Riding GE Pistol Annie, Christoph Schork of Moab, Utah, won his 300th American Endurance Ride Conference competition in the new Doubloon Ride near La Veta, Colorado, on July 3.
Schork tied for first place with Kerry Redente, riding Tennessee Lane’s TM Burning Bridges. They both finished in a ride time of 7 hours and 6 minutes for the 50 miles.
Schork, who has ridden more than 30,000 endurance miles over a 29-year endurance career, has an admirable 92.5% completion rate. His 200th win (also an AERC record) came on September 18, 2010, at the Las Cienega 100 mile ride in Arizona.
GE Pistol Annie is an 8-year-old half-Arabian, half-Quarter horse mare with a perfect record of 23 finishes in 23 starts with 15 wins. She has 1,265 miles over three seasons, including three 100-mile completions and nine Best Condition awards.
Schork’s 300 wins have come on numerous horses. His top four mounts have been: Double Zell (41 wins), Stars Aflame (38 wins), DWA Powerball (31 wins) and the aptly-named Mr. Triumph (30 wins).
Schork, 63, has been riding for most of his life. “I was riding my first horse at the age of 3 in street parades in Germany,” he said. “Later I focused on dressage and some jumping until emigrating to the USA when I learned about endurance and ride & tie. Since getting involved in endurance riding, I have been dedicated to the sport. Being an endurance athlete by choice, riding horses for many hours is something I really enjoy.”
To what does Schork attribute his astounding number of first-place finishes, in a sport whose motto is simply “to finish is to win”?
“I subscribe to the following riding philosophy,” said Schork, “which can also be a philosophy for success in life: 1) Ride always with intent. 2) Ride always goal-oriented. 3) Ride always disciplined. 4) Pay close attention to every detail. 5) Be focused from start to finish. 6) Work always in partnership with your horse.”
The horse/rider bond is the key. Schork said, “Be a strong leader, but listen continuously and work together in harmony. Following these guidelines and not making compromises will guarantee success and achievement of goals.”
Schork and his life and business partner, Dian Woodward, own Global Endurance Training Center in Moab, where they train both equines and equestrians to be better competitors, as well as offering hoof care clinics, distance riding products and horses for sale or lease.
More information on endurance riding is available by visiting www.aerc.org or by calling the AERC office at 823-2260. . By request, the office will send out a free information packet to prospective members. For more news from the endurance world, visit www.endurance.net.