To bring an extra challenge to an already-challenging sport, many endurance rides now feature a Triple Crown, to recognize those rider and horse teams that complete three announced endurance rides. In the Northeast Region, three tough rides – the Old Dominion 100, Vermont 100 and Northeast Challenge 100 – gave special recognition to Triple Crown finishers Kathy Broaddus (Virginia), Lisa Delp (Maryland), and Evelyn Flores Baig (New Jersey).
Northeast Region Director Mary Howell was instrumental in promoting the Triple Crown concept in the Northeast and contacted these endurance riders for their thoughts.
Which of the three rides (Old Dominion, Vermont or Northeast Challenge) was the hardest for you personally to complete, and why?
Lisa: The OD was the hardest. Not only was it Louie’s first attempt at 100 miles in one day, but the weather was really bad. We rode through rainstorms that included hail and flooded, washed-out trails. We also rode a good part of the ride alone, which is especially hard for a horse doing its first 100.
Evelyn: Vermont was for me because Rella loves single-track, technical trail and this course includes lots of concussive gravel roads, so she spent a lot more of her energy as she drives from her rear. In hindsight, I would have kept pads on to help the concussion from that ride.
Kathy: The OD, due to weather, washed-out trails and so many rocks. I rode deliberately with Lani Newcomb and Duroc, taking 23½ hours to finish the course!
What tips do you have for successfully competing the same horse in three tough 100s just five weeks apart?
Lisa: Don’t overtrain. Between the 100s, Louie was only ridden a few times on short, easy rides.
Evelyn: I kept an eye on any changes in Rella’s gait, legs and body — and treated her if needed. A week prior to each ride, I went out for a leisure ride of eight miles or so just to stretch, nothing superfast. The horse needs rest, rest and rest!
Kathy: Do not overtrain. Schedule your shoeing appropriately.
What advice do you have for others who may attempt the Northeast Triple Crown Challenge?
Lisa: Once your horse is ready for the 100s give them lots of rest. The rides take a lot out of them mentally and physically even if you don’t see it. Start with a horse that is happy and healthy.
Evelyn: Take it one ride at a time, check on your partner before committing to the next. Super-important is to treat all three combined as one big ride so don’t rush each one and have a goal to finish sound. You have no idea how each is difficult in its own way and if you breeze through the ride to win every time you might risk your partner by overworking them and not saving anything to get you through all three rides.
Kathy: Get top-notch crew. I had Dawn Hilliard for the OD, Dana Reeder for Vermont and Patti Stedman for Maine.
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