AERC to Investigate Horse Deaths at Endurance Ride


American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) President Mike Maul announced on Sept. 14 that his organization will investigate the deaths of two horses that were hit by a car after crossing the finish line on day seven of the Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Ride. The investigation will be conducted independently of the insurance investigation into the incident.

“An incident such as this during the ride or at the finish has never happened before in the 35-year history of AERC,” Maul said. “All incidents, whether large or small, are investigated by the AERC with the purpose of making the sport safer for both riders and the horses participating in the event.”

Rider Teresa Wilcox suffered bruises and scrapes. Rider Sandy Olson suffered a dislocated hip and broken thumb. The horses they were riding died at the accident scene. Both riders were released from the hospital and returned to the ride site.

The Great Santa Fe Trail Horse Race is an 800-mile endurance ride completed over a 13 day period. The ride started in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 3 and ended in Missouri on Sept. 15.
“This is a terrible thing that has happened,” Maul said. “My heart goes out to the riders who were injured.”


  1. The Sante Fe Trail Ride was advertised for a year before it was held. They had plenty of time to cover all the bases neccessary to protect both horse and rider. At the finish line, the safety procautions should have been securily monitored. This could have been provented. I feel really bad for the girls and the loss of their beloved horses. The event organizer should be held completely liable.

  2. I have never approved of endurance rides. This is a tragic accident. The article doesn’t go into much detail on the accident and the circumstances. I’d like to know how these two horses came to be on the road. Why didn’t the riders see the car coming? More information needed to understand what happened.


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