The Grand Canyon XP ride camp has moved to the NEW Virgin Outlaw camp due to the Castle Fire and Ikes fire at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Just to be clear, it is a NEW VO camp, not the old VO camp we have used in the past.
THE 2018 XP PERSON OF THE YEAR
Christoph Schork was awarded the Ed Johnson Memorial award at the Mt Carmel XP for his outstanding sportsmanship throughout the years. Although Christoph is has the distinction of winning the most AERC rides of any other rider, he has never failed to take the time to help others in need whether they be fellow competitors or ride managers. His grace and composure under stress is exemplary.
THE 2018 XP HORSE OF THE YEAR
Fire Mountain Malabar, closing in on the all time AERC Most Best Condition awards, has been awarded the Wendell Robie Memorial award at the Mt Carmel XP for continued outstanding performance during the past year. Fire Mountain Malabar’s paternal grand dam was a full brother to Ed and Kathi Johnson’s great stallion Bezatal. Look for him on the trail for years to come.
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 Strawberry Fields
OUR NEXT RIDE
This is the message sent to all who entered the ride:
URGENT GRAND CANYON XP NOTICE
The Grand Canyon XP has been moved to the VO ride camp near Bryce Canyon National Park
I am well aware that the following notice is a shock and will upset some plans. The only good news is that we will be in pretty constant phone service through the next two weeks so you can call me at 907 209 8881 and I will answer as soon as possible.
The Castle Fire has been burning on the Kaibab Plateau since July 12th and the Forest Service is letting it burn itself out. Then the Ikes fire south of the ride camp started burning and they are letting that burn as well. The only issue has been the smoke and we thought we could work with the small amount of smoke that periodically drifted into the ride area. However the winds came up yesterday and the smoke has increased to the point it is unhealthy to continue plans for the ride.
We were on the Kaibab on Saturday and it appeared there would not be a problem, however shortly after sending the message this morning we headed back up the mountain and were shocked with the increased smoke. We have no choice but to cancel the ride at that location.
However, we contacted the Forest Ranger at Bryce Canyon and he is allowing us to move the Grand Canyon Ride to the VO camp. This is going to be a tough thing to get done but we will do our best as we know vacations are planned around the rides and there are people on the road or planning to travel across the country as we speak. We will do the best we can to save everyone’s riding schedule and offer beautiful country to ride in.
Please let us know if you will still be coming to the ride at the new location. We are scrambling to put this together and will welcome anyone able to come help mark trail. There is a new and better camp for VO this year.
Directions: Base Camp is located at 37° 45.602’N x 112° 13.175’W. From US Hwy 89, south of Panguitch, Utah, go 7.5 miles east on Hwy 12 to Forest Road 117, also known as the Tom Best Spring Road. Turn left (north) and continue 3.2 miles on the excellent gravel road FR 1080, which is on the left not far past the third cattle guard, turn left and go 0.6 miles to the new camp.
This is a NEW VO camp. It is two miles further up Tom’s Best Spring Road and off to the left. It gets us away from the traffic on the main road and has beautiful views in all directions.
Address for Health Certificates: Camp north of FR 117 on FR 1080, Bryce Canyon, UT 84764. I will be willing to write new Utah health certificates on site if you have current Coggins (EIA) papers.
Information about the VO country can be found under Outlaw and Virgin on the 2019 XP Rides drop down.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE GRAND CANYON RIDE IS BEING LEFT IN AN ATTEMPT TO NOT CONFUSE PEOPLE. (THATS HARD TO DO)
AT THIS TIME WE HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER WE CAN SWITCH THE REGULAR VO RIDE TO GRAND CANYON. WE WILL BE ABLE TO MOVE THE TRAILS AROUND FOR THE SECOND RIDE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO GET BACK TO THE GRAND CANYON.
August 25-26-27 and August 29-30-31, 2019
KAIBAB PLATEAU, ARIZONA
August 25-26-27 Rest Day 29-30-31, 2019
All six days of the Grand Canyon XP are out of the new basecamp which is located in the Snowmobile Play Area, on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We ride through beautiful aspen and conifer forests and across wide open meadows through the North Kaibab Plateau on the Arizona Trail and the Rainbow Rim trails. Both of these trails offer spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. The trails course along the rim of the canyon but are far enough back from the cliffs that one does not have to a worry about a fear of heights. The beautiful foliage, set against a backdrop of heavy green forests and the colors of the Grand Canyon offers a riding experience of a lifetime. The Kaibab Plateau is quite flat on top and the horses will have few, if any, climbs of significance. Although many of the trails are what you would expect in an alpine forest, there are some sections that can be somewhat rocky. We expect cool, mild days but be prepared for chilly nights. As with all XP rides, free lunches are provide to everyone including the crews. Annie will prepare meals for a nominal charge if requested in advance.
The directions to camp are now the same for everyone regardless of which way you are coming from. Take Hwy 89A to Jacob Lake, Arizona. Go south on Hwy 67 approximately 27 miles to Forest Road 22. This turn off is about 1 mile past the Kaibab Lodge and North Rim Store. Slow down as you see the pond on your right and turn right on FR22. Go about 2 miles to the top of the hill where there is a main cross road. You will turn left at this intersection and go 1 mile on FR 270, another major well-maintained Forest Service road. You will see a large sign on the right directing you to the Snowmobile Play area.
The coordinates for the campsite are:
Intersection of FR22 and Hwy 67: 36° 24.069’N x 112° 7.767’W
Intersection of FR22 and FR270: 36° 24.659’N x 112° 8.976’W
XP Campsite in Snowmobile Play Area: 36° 23.880’N x 112° 9.164’W
Cell and internet service is poor to non existent at the ride site. Some Verizon coverage can be found with a booster. There is great Verizon service at the Kaibab Lodge on the North Rim. Emails and text work best but don’t be frustrated by no response as we may have to travel some distance from camp to make contact.
Basecamp address that you can use for health certificates: Forest Roads 270 and 22, Fredonia, AZ 86022
Weed free certified hay is required on all public lands in the United States. Weed free pellets are usually available at feed stores in the area. Crockett Dumas may bring certified weed free hay by request. He may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awards: Individual awards are available for the fastest time and best condition each day. An overall award will be given to the horse and rider finishing in the fastest time for all six days. An overall best condition award for the horse that completes all six days in the best condition will also be awarded. Completion awards will be given to all successful horse and rider teams.
Ride Photographer: Steve Bradley hopes to be shooting 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. We have not increased any of our ride fees for many years and have no plans for any increases in the foreseeable future. Cuyama and Lost Padres are the only XP Rides that require prepayment. Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.
Photos for Sesenta Años, Lost Padres and Cuyama available at:
Photos for Mt Carmel, Strawberry and Grand Canyon available at:
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 2019 ~ 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
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
Strawberry Fields ~ June 26-27-28, 2020
Grand Canyon ~ August 25-26-27 Rest Day 29-30-31, 2019
Virgin Outlaw ~ September 22-23-24 Rest Day 26-27-28,2019
Sesenta Años ~ November 15-16-17, 2019 (postponement due to National Championship in 2019 only)
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.
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!
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.