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Re: [RC] Weight - heidi

As usual, Julie has put it all in a nutshell.  I'll second Barbara's
"take" on this, other than I really don't care if there are weight
divisions, or what they are--I simply feel that if we are to have them,
the national champion(s) should still be determined by the overall points,
and that the overall placings should be given in addition to the weight
division placings.  This is about recognition, not about "stuff"--it need
not be a separate award, just something that acknowledges the
accomplishment.  In other words, let's say I'm the 3rd HW in the nation,
and I'm 9th overall--the award could be one thing (jacket, plaque,
whatever) that says both of those things, to avoid the expense of
duplication.  But somebody earns the most points of anybody--and that
somebody deserves the credit for doing so and the respect of a champion.


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 â??great. If they
can'tâ??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 waysâ??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 m ost 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
Julie Suhr


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[RC] Weight, Marinera