After telling the heavens that I forbid it to rain that weekend or else we had actual sun for race day (threats really do work).
5 hour trip which should of been 4 after missing a turn off, we arrived at the venue on the Friday prior to the ride. Barik was unloaded and took me for a walk around the venue, whilst the Grandparents set up his corral/ camp.
Pre-ride vetting was fine although I wish he was a little more chilled out. My class would be starting at the very civilised hour of 9am with briefing at 7.30am.
My class had only 3 entrants but all three of us riders were highly experienced within endurance; Jackie Lockett, Kay Counter and myself.
We all set off out onto course. This course ran slightly differently and some loops went in reverse to when we had previously ridden an 80km at Kings back in March.
The ride consisted of three loops the first being 32km, the second 32km and the final a 16km loop.
We set off out onto our first circuit. Once Barik was fully warmed up we turned up the gear into his comfortable extended trot and off we went setting the pace for the race. There are pigs on this course but not much faces Barik, even with little piglets running to the fence. Before we knew it we had caught up with the senior 80km riders.
We carried on where we breezed into vetgate 1 with Kay and Jackie only minutes behind us. A lot going on in this vetgate so it took a few minutes for Barik's pulse to drop and then we were through into our hold. Kay had over taken me during this vetgate so was ahead by about a minute.
Back out where we caught up with Kay. A quick catch up and reminisce about the old young rider days and then our minds were back to focusing on our horses and the race. Barik got into his extended trot and off we glided. We met the crew en route where we had sloshes and water. We also caught up with a few more 80km riders in other classes where Barik's extended trot was praised upon.