Friday, October 16 2009
On Monday night after the meet and greet we went to the barn to look after the horses and Fuego was three legged lame and this is barely good enough to describe how lame he was. He was lame walking. He had rolled in the veal pen stall and banged his fetlock. The hair on the outside of his fetlock was "melted" so to speak, like a rug burn. He hobbled around and we got busy with ice, Sore No More and a special poultice. All we could do is cross our fingers and go to bed and see.
I got up and went to the barn really early to see about Fuego. He was only slightly improved. There was no way he would be able to do the race. I spent the rest of my morning tracking down various stewards and officials to see if I could find Chikako an alternate horse. After all she had flown from Japan and I did not want to greet her and then invite her to crew!
After a lot of work on logistics I found her a horse that was not on the grounds that needed to be trailered in. Fuego also needed to be trailered out so that the alternate could take his stall in the secured barn. All the while the teams are starting to line up to wait to be called to the stadium for vetting in.
The alternate horse finally arrived and we went to go vet in. My horse was the second to the last horse to vet in. Smitty got to be the last one. I had the pleasure of having to trot two times and be voted on by the panel of three vets and that was just to start the ride. Not a good sign.
My morning hadn't been stressful what so ever... very relaxing in fact.
We got back to the barn and proceeded to trot Carson out many times at various speeds. It was hard to tell if his leg he had scrapped up when he cast himself in his stall was playing a role in this. His leg was wrapped with some cream on the cuts and we stopped worrying ourselves with it.
We helped Chikako saddle up her "new" mount and told her how to get to the trail. Then we started getting the last minute things prepared for crewing. It was almost time for the ride meeting when we heard all sorts of yelling, "look out, look out... heads up!!!!" I ran around the barn just in time to see a horse coming past the entry t the barn area at full speed. Right in front of the security gaurd there was a tractor re-working the front area to the barn to fix a mud problem. Everyone moved away from the run away horse except the tractor couldn't hear. The tractor was moving at a perpendicular to the run away horse and the horse swerved from the tractor and the rider fell infront of the horse and there was an aweful noise as the rider landed. Immediately after the rider landed I saw that it was Chikako!! Before anyone could do anything there was an emergency crew on the scene. They were there withing 2 min. They quickly assessed her and got her strapped onto a board and told us what hospital she would be at. What a crap day it had been.
We had the rider meeting in the stadium. It was brief and concise, the way it should be. This is when they finally told us what crew bay we would have. Nothing like giving us ample time to set up!
We hustled up and set up the crew bay and then we attempted to be presentable because we were already late for the dinner party that was arranged for all the participants. It was a great dinner, with wine and wonderful desserts. It would have been a great party to have two nights before a 100 mile race rather than the night before the race, as the riders could have socialized and hung out longer.
Off to bed we went. Maybe I will get to sleep and not be up worrying like I had the night before about Fuego!