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Saturday, October 24 2009
On the way home from our lovely Kentucky adventure we decided to go to the Lake Sonoma 50.  Skip was feeling inspired as well, so he wanted to ride too.  Skip hadn't been riding hardly at all lately.  His last race was in 2003.  He decided to come out and train a bit.  On Wednesday Skip came out to ride and see if he really wanted to go through with the race.  He rode again on Thursday and he was "ready".  

We are a really bad influence at our barn.  On Thursday we told two of our other riders that we were going to Sonoma and before you knew it there were 5 of us going.  Nothing like being flexible.  Gotta love endurance riders.

Friday we loaded up all 5 horses.  Our friend Carol had her horse Freebie and Jeff's horse Breeze in her trailer and Jeremy and I took Bey, Strut and Razin in our trailer.  Jeremy was riding Bey, I was riding Razin and Skip was on the stud, Strut.  Skip and Jeff drove up later in the afternoon. 

Carol followed us up.  We drove our extra speedy big truck that we had just spent so much quality time in earlier in the week.  We did play hell trying to get to a decent diesel station on the way to the ride.  Oh well.

When we got to the ride we found parking relatively easily considering how tight the parking is.  We set up, then we checked in.  Jennifer, the ride manager is a fellow mudder from our Kentucky trip.  I don't think she got to recover from her trip either as she had to organize this race.  No rest for the wicked, us included. :)

We vetted all 5 horses in and then Jeremy and Carol went out for a ride.  I got our crew stuff ready while they were out.  When they returned Skip and Jeff arrived. 

We all went to the ride meeting where there were Halloween cupcakes.  Yummy.  The big deal at the ride meeting was that there was someone coming from the state department to be there for drug testing by means of drawing blood.  Apparently there was a lot of concern about this as the person was just there to watch but that the ride vets would have to take time out to do all the actual work of the draw and filling out the paperwork.

After the ride meeting our "Den Mother" (Carol) had brought a delicious dinner for all of us to share.  Very yummy with extra garlicky, garlic butter for the bread, that she had made herself:)  Carol takes the best care of us, we love her.

That night the weather was really perfect and you could see all of the stars.  Why did we ever leave California for Kentucky?

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early.  Carol had also brought us a great breakfast of quiche and fresh orange juice.  After all of the good food and getting horses saddled, etc. it was time to get on with the ride.

I said goodbye to Jeremy, Jeff and Carol.  Skip and I were going to be riding slower as it was Razin's third 50 and Strut's first Heavyweight.  Razin handled himself very well.  He is really coming along nicely.  Strut was his normal wonderful self as well.  Skip and he were the studs together.

On the first loop there is an out and back that you pick up an "item" to prove that you have been down to the turn around point.  You also get a piece of candy from a "witch" in a purple hat.  I was reaching for the candy when Razin did a full body shake and I ended doing a party foul and dumping the whole candy "bowl" (a helmet) over.  Darn, I didn't need the candy any way, it was a sign. 

On our way back from the turn around a friend of ours, Steve Lenheim was offering to sell his "item" to riders coming out to the turn around.

The first vet check was a breeze.   We had a 30 min hold and then we were off again to the lunch stop.  The trail was really fun.  It is hilly and windy on a nice single track.  Very cool on a handy horse.  It did seem like the trail had been cleared to the height of a 15 hand horse.  Not tall enough for the 15.3 and 16 hand horses we were on:)  Lots to keep you alert.

Lunch was nice.  The check had been moved a little closer as there is now a horse camp with troughs and a good place for a vet check to be.   Both horses were good to continue.  As we arrived to the check Jeremy and Jeff were just leaving.  Carol was about 10-15 min behind them.

Razin didn't eat as well as he could have and has earned himself a free round trip ticket to a multiday ride... lucky.

It was a pretty warm day on horses with their new winter coats coming in.  Our two, Strut and Razin were definitely feeling the warmth.  The trail was more scenic then I remembered it being. 

