Tuesday, July 23 2013
Well another crazy Tevis has come and gone. It was a juggling act of entries for us. I entered the ride with Elvis, Jeremy was entered on Cleopatrah and our friend Nicki Gilbert was entered on Erebus.
Three weeks out Elvis had something happen out in pasture where he was found dragging a hind leg. He took 5 days to become sound and then I took him for a ride at the 2 week out mark and he was great but the next day looked funky. I decided with only less than 2 weeks before Tevis to scratch him. I moved on to Surprise Moment, a horse we have only owned for 2 months (he had done endurance before we bought him), knowing that he might not be willing to pace well, as he has some issues with being anxious and wants to pull my arms out to go faster. I did feel like he was making some head way so I decided to take the chance with him.
On Wed, the week leading into Tevis we booted Cleo, Surprise and Erebus and I clipped all three of the horses as well. The plan was to relax on Thursday and have everything mostly complete by the end of Wed.
On Thursday morning we got an email from Nicki's husband asking if he could purchase Cleo for Nicki as she was really in love with the horse (she has ridden her at the last 3 FEI rides and is fully qualified for the next World Championship with Cleo). He wanted to surprise Nicki with this. Sure:) On to plan B. Jeremy decided he would rather ride Chanses than my Anglo, Erebus, so he booted up Chanses and I clipped Chanses, so much for taking Thursday off;)
In hind site, if I had not had tunnel vision on taking Surprise to Tevis I should have stepped back and looked at my options, I should have taken my well prepared Anglo, Erebus. A horse who we have had over a year and is willing to pace!
On Friday we headed up to Tevis with our two back up horses and Cleo who now belonged to Nicki Gilbert. All three horses traveled well. Rusty and Kevin had saved us a great parking spot at Robie so we set up and got checked in and vetted in just fine. The ride meeting and dinner flew by and we headed to bed.
We were all in pen 1 so we warmed up together. The horses were all fine. When it was time to walk down to the start Nicki and I seperated from Jeremy. We would go a little slower than him in theory.
Cleo and Surprise were good at the start and the start was very controlled and easy going for all surprisingly. A nice relaxed pace of trotting. Then it picked up a bit and Surprise was pulling like a mad man. When we got to the spot that Cleo fell off the trail last year she got pretty anxious but Nicki got her past it.
The Granite Chief area was pretty dry compared to some years, although at the first bog Chanses did go down on his side. Later Cleo had a good scramble over a big granite slab as well.
After fighting Surprise all the way to Robinson, feeling like I was water skiing behind him the whole way I was really happy to get off of him. He vetted through but had gone faster than desired and had poor gut sounds. I had Nicki go on without me to take more time with Surprise.
Surprise was much better after Robinson because we were completely alone. He trotted very nicely. He got cooled off by Rachel and Bret Lain and Adam Farmer at Dusty Corners then we rode with Hal Hall on the Pucker Point Trail. We had a good time.
At Last Chance, Surprise still wasn't really eating, however he was drinking really well. I stayed a long while and cooled him and gave him the chance to eat even though he didn't really eat much here. (I left here with Andre Rugerri and we rode together from here to the bottom of Volcano Canyon.) At Deadwood he finally was starving and ate super well. I stayed about 30 mins here to let him try to start catching up.
From Deadwood on Surprise ate with gusto. He climbed down the canyons and up the canyons and finally we were at Michigan Bluff. My crew was awesome and cooled him here really well. Then I headed up to Chicken Hawk where more crew awaited. They are so great:) Surprise was well cared for. He again ate really well and we vetted through after chowing down and headed out. On my way out my friend Nicole was having trouble getting her big guy cooled out, she has an awesome Friesian Arab cross that weighs about 1200 lbs. His pulse was only 52 but he was breathing faster and the vets didn't like it. My parents used the rest of our ice on her horse and then he was ready to rock again.
Surprise and I cruised down Volcano Canyon. I was on foot jogging, I managed to jog down every canyon this year. At the bottom I scooped him off in the creek and then up we went to Bath Road. I had crew at the bottom with nice cold water to put on Surprise. Then we trotted up the pavement looking great. At the trot out at Forresthill the vet saw a hind end funkiness and wanted to recheck him before we left.
During the hold my crew worked on him. I told Skip that if there was any question that I wanted to pull him as we still had 32 miles and the next vet check was a really long ways and then if I got pulled there, at Franciscos, it was a 3 mile uphill hike to the trailer (I did this last year when Stirgess broke a blood vessle in his leg). In the end I didn't take him back out.
Cleo and Nicki, unfortunately had to make the 3 mile uphill hike from Franciscos to the trailer. Cleo had hit something with her shin and had a small cut and a huge lump on the front of her leg.
Chanses made it to 96 miles, the Lower Quary and could see the leader at that check when he arrived. When he trotted out he was off. Darn it. Better luck next time.
I would like to thank our awesome Crew: Jean and Howie Spinner, Mary Reynolds and Aunt Leslie, Bret and Rachel Lain, Mike Shackelford, Rebecca Silva, Emma Orth, Karl Knuchel, Tim and Jody Reynolds, Jeff Townsend, Albert, Skip and Heather Lightfoot, Andy Gilbert and Kelly Couch and his friend that I have forgotten the name of (sorry). Also a thank you for the use of Hillorie Bachman's life changing shower at Forresthill.
Congratulations to Rusty Toth for another spectacular year, last year on a different horse he won the Haggin Cup and this year the Tevis Cup. Well done. (I have to brag a little, I picked out the horse for endurance for Garrett Ford a few years back, and Rusty got this horse from Garrett:)
Congratulations also to Hal Hall for his 30th buckle completion!! I can't even imagine. At the rate I'm going I will be lucky to get 10!
My next ride will be Camp Far West. Jeremy will not be there as he is getting ready for his Ironman that he is doing in late Sept.
Hope to see you there.