Monday, July 25, 2011

Euston Park... Success for the USA!! - Heather Reynolds

Reynolds Racing - Heather's Blog

Sunday, 24 July 2011
On Saturday, the day before the race, Jeremy Becky and I went to Juma's barn again and all three of us went out for a nice ride with Maria and Juma. It was very nice and fun.

After we were done there Emmett, Dwight, Becky Jeremy and I headed over to the venue. We had a bite to eat at the venue from Jack's Snack Shack. Pretty good.

In the mid afternoon we were getting our ride packets from the race secretary when a phone call came in from the barn that I was borrowing Ox from (ultimately Sheik Mohammad). Apparently Sheik Mohammad reviewed the group of his horses racing in the race with the riders who were riding them and he saw that I was on Ox doing the 50 mile/ 80k and said "no", she must do the 75/120k. So the phone call was to offer me a horse for the 120k. Of course I accepted. I would now be riding a horse that I would meet on Sunday morning right before the start. I was told that he is very big and that he is a grey Anglo Arab. His name is Opium Lord!! Too funny.

The rest of the horses that the USA would ride were vetted in on Saturday. Darren, Cheryl and Becky's horses all vetted in.

After hanging out, watching the vetting and hearing the ride meeting there was a big party with dinner and live music. It was really nice and there was ice cream:)

We headed back to the hotel to hear the party going on from the wedding that was happening in our hotel. I fell asleep regardless and was deeply sleeping when the fire alarm went off. After the third time that it went off Jeremy called the front desk to make sure there wasn't a real problem. The person who answered told him there was no problem, the DJ had set off a smoke machine or something on the dance floor. Great.

This morning was race day, Sunday morning. We piled into the cars at 6 am. The races began at 7 for the 100 mile/160k and 7:30 for the 75/120k. Becky was doing the 160k and the rest of us were doing the 120.

When we got there I went to weigh in as my saddle arrived with my horse that morning, new saddle, new horse. Then I got to meet my horse. Very cool horse. He was probably around 16 hands with a lean racy body.

Becky started the race without an issue. Then it was our turn to get going. I mounted Opium and started warming him up. He was excited and I think he was worried that I was going to not let him do his job because he crow hopped a few times when I didn't let him canter right away. After a 20 min warm up with me riding him we were off. My instructions were to go with the lead

Read more here:

Euston Park - World Championship Pre Ride - Heather Reynolds

Reynolds Racing - Heather's Blog

Friday, 22 July 2011
Jeremy and I went to the SFO airport on Wednesday with Becky Hart, however we weren't on the same flight as her even though we were all headed to the same destination.

After the first leg of the flight we landed in Atlanta. Jeremy and I had a short lay over so we were looking for our gate when all of the sudden a stewardess that was walking towards us fell down in front of us. Jeremy and I reached down to help her up and a man behind her bent down to help her up as well. When we looked up it was Emmett Ross, our new Chef for team USA! How funny. He was headed to England as well and he was on yet another flight. His flight left Atlanta 30 mins ahead of ours.

The second flight was long and I slept a lot and then watched a movie. We landed a little after noon on Thursday. Jeremy and I headed to the rental car location where we would meet up with all the USA team that was on this trip.

When we got there Emmett Ross, Becky Hart, Vonita Bowers, Dwight Hooten, Sue Hedgecock & Devon Horn were there. We got our cars and started the 2 hour drive to the hotel. It was colorful as we were on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of the car. Emmett drove our car and Dwight drove the other. We were all a bit tired and navigating was really fun! On one of the round-abouts we made a bonus round and noticed a Starbucks half way around and pulled in. We were all due for some caffeine and a sandwich.

After about another hour we arrived at the hotel. It is really beautiful. We are at the Grange Hotel. It is about a 20 min drive from here to the race venue. When we walked into the lobby we saw Valerie Kanavy, John Crandell, Deborah Reich and Melody Blittersdorf. All of them looked like sleep should happen soon!

When we got checked in we all got back into the cars and went to the race venue to check things out. It was still being set up but was looking nice. The terrain is very flat and grassy. The weather is cloudy and in the mid 60's. Everything is green and beautiful...

Read more here:

Friday, July 01, 2011

2011 Dead Dog Creek - Keith Kibler - Full Story

Posted on June 30, 2011 by Keith Kibler

Gaiting for a Weekend

This is one of my favorite rides. It is named after a creek that the race managers used to race through on another course that has absolutely nothing to do with this course. Then, they found out that “Dead Dog Creek” itself was actually named something other than “Dead Dog Creak”. They kept the name for this event and in the world of endurance that makes perfect sense.

The course is windy, wet and is frequently crossing creeks and has climbing. What more could a gaited horse want? It is also within 2 hours from our home, and that is a real blessing. On top of that, Aaron and Linda Mowrer are real peaches as the ride managers. They are non assuming, old school endurance to the bone. They don’t care if you ride a 3 legged pogo stick if your horse can do the deal and they will encourage you and help you along the way. They get 5 out of 5 stars.

So, we had 7 horses ready, and only 6 trailer spots. I elected to leave Blues at home and accept the help of my friends Kelley Powell and Jeff Anderson. I would put Kelley on Niki, who I thought fast enough to keep up with Sandy and Cheyenne in a 50 on Saturday and then have Jeff ride with Sandy and Savannah on Pippin in a Ld. on Sunday. I decided to ride Jazz in a 50 and then follow up with Kate in a 50. Blues is the fastest critter we have but he was staying home. So 6 horses, two rigs and 4 riders went to Salem.

This course, which I earlier described, has two conditions. Those conditions are wet and REALLY wet and sloppy...

Read more here: