Omega Men crewing

5. Ride Day - The Longest Loop

The Omega Men joined us on the 3rd loop. Mak rode with us (he's actually a marketing guy, helping Omega with marketing in the Middle East - Lebanese nationality, grew up in Greece, speaks 5 languages (makes me so jealous!) - nice guy) .Milvin, the Omega branch manager for the Middle East rode with Bill and Dave. When Grace cranked the music up again a few kilometers out I was thinking that maybe Milvin was the lucky one....

They both pitched in and helped crew, Mak was a natural, but Milvin took a little training. I think he was somewhat afraid of the horses, and a wee bit nervous about handing a bottle of water up - as a 1000 lb beast goes flying by. Took almost half the loop, but eventually he handed off his bottle of water (warm by now) to great cheering.

Dave Augustine - crewing for the trio This was actually a pretty dreadful loop. It got very very hot, very still. The horses (and riders too) were looking bored and dispirited. We put a lot of water on them, let them drink as much as they would, and tried to keep the riders cheerful - but it was a tough one. Really hot and boring out there... straight straight straight, sand sand sand, trot trot trot.

At one point we noticed several rigs following us, and staying there. Finally figured out that our trio was in last place, and this was a steward and vet, keeping track of the last riders.

I'm not sure if the Omega Men were impressed or not - we kept telling them that it's a tough sport, and these horses were doing their first 100, so slow slow slow was the game. Sometimes it's a lot more exciting... but at least Mak got some great stories from Grace, and I think Milvin had fun with Bill and Dave. They would go out on the last loop and follow the front runners in - a little more exciting. But hey, they saw the other end of the Endurance spectrum.

Riding along the Power Lines Back in for the 3rd hold. The horses pulsed down well, still trotted out nice and strong, looking good. We took them back for the hold. This would be a 40 minute hold, but with a mandatory exit exam it still didn't give the horses enough time to really relax and eat.

Toady didn't eat at this hold, always worrisome. Her metabolics were great, gut sounds good, CRI was 42/42 , peeing, pooping, but she didn't want to eat. We offered her everything but her lips were sealed - maybe the electrolytes had burned her mouth. Seemed more like reluctance to chew and swallow than lack of appetite. We syringed some applesauce into her mouth, got a litte food into her. She never really did eat or drink well after this hold. But her energy and spirit was good, and her metabolics good. Sure wish these animals could talk.

Heather Stevens and Aliya Meg and Toady, totting the long loop Milving, crewing

FEI Website

HH President's Cup
February 17, 2005
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Presented by Endurance Net