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    [RC] The National Championship Ride My version - Lucie Hancock

    The National Championship RIde
    Lucie Hancock <lbhbhnck@xxxxxxxxx>
    Mon, 07 Oct 2002 19:39:37 -0400

    Well, we made it home safely, and had grandchildren all weekend. I am now home from work, and want to thank EVERYONE who had anything to do with the running of the National Championship Ride. I am duly impressed. The trails were well marked and monitored. When the storm threatened management made the necessary decisions to protect the horses and riders from possibly dangerous conditions that the torrential rains and winds from a hurricane can bring. Communications were good, and every single thing I needed while at camp was available.

    Riding the trail was an awesone experience. I have never ridden the Old Dominion, but I have ridden Edgemont and Elk Valley. Riding out from Rudy's Ranch was enough of a challenge. And there may be more difficlut trails elsewhere in the country, but I found theses to be enough of a challenge.

    Never having been able to ride a championship ride, and having spent much of the summer in California with my mother, I began studiously preparing Trinity for the challenge of mountain trails I had never seen. We did a good combination of long slow distance, speed work and the steepest hills I could find close to home. He rose to the challenge and seemed to really enjoy the hard work.

    Never did I ever think that we could finish as well as we did. Many of you remember that not so long ago I was asking riders to "sponsor" me on the first few miles of trail at rides. Well, Trinity and I worked through all that and he has become a very trustworthy trail partner. It was awesome to me that he could recover at each VC the way he did, and that he could keep up with the pace that was set. He stayed happy the whole ride, and had his head up and ears forward as we came to the finish line. He drank well, ate well, and if I had not been so dog tired I would have taken him back at the end of the hour to stand for BC. I fell asleep. Harold didn't think about it, and we are all happy.  Like Nina said, my sponsor at this ride was the Lord. He rode with me every step.

    And Sunday afternoon, Trinity happily gave my grandchildren "pony rides", which means they got to ride him at a walk the mile round trip to the pond behind our house and back. He had been trotting freely across the pasture trying to get his mother to play with him. She was too busy eating grass to even look up.

    I suppose if I think about it too much, the fast pace we rode could scare me. It was a fast pace. I had prepared to try to win my weight division, knowing full well I will never drive west to try again. It was an honor to be there, and an even bigger honor to finish as first middleweight. I am still not certain I understand it all. It was fun, and took a lot of little things coming together just right.


    I hope to see you all on the trails in the future. This is the greates sport in the world, and my favorite place to be is on the back of a good horse going down a trail, and lots of times slower is better.

    Lucie Hancock and HH Trinity