IGGHR Representative for state of
Jefferson, Wisconsin 53549
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2010
Subject: Re: Endurance- Successful completion of the 50 Mile Endurance
ride at AHDRA I
Junior encountered wide, knee deep streams at this ride for the first
time, and we found out a new favorite thing
in his life (next to alfalfa) it is a rushing stream. This was a
beautiful ride, full of stream crossings, sweet smells of honeysuckle
lofting through the air and wispy whites from cotton trees floating in
abundance on the breezes.
Around one corner was a lovely surprise of a high,
flower covered vista overlooking the wide creek below and riding right
next to a sleeping fawn where just a few of the beautiful memories of this
We also rode under a very tall, very old (100+) rail
road bridge as part of the trail several times, and yes, the train came
over at a roaring clip, and Junior was completely obedient and did not
bolt (love those Georgian Grande minds).
Aside from the
beauty of this ride, there also where some mudslide hills that where
steep, deep and somewhat dangerous. The ride management closed the worst
of those hills by the third loop because of how unsafe they had become.
It was especially in those times when I was so glad I had a horse that was
dependable, quiet and intelligent to help navigate through these areas. It
is in those moments when you need a horse you can trust the most, and
Junior did not let me down. He is a truly amazing being.
This was our first time competing in 80 degree
weather, our first long haul, only our second ever 50 miler and our first
out of state ride.
left for the ride, Junior seemed just a little too mellow, but we thought
it could be humidity. And as we tacked up and he 'woke up', he was alert
and happy, we where pretty sure it was just the change into warmer weather
that had him so mellow earlier and that he was coming out of it.
Especially after he ran the first two
legs of the loop like a champ,
we thought it maybe the
weather change was making him a bit sleepy, but that
the interest & excitement of the ride had woke him up.
As the day wore on...he was performing fantastically
and drinking a lot of water every chance we gave him. However, since
breakfast he had not really been eating as much as he usually would have,
and that was concerning, and so again, we thought the humid weather was
the culprit. We where heading out onto the third loop with the thought of
just going slow, hanging out at the streams and to start riding for a
completion only. So we started out at a slow jog, and a new friend was at
about the same pace as us, and her horse eating encouraged Junior, and he
started eating just a few mouthfuls at first, and then really started
grazing. Our friend went on down the trail while we stayed behind under a
shade tree and just let Junior graze. We still had 13 miles to go on our
last loop of the ride, and so we just slowed way down and basically walked
the rest of the way in. We took our time and Junior soaked in the cool
streams and grazed at will along the alfalfa, clover and grass fields of
his choice. I didn't mind as we started to get passed by so many people,
I just was happy my horse was eating again and happy. On our slow way
meandering back to ride camp, I was trying to figure out what was going on
with him. It wasn't colic, as his gut sounds where still a B+, and at the
end of the ride he vetted through just fine. Healthy of wind and limb.
After the ride we spoke with our vet it was hypothesized that his throat
had become sore and irritated from an infection gone undetected caused
after an episode of choke two weeks previous. He is being treated and is
safely resting at home. He is a wonder-horse.
Junior has carried me through wind, freezing
rain, thunderstorms, fog, humid weather, mud, hills,
streams bogs, steep climbs and yes, beautiful weather, and he always
has the same caring, sweet attitude. He truly is a wonderful,
wonderful being. He talks to me every morning with that wonderful deep
rumble of his that sounds more like a hum than a neigh, and he
waits by the gait to say goodnight to me, even if he has hay to
eat...I could never replace him.
As far as the ride goes, while I'm sorry that I
can't report back another placing for the breed... but what I can
report back is that even when you don't place, you place memories down
deep in your heart. Deeper than the mud you've pulled through and
fresher than the fastest rushing streams. What I want to say about
our Georgian Grande is that the horse still is truly grand (and I
don't mean large). I mean he truly is a grand horse with a heart full
of love and dependable ethic to get you through to the finish line in
life, even despite his silent ailment.
remember this ride the most because of the spirit of the grand horse
that carried me across the line safe and sound.
We love you Junior!!!
Blessing to you,
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Subject: Re: EnduranceWe had
another successful ride mothers day weekend! On Saturday Mandate for Gold
was second & Best Condition! And on Sunday he was fourth. What a great way
to spend mothers day ! We are heading to Illinois this weekend and will
take the camera!
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2010
Grande, Mandate for Gold competed both days this weekend at the IRON OAK
ride in the state of Wisconsin. Through cold weather and rain, mud and
wind, once again our Grande pulled us through. On Saturday Junior & I
competed in the 25 Mile LD Ride, and he won Best Conditioned horse award
(a first time for him),and second place. Sunday the weather turned
colder, and more rain, stronger winds, yet at 6:30 in the morning we
headed out for another 25 miles of wind, rain and mud! The wind was so
strong it blew down some crucial marker signs and we ended up losing about
45+minutes being lost, and finished in 5th place. He finished very
strong, but the time we lost could not be made up, and even though he went
longer on the ride, he looked awesome at the finished, and after 50 Miles
in a muddy, wet, cold weekend, our Grande stayed strong and sweet as ever,
This was the
first ride of 2010 for us, and this was all new trail to us, and a cold,
wet, fun adventure. Our goal was to complete both days, and yet again,
Junior (Mandate for Gold) showed us how much more he had and finished
strong again. We could not ask for more.
