Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Destination Virginia City 100: Gina Hall and Fire Mt. Destiny

Wednesday April 9 2014

He still unloads her once or twice a year. He'll bolt. He can "spook like no other." He can trip and fall when he doesn't pay attention, because "it's not real important for him to stay up on all four feet." You could say Fire Mt. Destiny has "a few quirks," admits owner and rider Gina Hall, of Carson City, Nevada. Even now at 17 years old, Gina always respects Destiny, because she doesn't put anything past him. But the 15.3-hand chestnut gelding has more than made up for his quirks with his extraordinary accomplishments on the endurance trails.

Gina's friend Wanda Myers told her about Fire Mt. Destiny when he was for sale as a two-year-old. Bred by Jackie Bumgardner of Ridgecrest, California, Destiny is by Sierra Fadwah +/ (1992 AERC Hall of Fame horse, 7280 AERC miles, 87 for 87 record) out of a L.a.s. Talasman+/ mare.

Wanda had owned L.a.s.Talasman+/, an extraordinary endurance horse with a 4850-mile, 86 for 86 record, who traces back to the Bezaleel line (sire of Bezatal, 1987 AERC Hall of Fame horse).

"I had been riding a Talasman daughter," Gina related, "and Talasman and Sierra Fadwah were half brothers (both out of Judhi by Bezaleel), so I went and looked at him with Wanda."

He was a rather unlikely looking super horse then. "When I saw him, I thought - really? He was so gangly, at that awkward two-year-old stage - big pot belly, ewe neck. Wanda kept saying, 'Yep! Yep! You're buying him for his bone and his bloodlines' - so that's why I got him!"

Destiny had been introduced to saddle and rider just a few times; but Gina took him home and turned him out and left him alone until he was 5, other than just trimming his feet and hand-walking him on hikes in the hills.

He was good-tempered and charmingly mischievous those years. "He started this thing that he still does to this day," Gina recalls. "When I'm leading him down the trail, he fiddles with my coat, or my hair. He used to grab at the hood on my coat. He kind of nuzzles me as we go down the trail."

When Destiny turned 5 and it was time to start the breaking and riding in earnest, Gina started him. "Well, I tried riding him. The first time, I took him over to Connie Creech's place. We worked him in the round pen a little bit, and I got on him. She was leading him around, and for whatever reason, he freaked out." Gina had to bail off. "I tried riding him a couple of other times in a friend's round pen, and he dumped me, HARD. I said - 'Oh, you are going to the trainer!'"

Destiny still kind of had Gina's number when he got back from the trainer, so her daughter Carolyn Meier rode him for a while. "What helped the most with him was putting a running martingale on him, because his trick was getting his nose up in the air, and he'd bolt with me and buck. And as soon as he couldn't do that (get his head up) - and the trainer put a pretty good mouth on him - I didn't have that problem anymore." Gina still doesn't let her guard down on him though, because he can still randomly test her with his shenanigans.

Destiny's first endurance ride was a Limited Distance ride at age 5 in June of 2002 in Nevada. Gina recollects the conditions were less than ideal. "The wind was blowing a thousand miles an hour, and I had a scoop on my saddle, and I had a crupper on. He tried to buck me off. I took the crupper off, and gave Connie my scoop; and after that, he was fine for the rest of the day, although we had a bunch of motorcycles to deal with too that day."

His first 50 miler was a month later at Red Rocks, also in Nevada. "It was a tough, long ride - we took a long time to do it. And it was super hot that year, 105 degrees - they ended up starting the ride an hour earlier because it was just too hot. But he did good."

The duo only did 3 50-mile rides that year, and Destiny only got better and better. "And I'd gotten more and more comfortable on him. My friends were all very helpful and supportive, helping take care of me while I got brave on him."

After starting and completing 8 50-mile rides the next season at age 6, Gina felt ready to try a 100-mile ride on him at age 7. It wasn't an easy 100 she picked, either. It was the the Virginia City 100 in and around historic Virginia City, Nevada.

The Virginia City 100 is known for its rocky, challenging terrain, heat, historic wagon trails, its 5 AM start in front of the Delta Saloon and the Bucket of Blood Saloon in downtown Virginia City, its unrelenting elevations between 5000 and 7800 feet, its SOB's (Sons of B*tches hills you hit during the heat of the day), and for some rather legendary horses and riders who have graced its trails over the (now) 47 years of its running.

