To Finish Is To Win

American Endurance
Ride Conference

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AERC Awards Programs


Career Programs

Regional Awards

National Awards

Breed Awards


Career Programs - Awarded for lifetime achievement. 

Rider Mileage Program: Upon completion of 250 endurance miles, riders receive a Rider Mileage patch and a 250 mile chevron. Additional chevrons are awarded at 500, 750, and 1000 miles and at each additional 1000 miles. Riders achieving these mileage plateaus are acknowledged in Endurance News. 

Equine Mileage Program: Horses will receive a medallion for each 1000 miles completed. Plateaus are acknowledged in Endurance News. 

Limited Distance Rider Mileage Program: Upon completion of 250 miles of limited distance rides, riders receive a Limited Distance Rider Mileage patch and a 250 mile chevron. Additional chevrons are awarded at 500, 750, and 1000 miles and at each additional 1000 miles. Riders achieving these plateaus are acknowledged in Endurance News. 

Limited Distance Equine Mileage Program: Upon completion of 500 miles in Limited Distance sanctioned rides, the equine will be awarded a medallion. Additional medallions are awarded at 1,000 miles, and every 1,000 miles thereafter. Plateaus are acknowledged in Endurance News. 

Note: Upon request to the AERC office, members may recover mileage for AERC sanctioned rides completed prior to joining. Restored mileage applies to career totals. Contact the AERC office for information about adding back mileage to rider and/or equine records. 

Miles continue to accumulate as long as an individual remains a current AERC member. Should membership lapse, rides completed while the individual is a non-member will not be credited. Upon renewal, mileage will resume accumulating as of renewal date. Miles completed during the non-member period can be reclaimed (see paragraph above). 
 
 


Regional Awards

Regional Awards are those earned by riders from each of AERC's regions.

Regional Point Standings are based on riders in each region earning the most Weight Division and Overall points (includes Seniors not placing in a weight division).

Within the Senior Division (over 16 years of age) there are 4 weight divisions: 

Featherweight: combined body weight and tack is 160 lbs or below
Lightweight: combined body weight and tack is 161 to 185 pounds
Middleweight: combined body weight and tack is 186 to 210 pounds
Heavyweight: combined body weight and tack is 211 pounds or higher 

Scoring: Calculated on a single horse and rider team. Each rider receives 2 sets of points; one for placement in their weight division and one for overall placement. Due to each region having a varying membership count, the ranking is based on the top 5% of a region's membership or 10, whichever is smaller. 

Some regions will have a greater number of weight division placements, while all regions will have a top 10 overall placement. Some riders will score only enough points to place top ten in the regional overall standings but fail to score enough to place within their weight division. This occurrence is reported as "Senior Not Placing in a Weight Division." Riders placing in their weight division and/or overall will receive an award, usually an embroidered vest or jacket. 

Junior Division: A junior rider is 15 or younger as of the first day of the AERC ride season (December 1). A junior rider must ride in the company of a sponsor who is 21 years of age or older (see Section 10 of AERC Rule Book). Juniors receive points for placement in the Junior Division, but are not considered for overall placements. All regions will list top 3 juniors. Each junior rider making the list at year end will be receiving an award, usually an embroidered vest or jacket. 

Regional Limited Distance Mileage Championship: The regional LD mileage awards are for those riders who have accumulated at least 100 limited distance miles on one equine. These awards are for the top seven senior riders and top three junior riders (regardless of ties) in each region who have accumulated the minimum number of limited distance miles on one horse. The actual award will be the same given that year to the regional high point endurance riders receiving weight division awards. 

Regional Best Condition: Honors the top 5 horses winning Best Condition throughout the season. Points are awarded on a per mile basis, not vet scores. See Section 9.4 of the AERC Rule Book for an explanation of the point system. Best Condition points are not applied toward the overall point system. 

Regional Limited Distance Best Condition: Honoring the top 5 horses winning Best Condition throughout the season in limited distance rides. Points are awarded on a per mile basis, not vet scores. Best Condition points are not applied toward the overall point system. 

Rider Mileage Championship: Top 2 seniors and 1 junior with the greatest mileage accrued in that season are chosen as that region's mileage champions. A rider may ride up to 2 horses. This achievement is listed on their award jacket. 


