by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Outreach & Membership Enrichment Coordinator
Columbus, OH — Naked Willow, a.k.a. Fiddle, is the 2015 High Mileage Standardbred, an award given by the USTA in conjunction with the American Endurance Ride Conference.
Foaled in 2002 in Surrey, British Columbia, the daughter of Dal Reo Hop Sing never made it to the races but has made a name for herself in the Northwest region in endurance.
“I am giddy with excitement over this award,” said Fiddle’s owner and rider Aarene Storms. “We also enjoy our winter dressage lessons, which add valuable flexibility and communication which serves us well on the endurance trail.”
After years of competing the Storms and Fiddle were featured on the cover of the July 2015 edition of Endurance News, the official publication of the AERC. Aarene wrote the book Endurance 101: a gentle guide to the sport of long-distance riding.
The team completed 515 endurance miles for the 2015 ride season; 465 of those were of standard distance (50-plus miles), while 50 of them were considered LD or limited distance (rides less than 50 miles).
As recognition for being the High Mileage Standardbred, an embroidered fitted fleece cooler was sent to Storms and Fiddle.
Last year’s winner, Pureform Bunny, and the inaugural winner (for the 2011 season) East Meets West, both finished in the top five for 2015.
The AERC High Mileage Standardbred award is given to the Standardbred that has the most miles ridden during the riding season (Dec. 1 through Nov. 30). All rides are considered, including the limited distance 24-35 mile rides, and standard endurance rides (50-plus miles). Riders must be a member of AERC in order to track horse and rider mileage. For more information on the AERC, visit their website at www.aerc.org.
Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with owners of off-the-track Standardbreds to educate the general public about the many disciplines Standardbreds excel at once they are retired from racing. For more information about the SEP at the USTA, visit LifeAfterRacing.ustrotting.com, or send e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.