Gold Medal XP

2011 Gold Medal: Dave Rabe and Midnight Melody Marie


Rider and horse name: Dave Rabe and Midnight Melody Marie

Horse Barn name: Emmy

Breed: Anglo Arab mare

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles Dave: started in 1984 and around 53,000 miles. Emmy has 3600 miles and ten years in endurance.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year? 2011 XP

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? 2011 XP. It took a lot of planning and was quite an ordeal to pull it all together.

Death Valley Encounter 2011. Photo by Steve Bradley.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? I learned that I can make Emmy go slow, even though she doesn’t like it. I learned I can get along with a mare.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)? I’d probably put shoes on my horses. (because Chris Herron said so). Just kidding.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Slow Emmy down.

What are your horses best qualities? She has good recoveries and has the ability to go fast and run up front if I were to let her. I’m happy that I have her, she is a sweet mare.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? I didn’t bring a raincoat with me on the first day of the XP and had to borrow one from Dave Chaton, which saved the day. That was probably the worst thing that happened. I almost drowned out there!  It was great that Chris Herron was a little weenie that day and quit at lunch, so I finished riding using his raincoat that he had also borrowed from Dave Chaton!

I’d like to thank Dave and Annie for putting on another long XP ride as well as my sponsors (EasyCare and Select). Thanks also go to everybody else that chipped in and helped along the way. I want to thank Charlie Gaucci for giving me Cocomo Joe at the end of the ride. I had one of the best drivers on the ride – Dwight deserves credit for getting my horses and rig moved safely and without any mishaps. Also, thank you to Claire Toomey for giving me such a great mare!

2011 Gold Medal: Lynn Rigney and Predictable

 

Lynn and Mio in Nebraska. Photo by Paschal Karl (Karl Creations).

Rider and horse name: Lynn M. Rigney – Predictable — AKA – Mio

Horse Barn name: Mio

Breed: Arabian

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles – Mio 4 years and I have been riding endurance off and on since the 70’s. Most concentrated time has been in the last 4 years – total number of miles is 2450 for rider (recorded with AERC) and 1580 for the Mio… I rode endurance when I was much younger – in my teens before AERC was keeping computerized records, riding in Northern California.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year? Pony Express of course!

 

Lynn and Mio at Eastern Mojave. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? Pony Express of course! Logistics of getting people to crew (and getting them in and out of different locations), getting the horses ready, getting my trailer ready, and leaving my husband for 9 weeks! Doing a ride cross country has been on my bucket list since I was a kid, well before bucket lists were even thought of! Just having all the supplies, my horses being healthy, and having everybody trained on all the little nuances of my trailer, how I would like things done, and finding our way across country was a GREAT challenge!

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? That being with my horse on the road was a special experience. Mio and I developed a deeper bond and respect for each other (he is still learning about being respectful and patient!). This travel across the country also gave me the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people that will be in my life until the day I leave this earth.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)? If Dave decides to do this again (maybe a 2 or 3 week version) – Count me in!

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Ride as many miles as I could on the Pony Express!

What are your horses best qualities? His strong spirit!

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? Several people on the PX ride had a water fight with Tom and Betty’s kids. It was a great break from the day to day events. The laughter of a child changes everything!

2011 Gold Medal: Karen Fredrickson and MRR Pyro

Karen and Murphy at the Bryce Canyon XP. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Rider and horse name: Karen Fredrickson & MRR Pyro

Horse Barn name: Murphy ( AKA: Himself)

Breed: Arabian

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles

I rode my first endurance ride in 1992 and have 15, 060 miles. 2010 was Murphy’s 10 th year in endurance

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year?

XP 2011

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why?

XP 2011. The lenght is a test of horses, horsemanship, and rider/crew relationship.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year?

Dave always said you need to calm down and work with the horses you have. He is right. Things didn’t go as planned, but in the end they went better.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)?

What do you think was the best thing that you did do?

I had my tack and feed worked out along with leg care long before the long ride.

What are your horses best qualities?

Murphy is sound, honest and strong. He always gives me what I ask for. He is an amazing horse.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year?

On a snowy might at Grand Canyon, Murphy looked up at the light in the overhead and called to me. He kept it up until I got up and put him in the trailer. I’ve had the dogs asked to come in on a cold night but that was the first time my horse asked to come in.

2011 Gold Medal: Karen Chaton and Granite Chief+/

XP 2011 Day 40 Finish in Virginia City. Photo by Nannette Young.

Rider and horse name: Karen Chaton and Granite Chief

Horse Barn name: Chief or Cheefy

Breed: Arab

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles: Chief finished 2011 with 12,000 miles, and I had just over 30,000. Ten years for Chief, sixteen or seventeen for me.  Chief completed more miles on the long XP this summer than any other horse.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year? The 40 day 2011 XP.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? The 2011 XP, riding forty days on two horses is a pretty big challenge. It’s hard to compare a 2040 mile cross-country ride with anything else, it kind of is in a class by itself.  I love the feeling of riding through history on a historical trail like the Pony Express and Oregon/California trail.  We are so lucky to be able to do that; it will be a sad day when we lose trail access to these wonderful trails that are so much a part of us.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? Chief proved that he was the toughest horse I’ve ever had on the XP this summer. He was awesome, and I was so proud that he and Bo were awarded the best performance award after completing all 40 days of the AERC sanctioned rides. We had so many great adventures this year on all of the XP rides and I learned to really appreciate how fortunate I am to have been able to do this.  I learned that I can set big goals and achieve them, but that it takes a lot of work, effort and dedication….plus a bit of luck and having a great support system.

Karen and Chief. Death Valley Encounter 2011. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)? It’s hard to second guess when the year turned out to be pretty spectacular. I asked a lot out of my horses, and they came through more than 100%. I couldn’t ask for more and am grateful that we were able to accomplish what we did.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Bring two well prepared horses on the long XP, and ride them conservatively. I think ultimately, what worked was riding my own ride, and trying to avoid the multitude of ongoing accidents waiting to happen in camp and on the trail.

What are your horses best qualities? Chief has always been a tough little horse with lots of go, attitude, and an incredible ability to take care of himself as well as me. I couldn’t ask for more in an endurance horse. I love Chief’s personality. He is a quiet horse, very easy to handle and has a lot of different facial expressions that tell me what he is thinking or feeling at that moment.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? Fortunately, it was a pretty dull year as far as accidents or mishaps went. Most everything went very well for us especially where the horse’s were concerned – they both had a totally ‘on’ year and amazed me with what they were able to accomplish. The worst thing to happen all year was when I blew three tires and two rims out getting to the Grand Canyon ride in October.

I want to thank my husband for being the best crew a gal could ask for, plus the most supportive husband in the world. I also want to thank everyone that helps with these rides because without each and every one of them, we wouldn’t have these rides. I am always amazed and impressed at how The Duck does such an excellent job of finding new trails and putting it all together to make the rides turn out really great. Thanks to all that helps to keep these rides going. You are much appreciated.  I also really appreciate the support of my sponsors and their contributions towards my success – THANK YOU ALL!

2011 Gold Medal: Karen Chaton and Pro Bono D

Death Valley Encounter 2011. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Rider and horse name: Karen Chaton and Pro Bono D

Horse Barn name: Bo, Bo-bo or Bo-NO!

Breed: Arab

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles: Bo finished 2011 with around 4600 miles, and I had just over 30,000. Five years for Bo, sixteen or seventeen for me.

Bo ended up with 1,990 miles total on XP rides in 2011, which is the most ever done by a single horse.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year? The 2011 XP.

I love all of the XP rides though, so it isn’t fair to have to pick only one.  I really enjoyed being able to complete all 5 days of the Grand Canyon XP this October on Bo – it was his first five day ride completion and he came through it without a single issue and never gave me anything to worry about.  I think that ride will always be remembered as one of my more favorite rides on Bo, next to the long XP ride.  Riding in the snow was a blast, and the scenery was just incredible with the white, green, blue (when the sky came out) and brilliant red, gold and orange fall colors.  Breathtaking!

I also thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day Outlaw and Virgin ride, because it was on a lot of new trail that was also mind blowingly beautiful.  It was like riding in Disneyland.  I rode Bo on all 3 days of that ride.  He was such a trooper when I took him up that slippery snotty Blue Fly trail in the mud.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? The 2011 XP, riding forty days on two horses is a pretty big challenge. It’s hard to compare a 2040 mile cross-country ride with anything else, it kind of is in a class by itself.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? I learned that Bo is a lot tougher than he was before this summer. He sure turned out to be a nice, reliable, solid endurance horse.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)? It’s hard to second guess when the year turned out to be pretty spectacular. I asked a lot out of my horses, and they came through more than 100%. I couldn’t ask for more and am grateful that we were able to accomplish what we did.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Bring two well prepared horses on the long XP, and ride them conservatively. I think ultimately, what worked was riding my own ride.  I put a lot of effort into preparing and planning for the ride.  I wanted to see if I could do better this time.  In 2001 I rode 1925 miles on two horses on the Pony Express trail and my goal was to better that.

