by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Outreach & Membership Enrichment Coordinator
Columbus, OH — Pureform Bunny has spent her entire life on the western side of North America; she was foaled in British Columbia, raced at Fraser Downs for five years and now has a career in endurance riding in Washington State.
Her off-the-track miles traversing the west coast landscape with owner and rider Heather Wimer has earned her the honors of being the 2013 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) High Mileage Standardbred. The duo will be honored at the AERC National Awards Banquet on March 8 in Atlanta, GA.
Pureform Bunny was foaled in 2005 and earned $70,928 while racing exclusively at Fraser Downs. The mare is trotting bred on the top of her pedigree (by Valet Victory who is by Valley Victory) but pacing bred on the bottom (out of the Abercrombie mare Eye Popper). She raced on the pace for five years, taking a mark of 1:58.1 in 2008. Wimer of Walla Walla, WA got Pureform Bunny from Greener Pastures, the British Columbia Standardbred Horse Adoption Society in 2011.
“Alina, the program manager, suggested that I try Bunny,” said Wimer. “She thought she would be perfect for me and turns out she was right. Bunny was a nice mover, I liked her personality and work ethic, she worked hard to please me. We just clicked!
“I got her home that summer and we got to work getting to know each other, working on dressage and starting to condition together. The next year (2012) we did several LD’s (limited distance rides) together including a multiday ride.
“My goal for 2013 was to move up to the 50 mile distance (a first for both of us) and to be able to do a few more rides. Bunny met each new challenge with ease and asked for more. She has the best work ethic of any horse I’ve ever ridden and I feel honored to have her for a riding partner. I’m looking forward to our 2014 season and trying a longer distance ride, a 75 and maybe even a 100 mile ride.”
Wimer has already received the fitted cooler with the accomplishment embroidered on the hip for Pureform Bunny and they will be featured in the next USTA ad in Endurance News, the AERC’s membership magazine.
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 off-the-track Standardbreds and their owners to educate the general public about the many disciplines at which Standardbreds excel 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 email@example.com.