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Re: [RC] FEI vs. American endurance riding - A False Dichotomy - KimFue

In a message dated 06/21/2006 3:07:11 PM Pacific Standard Time, Stagg_Newman@xxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
So from the above evidence one AERC certaily has flat fast rides and
FEI has rides that are on tough mountainous courses.  

There are many different types of rides over different terrains in
both FEI and AERC.  

There is at the championship level a different
emphasis and in FEI, that emphasis is more on winning.
   You are certainly correct in your above examples and I do agree that at the chamionship level there is emphasis on winning but I see that at AERC championship rides with those that ride to place.  What you do not mention is that in the last few years, there has been an emphasis at the championship level of using a less technical course which of course emphasizes speed.  The examples of this are the WEC in Dubai as well as the FEI position to create a course that is "spectator friendly" and finishes early.  Perhaps this trend is now swinging towards the opposite direction....perhaps not.  I spoke with a French competitor at the Californios ride a couple of weeks ago, and she told me that the courses the French use for their National competitions (all of which are FEI) are not technical at all and the emphasis is definitely on speed.  If this is the trend at National competitions outside of AERC, perhaps we have seen the last of an Old Dominion type course for the WEC because the rest of the world does not ride like this.
FEI riding in the US at the National level will certainly be of varied terrain and be a mix of technical and non technical courses.  This is because the majority of FEI rides co sanction with existing AERC rides.  So riding FEI at the National level really isn't much different then riding AERC except for some added protocols.  It will be interesting to see if AERC riders like a less technical course as new 100 mile rides are created so riders and horses can more easily earn their COCs.  Time will tell on that also.  But there is no question in my mind that at the championship level, FEI and AERC are worlds apart.  I doubt that any US endurance rider would consider a flat course with a winning time of under 8 hours a "championship" course.  It seems that AERC riders consider the technical aspect of the trail in much higher regard then speed when it comes to "championship".  Is there any AERC endurance  rider that would question the "championship" level of the Tevis course or the OD course? 
Kim Fuess