Sept. 8, 2013 -- Every equestrian has a favorite trail. Just thinking about riding there brings you a feeling of peace, of being close to nature and closer to your equine friend.
In celebration of trails, the nation’s leading sport in encouraging the use, protection and development of equestrian trails--the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC)--is announcing a “My Favorite Trail” essay contest.
The top three entries will be awarded gift certificates from contest sponsor Riding Warehouse, www.ridingwarehouse.com, with $250 in gift certificates going to the first place entry, $150 for second and $100 for third. The top prize winner will also receive a free one-year membership to the American Endurance Ride Conference, the nonprofit distance riding organization.
In 500 words or less, simply describe a favorite trail or trail system where you love to ride. Have you had an incredible wildlife encounter, an “ah-ha” moment with your horse when you conquered a particular challenge or just love the beautiful scenery?
Send your entry by November 30, 2013, to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to AERC, Attn: Trail Contest, PO Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604. You are welcome to include one photo if you wish. Please include your name and contact information.
AERC’s Trails and Land Management Committee members will choose the top three winners, based on the most heartfelt write-ups. Those essays, and runner-up essays, will be published by AERC in the monthly Endurance News magazine or the quarterly online newsletter, AERC Extra.
With rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles in a day, endurance riders are lucky enough to experience trails in all their glory as they train and compete. They would love to welcome new riders and their horses into the sport to share joy of riding trails, both new and historic. To find out more about the sport of endurance riding visit www.aerc.org.
Part of AERC’s mission is to fund trail projects that not only make trail improvements for endurance rides, but for all who use the trail systems. Each year thousands of dollars contributed by endurance riders are given to trail grant applicants. The organization also hosts Trail Master classes to teach sustainable trail building, maintenance and repair skills to trail workers around the country.
The contest is open to all. The winner will be announced in mid-December, 2013. Complete rules are available at www.aerc.org/TrailsContestRules_2013.pdf.