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Fort Valley Rides

The Fort Valley rides are always the prettiest rides in Virginia for
October.  The fall colors were stunning and the reflections of the sky and
colors in the mountain streams are to remember forever.  The trails are a
challenge for even the toughest riders.  Lots of climbing and rocks. The Old
Dominion trail masters are always good for a beautiful trail, and you must
admit that the views are worth slowing down to gaze at, one is the
Shenandoah  River snaking through the valley.  The Kennedy Peak loop is one
of the hardest but the most beautiful.

This year they ran 3 individual 50 milers.  It proved to be a good choice
because they had 48 horses start on Friday.  In years past, as a 3 day 150
they would only start a handful of horses. I can't imagine riding there for
3 days. However there are those that have done it and lots that have tried.
Judy VanMeter and her daughter Joanna Blackmore have finished it a couple of
years.  But most people only did one or two days.  With this format you can
do what you want with 3 horses, and distances.

This year we had great weather, cool nights and warm days and no rain.

I rode on Friday and was fortunate to ride with Mary from Miami on her
horses first 50.  This horse was conditioned for her by Valerie and it was
really fit.  We also rode with Adrienne Hewitt and got to hear about her
Tevis adventure.   We never saw Valerie, Lori or Debbie Gordon except in the
Vet checks.  Unfortunately Redman got pulled at the 49 mile check for a high
pulse.  As we came into the last VC which is only 1 mile from the finish we
have a 20 minute hold.  This always is the brass to the wall stop, because
the first horse out will never be caught by the one after it.  The horses
realize it is on the way home and really pick up interest.

This year I had a strange thing happen. A rider was at the timer to go out
one minute ahead of me and she was not in the Pulse area with me, matter of
fact she had not presented until 4 minutes after me.  She had pulsed in with
the friend that rode in with her, and knew the timer had made a mistake on
her card but said she was going out on the correct time when I asked her
about it..  Seems the timer accidentally added 20 minutes to her arrival
time and even though her friend had the right time and they Pulsed together,
she decided to go on out early.  If I had not been there she would have
gotten out without being caught.  This was apparently her intent.  When I
approached her  after the finish about her time out of the stop she cursed
me and dared me to discredit her.
Well I certainly don't mind being beaten fairly but I do mind being beaten
by a number error. And for the rudeness to pay off, well I don't think so.
The ride management took my comment seriously and checked into the problem
and I must say they handled it very well.  Her finish time was adjusted by
her correct out time of the last hold. So she ended up in 6 th place, where
she belonged.
I had to come home after the ride so I did not get to ride the next two days
but I believe they were also well attended. Here are the results of what I
know to be the finish on Friday. 1. Valerie Kanavy on Jedi.  2. Lori Hayward
on Hott Property. 3. Joy Mahler on Orion. 4. Jeannie Waldron on Alera. 5.
Mary Goodman on Abby. 6.Marilyn Horstmyer on Fire. 7.Adrienne Hewitt on
Pearlie Shells.  Lori took BC with Hott Property.

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