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View Full Version : Concern about the beijing xc?



AlexMakowski
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:02 PM
I have not heard anyone mention what they think the xc will be like at Beijing, but it is something I have been thinking about lately. After a few pieces on tv about how demanding olymic caliber sports programs are in China. Not saying that competing in any sport at that level isnt demanding. I just worry that beijing might be out to prove something by making a really hard course, but it should be because its the olympics right? Its hard to say what im thinking. very hard. and this post does not adequately do so. Just with the year we have had, im worried about a particularily demanding xc. sorry if this has been absolute babble making little sense.

KBG Eventer
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:05 PM
The equestrian part of the Olympics is in Hong Kong :).

Ajierene
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:23 PM
A few countries went out and ran the courses for Eventing specifically to make sure that the courses would not be to tough.

I think it will be fine.

Gunnar
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:33 PM
I have not heard anyone mention what they think the xc will be like at Beijing, but it is something I have been thinking about lately. After a few pieces on tv about how demanding olymic caliber sports programs are in China. Not saying that competing in any sport at that level isnt demanding. I just worry that beijing might be out to prove something by making a really hard course, but it should be because its the olympics right? Its hard to say what im thinking. very hard. and this post does not adequately do so. Just with the year we have had, im worried about a particularily demanding xc. sorry if this has been absolute babble making little sense.

I am not in the know but they already ran a competition there! It is in Hong Kong, not Beijing! Go to :

http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/archives/2007/08/099.shtml

for the outcome! I would worry more about the polution than the XC course. IMHO from what I have read and heard Hong Kong has worse pollution then Beijing!:sadsmile:

snoopy
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:45 PM
A few countries went out and ran the courses for Eventing specifically to make sure that the courses would not be to tough.

I think it will be fine.



The test event last year was more to make sure that all the officals, vets, grounds etc were going to be suitable. They did not run over the course that will be seen next week. "Elements" of the design would most likely been seen but the actual Olympic course..no.

BaroquePony
Aug. 4, 2008, 06:59 PM
Is there a Mongolian Team :lol:

Ajierene
Aug. 4, 2008, 07:42 PM
Is there a Mongolian Team :lol:

I'm really not sure of the relevance of Mongolia sponsoring an Olympic team in China. There is a Mongolian Olympic team, but they do not seem to have representatives in Equestrian Sports this year.

According to the article, the Olympics have only recently become popular enough in Mongolia to warrant televising the games (first time was the 2004 Olympics).

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/07/27/oly.nomadgames/

http://en.beijing2008.cn/story/story2/0531/

Snoopy - yeah, I didn't mean they ran over the exact course, or at least that is not what I was thinking - more like a similar course with key elements that may be questionable.

3dazey
Aug. 4, 2008, 07:43 PM
Not worried in the least, unless Phillip Dutton comes back from walking and declares it impossible. :cool:

fernie fox
Aug. 4, 2008, 08:16 PM
In my opinion,there should not be any serious problems on the Olympic CC.

They have to cater to many nations who have riders that are not as experienced as others.

The course has to be geared to this.

Which is why,I prefer to think of the World equestrian games as the pinnacle of Equestrian sports.

BaroquePony
Aug. 4, 2008, 08:53 PM
Arjierene, this would be the relevance:


Quoted from CNN Bejing:

The horses in the Naadam Festival have higher endurance than the horses that will compete in the Olympic Equestrian events in August," bragged Edward Rochette, an American lawyer who married a Mongolian woman and is living in Ulaanbaatar. "Most thoroughbreds would die if you ran them for 30 km. The Mongolian horses have been running across these plains for hundreds of years and have developed the correct body type for this kind of sport."

They actaully are very good horseman.

Ajierene
Aug. 4, 2008, 08:56 PM
Arjierene, this would be the relevance:



They actaully are very good horseman.

Yeah, I saw that when I looked it up...kind of obscure reference though.

Kind of like one of those inside jokes only you and your friends know, except none of your friends that know are present and everyone is wondering what you are laughing at....(especially considering the smiley icon- made me infer there was some joke or something involved...)

JER
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:09 PM
Horse racing, Mongolian style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnjDPCbR6Is&feature=related).

Some of those kids even have helmets!

vineyridge
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:19 PM
He certainly doesn't know anything about TBs, does he? :D

AirJockey24
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:19 PM
They have to cater to many nations who have riders that are not as experienced as others.



