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    RE: [RC] Giza Ride long and cynical - Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

    Title: Message
    It would be interesting to know how long ago it was that you were able to find a fine arab to ride in the desert behind the Giza village, Nazlit el Semman.  With tourism having been in turmoil, many of the horses there are far from fine, and the government, for reasons best understood by some wizened bureaucrat who has his desk in the cupboard under the stairs in the basement behind the "Beware of the Tiger" sign, the entire desert area from the Sphinx to a point a few km further towards Sakkara has been sealed off with a 2 metre high concrete wall.  Riders from the pyramids stables now have to go through some interesting gymnastics to get to the desert, and when they do get there they will find miles of high tension wire bringing electricity from somewhere to somewhere and the remnants of the construction of the Cairo Ring Road which was blocked by pressure from the Department of Antiquities and UNESCO some years ago.  Don't get me wrong. As I've said many times before, I love Egypt, it is my home.....but the desert around the pyramids truly is not beautiful. It is, however, fairly flat and fast....and these seem to be the most important attributes when these extravaganzas are organised.
    We've had invitational jumping here, and I've attended it. It was very nice, but jumping is pretty straightforward. This will be our third extravaganza and they are neither arranged by Egyptian horsemen, nor are they for Egyptian horsemen.  Egyptian riders in this context merely provide local colour for the organizers/winners of the event. Hopefully at least one of the riders who has been informed of this ahead of time had some time to really condition his/her horse....but the odds aren't great. We have only had something that passes for endurance for three years. Considering that every horse in Egypt was dead green to endurance three years ago, and most of the promising ones have slid off onto the injury list during those three years (usually due to tendon problems in our deep sand), there likely will be no seasoned compaigners from the Egyptian side. Those riders who are serious about spending 3 to 5 yrs bringing along a horse for competion wouldn't be caught dead in one of these hell-for-leather 22 km/hr barnburners....not at this stage.  I don't like to be pessimistic, but this event is not designed to make Egyptians look good.  It is paid for, from start to finish, by our esteemed guests, and experience has showed that they don't give a rat's a** about how anyone looks but them. This event shouldn't generate any negative PR for Egypt....it has nothing to do with Egypt.

    Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
    Cairo, Egypt

    -----Original Message-----
    From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of ATDEES@xxxxxxx
    Sent: October 24, 2002 1:57 AM
    To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: [RC] Giza Ride

    As someone who has ridden a fine arab in the desert behind the Giza village, I await further news of this exciting event. If it is anything like the Jumping event at the Mena House of several years ago ( where the American USET women cleaned up), the level of competition will be interesting. I only hope this will not create negative PR for Egypt which really doesnt need any more. I wish I were there.
    Alex Dees

    [RC] Giza Ride, ATDEES