Foxcatcher Saturday was bright and sunny for the first time in a few years. And DRY. Which, for Foxcatcher, is absolutely amazing. We had 64 starters in the 25 mile ride, and 85 starters in the 50 mile ride, plus three ride and tie teams. To make things more exciting, we also ran an FEI 1* ride in the 50 miler, in which 7 riders participated. And the 50 mile ride was also the Arabian Horse Association Region 15 50 Mile Championship, in which 7 riders participated.
|25 mile riders on trail on Saturday morning.|
The 25 Mile ride started at 7AM. The riders completed a 15 mile loop, came in to base camp for a 40 minute hold and vet inspection, and then went back out for a 10 mile loop. The first riders finished around 10:15 or so. The 25 mile riders finish on their pulse time, not when they cross the finish line. This is to discourage riders from riding their horses too fast at the end. Those who have horses with a faster pulse recovery will have a better finish time than those whose horses take longer to recover. The winner of the 25 mile ride was Steven Hay riding Gotcha Covered PW, with a ride time of 2 hours 42 minutes (ride time does not include the 40 minutes of hold time). Delanie Kite, finishing in a tie for fifth place, was the first finishing Junior rider (juniors are under 16 years and have to ride with a sponsor). Out of our 64 starting riders, 54 completed the ride. Congrats!
|Dr. Julie performs a completion vet exam of Steven Hay's horse, Gotcha Covered PW. Steven finished in first place in the 25 mile ride.|
The 50 mile riders also started at 7AM. They completed a 25 mile loop first, with a 10 minute "stop" part way through the loop to give the horses a little breather. After a 40 minute hold and vet exam, they went out for a 15 mile loop. Another 40 minute hold and vet exam followed, and then one last 10 mile loop. The first riders completed a little after 1PM.
|Dean Hillard, riding RA Sultan, finished the 50 mile ride in a tie for 16th place. Louisa Emerick Photo.|
Sandra Fretelliere (riding Tikis Twistyr) and Carmine Villani (riding TEF Sunflash) raced to the finish, with Sandra just edging out Carmine for the win. The 50 mile riders finish at the time they cross the finish line, so there is sometimes a race to the finish. All riders, however, must meet pulse criteria within a specified time after finishing, or risk being eliminated from the ride.
The 50 mile ride has a coveted "Best Condition" award, given to the horse who scores best in a fairly complicated formula of final vet scores, finishing time, and weight the horse carried. The award is available for the Top 10 completing horses. This year we had 5 horses presented to the vet for Best Conditioned scoring. The Best Conditioned award was given to TEF Sunflash. Congrats to Carmine for riding an excellent ride, and to Tracy Reynolds, who bred and owns this lovely horse.
The top finishing Junior rider was Austin Shaffer, riding Pearl Jam. Sandra Fretelliere won both the FEI and the AHA (full Arab) 50 mile rides, as well as the AHA Best Conditioned award for full Arabs. TEF Sunflash took home the Best Conditioned award for the FEI ride. And Deb Shaffer, riding Bahma, won the AHA ride for half-Arabs and took home the Best Conditioned award for that division.
Of the 85 horses who started the 50 mile ride, 70 completed. Most with a smile on their face.
|Dr. Nick performs a vet exam on one of the horses at a 40 minute hold. Louisa Emerick photo.|
|Dawn Engle (left) riding The Last Shot, and Ranelle Kohut riding Propel finished in a tie for 16th place. Louisa Emerick photo.|