Columbus, OH — The 2020 American Endurance Ride Conference convention is this weekend, March 6-7, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla.
Along with educational seminars, a tack swap and trade show, the National Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday evening. One of the awards announced will be the AERC 2019 High Mileage Standardbred. This year’s winner is last year’s High Mileage Standardbred Solar Partner (a.k.a. Trooper) and Bruce Weary. The award, presented by the USTA since 2011, has only one other team that won back-to-back years.
The now 12-year-old Trooper is by Shark St Partners, out of the Admirals Galley mare Solars Lady B. While Trooper and Weary recorded 520 total miles in 2018, in 2019 they only completed 290 miles at six out of the seven rides they attended. The non-completion ride was Tevis, the 24-hour, 100 mile ride held in California mid-summer each year.
“We just didn’t get to as many rides in 2019,” explained Weary. “At Tevis, my wife and I rode together and she was on a faster Arab. Trooper carried more weight and struggled to keep up at a speed that wasn’t best for him. I still think he could do it with a lightweight rider.”
Weary once again chose a blanket honoring Trooper’s accomplishments with the AERC; he sold the gelding last fall and this will be a way to remember him.
“I let the other one (the 2018 award blanket) go to the new owner, but it would be nice to have as a memento,” he said.
The AERC High Mileage Standardbred award is given to the Standardbred that has the most miles ridden during the ride season (Dec. 1 through Nov. 30). Two other horses declared as Standardbreds with AERC did record more miles last year, but they are not registered with the USTA or Standardbred Canada, one of the requirements for the award. 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.
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.
For more information about the AERC and their upcoming convention, visit their website at www.aerc.org.