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    [RC] [Guest] AERC Rewards - Ridecamp Moderator

    K S SWIGART katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Laney Humphrey said:

    > My friends and I hope very much that AERC can continue to include
    > both kinds of riders and hopefully broaden  its reward emphasis from
    > exclusively on "racing" to include those whose focus is on longevity.

    I am unsure as to why anybody might think that the AERC has an emphasis
    exclusively on "racing."  In fact, if you look at the year-end awards
    especially on the national level, the horse/rider teams that are
    winning the awards are those that are completing upwards of 1000
    miles a year together (and some as much as 2000 miles a year).

    And the awards that are accessible to all AERC members are the lifetime
    mileage awards and the 1000 mile horse program.  Neither of these
    awards take ANY consideration of the order of finish.

    Other than the recently instituted "National Championship" ride,
    to my knowledge, no AERC award has ever been bestowed upon a horse
    for winning one particular "race."

    The current AERC awards program (pretty much all aspects of it) is
    focused substantially upon keeping the same horse going and going
    and going and going.

    People who cross the finish line first at one particular ride may
    take home a blanket or a bucket from the ride, but if they want to
    get anything from the AERC, they have to do this over and over again
    on the same horse (except for the family and Husband and wife awards).
    And if you read the yearbook excerpts from the people who win these
    awards they almost invariably talk about the great partnership and
    companionship they have gotten from the many miles they have spent
    on the trail together.

    It would appear that one of the AERC's problems is not in the awards
    that it presents, but in the mistaken impression that some riders
    have that the only relevant competition is the race of the day.
    Whereas, in reality, in the pursuit of AERC awards (both annual and
    lifetime), the outcome of any one particular ride is virtually

    Perhaps what the AERC needs to do is educate its members and the
    public at large??? so that they understand this better.  The AERC
    ALREADY rewards mostly people who complete many miles over and
    over again on the same horse.

    Orange County, Calif.

    p.s.  It is for this reason that I am opposed to the AERC bestowing
    the title of National Champion on a horse/rider team based upon
    the outcome of a single ride.  I am not, however, opposed in any
    way to the WSTF bestowing the Tevis Cup on the first horse to
    cross the finish line there.  Nor am I apposed to any other ride
    manager choosing to give out awards to anybody they so desire (some
    rides give out a turtle award to the LAST horse to cross the finish
    line).  The only award the AERC requires is a completion award, and
    that is as it should be.  Ride managers can give out whatever other
    awards they like to whoever they please.

    p.p.s.  I am also aware that AERC points (upon which many of the
    annual awards are bestowed) are a function of order of finish;
    however, even to win a regional award, a horse and rider have to
    win more than one or two rides to even get into the year-end

    That said, I DO have an idea of a different method for awarding
    "bonus points" with respect to completion time that takes some
    of the emphasis off of specific order of finish and emphasizes
    speed a little bit less than the current system.

    If anybody is interested, I can tell you what it is, suffice it
    to say that it is based upon the way that points were calculated
    for determining team awards and year-end awards back in my ski
    racing for days.  ANd it doesn't require anybody to subjectively
    determine in advance the degree of difficulty of the course (which
    is one of the biggest drawbacks I see to Matthew MacKay-Smith's
    proposed idea).

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