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2023 Virginia City 100 - Virginia Jenkins

September 18 2023
By Virginia Jenkins

Virginia City 100... I can definitely say no one was lying about the rocks. Flite and I took on the historical trail and brought home a completion with a 20:05 ride time.

We started out at 5 am in front of the classic Delta Saloon - what a cool start. After the Virginia City sheriff led 60 horses and riders to the wrong start in his own city, we got on the trail. Flite and I cruised along in the dark through the rocks (and more rocks... and MORE rocks) and into the first vet check at 24 miles. Flite vetted in at 40 and 40 minutes later, we were off on the next loop of 15 miles. This loop had some sections with NO ROCK (crazy, I know), but also had Bailey Canyon where I managed to lose two octos. Thank goodness I had my renegades with me. I popped them on and off we went. We came into the Washoe Park check and Flite once again vetted out fabulously.

Next up was a 12 mile loop. But not just any 12 mile loop. Here, we conquered the SOBs (aptly named, imo). I decided to be a hero and hike up the first and second ones. The first one was seriously straight up and I thought I might die. Flite was rolling his eyes at me as he grabbed a snack while I could barely breathe. Next stop was at Basecamp at 51 miles. Flite looked great for the vet in, but didn't eat as well as he usually does. I really think he thought he was done and could take his time eating. Sorry buddy, we were only halfway!

Off we went on the next 25 mile loop. I had overheard some people saying the first loop back to Basecamp was the hardest, but they were WRONG. This loop took us up and up and up to Mt. Davidson. We reached the top just as we lost light. Many steep and rocky miles down and we arrived back at Basecamp at 76 miles. Flite looked like a million bucks and ate ravenously. We left camp in the dark to finish the last 24 miles. Flite did such a great job in the dark. He carefully picked his path and told me when it wasn't safe. We rode without any lights! I had heard this loop was easier and less rocky. Well, I guess when the rest of the trail is a rock pile, less rocky still means super rocky! It was very slow going in the dark, but we managed to arrive at the 94 mile vet check.

Flite had been feeling great so I confidently trotted him out for the vet. Lame. I was crushed and so confused. I removed his hoof boot and splint boot to see if there was something in there causing an issue. Nope. I took him back for a recheck after the vet finished vetting the pile of riders who arrived behind me and he was *slightly* better. She let us go the six miles into camp and try for a completion. Flite carried me the first couple miles where it was less technical, then I got off and hand walked the rest of the way. It was slow going, but we crossed the finish line at 4:25am.
It wasn't over with just crossing the finish line though. We still had to pass the final vet check. Holding back tears, I walked him down to the vet area and let the vet know what was going on. He had me trot out and he took a few bad strides before evening out to earn a completion! Holy shit, what a relief! We had done it! This was truly an incredible accomplishment and I am so proud of my Flitey Boy. He never got unmotivated and conquered everything I asked of him. What an absolutely incredible horse.

We met a lot of wonderful people on trail and in canp (Jessica, Pam, Lucy, Annette to name a few) and generally had the best time.

Special thank you to my wonderful crew Gracie and Cressy. They took care of me and Flite so well AND even looked after baby Chile and Kaito while i was riding. I couldn't have done it without their help and support.

Thanks to ride management for putting on a top notch event with great organization and friendly faces. Everyone should ride this legendary ride if they can!

Edited to add that Flite is totally fine! Just a very tired booty from all the trotting downhill on rolling rocks