ABA Banking Journal - May 2013 - (Page 56)

first person Jim Lewien Peace of the long-distance rider Racing through America helps banker slow down Astride one of his Arabian horses in an endurance race, Jim Lewien’s mind narrows to the trail ahead and his mount’s performance. “You don’t think about work, the bank, or anything like that,” says the Colorado executive. “It’s very hard riding, but it’s very recreational, because it’s very physical and you don’t have the same mental element you do on the job.” Lewien, chairman of the Denver region of $22.2 billion-assets Commerce Bancshares, grew up riding the horses of an across-the-street friend. They just hacked around, but he kept that love of riding. Yet, life happened in the meantime, and the banker didn’t do much more regular riding, other than working some cattle on a relative’s farm. Then, about nine years ago, at 59, he discovered endurance riding and bought several young horses that could grow into good competitors. Distances vary according to race, rider class, and time and trail available. In common to all races is that under the rules of the American Endurance Ride Conference—its motto is “To Finish Is To Win”—horses undergo checks before, during, and after a race. Lewien explains that a horse pushed too hard by a rider—or its Jim Lewien rides Dublin in one of the annual “Happy Jack” races held in the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. own competitive instincts—won’t “pulse down” within the time limit. This costs horse and rider some standing. himself, he wears a helmet, tight “The health of the horse is paramount,” says Lewien. Typically, during the breeches designed to minimize chafdays that many events last, the rider sleeps near his horses. (Riders may ride ing, and half-chaps to protect the multiple horses in a meet.) Lewien’s horse trailer has a small bunk space. lower legs. Endurance races run from 15 miles to the Tevis Cup, a 100-miles in a day Riding in the sport’s mature diviannual event held in the Sierras, between Auburn, Calif., and Lake Tahoe. sion, Lewien has placed first twice, In making these rides, Lewien says, he and fellow equestrians view beautiful and drawn a “best condition” on western country in National Park and Bureau of Land Management lands finishing with Willa once. that many never get to explore. The furthest that Lewien has competed is at There’s much fellowship among the 35-mile distance. event riders, according to Lewien, Lewien’s companions on these rides are two mares, Willa and Angelica, but the nights tend to be early ones, and a gelding, Dublin, who is his fastest mount. Lewien used to try to hold once the horses have been cooled Dublin back early in a race, but the horse just loves to run and be in front. and put away. “He is just a machine,” says Lewien. “He has the most personality.” Lewien “When you get back from an once got marked down, because Dublin hated to be held back and didn’t endurance ride,” says Lewien, “you “pulse down” quickly enough. sleep very well. Endurance riders Typically, races run at a fast trot, not cantering or galloping much. Like are a pretty determined bunch. Lewien, one in two riders use a modified Western saddle, with no saddle They don’t like to quit unless the horn. Lewien prefers to use a hackamore—bitless steering gear that frees the horse isn’t doing well.” horse to eat and drink during a race. Many riders prefer Arabians or part—Steve Cocheo, executive editor & Arabians, because they are bred for distance versus quarter-horses, which are digital content manager sprinters. Lewien has seen a variety of breeds ridden, as well as mules. For 56 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | may 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May 2013

ABA Banking Journal - May 2013
Contents
Chairman’s View
Editor’s Column
The Economy
Bank Notes
Picture This
ABA Community Banking
Pass the Aspirin
Tech Topics
Looking for leaders
Top-performing mid-size banks
New world of appraisals
Compliance Clinic
Compliance Inbox
ABA At Your Service
First Person

ABA Banking Journal - May 2013

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