Singles – 12 mile – Saturday Aug 12
|1||Wes Licht||Annie (Morab)||387|
|2||Jac Deweese||Cake (Arab)||374|
|3||Mary Clapper||Benjamin (Rocky Mountain)||325|
Singles – 25 mile – Sunday Aug 13
|1||Wes Licht||Lena (Morab)||389|
|2||Derrick Dupler||Rhia (Morgan)||375|
|3||Jac Deweese||Scooter (Morgan)||329|
Singles – 12 mile – Sunday Aug 13
|1||Katz Jackson||Talon (Morgan)||373|
|1||Gary Jackson||Horus (Morgan)||373|
Have Helmet & Spares kit – Will Finish!
It’s early Sunday morning, Scooter has had his breakfast and we are almost ready. We are to go first, followed by Derrick Dupler with Rhia, and Wes Licht with Lena. The three of us will do the 25 miles. Behind Wes will be Katz Jackson with Talon and Gary Jackson with Horus doing 12 miles.
I’m looking forward to the drive and going first will give me an opportunity to take pictures of the other drivers since we should meet each other on one section of the trail. Yesterday I drove Cake over the same course for 12 miles so there should be no surprises.
At 7:00AM we are released and move easily down the rode to our 1st turn. Scooter is relaxed and moving easily so I have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the view. We cross over a couple of culverts with clear water on either side. I note that the abandoned refrigerator has been removed and the pool is much more attractive. As we move along I take a picture of the road ahead which shows Scooter’s head up and ears forward. He appears to be enjoying the view as much as I am.
We reach the boat landing where we turn and head back. This is when I expect to be able to take some pictures of the other drivers. Sure enough, there is Derrick and Rhia. A good photo opportunity and I am able to get a photo. A short time later I see Wes and Lena coming. Again I am able to get a picture, although not quite as good a shot. As I reach the road and turn left I see Katz and Talon coming but have to just wave. Maybe there will be another opportunity.
As I move down the road I am distracted by a crewing truck coming toward us and drive right by the entrance to the trail! I go on a couple of 100 yards, realize my mistake and turn back. As we approach the trail entrance I see Derrick and Rhia coming and decide to let them go ahead. Scooter, like most horses, is intent on keeping Rhia in sight. I don’t blame him, she is beautiful! We travel on with no issues and I’m enjoying the drive when we come to a turn around a tree. This shouldn’t have been an issue, but either I didn’t anticipate correctly, or Scooter reacted faster than normal. We hit the raised dirt around the tree’s roots and the cart tipped. I fell free but Scooter stayed upright and continued down the trail for about 40 feet where he suddenly found himself free of the cart and with no directions, he took off down the trail. I was so surprised and stunned that I don’t think I even asked him to stop. I had landed on my shoulder and it took a little time to get my feet under me. By then he was gone. I went to the cart and worked to get it upright and off the trail. Noted that the breeching was still with the cart but that’s all I noted. I started down the trail hoping Scooter might have stopped somewhere near.
I had just gotten started when Derrick returned to make sure I was OK. Scooter had caught up with them but had gone on when Derrick turned around. (Fickle male, he’d been trying to catch up to Rhia, but when he did, he didn’t stop.) Almost immediately, Wes Licht arrived and urged me to ride with him out to the road where we expected to find Scooter or help. As we approached the road, Sheryl Levin and Shirley May arrived to report that Scooter had been caught and was headed back to camp with Joslyn Seefeldt. Shirley went ahead to tell Joslyn I was coming after Scooter. When we got to the road we could see Shirley and Joslyn holding Scooter just up the road. We caught up with them and I told Joslyn I would lead Scooter. As we walked along I noted that Scooter was in good shape, and the harness seemed to be OK except for the breeching. I decided to walk back to my cart to see what damage had been done. I told Shirley and Joslyn my intentions so they wouldn’t worry when we didn’t get back to camp.
As we moved back toward the cart Monna Radtke arrived on her ATV. She was concerned by the rumors of my injuries and had come to see what was needed. I told her my intention and she rode on to the cart and waited for us. She then held Scooter while I checked out the cart and breeching. I didn’t find any damage on the cart and the breeching was easily repaired with some nylon cord from my spares kit. After repairing the harness I asked Monna to hold Scooter and I hitched. Scooter was very calm and I was confident that all would go well. It did. Monna waited at the entrance to the road to make sure everything was OK. I told her I planned to enjoy the rest of the drive and we parted company.
Scooter was very relaxed but willing and as we moved down the trail I realized that we had lost about an hour from the accident. Our rules are that we can finish up to an hour after our ‘ideal’ time and still earn a completion, assuming the horse passes the vet check. Since this was the case and I was confident in Scooter’s condition I allowed him to trot more than normal to make up some time. We arrived at the 1st vet check at 9:35. Our theoretical ideal would have been 8:45 so we were running about 50 minutes late, but well within the hour allowed. Scooter’s P/R was 11 and 2. Excellent considering the reduced walk time I had allowed.
After our 40 minute hold, we were on the trail again. I was confident we could finish, but soon became concerned when I couldn’t adjust my seat. I discovered a broken bracket on the right hand seat so I moved over to the left. Driving on the left gave a new perspective and I became more cautious on the trail. In spite of this we picked up another 3 minutes to finish 47 minutes over our ideal time.
Scooter easily recovered to a P/R of 10 and 2. As we waited for the final vet inspection the vet asked me if I knew there was a stick in my helmet? I didn’t know what she was talking about but when I checked the helmet, sure enough there was a stick lodged in my helmet. If I hadn’t had the helmet I would have had a nasty hole just behind my ear. At the very least it would have been painful and possibly much worse. Remember to WEAR YOUR HELMET!
Only later did I discover that still another rider was involved. Steve Smith actually caught Scooter as he came out of the woods. Steve told me that it looked like Scooter wasn’t going to stop, but when he shouted “Whoa” he put on the brakes and just stood there while Steve took down his lead rope.
Is there a lesson to be learned? In retrospect I realize that my last accident happened as Scooter attempted to keep up with horses who had passed him. My take away is that I will attempt to create a gap (out of sight) after being passed in the future. It will make Scooter easier to control and force me to ‘drive my own race’ and perhaps avoid any future accidents that are just plain ‘driver error’.
Wes Licht and Lena placed 1st in the 25 mile
Derrick Dupler and Rhia placed 2nd in the 25 mile
Jac Deweese and Scooter placed 3rd in the 25 mile
TO FINISH IS TO WIN and I sure felt like a winner, thanks to all the help I received from drivers and riders, my helmet and my spares kit.
Katz Jackson and Talon tied for 1st in the 12 mile with
Gary Jackson and Horus