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News

Breaking New Ground: EDRA Members ACHIEVE!

By Sandy Cheek

2022. We collectively emerged from the pandemic, eager to regain our “normal” (whatever that means) lives and take on new challenges.

EDRA club members – wow – a pat on the back to each and every one of you. The EDRA tagline is “Start Ready, Finish Proud” and you took that to heart. From achieving EDRA in Motion goals, to stepping up to longer distances, to sponsoring youth riders for the first time, breaking in (sometimes literally) new baby horses – each of you has something to be proud of. Here’s what some of you did:

Shelah Wetter showed us all how to mentor youth riders into a sport that is NOT EASY. If you’ve ever chatted with Shelah about how she brings these kids along, you know that “no whining no coddling” is at the top of her list. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of riding with one of “her” kids, you’ll know they are tough, gritty and knowledgeable about their equine partners – and they care for them every step of the way. Shelah mentored the three youth pictured below through their first 50’s at the EDRA Sand Canyon ride.

L to R: Aaby Lavway on Tol(Hackney), Jayla Wilson on Captain(TB), Elle Borth on Lulu(ASB) and Shelah Wetter on Red(ASB)

And I love this picture at the finish of the ride. It shows the essence of being a great mentor – being there at the right time to center and calm equines and their human partners.

Shelah with Elle and Jayla at the finish of Sand Canyon, their first 50

Katie Daley, EDRA Board member and another of Shelah’s youth riders, did her first 50 in 2022 on Socks, as did Jayla Wilson on her horse, Captain Gavel.

Jayla and Captain Gavel

And another first: this was my first year mentoring a youth rider, Laura Rheingans. Laura is a super capable, mature young rider who is so much fun to ride with. If you haven’t taken advantage of the EDRA mentor program, do it! You can mentor or be mentored – or both. Either way it’s a win-win in my experience.

Sandy Cheek on Wilson, Laura Rheingans on Cruze, Katie Daley on Socks

Emilee Randal is another enthusiastic and up and coming EDRA youth rider, being capably mentored by Jennifer Kaplan. And she has grit! Why do I say that? In her own words: “I completed my first 50 in my first season after breaking my ankle in May!” Her enthusiasm is contagious, and it will be fun to watch Emilee as she matures and gains experience in this sport.

Emilee Randal and Robin at Mt. Spokane – with recently broken ankle!

It’s been a great year for me, because I’ve been able to ride with a bunch of these capable youth riders. One of my favorite memories is riding with Nicole Mayfield on her plucky 17-year old Morgan, Blackjack. Nicole did her first 75 at the NOT EASY EDRA Trout Lake 100. She never complained, not once. And when it started to rain, pour, DUMP down rain, her smile never faded, and she was more than willing to kick it up a notch the last ten miles into camp. As the only youth in the 75 by default BJ got the Best in Class award, but honestly, he looked amazing.

Nicole and BJ at the finish of her first 75 at the Trout Lake 100

Joslynn Terry, another EDRA youth member, hit her stride this year as well. She catch-rode two different horses on her first ever 100-mile rides. Here’s one of her mounts, Sonic. Looks like a great partnership.

Joslynn Terry and one of her 100-mile partners, Sonic

You would be forgiven for thinking that all the rest of us were sitting around eating bon-bons whilst the EDRA youth were chewing up the trail. But you’d be wrong! EDRA adult members were achieving their goals as well. Here’s just a sample of what they accomplished in 2022:

Olivia Moore completed their first distance ride on Discreet Demons and came 16 out of 32 riders. She’s hooked!

Olivia and Discreet Demons

 

Teresa Dixon and Traveller at Sand Canyon

Teresa Dixon says she’s “new to endurance.” She chose to challenge herself by riding two different horses and completed 3 30 mile EDRA races in this, her first season. Teresa chose Mt. Spokane, Sand Canyon and Ride the Loup to achieve her goals. She’s sought advice and counsel from some of the best: Shelah Wetter, Jen Jacobson and Julia Stroup. In addition to her rides, Teresa has jumped into the EDRA in Motion Challenge. This fun challenge is another benefit of membership; it’s a great way to keep yourself accountable for your own fitness by reporting monthly how many miles you’ve ridden, biked, walked or run. There are awards for weight divisions, as well as participation awards for all who achieve a minimum distance of 100 miles. Another reason to join EDRA!

