[RC] The National Championship Ride My version - Lucie Hancock
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
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.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO HAD A PART.
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