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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Las Cruces: Merry Christmas from New Year's in New Mexico

Merry Christmas from New Years in New Mexico!

John and I arrived yesterday evening. We're staying with Dave and Tracy Kaden for the next few days at their farm 'Flight Leader Farm' which is located along the Rio Grande River between Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Dave and Tracy are the organizers of the 'New Years in New Mexico' ride - December 30 & 31. December 30 is a 100 mile FEI ride, CEI*** .

I'm going to be riding the 100. I haven't done a 100 since I rode Bev Gray's great horse Paladin at the Big Horn in 2006.... I'm excited, but also hoping I'm up for it!! I'll be riding my horse Jaziret - he's been a steady ride for me, 3000+ miles - and his last 100 was in 2004. He's in good form though, and we won't be 'racing' - our goal is to finish in 12km/hr or faster (FEI CoC time 13:20 max ride time). HRH / Tuanku Mizan (Malaysia's King) will be riding, along with 5 other Malaysian riders. They will be riding Tracy's horses, hoping to earn the first CoC towards qualification for the 2008 WEC. I offered to ride with Tuanku - a little support on a new ride in a strange country on a new horse... - so as long as Jaziret and I can keep the pace we'll stay with him.

There will be other foriegn riders here as well - from Japan, Great Britain, Austria, and also Sheikha Madiya from UAE. I'll try to get the list of ride entries up soon. I think they're expecting a pretty good turn out for the 100. Valerie Kanavy came last week with 2 horses, Cameron Holzer is also here already (they're keeping their horses at Dave and Tracy's for now also).

John and I had breakfast in Las Cruces with a group of the Malaysians that are here already. The 'advance' group for Tuanku Mizan (PA, vet, security, rider, etc), Raja Mahmood and his staff on yet another adventure just 3 weeks after the Uruguay and Chile rides. At this point they're checking out the venue, the trail, the transportation, getting everything in order. They're all coming out to the farm tomorrow to try the horses - and decide which horse is best for each rider, and choose the 6 that they will ride from the 9 horses Tracy has offered them.

John and I went out to the venue (at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds) after breakfast to take a look. We pulled up to the gated entrance to see a sizeable herd of angus cattle wandering around and a huge lake around a gushing busted water pipe - most likely one of the cows busted a hydrant. John called the grounds keeper to let him know. They guy was in San Antonio, and would have to call around to find somebody to go out and shut the water off, so John offered to do it. Wading out into the cold (fairly deep) water (in his underwear) to reach down and shut of the valve. Of couse I got a picture :) But - the guy was appreciative and when John told him we wondering about internet service during the ride, he told John he'd give him access to the fast internet line in his office!

So we're set. I'm going ride, my wonderful friend from years back, Clydea Hastie, is going to crew for me. I crewed for Clydea at the '95 North American Championship in Flagstaff, and also met her in Kansas at the 1996 WEC where she went as an alternate. And John's going to be Endurance.Net reporter! Dave and Mark (Cowboy) Dial will be running the ride, and Tracy might ride, but hasn't decided yet - depends on how many people are available to crew for the leased horses. She might just stay with the horses and make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible for the riders.

So that's the news from New Mexico -

Merry Christmas to all!!!