Saturday, October 24 2009
On the way home from our lovely Kentucky adventure we decided to go to the Lake Sonoma 50. Skip was feeling inspired as well, so he wanted to ride too. Skip hadn't been riding hardly at all lately. His last race was in 2003. He decided to come out and train a bit. On Wednesday Skip came out to ride and see if he really wanted to go through with the race. He rode again on Thursday and he was "ready".
We are a really bad influence at our barn. On Thursday we told two of our other riders that we were going to Sonoma and before you knew it there were 5 of us going. Nothing like being flexible. Gotta love endurance riders.
Friday we loaded up all 5 horses. Our friend Carol had her horse Freebie and Jeff's horse Breeze in her trailer and Jeremy and I took Bey, Strut and Razin in our trailer. Jeremy was riding Bey, I was riding Razin and Skip was on the stud, Strut. Skip and Jeff drove up later in the afternoon.
Carol followed us up. We drove our extra speedy big truck that we had just spent so much quality time in earlier in the week. We did play hell trying to get to a decent diesel station on the way to the ride. Oh well.
When we got to the ride we found parking relatively easily considering how tight the parking is. We set up, then we checked in. Jennifer, the ride manager is a fellow mudder from our Kentucky trip. I don't think she got to recover from her trip either as she had to organize this race. No rest for the wicked, us included. :)
We vetted all 5 horses in and then Jeremy and Carol went out for a ride. I got our crew stuff ready while they were out. When they returned Skip and Jeff arrived.
We all went to the ride meeting where there were Halloween cupcakes. Yummy. The big deal at the ride meeting was that there was someone coming from the state department to be there for drug testing by means of drawing blood. Apparently there was a lot of concern about this as the person was just there to watch but that the ride vets would have to take time out to do all the actual work of the draw and filling out the paperwork.
After the ride meeting our "Den Mother" (Carol) had brought a delicious dinner for all of us to share. Very yummy with extra garlicky, garlic butter for the bread, that she had made herself:) Carol takes the best care of us, we love her.
That night the weather was really perfect and you could see all of the stars. Why did we ever leave California for Kentucky?
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early. Carol had also brought us a great breakfast of quiche and fresh orange juice. After all of the good food and getting horses saddled, etc. it was time to get on with the ride.
I said goodbye to Jeremy, Jeff and Carol. Skip and I were going to be riding slower as it was Razin's third 50 and Strut's first Heavyweight. Razin handled himself very well. He is really coming along nicely. Strut was his normal wonderful self as well. Skip and he were the studs together.
On the first loop there is an out and back that you pick up an "item" to prove that you have been down to the turn around point. You also get a piece of candy from a "witch" in a purple hat. I was reaching for the candy when Razin did a full body shake and I ended doing a party foul and dumping the whole candy "bowl" (a helmet) over. Darn, I didn't need the candy any way, it was a sign.
On our way back from the turn around a friend of ours, Steve Lenheim was offering to sell his "item" to riders coming out to the turn around.
The first vet check was a breeze. We had a 30 min hold and then we were off again to the lunch stop. The trail was really fun. It is hilly and windy on a nice single track. Very cool on a handy horse. It did seem like the trail had been cleared to the height of a 15 hand horse. Not tall enough for the 15.3 and 16 hand horses we were on:) Lots to keep you alert.
Lunch was nice. The check had been moved a little closer as there is now a horse camp with troughs and a good place for a vet check to be. Both horses were good to continue. As we arrived to the check Jeremy and Jeff were just leaving. Carol was about 10-15 min behind them.
Razin didn't eat as well as he could have and has earned himself a free round trip ticket to a multiday ride... lucky.
It was a pretty warm day on horses with their new winter coats coming in. Our two, Strut and Razin were definitely feeling the warmth. The trail was more scenic then I remembered it being.
We finished around 2:45 or so. We aren't sure but Skip and I might have been in the top twenty. Both horses vetted through without a hitch. We found out that Jeremy had come in 3rd and had won Best Condition and Jeff was 4th. Carol was tied for 6th but there were no ties allowed so she took 7th. Another great day! Jennifer and her family did another terrific job putting this ride on, especially when you consider that a lot of them were in Kentucky last week!
We got a trailer ride back to base camp (you finish a few miles from camp). This is when we made up our story to tell Jeremy (he didn't know he had won BC yet). When we got to camp we told Jeff and Carol that Strut and Razin had been 9th and 10th and that Strut had won BC! Jeremy was not in sight though. It turns out he had a raging fever and was sleeping. So much for our joke :( Oh well, it turns out he heard it any how from the trailer window. He was happy when he found out that he had actually won BC.
We hung out for a few hours and ate a bunch of crap, junk food. Then we packed up and we are currently driving home as I write this. We will see how Skip feels by Monday morning!