STURGIS, S.D. – On Friday, August 19, Carla Stroh and Barb Orr drove to Sturgis, to participate in the Ft. Meade Endurance Ride. Carla took her Arab/Quarter horse cross, I’m Sadie Ice (which her granddaughter renamed Rabbit).
This would be Rabbit’s first race. Since having gall bladder surgery three weeks prior to the race, neither Carla nor Rabbit were able to stay in top condition leading up to race day. It didn’t make much difference for Rabbit. Upon arriving in Sturgis, she was full of herself and at the vet-check the vet commented on how antsy she was.
The next morning at 5 a.m., Carla and Barb were up getting Rabbit saddled and ready to go. Rabbit was rearing and didn’t have her mind on the business at hand! After some groundwork and disengaging of her hind quarters, she settled down. Carla mounted, and all was well.
The first of the 25 miles consisted of a 12-mile loop to Bear Butte and back. The terrain was pretty flat so there was plenty of trotting and cantering. On arrival back at the vet check, Rabbit’s heart rate was immediately down to 54. She needed a heart rate of 60 before they’d let her vet in and consider her fit to continue.
Carla took the one-hour rest period back at the trailer to eat and rehydrate, then they were off again. The second loop was 13 miles long and was mountainous terrain. There were a lot of switch backs and more climbing to do this second half.
On coming into camp after the final loop, Barb met them with Gatorade for Carla and a sponge bath to cool Rabbit off. A few minutes later at the pulse and respiration check, Rabbit's pulse was down to 48! Her trot out for the vet to check for soundness was incredible and didn’t raise her heart rate at all. She obviously was still fit even with three weeks completely laid off before the race! Once back at the trailer Rabbit was put in a round pen and she trotted around and bucked! She was more than fit to continue! Carla on the other hand was really feeling it and could hardly walk!