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FEI - not a big deal

Thanks Angie!! I really don't understand the 'us & them' mentality. Speaking
for myself, the International/FEI stuff is really no different - 100 miles
is 100 miles. At the WEC there was a fair amount of press, and hoopla. And
the biggest difference was that we were on site for 3 weeks, with no other
purpose than to prepare for  the ride. Still, we were basically a bunch of
AERC folks with duct tape holding our trunks together, problem solving,
training.... it is really NOT that different. In my endurance career I've
done 8000 AERC miles, many of the them tail end, some wins, some hundreds,
some pulls. And I've done 300 FEI miles. So... am I one of them, or one of

There are lots of goals we can set - high mileage, National Championships,
high points.... competing at a PAC or WEC is just another goal. Still need a
good horse, a lot of luck, and a lot of committment to do well at any goal
you set. All of the PAC/WEC riders are not wealthy, it can be done on a low
budget. I am no better than the rest - just lucked into a good horse, and
made campaigning him a priority. We had a lot of luck, and a lot of support.
In my experience the goals are determined by the horse. I had just as much
fun doing multidays with Kruschev, never thought of him as a WEC class horse
until  I tried a 100 with him and found that he got stronger with every
mile. Even so, it wasn't until we did well at the 99 PAC that I truly
realized how good he was.

If you are fairly fit and have a good 100 mile horse then there is no
difference between 'you' and 'them' except for the goals you set. Angie is a
great example - she has an amazing horse - there is absolutely no reason she
couldn't set her sites on the 2002 WEC in Spain, if that is something that
she wants to do. It takes planning and committment, and TONS of luck. There
are some additional expenses to the rider (health permits, FEI passports)
but almost all of the expense is now covered by USET. The biggest 'expense'
is the time. You (or a groom - also covered by USET) have to be willing to
take time off of work for several weeks for an off-continent event. An
example: Darla Westlake works for the US Postal Service, Terry is a farrier.
Not exactly rich, but very committed to training and competition. Darla rode
in two WEC events and I don't think you'll find a more down to earth person.
With planning and committment it can be done. And it is a gas to ride in
another country!!

They are not two different sports, nor are we two different types of
competitors. It is the same sport - a horse, a rider, x number of miles, x
amount of time. The differences in FEI and AERC are trivial when you look at
the extreme nature of Endurance competition.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rides 2 Far []
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2001 6:38 PM
Subject: RC: Hunters/Jumpers (was FEI...)

> International/FEI endurance racing bears as much resemblance to AERC >
endurance riding as show hunters does to show jumpers. >

I don't understand your logic at all.  Why do you speak as if the FEI
riders aren't AERC people?  Does the fact that I did one FEI ride
suddenly nullify all my AERC miles and keep me from competing in my
weight division for year end awards? Practically every change that was
supposedly added by FEI at this ride was something I had been asked to do
at an AERC ride of this size before. >>

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