October 31 2018
The Crown Prince with Blood On His Hands. A couple of Butterflies. Alec Ramsay on The Black Stallion. Wonder Woman. A Ballerina. A Jockey on a Giraffe. A Unicorn. A Steampunker.
It was just another typical fine autumn day in the Owyhee high desert with an eclectic group of endurance riders, gathering for the Owyhee Hallowed Weenies, the last ride of the season. The weather was perfect, the golden cottonwoods at their most flamboyant. And photographer Steve Bradley survived to shoot the ride after Cindy's naughty crabby horse Bo, who's 20 but was acting like a 2-year-old, kicked him in the arm while vetting in on Friday.
We were pleased to have Oregon vet Jessica back (and hope and plan to have her back more and more, since Robert abandoned us for deep Southern digs), and new vet Jake from Gooding. We hope we didn't scare Jake off from endurance, though he said that we are the least crazy horse people he's been around.
20 riders started the 50, with 13 finishing. The Cobbleys finished first, with Mike and Taladega getting the win, and Jessica and The Big Brass in second. Mike made an appearance as Lady Godiva on Taladega last Halloween, but either Mike had some boob malfunctions, or the long flowing locks made riding difficult, or Taladega objected, because he dressed as himself this year. Connie Holloway, dressed as Alec Ramsay on The Black Stallion (since Finneas *is* a grandson of the Black Stallion), finished third.
And tied for fourth was the other Jockey (me) on the Giraffe (Hillbillie Willie), and Naomi Preston and the amazing Fire Mt Malabar. 19-year-old 'Uncle Mal' (over 7000 AERC miles, and now 3rd on the all-time Best Condition list) taught 6-year-old Hillbillie Willie Whippersnapper (355 miles - only his 9th ever endurance ride) a few things on their desert odyssey together. Malabar even graciously ignored young Willie whenever the dorky Standardbred tried out his best Stink Eye on Malabar several times during the day.
6th place Karen Steenhof and Riley got the Best Condition award, his first BC on a 50, and his 50th completion in 50 starts (LDs and 50s).
14 started and finished the 25 miler, with Joan Zachary and Chico winning and getting Best Condition. TJ Sabala was first Junior aboard Fletch.
As the sun set over the Owyhee mountains, the flame of the autumn cottonwoods faded, the giraffe and butterflies and unicorn disappeared, and the endurance horses curled up under the stars, drifting to sleep to wait for another season of Owyhee endurance rides.
See you next year!