Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Virginia Highlands Endurance Challenge, Vet Check to Finish

The ride back to camp was pretty uneventful.  We mostly cantered back through the range land, trotted and cantered the good sections on the trail and walked the steep climbs.  The last 10 miles I was by myself, no one passed and I didn't catch up to anyone.  Then about a 1 1/2 miles from the finish as we were coming down the last steep switch back I could  hear horse hooves clattering in the riverbed below.  We pushed on and caught up with 3 different groups of 7 horses total.  They were all stopped in the water resting and sponging.  I stopped Hank to let him drink but you know the saying.
 He wouldn't so we went on and passed all the others.
 We walked into the finish alone.
 J then announced that we were in 8th place.  I couldn't believe it!  But the ride is not finished until the horse's pulse drops to 60.
 Now Hank decided to drink.  We quickly unsaddled and started sponging.  Pulse 72.  More riders coming in.  Come on Hank, you can do it.  More sponging, grazing and encouragement.  I pulsed him at 60.  Quick to the officials  pulse back up to 64.  Then bouncing 60/64.  Then TIME!  Finished in 9th place.
Through the Vet Check all A's except for 3 A-s in gait/impulsion/attitude.  I think it was my fault for not being able to run very well.  30 miles in 6:48 min. (5:42 actual ride time plus 50 min hold and 3 min to pulse down at 1st check then 13 min to pulse down at finish).  I think that makes the official time 5:58. (they don't count the hold time).   I weighed Hank after the vet check - 1065.  He lost 70 pounds in 24 hours.   J said 42 riders started and only 18 received completions (finished within the time limit with no vet disqualifications).  The endurance rider's saying is "To finish is to win", which is true in this sport, but it sure feels good to be in the top 10.   How's that for a big Paint?  This was Hank's 2nd endurance ride ever and my 3rd.  I'm so proud of Hank.  He did everything I asked.
Thanks again to my wonderful crew.
Hank is fine.  We rounded up cattle with him yesterday.


The Japanese Redneck said...

Congrats to you!

Nell said...

Great job! It sounds like an exciting day. What a splendid performance from both you and Hank.

Crystal said...

Congrats top 10 is pretty cool! Sounds like Hank is a good endurancer.

Cheyenne said...

You did well!.....Very well indeed. Anyone in the top 10, has done well, he is a big horse, but he looks like he has heart!

C said...

Great story telling. Great finish to the ride - this is a huge improvement over last year which I recall you were over your time limit. And now you are top ten!

Aimee said...

Words can't express how VERY proud I am of you and Hank! First thing Shannon said when I told him how well you did was, "Now you can understand why she was so frustrated with you for holding them up last year!!!" lol Maybe next year we can kick butt and take names, huh???

50+ Horses said...

I loved reading this Post, I felt like I was riding along with you and Hank.

Congrats on your finish. :)

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