Destiny handled the trails with ease the first time. "We did it in a little over 19 hours. He was just solid. He was a trooper." And he's only gotten better and better over the years on 100-mile rides. He's gone on to start and complete a total of 19 100-mile rides, including the Virginia City a total of 9 times.

In 2012, Gina and Destiny completed 3 100-milers: the Twenty Mule Team in February; the Tevis Cup in August; and Virginia City in September. That year, their eighth VC completion was one of Gina's best rides ever on Destiny. "I rode with Ann Hall on HCC Zara RR (no relation) the last 50 miles, and I never thought I would have that kind of horse on a 100-mile ride. I don't know if it was Ann or Zara or what, but our horses did unbelievably well on that last loop. I think we rode it faster than the winning rider did. And it was just awesome to finish (in 9th place, in 16:06) with a horse that felt so strong and good," Gina recalls.

Gina does have to carefully manage her horse. He has tied up with her before (muscle cramps), so she has to carefully monitor his feeding and training between endurance rides. "I really work on keeping him hydrated during rides, and between rides, I have to be super careful with his diet and exercise. He doesn't get to sit around very often; he has to get regular exercise. My daughter says I micromanage him, and that's okay! It works, and I've been real conservative with him."

Gina has carefully planned Destiny's 2014 ride season, with the Virginia City 100 in September as the centerpiece. Destiny is poised to become only the fifth horse to earn a 1000-mile VC Buckle (the last one was Beansprout in 1987). That puts Destiny up there on the same page with Donna Fitzgerald's legendary Witezarif, 1000-mile Buckle winner in 1978.

"It's going to be exciting!" Gina said. "I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that we finish. Destiny knows VC 100 - he just knows it. He knows where I want him to go, or where he knows it's okay to go - and he's just awesome. When he's 'On' for that ride, he's a ball.

"He's so awesome; I'm so blessed! I'll probably never have another horse like him. It's been a journey for sure, getting him to where he is, but he just seems to get better and better and better. I'm sad that he's going to be 17, but I think he's still got quite a bit of miles left in him, and time. And he loves it. He really likes the work."

You just might want to mark September 20th on your calendar, the day of the 47th annual Virginia City 100 ride, where a 17-year-old endurance horse with a record of almost 6500 miles, and a 108 for 109 start/finish record, an AERC Decade Team Award, and 19 100-mile completions, stands to make a little endurance history.

Merri Melde photos

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2013 AERC National Best Condition: Lori Windows and Ella N Fires Jane Doe

Sunday March 30 2014

Lori Windows of Wyanet, Illinois, and her 13-year-old mare Ella N Fires Jane Doe were the recipients of the 2013 AERC National Best Condition award. "Ella" and Windows finished the 2013 season with 12 completions in 13 starts, 7 first places, and 10 Best Conditions.

Highlight of their season was winning Best Condition at the 2013 AHA Distance Nationals, held in October near Chandlerville, Illinois. The ride almost didn't happen for the pair. Originally entered in the 100-mile AHA National ride, Windows woke up that morning to find her horse gone. She'd escaped from Ridecamp, and was found later in the day in someone's front yard twenty miles away, with her lead rope still on.

Ella didn't have a scratch on her, and officials allowed Windows to switch to the 50-mile ride the next day. Not only did the pair win the Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian Division, but they won Best Condition - the 10th BC of Ella's season (and 22nd of her career), contributing to her National Award.

Ella N Fires Jane Doe is a 3/4 Arabian, 1/4 Saddlebred mare, by the Arabian stallion ChariotsoffireNVF, out of Bay Ella-Gance.

Windows got Ella from a girl who was going to college, and she didn't have time for the then-5-year-old mare. "She was broke," said Windows, "but she was a handful, and the girl was afraid that somebody would get her and not be able to handle her."

Ella did one year carrying one of Windows' friends in novice (CTR) rides, and then the next year Ella and Windows started doing endurance.

Now, with four seasons of endurance and over 2600 miles under her girth, Ella is an experienced endurance horse, but she's still a horse for an experienced rider. "Some horses love to run but they don't know when it's time to slow down, or when it's time to stop. This horse loves to run, but fortunately she's smart enough that she never hurts herself." And she takes good care of herself in the vet checks and on trail, eating and drinking, which Windows feels is why she does so well at Best Condition.

