2022 Grand Canyon Results are now posted 

 2022 Seseta Años ride is being moved back one day due to weather.

After careful study of the weather report issued at 0400 on Monday 11/7 we have decided the prudent course of action is to postpone the ride for one day.  We will still allow riders to come to camp on Wednesday, but the later in the day on Wednesday the better. 

XP Rides for the 2023 Ride Season

All XP Rides listed below, except Joshua Tree will offer AERC as well as XP Club rides. Joshua Tree XP is a GPS club event. These are tentative dates that I have applied for with AERC as well as the public land managers. I will confirm the dates and remove the red type as soon as I can receive confirmation from the various agencies. 

Laurel Mountain CA   February 3-4-5, 2023 

Joshua Tree XP     February 11, 2023 (XP Club Ride only.  GPS required) 

Coso Western Mojave CA   March 3-4-5, 2023

Cuyama CA     March  17-18-19, 2023

Caballo Sin Nombre, NM     April 21-22-23, 2023

Mt Carmel UT    May 4-5-6-7, 2023 

Chicken Creek, CO  June 2-3-4, 2023  The summer ride at Chicken Creek.

Strawberry Fields, UT   June 23-24-25, 2023   

Grand Canyon XP, AZ    August 31, September 1-2-3, 2023  

Colorado Fall Color XP   September 29-30 October 1, 2023  The fall ride at Chicken Creek. This date is probably not going to happen due to Forest Service permit.  We are approved for October 6-7-8 and that is probably the date we will go with unless other permittees change their date.

Sesenta Anos, CA   November 10-11-12, 2023



Sesenta Años

November 10-11-12, 2022
In 2022 we offer both AERC  25 or 30 & 55 or 50 all days; plus 10-15 XP Club rides all days

John has been working on improving the XP Club rides.  There will be separate club rides each day.  John will personally lead one ride a day but there will be other club options for those who want to ride entirely at their own pace.  He now has four separate club ride trails marked out. These are in addition to the LD and 50 mile courses which are also open to club riders.

John is also laying out new trails for the AERC event that will stay in the lower elevations and be easier than the steeper trails in the back country. Those interested in seeing the backcountry should enter the Club Rides which will require similar effort for horse and rider as the AERC but will the mileage will be adjusted to keep finishing times the same as the traditional endurance rides of yesteryear. John has also laid out four different Club Rides.


 lost padres 2012 012 (Small)

Annie is once again providing free lunches to those willing to assume the risk of eating in a remote camping situation.


Ride Location: This ride will be held on the beautiful Rancho San Fernando Rey in the upper Santa Ynez River Valley north of Santa Barbara. This is an original Spanish land grant rancho of 37,000 acres looking much like it did 200 years ago. The terrain is classic central California rolling hills and valleys covered with oaks and grass. Unlike John’s ride twelve years ago, this time the basecamp and every inch of the trail will be located on the Ranch.

Trail Description: There will be a different trail each day. There will be plenty of water on the trail at spring fed stock tanks. The trail will mostly use dirt ranch roads and cow trails. Since it may still be very dry in mid November, hoof protection is advisable.

Rules: The rules of the American Endurance Ride Conference will apply. The ride is open to every breed of horse or mule. AERC rules require horses entering the 50 mile ride to be 5 years or older and horses in the 25 mile ride to be at least 4 years old. Since John rides perhaps the strangest horse in endurance, he encourages everyone with a reasonably fit trail horse whether it is an Arab, a quarterhorse, a gaited horse, a mule, or whatever, to give at least one of the shorter distances a try. In addition to the AERC rules there are some things about the XP Rides that differ from other Socal rides. Please take the time to read our thoughts on medications, riding vs racing, and general behavior of riders and crew members.  Our family and friends organize these events to have fun. They are not intended to be high class international competitions.  

Special Considerations: Because this is a private ranch, the Rancho San Fernando Rey’s own release form must be signed by every single person coming onto the property, whether as a rider, a crew, a volunteer or anything else. You will not be allowed to enter the Ranch without a signed RSFR release for every person in your vehicle. To protect the ranch roads and the pasture where the basecamp is located, the ride will be cancelled in case of substantial rain during or immediately before the ride. Because this is a working cattle operation, loose dogs will not be tolerated. Best to leave your dog at home .

Early Arrivals:   If you need to arrive before WEDNESDAY, John suggests you contact Rancho Oso, a private equestrian campground just a few minutes down the road from the ranch entrance.  Ranch Oso has excellent facilities.  Camp for Sesenta Anos will open on WEDNESDAY.

From the south: drive through Santa Barbara on Highway 101, turn onto Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass, turn right onto Paradise Road a mile or so after crossing the bridge, turn left after a mile or so into the Ranch at our sign. If you are concerned about going up San Marcos Pass with a really big rig, then stay on 101 until Buellton, turn right onto Highway 246, and turn right onto Highway 154 to join those coming from the north.

