GOOD NEWS FROM AERC:
Terry Wooley Howe has instituted a mileage pin award that combines all AERC mileage, regardless of the distances. This is a long overdue improvement that will help older riders and horses continue to compete and add to their overall lifetime mileage recognition.
Results are now posted up through Cuyama II at Cottonwood Canyon
2019 Pictures available at https://www.photo.lynnesite.com/Clients/Distance-Events/Cuyama-Oaks-XP-2019
OUR NEXT RIDE
MT CARMEL XP
Mount Carmel, Utah
Two Three Day Pioneer Rides separated by a rest day on Wednesday
Each day will include AERC sanctioned Endurance Rides, LD and Intro Rides
These distance are subject to change due to weather and land owner restrictions
Sun-Mon-Tues April 28-29-30 ~ Rest Day May 1 ~ Thu-Fri-Sat May 2-3-4
Join us for a great ride in beautiful southern Utah and the scenic canyon country east of Zion National Park. You and your horse will have the opportunity to ride through the most spectacular country in the world.
Base Camp:The base camp is located just south of Mt. Carmel Junction at 5200’ elevation, 11 miles east of Zion National Park. The camp is located a quarter mile south of where Utah State Highway 9 dead ends into US HWY 89, at Mt Carmel Junction. Basecamp is in the large flat area east of the highway and south of the East Fork of the Virgin River. This campsite has very easy access for large rigs but will be the last year it is available as the Highway Department is fencing in their property.
The average daytime temperatures should be in the mid 70’s and rain showers are always a possibility. The evenings are cool, so bring warm clothes and horse blankets. There will be plenty of water on the trail and at the campsite. There are a wide variety of sales and service establishments, including motels and restaurants, within walking distance of the base camp. The golf course, across the street from camp is open to the public. Basecamp address that you can use for health certificates: One quarter mile south of Utah Hwy 9 and US Hwy 89, Mount Carmel, UT 84755
Trails:The well marked trails follow single track cattle and horse trails, two track jeep trails and a minimal amount of graded road. The trails go through a variety of grassy meadows, pinion and juniper forests. The views along the trail are breathtaking. Most of the trails are sandy or clay, with just enough rocks to make it interesting. The trail is moderately difficult with climbs and good or varied footing. For those of you with extra time, the campsite is an excellent place to camp and see Bryce, Zion or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. All 6 days of Mount Carmel will loop back into basecamp.
Weed free certified hay is required on all public lands in the United States. If you’d like to purchase some, Crockett will be bringing a load of weed free certified hay to the ride. You should contact him directly for hay orders 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 five 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. Horse and rider teams that compete all 6 days will receive one of the following: XP jacket, crewbag or specially made plaque.
Ride Photographer: Steve Bradley will be shooting this ride!
Directions from Points South: There are two ways to come from CA and Southern NV. Turn off at MP 16 on Interstate 15 and head east towards Zion National Park. When you come into Hurricane, Utah turn R at the sign towards the Grand Canyon. I think it is the third light in Hurricane. Follow the signs towards Fredonia, Az and the Grand Canyon. Option 1 occurs just past the Colorado City Justice Court, which is past the UT AZ border in Hillsdale/Colorado City. You can make a left turn on the paved road that goes to the Cane Beds. The road is now paved all the way to Highway 89 in Utah. . Continue past Coral Pink Sand Dunes and it will dead end at a T. Turn L at the T on US Hwy 89 and go to the bottom of the hill. The camp is at the bottom of the hill on the right side of the road.
Option 2 would be to continue on the paved highway through Colorado City and go to Fredonia, AZ. Turn L at the stop sign in Fredonia and go north to Kanab. Continue North on Hwy 89 to the ride site at Mt. Carmel. There is a map on the web site.
From Points North and East: Come south on Interstate 15 to Utah Hwy 20 near MP 99. Go east on Hwy 20 to US Hwy 89. Turn south on Hwy 89 to the ride camp south of Mt Carmel Junction.
Ride Photographer: Steve Bradley will 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 will be adding 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 are 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. Everyone convinced us to continue with this format so we will do that for the foreseeable future
2018 Results through Sesenta Años are now posted, as are the 2019 Results through Laurel Mountain. XP Rider, 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 Ride Season
(Subject to AERC & Landowner approval)
Coso Junction ~ December 1 & 2
Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31
Laurel Mountain ~ January 26 & 27
Eastern Mojave ~ February 8-9-10
Cuyama Oaks ~ March 22-23-24
Cuyama Rain Date ~ March 29-30-31
Lost Padres ~ April 6 & 7 DO NOT SEND RELEASES TO THE RANCH.
Lost Padres Rain Date ~ April 13-14
Mt Carmel ~ April 28-29-30 Rest Day May 2-3-4
Strawberry Fields ~ June 28-29-30
Grand Canyon ~ August 25-26-27 Rest Day 29-30-31
Virgin Outlaw ~ September 22-23-24 Rest Day 26-27-28
Sesenta Años ~ November 15-16-17 (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.