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2015 Big Horn 100

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Cindy Collins and the Big Horn 100: The Magic Ten

July 21 2015
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net

When Cindy Collins rode across the finish line of the 2015 Big Horn 100 endurance ride near Shell, Wyoming, a little before 2:00 AM on July 12, after 18 hours and 42 minutes in the saddle, she collapsed into the arms of Melanie Thompson, her crew, and cried. To be sure, part of it was from a bit of pain and fatigue, but it was mostly from the momentous jubilation of it all. It was Cindy's 10th completion of the legendary 100-mile endurance ride, a feat only 4 other riders have accomplished in the ride's long and storied history over 40 years. "Melanie pretty much dragged me crying off of my horse," Cindy said. "It was a very emotional ride, for a lot of reasons."

Reaching 1000 Big Horn miles in the 100-mile distance has been a long term goal for this 60-year-old veteran endurance rider from Cody, Wyoming, who has logged nearly 10,000 AERC miles over 30 years of endurance riding.

And she owes it all to the Big Horn ride. "Back in 1979, there was an ad in the Cody paper about a meeting in Graybull, Wyoming, about the Big Horn 100 mile horse ride," Cindy recalled. "My husband had just bought me an unbroke 3-year-old Arab gelding. I had heard that Arabs were good at endurance, but that was the extent of what I knew. So I went to that meeting, and I met Tom and Arlene Van Gelder, and many of the other people who started the Big Horn 100, and that was really my start of my lifelong love affair with endurance riding."

Cindy's first two endurance rides were Limited Distance rides, in Mississippi and Alabama in 1980, due to the fact she and her husband had to move south for a couple of years. Back in Wyoming, Cindy did her first 50 - the Big Horn 50 - in 1981, beginning a decades-long journey over "the most beautiful trail in the world," with memorable people and horses and adventures along the way...

Read more here:

Hannah Pruss, Suzanne Ford Huff Tie for First in Big Horn 100

July 11 2015

Hannah Pruss, riding Stuart, and Suzanne Ford Huff, riding SD Expressa, tied for first place in the Big Horn 100 near Shell, Wyoming on July 11, in a ride time of 13:35. Pruss finished second in 2013 and first in 2014 riding Krusador. Huff won the Big Horn in 2006 aboard Chase The Wind AH. SD Expressa won this year's Best Condition award. 34 riders started and 26 completed the 100-mile distance.

Cindy Collins, finishing 15th on AUR Sierra Wind, became only the fourth rider to earn her 10th Big Horn buckle. She exhibited human endurance and fortitude, persevering through some major leg pain during the last half of the ride.

Tom Noll, earning his 6th Big Horn buckle by finishing 23rd on Rocky, also was awarded the "In the Spirit of Endurance" award in honor of Marirose Six. "Last year, I rode with Marirose as we came off the mountain and Marirose helped me finish with my big red mustang," Noll stated. "This year, I was with the wild Okies as we descended on a night black as coal. We rode the final miles through the shale badlands in silence. Many times, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a horse and rider silhouette in the darkness. The night was so black and the figure was so formless that I was never sure if it was even real. Perhaps it was the shadow of Marirose, just out of reach.

"I am honored and deeply humbled to receive this award. I have been fortunate to share the Big Horn trail with some genuine characters -- riders, horses, and mules. I am a lucky man."

The Big Horn 100 is a tough ride, but a beautiful and near-sacred one to many riders who return year after year. Noll summed it up: "100 miles, one day, tough trail, tough horses, and tough riders. There are no other rides like Big Horn which is why I keep coming back. The Big Horn 100 exerts a very strong pull on my soul."

Big Horn 100 results - 34 starters - 26 completions

1. Hannah Pruss on Stuart 
1. Suzanne Ford Huff on SD Expressa Best Condition
3. Kelly Laga on Rex
4. Klye Laga on Zip 
5. Dante LaPierre on Pricylla Muscd 
6. Angie Mikkelson on Tango
7. Jessica Cloeter on WH Borkata 
8. Linda Browneller on Khaaruso 
9. Errol Fife on OMR Pristine
10. Chalice Coward on SDR Trajan
11. Amy Goodwin n Rushcreek CO Two
12. Dana Cernak on Bubba Gump
13. Linda Dollar on CA Zanes Getalonghome
14. Angie McGee on ALA Thor
15. Cindy Collins on AUR Sierra Wind
16. Jody Buttram on Jets Gaelic Storme
17. Joni Buttram on Miss Fancy Pant 3
18. Gunnar Frank on MI Clever Apsata Nobody
19. Gordon Morrow on Canyon
20. Bruce Burton on CK Blonde Bombshell
21. Louise Burton on Paassion
22. Deb Dickson on Valpariso
23. Tom Noll on Rocky
24. Alana Frank on Ramses Mr Midnight
25. Peter Hommertzheim on Classy Investment
26. Judi Ready on Memorabilia