Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Red Barn Run - Keith Kibler

Shawneesunrisefarm Blog - Full Story

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Keith Kibler

Red Barn Run 2012
We love riding and competing in endurance races in the South. The folks, as a group, are friendly and genuinely glad to see new comers. The vets are used to seeing alternative breeds other than Arabians.

The location of the ride is Chester GA. It is so tiny that it could be a suburb of Mayberry. It has the claim to fame of having been the home town of Pretty Boy Floyd. I mean the famous criminal, not the speed racking horse. It seems that Floyd left town for greener pastures. In a classic southern tradition not unlike direction advice that starts with, “turn where the tavern used to be”, the ride is named after a red barn that is no longer on the property.

The ride site is owned by the Perry family. They own all 4000 acres of the ride site, and this ride is the only time the family place is open to the public. Camping is great but rustic. There is a water spigot and you have to haul water back to your trailer. The Perry’s own an off site winery, and they offer wine and wonderful concoctions they call “slushies” that many women, including my wife Sandy, loved. Both the Friday and Saturday evenings were catered as a part of the ride fee. Friday night was barbecue chicken and Saturday night featured barbecue ribs.

The Perry’s are great folks and they turn the dinners into a Mayberry- like impromptu skits where they end up making fun of their relatives or friends. The top awards feature things like hand-made wooden giant rocking chairs and mounting blocks. The vets included Otis Schmitt, Ken Marcella and Dee Dee Huff. Each of the 4 rides had about 60 entries. The trails are flat, fast and often a bit sandy. Each road crossing is manned and the crossing guards are usually the Chester volunteer fire department or friends of the Perrys. This is one of our favorite rides and I urge you to try it.

It is always great to see the Angie McGee family, Joe Schoech, and the other SE riders. We had to haul 11 hours to get there and that means getting up at 3:30 am. My plan was to ride my sweet heart twh mare Kate both days, and take the twh Jazz as my back up. Sandy took one of her twh mares Cheyenne. I loaded the horses in the dark and off we went. Shortly after leaving, the dash cluster on our 2007 Ford diesel 250 went dark and the gauges went dead and the battery light came on. The motor did not die and when the gas pedal was tapped, the power came back on. This happened on and off for the whole trip. It meant you could not really listen to the radio and required us to go to a “happy place” as we drove.

We got to Southern Ga. no worse for wear and set up in a cotton field. While unloading the horses, Sandy happened to mention that I had brought Savanah instead of Jazz as my backup. Oops. I loaded the wrong black horse in the dark. So, we brought the wrong coggins and travel permits. That will teach me to go to bed earlier...

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