What fabulous sport we saw today in the 2010 World Cup Final in Den Bosch! Once again, there were some disappointments and some really nice surprises. The atmosphere was incredible! I am really happy that the World Equestrian Games will be held in Kentucky this year so that some of the new talent on the scene can be seen in person there. Television and video simply do not do justice to the top horses in our sport.
What I would really like to hear from the people who read this blog is: How would you have placed the Final? I have my opinion of course, but I would like to hear the impressions of other people who watched—either live or on video streaming.
Judging freestyles is one of the most daunting tasks of a judge in our sport. I think we had a very experienced and reliable jury for the Final this year. I just wish there was a way to send horses and riders down the centerline with no pre-conceived ideas about their quality, their capability and their past performances. I wish there was a way to make the judging of our sport more objective and less predictable.
I, along with a few others that commented on my last blog, was able to predict the first six places in the Final with accuracy. But had I been judging today, my predictions would have been wrong. Sunrise far exceeded my expectations. Parzival disappointed me a bit. Scandic put in one of his best performances and showed real quality. Warum Nicht was accurate. Digby was technically correct.
I would have placed the first six like this: Totilas, Sunrise, Parzival, Scandic, Warum Nicht, Digby.
Of course, I’m not a judge and the last time I questioned one about a controversial freestyle score, he told me, “Dressage is a judging sport. If you can’t take that, then take up jumping.” I bought a helmet. We will see about the rest.
Fortunately, many riders and trainers are as concerned about the key issues in our sport as I am, and we had some great discussions in Den Bosch. Not only did the IDRC meet at the show, but the FEI held a Dressage Stakeholder’s Forum as well, which was interesting to say the least. I am also going to the IDTC meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, next week. I will have a full synopsis for you after that.
In the meantime, dressage riders around the world need to stand together and address the problems in our sport. We are incredibly weak and disorganized compared to the jumping riders who take an active and powerful role in their sport. But that is changing now.
Your best chance to voice opinions and actually be heard is to join the International Dressage Riders Club. Every rider who has ever competed in an international competition has a right to join and vote in our club. And we have a representative in the FEI Dressage Committee who conveys our opinions and decisions to the higher powers that be.
This is the first time in the history of dressage that we riders have a voice in the decision making process which defines our sport. Join now and make your voice heard: www.idrc.me
I’m Catherine Haddad, and I’m sayin it like it is from Vechta, Germany.
Training Tip of the Day: Can you ride the transition from extended trot to passage forward into your hand or are you riding backward into it?