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Re: [RC] team selection - John Teeter

At 04:09 PM 7/21/2006, you wrote:
The nominated entry of 12 horses and riders plus two alternates was named this week through an extensive process by a committee who observed the horses and riders at various events during the past two years. The final team was selected based on two training events that took place in early July.

There is a (slight) mistake in the above quote. for the upcoming WEG (World Equestrian Games), which includes the 2006 WEC (World Endurance Championship); there were 10 horse/rider teams + two alternate horses whose names were submitted as "Nominated Entries" to the Aachen OC (organizing committee) by the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation). From this list, the 5 actual horse/rider competitors plus one alternate horse will be submitted as the "Final Entries" to the OC. The "Nominated Entries" were submitted to the OC on Jul17th; the Final Entries will be submitted to the OC on 14 Aug. Today, the USEF announced that they have determined who will be on their "final Entries" list (barring any changes - but changes can still occur up until the 14th of August).

Steph, can you elaborate on this process? What were the 2 training events? Who is watching at the events to help make these decisions? Do the riders know in advance that they are possibilities and are being watched? Were the riders riding the same horse for those 2 years?

(Steph's gone to town ...:)

While it is true that these 10 riders + the riders of the 2 alternate horses have been working to gain membership to the USEF Endurance Squad for quite some time (slightly less than 2 years. The whole process started with individual riders who "nominated" their horses to be considered for the final 12 member USEF Endurance Squad. This squad (which was announced in early July, will be the USEF squad from which teams will be chosen for the next two years when USEF sends Entries to PanAms, WECs, ...; so the process to be selected takes 2 years, and once selected, the horse/rider team is part of the squad for 2 years (until the completion of the NEXT selection process).

So in 2004 @60 horse/rider teams nominated themselves to be considered for the squad of 12. Over the intervening 2 years there were numerous "qualification rides" where the USEF Endurance Selection Committee observed the nominees. Forms were filled out following EVERY endurance ride entered which tell the story of you and your horses progress toward the ultimate goal of becoming the World Endurance Champion; horses were given special vet exams; a weeding out process (which some say overtaxes the horses - i.e. makes them work too hard to get to the top so that when they are THERE they are beyond their peaks ... but that's controversial).

In 2005, there were a special sequence of 100 mile events at which "points" were allocated based upon a variety of criteria (speed being the primary one). At the end ... there were @40 horse/rider teams still "in the pool". There were then 4 final observation rides in the 2006 ride season; all of the 40 were observed and evaluated at these events. In late Jun06, a list of 12 horse/rider pairs + 6 ranked (1-6) alternate horse/rider pairs were announced. The 12 are the USEF Endurance Squad Members for the next 2 years - From this pool of 12, USEF will select entries to nominate for WEC and PanAm (world and contenental) championship events. So the 12 are our US Endurance Squad until a new squad is chosen in 2008.

There were two "Training Events", one in PA 3 weeks ago, and one in CA last week-end, where the 12+5 (one of the 6 alternates withdrew to become Chef d' Equip) presented themselves for ONE LAST observation. They held an extensive (2 hr?) vet exam for each horse - they did a 30 mile observation ride (hmmm an LD Championship!!:) and they interviewed all the squad members to see JUST who would be best to have in Aachen. "They" were the USEF Endurance Staff (USEF Endurance Vets, USEF Selection Committee, etc.)

Now on to the 10 + 2 that were presented to the Aachen OC for the upcoming WEG(WEC). They are from the list of 12+6 (note that the list of 12squad + 6 alternates is REALLY a list of 18 Squad members, for it is possible, as in the case of the Aachen nominated entries list, for Squad alternates to be part of a nominated entry list. This would not be the case if there were a strict 12 member squad from which to choose entries to any event. but that's a fine point:)

Then the 10+2horses nominated for Aachen will become 5+1horse definitely entered and off they go. When the 2007 PAC (Pan American Championship) happens in Brazil next year, this pool of 18 horse/rider pairs will be again called upon to represent the US. a team of 6 horse/rider pairs will be selected from the pool of 18 to head off to Brazil.

Also, starting from next March (a guess:), there will be a whole new cycle of nominations/evaluation/selection occurring identify who will represent the US at the 2008 WEC (and also the 2009 PAC) and while those guys are out competing, there will be yet another cycle to find who will represent the US at the 2010 Worlds in Kentucky.

AND every 2 years, the process by which the selection occurs is evaluated, changed, (hopefully) improved and (sometimes) new people get involved in the upcoming process cycle. It's important to note that this is a USEF process - it is not an AERC process. The AERC International Committee has some loose charter to do grassroots identification/support, but it is the USEF and it's endurance VPs and Committees which run these processes for international competition. If you want to get involved, joint USEF and see if you can get appointed to one of the Endurance related committees!

So, it takes 2 years to be selected for a WEC - a lot of focus, expense, preparation and horse effort. A lot of paperwork and did I mention expense. You have to REALLY want to do it and you should have a REALLY good horse (or mule!!:)

> I just found out how to see if you qualify for NC ride, (Thanks to Judy who probably thinks there is something seriously wrong with me ;(

Now as to your comment re: the NC ride. The AERC National Championship event qualifications are not in any way related to the USEF processes. The AERC NC qualifications (currently) have only to do with you and your horse and what you have done (either alone - must have 1000+ miles together) or in competition (must have 300 miles and have top 10'd in your weight division in at least 1 AERC event in the previous x months (where x varies a bit based on the year). These criteria are subject to change annually by the AERC board.  The AERC NC happens once a year at various venues throughout the land (this year the Old Dominion trail; next year the Owyhee County trails in Idaho:) I've heard rumors that the AERC would like to establish permanent facilities to have these NC events (simuliar maybe to the suggested USEF Endurance Training facility).

The expense for the AERC NC is pretty much limited to time, travel, and 1 ride entry fee. Beyond that it is very easy and accessible for all AERC members (Note that this includes our Canadian Members so the name "National Championship" is really not correct. It's really AERC Championship...)

As a final (and very tangential:) comment; the US really does not have a United States Endurance Champion crowned each year in the same sense that the recently announce French 2006 National Champion, or the German National Champion, or the Argentine National Champion. In France, Germany, and Argentina, the National Federation sanctions and recognizes a national championship event - but the USEF (US Federation) does not have such an event. The AERC National Championship event does recognize champions in 5 divisions in the 100 mile and 50 mile distances, but that is 10 champions who may be from any country as long as they are AERC members - it is an issue which the AERC has long attempted to address. If you have any ideas as to how to make progress on this issue, work with the AERC board. Or, possible USEF will simply designate a national championship event at some point.

If I missed anything, or wasn't clear, or was just flat out wrong on any of the above, it's b/c it's 100+ df here today and I'm avoiding going out to blow up gophers...:)


John said something about having the paperwork filled out within a certain amount of time before a particular event, so what if you don't belong to all the right agencies and what not? Does that all have to be done before you can even be considered?

To be considered for the AERC NC event, you just have to tell the Ride Manager I think. To be considered for the USEF Endurance Squad, you have to start by presenting your nomination (just a letter saying "I Nominate Me and My Horse ..."); once nominated, the current process cycle will dictate what else you need. To have your nomination accepted you MUST be a member of the USEF (and possibly the USEF will have a nominating criteria which says you must be a member of AERC International - but remember, THAT is a USEF requirement!!:)

[RC] team selection, oddfarm