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cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
We are entered in The Fork II. I am now quite concerned about the NEW CMP xc courses there.

What would be the most effective way to voice my concern to ensure that the courses are fair? Or do we just pull out before the closing date on Tuesday?

Would you: (and I guess this coulda/shoulda been a poll)

1) Hope that all the bruhaha will knock some sense into CMP, owner, organizer
2) contact owner
3) contact organizer
4) contact TD
5) contact Area II chair
6) do 2-5
7) boycott, letting the organizer know the reason
8) go, walk the course and WD if it is unreasonable
9) other???

Thanks! I've been brewing over this since Monday. I want to do not only what is best for my horse, but for everyone's and the sport.

So, what would/are YOU doing?

beeblebrox
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:09 AM
what level are you entered?

cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:15 AM
It's Sea Accounts and Christan. They're entered at Prelim.

jumpjesterjump
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:20 AM
I would walk and see. If you decide not to do XC, see if you can do Dressage and SJ (make your own combined test).

I have done that at a couple of events before when the weather has gotten really bad and made the XC soup, and people were sliding to the first fence; or the course is not what i was expecting and did not want to have a bad XC (young horse, we didn't have many XC outings and no place to school afterwards if we had problems).

ponyjumper4
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:25 AM
I think if I were you Cyndi I'd either pull out now (save the money) or walk it and decide then, especially since this is only his 3rd Prelim trip. On the other hand though, although I realize all of the emotions surrounding what happened at Redhills, 2 of those 3 accidents we know were not related to the course, and I have to think of all the people that were down there and completed the courses and did well. Another of our sponsored riders won the 3* and two others also did very well in both 3*'s.

Now that said, I'm a big chicken anyway and would probably pull out, but at least go that day and walk the courses.

eventrider
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:26 AM
To add to the discussion, apparently the organizer/facility has been contacted about this and the response was that they stood behind CMP, and the courses would be fair and safe and be designed by him.
It would seem that if you didn't scratch by Tuesday, and ran as a CT, your money would still be going to the event, and that is not much protesting!

Christan

flyingchange
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:38 AM
I'd pull out. He is a LOVELY horse (I saw him at SP - I LOFF him). I would enter some good courses that you know well in advance are going to be designed properly (Fair Hill, Seneca, Waredaca, Surefire, Longleaf, Loudoun).

And please correct me if I'm wrong, but has it really been determined that the CD at RH was not related to the horses' deaths? That the stop and go nature of the design didn't have anything to do with the PA? Just seems like there have been too many horses at the A level going down because of cardiopulmonary issues in the past couple of years. Sinead's Tommy comes to mind - wasn't his death due to a heart isssue?

cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:40 AM
Interesting responses, and in light of all the threads this week, I a little disappointed. I had hoped that people would say to contact at least one of the people listed.

I plan to contact everyone I can think of to VOICE my concerns about the course. Unless we find out something that changes our minds, we plan to go and pull if Christan doesn't like the look of it, BUT I want to be DAMNED sure that all the powers that be KNOW WHY. If they think I'm a PITA, then good! Maybe they'll think about what they are doing and take a closer look at the courses and not just give CMP carte blanche to do whatever the heck he wants because he's CMP. What a crock of doodoo.

Viva la revolution!!!! We need to make our voices heard!



BTW, back in the day, the event evaluation forms were part of the competitor packets. Doesn't seem to be the case anymore. In fact, we used to ask competitors to fill them out before they left the event...you get a lot more responses than hoping that people will download the form when they get home. Yes, it would the event a little money to make the copies, but I think it would be well worth it.

ponyjumper4
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:47 AM
And please correct me if I'm wrong, but has it really been determined that the CD at RH was not related to the horses' deaths? That the stop and go nature of the design didn't have anything to do with the PA? Just seems like there have been too many horses at the A level going down because of cardiopulmonary issues in the past couple of years. Sinead's Glitterati comes to mind - wasn't his death due to a heart isssue?

I think you'd have a real hard time proving that it was the cause. There are too many variables and too many different things that could have caused that. I would think more horses would have gone down at a given time if that were the case.

flyingchange
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:49 AM
CM & Christan -

I'm sure you guys will have a good run if that is what you end up doing. I'll be rooting for you either way! I was really impressed by him at SP. Especially how quiet he was in stabling - you'd never know he was a stallion unless you looked. Really sweet and calm presence.

LisaB
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:58 AM
Okay your dilemma is what would create the most impact?
If you go, they pocket the money either way (a minus). If you pull out of x-c you can say that you saw the course and it was unfair (a plus)
If you don't go, they don't pocket the money (a plus). You really can't say if the course was bad or not ( a minus)
Look, been there, done that. And I've done both. I keep trying to go to cdcta because it's in my backyard and finally gave up. They don't deserve my money if they keep designing bad courses. BUT I can say I tried.
Is this the first time he's designed The Fork??? I can't remember. But 2 years ago, it was really really nice. (N-P levels)

cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:00 AM
Thanks flyingchange!

He is pretty special. I think we both feel like we have responsibility to do what's right by him and manage him the right way because he does have so much talent and potential. While pulling out would end our goal for the spring, if we aren't comfortable with how the course is designed, we will and regroup for the fall.

I encourage everyone entered in either of the Forks to email the organizer or TD and voice any concerns you may have. Doing it NOW will be much more effective than hoping and praying that the courses are fair.

