Amazing Backcountry

SUBMITTED BY BRENDA MURDOCK
Stars Cash Hunt

Alberta entrepreneurs Brenda Murdock and Scott Phillips have stepped out into the international scene with their Global Equine Geocaching website, Amazing Backcountry – a world-wide network of equine enthusiasts who enjoy the fun and adventure of exploring backcountry trails on horseback.

Geocaching is a sport where people search for hidden objects or caches by using coordinates that have been posted on the internet. There are a handful of geocaching websites out there with thousands of users all over the world but, “What separates us from the rest,” says Murdock, “is that Amazing Backcountry specifically caters to the horse enthusiasts.”

Scott and Brenda have designed the website to integrate rider-to- rider interaction, rider profiles through which you share your journeys to each cache through pictures and stories, and a trail database. The rider network revolves around the two core principles of sharing information, and connecting with other riders on the trail.

Of great interest to users, the trail database is an extensive collection of worldwide equestrian trail specifications. This includes locations, staging and camping areas. The database also features a rider updated photo library, interesting facts, and information on the history or geology of areas all over the world.  If you’re going on a holiday, you can easily go on the site and see what caches are in that area and what kinds of trails are available with the push of a button.

Phillips shares, “Our goal is to bring all riders together so that we can share our knowledge and passion of the trails we love to ride. This is also a great way to network with riders in other areas, and even other countries!”

The world has so many incredible places to explore on horseback. There are people that regularly ride favorite trails, and those that are always yearning to explore new territory. Amazing Backcountry caters to everyone. There are no age restrictions, skill requirements, or preference toward any discipline.  Ride where and when you want to.  As an Amazing Backcountry Rider, armed with your Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and trail information, your goal is to use your ingenuity to locate hidden caches, or hide one yourself for others to find.

There are also fundraising opportunities available to registered Not-For-Profit (NFP) organizations through Amazing Backcountry.  NFP’s can use groups of caches to support a fundraising effort. Amazing Backcountry Riders who are part of your fundraiser find sponsors to donate to your organization in a competition to see who can raise the most.  2012 saw Amazing Backcountry participants raise $19,300 for STARS!

The Amazing Backcountry Race for STARS fundraiser will be taking place again this summer, running from late June to early September. “What makes it even more fun this year is that participants can hide their own caches for it” says Brenda.

Head over to the website and check it out at www.amazingbackcountry.net.


Hikes, Trails and More Arizona Go-Sees

Meet the Mantracker

Fans of the television show, MANTRACKER, know that the star of the show is Terry Grant – an Albertan who has been a full time ranch cowboy for over 25 years.  Grant is an expert horseman and wilderness professional to whom hunting, guiding and tracking come second nature.

Now you can meet MANTRACKER face to face, at the Alberta Trail Riding Association (www.atra.ca) meeting at 7:30 pm on November 18th, 2010, held at the Ardrossan Recreation Complex (80 -1 Ave).  Tickets will only be sold at the door, and only 400 will be made available.  Ticket prices are $20 for Non-members, $10 for 4-H and Pony Club members, and free to ATRA members (forms online or at the door).  All proceeds will be donated to Alberta Search and Rescue (http://saralberta.ca).  Terry Grant will be available for pictures and autographs afterwards.

Riders Saddle up for a Cure

The Vancouver Memorial Trail Ride against Cancer was held on August 21 at the Craig Creek Ranch in Nanoose Bay. We kicked the event off Friday night with a wonderful BBQ of smoked chicken. Smoker was donated by A.A. Texas BBQ, chicken donated by Whitta Farms, beef by Quality Foods, Corn by Silver Meadow Farms. All were cooked to perfection by Gerd Voight and his crew. We had 160 people join us that night. The diners were treated to a magical performance by Nano and her 22yr old horse Viscount as well as the Coombs Country 4-H Musical Drill Team.

We had 80 riders reply to the invite and they helped raise $20,000 to date with still more pledges coming in. Job well done everyone! All money raised goes to Cancer Research for the cure.

Photo Courtesy: Maureen Provencal

Photo Courtesy: Maureen Provencal

We had a beautiful day to ride a nice breeze and the common goal. I will always hold the picture in my head of all the trailers parked with horses tied waiting to be saddled up. You can view those pictures as well at www.provencalphotography.com.

Photo Courtesy: Maureen Provencal

Photo Courtesy: Maureen Provencal

On behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Silver Spur Riding Club, I would like to send out a grateful thank you to all of the wonderful Sponsors and volunteers and last but not least the riders who gave up their time to spend a day with us and make this event the success it was.

~Sue Sheppard

Photographer: Maureen Provencal

Ride for the Troops

The Edmonton Garrison Saddle Club hosted an approx 13 km trail ride on Canada Day to raise funds for the Soldier On fund. The trail ride is designed for all levels of riders. Riders are asked to raise  pledges and pay a  registration fee to cover the operating costs.

We raised almost $5000.00 in our first year. That is amazing and a testement to all the hard work by the planning committee and riders. Can’t wait to see what happens next year. Everyone said they had a great time and would recommend it to others. All the horses and riders did well, and for many of them it was their first real trail ride. Please post your pics on this page and the Edmonton Garrison Saddle Club group page if you have some. Thank you all for making it such a great day!

Mark your 2011 Calendars to participate in this wonderful family event and help make a difference for our TROOPS and their families. The trails were peaceful and people friendly as the old West! It was a wonderful visit “ A day late but a very enjoyable make up ride as we chatted about future events for the Garrison Saddle Club. We experience several types of terrain; our horses enjoyed a full field of Alpha Grass to a Tepee. Every one of the actual Ride worn RED and our Horses proudly wore the Yellow Ribbon the next day, we have come to know and respect. I have to admit a civilian cannot ride on the base without great thoughts of the many soldiers and their families’ sacrifices that have been at grace for us. The weather was perfect as if God himself wished it just right!

~ Submitted by Lynn Danyluk

Vancouver Island Memorial Trail Ride Against Cancer

We received this note and photos from Susan Sheppard and wish to share it with WHR viewers.

“We are a small riding club based out of Coombs, Vancouver Island B.C.  As we lose more trails every year my vision is to let the general public see what horse owners are doing to make a difference in peoples lives. For people to notice we need numbers to ride so I am hoping the more that see the info the more will come and ride.  To date the riders have brought in more than $170,000.”

This will be the 13th year of the Trail Ride, this year hosted on August 21. Organizers would like to extend a huge thank-you to all of the dedicated volunteers and riders that have all made this happen and to date have raised over $170,000.  The Silver Spur Riding Club hosts this event with up to 100 equestrians participating.  The St. Columba Church Men’s Group provides an excellent breakfast for all.

The Ride formally known as the Bob Preuss Memorial Trail Ride is in memory of firstly Bob Preuss, a long time volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society in this area and the person who initially had the idea to hold a trail ride. Sadly Bob died in 2002.  This year participants are encouraged to remember friends and family lost to cancer and share memories of those special people.  Bring a photo of a loved one affected by cancer to add to the permanent memory board.

There will be a social evening & BBQ, Friday August 20 of BBQ chicken donated by Whitta Farms and cooked with the aid of AA Catering Texas BBQ and roast beef donated by Qualicum Foods.  Tickets are available $5.00 for riders and $10.00 for none riders.  Early registration available 6p.m.-8p.m.  After dinner stay for some entertainment on horseback. Camping available from Friday night on.

There are two trails for the riders to choose from, the first being the “River Ride” across Englishman River and through the trails of Top Bridge Regional Park.  The second is “Chuck’s Ridge” where riders get an amazing view!  There is also a shorter ride of about 2 hours for those who would prefer less time in the saddle.  There is an optional Poker Ride for those who wish to try their luck. A $5.00 PRE- REGISTERED PAID per hand or $10.00 per hand on day of ride.  Riders will start riding out at 8:00 with the last riders out at 10:30.  Check in begins at 7:00 a.m. on the 21st.  Camping is available.

After the ride all riders can enjoy a wonderful burger supplied by the White Spot Restaurant, Parksville.  You may also make donations and pick up pledge forms at the White Spot, Parksville.

This year, again, included in the great prizes from businesses all over the Island include a saddle donated by Buckerfields Country Store which is on display in Parksville.

Enjoy the ride, everyone!