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SRF1
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:16 PM
Hi Everyone,

For those of you who have been wondering what went wrong with Brentina this was just posted on the COTH olympic updates of Debbies explanation of what happened. Too bad! :(


"She started spooking at something on the side,” said McDonald of the 17-year-old mare who has earned Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games medals. “I have no idea what it was. I couldn’t put my leg on or anything. It totally took me by surprise. I feel awful. I knew in the pirouettes I had no hope. It was a bad day.”

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:20 PM
Hi Everyone,

For those of you who have been wondering what went wrong with Brentina this was just posted on the COTH olympic updates of Debbies explanation of what happened. Too bad! :(


"She started spooking at something on the side,” said McDonald of the 17-year-old mare who has earned Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games medals. “I have no idea what it was. I couldn’t put my leg on or anything. It totally took me by surprise. I feel awful. I knew in the pirouettes I had no hope. It was a bad day.”

Did she mention anything about soundness? Reading the boards many have said she wasn't right...

DownYonder
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:25 PM
Hi Everyone,

For those of you who have been wondering what went wrong with Brentina this was just posted on the COTH olympic updates of Debbies explanation of what happened. Too bad! :(


"She started spooking at something on the side,” said McDonald of the 17-year-old mare who has earned Olympic, World Championship and Pan American Games medals. “I have no idea what it was. I couldn’t put my leg on or anything. It totally took me by surprise. I feel awful. I knew in the pirouettes I had no hope. It was a bad day.”

You're kidding? Yeah, the mare looked a bit tense, but the major problem was the mare was uneven - and unfit. She was huffing and puffing like a steam locomotive and I wasn't even sure a few times whether she was going to make it through the test.

SRF1
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:26 PM
Ridgeback,

Nothing was stated about soundness, the only other thing that was said about her condition was:

"But even with the bronze eluding them, Peters said McDonald had no reason to apologize to the team. “The last four or five weeks, [Brentina] has been so extremely consistent,” he said. “They’re horses, not machines. Some people say horses are human too, but horses are horses.”

Eyemadonkee
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:32 PM
The end was rough after that first pirouette, but I thought the beginning was worse - her trot work and passage were very uneven. You could also hear her panting (even at trot, at the beginning!) when she went past the speakers hidden around the ring.

Even so, there is nothing to appologize for. We all have off days.

MEP
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:52 PM
There were quite a few horses huffing & puffing. I haven't seen the vid for the second day yet, but the first day, it was quite noisy out there! (You could definitely tell where the mics were located around the ring :lol:)

slc2
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:56 PM
Nearly all horses make noise when performing at that level. It's how labored or how rapid the breathing is.

DownYonder
Aug. 14, 2008, 03:58 PM
There were quite a few horses huffing & puffing. I haven't seen the vid for the second day yet, but the first day, it was quite noisy out there! (You could definitely tell where the mics were located around the ring :lol:)

Yep! The Lusitanos and the big, muscling stallions especially. But Brentina sounded very labored at times.

slc2
Aug. 14, 2008, 04:05 PM
The horse was distracted a couple of times, but that doesn't address what the unevenness was.

I think you won't see that horse compete again. She was going to be retired next year - shortly before the Olympics Debbie announced she would be retired right after the Olympic games.

I do think that something is going on. Debbie also said in interview most of the work the horse was getting was at a walk. I don't know if that means the entire time or what, but that's what she said, most of the work the horse was getting was walk work.

Beezer
Aug. 14, 2008, 05:48 PM
I have not watched her test yet (too damned depressing :sad: ), but was the mare more uneven than some of the ones who went yesterday? There were more than a couple who made me wince and wonder when their hocks were due to be injected.

snoopy
Aug. 14, 2008, 06:46 PM
http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2008/08og/rep_grandprix2.html


The last half of the article addresses the US effort and Brentina.

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 06:59 PM
http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2008/08og/rep_grandprix2.html


The last half of the article addresses the US effort and Brentina.

Wow that was interesting..quote,"U.S. team trainer Klaus Balkenhol did not put a healthy athlete on stage here!" :no::no::mad:

onthebit
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:04 PM
http://www.eurodressage.com/reports/shows/2008/08og/rep_grandprix2.html


The last half of the article addresses the US effort and Brentina.

