Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tevis, 2014, Part Three, Sunday, The Awards

 Rio in his stall at the Auburn Fairgrounds
Sunday, August 10, 2014
The day after completing the 100 mile Western States Endurance Ride/Tevis
 I always pay the extra money to have Rio stay at the Auburn Fairground paddocks or stalls versus being tied to my trailer after completing (or not) Tevis.   He can move around more if he wants to and/or lay down to sleep.  However, I have never seen him laying down after Tevis.   I have only seen him in one place, which is where he is eating and drinking.  He will move a few feet away to poop or pee, and then go back to eating and drinking. My theory is that Rio has done so many multi day rides, that he is thinking that he needs to fuel up for the next day. 
Rio has never been in a stall at the Auburn Fairgrounds.  He has always been in one of the open paddocks.  I guess he was put in a stall because we sent our entry in later versus sooner and that was all that was available.  It was fine.  I really liked the location. It was in the barn closet to the fairground stadium on the side that faces the stadium. I hang out with Rio a lot after Tevis, whether it is taking care of him after the race, or just relaxing in my stool.  There was a great view of the goings on below Rio's stall.  Rio seemed to enjoy it when he was not eating.
I sleep in our camper at the fairgrounds when I am finally done taking care of Rio at Tevis.  I asked Peter to try and park our truck/camper somewhere on dirt if possible versus the usual black asphalt parking lot.  I loved where he parked this year.  I now consider it the Riviera of the fairgrounds. 
After Rio's successful vet  check at the finish, Peter showed me where Rio's stall was.  Jeanlaurie,  my second crew person this year, drove home to Sacramento as planned after Rio and I left Foresthill.  Pete had everything set up as outlined in my crew list for the fairgrounds to a T.  Shavings put down, hay in the big hay bucket, water in his large water bucket, grain bucket, my stool to sit on, and my big bag of everything else I would need.  It was now about 2:45 a.m., and Peter went back to the camper to go to sleep.  He explained where it was, which was quite convenient; only a few minutes walk up a hill behind where Rio's stall was.  After wrapping Rio's legs, I went to take a shower at the fairground facilities.  We have a shower in our camper, but it is very small.  Pete had taken my shower bag as planned to the stall with a clean change of clothes and shoes.  My Tevis bubble timing continued, and when I went to take a shower, (only 2) there was no one else there!  In the past, there has always been a line with me waiting at least 20 minutes before taking a shower.  I was in and out of there in less than 15 minutes.  I walked back up to Rio's stall and took him back for his one hour post vet check.  No trot out required, but the vets want to make sure that each horses' metabolics were stable an hour after finishing.  Rio was recovering great.  Heart rate of 48 with good gut sounds and hydration.  At the stall, he was doing his normal stuff:  eating, drinking, pooping and peeing.  I was not worried at all.  I hung out with Rio for about 10 more minutes inside his stall sitting on my collapsible stool before heading up to our camper. 
It was 3:25 a.m. when I got to our camper, but I was not feeling tired.  Actually,  I was feeling tired but in a good way.  My horse was good for the night, I was clean, and I had just finished riding 100 miles.  Peter had set up our chairs outside our camper, which overlooked the stadium. I could see the horses finishing from where I was sitting outside.  I went inside and made myself a cocktail (oh yeah-cheers for sure!) wrapped a blanket around me and went back outside to watch more Tevis horses/riders finish.  I went to bed a little before 4:00 a.m. and fell asleep instantly.
Pete woke up before me and went to make sure Rio was OK and to give him more hay and water if needed.  I woke up around 9:30 a.m.  In the past, I have always gone to the breakfast at the fairgrounds and then watched the best condition (BC) horses show.  I did neither this year.  I went and checked on Rio and took him for a 10 minute walk, and then I went back to our camper and had breakfast and coffee there, outside in my chair.  I watched the BC showings from my binoculars!  Our camping neighbors were Gail and Eric Hought of Hought Tack, who I know because I have purchased much of my endurance tack from Hought tack, which I highly recommend. (Link below.)  They are also endurance riders, but neither rode Tevis this year.  They had a booth selling their tack at Robie park. 
(I am taking a writing break now, and I only mention this because The Black Stallion is on TCM and the race is about to start.  Probably my most favorite movie ever. Definitely the most watched movie I have seen.  Big kudos to Francis Coppala in producing this well done film.    I read all of Walter Farley's books when I was younger, in the 5th and 6th grades.  Alec to his mom:  "The Black is the mystery horse, and I'm going to ride him".  Now I am watching the end, where it goes back to when Alec and The Black are on the island and The Black is rolling in sand.  Beautiful, exquisite, movie.)
Back to writing.  The lunch banquet started at 1 p.m. with the awards following at 2 p.m.  From 11 a.m. to 12:30 I packed things up and took Rio for many short walks.  We would be leaving for home after the awards with a 4 hour drive with Peter driving.  I always offer to drive, but Peter is more relaxed driving than when I am driving.  Whatever.  That works for me. 
After packing things up getting ready to leave and making sure that Rio was well taken care of, Pete and I went to the awards banquet and found two seats that we reserved for ourselves.  Then I went to look at and purchase some of the ride photos from some of the ride photographers. 
Before getting our food, I ran into my friends, Rachel Lain and her mom, Janet Shackelford. Her dad, Michael, was away in Alaska on a fishing trip. 
The beautiful and talented young woman
Rachel Lain and I at the Tevis awards.
I sponsored Rachel on many endurance rides/races in 2008, the year that she received the AERC #1 junior national championship after meeting her and her dad, Michael Shackleford, at an endurance ride/race.  It was an honor sponsoring her and her special horse, Cody, that year, especially on their first 100, the Twenty Mule Team, in 2008 and completing successfully. I sponsored Rachel and Cody on their first Tevis in 2009, but Rio was pulled at the Red Star vet check for lameness. Rachel got a back up sponsor and had her first successful Tevis finish. She finished as a senior rider with Cody a few years later in 2nd place! This year, 2014, Rachel slowed down (riding her and her dad's horse, Missy) to sponsor junior, Jordan Rae, and picked up another junior to sponsor as well, Ria McCarthy, when Ria's sponsors' horse was pulled. Rachel and her 2 juniors all had a successful Tevis finish!  Rachel is a very special person for sure! 

