Training Ride 2007 – Rachael Claridge
Photographer: Kim Goostrey email@example.com
On Sunday 2nd September Silver Mistrahl and I headed down
to Lesley Hawkey’s Gare Training Ride near Truro.
I was particularly looking forward to it because I missed
out last year due to an injury which brought my 2006 season
to a somewhat abrupt close (trapped sciatic nerve!). Lesley
had kindly allowed Carolyn Paget and I, plus a few others
to ride the route twice (minus the final section of roadwork
which would have put us over the permitted mileage for
a training ride). At that stage we were getting Misty and
Shrimp (Midnight Mischief) ready for the 80km Veteran Challenge
at 3 Rivers, Salisbury (unfortunately due to foot and mouth
this event has now been cancelled). Mum and Dad kindly
drove Misty and I to the venue which was very quick to
get to now that the new A30 is fully open. We arrived and
unloaded in a huge newly cut straw field. Unfortunately
for a few early birds Lesley’s husband was out on
course when they arrived at the venue so they parked neatly
inside the gate and didn’t realise Lesley and the
Secretary’s caravan were down the far end…oh
well good for fitness I suppose!
at 9am Carolyn and I embarked on the Gare Training Ride.
start with it was a figure of eight around the edge of
some enormous fields before descending down into the valley.
Boy was this steep. Both Misty and Shrimp worked hard to
climb down the first of many descents. The next one was nearly
missed due to a flock of sheep surrounding the key orange
marker. Annie Joppe who’d started just in front of
us on Wizard had fallen for the sheep trap and had over shot
along the top of the ridge but together we spotted the marker
at the bottom.
reminded me of Exmoor on occasions, and was definitely
a case of “Geronimo” as we encouraged the horses
to go down the hill! They certainly didn’t mind the
upward pull, and a few squawks were heard us and many others
as our horses made the most of the great going and accelerated
out of corners to get up the hills. The scenery was also
one not to be missed. Once we’d navigated our way up
and down and round many challenging fields, we then dropped
into Lamorran Wood which took us along side Ruan River.
was a lovely sunny day and we greeted many fishermen who
enjoying their morning coffee whilst waiting to catch
the first bite of the day. After this little interlude we
then wound our way back up the valley to the venue. On the
second time round the horses certainly knew where to go and
at times Misty and Shrimp took the reins and made the most
of the excellent training. Thanks must go to Lesley for organising
the ride and to her husband Peter, who manned a gateway in
the middle of the woods and directed ‘us women’ out
and in on the Ruan Lanihorn loop. Thanks must also go to
the landowners and volunteers, without whom this event would
not have taken place. Anyway as I mentioned before it is
a great shame that the rest of the EGB calendar looks doubtful
due to the current climate but for next year make sure you
add Gare to your calendar because it’s a secret weapon
for getting your horse fit for Salisbury or Red Dragon!