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[RC] Progress - rides2far

Ohyeah!  Several rides I did this year had LOOOONNNGGG walks back to 
camp and to the "official, final" vet exam. renie

Bruce needs to list those long walks as some of the improvements we've
had. Back when I went to my first ride, to get to the finish line riders
crossed a 2 lane highway (which wasn't necessarily busy but did have
semis coming down it at 55 mph) and then went right through the middle of
camp for 100 yards aimed directly at an old barn. I've seen horses run
through it, and others swerve, turn left and go up the hill through the
woods after crossing the finish. They hung the kind of roping with
triangular multicolored flags that used to hang around car lots on both
sides of the race strip. People galloped across the pavement at times. I
used to have video of Susan Kasemayer racing someone in and her horse
went down on the pavement and she was knocked out cold. Rides became more
and more conscious of having safe finish lines rather than entertaining
race offs that everyone could see so they moved the finish lines to safer
places even if it was far from camp. 

At Longstreet's Charge our finish line is one mile from camp. That's at
the crest of a very long gradual climb that's good dirt and plenty wide.
Right after that the road turns downhill towards camp, has gravel that's
worked in to make it slick, twisting turns and drop offs on the side. In
order for the finish to be safe, the finish line is a long walk that's
out in the sun and the finish timer has a lonely job, but it's real
progress in safety.  It would be nice if they decide to go with this 30
min. thing if they'll be sure it doesn't encourage some managements to
move their finish line to a more dangerous spot to keep it close enough
to camp. Kat's PR person at the finish line might help, but in the case
of Longstreet's Charge, it would probably require that we figure out how
to get a LOT of water out there...it's in the sun, not accessable to crew
vehicles and not a good place to get your horse down.



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