Recently I mentioned the Distance Derby to someone who is not “in the know.” Intrigued that such a game was on the honor system, they asked how I know a rider didn’t just tie the GPS to the saddle horn and send the horse out to pasture or lunge it in the round pen. I kind of laughed to myself at that suggestion as I do recall the day I did ride in the round pen and yes, I have the GPS tracks to prove it, but only my word that my butt was in the saddle. And it was.
I explained to this person there is no big bag of cash awarded to the winner so there is nothing to cheat for. If the goal is to outdistance another rider for bragging rights, that can only be done by really riding, not by saying you did and don’t. Integrity and trust is as much a part of this game as the miles traveled in the saddle. I’m not sure I convinced this Doubting Thomas with my Pollyanna ways but I know how I feel about it and truly believe the others riders feel the same way.
After I finished that conversation, I quickly went online to make sure I didn’t promise a wad of cash to the winner. Whew! I didn’t.
We all have reasons that we are doing this Derby and it isn’t just about winning. I wanted to share Jamie’s (Team 67: Blue’s Clues) remarks above. Most of you in this area know that Jamie is a young mother with a very small baby. In addition, she has MS. Check out her goal: to stay in the Top 50. And I bet she will. Keep riding, Jamie. The baby alone would be enough to stop many riders.