Sunday, April 17 2011
So we were starting to have race with drawl syndrome. We hadn't raced since Feb and that is a really LONG time for us! We were well over due for a race, well slow ride I should say.
I picked up Jeremy from the SF airport Friday morning and we went to the barn and booted up the two horses we would ride at the Shine and Shine 50. Later we vetted in Nixon and Bey on Friday afternoon. The weather looked like it was going to be perfect for Saturdays ride. Both horses looked great. It was to be "An Honest Crook" aka Nixon's first race and Bey's first ride back from an injury that happened right before Tevis last year.
After vetting we headed back to the barn and dropped off the horses. Bey seemed genuinely disappointed to not be camping out. Oh well.
After we left the barn Jeremy had been wanting to get a massage as he had just returned from the East Coast where he had been shoeing and trimming. We hit up our local $20 an hour place and had a great massage followed by a movie, Soul Surfer. This is how every Friday night before a race should be spent! We headed to bed right after this.
Saturday we woke up and drove to the barn. I called Bey and he literally galloped down from his pasture to greet me at the gate, bringing Nixon with him. We grained them both and they ate everything, we saddled, then we loaded them up. Bey jumped into the trailer and slide to his hay bag. He is so enthusiastic, it is really cute. ( A side note on Bey: we have had Bey for 8 years, he is our oldest horse and he was an orphan. He is a people horse to say the least and he gets frustrated with trying to constantly try to prove his worth to us, a definite over achiever) We headed over to the ride around 6:15. The ride is only 10 min away and that is a stretch, it is even shorter really. The start time would be 7 am.
When we arrived we let the horses eat from their hay bags and just waited for the start. I said hi to a few friends and took the crew bag to where it needed to go.
We started a couple of minutes late. Both Bey and Nixon were relaxed and ready for a long slow day. In the first half of the race Bey was out walking Nixon by a long shot. He was walking about 3.5-4 mph and Nixon kept jogging. Jeremy was prepared to run a lot of the trail on foot as Nixon is just 5 and it was his first 50. This race is all up or down. By the end of the day Jeremy would run 25+ miles.
Nixon and Bey did a great job and ate really well at the first vet check, 22 miles in. It was uneventful to lunch where they ate well again.
When we left lunch it was great, all of the sudden Nixon knew what his job was and his relaxed easy manner turned into a determined focused forwardness. He was out walking Bey from then on. Bey hadn't slowed his pace any, but Nixon sure had increased his. It was as if he now knew what he was out here to do. Pretty neat horse, very cool.
When we reached the last vet check at 40+ miles Bey thought he was going to starve to death. I had to let him eat before vetting or he would have drug me to food while trying to be examined. After a full bucket of mash he finally lifted his head and we vetted. Both horses looked great and had good heart rates.
The finish line was a nice site. It turns out that the trail was so challenging and there were a couple of pulls, that by going so conservative we ended up coming in 3rd and 4th. There were 19 starters and 14 finishers.
Bey and Nixon both had a 52/48 CRI. We were happy. I decided to show Bey for BC even though he was over an hour behind the winner. I am glad I did as he got High Vet score! It was a great day over all.
It is now Sunday and Jeremy is pretty darn sore. Well I hope you all had at least half as much fun as we did this weekend. I think our next race will be the next Shine & Shine at Grant Ranch. We will hopefully both be doing the FEI 75.