Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kevin Myers and Far, Tevis 2009

Tevis Ride Stories Blog

Quoting Julie Suhr: How Will You Know How Far You Can Go Until You’ve Gone Too Far?

Far and I took on the ultimate challenge last weekend and I daresay we are both stronger beings as a result of it, and I have yet to find my own answer to Julie Suhr’s question. . .

Far: who could resist?

I have felt drawn back to the Tevis trail since riding it two years ago on a wonderful horse lent to me by a generous friend. There is not a more challenging trail and there may only be a few trails on earth more beautiful and more liberating than the Western States Trail. I have yet to find them. I rode in Easyboot Glue-On boots this year, and the difference from riding in steel shoes was quite remarkable.

Far is one of those horses you know will only cross your path once in your life. I am fascinated in his curious mind and by a fire that burns in him very deeply. He grew up in the large open spaces of the mountains in the interior of British Columbia and he loves life...

Read more here:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dubai Wrap Up - Heather Reynolds - Heather's Blog

Wednesday, 14 January 2015
by Heather Reynolds

Pictured above: Riverwatch on his 3rd loop

We went to the race venue on Friday afternoon. We walked around briefly and then had lunch there. The venue was beautiful. The permanent vet check makes it very nice and established.

The hold area is landscaped. You arrive off of the trail on a track with gaurdrails. You go through something that looks like a ticket window counter. There is a walkway/bridge to get from the one side of the venue to the other, above the ticket counter window/walk throughs (kind of like you are entering a castle). There are about 6 or so arrival walk throughs. There is also a tower on both sides of the bridge for the announcer to view the race from.

The horse wears a GPS tracking system which is on a headstall that is put on by the vet staff when you vet in. It stays on for the whole event. This system is the system that registers your arrival time. When the horse passes through the arrival gate (ticket window) it registers to a computer system. Then you proceed across the cooling area. This is a wide area with many, many garbage cans full of water to cool the horses from. In this section, whoever designed it had great foresight. The whole ground is covered with rubber mats and there is a drainage system to recycle the water. If you have ever done mass crewing with a lot of water, you would appreciate the fact that you won't be in a swamp of crazy mud by the middle of the race. From the cooling area you proceed through another electronic time gate for your pulse. Once the horses crosses over that line your recovery time is recorded. Then the vet takes your heart rate with a hand held heart rate monitor and the pulse displays on a big digital read out so anyone watching can see the pulse. This area is very nice, green grass. Then you proceed to the trot out lanes, again being very nice green grass. You stand for vetting as usual and then, when ready, you trot down and back on the manicured grass lane for the vet...

Read more here:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Greenway Gallivant - Heather Reynolds

Reynolds Racing Blog - Full Story

January 5 2015

This past weekend we did the Greenway Gallivant 2 day ride. It was really fun. The camp had changed locations from years past and with that there were entirely new trails. The best part was that we had an FEI ride in OUR town!!!

Nicki and Andy came up, so it was fun to see them as well:) When they arrived we loaded up our four horses and drove over to the ride site, a whopping 25 mins. Part way over to the ride we got a text from a young rider who needed her horse's feet done. Jeremy got out of the truck and he and Andy doubled back to get the size Easy shoe that was needed for her horse while Nicki and I continued on.

We got the four horses all settled. King and Rictik would do day 1 so they stood on one side of the trailer, while Sam and Fiddlin were doing day 2 and they were on the other side. After getting all of them hay and water I went and got the paperwork taken care of and then Jeremy was there and we vetted in King and Rictik.

Nicki was going to ride Ellen Olson's horse, Scarlett on the 2* for day 1. I would ride King on the 2* and Rictik and Jeremy Reynolds would do the 1*...

Read more here:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The “C” Word - Kat Irvine

from Kat’s adventures in Abu Dhabi for the Al Maktoum Cup

January 6, 2015 - It was quiet at the barn this morning. We put our last ride before the race on the horses with bending and stretching exercises and turned them out for the day with fly sheets and masks without having getting the sweated up. The barn inside was quiet with horses getting last minute, feel good treatments and there was even a saddle being cleaned. This would be the last quiet moments because when the crews got there, the pandemonium would start.

In those moments, before the distraction would start I had to approach Jess with a subject that is sensitive between us. She rolls her eyes when I dare to use the "c" word. Camel market.

The camel market and the village is the center of the camel racing culture. As we come into the village there are miles of race tracks and not unusual to see a trainer with half a dozen or so camels of all ages as they exercise along the track. The all have racing silks of sorts, matching blankets on them and some have the colourful crocheted muzzles.

I had made no secret to Jess I wanted a muzzle. Besides, it was time to pick up fresh alfalfa. And given that our vet Dr. GlenN, who is known far and wide for his advocacy of date syrup, would love to have some of the local produce, Jess agreed that it would be okay if we went "just this once".

I love the camel market. I love the little stores filled with all kinds of things- rainbow stacks of feed tubs and buckets, carpets, robot jockeys, hay, etc. Just to be clear, this is not a tourist place. There is dust on everything, the store owners don't speak English, and why would anyone want a robot jockey anyway?

Camel racing is one of the UAE's traditional sports and an important part of the region's heritage. However, there was vigorous international criticism of the use of young children to ride camels during long and hazardous races. Many of they children are said to be have been kidnapped and trafficked from South Asia.

Robotic jockeys were invented to take the place of small children in order to lower the level of child labor as well as the risk attached with the lives of those young children.

I didn't want a robot jockey, I wanted a camel muzzle.

"Why do you want a camel muzzle?" Asked Jess.
"Because not everyone has one." Was my reply.
There is no arguing with that kind of logic.

So off we went the first thing we did is pick up our fresh alfalfa or "grass" as our driver, Madhu, has learned to call it. He, as usual does the dealing and wouldn't you know it our bundles are getting cheaper all the time!

Then off to find the camel muzzles. Our first store owner was uncooperative. After we (Yep, she got into the spirit) had gotten all excited about picking out our colours and tying our fastening strings in, Madhu said, "leave it".

We carried on and in a few steps we came across our date vendor. That's all he had to sell, dates and date syrup in 2 litre pails and little containers that look like they hold about a litre. Great, the horses and we will have our power boost.

Next store we had better luck with the camel muzzles and got a really them at a good price.

Follow the rest of Kat’s adventures at: