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[RC] COC in 2006 - KimFue

Since 13hr20 seems to be a difficult qualification for most of the US 100s that exist at this time I suggest making courses that would specifically be designed for easy qualification.  Why not find a flat 14 mile course on perfect footing and run it 7 times.  Have vet checks every 14 miles.  Easy on ride management as far as marking goes and it certainly wouldn't require as much ride help, vets, and FEI officials and that would keep management costs down.  You could even design a course that would allow support vehicles/crew to follow or meet riders along the course so completion times could even be faster with all the extra crewing and support.  My guess is that every time zone has this type of terrain and could come up with a ride designed specifically for qualifying.  I guess in a pinch you could design a course on a one mile track and go around 100 times.  When the speed factor becomes the most important consideration in qualifying for an event, 100 miles is 100 miles.  If one needs to qualifying in 13.20 hours who cares how it is done.  This type of ride would probably only attract those that need a COC or those AERC riders that point chase. The horses would probably hate it....but when time/speed becomes the important value for a COC other things valued at 100 mile rides like technical trail, irregular footing, hills, must take a back seat in the name of horse safety.  Very few horses can combine speed with some of these other factors encountered at most of our 100 miles rides.  Of course, I am assuming that those selecting would like a large number of "qualified" riders from which to pick a squad. 
Even if entries at the COC designer rides are lower then expected at a "classic" 100 mile ride, the cost saved from only having to mark 14 miles of trail, hiring fewer officials and vets, etc., could make up for fewer entries.  Just think no glow bars would have to be put out as most horses would finish in the light and those in the dark would have already ridden the trail several times...if a horse doesn't know the course after riding it 6 times it probably doesn't belong on any "championship" squad.
     Of course, this isn't what most 100 mile riders are looking for when they enter a 100 mile ride BUT again the purpose of a ride like this is to qualify the largest number of horses NOT provide a challenge to horse and rider that may slow down completion times because of weather, footing, and technical trails. 
Since ride management is not able to control unusual weather conditions that may occur at COC qualifying rides here or abroad,  the answer to this unreasonable COC qualifying time is to design several courses in which the only "challenge" to the horse would be the weather.  Ride management has total control over the type of course designed so why not tailor it to the purpose of the COC...qualifying the most horses in 13.20 hours.  Since it seems that the wheels of change in FEI turn slowly so I doubt that the COC requirement will be over turned in the near future.  It seems reasonable to me that the US and any other countries having difficulty with the new COC should be designing courses specifically so horses can complete the race safely in the 13.20 time limit.  It really seems crazy that many of the qualifying rides are providing a challenge to horses that is more difficult then the championship event itself.
Perhaps if easier courses were designed for especially for FEI qualifying it would justify the USEF high performance committee lowering the competition age for the US horses.