We finished around 2:45 or so.  We aren't sure but Skip and I might have been in the top twenty.  Both horses vetted through without a hitch.  We found out that Jeremy had come in 3rd and had won Best Condition and Jeff was 4th.  Carol was tied for 6th but there were no ties allowed so she took 7th.  Another great day!  Jennifer and her family did another terrific job putting this ride on, especially when you consider that a lot of them were in Kentucky last week!

We got a trailer ride back to base camp (you finish a few miles from camp).  This is when we made up our story to tell Jeremy (he didn't know he had won BC yet).  When we got to camp we told Jeff and Carol that Strut and Razin had been 9th and 10th and that Strut had won BC!  Jeremy was not in sight though.  It turns out he had a raging fever and was sleeping.  So much for our joke :(  Oh well, it turns out he heard it any how from the trailer window.  He was happy when he found out that he had actually won BC.

We hung out for a few hours and ate a bunch of crap, junk food.  Then we packed up and we are currently driving home as I write this.  We will see how Skip feels by Monday morning!

Posted by: Heather Reynolds AT 08:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, October 18 2009
On Friday I loaded up the four horses and headed to the Lexington airport to pick up Jeremy so that we could start our drive home.   (On the way, there a young boy who was in the back seat of a car and motioning with his hand to honk the horn, you know that pulling motion gesture.  I was so excited that I could actually do what he was asking!  I know a bit pathetic, but it made me smile. )  This is a very small airport so it wasn't too bad to get in there with our rig. 

Jeremy got in and we were off.  Our drive began at 6pm and we drove through the night.  On our drive we called Charisse and Karl from time to time to see how we were all doing.  Sometime in the middle of the night I got a text message from Charisse that was crazy.  I called her and she told me that they had been following a big rig when all of the sudden it swerved violently and then crashed off the road through trees flipping over and twisting to to a halt.  Karl and Charisse pulled over and ran to the rig.  It was so buried in trees that Karl had to move branches away to be able to climb up on the truck to scale the side of it to get to the passenger side window.  He looked in and the driver looked dead.  Then the driver came to and Karl and Charisse waited for emergency crew to arrive.  When they arrived the guy was able to climb out and walk away.  He seemed like maybe he broke some ribs and his left arm was cut up but overall not much damage!  The front tire had blown out and sent the rig out of control.  It was the guys first truck driving accident in 25 years.

We looked for a place to stop in Arkansas.  We found the fairgrounds but it was more like a carnival land that was all locked up and there was no sign of a place to keep horses.  The neighborhood that we were driving through was pretty scary as well so maybe it was for the best.
It wasted about an hour of time and it was already 2 am.

We drove further and with no luck on a stopping point at 4:45 am we pulled over at a rest stop and took a four hour nap.  The horses were getting restless so we woke up and started going again. 

Last night was Saturday night and we found a place to stop in Amarillo Texas.  We stayed at "The Big Texan".  Home of the free 72 oz steak (if you can eat it in an hour, otherwise it is $72). 

There is a horse hotel there as well as a steak house.   We unloaded and took care of the four horses and then waited for our friends Ceci and Jason to arrive so we could all go to dinner.  While we waited we saw the cow statue pictured above.  We also looked through the gift shop where they have cowboy everything as well as a Rattlesnake in a cage. 

Jason, Ceci, Jeremy and I had dinner and the steak was awesome.  f you are ever on Hwy 40 take exit 75 and have a good meal.  They also let you use there turnout pens for free for two hours if you are eating in the restaurant.  Good to know.

We slept like the dead and started out again this morning around 9.  The horses are all well.  We are currently in New Mexico and the slow and steady truck is doing exactly that, getting us there slowly.
Posted by: Heather AT 01:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 16 2009
Before Best Condition there was a light breakfast served to all attending.  That was a nice surprise!  At the Best Condition judging Jan Worthington's horse Golden Lightening look super and he was later awarded Best Condition.  We didn't stay for the awards as we wanted to get cleared out of the barn and headed back to our house with the pastures for the horses.  Jeremy needed to catch a flight to New York to work on some horses and Tim was flying home as well.

