Local team endures 275 miles to win | SteamboatToday.com

Local team endures 275 miles to win

— Steamboat Springs endurance rider Sands Dickson recently returned from the New Mexico Renegade where she placed first in the feather-weight class and fourth overall in a five-day, 275-mile horseback ride.

“It was a good finish for me,” Dickson said. “There were a lot of horses there and it made difficult to place every day.”

Dickson, who is planning on riding in several endurance horseback rides this summer, competed on a 9-year-old Arabian stallion named Alexii.

It was a difficult race because riders could choose to ride in just one day of the five-day event or try to complete all five days. They could also choose to ride a different horse each day or test the same horse over the course of the event.

“We were going up against fresh horses everyday, so that made placing in the individual rides that much harder,” Dickson said.

Dickson chose to compete all five loops around the 55-mile course on Alexii. The stallion was among 17 horses out of a total of 65 that completed the full, five-day test.

“A lot of the riders would use a different horse each day in an effort to win that leg,” Dickson said. “But I rode the same horse all five days.”

On the fourth day, Dickson was pleased that her horse won the “best overall conditioning award.”

The honor goes to a top-10 horse that is deemed the best physically prepared for the test of stamina, according to several veterinarian checks along the 55-mile route.

The race was held March 20-24 in New Mexico near the Mexican border.

Dickson is planning on competing in several other endurance rides including one next month near Carson City, Nev.

Ultimately, Dickson is hoping to compete in a 2,000-mile race from St. Louis, Mo. to Sacramento, Calif., along the Pony Express Trail. The ride — the XP 2000– will take place in June 2001. Dickson said there are already 100 entrants in the event.

The top prize goes to the rider who finishes the with the fastest time using the fewest horses.

— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at jrussell@amigo.net

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