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UAE / FEI...just a thought

Tom - insightful post.  Thank you.
Howard said:
>>My biggest fear is change.  I fear going to a ride and not seeing Val or Nina or, even that woman from North Georgia, anymore.  I fear the top runners not being at the rides I attend because there's an FEI ride going on the same weekend, at another location, for top runners only, and that's where they all are.  They're there because of the money.<<
As you all know, I don't ride endurance, so what I'm saying may or may not be relevant.   If I'm wrong, correct me (education is a wonderful thing.)
The sports in which I participate ARE Olymic / FEI sports, with largish cash incentives.  However, even if a rider has made it to the top of that sport, he will still have horses who haven't.  Although some top riders will have "jockeys" bringing on their babies, most of them prefer to do so themselves, rather than reschool a horse "their" way later.  For this reason, I have competed against international riders at schooling shows. 
Although I regard some of them as egotistical pricks ('sokay, not being a hypocrite : I've told them <grin>), many of them are helpful, pleasant people who are doing exactly what I am doing at a ride : bringing on a young horse.
Those same guys are the ones I will watch at FEI events.  The decent ones will also say hello and ask how my horse is coming on.  And watching them compete at top level is a wonderful chance to learn.
Is endurance not run along the same lines?  Surely you don't take a baby horse to a 100 mile FEI.  It has to start somewhere, and so you will see your top riders at smaller rides.
I also know for a fact, that the top riders I know ENJOY the smaller shows.   They get to relax, drink a few beers, and spot a horse that they might want to buy.  
Maybe endurance is different, but human nature is human nature.  The guys who forget where they came from and are only in it for the money will always be pricks, and who needs them at a small ride anyway?   The decent riders will still be decent...and around.
And I'm not rehashing the debate Tom and I had a while back about my fears about money in sport.  It's a whole 'nother story, and we've been there, done that.

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