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A Letter to the Editor from Sarah Byers

Dear Readers,

I’m not John Stossel. And this isn’t 20/20, but I must say, “Give me a break!”

What is all the fuss and confusion about the UPHA Walk and Trot Rule? First of all it was published three years ago. For whatever reason, in January of this year the phrase, “After the beginning of their nine-year-old year,” became confusing so it was changed to “At the beginning.” Then, “season” became a foreign word and had to be changed to “competition year.” And just so there’d be no further confusion, we defined “competition year.”

And now, alas, our already changed “at” has been questioned.

Bottom line guys....if you are nine or ten-years-old and have shown walk and trot for two years, it’s time to move on. Do you realize there wasn’t a walk and trot division until the late ‘80s. How did all of us survive or even learn to show?

I hear people say they are “saving” their two years or are holding their kids back. What are they holding them back from? Cantering wasn’t a big deal until we quit buying beginner horses for our beginners.

The Mary McCleans of the show world never showed walk and trot. Dakota Willimon missed the cut at the Finals when she was seven and cantered that day. Hayne Clifton and Kelsey Price are just two others that come to mind that had tears over the Walk and Trot Finals until they found out they could canter that same day. I dare say, “moving on” hasn’t hurt any of them.

So again I say, give me a break. The UPHA is not trying to punish anyone with our rule. We are simply trying to keep the walk and trot division for those for which it was intended, beginners!

The opinions expressed in this letter are only my own, so please don’t write the UPHA to complain.

Sarah Byers

Chairman, UPHA Equitation Committee

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