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[RC] Endurance sport - steph teeter

Still in Namibia - a few more days then to South Africa for Saldanha (near Capetown) - I think I'll have a horse to ride there!
A few comments - I just saw the post regarding Randy Coleman's death - my sincere condolences - I met Randy while in California a few winters ago, he and his mare were a tight and formidable team. I also want to express sympathy for Crockett's loss of his horse. I don't know any of the circumstances, just want to express sympathy.
Also regarding the US performance in Aachen. We sent top riders and horses - just look up their records in the AERC database. they were sound and fit and well prepared and well taken care of in Aachen. It was a good performance all around. I think Truman's comments were right on - we're just being honestly beaten. I don't know that the other horses were that much better, but the other riders just ride harder, faster, ask more of their horses. FEI is about racing, endurance in the US is about finishing. Very different mentality. Most of the rest of the world does FEI at most rides, riders and horses ride and train and compete. You just don't see a lot of slow times. I don't think we should change our sport in the US, we have a great thing going. But what is lacking is support and acceptance that if we want to compete world-wide we need to train and compete to win. There seems to be a 'whisper' in the US about those that ride to win, consistently, at AERC rides - sometimes harmful comments. We celebrate our high mileage finishers more than our winners. It's really a wonderful sport in the US - we shouldn't change a thing. But it is not conducive to producing International winners.
I also think Kim's comments were very interesting...