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[RC] BOD and FEI - Sisu West Ranch

With todays post I sent the following via USPS first class mail to each member of the AERC BOD:

"Dear (name of member)::

I have been considering writing this letter for some time. The recent action by the FEI in increasing the qualifying speed for the next WEC is the straw that broke the camel's back.

I believe that the AERC BOD should withdraw all association of the AERC with international competition. This includes dissolving of AERC International. There are a number of reasons why I believe this to be a wise action. I will list them in no particular order of priority.

    1. The input of the AERC is no longer needed. In contrast to the situation when the first international championships were held, international endurance riding is strong with its own goals and rules.
    2. The input of the AERC is not wanted. The USEF has firmly and successfully achieved control of our international team and competition. The AERC, as an organization, does not even have one vote in decisions. Any influence we have is a byproduct of interested members who serve on USEF committees representing themselves.
    3. International endurance competition, as currently promoted by the FEI is incompatible with the historic vision of the AERC. The first ride was set up as one man, one horse, 100 miles, one day over a very tough course. This bears little resemblance to a maximum time of 10 hours 40 minutes for a large team of professional racers over a flat course.
    4. A great majority of AERC members desire and participate in amateur events where "to finish is to win". They do not want or need to participate in races at the international level. International endurance racing has evolved into a completely different sport than AERC Endurance Riding. Those who do wish do compete internationally, must join the USEF who then supplies support for their endeavor.
    5. There is a real possibility that adverse publicity from horse deaths or injuries on the international level could harm AERC competition in North America. The first step in protecting ourselves is to publicly sever all ties with international competition. After this there are many steps that can and should be taken to develop a public perception that the AERC Endurance Riding is not FEI International Endurance Racing.
    6. The mindset of international equine competition where the horse is merely a tool to be used in competition is contrary to the ideals of most AERC members. I personally, and I firmly believe most members of the AERC, would not sign a paper giving the USEF control over my horse in return for a chance to compete internationally. No other person or organization controls my horse. This is not negotiable. I would hope that a vast majority of AERC members also feel this way.

There has been a detailed discussion of these points on both Ridecamp and the AERC list service. If you are not familiar with these discussions, I urge you to read the archives. There are many members in the silent majority of AERC who agree with the points raised.

If it will help, I would be happy to discuss the above points or others with you at any time by letter, email, or on the phone."

This issue has been discussed at length on this forum.  It has been posted that many BOD members disregard these discussions for a variety of reasons.  I request that those who have opinions about this do two things.  Firstly, contact the BOD privately and express your opinion.  It is especially important that lurkers do this.  Secondly, contact friends and regional organizations asking for similar contacts. 
The only way the BOD can find out the views of the members who elect them is if the members contact them.  I have done my part, do yours!
Ed & Wendy Hauser
2994 Mittower Road
Victor, MT 59875
(406) 642-9640