Tuesday, July 14, 2009

2009 Bandit Springs

Monday July 13 2009

If this is what basecamp looks like, you can figure it's going to be one heck of a 2-day endurance ride.

Two of the stars of the endurance sport, LV Integrity and Joyce Sousa. The horse: 11 seasons of competition, 5805 miles, 94 starts and 92 finishes, 23 out of 25 100's completed (one of those he finished, but was lame at the finish, where it was discovered he had cactus spines in his leg; the other was a Rider Option), 8 Best Conditions. Joyce: nearly 20,000 AERC miles. Wow, and wow. And they are still going strong. They finished 2nd in the 100 miler here at Bandit Springs.

A future endurance star. "Next year I get to ride," she said. (It's Joyce's granddaughter.)

Across the meadow.

Trotting out at the vet-in.

Many different breeds of horses come to this ride! I believe this one's a mustang.

Big dandelion.

Trotting out at a morning vet check.

Another couple of stars of the sport, Gabrielle Mann and CM Big Easy. "Big horse, little legs," says Gabrielle. And big heart. They won the 100.

A good drink!

Onto the next loop.

One of my favorite Pacific Northwest horses! Dick Root and Rocky, a huge mustang-something cross (has to be some kind of draft horse). He's about 17 hands. Hard-headed, and tough! Rocky did his first hundred here, and finished 5th. Go Rocky!

Nance and Quinn did the 80 miler.

Michelle Roush and PR Tallymark (an Arab-Standardbred cross), another couple of top ones in the sport. Tallymark: 10 seasons, 2990 miles, 53 starts and 51 finishes, and 17 (!) Best Conditions. Michelle has over 12,000 miles. They finished 4th in the 100 and Tallymark got Best Condition again. (OK, make that 18 BCs!)

The race is on for the finish of the 50!

If you look closely, this horse is stuck - reared up in the trailer, got her front legs up on the manger, which collapsed - and trapped her front end in the manger. Many people worked for over an hour to try to get her out. I couldn't watch; I sent Nance up there with my camera. They had to tranquilize the mare a couple of times, and they used sledgehammers and crowbars and a truck and tow cable to pull the trailer apart. Eventually they got the mare out, and she was alright but for a cut over her eye and a scrape on her hind end. whew!

I bet somebody is going trailer shopping!

At a vet check.

This gal has taught her horse to stretch out and lower himself so she can get on easily.

Food ALWAYS tastes better when it's hand fed.

Real Men Wear Tights. (That's what his shirt says.)

This dog thinks he is still a little puppy.

What's this?



Darwin LOVES to be scratched. And share your Cheez-it crackers.

Be-ribboned ribbon puller!


  1. Those are amazing pictures! Absolutely beautiful. It's nice to see that endurance riders are normal people and I've got so much to look forward to.

  2. Well, I don't know if you could call us 'normal,' but come join us!

  3. When you have time, please drop by Karen's Musings & Endurance Ride Stuff! to pick up your Honest Scrap award. Click on the graphic and right click to save. Happy trails! Karen