That was a pretty scathing article, although probably deserved.

snoopy
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:07 PM
I have no idea who wrote the article, maybe astrid, but yes there were some serious observations...but then again it is the writer's point of view.

Coreene
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:09 PM
That was a pretty scathing article, although probably deserved.Absolutely deserved and I am glad that someone told it like it is.

Dixon
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:15 PM
That haughty article also accuses the U.S. of "cheating" Denmark out of the 2006 WEG medal. Deciding which horse-and-rider pairs will compete is always tough, and is an art not a science. Were it a science, each team could definitively conclude which pair would "peak" at Olympics time, instead of having to rely on track records, some of which are longer and more consistent than others. Brentina was sound for the trials. Horses can be sound one day and lame the next. And the Hong Kong air was hard on the horses -- they just can't say so in interviews. Debbie and the decisionmakers have nothing to apologize for. Let other countries make their snide comments, but such comments shouldn't come from us.

snoopy
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:18 PM
Well, before surgery Brentina had a difficult time breathing and the very humid weather, even post surgery, was obviously difficult for her...

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:18 PM
That haughty article also accuses the U.S. of "cheating" Denmark out of the 2006 WEG medal. Deciding which horse-and-rider pairs will compete is always tough, and is an art not a science. Were it a science, each team could definitively conclude which pair would "peak" at Olympics time, instead of having to rely on track records, some of which are longer and more consistent than others. Brentina was sound for the trials. Horses can be sound one day and lame the next. And the Hong Kong air was hard on the horses -- they just can't say so in interviews. Debbie and the decisionmakers have nothing to apologize for. Let other countries make their snide comments, but such comments shouldn't come from us.

Dixon only the U.S. thinks they derserved that bronze at WEG.. That mare was lame and no way derserved that score(at weg)..

freestyle2music
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:23 PM
Come on guys, you don't need press-articles just watch the ride yourself.

And if you can't see that this horse is unsound, stay away from horses please !


Theo

ChampionMercedes
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:41 PM
The mare was quite visibly off IMO. Looks like something in the right front to me, judging by how she was putting weight on it throughout the test. I was suprised the judges let her continue through the test. Poor Debbie did look heartbroken at the end :( I feel awful for her.

freestyle2music
Aug. 14, 2008, 07:43 PM
Courtesy of DressageDirect and FEI


Devastated
America's Debbie McDonald was devastated by her performance with the 17-year old Brentina who seemed to struggle all the way through. “I don't know what to say, I just feel awful, I know I've finished the team,” she said after the judges awarded her a mark of 63.000%. Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said.
American Steffen Peters showed a great piaffe and passage and some nice extensions. However his score of 70.0% didn’t bring his team back in medal position.

2 tbs
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:02 PM
I'm a H/J and have never seen this horse/rider combo. I was awe struck by the size and movement of the mare :) It was as if I had never seen horses before - just lovely...er, well, until it fell apart :(

Now, I'm not used to that type of movement so I couldn't really tell if the mare was off. I will however go back and watch as I just played it on my DVR but want to see the rest of 'em before I go back.

What I did pick up on was the horse was not right overall. Breathing was maybe more intense than many others but beyond the breathing I saw a horse quite unsettled. The halt was hardly a solid halt-she stopped but she looked like a time bomb. The walk out of the arena was quite animated compared to the rest who dropped their head and gave a great forward stretching walk. She looked worried/anxious/overwhelmed.

What I don't know is how they normally perform so I can't say that this was out of the ordinary. Did the horse sustain an injury? Maybe. Did the horse do her best to hold herself together when she really wanted to freak out? Maybe.

I thought the article was a bit harsh. I mean, who cares if she "almost tripped" because she didn't so get over it. I'm not worried about almost. I'm worried about what really happened and I saw a horse that was completely on edge/ready to explode for whatever reason. Granted, I only watched from the angle of the TV. I don't know what was really happening on ground level. Maybe I'll have a different opinion when I go back and watch now that I'm over the shock of how pretty Brentina really is :)

cyberbay
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:04 PM
Well the Eurodressage article was a good read. If you want to be in bigtime sports, which the Europeans already are with dressage, you have to be able to withstand astute media coverage...

