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[RC] tevis sponsorship - Ed Kilpatrick

i had a few thoughts on this subject to share, although it has mostly been covered from both sides.
     it was my first tevis experience, and i can truly say that the recognition of the sponsorship did not bother me in the least, nor did it diminish the accomplishments that we made as a team, rider, horse, and crew.  that accomplishment is ours to keep and cherish for as long as we are able.  becky has her buckle and i am very proud for her, and i doubt seriously that she is concerned that a sponsor received a commemorative buckle.  
     i wondered how the dispensation of buckles is handled by some, like those who hire a rider to ride their horse, lease horses to riders, those who ride their own horse, or in our case, lend a horse to a friend in order to help fulfill a dream.   i am sure that in all of these scenarios, there are people out there who are in possession of tevis belt buckles who have never ridden the ride.  there may even be someone out there who has a tevis buckle, who has never been on a horse. i thought about all the people who have 10+ belt buckles.  i know they arent wearing all of them.  maybe they are on display in their homes or some other place.  but i am sure that some tevis buckles have been given as cherished gifts to family and friends, by riders who wanted to share something special.  a gift, pure and simple, given from the heart.  you must then think of the buckle given to the sponsor in the same way, a gift, from the heart, in sincere appreciation of, and in reciprocation of, their gift to all of us.   down here where i live, it is considered impolite to refuse a gift, in fact, it borders on an insult.  i have no doubts of the sincerity of the emmirates international endurance village.  endurance is their passion.  many of us share that passion.  they are our comrades in a sport that we all love and enjoy.  let's not diminish ourselves, our horses, or the sport the we love by being ungrateful.        ed