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[RC] AERC National Championship/FEI - Ridecamp Guest

Please Reply to: Jan circlebarranch@xxxxxxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hopefully this will help the answer questions that the membership
might have concerning NC in 2005 having an FEI division offered to the
100 mile riders.

If you have any questions, please direct them to us at

Thank you,

Bill and Jan Stevens
Fort Howes Endurance Rides, Inc.
Home of the 2005 AERC National Championship
The National Championship Committee would like to clear up a few
details concerning the 2005 National Championship to be held at Fort
Howes in Ashland, Montana.

First and foremost, this an AERC ride.  The BOD has approved that the
ride have an FEI division to be held along with the AERC National
Championship.  Basically all it will mean is a separate set of results
going to the FEI.  All riders wishing to ride in the FEI division have
to qualify for the National Championships first.  All the costs from
putting on the FEI ride will be covered by the riders wishing to ride
the FEI portion of the ride and from the ride management; AERC will
not be responsible for the added costs.

The request was brought to the NC Committee by the AERC International
Committee because of the decreased number of FEI rides being held in
the US (2003 there were 12, 2004 there are 5).  The International
Committee felt that loosing another 100 mile FEI ride (Fort Howes has
hosted an AERC/FEI 100 mile ride for the past 4 years) would hurt the
US and Canadian AERC members who desire to ride at International
Events (Pan Am, Worlds, etc).  Fort Howes has successfully combined
their AERC ride with and FEI division.  They have also hosted the 2002
IAHA National Championships (in conjunction with an AERC ride and FEI
division).  We also understand that this was the largest IAHA National
Championship ever held to that point.

There has been the question brought up about the speed to which this
decision was made.  I received the application to host an FEI ride in
2005 in the mail right before I left for the convention.  The deadline
for filing with the United States Equestrian Federation is March 24,
2004.  The fees (approximately $340-depending on the exchange for the
Swiss Franc) are due mid June to the USEF.  The USEF then takes all
the applications (for all disciplines-Jumping, Eventing, Dressage,
etc) and sends them to the FEI in August.  From there the FEI makes
their decisions in November.  I was questioned about the late fee.
FEI charges a late fee of $700.
Concerning about awards etc.  It is our belief that the National
Championship will stand alone with their awards-completion, weight
divisions, and BC.  The FEI ride will have completion and BC.

There is also concern about the time of the year that the ride is to
be held.  For some riders the fall is not the best time of the year.
Junior riders are in school.  Maybe they can take the time away from
school work, but if they are in any extra curricular activities such
as sports, they wouldn?t be able to take time out for that.  There
were no juniors in the 100 and only 3 in the 50 at the NC last year.
Teachers would have a difficult time getting away.  Many businesses
plan that their workers take time during the summer for vacations.
For those that are involved in agriculture, fall is when they are
harvesting and/or planting.  It is also limiting to the riders to
insist that the ride be held in the fall, some regions have difficulty
training in the summer months due to the heat and humidity.

Plus, setting a specific month/date for the National Championship
every year limits where the ride can be held.  The reduced daylight of
a fall ride would certainly put rides such as the Big Horn out of the
question (not to mention the risk of large amounts of snow-July is the
only month they can do it).  The Vermont 100, Pine Tree in Maine, or
other rides in the NW and Canada would certainly appreciate some more
daylight options.  Late September and early October can also be
questionable as far as the weather is concerned.

As I mentioned to Jerry Fruth in the airport waiting to leave Reno on
Monday; fire is always the concern in our area.  We had a fire here in
early August of 2000 that burned over 65,000 acres right outside my
living room window.  Bill has gone so far as to go out to the basecamp
and gather riders and crews that came early to our ride to help put
out a lightening caused fire near our trail.  June is also about the
only time that we can devote ourselves to make the ride the way that
we want it to be and that takes 2-3 weeks.  We schedule it to fall
between branding calves and haying.  The temperatures are right and
usually the weather tends to cooperate as much as we can help it.
Plus we have the advantage of 5 hours more of daylight than the
October date.  We feel that as long as riders have at least a year?s
notice, they shouldn?t have any problems qualifying for the NC.
It was brought up that horses might not be ready to do a 100 mile ride
in June, we found though note that in looking back through the past 2
years of endurance rides that there are more 100 mile rides with more
riders in May, June, and July.  Last year the winner of our ride was
from Canada, 2nd from Virginia, and third from northern Illinois. One
more item; there are only so many 100 mile horses in the US and if FEI
and AERC rides are separated then each will impact the other
negatively but if they can be combined there is a synergistic effect.

At the AERC convention this year Anne Ayala provided a comparison
sheet outlining the differences between AERC and FEI rides.  Here they
are and how they will pertain to the ride:

Rider Requirements: AERC: Must be an AERC member or pay day fee. FEI
US Riders: Must be member of AERC International, USEF Active Rider
with discipline dues paid. For non US citizens, rider must have letter
from their National Federation.

