Sunday, March 04 2012
Above is Stirgess the night before his first 100. He is sporting the dragon look.
We went to the FITS ride this weekend. It is really great as it is only 20 mins down the road and it is three days of super well marked FEI racing.
On Wed night we headed over to the ride with the two horses that we would be riding on day one on Thursday. Cleo was slated to do all three days so that on day 3 she would be qualified for her FEI 1*. Bailey was the horse that I would ride on day 1.
We vetted in and said hello to a few people. Bailey and Cleo settled in at camp, they were obviously old campaigners by now, after all this was their 2nd ride!
It was SUPER hot and humid on Wed. It would have been a dreadful day to be racing. It was in the high 80's and was 91 percent humidity.
Thursday was foggy and warm. It was another hot humid day. Both horses did well and completed the ride, they ended up 13th and 14th.
After the ride the Donley's were in camp waiting for us. We took care of the two horses then we drove home to feed all of our other horses and to pick up Marvel and Chanses for day 2. They would be doing their first 2*.
When we got back to the camp JJ Donley and Jeremy vetted in for the 2*. We were all set for another great, hot day on day 2.
Day 2 was foggy again and hot and humid. The Donley's, in what is becoming typical fashion, showed up with our custom Starbucks orders!! Too cool. I rode Cleo for her second day, she was great. At vet check 1 we saw Jeremy and JJ and they were doing great too.
The day's trail on the 50 was identical to the first day so Cleo knew what was at hand and she didn't complain. On the last loop, the pink loop, the footing was really deep and it was in the heat of the day. Cleo cruised through this loop and took me in to the finish, she was 12th. Nice mare.
A little side note: our friend Deborah Reich's lovely mare Juniper won the 50 looking like a million bucks with Amy on board and also won high vet & BC on day 2.
As I vetted through for the day I also vetted in for Cleo's FEI 1* that would be on day 3. I took care of Cleo and quickly rushed off to feed our guys at home, drop off Bailey and pick up Stirgess.
When I put Bailey in our pasture Stirgess was quick to make himself available. He was certain that he was over due to get in the trailer and go to the race! I caught him and put him in our yard while I finished my chores and showered. When I came out of our house he was literally waiting at the bottom step of our front porch. He then followed me to the trailer and waited while I put on his fly mask and clipped his lead rope on. I opened the trailer, he jumped in and we were off.
When we got to camp I vetted him in right away so I could join Ron and Karen Donley in the crewing effort. By the time I was done checking in all that was left was to meet Jeremy and JJ at the finish line. Cool!! Our friends Jean and Seve were there as well (the people we bought Chanses from) to see Chanses finish his first 2*.
The two horses crossed the finish line and looked great, they were 6th & 7th. Super great first 2*. It was also JJ's first 2*.
We hung out for a while and then had to go to bed. All of this riding and hustling around picking up and dropping off horses is so tiring!!
On day 3 it was again super hot and maybe the most humid it had been all weekend. The trail was different. We would ride down to the section of forest by our house (Tidewater), have a vet check and ride back to camp. 41+ miles round trip. Cleo was game for yet another day. Tough mare. Jeremy and she hit the trail while I was on Stirgess. Our rides both started at 6:30 as they had all three days.
The first 41 miles I rode with Jeremy Olson. We had a blast. When we got to the section of trail where our turn off to go to where our house is, Stirgess tried to turn away from our house! He was really into this.
We had a vet check at Tidewater then back at camp. From here we had the pink loop, which is the one that has the super deep sand and some small rolling hills, it is a 13+mile loop. It was really hot and Stirgess was leading the 100 and we were alone. I asked him to walk through some of the deep sand and he actually took offense and kept on jogging through the sand and declined the walking offer. What a workhorse!!
The next hold was in camp and it was so hot that the hold time was extended from a 40 min hold to a 1:10 hold! When we left this hold we rode with Steve Rojek from here on out. The yellow loop was 21 miles a long loop at this stage and with the heat to boot!
We made it around this loop. After this loop we had a vet check in camp and then headed out on the white loop. It was starting to get windy which gave us some relief but as soon as you stopped moving the heat was right here there to wrap around you. The course was very difficult this year as it has not rained much at all in Florida and the sand has gotten awfully deep because of it.
Jeremy and Cleo finished day 3 in 10th. Cleo did all 3 days , did the pink loop everyday and got her 1*! Then he hustled home, dropped off Chanses and Marvel, fed and picked up ice cream sandwiches for us. He also got us burgers at Willard's and was back to crew for me. Busy dude.
Side Note: Jeremy and Ellen Olson's horse Bandjo won the FEI 75 and got high vet and BC for day 3.
We had one last vet check and headed out on white again. The wind was a little stronger. Steve and I were trying to get our COC and we made it. Both horses looked good, we tied for AERC and Strigess & I won the FEI ride.
An hour after the ride we stood for BC. Stirgess looked great. He ended up getting the high vet score as well as BC his CRI less than 10 mins after finishing was 52/44. This was a great first 100!! It was his first 100 and his first 3*. Look for him in the future.
That night a huge storm came it. The wind, rain and lightening was incredible. At 3 am we jumped up and put Cleo and Stirgess in the trailer.
In all we had a great weekend, we had 7 starts with 7 completions at a ride that had a pull rate over 65%.
See you at the time trial on March 31st in Texas!