"She just takes care of herself. I feel I am just a passenger on this incredible horse!"

Friday, February 14, 2014

American Endurance Riders Set the Gold Standards

Friday February 14 2014
by Merri Melde

This is why I'm proud to be an endurance rider in America:

In light of the FEI endurance racing scandals over the last year, which center over the Group VII (Middle East) countries and their shocking rates of alleged rule infractions, dopings, and fractures on the flat-course 50-mile, 75-mile, and 100-mile races, endurance riders and horses from the country where the sport of endurance riding originated - here in America - shine and carry on the original tradition of the sport.

Honoring horsemanship and longevity, and embracing the motto, "To Finish is To Win," the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference), rewards riders and horses who reach impressive milestones throughout their long-lasting careers.

Riders receive patches for their benchmarks of 250 miles, 500 miles, 750 miles, 1000 miles, and every thousand miles after that.

Limited Distance horses (35 miles and under) receive certificates and medallions every 500 miles. Endurance horses (50 to 100 miles) receive certificates and medallions every 1000 miles, a blanket at 5000 miles, and a plaque for 6000 miles and further 1000-mile increments. The Decade Team award is given to the horse and rider pairs that complete at least one 50-mile ride every year for ten years.

American endurance riding encompasses all levels of riders and competitions, from beginners to old-timers, from the Limited Distance rides to 1-day and multi-day endurance rides (of 50 miles each day), from the international rider who rides to win, to the national rider who wants to finish mid- or back-of-the-pack and rack up miles with their horse over the decades. AERC includes them all.

The longevity is the primary facet that sets American endurance riding far above the rest of the countries around the world. Without question, longevity takes skill: skill in riding, and in managing a horse day-to-day and year-to-year-to-decade.

Seven hundred seventy-five endurance riders have reached the 5000-mile threshold. Thirteen of them have over 30,000 miles (to give you a rough idea, if you rode around the United States, from Miami to New York to Seattle to Los Angeles to Miami, that would be about 8,000 miles). Trilby Pederson, who did her last ride in 2004, is at the top of the list with 60,500 miles. Behind her in second, and still riding, is Dave Rabe, with 58,192 miles. Dave's career is all the more impressive when you take into account the serious head injury he sustained just a year ago. Of the forty 20,000-mile endurance riders, five of them are international riders, showing that they, too, excel in their riding competence and in managing their horses while competing at the top levels.

While it's impressive for an endurance rider to last many decades in the saddle - even through life and family and career changes, with different horses and opportunities - it's the high career mileages of the American endurance horses that exhibit the true epitome of this American sport of endurance riding over all kinds of challenging and technical terrain, from sand to mud to rocks, through canyons and rivers, over hills and mountains.

Nine hundred sixty-five horses have reached 3000 miles (to give you perspective, New York to Seattle is about 2900 miles; at a high average of 500 miles per year, an average endurance horse would take roughly 6 years to reach 3000 miles). One hundred twenty-four horses have reached 6000 miles. Twenty horses have reached 10,000 miles. At 22,280 miles, Les Carr's Tulip is at the top, lasting a 20-year career. It's almost incomprehensible. Additionally, at least 232 horse-and-rider pairs have achieved Decade Team status.

There are horses in this sport that do win, often, and still continue on to long endurance careers. They set the standards for winning, finishing, and durability. Two of them are legends: Witezarif and RO Grand Sultan+//.

In the 1970's, the incomparable Witezarif and Donna Fitzgerald won the 100-mile Tevis Cup six times. The pair won the Virginia City 100 five times (Witezarif won it again with another rider). Witezarif's mileage record stands at 5044. He started on the endurance trails at age 5 and retired at age 20 - 16 years of endurance.

In the 1980's and 90's, Becky Hart and RO Grand Sultan +// won the Tevis Cup twice. They dominated the world: they won the World Endurance Championships three times (1988 - USA, 1990 - Sweden, 1992 - Spain). "Rio"'s
record stands at 10,005 miles, and his career spanned 17 years, from age 5 to 21.

Part of AERC's mission is "to attract and reward members who act to insure the highest priority for their horses' immediate and long-term physical and emotional health and well-being."

