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RE: Newbies at NC - Question for Karen

I'm going to jump in here.  There's a HUGE difference between the Tevis (an
open to anyone without restrictions event) and a "National Championship"
(which presumably has a minimum qualification bar that must be met).

There's no way to compare the two.  The Tevis doesn't crown anyone as a
national champ, just the honor of winning/completing it.  The ROC isn't even
in the same boat because it is a "championship" event, not a "national
championship" event - they truly do have different, if slightly similar,

All of these are prestigious events.  However, someone who earns the title
of "Best in the USA" (national champ) should be a great rider on a great
horse riding a great race.  It shouldn't be a fluke.

Having said all of that, I love the notion of "unknown" (or unranked) riders
competing in a National Championship (and even winning it), AS LONG AS THEY
MEET THE MINIMUM CRITERIA FOR COMPETING.  For me, that's a vitally important
point, because it will help prevent catastrophic accidents (like horse
deaths) from occurring and allow the competitors to focus on the event
instead of worrying about being tangled up with a truly novice rider on the

Consider it this way - in the Golf world, one can participate as pure
unknown novice in the US Open. But! You have to place well enough in the
qualifying rounds to make it into the actual US Open competition.  In our
case, the 500 miles/top 5 placings do exactly the same thing, but over a
longer time frame.

Mike Sofen

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 11:04 AM
Subject: RC: Newbies at NC - Question for Karen

Janie Olson
THis is interesting to read.  Karen - your views in particular.
Over the years, I really never have remembered who won the various AERC
national championships.  I do however, clearly remember many of the ROC
winners (both the horse and rider, and many of the finishers at the tough
years where only 16 riders finished) and many of the Tevis and Haggin Cup

Karen, I'd like you to roll back a few years to when you first started
endurance.  I remember reading all of your posts about your enthusiasm
towards competing and doing well in Tevis (anyone can read these in the
Ridecamp archives).  You were keeping a mileage tickler for your horse -
with goals to rack em up so to speak.  Initially, I didn't pay much
attention to your advice and comments as you were a newbie.  I had a lot
more respect for the successful long term riders.  I did enjoy your
enthusiasm though!  I even recall your distributing 'Dream Team' t-shirts
at Tevis your first time (with a picture of you and your horse).

So put yourself in that point in time.  Would you have been as
enthusiastic about the sport if you were told that you could not compete
in NC rides or Tevis or ROC or???  It would probably seem like AERC is a
closed club.  Think about it.

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