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NORTHUMBERLAND & TYNESIDE
Group of Endurance GB

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ORGANISERS REPORT


 

Well it has to be a first for the Harwood Ride -  NO SNOW either before or during.

 

Can’t  remember a time in the 12 years I have organised this ride when the snow hasn’t played a big part in it going ahead on the planned day  – was it still coming down and how heavily, would it be too deep, too solid, too rutted, too slushy, too slippery and that’s just the parking!   

 

This ride is 1,132 ft above sea level at it’s highest point so you may well ask why we risk having it at this time of the year. It is quite a remote forest in Northumberland but as the weather improves it plays host to things like car rallies and off road motorbike events. I never know which tracks they will use and they can play havoc with them so it’s best to get in before they do.

 

Ray (hubby) and I marked the course the day before, dry and bright but with a very strong wind. I did wonder if some of the signs had taken off into orbit after we left.   Took extras with me early the next morning in case the road signs had disappeared but need not have worried, everything was still there.

 

This forest has it’s own micro climate so the weather forecast for the general area doesn’t normally apply.  Surprise surprise, Sunday was lovely - just like the rest of the north. Don’t think any of us could quite believe it so most of the riders played safe and went out with their usual winter woollies on  - as did some of the horses. So plenty of pink faced riders and sweaty steeds at the finish!

 

The tracks were in great condition and gave lots of opportunity for lovely canters. We had an official photographer, Sarah Little. She doesn’t have a 4 x 4 so wasn’t able to get to the canter sections but she took masses of great photos at CP2 where the riders came through twice.  

 

Everything seemed to go like clockwork – a testament to my wonderful helpers on the day:

 

Parking marshals - Bernie Pugh, Colin Pearcy and Ray Smith – don’t know how you guys manage to get so many vehicles into such small areas.

 Check Point marshals - Gill Featonby and Diane Holmes.  So pleased you didn’t have to battle the usual artic conditions this year!

 Time keeper - Eileen Charlton, who does all the maths but also manages to take great photos at the start/finish.

 Secretary - Emily Smith who also transferred my many lists leading up to the ride into beautiful computer prints.

 

Last but not least my fantastic hubby Ray Smith who does so much for this ride I couldn’t list it all here but also has to listen to all my mutterings about routes, permissions etc etc etc  from about 2nd January onwards.



Lesley Smith

 

Click to view Ride Results

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