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April Foxcatcher at FHI

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  • April Foxcatcher at FHI

    I am planning on riding my OTTB in his first 25 miler at this. Can anyone who has done it tell me what to expect ? Do they stable in the same stalls used for the horse trials ? Or do you need to bring an electric pen ? I have competed at horse trials there and remember the ground being pretty hard and rocky in places. What are the water crossings like and do we go through the scary tunnels there ? Similar to the more popular horse trials, I assume you have your entry in as close to opening date as possible or it fills and you are on a wait list ? Is a pretty competitive race or newbie friendly ? How do I stay out of the way of the serious people ? How many people do I need as "crew" in the hold area ? Thanks in advance for any advice !

  • #2
    Foxcatcher last year was my first endurance ride. They often have a lot of first-timers there, so they're very good about it. You can pay for a stall or camp out in the field. I didn't have an electric pen at that time... I actually just tied my horse to the trailer and he was totally fine (obviously he's trained to tie).

    The terrain is rolling hills, some grass, some packed dirt trails, and some gravel/rough paved roads. It's not really something you can do with a barefoot horse. Last year we did have to go through one of the tunnels, and we had to go over several of the big concrete bridges.

    To stay out of the way of the serious people, wait until 5-10 minutes after the start time to get going. They usually give you at least 10 minutes to cross the start. If your horse is hyper, don't even let him see the start area until the top riders have left.

    Technically, you don't need anyone to crew - I usually don't - but it is nice to have someone there to help you out.

    Check out their website for lots of great information
    http://www.fairhillinternational.com/foxcatcher/. They have a section for new riders that links you to the AERC website.

    Oh, and I'm planning to go again this year, so feel free to PM me if you have any more questions or want to meet up when you get there
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

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    • #3
      I am planning on doing it this year- I've been off from the competitive scene for several years, but definitely ready to come back. Like BHLH said, you can either tie to the trailer, do the corral or stable- up to you.
      "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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      • #4
        You may want to consider doing the ECTRA Chesapeake Spring Fling CTR ride at Fair Hill on April 4th. This ride's basecamp is at the stables so a stall is included in your entry. The reason I'm suggesting starting with a CTR is the whole thing is calmer for a horse new to distance riding in comparison to an endurance ride. CTR's send the riders off in groups of 3-4 riders, you can request to be at the back or front, there is gaps between the groups which helps the green horse remain more settled and you seldom experience being passed by galloping riders. Plus, if you don't have a pen for your horse then having a stall is nice. The endurance ride is held from a field at another location so if you rent a stall you have to travel over to the other site for the start (unless things have changed recently).

        Yes, a lot of large sized gravel was added to many trails and roads to prevent erosion. And there are a few rocky trails too. I suggest shoes or boots all around. I had never used pads for rides at Fair Hill but when doing a 3-day 100 there in 08 I found my horse got foot sore from the large rock and had to pull after 60 miles. Several other riders had the same experience. I've used pour-in pads on his front when riding there since then. Here at home we just don't have rocky trails to condition on regularly so my horse's feet don't toughen up enough.

        Bonnie S.

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        • #5
          i did my last foxcatcher in 2008. that's when my mare tore up her suspensory. i've ridden it in the past barefoot and in 4 boots, but in 2008 i went out with only front shoes and no pads. big regret! it was a dry spring and the trails were hard and rocky (we were aiming to do the 50 but got pulled at the first vet check). so keep the overall weather in mind when you're deciding on hoof protection. plenty of rocks there and some pavement, too.
          http://www.eponashoe.com/
          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

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