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Re: [RC] Jockeys (was Riding Cavalry) - Deanna German

Oh dang, I don't have the time to be replying to this, but I started it, so
I guess I have to follow through.

Deanna said: 
Now, if FEI and international events ever shifts their focus to the horse
like our AERC events or even Thoroughbred racing (does anyone remember who
rode Secretariat?)

Ron Turcotte.

Believe it or not, in the TB world, the riders are
remembered more than the horses if for no other reason than
that they have longer careers :).

But the WIN for the race goes to the horse, doesn't it? Those "in the know"
of any sport know both who the owners are and who the players are and who is
responsible for the win. I'm not "in the know" when it comes to flat-track
racing since it's only a passing interest. I only used that example because
it is another horse sport where, it appears to me, that the horse gets the

It is only the unitiated public who has no appreciation for
the capabilities of the jockey.  Jockeys are probably the
most unappreciated athletes in the world.

Yeah, you better believe I'm underappreciating the kid who won the WEC last
year. I guess it's a relative thing. The kid compared to all the teams with
riders who do all the training, conditioning and care for their mounts vs.
flat-track jockeys who, as I understand it, are hired guns for the race only
and it's that way across the board for every horse.

In endurance at the upper levels, I'd like to see HORSEMEN. I don't want to
see jockeys, at any level of endurance racing, no matter how talented or
athletic they are. Maybe that's just me and a matter of personal preference.
I'd like endurance to be "different" somehow from other equine sports. For
me, training, conditioning and competing on your own horse is one of the
main differences between distance riding sports and just about any other
equine endeavor.

I am not advocating the concept of dividing up the
"competing in endurance" task to that of specialization of
all the participants.  I am, in fact, a strong proponent of
the concept that what it means to be a successful endurance
competitor is to select, condition, and train the horse
yourself; care for it yourself; ride it yourself; choose the
competitions yourself; etc.

However, I don't see how you can make a rule that says you
have to do everything yourself, nor do I think it takes
anything away from the accomplishments of those that don't.

A "cavalry" rule would be a radical departure from the way things are done,
for sure. 

I unapologetically admire anyone who does 50+ miles without ANY helping
hands! After doing CTR for years and then giving the endurance format a try,
I *LOVE* the idea of helping hands! Wow, does it make life easier. I know a
few people who do 50's without a formal "crew" (top tenners), but they have
help for the asking at vet checks. I personally don't know of anyone who
does 100's without designated crew plus whoever else is nearby to lend a
hand, yet clearly some do, at least for Old Dominion. What an
accomplishment!! What terrific horsemanship. All I'm saying is that I'd like
to see more of the same at the upper levels of our sport. A person couldn't
ride cavalry unless they had done their homework. IOW, they couldn't be that
day's jockey.

A cavalry rule sure is nice (for me) to think about, perhaps nothing more
than an interesting idea that will never be tried because there are too many
obstacles or maybe it doesn't even make sense. It's only an idea -- maybe
someone else can come up with something better.


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[RC] Jockeys (was Riding Cavalry), k s swigart