Check it Out!
Only a few people in the in the discussion about weight the horse carries
have mentioned the fact that weight carried is only one factor in success in
The Tevis Cup has the most complete set of records. If you look at 1990 thru
2001 you will see it was won 7 times by people who live on the trail (not
literally, but in close proximity; it is where they train). It was won four
times by veterinarians.
During that period it was won twice by Chris Knoch at 220 (with tack, I'm
guessing at that weight, but I think that is pretty close) Chris compensated
by running over a quarter of the ride during which time his horse carried
only the saddle weight.
The first 4 horses across the finish line this year live on the trail.
During this same time period, the Haggin Cup was won 4 times by horses that
live on the trail and 3 times by veterinarians.
Of the total number of entrants, only a small percentage live on the trail or
are veterinarians. It would be interesting for someone to go through the
records and see if they can come up with that figure.
But it is apparent that living on the trail and being a vet give you an ad
vantage, as does being able to get off and run—probably more a deciding
factor than weight carried. I do not for a minute think these contestants
should be handicapped. They are using their assets to their advantage, just
as each one of us enters a ride with our own particular assets and
Yes, weight (liability) can stop a freight train so maybe the train needs a
bigger engine (assets- such as being able to get off and run; living on the
trail, being a veterinarian, finding a super horse, conditioning more
intensely, and just plain luck).
It is a sport where fairness can't possibly be legislated to everyone's
satisfaction. There are just too many variables.
Check it Out!
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