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25 th Running of Biltmore Challenge !!!!

May 4-5, 2018

Remembering Anne Ayala, Oct 16, 1940 - Dec 27, 2012:  AERC has passed the motion to name the AERC Junior scholarship for Anne Ayala.  In the future it will be called the Anne Ayala Young Rider Scholarship.  Please send contributions for for this very worthy cause in Anne's name to AERC (PO Box 6027, Auburn, CA  95604)!

May 4-5, 2018:  all rides sanctioned with AERC; SERA; SEDRA


==> Friday:  25-mile LD, 50 miles; FEI SR-YJ 1*

==> Saturday:  30-mile LD, 55 miles, 75 miles, 100 miles; FEI/FEI SR-YJ 1*, 2*, 3*

morning 100In 2018, the Biltmore Equestrian Center, located on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, will host the twenty-fifth (!!) annual Biltmore Challenge Endurance Rides on:  May 4 and 5, 2018.  

We are offering two days of competition:
==>   Friday, 4 May: 25-mile LD, 50 miles
==>   Saturday, 5 May: 30-mile LD, 55 miles, 75 miles, 100 miles

All riders will be entered in the AERC Open category. 

Saturday's 75-mile ride will have the 2018 Young Rider Endurance Team Challenge! And the 100-mile ride will have a special team challenge, too.

For the 25th running, we will celebrate riders with more than 20 times riding, and the horse / rider completer who has the most miles together at the Challenge.

Riders will have the option to enter the FEI (open FEI and Junior / Young Rider FEI) rides (AERC paper entry; separate USEF paper release and on-line entry through USEF required) with additional qualifications and rules. 

Note -- while we haven't decided exactly how to commemorate the 25th running, we know we will do some good, fun things, and hope you will all be here to help us celebrate!

The Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society is sponsoring a "Best Crabbet" horse award in each distance.  The horse must be Crabbet-certified as having at least 25% Crabbet blood by April 27. ECAHS will offer both Young Rider / Junior and Senior divisions for this award.

General Conditions:  Built in 1895, the Estate trails promise a challenging ride along the French Broad River and over rolling hills and low mountains.  We recommend that all horses have hoof protection, and in the 75 and 100 mile distances, think about padding.  Breast collars/cruppers may be helpful.  Each loop will circle back to a central vetting area adjacent to the main camping area.  Weather is somewhat unpredictable in early May, but it is usually humid with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s.

Team Competitions !  The Biltmore Challenge plans to also host team competitions, open to all riders on both days with no additional entry fees.  At least two full teams within the same distance are required to have team competition awards.  Form your own team of four riders, with time for the top three finishers on each team counting towards awards.  This is a good opportunity to practice team riding....   Check out how strategy and opportunities change in this environment! 

In particular, the 75 mile ride on Saturday will be split into YRs and all others, and the YRs will be expected to ride as teams as well as individuals (in the overall 75 mile rankings). The YR teams may organize themselves by region, but they must be announced a week prior to the ride, so the team chef can properly organize things with ride management. Each YR team will be 'given' two free additional crew passes to allow for a chef and team vet. No additional entry fees. We hope to have extra-special awards for the YR teams in the 75. YRs must be full AERC members (not day member).

Young riders will be expected to provide brief biographies (to Peggy) addressing their aspirations, how they got interested in endurance riding, and one fact about their horse. These will be used at the pre-ride vet-in to introduce the Young Rider and their mount to the assemblage.

The 100 mile ride on Saturday will (we hope) organize itself into teams beforehand (pre-enter!!!), and work with management since each 100-mile team will be 'given' two free additional crew passes to allow for a chef and team vet. No additional entry fees. We hope to have extra-special awards for the teams in the 100.

Controlled Entry to Biltmore Estate.  As part of the need for security on the Estate, and to provide a more official mode of access for attendees to the Estate grounds, names are provided for a list used by the front gate guards for initial entry (the "Gate List").  Subsequent re-entry will be via wristbands available at the ride site.  Entry for one named crew member is covered as part of the ride entry fees.   On the Estate, including at the ride site, colored wristbands will be required to be worn as visible proof of permission.
Additional entry permits may be purchased for each additional named crew members for $30 each. 
Note:  children 16 and under are free, but must still have their names on the "Gate List" and wear the wristbands.

Biltmore Equestrian Center has created a Facebook page for the ride, too.


Mountain Farrier Service, Jeff Pauley owner, will be the ride farrier.   They will be on the grounds during the rides Friday and until 6-7 pm  Saturday.  To make an appointment in advance, please call Jeff at 828 712 2343.   Jeff's associates include John Arndt.

Human Body Therapy:
Nancy MacDonald will be the human massage therapist on the grounds. Nancy is a certified neuromuscular therapist, licensed massage and bodywork therapist, nationally certified therapeutic massage and bodywork therapist.  To make an appointment with Nancy, call her at 828 225 5022 or email her at

Horse Body Therapy:
Michelle Blankenship will be the equine body worker on the grounds. She is an ESMT. To make an appointment with Michelle, call her at 828 455 7899 or email her at

 25th Anniversary May AERC Ride Information Summary is here

The FEI Definite Schedule is here.

Note:  Most photographs for the web site have been generously contributed by Genie Stewart-Spears and Becky Pearman






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