviously, long distance horse racing is a sport with great potential for death and serious injury to the horses and riders. Everyone should understand and agree that endurance racing needs a lot of control. Similarly, everyone should agree that a group of horsemen out for a long ride don’t need the controls required in a race. . Endurance Racing is a strenuous sport that places severe stress on the equine athletes. I personally believe that horses should race no more than once or twice a year. On the other hand, I know that horses can ride 30 to 60 miles a day, five days a week, essentially forever. I believe that the time has come for AERC to take the middle road and formulate rules to address the needs of both factions of our sport

I believe that ride managers should make clear to prospective entrants just what kind of event they are coming to. XP Rides emphasize riding over racing. We offer meager awards and give no recognition to placing in the various divisions. I submit that the ride itself is the reward. We stress the responsibility of the rider in caring for the horse and use the services of veterinarians to help the riders get through the event safely. Our approach has worked well for us in the past and we hope that it will continue to work for us in the future.

New for 2019

Rumors abound regarding the Nicholson Family Plans and some things have been misinterpreted.  The facts are that we have moved our winter home from Inyokern California to Kanab Utah.  We were never residents of California nor did we ever have any intention of becoming California residents. We have owned property in Utah since 1962 and have always intended to move there when we were forced for health reasons to remain in one place year around.  That time has not come but it is time for use to start building plans for that day.  As for the California rides, we are planning on continuing with the rides we have done all along for at least the foreseeable future.  Those critical of the XP for having too many rides in SoCal should bear in mind that the Coso ride was taken over at the request of Sue Benson. The Death Valley ride was taken over at the request of Jackie Bumgarner. The Eastern Mojave was created at the request of Al and Nanette Young. The Cuyama rides were taken over at the request of Jim Mitchell. The Lost Padres and Sesenta Anos rides were taken over at the request of John Parke. That leaves one single ride, the Laurel Mtn ride that was the sole event originating from the Nicholson family. If and when we decide to no longer conduct these events there will be lots of people waiting in the wings to continue them. 

Starting with the 2018 ride season the XP Rides added an Intro Ride to all of our events.  These rides are also known as Fun Rides or Duck Rides.  We have offered Duck Rides for many years but we are going to formalize the events to a limited degree and will be more diligent in keeping track of the rider mileage in ALL divisions. This means that your ALL of your mileage will count  for the year end awards regardless of what division you rode in.  Just to be clear, we will include AERC Endurance Miles, plus AERC Limited Distance Miles, AS WELL AS XP INTRO/FUN/DUCK MILES. We are doing this as we now have many riders and horses who have reached an age at which it is no longer fun or even possible to “go the distance”.  These old campaigners, have been reluctant to drop to the “lower” levels of competition for various reasons. We miss them and want to offer them an opportunity to continue in the sport they have supported for so long.  Starting with the Coso Junction Ride in December we will track mileage from all divisions including the Intro/Fun/Duck rides.  This cumulated mileage will then be the basis for the year end XP awards.  

We have expanded our 5 day events (Mt Carmel ~ Grand Canyon ~ Virgin Outlaw) to 6 days.  They will start on a Sunday and run for three days. Then there will be a rest day on Wednesday. Another three day Pioneer Ride will start on Thursday and run though Saturday.  The Coso and Laurel Mt rides have been expanded to three days.  The Lost Padres Ride is gone for the foreseeable future. 

Carol McLeod has volunteered to build a data base for XP Results.  At some time in the future we will offer an option to include all your lifetime XP mileage in that database. Many thanks to Carol for taking on this task

Entry Fees in General: 

Ride information will be sent to those who have entered online usually within a week of the event. If you have not received a response with the information you are looking for you should call or email us. 

WE WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT PAYPAL THROUGH THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OPTION. 

We do not require pre payment for most of our rides, so its easiest to just bring cash or check to the ride and pay when you decide how many days you have ridden.  Its the old time way of doing business based on trust.  

 

Entry fees are a composite of ride entry fees along with other charges that must be passed on to the riders. These hidden charges include fees to the various government entities such as the BLM, USFS and NPS as well as camping fees to state, country and private entities. They also include drug testing taxes levied upon the riders from the State of California and/or the AERC. In addition there are AERC rider fees which vary depending upon membership status. XP Rides and the XP Riders host a number of events, all of which have different financial conditions.  Not only do fees vary from ride to ride, they also vary within most rides. Our policy of not publishing fees comes from accusations of government officials going to the ride site, extrapolating information and applying it as they wish.  There will be a slight increase in fees on rides in the Peoples Republic of California due to increases in the charges for drug testing.  Cuyama is the only XP Ride that requires prepayment.  Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.

 

Photos for Mt Carmel, Strawberry, Grand Canyon and Virgin Outlaw available at:

https://stevesphoto.smugmug.com
 You can learn more about each of our rides by going to XP Rides and Dates on the menu bar and scrolling down to the one you are interested in. 

XP Rides for 2020 Ride Season

(Subject to AERC & Landowner approval) 

We have been forced to move rides from our traditional dates in the PS region which has eliminated the Lost Padres ride.

Due to the elimination of Lost Padres we have turned Coso and Laurel Mt into 3 day events. 

Coso Junction ~ December 6-7-8, 2019

Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31, 2019

Laurel Mountain ~ January 31 ~ February 1-2, 2020

Annual Awards at MRER Convention ~ February 21-22, 2020

Eastern Mojave ~ March 12-13-14-15, 2020

 Cuyama Oaks ~ March 27-28-29, 2020

Cuyama Rain Date ~ April 3-4-5, 2020

Mt Carmel ~ April 26-27-28 Rest Day April 30-May 1-2, 2020

Lonesome Duck Distance Ride ~ June 2 – July 25, 2020

This is a WDRA sanctioned event.  Entries are by invitation only and ride is filled.

Strawberry Fields ~ July 31-August 2, 2020 *Special date this year only.

Grand Canyon ~ August 30-31 September 1 Rest Day September 3-4-5, 2020

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 20-21-22  Rest Day  24-25-26, 2020

Color Country ~ October 31-November 1, 2020 Tentative Date

This is a resurrection of one of the oldest AERC rides. Located in southern Utah and Northern Arizona.  

Sesenta Años ~ November 13-14-15, 2020 

 

XP SPONSOR

EasyCare, Inc. is proud to provide year-end awards to XP riders. EasyCare, Inc. has a full line of hoof boots and natural hoof care products that protect the hoof, allow horses to cover rough terrain, act as a spare tire in case of a lost shoe, and aid in the treatment of laminitis and other hoof problems. EasyCare’s hoof boot brands include the Easyboot, Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac’s and EasySoaker.  While the main focus at EasyCare is horse boot design, we proudly make other top quality products for trail riders and recreational horse owners such as Stowaway Saddle Packs, EZ Ride Stirrups, Comfort Pads, hoof boot accessories and natural hoof care products.

https://www.easycareinc.com

 

 

 

THE UNSOCIALIZED DUCK

Please don’t be offended if the Duck doesn’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  He just simply does not participate in those things!

 

HAPPY TRAILS

Over the years our family has made a lot of great friends along the trail. We always look forward to the new ride year to renew those friendships and to make new ones. We hope you will be able to join us on the endurance trails this year. Come ride with us, you will be glad you did.