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letter to AERC president

To Dane Frazier,DVM,

I would like to extend an invitation to you to attend any or all of the rides that my local club puts on each year. I believe you will be exposed to a segment of the endurance riding population

that you represent but don't know exists.

Let me explai.n. Our northern California club, the Redwood Empire Endurance Riders has been in existence for over 20 years and has been putting on AERC sanctioned rides for this number of years. We are located in northern California and I don't mean the wealthy San Francisco bay area. We are just below the Oregon border where the Headwaters Forest is located.

Our club puts on four rides per year and barely breaks even financially. We put on quality rides but because of our location they are very small. We have many junior riders that have horses due to the rural environment but are stressed financially. Our club started a policy to trade work at the rides for entries for these juniors. The new $10 fee will make it impossible for our club to offer this incentive in the future.

Now the reason I would like you to attend our rides.. I don't think you will see any of our local riders driving $30,000 trucks pulling $20,000 trailers containing $5,000 worth of tack. I personally don't even know what a "Western Hauler" is.

This last ride season Tony Benedetti did attend several of our rides pulling a very fancy horse trailer with a new diesel truck. Ron and Ruth Waltenspiel attend our rides and are members of our local club. They drive a semi but it's the same semi thet have had for as long as anyone can remember. I personally own a $4500 aluminum trailer pulled by a 1986 Ford diesel with a camper shell. Total cost - truck and shell, $9000 used. I raised my horse as did my husband from our own stock. My saddle is a 20 plus year old Passier that I paid $425 ten years ago. My husband rides a Stonewall that he purchased used for $400.

Our club gives a year end award to the rider that does the best overall on our four rides. It has been won by a gentleman named Chris Amaral the last two years. He drives a 1977 Ford, pulls a rusted stock trailer and rides a horse that was given to him. Yes, I believe that the additional $10 fee could make or break our local rides. You as our president don't seem to realize that AERC is a club that depends upon riders and ride managers for their existence. No riders or rides no AERC. You as president seem to lead an elitist existence. So I would really like to see you attend some of our rides and observe how the other half lives and then decide if AERC wishes to exclude the backbone from the organization.

I also am sorry that you observed a horse fatality on your first 25 mile ride. This event has probably shaped your opinion of 25 milers for life. Our club in the 20 years of putting on rides has had 2 fatalities. Both horses were doing a 50 mile ride . We have had many horses that needed treatment through the years and again most were doing 50 miles not 25! So our local club has had a much different experience than you. Again why don't you try attending some of the rides hosted by Redwood Empire Endurance Riders. You might return home with a different perspective on our sport!

I have another concern I would like to bring up. If AERC as an organization charges $10 dollars for a day membership why isn't the persons mileage recorded. If they are members for one day they should have their mileage compiled. What do they get for the $10? Most of the limited distance riders in our area come to our rides for the experience. They aren't interested in AERC and will only pay so much for the fun. We live in a rural (lots of horses) economically depressed area. Our local club struggles to attract riders and stay solvent at the same time. It would be advantages for AERC to support and promote riders and ride managers instead of always trying to figure out how to tax management and enthusiasts.









Carol Driscoll


P.S. You seem to have inexpensive horses where you come from and you don't pay your farriers enough!

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