2022 Cuyama Results are now posted
XP Rides for the 2022 Ride Season
All XP Rides listed below will offer AERC as well as XP Club rides and all rides will be reported to WDRA as soon as they have a functioning place to send results.
Laurel Mountain CA February 10-11-12
Coso Western Mojave CA March 10-11-12
Cuyama CA March 24-25-26
Mt Carmel UT April 28-29-30-May 1
Caballo Sin Nombre, NM May 27-28-29
Strawberry Fields, UT June 24-25-26
Chicken Creek, CO July 9-10 The summer ride at Chicken Creek.
Grand Canyon XP, AZ September 1-4
Colorado Fall Color XP October 7-8-9 The fall ride at Chicken Creek
Sesenta Anos, CA November 10-11-12
OUR NEXT RIDE IS
The Strawberry Ride is an AERC sanctioned event
We are very close to abandoning this ride. It is a beautiful ride in a beautiful place and has been a great event for many years. However, this past year we succumbed to the pressure of the IOTW who fail to see the distinction between rides in flat easy country vs the challenges of the Rocky Mountains. We wont be doing that again. A major factor in the Strawberry course was the fact there is very little trail that would be considered “fast” because of the downfall timber. Howard has agreed to clear the trails so riders will be able to make time and we will go back to doing what we have done in the past. The 2022 experiment proved it was insanity to continue down this path. We will camp in the same place on Co-Op Creek. The ride is not open to the general public. This will still be a challenging ride but it will be doable at all distances. There will be distances with mileage points ranging from 15 to 55 points. In addition to Howard working on the trails Richard Steadman has been camped there for weeks and has agreed to spend time clearing the trails which will make this a much faster ride.
The Strawberry Fields Endurance Ride is one of the most beautiful rides in the Mountain Region. Located in the Uintah Mountains, 55 miles SE of Salt Lake City and just 20 miles east of Heber, just north of Strawberry Reservoir, this is a ride to enjoy in a friendly, relaxed environment. The terrain is challenging, but not difficult, with trails winding through aspens and meadows filled with wildflowers and spectacular mountain scenery.
2022 is the 20th year for Strawberry Fields and once again, it will be a 3-DAY Pioneer Ride. There will be 15 through 55 rides for the XP Club rides. There will 25 thru 55 mile rides for AERC.We look forward to seeing everyone again this summer. We hope everyone will spread the word about the beautiful scenery… the area is blessed with some of the most pristine, gorgeous riding terrain imaginable. At this time of year, with the spring run‑off, numerous creeks are flowing, and the wild flowers and Aspen are blooming everywhere. It is a perfect time of year to enjoy a memorable Uinta Mountain riding experience.
We are looking forward to taking our riders back up to the Red Cliffs and on the spectacular high mountain trails again. Come early, stay late and savor the pure mountain atmosphere. Sightings of deer, elk, moose and beaver are not uncommon, and look for bald eagles and hawks soaring above. The scenic value of this ride is what makes it truly unique and special, and if taken at a moderate pace, this is a ride to cherish and remember forever.
DIRECTIONS: Base camp is about 55 miles south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, with easy access. From Heber City, take Hwy 40 eastbound for approximately 25 miles. You will go over Daniel’s Pass and the Daniels Summit Lodge. Base camp was moved to Co-op Creek last year and will be there again in 2016. 7.6 miles east of Daniels Summit Lodge you will see the sign for the Co-Op Creek Road. The turn off is between milepost 41 and 42. Turn left and continue on the good gravel road for approximately 2 miles then turn left on Forest Road 451 to Base Camp. You can use these directions as an address for health certificates.
If you are coming from the east, the turn off is about about 5 miles west of Fruitland on Hwy 40. Turn right at CO‑Op Creek.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Our trails are mostly single track through woodland and open meadows, and some gravel roads. There are plenty of creeks and ponds, and an abundance of green grass for horses to snack on. Although it is high altitude, and there is significant elevation change, the trails are not difficult and the footing is generally very good. This is an excellent opportunity for those wishing to be introduced to the sport of Endurance Riding in a friendly, relaxed, environment and there will be people around who would be pleased to show you the ropes and get you started.
We plan for the 55 and 50 milers to start at 7am and the 25 milers at 8:00am, but weather and trail conditions could dictate a last minute change in plans. Daytime temperatures usually range from 70 to 80 degrees, and you can expect the occasional thunder shower so come prepared. The nights can get chilly so warm jackets and horse blankets are advised. Annie is unable to cook for the riders but there is a possibility of having catered meal supplied, once again with sufficient requests. She will be providing the famous XP free lunches.
For more information contact Ride Manager:
One Day $130.00 check or $135.00 Paypal
Two Days $240.00 check or $250.00 Paypal
Three Days $ 340.00 check or $345.00 Paypal
AERC riders who are non members add $15.00 per day for their “day member fee”.
Cell and internet service is poor at the ride site. 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.