There's even an individual from Jamaica competing this year.

luise
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:29 PM
I thought Mike E-S was designing the course.

LexInVA
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:35 PM
I like Mongolian BBQ. Yummy!

vineyridge
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:40 PM
The Jamaican rider, whose name I forget, is riding a Swedish bred full brother to Darren Chiacchia's 4**** Better I Do It. She represented Jamaica in the Pan Am Games last year and came in somewhere between 6 and ten (I think). She's a very competent International rider.

BaroquePony
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by Arjierene:

Kind of like one of those inside jokes only you and your friends know, except none of your friends that know are present and everyone is wondering what you are laughing at....(especially considering the smiley icon- made me infer there was some joke or something involved...)

Ok, it was sort of an inside joke. I was being obtuse.

If one of theses Mongolian kids accidentally kills their pony during this race they are "shunned" and considered bad horsemen.

vineyridge
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:41 PM
I thought Mike E-S was designing the course.

He is. At least that's what the FEI and all the news sources have said.

2ndyrgal
Aug. 4, 2008, 09:46 PM
At least in Mongolia if a rider kills his horse at an event he is shunned. Here we just get them another one.

BaroquePony
Aug. 4, 2008, 10:05 PM
That was my point :yes: I thought more people might know about some of the Mongolian horsemanship ... only because horse people are so friggin' horsey that they usually end up at some point watching or reading about almost anything that has ever been done relative to horses. There have been some documentaries about the Mongolian race.

JER
Aug. 4, 2008, 10:08 PM
At least in Mongolia if a rider kills his horse at an event he is shunned. Here we just get them another one.

And I bet the Mongolians don't blog about it and blame their horses either.

:D

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 11:46 AM
And I bet the Mongolians don't blog about it and blame their horses either.

:D

Really? Then I guess you didn't see the PBS special about the special horse race they have in Mongolia where the children ride the horses. They carefully prepare them, then they ride them out about 15+ miles, then run them back as hard as they can flat out. Horse drops dead? Too bad. They have a backhoe handy to put them in a truck and take away the body. The big concern was the parents waiting for the kid and horse to come in at the end of the day. Oh... there they are, the kid sitting beside his dead horse. They are heartbroken, of course, if the favorite horse dies, but c'est la vie. Based on that, I'd have my doubts about the "level of horsemanship." The horses are a necessity for their lives, but I guess they have so many that if the "race horse" dies, they can still cope.

Jazzy Lady
Aug. 5, 2008, 11:51 AM
If MES is in charge of the course design it will be a beautiful course. He is a fantastic designer and I'm scared of what will happen to the sport when he takes that hat off. :( Hopefully he'll continue to teach on design and many will follow his style and practices.

Tiki
Aug. 5, 2008, 12:03 PM
It sounds as if you think the Chinese, themselves, will be designing the course and have something to prove. China, and Hong Kong for the equestrian events, are merely the hosts of the Games. The Olympic Committe provides the course designers.

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by Sandy M:

Based on that, I'd have my doubts about the "level of horsemanship." The horses are a necessity for their lives

In many areas where horses are still a necessity usually they are well cared for. Not to be confused with lethal mistakes, "pampering" or a few "harsh boundaries".

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 12:25 PM
In many areas where horses are still a necessity usually they are well cared for. Not to be confused with lethal mistakes, "pampering" or a few "harsh boundaries".


I'd say running a horse to death for a race (not necessity) is more than setting "harsh boundaries," I'd say it's going well past any "boundaries" and does not demonstrate good horsemanship. As pictured in the PBS program, there was not just one dead horse, but several - literally run to death. A very sad vision as the back hoe lifted and dumped many small, skinny horses into a truck.

