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Back Country riders made it from Norco to Bishop!
Follow their journey…

After months of planning—and training—Mike Williams and Rebekah Wan completed a 320-plus mile trek from Norco to Bishop. A foursome of Mike, Rebekah, Linda Wesch and Carol Kelly left SoCal Equine Hospital on Sixth Street at 8:02 a.m., Friday, May 3, and Mike and Rebekah reached Bishop Wednesday, May 22.


Day 20:  Made it!…we arrived in Bishop!

Wednesday, May 22
20.2 miles / 5 hours, 21 minutes / 482 ft. / 3.8 mph

We made it! 320-plus miles in 19 days through mountain ranges, desert, flood plains, aqueducts, streams, train tracks, trestles, wind, rain, heat … and patience. All the horses are showing the wear-and-tear, as are the riders, but they all made it! Mike and Rebekah are ready for some good R&R —  no more midnight waterings, 4 a.m. feedings, 7-8 a.m. starts in the saddle, and riding from dawn to dusk. The horses are ready to relax, heal up from some minor scrapes and soreness. After 320-plus miles, Mike has lost weight, Rebekah is already talking about another ride, and the horses all look healthy. They have kept their weight and look stoic, and the spouses are ready for their loved ones to be home.

Upon their arrival in Bishop, Mike and Rebekah were greeted by Backcountry Horsemen of California members Alan Sanderson, the Moslers, and Terry Jorgenson. What a day! Here’s the final leg of the journey: http://bit.ly/190522-Day20

Mike Williams and Cowboy look good at the end of the 320-mile trail

Day 19: It’s the homestretch

Tuesday, May 21
14.5 miles / 3 hours, 55 minutes / 446 ft. / 3.7 mph

We trailered out to Taboose to pick up the trail Mike and Rebekah left yesterday. All four horses are with them.  http://bit.ly/190521-Day19

Mike and Rebekah near Independence

Day 18: Going in circles!

Monday, May 20
21.8 miles / 5 hours, 57 minutes / 312 feet / 3.7 mph

Today’s ride took Mike and Rebekah to Taboose where they were picked up and taken back to Independence to spend one more night. Only took two of the four horses today and left two in camp to have a break from yesterday. Land-locked on several occasions, we had to go in what seemed like circles! You can follow the crazy route here:  http://bit.ly/190520-Day18

Just a couple days away after Day 18.

Day 17: An extremely HARD ride

Sunday, May 19
26.9 miles / 8 hours, 18 minutes / 1,234 ft. / 3.2 mph

Today’s ride was extremely hard. Between the wind, locked gates, inaccessibility because of floods and washouts, and again wind, it became a hard day for horses, riders, and our ground crew. We had over 50-mph gusts and were told that some gusts exceeded 70 mph. We were all exhausted when we arrived in Lone Pine. The longest day yet. Tomorrow will bring us a shorter day — 17 miles and three days away from our final destination. Follow our challenging day here: http://bit.ly/190519-Day17

Day 17…the longest, windiest day of the trip.

Days 15-16: Let’s give horses a break

Friday, May 17

Time for a layover and let the horses have a break, get laundry done and have some down time. Sigrid came up and made our meals and then we all enjoyed a movie (The Man From Snowy River) and popcorn along with some liquid refreshments.

Saturday, May 18

Another layover day to relax. Another movie (“Return to Snowy River”). Sigrid made tri-tip today with baked potatoes and beans. No one can say we didn’t eat right on this trip. Some shopping done earlier this morning to buy the rest of the food supplies for our last week.

 


Day 14: Slight change of route today

Thursday, May 16
26.3 miles / 7 hours, 57 minutes / 1,644 ft. / 3.3 mph

Last night was a cold windy night. Rain in the forecast and 50 mph gusts. Mike and Rebekah have decided not to trailblaze today and use the DWP access road to take them into Lone Pine.  Follow the day here:  http://bit.ly/190516-Day14


Day 13: Steak & Eggs

Wednesday, May 15
21.4 miles / 6 hours, 22 minutes / 801 ft. / 3.4 mph

Riding to Olancha tonight. Breakfast this morning consisted of steak and eggs. Only the best for our loved ones. Mike, Rebekah and the horses had to go through a boulder field and had to rock hop for several miles. Horses were quite tired after their day. They rode a little over 21 miles.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190515-Day13


Day 12: Sharing the trail with sheep

Tuesday, May 14
17.4 miles / 5 hours, 13 minutes / 1762 ft. / 3.3 mph

Riding toward Lonepine today. Staying in Coso Junction tonight. Shorter day than normal—only 17 miles. Mike, Rebekah and their horses Cowboy, Razor, Jack and Fancy had to ride among the sheep that were on the DWP trail.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190513-Day12


Day 11: Today was a HOT one!