I was anxious to get back to the house as we had our two new horses that Lynn had trailered down from Delaware for us there and I had not met them in flesh yet.  I went straight out to see them.  This was the best part of our trip.  I love them both!!  We got an 8 year old grey gelding named A Kutt Above and a 3 year old chestnut gelding named An Honest Crook.  Great horses, I am very happy... finally something exciting from this trip:)

When the whole team made it back to the house we all got things settled and went out for a fun dinner as our final hurrah of this trip.  We had a great time.  On our way home we took the scenic route and had a good laugh.

Finally we all said our good byes and headed off for bed.

This morning at an early hour that I was not conscious for Cheryl, Maddy and Cherry flew out.  A short while later I was awake and Carolyn headed out. 

I went out to the barn to find Karl, Richard, Charisse and Kim stripping out their stalls and getting ready to head out.  I stripped my 4 stalls and said good bye to them and then It was just me and my dogs here.

Around noon Jason and Ceci came to pick up a horse to take to CA.  I helped them load up and they were off too.  About 15 min later Ceci came walking up and asked where the stack of garbage cans were that Skip wanted them to take out to CA.  Damn.  We got the cans and carried them the 1/2 mile to where Jason and Ceci's truck was parked.

Now I am waiting for Jeremy to land tonight at 5:30.  I will go get him with the trailer and horses in tow to begin our return journey in our speedy truck.  Hopefully it is as uneventful as our drive out.
Posted by: Heather AT 12:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 16 2009
We woke up at the civilized hour of 6 am. The race would not start until 7:46.  I did my normal routine of getting ready and then we all took the golf cart down to the barn.  It was already raining and it was increasing all the while.

When we got to the barn Chikako was there to let all of us know that she was alive and well.  Thank god!!  The day before I didn't know what condition she was in when they strapped her to that board and hauled her off.

I went to my stall and Carson looked very relaxed.  I saddled up and we started "warming up"  a great misrepresentation of the word "warm".  I was riding around with one of Valerie's other riders.  Her name was Dorota and she was on Pandor, Carson's friend.  We rode around for about 10 min and then we were instructed to go with all of the other 100 mile riders to another field to continue warming up.  After about 10 more min in this second area we went to the starting area for a third "warm up"  all the while getting colder.  It was at this point that the water was running down my leg into my shoes.  I also didn't really feel my hands anymore.  At the starting area my friend Lynn asked me how everything was.  I told her that everything was fine but that I couldn't feel my hands.  She somehow magically produced a pair of dry gloves that I put on over my gloves.  With the double pair on the wind wasn't going through any more. 

Finally it was time to start.  Carson was very nice to ride.  He was easy to rate and very smooth.  The first loop was already really muddy as the 75 milers had come through before us.  It weaved and twisted and looped back on itself many many times.  We went through corn fields and tobacco fields.  There were a lot of volunteers standing in the rain to point the way.  That was probably the coldest job!! 

We made it to vet gate one.  That is where I trotted twice again.  This time it was no good and we were pulled.  With the way the weather was it was a relief.

I went to get warm in the shower, which took 20 min to get full sensation back.  Then I started to crew.  The vet area, that was on a polo field had turned into a sloppy mess.  Luckily we all had mud boots on. 

The rest of the team was still ok.  Skip had some heaters picked up at Walmart so that the riders and crew had some where to warm up.  That was the best money spent on this trip!  I do not know how the other teams riders were getting warm.

Cheryl Dell was out at the next check.  Reason was a little off.  When they got him back to the barn it was discovered that he was missing a shoe on that leg.  You couldn't find the horses feet in the vet area so it was an easy mistake.

At the third vet gate it was announced that the weather conditions were so poor that the race had been reduced to a 75.  With two of the team horses out already and no possibility of getting a COC Carolyn Hock decided to retire from that race.

On the third loop Smitty was still going strong and was only 16 min behind the front runners.  Charisse and Kim were also going well.

On the last loop Smitty decided he had had enough mud for the day and was not wanting to do more than walk through the mud.  Jeremy was ok with that.  They made it to the finish in 9th place.  Smitty still did not want to move in the mud at all. 

At the finish we did a practice trot out and Smitty jogged, reluctantly on dry ground.  When he was then asked to trot for his completion it was on the very muddy trot out lane that had been used all day.  No matter what Smitty was not willing to trot in the mud.  It was extremely disappointing for everyone watching and our hearts went out to Jeremy.