While it is hard to judge from what was shown, in general, many of the horses looked not "fit" but unhealthily thin. One wonders what lesson is learned by children by having them run horses to death for the honor of their families. Life is harsh in Mongolia? I think they probably already knew that, and didn't need to kill a horse to bring the lesson home.

monicabee
Aug. 5, 2008, 12:30 PM
Samatha Albert is the Jamaican rider you are referring to, I believe. She has a website about her Olympic quest:

http://samanthaalbert.com/index.php

I am guessing the ugly duckling jump will be part of the course:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0fFw7WNeFPgLz/610x.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.daylife.com/photo/0fFw7WNeFPgLz&h=406&w=610&sz=94&hl=en&start=17&um=1&tbnid=laHF5C5MUTUuLM:&tbnh=91&tbnw=136&prev=/images%3Fq%3DGood%2BLuck%2BBeijing%2B-%2BHKSAR%2B10th%2BAnniversary%2BCup%26um%3D1%26hl% 3Den%26safe%3Doff%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by Sandy M:

I'd say running a horse to death for a race (not necessity) is more than setting "harsh boundaries," I'd say it's going well past any "boundaries" and does not demonstrate good horsemanship. As pictured in the PBS program, there was not just one dead horse, but several - literally run to death. A very sad vision as the back hoe lifted and dumped many small, skinny horses into a truck.

While it is hard to judge from what was shown, in general, many of the horses looked not "fit" but unhealthily thin. One wonders what lesson is learned by children by having them run horses to death for the honor of their families. Life is harsh in Mongolia? I think they probably already knew that, and didn't need to kill a horse to bring the lesson home.

The dead horse I call a "lethal mistake".

In the documentary that I saw, there was only on dead horse in the race. The other horses all looked small, but not all that thin.

The "harsh boundaries" that I was thinking of came from the Southwestern Desert in the U.S.A. I would assume that there would be some similar thing with the Mongols.

If a horse took off when you were out in the desert wilderness with all of a rider's tack and gear, it was considered exceptable to shoot the horse and keep the gear. This is wilderness riding. No helicopter rescue.

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 01:58 PM
The dead horse I call a "lethal mistake".

In the documentary that I saw, there was only on dead horse in the race. The other horses all looked small, but not all that thin.

The "harsh boundaries" that I was thinking of came from the Southwestern Desert in the U.S.A. I would assume that there would be some similar thing with the Mongols.

If a horse took off when you were out in the desert wilderness with all of a rider's tack and gear, it was considered exceptable to shoot the horse and keep the gear. This is wilderness riding. No helicopter rescue.


I think we must have seen different programs. There were multiple deaths in the one I saw. You could see carcasses in the dump truck as multiple new ones were added. This was a yearly event. Run for many, many years. A very "big deal" but a "sporting" contest - not a "deliver the vaccine to Nome" life or death situation. One would think that if they were all such good horseman, either they would condition more properly (perhaps VAN the horses to the starting point - obviously they had trucks in which to put the DEAD horses), and race them back (15 miles)? Actually TROT part of the way?- thereby 'saving' your horse and probably winning as you passed the DEAD horses that were run full out the entire (or as far as they got) distance? Obviously, they sure didn't hand out any "best condition" awards.

P.S. Grammer Nazi here: "acceptable" - not "exceptable" (unless you had some other meaning?)

Edited to ad: Just because of curiousity - how far were the "legs" the Pony Express horses ran? How many miles before they changed horses? Obviously they went all out, but you only read in stories or histories of the horses dying when shot by indians/robbers or when, for example, the relief station had been attacked and a horse had to go two legs, etc. Were the Pony Express horses/mustangs that much tougher than Mongolian ponies?

Ajierene
Aug. 5, 2008, 02:22 PM
Each horse ran 12-15 miles:

Whereas the pony rider of 1860 rode a section of about 75 miles and changed horses every 12 to 15 miles, reenactment riders cover a shorter segment of 3 to 5 miles and use their own horses, turning the mochila over at the end of their ride to the next rider.

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/publishers/fulcrum/pony-exp.htm

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 02:53 PM
Each horse ran 12-15 miles:

Whereas the pony rider of 1860 rode a section of about 75 miles and changed horses every 12 to 15 miles, reenactment riders cover a shorter segment of 3 to 5 miles and use their own horses, turning the mochila over at the end of their ride to the next rider.

http://gorp.away.com/gorp/publishers/fulcrum/pony-exp.htm

Thanks, Ajierene.

So.... if these Mongolian ponies were trucked to the starting point (and they DO have trucks at this race gathering site) and raced 15 miles back at a gallop, it would probably be a fair and reasonable test, but first they hack them out 15 miles, then race them back, flat out. Horses die. And this is culturally acceptable to honor the clan and prove you have the best horse, and we salute this as good horsemanship? Okaaaaaay

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by Sandy M:

I think we must have seen different programs. There were multiple deaths in the one I saw. You could see carcasses in the dump truck as multiple new ones were added.

