----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Garlinghouse
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2001 7:08 PM
To: Howard Bramhall; Sandy Bolinger; email@example.com
Subject: RC: Re: Re: finish criteria.
continue. It seems like such an obvious rule in need of change....I can't think of anything negative that would result in this rule change...only positive results as far as our horses are concerned...without compromising, in anyway, the sport itself.
I'm glad the rule is the way it is. After the finish of the ride, there's really no reason to "hurry" and hang out by the vet check/crew area, which most riders do, because of the 30 minute rule. The only ones who have to do this at the completion are the top ten riders who want to participate in the BC part of endurance.
Well, this is JMO, but I agree with Sandy, strictly from a physiological point of view. Yes, it is a pain in the butt to have to hang around waiting for a horse to reach criteria...but if the horse is fit and has been managed well, it shouldn't take more than a few minutes for that to occur. No way should it take 30 minutes and it should NEVER take anything close to 60. I assume we're not talking about hanging around for a complete vet check, that could still happen at 60 minutes---we're just talking about reaching P&R as at any check. Shouldn't be a big deal for the fit horses to hang around for three minutes and then be on their way back to eat and relax---those guys aren't being inconvenienced, only the hanging HRs are, *as they should be*. Speaking only for myself, I get worried if my horse isn't at criteria within five minutes, and I'm getting pretty paranoid if he isn't there by ten (though I can't think when that's ever happened, but I'm not a top runner, either). I think requiring a horse to recover within 30 minutes is PLENTY of leeway---IMO, a horse that needs a full hour to reach criteria shouldn't be allowed a completion, as metabolically, that horse is *not* "fit to continue".
But we are talking about a complete vet check. That's what you need for a completion. What is the point of going thru the P & Rs and not finish with the completion check? Would you have them go back twice to get a completion; once within 30 minutes for P&R's and then again for the vet check within 60 minutes? None of this is conducive to shorter vet lines and I don't see the point.
In a 50 mile event the horse has already proven it's metabolically fit to finish a ride or at least 3/4's of the ride. Why make this such an issue at the completion when (and I thought I learned this from you, Susan) it's much more important the horse rests, eats and drinks. I've been to too many crowded rides where it's so chaotic at the crewing areas I would like the time to get my horse away from 100 other strange horses so they can relax more than they will in that environment. Sometimes, I can't do this at all because I'm camped too far away, so I'm stuck at the crewing areas. At least at the finish I don't have to go there; I can go to the campsite for awhile and not have to worry so much about that 30 minute time limit for P & R.
There are more and more rides I attend where I'm seeing over 200 riders. The crewing areas are packed. The vet lines are long. The only way to get your horse time to relax and rest is to go beyond your out time. Completions get a low priority in the vet lines which can only add to your time standing in line, waiting to get that completion. Why add to that? Of course check the horse's heart rate and respiration yourself; if he's not down in 15 minutes or so you might have a problem. I'm not disputing any of that. But I think anything that can be done to break up the mess at the vet checks and crewing areas is a plus and I think that 60 minutes for completions (again, a low priority with the vets when they have other riders still riding in line) helps lessen the length of the lines.