June 24, 2014

50 + 55 = Sweet Success

The Strawberry Fields Forever Endurance Ride was last weekend.  We were conditioned, primed and eager.  There were 125 riders in all, and the ride camp was like a small city.  Some were registered for 25 mile rides, some for 50.  Everyone was ready to rumble.
We rode the 50 miler on Day 1, and the 55 mile ride on Day 2, coming in about the middle of the pack on both days.  We felt pretty good about competing, and even better about finishing with us and the horses in decent shape.  We could have ridden another 50 on Day 3, but since this was the first time we'd tried 2 competitive events in a row, we thought we'd call it good.
Daisy camped with us, but had to stay at the trailer during the ride.  She was sad, but very glad when we returned.  Out of all the places around camp she could lie down, she chose Boss's portable corral.  Boss didn't mind.  During camp meetings, all the dogs were running around, visiting with other dogs and humans.  It was a friendly dog's paradise.
On Day 1, the 7AM start of the 50 miler involved 80 snorting, whinnying, dancing horses, mostly high-stepping, tail-flagging Arabians.  The ride master played the Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever on his truck's CD as the first competitors rode out. Once we got going, the horses settled down to a good working pace.
Part of the trail wound along a ridge with a rock wall, shown here.
The trail went through a convenient gap in the wall, where elk had worn a path.  The travels included an elevation gain and loss of 6000 feet.
On Day 2's 55 mile event, the competitors were a little more sedate, since most had already competed the previous day.  Here's Steve at the start of Day  2, which also began at 7AM.
We traveled up high, to a mountain ridge with gorgeous views,
and past what the ride manager has named the Elk Gate, probably because a lot of elk hang out up there.   The second day's ride had 6700 feet of elevation gain and loss.
Both Coco and Boss passed their final vet checks with flying colors.  Steve and Janie were feeling a little addled right after the rides, but soon recovered enough to enjoy some socializing each evening.
Wildflowers were in bloom, the mountains were gorgeous, and the bugs were minimal.  Altogether, a great weekend!


  1. WOOHOO! Congrats! Great job! A couple of friends from the crick went (we *almost* did), and they and other people said it was the most technical ride they'd ever done.
    Now nothing's stopping you from one day making it to one of our 3-day or 5-day rides! ;)
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  2. Oh this sounds like fun, something I would enjoy doing, and that is coming from a non-horse person. Struggling with Blogger problems these last two days and trying to catch up.

  3. What a fun event! I enjoy your pictures as always. How interesting that the elk make a path through the rock wall.

  4. I'd have to say that you had a very successful weekend, and congratulations on your success in the two events. Your photos are marvelous.

  5. Congratulations for riding both days and keeping up well enough to end up in the middle of the pack. Daisy does look comfy in Boss's corral.

  6. Wow! What an event for all of you. The views are gorgeous…but I just can't imagine how my backside would feel. (backside is my nice word for butt!)
    The photo of Daisy with Boss is so cute!

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed your event. Sounds like it was a great ride. The mountains are pretty right now. We spent the week at Lowry Water in the Manti Lasal. It was very pretty. We did freeze the first day because of the frigid temps.

  8. Congratulations, Janie and Steve. Hope your bottoms weren't too sore! The trail vistas look gorgeous.

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  10. Wow, that's a lot of miles with such gorgeous views.

  11. Oh my that looks like so much fun. :)

  12. Wow, 6000 feet elevation! And you still managed to have fun. That's impressive.

  13. Wow, that's quite a competition! Glad to read that you, Steve, and the horses did so well. That's A LOT of activity two days in a row!

    Daisy resting in Boss's corral makes quite a the statement about their friendship. :)


  14. Very pretty photos! I also like the one of Daisy in Boss's pen.



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