PJ - if you look at the results, there was clearly something wrong with the courses. IIRC, out of ALL the divisions fewer than 5 (and I'm thinking it was 2!) made the time. And look at the percentages of finishers vs. starters...those are not typical numbers. Of course, had not all the tragedies occurred, perhaps the results would have been scrutinized the way they have. In any event, 2 riders, 3 horses and 1 critical injury have occurred on CMP courses just in FL in what just over a year? Something is not right.

cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:04 AM
LisaB - this is not the first time he's designed the course, but apparently they cut completely new tracks for all the levels this year and the jumps aren't placed yet. So no one knows what the courses will look like. Just a bit scary at this point in time!

Regardless of what we decide to do, the event evals will be completed and sent in.

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:04 AM
To add to the discussion, apparently the organizer/facility has been contacted about this and the response was that they stood behind CMP, and the courses would be fair and safe and be designed by him.
It would seem that if you didn't scratch by Tuesday, and ran as a CT, your money would still be going to the event, and that is not much protesting!

Christan


You were lucky...some did not get such a nice response on the phone. It was basically "take what you get, like it or lump it" The organizer has a lot of money tied up in the cache' of having CMP design his course.

eventrider
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:07 AM
CMP has designed the courses at the Fork for at least the last few years, if not more. The courses have always been tough, and if I recall, there have been problems at the prelim level there in the past....but that said, the last time I ran at prelim or higher there was in 2004 at Intermediate, so I cannot comment on recent courses/changes.

Christan

Badger
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:09 AM
I think we both feel like we have responsibility to do what's right by him and manage him the right way because he does have so much talent and potential.

Even average horses with modest potential deserve that from their connections. Indeed, every single event horse deserves that.

I've been told the Fork is a max, tough, challenging prelim, consider a good last run before a one-star. If that is what you are looking for for this horse on that particular weekend, you'll probably find it.

cyriz's mom
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:44 AM
I just sent about 10 emails to everyone I could think of (including about 6 Area II chairs and BoG members) expressing my concerns about the course design and asking the powers that be to take an extra hard look at the questions asked this year and if in doubt to err on the side of the horse.

I'm not sure what we'll do. Christan and I will be discussing it a lot over the next few days I'm sure. Someone has recommended dropping him back to Training for this event and while that would certainly be a safe option, to me it doesn't accomplish much...they still get our money, no stand is taken and he won the Training there last fall at NCDCTA. I'd rather give my money to another event if this one doesn't get that giving the course designer (regardless of who it is) carte blanche is no longer okay!

So, don't know what we'll decide, but I feel better for at least DOING SOMETHING!!!

Anyone have contact info for the TD or PoGJ? TD: Pat Maykuth, GA; Judges: Pres: Sally Ike (NJ)

Thanks!

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:53 AM
[QUOTE=cyriz's mom;3087759]

Judges: Pres: Sally Ike (NJ)
QUOTE]




Good luck!!!

magnolia73
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:01 PM
organizer has a lot of money tied up in the cache' of having CMP design his course

Honestly.... its probably pocket change to the owner.

sassparella
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:08 PM
Cyriz’s Mom and Christan,
In my letter to Kevin, I had two requests -- one of which was to have an additional set of eyes look at the coarses at the Fork before the April event was run. I stressed that it was imperative that the Eventing community as a whole have a positive experience there. I am hoping that others expressed this as well. If Kevin responds to my specific requests, I will let you know...

snickerdoodle
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:16 PM
BOYCOTT

has your check been cashed? if not, stop payment.

flypony74
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:31 PM
If it were me, I would call the organizer, let them know that you are waffling on whether or not to pull your entry based on the CD, and question them about the difficulty of the course. If they are receptive to your concerns and adamant about having a course that is FAIR, then go to the event, walk the course, and make your judgment call from there. If the organizer seems unconcerned about your worries and does not assure you that the course will be fair, pull your entry right then and there and tell them why. Either way, you've expressed your concerns about the course, and the conversation should at least give you a very basic "feel" for what the course may be like.

Good luck....tough call!

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Mar. 20, 2008, 02:51 PM
I think with the Fork it may be a slightly more complicated decision than with some events. It is a lovely well funded venue. Immaculate care is taken to provide good footing in extraordinary situations.

The first event scheduled at the Fork was flooded out, and was one of a number of events that season which had to be cancelled. For some competitors, it was their second or third cancellation in a row - which did not help some competitors' graciousness and equanimity with swallowing losing two or three entry fees in a row.

It was not, at any rate, an easy entree inot the fabulous world of eventing for that landowner (who doesn't, I think, know me froma hole in the wall. I've just watched with interest this well funded facility go in near me)

So in figuring how to address that competition, I would tend to bear strongly in mind that it would be no real loss to Jim Cogdell to stop running events on his 1600 acres. We are not paying his bills...

For a variety of reasons, it does seem like the facility and MP as CD are pretty closely tied. The Nand T courses, fwiw, have tended to ride well, though they tend to be built towrds max height - generally judged good last runs at those levels, rather than move up courses.

I'm being called outside now, so can't quite finish the thought, but it is a few things I factor in. I would speak up, but with specific concerns (is the striding appropriate, for instance) rather than general demands....

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:01 PM
[QUOTE=Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl;3088248] So in figuring how to address that competition, I would tend to bear strongly in mind that it would be no real loss to Jim Cogdell to stop running events on his 1600 acres. We are not paying his bills...