Ann Nicholson, 907-821-1819
Dave Nicholson, 907 209 8881 or 970 880 0150
2021 Top Ten XP Horses and Riders
The complete standings for all horses & riders are posted on the results drop down menu
These Top Ten placings are yet to be official.
The website has been repaired but we still have a lot of editing to complete. The ride entry should be working for everyone now. Be patient and call Dr. Nicholson, Ann or email us with anything urgent.
Complete 2021 results are now posted.
As 2021 comes to a close Annie and I look back on the year with awe. Like everyone else in the world our lives were turned upside down by the Covid Pandemic in 2020. That year seriously impacted our lives and the rides even more so that if it were a normal ride year. We had planned the Lonesome Duck ride for the summer of 2020 but Covid restrictions forced us to postpone to 2021. After a couple of years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole we gave up and moved everything we own south of Alaska over to a small farm northwest of Cortez, Colorado. Between buying and selling real estate, moving and putting on a two month long ride, we were able to keep the regular XP rides going but we have had time for little else. Finally we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and we look forward to focusing more on our rides than we have in the recent past.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Dave and Annie
907 209 8881 or 970 880 0150 Dave
907 821 1819 Annie
Cuyama CA March 24-25-26 Fortunately the date and location is solid as its all on private ground and we are among friends there. Just talked to Jon and his health has improved. The December rains have helped the moisture situation so we hope they continue and will provide us with an outstanding wildflower year.
Mt Carmel UT April 28-29-30-May 1 Some big changes here. First we have dropped the six day format and it will now be a 4 day event at a new campsite. The plans for multiple Pioneer Rides turned out to be a hassle for the hardworking staff in the AERC office so we have abandoned that idea. There will be only the four day Pioneer plus the individual days as always. The old camp at the UDOT site has been fenced and is closed for public use. The old barn up the street that we have used for the past two Covid era events has deteriorated to the point we will no longer use it. There has always been a problem with puncture vines (Goatheads) but the problem has become so much worse there is no way we can use it for a ride camp. The field is now a solid patch of noxious weeds that attach themselves to anything that drives or walks over them. We plan to move the camp onto Hwy 9, just a few miles west of the golf course. The new camp will be near the water stop at the Hwy 9 trail crossing on Mineral Bench.
Caballo Sin Nombre, NM May 27-28-29 This is a whole new ride located just south of the Colorado border in Northern New Mexico. The camp and trails are used for an NATRC ride and both the AERC and BLM are OK with the date and location. The date and location has been approved by AERC . We are still dealing with the BLM but they seem to be responding like its going to be a done deal.
Strawberry Fields, UT June 24-25-26 Its been a challenge to find a better date so we finally decided to just go with whats on the calendar. As many of you know this ride became extremely difficult to finish a fifty after the mileage was no longer compensated for difficulty. I simply wont do what we did in 2021 as it was stupid and too hard on horses. Several people have said the biggest problem with the trails is the downfall makes it hard to make time. Howard said he will go early and clear the trails. We will try to make it much easier than it has been. Keeping this three weeks before Tevis makes it a perfect conditioning ride.
Chicken Creek, CO July 8-9-10 The USFS has made the decision to give us a permit. We are waiting on the AERC to approve the three days sanctioning, which should only be a formality. This is the nicest campsite we have ever had and we hope to make this our premier ride in the coming years. This is the site of the Colorado Fall Color XP so the colors here will be green meadows and aspen mixed with evergreen conifers all framed in snow capped mountain peaks.
Grand Canyon XP, AZ September 1-4 This is another big change in the dates as we have dropped the six day event to a four day. Like the Mount Carmel Ride, we will ask for a 3 separate Pioneer events. I am also asking the Forest Service to allow us back at Dry Park but I seriously doubt that will ever happen. The trails will remain pretty much the same regardless of the campsite. Four days will allow us to see all the great vistas seen in previous rides.
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.
You may notice we have made some big changes in our traditional scheduling. We have eliminated ending our events on Sundays. This is especially important for those in California so they can travel home late Saturday or very early on Sunday to avoid the traffic. In addition we have moved the dates of Coso Junction and Death Valley so Annie and our XP families can now spend their holidays at home. There is a possibility that we might be able to find new trails and camp for the Eastern Mojave ride in the coming year or two. Might not hurt to spend those Sundays and Holidays meditating with the congregations of your choice to pray for healing this troubled world.
I keep getting emails and calls about our plans for the foreseeable future. It is our intention to continue doing the XP Rides on the same weekends as we have been doing.
We are unable to make some of our most scenic mountain region rides meet the AERC mileage requirements without endangering horses. We can address the mileage issue by adding insane little loops at the end of an otherwise great ride but that really takes the enjoyment out of beautiful rides.
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 NO LONGER ACCEPT PAYPAL THROUGH THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY OPTION EXCEPT IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
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:
THE UNSOCIALIZED DUCK
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.