Thursday, 06 February 2014
Pictured above: Chanses winning the 3* 100/160km
Jeremy and I did our usual booting ritual. We booted up all 5 horses that we were taking to Broxton Bridge, except Mo who was still wearing his boots from Gator Run. We did our booting effort on Monday as we were planning to drive on Wed. The weather was pretty cold as we glued all the guys up. Wed it was suppossed to rain all day so we were glad to be doing this and getting it done while it was dry out.
As we were booting the horses with their Easyboot Glue Ons we got a call from the ride manager. It was now official that no one should drive to the race on Wed as there were ice storms and really hazardous driving conditions. Oh boy. Well that bought us a free night and a spare day:)
On Wed evening I drove Cleo over to Lisanne's. She would drive to the race with her. Our trailer was full and Lisanne was awesome to be our overflow. We gave her the best one to not have any hassles, although none are a hassle:)
On Thursday morning just before we left, Wendy came over to fit my Reactor Panel saddle to Chanses. To check this out: /www.reactorpanel.com>www.reactorpanel.com Originally I was not riding Chanses, Jeremy was but at the last minute I was riding him. She got the saddle fit and we caught the horses and loaded them up.
The Broxton Bridge ride was a 2 day FEI event. On the first day, Friday, Jeremy would ride Most Likley in the 1*, while Nicki and I rode Chanses and Cleo in the 3*. On day 2 Jeremy would ride Kowboy on a 2* and Nicki would ride her horse, Btash also on a 2*.
Thursday we had an uneventful drive, it took about 6 hours to get to the ride. When we got closer there was snow dusting the shoulders of the road. Great. Super chilly by our standards!
We got the horses settled, Nicki, Andy and their crew Michelle were already there as well as Cleo. We set up easily and then went for a short pre ride followed by vetting in. That night Lynn Kennely had made a great meal for all of the riders. The ride briefing was next, followed by hustling off to our warm trailer.
On Friday morning the 100 mile riders started at 8 am and the 50 miler at 9! The ride manager wanted the frost to have a chance to thaw at some point in the day so we started at a very civilized hour. Even at this hour I started with a rump rug on Chanses and Cleo, which we never do.
The loops flew by. Our awesome crew, Skip, Heather, Andy, Michelle, Lynn and Misty were awesome as usual. They were right there exactly when we needed them. Chanses and Cleo recovered great all day long. We were in the lead group all day. Jeremy and Ellen Olson were riding with us and as a herd we galloped along. The horses enjoyed having company.
Mo was doing stellar as well. It was his first 1*. He hasn't been in top training as we have been so focused on the 100 mile horses that are all aimed at vying for a spot on the USA or GBR team for the WEG this summer. (There are 5 in full force training.) Mo just went along doing his thing. By the end of his 50 he was still with the leader. The pace increased and when it got up to a good run Jeremy decided to pull up and save it for another day. Mo won Best Condition.
On the last loop of the 100 Jeremy Olson, Nicki and I all left together. It was dark and parts were muddy as it had rained so much the week leading into the ride and we were riding the same loop that we had ridden the 2 previous loops so it was getting chewed up. With our headlamos it was hard to tell what was lumpy sand and what was truly mud.
My headlamp, which was a really bright one with a battery pack, decided to go on the fritz. It would be great and then go black for a few minutes and then decide to work again. Very entertaining while galloping along. Chanses didn't care he kept his pace for me.
At one point Shade was in the lead and a whole large group of deer came leaping out! Shade handled it like a pro, he only spooked a little. I think he wanted to maintain his cool image in front of his two new friends so he pretended to be brave;)
When we were about 3 miles from the end Cleo slowed down a little and Shade and Chanses continued on. In the end I asked Chanses to accelerate and it became clear that Shade was not going to make chase. Chanses won with a ride time of 8:33. He and Shade had very close BC scores. Shade did end up with BC.
In all it was a very successful day for us.
Day 2 Jeremy Reynolds got up and saddled Kowboy in the rain. It was looking aweful. Nicki was also out saddling up Btash (after riding the 100 the day before), both were doing the 2*, 75/120km race. The trail conditions were now deep from all the horses doing the trail the day before and from the steady rain. It was pretty chilly and wet.
The day wore on, Kowboy did most of this race alone and in the end Kowboy won and got Best Condition with a ride time of 6:51. That was a great time considering the deep going. Unfortunately Btash had a tight hind end from all of the deep going and cold conditions and made it to the finish but did not get a completion.
On Sunday after the awards and breakfast and sorting through all of the wet gear to try to pack the trailer up, we loaded up to head home. We were pulling out of the race and our Freightliner was shifting through its gears (it's a 10 speed) and the truck stopped shifting at 5th gear. Great, we were now only able to go 22 MPH. We drove on. I made a few phone calls and it was decided it would be best to continue towards the interstate to try to find a service garage. About an hour into our very slow drive the truck decided to work. We thanked our truck and promised to take it in when and if we made it home.
The truck was taken in yesterday and it is now fine. It got us home without any further issues:)
When we got home we turned everyone out and then headed over to pick up Cleo. When she made it home and got turned out she took off bucking! She looked great. Btash was also fine by then and he looked great.
Broxton was a great event. The best footing, when you're doing the first day, as the grounds manager grooms the entire track. I thanked him for that, it is truly awesome.
Hope we see you at FITS.