Charisse and Kim completed the reduced 100/ 75 on Ben and Laramie.
All in all it was a pretty miserable ride.  I guess the best part for me was getting to see Lynn, Mark and Bethany since I hadn't seen them in so long.  I actually got to hang out with them and have "quality time" with them in the mud.  I bet they missed me:)

The after math of clean up was also a big project as everything we had was covered in sloppy mud.

A shower followed by breakfast at Denny's with our crew was kind of fun.
Posted by: Heather AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 16 2009
On Monday night after the meet and greet we went to the barn to look after the horses and Fuego was three legged lame and this is barely good enough to describe how lame he was.  He was lame walking.  He had rolled in the veal pen stall and banged his fetlock.  The hair on the outside of his fetlock was "melted" so to speak, like a rug burn.  He hobbled around and we got busy with ice, Sore No More and a special poultice.  All we could do is cross our fingers and go to bed and see.

I got up and went to the barn really early to see about Fuego.  He was only slightly improved.  There was no way he would be able to do the race.  I spent the rest of my morning tracking down various stewards and officials to see if I could find Chikako an alternate horse.  After all she had flown from Japan and I did not want to greet her and then invite her to crew! 

After a lot of work on logistics I found her a horse that was not on the grounds that needed to be trailered in.  Fuego also needed to be trailered out so that the alternate could take his stall in the secured barn.  All the while the teams are starting to line up to wait to be called to the stadium for vetting in. 

The alternate horse finally arrived and we went to go vet in.  My horse was the second to the last horse to vet in.  Smitty got to be the last one.  I had the pleasure of having to trot two times and be voted on by the panel of three vets and that was just to start the ride.  Not a good sign.

My morning hadn't been stressful what so ever... very relaxing in fact.

We got back to the barn and proceeded to trot Carson out many times at various speeds.  It was hard to tell if his leg he had scrapped up when he cast himself in his stall was playing a role in this.  His leg was wrapped with some cream on the cuts and we stopped worrying ourselves with it.

We helped Chikako saddle up her "new" mount and told her how to get to the trail.  Then we started getting the last minute things prepared for crewing.  It was almost time for the ride meeting when we heard all sorts of yelling, "look out, look out... heads up!!!!"  I ran around the barn just in time to see a horse coming past the entry t the barn area at full speed.  Right in front of the security gaurd there was a tractor re-working the front area to the barn to fix a mud problem.  Everyone moved away from the run away horse except the tractor couldn't hear.  The tractor was moving at a perpendicular to the run away horse and the horse swerved from the tractor and the rider fell infront of the horse and there was an aweful noise as the rider landed.  Immediately after the rider landed I saw that it was Chikako!!  Before anyone could do anything there was an emergency crew on the scene.  They were there withing 2 min.  They quickly assessed her and got her strapped onto a board and told us what hospital she would be at.  What a crap day it had been. 

We had the rider meeting in the stadium.  It was brief and concise, the way it should be.  This is when they finally told us what crew bay we would have.  Nothing like giving us ample time to set up!

We hustled up and set up the crew bay and then we attempted to be presentable because we were already late for the dinner party that was arranged for all the participants.  It was a great dinner, with wine and wonderful desserts.  It would have been a great party to have two nights before a 100 mile race rather than the night before the race, as the riders could have socialized and hung out longer.

Off to bed we went.  Maybe I will get to sleep and not be up worrying like I had the night before about Fuego!
Posted by: Heather AT 09:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 12 2009
Sunday came and went!  It is now Monday night.  I am super tired.  Any how, Sunday we woke up and packed all of our trailers to drive over to the horse park and have our passport inspections on the horses.  At noon we all drove over together and got the horses settled in.  The stalls are extremely small!!  They are also very flimsy.  The walls are made of vinyl and that is it. 

I finally got to meet Carson.  He is really cool.  He is 16.1 and looks like a race horse.  I rode him with Valerie's group of riders after we had everything else settled.  He is really comfortable and when he canters he passes everyone in the first few strides just doing a relaxed gait.  He can come home with me any day:)

Jeremy rode Smitty and Maddy rode Fuego.  All the horses still look great.

