I hadn't had Sunny all that long, but we had trained hard and he was doing well, so I decided to go for it! I had planned on keeping him to a nice medium pace as he was older.
We got up there Friday night and got to camp early enough to vet in and set up camp. My good friends Caitlin and Eileen got to come camping with me! It was super fun, and I was happy to have my friends be there to support me.
The ride started at 7 am, and I was one of the last ones to the start line. There was another gentleman next to me on a paint, and the ride volunteers asked us to wait. I wasn't sure why we were waiting, as the rest of the LD riders had left already, but I was abiding by what the check out timer asked me to do. A minute later the ride manager walks up and says, "are you guys doing the LD?", we said "yes", and she says "you better get going"! So we took off. I literally started in the very last place of this ride, and there was 53 riders that started!
We came into the vet check and Sunny looked great. He pulsed down well and passed his vet check with flying colors! While we were there waiting I had a lady approach me and told me she had a juinor rider who's horse was lagging and she couldn't keep up with the group and asked me to take her and sponser her for the rest of the rider. I said "yes" and got to ride with a very wonderful kid, Lyla Scoles on Lucky, the rest of the ride! She was very nice and respectful and a joy to ride with. We started out, and I would say we did 60% of the ride at a nice steady medium paced trot. However, there was a HUGE long downhill on the back side of the course that was ALL rock, horrible big loose rocks that were sharp and slippery, so we ended up walking that entire back section! In fact, it took so long, and we never saw another rider, that the junior and I commented to each other how we must be in last place! We came down off the rocky road and rode through some of the most beautiful trails in San Diego county. We got to the "cookie stop" and asked how many riders had come in before us, and they said just a handful, not too many. We were shocked! We trotted the rest of the way back into camp and finished in 17th and 18th place! Not too shabby on an older horse, and from starting in very last place! So happy with my beautiful boy.