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LD - Now and Then

The AERC Bylaw definition of LD used to be "25 to 35 Miles", and it
worked quite successfully although apparently some Ride Managers were
putting on rides slightly less than 25 miles so they would not have to
pay the AERC Sanction Fee and Ride Results Fee.  I suspect the actual
number of rides and RM's involved in this was very small.  :Last year it
was proposed at the Midyear Board Meeting that, rather than adding or
modifying our rules, the Bylaw definition of LD be changed from "25 to 35
miles" to "0 to 49 miles".  For most of the Board this was somewhat of a
spur of the moment motion and it was discussed and then voted on in a
period of less than an hour, I think.  This motion came on the 2nd day of
a two day meeting.  That is the origin of the amendment to our Bylaws
that was voted on last year.  As soon as the vote was final, a petition
to put a new amendment in front of the membership - to change the
definition back to "25 to 35 Miles" - was circulated nationwide and it
easily collected the required number of signatures to put the change back
in front of the membership.  You now have the history of how this took

At the Annual Board Meeting it was decided that we would not make any
substantial changes in the existing rules and policies concerning LD. 
So, rides less than 25 miles currently do not pay fees to AERC.  Rides
that are in excess of 24 miles pay a sanction fee, recording fee, and
drug fee.  Rides in excess of 35 miles have not yet come into play...if
they do we must review another Bylaw and AERC Rule that states LD horses
must be at least 48 months of age.  Since we now have both Regional and
National awards for LD based on mileage, the distances in excess of 35
miles will be of great benefit to those competing for LD Award.  Now I am
stating only a question - Will the increased mileages for LD be of any
benefit to our LD horses?  

The rides less than 25 miles currently must be sanctioned but no fees are
collected...also, AERC does not have any specific rules for these rides
such as a Vet Check at about the 1/2 way point, etc.  In fact, we do not
require fees, do not award points or mileage, and except for requiring
notice of the event,  have no real enforcement procedures in place or
discussed.  Additionally, except for the notice, these rides appear to
remain as a non entity.  Historically, I don't know of any circumstances
where these "fun rides" have had horse problems resulting from over
riding or abuse.  I am of the impression these "fun rides" have existed
for quite some time being held concurrently with sanctioned events, more
in some regions and less in others.  From what I gather, most of these
events have been well controlled by the Ride Managers and often have
procedures and policies in place which are more strict than "sanctioned
for points" events.  

Once again, I urge the membership to take the time to vote on this Bylaw
Amendment and to vote for your Regional Directors.  

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