What are your horses best qualities? Bo loves to go down the trail and does a great job taking care of himself. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm for what he does and makes riding fun.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? Oh my, where do I start? I think probably the most unnerving thing that happened with Bo was after several days of the XP. I was tacking up in the morning, tired from the first several days of riding through severe weather and going on little sleep. I goofed up and got Bo’s tack all hooked up but failed to buckle the girth. Well, the saddle fell off under him while still being attached to his breast collar. He jumped and hopped about for a few seconds, then realized that wasn’t helping so froze and wouldn’t move. After that moment he never expended any ounce of energy for anything that wasn’t absolutely required. And I learned to be much more careful about little details like buckling girths FIRST!

I want to thank my husband for being the best crew a gal could ask for, plus the most supportive husband in the world. I also want to thank everyone that helps with these rides because without each and every one of them, we wouldn’t have these rides. I am always amazed and impressed at how The Duck does such an excellent job of finding new trails and putting it all together to make the rides turn out really great. Thanks to all that helps to keep these rides going. You are much appreciated. I also really appreciate the support of my sponsors and their contributions towards my success – THANK YOU ALL!

2011 Gold Medal: Chris Herron and Ambersun

Rider and horse name:

Chris Herron and Ambersun

Horse Barn name:

Hawk

Breed:

Arabian, stallion

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles:

Chris:  12 years, 7500 miles.  Hawk: 3 years, 1720 miles.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year?

The Twenty Eleven XP ride.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why?

The long XP.  It was a lot more work moving camp every day with a lot of mud and heavy rains to start with.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year?

Hawk and I are big weenies when it comes to bad weather.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)?

I would have ridden a few more days.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do?

Putting shoes on my horse.

What are your horses best qualities?

He’s chestnut.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year?

Yeah, Gary wrecked my rig on Highway 50.

2010 Gold Medal: Heather van Fossen and Hearts of Harlem

Heather & Hearts of Harlem (Corbin). Photo by Lynne Glazer.

Heather Van Fossen
Hearts of Harlem
“Corbin”
Breed: National Show Horse
Heather-12,000 miles
Corbin-7000 miles

I had a great time at Mount Carmel.  I love the Utah rides, mountain weather, and the fantastic trails Dave manages to find.  The trail on day 5 was unbelievable.  East Mojave is another of my favorites, imagine riding up a creek in the middle of the desert!

I found that the rock chute trail at Bryce was very challenging.  The Blue Fly backwards was nothing to worry about, the whole morning kept up alert and on our toes.  It was a very beautiful scenic single track and I would do it again in a heartbeat (except for the rock part…it seemed worse this year than last).

We had a great year this year.  The weather was pretty awesome at all of the XP rides.  I am happy to have a strong willing horse who is really excited to be out on the trail.  It is nice being able to ride with my good friends that live so far away.

Thanks so much to all the XP family who spends so much time getting these wonderful camps and trails ready for us.  I really love multidays and XP rides especially.  We really do get on some of the best trails in america, thanks again!!

2010 Gold Medal: Dave Rabe and White Cloud

Rider and horse name: Dave Rabe and White Cloud
Barn name of horse: White Cloud
Breed: Arab
Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles

White Cloud: 3 years and approximately 4500 miles

Dave: Nearly forever and like a gazillion miles

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year?

I liked Mt. Carmel because of the new days and new trail. The new trail up on top of the mountain was fantastic, great scenery and it really made it worthwhile to go to the ride. The scenery is different than a lot of rides with mostly good footing.

I really like all of the rides and think that the XP rides are the best rides in the sport with the nicest trails and best scenery.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why?

I think that Bryce is probably the most challenging because of the climbs, rocks and technical trail. It is also a pretty ride with really beautiful scenery. It is probably the most colorful ride with the oranges from the mountains, green from trees and blue skies.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year?

How to finally get White Cloud to stand still when I get on! Thanks to Kerry for the help. I’m getting older and sometimes get cold at rides so I have to wear gloves. I do a lot on foot so that I can stay warm.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)?

I ordinarily would not ride the same horse as many miles in a year as I did this year with White Cloud. It was just luck that White Cloud ended up doing so many of the rides, partly due to other horses not making it to the rides, etc.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do?

Riding conservatively with White Cloud so that he could come through the rides in good shape. He didn’t do any fast racing on rides this last year at all. Sometimes I’ll do a short little burst of speed, usually for the ride photographer. White Cloud has done all of his rides to date using boots over bare feet. He has really nice hooves.

What are your horses best qualities?

It’s not his mind. He has good conformation and legs, he floats like a cloud. He’s good and sound plus very tough. He keeps on going even when he’s done something stupid like fall down in the trailer or on a trail because he has attention deficit sometimes. White Cloud takes really good care of himself and is an excellent eater and drinker.

