Wednesday, July 28 2010
This year we had a lot of trouble deciding who we would ride who at the Tevis. After loosing Makazin I had decided that I would try to get Kutt ready and see how that might go.
Jeremy couldn't decide between Bey, Strut and Tiran and Tim would be riding who ever we didn't.
17 days before the race we did a training ride on the Tevis trail. We had planned to ride 22 miles. My ride ended at 3.5 miles when Kutt tripped over some rocks and clearly needed stitches. I turned back while the other 3 horses went on to complete the ride.
I rode back at a walk and then took Kutt to Loomis Basin. It was a bit awkward telling the vets at the clinic that the horse who needed stitches was named Kutt. Oh well.
I drove back up to where the other three horses were waiting for me and we loaded up and headed home.
Jeremy had been riding Bey, Tim was on Strut and Carole was on Tiran. Jeremy felt that Bey wasn't ready for the race that Jeremy wanted to do so he was going to take him out of the equation.
Strut and Tiran had handled the ride well so now Jeremy would be picking between them. I was still going to try with Kutt. He had 5 stitches in his shin but the vet had said that if it healed well it should be fine and he also recommended that I race with the stitches in the leg to help hold things together.
Fast forward and we decided on Thursday before Tevis, that I would ride Kutt, Jeremy would ride Strut and Tim would ride Tiran.
Friday we drove up to the ride. Skip went with us and we picked up Carl at the Auburn airport. We all had Chinese food for lunch and then continued on to Robie Park.
Eric was camping at Robinson so that we would have a spot secured and Peter and Kiki were at Robie as well. Our good friend Shannon also came up to Robie to crew.
Friday morning all three horses were great. They all handled the start well. None of us started together. All three of us were in the first pen. This was by far the biggest crowd any of our horses had ever been in.
By the time I was climbing up Squaw I could see Jeremy and Strut up ahead of me. I caught up and we rode together.
The snow was patchy up on the top of Immigrant Pass. Granite Chief Wilderness Area was not as bad as I thought it might be. We rode through carefully. At one point a horse joined our group. Very shortly after that the rider directly behind us told us that the horse didn't have a rider. Jeremy hopped off and caught the horse and back tracked to the rider, Carl Bruno. He seemed alright and was able to get back on.
As we were almost out of the danger of the bogs and rocks and I was thinking we were in the clear, we hit one final tricky spot. You had to go up on top of a rock pile to the right (while still being on top of the rocks) when Kutt fell down to the left. He was chest deep in rocks and there was nowhere for me to go so he had to figure it out while I stayed on his back. He had a few new scrapes. Luckily Jeremy had put silicone on Kutt's shin over the stitches. The rocks had hit right into the silicone and had dented and ripped it a little but the stitches themselves were ok.
After that we went fine for a while. Then right before Cougar Rock Strut fell onto his knees in a rocky area. He seemed ok. Good.
Over Cougar Rock for Strut. I was going to go over but as I was thinking I would, Kutt almost went down. I went around. I guess as I went around, Diane Woodard saw me go around and thought about doing the same, changed her mind and then fell and either broke her ribs or damaged the cartilage between her ribs. Damn. We found out from Tim that Tiran went up the rock part way and then was not sure what to do and Tim had to jump off and run up it with Tiran lunging up behind him.
We made it through Red Star without a glitch. On to Robinson. (It was somewhere in this stretch that Melissa Ribley had her accident.) Both horses recovered fine and looked good. About 20 min later Tiran arrived. He looked good too. By this time all three horses had fallen. Rocky bastard! At this check Jeremy's mom and her sister Leslie were hand picking grass for the horses. Great crew.
Onwards. Right before Dusty Corners we were riding down the last steep, red dirt hill, before the gravel road and the dust was hanging about 2 feet above the ground when Strut fell down onto his knees and nose. Jeremy was catapulted over his head and knocked the wind out of himself while getting a fair amount of road rash on his right shoulder. After looking at Strut we could see that his knees had small cuts. Within a short time Strut was sore from the fall.
Jeremy pulled Strut at Last Chance. As I was leaving this check after being there for about 20 min, Tim came in with Tiran.
Kutt was feeling great. We did the canyons and he handled it really well. He did think the swinging bridge was really weird. We made it into Chicken Hawk and he still looked really good. We were in the group between 5th -9th, we were in this range pretty much the whole rest of my ride.
Foresthill was a welcome stop. Kutt had a mild right hind and I would have a recheck. Kutt ate and ate. Tiran was there about 20 min later. Jeremy was there too. Strut had been dropped off at the finish and now Jeremy was crewing.
Kutt and Tiran both made it out of Foresthill. I rode with a group of three almost the whole way to Francisco's. Kutt felt really good. He enjoyed the cooler weather and really liked going in the dark, a first for him.
When we got to Francisco's I let Kutt drink and eat for a minute and then went to vet him, in case his right hind got stiff. I trotted him out and he was sore. That would be it for me. About 45 min later Tiran was there. I watched as people came through.
Eventually I walked up the big climb to where the trailer would take us from. Melissa's horse, Monique and Kutt went together.
I got back to camp while trying to stay awake and took care of Kutt and Strut. Then I went to the finish line to wait for Tim and Tiran. The rest of our crew was down on No Hands Bridge waiting for Tim (and maybe me too).
The group of people at the finish line were all tired but having a good time. I visited with a lot of friends while we waited. It started to get chilly sitting there.
I got to see a lot of friends finish.
Finally Jeremy and Eric were there and that is when I knew it would be soon that Tim and Tiran would arrive. Around 3:30 Tim and Tiran crossed the finish line of their first Tevis and Tiran's first 100. It was really cool.
After taking care of everything we all hit the pillow hard.
The next morning it was already extremely hot.
We packed up and went to have breakfast at the stadium and then watched the Haggin Cup. It was clear that Garret's horse looked great. The horse stood out.
Carl left as he had to fly himself back to Montana. Eric and Skip needed to get back as well. Tim, Jeremy and I waited for the awards. While we waited we hit up Starbucks. Nothing like a cold caffeinated pick me up. We got back to the fairgrounds and visited with Garret and Lisa then headed to the awards.
Lunch was good. Barbara White earned her 3000 mile buckle!! Holy moly. I can't even imagine riding that trail that many times. Great job. Heraldic and John Crandel had won and Garret Ford on The Fury was awarded the Haggin Cup, wearing glue ons of course.
I am glad that Tim and Tiran were able to make the trip worthwhile. Maybe next time:) Congratulations to any one who completed.
Now we are off to Iowa (to rest at Jan and Grace's) and Illinois (for the final time trial) and then hopefully Kentucky (for the WEG) with Sam and Smitty.