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Re: [RC] Weight - Barbara McCrary

I absolutely agree with Julie on almost everything she has written!  And especially the last two paragraphs,  except I wouldn't even recommend two weight divisions.  Open competition only, with a separate division for Juniors.  Period.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, November 01, 2004 9:23 PM
Subject: [RC] Weight

The whole weight issue really makes no sense at all when it is permissible to get off and run with your horse and he is only carrying the weight of the saddle.  It just seems as though everybody should go into a ride with whatever liabilities or assets they personally have and if they find the sport unfulfillng because they do not excel, find another sport.  If they can get off and run—great. If they can't—too bad.   And if they "can't," go find some way to compensate.  It has also been proved repeatedly that the heavy weight riders can win over the lightweights.  They just make up for it in other ways—by being better riders, by finding the right horse, by paying more attention to training.

To me, the greatest asset you can have if you want to do well, far more important than weight, is to be riding a trail that your horse knows.  Just look at the Tevis Cup and Haggin Cup winners and you will see that the odds of winning are enhanced greatly if you live on or near that trail. Your horse is always going home.  And if you are a veterinarian, your odds are even greater.

As the system is now, we have so many national champions that we can't remember any of them. If my life depended on it, I could not tell you who even one of our multiple national champions for 2003 is.  And that is a shame.  I do not mean this with any disrespect to them.  Each of them went as high as they could go in the category open to them. 

Before weight divisions we had one National Champion and we all knew who that was and I can still name most of them. We have diluted the program so that now the term National Champion has no real meaning. The attendance at the recent National Champion 50 and 100 mile rides in Southern California proves that most people have lost interest in the present setup.

So maybe it is time for a change. At least reducing it to two weight categories would help some and give the title National Champion more meaning. But ideally, in my eyes, a national champion is one person only.
Julie Suhr

[RC] Weight, Marinera