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[RC] New incentive to enter 100's - Bruce Weary DC

I really hate to be a killjoy about this idea, but it is fraught with problems. I'm sure folks will come up with more, but consider these:
1) If a rider tries a 100 miler, but he only goes, say 82 miles, how much time does he get to complete his ride? AERC completion allowance times are based on 4.167 mph. Does he get the whole 24 hours to finish the 82 miles? What if he pulls somewhere out on the trail, with no timer to determine if he is within the time allowance for his mileage?
2) A rider could conceivably garner enough mileage without actually completing the total distance, and do so on several occasions, and thereby possibly outperform other riders whose mileage was all obtained by fully completing the rides. Imagine a regional or national mileage champion who didn't always get to the finish line. This could affect many awards, including Husband and Wife, Family, Pioneer, and mileage chevrons, to name a few.
3) Does the rider only get the miles if he pulls before the vet tells him to? Can the vet say, "If you pull now, you can have your miles, but you can't go on." ?
4) How is the rider's completion percentage to be figured in AERC statistics if he doesn't get to the finish line, but is deemed to have
"successfully" completed some miles? Would it be counted as a completion?

The long and short of it is that this is a sport, like many others, where only so much can be done to make it inviting to the participants. It's part of the game. I can't go to Vegas and ask that the casinos change the odds in my favor, because though I enjoy gambling, and I'm happy to take home any winnings, I would really rather not lose any money, when it comes right down to it. We can't go to unreasonable lengths to assure "success" or eliminate "losses" (ride fees, gas money, completions rates) for the participants. In addition, rider's ought not, IMO, "take a wild swing" at a 100 mile ride. The horse and rider should be adequately prepared to take on a 100 miler, and have confidence that the horse is old enough, experienced enough, and conditioned enough to attempt one, and that the rider knows how to pace and care for the horse over 100 miles properly, so that a positive outcome is more likely. Then, still, there are those few riders who just might figure, "I'll go for the front and run him until he can't go any more, and take whatever miles I can get."
Julie Suhr tells me that you can often tell what your horse thinks of you when you look in his eyes. I shudder to think what his opinion would be of me if running him until he can barely get a completion for fractional miles were my strategy. Bruce Weary


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