I guess I've been riding "organized" long distance rides the longest of
anyone I've met at Ridecamp -- rode first 40 miles of the Vermont three day
100 in 1965. As a teenager, I had read Genevieve Torrey Eames charming book
"Pat Rides the Trail" about a girl my age who rode the Vermont 100 during
World War II. I didn't get my first horse until 1962, and it was his mother
I rode in the 1965 ride. It was pure chance that my first horse was a 3/4
Arab and not a Morgan! (The Arab breeder returned my phone call).
I didn't FINISH a 100 mile ride until 1967 when I finished NJ 100 at
Gladstone. That was the year only ten horses of the 38 starting were
allowed to finish!
Because of raising a family, I didn't get to finish Vermont until 1976,
riding the dam of the mare I now compete.
The NJ 100 was my "local" ride, and it was a thrill to take that mare back
to NJ in 1986 and repeat getting the high point Arab award that she'd won in
1976 as a seven year old.
Our daughter rode my husband's gelding to win the Grand Championship of the
Vermont GMHA 100 in 1980. All four members of our family rode that gelding
at some point on the NJ 100, and all placed. He is now 23 and enjoying
learning new pursuits such as settling cattle at the local team penning.
My vet thinks I'm nuts -- I condition two and a half horses (keep my
husband's gelding ready for his romps at Biltmore) all year and attend only
one or two rides each year! I was really fortunate in 1996. We got to do
three 100's, Florida, Vermont and Biltmore, tying for the Florida Horsemen's
Association East Coast Challenge Trophy. It is the first time the trophy
has been "tied" since the mid-70's!
Bill and I do a lot of "Trot and Trim" at Biltmore. We help hang and
light glow sticks and help "drag" pieces of the Biltmore 100/50/30 or run
"point" for the NATRC rides that are held there. I must admit I don't
understand the desire for drag riders to get awards!! The real reward has
been helping others enjoy their particular form of long distance.
I started 100 miling when there were only 100's. I had to have a
sponsor to enter, and was fortunate to have Sky Hopper as my mentor!
O.K., who's been at it longer than I? (GMHA has been running since