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Re: RC: Nat'l Champ qualifications and such

At 08:13 AM 02/07/2002 -0500, odd farm wrote:
 As far as completions, the Tevis was barely 41% ( 91 finishers out of 260+ or something like that) completion. So it wasn't much better than last years NC ride

You aren't comparing apples to apples.  Look at the winning times of the Tevis, and then the NC ride.  Maybe the problem at the NC was the trail was too fast and riders got carried away?  I was pointing out the completion rate at Tevis because anybody can enter it, it's a tough ride and yet more people completed it, with a 3 hour longer winning time.  I am not bringing up any of these points to knock anybody.  I simply want to know why.  I've done a lot of stats on the Tevis now and have a pretty broad understanding of how/why/what things work in some areas.  I've learned a lot of things.  Riders that do have a lot of miles don't necessarily know what they are doing anymore than somebody doing the Tevis as their first endurance ride.  While it might appear that you have a 50/50 or so chance of completing Tevis; since those are about the odds -- it doesn't really work out that way when you look at the individual rider stats.  There is a lot of chance or luck, as there are always riders or horses who don't finish that ride who have done say 3,000 miles without a pull.  It doesn't always make sense but the big picture shows that the riders who have experience and a good completion record really do have a much higher chance of making it thru the ride.  One year I figured the average mileage of each rider who finished in the top ten.  It was a considerable amount, either aerc or natrc miles.  Experience does count for something.

>. They had plenty vet checks and the vets were just as cautious there as any ride I have been to.

Since I've completed Tevis twice, I can say that I think that one of the problems is that there are too many vet checks.  They added another one this past year, and it didn't do anything to help completion rates go up.  In fact, they were lower in spite of really nice weather.  What the extra vet checks do is force the riders to have to ride faster between them.  At least, that is how it's worked when I've done the ride because I've ended up stuck at vet checks with no hold times in long lines.  So I have to make up that time on the trail. 

Ultimately, it is up to the rider.  No amount of veterinary criteria or vet checks will make a lot of difference if the riders aren't careful.  I think that most AERC riders ride with the goal of completing and more emphasis should be placed on that at the NC ride.  You know, make completing the NC ride something important, like how some people view having a Tevis buckle. 


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