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[RC] Al-Andalus : Merri's Day 5 story - Steph Teeter

Tuesday March 31 2009


This is how non-stop busy I've been - I haven't had a cappuchino since the first day. I haven't even had time to think about one.

41 horses left Carmona in the morning in a controlled start out of the gates of the old city, down the hill across a Roman bridge, and on into and through the Carmona Valley.

60 kilometers across farmland of wheat, garlic, sugar beets, and olive groves, fairly flat but a fair amount of pavement, with the finish just inside Ecija, "the Frying-Pan of Andalucia" with several baroque churches with towers you can see from the distance. It was a pleasantly sunny and cool day - in contrast to how hot it can be here in the summer (once it hit 52*C - hence "Frying Pan").

First in binomiols was Salvador Garrido on Shakyra, followed by the overall binomios leader Eduardo Sanchez and Hidalgo. First across the line in Equipos was Nathalie Michel again, but it was a vet gate finish, and Lise Chambost and Damas El Derkouch were the first to come down to the 56 bpm heartrate. Inigo Frl Solar was 2nd on Zafia.

Inigo and his riding partner Teresa Lozano hold 1st place overall in teams by a mere 3 minutes over Daniel and Paulette Maldera. Eduardo Sanchez and Hermes (who is 16 years old, not 14, I was told), have a 55 minute lead over second place Otto Velez and Pal Parthenon.

Five horses didn't start today, and 8 were pulled for lameness. The kilometers are starting to take their toll on some... and now I'm seeing a lot of after care - cold-water hosing of legs, mud, a few leg wraps (but not so many as I'd expect), arnica, physiotherapy.

One more day tomorrow followed by a rest day in Cordoba (!!) - though whether this will benefit the horses or hurt them more will be seen on the last two days in the mountains.


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