This is a non-issue.  All will be members of AERC anyway.  Questions
about foreigners coming over and riding-they can as long as they
qualify for the NC first.

Dress Code: AERC: None, except as established by individual rides
(helmets, etc)

FEI: Varies according to level of competition, but requires shirt with
collar and shoes with heels (or safety stirrup) and approved
helmet. No spurs.

Non-Issue: FEI riders will follow their rules, AERC riders won?t have

Horse Identification Requirements: AERC: No ID requirements at
present. Event may require Coggins/health papers etc.  FEI: Must have
FEI or National passport for 3-star (100 miles).

Non-Issue: I require from all riders that they come into Montana
following Montana statutes at the time.  Just as you would when
traveling from state to state going to any ride.  FEI riders are
required to have passports.

Weight of Rider: AERC: Riders ride within the established weight
divisions.  FEI: Riders must weigh in with tack (no bridle) at minimum
of 75 kg (165 lb), including juniors riding as seniors.  Bottles and
fanny packs should be empty and any added weights securely

Non-Issue: The only ones that this will affect are the featherweights
& some junior aged riders riding FEI.  AERC rules you can weigh more
than your weight division calls for, you just can?t weigh less.

The Course: On-Trail Crewing: AERC: Rules permit crews to accompany a
rider down a public road in support vehicle provided they do not haze
or push the equine, unless ride management prohibits this practice.
FEI: Assistance may only be given at specific places indicated by OC
as crewing locations. Preceding vehicles are expressly
forbidden. (Art. 815-16) No crewing is permitted at Vet Gates until
after rider has timed in at Arrival Timer.

Non-Issue: We don?t allow crewing out on trail unless we specify
where.  It is a safety issue as well as Forest Service issue.  They
don?t allow vehicles out on the trails.  As for the crewing, we don?t
allow crewing prior to the arrival timer because of the congestion
that can happen around there.  There is plenty of space and time to
crew your horse once you have your time.  We also don?t allow crewing
once you have entered the P&R area.  They didn?t allow crewing beyond
the P&R area at this years NC.

The Finish: AERC: Weighing of riders is optional, except riders
standing for BC Award.  FEI: Rider must be mounted to cross Finish
line.  FEI riders will be weighed after finish.

Non-Issue: Weighing will follow guidelines for AERC & FEI.  FEI riders
will be mounted at the finish.

Completion Criteria: The post-ride examination Completion criteria
(Rules 6.0-3) must be met within 60 minutes of Finish Time. Rules
allow more stringent criteria if provided to riders in written form
before ride starts.  FEI: Completion criteria must be met within 30
min. of Finish Time. It has been customary in the US dual-sanctioned
rides to allow a competitor to be disqualified by FEI, and still try
to meet the AERC criteria within the hour allowed.

Non-Issue: In the past we have done it both ways.  We have had the 30
minute requirement for AERC riders and we have done the 60 minute for
AERC riders.  It has never become an issue.  We assume that we will
allow the competitor to be disqualified by FEI, and allow them AERC
completion if they come down within the hour allowed.

Timing of total ride and phases: AERC: Formula for total ride time
based on 12 hrs. for 50 miles/24 hrs. for 100 miles. No specific rules
for phases, but RM can establish closing times for Vet Gates.  FEI:
Most US rides follow the AERC formula.

Non-Issue: We have always allowed 24 hours to complete the 100 mile
event.  We haven?t had the need to have cut-off times for vet gates.

Parking: AERC: Whatever ride management decides.  FEI: Horses
traveling on passports are required to be stabled/parked separately
from horses without passports (ie required vaccinations reported on

Issue and Non-Issue: Certainly this is where things get "dicey"
when it comes to the feeling that FEI riders are elitists and are
"better" than the AERC riders.  We are required to
"stable/park" the FEI horses with passports separately from
those that aren?t passported.  We have done it here in the past with
little or no problems (at least none have come to our attention as
Truman said) by having all the 100 mile horses? park in one area.
There are several reasons that we do this in addition to the FEI
requirement.  1-100 mile riders usually come earlier so we part them
at the back of the camp so that it can fill up easier.  2-25/50 mile
riders don?t like to hear generators and extra noise at 3:00 a.m. when
they don?t have to have to start until 8:00 a.m.  3-Vets can find the
100 mile horses easier if they are in one area instead of having to go
all around camp looking for them (FEI horses have the 2 hour check
after the finish).  4-The reason that the FEI requires separate
stabling/parking is the quarantine that they put on the horses at
International competitions.  Horses are quarantined prior to the event
starting so that there is little or no chance for the spread of
disease.  We realize that this isn?t "international" so to
speak, but that is the way that they see it.

I?m sure that there are other differences between AERC and FEI.
Please feel free to contact us or other members of the National
Championship Committee with your questions.

Bill and Jan Stevens circlebarranch@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Locks do not prevent theft, they only deter those in doubt.
~ Robert Morris

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