There’s a joke I tell at forums and Q&A sessions, which is that I’m going to tell you how to win every event you ever go in. It’s quite simple: You win the dressage, jump clean and fast cross-country, then leave all the rails up and don’t have a time fault. If you do that, I promise you will win. When I first say that, the audience laughs appreciatively, however, I then point out there are riders in the world who have dedicated themselves to being able to achieve that.
Jimmy Wofford shares his musings on the first two days of competition at Rolex Kentucky.
The judging has been very tough, but it seems to be level, and I do not think they’ve been unfair to anyone. The ground juries are starting to judge eventing dressage in terms of dressage, and not all of our horses and riders have satisfied the requirements for good scores yet. Having said that, I was very pleased with the overall attitude of the U.S. riders who are obviously here to compete rather than merely participating.
The year 2011 begins what will prove to be the Derek di Grazia era. The longtime course designer, Michael Etherington-Smith, has mentored Derek for the past three years, and this year Derek steps out onto the international stage with his first four-star design. I have walked the course, and it is not at all what I had expected. If I were in Derek’s shoes (and I’m glad I’m not), I would have designed a three-star course on steroids. I would have wanted the riders to handle my course easily, gain confidence in my designs and look forward to returning in other years.