No, that sounds horrible.

No, the documentary that I saw had no trucks involved at all. This would have been further into the steppes.

My cousin saw one documentary on the Mongolian racing recently and she didn't like it at all. Sounded very diffent than what I saw.

Also, Pony Express ... yeah Arjierne has it right.

But it wasn't that uncommon to ride a seventy-five mile day without damaging a horse. Tombstone to Tucson. Dick Abernathy.

I always seem to mix acceptable with exceptable. I know the difference, I just never get it right. No problem, thanks for correcting a bad habit.

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 04:14 PM
I am guessing that the brutal race is probably some bastardization of an older tradition.

It varies within districts (or whatever vast spaces have in terms of division on a nomadic plain) I would think.

Zippy
Aug. 5, 2008, 04:25 PM
I would like to point out to the "grammer nazi" that "grammar" is spelled with an "a."

--The spelling nazi

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Sandy M:

Were the Pony Express horses/mustangs that much tougher than Mongolian ponies?

From film some of the Mongolian horses look like desert Arab horses. Some Mustangs look like desert Arab horses. They probaly aren't that far apart in genetic origin. They just got moved around the continent via clipper ships and such.

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 05:01 PM
I would like to point out to the "grammer nazi" that "grammar" is spelled with an "a."

--The spelling nazi

You are absolutely right: Perhaps I was confused with Kelsey Grammer(ar). ROFLOL. Still, the misspelling doesn't really affect the meaning - but Exceptable and Acceptable are quite different.

Sandy M
Aug. 5, 2008, 05:06 PM
No, that sounds horrible.

No, the documentary that I saw had no trucks involved at all. This would have been further into the steppes.

My cousin saw one documentary on the Mongolian racing recently and she didn't like it at all. Sounded very diffent than what I saw.

Also, Pony Express ... yeah Arjierne has it right.

But it wasn't that uncommon to ride a seventy-five mile day without damaging a horse. Tombstone to Tucson. Dick Abernathy.

I always seem to mix acceptable with exceptable. I know the difference, I just never get it right. No problem, thanks for correcting a bad habit.

Obviously a different program then. What bothered me most about the one I saw was that the documentarian(s)(?) made absolutely NO comment about the brutality of racing the horses flat out and the horses dying. Just how "sad" the riders/families were to lose the horse. WTF? I wouldn't have minded quite as much if they had commented about cultural differences making this somehow acceptable (though WE might deplore it), but it was just, "well, that's what happened and the kids are heartbroken." Well, geesh, maybe if they didn't whip 'em to run flat out all the way, it wouldn't happen.

Riding a 75 mile day - well, obviously that can be done. Look at the Tevis - usually 100 mi. over rough country in about 13+/- hours. But not at a dead gallop all the way!

BaroquePony
Aug. 5, 2008, 05:12 PM
The program you saw was totalaly different than what I saw. I wouldn't even like it based on a cultural difference.

It would be hard to believe that that would have been the original norm. The Mongols live off of their horses. They make all kinds of things from the milk of mares - cheese food and alcoholic drink (scared to imagine what that tastes like).

I do know the culture has been suffering from rapid change due to the opening of the steppes to the outside world. Also is suffering from some kind of issue with the rest of the changes in Russia, etc..

Dixon
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:04 PM
The equestrian part of the Olympics is in Hong Kong :).

Boy, is this a misguided attempt at reassurance. Remember, everybody, that even though certain events will be held in HK because Beijing didn't have a PRAYER of building horse facilities in time for the Olympics, these are still the BEIJING Olympics, organized and run by the Chinese Communist Party that is based in Beijing and provided the instructions for preparation. The events being held in Beijing itself will be a disaster due to hasty, shoddy preparation and horrendous air quality. The events being staged in HK too will have problems because the SAME PEOPLE are calling the shots as in Beijing. Don't think for a moment that the HK events won't be f'd up by the Chinese just because they're held among glitzy modern highrises in a relatively rich city known for cheap electronics. Woe unto the horses being sent to compete in these Games.

As for the XC itself, besides the vengeful motives an earlier posted attributed to the Chinese (make the course too hard for the usual nations to excel), we should worry more about sheer incompetence of the Chinese. They have no background in horse facilities. Even if a premier international course designer from a western nation DESIGNED the course, it's Chinese people on the ground carrying out the BUILDING of the course under instruction of their Chinese government, and you'd better believe there will be unsafe conditions out there -- anything from nails laying around to splinters sticking out where horses will run into them, to unsafe water jumps, to footing that collapses/crumbles dangerously . . . . . use your imagination. Or your horse to go test it out. Poor horses.

