Gary R. Brown and Kherisma aka Boomer
100 Years Total as a Rider/Equine Team
Photo by Ross Tolman
Endurance rider Gary R. Brown and his 24-year-old gelding Kherisma joined a select group who have completed an American Endurance Ride Conference competition once the rider/equine team reaches 100 years. These Century Club members show the true dedication and lifelong enjoyment possible from the sport of endurance riding.
Here, Gary shares his story:
In 1996, when purchasing an Arabian mare for my wife, the seller threw in a 2-year-old gelding to sweeten the sale. This gelding had fair breeding. He is the grandson of Khemosabi, and also half-brother to my horse Rio who was a very stout horse at 14’2. He was also a grandson of Khemosabi.
Kherisma (“Boomer”) was a handful from the start. I couldn’t catch him even though he was halter broke and thus the name Boomer. But over the next two years he settled in and became attached to me. He also grew to about 15’3. I decided that I would use John Lyons’ approach for training. The process went very well. At about a week of ground work I was able to get on and off a few times with no problem. So, now it was time to move around the corral. He had other thoughts; and didn’t think so. No amount of encouragement would make him move. My wife brought her mare in, and then he would follow. There was no bucking or jumping around. Just a note, he has never bucked, but he can move sideways really fast.
In 2003, I was encouraged to start endurance riding by Bob Atherton and Don Swiatek. Both agreed that the horse I had been riding most of the time, Rio, was too small. I should use Boomer who was somewhat bigger. In the early spring of 2004 we started conditioning. That year we completed three LD rides and finished the year completing a 50 at Antelope Butte. The next few years were good while the vet check HR was 64. Then AERC and rides lowered the finishing HR to 60. With this change it took much longer for his HR to come down. His resting HR is 49. My wife said it was my fault because I didn’t condition him as I did the first few years which is probably true. He basically finished his endurance career with 715 endurance and 320 limited distance miles, 28 starts and 25 completions. He has never colicked or been lame.
For the years following his endurance career he became the trail horse of choice by me and many of my friends. A pack horse if needed and a horse that will go where other horses hesitate. This last winter I heard about the AERC Century Club. I took Boomer for a couple training rides to see if he could do an LD. He actually did nearly as good as my current endurance horse, except somewhat slower. We chose the Dorsey Creek 30-mile ride on 6/23/18. There were 16 starting horses with Boomer and I coming in 11th place in 4:51. I should say that I’m a HW with tack weighing around 280 lbs.
At 24 years old he could still be doing LDs for someone happy with middle-of-the-pack completions. I tend to be more competitive and strive to be in the top 10.
Note: Gary rode another 30 the day after his Century Club mark, on his Anglo Arabian mare, Hypnotic, foaled in 2005. In July, Gary and Hypnotic completed the Antelope Butte 50 in second place.
For more information about endurance riding and the American Endurance Ride Conference, visit https://aerc.org or phone the AERC office at 866-271-2372.