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Pioneer endurance ride set for Evanston Aug. 16-18

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 13th, 2013

Beth Buzis rides her horse in a pioneer race. Courtesy photo

EVANSTON — Coming up on Aug. 16-18 will be the annual Pioneer Endurance Ride near Evanston. Organized by Beth Buzis of Bear River, this ride will be the third annual one in the area. It is part of the larger Northern Endurance Rider Conference circuit.

This ride is a “pioneer” ride because of its three day length. Any ride in the circuit that is three or more days qualifies as pioneer mileage and goes into scoring for a special award in the NERC.

The first two years the Buzis’ put on the race, it was held near Mountain View. They chose to change the location for this year’s race to Evanston for a few reasons.

“We know the trails better, it’s closer to home,” Buzis said. “And, it makes it more available for community members to volunteer.”

The trail will start just north of Evanston near the Whitney Canyon Road. Riders will cover 30 miles on Friday, 50 miles on Saturday and 55 miles on the final day on Sunday.

Buzis anticipates a large showing for this year’s event. Sixty people have called to RSVP, which makes her expect upwards of 120-150 people to flood into base camp with friends, family and volunteers all included.

Buzis has not had as much time available to compete in other NERC endurance rides this calendar year. However in past years, she has experienced some level of success in these endurance rides. In 2012, Buzis finished first in the overall standings for the state of Wyoming and first in the middle-weight division for the entire Mountain West region. She also placed third nationally in the pioneer riding division. She has been competing since 2004.

This pioneer race is open to all breeds of horses, not just Arabians. Buzis said a quarter horse won the award for best condition in last year’s race and she added that some Icelandic horses will be coming over from Utah to compete this year.

For the Evanston community, there will be a 10-mile fun ride each day for the competition. There will be no time or mileage requirements on the trail. There will be 10 miles of trail marked and people wishing to take part will be able to ride as much of that trail as they want. There will be a veterinarian on site to check horses taking part in the fun ride to make sure they are healthy. For those taking part in the fun ride, the day will culminate in a dinner and an awards ceremony.

For riders in the area, there are a couple of other competitions nearby that they can compete in annually. In the spring, there is a competition at Antelope Island and there is a June ride in Strawberry Fields near Heber. The next closest rides are near Laramie and Malad, Idaho. To qualify for awards in the circuit, riders must compete in only three rides annually.

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