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Re: [RC] Riding Cavalry - Heidi Smith

HOWEVER, cavalry riding on the FEI and international level would neatly
address some of the issues that have cropped up (crew vehicles running
beside the horses and "jockeys") and level the playing field.

At an FEI level, there is plenty of opportunity to HAVE a crew, so I would
not say that the playing field is unlevel now.  As long as all can avail
themselves to the same things, that's level.  Many of the FEI rides that
I've attended are very strict about crewing anywhere but in designated
spots, and having managed a Pan-Am, I know I had to very clearly designate
the handful of spots other than vet checks that riders were allowed any
outside assistance.  So although there are pictures of people driving along
with spray rigs, in reality, at most FEI events, they are likely only doing
it for several yards, in a spot that also happens to be the spot that the
photographer can access the horses as well.

Having ridden a great deal without a crew, I appreciate it when rides have
"cavalry" divisions, and I think it is a really neat thing to do.  I'd love
to see more rides offer a cavalry award.  But different folks have different
priorities, and being able to ride to the horse's capability without
limiting him by the rider's own weariness at checks is also a viable and
desirable thing to do.  I personally kind of cringe when I see the FEI
riders being referred to as "jockeys"--they do a whole lot more than just
sit up there and steer.  Just because they have some help on the ground
doesn't mean they don't have to work every step of the way, evaluating the
horse, making decisions, etc.

While it might be fun to watch, I don't think that a car race where the
driver has to pump his own gas and change his own tires is going to replace
Indy, either.  His pit crew does not take anything away from his ability to


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Re: [RC] Riding Cavalry, Deanna German