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Re: [RC] [RC] Questions for Steph - Maryanne Gabbani

On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 12:28 AM, Steph Teeter <stephteeter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I'll try to answer as best I can...

> 1. Do you know  which other nations/countries that award cash as an
> award or reward riders with monetary compensation for where they
> place?  Is this common place in other parts of the world besides
> the UAE?

The only other place I've seen cash prizes was in Malaysia. It think
it's fairly common across the Middle East though.
Most of those prizes are still funded by the UAE who fund the national FEI support for endurance racing in the Middle Eastern countries directly. In other words, the cash prizes are still coming from outside.

Here in Egypt, the national federation was mostly about how much money could be skimmed from the Egyptian government in importing European jumpers until the UAE walked in with large jingly bags of cash for the endurance racing program. Not a single clinic or teaching program by the way, for the record.  Just lots of cash. The national federation thought they'd died and gone to heaven. But now there is discord in heaven because the national federation has gotten very greedy and went and built its own endurance village without pyramids because it's at the president of the federation's farm and the UAE doesn't like to race there. 

By the way, in order for a vet or anyone else to attend an FEI certification program, they have to have the ok from the national federation. In the US where the USEF is pretty wide open, probably any properly qualified individual could attend the certification course (which is part of the development program of Hydra, right?) So for an Egyptian vet to become an FEI vet, the national federation has to okay it, and guess what our national federation REALLY doesn't like to do...that's right, allow certification of vets or stewards who aren't part of the little gang. So we have ONE certified vet here...and he's so crooked that the UAE won't even let him work a ride without very close supervision. So the problem you might have in a developing country is that all of a sudden the national federation becomes a significant source of outside cash and they are not willing to share the wealth...it becomes a strictly closed shop.  AND THE FEI INTERNATIONAL DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO CHANGE THIS.  They could file sanctions against the national, they could refuse to recognise rides or competitions. But they do nothing at all.

> 3. Also, does "technical" course in other nations really mean the
> same thing as "technical" course in the US?  From what I have
> learned is that although many foreign courses may not be a flat,
> groomed, sand, track as in the UAE, many of the "natural" obstacles
> that we normally see in our rides would NEVER be used  or allowed
> in an endurance race/ride in some other countries.
Yes, 'technical' means the same thing to others as it does to us. But
you must realize that every country is limited by their natural
terrain.  UAE was very technical when they first started - deep sand
was all they had to work with.

But Egypt and Jordan at least do have things other than deep sand and the races are all steered away from anything other than flat sand, preferably not as deep as the naturally occurring stuff. The Gulf teams were all unhappy about our desert at the Pan Arab games. The sand was too deep, there were hills...(that's a laugh. You've seen our "hills" Steph. They are barely noticeable slopes. They didn't even go anywhere near a real baby hill and baby hills are all we have here)...we should have just bulldozed a nice course around the pyramids. I'd LOVE to see the reaction of Zahi Hawass to this idea since they were racing in antiquities land. As far as I can see in this area, technical means not bulldozed.

> 4. If  UAE endurace style racing is not common, popular, or
> accepted in the rest of the world, why are we constantly bombarded
> with news, ride reports, articles, coverage etc. on UAE style
> racing.  Just looking at the ridecamp archives, endurance tracks,
> world news, on Endurance.Net other than US news and stories from
> AERC riders the reports from the UAE dominate.   Isn't
> understandable why ridecamp subscribers could have a skewed
> perception of endurance in the rest of the world if most of their
> information comes from endurance.net?

I think there are a few reasons:
1. the UAE season is during most RC's winter (non-riding) months,
with lots more time on the computer
2. the UAE has a very active press corp, and part of what we
(Endurance.Net) do is to publish everything and anything that we can
find in the online news stream. During the months of November -
February, there are almost weekly news streams coming out of the UAE,
and they are written in classic sports style - emphasizing winners
and records, and also written in classic monarchy style - sheikhs and
rulers are mentioned and glorified when possible
3. the endurance news from the UAE is in itself so foreign to most of
us that it leaves a deep impression - between the money, the shieks,
the speed, the vehicle crewing, etc. it's hard not to react.
4. If you go and look at the special events archive (http://
www.endurance.net/events/archive.html ) you will see lots of stuff
from around the world. (the most recent entries are from the winter
stint in UAE) .
5. UAE season ends this month, you won't see any more until next
December!  (tho you will still see FEI news, and often that includes

But, Merri and I are off to Spain in a couple weeks for a 10-day ride
across Andalusia. (it is not FEI sanctioned). Then Merri will do a
little tour of Spain and Portugal, and I'll go to Malaysia for a new
ride. (then back to Idaho in time to manage the Tough Sucker ride in
Oreana :)

And Alice Proust is going to post photos and results from another
ride in Spain this weekend.

...And we're posting results and photos from Bahrain's big ride this
weekend. so you'll get a little more desert racing news...



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Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

Egypt Face to Face
Living In Egypt
Cairo/Giza Daily Photo
Turn Right At The Sarcophagus
Da Moose Is Loose (a blog for kids)
Photos of Egypt:
[RC] Questions for Steph, FXLivestock
Re: [RC] Questions for Steph, Steph Teeter