Biltmore Equestrian Center logo

  is hosting the


and AHA Distance Nationals

20 September 2012 (100-Mile)
22 September 2012 (50-Mile)
23-24 September 2012 (Open and AHA CTR)

SERA sanctioned

house w lagoonThe Biltmore Equestrian Center, located on the grounds of George Vanderbilt’s historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is pleased to host the 2012 AERC National Championship.  The 100-mile ride will be 20 September (Thursday), and the 50-mile ride will be 22 September.   All riders must meet the Championship ride qualifications.  Riders will also have the option to enter the AHA National Championship ride competitions (separate liability form required) that have the same qualifications, but some additional rules. 

The AHA Distance National Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) will be held 23 September (Sunday) and 24 September (Monday).  The AHA National CTR has its own AHA qualifications and specific entry.   An Open competitive trail ride (all breeds, no qualifications) will be held in conjunction with this event.

Team Competitions!:  We are very excited to offer team competitions in association with the endurance championships.  Check them out:  Open, Inter-Regional, and AERC Spirit.

General Conditions:  Built in 1895, the Estate trails promise a challenging ride along the French Broad River and over rolling hills and low mountains.  Pads are often used but are not necessary.  We recommend that all horses be shod, and in the 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 tends to be dry in September, but can be unpredictable. Temperatures in the 70s for the high is normal.

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 $25 each. 
Note:  children 16 and under are free, but must still have their names on the "Gate List" and wear the wristbands.

Special Come early and combine your competition with visits to the Biltmore House.  Tickets for the House come with the length of stay pass at a special price of $70 per adult -- which covers multiple visits through the House.   Note, single visits can be 7-day-advance-purchased for as little as $44.

Leader Board:  Maintained during the event by Eric Rueter

Research Project:  Dr Margaret Sleeper, of University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Vet School, will be hosting a study to evaluate heart rate variability in endurance horses.  Two veterinary students from Utrecht (Holland) will be collecting data at the ride in the round pen outside the main arena. Heart rate variability is the variation in the cardiac rhythm.  Changes in this measurement have been correlated with various diseases and it is a parameter that is being studied in human athletes.  Some studies have been performed in the horse, but none in the endurance horse. We hope to collect data from as many horses as possible at this event.

The bottom line (as far as what enrolling in the study will entail for you as the rider) is that your horse will need to wear a heart rate monitor belt or surcingle to collect data for approximately 8-10 minutes on 2 different occasions:
1.   at the time of the pre-ride vetting and
2.   after completing the ride and the final vetting.
Note:   If your horse is eliminated during the event (hopefully not) the second data acquisition time will be while he or she is with the treatment veterinarian rather than in the round pen.
The horse can eat or do essentially whatever while the monitor is in place

If you have any questions regarding the study, please don't hesitate to contact Meg Sleeper (

AERC Research Project:  AERC Research Committee wants input from 100-milers to help understand the physiology in those distances.   They have a questionaire they want you to fill out -- check out the further information and the questionaire

Farrier:   Jeff Pauley, Journeyman Farrier and farrier to US endurance teams, will be the ride farrier, along with John Arndt.   Jeff will be on the grounds during the endurance rides and late afternoons pre-endurance rides.   To make an appointment in advance, please call Jeff at 828-712-2343.

Human Massage:   Nancy MacDonald, who has worked with athletes from endurance riders through Olympic rowing teams, will be the human massage therapist on the grounds. To make an appointment with Nancy, call her at 828 225 5022.

Horse Massage:   Jean-Pierre Hourdebaigt, well-known for both his massage work as well as his efforts in continuing education and publications, will be the equine massage therapist on the grounds.  He is offering two services -- a special 'tune-up' massage for $50, and a full-body massage for $100.   To make an appointment with him, call him at 561 537 0366.  Note:  starting Tuesday, he will be reachable at the ride site at:  540 660 4367, or email him at

Septic Service:  AAAAA is offering for a $35 flat fee a septic dumping service on Friday of ride week.  Sign up in advance through the ride manager.

Ride Information Summary is here


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