Andrew Gerard

I was basically born in the saddle. My mother was a riding instructor and horse trainer among many other talents. My father met her while taking guests out on trail rides at Smoke Tree Ranch in Southern California. They moved to Northern California partially to be close to the strong endurance community that was forming around the Tevis Cup endurance ride. The year I was born, at roughly four months old, my mother completed the Tevis Cup. My father took me to every possible stop so I could nurse. Wendel Robie at the awards ceremony said of my mother, “She did it in the true pioneer spirit”. From day one, the Western lifestyle has been at my core. My most fond memories growing up in an endurance community are of all us kids playing around ride camp, the makeshift accommodations, and questionable but usually satisfying meals.

I did my first organized ride when I was around twelve years old. My dad sponsored me on the Gold Country 25 miler. We went so slow I thought I was going to die, but I reveled in the completion awards they gave me; a bucket, supplements, hoof pick and brush labeled Gold Country Endurance Ride. A decade later I bought my first endurance horse and found myself cleaning him up with that same brush.

In my early 20’s my return to the adventure of long distance trail rides stemmed from that ever present idea that I would one day complete Tevis. That idea would eventually turn into a goal of completing Tevis ten times. Really though, my goal is to promote the sport, to keep Endurance alive and have fun doing it. I joined the Gold Country Endurance Riders club that parents helped to form, served on the Board of Governors for the Western States Trails Foundation that sponsors the Tevis Cup Endurance Ride, served on a local trails organization’s Board, and now I’m thrilled to be part of WDRA. I think the Western Distance Riders Alliance brings together the diversity of groups and ideas that have become Endurance. WDRA helps align our goals and focus our values on the sport.

I bring value to the organization through my education and experience. I graduated from California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration focused on Finance. I’ve worked for Mechanical Contractor/Energy Services company for the last 14 years in many capacities with recent emphasis on Safety, Human Resources, and Risk Management. I am Safe Sport certified. I have competed twice in Colombia; once in an FEI 1*. I crewed at Florac in France. I’ve ridden at Biltmore on the East Coast, finished the Big Horn 100 and completed the Virginia City 100 more than ten times. I volunteered at the Western States Endurance Run many times with my family. I try to compete in Ride and Tie events whenever possible too. I don’t think my experiences make me standout from anyone else, but they give me a little perspective on what brings us together around these events. It brings me back to the saying, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know”. I want to understand what drives our passion for the sport of endurance. I want to help build the bonds between our various groups. And, I think we need to continue to recognize the various achievements and contributions within our sport. WDRA gives us an opportunity to do all that so I would like to see you join us.