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Re: Sort of like Christmas dinner - so much work and poof...it's done.
Congratulations, Maryanne, and Happy Birthday!!
----- Original Message -----
From: "Maryanne Stroud Gabbani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Ridecamp" <email@example.com>
Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2000 6:33 PM
Subject: RC: Sort of like Christmas dinner - so much work and poof...it's
> It's over and was actually pretty much a success. The FEI/UAE crew was
> supposed to fly in yesterday afternoon and meet with the organisers and
> local vets about 4 pm then go to a press conference at the Mena House
> at 6. They flew in ok, but their luggage flew on to Katmandhu, so rather
> than meet with us they filled out lost luggage forms and bought
> and other necessary items. The first we saw of them was the press
> at the hotel and I was delighted to find that one of the vets was Tony
> Pavord, who had visited with us in the fall. Jim Bryan was another and Dr.
> Bobby was a third. Feisal Seddiq was the UAE man and all of us got to hear
> the plan together, which didn't allow much time for us to tell him what we
> had. They were expecting about 25 riders, mostly foreign. We had 100
> mostly Egyptian and mostly stallions. They were planning a mass start, we
> were figuring on staggered starts. Was interesting. At the dinner after
> press conference, I sat down with the vets, stewards and ground jury right
> away to let them know what we had so things wouldn't be a total shock.
> were not wild about the fact that we had so many stallions, but I told
> that they were regularly used for work and were used to dealing with
> and mares, so they hopefully wouldn't be too bad.
> This morning I was up at 6 am brewing pots of expresso to take some decent
> coffee for people and headed out to the club with my daughter and a friend
> of hers. We already had a group of horses by the time the vets arrived at
> 7:30. Yas (my daughter) got pressed into service as a translator,
> photographer (for horses without photos) and butt marker. As the other
> help arrived, I assigned translators to the UAE crew to make sure they
> talk to some of our unilingual riders. (Bet most of you ride managers
> have to think about THAT one!) By 8:30, the place was a nuthouse. We
> probably had about 75% stallions and just enough mares to make things
> interesting. Luckily, all the club horses could be vetted through and
> returned to their boxes until ride time and there was enough room to keep
> everyone separate. We only had one loose horse before the race, a stallion
> that some moron was walking around in just a bridle whose reins broke. He
> ran up to a couple of horses including Radar and was chased off without
> much trouble. I've found that if you act like a seriously miffed mare and
> yell at them, they back off quickly. Radar, as a previously unmanageable
> stallion who lost his family jewels, found the whole thing wonderfully
> exciting but was a good fellow even so.
> Most of these horses have never been vet checked, trotted out in lanes, or
> had large numbers inscribed on their hindquarters. New stuff for everyone.
> By racetime, at 11 everyone was checked and numbered and split into two
> groups of fifty for the start. I was number 49....Yas thought they should
> have given me 51 for my birthday, but I figure that I got two years off
> good behaviour... so I went in the first group. A bunch of us from Sakkara
> were in that group and we left a little late because we knew that the wind
> would be at our backs and on the way out, the front runners would be
> dust. (Mind you we ate it on the way back, but by then we were all so
> that it didn't matter any more.) It was so great to see a line of riders
> snaking across the desert. At one point a bunch sang me 'Happy Birthday'.
> They had water at the 5 km mark, but few of the horses wanted to drink,
> the riders were happy to, and at the 10 km stop. They checked heart rates
> and had a trot by there. Discovered that Radar DOES NOT like hand held
> for whatever reason, but he was at 56 at the halfway point anyway.
> The way back was lovely with the wind in our faces and we met the second
> group on their way out. The horses were all having a wonderful time and
> there were some great flat places for long canters. We had one horse get
> loose from a rider on his way back and come careening into camp after I'd
> arrived. This was a particularly hard-mouthed stallion that had been
> by a 61 yr old man, a former jockey... so on the small side... and the
> had injured his hand in a accident before the ride. I told him later that
> he'd had to be vet checked, or if I were his mother, he wouldn't have
> ridden. But people were watching the desert and saw the horse coming so
> everyone was ready. Luckily the rider had dismounted to check the horse so
> we had no falls.
> Results: Congrats from the UAE on our turnout and organisation (we take a
> bow). Out of 100 horses registered, only 2 didn't pass the initial vet
> and one was withdrawn by a rider who felt her horse was borderline. No one
> timed out of qualification, and only 4 horses didn't pass the second
> We are delighted and incredibly sunburned and about 2 kgs lighter after a
> shower to wash the dust out. The route was gorgeous, but not one of our
> really stunning places, so there's nowhere to go but up.
> Now I'm off to dinner at an excellent Chinese restaurant, where I will be
> properly surprised for my birthday party...which I could easily skip
> that I'm STARVING.
> Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
> Cairo, Egypt
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