March 29, 2003 -- Racing for over two hours at sub-six minute miles, tying over forty times and finishing with less than ten seconds between first and second place: that is Ride & Tie at its best! In Ride & Tie each team consists of two humans and a horse. No team has finished the race until all three team members cross the finish line.
Those who enjoy an exciting finish and a good battle of the sexes could take pleasure in the tight ten second difference between the first place man/man team of Doyle Egger, Curt Riffle and Majic, and the second place woman/woman team of Anne Langstaff and Rufus Schneider riding Justin. Both horses were in, and it was a matter of seeing which runner came in first: after swapping the lead at least a dozen times throughout the race, Riffle managed to cross the finish line before Schneider.
If the observer is more inclined to root for their "home team," this was also a great race between California's northern-based competitors, Egger and Riffle, and southern-based champs, Langstaff and Schneider. First place horse, Majic, also won Best Condition and although he did not actually run for any money, he did receive some well-deserved carrots and glory.
The third installment of the 2003 Shine and Shine Only (SASO) Ride & Tie proved to be a great finale to the three-part winter/spring series held annually in the coastal mountains of Northern California near San Jose. Unlike the February SASO event, which was cancelled because of rain, competitors woke up Saturday morning to an unseasonably warm spring day. Inspired by the lush green slopes covered with wildflowers, human and equine competitors alike gave it their all.
Twelve teams started the event including 9 on the 22 mile course and 3 on the 8 mile course. The warm spring day brought added challenge to competitors, particularly the equine athletes still sporting their hot winter coats. The Ride & Tie was held in conjunction with an equine endurance event sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC). Multi-event endurance competitions like SASO are becoming more common and promote camaraderie among the enthusiasts of distance trail sports. When asked about the multi-event day, SASO III Endurance Ride Manager, Becky Grand Hart, said "It works out well having the events together. Because the starts are staggered, there is minimal overlap and everyone benefits by sharing the marked trail and veterinary support."
For complete race results, a schedule of upcoming events, and advice on how you can get started in the sport of Ride & Tie, please visit the website at www.rideandtie or call the Ride and Tie Association at (650) 949-2321.