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Re: [RC] [RC] Horse deaths and preventing treatments - Maureen A. Fager

"Linda Hedgpeth said "Bingo! Come to NE CA and NW NV...........they regularly have 50 milers here, where the horses only see a vet after 25 miles and then again at the end of the race. There was talk of change after a mare died at the NASTR race in 2001.........but it was just talk."

Linda, please quatify this statement with facts, or qualify it as your opinion only, ie, what rides, how many and where were they? What rides did not make changes? This statement is wrong, as another VC was added at the NASTR ride last year. This rant was written by a person who has NEVER, NEVER ridden a 50 mile ride and WAS NOT EVEN AT THE NASTR RIDE mentioned (or the one a year later.)

Guess what, Linda, I was there (for both rides) and I saw what happened. Did you know Linda, that NASTR had supplied six hay and water stops on course? Oh, I forgot, you don't know the facts, you weren't there.

In the NASTR incident, the rider in question did not stop at the hay and water stops. Not allowing the horse to eat and drink regularly added to the animal?s metabolic distress.

But also important to me was this. This was the riders first endurance ride of any sort-she had never done any endurance before entering this ride. Her horse, about age 15, had also never done a ride before either. This is allowed by AERC rules.

The AERC allows anyone to enter an endurance ride, a ride defined as 50 to 100 miles in one day. So, anyone can enter their first ride without any experience at a endurance ride, without even have being to a ride or even seeing one. The horse qualifies by being 5 years old, it does not need to have any prior experience either.

Perhaps it is time to propose some qualifications to enter endurance rides.
For discussions sake, how about, to ride a 50 mile ride a person must have ridden two LD rides within two year period prior to entry.
For a 100 mile ride, a rider must have at least two 50 mile rides on their record. What qualifications would be apporpriate for equines?

What is important about Linda's ranting in my opinion, is the danger that uninformed people can cause in this sport. Outside opinions that do not research all of the facts or speak from direct experience can unfortunately, cause much grief.

The fact of the hay/water stops is important to me because I stopped at them all that day, and later at about 43 miles my horse fell and was injured. We had an approximate 2 hour wait for the trailer to pick us up. However, because my mare was well hydrated and fed from the hay/water stops supplied by ride management, she did not suffer metabolic distress in addition to her injuries. (we stood in the hot sun, no shade or water available while waiting.) I knew the importance of these stops as I had prior 50 mile experience,(and LD experience before my first 50) before entering this ride.

Happy Trails, Maureen Reno, NV 1045 ENDURANCE miles, 55 LD miles

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