Friday, October 16 2009
We woke up at the civilized hour of 6 am. The race would not start until 7:46. I did my normal routine of getting ready and then we all took the golf cart down to the barn. It was already raining and it was increasing all the while.
When we got to the barn Chikako was there to let all of us know that she was alive and well. Thank god!! The day before I didn't know what condition she was in when they strapped her to that board and hauled her off.
I went to my stall and Carson looked very relaxed. I saddled up and we started "warming up" a great misrepresentation of the word "warm". I was riding around with one of Valerie's other riders. Her name was Dorota and she was on Pandor, Carson's friend. We rode around for about 10 min and then we were instructed to go with all of the other 100 mile riders to another field to continue warming up. After about 10 more min in this second area we went to the starting area for a third "warm up" all the while getting colder. It was at this point that the water was running down my leg into my shoes. I also didn't really feel my hands anymore. At the starting area my friend Lynn asked me how everything was. I told her that everything was fine but that I couldn't feel my hands. She somehow magically produced a pair of dry gloves that I put on over my gloves. With the double pair on the wind wasn't going through any more.
Finally it was time to start. Carson was very nice to ride. He was easy to rate and very smooth. The first loop was already really muddy as the 75 milers had come through before us. It weaved and twisted and looped back on itself many many times. We went through corn fields and tobacco fields. There were a lot of volunteers standing in the rain to point the way. That was probably the coldest job!!
We made it to vet gate one. That is where I trotted twice again. This time it was no good and we were pulled. With the way the weather was it was a relief.
I went to get warm in the shower, which took 20 min to get full sensation back. Then I started to crew. The vet area, that was on a polo field had turned into a sloppy mess. Luckily we all had mud boots on.
The rest of the team was still ok. Skip had some heaters picked up at Walmart so that the riders and crew had some where to warm up. That was the best money spent on this trip! I do not know how the other teams riders were getting warm.
Cheryl Dell was out at the next check. Reason was a little off. When they got him back to the barn it was discovered that he was missing a shoe on that leg. You couldn't find the horses feet in the vet area so it was an easy mistake.
At the third vet gate it was announced that the weather conditions were so poor that the race had been reduced to a 75. With two of the team horses out already and no possibility of getting a COC Carolyn Hock decided to retire from that race.
On the third loop Smitty was still going strong and was only 16 min behind the front runners. Charisse and Kim were also going well.
On the last loop Smitty decided he had had enough mud for the day and was not wanting to do more than walk through the mud. Jeremy was ok with that. They made it to the finish in 9th place. Smitty still did not want to move in the mud at all.
At the finish we did a practice trot out and Smitty jogged, reluctantly on dry ground. When he was then asked to trot for his completion it was on the very muddy trot out lane that had been used all day. No matter what Smitty was not willing to trot in the mud. It was extremely disappointing for everyone watching and our hearts went out to Jeremy.
Charisse and Kim completed the reduced 100/ 75 on Ben and Laramie.
All in all it was a pretty miserable ride. I guess the best part for me was getting to see Lynn, Mark and Bethany since I hadn't seen them in so long. I actually got to hang out with them and have "quality time" with them in the mud. I bet they missed me:)
The after math of clean up was also a big project as everything we had was covered in sloppy mud.
A shower followed by breakfast at Denny's with our crew was kind of fun.