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[RC] The "not-so-good" old days - heidi

Got to reminiscing after I answered Howard's post....

My "icon" of the not-so-good old days when 25s were sanctioned for points
is a picture that will be burned in my brain until the day I die.  I can
name the rider, but I won't.  (He doesn't ride anymore anyway.)  The Great
Points Chase was on.  The ride was held near Vale, Oregon, and it was
hotter 'n Hades.  (And those of you who don't think we have humidity in
the West have never ridden one of those hot days down in the Snake River
Canyon...)  This rider smoked the 25--the ride time was 1:09.  (Yeah, the
course might have been short--but not THAT short!!)  The horse spent the
afternoon under a shade tree painfully shifting from leg to leg, with both
forelimbs in support wraps because of bilateral bows.  He was also in
metabolic trouble, and was on IVs.  That evening, this beautiful grey
horse loaded up in a trailer for home, and none of us ever saw him again. 
Too bad--I had ridden many enjoyable miles alongside this horse, and he
didn't need to end this way.

This horse may have been the extreme example, but it was the ongoing
repetition of similar scenarios that made caring vets and horsemen and
board members act.  Had this horse been an isolated case, one might have
just labeled his rider as a bad apple and tried to keep an eye on him. 
But it was the commonness of this sort of picture that caused AERC to pull
the plug on sanctioned rides of distances under 50 miles.

Just thought perhaps it might make more of an impression spelled out as a
case report, so that folks aren't tempted to repeat the mistakes of the
past--which is what too often happens if one does not study one's history.


I still prefer what it is that BH100, Tevis, The Duck's Soup of Endurance,
etc. has to offer...but, to see a horse canter over sand for those
distances...Good Lord, it humbles me.
~  Frank Solano

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