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20 km. ride account

Sure, you can forward my story--I've already sent it to Ibrahim Sami. 
The Ridecamp folks may be interested to know that I'm 52, Masaoud is 
over 20 and was just getting his condition back after the 
encephalitis bout in Nov. I guess I'm a good example of a novice who 
gets into trouble, and there are some lessons in there, like bring 
your hoof pick and practice dismounting/remounting in the middle of 
nowhere (I was glad I'd done both).  And don't be afraid to ask for 
help--knowing that Babs, Dr. Emad, et al., were aware of the problem 
and keeping an eye on us from the car did wonders for my mental 
state. Left on my own, I'd have definitely pulled out and hiked those 
last 6 km or so on foot.

I'd really love reading other people's stories, as I only got a 
couple verbal ones. I'll try to encourage Richard to write his up if 
his hands have stopped bleeding. It would be fun to have the 
visitors' perspectives as well, if any are on e-mail. When those vets 
at the pre-ride decided Masaoud was a major problem, I told them, 
"You ain't seen nothin' yet", knowing that Iannani, Mishmish, Sam, 
Texas, and the like were still to come.

This is an excerpt from a letter that Kate Coffield wrote to a friend:

>Hey, guess what? Masaoud and I successfully completed the 20km ride 
>and qualified for the 50km. NOT without incident. He almost got 
>eliminated for acting up in the pre-ride vet check. Well, doh, we 
>had to drag him suddenly into the midst of 100+ strange horses and 
>stick him in a chute right next to another stallion, which isn't 
>exactly his usual routine, especially with a bunch of strange men 
>coming at him with Big Shiny Instruments. So he went bonkers, 
>screaming and kicking out, and his pulse went up accordingly. When 
>he was perfectly normal after 5 min. at a distance from other 
>horses, we got away with an "extremely excitable!" on the sheet and 
>a verbal "Well, we'll let him in this really need to have 
>him old is he, and who's going to ride him?" Heh. The 
>geriatric female blob you're lookin' at, mister, who just braided 
>the red ribbon into his tail.
>Anyhow, Masaoud was superb. We did the first 10km at a steady trot 
>in good time and passed the midpoint vet check with flying colors. 
>So on the way back, I let him go into his floating ground-covering 
>jumping-speed canter on nice soft terrain--but after I pulled him 
>back to trot when it got rocky, he suddenly went lame like they do 
>with a stone in the hoof. I jumped off and managed to lift the 
>offending leg to see that the stone wasn't lodged, but I couldn't 
>hold him with zillions of horses flying by in both directions (there 
>were two groups that left at different times). I got back on, with 
>some difficulty, but he was still lame, so I flagged down the 
>passing vet 4WD. They decided I could ride back at a walk, so I 
>tried, but he wouldn't walk. On the next pass, they all got out to 
>help, and between 4 of us, we managed to check all four 
>legs--nothing obvious. I remounted with great difficulty (rearing, 
>courbetting, etc.) and we managed to dance sedately to just before 
>the 15km checkpoint, where the vet car passed again and they said 
>"He's *better*! He's OK! DON'T GO SCREAMING OUT THAT HE'S LAME!!" I 
>felt so too, but didn't want to risk it and finally got him down to 
>a walk and held him there, aided by the presence of a rider from the 
>second group whose horse was going to finish too fast. We did 
>another 2-3km at walk, and I just assumed we'd be eliminated (at 
>this point, we'd lost about 1/2 hour). But then...he pulled into a 
>normal trot and then a normal canter. We finished well within the 
>time, his pulse was 53, and he checked out B ("slightly off") for 
>gait. Clearly a stone bruise. I'm so proud of him! He got a nice 
>rubdown with mineral ice and warm water and tons of carrots and 
>clover. When I brought him out for walkies later, he acted like he 
>was ready to go again! But he's on vacation at least until Wed.
>Most people did well, considering. A few horses flunked the lameness 
>and/or heart rate tests, and one dumped his rider and got loose. For 
>110 entrants, that's definitely not bad. Contrary to predictions, 
>nothing happened to me except that Masaoud vaguely slammed his head 
>into my face during the second remount. We followed up with a thank 
>you/birthday dinner for Maryanne, and given my 8:00 class tomorrow 
>a.m. I'm definitely feeling too old for this!

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

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