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    [RC] Rule 6.KDisscusion Comm-GPS - Roger Rittenhouse

    FROM   Roger Rittenhouse     roger@xxxxxxxxxxx
    Again we have here the beginning of another gray - not so clear rules
    Why was rule 6.K developed?
    I am sure there will be someone (*guess who)  who will surely disagree
    with me , but here goes MY understanding of the alleged purpose of
    RULE 6.k.  (page 7)
    Way back in the old days riders had crews who would follow them down
    the road and crew 'real time' that is hand stuff to the rider - spray
    the horse with water while trotting. Crewing on the fly. The trucks
    would block other riders from passing and of course other crews.
    I attest to this from rides I was in and crewed at many years ago.
    The next issue was a rider had a buddy horse ridden by   another rider.
    The horse was out on trail someplace, fresh and ready to go. When the
    rider came on the buddy horse, they took off and paced together,
    pulling  the 'racing' horse along. We also have seen runners go out on
    trail with a rider/horse and sort of lead the horse along.
    So to stop this sort of unsportsmanlike activity which also served to
     present a safety issue  the subject rules were written.
    The 'waiver' was added to help the 100 milers at night when the trail
    was on an access road and dark, not marked. The crew truck could
    follow at a distance with lights on. This was before the light stick
    days. Most rides do not allow this anymore, a few do for those very
    late riders.
    Now NONE of this has anything to do with radio communications nor GPS
    usage. As with all our rules - RM and rider and etall  apply self
    interpretation. This is performed to make the rule fit the alleged problem.
    >From my perspective I see NO PROBLEM with the use of radios, cell phones
    or GPS.
    Now there will be a RM and 'officials' who will call in UNFAIR COMPETITIVE
    advantage, a very old worn-out poor excuse now days.  Hang all issues
    and preventions of something you dont like  on that lame excuse.
    The point of the HRM was clearly shown many years ago when it was
    considered they should not be allowed in competition.
    Every rider can get a radio, cell phone or GPS and use it.
    If a rider is going to CHEAT  you dont  really need those tools to do
    The PLUS side of the tools are all positive. You may not get lost (
    yes you can cut trail). Heck the best trail cutter in the SE never had
    one. Dont really need a GPS for that. A GPS lets you learn how to pace
    your horse both at home and at a ride. Why should it be some secret
    how many miles you went.?? Maps and written directions tell us the
    same thing as the GPS.
    I would like to see the 'rule' on making trail
    changed to PERMIT the use of these for SPECIAL rides. The method used
    in the XP . Heck it worked great. Of course it WAS and still is
    against the trail marking rules. Maybe it is time to change that one
    also. (6.D) ??  Rides where a GPS would be used to define the trail, that
    is all points are stored in a GPS and no actual trail markings are
    used, should be approved under Special Sanctioning (11.2) a change may
    be required.
    Radios and Cell phones. Theses are disallowed by many rides since it is
    assumed you will contract your crew when you are getting close, to
    pass information about your horse, report problems with your horse and
    tell your crew how the ride is going. Now what is so 'really bad'
    about all that? Is it not good to let your crew know how the ride is going.
    If you are RACING then it it alerts the crew you are coming. HEY ALL
    the RIDERS/RACERS CAN get a radio. It would appear to improve the
    safety and well being of the horse. As for letting those RACERS know
    where the competition is - well, we do that anyway by keeping time
    sheets on the other riders. That is GOOD crew members do that. A radio
    just improves the process. No real competitive advantage here just
    more efficient crewing.
    Heck, I wanted to wire up my helmets with VOX
    radios to talk with my wife when she and I both rode. The FRS radios
    we have today make that very easy.
    I dont think we need to define the
    use of communications in the rules nor should they be disallowed by
    a RM. It is not part of the 'rules' of a ride. It is a choice of the
    rider to use a tool. I fail to see how that is 'cheating'
    Like I have said many times, the object IS to obtain a competitive
    advantage within the rules of the ride.  Its not a level playing field
    for all. We only need to provide for the rules of play, how a ride is
    run, the vetting,completion criteria, horse welfare issues (drugs) etc.
    Why add more rules to make it more difficult?
    Just because YOU do not care for the use of assorted tools, does not
    make the  use wrong or unfair. You dont like the tool dont use.
    The only rule change required, if any, is to say the following support
    tools are permitted during a ride, HRM, communication devices, GPS
    and ???? dare I say it ? blood testing devices.
    The use of these tools can be and are for the good of the horse and
    rider. They can be useful form a safety persecutive as to provide
    actual horse health information.
    They are not a violation of the intent of RULE 6 nor RULE 13.
    Ok Bob have at it.
    Hey you think those radar guns would tell me how fast I am going?
    Roger Rittenhouse
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