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Another point of view - 

A championship based upon points is not a true test
of the 'best horse'. If I were trying for a point
based championship, I would be looking for rides that
awarded the maximum points, for the minimum effort.
Forget Tevis, Old Dominion, Outlaw Trail - these rides
are too tough, and to do well from a points perspective 
(top ten, win) I would have to ride much harder, take
more risks, and my horse would need a much longer rest 
before the next ride. So I'd look for rides that were
not as well attended (starting field of 10-15 would be
perfect) and I'd look for rides that were relatively
easy (short rides, flat rides, etc). This isn't really
pitting horse against horse, it's using - or mis-using-
the system to achieve a title. 

This is a little bit facetious, but my point (pardon the
pun) is that the current points system is not a true
meter of championship material. I also agree with Joe's
post regarding the differences in rides and competition
between regions, and the fact that under this system
there is no head-to-head competition. 

I still think a single, big, race is a good format
for a National Champion. We already have mileage
champions, and 100 Mile (points) champions - an 
overall high point champion would also be a 
reasonable award (right now it's confined to high
points within a region). But there's no arguing
with 'first across the finish line'. Plus I like
the idea of picking a big ride as your goal, and
spending the year preparing for this ride - it is
a real challenge to peak for a big event - and the
sense of excitement and accomplishment with a 
single big even is tremendous. I think what AERC
is doing now is the right format - but we need
to work harder on promoting it, and encouraging
more top horses and riders to attend. If we could hire Susan
Gibson as our promotion director, we'd have it 
made. Nobody could quite put on a show like the ROC.


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