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RE: Is 100 miles in one day too much? RE: [RC] WEG 2006 - Bob Morris

One entry found for endurance.

Main Entry: en.dur.ance 
Pronunciation: in-'dur-&n(t)s, -'dyur-, en-
Function: noun
1 : PERMANENCE, DURATION <the endurance of the play's
2 : the ability to withstand hardship or adversity;
especially : the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful
effort or activity <a marathon runner's endurance>

Using the above definition of the term ENDURANCE I would
venture that the FEI concept, of a minimum time for
completion of a given distance, is truly not an endurance

Perhaps we need to step back and examine exactly what we
would like to see as the epitome of world endurance
competition. Exactly what should the "WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP"

A few points immediately come to mind:(not necessarily in
order of importance)
1. Competition open to all nations.
2. Competition adaptable to all geographic conditions.
3. Competition adaptable to all climatic conditions. 
4. Competition ensuring the welfare of the horse. 
5. Competition with enforceable rules for qualification and
6. Competition that embodies the true meaning of

Considering the above points, #1 is a definitive given. #2
means that the concept of endurance competition accepts what
ever course terrain is available in the host country. One
event might be in hilly country and the next in a very flat
country but the natural terrain will be used. #3 brings to
mind the current controversy about having a championship
ride in a hot humid venue. Well, that is endurance! #4 is
paramount. #5 indicates that all competitors will be riding
in all competitions, under a uniform set of rules. #6 One
ride in a few hours is not competition. Currently 3-day
eventing shows more endurance concepts than our FEI
Championships. Set a minimum of miles over a minimum of days
as the basis. Being a world championship, perhaps 225 miles
over three days.

But then we all dream don't we?


Bob Morris
Morris Endurance Enterprises
Boise, ID 

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Steph
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 10:34 AM
To: k s swigart; ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Is 100 miles in one day too much? RE: [RC] WEG 2006

Perhaps this is heresy... but is it possible that 100 mile
horse races are simply too hard?? Perhaps it might be better
if our sport embraced a shorter version (or perhaps a 2 or 3
day version) for championship level competitions? Certainly
100 miles in one day is the ultimate challenge, but if the
sport has become a 'last man standing' sport, then perhaps
we don't have it right yet. After seeing the last two
Presidents Cup rides finish winners in just over 7 hours, my
thought was that this is simply not a sustainable sport -
horses are simply not mechanically or physiologically
capable of sustaining those speeds over those distances. We
are seeing a sport where only a few  incredible athletes -
the freaks - are able to play, and the majority can't even
finish the course.

In human sports there are 'ulta marathons' but this is also
an extreme, freak, sport- and if the Olympics embraced a 100
mile human race, we would probably also see a 'last man
standing' sport, where at least half the competitors had to
retire before they completed the course. And I don't think
the public would approve. I think the comparison between
human distance races and horse distance races is valid given
the athletic ability and capability of the two species.
Humans can also run 100 miles, and it is a valid challenge,
a valid sport for the 'ultra' elite athlete, but it is not a
mainstream sport and therefore has limited appeal to the
International community. why is that??

It's easy to say 'well, just throw in rocks and mountains to
slow them down' - but this is not a solution that is
available to most of the world. And in a true race situation
(e.g. International competition) an Old Dominion type course
would result in an unacceptable level of injury on race day.

Give the current format of Endurance the only way to reverse
the 'last man standing' trend of International competition
is to make people slow down, which is a difficult concept in
a true race format. Kat - your idea is as good as any I've
heard. But we'd still see 100 mile races around the world
(and in the US btw) where 50% completion rates are not
unheard of.

But if we were given the opportunity to change the format
(currently 100 miles in 1 day, speed is everything) of FEI
Championship Endurance ... any ideas? How can we test our
own horses' endurance against the rest of the world's
horses' endurance and still reward skill, training, athletic
ability, sportsmanship - and still have a sport that we feel
good about doing??


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Is 100 miles in one day too much? RE: [RC] WEG 2006, Steph Teeter