Angela Gross Kemerer and her Arabian mare Shae have completed FIVE 100-mile rides in their partnership, and they’re preparing for a return to the Vermont 100 in 2018. Horse Nation is tagging along for the ride!

The sport of endurance riding is the ultimate equestrian test of stamina. Horses and riders spend hours racing across rugged terrain covering 20, 50, or sometimes even 100 miles, checking in with veterinarians along the way to ensure that the equine team members are fit to continue. A “hundred mile horse” garners a great deal of respect in the endurance world, and for good reason: a horse capable of completing a 100 mile ride must be innately athletic with sound body and mind. Additionally, the sheer number of training miles put into such a horse can seem enormously daunting to average rider.

One of the best-known 100 mile races in the country is the Vermont 100, which began in the 1960s not as a race, but as a “fun trail ride.” By the late 70’s the ride had become a well-established 100 mile race, starting and ending in Woodstock, Vermont. The race was discontinued for several years in the 80s but made its triumphant return in 1988, and in 1989 a new feature that makes the Vermont 100 unique from all other hundred mile rides in the country was included: race organizers asked Laura Farrell, the first woman to complete a 100 mile ride and a 100 run, if she would like to participate in the race on foot. She immediately agreed and was joined by over 100 runners at the 1989 Vermont 100. Since then riders and runners tackle the course side by side in a dual endurance ride/ultra-marathon.

As an endurance runner, I have…