Saturday, September 26, 2009

Rush Creek Reunion Endurance Race featured good terrain and weather for riders and horses

September 26
By Jo Chytka
Hemingford, Neb.

On a crisp September morning with the temperature at 56 degrees and the skies totally overcast 18 endurance racers were preparing to compete on the first day of the Rush Creek Reunion Endurance Race. Both days presented ideal racing conditions for both horse and rider with cool temperatures and a light wind until after 1:00 p.m. when it warmed a little and skies became partly cloudy through the finish of race time.

The location was a beautiful meadow alongside Rush Creek, surrounded by huge cottonwood trees creating a horseshoe shaped area for campers along with ride headquarters, staging areas for vetting the race, P & R (pulse and respiration) stations and a large area for cooling, resting and feeding horses during their mandatory downtime between each leg of their race.

The Rush Creek Land and Livestock's Arabian Horse Ranch, located one mile east of Lisco, Neb., hosted the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) sanctioned race the weekend of Sept. 5 & 6. Horse Ranch Manager and Ride Manager Lyle Sherfey, along with his wife Teresa and 15 volunteers worked long hours on both days to provide a 25- and 50-mile race on both Saturday and Sunday along with a barbecue followed by an awards banquet each evening after completion of the races.

The races were run on a portion of Rush Creek's land, half-way between Lisco and Oshkosh, Neb., on the south side of the highway. An entirely new course from previous years was laid out. This year's terrain was meadows with sandy soil, high ridges, deep draws and creek crossings. Comments from racers who had attended the races in years past said it was better ground to run on this year with a wonderful campsite.

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