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Last updated 10/28/09, tms
The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. At the same time it has sought to avoid the rigidity and complexity so characteristic of many other equine disciplines.
From its beginnings in the American West, the AERC has spread roots both nationally and internationally. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America. In 1978 the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) recognized endurance riding as an international sport, and since that date the U.S. and Canada have regularly swept the team and individual medals. In 1993 Endurance became the fifth discipline under the United States Equestrian Team (USET).
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride, or "Tevis," covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage.
AERC Mission Statement: To promote the sport of endurance riding and to encourage and enforce the safe use of horses in demonstrating their endurance abilities in a natural setting through the development, use and preservation of trails. Further, AERC's mission is to maintain horse and ride records of event competition and completions, to record and provide awards to outstanding horses and riders, to ensure that all sanctioned events are conducted in a safe, fair and consistent manner, and to actively promote and conduct educational efforts and research projects that will foster a high level of safety and enjoyment for all horses and riders. The above is to be accomplished with the understanding that goals for the rider must be meshed with the abilities of the horse. 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.
AERC Vision Statement To be the preeminent authority and leader in developing and promoting the sport and pastime of endurance riding in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world.
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