Monday, Jeremy and Tim took care of the horses in the morning.  When they returned I asked how the horses were and they said fine... except for yours.  I thought they were full of you know what.  But they weren't.  It turns out 16.1 hand horses and tiny stalls are a bad mix when it comes to laying down.  Carson had remodeled his stall.  Luckily he didn't hurt himself, just the stall.  He ripped open the front door to the stall (remember it is only vinyl).  He also bowed out the whole front section, gate and all.  He is fine.  The front panel has also been replaced already!

There was a vet doing a heart study on horses.  She had contacted several competitors to do research on their horses.  Smitty, Fuego and Carson are all part of this study.  They put a monitor on each horse for :30 min and then their little machine records data and we will get some sort of results from this.  Should be interesting.

I rode Carson again. Just as cool the second time.  Jeremy and Tim rode Smitty and Fuego.  (Chikako, Fuego's rider, gets in from Japan on Tuesday.)

We went to the Kentucky Horse Park today and we were just in time to see the "Parade of Breeds".  This consisted of 5 horses.  An obese Belgium, another fat Morgan, a round Appy, an equally round Paint and a little, fit Arab.  Then we looked around the museum which was really cool.  There are all sorts of interesting things to read about.

At 3:00 we had a team meeting and walked the vet check area.  Then at 5:30 there was a meet and greet for all the competitors.  That was fun.  All of the Chefs got up and introduced their riders and had a few things to say, a few teams were razzing each other which was good spirited play.

Right after this Lynn and Mark arrived.  It was great to see them after a year of moving back West.  They brought Merlin's mom, Mia and brother, Raton or Mousy. 

Tomorrow it will be all business.  Unlike today, where Jeremy and I rode the Saddlebreds pictured above:)

Posted by: Heather AT 09:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 10 2009
Today is Friday.  Last night Shar, Skip, Jeremy, Cheryl and I went to see a movie.  We saw the new movie called Couples Retreat.  It was pretty funny.  Then we went out for Mexican food.  While we were out the Mountain Team arrived. 

Charisse, Kim and Laura Hayes went out dancing with the property manager for the farm we are staying at.

Today we went over to the Kentucky Horse Park.  Our team uniforms were admired.  The registration wasn't ready yet, so we did what any rational group of individuals would do and went to Starbucks.  When we returned they were ready for us.  We were all able to register and then we checked out our barns.

Apparently right after we registered, there were a group of officials from the driving event that came over to our registration.  It turns out that their event is on the same day and yes, even some of the same course as ours!  They were insisting that our course needed to change as they had registered first for their event.  Good luck re-routing us Emmet!  This is his newest nightmare.

After we registered we went to Walmart to get some headlamps.  It was realized that no matter how fast we ride we will be in the dark.  The ride starts at 7:46, yes :46.  Then add 4 hours of hold time and 100 miles of trail, so we got a few headlamps.  Carolyn bought a wheelbarrow for when we get over to the secured barns.  I forgot to mention that we had 6 people in a 5 seater car.  Then we added a wheelbarrow to that equation. 

We headed back to the barn after our clown car act.  I clipped Smitty and Fuego and then rushed off to the airport with Charisse to get Maddy, Richard, Carl and Tim.  Luckily the airport is all of 15 min away.

Jeremy rode Fuego and Smitty and glued boots onto Smitty, Fuego, Ben and Laramie.

Charisse, Carl and Richard hauled a load of stuff to the Park, like shavings, hay etc.

Skip did a burger and hot dog BB-Q.  Lesson of the day, do not buy some unheard of brand BB-Q that needs assembly.  First the BB-Q rolled off the patio dumping off a large amount of burgers that all of the dogs quickly consumed.  Then the BB-Q had various parts that started melting on it.  Not good.  Oh well, another interesting dinner.  Overall it was good.  There was also a bottle of Moonshine finding it's way around the group.  It was some sort of homemade apple moonshine.

Tomorrow we will move the horses over to the secured barns at the Park.  I am off to bed.