Andrea Hurn took on the challenge of a new horse, Gem. Andrea says, “She’s been pretty easy and hard at the same time. She’s gonna be a Rockstar when she figures everything out. I was never a mare person and now I own two that claimed me upon first sight.” I just LOVE that.

Andrea Hurn on Gem

Kathy Thompson just acquired this lovely mare featured below, but Kathy has been a solid competitor for quite a few years so Dash will be brought along with care and attention to detail. Isn’t she pretty? When you see Kathy ask her how she got her name!

Dash

Bonnie Girod also took on the challenge of introducing a new horse to the sport. Like Kathy she has done her homework with her awesome mare Luna so she’s starting Legend right. He did his first 50 at the EDRA Don’t Fence Me In ride, and the veiw from his back looks just awesome. Says Bonnie: “Riding Legend stretches me but I know down deep he is a good guy and just needs more wet saddle blankets.”

Legend at Don’t Fence Me In

Luna with Comanche MoonRock

Bonnie is never one to turn down a challenge. So of course she also bred her lovely mare Luna and produced this cute baby boy. She also managed her first ride, the fabulous EDRA Big Sky ride in beautiful Montana. If you missed it in 2022, make a FIRST for yourself and put it on the calendar for 2023. Julie James, Marty Graham and others made their first Montana ride here and they’ll be back for sure in 2023!

Big Sky was a big ride for Dr. Valerie Pflughoeft. She brought her new young horse, Russ Russ. Breaking a finger at the beginning of the ride? Not a big deal.  Every picture of them on the trail they’re grinning and ears forward. Valerie has also taken up mounted archery, cuz that’s what you do with a broken finger. EDRA folks are TOUGH!

Valerie and Russ Russ at Big Sky

Amy Enquist had a great start into the sport of distance riding. She sponsored a youth rider, dragged a couple of her friends along to a ride to introduce them to the sport, and finished in the top 10 in every ride she’s done (except for some bad luck on their first 50). A rider with this kind of enthusiasm is what EDRA is all about – bringing people together who love their equine partners and the challenge of preparing them for a ride, whilst helping and encouraging others to try the sport and be successful. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Amy and Sol

Kelsey Corey is another EDRA member who’s been churning up the trail. She won the 25 mile distance at the EDRA Trout Lake 100 on Vinnie, her mom’s big beautiful Arab. She took her mom’s young grey horse to his first ride, where she also sported a broken finger (is this some rite of passage I’m not aware of?) She also did her first multiday on her very own Crash, who is really coming into his own. Kelsey does her homework, taking dressage lessons and working steadily with these horses to give them confidence and courage. She also does amazing body clip jobs on horses, by the way…check out Go Pony Body Clipping! Kelsey’s goal for 2023 is seeking the Sandybaar award, which focuses on successful completions of consecutive races at any distance. Check it out on the PNER website!

L to R: Kelsey on Vinnie, Cruze and Crash

Alex Gesheva hails from the Far North – well, ok, she lives in British Columbia, Canada. Luckily for EDRA,  Alex and her fine steed attend a number of EDRA rides, as they are quite close to her. It’s been fun watching Alex, who’s been a member since EDRA’s first year, coming to rides with her lovely family. Of late, she’s got a gorgeous new horse that seems to have amazing potential to take on anything Alex asks him for. That said, like so many of our EDRA members, she rode a few hard miles with O’Neill and had a few serious chats with him about appropriate behavior on the trail along the way. But it’s paying off, and she’s got so many gorgeous pictures of him I can hardly choose just one. Alex has benefitted from our mentor program and has been a valuable asset and voice of reason at several EDRA Board meetings. Another engaged member who’s Starting Ready to Finish Proud.

