Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2007

The Finish Line!


Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

Daniella successfully completes the race — her first ever endurance race. (She’s a dressage rider and instructor.)

Zad was eliminated after the fourth leg, when the vets discovered an intermittent lameness in one of his front legs. We don’t agree with the assessment, but that’s the way it is in horse racing.

Of the 114 horses to start the race, just over 30 complete it. This ratio is about average.
For a complete set of photos, go to my flickr pageĀ 

Read Full Post »

It’s lonely out there




Dubai Sorough Pictures 271

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

This is what the course looks like. All 120 kilometers of it.

Not much to see but sand, dunes, and sky.

Read Full Post »

Cooling on the Run


Dubai Sorough Pictures 243

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

On the course, the crew makes frequent hand-offs of bottled water to riders. Liquid cooling is applied to the horse on-the-fly throughout the race. This was a pretty tame weather day – the temperature didn’t get much above 90 degrees during the final loop. Still, the horses are on the run for six hours, and continuous cooling really helps avoid unnecessary stress and exhaustion.

Here SM douses Zad.

Read Full Post »

High Technology




Dubai Sorough Pictures 256

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

How do you measure the heart rate of a horse on the hoof?

Buy yourself a cheap Polar heart rate monitor, tape the wrist monitor to the chest strap, and cut off the ends of the chest strap. You’re left with a hand-held unit with a digital display. Brilliant and cheap.

Here Cowboy monitors heart rate as the crew escorts the horse toward the vet check-in. The crew vet is in the foreground.

Read Full Post »

Riders coming in




Dubai Sorough Pictures 189

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

Here riders are returning from the first loop. There’s still quite a bit of fog in the air (and dust) which is quite dramatic – horses and riders continue to “emerge” from the fog as the minutes go by.

Read Full Post »

Driving and Riding




Dubai Sorough Pictures 209

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

The interesting thing about an endurance race in the desert is that a crew can drive right along side the riders. Here Cowboy cheers on Daniella during the first loop. Daniella is traveling at about 22 kph in this photo (according to the GPS) which is a pace she maintaned throughout the race. Good race management is to increase the speed slightly during each loop, which means that often the winning horse is one of the slowest during the first loop. Quite a few horses will finish the first loop at 27 kph or faster – and 30% of the horses will be eliminated after the first loop due to the stress they endure at that breakneck speed.

Read Full Post »

Crewing the horses




Dubai Sorough Pictures 251

Originally uploaded by SWD Ranch

Meet Zad, SM’s horse. This picture kind of sums up the whole crewing area experience. Zad is really getting into this sponge bath thing. He was a great sport, and came through the cool-down well on each leg – just over two minutes to get his heart rate down.

(The format of posts will change now – it’s easier for me technically to just post one per picture. Thank you, flickr.com!)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »