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First News Spring 2005

The Wild West: Raton
Saddle Up!
  

   The Colfax Coal Rush Endurance Ride will be celebrating its 7th year of competition and fun on August 12,13,14, at the NRA Whittington Center, in Raton, NM. Base camp will be held in Coal Canyon, which has drawn over 160 riders and their horses from 7 different states in previous years. “This year we’re having 3 days of 50’s, 25’s, and a fun ride on Saturday for those who just want to come and enjoy the scenery and camaraderie,” explains event coordinator, Susan Norris-Romero. “The first thing that people usually ask me when I tell them that I’m involved in a sport that requires riding 50 to 100 miles on a horse is, ‘How many days does it take you to do that?’ When I tell them one, they give me a funny look.”

   Endurance riding is a sport that requires a team effort between one horse, and one rider, over a marked course, in an allowed maximum amount of time. That means 12 hours to ride 50 miles and 24 hours to do a 100-mile ride. It’s a sanctioned event, through the American Endurance Ride Conference. Although it is timed, the motto of endurance riding is To Finish is to Win, with the primary concern being the welfare of the horse. The course is usually comprised of several loops, all returning to base camp. Once there, veterinarians check each horse, to make sure the animal is fit to continue. The horses must pass strict health standards at each vet check, and if a horse is determined to be unfit to continue, that animal is eliminated from the ride. Also, at each check there is a mandatory hold time, usually 30 minutes to 1 hour. During that time the horse and rider are given time to eat and rest awhile before continuing. Weight division points, miles ridden, and placing points are recorded for year-end awards.

   If you’re interested in learning more about this sport, go to www.AERC.org. For more information about the August ride, contact Susan at (505) 445-8541, visit their website at www.colfaxcoalrush.com, or email: hawkwood@bacavalley.com.

 

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