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[RC] Cheaters—long - Marinera

I really believe that most trail cuts are inadvertent, not deliberate.  Many, 
many years ago at a pre-ride briefing, we were told the trail was short by a 
few miles so they would have a volunteer stationed about 10 miles out to point 
us out on a 2 or 3 miles loop to make up the mileage needed. The loop would 
return to the same spot and we would then continue on the main trail.  My horse 
was sailing that day and we came into lunch and I had never seen the 
volunteer who was supposed to direct us on the extra loop.  Apparently I had 
him to the spot.  I finished 2nd by about 100 feet in a race to the finish.  
word was already out that I had failed to do the extra loop. I was really 
bewildered by it all, not to mention extremely embarrassed.  Ride management 
recognized that they had not sent the volunteer out in time for the first rider 
(which I was at that point) and allowed me to retain my 2nd place while 
the ride had been 2 or 3 miles shorter for me than it had for the 1st place 
horse and the riders who came after me.  
At that time there were about 6 basic rules in the sport, no one had ever 
heard of a Protest and Grievance committee and only one person ever really 
hassled me over it. Ride management took the blame, I retained my 2nd place 
which probably was not right in retrospect, but neither was it my fault.  I 
had really pretty much forgotten about it until the recent discussions on 
ridecamp.  But it does make me reluctant to assume somebody has deliberately 
cheated.  I think many cases where you pass somebody and then after a vet 
check, pass 
them again, is because they went through the vet check faster than you did.  
Because you enter a vet check ahead of somebody does not necessarily mean that 
you leave it ahead of them.  Another circumstance is when a sign points to 
water that is maybe a couple of hundred yards off the trail.  Most people go 
the water, but some don't and they are passed while off trail watering their 
I really think as a group we are honest and fair sports.  I do not think 
cheating and cutting trail is widespread and I am rarely aware of it.  I think 
are putting a tremendous burden on ride management if we make them feel they 
have to station number takers around every bend.  Just be sure before you 
assume someone cheated that you know all the circumstances and recognize that 
usually a mistake made by an endurance rider is an honest mistake and not a 
dishonest one. But if you are convinced otherwise, go to the ride manager and 
he/she cannot resolve it, your next step is to file a formal protest.  It takes 
guts, but I think I would first go to the person involved and ask some pointed 
question to be sure there is not a logical explanation for the situation that 
concerns you.
Julie Suhr
There are few places where the horse does not fit in; at least in my world,
as delusional as that one may be.
~  Howard Bramhill

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