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[RC] A few points - Bruce Weary

Hi David--
Thank you for your response. We will probably have to agree to disagree, but I have a few rebuttals. You said that my reasoning that the need for increased recognition (above what is already available in LD, which is sizable) is the reason that many feel mistreated, was nonsense. Then you stated that you think the real reason is "not being treated as a full member of the community." If not feeling like a full member is in no way tied to points, miles, recognition, BC or any other award or form of public reward or recognition, where does this feeling come from?
100 milers are awarded differently than two 50's. There is a point differential that rewards the one day 100 miler above the two 50's. Of course, the miles themselves are the same, as they should be.
Any member of the AERC can be one of many things--a distance rider, an LD rider (I have done many), a rider of endurance distances, a 100 miler, a multiday-er, a lightweight, a junior, a senior, and the nicknames go on and on under the umbrella of AERC. I don't think anyone really cares about what casual moniker we all want to apply to ourselves. The confusion comes from the fact that "endurance riding" is a global term that casually refers to our sport, and an "endurance ride" is defined as any distance at or above 50 miles in a day. Way back when the term was coined, there were no LD rides, proving that the choice of the term was not meant to be exclusionary. It's awkward to say, "I'm an AERC member who is riding an LD today." It's easier to say, "I'm riding the LD today, and an endurance ride tomorrow." These are semantics that some have stretched into feigned insult as exclusionary and demeaning. Clearly, they are not. Using this "insult" as a rationale, some have then often strategized to build a case for such things as adding endurance points for LD rides, and pushing to make the LD venue one designed for racing. The latter agenda causes grave concern amongst those who have been around long enough to remember what happened in the early days when LD did not have the restrictions it has today, as well as amongst our veterinary staff in their concern for the welfare of the horse.

My observation over the last 25 years has been that the majority of people who find themselves riding in an LD at any given time (that would be me three weeks ago) are indeed there for the reasons I mentioned earlier--not wanting to ride the longer distances, physical, time and financial limitations, and equine limitations of maturity, conditioning, soundness and injury recovery. I think it is a vocal few who are wanting the sport to change to allow LD to become a full fledged racing opportunity and other benefits currently only ascribed to rides that are two to four times longer.
You mentioned that the sport has changed, and it has in many ways. I also see pressure being exerted by a few to change the sport itself to meet their personal taste or limitations, and I object to some of those changes, especially as they relate to what I mention above.

This debate has gone on for a long time, and will undoubtedly continue. I appreciate the opportunity to express how I see things. LD has been a very good thing for AERC. I don't believe making it a racing venue or awarding endurance points would be. Bruce Weary


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