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Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee - Truman Prevatt

Today, many more people die of cancer. When you look further, you will find that people are living longer and you live long enough you will probably get cancer. Also, many moons ago people died of "old age."  What was old age - good chance that much of it was cancer.  The ability to determine the cause of death was not as good and in given the rural nature of our society in the 1800's to the mid 1900's, people just died of old age. So to some extent there is somewhat a statistically shell game in any such proclamations.

We have many more riders today than we did 10 years ago. We have more inexperienced riders today than 10 years ago. We probably do a better job of knowing when a horse dies today than we did 10 years ago, so it's difficult to say with a high degree of certainty that this problem has not been with us for quite a while. That being the case, Jim makes a very good point - the problem is not going away. We have had as many metabolic deaths last already this year as we had last year and we have two 1/2 months to in the season.

People have been racing a long time - even before the UAE got involved. The winning times today aren't any faster than they were 10 years ago. The Carolina 100 was won in 7:40 in '94. There may, however, be a difference.

Two years ago I looked at the speeds of one ride in the SE region. This ride has been going on forever on the same course. It has always been one of the biggest draws in the region and always has a big field. While the winning speed hadn't changed the number of people running a fast speeds had significantly gone up. That is the average speed was going up and by any measure the field was riding faster. I had ridden it some years ago at 5:20 on the mare and finished the 1/3 point in the pack  To years ago I rode it at 5:00 and finished at the same place in the pack and the pack was the same size within a horse or two both times.

So it may not be the racing - it may be almost everyone is going faster! I remember a conversation with Jon Warren one time when he said it not the riders that always ride fast that he worries about, it's the "transition horses," i.e. the horses that typically run mid pack but now are running in the first 1/3 of the pack or the horses that are normally back of the pack and are now running mid pack.

So it might not be the racing aspect that is at issue, but the fact that for some reason the whole pack is running faster.

There would be a few numbers that might be of some interest on the horses that have died over the recent years. The first one is rider miles at the distance the horse died in, the second is horse mileage at the distance he/she was in when he/she died. The speed they (horse and rider) were going at that distance in the ride they died vs. the speed they (horse) had gone in that distance prior.

For example the two horses that died at the WEC were ridden by inexperienced riders.

Maybe, just maybe there might be a clue in there. We need to address this issue but we don't need to" knee-jerk" it. To solve a problem you first have to understand it - then you can develop a solution. Hopefully that is the direction the HWC is going.


Barbara McCrary wrote:
Is it possible that the increase in metabolic problems is a result of the increase in rides sponsored by the UAE?  These rides being flatland races.....and riders being hosted in such a sumptuous manner.  I haven't been there personally, but I've heard and read about the luxurious facilities to which foreign riders are treated.  Could there be any connection between the desire to ride there and the increase in speed and subsequent troubles we are experiencing here?  Or even the desire and opportunity to ship our horses abroad for World Championships and WEGs?
Trying to be a detective and determine if, and why, there might be some connection to increased international competition.

[RC] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee, Oldwaggy
Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee, Truman Prevatt
Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee, Jim Holland
Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Announcement from Horse Welfare Committee, Barbara McCrary