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RD Article

Donna Snyder-Smith
First, I agree with those of you who said, basically, hey, why not spotlight other stallions in EN, "good idea," it also happens to be a suggestion I made to Randy Eiland several months ago when he put the owner of RD in touch with me to see if I would write an article about the horse.  The general response to my suggestion was that it was a fine idea, did I want to be the one of "volunteer" their time and writing skills to do all those articles?  Can you guess my answer? The flaw in this good idea, it seems, is finding someone willing to commit to writing quality article for free, about the various stallions which could and should be spotlighted.  The obvious answer would be for the various stallion owners to someone do an article about their stallion and then submit that to EN.  If enough did this, EN could offer it as a regular feature, (or at least every other month?) and it would give good stallions exposure and give readers info about the sport through the history of horses who have impacted it (I thought that was a good idea).
    As to a more personal note about the RD article.  Marci Cunningham is right.  The ad for the stallion was paid for by the stallion owner ($$$ in AERC's pocket) and I'm relatively sure the invitation to have the horse featured in EN was a gesture of appreciation by the president of AERC in return for the donated breeding as well as TWO horses (last year and again this year as I understand it) for the raffel.  I know I was paid by the OWNER of the stallion to write the article. I also flew to Reno (to look at a number of his get) and Washington (to look at the stallion).  While I absolutely agree with the posting about other endurance stallions who have outstanding performance records and more performing get (I personally purchased a double Bezetal grandson a year ago, off of a video tape, mostly because he was double Bezetal bred), I think the way to serve the membership is to expand on information.  some of these other stallions are well known (and deserve to be). In the case of RD, here is an outstanding athlete who has proven his performance ability and his prepotency as a successful sire through his racing get, but through a series of  circumstances was never promoted to any great degree.  
     I am always reluntant to express my opinion on something as personal as someone's horse, even when it's requested.  The horse might can be a dog, but if the owner loves it and it gets the job done for them, it is the best horse in the world, for that purpose or person.  However, if someone asks my opinion about a horse and dosn't attach a specific job to that opinion (like, in my experience, do I think this horse would make a great jumper, dressage horse, endurance horse, or whatever), I hate to do it, because I'm not at all gifted in the art of polite or manipulative lying, so if I don't like the horse standing in front of me, or only find it OK or good, or whatever, I'm stuck with having to say so if I open my mouth at all!  The other factor which weights in as part of my opinion is my scale of comparison.  A horse can be judged of value on a number of its merits, but a superior equine athlete has certain conformational aspects (biomechanics) which manifest (prove themselves) in a certain quality of movement (which I and other equine professional I know, look for and value highly). If those are not present, I personally can't call the horse superior, since I've seen a few of that calibar (not all the same breed) over the forty plus years I've spent in the horse world.  What I was delighted to find (and say) when I went to examine RD is that he does fall into that superior athlete catagory.  I don't if he is a better choice than any of the other outstanding stallions which were mentioned in posts which addressed his article, but what I do know is this, many mare owners involve themselves with studies of bloodlines.  One blood line (or more) may make a "nick" with another.  If you have a large pool of bloodlines through a variety of stallions of superior quality to choose from when making a decision about whom you wish to breed your favorite mare to, you are better off.  What you select, what you prize, how you make your decisions, is up to you, the mare owner/endurance rider, and it delights me no end to be
report that the stallion RD Five Star has all the aspects of a super star and is worth your time and investigation.  From that point, its up to you!  
     Thanks for the on-line ear!  DSS  

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