Thursday, June 06, 2024

2024 Mary and Anna Memorial 100 - Emilee Randal

June 5 2024
By Emilee Randal

Finally have time to sit down and write a ride recap for The Mary and Anna Memorial ride. My first 100. First and foremost, none of this would have been possible without my mom, Darlene, Max, Fire’s previous owner, Cat, who did so much to make sure she held up well, Kristine, Celena, Joslynn, Siri, Sarah, and so many other people.

Back in March, Darlene put the wild idea into my head that I could probably do the 100 at Mary and Anna. I thought she was absolutely insane, because WHAT?! My initial goal was Tevis, but this year I’m going to go crew. Darlene thought it would be a great first 100 and she was right. Surprising, I know! We decided it would be smart to have me ride with Max at Eagle Canyon to see if our mares were well matched for 100 miles. You put a half thoroughbred mare and an off the track arabian, both competitve, together for 100 miles, and they won’t tell you if they’re tired. Despite angry mare stares all day and mild concern that they would push eachother too hard at MAMR, we decided to give it a go. I fed Fire everything she would eat, her ugly duckling clip grew out, and before I knew it, it was time to go. Fire was well prepared with regular BEMER sessions, chiropractic work, and some massage work.

The trek to La Pine wasn’t bad, but Bend traffic is no joke. My mom and I left bright and early around 5 or 5:30 and got to camp around 1:30. We got all set up and later on, Joslynn and I went for a little pre-ride. She took Miles (a decade team horse who is still breezing through LDs) and I rode Fire. The conversation was wonderful and we had a grand time cantering up a hill.

I took Fire out the next day for a second little pre-ride. We went bareback in my sidepull and she was so good. I was really happy with how she was doing and I felt like we were as set up for success as possible.

I tried to sleep that night, but it didn’t go too well since I kept dreaming that we got pulled because she was dead lame, colicing, etc.

I woke up at 3:30 and forgot a few things, but I wasn’t nearly as forgetful as I had been at Eagle Canyon.

I was in the saddle by 4:45 and she had fire coming out of her butt. I’m sure half of it was me, but she kept giving me the tiniest little bucks like there was a literal stick up her a$$. Once we got going, she settled in nicely. Max, Darlene and I had discussed strategy and we were going to go all day with one horse leading for 5 miles, then switching out for 5 miles, then switching back. We started with Fire in the back. I think it saved me some blisters on my hands.

Jala was taking photos just a few miles from the start, which I didn’t know, and I ended up throwing my jacket a few hundred feet from her. She was going to grab it, but someone else did. No luck finding it yet.

The mares were moving along very nicely and Fire was more manageable than she ever has been. I was pleased. Before I knew it, we were at the 20 mile vet check. Fire was eating, drinking, and she even peed! Vetted through fine and my blood pressure dropped significantly.

We went out again, and in that first 20 miles we had picked off all of the people that we would for the whole day. We were happy with how our mares were doing and we kept a super consistent pace of 8mph. Fire was going on a loose rein at this point and I figured the rest of the day would be a breeze.

Going into camp she started jigging. Poor thing can’t keep up with a big half thoroughbred mare going downhill. God forbid! We both just kept getting more and more upset, so I came into the vet check with electricity coming out of my butt, or something like that. Darlene took Fire and I went to go take a breath and eat something. I ended up taking a brief power nap, then it was back in the saddle! We did another two loops before Siri noticed that I was pretty off center and Fire’s back was getting a bit sore because of it.

The small change that I had to make to balance myself caused a good bit of agony. I had to shorten my right stirrup to make it slightly better but my ankle was SCREAMING at me. On the very last 9 mile loop it hurt so bad I could hardly think. I was very glad I wasn’t 75 miles into Tevis with another 25 to go.

I survived and we crossed the finish line in 5th place. Fire took a few minutes to pulse down, but she did and trotted sound. I was expecting to cry from the emotional overload, but I did not.

I took her back to the trailer, took care of her and gave her all sorts of food options, then went back to vetting to watch other people come in. I still don’t know why I didn’t just go to bed.

Jala came up to me and gave me a hug, and for whatever reason, I started crying. Total waterworks. I was laughing at myself while crying because I had no idea why I was crying, but soon, the tears subsided and I was happy to sit by a little propane fire and watch people come in.

I went to bed with some very sore legs and woke up the next morning for BC showing. The SECOND I saw her, my eyes went to her hind right leg, which had blood running down it. Good grief.

She cast herself in her panels overnight. I took her to the vet and was freaking out just a little. He assured me she was just fine. Her other legs were cold and tight - thank you compression socks!

Fire’s CRI was 56/64, so she was tired, but otherwise okay. I was overjoyed. I knew we didn’t have a shot at BC, considering the horses in front of us have a much more rigorous training program, along with some damn good owners, but I was just happy her CRI wasn’t horrific.

Overall, nothing really went wrong. It was a good day spent with good people. I had some very wise people give me advice for next time and I’m thankful for people who are willing to share their knowledge.

We brought home AHA Region 4 Endurance Purebred Arabian Reserve Champion and Purebred Arabian BC - for clarification, not overall BC.

I cannot express how thankful I am to everyone who helped me out throughout the day - Heather was great company to calm me down, Siri and Sarah, who both rode 50s and then jumped in to lend a hand, Darlene, my mom, and Joslynn. I’m sure there’s more that I’m forgetting, but seriously, thank you ALL.

Another big thank you to Jennifer Kaplan, who did so much to help get me to this point in my endurance career, to Ashley Fiedler for years of support and riding lessons, to Sue Barrington for introducing me to BEMER - thank you for helping with keeping my girl healthy, Marlene Moss for all of the saddle fit assistance (finished with no back soreness!), to The Distance Depot for keeping us looking snazzy all day and being my favorite tack place, and Fleet Foot Forge for all of the brainstorming you did with me to give Fire the best advantage with her shoeing.