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Re: RC: VT 100 & over riding [long]

I concur with what you saw, even though I was not there.  I have seen it
many times over the years on many rides.

I attribute it to: D.I.M.R. (distance induced mental retardation)..and it
is NOT funny!!!

I was a runner and short distance (20 and under) ride and tie person for
some years.  I sure did learn to appreciate my horse.  The ability to
"read: your horse is an integral part of horsemanship. Unfortunately,
much of TRUE horsemanship is lacking in our sport.

I, for one, would like to see stewards at rides to whom such complaints
about riders can be made.  It is VERY difficult for someone, onlooker or
crew or whatever, to complain to ride management.  A steward is an
arbitrator and their decision is final..with NO reflection on management
or the complainant.

At least as a runner, it is YOUR body that hurts and you WILL do
something to relieve it.  Horses are at our mercy and it is a TEAM effort
to finish such a ride.  When one member of the team is abusive, I think
it IS cruelty!!


Beth Glace wrote:

> Hello all,
> we conducted a research study on the human contestants at
> the VT 100 this year, so I was at multiple aid stations on the course
> as well as the finish and start lines.  What I saw there surprised me
> and might be something we, as horsepeople, need to be more aware of.
> As has already been said, the conditions were incredibly brutal:
> about 100 degrees and high humidity on a very hilly course [14,000
> feet of elevation change].  Evidently only about 1/3 or less of the
> horses finished.  I was surprised at the pace being attempted by many
> of the riders that I saw at miles 12, 18, 27, 36 and 44.   Many of
> the spectators approached me this year to tell me that they thought
> what they saw was cruelty!  When the horses passed there was much
> grumbling from the onlookers.  One runner said he was trudging up an
> incredibly long & steep hill when a woman came riding up next to him
> clucking and pressing her horse who was struggling on the
> ascent.  He was furious and felt the sport should be illegal since
> riders were evidently not permitted to dismount their horses.  I
> tried to explain that riders could dismount and lead the horse, and
> he just couldn't understand why they didn't on such an unbearable
> day.   What could I say; the poor finish rate might support his
> contention that the horses were being ridden too aggressively in some
> cases.  I witnessed a horse who had his ears pinned and who went with
> a hollow back and whose rider was literally kicking him every step,
> every step, every time I saw them.  This outraged the horse and non-
> horse people watching.  I know a lot of fuss has been raised about
> the LD riders over riding their horses, but it seemed to me that this
> endurance race engendered some bad publicity for our sport.  Does
> anyone know if the cut off times were extended for the 50 or the  100
> given the conditions?  I certainly don't mean to disparage those that
> rode within their animal's ability, but I thought I'd pass on what I
> overheard and witnessed this year [I was at the race last year and I
> only heard admiration for the horses expressed then].  Thoughts about
> racing in such conditions?
> Beth
> Beth Glace, MS, CDN
> Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma
> Lenox Hill Hospital
> New York, NY
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