On July 30, Carla Stroh and Barb Orr went to the Shamrock Endurance Ride near Wheatland. Carla and her horse, Spook, we’re entered in the 30 mile race on Saturday morning. Barb would work as her ‘pit crew’. They had discussed strategy for the race on the drive down because Carla felt Spook was not in his best condition due to the wet spring and lack of riding time. They decided if they went at a slow controlled pace everything should be fine. Spook vetted in with straight A’s though he was a bit on the heavy side.
Saturday morning the race started at 8:00 with about 45 horse and riders from Wyoming, Minnesota, Colorado and New York! Carla tried to keep Spook mid-pack as the race started but after the first quarter mile but he was pulling hard and wanted to catch the front runners so she let him go. Once there he settled in. The pace was fast, 7-10 miles an hour. The first 19 miles went by in just over two hours and Barb met us at the vet check with water and sponges to cool Spook down. A good pit crew Is invaluable and Barb is the best. Spook pulsed down in good time and he was in second place. After an hour rest time for horse and rider they were off again to finish the last eleven mile loop. Again, the pace was fast so Carla decided to slow Spook down a bit knowing he wouldn’t like it, but another fast loop might harm him as he wasn’t in his top condition. As they rode in to the final vet check, Barb was waiting and ready. As we pulsed down Barb said we were an easy third place. Max Smylie from Douglas was the vet. Again, Spook got straight A’s for body condition, pulse and respiration. We were able to test for the coveted Best Condition award though we didn’t win it.
On Sunday morning, Julie Zenow drove down early from Casper to ride Spook in the 15 mile “intro ride” while Carla rode her new filly, Rabbit. An intro ride isn’t timed. You ride at your own pace, and get new horses used to the race atmosphere. Spook and Julie were there to help give Rabbit confidence. Rabbit has a ways to go but will eventually make a sound endurance horse.
This was the last Shamrock Ride. The ride manager has decided to retire. There were well over 100 horse and riders there. It will be sorely missed.