Alex and O’Neill eating on the run at Sand Canyon

EDRA members ride so many different breeds! There is a mentor group specifically for non-Arabs – because their challenges are different and members can learn from one another (Reach out to Susan Summers for information the mentor group!) There are American Saddlebreds, Akhal Tekes, Friesians, Andalusians, Hackneys, Mustangs, and Quarterhorses…the reason they are successful is because their human partners know their horses and adjust their training and expectations accordingly. Amy Carrier is an outstanding example of taking a promising young horse and bringing her along carefully, but taking off the bubble wrap when necessary. Amy has carefully been building her Freight Train Friesian/Andalusian mare Flicka towards doing her first 50. Little did she know that to accomplish that awesome goal would require some – ok, A LOT – of white-knuckle driving in whiteout/blizzard conditions to reach Arizona, the land of sunshine. And when she got there….well, it rained. Day of the ride with her first 50, it started raining about 11 am and didn’t finish up until 12 hours later. But Amy and Flicka were undeterred. They finished handily and looked great the next day. This is “Start Ready, Finish Proud” looks like!

Amy and Flicka at the start of her first 50

And….the finish. Rain, rain, go away…..it didn’t.

Amy Carrier was instrumental in helping another EDRA member achieve one of his “firsts” in 2022. Guy Cheek had “six wives” to help him finish Tevis on Steele. Kelsey Corey, Kathleen Dunham, Nicole Mayfield and Cortney Honan and I (Sandy Cheek) had the incredible adventure of crewing for Guy and Steele. The teamwork was amazing and Guy and Steele are so very grateful.

 

L to R: Amy Carrier, Guy Cheek, Cortney Honan, Nicole Mayfield, Sandy Cheek, Kathleen Dunham Pillo, Kelsey Corey and Steele

Julie Barnfather achieved a goal that so many of us have…she did a 100 with her amazing boy Marqo (Marquitible Asset). She’s a super seasoned rider, but has been masterfully transitioning him from world-class Ride and Tie horse to a distance horse. She succeeded at the Scottsdale 100, and won.

Julie and Marqo on the trail!

Jillane Boros had a good season as well. She had two horses, and as often the case, one was found to be better suited to another sport, and the other became…her Heart Horse. Jillane is a valued member of the EDRA Board. She has great ideas and is thoughtful and inquisitive in her thinking. She had a number of firsts this season: she travelled with Alex Berryman to Tevis and helped run the tack/gear store, and stayed through to film the finish of all of the Pacific Northwest riders as they did their victory laps. But highest on her list of accomplishments was riding her Heart Horse Vinnie in the dark. The Gifford-Pinchot forest can be scary at night, but she discovered that amazing connection that comes from trusting our equine partners to take care of us when we can’t see a thing. It’s pretty special. Here she is during the daylight. Can you tell she’s having fun?

Vinnie and Jillane in Gifford Pinchot forest

Deliene Walker Sellers is easily recognizable in ride camp. She always has a big smile on her face, because she is in her happy place with her big strong Quarterhorse gelding, Rebel. As mentioned earlier, all breeds are welcome in the sport of distance riding. The goal at EDRA is to provide opportunities and support for folks to learn their equine’s strengths and challenges and tailor their training accordingly. Deliene has done just that. Rebel is, well, HUGE. And gorgeous. But HUGE can be a challenge on hot and/or hilly rides. Deliene has done her homework, training on hills and in heat conditions. She’s also done multiday pack trips with groups that hone a good mental attitude to persevere for both rider and equine. Deliene is a MAGNET for drawing new people into the sport. Her enthusiastic and inclusive attitude makes everyone feel welcome. She volunteers to sponsor youth riders and happily puts aside her own goals to ride with a first-time participant. But in 2022, Deliene rode solo for 30 miles at the EDRA Sand Canyon ride. If you get a chance to ride with Deliene, jump at it!

