Tuesday, September 15 2009
We had a blast at the Championship 50 mile Race! We took 3 horses. I rode Makazin on the AERC Champioship 50 for the Lightweight division, as well as the FEI ride. Jeremy rode ITA Chicashah Bey on the AERC Championship contending for the Middleweight division. Tim rode Rising Heat on the FEI ride wothout being in the Championship ride, so that the horse could get his 1* rating.
We arrived on Friday and hung out in the beautiful camp. Our race was on Sunday so we had time to relax. We drove up in our new truck that we have named the "Work horse". Look for it sometime at a ride, you won't miss it as it is very large! (It is a Freightliner type truck, air horn and all!)
On Saturday we rode and went for a run and then took a swim as there was a pool in camp. This camp is a kids camp during the summer and has all the amenities you would want, showers, pool, volleyball court, ponds, an out door lodge for eating and WIFI! Very cool. It was extremely scenic as well.
On Sunday we rode Bey and Makazin together. The first 13 miles went by as expected. We arrived a few minutes behind the lead group and the vet check was uneventful. From here you had a decent climb up over a mountain to the 34 mile vet check back at camp. We were climbing this hill pretty fast. Our slowest speed on my GPS read 9.5 MPH. However, we were getting passed left and right!! Jeremy and I felt like we had been in a space capsule and returned to Earth to find new astronomical speeds in Endurance riding!! If people rode like this all of the time we would still be winning World Championships!! When we reached the top of the mountain I asked how far ahead the leaders were and was told 12 mins. Ok, I could deal with this, they climbed faster, no big deal.
We went down the mountain as fast as we could safely go. Jeremy and I would not have ridden faster no matter who we had been riding down this mountain. Near the bottom it narrowed to single track and then got extremely rocky. We walked through the rocks and this is when Bey fell down and skinned both knees! Damn it.
We got into the vet check and both horses recovered right away and then to our relief they both vetted just fine, even with Bey's knees cut up.
I then asked how far back we were and was told that we were 25+ mins back and that we were in 13th place! This was unreal. I later asked Ken Keele how he had made so much time coming into vet check 2 and he said that he and the other front runner were riding between 18 and 25 MPH!! That made me feel better.
We decided to really let the horses rip on the last 13 miles. There were 2 good climbs and lots of rolling terrain and then a knee knocker single track near the very end.
We galloped out of the vet check and 20+ mins later caught someone... unreal!! We got to the number check and surprised another group of riders. I think they figured we would stop to cool our horses but instead we just yelled our numbers, spun around and took off again.
We ended up doing the 13 miles in :50 mins. We smoked the trail and it was fun. We tied for 4th. (We were 12 mins behind the eventual winner, Ken Keele) We then had to do a 15 min CRI. When we were checking the horses before going to the vet (as FEI has one chance for your completion to pass the vet exam) we discovered that Bey's knees were bothering him finally. We never did get him sound and he was pulled at the finish. Makazin however looked awesome. His CRI was 48/48 after all of that speed.
Makazin ended up winning the FEI ride as well as getting Best Condition on the FEI ride and was also moved from 4th to 3rd as the original winner had been pulled at the finish as well for not recovering. He was also the Reserve National Lightweight Champion horse. Pretty exciting as this is the first time we have ever allowed Makazin to move out!
Rising Heat aka Razin finished his ride at 4:30 with Tim. He looked fresh and got his CEI1* completion!! Very cool.
In all it was really a great weekend with the exception of Bey's misfortune. Even the drive was pretty!