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    [RC] Fw: What Constitutes a Start & Electronic Communication - Randy H Eiland

    I am sending this again because it seemed to be out of sync on the last ridecamp.
    ----- Forwarded Message -----
    From: Randy H Eiland <renegade12@xxxxxxxx>
    Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 16:31:00 -0600
    Subject: What Constitutes a Start & Electronic Communication
    The current discussion on ridecamp is very timely.  AERC Rules Committee has a monthly article in Endurance News and the August EN article is on Rule 6.  The following excerpts from the Rules Committee Article in the August issue explains the Rules Committee interpretation of 6a and 6k.  Rules Committee considers anyone who is physically present and seen or heard at the designated start of the rid as an "entrant".  Rule 6k was hotly debated within Rules Committee and we could not reach a majority agreement, yet.  We have had occasions in the past where a crew with radio contact to the rider, went out on trail and relayed information to the rider on the location of competition in front and behind the rider..as well as other logistical information the rider could not know without the assistance of the crew who was traversing the trails on a dirt bike (motorcycle).  This type of communication is probably a violation of rules, but is definitely a violation of "fair play".  Real Life Examples such as the previous one is why Rules Committee has not yet reached a majority decision on variations of 6k. 
    Basically, endurance is an "honor system" sport...if someone wants to violate fair play, or even outright cheat, it is very likely the can succeed at getting away with it.  We have to assume that AERC members don't intentionally cheat...however, it is probably in the best interest of the competitors to not even give the appearance of cheating.
    Randy Eiland - Chairman of Rules Committee
    Rule 6. Completion requires meeting all of the following criteria:
    a. All riders and mounts must be present and accounted for at the start of
    the ride.
    **The entrant must be physically present and seen or heard at the start of the
    ride. That does not mean the entrant is required to actually start with the
    rest of the field. It is not a violation to wait for a reasonable amount of
    time before starting on the course...but remember, you only have a defined
    amount of time to complete the course and that time starts when ride
    management officially starts the ride.**
    k. Not having been paced or prompted by an un-entered, withdrawn, or
    otherwise unauthorized equine, vehicle, or a person other than another
    entrant. This does not preclude the ordinary support services of attendants
    or pit crews. A crew may accompany their rider down a public road in a
    support vehicle (unless there is a ride management prohibition against it)
    provided they do not push or haze the equine.
    **This criteria is in a gray area - could a "drag rider" be construed as a
    "pace or prompt"? If they are authorized by ride management to be on the
    trail, then they are not in violation of this criteria.  Is radio or cell phone use between
    a rider and the crew 'prompting"?  Please note that this is an area that is
    still being debated by your Rules Committee.   Until the Rules Committee
    reaches a majority decision, it is probably best to limit electronic
    communication during the ride to personal interests such as alerting your crew that
    you are at certain locations;  are approaching the Vet Check;  and/or emergency communication
    such as alerting your crew or management of rider injuries, loose equine, etc.
    If there is any question as to authorization or use, then check with ride management.  The best barometer
    to use is, "if it seems to be fair, then it probably is - if it seems to give you an unfair
    advantage, then it may be a violation".**