Long Leaf story

Samm C Bartee (bartesc@mail.auburn.edu)
Tue, 11 Nov 1997 14:56:03 -0600 (CST)

Long Leaf has been on my list of rides to go to since early spring when I
found out it was the National Championship ride. I have not ridden this
year, but Long Leaf makes the 15th ride that I have gone to just to help
I started out the week with a nasty cold, and by the time Thursday came
around and we were packing to leave I could barely talk. Off we went with
two horses in tow and four of us in my truck--plus three dogs of
Got there, unpacked, settled horses in, realized that the air mattress
busted:-(, slept great even if it was cold, and awoke to a cloudy, cold
day on Friday.
We registered people, Kathy Bauer did a lot of the registering, and I know
it wasn't easy. Many people were trying to decide which distance to do
and kept going back and forth.
All horses vetted in just fine, including mine. We had Weagle, the baby,
and Jet, her mama with Jr Alex Rockwell to ride. What a picture, mama and
her first born on the trail together. They are the spitting image of each
other too!!
Saturday came and everyone was up milling around and starting their
distances. I had Daniel Padgett riding Weagle and sponsering Alex for me,
so I felt my horses and Alex were in great hands. I was right!
The 100 mile horses all looked good as they came in to the first check.
The 50 mile horses all looked good too. I was getting nervous waiting for
the 25 milers to come in...nervous mama here let me tell you!!:-)-but in
they did come, poor Daniel was covered with mud. Weagle had side stepped
a mud hole, Daniel wasn't ready for that, and he didn't miss the hole! Oh
well, he looked funny, but was unharmed.
There were no pulls on the 25, only four on the 50--two were lamenesses,
and two were metabolics. the metabolics were odd though. The horses are
owned by the same people, they bought some strange hay for the horses, and
that seems to be the reason for the problems. It wasn't bad, but enough
to get them pulled.
The race off for the 50 was very exciting!! Dawn Sanchez and Judy
Sandlin, neighbors, were out for the number 1 spot! Dawn came in a good
length ahead of Judy, but Judy wound up with BC! That's the way to split
Bob Richeson, who used to be a West region rider and who just turned 80!!
came in a very close 3rd!! Wow! I sure do hope that I look and ride as
good as Bob does when I am 80!!

The 100's were cooking along pretty good by now. It looked like a 2 way
horse race for the lead, but wound up being even more exciting than that!!
Marilyn Horstmyer, of Desoto Saddle making fame, went out by herself on
that last loop. There were a group of 4 out right behind her. she was
riding hard, but not really moving when she heard hoof beats behind her.
She looked back and could see headlights of crew vehicles and three horses
in hot persuit!! She decided that she would see what happened. It was
still a ways out. At 6 miles from the finish, one of the horses made a
move and she said her horse, who was actually a track horse, just flat
refused to have that horse pass her!! So, from 6 miles out, it was a
horse race folks. Marilyn's horse, Too Much Fire, wound up winning by a
closer margin than it looks on the numbers, but man was it ever exciting!!
the Best Condition evaluations all looked good considering the speed that
they had gone. The horse that came in behind Marilyn had made up 12
minutes on that last loop!!! That is great!!! The horses all looked fine
at the finish. I didn't see one horse that looked bad after that 100
If you missed this ride, you missed something really great!! PUt it on
your calender for next November. You won't be sorry.


Auburn, Al. SE Region
SIR REVEL--1305 miles and........!!!
B JETS WAR EAGLE--endurance newbie
60 miles and going....