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[RC] Was John C/Heraldic-Now readiness for 100s - KimFue

I have been following this thread and I think that both Angie and Truman bring up some interesting points.  I agree with Truman that there are some "one in a million" horses that seem to be able to do anything and everything. These easily race 100s faster than the average 50 with seemingly no ill effects. But most horses are not capable of reaching these levels of performance regardless of how well they are managed, raced, and trained.
The interesting part of the discussion is not really about a specific horse or performance but the optimal time for riders to get their horses doing 100s.  I tend to agree that most riders want to have a really good base on their horse before attempting a 100.  It is interesting that this usually translates to a "ride record" based on starting with LDs, moving on to 50s, and then doing some multi days.  I do think that there are several horses out there that could be attempting 100s earlier.  But I think that part of the issue is that the riders are not confident that their horses are "ready" so they keep adding on mileage to their horses record yet are not getting more confident that the horse is ready to attempt a 100.  You can't fault riders who are trying to do their horses right. But if 100s are the long term goal, the rider needs to adopt the mind set that a shorter distance is the stepping stone (training ride) to get to the 100.  You don't keep "training" at the same distance if you want to move on to longer distances.  One of the other obstacles I have seen is the idea or theory that it takes horses three years or seasons of conditioning and moving through the shorter competition distances to enter a 100.  I probably agree that most horses should have three seasons or conditioning seasons behind them before racing 100s competitively but I think this is over kill to ride a 100 conservatively. 
To me, using a horse's ride record to evaluate readiness to finish or to win 100s is deceiving.  A ride record does not show the training and conditioning schedule a horse has been in. It also doesn't show the degree or level of horsemanship of the owner/rider. 
It seems to me that the USEF change in nomination requirements was a move to groom/guide horses to the 100 mile distance with the goal being a high level of performance at the 100 mile distance.  This seems to be a change in direction from previous requirements which wanted a pool of already proven 100 mile horses which could then give an outstanding performance at that distance.  In essence, I see this part of the requirement as a move to cut down on "wasted" competition/training miles in which there may be more wear and tear on the horse's physical structure without the benefit of an increase in performance.  It makes a lot of sense.  The only part of the requirement I don't agree with is lowering the competition age.  I don't think that the chronological age goes hand in hand with fewer wear and tear miles.  A 9 or 10 year old that is groomed or conditioned for this level of competition will not be "used up".  There is really no reason to allow 7 year olds to "race" at this level.
I think that if you start a horse and 100 mile rides are the long term goal, the average horse can get to that distance much faster then most riders assume.  I think the real issue here is getting riders confident enough to enter their horses in 100s earlier. There may be some delays in entering a 100 if you need to work through issues or if you find holes in the horses training or personality.  By this I mean if you have a horse that won't take care of himself on the trail or if you find some metabolic issues that need to be addressed before moving to a longer distance.  Notice I say longer distance not faster pace at the same distance.
I know that the majority of riders do not have the 100 mile distance as their horse's long term goal.  There are many riders that may just want to do a 100 once to try it or say they have done it.  Obviously, the above comments are not for you.  But if you want to have a 100 mile horse (not a horse that has done a 100), I suggest getting them to that distance as soon as possible. 
An any situation governed by the laws of probability of a population - there are always a few out on the tail of the distribution. People even win the power ball lottery - one in every 10 billion that play it. Like I said there are the great horses - you named a few. Just because a few great horses did something doesn't mean that it's the wise approach to use on the other 99.9% in the center of the population.

If you look at the records many of these horses are racing 100's faster than the average horse is doing 50's.