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January 21 2012
The HH Sh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum Endurance Cup
With the help of a little blue pill, I had a great nights sleep the night before the ride. Both Judith and I set our iPhones for 4:30 am so we would be ready for pick by Dr. Jim Bryant at 5:20. We were actually awakened by room service at 4:45 (thank goodness we had ordered breakfast). Since the time difference is 12 hours, and our phones have been in airplane mode so as not to accrue charges, the phone time was was 4:30 pm. With all our clothes laid out and gear ready to go, we had not problem meeting Jim at the appointed time. We were at the venue by 6:00 am. Soon the horses appeared and were hand walked for 30 minutes.
About 10 minutes before the start we mounted and Jordi, Julien and I lined up in a row and did a little trotting and cantering. Pete remembered his dressage and was able to give me some leg yield and shoulder in, to help supple him before the start. Juma had us wait behind the start gate for 10 seconds after the start of the ride, then had us leave at a pace of 23.5 kph.
The horse in the lead was nice and relaxed, the horse in the middle a little afraid of everything and Juma was concerned that Pete might be afraid of all the cars racing by us on either side (he could have cared less). Since I was third in line, I had no responsibilities except to ride the horse. Jordi took care of the pace. We had two cars to hand off water bottles and I must admit Pete and I rocked...
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