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Indiana Hosts AHA National Championship Endurance Ride

It's déjà vu all over again with a slight twist. In 2003, as in 2000, the Arabian Horse Association National Endurance Ride-100 Mile Championships will take place during the U.S. Nationals National Championship Arabian and Half-Arabian Horse Show. Except this time riders will also compete in a 50-Mile Championship, which was instituted in 2001 to great success. As the nation's elite Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian show horse compete on green shavings, the nation's top endurance horses will race to the finish along the Clark State Forest trails in Henryville, Indiana. The 100-Mile Championships will be held on October 23, and the 50-Mile Championships will be held on October 25, the last day of Nationals.

Run in conjunction with the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) 25-, 50- and 100-mile Spook Run, the championship ride offers challenges--rugged hills and rocks--and fall beauty. You'll trot through a forest ablaze in shades of crimson, ruby, rust, maroon, gold and plum and ride around Deam's Lake. There are lots of points along a ridge where you can see for miles.

Water is abundant along the trail, which consists largely of wide fire lanes. To complete the 100-mile course, riders will run the three 10-, 15- and 25-mile loops twice. Camping is primitive, but there will be water and some electricity. There are many spots to camp and put up a corral on the large grassy field, which is surrounded by trees. Camp will also be the site of all vet checks. Come prepared for cool 40-degree temperatures in the morning and 70s during the day.

There are two divisions offered in both the 100-Mile and the 50-Mile Championships: Arabian and the Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian. Separate awards will be presented to both divisions. Both champion and reserve will receive a trophy, plaque and ribbon. Paint Rock Designs will present a "Turtle Neck" blanket to the champion and Horse Sheet to the reserve champion, top ten and Best Condition. The top ten will also receive plaques and top ten ribbons. All riders who finish will receive belt buckles. Additional prizes include Total Mobility, a hoof and joint supplement, and All Natural Electrolyte provided by the Event Sponsor Mobile Milling Services.

Arabian Saddle Company is donating an endurance saddle that will be given to one competitor drawn at random. This way every competitor has an opportunity to win the saddle no matter how well they do in the ride.

The International Arabian Breeders Sweepstakes will pay to eligible horses in the 100-Mile Championship only. Arabians and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabians are combined for the prize money payout. The 100-mile champion will receive $5,000, the reserve champion will receive $2,500 and each of the top ten will be awarded $525.

To register, riders must pay $80 for the AERC Spook Run 50-mile or $125 for the AERC Spook Run 100-mile as well as an extra $75 for the AHA championship. Riders can enter up to the day of the ride (with an added $10 after October 17). To qualify for the 100-mile championship, horses must have successfully completed 300 lifetime miles, of which 100 miles must consist of a one-day or multi-day 100-mile event, or two consecutive 50-mile rides. For the 50-mile Championship horses must have lifetime mileage of 200 miles. Qualifying mileage must be from AHA, AERC or FEI-recognized/sanctioned events of a minimum of 50 miles. Previous AHA national champion endurance horses are qualified for life. Horses must be owned and ridden by an AHA member.

Ride management includes ride secretary Robert McAfee and ride steward Carolyn Loedeman. The ride veterinarians are Mike Habel and Duane Barnett. The AHA Endurance Chair is Cory Soltau. Ride sponsors include Equisure, Arabian Saddle Company, Mobile Milling Services, Paint Rock Designs, Will-O-Bar Arabians, Elite Sport Horse International, Indiana Arabian Distance Program, Jacki Marsh, Barbara Bailey and AHA Regions 3, 8, 10, and 13. For more information on the ride, contact Robert McAfee at (812) 294-1776; email: or

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit





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