2DogsFarm
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:37 PM
[quote=Dixon;3418628]Boy, is this a misguided attempt at reassurance. Remember, everybody, that even though certain events will be held in HK because Beijing didn't have a PRAYER of building horse facilities in time for the Olympics

Have you seen horse facilities in Beijing?
I have, on a trip 2 years ago.
Approximately an hour outside the city itself I toured 3 lovely facilities.
These were not pre-arranged visits, I went with a friend who was living there and wanted to find someplace to ride. We hired a car and found the places we wanted to see ourselves. Even got a refferal to one from an ex-pat rider who met us visiting the second place we saw.
Horses were well cared for, facilites ranged from modest to pretty impressive. And the grounds of all provided decent arenas - indoor and out and plenty of room to ride trails. Trails appeared inviting and well kept.

I believe HongKong was chosen for the Games as they have a long history of Thoroughbred racing and the facilites to stable a large number of international arrivals (horses and attendants)

The Chinese government is not without problems, but horsekeeping is not one of them.

Reynard Ridge
Aug. 6, 2008, 02:53 PM
I thought the key issue with Beijing was quarantine?

This is what the NYTs says about it: "But China was forced to move all six equestrian events after international veterinary groups declined three years ago to certify Beijing as free of equine diseases. If the equestrian events were held in Beijing, the horses would be forced to endure lengthy quarantines upon leaving China." (By KEITH BRADSHER (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/keith_bradsher/index.html?inline=nyt-per) Published: August 3, 2008)

So, less about the ability of China to create a facility than about how the international community handles quarantine. Which certainly makes sense to me.

Masinya
Aug. 6, 2008, 03:59 PM
As for the XC itself, besides the vengeful motives an earlier posted attributed to the Chinese (make the course too hard for the usual nations to excel), we should worry more about sheer incompetence of the Chinese. They have no background in horse facilities. Even if a premier international course designer from a western nation DESIGNED the course, it's Chinese people on the ground carrying out the BUILDING of the course under instruction of their Chinese government, and you'd better believe there will be unsafe conditions out there -- anything from nails laying around to splinters sticking out where horses will run into them, to unsafe water jumps, to footing that collapses/crumbles dangerously . . . . . use your imagination. Or your horse to go test it out. Poor horses.

The course is being build by David Evans, from United Kingdom, who often builds the courses for Mike Etherington-Smith. Many of the jumps are portable and not built on site. Dave would oversee any construction on site i.e. the water jump. The whole course is inspected by many people and it is unlikely that anything unsafe would go unnoticed. Take a look at: http://useventing.com/competitions.php?id=1412

linquest
Aug. 7, 2008, 11:50 AM
Oh. My. :eek: Prejudiced much?

monicabee
Aug. 7, 2008, 06:42 PM
As a result of this thread, I went to dig out more info on the Chinese riders who managed to qualify to compete. Obviously they are not in medal contention, but if you read their stories it took a great deal of will power (and cash) to even get there.

There will actually be a "Chinese" eventer -- Alex Hua Tian -- and he's eighteen, handsome, and has a British mother who got him on horseback at an early age. He grew up largely in Hong Kong and England, so he has not exactly lacked for opportunity. A business acquaintance of his father became his backer to get him the horses and competition milage. Seems like he made a good investment.

This was hastily written and derived entirely from online sources, but if anyone is interested:

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/horsebytes/archives/145422.asp

Larksmom
Aug. 8, 2008, 02:35 PM
I have been crusin this m,orning and cannot find any of the course. Should I try H&H?

NoelleMwc
Aug. 8, 2008, 02:56 PM
I have been crusin this m,orning and cannot find any of the course. Should I try H&H?
Did you see this post?:

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=161164

Tons of cool XC pictures on the link provided!

fiona
Aug. 8, 2008, 04:03 PM
There will actually be a "Chinese" eventer -- Alex Hua Tian

Alex is a fantastic rider, he's trained by double olympian Jane (bredin) Gregory for dressage and the multi talented Clayton and Lucinda Fredericks. Do not underestimate him!