America’s largest distance riding organizations, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) and the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC), are combining celebrations to host a whopper of a convention in Reno, Nevada, on February 19-20, 2016.
Open to anyone interested in distance riding, the two days of seminars are packed with presentations by leading veterinarians and other experts in these sports which require a level of horsemanship and fitness unmatched in other equestrian sports. Some of the topics include horse and rider communication, stresses on the human body, integrative sports medicine, the equine eye, equine lameness, human riding fitness, and outlandish online equine myths. There will even be a session with top competitors discussing audience questions.
Priced at $45 per day ($25 for the second person), the seminars are perfect for increasing your knowledge and getting you enthused for the ride year ahead. Prices increase to $55/$35 after February 5, 2016.
A two-day Veterinary Continuing Education course is being offered in conjunction with the convention on February 18-19.
“The convention is a great place for anyone who just wants to see if distance riding is right for them and their equine,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “It’s great to gather competitive and endurance riders together,” said Henkel. “There is much crossover between our riders and we have much to learn from each other.”
The no-cost vendor area, open 8-6 on Friday, February 19, and 8-5 on Saturday, February 20, puts riders directly in touch with tack and saddle vendors, and an assortment of other knowledgeable sellers of both needed (feed) and fun (jewelry) goods. A tack swap held during vendor hours is super for finding pre-owned items at bargain rates.
The convention venue is the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, an all-in-one hotel/convention center with multiple restaurants, movie theater and family bowling center, just in case you have extra time to spare when not attending the trade show, seminars or award ceremonies put on both host organizations. Special rates apply at the hotel when you ask for the AERC rate at 800-648-5080.
No convention would be complete without a host of vendors and entertainment. The absolutely free vendor area at the Reno convention will have tried and true as well as the latest items in saddles, electronics, tack, clothing, feed, supplements, and other gear (and, yes, jewelry). A tack swap is the perfect way to sell your used gear or pick up some horse gear at bargain prices.
Entertaining convention-goers on Friday evening will be local music and cowboy poetry celebrities Richard Elloyan and Steve Wade.
NATRC sanctions timed distance competitions with winners determined from a combination of condition, soundness and trail ability. AERC sanctions distance competitions that have a maximum completion time, but winners are determined by order of completion provided the horses are fit to continue.
Online convention registration and hotel reservations are available through the AERC website: http://www.aerc.org/static/Convention.aspx.