Monday, August 08, 2011

Horses, riders forge distance bonds at Firework 50 - Full Article

By Vidur Malik
Posted: 08/07/2011

SANTA CRUZ -- The first time Ruth-Diane Trefethen rode in the Fireworks 25 & 50 Endurance Ride, a long-distance equestrian event, in 1985, she was too tired to enjoy the music of the live band playing after the race.

But after winning the 28th running of the race on Saturday, the 69-year-old from Mariposa said she would dance to the sounds of "Bluegrass By Default" -- the very same band that played after her first race some 26 years ago.

Trefethen didn't show any signs of fatigue after this race, though it came nearly three decades and one knee replacement after her first one.

"Tired is in the mind," she said after her victory with a purebred Arabian nicknamed Peekaboo.

While the more skilled or competitive participants rode the 50-mile course, those who wanted to train their horses for longer runs or were simply looking for a long, relaxing trot took part in the recreational 25-mile course. Riders who finished in the middle or end of the 50-mile pack received awards, while all 25-mile riders left with prizes for themselves and their horses.

"It's pretty inclusive so that every rider has a chance to do well," said Debbie Boscoe, an organizer for the event. "It's not just how fast you go."

The race, which had about 100 participants according to Boscoe, is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference, and was created by members of the Santa Cruz County Horsemen's Association who wanted to ride on the town's scenic trails...

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