|A Message from Connie:
"A quick note to tell you Otis and I survived the Old Dominion 100 on Saturday. It was long and tedious. The weather couldn't have been better, mid 70's, and low humidity. My hope was to get around the course, and aquaint Otis to the horrible rocks there, without hurting him, with the AERC National Championship ride in mind for the fall in the same area. I believe there were 31 entries in the 100, 25 started, and 13 finished. We were 6th.
"Lost a front shoe on a horrible rocky trail about mid way. I wrapped his foot in vet wrap and put an easy boot on. I was worried he would bruise his sole if I rode him on the rocks, so walked him in hand, and jogged where I could for about 10 miles. That leg of the ride was suppose to be 15.8 miles, but was well over 20. A mistake was made in the printing of the distances, and it wasn't changed. So I ended up walking MUCH further than I thought I would. Wasted a lot of time there.
"It was worth it. He was sound, and rareing to go when the shoe was replaced. We proceeded to pass all the riders that had gone by us before the last vet check. He was absolutely amazing in his drive to continue on, to spite the amount of time we were on trail, and the difficulty of terrain. His recoveries were 1 minute at most of the vet checks, and that was only because we took the time to take the saddle off. I was especially impressed at how he took on Shermans gap at around 80? miles, by himself. What a trooper. Horrible rocks and bolders, and getting steeper as we climbed. That was around midnight.
"When we left McCoy's Ford (alone) with 12 miles of trail that was a repeat of the start, he took off cantering, and powered his way all the way to the finish without any encouragment from me at all. I love that horse! He ate and drank like a pig. I don't think he lost more than 10 pounds! His trot outs were phenominal right though the end. One of the spectators at the 70 mile check said they had never seen any horse look so good at that check point. OK, I took my sweet time, but I brought home a horse that looks like he's ready to go again already. What a great feeling!"