I feel really badly for Debbie that this probably last time on the world stage was so unrepresentative of the mare's talent...

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:09 PM
Courtesy of DressageDirect and FEI

Devastated
America's Debbie McDonald was devastated by her performance with the 17-year old Brentina who seemed to struggle all the way through. “I don't know what to say, I just feel awful, I know I've finished the team,” she said after the judges awarded her a mark of 63.000%. Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said.
American Steffen Peters showed a great piaffe and passage and some nice extensions. However his score of 70.0% didn’t bring his team back in medal position.

Let us not just blame Debbie because Klaus is the one who ultimately decides who goes in the ring!!!!!!

springer
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:10 PM
to my non-expert eye Brentina looked incredible, except maybe at the pirouette. Anyone can have a bad day, and I understand the heat is stifling there. Bless her heart. She is 17 years old and I thought she was amazing under such circumstances!

snoopy
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:13 PM
to my non-expert eye Brentina looked incredible, except maybe at the pirouette. Anyone can have a bad day, and I understand the heat is stifling there. Bless her heart. She is 17 years old and I thought she was amazing under such circumstances!


but lame

Schiffon
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:17 PM
No one really thinks Astrid at eurodressage is a journalist, do they? She has a good eye and will say things that other people won't say, but at the end of the day, her pieces are simply opinion.

I love the site because it has lots of timely information, but take it with a grain of salt.

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:25 PM
No one really thinks Astrid at eurodressage is a journalist, do they? She has a good eye and will say things that other people won't say, but at the end of the day, her pieces are simply opinion.

I love the site because it has lots of timely information, but take it with a grain of salt.

what about this? "Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said."


Bottom line is the mare is retired now...what was done is done.

dutchfan
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:46 PM
"Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said."

This quote is from DressageDirect - not Eurodressage.

But anyway - so sad to see Brentina end up like this.

"to my non-expert eye Brentina looked incredible"
Sorry - but she was noticably, blantantly lame from the beginning of the test. She should have been rung out in the first trot half pass. Really lame. RF/LH from what I saw. The RF was always short and guarded. THe left hind was dragging and carried off to the outside throughout.

It would be better for all concerned if Debbie/Klaus et al just stood up and said something like - "she didn't feel quite right in the warmup but we thought she would warm up out of it" or something like that. Fess up and acknowledge the mare was lame. But to hide and say "she was spooky" etc is an insult to all of us.

Schiffon
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:50 PM
what about this? "Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said."


Bottom line is the mare is retired now...what was done is done.

So what.

I made an observation from reading eurodressage for 5 years or how ever long she has been doing it.

yaya
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:53 PM
There were two times where she didn't want to put the RF down. Once in the two tempis and once coming out of the second pirouette. When you watch the replay, you can see it's almost like she wants to change leads, but then she holds it up for a stride and stays on the same lead.

If I remember correctly, she was very lame on the RF in the walk at the WEG.

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 08:55 PM
So what.

I made an observation from reading eurodressage for 5 years or how ever long she has been doing it.


OOPS sorry:o I got you confused with someone else...:o

Marieke
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:06 PM
I'm a big Brentina fan and I was very sad to see the test :( Darn it, darn it darn it.

ponyjumper4
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:14 PM
I'm having a hard time accepting that a NQR/lame Brentina could contribute more to the team than a sound Neruda.

ridgeback
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:23 PM
I'm having a hard time accepting that a NQR/lame Brentina could contribute more to the team than a sound Neruda.

It's not about what Brentina and Neruda can do for the team it's about the welfare of the animal...SIGH

asb_own_me
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:23 PM
I feel really badly for Debbie that this probably last time on the world stage was so unrepresentative of the mare's talent...

Agreed. That is the saddest part of it IMO.

I feel the same way about my mare....obviously we were not competitors at the Olympic level, but I have the same sentiment about the horse's last performance being subpar compared to their capabilities.

BLBGP
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:27 PM
Don't the dressage horses have to jog?

It sounds like she was off in two recent competitions. Is it common for judges to let an unsound horse compete?

Happy Feet
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:28 PM
I only got to see the parts of the test from TV coverage, from the angle of the camera, and the fact that they didn't show much of the trot at all, I can't say much about the uneven trot work, She looked stiff in the back and not comfortable behind in the canter, several times she jumped together behind, mostly in the corners. But, amazingly, she really did have lovely piaffe and passage and her trans in between were just great.

