Racehorse to trail horse – 800 Miles on the Arizona Trail

Carol Fontana found her dream partner in ex-racehorse Tiki Barber to ride the scenic Arizona trails - 800 mile of trails


Enjoying the views

21 August 2016, Arizona ~ Carol Fontana riding Tiki Barber completed the final segment of a remarkable ride on 15 August 2016, finishing the 800-mile Arizona Trail with the ride down the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona to the bottom, then up the other side to the South Rim.

I rode the entire Arizona Trail solo and my husband served as my crew with occasional help from friends,” said Fontana. “We began at the Mexican border near the Coronado National Monument.  \We were on the trail about 2-1/2 months, although it took about 4 months all together as we had to return to Prescott several times for personal matters and had to wait out wildfires on two occasions plus some monsoon rains. I saved the grand finale for the Grand Canyon, and it was a perfect way to end it. Of course, the views are astonishing, particularly at sunrise and sunset. We saw both.”

To avoid the heat of the day, I often rode very early,” Fontana explained. “In the case of the GC, I started at Kaibab North Rim in the late afternoon and arrived at Phantom in the evening.  I got a bit of sleep on a picnic table at a private horse camp with hitching rails.  No corral unless you are a mule.  We left at 5:00 a.m. and arrived at Kaibab South Rim at 9:30 am.”

The ride went from the Kaibab Trailhead at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon down to the river and the guest ranch of Phantom Ranch, and back up the sometimes cliff-hanging mule-trail to the Kaibab South Rim Trailhead. The distance on the first leg down to Phantom Ranch is 14.2 miles (22.9 km) with an elevation drop of 5850 ft (1780 m). The mostly straight up switch back trail from Phantom Ranch via South Kaibab to the top has an elevation change from river to rim of 4860 ft (1480 m) on the 6.3 mile (10.1 km) trail. This trip has been tops on Fontana’s bucket list for a long time, and marks yet another amazing accomplishment for the great horse and rider team.

The view from the edge

The view from the edge

Beginning their endurance endeavors together in 2014, Carol and Tiki Barber have completed 6 AERC rides finishing 5 of those times in the top ten including earning a 1st and 2 Best Condition awards.

Tiki Barber was bred by Cre Run and raced on the track for four years, winning 9 times, placing 2nd 7 times, 3rd 4 times and stakes placed 3 times earning $81,473 in his track racing career.

Tiki Barber is sired by Nivour De Cardonne out of Tiki Samantha, a race winning mare by Cool Sam (Samtyr) and out of a Kontiki daughter.

The ride was initiated as a fundraiser to raise awareness and support for the Prescott Area Shelter Services (PASS) with 100% of the donated proceeds going directly to PASS. The mission of Prescott Area Shelter Services (PASS) is to serve homeless women, families, and veterans by providing temporary shelter, resources, individualized case management, and a pathway to permanent housing. “I am happy to say that we reached our goal of raising $25,000,” said Carol. “Very good for a small town like Prescott.”

Cre Run congratulates Carol Fontana and Tiki Barber for their amazing achievements.

More on the details of the ride on Tiki’s Blog: http://www.saddleupaz.us/tikis-blog

~ end