Monday, May 13
16.8 miles / 4 hours, 52 minutes / 384 ft. / 3.5 mph

Extremely hot day riding through the desert. Over 90°. Had to stop several times to allow the horses to rest. Water was limited. Staged at 9-mile. Heavy wind. Dale Crawford joined the team today to provide ground support for the next several days.
Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190513-Day11


Day 10: Time to rest… and add horses

Sunday, May 12

Day off for the horses in Inyokern, to re-up on supplies and do laundry. Sigrid arrived with a second horse for Mike. Both Mike and Rebekah are ponying a second horse so they can switch off every few days. All four horses are now on the journey.


Day 9: Happy Birthday, Mike!

Saturday, May 11
24.7 miles / 6 hours, 55 minutes / 922 ft. / 3.6 mph

Long day in the saddle but it was beautiful. That evening Misha surprised Mike with a homemade birthday cake. 58 candles, no fire permit needed. Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190511-Day9


Day 8: Rest day following a night of heavy rain

Friday, May 10

Rained like crazy last night. Everything got wet. The group decided to take today off and ride tomorrow instead. Misha, Rebekah’s daughter came out to help this morning with the trailer and moved horses to Ridgecrest for the day and overnight so they would be under cover instead of in the open desert. Today was the last day that Carol and Linda are riding with Mike and Rebekah. Tomorrow it becomes a two-person ride unless others decide to join. Pete also leaves as ground crew support and Misha and Nolan begin the chore of keeping everything in order.

Just 158 miles to Bishop!

Day 7: Halfway to Bishop! Trek continues…

Thursday, May 9
25.3 miles / 6 hours, 37 minutes / 1,270 ft. / 3.8 mph

After a week’s worth of riding, the halfway point has been reached! Relive the day here: http://bit.ly/190509-Day7


Day 6: Making progress along Highway 395

Wednesday, May 8
23.8 miles / 6 hours, 20 minutes / 692 ft. / 3.8 mph

Today, the group traveled about 300 yards off of west side of Highway 395, finishing two miles north of Kramer Junction. According to Mike, the day was uneventful. The day got warm, but they had two water stops. They crossed the 58 behind the truck stop which turned out to be pretty easy. Everything worked in their favor! Relive their day with this link: http://bit.ly/190508-Day6


Day 5: After a windy, damp start…sunshine

Tuesday, May 7
24.8 miles / 6 hours, 31 minutes / 220 ft. / 3.8 mph

Horses and riders took a one-day break on a Day 4 layover in Phelan, and it also marked the first day of cold wind and rain. Day 5 started with Mike and the group in thick fog—everything was damp. They rode through heavy wind which made for a long ride, but eventually it warmed up. They stayed on trail until they got north of Adelanto and then cut across the desert to their overnight destination. Relive their day on the link!: http://bit.ly/190507-Day5


Sunday, May 5

Day 3: Through the Cajon Pass

Sunday, May 5
21.8 miles / 6 hrs, 11 mins / 2,789 ft. / 3.5 mph

The group traveled along Highway 66 through Cajon Pass to Phelan. Water stop for the horses and lunch stop for the riders along the PCT at the 138. 21.8 miles / 6 hours, 11 minutes / 2,789 ft. / 3.5 mph. Follow their Day 3 route with this link!: http://bit.ly/190506-TrailRide


Saturday, May 4

Day 2: Along the Santa Ana River basin

Saturday, May 4
18.8 miles / 5 hrs, 25 mins / 1,325 ft. / 3.5 mph

An uneventful day… after leaving Grand Terrace, they traveled through the Santa Ana River Basin and the city of Colton to reach Saturday’s final destination, Devore. Ride along with the day’s link: http://bit.ly/190504-TrailRide


Friday, May 3

Day 1: Journey begins!

Friday, May 3
19.6 miles / 5 hrs, 18 mins / 909 ft. / 3.7 mph

Mike Williams, Rebecca Wan, Linda Wesch and Carol Kelly left Socal Equine Hospital at 8:02 a.m. on the 320-plus mile ride from Norco to Bishop. First night’s camp: Grand Terrace. Relive the first day: http://bit.ly/190503-TrailRide


Get the story! Here’s background on the riders and the ride…

If you missed the California Horsetrader’s Feb. 1 cover article on the ride, get the story by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1902-TrailRide

