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!

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