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Swanton Pacific 100 research

Linda Cowles posted something about wondering how Barney and I and the rest
of the research team stayed so upbeat for so long at Swanton and I just
wanted to say that it was due to the fantastic attitude of the riders.  Out
of 42 starters, 40 participated in the study and even in the wee cold hours
of the morning, were absolutely willing to let us pull yet more blood
samples, pester them to get their horse onto the scales (the horses were not
always so cooperative) and let us take the time we needed to get our data.
What an incredible group of people!

A sincere thank you to everyone that participated---not just the riders, but
their crew members that helped handle the horses when they were just as worn
out, to Barb and Lud that let us invade their turf in the first place, and
to my fantastic team of volunteers that *really* hung in there through thick
and thin.  Karen Chaton took digital photos all day on Friday while we were
getting baseline data, her husband Dave got us great embroidered shirts to
make us look like we knew what we were doing <g>, Amber Knight helped all
day Friday after dropping off donated feed from Purina, and Alison Farrin,
Patty Gaglioti, Laney Humphrey helped with everything from wrangling horses
to processing serum samples in the Rolling-Rent-a-Lab right to the bitter
end.  I was stunned that every one of these three hung in there all day and
all night with never a whimper or a hint of
this-is-getting-old-so-I'm-outta-here.  I would recruit them for every
research project in the future, except I'm afraid they'd run screaming into
the woods (and rightfully so).

We had terrific support from *a lot* of different sponsors---Tammy from
Trail-Rite helped us out with loads of MeshMangers, Sportack with all kinds
of gear (not to mention the scales), Teddy from Running Bear with gift
certificates, and even my favorite junkyard dog Tom Ivers donated four
copies of his book the Fit Racehorse II.  Lew Hollander sent a copy of his
book, Darolyn sent two terrific videos, Purina donated 50 lb bags of feed,
Patty donated tack tags and Laney copies of her book.  We had TONS of solid
support from virtually everyone we asked and that made a big difference.

The good news is that because we had such a good turnout at Swanton, the
foundation that provided the funding for this project (Chiron Research
Foundation) is happy, so we can all look forward to more research funding in
the future---that's good for us, good for our sport and most of all, good
for our horses.  So thanks again to everyone that helped out.

For everyone that hasn't figured it out yet, everyone in the sport should
say a big THANK YOU to Barney and Linda Fleming at their next ride---they
both worked like indentured servants all weekend long, and were really the
ones to get this project started in the first place.  It's vets like Barney
that make me want to be a vet in the first place, and if I'm ever half the
vet Barney is, I'll have done a good job.

Thanks again, folks.

Susan Garlinghouse

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