I would certainly put money on politics, there wasn't anyway Neruda and Michael were going to do well here, Leslie and Klaus don't see eye to eye and there wasn't anyone else... Not that, THAT makes is okay for what happened today, but it is really sad, when 2 of the members of the team made it possible for a silver medal this year. I do feel badly for Debbie, she can't be feeling good right now, and we ALL have bad days.....

ponyjumper4
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:34 PM
Obviously it's about the welfare of the horse, but if it was one of those "well, she might work out of it" situations, there was no reason to chance it, either for her health or for a medal.

Would Michael have gotten a score like Steffen or Courtney? No, probably not, but I do feel it would have been better than a 63% and at least a healthier horse would have been presented.

Edgewood
Aug. 14, 2008, 09:44 PM
She looked stiff in the back and not comfortable behind in the canter, several times she jumped together behind, mostly in the corners. But, amazingly, she really did have lovely piaffe and passage and her trans in between were just great.
.

I agree with you about the canter, and no one seems to have commented on that yet (except you). To me she looked like she didn't want to step under in the canter (especially the corners). And her final extended trot was the strangest thing I have seen (a huge passage it seemed). But you are right about how lovely her piaffe and passage were.

The mare has a heart of gold. I am just so sad about it and really feel bad for Debbie, since she really seems to love the mare.

ltw
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:01 PM
Did you listen to Lancet? He was the most labored in breathing I had heard through the entire event. Or the microphone was extra loud when Emma Hindle rode.

Equibrit
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:21 PM
Not a single one of you KNOW what was affecting the mare. It could have been any one of a thousand things, including abdominal discomfort, muscle problems, breathing problems to name a few. Why not just keep your feet out of your mouths and wait until there is a FACTUAL explanation?

petitefilly
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:24 PM
I have no idea who wrote the article, maybe astrid, but yes there were some serious observations...but then again it is the writer's point of view.


The article was completely the truth, nothing poor was said about the mare and Debbie. All you have to do is watch the coverage of the ride. Brentina was tense, sore, and unlevel; after the her nonexistent lenghtenings I felt so sorry for her and Debbie. You could see it was not going well, and not going to end better.

The mare has been off and on for awhile now, she needs to retire. Not a bad thing! :) She has been a model for dressage in America, and our nation should give them both our gratitude. I salute them for all the work they have done for dressage. But it is over. The horse needs to be out of the high stakes world and relax on a pasture, she deserves it.

dsgshowmom
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:33 PM
Let us not just blame Debbie because Klaus is the one who ultimately decides who goes in the ring!!!!!!

I am so horrified for Debbie & Klaus & the entire team. This is devastating. Klaus is really an excellent person, so is Debbie, and I don't know Stephen.

I am just horrified for all of them. I am so sorry........ :no: :sadsmile: :cry:

slc2
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:35 PM
I thought the mare just two-footed it in a couple corners at the canter because she was getting strung out (long). I didn't think that suggested anything wrong iwth her except lack of fitness.

Lazy-Pony
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:42 PM
Not a single one of you KNOW what was affecting the mare. It could have been any one of a thousand things, including abdominal discomfort, muscle problems, breathing problems to name a few. Why not just keep your feet out of your mouths and wait until there is a FACTUAL explanation?

I couldn't agree more! :)

Jaegermonster
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:45 PM
Would anyone have a link to the infamous Brick House Freestyle? I looked on youtube but couldn't find it.....
is there a link on the Olympic site to today's ride?

slc2
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:46 PM
No, Equibrit, we do not KNOW, but we do have eyes, and even a blind squirrel could see all that going on.

wildswan
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:48 PM
What I did pick up on was the horse was not right overall. Breathing was maybe more intense than many others but beyond the breathing I saw a horse quite unsettled. The halt was hardly a solid halt-she stopped but she looked like a time bomb. The walk out of the arena was quite animated compared to the rest who dropped their head and gave a great forward stretching walk. She looked worried/anxious/overwhelmed.

What I don't know is how they normally perform so I can't say that this was out of the ordinary. Did the horse sustain an injury? Maybe. Did the horse do her best to hold herself together when she really wanted to freak out? Maybe.

I'm worried about what really happened and I saw a horse that was completely on edge/ready to explode for whatever reason.)

ABSOLUTELY AGREE. I have seen this pair perform probably 25+ times, in California, Idaho, Arizona, Las Vegas, Aachen, and now in HK. This is not normal behavior for Brentina. I'm not referring to the quality of the test, any mistakes, or the unevenness some have alluded to. I'm referring to the change in the way Brentina was using her hindlegs as the canter tour deteriorated, and how worried, anxious, and overwhelmed both Brentina and Debbie appeared at the end. This is my biggest cause for concern right now, and I can only wish them well.

staceyk
Aug. 14, 2008, 10:51 PM
What an incredible heart that mare has, and poor DM looked like she wanted to die.

I don't see what harm there is in offering thoughts on "where it hurts." Hher movement is so extravagant and fluid, and she was so game, that it was hard to me to try and pinpoint what I was seeing.

I don't think it's necessarily disrespectful to offer our opinions on what we saw, or think we saw.

ButterflyIris
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:25 PM
I just watched the video and it was really sad at the end.

After she had finished and dismounted, the grooms took Brentina away and you could hear Debbie saying, "I'm sorry guys." I could hear someone say, "that's ok."

So sad.

MelantheLLC
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:40 PM
Not a single one of you KNOW what was affecting the mare. It could have been any one of a thousand things, including abdominal discomfort, muscle problems, breathing problems to name a few. Why not just keep your feet out of your mouths and wait until there is a FACTUAL explanation?

*perplexed look* Why is NBC putting it on TV and giving us a live feed if we aren't allowed to talk about an Olympic event? If a sprinter or a swimmer had appeared to have a physical issue would no one be allowed to speculate on what it was and the effect of it on his/her performance before there was an "official" explanation?

snoopy
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:40 PM
The article was completely the truth, nothing poor was said about the mare and Debbie. All you have to do is watch the coverage of the ride. Brentina was tense, sore, and unlevel; after the her nonexistent lenghtenings I felt so sorry for her and Debbie. You could see it was not going well, and not going to end better.

The mare has been off and on for awhile now, she needs to retire. Not a bad thing! :) She has been a model for dressage in America, and our nation should give them both our gratitude. I salute them for all the work they have done for dressage. But it is over. The horse needs to be out of the high stakes world and relax on a pasture, she deserves it.


I was not disputing what was written but was addressing another poster's point that is was a scathing article...hence I said it was the writer's point of view...got it?

ise@ssl
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:50 PM
The RF issue was what was extremely evident at the WEG's and obviously much worse here at the Olympics. But - I watched the youtube video of the freestyle for the selections and I could still see the guarded movement on the RF on that video. And I believe Dressage Daily had a photo in the write up about the selection trials that shows the mare not free in front and moving out behind.

The write ups have been pretty harsh but as someone else said - this is a sport and other athletes and teams get harsh but honest comments from the press. In this instance it was on point. The best 3 should have gone. The new system makes the decision about soundness to be critical - no drop score - so every horse going in has to be sound.

It's a tough last showing for this mare.

Pony+ an inch
Aug. 14, 2008, 11:56 PM
*perplexed look* Why is NBC putting it on TV and giving us a live feed if we aren't allowed to talk about an Olympic event? If a sprinter or a swimmer had appeared to have a physical issue would no one be allowed to speculate on what it was and the effect of it on his/her performance before there was an "official" explanation?

I'm going to say this once and then shut up but I think what equibrit was getting at is that there is more than meets the eye, and so you have to also consider the other side(s) of the story--both before and after the press release. I'm going to call out COTH members on getting very one sided at times (not just on this thread, but many) and not considering other options. Make the observations and dually note them, but when it comes to the analysis, at least acknowledge there might be another (or even several!) possibilities.

ise@ssl
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:03 AM
Pony +an inch - THIS IS A SPORT. Commenting on performances where it's just a competitor or a competitor with a horse - makes no difference. The comments people are making here relate to a situation where the SCORE evidenced problems. Was the write up on EuroDressage a bit harsh - YES - but this is the Olympics - not a local show with amateurs. Countries like Holland and Germany are consistently at the top because they are used to this harsh criticism and take it back with them to improve the training or the decision making process on whether a horse should go or not. It's not personal - it's just what it is.

