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In my humble opinion Pulling out R.O. is a good thing, it encourages riders to stop before it is to late, and if they are allowed to save a little face with it, so what, the horse is better off. I think names and reason ie: L- M- RO  etc. is educational for the rest of us. When I first started this sport ( early 80"s I would see one particular rider who seemed to win every time I saw them, boy was I impressed, till I started noticing they had a different horse every time, and then begin to see that for every win there were more than a few lame, sick, never to be seen again horses.  This person was a role model for lots of newbies. We cant legislate morality, or force some one to care about the horse.  >> So how about requiring riders to present to vet for excusing, then it would be listed as R.O. L- E    ( Rider Option Lame- Excused ) and the ones just disappearing would be listed as DQ.    This could be done as a matter of individual ride manager policy,and the E.N. would agree to print it as such in the ride results. It would not even have to be printed in the Year Book, thats enough volume for them to deal with, but in the monthly E.N. Therefore achieving the goal, of education, and horse protection, while avoiding more rules, and rule changes, we don't need more rules. Then a horse verging on real trouble would have the benefit of the Vet, and the rider would have  maintained the responsibility for himself and horse,and saved face.  If allowing someone to save a little face helps the horses, and helps educate the rest of us, so what !! I think this approach would help to elevate the general quality of care and horsemanship without more regimentation.  Just an idea that may be a good one. (( BTW My Horse has over 2000 miles No Big deal? but he has only 2 pulls in all that time, one was Tevis, (RO). We never win, but we finish. Therefore we win! I consider that I have done way better than someone with several thousand miles that crippled 20 horses to get 10 awards.  Keep the awards, I'll keep my 17 yo SOUND horse.! Annie George >AERC # 6273

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