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[RC] the sport? - Saatchi

Hi Howard, 

I'm "on-board" with all your suggestions except the pre-requisite for 
attempting a 100 mile competition. ?If I understand you correctly, you're 
saying that training miles don't count (obviously because there's no way of 
verifying them), and just competitive miles count toward discerning whether a 
horse is capable of competing. ?

This is mine and my mare's first year competing in this sport, so I don't claim 
to be an amateur let alone an expert, but my mare and I have been a team across 
many miles outside of competition for the past 3 years. ?I take education, 
training and conditioning VERY seriously, but for a couple of reasons I chose 
to only enter two competitions in our first season: ?First, I don't have my own 
trailer, and second, my mare is an ex-race horse, and I thought it was more 
important to get her used to pacing herself over longer distances without the 
added stress of dealing with competition. ?As a result, we successfully 
completed a 25 mile and a 55 mile this past season and hope to complete our 
first 100 next year. ?I'll admit the 55 miles was difficult, but my mare and I 
pulled through well - with sound mind and body. ?I maintatined communication 
with the vets throughout and made sure that my mare was healthy enough to 
continue. ?

Although I understand the difficult responsibility the AERC regulatory body has 
when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of the horse, I would feel 
personally dismayed if my horse's capability were judged solely on how many 
miles she has logged in competition. ?The pre-requisite you have outlined is 
somewhat subjective and as such, a tad bit unfair. ?My mare and I will not have 
300 miles of 50's under our belt, but I'm confident that we'll both be up for 
the challenge based on miles logged in training. ?

M3053, MW.

"Howard Bramhall" <howard9732@xxxxxxx> wrote:

When the Greenalls get ready, maybe, they'll tell us the entire story. 
?Somehow, I don't think they think it was the rider in this situation who was 
to blame at all (I really don't know). ?And, my belief is, it wasn't the rider 
at all in Maggie's. ?Not to compare the two, since Malik is alive and well. 
?But, if he were not, would any of you be jumping on Maggie? ?Shame on you if 
you were to do so. ?It can happen to anyone and her case proves that to me 
more than any other I've heard of recently.

Shortening the distance between vet checks and making a few other changes 
could turn all of this around. ?What should really be opening our eyes is when 
we lose horses at the top lever rides. ?These are our best horses and riders. 
?Our very best. ?And, trust me, there are ways to get even them to go slower.

There is a really good idea coming down the pike that would slow riders down. 
?I'm not going to bring it up because it's not mine (most of what I've listed 
are not mine, btw). ?IN case you missed those ideas I'll list them again. 
?Please read them and consider which are acceptable to you and which are not. 
?Keep in mind if we want things to change, we really do need to make some 

I really feel that if the membership does not get behind this things will 
remain the same; 7 deaths per year at our rides and a large number of severe 
metabolic incidents where treatment was required to save the life of the 
horse. ?Please, really, down deep in the pit of your heart, the center of your 
soul, try and put the horse ahead of what your personal goals in our sport 
are. ?Mentally, ask yourself what you would do to make our sport the best, 
instead of one of the worst, places for a horse to compete and for you to 
enjoy. ?I don't think I posted these on Ridecamp; please, take a serious look 
at them and try not to make it personal. ?I don't care if you dislike me for 
talking like I do about all of this but when you voice your venom towards me 
it really takes away from it all (maybe, that's your intent). Pretend the list 
below came from someone you do like, rather than myself. ?Read them 
objectively, I really am begging you to do this. Like I said, they're not 
really all my ideas anyway.

1) ?Make 60 the standard beats per minute of the horse's heart-rate across the 
board. ?Consider reducing it to 56.

2) ?Make the maximum distance a horse can travel between vet checks 15 miles. 
?No longer. ?And, actually, make sure via an independent source that the miles 
listed by the ride manager between loops is accurate.

3) ?Have a prerequisite for entering 100 mile rides. ?I suggest 300 miles of 
50's before a horse is allowed to do it's first 100 miler.

4) ?Longer hold times at the vet checks; 45 minutes minimum and 1 hour at the 
half way mark. ?I also suggest we use 11 hours of ride time (does not include 
hold time) for the 50 milers and 22 hours of ride time for the 100 milers as 
the time limit to obtain a completion. ?That way, if the Ride Vet wants to add 
more time at the holds it won't affect the rider's available "ride time" on 
the trail.

5) ?All AERC vets most hold a license. ?It doesn't have to be a license in a 
state where the ride is held, but, it does have to be a license in one of the 
50 available. ?No unlicensed vets at any AERC rides.

6) ?Log books on horses similar to what they're doing in Australia. ?It holds 
the rider accountable (they are) and makes our record keeping more accurate. 
?And, it will save the life of a horse or two along the way.

7) ?The Education Committee needs to explain distance traveling while going to 
a ride and returning home. ?I know that Stagg has written an article where 
this topic was mentioned, and it was a good one, but, this needs to be 
re-emphasized time and time again. ?We must make sure every rider knows that 
the distance traveled to a ride along with the distance traveled back home 
increases the danger of a horse getting into trouble during an endurance 
event. It is part of the event! If a rider travels out of region to a ride I 
think we should require them to keep a log book of their travel to the ride. 
?Not for punishment, but, for educational purposes. ?This form is turned into 
the Ride Manager prior to the manager accepting their entry.

If we ever want to get serious about this (and, yes, it really is happening; 
it's not some sort of illusion) we need to take action and make some changes. 
?And, this will help to eliminate all those bad apples from the sport I keep 
hearing of. ?But, the only way it will happen is for ya'll to make it happen. 
?Otherwise, it's just words, and I got plenty of those. ?It really is time for 
some action.


?----- Original Message -----
?From: terre
?To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
?Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 9:07 PM
?Subject: [RC] the sport?

?Greenalls wrote:

?I watched a horse die of heat exhaustion (the autopsy is not
?complete, but nothing else showed up) last weekend. ?I watched
?the whole thing. ?The sport killed the horse. ?Spain...same thing.
?Pan Ams, the same thing.

?Gee, I don't think so. ?Actually, I think the riders killed these horses. 
?The difference between the horses that die and the ones that don't isn't 
"the sport"--it's the riders. ?You could have five mile loops with hour 
holds--and some people would still manage to ride their horses to death. ?As 
long as experienced riders, who know what they are doing, are prepared to 
risk the consequences of riding 'on the edge', there is no place you can put 
the edge where they won't find it.



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