Tevis Forum 2015 - page 11

TEVISFORUM2015
9
60thAnniversary
Winning theHagginCup
BarrakBlakeley
M
yhorse’s, family’s,andmyownTevisstorydoesn’tstartthisyear.
Itdoesn’tstart lastyear,oreventheyearbeforethat.Myparentsfirst
didTevis in 2007.Mymomfinished 27th andmy dad got pulled, I
was awfully young at the time and don’t remembermuch, my dad
evenhad towakemy sister and I up for thefinishof thefirst couple
riders.Nevertheless, since that daymy sister, Sanoma, and Ihaveal-
wayswantedtodoTevis,buthadtowaittillweweretwelveyearsold.
The first year I did Tevis was on the horse mymom finished
on in2007. I did it in2011, the year the ridemanagers switched the
course.Wedroveup toRobiePark in the snow, itwas icyand rough,
andparked.Therewas onlyoneother trailerup there.Weplayed in
the snow and got afire going, thenwere told that the ridehadbeen
switched.Theridewentreallywell forme,mymom’shorsegotatight
butt, but still finished. She came in the ’70s, and I came in21.
In2012wegotthehorsethatIrodethisyear,MCMLastDance,
butwe just call himEmmers. To get him to the pointwherehe is at
nowwas a great challenge, something that we had to continually
work towards.Things thatweren’t expectedalways cameup.Hewas
the family’s horse, and since hewas sobigmymomplanned to take
himonTevis. Before I gomore intomy story I shouldexplaina little
bit aboutmyhorse.He is 16.3hands high, RussianArab, and really
hot. If you feed him just a little bit of grain he starts prancing and
pawing, dancingaround, he’s gottenhimself hurt anumberof times
because of it.My dad planned on taking him toTevis in 2011, but
he got caught in a fence and cut his coronet band, his hoof still gets
cracks andhas scars on it from that. Anyway, in 2012he didn’t tail
realgood, somydadwantedtoteachhim.WehavequiteabitofBLM
behindourhouse,buttogetto it,youhavetoridethroughaparkand
acrosssomerailroadtracks.Mydadhadsomeparachutecord forthe
rope andwas runningbehindhim, whenEmmers tookoff, the rope
wrappedaroundmydad’s thumb, anddrughima littleways.He got
loose, and thehorse tookoff.Hecrossed the railroad tracks, highway
97,andendedupatthehorsechiropractor,wherewehadtakenhima
coupledaysbefore.Wewenthome, after looking forhim foracouple
hours, sure thathehad foundhiswayhome, buthewasn’t there. Just
whenwewere getting ready to take off againwe got a call from the
sheriff, saying that thehorse chiropractor had recognizedour horse
and caught him.We picked him up, but he had torn off both hind
shoes, we figure from getting caught in the railroad tracks. He had
also tornout the sidewalls onhis hooves, andwe couldn’t put shoes
on him. Oncewe got down toRobie Parkwe putGlueOns on the
hinds. Iwasplanningon takinga littlegraygeldingwehad,mymom
wasonEmmers, andmydadonaNational showhorsegelding.Vet-
ting inmyhorsedidn’tevenget to start, andmymom letmerideher
horse, choosing tocrew. She is thekindestperson Iknow.We started
the ride, andallwentwell, andweendedup in the top tenbeforewe
knew it.Coming intoRobinsonthough,mydad’shorsewouldn’tpulse
down, andwe noticed that he had tornhisCornea inhis eye. Iwas
ready to leave, butwe couldn’t find a sponsorwhowas riding at our
pace.Mymom ranaround thecamp, lookingandaskingpeople, and
justwhenIstartedtoheadtowardtheouttimerGarrettFordsaidhe
wouldtakemealong. Itwasagreatexperienceridingwithhim, andI
feel I learneda lot. Eventuallyhewenton towinand I sloweddown.
Above right: BarrakBlakeleyandMCMLastDance receiving the
HagginCup.
(photographbyDominque)
Left: BarrakBlakeleyandMCMLastDance onCougarRock.
(photographbyGore/BaylorPhotography)
Toward theendof the ridewecame intoLowerQuarry inabout7th
andmy horsewas down immediately, but was lame, sixmiles from
thefinish.Myhorse, beingasbigashe is,wore right throughhispads
and evenput ahole in theGlueOnshewaswearingonhishinds.
ThenextyearwastheSanoma’sfirstyeartoride, sowedecidedto
go slowand try tofinishas a family. I took the samehorse, andagain
heworerightthroughhispadsandgotpulled, thistimeatFrancisco’s,
butmy familywent on tofinish strongly.
This year we couldn’t decidewho to take, Emmers was getting
older and had come up lame twice, whichwas very frustrating and
discouraging,butwedecidedtotryhimagain.Westartedtrainingour
horseswithagoal inmind,wewanted to top ten.Westudied theride
times of last year‘s top ten riders andplanned a schedule that could
getusthere.Naturally, somethinghadtothrowawrench inourplans.
About threeweeks before the race our truck broke on theway to a
ride, theradiatorgotacrack, andour truckwasdown forawhile.We
didn’t get to train asmuch aswe hoped, andwewere superworried
about it, but it probablykept us fromovertraining, younever know.
Then, aboutaweek later,wekeptourTevishorsesonpasture,wegot
a call from the guy that owned the pasture that thehorseswere out.
Theyhad gottenout and ran all through theneighborhood, through
a farmersonionfield, almost over a cattle guard, anddown the road,
but theywereall still sound.
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