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Qualifications for Nationals/How about 500 LIFETIME MILES

Ridecamp readers:

I have just spent the last three hours
reading/responding to everyones emails on Ridecamp.  I
understand that the "Experienced" Endurance riders are
very concerned that:

1.  Nationals be a Meaningful Event-Competing with   
other quality, qualified, long standing riders.
2.  Want to ride against people with credentials
3.  Want to protect the horse from New Peoples
possible mistakes.
4.  I am sure some of you could add more, but this was
the general argument.

Newer riders, some high mile riders and it seems the
NC Kentucky people want.
1.  To have the opportunity to qualify in a reasonable
amount of time.  
2.  To encourage as many riders as possible to attend
the event.
3.  Want to use this event to inspire people to go
higher distance riding and more events.
4.  Want to encourage and welcome newer AERC members
to this event.  To help broaden the field.  (Which
they did, I commend everyone apart of the 2001 NC
ride.  Both the Summer Breeze pre-ride and the NC,
these people were WONDERFUL, HELPFUL and made you feel
proud to be a part of AERC).
5.  I am sure Connie Caudill could write a lot more
here on what the NC 2002 people want to see happen,
but I can not speak for her.

It seems a solution would be to make a mandatory 500
LIFETIME mile (any distance) minimum to go to
Nationals, instead of horse/rider combo.  Make the
horse/rider 250 mile minimum...including LD rides.

If you look at the statistics provided in earlier
emails we would only loose about 20% of the entry's
from this rule change...vs 40+% with 500 horse/rider
miles.  Plus, some of those 20% might have gone to an
extra race to make it.  It was still within reach.
I also think Juniors only need 250 Lifetime and 200 or
250 endurance miles including LD (because they are
with an adult at all times, and they are only under 16
for a short amount of time, we wouldn't have enough
Juniors at the event the other way around).

However, I believe it is too late to change these
rules this year, as the ride season begun Aug 15th. 
We need to vote in changes for the 2003 ride year.

I do not like to put something out without a solution,
so this is what I see as the best compromise.  But I
am always happy to hear your opinion.

Tami Lange


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