Endurance Ride in NM: Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Camco Realty

Participants in the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race will start off Monday, September 3rd to begin an 800 mile trail ride!

Commencing at 7:00 am near Rowe Mesa, the ride will see horses and riders travel all the way to Independence, Missouri during a 13-day endurance competition which includes 10 riding days and 3 break days.

Many competitors arrived in Santa Fe a week or so ago, in order to have time to acclimatize horses and riders to the altitude.

endurance horseThe endurance race will closely follow the old Santa Fe Trail which was traveled by traders and pioneers during the 1800s. New Mexico towns on the route include Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Clayton and Springer, and participants then proceed through numerous Kansas towns like Dodge City and Council Grove before finishing up in Independence, Missouri. Race participants can sign up as teams, with either a single rider handling the entire race, or two riders alternating the 50-mile legs of the race. Veterinarians will perform welfare checks on each horse three times daily, chekcing that the animal's heartbeat comes back down to normal after 30 minutes.

Among the hundred-or-so teams competing you'll fnd Mike Urschel and his horse. Urschel, as reported in today's Albuquerqe Journal, has been dagnosed with Parkinson's Dsease, which has left him sluggish and generally lacking in dexterity. However, Urschel finds that his symptoms seem to disappear after several hours in the saddle, and observers note that when he saddles up, his balance is steady and his hands are firm on the reins. Urschel, along with many of the other competitors, sees completion of the race as a victory in itself, and hopes that riding will help him manage his symptoms in years to come. After all, he says, "There's nothing that can duplicate what the outside of a horse can do for the inside of a man."

"Race Villages" are being set up at each night's stopping point, where horse and rider teams will find food vendors, a dining tent, veterinarians, hay and water, first ad stations, and toilet facilities. There will also be entertainment at the villages, such as Michael Martin Murpey appearing at the Dodge City Race Village on September 7th. The map below shows the route of the ride, and the location of the race villages.

Interested spectators are advised that the best chance to catch a view of the riders will be about 11:00 am, as they ride past the San Miguel Church in the village of Ribera, New Mexico.


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Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida
Laura, I'm guessing this is an annual event.  Too late for some of my riding friends to participate but I'm passing it along, great information.  Sounds like too much fun, if there is such a thing.
Sep 02, 2007 03:01 PM #1
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Laura Warden Nordin

30-year Top Producer in Greater ABQ Real Estate
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