The AERC Southwest Region’s “Ride the Divide” endurance ride, held over Memorial Day weekend near Datil, NM, was a great ride for Renegade® Horse Boot riders! As the name implies, the ride actually goes through parts of the Continental Divide, with a basecamp of 8000’ elevation adding an extra challenge to the scenic but challenging trails.
We received some really great feedback from several riders at the ride who were using Renegades.
On Day One, Darla Wright rode Yankee Warrior, son of Kirt and Gina Lander’s stallion Halim El Mokhtar, who was the winner of the 2005 AERC Jim Jones Award for Highest Mileage Stallion. It was the third ride for ‘Yankee’, and, despite being a bit of a handful at times, Darla reported that he is one tough horse with great recoveries. They placed 9thout of 17 starters, giving Yankee his first Top Ten finish.
On Days Two and Three, Darla rode EM Darrha to 2nd place finishes on both days. The weekend’s completions put ‘Apollo’ at over 5500 AERC miles!
Recent Renegade® Horse Boot user Denise Martin rode her horse ‘Seven’ to a 3rd place finish in his first 50 on Day One.
Annie George and her horse ‘Chance G7’, barefoot since December 2011, also rode Day One and finished in the Top Ten. She said her horse boots did great!
Stephanie DuRoss sent this report:
Ride the Divide was a beautiful ride. It was definitely a challenging and technical mountain ride. I rode with Darla [Wright] all 3 days and had a blast. The first 2 days it was really windy with gusts up to 35 miles per hour. This made it difficult for people at base camp but out on the trail you would go in and out of windy areas. Day 3 weather was perfect with a nice breeze.
We saw a lot of wildlife including elk, Coyotes, a huge wild turkey and horny toads. The vet checks were all at camp and the loops were color coded. The trails were marked well and anytime I went off track, when I went back it was marked, I just missed it. On the yellow loop there was a natural spring where you could actually refill your water bottles with nice cool water.
I rode OT Dyra Bataa RSI on day 1 and was 10th out of 17 starters. Day 2 was the 55 and I rode Hadji Halef Omar and came in 1st and BC with 6 starters. Day 3 I rode Hadji again and came in 3rd of 6 riders. The ride GPS for day 1 was 48 miles, day 2 54 miles, and day 3 45 miles, so very accurate.
I was very disappointed they did not have a better turn out. If we don’t support these local rides they will not be able to have them. Ray and Kathy [Sansom] did a great job [as ride managers]. Completions were $10.00 off entry at several other local rides, including Marilyn’s rides in Sonoita. It was only a 5 hour drive from the East Valley. Lunches and dinners were provided for the riders and made by Marilyn McCoy and Jodette Poe. Overall, it was a great ride with some exciting stories to tell, like the tree blowing down in camp.
Darla, Denise, Annie, Stephanie, and several other boot users were all riding in Renegade® strap-on horse boots. No one reported having any boot problems, despite the challenging and technical terrain.
Ride photos by Linda Sherrill of Justus Photography.