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Re: [RC] USA Gold Trail Blazer Chef D'Equipe Report by Lee Wittle part 1 - Tom Sites

"To Finish Is To Win", has been the motto of all endurance riders throughout the years and brought to the USA Endurance Team, the Gold Medals and the title Champions of Europe.
August 1, the European Continental Open Championships were held in Marloffstein, Germany.  The USA entered 4 riders, all as team members, and won the Gold Medal in team competition.  The team consisted of Sun Walt/Mike Marino (9th),  BayMar/Tom Sites (16th), Miss Lexa/Viki Varley (NF), Cher Habu/Jeannie Waldron (8th).  The experience of some of the horses and riders was limited, but these horses were solid finishers.  Also, there were no "bullets". A very good group for team competition.
Historically, there has only been 1 International Ride in which 3 teams finished 3 horses.  The scoring for team results is the time of the 1st 3 horses ahead of all teams finishing less than 3.  It was determined prior to the ride that the team would ride conservatively, concentrating on completition rather than placing.
The race began at 5 AM with a mass start in darkness and for the first 88 Km, the pace was the same for all USA ridrs at 8.3 mph.  The lead horses were about 1 hour ahead, leading team horses about 45 minutes ahead.  At this point in team competition, Great Britian held a 67 minute lead, France 55 minutes, Spain was about 11 and Belguim was 90 minutes behind.
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