LuckyPup Ranch is located outside Benson, Arizona - where Wendell Robie was born and grew up. The region boasts beautiful and varied scenery perfect for endurance horses. The ranch itself sits at 4,200 feet and backs onto the Coronado National Forest and Rincon Mountains to the north, and opens out to rolling ranch land to the south. It was part of various huge ranches from past centuries.
Approaching Lucky Pup Ranch.
The land is rich with Native American artifacts that tell of far older populations. The Butterfield Stage route lies at the ranch's southern border and the adobe ruin of a stage coach stop can be seen from the endurance trail.
The trail passes close to this historic set where Tombstone, Cimmaron, The Wild, Wild West and many other movies, TV shows and commercials were filmed. The set is still being used.
30 years ago the land was being used as an aerial drug drop. The government seized and auctioned it, and Bazy Tankersley of Al Marah Arabians set up a horse operation there to raise her yearlings on the rugged, rocky hills. Heidi Vanderbilt and her husband Bernie bought it from her 13 years ago: Bernie's art studio is in the hay barn. They continue to raise, condition and rehabilitate horses in those same hills.
Heidi dreamed of hosting an endurance ride there once day. Last year, it finally happened. She hoped for eight or ten riders, and figured she'd probably end up with five. She went out the day before the event to finish marking the trail and arrived home to find 70 rigs cautiously threading their way into the arena.
Base camp is located in the barnyard. There is well water for horses and people. There will be good food thanks to the generous support of Rocky's Feedlot. The beloved Dr. Sid Zargas and Dr. Brooks will care for the horses.
Excellent prizes have been donated by EasyCare, works of art by Carrie Miracle-Jordan, Kate Clark and others. LuckyPup Ranch neighbors have all pitched in to help get ready, and welcome the riders onto their land.
The 25 mile and fun ride trails go through rolling ranch land: jeep tracks, single tracks, cross-country, washes and some dirt roads make it an easy - but interesting - ride. The 50 mile ride uses those same trails as well as having a loop that goes into the Coronado National Forest. There is a technical climb through rocks on this loop which is challenging. Last year riders went through the rocks in both directions, this year they will only climb.
The ground is often rocky, and the rocks are often sharp, so Heidi encourages hoof protection for the event.
Click here for more information about the event.
Would You Like to Attend?
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than end of day on Tuesday, March 22 letting us know why you deserve the entry. We'll want you to post your story and photos of your experience at the event in return.
If you're going to be there and would like help fitting or applying boots, please leave a note in the comments section below. If you subscribe to this blog via RSS, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Keep up the bootlegging!
Director of Marketing
I am responsible for the marketing and branding of the EasyCare product line. I believe there is a great deal to be gained from the strategy of using booted protection for horses, no matter what the job you have for your equine partner.