Friday, December 10, 2010

Impressions from an Endurance Newbie - Jamie Bratt - Full Story and photos

North American Shagya Arabian Society December 2010

December 5 2010

It was a weekend of firsts. My horse’s first competition, my first endurance race, the first year of the “Canter Over the Mountain” ride in West Virginia. I had been training all summer with my Shagya-Arabian.

I had purchased Shagya Skamp AF as an endurance prospect; his sire Janos was a successful 100-mile competitor who had been exported to Japan to train for FEI level competitions. Skamp also inherited excellent conformation and temperament from both sides of his pedigree. He exemplifies the famous Shagya-Arabian combination of brains, bone and buddy-up personality. But, at just five years old and after just a few months of training together, would he live up to the promise in his first competition? And what about me, was I ready to race for 25 miles?

Thankfully, I had read the AERC primer for new endurance riders the year before and heeded much of the good preparation advice. The best thing I did was volunteer at a few endurance races before Skamp arrived at my farm in Maryland. Not only did I come to understand the organized chaos of the ride camp and crewing areas, I also witnessed some great tricks of the trade to emulate and some classic mistakes to avoid. Most importantly, I connected with several experienced endurance riders in my area who quickly became mentors and friends. Though I had been riding for over 20 years, I had so much to learn about the unique challenges of endurance (and I still do)...

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tom Quilty 2010 - Kelly Jol

Zameelarabians Blog

December 1 2010

This year I rode the Manilla Tom Quilty, not on my own horse, but on a sweet horse with the name of Mt Eerwah Silver Mariner, know to most, and from hereon, as Petey. He is a horse owned by Jay Randle of Splendacrest Endurance Stables.

My preparations for Scrupulous had gone wrong - and he was not ready and fit enough to warrant making the long trip to NSW to compete. I missed having my show pony stallion at the event - there is something special about a stallion that all notice, they simply draw eyes and attention - however I will not digress.

Petey is a big striding grey, and very pleasant to have around. Very fit - he was still used for teaching many small children, as young as a 2yo boy having his first ride. Worth his weight in gold!

Petey had already done two 160km rides and is a seasoned horse. He gave me a nice quiet and steady start at the midnight ride. There were 300 plus horses milling around, the riders all keen for the silver buckle. It is very exciting at the start of a Quilty - I was rapt to be in the saddle and not watching on the sidelines - like the year prior!

The first two legs were very jarring, and there was a high vet out rate. Petey was solid...

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Last ride of the season: Desert Gold - Karen Chaton Blog

As with many rides this time of year, getting to and from the ride is as much or more of an adventure than the ride itself. This time was no exception. I hadn’t really been planning on going to Desert Gold though I always like going to rides that I haven’t done before. What made me decide to go for sure was because Dave Rabe’s truck was (is) still in the shop. I don’t think they’ve quite solved the problem yet. I didn’t want him to miss going to this ride because he needed to complete at least one day in order to win the mileage championship.

So we worked it out that he’d go with me. Since he only needed to ride White Cloud it would work because each of us could bring a horse and that would leave us with enough room for all of our combined “stuff”. Les was going to bring Tulip for me to ride on the middle day. I had already done over 1300 miles on Chief this season so didn’t really care if he did another ride or not.

Everything always works out the way it does for a reason...

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