Monday May 27 2013
If you came to the 3-day Owyhee Fandango in southwestern Idaho May 24-26, you were lucky to witness two icons of the sport of Endurance Riding reach an amazing milestone.
In winning the 100-mile ride on day 3, Joyce Sousa's awesome mount LV Integrity finished his 33rd 100-mile ride, and he crested 8000 AERC miles. He also received the Best Condition award. It was the pair's 5th visit to the annual Owyhee Fandango.
Over 15 seasons of riding, 20-year-old "Ritzy" has completed 127 of 132 starts, with 16 wins, 66 Top Ten finishes (including a 6th in Tevis), and 3 Tevis buckles. Joyce Sousa has over 22,000 miles. The pair were the 2003 Lightweight National Champions, and the 2002 and 2009 National 100 Mile Champions.
Joyce and Ritzy completed the 100 miles in 12:43. Second and third were Tara Rothwell and Roz Cusak riding Tara's horses Legendary Impression and Laser Wynd. On the third loop, Laser Wynd tripped and threw Roz to the ground, knocking the wind out of her and banging up her shoulder. Roz re-mounted (with effort), and the 4 of them continued on, finishing the ride together in 13:24. It was Legendary Impression's first 100-mile ride. Both horses are Tevis-bound, if all things continue smoothly along that trail.
Robert and Melissa Ribley finished 4th and 5th in 15:55, on Mi Esmet and Regret.
Cynthia Peticolas sponsored Junior Anya Levermann on Anya's first 100-mile ride; they finished 6th and 7th, on BBA Fareed and Bishop, in 19:05 when the near-full moon was up over the Owyhee desert.
Christoph Schork of Global Endurance Training Center was the only pull in the 100 when his horse Sand's Bad Debt hit a gopher hole which left him lame at the 3rd vet check.
Dian Woodward, also of Global Endurance Training Center, won the 80 mile ride and Best Condition on Starlit Way, in 9:17. Lee Pearce was 2nd on Fire Mt Malabar in 9:57. Junior Tori Church finished 3rd in 13:02.
The Owyhee trails covered the desert and scenic Sinker and Hart Creek canyons, and followed the Snake River and the historic Oregon Trail, and took a tour around 10,000-year-old Native American Indian petroglyphs on Snake River boulders.
3 horse-and-rider teams completed all 3 days of the LD. 5 horse-and-rider teams completed all 3 days/160 miles.
This corner of the AERC Northwest region has a strong Junior contingent. They're the future of our sport! Over the 3 Fandango days, 11 Juniors completed 21 various ride distances and spent all their spare time horsing around, riding extra horses bareback and playing together. 10-year-old Sarah Holloway not only rode her first 50 mile ride, she rode her first 160 miles. Junior Anya Levermann completed her first 100-mile ride. Canadian Junior Karalee Anderson (riding horses owned by Gail Jewell and Elroy Karius) finished all 3 days/160 miles to complete her qualifications for this year's Tevis Cup.
Twenty years from now, several of these juniors will probably be riding 8000-mile horses, and brandishing a slew of 100-mile rides under their Tevis-buckle belts.