I think I have mentioned in the past how much I really enjoy the local Hunter pace series. I only made it to one or two this year for various reasons, but really wish I had gone to a lot more of them.
There are only two left on the calendar for this year with one being this weekend and the last on June 21st. I can't make it this weekend, but I will be hitting the June 21st one come hell or high water. Why?
Let me lead up to that answer.
I received an email from the group Tuesday morning and it caught my eye. The Year End Awards are being held on the 21st and I thought it was going to be a party only type thing that I wasn't interested in. Well, it turns out that it is actually the last Pace of the year and the awards follow the end of the ride.
Each Pace you complete grants you two points. If you get 1-6th place you get extra points per placing. The points are tracked throughout the year and you get something at the end for your standings. I knew this before and since I don't attend many it wasn't a big deal to me. Ok...so if I don't qualify for an award what makes this so special?
The email went on to list those people who needed to attend these last two rides to earn their Supporter award. That intrigued me. Those participants who make every single pace during the season get a plaque with a professional 8x10 picture of them and their horse on it. A Junior Supporter (or something along those lines) gets a plaque with a 5x7 professional picture on it.
The little raccoon in me screamed with glee over the thought of a shiny plaque with a nice picture of Gemmie and me on it. I must have.
I scoured the website to look for what constitutes a lesser plaque supporter, but couldn't find anything. I know you can miss some rides and still earn that one, but can't figure out how many you have to make.
But to answer the question as to why I would need to attend this one specific ride...
If you complete this ride you get a "Wild Card". This magical card grants you a completion at a ride you didn't attend in the upcoming season. I need this card.
This wonderful card will give me a chance to get my Supporter award even if a ride falls too close to or on the same weekend as an endurance ride.
I am actually pretty excited about this. The new ride season starts in September 2015 and ends May 2016. I hope to attend enough to at least get the smaller plaque if not the larger one. I worry about September though and hope not to kill off my entire season the first month. It will all depend on how the rides get scheduled around the TN trip I already have planned for that month. I need to check and see if it has to be on the same horse or not. If it doesn't, I may have to recruit Pete to fill in for Gem one weekend.
These Paces make life a whole lot simpler too. They are all within 2 hours of me and take about 2 hours to complete. Dusty and Wyatt can come and hang out in camp while I ride and then we all chow down on the provided lunch. They are mostly on Sundays too which doesn't conflict with Dusty's work schedule and they run between $30-45 only. Most of them are on private trails that I couldn't ride on outside of this and make for excellent conditioning rides. Gem and I really enjoy them a lot.
If I am talking goals, and sorry this post is getting long and a bit random, here is what my perfect set up would be:
- A minimum of one 50 mile e-ride a season working toward our decade team award - 8 years to go!
- In perfect world I would go to one spring and one fall multi day ride getting in two 50s each time.
- Add in the fall and spring Ride and Tie/Equathon at Clemson to support the local club
- Twice monthly Hunter Paces
That is a pretty full calendar for Gem and me and I am looking forward to trying to implement it. First up though is getting her ready for the multi day in Sept!