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In Brief: Cheryl Van Deusen from USA

Name: Cheryl Van Deusen

From: From Florida, USA

I was born in Florida and returned about 20 years ago having traveled extensively through working in the hospitality and resort industry.

I grew up with horses on an orphaned Tennessee Walker gelding, then switched to Quarter Horses in the show ring (western pleasure and halter) and finally barrel racing as a teenager.
After earning a MBA, I was given an Arabian gelding as a graduation present from my father who was breeding black Arabian show horses. When I finished a Ph.D. in International Business and Strategy, my horse herd grew to seven including a black stallion. I enjoyed showing for several years but then my show horses and I were bored with going around in circles and over fences, and I discovered Competitive Trail and Endurance. We still show, but only the four year olds at the regional level and one or two at the national level for Sport Horse and Dressage. I’m a cradle until death kind of home with about 35 horses today, down from 74 at one point when we were standing four stallions.

Endurance World Cheryl Van Deusen. Side by side.No longer breeding, I am selective about where our horses go, looking for lifetime homes with a great fit between the horse and its new owner.
The biggest challenge that I face is having a great career as a university professor and finding the time to keep a string of endurance horses fit to compete. We joke about the ‘ride a month’ club in that if each of my equine partners can get to a ride every 30 days, they stay fit, although not racing fit.

The real challenge is getting away from all of the volunteer work and time-consuming activities such as managing three FEI (now four) events each year along with four other national rides and two rated horse shows for Arabians and dressage! It’s a team effort, but the up-front paperwork and follow up will choke you! We are very proud of having built up a strong base of young riders from the USA South East zone motivating other zones to follow our lead!  Check out www.usaseendurance.rocks. If I stay home, other things get in the way of training. So, other than last year when I had three separate serious injuries and could only compete 4 ½ months, I compete over 3,000 km each year.

Endurance World Cheryl Van Deusen. Posing with the winner.“To finish is to win” is the mantra of our USA National Endurance Organization (www.aerc.org) and it works even at the international level. Having raised almost all of my equine partners, I am most proud of their longevity and the numbers of years they have been successfully competing. For example, Precious Beaunita, 16 years old, is third generation breeding of my stock, and she is currently the #1 FEI Open World Horse in 2017.

I ride in teams of my horses and this results in the need to ride to the weakest horse or athlete on any given day. Thus, some of these races have been painfully slow but finishing last is better than not finishing at all! I learned early on at the European Championships in Portugal that running up front FTQ at gate five is no fun. DA Al Capone one of my best campaigners had three international trips and over 5,600 national miles (over 9,000 km) of competition.

Having exceptional crew is a huge source of competitive advantage. I’m very fortunate to have met Mary Farris years ago and she has a tremendous line of electrolytes and minerals along with a wealth of knowledge about equine anatomy and physiology. She is my crew chief when she is not campaigning her own competitive horses.

One of my assets is to ride the horse that I have on the trail conditions that day, and successfully complete the ride. It is rare that I get sucked up into racing mode as it does no good to be eliminated running first place! To date, I’ve competed in seven countries and on two Pan American Championship teams where the USA earned silver medals. In 2011, I was sixth overall FEI at year end, in 2015, I was second overall FEI at year end and so far, 2017 is a great year. My goals are to continue riding in various countries as I see endurance as STRATEGY!

Photo credit: Becky Pearman

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In Brief: Cheryl Van Deusen from USA

Name: Cheryl Van Deusen

From: From Florida, USA

I was born in Florida and returned about 20 years ago having traveled extensively through working in the hospitality and resort industry.

I grew up with horses on an orphaned Tennessee Walker gelding, then switched to Quarter Horses in the show ring (western pleasure and halter) and finally barrel racing as a teenager.
After earning a MBA, I was given an Arabian gelding as a graduation present from my father who was breeding black Arabian show horses. When I finished a Ph.D. in International Business and Strategy, my horse herd grew to seven including a black stallion. I enjoyed showing for several years but then my show horses and I were bored with going around in circles and over fences, and I discovered Competitive Trail and Endurance. We still show, but only the four year olds at the regional level and one or two at the national level for Sport Horse and Dressage. I’m a cradle until death kind of home with about 35 horses today, down from 74 at one point when we were standing four stallions.

Endurance World Cheryl Van Deusen. Side by side.No longer breeding, I am selective about where our horses go, looking for lifetime homes with a great fit between the horse and its new owner.
The biggest challenge that I face is having a great career as a university professor and finding the time to keep a string of endurance horses fit to compete. We joke about the ‘ride a month’ club in that if each of my equine partners can get to a ride every 30 days, they stay fit, although not racing fit.

The real challenge is getting away from all of the volunteer work and time-consuming activities such as managing three FEI (now four) events each year along with four other national rides and two rated horse shows for Arabians and dressage! It’s a team effort, but the up-front paperwork and follow up will choke you! We are very proud of having built up a strong base of young riders from the USA South East zone motivating other zones to follow our lead!  Check out www.usaseendurance.rocks. If I stay home, other things get in the way of training. So, other than last year when I had three separate serious injuries and could only compete 4 ½ months, I compete over 3,000 km each year.

Endurance World Cheryl Van Deusen. Posing with the winner.“To finish is to win” is the mantra of our USA National Endurance Organization (www.aerc.org) and it works even at the international level. Having raised almost all of my equine partners, I am most proud of their longevity and the numbers of years they have been successfully competing. For example, Precious Beaunita, 16 years old, is third generation breeding of my stock, and she is currently the #1 FEI Open World Horse in 2017.

I ride in teams of my horses and this results in the need to ride to the weakest horse or athlete on any given day. Thus, some of these races have been painfully slow but finishing last is better than not finishing at all! I learned early on at the European Championships in Portugal that running up front FTQ at gate five is no fun. DA Al Capone one of my best campaigners had three international trips and over 5,600 national miles (over 9,000 km) of competition.

Having exceptional crew is a huge source of competitive advantage. I’m very fortunate to have met Mary Farris years ago and she has a tremendous line of electrolytes and minerals along with a wealth of knowledge about equine anatomy and physiology. She is my crew chief when she is not campaigning her own competitive horses.

One of my assets is to ride the horse that I have on the trail conditions that day, and successfully complete the ride. It is rare that I get sucked up into racing mode as it does no good to be eliminated running first place! To date, I’ve competed in seven countries and on two Pan American Championship teams where the USA earned silver medals. In 2011, I was sixth overall FEI at year end, in 2015, I was second overall FEI at year end and so far, 2017 is a great year. My goals are to continue riding in various countries as I see endurance as STRATEGY!

Photo credit: Becky Pearman

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