Monday, November 01 2010
We drove to the ride on Friday. It rained a vast majority of the drive. The ride is up in the mountains with a lot of evergreens and large meadows with streams running through them. The cool part is that even though you have the mountain atmosphere the trail was very flat.
It rained very little once were in in camp on Friday, it was more just spitting from time to time. We unloaded the three horses and got camp set up.
Jeremy would ride A Kutt Above on the FEI 100, I was riding Kingley Bay on his first 50 (Kingley is very skeptical and frightened of new humans) and our friend Carol Edwards would arrive later to ride Strut with me on the 50.
After vetting in we went for a pre ride with our friend and client Terri Rashid who was riding her mare Keen Sweep. Carol hadn't arrived yet so I rode Kingley with Terri and Jeremy and then rode for a second time solo on Strut.
Friday was pretty peaceful and relaxing. Carol arrived around 5 and then we went to the ride meeting. Cassandra and Centella, the ride managers did a great job I have to say. Cassandra is so dedicated that she was out marking trail until 1 AM on Thursday!
Saturday morning the 100 started at 7 AM so that there would be a little light. It was actually still dark for a little while. The 50 went out at 7:30. I was wearing my full length rain coat and carefully mounted Kingley knowing he may not like it. I made it onto his back but my right foot hadn't made it into the stirrup yet, he froze and curved his body slightly to the right and as he was trying to decide if he should be really scared or not a person came around the corner with a headlamp on. That was it, he jumped and spun and I came off. I still had my foot in the left stirrup so it was like a forced dismount. I landed on my feet, sort of but the force had me falling down on my side immediately following. Kingley stood there and stared at me. He let me walk right up to him and get right back on. After that he was totally fine. He was really good at the start actually.
Carol and I had a lot of fun. The trail was beautiful. Strut and Kingley did their jobs and trotted down the trail. When we were headed out on the second loop (loop one on the 100 was 25 miles, loop two was also 25) we saw the leader on the 100, Roxy riding Autumn coming into camp. Shortly after that we saw Terri, Becky Hart and Jeremy. They had all done 50 miles while we had done 20 (the first loop on the 50 was only 20), granted they started 30 min sooner but still.
On the second loop around 30 miles into the ride Strut all of the sudden was not sound. We walked a bit and then checked him again and he was still not sound. We couldn't see any obvious reason for it. Right when we were trying to decide what to do we reached the out check point and a trailer pulled up. It was random and magical all at the same time. We put Strut in the trailer and saved it for another day. This of course made Kingley sad as he was on his first 50 and was now alone. He neighed a few times. I have never heard his voice, he has a deep voice. Entertaining.
We got into camp after the second loop and Kingley ate well. Kutt was leaving shortly after we arrived. Kingley thought he was done for sure as he has only done LD's before this. I saddled him up for our final 5 mile loop. He was happy to go. He is a very cheerful horse. He was a little tired but very happy and willing. We went really easy all day and he finished happy and sound. We completed around 4:30.
I took care of Kingley and got Kutt's stuff ready for him. Jeremy got in right when I had finished what I needed to do with Kingley and Strut.
Roxy and Autumn pulled at the 85 mile mark. Becky pulled at the 75 mile mark. Now Terri and Jeremy were the two left in the lead group. Both Kutt and Keen looked good. They had a 5 mile loop and then a 10 to the finish. Jeremy and Terri rode the rest of the way together. They decided that Kutt could have gone faster so he would come in first and Keen would be second. Both horses came in to camp at 7 pm, they had done the course in 8:45. It was Kutt's first 100 and Keen's second. Great horses.
BC was an hour after completion. Keen and Kutt were moving freely and trotted with good impulsion. You could be proud of both for their great rides.
After the ride we were talking with Roxy about Autumn. A little background: Autumn is Master Motion's full sister. Master Motion, aka Split was the horse that I won and BC'd at Tevis. He was the 5th horse in 50 years to win both cups in a single year. Autumn is also 3/4 sister to Crystals Charm, aka Red. Red is the horse that I did a lot of winning on, including a Gold Medal at the 2001 Pan Am's with BC.
So we have been talking to Roxy about breeding Autumn at some point as she is the last of the line so to speak. Roxy has been riding Autumn so she wasn't sure when we might be able to breed her. After the race I half way jokingly reminded her that she could put her in our trailer and we would take her to breed her. Roxy thought about it and this time, said we could take her to breed her. I am super happy about it. I am thankful to Roxy and Cody for the opportunity.
On Sunday we went to the awards. The caterer's did a great job and made us a wonderful breakfast. Kutt got BC and Jeremy got the award for failed costume. He had a glowing mask that he was going to wear as he finished but it totally fell apart, he also had glowing gloves. Cassandra won best costume, she was a purple haired goblin . At one point in the day Mike Foss had on a button down shirt, an American tie and an Obama mask on. It was funny.
In all it was a great ride that was really well managed. The scenery was wonderful and the trail was well marked with plenty of water. Mark it on your calendar for next July 30th. The date is moving up and it should be spectacular that time of year. For those of you who wimped out due to weather you should have been there.