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WEG 2014

 Heathers Blog 
Sunday, October 02 2011
This is a little over due!  Jeremy and I are still going full steam preparing five horses for Tevis.

On Tuesday before the NAETC we headed up to the ride.  It was super hot out so we left at 6 pm.  Skip was hauling our trailer up as we had had a license issue with our hauling vehicle and Jeremy was still in the process of getting his class "A" non commercial license.  We pulled into camp about 12:30 am.

Wed we got up and Jeremy took Dee and Kutt for a nice long walk.  Then we made coffee with the amazing machine Jeremy had gotten me for my birthday.  The rest of the Pac South team trickled in throughout the day.  Becky called and was having some rig issues and would be coming much later in the evening than planned.

We went out for a ride and both horses felt great.  After hanging out and saying hi to friends we went to town for a few items and for dinner.  Greenville is a small town.  It is a very welcoming town and the locals all seem like friends.  We had dinner in the local cafe/diner.  It had a very hometown feel to it.

Thursday everyone had arrived that would be riding for our zone.  My main crew Nicole Chappel arrived.  We started to get all of the crew stuff out and buckets organized.  The Pac South riders were: Alex North, Nicole Smith, Becky Hart, Jeremy Reynolds and myself.  You should have seen the piles of buckets, ice chests and crew stuff that we had out! 

A group of crew also went to scope out the crew points.  Skip was keeping everybody informed as he was our chef and he was attending daily, morning meetings with the officials, who would go over logistics and details.

All of the teams had their passports inspected with the horses present.  After the inspection we rode Dee and Kutt again and they got to see the change that had been made to the finish line loop.

I clipped both horses after the ride.  It was still very hot and they both had decent coats growing.

Our team vet, Jay Mauro looked all of our horses over thoroughly and watched them trot in straight lines and circles to evaluate their soundness.

Becky went out for a ride on Pete and wasn't happy with him, she was feeling something funky in the front end.  She asked Jeremy if he could check him out.  She was thinking about not riding!  It was decided that Jeremy would mess with his feet after he vetted in Friday.

That night there was a wine and cheese reception hosted by Pac North.  It was fun to visit and see everyone.  A lot of people were dancing to the live music.  Jeremy and I left early and hit the hay.  The next morning we heard that a few of our team mates and friends from other teams had shut the place down and then had headed into town to the local bar!

At O'Dark Thirty Rebecca Silva arrived.  Jeremy had to drive her to the cabin where she would stay.  About :45 after Rebecca, in the middle of the night when you are dead asleep Jeremy's main crew and identical twin brother, Tim arrived with Lori Olson, Becky's crew. Jeremy had to get up and drive her over to the cabin she would be staying!  Becky you owe him!

On Friday we rode first thing in the morning as vetting in would be at 9 am.  Dee and Kutt were both feeling ready. 

Skip would have to figure out who he wanted to have as the official team of 4 and who would be the 1 individual rider.  He would have to decide very shortly after vetting.

Our whole team got in uniform and walked over to the vetting.  All  5 horses vetted in just fine.  Becky hadn't been able to go for a ride yet on Pete and Jeremy hadn't changed anything yet so Becky told Skip that she didn't feel like she should be on the team, she would be the individual.

After vetting Jeremy worked on Pete and then Becky went for a ride and he was fine.  What a relief. 

Chris Martin also asked Jeremy if he could do Monk's boots for him as the boots Monk was wearing, Chris was not happy with.  Jeremy is such a great sport that he went over and did Monk's boots, a horse on the Pac North team & our biggest competition! :) 

Another crew mate, Lili Wren arrived.

Around 5 we had a team photo session without horses.  That went quickly.  At 6 there was opening ceremonies and a ride meeting.  While all of this was going on it was starting to get dark. 

Immediately following the meeting Skip, Nicole and a couple others went to pick up a few items as well as pizza for the team.  Everyone walked back to camp and got the last little things done and then we all ate pizza and went to bed.

Sat. we were up bright and early.  It was very quiet and nice in the morning.  Dee and Kutt warmed up well.  We stopped to fix something and Kutt started eating grass!!  He is so laid back. 

The start was very civilized.  We trotted up a very long mountain for the first 6 miles.  Pete was actually out front then Jeremy and I then a space.  It was relaxing.  As we neared the top the rest of the pack showed up. 

The trail had beautiful scenery but the footing was very tricky for high speeds.  There were rocks all over the place.  The views were amazing though.

The trail approaching vet gate one was following the shore of a stunning lake and in the background was Mt Lassen, snow capped beyond the lake.  Very postcard perfect.  Lisa Green was the first to arrive and we were right with her.  Kutt recovered first then Dee.

Both horses vetted fine and went to eating really well.  After a 30 min hold we were off.  After about 20 min we were caught and rode with other riders.  Meg Sleeper and Becky rode with us for the rest of the loop.  Doug Swingley and Christoph passed us.  (Jeremy would not see Doug again until about the 75 mile mark.)

