Throughout January and February, I've noticed a lot of traffic to my Endurance Photos category. When I say a lot, I mean triple the number of visitors to that category as compared to every other category. Huh?!?!?!
Again, somewhere out there, someone must have created a link to my page.Thank you, but I wonder why those photos are of such particular interest?
Since someone finds those photos interesting, I thought I'd do a post about my endurance race statistics.
When I look back on my 15 seasons as an endurance rider, I recognize that I was fairly successful by some standards and just barely making a mark on the sport by others' standards. My mentor, MC, has been competing for over 30 years and has amassed more than 15,480 race miles. She's in the top 30 (at least) for rider mileage of all time.
Endurance riders have a hierarchy, as many sports do. Completing one or two or even ten rides doesn't make you an endurance rider. I am not sure when you become an "official" endurance rider, but for me, when I hit 1,000 race miles, I felt that I could call myself such. And once I completed my first 100-mile race, I felt that I finally, finally belonged to the club. But ask my mentor. From her perspective, maybe you need 10,000 miles before you get your endurance club card.
I thought I'd give you some stats that cover my "career."
Limited Distance (25 to 35 miles):
- My first race was a 25-miler in 1996.
- My second race was another 25-miler for which I didn't receive credit as I was over the allotted time, but we did ride the entire course. We were 20 minutes over-time. The next year, that same course was reclassified as a 30-miler which gave another hour or so to complete.
- In all, I entered only 6 limited distance (LD) events (25 to 35 miles). I completed 5 of them: Two were on Sassy (no credit given for being over time on one), one on Montoya DSA, one on Mickey Dee, and two on Speedy G. I wasn't a big fan of the LD events. I gave each horse one or two LDs just to get their feet wet.
Endurance Distance (50 milers and greater):
- I completed 81 races that were 50 to 100 miles in length. The majority of them were 50 milers.
- 5 of them were single day 100-milers: the 20 Mule Team 100 (3 times), the Californio's 100 (once), and the Swanton 100 (once).
- I also rode a two-day 100, but Montoya had a hoof injury, and I pulled her at the completion of day one. No credit for the 50 miles that we did ride. That was in 2001.
- I rode one 75-miler (Manzanita in 1999).
- I also rode some other distances: five, 55-milers (1997, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010) and four, 65-milers (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004).
- My last race was on Speedy G in 2010.
- I completed a few multi-day events.
- the 4-day, 200 mile Death Valley Encounter in 2002
- the 3-day, 150 mile Cuyama Oaks XP Pioneer in 2002
- the 3-day, 155 mile Cuyama Oaks XP in 2003
- the 2-day, 100 mile Coso Junction Jam 1 & 2 in 2003
- and the 2-day, 100 mile Bear Valley Endeavor in 2006.
DNFs (did not finish):
- I was "pulled" 10 times over 15 years.
- once for being over-time (the Tar Springs 25 on Sassy)
- twice for lameness in 1998 (Sassy was sold as a family trail horse at the end of the season - she just wasn't built for the sport)
- Rider Option in 1998 (I was sick)
- lameness again in 2001 (Montoya was barefoot behind, and in the month before the race she had worn her hoof wall down to nothing. Her heel bulbs were scraping the ground. I Easybooted for the race, but after fifty miles, her heels were mush.)
- twice in 2003 (I was sick again, and the second time was for a lack of water for Mickey Dee. I pulled him because I knew a problem was coming. Once he made it to a water source, he was good as new. It was designated a Rider Option)
- in 2007, I over-rode Montoya. (It was the first hot day of the season and she still had her winter coat.)
- another lameness in 2010 - Montoya was 20 at the time. (She was euthanized a week later due to an unrelated colic.)
- the final pull was with Speedy G in the sumer of 2010 - the course was just way too difficult for his level of conditioning.
- In all, I rode 3,585 miles that were from 50s and above.
- I rode 175 miles from limited distance events.
- I completed three, hundred milers in a single year (combined with some other finishes), which earned me a placing in the Pacific South-West region of AERC.
- I earned the Fire Mountain Award of Excellence for completing the 200 mile Death Valley Encounter, the 20 Mule Team 100, and the EHSC 50 in a single year.
- Montoya gave me several top ten finishes, but I always rode for a simple completion; I wasn't a competitive rider. I whole-heartedly embraced AERC's motto, To Finish is to Win.
I loved endurance riding. I got to see some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Endurance riding also develops a bond with your horse that I just don't think you can get from doing any other sport.
Here's a screen shot of my endurance career's stats. Visit AERC.org to see my complete race record.