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Re: 500 MILES

The name of this sport is "endurance."  To be able to keep a horse sound and able to compete for an entire season takes a great deal of skill and is the ultimate in endurance--the stuff of which true champions of the sport are made.  The horses who were ridden by the champions of the past in many cases went on to be our high mileage horses, staying sound year after year, and often competing well into their teens--and that, IMO, is the real test as to whether this sort of approach to championships was "good for horses" or not.  Can all horses compete at this level?  No--only the ones that really deserve to be called "endurance champions."  And it seems like those who do the long seasons tend to last much longer than those who win a few prestigious rides.  That doesn't mean that winning in and of itself is to blame--many of our highest-mileage horses also have some of the top win records.  But that is what this sport is ultimately about--not just to win a ride, but to able to keep doing it.
To say that 1000-mile seasons are "not a good idea" reminds me of the old Aesop's fable--when the fox tries and tries to reach the grapes on the high vine, and he can't, he goes off in disgruntlement and says, "Oh, well--those grapes were sour anyway."
As a ride vet, I'll take a dozen riders who have to keep their horses sound to run again next weekend over one who "has to" win today.
----- Original Message -----
From: odd farm
Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2002 10:34 AM
Subject: RC: 500 MILES

I don't know what the qualifying distance should be but I don't think 1,000 miles a season is such a smart thing.

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