We rode up and back over the mountain from the morning loop and back into base camp for vet check two.  I was yanked aside for weighing.  My crew had my horse.  I took my saddle over to the scale and I got on and it said I weighed 42 KG.  It was suggested to switch it to LBS. I then weighed 102 pounds with tack.  If you cut off my leg I might weigh this!  I told them to find me when they sorted out the scale problem. 

I went back to the vet area and my horse was going in for the check and was already past the P&R timer.  I caught up to her and she was super hot to the touch.  I was not happy.  She met criteria but after her CRI trot the vet told me that her second pulse was 64 and that I would need to recheck her. 

As soon as I got Dee back to the crew area I started cooling her down.  After a few mins she was cool and her heart rate was 36.  She ate happily.  Kutt was looking good too.  I went for my recheck 15 min before we were out.  I had walked Dee a few times but when I jogged her before heading to the vet she was off in the front.  I went up and withdrew.  Her right shoulder was spasming.  It was really odd.  After the 45 min hold Kutt was out on trail again and I went and took care of Dee.

Kutt's next vet check would be a one hour hold, in camp at the 50 mile mark.  On this loop the speed started to increase.  At one point Lindsay yelled out, she was behind the group so Jeremy looked back and saw that Lindsay's stirrup had flown off!  He stopped Kutt mid canter and spun back to aid Lindsay.  Monk was jumping around as he wanted to catch the group.  Jeremy helped Lindsay get everything back in working order and they went to catch back up with the group.

Doug arrived first.  About 10 mins later Kutt and Jeremy came in with Meg Sleeper, Becky Hart, Lindsay Graham and Cheryl Dell.  Kutt recovered first followed closely by Revielle.  I am not sure beyond that in the recovery order. 

This hold had an exit exam.  It was the only 60 min hold.  Kutt ate well and was happy to be with Pete.  The exit exam went well and soon Kutt was back on trail.  This next section of trail would go to an out vet check.  The whole crew hopped into cars and headed out to the vet check.

After the crew got to the check we all topped off our water buckets.  At this check you had to fill buckets from a stream and carry them up to the road.  We also iced our buckets so that when we cooled our team horses it would be more effective.  Then we waited.  We got word from Carolyn Hawk, who was at the crew point out on trail, that they had passed her.

Doug arrived and got his pulse about 5-10 mins before anyone else arrived.  Then in a mad frenzy 5 horses wide came flying in across the arrival line.  It was Kutt, Revielle, Monk, Reason and Pete.  It was a little frantic.  Our crew started cooling Pete and Kutt.  Then the other teams started using our water and we had to tell a few people to stop using it as we had hauled and iced it and they needed to get their own.

Pete and Kutt were down first.  As we headed over to the pulse area we heard some yelling and there was some heated action happening between some crews and some buckets went flying and people were getting shoved.  Pretty intense crewing...  Kutt and Pete recovered and looked good.

This was another 45 min hold and there was some fresh grass that Kutt was enjoying.  After this hold there would be a 20 mile loop back to this out hold and then 15 miles back to camp.  Kutt and Pete ate well and looked good.

The riders all got ready for their out times and were lined up at the out timer.  This 20 mile loop was very fast.  The speed had increased and it would range from 13.5- 16.5 mph depending on the terrain.  This was where Jeremy decided to make his move and push the pace.

It seemed like no time at all before the leaders came in off that 20 mile loop.  Somewhere around the 75 mile mark the group had caught and passed Doug.  When the leaders came in to the last vet gate it was Becky & Pete, Jeremy & Kutt, Lindsay & Monk and Meg & Revielle.

Revielle and Kutt recovered together and Pete was 3 min behind.   Monk took a while.

The hold was 30 mins.  Kutt had more fresh grass and then it was time to get the show on the road.  Meg and Jeremy left out of there in a hurry.  It was common trail all the way in and the horses knew where they were going.  After leaving the last vet check Meg and Jeremy talked about the finish and decided that they would move quickly so no one could catch them and then have a 1,2,3 go sprint off at the end. 

All of us crew drove fast back to camp to see what would happen.  As we waited at the finish I was hoping Kutt would pull it off.  The opposite side of the finish line road had a better view than where I was standing and I heard Brian Reeves yell "here they come... I see Jeremy!"  Then a half second later Kutt came exploding into sight.  He was going full tilt.  Meg was quite a few lengths behind.  Super exciting! 

After they crossed the line both horses went a ways before they could be stopped.  We now had a 10 min window to get Kutt's heart rate as low as we could for his CRI.  He was super amped up!

Kutt and Revielle both passed there final vetting and looked fine.  Becky came in 22 mins later and was third.  Lindsay was a ways behind that in fourth but was then pulled at the finish line.  Doug was fourth.

Nicole Smith was pulled at the finish line for a hind end cramp and Alex North finished.

The next day Kutt looked great for Best Condition.  I had trouble keeping up with him during the trot out.

Sun. there were closing ceremonies and awards.  Jeremy got his gold medal and took a victory lap on Kutt.  It was really cool.  Pete got BC, Becky was very excited.

Sunday early afternoon there was a good bye brunch. 

In all the trip went well.  You should all think abut doing an FEI ride if you haven't already.  It is the next step:)
Posted by: Heather AT 09:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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

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