MelantheLLC
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:21 AM
Make the observations and dually note them, but when it comes to the analysis, at least acknowledge there might be another (or even several!) possibilities.

LOL, ok I acknowledge there might be several possibilities.

Can we talk about them now? :eek:

atr
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:29 AM
So I've just got to watching Debbie McDonald's ride.

Having seen them go "live" and on video many times before, I'd say that the beginning of the test lacked their normal brilliance, and when they hit the canter pirouette, everything went to hell in a handbasket. Looked like she tweaked something that was niggling at her before. I'd venture to guess she was a bit back sore, and suddenly became acutely back sore. Sweet mare is a trooper, which is why she has done so well in her career, and continued on and did her best.

Yes, it's a supposition on my part, I know. But it is only by looking at these things that we can educate out eye.

Dragging these horses around the world has got to be a huge strain on them, and we do know that the mare's soundness has been tenuous for some time, so this shouldn't come as a huge suprise to anyone (especially anyone who has had a horse that that they have faced that "sound one day, iffy the next" rollercoaster.)

Tough day for everyone involved.

atr
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:49 AM
But an even tougher day for Miguel Duarte...

Dressage_Diva333
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:13 AM
I'm also sorry for Debbie because that was the mare's last performance, and it ended badly.


I met Debbie once, when she had Brentina out here at the Golden State Dressage Festival CDI***, she had a FANTASTIC Grand Prix freestyle when she was here. Very nice woman as well.

I don't think they should have tried to bring Brentina back after that injury in 2006 though.

exvet
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:15 AM
But - I watched the youtube video of the freestyle for the selections and I could still see the guarded movement on the RF on that video. And I believe Dressage Daily had a photo in the write up about the selection trials that shows the mare not free in front and moving out behind.

I did too and agree 100% and then some with regard to the hind end. It became more apparent this last competition. We could speculate forever as to why but in the end it doesn't really matter. As for why it wasn't picked up during the jog......well there are many subtle and especially chronic issues that don't show up during the jog that once weight, tension and other factors come into play or are added make some become that much more obvious.

Mardi
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:16 AM
I am so horrified for Debbie & Klaus & the entire team. This is devastating. Klaus is really an excellent person, so is Debbie, and I don't know Stephen.

I am just horrified for all of them. I am so sorry........ :no: :sadsmile: :cry:

Horrified ? Good grief. The US team finished FOURTH in the Olympics for crissake. There are many other teams that would love to change places. Are we disappointed ? Yes. But horrified ? Absolutley not.

You don't know "Stephen" ? Neither do we, as there isn't a Stephen on the US dressage team.

I watched Brentina's test as many of us did...Thursday morning, live, online.

Brentina entered the ring with a calm, relaxed eye...ready to work, as usual. There was nothing to alert anyone in the audience that she was not herself. Debbie also looked ready to go. Again, there was nothing that alerted anyone to the trouble that was to come.

Yes the horse was uneven. Then she appeared to work out of it. But at one point, something got to her, and Brentina lost her confidence. As the test progressed, the more unsettled she became. Unfocused.

Can you imagine what that does to a consumate professional such as Brentina ? A horse who has no worries. Who has complete trust in all around her ? She becomes even more unhinged because she IS unhinged. I've seen it happen with horses, haven't you ?

And at the final salute, the look on Debbie's face, on the verge of tears.

Brentina's piaffes were the best, IMHO, of the class. Even better than Salinero. Astrid's article said so: "....which moved into a stunning passage and piaffe. It was unbelievable what was going on. Brentina was probably showing one of the best piaffe-passages seen so far in the Olympic Grand Prix. So smooth, so regular, well engaged."

Huffing and puffing ? The weather at the time was 84F (29c) with 83% humidity. That translates into a "feels like" of 95F or 35C temperature. Those conditions are tough on a heavy warmblood such as Brentina. Yes, it was tough on all of the horses. And yes, other horses were breathing hard too. Many of us watched the entire class. We heard them.

Spooky ? Could be. Debbie would know. She was on the horse. The Portugese rider before Jan Brink retired from the class after his horse spooked. Can you imagine coming all the way to Hong Kong for the Olympics and you're in the ring for 15 seconds and then that's it ? The end ? Oh, and the Japanese rider's horse spooked and wheeled the other way in his test. He continued though, but his good score was ruined.

