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Biltmore still

HRM's vs Steth's:  It really does depend on the horse.  A friend of mine has
a horse that, so far, we have not been able to make the hand helds work on 
her.  She's the only one I've seen like that though I have seen horses who
don't have a good reading with a regular HRM.

People being told the wrong way to go:  I overheard quite a number of people 
complaining about the spotter who was parked in front of the marker and 
directing them to go the wrong way.  I also was told that a huge group of people
came up on their horses screaming for which way and before spotter could tell them
they went off in the wrong direction.  Spotter maybe supposedly thought they knew 
and sent others off in hot pursuit.  Maybe this is right maybe not.  I wasn't on the trail.
Either way, it's bad I know.  However, no matter how great  a trail is marked
you can ask and someone will tell you it was poorly marked and vice-versa.  
Competition can cloud how we ride sometimes, no?  <giving the benefit of the doubt
here to the spotters> OTOH, if I give the benefit of the doubt to the riders, the spotter
should have known where to tell people to go...:-)

I did see with my own two eyes that the arrival timers had not a clue in the beginning.
Well worn riders did teach them what was up as the day went on and they got
schooled since things ran much smoother as the day wore on...or seemed to from my
vantage point.

Vet checks:  they were excellent all day.  I think I saw one or two groups
who had to wait about 1 minute each and that was all.
BC and 30 min CRI was a goat rope though.  Nobody knew what was going
on and I saw this occur more than one time.  People were asking which way
to come in and which way to go and vets were questioning who was doing what
as the horses were coming in.  That should have been sorted out long before the 
1st place horse crossed the finish line.  But that was the only glitch I saw in vetting!

Finish Line:  I heard of one person who could have raced for first (50) but he was told that the
AERC race and the FEI race was totally different race therefore they didn't need to 
race.  So he didn't.  He got 2nd place but thought he was 1st in the 50.  he was only 
doing the AERC race so I guess it didn't really matter.  This could have been made clearer to 
all participants.  People kept stressing that there were several different races going on and 
many people took that to heart thinking that it WAS different races.

Is there some reason Nancy was put off in the corner doing nothing more than 
calling outtimes?  Seems that her talents were wasted there.  Since noone else 
seemed to know what was going on in various places, it would have been nice to 
see her smiling face at the finish line or somewhere else useful.  Anyone can call
outtimes expecially when they are brought to you to call out.  

Just some comments from another outsider who does not count for much since I was
not riding in the FEI ride.  It's not something I have ever aspired to do.  I ride to 
finish and that was something I didn't hear hardly at all this past weekend.  
I heard a lot of "If I don't finish up front it does not count", "a last place finish is still 
last place", "outside of top ten, I might as well not even ride"...
Nobody seemed to be having fun all day.  I spent some time in the vet in area, in the P&R's and really, 
all around.  Not too many smiling faces and not too much camraderie like we see at so many other
rides in the SE.  

DISCLAIMER:  this is in no way a slam of the vet staff who did a great job, the P&R staff who did a great job, 
and especially Anne who did a WONDERFUL job with what she had to work with.  Having so many 
different things going on during this time is a daunting task that she handled with dignity and aplomb.

Now, can we please get some fun back into the sport some of us still love?  Or is that
too far gone now?  

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