Deliene and Rebel at Don’t Fence Me In

Rhonda Guillford lives a life I’d like if there were a parallel  universe. She’s an incredibly creative artist, and has sold her wares at Pike  Place Market in Seattle for many years. She’s a dog lover, has been a horse owner, and loves hiking and running and adventures with her friends. And she lives on an island! She’s also the EDRA drug testing czar, ensuring that our drug testing kit is stocked and ready for each ride and that Stewards are prepared to assist when required. So I was delighted when she sent in this picture of her “first” of 2022 – riding another EDRA member’s seasoned endurance horse, Aliento, on the trail. She also participates in the EDRA in Motion Challenge, tracking her considerable hiking and running miles on a monthly basis. Rhonda, I hope you and Aliento get to ride together again in 2023.

Aliento

Sometimes our horse-related firsts aren’t at an endorsed ride. They may not even be on a horse. If you’ve been boarding your horse for twenty-five years, it is a PRETTY BIG DEAL when you are able to have your own piece of heaven and see your horses out on your own pasture. Nancy Zukewich lives in Ontario, Canada. She’s been an EDRA member since the inception of the organization. She’s a serious competitor in endurance events on the East coast, both in Canada and the US. She is also a wonderful person! So when she wrote, “Horses moved home for the first time. Been boarding for 25 years!”  I must admit I got a little choked up. I remember that feeling when they are at HOME. It’s huge. Congratulations Nancy, and I look forward to seeing you in 2023!

Kendal Ingraham has been a member of EDRA since its beginnings. She’s a good friend of Kathleen Ferguson, who was the EDRA President during our first couple of years. Kathleen was one of the folks who brought Kendal to the sport of distance riding, even though Kendal has never actually had her own horse to ride. She’s been a capable catch rider of some fun horses over the years. Kendal is always up for an adventure. She says, “If anyone has a horse they need ridden, get in touch!” She’s getting closer to owning her very own horse though…as a first for 2022, she bought a horse trailer!

Kendal and Shawn Ingraham and their new trailer

Dr. Marlene Poe’s schedule was so busy this year she wasn’t able to vet any EDRA rides, and she was missed. As was her daughter Katie, who was racking up miles in the previous season. But both Katie and her mom have new horses. And better yet, Dr. Poe will be vetting both EDRA Sand Canyon and Don’t Fence Me In. Looking forward to seeing their smiling faces!

Katie Poe ponying her new little project colt

Susan Lewis lives in Bellevue, Michigan but she’s formerly from the Pacific Northwest. Her family maintains strong ties with the EDRA community and I love keeping up on her adventures with her horses, husband, and two little girls. Susan is another strong participant in the EDRA in Motion Challenge, beating out most folks in her weight division because she seems to spend a LOT of time chasing two energetic little girls! Susan states that in 2022 she took riding lessons for the first time, and also enjoyed watching her girls gain confidence on their ponies.

A few former members have shared their successes as well. I’m hoping that they’ll be motivated to join EDRA again but in the meantime, it’s great to share in their successes and challenges. Sara Campbell took on the challenge of gentling a young horse off the Colville reservation. Dr. Cassee Steed Terry continues to vet rides, but in 2022 she RODE in her first 50.

Dr. Cassee Steed Terry

Sara and her “brumbie”

 

I know there are many other firsts out there. I heard an EDRA member won the Big Horn 100, reputedly a very tough ride.  I heard another member rode a unicorn in full rainbow colors, and galloped beside a freight train and served as the EDRA Secretary. Another bought her dream farm and planted lavender fields and stepped up to be the EDRA Treasurer. I also heard rumor that another EDRA member rode a mechanical bull in Vegas after a long night of crewing for another EDRA member’s 100 mile race. You know who you are. Pat yourselves on the back, and know that you’re pretty special.

A huge thank-you to our unsung heroes – the volunteers who help us keep this little club going. The pulse-takers, day ride managers, burger flippers, trailer transporters, non-riding spouses and children who support and cheer us on….the list goes on. Do your bit and thank everyone. Be kind. Let 2023 be the year you reach UP for your dreams, and reach OUT to help others. Both feel SO GOOD.