For a variety of reasons, it does seem like the facility and MP as CD are pretty closely tied.

QUOTE]


So the thought process again is if you do not like, I (jim) will just not host the event. A like it or lump mentality?

Quinn
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:02 PM
Even average horses with modest potential deserve that from their connections. Indeed, every single event horse deserves that.

I'm not an Eventer BUT your quote was excellent. Thank you.

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

Janet
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:08 PM
Anyone have contact info for the TD or PoGJ? TD: Pat Maykuth, GA; Judges: Pres: Sally Ike (NJ) Check the USEF site.

magnolia73
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:55 PM
So the thought process again is if you do not like, I (jim) will just not host the event. A like it or lump mentality?

Well, if you stopped going, it would be unlikely to hurt him in the pocket book. *Probably* in his case he doesn't make money off of those events. As jeanette said, he puts a lot into that facility. I imagine he actually subsidizes the event quite a bit. It does seem to be a somewhat big deal for the community and he gets good sponsors and the state senator from the district usually comes by to watch. He's in real estate, enjoys outdoor activities and likes to preserve land. I imagine that he is not exactly on the forefront of safety issues in eventing. He puts on a good show for people and has a facility that he takes pride in.

Which becomes an issue- do the people who own the venues understand/care/realize anything about these issues? Obviously, many are not involved in eventing at a high level and personally may not understand or have reason to understand the issues. I can kind of understand where the owner of the Fork may not be all that concerned with people's questions about his course- he's hired experts. And I'm not sure there is a good approach to take- as Jeannette suggested. He built a facility, at great cost, has taken steps to make it work and he made the mistake of hiring the CD that everyone has decided is not so good in the past few years. I can see a reasonable and supportable reaction to be- jeez, what now- this is a pain, I'll host hunter shows and make XC into a golf course.

snoopy
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:09 PM
Well, if you stopped going, it would be unlikely to hurt him in the pocket book. *Probably* in his case he doesn't make money off of those events. As jeanette said, he puts a lot into that facility. I imagine he actually subsidizes the event quite a bit. It does seem to be a somewhat big deal for the community and he gets good sponsors and the state senator from the district usually comes by to watch. He's in real estate, enjoys outdoor activities and likes to preserve land. I imagine that he is not exactly on the forefront of safety issues in eventing. He puts on a good show for people and has a facility that he takes pride in.

Which becomes an issue- do the people who own the venues understand/care/realize anything about these issues? Obviously, many are not involved in eventing at a high level and personally may not understand or have reason to understand the issues. I can kind of understand where the owner of the Fork may not be all that concerned with people's questions about his course- he's hired experts. And I'm not sure there is a good approach to take- as Jeannette suggested. He built a facility, at great cost, has taken steps to make it work and he made the mistake of hiring the CD that everyone has decided is not so good in the past few years. I can see a reasonable and supportable reaction to be- jeez, what now- this is a pain, I'll host hunter shows and make XC into a golf course.


OR hire a new CD...a lot less trouble.;)

magnolia73
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:14 PM
Yeah- but tact is needed in telling someone who gives so much to make a change.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:31 PM
IAnd please correct me if I'm wrong, but has it really been determined that the CD at RH was not related to the horses' deaths? That the stop and go nature of the design didn't have anything to do with the PA? Just seems like there have been too many horses at the A level going down because of cardiopulmonary issues in the past couple of years. Sinead's Tommy comes to mind - wasn't his death due to a heart isssue?

I no longer trust that any specific factors are not contributory. The more research I have been doing, the more patterns are emerging. A LOT of horses seem to be dying of "heart attacks" and I am DEFINITELY not convinced that it's not the courses and/or the short format.

Edited to add, that sentence was a total double negative. More correctly stated, my research is leading me to believe that course design is indeed a factor.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:37 PM
I'd pull out. He is a LOVELY horse (I saw him at SP - I LOFF him). I would enter some good courses that you know well in advance are going to be designed properly (Fair Hill, Seneca, Waredaca, Surefire, Longleaf, Loudoun).

Absolutely ditto to this!!! I LOFF him too and I haven't even met him. It is my dream, someday, to ride one of his babies. :sadsmile: I know you will do right by him, no matter what you choose. :yes:

My personal opinion is that I will not allow one of my horses to run on a CMP course.

pegasusmom
Mar. 20, 2008, 09:57 PM
Christan - a lot of what you and Cindy are talking about is going through my mind as well. We had planned to use it as a final prep for the 1* as well. I talked with the organizer last weekend and she informed me that they have indeed changed the track totally. I don't know what to do - the ONLY positive thing I can shed on things is that I have the utmost faith in Pat Maykuth. She is our TD this weekend and I will be talking to her about my concerns.

RunForIt
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:00 PM
To add to the discussion, apparently the organizer/facility has been contacted about this and the response was that they stood behind CMP, and the courses would be fair and safe and be designed by him.
It would seem that if you didn't scratch by Tuesday, and ran as a CT, your money would still be going to the event, and that is not much protesting!

Christan

PLUS, I've been advised in another thread by riders at Prelim and Intermediate - several times - that you CANNOT determine how a course rides by the course walk. When in doubt - DON'T!!! WITHDRAW - SAVE YOUR MONEY - Make a statement!

ThirdCharm
Mar. 20, 2008, 10:23 PM
I've only run through Prelim at the fork but I've always found the courses to be fair, ride well, and it is overall an awesome event.

