|CHESHIRE GROUP of ENDURANCE GB|
17th July 2004
Report by John Illingworth.
Delamere Forest played host to an excellent turnout of 100 horses at this popular event. The weather played a large part in the event with heavy rain taking the course from an initial delight of easy forest tracks and good going into heavier going particularly over the Old Pale when riders from the 65km class took the route for the second time.
The 65km class had only 3 completions from 7 starters with only one grade 1 going to Ann Harrison on Ginger Spice with an average 12.7kph.
In the 50km class again the going particularly later in the day was made more difficult than usual and again only one grade 1 was forthcoming for Jodie Watts on her novice ride WFA Imogen at 11.0kph and only 2 grade 2ís.
The 40km class followed the same pattern, this time with Liz Roskill taking the only Grade 1 with Brakens Rane who also recorded the best post ride pulse at 37bpm.
This ride proved very popular, as usual, having easy access from the M6 and riders coming from as far as Penrith. Despite the weather the course was well marked and the forest tracks and particularly the Whitegate Way made for good going although the Old Pale section did slow times for some classes being the only part of the ride with steeper sections although this does give excellent views over to Wales and the Wirral coast and certainly defies the view that all of Cheshire is flat!
There was eventually a good outcome for two riders who fell and lost their horses on the Old Pale section. Their mounts disappeared early on the Saturday morning and were only recovered late on the following Monday after being spotted by Police aircraft. Both horses were unscathed by their unplanned escapades. Thanks to Jane Stewart who co-ordinated the recovery in the following days in addition to her marking parts of the course and stewarding The Old Pale section.
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