"MONK goes to Shaker Village"
Lots of pictures in the Danville file on this link
What appears to be a nicely groomed trail is a ankle buster. I walked about 3 miles of the manicured trail and was surprised to find hoof sized holes, probably left over from the mud ride now covered with nice evenly cut grass..
MONK and Lindsay were in the saddle early. MONK was #1, and I guess you can read into that what you want too, I know I did. We had 6 horses in our group and I think there were 5 groups and the highest number I remember seeing was 26. Team #1 left at 5:45am, riders were out cantering their horses by 5:30am. Teams were spread 20 minutes apart.
Teams were allowed one groom, all other team members became crew to help cool down the incoming horses. When not helping others you could then go do your own thing with your horse.
Crew persons were down in numbers from the previous trials we had been too which hindered the process a little, but everybody worked together nicely and got the job done.
I was busy most of the time and did not keep track of the actual pulls but there were lots, and mostly for lameness.
The trials ended after I think 54 miles, the trails had been drenched by a 20 minute downpour making conditions even worse, I heard of several riders horses slipping badly.
5:45am was the showing of your horses for the post ride check. I was up at 4am working on MONK with a flashlight. Pealing wraps and trying to get off poultice that never even dried over night. Lindsay, Steve and Susie were there from their motel in Danville by 5am. We were the first ones to the water where he got his early morning bath.
Steve was MONK's groom and he presented MONK to the veterinary staff. MONK's trot out was spectacular. He did his turbo look, with his ears pinned flat against he head, which I am not fond of, but he looked great.
We had to hang out until 2PM when they made the announcement as to who the 10 horse and rider teams were, I did not cry, but almost, when they announced MONK and Lindsay, or was in Lindsay and MONK. Lindsay and family had a plane to catch, so she did not even get the information first hand, she got it via TEXT.
For me and my goals for MONK have been met, anything that happens after this point is all gravy. I feel good about getting my WEG 2010 tattoo..
I was impressed with the quality and the fitness of these top horses, not sure how we stack up but we will find out.
MONK and I are currently at a 100 acre farm about 15 miles from Shaker Village. We will stay here until horse and riders are sequestered at Shaker. They will remain at Shaker until the final 5 horse and rider teams are selected a few days before the race.