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Re: RC: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Charges only pertain to AERC members

In a message dated Thu, 2 Aug 2001  1:05:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, "Barbara McCrary" <> writes:

> How does ANYONE prove a horse was ridden to death?  

It is sometimes difficult to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a horse was actually "ridden to death."  One simply has to look at a preponderance of evidence.  In the case you cited, clearly there was a specific cause of death, and it was not due to overriding.  

As I've alluded to in earlier posts, I had recalled three horses that I knew of that had died of overriding and have since recalled a fourth, as well as the one horse that was euthanized due to a fracture that occurred when the rider was playing cat and mouse games with searchers.  (BTW--not one of the overridden horses I've dealt with died on-site--all died either at home the next day or in hospitalization settings in the next few days.)  Of those cases, the family with the fracture case and the rider of one of acute cases of overriding have never darkened the doors of our sport since.  The second case of overriding that was acute happened due to ignorance on the part of a novice rider--she had the makings of a good rider, but was so scared by the incident that to my knowledge, she has done only one LD ride in the 15 or so years since the problem occurred.  The third acute case happened to an "experienced" rider who simply had not kept up with current knowledge, and who was s!
o mortified by what happened tha
t she took a year or two off from the sport.  She is back now and has a VERY clean record of taking care of her horses--she's one of the most conscientious riders I know.  (BTW--the last two cases occurred at the same ride, at which I was a rider rather than vetting, and IMO neither death would have occurred with proper criteria and vetting--it was hot and humid, and despite serious pre-ride concerns expressed by riders, the ride was run with a 68 pulse, which both horses barely met, and the novice rider actually expressed concerns about her horse's failure to eat at the last check and was told she was being cowardly and that it was of no concern.)  The fourth case of death due to overriding was a chronic overconditioning case--and that rider is still in the sport and still flirting with the ragged edge.  There are some people that simply don't change.  Actually, ALL of these deaths occurred several years ago, and likely would not have occurred today with better vetting practi!
ces and better knowledge on the 
part of most riders.  

I do think Linda makes a good point that on a one-day 50, one vet check is NOT ENOUGH.  If there is one thing that might be changed about NASTR to prevent such occurrences in the future, the addition of at least one more vet check at an appropriate interval on the trail would be a good suggestion.

Beyond plugging all the holes that we can, however, it is literally impossible to legislate or pass rules to prevent the truly off-the-wall individual from behaving in a stupid or irresponsible manner.  We're doing better all the time at the former, but no one will ever conquer the latter.  The good thing is that either the sport weeds most of them out in the long run, or they mend their ways.


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