Monday, January 12, 2009

Pulse Criteria the Australian Way - Jay Randle

Hi All

I've had an enquiry about something that was written in the Quilty article in the Endurance News, so I thought I'd let everyone out there know, as someone else may be wondering the same thing.

I was asked why we wanted our horses' pulserates to be brought down so low before presenting to the P&R bays?

There are a couple of reasons for this.......

The pulse criteria for rides in Australia is 55 bpm for the first phase of a ride, and 60bpm for all subsequent phases. Presentation to the P&R bays must be made within 30 minutes of arrival at the ride base, however your riding time stops the moment you arrive at the ride base. There is only ONE opportunity to present to the P&R! If you are over the criteria, you are eliminated from the ride at that point. FEI rides allow up to 64bpm, within 20 minutes, and the opportunity to present twice within that time frame, however the Quilty is not an FEI ride.

So, unless the rider is running at the front of the field, great care is taken to make sure that the horse is well within the pulse criteria. There is no time advantage to presenting early, but there is a huge penalty if your pulse rate is over criteria.

The second reason has to do with our logbooks. It is a source of pride for most riders to present a logbook with the lowest possible pulse rates listed in it. If it takes a few more minutes to get that pulse down another 4-6 beats, then that's what we'll do. If the horse is for sale, the lowest possible pulse rates in the logbook are an advantage, however even if the horse is not for sale most riders here are still concerned about getting a low pulse written into the logbook!

For horses that are just completing the ride, with no intention of being in the *fast* group, then we do tend to take our time and make sure the pulse criteria is well and truly met. However if I had a horse that was running at the front of the field, I would approach the pulse criteria requirement slightly differently.

There is generally a small window of time as a fast-running horse arrives, when the pulse will drop dramatically (within 1-2 minutes), before starting to rise again. If my horse is in a position to win or place in a ride, this window becomes very important, and we will get the horse to the P&R bays immediately. Again, however, it can be a bit of a crap shoot with regard to the fact that we only have one chance to present!

Hope that this explanation clears the matter up somewhat.

Best regards

Jay Randle

May the horse be with you.....

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