National Awards

National Best Condition Award: The National Best Condition award is presented to the horse who has earned the most Best Condition points during the ride season (any number of riders). Top ten placements are awarded.

National 100 Mile Award: Honoring the Top Ten Senior horse/rider teams with the most points accumulated on one day rides of 100 miles or more. 

Junior National 100 Mile Award: Honoring the  top five Junior riders completing at least two one-day 100-mile rides in the ride season, based on mileage only. 

National Mileage Championship: Honors the top 10 senior and top 5 junior rider and horse teams with the most miles accrued during one season. This award is based solely on mileage. 

National Limited Distance Mileage Championship: Based solely on mileage on LD rides. Honors the top 3 Senior and top 3 Junior rider/horse teams with the most miles accrued during one season.

AERC National Championship: 50 Mile and 100 Mile Championship Rides. Check under Competition / National Championship Ride on the AERC website or contact office for current qualification criteria and location.

Kathy Brunjes Young Rider Award: Top 10 high-mileage senior riders between the ages of 14 to 21 on any number of equines who have met the minimum mileage requirement of 300 miles.

Bill Thornburgh Family Award Award: Honoring the family with the most miles completed. A family is a father and/or mother and one or more dependent children. The only rides that count toward this competition are those where at least one parent and one child start a distance at an event on the same day. For example, a parent could start the 100 and a child the LD at an event offering both. If either is pulled, the miles for the finisher will be counted. Miles for a dependent are included up until the 21st birthday but not after. Top 10 families acknowledged.  

Bob and Julie Suhr Spouse Award, previously known as the Bob and Julie Suhr Husband & Wife Team Award: Honoring the top 10 married couples with the most points accumulated on any number of horses. This award is for any married couple with a marriage license (common-law marriages do not count). If one spouse has less mileage, his/her total must be at least one-third of the total miles for the team. Ten placings acknowledged.

Bill Stuckey Award: Honoring the rider 65 years of age or older who completed the greatest number of miles (any number of horses). One placing acknowledged. Top 3 riders acknowledged. 

Jim Jones Stallion Award: Honoring the stallion with the most miles completed during the ride season (any number of riders). Top 10 stallions awarded. 

War Mare Award: Based on the most overall placing points accrued by the same mare/rider team during one season (seniors only). Top 10 acknowledged; plaque awarded for the first-place War Mare.

Pioneer Award: For most points on a multi-day event (3-5 days, 155 miles or more). Qualification is a cumulative score horse and rider team per event. All days of the ride must be completed to receive points. Three placements awarded per weight division, including juniors. 

Specialized Saddles Rookie Award: Open to riders in their first year of AERC competition. See Rookie Award page for complete details.

Pard'ners Award: Rider and horse perform together as a mutually bonded team. Rider and horse engender a spirit of friendship, enthusiasm and championship that makes those around them glad to have attended the ride. However competitive they may be, good sportsmanship remains their first priority. Horse and rider take care of each other. Together horse and rider personify the prevailing and abiding goal of AERC "To Finish is to Win." This award was established in honor of the late Mae Schlegel. Selection is made by nomination and announced at annual Awards Banquet. Recipient receives keepsake plaque and name of horse and rider engraved onto perpetual trophy. 

Hall of Fame -- Equine and Member : The AERC Hall of Fame honors lifetime achievements by recognizing outstanding performances or outstanding contributions to the sport or to AERC. Nominations are made by ballots submitted by members to the Hall of Fame Committee. These awards are announced at the annual Awards Banquet. 

Ann Parr Trails Preservation Award: This award, first given in 2012, honors the member who has worked tirelessly for equine trails. This award may not be given every year.

AERC Volunteer Service Award: This award is established to honor an AERC member who has devoted an extraordinary amount of volunteer effort, time and service on behalf of the AERC for many years. This award may not be given every year. The recipient receives a keepsake plaque.

Perfect Ten (Equine Only): Created in 1997 and sponsored by Joe Long, past president, former Southeast Region director, and member of the Hall of Fame. The equine must have competed for 10 years, and accumulated at least 10,000 miles, 10 first place finishes and 10 best conditions.



Breed Awards Breed awards are given at the discretion of each individual breed association. Contact your breed association for details. Click for the current AERC breed awards page.

 

Updated 3/18/20