All of these high-mileage horses (3000 miles and up) and high-mileage riders (5000 miles and up) represent exactly the success of this mission. Their accomplishments - the quintessence of our endurance riding sport in America - exhibit the extraordinary horsemanship and teamwork needed between horse and rider to accomplish such high mileage over long-term careers.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Jaziret Bey Musc, 1991 - 2013

January 24 2013

The endurance trails are short one mighty endurance horse. Jaziret Bey Musc was put down Friday after a bout with cancer.

Owned by Steph Teeter, Rhett was sound and snorty and fit to the end, with his final endurance ride being over his Idaho home trails, in November's Owhyee Chills No Frills ride, where Steph earned her 15,000 miles on him.

By Scooter Bey Musc out of Justy Karliya, by Witez, the 23-year-old gelding takes with him a record of 6520 AERC endurance miles. Always pulling on the reins and always carrying his tail like a flag in the air, Rhett conquered the old Outlaw Trail, the Pony Express Trail, and earned a Tevis buckle (at age 19), and a cover shot on the Endurance News magazine. He takes with him the admiration of those rode him and the hearts of those who knew him.

Story on Rhett:
Jaziret Bey Musc: Too Much Horse

Videos on Rhett getting his 6000 miles with Steph in Idaho:
6000 Miles for Rhett, Part I

6000 Miles for Rhett, Part II

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mustang Extraordinaire: Lady Jasmine

November 18 2013

Whatever you do, don't call her little.

This 13.2-hand originally-wild now-17-year-old mustang mare has already accomplished more than most horses have in their entire careers.

Janet Tipton, of Erda, Utah, didn't even pick out the 3-year-old at the Logan wild horse adoption in 1999. The mare who was destined to become Lady Jasmine picked her.

"I didn't want a mare - I'd never had a mare before," Janet said. Her husband Cliff had his eye on a different mustang, "but she kept watching at me as I walked around the building." That's how Lady Jasmine, who'd come off the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area near Ely, Nevada, came to be part of the Tipton family.

She'd been rounded up about 6 months earlier, and was unbroke. Janet and Cliff started working with her at home, and the first thing they noticed was not her size, but her big attitude: "She was kind of very dominant!" Janet said. "She ran over the top of me the first day I worked with her. Her attitude was like, 'I don't care how big you don't think I am!'"

Cliff started her under saddle, which went fairly well, at first. On the third ride, she bucked Cliff off. Twice.

"So, we went back to square one with her. We worked on some things, fixed some things that needed fixing." Cliff rode "Ladybug" for a year before Janet started riding her. Those two spent a lot of time and a couple of years trail riding, getting to know each other; and meanwhile, Janet had cast her eye on the sport of endurance riding.

"I did a ride on a friend's horse in 1999 and was hooked on the sport, but spent the next 5 years reading and studying everything I could get my hands on. And also to build my nerve up." Janet figured Ladybug would have the right attitude for endurance.

The pair finally debuted together on the endurance trails at the Strawberry Fields Pioneer ride in April of 2004. They completed the 30 mile ride on Day 1 and the 25 mile ride on Day 3: "We barely finished in time, but Ladybug had all A's" on her vet card." The rest, you can say, is endurance history.

In the October 2013 Moab Canyons endurance ride in Utah, Ladybug became the highest mileage Limited Distance AERC endurance horse ever, with 3985 miles.

And a few weeks later on November 9, in her last ride of the 2013 season, the Owyhee Chills No Frills, while finishing 4th on the 25-mile ride, Ladybug reached 4010 LD miles, and won her 20th Best Condition award. (Her first Best Condition award was in 2007 at the Owyhee Fandango.)

finishing the OCNF - Photo by Sandy Smallwood

Her record currently stands at 154 completions in 156 starts (the pulls were a rider option, and an overtime).

The pair has done 1 60-mile, and 4 50-mile endurance rides over the years. Since Janet is a heavyweight rider, and Ladybug is not "little," but 13.2 hands, Janet is careful to pick the longer distance rides out for her.

Ladybug has about an 8 miles-per-hour average trot. She'll willingly go alone or in company, in front of a group, or in the middle, or behind, though she doesn't love being last. "Everybody knows the last horse will get eaten!"

