Wednesday, September 05, 2012

USA Chef d'Equipe Praises U.S. WEC Effort

September 4 2012

by Emmett Ross, USA Chef d'Equipe

As Chef I sincerely and humbly thank the Magnificent Seven for buying into the new approach of riding with a plan and using the assets we have in a rational and professional way.  We were not poaching for a medal but went after it with what we had, and we had enough.  Their effort was similar to a lower weight fighter going into the ring with some heavy weights.  Make no mistake about it,  the three in front of us and those others we took down, are the heavy weights in our sport.  Since from the beginning of international racing in the mid 80's until  1998 when we virtually dominated the sport, our sport, things have changed dramatically.  A new team and selection process produced this incredible effort and result.  Our new MOTTO is  " we have returned"---if we want it.  Maybe not all have embrassed or are willing to accept  the changes necessary to be relevant again in the international endurance world- but we are on the way, so lets encourage everyone to join in.

Here are just some of the many take aways: 
A. We produced four of the five fastest times of any US rider in any World Championship. Deborah Reich's time of 18.57 km/hr at the 2010 WEG was the fourth fastest time.  I am fully aware that courses and times do vary but isn't it interesting what the 2012 group did.
B.  19.68 avg speed for all four finishers. 
C. 19.42km for the 3 remaining team horses--- this combined team time would have virtually made team USA team gold medal winners in all the new era( 2000-2010) WEC's and WEG's but WEG 2010---would have been the team silver medal.
D. Reference to heavy weights in the opening paragraphs means just that---UAE virtually several thousand endurance horses to choose from and from all corners of the planet. France who are my most respected endurance country and who I am committed to best have over a 500,000 annual euro budget for their team effort.  Their entire endurance effort is to produce top riders and horses for the WEC/WEG's.  Their entire national system's only task is to produce horses for the 40+ FEI rides they have a year alone in France compared to our now dwindling 6-7 rides. Oman are virtual newcomers on the scene with over 6 years of trying and finally being supported by their Royal Cavalry and highly compensated French trainers.  We knocked off Qatar, Bahrain, Belgium, Saudi, Swiss, Uruguay, Argentina and many others.  There were 29 teams and 38 countries with 147 starters---all champions in their own realms.  
E.  We started 5 riders and finished 4--80 %, all going to their limits---there was a 35% overall completion rate for those finishing the entire 160 km race and a 49 % completion for those just finishing 5  of the 6 loops. Our incredible results came from the riders buying into riding to their horse's limits and an incredible vet team headed by Dr Dwight Hooton , Scoot Hei, and Jim Masterson.

The spirit and cooperative feeling is the take away all will remember once numbers and places fade into our life's experiences.  What a fantastic support group led by so many.  Thank you so very much--I will always cherish those 2 weeks no matter what happens to any of us the in the future.

Your grateful Cook

Emmett