From the north: drive through Santa Maria on Highway 101, turn onto Highway 154, turn left onto Paradise Road after passing Lake Cachuma, turn into the Ranch at our sign.

Address for Health Certificates:  Rancho San Fernando Rey, 166 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.  If you are already IN California,  you don’t need a health certificate.

Entry Fees:

AERC One Day      $150.00 check or $155.00 Paypal

XP One Day            $120.00 check or $125.00 Paypal

AERC Two Days     $265.00 check or $270.00 Paypal

XP Two Days           $230.00 or $235 Paypal

AERC Three Days  $365 check or $375.00 Paypal

XP Three Days        $320.00 check or $325 Paypal

The fees are the same for the 50 mile and 25 mile rides which includes the increased camping and drug fees for this years event. We have been forced to increase fees once again for the AERC rides but we have kept them the same for the XP rides. The increase in fees DOES NOT cover the increases in expenses for ride management but we are doing our best to keep the sport affordable for everyone. Fun riders enter the XP event. The entries are limited and prepayment is required. After entering online you can pay via the Paypal friends and family option or send a check to Ann Nicholson, 19898 Road V, Lewis, Colorado 81327. The Paypal address is entry@xprides.com

For more information contact Ride Manager:

Ann Nicholson, 907-209-8881

Dave Nicholson, 907 419 0924 ~ 970 880 0150




XP Riders 2022

Clearing up some misunderstandings, explanations and moving on

                  We are about to start a new year with lots of changes in both our personal lives as well as the XP Rides. There was a time when the AERC had a Covid policy I couldn’t agree to, as I was unable to obtain the written permission from the local health departments to approve our events. During the time that policy was in effect, I sanctioned our events with the WDRA and used their insurance. Equine insurance policies treat events differently if they are open to the general public. This is presumably the reason the AERC has their “day member” requirement. Everyone who enters an AERC ride is a member, even if it’s only for the day. Therefore, we required all participants in our Covid era events to be WDRA members. Once AERC removed those Covid requirements, I was able to return to sanctioning our rides with AERC. However many of our riders want to participate at a level that AERC will not recognize. Ride lengths between 35 and 50 miles as well as rides between 15 and 25 miles cannot be sanctioned by the AERC. These rides however were sanctioned by WDRA and life went on.

                  During the past year many riders who assumed I was still involved with the WDRA have contacted me. It’s true I was once a member of the WDRA Board of Directors, but I resigned that position many months ago. I still hope the WDRA has good intentions and will be able to continue, but I am disappointed with the progress they have made, and I feel some personal responsibility for requiring riders to join that organization as a requirement to ride an XP Ride. We no longer require membership in the WDRA to participate in an XP event, but we will send results to them once they establish some method to do so. Obviously we cannot control what any sanctioning body, whether it’s AERC, WDRA or something else, is going to do in the future. We can and will do our best to comply with the rules of those organizations and continue to work with them. However, the XP Riders have put on a number of events over the years that were not sanctioned with anyone other than the club. Some of these events have been life changing in a positive way for many of those involved.

                 So where does that leave us going forward? I have given a lot of thought this past year about our future direction. The XP Riders has been an informal group for many years, but now is the time to formalize some things. Over the years, I have kept records on spreadsheets and have maintained a master list on an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s time to move onto a database and better record keeping. Fortunately the XP Riders have a good friend in Carolyn McLeod, who is willing to set up and maintain a database for us. The database will be quite similar to what the WDRA had, and it will work just fine for us. It is imperative that individual riders and horses have unique numbers to prevent the confusion when riders change names for themselves or their horses. We will start the 2022 season by assigning everyone who rode an XP ride in 2021 an XP Rider unique number for themselves and their horses. As time goes on we will add the riders who participate in the future, or who simply want to express their support for XP Rides and what we do. The numbering system will start at 101 for those 2021 XP Riders. The first 100 numbers will be reserved as honorary numbers for our oldest supporters who no longer ride. These include the members of the XP Board of Directors, who are select friends of Annie and myself and whom we call upon for their expertise and advice when needed. We both feel this is a better system than a popularity-vote of people who mean well but may not have the expertise or temperament to offer meaningful advice.   Annual dues of $25.00 will be voluntary. Since many XP Riders joined WDRA to ride our events your entry fee will be waived for the 2022 season if you rode an XP ride in 2021. If you wish to help us keep the XP going and want to continue paying dues, we will accept your money either through Paypal friends and family, a check, or cash at a ride. Dues-paying members will be eligible for the annual awards program. Dues will help to finance our annual awards and help to keep things going into the future. Some have suggested making donations tax deductible and we may do that in the future, but for now we will just keep going as we have in the past.   As we move forward, we will keep the mileage you have accumulated by participating in XP Rides. We will also credit your mileage in AERC and other distance riding events, AS LONG AS THAT CAN BE SUBSTANTIATED. There will be a column for total lifetime mileage as well as total XP mileage. Neither Carolyn nor I are going to do the legwork to obtain your information. We will, however, tell you how to do it. You can send an email to us at xpridersdata@gmail.com with the information after you look it up. It’s really not hard to find your AERC data. Most of the XP rides have been AERC sanctioned, and those that were not, we will be able to find the results for. Simply go to the AERC website and look under records. Yours and your horses’ records since 1985 will be there. A simple screen shot will be all that is needed. As for your XP specific history, you will have to go through the list and determine which of your rides were XP. That will take a few minutes as you will have to use a spreadsheet or notepad to total those up. I’ll take your word for the XP stuff, but if some special awards are given in the future, you should be able to substantiate those records. AERC has done a good job in this regard, and we hope to as well.