We saw another
Grande there, and tried to meet up with them, but we where vettingthru and
so were they and our paths did not cross again as they had headed home
earlier than we did. It was exciting to see, another Grande there, and
people kept coming up to us and asking if that horse was thesame breeding
as Junior, as they looked striking alike, down to the color and markings.
The other Grande was a Friesian / Saddlebred cross and was more refined
than Junior,(I prefer Junior just how he is) but beautiful just the same.
I hope to meet them at another ride and bring along some information on
the IGGHR. Seeing the breed out and about puts a big smile on my face,
and I say to Jim and Junior, "See, I knew Junior was a good idea" as I
have told Junior since the day he was born...Cheers to you & Blessings~Stay
Sent: Saturday, July 04,
Subject: Re: Grande Endurance
I am happy to report back to you about how the
Georgian Grande was represented in the sport of distance riding. The
trail was extremely challenging. This was a much more technical trail and
asked questions of Junior that had never been asked before. Vertical
climbs, gullies, streams, boggy stream beds and more. The vertical climbs
were very steep, long climbs. We encountered our first streams on this
distance ride, and some very deep (hock deep) mud around other streams.
Being the solid citizen that he is, our faithful friend, the Georgian
Grande so affectionately named Junior (Mandate for Gold IGGHR#408) made
sure that he not only answered well all the questions the trail presented
to him, he also finish 4th in a field of 28 horses in this 25 Mile LD
ride. We are so proud of him. .
Because of the difficulty of the trail, we decided
to only ride one day, as our good horse had given so much of himself out
on the trail already that day & we did not want to ask for more. As he
continues to strengthen and age, we'd like to come back and tackle this
trail again. To date this season, Junior has faithfully carried me a
total 150 miles in 5 different competitions, placing in the top 5 in each
We do not have many more rides scheduled this
season, as Junior is still a young horse, and we want to be completing
rides on him in another 20 years, so we are starting out slowly, but we
will report back to you as soon as we compete again. He also is on a
drill team with me & we are competing several times this summer, our team
(EZ Riders) won our first competition of the year. Junior did not like
the loud music at first, but carrots quickly convinced him that music is
good and we were honored to be part of such a great team. Blessings to you
all, and may all your rides be good ones.
Sent: Sunday, June 28,
Subject: Re: Grande Endurance
More good news on Mandate for Gold,(a.k.a. Junior) Junior and I are a
members of the EZ Riders Drill Team. Our team placed first at our first
competition this year. Many compliments on "Junior's" size, movement and
his beauty. Several people recognized the obvious Saddlebred in him, and
the great movement. Our team was elated at a win at our first
competition. Junior loves drill team! Junior is showing the
Grande versatility & dependability, whether it is carrying me over miles
of rugged terrain, or dancing on a Drill team surrounded by a dozen horses
executing precise moves to blaring loud music... he is a wonderful horse,
a great dance partner, ambassador for his breed and a horse to be counted
on to cover terrain quickly and efficiently. Above and beyond all of
that, he is truly a gentle giant with a love for people and still, even
under hard use, an easy keeper.
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Subject: Grande Endurance
To all those at IGGHR;
Wanted to let you all know
that our Georgian Grande,
Mandate for Gold Reg
#408(aka 'Junior') competed in two Limited Distance rides in May on
Mother's Day weekend. On Saturday he completed 25 miles, we held back a
bit and he finished 5th in a field of 14 horses! Thank you for the
lovely high point ribbon!
The next day I let him go
out in the front of the pack and he finished another 25 miles and was
second place. In June, he attempted his first ever 50 Endurance ride and
finished 7th overall in a filed of 17 horses. 6 horses were pulled from
the ride. He has proven to be a wonder to ride, and is shining in a field
that rarely sees a cross like his.
When we first bred "Junior",
we had no idea anyone else was having the same idea as we where, that the
grace & stamina of the Saddlebred would totally compliment the strong
foundation & wonderful mind of the draft horse. The blend has made an
athletic individual with greater stamina than I had realized, an easy
keeper, a faithful friend with a good work ethic, something desireable in
Then we learned of your
registry & decided to register this horse that we call a 'great idea'.
It has been good to see how wonderfully so many people are finding and
enjoying this amazing cross. At endurance rides and other places, I have
had some scoffs at the cross, as if it isn't a breed, or why would you
make that cross. People may take a second look because of wonderment of
size & looks of the horse, and then, they have to take a third look~to see
how wonderfully they perform. I recently purchased some T shirts &
coffee cups on Cafepress.com, that sums it all up:
Never underestimate the
Cheers to you for starting
the registry, great minds think alike,
though you took the good idea much farther
than my one horse,and are creating a legacy, a
platform to farther the breed and a promotion
that has been fantastic.
Long live the breed. Happy
to have a home registry
for our fantastic boy.
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