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The Sandblast!!!

	Just a note to thank Mary Manuel and Carolyn Hosmer (and all their
terrific support team!) for hosting such a great ride this past weekend, and
to encourage YOU all to head out to "The Sandblast" next year!  The
Sandblast was the first ride of the Third Annual "Texas Triple Crown" series
-- finish all three specified rides (any mileage combo) and you get a nice
jacket with your name and your horse's name embroidered on the front.  With
over 100 riders participating this year, management worked very hard to make
this a high-caliber ride, and it showed.

	Held on the grounds of the Clements Boy Scout Ranch (which is also a
wildlife preserve) in Athens, Texas, the "Sandblast" trails were EXTREMELY
well-marked, and the scenery around that little jewel of a lake was
especially beautiful.  Temps were in the 40's or 50's on ride day, and we
were fortunate that the heavy rains experienced in the area the preceding
few days had stopped.  Although previous torrential downpours had made a
couple of areas especially boggy and parts of the trail had to be re-routed
to keep all the horses from sinking to China, most of the trail offered very
good footing and none of the three first-timers from our barn --
Aldine-Westfield Stables of Houston, Texas -- had any problem.

	In fact, all nine of us from AW convoyed down together and had a
GREAT time.  Vicki, Joe, and Cameron Holzer all successfully finished the 50
(as did I), Margaret Ling bounded through the 25-miler just for the sheer
joy of it, and Laura Lewis (successful finisher of last year's Triple Crown)
successfully "sponsored" three first-timers in the 25-miler:  Colleen
Bumgardner, Tammy Powell, and Julie Jackson.  All four gals apparently just
partied down the trail together and made it a goal to all complete together
-- which they did.

	Anyway, we're all looking forward to the 2nd "Jewel of the Triple
Crown,"  -- the three-day "Pioneer" event at the upcoming "Montell Cliff
Hanger" in the Texas Hill Country on March 20, 21, and 22.  Folks, if you've
never been to the Montell Cliff Hanger, now is the time to start planning
that trip.  I'm convinced it's the most beautiful ride-site in all of Texas,
and Barbara Sondock runs a great ride.  Happy trails, and hope to see you

Lynda Corry

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