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[RC] Adios Research - Darolyn Butler-Dial

Sept 23,
Dear fellow Riders and Veterinarians,

First of all, please let me thank everyone for your heartfelt
condolences regarding Adios' death.  I have been overwhelmed with
everyone's kindness.

However, I've been even more impressed with the educational atmosphere,
which has prevailed.  This I feel is a true memorial to this great
horse.  I hope it continues sparking debate and knowledge sharing for a
long time to come.

My mind is still whirling and coming up with different scenarios that I
have yet to work out.  Unfortunately, I will be away from the computer
for a couple of weeks and won't be able to share in the discussions.
But, before I leave, I wanted to answer a few of the questions that have
been poised, and plant some more food for thought.  

I still have much research to do on this, & just simply don't have the
time right now.  So for those of you who like delving into stats and
such. please volunteer to assist me in doing an in-depth study of my
(and farm horses) past ride history, both good and bad.

I have had some really "earth shaking" revelations in the last few days.
I.e. horse's crashing, etc. In reviewing 20 years of farm horses' major
crashes, the common denominators appear to be (1) Out of region (2)
climate/season.  This may be confusing until I have this in better
order, but I wanted to share with you where my thoughts are going.
Forgive the dates & horses skipping around.

As I thought about different problems I had encountered, I realized even
Thunder Road did a "stomach stretching" colic in ROC 1986 & also had an
issue with it in another race in Oct. in Oklahoma in 1987 right after he
ran a spectacular Medal finish in the N. American Championship in Ft.
Royal.  Both I feel were weather (dry) /season & out of region related.

In case you don't know, we're the most southern (heat/humidity)
competitor in the US... some horses may be similar in Florida, but I'm
still not sure if its as bad as it is down here. I'm also the only one
from this far south that has consistently competed at International. /
ROC levels for 20 some odd years. 

I've always said our southern horses could go anywhere & run, but now,
I'm having definite 2nd thoughts. Our horses did well in Canada last
summer '02 (Marcus won an FEI 100 ride), another one won the 50 the next
day, but it was hot/humid. However just a two weeks before, Chaser
Thumped in NJ (rainy/cold/region), Marcus metabolics in Kansas in June
(dry, but lots of green grass) & Metabolics in Tevis (dry climate) in
1998.  My 1989 Champion Baskatrino "water colicked" at about 60-70 in
the 1992 ROC.   This ride was in July in Deadwood S.D. but it actually
snowed that day & he actually came in, took a huge drink at about 60-70
miles & immediately started crashing.  

Interestingly enough, we've had a 100% finish at Old Dominion 2nd & 3rd
in 1989, the North American when it was there in 1987, Thunder Medaled,
Cosequin, & Biltmore. Some of the toughest Southern/Heat/humidity rides.
And I ran up front!  BC on Alley at Old Dominion in 2001.  Top Ten at
Cosequin and Biltmore.  However, those rides are not that different in
latitude/climate to Houston. 

When Mike Maul brought up World in 1996, it was the final "bingo".
Sharon Barker (S. of Houston) lost her good horse there (leased), Linda
Corey's horse had finished 3rd n the pre-ride there in 1995, but it
almost died, but for the hand of God, I truly believe. Only 1 of my
horses (of three) finished (very slowly there). I furnished the Chili
team. Two others ended up on fluids and these guys were riding pretty
conservative.  This ride was only in Kansas (not too far north but in
"late September" season change & coolish, dry climate. 

Another instance was Razzmatazz at PAC 1999 in Canada.  He was in
excellent shape, but he crashed.  However, what I couldn't understand
was my daughter's horse Conquistador.  He actually finished 4th, but was
pulled for a slight lameness at the finish.  He was on identical food,
travel, vitamins, electrolytes,etc.  What was different/??  He was born
in Canada.  Perhaps there is an inborn trait that allowed him to run so
well up there.  Conquistador also ran 4th in the President's Millennium
Cup in 2001 in the UAE.  They were blown away over there because the
horse had been there barely a month. not time to acclimate they thought.
But the Houston/heat/humidity worked for his pre training.

