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Endurance.Net Home 2007 Al Andalus: Day 2

Day 7 (17/05/07) - Lynne Glazer

Michael happened to be also staying at this lovely inn, Cortijo Mesa de la Plata, and I hooked up with him for the ride to Jérez. Like many inns, this one offered horseback riding tours. Instead, we followed behind the riders for the most part, happily this was one of those charmed days where we spotted every marking, and when in doubt would make a guess that was the right one, with a crew vehicle soon in sight as validation. This day was fairly flat for the riders, and we zoomed through Barca and Torrecera to finally beat them to an assistance point after the vet check. Therse' a photo of Michael with Ramón, who was material in bringing and organizing the World Games in Jérez in 2002.

You can see the traffic jam caused by the Suzuki-herded goats?they were a complete hoot. One detoured from the group to a crew member's water bucket and drank, only to be chased off. The guy on horseback after the goats was the owner of a ranch that raises baby bulls (torritos), and they'd put a temporary fence across the road not far from the assistance point. You can see the bulls disappearing into the distance, in the out the window-grab shot.

We rejoined the highway and sped to the finish, not in time to catch the front runners, so there are a lot of mid-packers crossing the finish line, with the front runners in the post-ride vet check. Some of the repetitiveness of photos in the gallery are so the participants can grab the ones where they look their best, like the Córdoba vets. Hi, guys! The finish was at a large equestrian center, but the stabling was at the World Games site on the east side of Jérez. Not just for horses, but a sprawling sport site the whole city uses?but it includes riding schools for kids and for handicapped kids. The photos show some of these young riders.

The horses were easily accommodated here, with permanent wash racks and other facilities. I had a look inside some of the WEG venues, just for kicks, while we waited for the awards to commence.

They brought the top horses from each division (general and tandem) to the awards, and the video crew crush was on! There's a funny shot of why I didn't get much of those horses, which were both presented with red polarfleece embroidered coolers from the sponsors. It was Manuel Narbona's second first place, and he and his dad invited Michael and I out for dinner, along with famed world-class farrier Andre Cuevas and his wonderful wife Josefina. They live in Jérez, raise PREs (Andalusians, to US folk), and her lovely black stallion was in the High School end of the barn from the lesson horses.

I spent hours after the end of the festivities just looking at those stallions, who all pressed against the bars for scratching?the feeling of antiquity of spirit from those guys was just beyond description. I took no photos, just enjoyed the communion?hands on either side of their muzzle through the bars, our foreheads pressed against them. Heaven. There are some barn aisle silhouette shots, where some were getting dentistry.

We all stayed in the same contemporary hotel, Aci, close to the WEG site/stables. The ride meeting was a lively one; the next day was to begin with a controlled start through the city streets. And then it was dinner time, of course 10 pm is not too late! Exquisite food, drink and good conversation capped off the 6th ride day.

Jérez is famous for their horses, wines and flamenco music, and their gigantic festival combining all three was held a week before this ride's start?something I definitely have on my "list" to visit and photograph in the future! I'd also like to see their museum of equestrian art.


1 - Marisa Bote - Trajines - 4:46:52  #27 (pairs)
2 - Oriol Llorens - Tra Croscat - 4:54:17  #12 (trio)
3 - Juan Carlos Cueva - Angliru - 4:57:47   #16 (pairs)
4 - Carolina García - Aliada - 5:06:58 #24 (pairs)
5 - Iris Janowski - Eritrea - 5:14:13 #25 (pairs)


1 - Manuel Narbona - Pussa Turismo Jerez - 5:09:02  #42
2 - Carmen Campos - Capri Cp - 5:16:30 #43
3 - Paco López Maeso - Red  Express - 5:22:15 #37
Lynne Glazer