by Patricia Clark
January 26 2020
This is a post that has been 12 years in the making. I adopted "Eli" from New Vocations back in 2009. He completed his first LD that season and then had a full season of LDs culminating with his first 50. Since then, he was the first USTA Standardbred distance horse of the year. He has also won SERA's 10 Consecutive Finishes award. He has 1280 Endurance and 525 LD miles.
We had a few setbacks last year and he didn't get to compete. We were all set to go to Carolina in November but he had a heel grab injury that needed more time. So, I decided to bring the big guy to Broxton Bridge which would undoubtedly be his kind of weather and ride.
We had a fantastic ride yesterday at Broxton. He was a handful for the first couple of loops but settled into his rhythmic big trot. We rode pretty conservatively and still managed to finish in 11th out of 28 and first lightweight. That was a quite a surprise! I figured we were in the 20s.
However, the most important and lasting victory for us was the completion of the ride that will award us AERC Decade Team. For those of you unfamiliar with the achievement, it is when an AERC partnership completes at least one 50 mile ride a year for 10 years. Anita Rees is checking around for me, but I believe that Eli may be the first Standardbred to achieve that designation. He has been a trail blazer for the Standardbred endurance horse in many ways and the pride I have for him cannot be put into words.
Thank you to all the amazing vets, volunteers, and ride management at Broxton. Job well done!