Mike Williams, Rebekah Wan and “Cowboy” on Feb. 1 Horsetrader cover

CalFireSAN MARCOS — Horse owners are encouraged to attend a Feb. 26 community forum at Walnut Grove Heritage Park for a presentation of lessons learned, preparedness and effective reaction strategies in event of a fire emergency.
The Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association and Horse Heritage Conservancy will host the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. in Mary Connors Hall, 1952 Sycamore Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069.
Positive dialogue is expected between the public and community leaders including Laura Ward, Deputy Director of the County of San Diego Animal Services; Tonia Haynes, Sergeant of Community Relations, Animal Rescue Services; Buck Martin, City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Director; as well as representatives of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and Cal Fire.
For additional information, contact TOVEA at twinoaksvalleyequestrian@gmail.com.
If you have news or important community service items that you would like distributed by California Horsetrader magazine or horsetrader.com, send items to: news@horsetrader.com

Three more L.A. horses test positive for EHV-1

Link to Oct. 27-29 Las Vegas horse show continues

From Horsetrader staff reports - November 5th, 2016

BURBANK — State officials last night confirmed that three additional horses in L.A. County have been confirmed positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of Equine Herpesvirus-1, all of them boarded in the same barn at Los Angeles Equestrian Center.horse in stall
Two of yesterday’s three confirmed cases were at the same Oct. 27-29 horse show in Las Vegas that two previously confirmed horses had attended, according to reports from the California State Department of Food and Agriculture. One of those two previous cases, a 5-year-old Saddlebred, was euthanized Thursday.
All five horses resided in Barn A at the L.A. Equestrian Center, which acted quickly with biosecurity measures upon early cases to isolate any virus.
All three of yesterday’s confirmed cases are in isolation. Two of the three affected horses display neurologic signs, and the third horse has a fever.

Saddlebred dies of EHV-1 in L.A. County

Returned Oct. 30 from Las Vegas horse show

From Horsetrader staff reports - November 4th, 2016

BURBANK — State officials confirmed Nov. 4 that two ill horses at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center have tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) after they had returned Oct. 30 from a horse show in Las Vegas, Nev.
One of the horses, a 5-year-old Saddlebred,horse in stall was euthanized Nov. 3 because of the severity of its clinical signs, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reported.
Out of an abundance of caution, the CDFA has issued a quarantine for exposed horses at the facility and has implemented enhanced biosecurity measures. All exposed horses will have temperatures taken twice daily and will be observed for clinical signs compatible with EHV.
While the CDFA investigates the source of the virus and monitors for any potential spread, officials and L.A. Equestrian Center staff encourage owners of horses exposed to the area to follow basic protocols in the days ahead:

Lucy goes clean, U.S. jumpers tied for first at Rio

From USEF release - August 16th, 2016

Lucy Davis and Barron

Lucy Davis and Barron

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil – The equestrian venue at Deodoro Olympic Park was filled with excitement Tuesday for the second day of show jumping at the 2016 Olympic Games. A total of 69 athlete-and-horse combinations representing 24 countries, including 15 teams, competed in the first half of the two-round team competition, which also served as the second qualifier for the individual finals. The U.S. team produced three clear rounds which put them in a four-way tie for first place with The Netherlands, Germany, and Brazil, each with zero faults. France is hot on their heels with one fault, followed by Canada with four.
Guilherme Jorge’s course was less technical than what he had set for Sunday’s first individual qualifier. He included added dimensions with long approaches to the fences for a time allowed of 81 seconds that proved to be a challenge for some riders. Power, speed, and accuracy proved to be the winning formula to complete Jorge’s second course clear.
The trailblazer for the U.S. was Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ 14-year-old KWPN gelding, Voyeur. Repeating their foot-perfect performance from Sunday, this dynamic duo produced the second clear round of the day to get the U.S. off to a great start.
“I wouldn’t say it’s massive in size yet, but I am sure that’s to come,” Farrington said of the round one course. “I think tomorrow will be significantly bigger. It’s exactly what you would expect at a championship level. The time allowed is quite short, which I think is going to be a factor either through time faults or rails down because of people worrying about the time. Obviously, I am thrilled with my horse. It was a great start for Team USA.”
The second rider for the U.S. was Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.), piloting Old Oaks Farm’s Barron, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. Davis and Barron were poised and ready, matching Farrington’s performance with a second clean round for the U.S. team.
“I’m very relieved now that it’s over. After yesterday’s rail I hoped that it would set me up well for today and it definitely did,” Davis said. “He was incredibly sharp and with me. I was maybe a little more tense than usual. I really wanted this for the team. I think tomorrow I will be a bit more relaxed after seeing how well he handled this day and how confident everyone on the team is. It’s nice in my position. I can really count on them [my teammates]. I am pretty lucky, especially for the Olympics, to be on a mount like Barron. He makes it easy.”
“Once I jumped through the triple I kind of settled in,” said Ward. “I knew the team was in a good position. Obviously, we needed to be clear today to be in a good position for tomorrow. We are a good team. So far we didn’t lose it. I think tomorrow will go up another level.”
Riding anchor for the U.S. team, Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) entered the ring on Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ knowing that the U.S. had three clear rounds they would not need her score. Still needing a score for the individual competition, Madden and the 14-year-old Belgium Warmblood gelding experienced an unfortunate rub at fence three and a misplaced foot at the water jump to accumulate eight penalties.
“It was a short seven up the first line, and maybe I was a little casual about the back rail, and then he clipped that,” Madden said. “The water has been riding difficult all day. I just didn’t quite get across. I think he actually finished better than he started in the course, so hopefully tomorrow we’re in good shape.”
Madden and Cortes ‘C’ will continue Wednesday in the team competition, however with a total of 12 faults after two days of competition, they will not move forward to Friday’s individual final.
Action continues Wednesday as the top eight teams from round one return for the final round of the team competition. Riders who qualify will advance to the two-round individual final on Friday.