And finally, the photographers who come out and spend HOURS waiting for us to put our best hooves forward deserve to be thanked many times over. Their photos help us remember what fun we had. 

David Honan (Photos featuring Shelah Wetter, Jayla, Sandy and crew, EmileeRandal, Nicole Mayfield, Teresa Dixon, Alex Gesheva, Deliene Walker Sellers)

Jala Neufeld (photo featuring Andrea Hurn)

Merrie Melde (photo featuring Jillane Boros)

Ian Rabideau (photo featuring Kelsey Corey and Cruze)

Steve Bradley (photo featuring Kelsey and Crash)

SharDay Hilliard (photo featuring Valerie Pflughoeft) 

Daniel Rial (photo featuring Olivia Moore)

All others taken by assorted crew, family and friends.

See you on the trail!

 

New EDRA Treasurer is Needed!

EDRA is looking for a new Treasurer. Our current treasurer has retired due to time constraints and we are looking for a committed member of our organization to step up and take on the very important role. You will have help from our current financial advisor and interim treasurer, for the transition as well as ongoing support.

How to apply:
1) Review the job responsibilities below
2) Send an email with your interest to secretary@equinedistanceriding.com

 OVERVIEW OF RESPONSIBILITIES

The Treasurer, who must be an EDRA member, is responsible for accuracy and timeliness in managing incoming and outgoing funds, as well as reporting on the financial status of the organization. He/she updates the organization books (current accounting system utilizing QuickBooks Online), prepares financial statements for presentation to the Board at quarterly meetings or upon request of the leadership. The Treasurer works closely with the President, Vice President, Membership chair and Mary and Anna Memorial Fund Chair, to provide timely information and reimbursements as well as an accurate picture of the financial status of the organization. The Treasurer ensures correct procedures are being followed by those requesting reimbursement or payment.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES/ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The major responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:

Incoming Funds

The Treasurer receives revenue from various sources throughout the year, including but not limited to ride entries, membership fees, donations, and EDRA “swag” purchases. All revenue is identified, timely deposited into the EDRA bank account and accurately represented in the financial reports on a timely basis. Treasurer, in coordination with the Mary and Anna Memorial Fund chair, sends thank you letters to donors.

Outgoing Expenses/Disbursement

The Treasurer receives bills and invoices from third-party vendors and reimbursement requests from EDRA members throughout the year. He/she reviews the accompanying documentation for accuracy and if necessary requests additional information/documentation prior to reimbursement. For funds in excess of the stated threshold, the Treasurer will request approval from the Board prior to disbursement. The Treasurer is familiar with and responsible for ensuring that appropriate documentation is provided in a timely manner prior to disbursing funds. Typical fund disbursements include standard organization expenses such as State annual licensing, liability insurance, drug testing fees (UC Davis), supplies and equipment maintenance. Other disbursements include reimbursements or direct payments for Club Rides, Mary and Anna Youth Fund reimbursements, and expenses for annual conference or occasional clinics or other events sponsored by the organization. Treasurer is responsible for maintaining (for BOD or other review) proper documentation (e.g. receipts) for all disbursements.

Accounting System Management

The Treasurer is responsible for managing funds within the organization’s financial systems, currently QuickBooks Online (QBO) for the financial reporting, but also online payment software such as Stripe and PayPal. This includes reconciling all bank and online payment accounts on a monthly basis within QBO.

Strategic Management

The Treasurer serves as the principal resource to the President regarding the financial status of the institution. S/he partners with the senior leadership team as needed to outline the accounting structure to support goals and work plans related to the organization’s mission, vision, values and culture. This could include preparing financial projections or

budgets for club rides, annual conference or other proposed events. It also includes following up with ride managers to verify the accounting for club rides.

Organization Management

The Treasurer is accountable for ensuring that the leadership team is provided with accurate and timely reports on the financial status of the organization.  S/he maintains accountability for the operational and fiscal integrity of the organization within policies set by the Board of Directors. S/he works with the President and Vice President to track organizational spending, monitor budget compliance, and mitigate financial risks.

