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    [RC] Thoughts - Marinera

    Hi Tom,
     In answer to your question as to why I am not in favor of weight divisions, 
    I believe we each go to a ride with our individual assets and liabilities.  
    Endurance riding is not a fair sport where we all start out as equals. 
     Is it fair to pit a heavyweight against a lightweight?  No. 
     Is it fair to pit the one horse owner on a very limited income against the 
    multi-horse owner with money to spare? No. 
     Is it fair to pit my body against the 20 somethings?  No. 
     Is it fair to require a certain weight to be carried according to weight 
    divisions, but let the real athletes get off and run for miles leaving the 
    horse with only the saddle on his back? No.
      Is it fair to let veterinarians with their far vaster knowledge of what 
    makes the horse tick compete against layman?  No. 
     Is it fair that horses on a new trail compete against those that live at the 
    end of the trail? No.
     So we have a totally unfair sport. We try to correct one facet with weight 
    divisions and totally ignore all the others that I consider are equally 
    important in deciding the results of a ride. We don’t enter this sport as 
    equals, we do not come out of it as equals.  The only fair thing we share is 
    the trail which is the same for each entrant.  However, I have accepted 
    weight divisions because that is what the majority wants. It is not a big 
    issue with me.
     The plus I do see for weight divisions is that it broadens the number of 
    goals for which people can strive. It offers something of importance to more 
    individuals and makes more people happy which is something we all seek. But 
    if my life depended on it, literally, I could not tell you the name of a 
    single 2001 National Champion is. And that is a shame.  They each worked hard 
    and earned their titles, but to me a national champion is one person— one 
    person who rose above all others for whatever reason.  And I agree with you 
    that this year that one person is Jan Worthington.  I don’t care how much she 
    weighed or didn't weigh. She entered the ride with her own personal strengths 
    and weaknesses as each one of us does whenever we enter a ride. She was the 
    first across the finish line with a horse fit to continue. That is the 
    National Champion to me.
    Thanks for hearing me out.  
    Julie Suhr
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