|The drive down~|
|Nika & Rascal|
Friday, we woke to cloud cover & coolness - very nice! Everyone out enjoying the morning as more & more rigs pulled in & things started to fill up. We had fun with friends & a short ride prior to vetting in.
|Vetting in the shade!|
Farah took a huge drink at the first set of water tanks - so I knew that the electrolytes that I'd used were working fine. (Even though she always drinks when we're out!) We cruised along at a really incredible pace, Julia's little mare was one of those airframe types - light in build & light on her feet with 14-mile trot that got even faster on the downhills! Farah would let her go - then when she had the opportunity move to her amazing canter & we'd be right back on her. The times Ben was ahead of us - Farah tried her best to intimidate his gelding Off the trail. It wasn't until Marco gave a half-hearted kick that she finally listened to me & backed off just a little. This made it tiring for me - as she had to shorten her usual stride.
I'd accidentally shut-off my Garmin - by the time I'd discovered that - I'd lost at least five-miles & wasn't sure how far to the first "walk-by" out check. It was set up this year in the same area as the VC. When we came in - I was ready for a short break & Farah was ready for water! She was looking for Butch! Instead - we found our friend David - who kindly offered to hold her while I took that break! What a guy! By the time I came back - he had her sponged down & ready to go!
Farah was shocked! No Dad to care for her & No food! Why Not??? She was Not happy to have to walk past all the hay & stock piles of slop set up for horses that would be coming in for their hold! Even so - we left behind our two riding buddies & Farah grabbed a mouthful of hay from someone's pile! We flew through the next few miles - dodging holes in the trail & a lot of loose rock to return to the VC at 9:40 for our 45-min. hold. (Butch had decided to stay in camp - rather than come out to crew - since last year he hadn't made it back to camp for our finish.)
As I'd dismounted - Duana & Patty who'd volunteered to crew for their team-mates - (who'd yet to appear) came over to ask if they could help? Who could say no to that? Once Farah was down, Patty had found our vet bag & Farah was eating her slop as fast as Patty could mix it up! She was still looking for "Dad", but decided that food was food & she was hungry! I was more than happy to get to sit down, drink a V-8 & eat a snack while we waited! Nothing like good friends! Thanks guys!
I watched as our two riding companions left ahead of us. (Both riding Arabs who'd pulsed down a minute head of us.) (Both also young & agile enough to get off & run the downhills. :-) Actually somewhat relieved that from this point on we'd be able to set our own pace!
Once out of the VC, Farah moved into her nice trot & we started making time. Soon - we about crashed head-on into bike riders who made fast, evasive maneuvers as they jumped into the bushes to let us pass! Very polite & wished us luck! Now, I was listening for any sound & soon we again came upon bike riders - in total about six sets during that last ten-miles. I knew that no other LD riders had come into the VC while we were there - we were in a perfect time window!
|A pretty section of trail~|
|11:45 a.m. - We finish!|
|Trot out for completion|
|The weigh-in! :-)|
|Butch trots Farah out!|
|Our ride card~|
|Best Condition Score Tab|
|Watching the "neighbors" - after the ride~|