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RE: [RC] [AERCMembersForum] Re: Changes to completion rules considered - heidi

<sigh>  <rolling eyes>
Joe.  Get a grip.  Dobbin's rider wanted a completion.  He knew the rules of the game going in.  Under one system, he can ride like hell, take 59 minutes to come down, and then get a completion.  Whereupon he loads Dobbin in the trailer (quite stressed), and hauls ass down the road.
Under the second system, he realizes that Dobbin is tiring, so he rides more conservatively on the last loop, Dobbin comes in in much better shape, and is able to recover in a timely manner.  Now he throws Dobbin in the trailer to go home, but Dobbin is "fit to continue" and is up to it.
Dobbin's rider didn't just learn about the new rule at the finish line--it was in his AERC rule book, and was told to him at the pre-ride meeting so he had to ride accordingly to get any reward for the ride.
OK, so let's play it your way.  Dobbin takes 59 minutes to recover.  The rider gets a completion, so he figures he knows how to do this sport.  He throws Dobbin in the trailer, and miraculously, Dobbin gets home in one piece.  And because Dobbin's rider is now such an expert, he brings Dobbin back and does it again in two weeks.  And again two weeks after that.  And again two weeks after that.  And finally Dobbin is all washed up from the cumulative stress.  (And as I've already shared, in two such cases, I know that Dobbin died post-season.) 
But let's say he DOESN'T get a completion, because we now insist that pulses be down by 30 minutes.  One of two things will happen.  Either (a) the rider is so pissed off at this crazy sport where he "finished the course" but didn't get a completion that he never brings Dobbin back again.  Problem solved--Dobbin is not subjected to further abuse.  Or (b) because the rider did not get the reinforcement of a completioin award, he decides he has some more to learn about this sport, so he figures out how to ride Dobbin within his capacity next time, either by getting Dobbin in better shape first, or by pacing Dobbin better, or both.  Either way, Dobbin wins.
Let's face it--as others have pointed out in criticizing this concept, Dobbin doesn't usually die from taking longer to recover--it is the repeated metabolic wear and tear that damages him.
Go back and read Steph's post about the acceptability of this.  She nailed it.

heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

> Joe, I've read that argument over and over again.  And as several others
> have eloquently pointed out, many horses are facing their biggest stress
> of the day AFTER the ride, when they are loaded into trailers within an
> hour or two and hauled home.  So that dog don't hunt!

A question occurred to me:  how does it help the horse to be thrown into
his trailer and hauled down the highway 30 minutes after finishing,
instead of one hour?  Shortening the time for the post-ride exam (or
recovery) will just allow these people to load up and leave even sooner.

Here's a scenario for you:  Ol' dobbin is not recovering, so he's pulled
at 30 minutes after finishing.  His rider loads him in the trailer and
leaves.  Meanwhile, Ol' dobbin begins to colic -- with the rider driving
down the highway blissfully unaware of his worsening condition.  Had the
final check been one hour, Ol' dobbin would have coliced while still in
camp close to the vets.  Now, just how did the 30-minute cutoff help
this horse?
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