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Re: [RC] Fit to continue - Joe Long

Ah, not again.  I do get weary of answering the same question over and over.

tobytrot@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
OK, I have to ask.  I'm not trying to be confrontational here; I am honestly curious..  If  you believe theses statements to be true:
>The finish line is not a vet check. It is different.
 >At the finish, the horse has gone 50+ miles while at the vc's it has not.
That second line is not mine, and it is meaningless.  The horse has gone 50 miles at the 50-mile check of a 60-mile ride.

Now, the finish line is NOT a vet check, and it IS different.  VERY different.

 then what, exactly, does "fit to continue" mean to you?  I am trying to understand the pov that reconciles these statements with 'fit to continue', but I just can't see it....
At the final post-finish-line exam, the horse must be fit to continue.  There is nothing mysterious about that.  If he is not fit to continue, he does not get a completion.  We allow the rider up to one hour to present the horse to the vet for that exam, but the horse MUST be fit to continue or be disqualified.

The confusion seems to stem from the fact that we pull horses at vet checks not only for being not fit to continue, but for failing to recover within 30 minutes.  A horse that fails to recover in 30 minutes at a vet check may indeed be fit to continue, we have plentiful examples that prove this is sometimes the case.  But for SAFETY reasons we pull ALL horses that fail to recover in 30 minutes at a vet check, whether they are fit to continue or not.  That safety reason does not exist at the finish, so we don't do it there.

And to further clarify, one more time, that SAFETY reason is that we know that many horses that fail to recover within 30 minutes will BECOME unfit to continue further down the trail, where they will be out in the wilderness far from veterinary care, if they are stressed further.  The AERC as an organization has wisely decided that this risk warrants pulling all horses that fail to recover within 30 minutes  AT A VET CHECK, even though some of them could go on and finish just fine.

Since we can't predict WHICH horses will BECOME unfit to continue if they actually rode another five, ten or more miles after the finish, it would be grossly unfair to pull all of them there, where there is no risk of them going down in some canyon miles from a road or vet.

Joe Long  aka ChipRider

[RC] Fit to continue, tobytrot