The temperature in the open was in the 80's during the first day. In the
woods the air was absolutely still and deceptively humid.
The Florida Horseman's Association did everything short of hauling out the
extra sand to make our ride a good one! There were four water stops each of
the 40 mile days -- the Water Wagon Manager even figured out the riders who
were riding together and arranged the water buckets accordingly!
During the second day it rained (not quite the word to describe the
deluge!!). This was the first time that my saddle was so wet that I felt as
if I were riding a greased pig!
This was the first time in her 1,000 miles that I EVER saw my mare's tendons
fill. I sure was glad that she is a seasoned campaigner!!! The judging
staff (Dwight Hooten, D.V.M. and Valery Kanavy) were most helpful in
offering suggestions that might help horses finish.
The third day was delightful. The cold front FINALLY made it and the 20
miles flew! It was sad that the attrition was so high. I think only ten or
eleven of the twenty 100 mile horses finished. I hope someone who was not
holding a horse at awards took notes and will post the winners.
I was happy my mare finished. I was happy with our 2nd place, but I was
happiest to see her clean legged and trotting freely the next morning before
we loaded up to go home!
I recently commented that you can condition a horse for hills in the sand,
but it is not so easy the other way around. I believe that even more and
will maintain a healthy respect for the sand of the Ocala National Forest!
On a personal note, my mare, Larca and I were tied with Donna Curtin, of NJ,
and her Morgan gelding, Baywind Adar for the 1996 Florida Horsemen's
Association East Coast Challenge Trophy (awarded to the horse and rider with
the highest scores of three of the six east coast three day 100's). What a
thrill! This is the first time since 1976 that the trophy has been tied.
Started in 1966 and won by the great lady of eastern 100 miling, Lucille
Kenyon, the trophy is a "Who's Who" of 100 miling! The trophy has been
retired (three time win by same horse and rider team) only twice -- both
time by men in their 70's!!! (Sky Hopper and Webb Coleman).