Articles: Press Release
2006 AERC National Championship Hits the Trails
of the Historic Old Dominion Endurance Ride
AUBURN, Ca. - Endurance riders from around the country will face the test of
time and terrain when they compete for national titles at the 2006 American
Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) National Championship in October. The
championship, sponsored by Gulf Coast 4 Star Trailers, will be held October
20-22 in Fort Valley, Virginia, on the trails of the historic Old Dominion
The Old Dominion, first held in 1973, is considered by many to be the most
prestigious endurance competition in the eastern United States. The 100-mile
national championship will take place on October 20 and the 50-mile
championship will be held on October 22. Competitors qualify for the
championship by completing a minimum of 300 miles in AERC competition with
their horse and earning a top-five placing in their weight division or by
having 1,000 or more miles together as a team.
Riders will follow a course that is rich in both scenery and history as they
climb over the beautiful Blue Ridge and Massanutten Mountains during the
height of fall foliage along trails that wind through the Shenandoah
National Park. AERC President Stagg Newman of Candler, North Carolina,
considers the trails to be the ultimate challenge for endurance riders.
"The 2006 AERC National Championship will combine the challenge of a tough
course with awesome scenery over historic trails," said Newman, who has won
the Old Dominion Endurance Ride three times. "Completing the 100 miles of
tough, rocky Old Dominion trail requires the highest degree of horsemanship,
which is the essence of what endurance riding is all about. It's not about
speed, it's about pace and heads-up riding." Newman added, "When fording the
Shenandoah River in the light of dawn, it is easy to imagine Stonewall
Jackson's cavalry crossing during the Civil War. When climbing the trail
Colonel Morgan made at the direction of General Washington as an escape
route to Fort Valley for the Colonial Army in case Washington lost at
Yorktown, one can imagine wagon trains traversing the rugged terrain."
The 2006 AERC National Championship will be staged from Fort Valley Stables,
just south of the historic Fort Valley area. According to event manager Bob
Walsh, competitors can expect a well-marked trail that is both challenging
and fair to their horses. "The fastest horses may not win these rides, but
the smarter riders could," said Walsh.
Paul Zeck, president of Gulf Coast 4 Start Trailers of Willis, Texas, said,
"Without question, the trail is one of the most scenic places in the country
and the organizing committee has always done a super job with the ride. Gulf
Coast 4-Star is proud to be a sponsor of this great event."
For more information about the 2006 AERC National Championship,
visit. www.olddominionrides.org or www.aerc.org.
The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as the
national governing body for endurance riding in the United States. AERC
sanctions more than 800 events annually, is the leader in education related
to the use of equines in long-distance riding and encourages the use,
protection and development of equestrian trails in North America. AERC's
mission is to serve its more than 6,500 members and to promote endurance
riding as a sport in which horsemanship and equine welfare are
paramount. For more information about endurance riding and AERC, visit
www.aerc.org. Gulf Coast 4 Star www.gc4star.com is the official trailer of
AERC and is a sponsor of the 2006 AERC National Championship.