White Cloud hasn’t kicked me for awhile and he is better about handling his front feet, at least.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year?

White Cloud dumped me twice during the year and stayed with me both times and didn’t run away. I was hanging on for dear life. Usually it’s other horses that beat me up. Only one horse fell on top of me this year. It was a pretty good year.

I want to thank all of the people who help with these rides because without them we wouldn’t have them. The Duck does an excellent job of finding new trails and putting it all together to make the rides turn out really great. Thanks to Duane, Duck, Annie, Karen, Lavone, Dwight, Joseph, Al, Tom and anybody and everybody else that helps. You are much appreciated.

2010 Gold Medal: Cathy Bartusek and FS Nova Star

Cathy and Nova at Mt. Carmel. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Rider and horse name:

Cathy Bartusek / FS Nova Star


Barn name of Horse: Nova

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles: I have been riding endurance since 1995 and have accumulated 9035 miles.  When I purchased Nova in 2008 she had 860 miles of endurance under her belt.  Through 2010 year end Nova has 4380 endurance miles.

Which XP ride did you enjoy most this year? I would have to say my most enjoyable ride this year was Grand Canyon.  To experience the Grand Canyon on horseback is breathtaking to say the least.

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? That would also have to have been Grand Canyon.  Sitting in my trailer in the rain for the two days prior to the ride gave me lots of time to think.  The morning of ride day one we actually got a little reprieve from the rain but it only lasted long enough to saddle up and start the ride.  Luckily I dressed appropriately and stayed warm and dry all day even with the rain and snow.  Believe it or not it was actually quite fun except maybe on the canyon rim edge when the wind was blowing along with the thunder and lightening.

Cathy & Nova at Bryce. Photo by Steve Bradley.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? I never imagined that I would own a horse that was capable of covering so many miles with ease.  Nova and I had a great year in 2010 completing 2155 miles for the season.  She earned 1st place Pioneer Award, 2nd place National Mileage,and 2nd place War Mare. Nova is a once in a lifetime awesome horse.  What I learned about myself is that after owning several horses that don’t stand still when I mount that maybe it is a training issue.


Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? For the 2011 ride season I will probably not do as many miles on Nova.  It would be wonderful if Nova could reach the 5000 mark next season.  My other horse Treasure has 2600 endurance miles and I would love her to reach 3000 miles during 2011.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Nova went 2155 endurance miles in one season with no pulls!  Add to that all the 2155 miles were Pioneer rides from 3 to 5 days long. She completed all days of all the rides we entered.

What are your horses best qualities? Nova can tiptoe through anything from bogs to rocks with me either on her back or leading her.  There is not a horse I would rather be on when the going gets tough.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? Nova and I received best condition and fastest time 4 day horse at the Death Valley Encounter.  Never in my wildest dreams could I even have imagined this.  It still brings tears to my eyes to think about it.

2010 Gold Medal: Becky Lange and Mocha Jack

Becky Lange and Mocha Jack at Mt. Carmel. Photo by Steve Bradley.

Becky Lange and Mocha Jack

Barn name: M

XP name: Jack

Breed: Kentucky Mountain Horse

Both M and I started endurance in 2009 and our very first ride was Cuyama.  We have 2 years in now and 1510 miles.  2009 – 405 and 2010 – 1105

I just love the Cuyama ride – it’s only 20 miles from where I live and it was my 1st ride.

I found Bryce to be the most challenging ride because the footing was very rocky and there were a lot of steep climbs and steep downhills.

Becky Lange and Mocha Jack. Photo by Steve Bradley.

What I learned from doing the XP series was that I have the most awesome little horse in the world.  He will do anything I ask, willingly and seems to be having so much fun doing it.  Every ride was a blast.  Being gaited – M is like riding in an easy chair which makes it so enjoyable for me.  I can just sit back and take in the scenery.

I guess the only thing I could have done differently was ride all 4 days at Eastern Mojave, and all 5 days at Bryce and the Grand Canyon – but my goal was to do 1000 miles and we did that in style.  M top 10’d all 20 races that he competed in – he has never been pulled.  He is always sound and he seems to really enjoy his job.
We have met a lot of great people doing these rides.  Everyone has always been very friendly and helpful.  I started in this sport knowing very little and I have learned so much over the past two years.
I look forward to doing as many of the XP rides as I can in 2011.  M is my one and only little horse so I have to take really good care of him just like he takes really good care of me.

M has also done Tevis in both 2009 and 2010 and completed both years – 2009 – 19th and 2010 – 25th.
M is #1 lightweight in the Pacific Southwest, #2 overall in the Pacific Southwest and #3 lightweight Pioneer horse with just 2 rides and 405 miles.