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About AERC

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Want to find out more?
Call AERC toll-free: 866-271-2372 or

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Donate to AERC!
  • Trail Fund
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  • Research Fund
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AERC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Donations may be sent to the AERC office, P.O. Box 6027, Auburn, CA 95604.

Breed Awards Offered for Endurance Riding

All breeds of equines are welcome at AERC rides, and several organizations offer special awards to endurance horses. Below are the breed associations that typically offer specific awards as well as those with distance programs. Please contact the individual organization for further information by clicking on the breed association name. 

These awards are given by the breed associations, not the American Endurance Ride Conference, and are subject to change without notice. 


Breed Association Awards for AERC Rides


Akhal-Teke Association of America 

The Akhal-Teke/Akhal-Teke sport horse with the highest points earned in both limited distance and endurance will be awarded the ATAA bred award at the AERC convention. ATAA will provide an embroidered fleece cooler for each category. The Akhal-Teke/Akhal-Teke Sport horse must be registered with the ATAA and both member and horse must be current ATAA members to qualify for the award.

American Morgan Horse Association 

AMHA Morgan Open High Point Awards recognize the highest scoring Morgan in individual open competitions, regardless of the division the horse competes in. Points from classes open to all breeds may count toward this award. To be eligible for the AMHA Morgan Open High Point Award, show organizers must apply to the AMHA prior to the date of the show. 

The AMHA Trail Ride Awards recognize the highest scoring Morgan on approved trail rides, regardless of the division the horse competes in. Approved trail rides include those sanctioned by national trail ride associations, such as AERC, or those approved by the American Morgan Horse Association. To be eligible for the AMHA Trail Ride Award, ride organizers must apply to the AMHA prior to the date of the ride.

An AMHA-sponsored award is presented annually to the high-mileage Morgan. The horse must be competed under its registered name; must have proof of registration with the AMHA or Canadian Morgan Horse Association, and both the owner and rider must be AMHA members.

In 2012, AMHA began a Half Morgan Competition Program (HCMP) to allow horses with a registered Morgan sire or dam to be eligible for AMHA awards. There is an Endurance/Competitive Trail division. An initial enrollment fee and nominal renewal fees are required. 


Appaloosa Horse Club 

The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) offers several distance programs. Each year the High-Mileage Endurance Appaloosa Award is presented to the horse completing the highest number of miles in approved open endurance rides within a ride year. The High-Mileage Appaloosa of the Year Award goes to the horse with the highest combined endurance and competitive rides in a ride year. A Medallion is given to Appaloosas with 350 miles of 50-mile endurance rides during the ride year (December 1-November 30).  Fee for distance program participation is $25 (lifetime) per horse.

The ApHC sponsors a national championship endurance ride at various locations around the country. 

In addition, ApHC also has a distance program for current ApHC members. These lifetime awards, given since 1972, recognize horse completing endurance rides and/or LD rides with a Register of Merit award after 250 miles and a Superior Event Award after 500 miles.Those horses reaching 1,000 miles are eligible for the 1,000 Mile Award.


Arabian Horse Association 

The Arabian Horse Association offers several programs:

* Endurance High Point Program Awards, given for the 100-mile and 50-99-mile horses for registered Arabian and half-Arabian horses. (Individuals interested in the 50-99 mile category must submit an AHA Endurance Horse High-Point Middle Distance Award application form to AHA. Award presented at the AERC convention.

* Distance Horse of the Year Award, which recognizes significant accomplishments of a registered Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian in distance sports. Awarded at convention.

* Amateur Achievement awards program, modeled after their popular Achievement Awards program which tracks a horse’s performance, the amateur program assigns points to individual riders. Available for youth and adults. 

* Distance Horse Awards recognize completed miles in AERC competitions (awards plaques and mileage markers).

* Competitive Distance Program, with a multi-level prize and award system.

* Frequent Rider Program for recording training hours.


Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse

The Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse is dedicated to protecting and conserving the cultural legacy and genetic integrity of the Bedouin-bred Arabian horse. Their Drinkers of the Wind High-Point Performance Award recognizes horses competing in various disciplines, including endurance riding. A certificate is awarded for the first completion of each year. Participation requires enrollment via the website. The high point winner each year takes home a perpetual trophy; other prizes are awarded which may vary year to year.


Mustang Heritage Foundation

The Mustang Heritage Foundation is sponsoring a two awards for BLM Mustangs ridden by AERC members:

* High Mileage BLM Equine in Endurance. Given to the highest mileage horse and rider team (minimum 150 endurance miles) for each ride season. AERC rides 50 miles or longer count toward this award.

* High Mileage BLM Equine in Limited Distance. Given to the highest mileage horse and rider team (minimum 100 limited distance miles) for each ride season. AERC rides of 25 to 35 miles count toward this award.

