Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Said “Pace” not “Race”

The other day as we were walking the red dogs, a very official looking rider clip-clopped past us, scowling at dogs off the leash, but dogs who, nonetheless, “stayed” when instructed. Yesterday I understood the whole scene.

Yesterday was the Spring “Pace” sponsored by the Bedford Riding Lanes Association (BRLA), mentioned Heavenly Route. I don’t know many of the “horsey” people in town and until yesterday never understood the sport. As I was shooting, I met a lovely couple, Amy and Raymond McCarthy; Amy, a one-time pacer herself, gave me the lowdown. (You will meet Amy and Raymond later in the week).

I’d always thought the competition had something to do with making it over the jumps and finishing in record time. As it turns out, after eleven miles, the challenge is to arrive at the finish line as close as possible to the time officially declared the “pace’” for your riding skill and age group.

There are four categories of competition: Hunter (more leisurely); Junior, Jumper, and (perish the thought in Westchester County) Western. The pace time is a secret. It’s a two- or three-member team sport. You must finish with your teammate(s). You don’t have to jump, but you may. You must wear a helmet. You must rest your horse at the check point.

I wasn’t too confident of my ability to photograph these riders, and I’m not one to check every shot, digital camera or not. But I’m encouraged enough with this effort to try again in the fall to capture the joy of riding one of these beautiful animals.

This is one of two posts to compensate for no photos yesterday. But there was much to see and the glorious weather seduced me into the garden.


Texas Travelers said...

Great post. I enjoyed this very much. Nice photo.

Sharon said...

This is an interesting post! Thanks.

smilnsigh said...

Thank you. I never knew these details. Being from such a "horsey" city, I should hu? :-)

Wonderful that you plan on riding. My d-i-law and granddaughter do. I've never had the bravery to try. :-) One they are beautiful animals though.


Inkster1 said...

Thank you, everyone, for visiting and for your comments. It was fun to do. I'd like to get better at taking this type of picture.