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    Re: [RC] Start - Joe Long

    On Sat, 13 Jul 2002 03:41:08 -0600, "Annie George" <ageorge@xxxxxxx>
    >I think that we need to be very careful in all our zeal to keep 
    >everyone honest, ( honesty or manners  being something that 
    >we can not legislate anyhow) that we do not remove the 
    >discretion / decision making power, of the ride manager in 
    >these things. ...
    First, "honesty" is what most legislation does try to enforce.
    RM's must have discretion in many matters, and I oppose attacking
    every problem with a new rule ... I hope we don't need to add a
    definition of a "start" to our rulebook over this, although it appears
    it may come to that.  But that discretion cannot be absolute, not in a
    sport with multiple ride managers, season-length awards, permanent
    records, and a santioning organization.  A guy organizing a Saturday
    backyard  trail ride can have that, an endurance ride manager
    sanctioning with AERC cannot.
    The issue here is that this much of "starting" a ride is clear-cut and
    unambigous:  if you leave the assembly area and proceed down the
    trail, ANY DISTANCE AT ALL, you have started the ride.  Even if you
    headed out unsure of yourself or your horse and thinking that you
    would evaluate and probably pull, you have started the ride.  You have
    the option to walk, trot and canter around *before* starting to check
    your body and your horse; if you need more than that, you make a
    simple decision:  do not start, or start knowing you may pull early.
    The problem I have is with fudging this, letting people start then
    change their mind after starting, and claiming that they didn't start
    after all.  IMO that just isn't right.  More, it isn't fair to the
    people (ride managers and riders) who do it right.
    I know that the "Duck" like to do things his own way, and I believe he
    had good intentions in this case.  But IMO it was still wrong, and the
    AERC must take appropriate steps to prevent it in the future.
    Joe Long
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    [RC] Start, Annie George