Endurance horse riders hit the trails Jan. 20 in Apache Junction

A fast-growing equine sport, endurance riding, combines the appreciation for nature and a trail ride with the athleticism of extreme endurance sports. On Saturday, Jan. 20, riders will be hauling trailers from miles to converge on Apache Junction for the inaugural Tonto Twist 50 Endurance Ride.

The Tonto Twist 50 is the first endurance ride to be held in Apache Junction since 1991 and will support the Western heritage of the area. Base camp is at the Rodeo Park Event Center, 1590 E. Lost Dutchman Blvd. in Apache Junction.

The public is invited to cheer on the horses and riders as the course passes by Prospector Park three times during the day. The welfare of the horse is of utmost importance and veterinary examinations will take place before, during and after the ride. To further ensure the safety of the horses and riders, the course will be marked with ribbons and signs. Please do not remove any trail-marking ribbons or signs as doing so could put the participants at risk of getting lost and the horses missing water stops and becoming dehydrated.

A total of 100 percent of ride proceeds will be given to the Apache Junction Mounted Rangers www.ajmountedrangers.org, a nonprofit charity that supports local children and youth organizations. The Tonto Twist 50 is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, the national governing body for endurance riding.

More information is available at www.aerc.org. To become a ride sponsor or for more information about the Tonto Twist 50 Ride, contact ride manager Lancette Koerner at 480-650-3124 or e-mail TontoTwist50@gmail.com.

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