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Re: [RC] FEI - racing - riding - Europe - USA - Truman Prevatt

Leonard.Liesens@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Hi ridecampers,

Hi Leonard.

Also, ALL RACES in Europe ( 120km, 140km, 160km) are FEI.

Crewing is different in our countries : our crew follows us (most of the ride manager provide a road book for the crew cars) and meet us every 8..12 km. We stop and get bottles to cool the horse and horses are given drinking water. OK, this is a lot more tense than you water stop where you guys dismount and take you time to sponge and have a talk with your friends. In Europe this is quite different... You want an example : watch the photos of eruropean rides and look at the expression on the face of the riders : very few smiles, tension, concentration... It is a sport, a competition. Every second/minute counts.

As you probably know by now - the US is a huge country. Much of Europe could fit into Texas. Endurance riding has a great tradition of a big tent. Racing is just one small corner of this tent. The AERC honors, lifetime and even yearly achievements that have noting to do with "competition" except competition with the trail. We don't chase our horses down the trail with vehicles or have grooms or crews meet them every 5 miles (approximately 8 km).

Many don't really care about racing and most riders will never race in the US. But they are still out there going down the trail. It seems the one difference in tradition is in the FEI it IS a race or at least a competition against the fellow riders. In the AERC many ride against the trail - they would ride the same way independent of the other riders.

I think it is somewhat irrelevant if the race is in France or the USE - if it is on a rolling course laid out in France or a packed sand track laid out in the UAE - at the end of the day it is a race rather than a ride. I think at the end of the day - that's the difference.I have heard more than one rider who is looking for a 100 but will avoid an FEI 100 in this country. This view I think is getting more prevalent.

I think the AERC vision of endurance is unique in the sports world in that it does encompass a large spectrum. To many the AERC is focused on one man, one day, 100 miles. There is no mention of anyone else being involved. The FEI version is focused on a competition between individuals. While that may seem like a subtle difference - it is a really a very big difference.

We are (at least I am) quite happy with the way it works in the USA. I'm not looking for any help form our European or Gulf friends in changing the underlying culture or structure of our sport - which I feel is a good one. What the Europeans do is up to them. What the Gulf states do is up to them. In reality what many of us consider endurance compared to what the FEI considers endurance is similar to what the US calls football compared to the European version which as we all know has noting whatsoever to do with football ;-) .

Have a nice sleep.



"It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man." H.L. Mencken


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[RC] FEI - racing - riding - Europe - USA, Leonard.Liesens