Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two Point GPS - Karen Bumgardner

The ears are my two point gps system, high tech stuff right there!

It was the coolest old dug out, flat rocks laid in there horizontally to build a smooth solid wall. The poles over the top were supports for a sod roof. The dugout was near the banks of Hart Creek, and upstream was an awesome cave with a sign mostly covered with brush. I had to see what it said. It read "Oreana Savana". Not sure exactly what that meant. This was just one of the many sights at the Almosta Bennett Hills ride at Oreana.

The Bennett Hills ride was planned for the gooding area. To make a lon story short, it got rained out and John & Steph Teeter stepped in, offering trails and camp and much more just 5 days before the ride date. WOW!

I rode Thunder day 1 on the loop that left Oreana and climbed up to Toy Mtn. Sego lilies decorated the landscape along with a few left over Indian Paintbrush, Lupine, and Arrowleaf. It was a 50 mile loop - HOORAY!!! - with an out vet check and it was a wonderful reminder of the old days of endurance when you really had to ride coyote smart. I rode with my friend Linda and we had a blast! The horses had lots of creek crossings with good water. A bite of grass here and there. Even though it was the mid 80's the last few miles Thunder had to throw in some power spooks to be sure that I was still there and maybe I'd let him go faster? Not! We finished 8 and 9, snapping pictures of cool rock formations and scenic vistas along the way.

Sunday was day 2, I was going to ride spooky Thunder another day. Linda opted out on her mare but rode Blue on his second 50. He had spent all day Saturday having a fit in the corral in camp wondering why we had left him there. So he was a happy camper trotting down the trail Sunday after we got the first spook out of the way. We had a 25 mile loop that zigged and zagged over to Hart Creek and over little hills, rocks, sagebrush, through the creeks, past the homestead, and back to camp. After a vet check and an hour hold we were to repeat the loop in reverse. Only our hour hold was more like a hour and a half. it went something like this: Merri asks me, "Hey Karen aren't you guys going back out?" I answered "yup at 11:19." She said, "well you're late, it's 11:31!" Oh well, the extra time for the horses to eat and drink wasn't a waste as it was heating up and they'd need the energy. It heated right up to 95. and I think the water in my bottles was 120! But we finished and the horses were in great shape and hungry but then Thunder is always hungry. We were top 10 and "turtle" all at the same time too.

It was a great weekend and those that missed it really missed some
good trail and that nice 50 mile loop! Classic endurance stuff
there. I love it!!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gotland Endurance - We did it!

Gotland Endurance Blog
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Jen Simmons

I achieved my goal, and finished in less time than last ride! I placed 9th... out of nine... but only 2 minutes after the 8th place finisher!

Summer is finally heating up here. And last weekend's ride was on the first real warm day we've had. So even though I groaned when I realized I would have to wake up at 6am, I was happy we were scheduled to start an hour earlier than normal.

It was a nice relaxing morning for me. I got to the barn by 7 and was on the road by 7:30. I actually arrived on time for once - no rushing! I got signed up, tacked up and was actually waiting around for the ride to start. Unheard of!

It was overcast and breezy, but you could feel the heat coming, so we were all anxious to get started. I stood around with all the experienced endurance horses at the start line. They were all anxious to get going... Willow was more anxious to get as much grass in her stomach as possible.

The time keeper finally said it was a go and we were all off quickly. Willow and I stretched out in a nice trot, but we were quickly outdistanced by the others. That was OK, I had one person behind me; he had a young horse and wanted to teach her to not gallop like a mad thing at the start. Willow was too sensible to do something like that... that would be too much like work!

We maintained a good trot for about a mile and a half before we were passed by the rider behind us. But that didn't last long as I called him back from the wrong trail. We continued on.

All of a sudden, a pack came up from behind us. I was confused! These people had long outdistanced me! They had taken the wrong trail.

Full Story

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ride Recap: Old Dominion - Danielle

Ridendurance.blogspot.com - Full Story

Monday, June 15, 2009

This past weekend was the 35th running of the Old Dominion Endurance Ride offering three distances: 25, 55, and 100 miles. Originally started as the U.S. Calvary Mounted Service Cup, the ride has morphed into its present-day format. While doing a little research on the history of this ride (one of my favorites) I came across a copy of the January 1922 issue of The Calvary Journal which spends several pages covering the 1921 Mounted Service Cup which ran from Red Bank, NJ, to the foot of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC.

This was the second year the OD was held at its new ridecamp in Orkney Springs, Virginia. Orkney Springs itself is a neat little town, as I was told by a local who stopped by the vet check to watch the event. In the mid-1800s, Orkney Springs was a popular tourist destination as its hot springs were said to have curative powers. Now the town is home to Shrine Mont Conference Center and is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. It's a beautiful town and facility nestled at the base of the Great North Mountain.

I arrived at camp Friday afternoon as the horses were starting to vet in. After setting up my tent in what was to become the "spill over field" (more horses arrived than they originally planned!) I stopped in at the registration pumphouse to see how everything was going. Lorna, the amazing ride secretary had everything under control, so I walked over to the vet field to meet the vets and help out. At one point I found myself and a group of volunteers tying reflective ribbons to clothes pins which would be put out on the trail to guide the 100 milers into base camp. Before I knew it, it was 5pm and time for me to head to Shrine Mont (about a mile from camp) for the volunteer meeting. Mary and Bonnie gave a wonderful talk and organized all the volunteers. I was one of the few people comfortable with doing P/R, so I was given a job quickly and told to show up at the first check by 7am.


