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Re: [RC] WEG 2006 - Truman Prevatt

It's a race. The WEC is a race. To win at this level - the rider has to ride on the edge. If he doesn't he won't win because that is what the competition is doing. There are some might good drivers and mechanics in NASCAR, Grand Prix racing, etc., but you still see a lot of blown engines simply because they are operating on the hairy edge. They select their champion by a series of races, but don't drive the same engine each race.

What you see at the WEC is because of two factors. It's winner take all with a lot of people there going for the win - be they individuals or teams. In fact if you aren't going there for the win or help your team win you have no business there taking up a spot on the team. Second they tend to treat more because it is higher stress. If there is a problem and a horse is dehydrated - they go on fluids in many cases as a prophylactic measure. I applaud them for that. If the FEI is going to incentivize riding the horses on the edge - they should provide the facilities to mitigate the impact and they do. Does it always work - no, but it a heck of a lot better than a "wait and see if they recover on their own" IMO.

One thing I have heard people talk about to the minimize the risk on the horses is to change it WEC to a series of races where the horse/rider TEAM with the most points at the end of the series is the winner. However, that probably would turn out being worse since it - it would just move the "Katie bar the door flat out race" to the last race in the series when the horses are probably a little tired going into. It would also have a significant cost impact - especially for many riders in the US who are not independently wealthy but have good horses and a desire to participate.

The FEI championship rides are what they are - they are a race. If you change the race - it is not longer endurance racing. I don't see that changing. The question in my mind is if we as an organization don't accept the impact on the horses by the structure of the WEC in our values as an organization - what are we doing about it? If we can't help the FEI change the structure to provide more safety for the horses and consequently a better image of the event - should we be supporting the FEI as an organization at all? You are many times painted by the same brush as the company you keep.

Truman

k s swigart wrote:
Steph Teeter said:

...the press and other disciplines weren't critical
of the Aachen course, they were critical of the sport.
Most of the rest of the Equestrian world never sees
Endurance unless it is held in conjunction with a WEG.
...
But still, when less than 50% of entries can even 'get
around' without some level of metabolic distress or
lameness... that simply doesn't look good.
Because if they don't do something to encourage riders to ride their
horses within their capabilities even if it means slowing down so they
can, then the world endurance championships (with everybody else
watching) will continue to be an event where the rest of the equestrian
community (and the world at large??? if some people were to have their
way) just sees a bunch of riders who are willing to (or are too ignorant
to know not to) ride their horse into the ground.


--

"Life is about obstacles. Endeavors in life are not to be overlooked. Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens. Not by what life brings us, but the attitude we bring to life." Wade Boggs, on his induction to the baseball hall of fame.


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Replies
[RC] WEG 2006, k s swigart