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[RC] Melissa's Mongol "Dream Team" - Dream Weaver

At 02:43 PM 7/6/2009, you wrote:
 The Duck's "you are on your own o=
ut there" and "don't count on me to save your horse's life" go a little way=
 to fostering some of these skills (although I am still trying to figure ou=
t why it is okay for the Duck to say it, but not The Adventurist),

The Duck has a long history (see: http://xprides.com/History.html) of putting on successful events of this type.  Most of the people attending these events are experienced.  We may be in for some surprises but overall the big picture is generally the same.  We aren't in a third world country, and we are riding our own horses.  The Adventurists have zero experience with hosting horse events. 

I've seen what people will do to their own horses, usually out of ignorance, ego, or out of the heat of the moment - to get something that amounts to a $10 "prize".  I have seen horses run to death in a handful of miles on a pony express re-enactment - no prize there, and again shows that you don't have to go very far to experience a serious problem.  Every single rider going on this adventure may very well be happy to plug along at a 3 to 5 mile an hour average pace but I wouldn't count on it.  

I have personally corresponded with at least four different people who have ridden in and across Mongolia.  One person text messaged her sheep herder guide that lives in Mongolia and he sent her back photos and answered my questions!  In that way, I learned a lot more than I learned by reading any posts on ridecamp, or even from the Long Rider's Guild.  It was an education and I now understand a lot better why there is so much concern about the wellfare of not just the horses, but the people that own them. 

Because of what I have learned this week, I don't have a hard time feeling concern and compassion for several hundred horses that may or may not be properly trained and prepared to go "only 25 miles", when they are going to be ridden by those that may not have the right kind of experience in distance riding that would help alert them to a problem.  Or avoid one all together.  I do agree with what most have said - these riders are going to be hurting pretty bad after just the first day and this may end up being a "walking race".  That doesn't mean that the rest of the world should turn a blind eye and not care that there is a potential for disaster. 

The Adventurists can't even seem to decide what it is they are doing.  They sent me a press release this morning.  One part of it says this:

About The Mongol Derby
Hosted in a country where the horse is part of the fabric of the nation, the inaugural
Derby will take endurance horse racing to a new level.

then below that, not much farther down, this:

Is this an endurance race?
The Mongol Derby is NOT an endurance race, and has never been described as

So, which is it???? 

When we attend any XP ride we know ahead of time that racing is discouraged and certainly not recognized as being a "big deal".  There is no guessing about what kind of event it is that you are attending.  http://xprides.com/RidingandRacing.html