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[RC] Could have been "prevented" - k s swigart

Lisa said:

Yes, we have lost horses in competition and yes even at the
?Tevis maybe. However, according to the WOTH reports, most
?deaths were unforeseen problems that couldn't have been prevented. 

All of the deaths that have happened at Tevis or any other endurance ride could 
easily have been prevented from happening at Tevis or any other endurance ride 
simply by not being at Tevis or any other endurance ride in the first place.

Notice that I do not say the deaths could have been prevented (inevitibaly all 
individuals die once, death cannot be prevented), just that they could have 
been prevented from happening at endurance rides by not going to endurance 
rides.? And I mention this because "you shouldn't do it because your horse 
might die" is not a good enough reason to not be doing it.? If I don't ask my 
horse to do _________ (fill in the blank), then yes, it will not die while?it 
is?doing ______, but I will just have to fill in the blank with something else 
that the horse will be doing when it dies.

However, since more than one of the serious accidents and horse deaths that 
have happened at Tevis are from horses going over the edge, one can hardly say 
that these incidents were "unforeseen."? You take hundreds of horses and riders 
every year travelling at speed on the narrow trails of Tevis and combine it 
with looking at past history of the ride, it seems disingenuous, to say the 
least, to then say, "There is no way we could have foreseen that somebody would 
go over the edge."? Going over the edge happens often enough at Tevis to not be 
entirely inaccurate to say "It happens all the time."

Tevis does what it can to mitigate the risks associated with having hundreds of 
horses and riders on the same narrow trail at the same time travelling at speed 
(and not always the same speed so often trying to pass each other) over long 
distances in inaccessible places, but it cannot elimiate them.? The only way to 
eliminate the risks of Tevis is not to do Tevis at all.

I am not advocating abolishing Tevis just to prevent deaths from happening 
there, despite the fact that riders at Tevis are taking risks with their 
horses' lives that they don't "need" to take, but merely for the 
self-gratification of being able to say, "I did it" and to get the outward 
prize (the buckle) for doing it so that they can show it off to all their 
friends.? And some people even travel halfway across the world and pay 
substantial sums of money to do it on borrowed horses that they have never seen 
or ridden before and will never see or ride again.

But I do find it reprehensible that the Western States Trail Foundation (if 
Kate Riordan is not speaking for WSTF then they should say so and reprimand her 
for publicly sending out missives with their name attached) is advocating 
abolishing another equine event just to be sure that some of the horses won't 
die during it, because if there is one horse event in the world that has known 
serious risks to horses associated with participating in it, Tevis is it.

ALL the deaths at Tevis over the years could have been prevented from happening 
at Tevis by stopping the event from happening at all.

Orange County, Calif.

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