Saturday, February 13 2010
Well, the USA did another great trip to the President's Cup 160 km race. Sir Smith was the first overseas completion in a ride time of 8:50 (36 place! so fast here), and SA Belshazzar did great as well completing his first 160 km ride in a time of 9:16. It was a great performance from both horses!
The leaders set yet another world record. I do not know the exact time but it was something like 6:20!!!
At the start Ellen and Zar went ahead of Smitty and disappeared into the heavy fog. Smitty had a slow start to settle him into a calm mind set for the day. Jeremy had to actually run a bit on foot to accomplish this. During the first loop we were last for a long while and the police escort and the ambulance trailer were following us. It felt a bit like buzzards circling. The slow pace worked though. After the first loop the pair was moving well and kept it up nicely.
Smitty was accompanied by myself and our driver, Fahad (sp?) (Fahad translates to "Tiger".) and there was a groom who I don't know the name of, sorry. The driver and the groom were great. The groom would jump from the truck and run and hand Jeremy a bottle and then have a second bottle that he would run behind Smitty, while he was cantering, and he would pour water on his butt. Very fast runner, and very fit! This guy was one of Sheika Madiya's grooms. Fahad was a friend of Jan Worthington's friend, Jimal.
As the loops ticked by Smitty happily galloped along. He loves that sort of thing. If you know Smitty you would know this. He was truly incredible to watch.
Smitty had the third best recoveries out of any horse that finished! His average for the day was 2:28. That was with galloping and having usually just me as his crew, as the other guys were parking the car while I would meet and cool Smitty. Very amazing recoveries on Smitty today.
Smitty did an average of something close to 19 kph. His last loop was his fastest. We were extremely happy with him.
At one point today there was a string of camels being hearded across tha desert by people on foot. There were soooo many of them, probably 80 or so. It was kind of funny because the camels were just as scared of the horses as the horses were of them. So silly.
Since the scenery was so sparse and the horses were so spread out the driver had an ongoing thing he would say and that was "How are you today?" He would say it new at random times with a very heavy accent and as the day grew long it got funnier and funnier. There was another time that the Black Eyed Peas, a band that I like, came on the radio. Fahad actually turned it up and I thought, "hey cool". But no, then he quickly changed the station to something local and that was it. Oh well, he was good help so I guess I didn't really care.
It was warm during the heat of the day but never sweltering. If the wind was at your back it was the worst of it but for the most part there was at least a gentle breeze. The OC only gave us 7 cases of water for each horse. When we asked for more, before the ride, they said it would be enough and that there was a lot more at the venue. We knew better. By the second half of the ride we were begging people who had been pulled for their left over water. We were also refilling empty bottles and recapping them. It was what we had and it worked fine.
Following Smitty on his last loop I video recorded some of him galloping along. I was smiling because I had done this earlier in the week and it had looked the same as when he had been fresh. He recovered within 2 min at the finish but we let him drink before vetting him so it was recorded as 4 or so min.
After the ride Zar and Smitty ate for a short while and then went to the treatment clinic for fluids. The horses will be shipping home in 2 days and that is not nearly enough time to recover so we thought we should help them in any way possible. They had a few bags and then we tucked them in for the night.
Jeremy had Baskin Robbins. Two scoops. I had the adult size, I can handle a non-child sized ice cream for godsakes.
Well I am super tired now. We just had dinner at the...You guessed it, the buffet. Oh, last night they had "pineapple upside dawon cake" Yes I said Dawon.
Tomorrow we are going to Dubai to ride with Sheika Madiya. Hopefully we aren't so tired that we can't enjoy it. I also hope that the cryptic directions that we got get us there!