Jennifer

steves
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:23 PM
I thought all USEF Eventing CD's need to be licensed. I have checked the USEF officials list and CMP is not a licensed USEF CD. I assume he is an FEI CD but my understanding is that for non-FEI divisions, the CD must be USEF licensed. Maybe Janet or someone can explain how a non-licensed CD can be the CD?

gooddirt
Mar. 21, 2008, 07:44 AM
Much of this dialogue assumes that course difficulty and results can be reliably predicted beforehand.

Not so.

We have seen both sides. We have had jumps that caused a near revolt but that rode fine.

We have had jumps that were in use for years without problems, and all of a sudden without explanation they rode badly with all kinds of problems.

Crucify the course designer if you wish, but there are riders who were at Red Hills last weekend who admit that Nobody saw it coming.

This is a complex issue with no simple answers.

The best answer is to prepare well and ride intelligently.

closetoperfectionfarm
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:19 AM
I thought all USEF Eventing CD's need to be licensed. I have checked the USEF officials list and CMP is not a licensed USEF CD. I assume he is an FEI CD but my understanding is that for non-FEI divisions, the CD must be USEF licensed. Maybe Janet or someone can explain how a non-licensed CD can be the CD?

Why not have a test ride done on each course by an ULR, obviously not on a horse that is competeing?
This could be beneficial in the confidence department before we get into the start box and start praying.

This would only take max 5-8 min at each level,That's less than an hour total figuring BN thru Advanced.
It may help iron out some potential problems .
Does anyone know if they "tested" the courses at Red Hills before hand?

LisaB
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:23 AM
close,
it would be hard to find someone who wants to run their horses x-c at the upper levels and not compete. They have a hard enough time qualifying that they don't want to run their horses more than necessary. Unfortunate. But it is a good idea but probably not feasible.

closetoperfectionfarm
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:26 AM
close,
it would be hard to find someone who wants to run their horses x-c at the upper levels and not compete. They have a hard enough time qualifying that they don't want to run their horses more than necessary. Unfortunate. But it is a good idea but probably not feasible.

Yes, good point.

Stewie
Mar. 21, 2008, 09:48 AM
Actually, I bet it would be easier to find people to do test rides on BN-P (maybe even I).

Don't we all know the talented adult rider or junior who is just without the funds to compete? For who the ribbon doesn't mean anything, it's purely the adreline rush of crossing the finish line? Just you and your horse out there, partners.

Cross country with out the dressage! Sign me up! :D Seriously, if the organizers donated a stall, and an ICP member volunteered their time to walk the course and discuss how it rides, then how could it not be benificial for the competitors at all levels? The test riders can gain experience, the course would be ridden, and the issues resolved ahead of time.

It could be organized at the Area level, the test riders being known and recommended, even if they're not a big name out there.

This doesn't address the Fork issue, though. My thoughts on that are there's always another show. There's only one once in a lifetime horse.

eventrider
Mar. 21, 2008, 11:35 AM
Jennifer, the issue is that the courses will be totally different from the previous ones. So we don't know how they will ride, or what will be on them.

Dana, let me know what you find out. Closing day is Tues.
Thanks!

Christan

Hilary
Mar. 21, 2008, 12:01 PM
I know someone suggested a test ride already, and the immediate opinion was that it wasn't going to be feasible, but to me, it really does make sense.

They ride in the dressage ring beforehand to make sure it's OK...... the DRESSAGE RING.

I know that part of what makes a XC course work is riding it from start to finish, but would you be able to get some sort of feel by jumping segments? Especially the combinations and bunches of fences?

Years ago at Doornhof farm their course designer built a crazy looking combination for the Prelim & intermediate course that involved a bowl dug out of the earth, a bank (made out of that dug up dirt) and some vertical fences. He called it "behind the 8-ball". People were freaked.

However, when asked about it, he said "well, I took Paco through and it seemed to ride just fine". Harold was in his 60s, and Paco was a QH that he competed at Training level.

And the fence rode really well in the competition.

So why can't we ride the segments ahead of time?

ThirdCharm
Mar. 21, 2008, 12:10 PM
I'm just saying, despite being CMP designed the previous courses rode fine. Stout for the level (not a Prelim I'd run on a green horse for sure, ack) but the fences were well built and made suitable use of the terrain. JMHO. I figure any course my horse can get around with(out) my help has to be good.... ;-)

Maybe he HAS gone off the deepend since then and the new course will make me wanna pass out. Hope not as it is convenient to my barn and I need the run, but not if it's going to mess up my horse! I would also love to hear any "insider info"....

Jennifer

Fallbrook
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:00 PM
They ride in the dressage ring beforehand to make sure it's OK...... the DRESSAGE RING.



The dressage test ride is done when there is more than one judge, to make certain any huge score disparities are ironed out before competition begins. It doesn't have anything to do with the dressage arena itself.

I think my horse is going to be the FEI test ride at The Fork

Fallbrook
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:09 PM
I'm sure someone (if not everyone :D) will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a competitor always has the option to drop down to a lower division (if qualified). I don't believe many exercise the option, but I think the choice is important for safety, since you really don't know what the course will be until you get out and walk. The rider can still compete and have a positive, if not perfect, experience.

steves
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:27 PM
I'm sure someone (if not everyone :D) will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a competitor always has the option to drop down to a lower division (if qualified). I don't believe many exercise the option, but I think the choice is important for safety, since you really don't know what the course will be until you get out and walk. The rider can still compete and have a positive, if not perfect, experience.

