More Crew!

We have some crew people in to help! Ann Crandell and Deb Bullis are here and do we ever need them. The riders have been handling everything from early and late feedings to stall cleaning and riding and hand walking. Jim and I pitch in to help get the chores done, but it is staill along day for the riders when we leave the hotel at 7:00 ad get back around the same time in the evening. We seemed to have had another round of food poisoning among our group. Three of our group were feeing the effects today. Two were grooms, so the riders went out in the afternoon - high heat and humidty for another workout. this time they got to trot in 20 minute intervals. Grace, Ann and Deb went to one water point to pour water on the horses, JIm and I went to the other point. the was the fasted and hottest workout yet. Heartrates were still good, horses cooled down very fast at the end of the ride. JIm and I and the riders were very pleased to see how well the horses were able to handle it.

DeWayne Brown got in around 5:30. He will being staying the the luxurious "groom's room" suite at the venue. It may not have TV, but it does have very effective air conditioning. Now we have someone on site to handle the morning and evening feedings. That will be a big help to the riders.

For tomorrow, we have planned a long ride ride, around 20 miles. Ten days before the race we want to see how the horses handle a longer distance, assess their fitness levels, and draw blood again to evaluate electrolyte levels.

The riders are mentally and physically ready. They are a very close-knit team. They are staying focused and positive. The level of cooperation has really been outstanding. With the arrival of more grooms and extra people, the riders can now get some rest and concentrate on their primary purpose.

Our fun for the day: Jan's horse, Leon, is not fond of having his ears clipped. Jim Bryant decided to set a good example for Leon by sitting in his stall and letting Grace cut his hair with the clippers. Jim was very good - not kicking or biting at all. The fact the he let Grace cut his hair with horse clippers just shows how hot it can be here. Many pictures were taken, I'll try to get them posted. Leon, however, did not take the good example to heart, and finally Jim himself whispered in Leon's ear that the clipping would be for his own good. Leon listened to Jim and the job was done. Leon may not realize it but on the outside of the ears are many large veins and exposure to the air will help him cool down much more quickly than if we had left all the hair on.

It's 9:30pm and raining again. boy, did we pick the right night for the night ride! time for bed.


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