2011 Tevis Forum - page 11

TEVISFORUM2011
9
mentofotherpartsof thecourse that
offerdifferentchallengesand testdif-
ferent aspects, that make this course
suchacomprehensiveassay. This isa
FULLSPECTRUM test that considers
many criterions. This creates poten-
tial for broad separation of the field
of competitors. Great performances
here don’t come by excellence in any
oneaspect,butbyscoringnotbadly in
EACHANDEVERYofmanyaspects.
The hot canyon lands passed
smoothly. As always, I was much
too focusedon takingoptimal care of
myownhorses topaymuchattention
towhat the rest of the fieldmight be
doing. We passed through each vet
station as efficiently as possible. We
departed each checkpoint carrying
out nibbles of food for the horses’
consumptionelsewherealong the trail
wherethepausewasmorecomfortable
andeffective.Hotandhumidweather
conditions are extremely critical of
finer details about how the work is
approached.Advantagegoes to those
whopressonwithcareandreverence,
andavoid theneed tostopcompletely
for rests, for this spoils the apparent
breezeandcompromises theefficiency
of vascular circulation. As 1995Tevis
winner and renowned veterinarian
MatthewMackay-Smith once said,
“NeverHurry,NeverTarry.”
After showering away the High
Sierraanddonningachangeofclothes
at Foresthill, I did happen to ask,
“Where is everybody else?” andwas
toldbyamemberof the crew that the
nexthorseswereaboutahalfhourbe-
hind. This turnedout tobe incorrect.
We later supposed that someonehad
mis-readacross the linesof the leader-
board, andcompared thenexthorses’
departure from Chicken Hawk, the
previous vet station.
LeavingForesthillwithgrossmis-
informationofwhere theotherhorses
in the field were really didn’t affect
our pacing judgment. As I’ve said
before, I ride to givemy horses their
optimum test result. The competi-
tive placing is a secondary concern.
Our horses were rolling for home
smoothly, with plenty of untapped
energywaitingatour request. Itwas
simplyamatterofgetting themhome
fordinner at thehealthiest hour.
No other riders showed up at
Francisco’s, and I didn’t think to ask
if theyhadanystatistical information.
We lingered justa fewmomentsextra
for forage, and thenmoved on with
more feed inhand asusual.
Itwasn’tuntilwerode intoLower
QuarrywhenDr. Fellers offered that
we were three hours ahead of the
next horse, did it occur to me that I
might for once adjust my pace due
to the competition. I reasoned that
we were well poised for a notable
finish, where a fewminutesmore or
less would be forgotten. We basked
in those lastmilesat “zero risk”pace,
stopped tobathe thehorses for clean-
liness in presentation more than for
cooling, and generally just allowed
ourselves toenjoy themoonlight trail
Heraldic gladly accepts the oats offered inside theTevisCup, held by
WesternStates FoundationBoard ofGovernorsmemberMarc vanZuuk. To the right
isDonnaFitzgerald, six-timeTevisCupwinner on the same horse, the
famousWitezarif (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976).
(photo byLynneGlazer)
ride. Critiques about not holding a
negative splitpace, orboastingabout
completing the last leg faster than the
winnerreallyhavenocredibilitywhen
the front runnersaresosecurelyapart
from thefieldof competition.
Since the2010Tevis,Heraldichas
continued tobeonlywiserand stron-
ger. We had a rare non-completion
after he broke through a sub-surface
hole at the AERC Championship,
but he quickly recovered from that
shoulder sprain. Early this year we
comfortably turnedouta7:58hr.win-
ninghundred andBC in the sands of
Florida, demonstrating the range of
Heraldic’sathleticprowess,andmak-
ing itclear thatHeraldic isback,better
than ever before.
Abackgroundof training toward
FULLSPECTRUM tests like theTevis
leavesusconfidentandpreparedover
the earth’s full range of terrain and
courseprofiles.Wearecurrentlyfund-
raising and training for a bid to rep-
resent theU.S.A. in thePan-American
Championship inOctober.
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