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    Re: [RC] OD (Long) - Jim Holland

    Was it evermore a great day! Zowie! If you missed it this year, for
    shame! If you get great weather on that trail, it's a spectacular ride.
    Joan and I went up on Thursday taking Sunny and Flinn Anderson's horse
    "Abe", otherwise known as "The Abe-ster" or "Abe-meister". He's a great
    little guy...funniest looking Arab you ever saw...but tough as nails.
    Great legs, sturdy cannon bones, and feet like bowling balls.  He has a
    wisp of a mane and tail, a skinny little neck, white schlera which gives
    him that "deer in the headlights" look.  Always goes down the trail
    constantly looking left and right with his lower lip flappin' in the
    Got stuck in traffic out on I81 and barely got a snack at the reception,
    but at least got camp set up before dark. Flinn and my friend Gabe
    Buckler came up on Friday to help Joan crew for Flinn and I in the 50. I
    really wanted to try the 100, but Sunny has been having strange lameness
    problems lately, and Flinn did not want to do the 50 by herself, so just
    hoped to finish the 50 and change my luck. The weather was just chilly
    enough at night for an extra blanket, but low humidity and great
    visibility. Even the gnats were taking a break. Things were looking
    Really great group of vets...but were they evermore picky! Sort of a
    "committee" vet-in with 6-8 vets and a double loop trot out. Joan and I
    took Sunny and Abe down to vet-in and were told that Sunny was off on
    the left rear and Abe was off on both fronts and to come back for a
    recheck later. Huh?  I couldn't see anything off about either one...even
    with the vets trotting them for me. Took Sunny back later, and now he
    was said to be now off on the right front. Hmmm..I still couldn't see
    anything abnormal. After some begging, they finally agreed to let me
    start with a * on my vet card on "gait".  Flinn arrived and we took Abe
    back down. They still thought he was "off somewhere"...we still thought
    he was just fine. Anyway, they let Abe start as well.  At McCoy's Ford,
    the first check, both Sunny and Abe were "A" on gait. Go figure...<sigh>
    Diane and Ryan Fruth were also riding the 50 with Jerry crewing and had
    the same problem...several other people mentioned this as well. Odd...
    Beautiful morning on Saturday. We warmed up for half an hour to make
    sure the guys were OK, checking and rechecking each other. A kildeer
    bird had built a nest on the ground in the arena. Someone put a chair
    over it to protect her nest, but lemme tell you...that bird didn't need
    much help! If you got too close, she told you about it in no uncertain
    terms!  Hmmm..bet she was really stressed before the weekend was over
    after guarding that nest from 200 or so horses...certainly her voice was
    Left about 3/4 of the way back in the pack. Chatted with Laura Hayes
    about shoeing and aluminum shoes for awhile but she was going faster
    than we were. Laura, tried to find you later, but couldn't track you
    down. About half way to McCoy's Ford, Beth, a young lady from Rocky
    Mount, NC (near my family homeplace) caught up with us and tagged along
    behind. It was her first Endurance ride and her mare was a little eager
    so she wanted to pace with us. A little while later we caught up with
    Natalie, another young lady from Fairfax County, VA on her grade horse
    Ranger doing his second 50. Looked like an Arab, but would "single-foot"
    every now then. Hmmmm..bet the vet crew had a hard time with HIS
    trot-out. <grin> Ranger was a perfect lead horse, since he really wanted
    to follow. Sunny just trotted along on a loose rein along behind Ranger,
    with Beth bringing up the rear. Beth's sharp eyes saved us from getting
    lost a couple of times. (OD is far from being the best marked ride I've
    ever ridden!)
    Now it just doesn't get any better than this! Riding the spectacular
    mountains of Northern Virgina on a gorgeous day with three beautiful
    young ladies! Howard, eat your heart out! We arrived at McCoy's in great
    shape, had a fun time in the river, which was pretty low. No crews
    allowed for the 50's here, but lots of grass. We all left together
    looking forward to the mountain.  We walked up most of Massanutten,
    enjoying the great views and taking pictures. Spectacular visibility of
    the Shenandoah Valley below with the river snaking through it.