EXPERIENCE/POSITION DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS

·        Treasurer must be an EDRA member (requirement)

·        Ability to commit an average of 5 hours per month to this position

  • High business acumen, an understanding of EDRA purpose and activities
  • Adaptability, Attention to detail, Abiding ethical values, Aptitude for technology
  • Ability to apply basic accounting principles including reconciling accounts
  • Understanding of basic financial reports
  • Ability to use QuickBooks Online with proficiency (willing to learn)
  • Knowledge of and adherence to EDRA accounting policies per the EDRA Accounting Manual
  • Awareness and commitment to the importance of securing EDRA funds in all functions
  • Ability to command the confidence and respect of members and volunteers.
  • Experience working with volunteers and non-paid staff.
  • Critical thinking skills and an aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving.

S/he has unquestioned integrity; a strong sense of accountability; a practical ability to get things done; wisdom and good judgment; a fair and thoughtful approach to management; a high energy level and sense of humor.

 

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Under normal conditions, work is remote and requires email and telephone, including meetings via teleconference or online. On an annual basis participation in the organization’s conference is ideal for both business and member recognition purposes, as well as security and management of funds.

Meet the Ride Managers – Sand Canyon

On August 7, 2021, Sand Canyon Endurance Ride is happening in Colville National Forest (NE Washington). Here’s a little info about ride managers Shelah Wetter and Amanda Egbert!

Shelah Wetter at Sand Canyon

Both Shelah and Amanda are first-time ride managers. Shelah is very experienced with endurance and breeds American Saddlebreds, including some she uses for endurance. Amanda bought from Shelah as well as took riding lessons. Shelah convinced Amanda to do endurance and help with managing the ride. Amanda has only been to a 25-mile ride at Autumn Sun, so she is definitely diving in as a ride manager. They are taking over managing this ride from Sue Summers as she is moving. Shelah is local to the area and both are located within an hour of the ride. It’s absolutely a team effort. Amanda is good at arranging things and the logistics so she’s going to be the head of plans. Amanda will be on maternity leave so she is focused on doing the paperwork with help from her mother, sister, and other clients. Meanwhile, Shelah is helping ride the trail. Can we get a round of applause for these two working together to keep our amazing rides going?!

Shelah and Amanda agreed to help make this ride happen because the trails are fabulous and it’d be a travesty to lose the ride. They say, “If we don’t keep them open for the next generation then it won’t be there.” Plus, they want to keep the land open for riding. Dennis described the trails as technical but not mountainous; very fun riding, twists, turns, ups down… The technical part makes for a fun ride when you have a good horse – and it’s in Shelah’s backyard!

Amanda Egbert at Autumn Sun

Shelah says, “In the endurance community, there’s a lot of work to keep the trails open and it’d be detrimental to let them close for the horse community. It is really important for the horse community to have access to trail. It needed done.” They don’t want to see the ride go away, and there aren’t a lot of local people to keep it going. This is a labor of love for them and Shelah agreed to do it because Amanda stepped up to help.

Amanda is really excited about managing. Endurance gives her a goal and motivation, something to work for and train for with horse. She reports, “Autumn Sun atmosphere was a lot of fun, loved the community, and met some really neat people” She enjoys helping to continue the endurance community. In addition, she grew up in the area so she holds a soft spot for this particular ride. She says, ” As endurance riders, if we odn’t want to see them disappear, then there come times we have to step up and help them. If no one is willing to step up then rides go away.”

