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Re: [RC] what's the point... - Howard Bramhall

We have been down this road before.  The vets are very cautious to blame the rider for the death of their horse at a ride.  This is where the Vet Committee came up with the following statement that was attributed to each and every ride that occurred last year (ride year 2002):  "No specific management or veterinary circumstances have been identified that may have prevented this fatality."  Bob, if that's what you're going by, I'm sorry, but it doesn't hold water.  That is a cover your ass phrase if I've ever read one.  If you're speaking of something else, I apologize, but that sentence, above, was what was printed in July's Endurance News under the Vet Report and it was there in every one of the deaths listed (7 of them).
When I wrote my story about Dance Line and his near death experience 4 years ago at a ride I neglected to say one thing and, if you don't mind, I'll kind of throw that one in now.  The vet, Todd Holbrook, the guy who saved my best friend's life at that ride, a person I hold near and dear to my heart more than I can ever say, told me the following that late evening, sitting under a tree, with an IV attached to Dance Line's neck.  He said, "The ride had nothing to do with the situation your horse in now in."
I didn't disagree with him at the time, I wasn't really able to talk much at all that night, but, I respectfully do disagree with what he said.  The ride had everything to do with what happened and, the only person responsible for it all was me.  I'm not sure why he said what he did to me, quite frankly, I think he was just trying to help me make it through the night.  Many of our ride vets have a heart much bigger than the horses they take care of and, Todd is definitely on the top of that heap.  Unlike a lot of people who post here on Ridecamp, they are the last ones to throw stones at the riders when bad things happen.  And, God bless them for being that way.  We could all take a lesson from that book.
Trust me, when a vibrant, healthy, well conditioned horse gets into metabolic trouble at a ride, especially if it has to be put on IV or dies, it is endurance related.  To think otherwise is burying your head in the sand.  We're not a bunch of chicken little's here screaming the sky is falling when it is not.  The sky, quite frankly, isn't falling, but, to think that these deaths are purely coincidental with the fact that the horse just happened to be competing in an endurance ride at the time is about as lucid as George Bush's grammar.
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 1:15 PM
Subject: [RC] what's the point...

Be careful in making judgements when one does not know all of
the facts.

Throwing water on the horse in Vermont did not cause her death. 
The water was air temp and the horse had a temerature of 106
degrees and a knowledgable vet was in attendence  Unfortunately,
her circulatory system had pretty much shut down so any attempt
to cool her was in vain.
  BTW, the rider DID stop and rest the horse and walked her 3
miles into the hold.

Bob wrote:
"Until we can get the vets to so indicate that death is
attributable to the competition we will be shouting in the wind"

Vets (and rides) are getting sued for these deaths (don't get me
started on that one) so we may never see those words uttered. 
And do we really WANT to open that can of worms, rather we
should recognize what COULD happen to our sport and try to fix it.

"The fact that you know your horse's
capabilities is incidental, they need the stop so the vet
can tell them what is going on with their horse. So, you
have to stop also, even though you know fully what the
condition of your horse is.
It is not fair that you might do better than the rest, so
the "leveling of the playing field" is cried out.

Oh come on...AERC has plenty of "rules" that were put into effect
to protect the horse so what does this have to do with "leveling the
playing field".  Having more holds actually FAVORS the fit horse
because they pulse through faster. 
John and Sue Greenall


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[RC] what's the point..., John & Sue Greenall