                  Last year, we offered XP Club Rides in addition to the AERC sanctioned rides. We will continue to do that into the future. We will no longer offer the structured AERC Intro Rides and will direct people wanting a less structured venue to just do the XP Club Rides. We will continue to offer AERC sanctioned events that include XP Club Rides. I have no reason to believe other organizations such as the WSTR, the MRER and the WDRA will not continue to recognize our Club Rides when they meet the mileage standards of their respective organizations. XP Rides has a good relationship with other sanctioning bodies and have no problem working with them to the benefit of all. To be clear, the AERC does not recognize mileage or points except for events that meet all of their requirements, but both XP and WDRA have less stringent requirements.

                  You will receive a copy of this message via email if you rode an XP ride in 2021. With that email you will receive a password that will enable you to go to xprides.com and find your unique XP Rider number. On the top of the main page of the website on far right is a drop down called XP Riders Information. Clicking on the link brings up information. Clicking on the Riders and Horse Numbers under that title will give you access to your number as well as your horse’s numbers. Horse numbers will be your number followed by a decimal point, a zero and the number of your horse. The password for that page is Duck1922.  If you did not ride in 2021 but wish to join our group you can contact me by email.

                 I sincerely hope we can all move forward into a future where all equine events will prosper. If you have any questions, we are only a phone call or email away.

Happy Trails,

Dave and Annie    

907 209 8881  or  970 880 0150  Dave

907 821 1819 Annie

klawockvet@gmail.com/ Annie@xprides.com





Colorado Fall Colors, Mancos, CO  October 7-8-9   We will drop the Virgin Outlaw ride for the 2022 season to be able to use the date for this new ride in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of SW Colorado.  We hope to hit the peak of the fall colors as the base camp is in a meadow surrounded by aspen trees.  One of the trails we use is called the Aspen Loop so it will be a beautiful ride on Aspen lined trails with outstanding views of the San Juans.  Don’t let the name fool you.  I don’t think the creek was named after some lowly domestic chicken, I think it was actually named after the Ptarmigan but that was before the internet offered spell checks and no one knew how to spell Ptarmigan. 


Sesenta Anos, CA   November 10-11-12   We will continue to help our friend John Parke keep this ride going on the historic San Fernando Rey ranch.  I have always thought the name came from the original land grant but I recently learned that it was named after the foundation sires of Dwight Murphy’s famous Palamino breeding program. 




XP Rides and the Nicholson Family

Ann and I are committed to continuing with XP Rides as long as possible.  The entire sport seems to be dwindling away and our rides are no exception.  We will continue with our remaining 2021 ride schedule and have planned for the 2022 season as well. Thirty years ago we moved to Southern Utah with the specific intention of sponsoring XP Rides.  As the sport dwindles we may be forced to give up the more expensive venues further away from our winter home, which is now in Colorado. We have no intention to cut back on our Utah and Arizona rides. Indeed we are working on new rides in the eastern Utah and western Colorado areas and are looking at other sites for new and exciting ventures. 


There is now an option to obtain what is called an EECVI. You can Google it. This is a relatively new program that allows veterinarians to issue a CVI(health certificate) for a six month period and allows you to to to multiple states and venues.  Its worth checking out. 



Breaking news can be found on the xp facebook page https://www.facebook.com/XP-Rides-205291171799




have been moved to the the General Ride Info Page

Carolyn 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 mileage in that database. Many thanks to Carolyn 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 usually 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.  That being said, times are different during the Covid Crisis.  We are dealing with such small numbers that we must know in advance that we have enough participants to make the ride happen. We may have to require advance payment until we get through the disease restrictions.

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:



Please don’t be offended if Ann or I  don’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  We simply do not participate in social media.


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.