Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Meet My Endurance Horse: Fire Mt Malabar

by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

Fire Mt Malabar
21-year-old Arabian gelding
owned by Lee Pearce
ridden by Lee Pearce and Naomi Preston
bred by Sue Robinson

8210 AERC Miles
48 Best Condition awards
2019 AERC Hall of Fame Equine

Knucklehead. Nutcase. Idiot. Wacko. Those were a few of the choice descriptions used for this gelding early in his endurance career. Watching him steadily trot down the endurance trail now with focus and poise, it’s hard to believe he’s the same horse.

In his early 50-mile endurance rides, Malabar tried to run off the first 25 miles. He’d occasionally throw in a spook, and he just was so powerful and fast, and on a 16-hand horse for an as-yet-to-be-experienced heavyweight rider, that can be a bit intimidating. “He was so hot, and he scared the hell out of me,” Lee says.

But over the years, and over the thousands of miles, they became a super team. After 2 seasons of conservative riding, the next year they picked up speed… and started picking up Best Condition awards. In 2011, they won AERC’s National Best Condition award. In 2016, Lee and Malabar passed 5000 miles together. By the end of 2016, they had 43 BC awards together.

Naomi started riding Malabar in 2017 at age 18. That year, Malabar compled over 900 miles, including back-to-back Pioneer 5-day rides at the Grand Canyon and Outlaw and the Virgin. Over the next two 900+ mile seasons, they added another 5 Best Condition awards.

You might say Malabar got a ‘second wind’ in his career with a lightweight rider, but you can’t ignore his genetics that most obviously have contributed to a super endurance horse. Out of the mare Malabar Dawn, he’s by the legendary endurance stallion Sierra Fadwah, whose get have well over 120,000 endurance miles.

And Malabar isn’t done yet!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Meet My Endurance Horse: ALA August Haziz

by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

ALA August Haziz
19-year-old half Arabian gelding
owned by Carol Brand

Sire: Black Pure Egyptian Arabian
Dam: Sweet pinto mare, part Welch part Thoroughbred, 1/4 Arabian
Bred by: Amy Heward
Foaled: August 16, 2000 (of course in August!)
Color: Black Tobiano Pinto

AERC Miles: 2566
LD Miles: 295

"We purchased August in Jan. 2007 as an unbroken 7-year-old for an endurance prospect for resale," Carol says. "We had him started under saddle and I began riding him on LDs that spring. I really liked him and he was doing well. I was thinking I had found my next horse and took him off the sales list.

"The following summer we had a client come to look at endurance prospects. I did not show her August....but she spotted him in the herd and started asking about him. Long story short...she bought him for the price of a year's worth of hay for the whole ranch...and I had to let him go. I cried...and then I cried off and on for the next two years.

"Then I called..
August was not the horse for her and she was willing to sell him back!
We traded two other horses for him and I got him back!!

"Over the years, August has become my one and only mount. We have now retired from buying, selling and raising endurance horses and he's my only horse.

"August is the kindest horse I have ever known. I believe he really likes me and looks out for me. He has been a wonderful endurance horse. We have done 100s and we have done LDs. Now we love trail riding and exploring the Owyhees.

"Now as he is about to turn 20 in August, and I will turn 71 in August, he is my perfect "little old lady horse".

August is always dressed in his formal evening attire. He is the personification of Mr. Carson, the butler on Downton Abby.

"I have never seen him roll in the mud. He is somehow always clean and dignified. He is the leader of his small herd, keeping everyone in line in his kind but forceful way.

"He's my horse, and I love him...and he loves me too!"