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  • - Roxi Anderson
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  • - heidi sowards

    [RC] Completion rate of Masters Series - Rides 2 Far

    > Only when you throw in racing speeds as you are seeing in the >Masters
    format where you only need the horse for one race. Speed is the  killer -
     the track has a lot to do with how it kills.
    I learned a long time ago, I *can* train my horse to be faster than he is
    right now, but he'll usually be lame before we get to go to the race to
    "win". :-P  There's a very fine line that you cannot pass and I learned
    that for me, it's best to stay a ways back from it to be sure I don't
    accidentally cross over.  The way the Masters Series is set up, there's
    really no penalty for overshooting that line, so long as you have another
    horse in the wings.  I've used the analogy before that winning a race is
    sort of like seeing who can race to the edge of a bluff and get there
    first.  If you're not the cautious type, you'll beat the cautious types
    every time...until you go flying off the edge.  
    There are some good horses being run too hard and retiring too soon these
    days...and don't pay any attention to the wonderful write-ups about what
    a great job the rider did.  It's not unusual for a horse to get his
    completion at one of these big rides...and then you don't see him any
    more. I think they've intentionally set up their system to favor the
    rider who has a string of horses, usually on more than one continent.  
    I feel for our team taking their good horses that they've put years into
    to the WEG.  They don't want to let down their country, but they don't
    want to hurt their horses either.  (I've not heard anything good about
    the course in Spain.)  As far as I'm concerned, if they ride their horses
    to the best of their ability within safe parameters, I'll be more proud
    of them for taking care of their horses than if they were to bring home a
    gold and have to retire their horse.  Who knows, they may get the gold by
    easing up to the edge of the bluff that has a pile of riders at the base
    who overshot.
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