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(Fwd) Hot racing conditions

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
From:          Self <lb>
Subject:       Hot racing conditions
Date:          Fri, 23 Jul 1999 10:45:34

Hi Sue,
first of all, congratulations on your win.  As you pointed out, the 
vet staff was highly qualified, and were very concerned and 
conscientious about their role in protecting these horses.   It was 
warm, really warm, in the middle of the night and I am sure those 
extreme conditions contributed to the early attrition.  This race 
may be somewhat unique from many rides in that their is running 
race happening concurrently, and this brings in crowds of 
spectators throughout the race.  That exposure to the public 
 is an opportunity for good PR; it also exposes the sport to 
possible negative scrutiny.  Perhaps the best lesson to be learned 
here is that each rider is a representative of the sport and their 
behavior will infuence the way the sport is perceived.    The lead 
horses, you included, inspired glowing admiration from the crowd.  
However, you only need a few bad apples to sour people's perception.  
One woman who was really pressing her horse, driving it forward, rode 
up to the handler's area at mile 18.  There were lots of people 
milling about on a downhill slope, and a few kids with their backs 
turned to the oncoming runners.  The rider came up very quickly and 
rode right at the kids, bumping one of them with her horse's 
shoulder.  Never a word of warning or apology, just kept going.  Talk 
about looking bad!  I understand they were in the road and she was 
racing, but they were kids waiting for their parents.  No excuse can 
be made.  The crowd was very upset that she did not at least slow 
down.  Again, some riders were taking "their race" way too seriously 
and were putting their own horses and spectators in jeopardy.  It is 
no one's fault but their own.

Well, Sue, congratulations again.

Klass Act
New Paltz, NY

Sue wrote:
<<  Conditions were as bad as it gets, I was sweating at 3
AM!  However, I have ridden in just as tough conditions, such as 1997
and 1999 Festival of Champions in New Jersey.  Cosequin last year was
just as bad.  Horses were treated on all of these rides, some were
pretty darn serious.  Ride management and the vets at the Vermont 100
offered every 100 mile rider the option to drop down to the 50. >>
Beth Glace, MS, CDN
Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma
Lenox Hill Hospital
New York, NY

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