Not true. A competitor does NOT ALWAYS have the option. Each HT posts the rules for switching divisions. If a lower level division is full then there is no way one could drop down. Some HTs do not allow any switching. Others may allow it and most charge a fee and some charge a hefty premium for division changing especially if it is a late switch. To be honest, division/horse/rider switching causes a lot of problems for secretaries, scorers, organizers etc.

Janet
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:35 PM
I'm sure someone (if not everyone :D) will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a competitor always has the option to drop down to a lower division (if qualified). I don't believe many exercise the option, but I think the choice is important for safety, since you really don't know what the course will be until you get out and walk. The rider can still compete and have a positive, if not perfect, experience. Once the event has been SCHEDULED, it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that you will be allowed to switch divisions unless there is a scratch you can fill.

Certainly nothing in the rules allowing you to change divisions after the closing date.

Hilary
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:35 PM
But the point of the dressage test ride is just that - to make sure things are going to run smoothly. For dressage that would mean that the judges are on the same page, and for complicated XC courses never been ridden before it means they ride right.

fooler
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:47 PM
Hilary But the point of the dressage test ride is just that - to make sure things are going to run smoothly. For dressage that would mean that the judges are on the same page, and for complicated XC courses never been ridden before it means they ride right.
Mar. 21, 2008 05:35 PM

WAY BACK IN THE DARK AGES - A test ride was done on new X-C courses, especially those of a championship level. I remember the long article in the USCTA News about the test ride over the 1984 Olympic course, by an ULR (not a team member) on her mare who had recovered from a hip fracture!

At my old barn, my instructor (course designer/fence builder) allowed me to be the 1st rider over several new fences. Always a good idea just see if what the CD and builder envisioned really works.

Viva
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:58 PM
It seems to me that protesting about the course before anyone's laid eyes on it is like protesting a movie when you haven't seen it, just because you heard it had some controversial content or it's by a director that's done controversial stuff in the past. Why would any of the people involved take someone seriously when they haven't seen it yet? If you walk the course and it seems unfair, then speaking with the officials makes sense. Reacting just because it's a CMP course will just make the people you talk to defensive. CMP designed the prelim course at Fitch's corner and the general consensus is that it's top of the level but a good challenge. As someone else said, maybe he's gone off the deep end since then, but I would check out the course before complaining.
As for a test run...while it's a good idea, I'm not sure I'd feel confident about a course just because an ULR rode it well. Phillip Dutton could probably jump a bending line of corners built out of semi trucks and make it look easy.

fooler
Mar. 21, 2008, 02:29 PM
I have ridden a CMP x-c, BN level only and TD'd at 2 events where CMP designed the courses offering BN - P. I found the courses to be challenging but fair for an experienced pair. Definitely not a move-up course! Also as TD I had the advantage of watching multiple rides through-out both days.

By the way, one of those TD sessions was at the Fork several years ago. The other was last fall at Paradise Farm.

So based on those experiences, I entered Novice at the Fork. Since the horse does not belong to me, I will discuss the x-c with the owner/trainer ThirdCharm.

As Viva stated, trashing the x-c without seeing it is like trashing a movie without seeing it. I plan to go and make up my own mind. Also I respect both Sally Ike and Pat Maykuth and would have no problems speaking to them about the courses.

As far as the owner of the Fork - he looks for the best, be it land, construction, maintenance and personnel. CMP "has been" considered one of the better course designers for many years. To date, there is NO CLEAR evidence that CMP "lost it". Let us see if RH is the beginning of a trend or an anomaly.
I have no problem pulling the horse and losing the money. At least then I can voice a precise and educated reason for withdrawing to Mr Cogdill and to the USEA/USEF.

fooler
Mar. 21, 2008, 02:36 PM
I
As for a test run...while it's a good idea, I'm not sure I'd feel confident about a course just because an ULR rode it well. Phillip Dutton could probably jump a bending line of corners built out of semi trucks and make it look easy.

When I read about test runs in the past, it was not a Dutton or Davidson type. Rather it was a solid I or A competitor who was unable to enter the event. I am thinking of someone who didn't have the funds in time or who wasn't 'technically' qualified (but more than competent) or maybe coming back from an injury and needed an outing without the show stress.

snickerdoodle
Mar. 21, 2008, 02:38 PM
if i remember correctly, back early 80's, they did used to send someone around on cross country. i think it was more for testing the op time.

does anyone remember this too??

pegasusmom
Mar. 22, 2008, 07:33 AM
Jennifer, the issue is that the courses will be totally different from the previous ones. So we don't know how they will ride, or what will be on them.

Dana, let me know what you find out. Closing day is Tues.
Thanks!

Christan

Christan,

Real quickly as I am off for round two of SPHT, I spoke briefly with the organizer yesterday. She did confirm the tracks have been changed, feels they are comparable to CHP's tracks and is encouraging anyone who feels uncomfortable to drop down. She also told me that they would honor a switch to the following weekend, although she indicated there would not be much change. I think, as Prelim XC is usually sunday, I think we will do the first two phases for sure - Bo needs the "atmosphere" experience and then we will play it by ear for XC. If we come up with an icky feeling, then we will withdraw.

BTW Cindy - neither Pat or Sally are officiating either event. Pat may be there in another capacity, I'll ask her today.

