ThePlaidHorse.com - Full Article
Amateur Felisa Read finds her perfect match with an unlikely partner
November 14, 2022
By Christina Keim
In the dark, damp, early morning hours of June 11, 2022, 34 endurance competitors were busily making final preparations for the American Endurance Ride Conference 100 Mile National Championship at Old Dominion in Virginia. A cold rain had started the night before, and continued now, just before dawn, where it soaked through gloves, ran into boots, and saturated the rocky trails that competitors were slated to tackle beginning at 5:30 AM. Perhaps most of the assembled riders did not consider these to be the ideal conditions for this long, grueling ride, respectfully nicknamed “the beast of the east” by those who have attempted it. But at least one rider smiled as raindrops fell from her hood.
“Lenny loves the rain,” says his owner/rider Felisa Read with a laugh. “That’s his Morgan half. It was really cool and wet, so for us it was a good advantage. I was happy—I think I said before the ride I’ll be happy if it rains all day.”
17 hours, 8 minutes, 35 seconds, and 100 sodden, slippery miles later, Read and her 22-year-old Morab partner would cross the finish line, pulse down and jog for the vets one last time before officially earning their new title of “Decade Team” from the AERC. This coveted award is presented to horse and rider teams that have completed at least one 50-mile endurance ride in each of ten years; a true testament not just to perseverance but to outstanding horsemanship...
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