But Ladybug is not only adept at the sport of endurance. She's also competed and participated in Extreme Cowboy Challenges, dressage, drill teams, and parades; she's been a lesson horse, a pony horse for kids, and she's pulled carts, "though she doesn't like that much. Ladybug LOVES to chase cows too," Janet said. "I have done cattle sorting on her and she is awesome. Always seems to know the cow we are after."

The mustang breed has become the centerpiece of the Tiptons' lives. In 2003, the Tiptons formed the IWHBA (Intermountain Wild Horse & Burro Advisors), an adopter support and mentoring non profit for people with mustangs. Over the years the organization has gentled, trained and placed over 200 mustangs and burros.

It was all thanks to Ladybug. "Ladybug was our try first mustang and the start of so many wonderful adventures for us. Not just the distance riding trail but in the wonderful people we have met along the way and the amazing places we have visited.  She has given and shown us so much that we find ourselves wanting to pass that along.

"The ultimate thrill for me is when someone comes up to me at a ride and says they adopted a mustang because of Ladybug. What an ultimate compliment and so very awesome."

Over her 10 seasons of endurance competition, Ladybug has done rides in Utah, Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and California. "She tends to do best at multi-days. She just gets stronger every day." Janet's goal over the coming years with her mustang is to make the Decade Team - riding your horse in an AERC-sanctioned 50 mile+ endurance ride for at least ten ride seasons.

This big-hearted mustang with the Big Attitude will surely accomplish just that.

Photos by Merri Melde

Monday, November 11, 2013

Owyhee Chills No Frills: Three Dinks

Monday November 11 2013

You wouldn't think that 8 months into the endurance season we'd be riding 3 green unbroke horses.

That's about what it was like on loop 1 of the last local ride of the endurance season, the Owyhee Chills No Frills ride put on by Regina Rose.

Steph rode her unbroke 2-year-old (OK, 22-year-old) 6400+ mile gelding Rhett, Amanda rode her unbroke 2-year-old (OK, 7-year-old) gelding Chant, and I rode John's beloved unbroke 2-year-old (OK, 9-year-old) mare Sunny on the 50-mile ride.

Rhett was being a total Dink for Steph, head up in the air, yanking her arms out of her sockets, and trying to sprint the entire course. Chant was being a total Dink for Amanda, although I couldn't see what exactly he was doing because Sunny was being a total Dink beneath me, cantaloping, trolloping, jigging, gaiting, be-bopping, jigalotting, jigaloping, and pogo sticking her way along.

At one point halfway through the loop (you know, when they should have been getting a little tired and settling down), the three of us got off and walked our horses a half-mile, ostensibly to 'stretch our legs' but really to give our horses a little mental time to unwind a bit, and let another group of riders move on out of our sight.

We bounced along very familiar trails along the Snake River, around Wild Horse Butte, and over the Oregon Trail, but a lot of it was a blur. Didn't seem to take much out of the horses though, as Sunny pulsed down at the vet check at 44, and Rhett pulsed down at 48. Rhett is never 48!

Instead of vetting, Robert was for the first time crewing for Amanda, and he sent her out on loop 2 on time. Steph and I were… delayed for reasons that have to do with Betty White.

It's a good thing the second 25-mile loop was a repeat of the first loop, because I didn't see much of the first loop, for trying to stay on my twerking horse.

Amanda and Chant ended up on their own ahead of us for 8 miles or so on loop 2, and Sunny and Rhett were Born Agains on loop 2: mature, seasoned endurance horses, trotting along purposefully on a loose rein. Sunny can be so dramatic at times, but here on loop 2, I was riding a totally different horse. In fact, someone should check her tattoo number, because maybe I was riding a different horse, I'm not sayin'.

They were both so relaxed and easy I got to witness some pretty spectacular scenery. Sure, we've all done the Snake River/Wild Horse Butte loop many times; but this time of year, the Snake is particularly deep blue, flanked with golden grass and the white-leaved Russian olive trees and spotlit by the autumn-angle of the sun in the sky.

It was around the picture-worthy Snake River Russian olive trees where we turn away from the Snake that Amanda and Chant caught up with some other riders, and we caught up with Amanda and Chant; and we three went back to riding our DINKS for a while. But once the other riders moved on out of sight, soon our Dinks settled down again, and we were back on our fabulous Loop 2 horses.

