One race most important

“The slow runner finally won the footrace.”

That’s the best way to simplify our “smile-making-accomplishment” at the horse show finals.

When results were announced, we were first in the “Lead Back Race.” Admittedly, it was against old people like us, but we were the speediest of the slowest.

Description is again appropriate for those “not-up-on-horse-shows.” In “Lead Back,” horseback riders race one at a time to the opposite end of the arena, get off behind a 50-gallon barrel and run back across the starting line leading their horse.

As previously noted, our association has divided up all classes into seven age groups so “everybody gets a chance to win.” Although there are those who criticize such divisions, nearly every horse competition now has separate groups according to ability.

Anyway, winning our most recent footrace-horserace competition was not without preparation. We’ve been practicing on an almost daily basis for several weeks.

After taking The Wonderful Zane for an exercise gallop around the pasture, we “jump off,” which is a feat in itself we think, and run about a city block in the pasture along the highway to the barnyard.

Certainly, we get lots of strange looks from those whizzing by on the main thoroughfare. Several have slowed down to see what we are doing, and some even pulled over to check if we were having a runaway, although we were always in front of our galloping gray horse.

Reflections of another time comes to mind when we had a similar-looking mount called Quicksand, and we’d race cars on the highway. That, too, drew  quizzical looks from passersby, especially those we were outrunning.

Despite always being one of the tallest in our class while growing up, we were one of the slowest runners. One time we got third out of four in the grade school field day 50-yard dash, received a three-inch white ribbon, that was permanently displayed in Grandma’s bookcase, and thought we were in high heaven.

Admiring those who get up before breakfast to run five miles every morning, we tried that one time in college, and haven’t done it since. No likelihood of ever winning a marathon, unless we stay mounted.

Reminds us of Romans 9:16: “So, it’s not a question of human will and effort in running a race, but on God’s mercy.”