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RE: [RC] endurance riding/racing and FEI influence - Ranelle Rubin

Well said Steph!

While I personally have absolutely no desire or resources to ever compete at anything but the local level, I have a mentor, Ann Hall who has raced, trained, consulted, and brokered horses all over the world. That woman knows so very much about how to safely compete in this sport at any level.

I had the pleasure of helping she and Hal when their riders came in (a full 30 min or so ahead of ours) at last weekend's ride.  Here are folks who get paid to fly all over the world to ride, crewing at a local ride 'cause their trainer was riding a client's horse and they wanted to support him.

That is what I love so much about our sport. You can take your horse to Dubai to compete, ride a horse in Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and come home and crew 10 miles from home and make a difference!

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~ John Wayne

Ranelle Rubin, Business Consultant
Independent Dynamite Distributor

530-885-3510 home office
916-718-2427 cellular
916-848-3662 fax

> To: AERCMembersForum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> From: steph@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [RC] endurance riding/racing and FEI influence
> Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 20:53:36 -0600
> -relative to discussion on the AERC members list about taking the
> 'race' out of the sport and making it a 'ride' :
> I really hate to see people try to redefine our sport, for whatever
> reason. It always has been a 'race' - the rules are very clear in
> that - it is a timed event. There is always room for people that just
> want to ride w/o caring about how they place against the others - but
> if we completely take the 'race = timed event' out of our sport then
> I think it will lose a lot of appeal to many of us. I think a lot of
> the griping is coming from people who are simply getting older and
> aren't into the 'racing' like they used to be :)
> (Jerry - you had some incredible 'races' with Irene - have you
> forgotten? - you were definitely not riding for 'just completion'! )
> And I think the threat/influence that people associate with FEI is
> actually going to diminish. They (FEI) are starting to diverge from
> our sport - with the cut-off times imposed on ride entries by FEI
> organizers around the world (this is becoming more common) the 'ride'
> or 'finish' aspect is diminishing. Plus a slate of new rules on the
> table regarding qualifications, plus the need for multiple officials
> which adds a considerable cost, plus the ridiculous amount of fees
> and paperwork, plus the prevalence of prize money awards... - it is
> becoming a sport that requires much more financing and sponsorship
> than before. I see this as a big loss and detriment to the sport of
> endurance (riding/racing), and each country is going to have to come
> to their own terms with this. I know that I am just about done with
> hosting FEI rides because I'm getting so tired of the fees and the
> paperwork and the expense. I have never seen excessive 'racing-
> without-regard-for-the-horse' at any of my FEI events, to the
> contrary I often see better, fitter horses and better riders at these
> events. I typically see (as a ride organizer) more problems with
> novices and overzealous riders on under-conditioned horses than I do
> with the competitive FEI types, at least in the USA. I think AERC has
> a very good, very strong, culture of 'to finish is to win' riders and
> we always will. But we also have some great competitive riders that
> love a good race and enjoy the training, pacing, and selection of
> good horses that can be 'better than the rest'.
> The issue of 'competition' on private or public lands is probably
> something we should address - perhaps have options for sanctioned
> rides that allow organizers to hold events, but don't recognize
> 'winners' or 'placers' , or have relayed starts, or some way to get
> around the race aspect...- we have tons of options at our disposal
> for keeping our sport alive by encouraging participants and
> preserving trails and access. We (AERC) can grow with a changing
> world - but, I don't think we need to redefine the sport as a 'ride'
> excluding the 'race' aspect. We just need to be practical.
> Steph
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[RC] endurance riding/racing and FEI influence, Steph Teeter