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Birds Hill Fast Flat Forest
May 4 - May 5
Ride Manager: Andy Dunlop
Trail Marker: Shannon Lightfoot
Day Manager: Andy Dunlop
Vet: Dr. Glenn Sinclair
Register for this ride here!
Welcome to DRM’s inaugural ride of 2019! Please join us on Saturday May 4 and Sunday May 5, 2019, at the Hunter Ring of the Manitoba Horse Council Facility in beautiful Birds Hill Provincial Park to kick on the endurance season in Manitoba. See link above to register online.
Sunday, April 28 – Deadline for early entries. Entries after this date pay an extra $10 per ride.
Thursday, May 2, 11:59pm – Online Registration closes. Entries will still be accepted at the ride.
Both days will feature Intro Rides of 10 or 15 miles. These may be taken on your own or, at your request, we will do our best to match you up to a mentor (an experienced endurance rider) who will help guide you through the process of an endurance ride, from your initial vet in to help on rating your horse on the trail. They will ride with you and answer your endurance questions throughout your ride in and out of base camp. Any reasonably fit horse should be capable of doing our intro rides and we welcome you to come give us a test ride! There are no prizes or time limits so the pressure is off. It’s just for FUN! Makes for a wonderful way to ease into the sport and decide if it’s for you without committing to a longer ride at the start.
Both days will also have a 25 Mile LD (Limited Distance) and 50 Mile Endurance rides for those who are well versed in the sport or have been conditioning their horses to work at these longer distances. The weather should be cool enough that heat shouldn’t be a factor, but as always, be prepared for anything mother nature can throw at us, this is after all Manitoba!!
Base camp and all trail loop starts/ends will be situated at the Hunter Ring. Please see the attached map for directions to base camp. Please note a Manitoba Provincial Park Pass is required to enter the park with a vehicle. If you do not have one, an annual pass (approx $40) can be purchased at the 59er Gas Station on Hwy 59 just south of the West Gate of the Park.
Follow the BLUE Arrows if coming in to East Gate from Hwy 206, taking Festival Drive to North Drive (the East Beach gate will T-junction at this stop sign) and turn RIGHT onto North Drive. Drive along North Drive (following the park horse signs) until you pass the combined driving field with the “Bridge to Nowhere” and take the first RIGHT at Nimowin Drive (there will be a cemetery with large copse of newly cut trees on your right once you’re on Nimowin. Take the first LEFT turn into the Birds Hill Park Ranch parking lot and take the RIGHT side of the fork in the road. Follow the curve until you get to the “Polo Road” and turn RIGHT. Follow the ride camp signs to the Hunter Ring straight ahead.
Follow the GREEN Arrows if coming to West Gate from Hwy 59. Take the park entrance road from West gate up to the Y split and then using the LEFT lane, follow it onto North Drive and stay on that road (following the park horse signs) until you pass the new construction happening at the Lookout (painted crosswalk just before the construction is a good landmark.) Take the first LEFT turn at at Nimowin Drive (there will be a cemetery with large copse of newly cut trees on your right once you’re on Nimowin. Take the first LEFT turn into the Birds Hill Park Ranch parking lot and take the RIGHT side of the fork in the road. Follow the curve until you get to the “Polo Road” and turn RIGHT. Follow the ride camp signs to the Hunter Ring straight ahead.
Parking is on a first come first parked basis and we can fit approximately 13 rigs in the ring. There should be a volunteer to help direct you to the next available spot beginning Friday evening around 6pm. Parking is to be paid with your online entry, either overnight ($10) or day parking ($5) options are available. Please bring your own panels or portable electric fencing as tying horses to trailers overnight is not permitted. Overflow parking will be directed to the back of the polo practice field (please take care not to obscure trail markers with your rig – Thanks!)
Saturday Potluck and Awards:
Saturday will feature a Pot Luck Supper at approximately 6pm at base camp with awards for the day to be presented after we eat. A post will be put on the FB event page to comment what you are bringing so as to cut down on duplicate items.
Awards will be done for the Sunday rides as soon as the last rider is in and results have been tabulated for their distance.
There will be prizes for the following each day for the 50’s and the 25’s:
1st Place, Best Condition and High Vet Score. (Please note that if a Junior rider wins one of these categories, they will receive the designated prize, however if the only winners are senior riders an additional prize will be awarded to the top junior rider in each distance.)
Overnight camping will be available at approximately 6pm on Friday, May 3, 2019, for you to park your rig and set up camp. Please note that the ride vet will NOT be available to check your horse until Saturday morning, so overnight camping is at your preference and not mandatory.
Vetting in both Saturday & Sunday:
50 Mile Riders only will begin vetting in at 8:00am. (until approximately 8:45am)
25 Mile Riders will begin vetting in at approximately 9:00am, or when the last 50 mile horse has been vetted (until approximately 9:45am)
10/15 Mile Intro Riders will begin vetting in at approximately 10:00am, or when the last 25 mile horse has been vetted.
Start Times Saturday & Sunday:
50 Mile Ride begins at 9:00am. You have 12 hours to complete your ride, including all hold times.
25 Mile Ride begins at 10:00am. You have 6 hours to complete your ride, including all hold times.
10/15 Mile Intro Rides begin any time after 10:30am. You have no time limits and no hold times.
Ride meetings will be held 30 minutes prior to your distance’s start time. If you cannot be there, you are responsible to have someone there for you to collect your map(s) and trail descriptions. GPS tracking apps are permitted and encouraged, but remember to ALWAYS FOLLOW THE FLAGS!! Sometimes the trails we know the best cause us to be lax and miss a turn.
Dogs are permitted on leash at your rig, however they are not permitted in the vetting area, trot lane or ride manager’s tent. Remember that some horses are NOT dog savvy and others may be dog aggressive, and vice versa, so be kind and respect your fellow riders and crew by keeping your dogs and horses under control at all times. Thank you.
Bring your own drinking water. Water will be available at base camp and on the loops for the horses. It is recommended to provide electrolytes to your horse even if you don’t see visible sweating. Please speak to your vet or the ride vet about electrolyte protocols if you are unfamiliar with them.
Bring your own chair for the potluck and an item to share (about 8-10 servings). If you have food allergies, please ask the contributor of a dish before you fill your plate as we cannot guarantee common food allergens will not be present.
Dress in layers, the morning will be much cooler than the afternoon and it’s easier to peel a layer off than swelter or freeze.
And possibly most important – Listen to your horse! Remember our motto – To Finish is to Win! Knowing when you can ask more of your horse and when they need to slow down is crucial to this sport. We all want to see you come in at the finish with horse left to spare 🙂