Rachel and Jordan Rae at the awards banquet

An additional highlight of my Tevis weekend was having this lovely couple sit across from Pete and I at the awards dinner on Sunday.  Marjorie Pryor-Spiller and her husband, Jim Barber. Marjorie is a humble person. I asked her what her association with Tevis was, and she advised me that she completed Tevis a few times way back when, and that she top tenned most of her completions and won twice, in 1982 and 1983, on her horse, Fritz. They do not live that far away and usually come to the Tevis awards. Thanks for taking my picture when I went up to receive my completion Marjorie!
 The food at the banquet was great! Thank you Tevis management for coordinating whoever catered this event.  A+.  Peter excused himself after he ate to go take a nap before our drive home. 
I stayed to receive my award and see who won the Haggin Cup.  I did not pay for a buckle this year because I already have one, so I received a certification instead.  BC went to junior rider Barrack Blakley finishing with his mom, Gabrielle Blakley.   Barrack is the youngest person to of won the Haggin Cup and his horse, MCM Last Dance, is the oldest horse to of received the Haggin Cup.
Heather Reynolds riding French Open (Haydea) owned by Hillorie Bachman won the Tevis Cup.
I would like to end with a big thank you to the  Western States Trail Board of Directors and the 800+ volunteers who make this ride possible.

I am so grateful for all the work that everyone does to support us Tevis riders as well as help to support and maintain the Tevis Cup/100 mile one day western states trail. Some photos from the awards ceremony recognizing a few of the key people who help to make this ride possible, including the head volunteers. I am very appreciative of every single one of the 800+ volunteers who make this ride such a special experience, whether we make it to the end or not. I can tell from everyone I have had contact with who volunteers for the Tevis that it is a labor of love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
If all goes well, I am planning on entering Rio in next year's 60th anniversary Tevis.  It is said, and I agree, that just getting to the start of Tevis is an accomplishment in itself. 
The AERC 2015 ride season has begun as of December 1. Wishing all fellow endurance riders, whether I know you or not, happy trails in 2015!