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[RC] FW: Gold Country Ride cancelled--an explanation why - Dana B.

On Jul 3, 2008, jcholbrook3rd@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:

I wanted to post an explanation as to why we had to cancel the Gold Country Ride.  I know there are many disappointed riders out there, as are all of us in the Gold Country Club. 
First of all, let me tell you that it was an EXTREMELY difficult decision to make.  We had been watching the air quality all last week and over the weekend.  With the clearing skies over the weekend, we were very optimistic.  We had planned to wait until Tues and Wed to mark the trail.  On Tues, the smoke was horrible down in Auburn , but, up in Georgetown , it was minimal.  My marking crew reported back to me that it was beautiful up there most of the day.  But, they could see, down in the Auburn canyon, that some smoke was accumulating from a recent fire.  On Wed, my marking crew called me from their cell phone, out on the trail, to tell me they were turning around and heading back to the trailers.  Their eyes and throats were burning from the smoke and they felt it was too unhealthy for themselves and their horses to continue on.  So, here it is Wed, only a few days before the ride.  The porta potties were to arrive Thurs, all the food for the vet checks and barbeque needed to be purchased on Thurs, and I had some riders arriving at  Dru Barner park on Thurs too.  Then, we had the issue of how the trail was going to get marked, since the girls were not able to do it on Wed.  But aside from all these obstacles, the main issue going thru my mind was, can I guarantee to all the riders that the air will be safe for themselves and their horses on ride day?  The entire week had been one of smoke one day, partial clearing the next, horrible smoke the next day, blue skies the next, etc, etc.  Their was just no consistency to the air qualtiy.  Our window of committing to all the expenses (vets, food, etc) was closing rapidly.  So, because of all the above, I talked to Bob Morgan, our head vet, on Wed afternoon, and we made the decision that we needed to cancel the ride.  We had to put the health of our horses first! 
So, as Murphys law would have it, on my way into Grass Valley this afternoon, the skies were clear and I could see all the way to the Sierras!  If only I had had a crystal ball!
So, thank you all for being so understanding with our decision and we hope to see you back next year!
Cherryl Holbrook
Ride Manager