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Looking for America’s Favorite Trail Horse

American Competitive Trail Horse Association blends innovation, purpose — and a real good time

Special to the Horsetrader - March 3rd, 2011 - Cover Story
Over 14,000 riders will take to the ACTHA trail in 2011 as members in 1,000 ACTHA-sanctioned rides.

ACTHA photo

Over 14,000 riders will take to the ACTHA trail in 2011 as members in 1,000 ACTHA-sanctioned rides.

The trail of the American Competitive Trail Horse Association traces back only two years, when Texan founders Tom and Carrie Scrima created more than a club – it’s now a movement. Since 2008, when 87 ACTHA members held 13 rides, the organization has grown like grass under a leaky spigot. This year, more than 14,000 members will ride in 1,000 ACTHA events.

“Hard to believe,” says Tom. “The whole idea was a one-day venue requiring skill and reasonable conditioning that would be casual in nature – and offer rewards for excellence. But, always, the ’cause’ has been in the forefront.”

ACTHA is proud to have raised $400,000 for rescues and causes helping the tragedy of today’s horse.

“Our main goal is to give ALL able-bodied horses a job,” says Carrie. “Sure, machines have taken over the fields, the mines, but there is one industry that is thriving – recreation. We all work hard and we all need to recreate.”


ACTHA photo

Simply put, ACTHA has found a way to give horses a purpose and give their riders, well, fun.

The latest innovation is the hunt for “America’s Favorite Trail Horse.” Auditions, to be held nationwide April 9-24, will be limited and on a first-come, first-served basis, so contestants are urged to register early. At the audition, horse-and-rider contestants will perform ACTHA trail obstacles while being judged on style and time by ACTHA staff. But most of all, says ACTHA, judges will look for personality.

Regional finalists will be invited to ride in the National Finals held May 8-12 in Austin Texas, where they’ll compete for cash and prizes, and the title of America’s Favorite Trail Horse. Finalists will ride in a one-day, six-mile Competitive Trail Challenge and receive coaching/schooling from ACTHA’s founders and well-known clinicians.


ACTHA photo

A few other popular, innovative ACTHA events ahead this year:

Ride for the Mustangs
Guinness World Record Ride
June 4, 2011

Trail riders from across the nation will saddle up to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Competitive Trail Ride. Net proceeds from each rider’s entry fee will go to the Mustang Heritage Foundation, whose mission is to increase the number of adoptions of the American Mustang. ACTHA is currently looking across the nation for Ride Hosts for its 2011 Ride for the Mustangs. If you have six miles of trails and a desire to make a difference, you may consider hosting a ride! ACTHA offers training and support. Locations are now open to anyone interested in becoming an ACTHA affiliate.

Info: Pam Campbell, pam@actha.us, or call (877) 99-ACTHA (992-2842).

Find A Riding Buddy
Need a trail riding buddy in your area? Check out the FIND-A-Buddy Program, a free service offered by ACTHA. To use this service, visit the ACTHA website, click on the “Find–A-Buddy” link, and enter your information.

Members and non-members are welcome to take advantage of the program.

“This is s free service for everyone because the beauty of this sport is sharing the ride”, says ACTHA trail boss Tammy Sronce. “ACTHA is dedicated to building a trail rider community.”

MORE ONLINE: See website: http://www.actha.us

2 comments have been made on “Looking for America’s Favorite Trail Horse”

  1. Tom Scrima Says:

    Our many thanks to the California Horsetrader, ACTHA Official Equine Publication for California and surrounding states.
    Thank you for spreading the word and helping horses in need.
    Tom Scrima

  2. Marilee Lowe Says:

    I’ve hosted 2 ACTHA rides right here in North County and am searching for another site for the June 4th Guinness Book Mustang ride…it’s a wonderful organization and Tom, Carrie, Karen and Pam are so helpful and reachable!
    Anything that honestly promotes the welfare of the horse and contributes to horse rescue is worthy of my time and efforts.
    Preserving our trails and equestrian properties is at a critical level right now and promoting rides like ACTHA will certainly contribute to public awareness.
    Greater numbers always makes a bigger impact on locals and politicians as well. To my knowledge there is no accurate report on how many horses there are in San Diego County and the speed in which ACTHA is growing in such huge numbers it just may help us get a better picture of these numbers. The promoters at ACTHA have obviously identified a much needed avenue for horse and rider alike.
    Their future is also our future.

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