    Arrived at Fitchett's in great shape, with the horses not even sweating.
    Everyone vetted through immediately...except me! Sunny was off a
    little...this time he really was...sadly, my day was over.  Although
    disappointed, I felt Flinn was in good hands with Beth and Natalie. I
    had discussed the ride over Little Crease with them on the way to
    Fitchetts. I wanted them to get off on Little Crease, but otherwise,
    trot briskly where they could. Wanted them to have time to spare at
    Liberty Hall so they could take it easy on the 4 mile climb back to
    Sunny and I settled in over in the shade waiting for a ride back to camp
    as riders and crew left for the return to McCoy's Ford. Got back to camp
    about 2:00. Sunny was in a really foul mood and stomping around the
    corral hollering. Had to round up my dressage whip and give him some
    "work to do". He finally decided he would rather shut up and nap in the
    sun than do that. Commiserated with myself over a couple of gin and
    tonics, muttering and feeling sorry for myself. Joan and Gabe picked me
    up about 4:00 to go to the finish line. Flinn, Beth, and Natalie were
    doing well and on the last leg. They all arrived about 4:30 whooping and
    hollering and in great shape. All of them completed. I was so proud of
    them! Flinn's horse Abe finished strong! She was so excited that the vet
    at Liberty Hall told her "he looked like he hadn't been ridden at all".
    Flinn, can I borrow him for the OD 100 next year?
    Diane and Ryan Fruth completed right behind them.  Genie got some GREAT
    pictures of Ryan in the river. Way to go, guys! Good job crewing, Jerry!
    My neighbor back at ridecamp was sitting under her awning playing a
    little gospel bluegrass when we got back. She had a 2nd guitar, so went
    over and joined her for "Will the Circle be Unbroken", "I'll Fly Away",
    and "Rollin' in my Sweet Baby's Arms". Brightened my day! Joan finally
    chased me off to go to dinner.
    Our gang and the Fruth's had dinner in Front Royal.  Nice place, good
    food. Flinn promptly got Jerry's glass of Merlot dumped in her lap but
    it wasn't Jerry's fault. However, Truman, you shoulda been there to help
    me keep him in line. <grin>
    Left early Sunday, got home about 10:00 last nite.  Sunny was a little
    stiff on the trailer, but this morning he and Abe are bouncing around
    the pasture...no sign of lameness.  Just can't figure it. <sigh> Well,
    gonna give him the whole summer off and start over this fall.  I guess
    Magic needs the work, anyway.
    Thanks, Gabe and Joan for the GREAT crew work.  Not only did they crew
    for us, but helped everyone else anywhere close by. We appreciate
    it....you're the best!  I think Flinn probably slept with her OD buckle
    last nite! <smile>  
    Thanks also to the hard working people that make the Old Dominion such a
    memorable experience. If you haven't done it, go! There's nothing like
    Jim, Sun of Dimanche, and Mahada Magic
    > goearth wrote:
    > There will be another no more perfect day for this ride.  And there
    > were 24 in the 100.  74 in the 50.  Jeff Crandall has continued his
    > dominance in Training and Riding, winning the 50 2 of 3 years and
    > training the winning horse last year.  I fell asleep at the finish
    > line of the 100 before all was said and done.  I think it was Debby
    > Bullis riding Julie Bullocks horse  won the 100 arround 10:30 pm.
    > Lynn Gilbert was the only Cavalry rider to finish in 2 or 3 on g.m.
    > Chagall. I think there were arround 15 finishers.   Everything is a
    > blurr.  I'll leave the rest to the #'s folk to correct me and add.  At
    > Noon, at Fosters Landing (40 miles), Art Kings gadget said it was 81
    > degrees w/a 60% humidity. It don't get NO better than that here in
    > June. Where were all you people?   eating twinkies? or planning your
    > next or first ride.  This management is tops and Matthew worked his
    > butt off on some new trail up Habron Gap.     tom sites
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    [RC] OD, goearth