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Re: RC: national championship/qualifications

At 04:06 PM 2/6/02 -0800, wrote:
>Duane barnett
>It is funny how some of the "westerners" think that the ride in KY last
>year was a joke(an easy trail and easy competition)I challenge any of you
>who think that you can handle it to just show up and try. I seriously
>believe that regardless of the qualifications most "westerners" will not

The point about the qualifications has nothing to do about the trail.  I 
know everybody knows that _I_ wouldn't possibly consider hauling my horses 
a long way and doing something considered hard.  :-P  Comments like the 
above totally turn us 'westerners' off.  Does it really matter where the 
riders come from?  The argument is kind of old. I doubt that many 
"easterners" will show up when the ride is held in the west either.

I'm just really thankful that nothing like this was in place back when I 
was starting Rocky.  How quickly he would have been ruined if I had been 
trying to top five in the featherweight division in the West region before 
he had 200 miles.  He would have remained a complete idiot.  Do you want to 
know what is really kewl?  Having the same horse, who would have been 
wrecked by racing or trying to top ten on back when he only had a few rides 
under his belt - win a ride and get best condition after he has 4500 
miles.  I wonder how many of the new riders who are starting out by 
'racing' their horses (regardless of wherever they came from) are going to 
have their horses last that long.  Probably not many, since at least one of 
the previous NC winners have not been able to complete a ride since.

When I look at the stats, I see that only 35% of the riders in the 100 
completed, with a winning ride time of just under 10 hours.  Why was the 
completion rate so low.  I don't get it.  The completion rate at Tevis is 
higher, and anybody can enter it.  I feel that we are failing somewhere if 
we cannot produce enough riders to do a National Championship ride and have 
them achieve a higher level of completion.  If the ride is won in 10 hours, 
riders should be able to go much slower and complete without there being so 
many pulls.  Is racing more important than finishing?  If the trail is so 
difficult that it trashes horses, why would I haul 2000+ miles to do 
it?  In the 50 miler only 65% of the riders finished, and boy look at all 
the metabolic pulls -- now *why* would anybody think that this would be 
attractive to a rider from a great distance away?  I haven't seen that many 
metabolic problems combined in the last 60 or 70 rides that I've done.

btw, (Maggie?), I'm not going to the ROC this year.  Both horses are 
qualified, but the $400 entry is a bit steep to do just a regular old 100 
that anybody can enter, and $800 just so I can have a junior ride one of 
them makes it totally unrealistic.  There is always next year.  I'm glad 
the ROC is back, I think it will help increase attendance in 100 mile 
rides.  I also think that if the AERC did things right they could encourage 
the membership to ride more, if there was a goal of attending something 
that was viewed as prestigious and important an event as the ROC is.

West Region
& Rocky, 4,770 miles
& Weaver, 4,970 miles

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