2011 Gold Medal: Dave Rabe and Midnight Melody Marie

Rider and horse name: Dave Rabe and Midnight Melody Marie

Horse Barn name: Emmy

Breed: Anglo Arab mare

Horse & rider years in endurance & # of miles Dave: started in 1984 and around 53,000 miles. Emmy has 3600 miles and ten years in endurance.

Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year? 2011 XP

Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why? 2011 XP. It took a lot of planning and was quite an ordeal to pull it all together.

Death Valley Encounter 2011. Photo by Steve Bradley.

What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year? I learned that I can make Emmy go slow, even though she doesn’t like it. I learned I can get along with a mare.

Is there anything you did this year that you would do differently next year? (or, if you had a chance to do this last year over again)? I’d probably put shoes on my horses. (because Chris Herron said so). Just kidding.

What do you think was the best thing that you did do? Slow Emmy down.

What are your horses best qualities? She has good recoveries and has the ability to go fast and run up front if I were to let her. I’m happy that I have her, she is a sweet mare.

Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year? I didn’t bring a raincoat with me on the first day of the XP and had to borrow one from Dave Chaton, which saved the day. That was probably the worst thing that happened. I almost drowned out there!  It was great that Chris Herron was a little weenie that day and quit at lunch, so I finished riding using his raincoat that he had also borrowed from Dave Chaton!

I’d like to thank Dave and Annie for putting on another long XP ride as well as my sponsors (EasyCare and Select). Thanks also go to everybody else that chipped in and helped along the way. I want to thank Charlie Gaucci for giving me Cocomo Joe at the end of the ride. I had one of the best drivers on the ride – Dwight deserves credit for getting my horses and rig moved safely and without any mishaps. Also, thank you to Claire Toomey for giving me such a great mare!