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

You know what Bob?

I find it disconcerting also, but for a different reason!  IF even half
of this was going on at the VT.l00, then the RIDERS were NOT doing what
they were supposed to, and it needs attention!  If we don't POLICE
OURSELVES, and are afraid to speak up when something needs to be
addressed, then we are only asking for the "animal rights people" as you
said, to intervene.  After all, we all say we are for taking care of our
horses, BUT if we don't, someone else will!  

I agree with you that if people were upset, they should speak to Ride
Management or the Vets, BUT I don't like the attitude that we must
"sweep it under the rug" for fear of the world finding out!  Riders need
to speak to RIDERS, but ultimately, the horse is the one who will suffer
if this kind of thing goes on.  YES, I too feel the safety of the horse
is the Rider's  responsibility, but if The Rider  is NOT taking the
responsibility, we must, or we won't have a sport, no matter how
RESPONSIBLE WE AS INDIVIDUALS ARE.  We can't just ignore problems that
"non horsemen" are seeing and WILL be reporting on!I always defend and
praise our sport for its concern for horse safety, but I'd feel like a
fool doing it if what is reported on this ride  is true.


Bob Morris wrote:
> I find this discussion quite disconcerting! If we want to feed the mill of
> the animal rights movement and have the sport of endurance riding come under
> very close scrutiny and major efforts to ban any endurance riding, then why
> not just write to them directly!
> This call for stewards, and stronger vet control at rides, is something we
> have tried to discourage by making the individual rider/owner ultimately
> responsible for their own horse.
> It is bad enough that the Vets often get the blame for the condition of the
> horse with out bringing in a steward to have another level where the
> non-responsible rider can sluff off the blame. The AERC Rules carry
> penalties for the abuse of a horse and the horses are under the control of
> veterinarians for the complete extent of the competition. We call for "a
> substantive physical examination of metabolic and mechanical parameters
> before the ride, at control points within the ride and after the ride". More
> oversight will be overkill and more riders will depend on the vets to
> monitor their horse and thus lay the blame for problems where it does not
> belong.
> If you feel strongly about how the ride was conducted, question Ride
> Management and the participating Vets of that ride. Please do not call for
> the intervention of the Animal Rights groups as you are now indirectly now
> doing. Why not ask the Management and Vets, of the ride in question, for a
> public explanation of the factors that distress you. Constructive criticism
> is much more beneficial than innuendo.
> A very irate
> Bob Morris
> Morris Endurance Enterprises
> Boise. ID
> -----Original Message-----
> From:   Teddy Lancaster []
> Sent:   Thursday, July 22, 1999 2:37 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject:        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!!
> Teddy
> 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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