Brechinadvertiser.co.uk - Full Article
Monday 29 October 2012 06:41
With competitive endurance riding now entering the close season, Brechin rider John Thomson and his pure bred Arabian gelding Prince Omar completed the final ride of the year in the hills of Easter Ross.
With a revised layout from last year, the first part of the course was fast before the riders headed into the 40 per cent strenuous climbs. From there it was a gentle gradient into the Kildermorie Estate and Vet Gate One at 31kms. Omar was quickly vetted then set off on the second loop of 32kms, which was covered in just on two hours. At the 63kms Vet Gate there was nothing between the lead riders but Team Omar had quickly bought back time to break their record for the distance.
It has been a remarkably successful year with a course record broken on the first ride of the season, a new course record set on the second ride but in a season remembered for wet weather and cancellations, Omar fell foul of the plague of hoof abscesses that had swept the country and was knocked out of action for four weeks. Many thanks to local vet Lindsay Cameron for working so quickly to produce those ever so important blood tests throughout the season and to ensure that Omar stayed at the peak of conditioning.
On the return to competition, a 44kms nonstop at Clashindarroch Forest saw horse and rider pick up a third fastest time. A few weeks later near Nairn, Omar turned in a remarkable speed during the 53kms. Despite the loss of a shoe seven kms from the end of the second loop and frantic activity by the duty farrier and crew to prepare for the final vetting, Team Omar maintained the fastest time over the distance.
Horse and rider then returned to lay the ghost of last year’s Red Rock Relay Team where an injury had witnessed their elimination. However despite the deteriorating conditions Team Omar went on again to take the fastest time...
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