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Re: RC: Tevis - Slower riders

In a message dated 7/20/00 9:07:20 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Trailrite writes:

<<  If you ever want to step higher into the world of competition and do some 
studies of horses like these then let me know.  They are not the once a month 
competitors as is the norm that is talked about in RC.
 Tammy Robinson >>

Well, I've laid hands on a couple of decent endurance horses. Done some 
limited, but telling, field research with them. Managed to set a world record 
for 100 miles (about 7 1/2 hours). And I know just enough about exercise 
physiology to be dangerous. 

What my limited knowledge tells me, at this point, is than an endurance 
athlete working at near peak performance in an extended endurance race 
requires extended recovery time afterward. I've seen the results of taking 
top equine endurance athletes (and I mean the very top athletes) and banging 
them into every race available--you dig a deep, deep hole that, eventually, 
they can't climb out of. 

Tevis, being one of the most prestigious endurance competitions in the US, 
should be a "targeted" race--that is, of three or four important races in a 
season, this one should be carefully prepared for. Just as the World is being 
carefully prepared for by a few international riders. 

There is no doubt in my mind that you experienced difficulties at Tevis this 
year that were not under your control. And there is no doubt that you came 
into the competition with an animal you believed to be 100% ready. But then, 
we all believe that, don't we? And we're almost invariably wrong. Stuff 

It happens in flat racing as well. I try to advise my clients--persuade, 
cajole, argue, fistfight--to prepare their athletes far beyond the expected 
competitive challenge. To build an overwhelmingly superior athlete and 
surround it with an overwhelmingly superior crew. Most often, I fail in my 
persuasions. The biggest roadblck in this regard is hubris. 


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