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Re: RC: Horse Dying at Endurance Ride
Several years ago I saw something I never want to see again. I was a ride. I was
riding and my wife was crewing for me and taking P&R's and helping the vet when
I wasn't in. It was a small ride and it was particularly muggy that morning.
Three of us were in the front. There was rider X, rider Y and myself. Rider X
had a very well conditioned horse very capable of doing that ride in 3:30 to 4
hours. In fact he had done that ride and other rides of similar type in that
time on his horse before. It was rider Y's first ride and her horse was off the
track with not a lot of endurance training. She made the comment to anyone that
would listen she was going to win - that was why she was there.
I backed off about 10 miles out because it was too muggy for me to feel safe at
that pace. At the first check, rider X's horse came right down and it took
rider Y's horse about 10 minutes more. So rider X went out and thought he had
lost her and she would slow down. Rider Y took off like a bat out of you know
where and caught rider X! Rider X, who is a vet, told her that her horse really
didn't look that good and it took him a long time to come down so she should
think about slowing down. She told him she was out to win the race and that he
was trying to psych her out and took off. When they came in at 25 miles, the
horse needed to slow down and the vet told her he would let her go on if she
promised to slow down, which she did. Rider X waited for her this time since he
didn't want her running hell bent to catch him. But she insised on keeping even
though rider X was trying to get her to back off. She told him that if she
didn't have his horse to keep her's going, she was afarid I would catch her and
she would finsish third.
At the third check the hosrse collasped and she handed the reins to someone else
and walked away. When I came in about 15 or 20 minutes later they were holding
the horse up and IV's in it. The vets tired all nignt long but the horse died
This was the woman's first and to my knowledge her last ride. I don't know what
she was trying to prove, but she clearly didn't understand how to train and
compete in endurance. She also had little attachment to the horse since when it
went down, she was tired and didn't want to be bothered. The vets felt worse
than anyone else. But as they told me later, the horse was within parameters,
even though it was tired, so they couldn't really justify pulling it under the
rules. They also thought that if she had taken a bit longer at the check or at
least had slowed down, the horse would have recovered and been okay. The
interesting point this was in the days before the CRI was widely used. One
wonders if the CRI would have given them the ammunition to pull the horse?
This is the type of thing I hope to never see again. It did have a big impact on
me and all the other riders there as we took turns helping hold this poor horse
up while the vets worked to save it's life.
"Corbelletta, Antonio" wrote:
> I just can't believe that: 1. someone do this to a horse(I guess I should
> not be surprised) and 2. that the ride vets did not see this coming? I
> mean, come on, the objective criteria looked good and the horse just died?
> I think that someone messed up big time and I mean not just the idiots that
> were competing.
> Maybe all the facts are not in. But it seems to me that it is time that the
> endurance community take a stricter approach with these types of folks. If
> we don't prevent this, I am sure that the animal rights people will be more
> than willing to put a stop to it. I don't think that any of us will like
> that solution.
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