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Re: [QSEndurance] RE: Fwd: physiology of weight

There are some of us who have been involved with endurance riding for
several decades, and we used to see Pat Fitzgerald win on 14.3 hand horses
back in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  I personally can't remember when
Pat retired from the sport, but I know he won difficult races on small
horses, and Pat probably stood well over 6 feet and would have been a HVWT
rider.  I have often felt that if HVWT riders wanted to be able to compete
strongly against lighter riders, they should just choose horses that can
carry their weight.  Look at Earl Baxter, Jerry Fruth, and I don't know who
all else, who choose horses that can carry their weight, and they do VERY
well in the sport.  I think all these weight divisions are confusing and
unnecessary, but my husband doesn't agree with me and I know a lot of others
don't either, so just say it's my personal opinion.

Barbara McCrary

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Sofen" <>
To: <>; <>;
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 3:11 PM
Subject: [QSEndurance] RE: Fwd: physiology of weight

> I have to simply smile at all of this.
> Remember the old chicken and egg story - are fewer heavy weights "winning"
> events because their horses can't handle it or is it because fewer
> heavyweights enter the events or even try for a top ten?  Are heavyweight
> riders selecting "appropriately sized" mounts or going with a good looking
> but underbuilt horse?  Are the "overwhelming majority of events being won
> arab and arab crosses" being won because there are only a handful of
> non-arab breeds even entering the event?  There are SO many places where
> simply don't have the right kind of data from which to draw conclusions
> these.
> There is no question in my mind that carrying a heavier rider has to
> more energy from the horse.  My ONLY question is this - does it really
> (scientifically) affect the outcome of an event when ALL mitigating
> are compensated for?  In a sense, a single weight National Championship
> would give us that kind of data.
> Does that mean I support that versus multiple weight divisions?  No,
> however, I would be more challenged and comfortable in a single weight
> competition.  Why?  I want to compete against my peers, not just the ones
> that weigh the same as me.  I want to show that I can condition a horse to
> carry my weight without resorting to artificial leveling constructs such
> weight divisions.  I want to be able to beat a Valerie or a Becky and know
> that it meant something.  With tack I weigh in right at the upper border
> MW (210 lbs), and I believe that with the right horse and the right
> and the right prep and strategy, the extra weight becomes far less
> important.  I look forward to testing that hypothesis in the future.
> Mike Sofen
> -----Original Message-----
> One must also be careful in interpretation of numbers.  Testimonials are
> slect observations whereas appropriate use of statistics require a large
> sample size.  True larger riders have won many if not all events at one
> time or another, hower, if we were to look at finishes by class across the
> country in a mutlitue of events covering a multitude of terrain and
> conditions over many years one would undoubtedly find that the largest
> fraction (greater than 50%) of all events are won by riders/tack less than
> 185 pounds.  Another way to illustrate this is in terms of breeds.  True,
> breeds other than arabs and arab crosses have ben successful at all levels
> of endurance, but the overwhelming majority of events have been won by
> & arab/crosses.
> There are so many ways to represent numbers: fractions, percentages,
> absolutes.  In absolute terms riders >185 pounds have won far fewer
> endurance events than riders <185 pounds, regardless of how you pick and
> choose selected observations.  If people were to gambel on these events
> they would play the odds, or percentages, becuz most events will be won by
> riders less than 185 poiunds.
> Personally I beleive weight divisions are a must in a sport such as this &
> are rooted in scientific fact void of empassioned re
> Jon K. Linderman, Ph.D., FACSM
> Assistant Professor of Health and Sport Science
> University of Dayton
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