Thursday, August 10, 2017

Venable pair wins Ride & Tie world championship - Full Article

by Jim McGrath

Augut 6 2017

Rhonda and Dave Venable of Toano won the 47th annual Ride and Tie World Championship held July 22 in Orkney Springs, in Shenandoah County.

Twenty-eight teams from across the country participated in the 35-mile race, which was held on the East Coast for the first time. Ride and Tie has a long history in the West, where it was first sponsored by Levi's in 1971.

In eight years of competition, the Venables had won yearlong point championships three times, as well as the past two East Coast championships. However, this was their first world title.

Rhonda Venable, a former cross-country coach at Bethel High, is a teacher at Crittenden Middle School in Newport News. She and husband Dave relocated from Yorktown to Toano in June, and trained at York River Park for the final six weeks leading to the event.

Participants alternate between endurance riding on horses and trail running on their own. Each team must get all three members (two humans and one horse) across the cross-country course by alternately riding and running.

A favorite strategy is for the rider, being faster, to gallop ahead and tie the horse to a tree before beginning his/her running portion of the race. Subsequently, the team member who started off running on foot will reach the horse, untie it, mount and begin riding, all the way past the first runner. The leapfrog type of activity continues throughout the race...

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