In a sport with a motto that declares "to finish is to win," the American Endurance Ride Conference has produced a lot of winners.
The nonprofit organization has recently launched a new award program for horses that have competed for 10 or more years, completing at least 50 miles of AERC competitions each year. The award is a complement to the highly coveted AERC Decade Team Award, given for horses-and-rider teams who have completed endurance rides (50 miles or longer) for 10 or more years.
"There should be more recognition of our members whose equines compete year after year at any distance, while maintaining the well-being and health of their equines," said Terry Woolley Howe, of Southern California, the organizer of the award program.
"This program recognizes the equine regardless of who was the rider so long as the owner is an AERC member, the equine was entered in AERC's mileage program, and the equine completed at least 50 miles a year at any AERC-sanctioned event," said Howe.
To date, owners of nearly 800 equines have received 10-year pins. Five horses have been honored with 20-year pins, including AERC Hall of Fame equines Ramegwa Drubin, Remington and Robin Hood. Another 70 equines have earned 15-year pins.
"The Equine Longevity and Decade Team awards are unique to AERC," said the organization's executive director, Kathleen Henkel. "Many new members say that AERC's emphasis on long-term goals are a key reason for choosing to join." Members and their equines can accumulate lifetime mileage achievement awards, starting at 250 rider miles, and also compete for annual awards in a variety of categories.
Interested in pursuing a 10-year Equine Longevity Award for your horse? The trail to that recognition will start with a single 25- or 50-mile AERC ride.
For information about AERC or to request a Discover Endurance Riding booklet, visit aerc.org/New_Members_Page.
About the AERC
The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. AERC also encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage. For more information please visit us at www.aerc.org.
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