Altamont Sport Horses
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:14 AM
Well, if you stopped going, it would be unlikely to hurt him in the pocket book. *Probably* in his case he doesn't make money off of those events. As jeanette said, he puts a lot into that facility. I imagine he actually subsidizes the event quite a bit. It does seem to be a somewhat big deal for the community and he gets good sponsors and the state senator from the district usually comes by to watch. He's in real estate, enjoys outdoor activities and likes to preserve land. I imagine that he is not exactly on the forefront of safety issues in eventing. He puts on a good show for people and has a facility that he takes pride in.

Which becomes an issue- do the people who own the venues understand/care/realize anything about these issues? Obviously, many are not involved in eventing at a high level and personally may not understand or have reason to understand the issues. I can kind of understand where the owner of the Fork may not be all that concerned with people's questions about his course- he's hired experts. And I'm not sure there is a good approach to take- as Jeannette suggested. He built a facility, at great cost, has taken steps to make it work and he made the mistake of hiring the CD that everyone has decided is not so good in the past few years. I can see a reasonable and supportable reaction to be- jeez, what now- this is a pain, I'll host hunter shows and make XC into a golf course.


While your lack of attendance won't effect the property owner's pocketbook, if multiple riders feel uncomfortable with the course and withdraw (they still get your money) or just decide not to participate (they don't get your money) it will eventually make an impact (it's like voting). This is because the property owner wants a well attended event and sponsors definitely are looking for well attended events with a good reputation to sponsor or its not worthwhile for them to put their money into it. They also don't want to be affiliated with a venue that is considered unsafe for the participants. If riders make it known to *everyone* that matters that they aren't going or that they withdrew (and why) the seed of concern can be planted. This leads an intelligent business owner to consider the following...If you don't feel the course is safe you definitely won't be sending your money in next time (or attending and benefiting from the signage and promo materials from the sponsors) if the course is the same or designed by the same CD. Also, you are likely to recommend to fellow riders that you don't feel it is a safe course and that they should put spend their hard-earned entry fees elsewhere. I would also think that someone with pride in their facility would start to become concerned about his facility's reputation if he was hearing that his course(s) were unsafe to horse and rider.

I'll be hoping, however, that the course is well designed and very rideable so that everyone can have a fabulous run and enjoy themselves.

pwynnnorman
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:27 AM
It's Sea Accounts and Christan. They're entered at Prelim.

I'd been ignoring this thread because I wasn't going to go (and didn't want to be reminded that I'd be missing it), but I only just noticed who started the thread and realized why! Now I have to rethink.


Which becomes an issue- do the people who own the venues understand/care/realize anything about these issues? Obviously, many are not involved in eventing at a high level and personally may not understand or have reason to understand the issues. I can kind of understand where the owner of the Fork may not be all that concerned with people's questions about his course- he's hired experts.

About anticipating problems, though. I'm surprised by some of the approaches taken here. It sometimes sounds like folks think organizers and property owners aren't just as concerned about all of these issues as everyone else. But why wouldn't they be, unless they are, like, away on a safari in Africa or something? Isn't it more likely that they are MORE concerned and thus maybe even not sleeping at night for fear that they or someone else may make the wrong decisions about some during their event?

I think some are being very unfair to people who stick their necks out to offer sport at great risk to themselves, their reputations and even their livelihoods. No one is ignoring what has happened. Everyone is reacting to it.

So how about giving the folks putting it on the line a chance to react before you condemn them, their plans and their hard work?

RunForIt
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:01 AM
I'd been ignoring this thread because I wasn't going to go (and didn't want to be reminded that I'd be missing it), but I only just noticed who started the thread and realized why! Now I have to rethink.

About anticipating problems, though. I'm surprised by some of the approaches taken here. It sometimes sounds like folks think organizers and property owners aren't just as concerned about all of these issues as everyone else. But why wouldn't they be, unless they are, like, away on a safari in Africa or something? Isn't it more likely that they are MORE concerned and thus maybe even not sleeping at night for fear that they or someone else may make the wrong decisions about some during their event?

I think some are being very unfair to people who stick their necks out to offer sport at great risk to themselves, their reputations and even their livelihoods. No one is ignoring what has happened. Everyone is reacting to it.

So how about giving the folks putting it on the line a chance to react before you condemn them, their plans and their hard work?

Well said, PWynn - the 3 organizers that I know, own their venue sites, care a great deal about horse and rider safety, one of them has coached me and a course walk with her ALWAYS includes commentary on the safety of the construction of the fence (whether you want it or not) as well as how to safely ride the fence (and do it well!). I rather expect that because she rides these courses herself, and riders at all levels school at her farm, attention to safety is constantly under a microscope.

That's not to say that organizers are not now - due to the demand for attention to safety in course design - questioning and looking long and hard at their courses at all levels, and questioning more. Did this happen before Red Hills? Don't know - but...

benedict33
Mar. 22, 2008, 12:01 PM
i'd go ahead an pull. maybe use your refund (if you can get one) to go somewhere a bit "easier." poplar place has a fabulous move-up-ish course at prelim as well as intermediate.

kt-rose
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:12 PM
It seems to me that protesting about the course before anyone's laid eyes on it is like protesting a movie when you haven't seen it, just because you heard it had some controversial content or it's by a director that's done controversial stuff in the past. Why would any of the people involved take someone seriously when they haven't seen it yet? If you walk the course and it seems unfair, then speaking with the officials makes sense. Reacting just because it's a CMP course will just make the people you talk to defensive.

