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[RC] Biltmore - Mary Howell

This was my 9th year at Biltmore and we had the best weather ever...cool
temps and breezes all day, with only a smattering of rain around noon.

I'd started the 100 on one of Tom & Rita Swift's horses, but dismounting
after the 1st loop, got a muscle cramp in one leg. Weirdly enough, Money Run
also cramped up in his left hind. We couldn't work out, so were out at the
first hold. The rest of the day, running around awkwardly, I was reminded of
what it must be like for a horse when they get a cramp.

Free to watch & learn, I saw Ken Marcella use his handheld thermography
machine to confirm Money's cramp was just that and not a muscle tear (phew)
and show others where their horses had heat in their legs or other issues.

There were no raceoffs this year...Kara Disbrow and her friend in his cute
shorts over tights cantered across not realizing they were 1st and 2nd in
the 50. Jeannie Clark, who I met at Sand Hills last November, crossed 3rd.

Meanwhile, the Swift's other horse in the 100 was doing very well. It was
the first 100 for both Lisa Williams and Midnight Revelation "Junior," but
she rode like a pro, sweeping the loops at a 10 mph pace thanks to the cool
temps. For the last two loops we switched to using my treeless Ansur saddle
and Skito pad, which seemed to help Junior's back.

Ruth Ann Everett on Razz kept pace with Lisa all day, and the two big Anglo
Arabs were evenly matched, leaving out at the same time on the last loop.
Passing time while we waited at the finish, I called a friend & heard the
sad news of the Derby. Just past 7:40 pm, Lisa and Junior came cantering
gently in by themselves and Ruth Ann/Razz crossed about 5 minutes later.

Heather and Jeremy Reynolds impressively moved up in placing throughout the
day, passing horses on the last loop to tie for 3rd. Nicky Meuten on Fury
and Lisa Green on Amana (her small tough mare out of Bold Soldier) were next
to finish. 

Despite the favorable weather, there were still a number of pulls, with vets
noting more sore backs than usual and scratching their heads as to why.
Finally, for all you barefoot enthusiasts, the Swifts trained their horses
barefoot for months and I think this may be the first time a barefoot horse
has finished first at Biltmore!


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