Posted by: Heather AT 08:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 08 2009
Today is Thursday.  The Mountain Team was supposed to arrive today at our farm but they got stuck in a flood somewhere in Missouri.  Hopefully they make it tomorrow.

Jeremy and I went on a really nice run this morning, blue skys and a really nice temperature.  The scenery is of course great as well.

This morning our team vet Chuck Kessinger arrived.  He went over all of our team horses and they seemed to all be pretty good.  There were 6 horses examined and one of them was an alternate horse.  My horse is not here as he will arrive when Valerie gets to the Horse Park on Sunday.  The only change that has occured  is that it was decided that  Charisse would be better off on Laramie, who was Kim's original mount and that Kim would ride Ben, the original back up horse.  That put Charisse's original horse as the back up.  Just one big round robbin.  All the horses were fine but based on their records this seemed like the thing to do.  I think Kim will now have a big work out as her horse Ben is A LOT of horse.  Oh well, good for the team.  A big thanks to Charisse and especially Kim!

After the vetting Jeremy worked on Smitty's feet and the rest of the team rode.  While they were out riding it poured!  Jeremy went riding a bit later and stayed dry...lucky him.

The frogs are rampant right now and I love listening to them.  This is something I didn't realize I missed from living back East. 

The barn has a tremendous need of a barn cat.  There were drowned mice in Carolyn's electrolyte water.  Mice everywhere.

Tonight we had a BB-Q with Kessinger and his wife.  Very fun.  We also sat around and filled out more paperwork for the race, oh joy, this is the story of my life.

Merlin has become the team mascot.  He is keeping track of everyone.  I caught him going on a butterfly hunt yesterday.  He was way out in the pasture jumping two feet in the air and twirling around snapping at them.  It was really fun to watch him.

Any how it is bed time.  Hopefully there will be a Mountain Team here in the morning.

Posted by: Heather Reynolds AT 08:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 08 2009
On Tuesday morning we took Fuego and Smitty for a walk.  Jeremy and I rode our bikes and we ponied the horses for about an hour.  In the afternoon the rest of our team horses arrived.  Reason and Sando flew to Indianapolis and then drove three hours to Lexington. 

The only mishap so far with the horses for the entire trip was when Sando got nervous while the pallet was being trailered to the plane.  It was moving in a really jerky way and it set him off and he scrambled a bit and fell down in the pallet.  You can only imagine how worrisome that was tp then have to wait for the whole flight and trailer ride to find out how he actually was doing.  It turns out he is fine, a little cut up but totally fine.

After all were settled, horses and riders, we went out for a team dinner.  It turns out that Lexington's roads are like a big wheel with spokes.  The "wheel" is 45 miles around and the spokes connect everything.  This makes it a bit confusing at times.  After driving around to find a steak house that Charisse and Kim had been to earlier on their trip we did find "it".  Apparently there is a chain of these restaurants and this one was not the same one as the one they had been to before.  This had made finding the place more difficult as well.

On Wednesday I got to sleep in!!!  Yay!!  Jeremy and I went for a ride around the Polo horses pasture.  They are so funny because they run in patterns when they play and then they flat out race after they are done with the circles and zig-zags.

After doing the odds and ends that can consume your day Skip made an awesome spaghetti dinner with cheesy bread and an amazing salad.  We all sat around a relaxed and there was gin and tonic going around.  Then we watched So You Think You Can Dance and had several good laughs at the expense of the contestants while the chocolate chip cookies where baking.

We ended our day with hot cookies covered in vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and Reeses sprinkles.

Posted by: Heather Reynolds AT 08:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 06 2009
We made it!!  We pulled in at 1:30 am and boy were we glad to be done driving... at least for the next 10 days:)  After well deserved sleep we took the horses out for a long walk. Jeremy and I rode our bikes and ponied Fuego and Smitty around Bryan Station.  The place is beautiful.  We are staying in a house on the farm.  It is really close to the barn.  We also have huge grassy turn out paddocks.  Both of our horses seemed relieved this morning to not be getting into the trailer. 