Pre-registration is now open for the Sand Canyon Endurance Ride on August 7th! Information about the ride can be found here: https://alegbert11.wixsite.com/sand-canyon or you can pre-register directly here: https://form.jotform.com/211555208475153

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

By Kathleen Pillo

Ever wonder what happened to those amazingly competitive equine athletes after the peak of their endurance careers? One of the things that has always drawn me to endurance is how sound and happy most endurance horses are. The proper training and conditioning that is required to get horses to a highly competitive level, year after year in endurance makes for rock solid horses later in life. These older endurance horses have traveled thousands of miles in horse trailers, learned to settle in and overnight at various locations, ridden on the trail with other horses, and ridden on the trail alone. They have crossed obstacles of all shapes and sizes, streams, bridges, etc. These are the types of horses that are absolute treasures to own later in their lives. Many provide positive, safe experiences for younger riders just learning or riders looking for a been there, done that horse. They also server as “good examples” for our younger horses that draw confidence from their older, more experienced equine companions.

So where are they now? See below for a few examples of outstanding, older endurance horses!

 

AH Priority Male – 2,845 miles in distance riding
Half Arabian Half Mustang
16 years competing in endurance in distances from
25 – 80 miles
Second career as steady Juniors mount for endurance
and trail riding

 

 

 

SAR Tiki Eclipse (Lumpy) – 3,290 miles in distance riding
Arabian
Started endurance career in 2005. 7 best conditions, 3rd place at Big Horn 100
Second career as steady Juniors mount for Endurance and trail riding

LUMPY & PRIOR - Then To Now

 

 

TNT Thunder Micki – 1,170                                                  
Arabian
Started endurance career in 2005. Decade Team.
Second career steady trail and endurance hors

TNT Thunder

 

 

 

AH Bantiki – 1,925 miles in distance riding
Half Arab half Mustang –
Started endurance career in 2010.
7 Best conditions
6 100 mile completions including the Big Horn 100
Second career as steady juniors mount for endurance and trail riding

 

 

     

Doublemint Rio Gambler – 1,325 Miles in distance riding
American Morgan Horse
Started endurance in 2014 competing in
distances from 25 to 100 miles.
Second career began in 2020 as a dressage and trail horse.

 

2021 Mary & Anna Memorial Youth Fund

By Sue McLain

Update on the Fund. Approximately $2,500 was distributed to Ride Managers in 2020; 50% of 50 ride entry costs were covered by EDRA; and over 20 different kids benefited from ride entry fee discounts subsidized by the organization.

A number of Ride Managers did not access the Fund in 2020. In some cases, Ride Managers said that they had such strong adult rider attendance, they were in a position to cover youth rider discounts entirely. This was a selfless and kind act and it reflects their support of youth in our sport for which EDRA is deeply grateful.

Historical information is provided further on in this report. It includes information on the number of ride events, eligible youth, and payouts. It also includes my personal observations for 2020 – all good news since the quantity of youth participating in our sport seems to be growing!

  • On a per-ride basis, more youth attended rides in 2020 than in 2019. In 2019 we had 2.3 youth per ride event and we experienced 4.1 youth per ride event in 2020.
  • Ride entry fees appear to have increased slightly. (This may be an anomaly for 2020, but perhaps a trend that will carry into 2021.)
  • In 2019, 70% of eligible youth were supported by the Anna & Mary Memorial Youth Fund. In 2020, only 42% of eligible youth were supported by the Fund and 58% were supported entirely by Ride Managers. Again, this is because a number of Ride Managers said they had higher than expected adult turnout (likely because there were so few rides this past year). As a consequence, a number of Ride Managers felt they were able to provide discounts to youth without adversely affecting their overall financials, so they did not request reimbursement for any portion of their youth entries.

EDRA does not want to decline a request from any Ride Manger! Given the quantity of youth riders in 2020, the slightly higher ride entry costs, and the likely higher numbers of available rides in 2021, we estimate a potential need of up to $13,000 to support all the rides in 2021.

Because the 2020 Anna & Mary Memorial Ride and corresponding $5,000 contribution from Darlene and Max Merlich, along with fewer ride managers accessing the Fund in 2020, EDRA will start 2021 with approximately $9,000. Additionally, the EDRA Board is planning to make the 2021 Trout Lake 100 an additional fundraiser to support the cause – likely raising sufficient funds to cover requests for the upcoming ride season.