As we draw close to the first ride of the season at Dergholm the SMC would like to highlight to members that the greater majority of Victorian horses will be under the 13 month rule as a result of the shutdown of the sport last year. Rule 48.2 states:
If a horse of endurance status has not successfully completed one endurance ride in the preceding 13 month period, calculated retrospectively from the day of the ride to be entered, then that horse shall be deemed to have returned to novice horse status and must enter all rides pursuant to Clause 47 until the horse successfully completes one endurance ride.
This means there will be a lot of horses will not be able to finish a leg until the minimum ride time (often around 3 hrs for a 40km leg) has elapsed. This requirement will need some thought from riders not only from a riding strategy perspective but also from a vetting perspective.
If there are 55 horses who must ride at novice pace you would not all want to be arriving back at the ride base exactly 3 hrs after the start of the leg. The congestion in the vet ring will be heavy and you may take a long time to get through the vetting, impacting on the amount of time your horse gets to recover in their yard before going back out on the second leg.
Information from other states indicates that horses were not competition fit as a result of the interruptions to events in those states and higher than normal vet out rates were experienced. Riders may also need to factor this aspect into your ride times.
The SMC wishes you all a happy and successful ride at Dergholm.