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New Ride! 2024 Sleeping Giant in Montana!

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Day 1 on trail!

Montana’s Inaugural Sleeping Giant Endurance Ride: Just Wow!

By Merri Melde-Endurance.net
June 19 2024

With the termination of the long-running Fort Howes Endurance ride near Ashland, Montana, that left a big hole and a huge hoofprint to fill in the ride calendar for Montana.

Enter Endurance riding families Cindi Weist of Choteau, Ann Depizzol of Helena, and Vonnie and David Brown of Great Falls. They all lamented the loss of Endurance rides in Montana.

Cindi regularly drove through Gates of the Mountains, along the Missouri River just north of Helena. “I kept thinking, I wish I can ride these trails, it's looking so wonderful. This would be a good place for an Endurance ride.”

Ann remembers hearing about her mom riding in the Governor’s Cup in the 1990s on the Sieben Ranch, owned by the Baucus family.

“I drive past that area all the time and have friends of the land owners,” Ann said. “Ava (my daughter) rode the Sieben Ranch years ago as they are very generous with their land and horse riding.

“Anne Perkins [another Endurance rider from Helena] is good friends with Cathy Campbell, one of the land owners, and made the introduction to Vonnie and Dave, and they talked with Cathy, and it all started there! We met with Cathy last fall and she loved the idea…as our trails needed to expand, the Baucus’s got involved and agreed also!...”

Read the rest here

Day 1 (Saturday): 25 / 50 / 75 miles

Day 2 (Sunday): 25 / 50 miles

Non-Competitive Trail / Intro rides will also be offered both days.

Come enjoy mountainous and forested terrain with single- and double-track trail. Hoof protection is recommended.

Pre-ride vetting will begin Friday, June 14, around 4:00 p.m.


Ride camp will open starting Thursday morning. Please plan to depart by Monday afternoon, out of respect for the land owners.

Camp is a huge field with short access off the interstate, easily accommodating large rigs. Horse water and porta-potties will be provided. Please bring your own people water.

Weed-free hay is required. Please spread hay and manure before you leave. All dogs must be kept on leash.

No meals will be provided, so be sure to bring what you need.

Driving directions

From Helena, MT: Take I-15 north to exit 209. Turn right onto Gates of the Mountains Road. Continue for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Hilger Road and follow the signs to camp.

From Great Falls, MT: Take I-15 south to exit 209. Turn left onto Gates of the Mountains Road. Continue for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Hilger Road and follow the signs to camp.

Ride Camp Address for Health Certificates: Hilger Road and Gates of the Mountains Road, Helena, MT 59601

Coordinates: 46.829434 deg. north, 111.980063 deg. west


Ride Managers: Vonnie & Dave Brown

Ride Secretary: Regina Rose

Email: vonnieformt@gmail.com

Phone: (406) 788-1568

Vets: Mel Schwartz, DVM (head vet); Kaylee Senior, DVM (treatment vet)