Descanso 50 - Kevin Myers

From the Horse's Mouth

Easyboot Glue-Ons at the Descanso 50 in San Diego County

June 16, 2009

I finally got to take Far to his first 50 in the Easyboot Glue-Ons on Saturday. This was to be the biggest experiment so far in the five-week transition. It was a resounding success: my ride this weekend confirmed this set-up as one that works well - even for a layman like me.

We had some challenges during the glue-on process on Thursday night because we ran out of tips to apply the Equi Pak glue around the top of the boot. It was a simple case of thinking there was another bag of tips in the box, when there were actually none left. The result was having to use our fingers to apply the bead of glue around the top of three boots. It worked just fine, but it did not look as professional.

Descanso is a six hour drive from home and is located in the mountains 45 miles east of San Diego at an elevation of 3,400 feet. We arrived at base camp early Friday afternoon; let the horses eat and drink for a few hours before vetting in, then prepared the two out check bags for ride day. The Glue-Ons were staying on nicely, but I was apprehensive about being caught out on the trail with a lost boot. The race was one long loop out of camp with three out vet checks, two of which were in the same location. Since Far wears a different sized boot on the front versus the hind, I packed two spare Easyboot Gloves in my saddle pack and two additional spares in each of the two out check crew bags. I would not need them, as it turned out.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Compiègne – two CEIO's in a row

Compiègne – two CEIO's in a row
Leonard Leisens

Compiègne has something special that everyone likes. First, it is always a very competitive race attracting the best horses from France and abroad. Then, the venue is second to none : the racetrack, the cozy stables, he tribunes at the Grand Stadium, the forest with the outstanding going, the people… And last but not least the very gourmet catering which was installed near the Grand Stadium. What can you ask more? Nothing, except to keep Compiègne as it always has been : a technical race with hills punctuating every loop and a good footing for the horses. This year the circuit was mainly flat, most of the hills were removed from the loops. This was under the special request of Jean-Louis Leclerc, the French Chef d'Equipe who wanted a circuit to test the French horses in preparation for Babolna and Assisi.

This is a view of endurance. Flat circuit, foolish speed, technical skill reduced to a minimum. Many riders didn't like too much the new face of the race, but one has to adapt to new situations. The first race was the CEIOYR on the distance of 130km. It was crazy… Speed, stress, animosity, closed faces. This is how competitive endurance has become. There were 51 couples at the start. Among them, 32 completed the ride. This is not too bad, taking into account the speed. One has to figure out that at the start of the last loop, after 110km and with 20km to go, there were 26 horses in just 3 minutes. Watching the young riders taking the start of the last loop at full gallop, just separated by a few dozen meters was quite an experience. The tension was palpable. Every junior had the feeling that the victory was possible. The fight during the last loop was phenomenal. The leaders covered the 20km at full gallop reaching an average speed of near 30kph. At this game, the young Roman Lafaure - let's better say his horse Kaltsoum Cabirat – was the best, arriving detached at the Grand Stadium, just a few seconds before Justin Mourou on El ABiad. At the third place, and only seven seconds behind the winner, Laetitia Goncalves on Jasmina des Ayssade. The three first average a speed of 29.8kph. They should be ready for Babolna. After, one had to wait seven minutes to watch the next group. In the team competition, France finished first followed by Belgium and Brazil. The Brazilian young riders were riding French horses in an exchange program launch by Guillherme Ferreira.

The day after, the seniors riders had to compete on the CEIO. The distance of 160km normally leads to some kind of respect among the riders. But this event was at the same time considered by the French Chef d'Equipe as a test to make his selection for the European Championship. So the riders having some ambitions to enter the French squad had to demonstrate the quality of their horse. They did, no question about that. The winner was Laurent Mosti who already accomplished an exceptional season last year. He was riding an eleven year mare, Khandela des Vialettes, by the French flat racing Arabian Regal de Khan. A very strong and powerful – and not Arabian looking – mare. The mare already placed second last year in Compiègne, ninth in Dubai and second in Newmarket. Second was Guy Dumas on the part-bred Mohac and third the European Champion Jean-Philippe Francès on Hanaba du Bois. Fourth Caroline Denayer on her 15years old gelding Gwellik du Parc, a horse with incredible recoveries. He is by Djellik (son of Persik) out of a Fawzan's mare.

At the team competition, France win by far. Belgium has been second until the last vetgate, when its hopes disappeared when Dario was eliminated at the recheck. Switzerland was then happy enough to get the silver medal.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Schellbourne XP

from Karen Chaton's blog
June 5, 2009

I haven’t been able to keep up with photos or anything this week, too busy riding and getting everything done.

I’m sure those of you who have been to multidays know what it is like. It’s a lot of work to take care of yourself and two horses plus ride 50 miles a day and have very much time left for anything else.

I’ve been having a great week so far and have ridden Chief 150 miles (wow, already!?!). He is doing very well and I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. I have so many great memories riding my horses on these trails. Chief also has memories as it is clearly obvious that he remembers the trails. This year we haven’t been able to do one of the passes and whenever we pass by that area where the turn would have been Chief lets me know it by turning his head and neck and repeatedly looking, as if to ask “are you sure we’re going right?”. He is a pretty smart horse and I have to give him credit for doing that. He also has alerted me to sighting a big buck the other day and wild horses today. His ears are like radar!

I have so many photos but the internet has been iffy so I won’t even try to post them yet. The wildflowers this year are about the best I remember ever seeing on this ride. Lots of grass for the horses, and fantastic scenery. Riders from all over are having a great time and enjoying the ride.

This is a challenging ride with lots of climbing. Tons of hills - with long, long downhills so each day the numbers are dwindling. We have still had a really good turnout all things considered. Today there were around 60 riders. I’ll try to get the results posted as soon as I can. We’ve been giving some stuff to Steve Bradley to send on so check ridecamp for more info there.