I very much agree!! And it is our responsibility as owners and riders to plan a schedule for the season that will be right for our horses. And if you get there and on that day, that course is not ok for your horse for whatever reason -- design, footing, horse didn't ship as well as usual -- whatever -- walk away. I strongly believe that a big chunk of the responsibility for where eventing has gone lies with the owners and riders who should have walked away from courses too technical, too unfriendly to the horses. If we don't jump it, they won't build it. Eventers need to be tough and brave but not crazy!

RunForIt
Mar. 22, 2008, 01:17 PM
I very much agree!! And it is our responsibility as owners and riders to plan a schedule for the season that will be right for our horses. And if you get there and on that day, that course is not ok for your horse for whatever reason -- design, footing, horse didn't ship as well as usual -- whatever -- walk away. I strongly believe that a big chunk of the responsibility for where eventing has gone lies with the owners and riders who should have walked away from courses too technical, too unfriendly to the horses. If we don't jump it, they won't build it. Eventers need to be tough and brave but not crazy!

At this point, yes, the responsibility to educate ourselves and make responsible choices is with us. However, I'm arriving late to understanding that you can't assume that courses are safe. I'm now left wondering, how do I learn to evaluate a whole course?

Songsmom
Mar. 22, 2008, 03:33 PM
[QUOTE=
BTW, back in the day, the event evaluation forms were part of the competitor packets. Doesn't seem to be the case anymore. In fact, we used to ask competitors to fill them out before they left the event...you get a lot more responses than hoping that people will download the form when they get home. Yes, it would the event a little money to make the copies, but I think it would be well worth it.[/QUOTE]

Would it be worthwhile for you to donate some time and a few dollars to get to Kinkos and have a couple of hundred printed and distribute these yourself at the event ? Might remind people these are available, even if they are on line.

swift
Mar. 22, 2008, 03:47 PM
I'm sorry but I've been reading these posts for days and getting more frustrated. There is only 1 way that REAL change will happen to your sport in regards to safety and that is through lawsuits. Why? Well if the parents and spouses of the injured or killed riders sue the USEA and the USEF then eventually the insurance companies that underwrite the events will no longer provide insurance unless certain safety standards are in place.
While I'm on this rant why do Eventers wear ridiculous helmets?? Do snowboarders.. NO do motocross riders NO!! You should all be wearing full face motorcycle/motocross type helmets. Someone needs to push this issue immediately! And someone needs to launch a class action lawsuit. Only then will the arrogant luddites that run your sport DO something. The only thing they understand is money.
Rant over!

pinkdiamondracing
Mar. 22, 2008, 04:07 PM
.
While I'm on this rant why do Eventers wear ridiculous helmets?? Do snowboarders.. NO do motocross riders NO!! You should all be wearing full face motorcycle/motocross type helmets.

UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM--- Could anyone imagine trying to ride a XC course in one of those???? Methinks it might be just a tad impossible!!!!:eek::eek::D

bridlewise
Mar. 22, 2008, 04:15 PM
This is a complex issue with no simple answers.

The best answer is to prepare well and ride intelligently.

Well said, gooddirt. Mistakes may well have been made by the CD at Red Hills, but no one seems to want to put the first responsibility where it belongs-on the rider, first, the coach second. Know your abilities and those of your horse. Know when you are overfaced, know when to ride a course safely and intelligently, no matter the posted speed. It's better to have a smooth sensible ride than a ribbon or a qualifying score. And this applies to all levels. I've seen too many ULR ride at unsafe speeds when they should know better. And coaches need to take more of a stand in the welfare of their students and know when they should not move up, or when they are unprepared for an event.

I'm sure most won't agree with me as it's easier to put the blame somewhere else, but sometimes, you have to look within.

swift
Mar. 22, 2008, 04:17 PM
I have to completly disagree, Motocross riders are extreme athletes and I would dare say need more mobility than on horseback. That said I have ridden both horses and MotoCross bikes and to be honest there is just not an issue with a motocross helmet on horseback. They are light and offer superior protection as compared to current riding helmets. Do you think Darren's head injury may have been prevented by a better helmet? My guess is probably so or at least not as severe. Go out to a motorcycle store and try one on, there is nothing in the rules that say's that you can't wear one the only thing it states is that is be ASTM approved. Would you let your kid snowboard without one? Would you buy a car without airbags? I doubt it, so why not go try a helmet that offers better protection. I have worn these helmets and they offer just as much visibilty and freedom of movement with the added bonus that they just might save you from becoming a vegetable.

Blugal
Mar. 22, 2008, 05:20 PM
In what world is it a good thing to have the insurance companies deciding the best thing for our sport??

If you're that litigious, swift, may I suggest you take up Tiddly-Winks.

kt-rose
Mar. 22, 2008, 07:06 PM
There is only 1 way that REAL change will happen to your sport in regards to safety and that is through lawsuits...And someone needs to launch a class action lawsuit.

I'm sorry, but think this is possibly the worst idea I've read in all this. As riders, owners and parents we are responsible for every step our horses take and for making sure our children are well mounted and riding courses that are appropriate for their skills. And if you aren't sure about what is and isn't safe or at least reasonable, educate yourself and surround yourself with knowledgable people. Accidents happen with horses despite all our best efforts and we all make mistakes but if you gallop your horse around a course you should know is going to eat him physically or mentally, hoping for the best, no one but you is responsible. Not the organizers, not the CD, not the USEA or the USEF. We NEED to know better and take responsibility for being prepared, fit and educated and doing the right thing for our horses every time out.

