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Re: Biltmore

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 12:48 PM
Subject: RC: Biltmore

I have been waiting for someone to answer the Biltmore questions, since there were literally hundreds of people there, but I guess you will need to suffice with what little information I can give you.  These aren't exact numbers, by any means, but a general
idea.  There were 75 50's, with 52 or so completing.  There were 120+ 25's with 80+ finishing.  I believe Valarie K won the 50 and got the BC.  To be honest, I wasn't paying as much attention to who got the awards, as the awards themselves.  Ann Stuart (in
her abundant spare time???) made some absolutely gorgeous quilted items for BC/winners.  I tried to find out where the 25 mile winner was camped at so I could sneak over and steal his?her pillow - if Ann wants to give up vetting, she could take up
quilting and do very well.

The weather was fantastic - couldn't have been better.  Cool (okay, cold) nights, and low-humidity 60-70 degree days. Personally, my horse was an absolute wild man and I had quite a challenge on my hands for the entire 25 miles.  Is there such thing as too much conditioning?  Cool crisp air coupled with meeting running 50 milers coming back into camp, add a little extra rider tension, and a temporarily worthless full cheek snaffle,
and you have an explosive mixture. Bob Magnus did an outstanding job, as usual.  There was an abundance of vets (7, I think) and volunteers who did a great job, and it
was all very well organized and thought out.  I get spoiled each
year with this ride.  He really outdoes himself. I know there were many other riders out there that had a similiar wild, but fun ride.  If you haven't been to this fall
SE ride before, I recommend it highly.

Happy trails,


Man, I did love the Biltmore.  I gotta say, so much class, it's definitely hilly bordering on mountainous, and I had never seen so many people at a ride before.  And I've been to some crowded ones; Haihira, Liberty Run, and several others.  First thing I said to the wife when I saw how many folks were there was, "The vet lines are going to be very crowded.  Yuck!"

Well, I was never so wrong.  I counted 7 vets, more than enough.  And when I noticed Nina B (used to be G) wasn't riding, but helping organize things, I knew we were in capable hands.  The scenery is just fantastic.  Not just pine trees, but lots of oaks and I'm guessing Asheville is named after that Ash type tree I thought I spotted (I'm not real good at describing trees since the only ones I see down here are pine). 

Trails were superbly marked which made me wonder how all those folks got lost at the beginning of the FEI ride last Spring at the Biltmore.  Maybe, they were traveling just a little too fast.  haha.  (that's a joke folks).  Anyway, if I don't get lost, and I didn't, the trails are damn well marked.  I get lost at almost every ride.

My new Arab, War Cry, is one tough horse.  Thanks Darlene and Debbi.  He will stay with me forever.  I've nicknamed him "Scrapper", since I had to take away that Mohammed thing.  Already have enough Arabs who hate us, don't need to antagonize any more on my account. 

We only did 25 miles so I probably won't bother writing a story about this one.  We 25 milers just aren't worthy of telling tales after a ride (that's another joke)!  I do know that War Cry is more than ready for a 50; he's already completed several of them out in New Mexico, and he's in fantastic shape, thanks to Darlene.  I plan on riding him in quite a few at the rides I go to where the wife cannot, cause of her work schedule.

I'm hoping to get my wife to post to ya'll on her experience.  I know she was one scared cookie those first few days.  All of my horses were feeling that cool mountain air, and were more lively than they've been since last winter.  Keep in mind Erica was riding a 4 year old Paint who has quite a bit of thoroughbred in her.  Plus, I think she might have been in heat.  haha, the horse, not the wife (I bet that one gets me in trouble).

I didn't bring along Dance Line.  I wanted to omit as much confusion as I could for my wife, and I know bringing him along only quadruples the excitement level.  Dance doesn't like hills much anyway.

I think our ride time was over 5 hours.  All I know is the ride manager had so many 25 milers that he lost the paper which had the final riders in that event.  Me, the wife, and kid were all in that group, so I have no idea where we placed, except to say it was probably near 100 out of 125; maybe higher. 

The wife led the way most of the first loop and quite a bit of the last one.  Princess did her extended trot thing going up hills, and Rebel and War Cry had to canter to keep up with her.  There's something special about that Paint; I swear she's gonna surprise some of these Arabians someday in the 50.  Anyway, I dream, and hope the wife will let me ride her in one when she turns 5 next February.

Not much more to say; I was never more proud of my wife except, maybe, for the day when I witnessed her giving birth to Jennifer.  Damn, if she didn't just pop that kid out, and was ready to leave the hospital later that day.  I was so worried something bad was going to happen (I'm back to the ride, not the birth), cause I kind of taught her about endurance (very scary thought, when you think of that one), and kind of trained (if you can call it that) the Paint, from day one. 

OH, I would like to add that you won't believe who parked next to me.  My gal Val, and her two rigs and 4 or 5 horses.  I was in shock the entire week-end.  I said hello a few times, but I never went up and tried to talk to her.  I'm kind of shy, when it comes to Val.  What can I say?  I worship her from afar, even when she's right next door.

I did get to meet ole Jim Holland and his friends.  He's very cool and I liked him a lot.  I don't want to spread any rumors or anything, but Jim definitely impressed me when I noticed he had two women sleeping in his trailer on Friday night.  My hat is off to Jim; I guess I should have joined the Marines instead of the Air Force, cause I never learned that trick.  And Jim's horse, Sonny, is everything Jim says.  Very well trained; keep your eye on them at the Nationals in two weeks.

I don't think Val got first place.  I don't have the finishers in the 50; it was just so cold for us poor Floridians, who sleep in a tent, that we didn't stay at the awards that long.  So many riders, and by 8:30 we had to hit the insulated sleeping bags to keep warm.  Big weather change for all three of us.   Brrrrrrrrr!

I think Val came in second and it was a male who won the 50, but I could be wrong.  Sorry I don't have the details, but it was dang cold (41 and damp was the low) and I went to bed just to stay warm.  I would like to conclude that the proceeds of this ride go to a very good cause.  I did get to see some of the kids (disabled) ride a couple of horses with one young girl explaining what they all do.  I'm so weak when it comes to this sort of thing; I did shed some tears and wish I was a rich guy cause I'd give them a heap of money if I was.  Anyway, I did feel good that our entry fees went to this cause.  I'm not sure if I'll be back next year, it's a very long drive for us, but I will be back.





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