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[RC] Nick Warhol- AERC Chmpnshp 50 ride story 1 of 5 - Nick Warhol

The AERC National Championship 50 mile ride, 2003
Red Rock Ride, Reno, Nevada

Boy, that sure sounds cool, doesn't it?  It sounds even neater when you
tell people you get to go ride your horse in the National Championship.
Lucky for me it was held this year at the Red Rock Ride site, about 30
minutes north of Reno, Nevada.  It was indeed a very special ride for
me, since I entered on Warpaint the wonder appaloosa, on what was
supposed to be his retirement ride.  Had I been able to ride the second
day at Camp Far West in August, this ride would have put him over the
4000 mile mark, and he would have been able to end his endurance career
in style!   If he finishes this ride, I'll just have to go and ride him
one more time in the Las Vegas ride.  Oh Darn!
The ride was indeed run like a championship ride should be; the ride
management did a terrific job with all the details.  The atmosphere and
quality was a lot like the Pan Am ride, without the hassle.  (Can I say
that?)  Unfortunately for me, I did not get to enjoy any of the Saturday
pre-ride festivities, since once again the tired old Pony Tug truck let
me down.  (I heard that the hundred hunting hound-dog demo on Saturday
was pretty cool)  It was very lucky for me my riding buddy Sally Abe was
following me in her rig, and when I broke down on highway 80 outside of
Auburn, we stuck the War Pony and all my stuff in her trailer and sent
them on to the ride, while I spent the entire day in Auburn at the Ford
dealer getting my truck fixed.  This time it turned out to be the entire
anti-lock brake system.  So tell me- why would an anti-lock sensor and
control valve also control the shift points on the transmission?  All
this stuff is computer controlled nowadays, and everything in a truck
depends on something else electronic.  I can go without anti-lock brakes
for a while, but it was a problem when every time the truck shifts it
hits a false neutral.  I spent a very "fun" 8 hours in hurry-up-and-wait
mode, but thanks to the great guys at Maita Ford in Auburn, who didn't
really need to spend all day Saturday scrambling for parts and working
on an emergency repair, I left Auburn at 5:00pm and arrived at the ride
at about 7:30, right in the middle of the ride meeting.  At least now we
had a place to sleep.  Judy had gotten Warpaint all checked in for me,
so all I had to do was show up and ride!  The base camp is set up in a
nice flat meadow with lots of room, and lots of water.  They had
showers, a giant tent for the assembly area, and even an ice machine!  I
rode most of the 50 miler pre-ride here a few months ago, so it would be
interesting to see what changes they had made to the trail.
Another treat for me was the fact that Jackie Bumgardner was bringing
Zayante to the ride.  My two favorite horses in the world, here at the
same ride together for the first time.  I think they shared a trailer
ride some time back, but this time they would be going down the trail
together.  Sally would be joining us on her horse Phathom; he's pretty
competitive, and when he and Warpaint get together, especially at a
ride, it can get kind of, what's the word, "hurried?"  "Frantic?"
"Fast?"    All of the above fit.

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