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March, 2016

Michele Petty and Kadmon - Texas Endurance Riders Association's 2015 Horse and Rider of the Year

Kadmon is a 9 year old, 15 and a half hand, Black Arabian, with a striking white nose as if he had dipped it in cream. Kadmon is the great, great grandson of Cass Ole, the San Antonio horse who starred in the movie the Black Stallion. Petty is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer in San Antonio.

The 100 mile Tevis trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn California, considered to be one of the toughest races in the world.
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The 100 mile Tevis trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn California, considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. Michele & Kadmon at Cougar Rock. Photo by Gore Baylor Photography, Lisa Chadwick, printed with permission, copyright 2015
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Highlights of Kadmon and Petty's adventures include winning the 25 mile race by 35 minutes at Ft. Schellbourne, NV where they encountered a wild mustang stallion who galloped over to check them out, but thankfully decided not to attack them. Petty checked off bucket list item "Riding in the Redwoods" where Kadmon won Best Condition at the Humboldt 35 mile ride. One of the trees was so large that Petty not only rode Kadmon inside the living tree but it was big enough to fit 4 other horses. For fun they visited the Pacific Ocean and galloped on a stunning beach at sunset where Kadmon dipped his hooves in the surf. Together they rode the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and danced through the hoodoos of Red Canyon's Thunder Mountain next to Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah.

The biggest challenge of all was the 100 mile Tevis trail from Lake Tahoe to Auburn California, considered to be one of the toughest races in the world. The full moon hung low on the horizon for the 5 am start illuminating the path through the tall Conifer forest. Dust particles hung in the air reflecting the moonlight in silvery shimmers against the deepest blueness. The atmosphere seemed to vibrate in eager anticipation for the release of 198 horses thundering down the mountain in the dark. Kadmon swiftly trotted down steep single-track full of shadowed switchbacks finally reaching highway 89 as the gray morning dawned. Then began the climb to the Summit of Squaw Valley ski resort. Meanwhile, the screw to the saddle stirrup surreptitiously unwound and less than 500 yards from the Summit came undone, forever lost, the stirrup soon following suit. Petty adjusted the remaining strap and hung on through the truly treacherous bogs, slippery slopes, and huge boulders of the Granite Chief Wilderness. At the next vet stop miraculously volunteers had a spare stirrup and with duct tape for added adjustment, they were back on trail. Cougar Rock loomed, and several riders took the detour to avoid the risk. The horse in front of Kadmon balked halfway up the rock, then skittishly sidestepped close to the edge. The white faced rider successfully dismounted and shakily was able to coax her horse up and over the rock. Kadmon stood stone still watching intensely. When it was clear, Kadmon slowly approached, then confidently took a mighty leap and bounded up, easily conquering Cougar Rock. Approximately 20 miles farther down the trail Kadmon tripped and landed hard on his knee splitting it to the bone. He continued on another 7 miles through Pucker Point where the trail narrows and the side drops off over a thousand feet. He sailed into the 50 mile point vet check where he pulsed down and trotted out sound, but Petty pulled him rather than risk joint damage or infection by continuing. Kadmon healed quickly and was back in action the next month, winning a 25 mile race in Utah over 10 other starters by 13 minutes.

Kadmon was the 2nd highest mileage horse of any who participated in riding the historic Pony Express trail.
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Kadmon was the 2nd highest mileage horse of any who participated in riding the historic Pony Express trail. Michele & Kadmon at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Steve Bradley, printed with permission copyright 2015
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In 2015 Kadmon successfully completed 250 miles of 50 mile races and 615 miles of races 25 to 35 miles in length. Kadmon was the 2nd highest mileage horse of any who participated in riding the historic Pony Express trail. He has won the 2015 Central region limited distance mileage championship, placed 3rd in the Nation for limited distance mileage and is the reserve champion for the Central Region limited distance Best Condition championship. Kadmon and Petty rode together in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, California and Texas during the year.

Petty plans to ride Kadmon at the Bandera Heart of the Hills Endurance ride March 5 & 6, 2016. For more information on endurance riding go to Bandera Registration form.

Michele Petty is available for talks on Endurance riding, stories about the Pony Express trail and other riding adventures at michpetty@aol.com