Good Time to win

From releases and staff reports - October 15th, 2014

1410B Cover ShotRENO, Nev. — Corey Cushing, a National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider from Scottsdale, Ariz., captured the 2014 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship riding Good Time (One Time Pepto x Dual Nurse x Dual Pep), owned by Lynne Wurzer, Tacoma, Wash. The Snaffle Bit Futurity Open finals were held Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center.

Cushing guided the sorrel gelding to a composite 660 score (219 herd/219.5 rein/221.5 cow) to win the $100,000 Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship, the second of his career. Cushing won his first title in 2012 with CD Diamond (CD Olena x Shiners Diamond Girl x ShiningSpark), bred and owned by San Juan Ranch.

It was an emotional win for Cushing, who wiped tears as he rode Good Time into the spotlight at the Reno Livestock Events Center to accept the award.

Simply Divine

Horses, natural beauty come together in Ojai

By AUDREY PAVIA for the Horsetrader - October 15th, 2014

Chief's Peak

Chief’s Peak

OJAI — When director Frank Capra chose Ojai as the location for Shangri-La in the 1937 film “Lost Horizons,” it was no accident. Capra and many others before and since have recognized Ojai is one of the most divine places in California.

As with many places of great beauty, Ojai is home to horses. The equine community in Ojai is alive and well, despite a dogged economic comeback, and boasts trainers of many disciplines and horses of many breeds.

Carpenter builds momentum with CIC3* win at Woodside

Special to the Horsetrader - October 15th, 2014

Bonner Carpenter of Dallas, Texas, gallops to first place aboard her Basco in the CIC3* at the Woodside International Horse Trials, held Oct. 3-5.

Bonner Carpenter of Dallas, Texas, gallops to first place aboard her Basco in the CIC3* at the Woodside International Horse Trials, held Oct. 3-5.

Captured Moment photo

WOODSIDE — Aboard her own Basco, Bonner Carpenter, of Dallas, Texas, galloped to first place in the CIC3* at the Woodside International Horse Trials, finishing with 48.7 penalties.

The Area VI champions were: Preliminary Rider, Tristen Hooks/Learning To Fly; Training Horse, Ruth Bley/En Vogue; Training Rider, Jain Coert/Fail Safe; Novice Rider, Angela Cricelli/Sunsprite’s Cali; Beginner Novice Rider, Grace Illsley/Dancing Diva.

James Alliston, of Castro Valley, claimed second on Tivoli (52.1), and Kaitlin Veltkamp of Los Gatos, grabbed third place on Flashpoint D (57.0).

Carpenter, 26, earned $3,000 for her winning effort, along with the Adequan USEA Gold Cup and the CTETA Founders’ Cup, established to honor Robert E. Smith, whose vision established the Horse Park at Woodside in 1981.

Tightening the reins is no answer for jigging out on trail

By SHERYL LYNDE / Horsetrader columnist - October 15th, 2014

Sheryl Lynde BadgeJigging out on trails stems from a few different causes Ð buddy sour, barn sour, competitive (always wanting to be in front) or bored because they have not been worked sufficiently to expend their energy. Whatever the cause, the least effective way to correct this behavior is to tighten up the reins, hang on the mouth and try to restrict their movement. You cannot force a horse to walk when all they want to do is jig.

You have to change their mind by turning what they want to do into work, and turning what you want to do into rest. In order accomplish this, you have to make their feet move with energy and change direction frequently, thus keeping their attention on you.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

RANCHO SANTA FE — Microsoft founder Bill Gates has purchased the 229-acre thoroughbred training center in Rancho Santa Fe formerly owned by weight-loss icon Jenny Craig, and reports in the U-T San Diego newspaper indicate he plans to turn it into a facility for hunters and jumpers.

The father of a teenager who jumps competitively, Gates paid $18 million for the facility in a deal that closed Sept. 12. The sale is one of San Diego County’s highest-priced deals for a home this year. Gates also owns a home in the Del Mar Country Club.