Classical DQ
Mar. 22, 2008, 07:24 PM
I think litigation is a good way to end equestrian competitions altogether. We are involved in a risky sport. For eventing large parcels of land are necessary and that means owners that are willing to let us compete on their property. If the risk of litigation increased, I'm sure we would lose many venues for competition. As these venues would be lost access to more and more properties for recreational riding or training would also come into jeopardy. Questioning, studying, education....this is how we learn what is needed for safety. Not courts and lawsuits and fines!

bornfreenowexpensive
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:02 PM
sue? that would cause change in the sport by ending it. Besides, we take a HUGE risk every time we swing our leg over our horse's back. No one is forcing anyone to event....if you don't like a course when you walk it....don't ride. If you didn't understand the risks before eventing....then you probably shouldn't have been eventing. Any reasonable person who takes the time and engages in the necessary training should understand the risks....and Parents should also seek to educate themselves if they themselves are not riders.

Bringing litigation after the fact isn't a solution. Riders need to become more educated, they need to become much more vocal, and we need to take more responsibility for the direction of our sport.

deltawave
Mar. 22, 2008, 09:14 PM
Um, TROLL.

However, I won't disallow the thought that maybe helmets COULD be made better, even if it means bigger. Why not? I don't mind breaking a bone here or there, but I use my head to make my living and anything that will help me keep my head safer--I'm all for it. However, I'm not going to go proclaiming "motorcycle helmets are better!" without some data, just like I'm not going to say "motorcycle helmets are worse!".

Janet
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:26 PM
Would it be worthwhile for you to donate some time and a few dollars to get to Kinkos and have a couple of hundred printed and distribute these yourself at the event ? Might remind people these are available, even if they are on line.I have been to plenty of events that still put one in every rider's packet.

Janet
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:28 PM
UMMMMMMMMMMMMMM--- Could anyone imagine trying to ride a XC course in one of those???? Methinks it might be just a tad impossible!!!!:eek::eek::D Certaily not impossible as there was at least one rider that did it- way back before there were ASTM helmets for riders. David O'C demonstrated several of them at the annual meeting.

It would take some gettting used to, but perfectly possible.

ksbadger
Mar. 22, 2008, 10:49 PM
Certaily not impossibel as there was at least one rider that did it- way back before there were ASTM helmets for riders. David O'C demonstrated several of them at the annual meeting.

It would take some gettting used to, but perfectly possible.

Beleive it was Lucinda Green who put her name to a helmet with much thicker sides than the current norm several years ago - looked a lot like the Royal Air Force jet helmet of the time. Locally in the mid-West, there were a series of accidents where the rider hit the side of the fence suffering jaw & cheek fractures. A full-face helmet more like a BMX or motocross one might very well be better for that sort of fall. It could be more of a problem if the edge of the helmet caught up on a jump - think rotational forces on the neck - you'd need very carefully engineered fixture straps but not too difficult to do.

Look back on the progress over the years and you'll see a steady improvement in protection from the bare-headed look ('36 Olympics in Munich), the hunt cap (50s) to today but we shouldn't think the current crop of modified bike helmets is the end point.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 23, 2008, 07:20 PM
Certaily not impossible as there was at least one rider that did it- way back before there were ASTM helmets for riders. David O'C demonstrated several of them at the annual meeting.

It would take some gettting used to, but perfectly possible.

There is at least one rider who still does it. I think she's in the Uk? I think she wears a motorcross helmet, for the reasons mentioned, and does just fine with it.

I imagine one of the reason that helmets haven't changed drastically for equestrian sports is because of the fashion/look. We've come a ways with chin straps and approved helmets, but the traditional "hunt cap" design is probably not going to change any time soon.

On the other hand, I think it could look pretty cool if we had like.. color coordinated body suits with built in safety vests and motorcross helmets. We could match our saddlepads :lol: and be like superheroes. Heck, breeches are already like spandex. We'd just be progressing to the next logical step.

UNCeventer
Mar. 23, 2008, 11:16 PM
I think I once overheard a quote by John Williams (a rider and cd) that a good xc course was supposed to build confidence. Do you feel that CMP courses do this?

Is there some kind of standard for course design??

retreadeventer
Mar. 24, 2008, 12:11 AM
WAY BACK IN THE DARK AGES - A test ride was done on new X-C courses, especially those of a championship level. I remember the long article in the USCTA News about the test ride over the 1984 Olympic course, by an ULR (not a team member) on her mare who had recovered from a hip fracture!

This is correct. The rider was Holly something and her trainer was Brian Sabo. I wrote an article about her and her horse, a chestnut mare she trained herself. The mare broke the hip running around a metal cattle bale feeder in a lot. They owned a ski resort and she kept her horses on their mountain. Very fit animals! It was published in COTH back in 1984. We couldn't find anyone with an advanced horse who was sound enough to run it and Holly needed to get an outing in her mare. It was done on the QT because the Europeans were crying as usual about unfairness. But I have since learned most big courses do have test rides just not real public about them and not always on the same facility. Sometimes the CD builds a fence somewhere else to test it and then they use it or don't use it depending upon outcome of test ride.