Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Eagle Canyon: Third Time's the Charm

Year 1 for Layne Simmons, taking over as ride manager for the annual spring ride in Idaho's Eagle foothills, saw lots of cancellations because of the crappy weather (heavy Friday night rain = mud), even from riders who'd shown up planning to saddle up Saturday morning.

Year 2, Layne got the hurricane. More riders toughed that one out, but it sure turned out to be nice for:

Year 3, with the perfect weather and good attendance for the Eagle Canyon endurance ride.

A portion of this year's ride 25 and 50-mile rides would be donated to a good cause.

"I have decided to take to heart some of the discussions that are occurring in my region (PNER)," Layne posted, "and honor one of our fallen sisters from the proceeds of our ride. We will be giving 10% of all proceeds to the Women & Children's Alliance in Honor of SueB……"

Who is SueB?
 Susan Elaine Brubaker Newby died in 2008 during a mysterious horseback riding incident. After her death, family and friends realized that SueB – her nickname – was likely in an abusive marriage. SueB’s sister, Marjory Sente, and friends, Leslie Hampe and Teresa Andrew, turned to the WCA as a way to honor SueB’s life and increase awareness about domestic violence. Their hope: to help other successful, smart, beautiful women like SueB leave these relationships before it’s too late.

“Don’t wait until your sister, daughter or mother is a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault,” Sente said. “Step forward now and make an investment in the WCA to raise awareness about domestic violence.”

A white cross perches on the canyon rim that we ride by. SueB would have been happy to see the riders out and thinking about her on this fine day.

23 riders started the 50 at 7:30 AM, with a number of them bucking on the way out. The one going out in the lead got my attention, Max Merlich on Xtreme Surprise: buck - "Hey!" - buck ' "Hey!" buck - "Hey!" These Oregon invaders, Max and "Rio", and Kristen Grace and her lovely well-behaved stallion HCC Elessar won the ride (Kristen getting the honor of walking over the finish line first) in 6:22, with Kristen's "Monster" getting Best Condition. Third place finisher Jeannie Simpson and SWA Ibn Daraah finished over an hour later.

Another bucking horse provided a little entertainment mid-day… and nobody was surprised that it was Taledega, only 10 minutes into his second loop, sans rider Mike Cobbley. "He started to go down to roll," Mike recounted later, "and when I stepped off I slipped and fell, and Dega jumped up, realized he was loose, and took off." Taledega came galloping down a steep hill into camp. The naughty horse was rounded up, Sally Tarbet led him back up the trail to meet Mike, who was hoofing it back down the trail to find his mount. Mike loves Dega, but I expect they had a heart to heart discussion about the state of things. Mike remounted and sent him trotting back up that sand draw at a stiff trot!

18 finished the ride, with the turtle award going to Trish Frahm aboard her cute Appaloosa, BPR Jamine Blu, in the mare's first 50 mile ride.

All 18 starters finished the LD, with MacKenzie Cronin and Misty getting first place in 3:14. Second place Joan Zachary aboard her Paso Fino Chico (3:21) got Best Condition.

Layne's plans for a coffee truck for the ride fell through, "but wait! We have Richard the Coffee Mule instead!!"

Richard (and his human, Matt) (www.CafeMule.com) served Matt's homemade nitrogen-infused coffee throughout the day. YUM!!!!!!! Extra treats were the gourmet donuts from Boise's Guru Donuts. "We had an awesome day serving coffee and delicious scratch donuts to the Eagle Canyon Endurance Ride participants," Matt posted afterwards. "Amazing to see these super athlete horses and highly capable riders complete the 25 and 50 mile courses.

"I’m sure many would attribute coffee and donuts to their success :-) Richard spectated and supervised, though we did a short ride at the end."

Layne concluded, "Aside from some small trail sabotage from cows and humans, all went well. The weather cooperated this year, which was a plus, and we had a nice camp fire to round it out."

And the ride raised $931.74 for the Women and Children's Alliance in SueB's honor. "You all are AMAZING!" Layne said. "Thank you all so very much for supporting this cause."

More on the ride at:

More info on the Women & Children's Alliance:

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