Last weekend the AERC National Championships were held at Antelope Island in Utah. Every year, endurance riders compete for national honors in 50 and 100 mile endurance events. The locations rotate from the eastern half of the USA to the western half. So during odd calendar years the Nationals are held in the East, during even years in the West.
Antelope Island, a Utah State Park within the Great Salt Lake, had the honors to be the host of this years Nationals. Some riders prepare all year for this event. It might not draw the numbers that Biltmore or Tevis can showcase, but it is a prestigious event, no doubt.
Jeff Stuart was the Ride Manager and with a wonderful support group, he put on a first class event. Top notch veterinarians helped horses and riders to get through. As a result the completion rate was high and there were absolutely no treatments necessary.
At the vet in: Suzy Hayes and Atlas and Christoph with GE Pistol Annie.*
The trails were a mix of flat and rocky stretches with some substantial climbs. A lot of riders chose hoof protection to safe guard against stone bruises. As always at important events, EasyCare boots were seen on many horses. And among the various EasyCare hoof protection, the Glue-Ons were the most used boot among the riders.
Some of the more rocky uphill sections of the trail.*
Antelope Island is a relatively small island, but home to 600 buffalo and hundreds of antelopes.*
When the buffalo came to close to the Vet check to snatch some hay or feed, the ride managers job included keeping them at a safe distance from the horses.
Team Easyboot member, Kevin Waters giving his horse Rio a break during one of the uphill sections.*
Kevin and I leaving vet check two during the 100 Mile race. Both horses wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.*
For the readers who keep stats, here are the numbers of the finishing riders wearing Easyboots:
- Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 50 Mile race all wearing EasyCare Glue-On boots
- 5 of the top 10 wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons
- Top 3 Finishers and BC horse of the 100 Mile race wearing EasyCare Glue-Ons
- 6 of the top 10 horses were equipped with Easyboot Glue-Ons
Now these are stats that no one can argue with. Numbers speak!
The jewel award, the National 100 Mile Champion title, was earned by Team Easyboot Member Leah Cain, riding OT Dyamonte Santo.
Leah Cain with the National Championship trophy and her crew. Congratulations to an awesome job done.
Jill Haunold accepting her winning trophy from AERC president Michael Campell and RM Jeff Stuart (left).
Kevin Waters won the Heavy Weight Championship title in the 100 miler, myself the Middle Weight, Anya Leverman the Junior title; all wearing the Easyboot Glue-Ons. In the 50, similar picture: Jill Haunold was the overall and Featherweight champion, Barry Waitte the Heavy Weight champion, myself the Middle Weight Champion, so all the weight division winners were also wearing Easyboot Glue-Ons.
Any more questions?
From the desk of the Bootmeister
*Photo credit for photos 1,2,3,4,6,7,8 goes to Merri Melde from endurance.net