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[RC] Nick Warhol- convention report and Zayante Speech- p 2 of 2 - Nick Warhol

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"They started riding him  in 1991, Bob mostly to start, and over the next few years they accomplished something that by itself is absolutely unbelievable:  This horse finished his first one hundred endurance rides in a row.  (pause)  A hundred rides in a row!  That's a Career for most horses, yet this horse was just getting warmed up!"
 
"Right about that time, Julie and Bob decided to return him to his original owner, because they found that he could be a little spooky, no, check that, this horse SPOOKS when you ride him, and they didn't want to risk the chance of taking a fall.   So they returned him to his owner, who gladly took him back, she started riding him again, and went out and racked up another twenty-five hundred or three-thousand miles or so, before I got my hands on him."
 
"I met the horse about four years ago when his owner graciously let me ride him in a multiday ride, when my horse was broken down, and couldn't go.  I went down there and met him and entered the ride, he just RIPPED me through that ride with such ease, I could not believe it.  I found I just loved riding this horse, he and I just clicked.  I found him to be the most energetic, dependable, reliable, sure-footed.... all the words I can think of to describe him just don't do him justice.  I have gotten to know him pretty well, having put almost fifteen hundred miles on him, and have really enjoyed every mile, of every ride."
 
"Now I'd like to tell you about some of his accomplishments in the sport.  His career miles to date- 10,850, that's the seventh highest in the history of the sport.  He has started 204 rides and finished 196.  And he's no slouch- of those 196 completions, 125 were in the top twenty, and 65 in the top ten.  This horse has averaged just under a thousand miles a year, every year, since 1991.  His most miles in a year- 1540.  The fewest in a year- 430.  He has completed twenty one day 100s, including several at Tevis.  And this last one is almost as amazing as his 100 completions in a row- this horse has completed all the consecutive days at thirty multiday rides!"
 
"Keep in mind that this horse is over 20 years old, no one really knows how old for sure, and he is still going absolutely strong!  Last year, 2002 ride season, 14 starts, 14 completions, 830 miles, including dragging me through two pretty difficult desert 100s, the Washoe and Virginia City rides.   In September he came down with a bad case of strangles, but that didn't slow him down.  He got better and went back to work- 2003 ride season, this year, to date- 6 starts, 6 completions, 350 miles, and this is only March!"
 
"This horse is what endurance riding is all about.   All those miles, all those rides, all those years, Heck, all that conditioning, and the whole time with him going down the trail, with this, this absolute JOY in his heart, for being out there on the trail, doing what he loves.  This horse loves it!  I know he loves it.  He tells us that, every time we ride him.  And I sure hope that I can continue being one of those lucky people that gets to be up there on his back."
 
"With all that being said, now I get to introduce his owner, who herself, is somewhat of an endurance rider.   This woman has been pulled from 4 endurance rides, (long pause) over the last TWENTY years.  Let that sink in a moment.  That must be some kind of record!   Now 4 pulls would not be very impressive out of 5 starts, but she has ridden over 375 endurance rides!  Her career miles to date?  How about 20, 480!   I think it is pretty safe to say that she knows what she is doing.   She has been putting on some of the greatest rides in the desert for many, many years, she's an absolute icon of the sport in the west and pacific south regions, and is without a doubt one of the nicest people the sport has ever produced."
 
"And for me, personally, I feel it is a real privilege to be able to call her my dear friend, and would like to take this opportunity to thank her now, from my heart, for sharing this magnificent horse, with me."
 
"So ladies and gentleman, I give you Jackie Bumgardner, from Bridgeport and Ridgecrest, California, the original, current, and forever owner of the 2002 Hall of Fame horse, and that horse could only be, the one and the only,  ZAYANTE!"
 
(Tremendous applause, and deservedly so, for both Jackie and Zayante!)