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RE: RE: Duel Sanctioning
In Europe and the Arabic countries endurance is a sport of the
upper level of the population, the not so common man. You will only find
fanfares for the elite and royalty.
I'd have to take issue with you here. I can't speak for the Gulf except to
say that most of the riders we've seen in Cairo are pretty much upper class.
But our rides locally are a wonderful mish-mash of basically illiterate
riders all the way to the very wealthy....except very wealthy here doesn't
even approach the scale of the UAE. The difference is that most riders in
the US, in Egypt, and probably in Europe, Africa, and Australia, don't have
stables of horses available to them. Egyptian riders might have one or two
possibilities each and they are very much novice horses at this stage. We in
the local endurance riding group have a rule against someone riding a horse
that they are otherwise paid to train, care for, or ride. This is to keep it
democratic and keep the wealthier breeders or stable owners from flooding
rides with horses ridden basically by jockeys. It took months of thought to
find a wording that could keep paid trainers from riding while allowing
someone to loan a horse to a friend. Hired help in Egypt is cheap and
people need work, so we have grooms for our horses...but we'd like to keep
endurance as an owner/rider type of sport....ie, amateur. With the higher
costs of horsekeeping in the US and Europe, we would be more likely to say
that riders are more the elite there. My most expensive horse cost me about
$1750 and I pay about $125/month each for box, turnout, board, bedding,
grooms, 24 hour a day care and riding when I can't make it...so I can afford
5 horses between the ages of 2 1/2 and 26 years. Under our rules one of the
fellahin could come in and ride his horse in a ride...no royalty there.
Don't judge the rest of the Arab world by the Gulf. Some of the Syrian
riders at our last ride were essentially Shammar tribesmen...these are the
guys that people have been buying desert bred Arab horses from for
Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
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