Now the good news is, we can acclimate them, if we have enough time.
Thunder Road did in 1986 when he had trouble at ROC in July, but after
traveling 4-6 weeks in the west, he went down to the N.A. Championship
on the Swanton trail & finished 13th, (even with a baaaaad case of
scratches.) Exactly 1 week later he won a ride in El Paso.  If you want
to really see something impressive, go look at Thunder Road's record.
Realize that he did that after almost dying of Blister Beetle poisoning
in Feb. or March of that year.  Most of his outstanding rides were in
Heat/humidity/southern latitude.  Colorado race was a disaster, Northern
Oklahoma race in Oct. of '1987 he finished, but was not happy.  

On the 1989 National Championship run, CeCi's horse (with her tiny wt.
Of about 50 pounds) won 1st & Best Condition in Alabama (I think it
was), yet 2 or 3 weeks later in Missouri in a different
climate/temperature/season change .. It finished, but ended up sick the
next day.  

Please realize that in my haste & late night ramblings, I am just
plucking many things out of memory so some of the dates may be slightly
askew.  I am now really anxious to do a serious study on all rides that
fall in this "out of region/climate/season thing and see just how great
the common denominator is.
Let me "brain search" a bit more. I don't like what I'm discovering, but
it may save others and myself a lot of grief in the future. I want to
share this with Dr.Dane & Dr. Mike F, Dr. Tom and anyone else who wants
to delve into it. I think they may have some technical thoughts for us
too.  Dr. Dane has watched my horses go great in the south for 20 years,
and he has personally witnessed many of the crashes when we have gone
north.  I can't believe this is all becoming so clear at this late date.
Pretty mind boggling.

I'm approaching 26,000 miles myself, add to that the miles that have
been ridden on horses in my care, has to be near 60,000 or more.  I race
primarily in the South, but do travel out of my region.  Until the last
2-3 years, I was one of only 2 or 3 people that traveled very much at
all from this far south.  I've personally ridden over 60 different
horses in competition, have bought, sold, handled over 100 horses that
have ended up in endurance, and have personally ridden over 100, 100
mile rides.

This whole thing may be more revealing than we thought initially. Lots
of play on the hyponatremia, gut stretching, electrolyte imbalance, etc.
Must think about it some more & go back to all the failures & success. 

Oh, to answer the electrolyzing questions:  I use Endurolytes, mix with
applesauce, brown sugar, pro-biotics and Maalox.  Administer
approximately 1-2 oz every 1-2 hours.  However, remember, Adios spit the
last ones I gave him on trail at about 12 - 12:30.  So 10:30 was the
last time he really had any until he got to the stop around 1:00 PM.
All of our PAC horses were receiving 1 oz twice a day in their feed of
"homemade" (Dane's recipe) electrolytes 1 week prior to the race.  

Could this have attributed to overdrinking???  Encouraging the thirst
effect too much in this dryer, colder climate??? We were concerned they
weren't drinking because it was so cold.  Did we over do it?

Our feed is 1/3 Beet Pulp, oats, corn, & other goodies.  It does have
high fat, (rice brain & soy oil).  Did the high fat slow his digestion
when competing.  Susan G., I will send you the ingredients again for you
to mull over.

Bob Morris is right on when he named all the different possible causes.
That's really not too hard to figure out.. Climate, Altitude, NW high
energy - ocean, mountains, volcanoes, wind, etc.  Buddy separation
overreaction.  Being shod, etc.  Speed, food and water intake.. All
contribute.  I stated that & my ultimate responsibility in my first

For comparisons on speed.. Not really accurate, because in at least two
FEI rides this year, the pace was slowed down purposefully in order that
more riders could receive their Certificate of Capability.  Also,
comparing speed in 100 degree & 95 % humidity isn't really a practical
comparison either.

Realize once again, that I won't be able to respond for several days.
but please feel free to e me with your observations & experiences with
your horses with this "out of region" thing.   I'll get back to you when
I can.
Thanks again for all your sentiments folks.   

Darolyn Butler-Dial & Mark Dial 
     ADVOCATE :THE WHOLE HORSE TRIM (Barefootin")     
21415 Cypresswood Dr.  Humble, Texas 77338          Ph:  281 446 7232
Fax 281 446 0113   
     e mail: darolyn@xxxxxxxxxx <mailto:darolyn@xxxxxxxxxx>


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