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[RC] re: eventing's classic format - Lynn White


Thanks for the analysis of 3-day eventing.  I?ve
always enjoyed following the sport because it really
is a test of horsemanship.  I understand that the
Olympic committee has a large contingent bent on the
elimination of equine competition with the exception
of the pentathlon.  In the olden days, the equine
competition was based on military horsemanship.  It
seems that eventing has kind of morphed into spectator
sport wherein the courses are designed for the
enjoyment of the people watching.  How many spectator
stands are overflowing with people watching the
dressage tests?  I?ve never seen one even half filled
to capacity.  But good luck finding a place to watch
the horses jump the combination jumps that drop into
water and are quickly followed by a five-foot  by
four-foot oxer.  But I do have to hand it to the
riders: they do show a tremendous athletic and
courageous effort.  It takes a great amount of skill
and guts to make those courses look easy. 

It appears that the Olympic committee does not like
the equine sports because basically the horse does all
the work.   The Olympics are about PEOPLE competing,
not horses.  From what I understand about FEI in
Europe and the Gulf States, it appears that the rider
does very little other than ride really fast on a very
fit horse.  They don?t trot out their horses, they
don?t tend to their horses in loops or during holds,
and probably NONE ever get off and run with their
horses. Not many riders really look very tired when
they finish one of these.  Compare what these riders
look like to a marathon runner and you get my point. 
That is why I don?t see FEI endurance ever winning
over the opinions of the non-horsey set of Olympic
committee members.  If riders had to do the lion share
the effort required of taking care of their horse
during a 100-miler, I might see the committee moving
over. But I?m not holding my breath.    Then again
people are bought off so easily now-a-days. 


"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people"

-W.C. Fields



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