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Re: [RC] [Endurance Tracks] France requests change to 2008->2009 - Diane Trefethen

Hi Leonard,

The two most vivid impressions I have of Endurance on the European continent, and please correct me if I am in error, are that a) it is all run under the auspices of FEI using their rules and their standards and b) the vast majority of riders are trying finish high in their races, climb the ladder of International Competition, garner COCs and hopefully represent their countries at the WEC. While that has been a successful formula so far, the good news for France and Belgium and anyone else that might be disenchanted with FEI's "I will tell you how to do endurance" attitude (even if they don't really know as much as they like to think they do) is that you have a different model you can follow. It's called AERC. While many of our riders want to "Top Ten", for the most part, AERC riders compete for the enjoyment of seeing new places and seeing how well they and their horses can "go the distance", "well" meaning healthily and happily, not necessarily fast. Again, it is my impression that FEI Endurance is structured to not only promote speed but to actually discourage a slower pace. Here, that's not true and the number of people in AERC who aspire to international competition is probably under 100 amongst a membership of 6900, less than 1.5%.

So if you and other riders are tired of everything in your sport being slanted towards hitting it, hitting it, hitting it and you'd like to be able to ride at the pace most suitable for you and your horses, consider forming national or multi-national associations modeled after AERC where the focus is on people and horses doing what they like, *just for the sake of doing it*, with NO pressure to prove themselves other than the pressure which they put on themselves. This would allow ride fees to be reduced (no FEI taking its cut) which might encourage more people to try the sport and maybe get hooked.

Then the next thing you have to do is introduce the Turtle Award :)

Regards, Diane


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RE: [RC] [Endurance Tracks] France requests change to 2008->2009, Leonard.Liesens