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FW: Romania's first rider

	My young friend Laura Stoicescu of Houston, Texas, wrote this
account of her experiences as a rider/finisher at the World Endurance
Championships in Dubai, and asked that I forward it on to RideCamp.  I
am going to interject, here, that I have known Laura since she was 13
years old (she is now 18 and a straight-A student at Texas A&M
University), and for those who do not know her she is a friendly and
outgoing young woman with a lot of heart and determination, an excellent
endurance rider and equestrienne, and an all-around great person.  Her
friends in Texas (and all her friends elsewhere!) are all very proud of
her!  Ride on, Laura!!!

Lynda Corry

-----Original Message-----
From: Laura Stoicescu [] 
Sent: Saturday, December 19, 1998 12:37 AM
To: Corry, Lynda H.
Subject:  Romania's first rider

	Hi, everyone!  Just finished my semester's finals towards my
Biomedical Engineering degree at Texas A&M University, so I thought I'd
you a line and tell you about my experience at the 1998 World Endurance
Championship (160 km), where I finished 54th place out of 173 horses
with a
time of 14:01:17, on an a 9-year-old Anglo-Arab named Wave.

	Although my home is in Houston, Texas, I am Romanian by birth,
speak Romanian, and was able to represent Romania with the permission of
the Romanian Equestrian Federation.  While I was in Romania this past
summer to visit relatives, I met with the Secretary General of Youth and
Sports to show my desire and potential for riding in international
endurance events.  He complemented my riding ability and was impressed
with my AERC rider mileage record. This would be the first year for
Romania to compete in any international endurance event. 

	Let me tell you, this race was something totally different from
endurance event I have ever done!  More teamwork than ever before. You
to remember that you're not riding for yourself anymore, or for the fun
of just being out there -- you're actually representing a country!   I
was introduced at the World Championships as "Romania," and while I was
in Dubai I made many friends in different countries all over the world. 

	The race was one of the best things that could happen to an
18-year-old University student, and it taught me many things that just
can't be taught in a University.  I've learned what the other side of
the world looks like, how many different ways things can be done, and
how important preparation is.  I've always been able to do my studying
one or two days before the test and still make a 4.0 GPR. That can't be
done in Endurance -- you have to be organized, prepared (mentally and
physically) and, most importantly, be ready to ride under any extreme
condition. I had a great crew to help me out in this race:  Kirk Caudle
of Houston, Texas is one of the best farriers in the world and also one
of the nicest people that I know.  Sharon Saare is the famous saddle
maker of the popular Sharon Saare endurance saddles, and helped me
decide which saddle to use.  Ann Pfeiffer is the owner of Animal Tacker,
and she was kind enough to provide the tack for both me and my horse.
Darolyn Butler, also of Houston, Texas, provided me with many helpful
connections and assisted me with lots of  last min preparations.  I hope
I can one day repay them. My mom came along to help with the media and
report back to Romania all the news of this prestigious event. 

	While in Dubai, I met some of the nicest people I have ever met
in my life.  Jim Baldwin is a great guy with lots of information, Jim
Bryant did a lot of work in connection with even making it possible for
me to do this ride, and many local UAE residents spoke wonderful English
and helped me and my team learn about this fascinating country.  Bill
Smith from England is also someone to whom I owe many, many thanks; he
provided the wonderful horse Wave -- owned by Sheik Mohammed -- for me
to ride. 

I have made many great memories from the race and I am glad I was able
to do it.  

Laura Stoicescu

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