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[RC] Las Cruces 100 - Don't Believe Everything you read on Ride Camp - Richard Sacks

Alexis, I rode that ride and you didn't. I don't know exactly what you saw that offended you so much but the ride was not an overly fast ride considering that the course was flat as a board (if there was a hill it must have been an ant hill). The winning time was posted by Valerie Kanavy in just under 10 hours. That's an average speed of 10 miles per hour. I have seen many rides in California on more technical courses (read that as elevation or hills) that have posted equally fast times. Most of the pulls were for lameness not metabolic stress. The weather was cold (frigid to me after 26 years in California) so the metabolic pulls were mostly related to dehydration (horses tend to drink less in cold weather). The 50 mile ride was won by Bill Wilson (who is 70 years old and if I recall correctly had about 13 BC's the year before last). He finished in 5:15 for an average speed of under 10 miles per hour. Not all that fast either, as I have seen 50 mile rides run in under 5 hours in many regions. there were no pulls in the 50 or 25 mile rides on Sunday. All horses were safe and sound. The riders in this event in both the 100 and the 50 were some the most skilled riders in our country and from around the world.The vets were all FEI trained (read that as more detailed in their inspections) and were from this country, Mexico and other countries from around the world. Mike Tomlinson, the head vet, teaches courses to other vets on how to judge and evaluate horses in endurance, dressage and eventing venues. He is no slacker and doesn't let anything slide by him either. I rode with several of the Malaysians for a good part of the day. At no time did I see them stress their horses. I found them to be skilled riders and very much in tune with the horses they were leasing from Flight Leader Farms. I didn't see any horses needing treatment (i.e.: fluids at the ride). When I compared this to the Pan Am Games held up in Trout Lake Washington in 2003, where I saw at least 6 horses needing treatment, I must say that the riders and the vets at this ride simply did a great job at managing their horses. Oh, by the way the ride was held at the Dona Anna County Fairgrounds. The Speedway you refer to is a small dirt track at the Fair Grounds. And in case you are interested, I came in 12th at 8 hours and 28 minutes, or at an average speed of 6 miles per hour, just as I had planned since this was only my horse's 4th endurance ride. Speed can kill, but good horsemanship rules in the Southwest region.