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Get Ready to Ride on the Airport Express

January 4, 2012

  © Houston Airport System
  George Bush Intercontinental Airport features 13,000 acres of groomed riding trails.
On a crisp February morning, nearly 100 riders on horseback will take off through the scenic trails of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

It’s part of the 2nd Annual “Airport Express Endurance Ride,” which will take place on Saturday, February 4 and Sunday, February 5, 2011.

“The two day event features a 25 and 50 mile ride on each day throughout 13,000 acres of groomed riding trails at George Bush Intercontinental Airport,” says Ronnie Pickard, director strategic planning – customer relations & special projects for the Houston Airport System.

Endurance riding is an athletic event for both horse and rider. The goal is to complete the marked trail within the time given, as established by the American Endurance Ride Conference standards.

All horses must pass a complete veterinary check before, during and after the ride. In addition, a 10+ mile “Fun Ride” is simultaneously hosted for those that are novice riders and would like to find out more about the sport of Endurance.

They also become more familiar with the beautiful airport trails and the Airport Ranger program.

“As a volunteer Airport Ranger we provide a low-key, additional layer of security,” said Darolyn Butler, Airport Express Ride Manager and Airport Ranger. “After a rigorous background check, we get a chance to ride in some of the most breathtaking areas of the state.”

The event raises funds for Houston based charitable 501 (c) (3) organizations, SIRE – Houston’s Therapeutic Equestrian Centers and the HAS Interfaith Chapels. This year marks a meaningful addition, making it the first of three commemorative rides in the Texas Mortl Challenge Series honoring April Mortl.

A variety of activities will also take place each day including educational demonstrations showcasing SIRE and HPD Mounted Patrol, as well as "Cowboy Karaoke". We are encouraging team sponsorships from area Chambers and businesses to compete for best overall team time and bragging rights.

So get your horse, saddle, chaps and helmet ready and sign up for the Airport Express Endurance Ride, we’ll make room for you at base camp.  For more information, click here.
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