Regina had even found new trails for us (after 7 years or so of these Owyhee rides), over new pieces of Oregon trail complete with old original wagon ruts, and up a nice previously-undiscovered winding wash. We three picked up a nice gallop for a ways on a two-track dirt road, 3 perfectly behaved horses on loose reins, galloping through the golden Owyhee afternoon. Steph said, "I'm sure glad to be us right now!" The horses thought so too!

We were back in camp for the finish before we knew it, eating Regina's delicious homemade soup that perfectly hit the spot, and the horses diving into their alfalfa and grain.

It was a great season-ending ride (again!). 18 of 20 finished the 50 mile ride, with Beverly Gray and Jolly Sickle winning, and Karen Steenhof (2nd place) and HMR Redstone (Rusty) won BC. 9 of 10 finished the 25, with Cortney Honan and Splendid SR winning, and Janet Tipton and Lady Jasmine getting BC. Thanks Regina, and thanks Dr Matt Dredge for driving 3 1/2 hours to vet the ride!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Zayante, 2013

November 7 2013

Destined for the Arabian show ring in the early 1980's, but instead picked up for $100 by a horse trader because of an unpaid board bill at the now-defunct Baywood Arabians, the paper-less gray gelding nicknamed "Paco" first started his working life as a pack horse in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

A lucky twist of fate landed the gelding - renamed Taco - on the Fire Mt Arabian ranch of Jim and Jackie Bumgardner, in Ridgecrest, California, in 1990. Lucky, because he ended up where he was meant to be: on the endurance trails.

He shortly found a home with Bob and Julie Suhr, in Scotts Valley, California. "We put him in a corral overlooking Zayante Canyon, named after an Indian tribe that once inhabited it," Julie said. "Taco let out this gigantic bugle call to tell everyone he was here and he had a new name as of that moment."

For five seasons, Bob and Julie owned and rode their Superhorse, who went 5000 miles without a pull – that’s 89 straight rides, on distances of 50 to 100 miles, including 4 straight Tevis finishes, 42 Top Ten finishes, and 5 Best Condition awards. He gave the Suhrs' daughter Barbara White - she's the leading finisher of the Tevis Cup, with 32 buckles - her 20th Tevis completion in 1994.

It was the 1992 Tevis ride on Zayante that was one of the fondest memories of Barbara's life. She recalls: "Except for passing two other riders, I rode those miles from Francisco's to the finish line alone. It was so strange to be out there in the dark by myself, on a bright white horse who wanted to go with such eagerness. I remember frequently slowing him down and turning a flashlight on my heart monitor to make sure his pulse was still recovering, then letting him go again.

"It was a special night for me - warm, moonlit, and solitary, except for Zayante. And, except for the sound of the river and his footsteps, it was quiet and personal. It didn't seem that it could be the very same day that had started out in a mad rush of horses from the point of beginning, full of trail gridlock, jumpy animals, nervous people. Instead it was a very special evening, not an organized event, just me and a very special equine partner racing through the darkness to a finish line in Auburn.

"I get emotional simply reminiscing about that magical night."

In 1995 Bob and Julie decided to sell Zayante because he was rather spooky. They offered him back to Jackie Bumgardner, under the condition that she no longer call him Taco.

Jackie and Zayante continued on Julie’s original quest to reach 100 rides without a pull. Not only did they accomplish this; in Zayante’s 100th ride, the Gambler’s Special in April of 1996, Zay and Jackie finished in first place.

Jackie and Zayante hitting 10,000 miles in the Geo Bun Buster on March 16, 2002

Zayante went on to reach 13,200* miles, 5th on the all-time mileage list, over his 15-year career. His record stands at 241 completions in 252 starts, with 20 of 25 100-mile rides completed, and 5 Best Condition awards. He excelled in multi-day rides, and he gave 19 different lucky riders memorable rides over his career.

After he retired in 2005, he lived at Jackie Bumgardner's ranch until 2011, when his best buddy, Sierra Fadrazal +/ (8430 miles, Pardner's Award with Jackie in 1998) died. Then he went to live with Nick Warhol and Judy Long in the Bay Area of California, until November 5, 2013, when he passed on from a bout of colic.

He was probably born in 1979 or 1985, which would make him 34 or 28.

Zayante, you will be forever missed.

*Zayante's AERC records say 13,200; the list of high-mileage equines says 13,255.


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