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National Qualifications

I was just going through some of the emails posted at
ridecamp and found two responses which once again
points to the assumption that the reason the pull rate
was high at Nationals was from New riders.  The top 20
pulls had the most experience of the entire race!
Please see the below data.  Thank you, Tami
One person wrote:
Hmmm...perhaps the completion rate has something to do
with the
experience of the riders who competed.  I don't think
there were a LOT
of metabolic PULLS, but I suspect a lot of the
lameness may have been
due to "tired" horses negotiating difficult terrain. I
have no stats on
this, but I bet when the trail is challenging, the
weather is marginal,
and rider/horse experience is low, this kind of thing
especially if the rider lets the desire to do well
override good
judgement regarding their horse. The more miles a
rider has on a
SPECIFIC horse over a wide variety of trails and
conditions, the better
the rider knows the horse's capabilities, and the more
likely they are
to do well.  Some horses do well on a flat track, but
have difficulty on
steep terrain and difficult footing. In some cases,
this may be due to
the fact that they don't train for this environment.
(Rocks, mud, sand,
etc) I know riders in the SE who will not attend
difficult rides.  
I appreciate the responses I have received in regards
to the possible rule change of horse/rider team
needing 500 miles to qualify for Nationals.

In my letter I provided the following list of the top
20 riders lifetime and horse/rider team miles.
 Please review the following information.  Of the top
> 20 placers on the 50 at Nationals, only half would
> have been at the race under the new rule change. 
> (six riders had UNDER 500 LIFETIME miles), the>
second category is HORSE/RIDER COMBINATION.  >
Placings- Rider Lifetime
#1 	3265			750>
#2	380			275>
#3	375			300
#4	3585			500+
#5	525			475>
#6	555			405>
#7    15430			425>
#8     2990			500+
#9	500			500>
#10    5980			500+>
#11	375			285>
#12    1775 			500+>
#13    2885			500+
#14	810			500+>
#15    1225			500+>
#16	300			300>
#17	335			255>
#18    1625			325
#19    1680			500+>
#20	300			300

I have had 10 personal emails sent to my address (I am
not sure if they posted them on Ridecamp or not).  Six
for the rules to stay the same for the reasons I had
listed and 4 felt strongly that they needed to be
harder.  One stated "what was the point of going to
Nationals if it didn't mean anything riding with these
beginners."  Another person implied that new people
didn't know how to ride and just "BURNED UP THEIR
HORSES QUICKLY" (this seems to be a common theme in
the Endurance News also).  Well I want to share the
following statistics with all of you.

THE TOP 20 LAME/METABOLIC PULLS: (All rider had over
500 LIFETIME miles and only three had under 500
horse/rider TEAM miles).
Pulled  Reason   Lifetime miles  Horse/rider miles
#1      L        5025            500+
#2      M        5245            500+
#3      L        2880            500+
#4      M        3165            500+
#5      L        3795            500+
#6      L        7380            500+
#7      L        5690            500+
#8      L        2360            500+
#9      L        3080            500+
#10     L        2370            500+
#11     M        925             500+
#12     M        4000            500+
#13     L        2600            300+
#14     L        9515            500+
#15     M        1515            500+
#16     M       10230            500+
#17     M        2850            500+
#18     M        1900            500+
#19     L        2265            335
#20     L         755            400

Total LIFETIME miles for those pulled 65,769.  Total
LIFETIME miles for the top 20 riders  42,395.  Jan
Worthington really racked up these miles or they would
have been a lot less per rider, she has over 15,000
miles and won 7th place.  (Just fyi 12 of the top 20
finishers had under 1,500 LIFETIME miles, whereas
only three of the PULLED FOR MET/LAME had under 1,500

I will let you look at the numbers and get your own
take on what they mean.  All I am trying to say is
that based on the emails and the overall feeling I get
from AERC I fully expected to see less qualified
riders pulled and the more qualified riders stay in
the game.  Instead the most qualified (based on miles
and rides) were much more likely to be pulled.

(I would like to add here that some people think that
these riders knew to PULL THEMSELVES from the race and
that is why they were pulled at a higher rate.  I am
checking with a ride vet.  But based on what my crew
and I saw, the horses were really LAME and would have
been pulled anyway and the Met problems PULLED THE
RIDER, not RIDER OPTION-If any of your reading this
was a ride vet at the race I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE

What do you think?  Tami Lange


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