Charisse and Kim were already here and Cheryl and Carolyn fly in tonight.  Their horses fly in tonight as well.

Merlin thinks it is great here.  He has been sprinting around a lot today.  Yes, he literally sprints. 

I found out one more piece of info about Carson.  My friend emailed me a picture she had of him and he is a grey.  I like greys so that is good:)

Posted by: Heather Reynolds AT 04:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 05 2009
We have been driving for 40 hours and our GPS says we have 530 miles left to go.   Last night there was a nice snow storm that we went through in Wyoming.   Right now we are in Missouri, at the moment that is synonymous for misery.  We are finding out that our new Toter Home International goes a fine speed in CA as the speed limit is 55 for a truck hauling.  Not the case in these central states where the speed limit is 75.  Our truck hits top speed at 61 MPH unless you are going down a big hill.  Oh well, it's a lot like riding a real honest hard working, sound endurance horse that is lacking any true talent.  You love them because they give you all they've got willingly, and you live with the fact that they aren't cut out for speed.

We are headed to Lexington Kentucky for the World Championship Pre-Ride.  We left Almaden, CA on Sat the 3rd around 1pm, after visiting psycho donuts, where you can get the most outrageous donuts imaginable.   We loaded up Smitty and Fuego and started East.

Jeremy will be riding Sir Smith and I will be riding Carson's Gold on the FEI3* 100/160 km race.  Fuego will be doing the FEI2* 75/120 km race with our friend Chikako who is representing Japan.  (Chikako rode one of our other horses, Genuine Treasure at the FEI2* at the Git Er Done ride earlier this year winning the Best Condition award for the FEI division.)

With the new FEI requirements it can be very difficult to have a horse with the right qualifications to be able to enter the horse at different levels of FEI rides . So was the case with me riding any of our horses.  I was going to ride Ssamiam, who is qualified but he got his leg hung in a hay bag and needed a little R&R.  (Sam and Smitty are the only two horses in our group that have done more than one season, other than Gem who is currently pregnant.)   I then thought that maybe I just wouldn't ride.  I slept on that and woke up and called Vallerie Kanavy to see if she might have a horse or a lead on a horse.  She came up with two horses in her group that she offered to me!  Extremely generous.  I was given Carson's Gold and a back up named Pandor.  Kim Orr owns  both of these horses and I am extremely appreciative of this opportunity. 

As the ride was getting nearer I was to ride Pandor as he has a little more experience and things were working out in that direction.  Then a few days ago one of Val's riders horses was sold so they needed Pandor.  I am riding Carson's Gold and am very exited about it.  I do not know anything about him other than that he is a male Arabian, I am pretty sure he is a gelding.  I will know a lot more about him after I spend a 100 miles with him. 

We will be arriving at the Pacific South Team house hopefully in the most odd hour of the night so as to wake up as many team mates as possible.  That's what team building is all about:)  Either we will arrive late tonight or early on the 6th.

The place is called Bryan Station and it has two houses and stalls with paddocks as well as several pastures and a track to ride on.  I think it is about 11-15 miles from the Kentucky Horse Park, which is where the race will take place.

Our Chef or Team captain is Skip Lightfoot and our team Veterinarian is Chuck Kessinger.  The team mates for Pac South are: Charisse Glen, Kim Fuess, Carolyn Hock, Cheryl Dell, Jeremy and myself.  All in all it should be great!

Our crew will be fun too.  Jeremy will have Deborah Reich and Lynn & Mark Ashby (our good friends from the race track, who we got Merchant, Makazin, River, Smitty, Fuego and Merlin from).  I will have Bethany Dearing Guth (a good friend who used to train in CA with us until she moved to Kentucky, still a good friend just to be clear) and Emilio Colman.  Our friend Maddy Feliciano will be Chikako's main crew and all the others will fill in as needed.

Chikako's saddle weighs a ton so Maddy will need the extra help.  The saddle with the pad weighs about 55 pounds!

Well,  I will get back to misery.  I will keep you posted.

Posted by: Heather Reynolds AT 12:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

Reynolds Racing
Dunnellon, FL 34431
 Heather: 408-687-7082
Jeremy: 408-687-7083

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