This horseback riding contest is coast-to-coast, from East to West, and sets 20 each men and women riders and their horses against each other.
The trip will be an endurance test, both for rider and horse, but the women feel certain that against them the sensational riders of the Western plains will come out second best. Ms Macklin of Boston, a student in interior decorating, who has spent the greater part of her life on ranches in Mexico and the West, is the latest entrant.
The cowboys may know more about bucking broncos, the Native Americans of Oklahoma may know trick riding and the cavalrymen may excel in their knowledge of horseflesh, but this trip is going to be one where grit will count, and Ms Macklin feels sure that she can stand up with the rest and feels confident that with a good Western horse, or even just an ordinary young one, she'll win the $10,000.
The coast-to-coast ride is open to the world, men and women and horses of all nations. The route probably will be from Boston to Buffalo, thence along the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco. Those men who are familiar with this route say that the horseback riders will be forced to endure all sorts of hardships, but this bit of disheartening information does not seem to damper the ardor of Ms Macklin.
The Lincoln highway is not well known to horseback riders but it is to automobilists who take cross-country trips. This endurance horse race goes through northern Ohio, touching Cleveland, crosses Michigan and Indiana, thence strikes Illinois south of Chicago and goes through Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln's home. From there it takes a course down through Omaha, across Wyoming and on to northern California, thence down to San Francisco.
The backers of the contest are prominent horse breeders of the American West. Captain Fouche, well known throughout the country as a promoter of such enterprises, is managing the affair, and the Eastern arrangements are the charge of Mr Foster of Brooklyn, a rough and fancy rider and rifle and revolver expert.
Mr Foster told a Sunday Post reporter that strangely enough more Eastern women than men were entering the contest. Against them, however, will be at least a score of expert male horseback riders from all lands.
Mrs Parker, a Lynn society woman, signified her intention of entering the contest several weeks ago, and now comes forward Ms Macklin with the word that as soon as she can arrange for a horse she will sign the necessary papers.
Having told friends that she wanted to ride for the $10,000 purse, several friends of Miss Macklin have volunteered to finance the trip for her on a speculative basis.
Ms Macklin is confident that as long as she can make the necessary financial arrangements she can win. Macklin asserts that she has had just the right sort of horse riding experience. Only recently Miss Macklin came up from her father's ranch in Parral, Mexico. She tells a thrilling story of an experience there during the early part of the Mexican uprising.
On one occasion when bandits were ransacking the country, she and two women companions were trapped at her father’s mining camp 40 miles from civilization. Telephone communication had been cut off and there was a general feeling of unrest. Fearing lest the bandits would molest them, the three women climbed up on the roof of the camp and with rifles on their knees, ready to fire, remained there all night. In the morning a searching party, sent out from the ranch, found them and escorted them home.
On another occasion a band of bandits stole nearly $1 million worth of property from the vicinity of her father’s gold mine. Fearing that her pet horse, Buckskin, would be taken, Ms Macklin smuggled it into her own bedroom and tied it to the post of her bed.
Even this precaution did not save her pet, however, and it was only by force that her companions restrained her from following the robbers the next day to recover it.
The second night, however, she could wait no longer, having mourned two days over the loss of the animal who had been her pet for nine years, and in the middle of the night she crept out of camp, borrowed another horse and rode furiously for 20 miles until she came to the camp of the bandits. Putting behind her all fear, she rode right into the camp and when she made known her mission, the men laughed at her, ordered her to dismount and added her horse to their already fine collection.
“Now you can walk back home,” they told her. “And you had better stay there.”
With tears in her eyes Macklin did as she was bidden, but not until she had caught sight of her pet horse. The men would not let him see her, however, and started her off down the road. What was her happy surprise an hour later to be overtaken by her horse.
Whether the bandits sent the horse off after her or whether it broke away, Macklin never found out, but she joyfully mounted it and rode home, arriving just as another searching party was being organized to go after her.
It is experiences such as these that make this equestrian confident that she can compete in this coast-to-coast horse race.
In addition to the $10,000 prize there will be several others, the details to be arranged later, it is not known just when the start will take place, but probably some time in May.
Mr Foster, the Eastern manager, says he thinks a Western horse stands the best show of winning in the endurance test. He has ridden thousands of horses, of all breeds, and those who know him say he knows horses from A to Z.