To be eligible for the Mustang Heritage Foundation awards, riders must be current AERC members and the horse must be a BLM Mustang registered with AERC. A belt buckle will be given for the High Mileage awards for endurance and LD. 


The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program

The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (T.I.P.) will honor the High Mileage Endurance Thoroughbred and High Mileage Limited Distance Thoroughbred. Honorees will receive a Ribbon and T.I.P. logo bag. The Thoroughbred horse must be registered with The Jockey Club or a foreign Thoroughbred stud book recognized by The Jockey Club and all horses should have a T.I.P. Number to assist with proof of eligibility. Thoroughbreds competing in AERC are also eligible for The Jockey Club's Performance Awards. Click on links for more information on these programs. 


North American Shagya-Arabian Society 

In order to celebrate the outstanding achievements of horses with Shagya-Arabian blood, the North American Shagya-Arabian Society (NASS) has created the Radautzer Award for NASS-registered horses, owned by NASS members in good standing, competing in AERC rides. The inaugural award will be given in 2011, coinciding with NASS’s 25th anniversary.

Named after the horses from the famous Austrian military stud farm of Radautz (located in present-day Romania) a horse with exceptional courage and stamina in Europe received the highest praise if described as “tough as a Radautzer.”

Riders can find nomination forms and more details about the Radautzer Award scoring system at


Paso Fino Horse Association 

The Paso Fino Horse Association recognizes the recreational rider with the most combined LD and endurance miles each year. Riders may compete on any number of Paso Fino horses and must be AERC and PFHA members; all horses must be AERC- and PFHA-registered to be included.

PFHA also offers a pointed LD/Distance program wherein a horse may be awarded points for each ride which will be applied toward that horse’s PFHA Endurance Horse of the Year Award and the various PFHA Society of Merit Awards. Those riders not wishing to apply for points may count the hours ridden on each ride in their log for the PFHA Pasos for Pleasure Award Program.


Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' and Exhibitors' Association 

The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association offers LD and endurance programs. Points and miles are tracked and tabulated by AERC and three awards are presented annually at the AERC convention: High Mileage Limited Distance, High Mileage Endurance and High Point Endurance. 

To be eligible for these awards, participating horses must be registered Tennessee Walking Horses and the owners and riders of those horses must be current TWHBEA members. For more information contact Kristen Stegall at 931-359-0592 or visit the TWHBEA website.


United States Trotting Association 

The USTA’s Standardbred Equine Program has teamed up with AERC to present the Standardbred Endurance Award, to be awarded to the Standardbred that has the most miles ridden during the season. Both limited distance and endurance rides will be considered.

Since 1996, the Standardbred Equine Program has worked with off-the-track Standardbreds and their owners to educate the general public on the many disciplines at which Standardbreds excel once they are retired from racing.




Distance Riding Awards

American Paint Horse Association 

The American Paint Horse Association’s Ride America program rewards Paint Horse riders for the time spent in the saddle. Fourteen achievement levels, from 100 to 10,000 hours, earn you patches, certificates of achievement, and discounts on Ride America awards including clothing, tack and trail riding accessories.


American Quarter Horse Association 

The American Quarter Horse Association offers a horseback riding program, which rewards AQHA members for the time spent in the sadde riding AQHA-registered horses. After paying a one-time enrollment fee each year, members log hours spent in the saddle, turning in the log sheet before December 31 each year and are awarded prizes based on their hours riding.

American Saddlebred Registry 

The American Saddlebred Registry (ASR) and Half-Saddlebred Registry (HSRA) offer the ASHA Sport Horse Incentive Program. Horses registered with ASR or HSRA competing in international competitions, including endurance, are eligible for $15,000 in prize money based on their participation and performance. 

Based on scores submitted, horses will earn points in each discipline, which will determine their eligibility for prize money. Points can be earned at all levels of USEF- or FEI-recognized competitions.

To be eligible, horses must be ASR or HSRA registered, and must be nominated annually for a fee of $150 for the horse incentive program. 


Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry

The Foundation Appaloosa Horse Registry (FAHR) is dedicated to the protection, preservation, perpetuation and promotion of the true bloodlines of the Appaloosa horse. Horses registered with FAHR represent some of the purest Appaloosa horses to be found, as they must prove at least 75% Appaloosa blood within a five-generation pedigree.

FAHR offers both annual and lifetime distance awards, including the Nez Perce honor given to FAHR-registered horses who complete at least 400 endurance miles in a season, with bonus mileage given for best condition awards. The Buffalo Runner Horse goes to those completing 1,000 miles and the War Horse award is given after 2,500 miles.

The organization's Saddle Log program presents chevron bars for completion of mileage milestones for training and competition miles.


Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association 

The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association has a Trail Rider's Club. Riders earn KMSHA hats, t-shirts, halters and more.


National Spotted Saddle Horse Association 

The National Spotted Saddle Horse Association trail riding program honors hours spent riding NSSHA-registered horses on the trail.






Last Updated: 2/3/2015