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[RC] Las Cruces Ride - Richard Sacks

Having way too much time on my I hands I looked up the completion times for some of the other FEI rides and other 100's done in 2007. The fastest completion time I could find was 8:29 by Valerie Kanavy at the FITS ride. The next closest was 8:34 by John Crandell on Heraldic at the Fort Howes ride. James Davidson did the Camp Osborn 100 in 8:51. There was a 9:30 by Heather Reynolds at the Git-R-Done ride. Crandell did the AERC National Championships in 9:35. Jan Worthington did the Carolina in 9:38.  Rob Biswas did the Klickitat in 9:50. Judith Ogus did the 20 Mule Team ride in 9:57. Meg Sleeper won the Z-Tec in 9:59. Kim Orr did the Hallelujah Benefit in 10:02. Christoph Schork did the Owyhee in 10:07. Steve Rojek won the Biltmore FEI in 10:16. Betsy Adamson won the Patriot's Day ride in 10:19. Kim Fuess won the Rio Grand in 10:52. All other 100's were significantly over 11 hours.
So what does this mean? The Las Cruces ride wasn't all that fast. It was won in what appears to be an average time for the fastest 100's run in this country. Now for the rest of the story. Valerie could have finished this ride almost 2 hours earlier except she made some mistakes on the trail. She went to the bathroom and her horse got away wasting about a half hour. She did an extra five miles on one loop. I know this to be true because she passed me twice on this loop, confusing the hell out of me. There was a five mile lollipop she went around twice. And on another loop she sort of got misdirected and ended up doing an extra 10-15 miles. So the course was laid out for an 8 hour completion time but it just didn't happen this time. However, even the fastest time at the FITS ride was significantly slower than any of the rides in Dubai where completion times are pushing to break 7 hours. I don't know exactly what this means except that the Las Cruces ride wasn't all that fast. It certainly wasn't a "Speedway". I am not knowledgeable enough to ascertain any judgment whether this is a reflection on the quality of US horses or our conditioning programs. I do know that people like John Crandell, Valerie, Meg, Christoph, Heather and others are certainly capable of competing on the International level. Their wins and placements in other countries proves that. I just thought this was interesting.