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

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