Many of you will remember the champion tennis palyer Jimmy Connors. Ever seen him double fault ? He has. In a big match. On TV. In front of millions. We stil think of him as a champion, though.

Brentina was not her wonderful self in the class. We love this mare, don't we ? As if she was our own ? Instead of all the this and that, and Klaus this and Klaus that, remember that eveyone did the best they could at the time. Brentina too. She did her best under the circumstances, whatever they were....

Let's give Brentina some credit, shall we ? It was a rough outing for her. It happens,

And there's one rider who's already upset enough...we don't need to add to it.

bthatasitmay
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:21 AM
Read what Debbie has to say on Dressage Daily
http://dressagedaily.com/

DownYonder
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:48 AM
Read what Debbie has to say on Dressage Daily
http://dressagedaily.com/

Yep, they are swearing Brentina was 100% sound going into the ring.

So maybe she was just p*ssed at being asked to go in those conditions - at night, hot, humid, etc. Maybe she was expecting to go back to her comfy air conditioned stall after the warm-up and have a nice long pee, but instead had to go out and perform in that heavy, polluted air.

Whatever the reason, it is such a shame. The test had some really lovely moments interspersed with the uneven steps here and there, but it really went to he** in a handbasket during the canter pirouettes.

BoysNightOut
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:45 AM
Is there a replay of her test anywhere online? I didn't see it, and just want to see what all the talk is about.

Thanks.

XHalt
Aug. 15, 2008, 07:05 AM
I think it will be interesting to see what comes out in the following months. Of course they are going to claim she was 100% sound. There's a lot on the line.

r3dd0g
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:02 AM
It looked to me like she was having a heat issue. She was breathing quite heavily--loud enough to be picked up by the mike throughout the test-- and obviously hyperventilating outside the ring after the ride. No sweat was apparent on her body like there was on the horses that followed her--even on her neck under the reins. Salinero was dripping before the test even began.

JMHO

BLBGP
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:40 AM
ps - It's good PR for our sport for riders, after their round is over but the cameras are still on them, to pat their horses. You might be bummed or mad at yourself (or your horse) but the non-horsey out there want to see a pat. The public doesn't get that a long rein and going back to the stall is rewarding. They know that pats are good and a rider who doesn't looks a little heartless or surly. They only see "pretty horse worked hard - why aren't you petting her?".

awm
Aug. 15, 2008, 10:10 AM
That was great to see Debbie reach up to pat Bretina after their performance.
I've been noticing that all the riders in Eventing & Dressage have been giving their mounts
big rubs, pats, & sometimes hugs after their rounds. Riders from all the countries have
demonstrated their appreciation of the efforts of their horses, no matter how they fininshed
up their rides. The emotion of the German rider after the winning the Eventing Show Jumping was terrific to see!
I'll be watching the Show Jumping riders with much anticipation tonite!

TemJeito
Aug. 15, 2008, 10:20 AM
It made me very sad to watch the video of Brentina, and it makes me sadder that there are people making excuses and saying she didn't look lame :cry: (and, no, heat issues do not affect the horse's gait that way - no way!)

It's out there for the whole world to see, and I hope someone will have the honesty to own up to a mistake. Maybe she wasn't lame until the very last minute. She did pass the jog. Mistakes do happen. . .but don't pretend she wasn't lame, sheez!

Maude
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:18 AM
It is sad to see so many people critical of Debbie and Brentina. Brentina is a fabulous mare and it is obvious that Debbie truly loves her. There was a documentary/video out several years ago about Brentina. It is obvious from that video that Debbies loves her and would not knowingly put her in harms way. I did not see the test (guess I'll have to wait until the Olympic DVD comes out) but any number of things could have happened. Due to the excessive heat, she could have cramped up (I've had this happen to me at a show, it felt like I was one big charly horse) or any number of other things. Tension can manifest itself in many ways. For a mare with such a huge heart, she may have been tying up and got upset because she knew she wasn't doing her job well. Does any footage exist of the warmup? Would you all be so critical if she had received a good/undeserved score and we had received the Bronze? Unless you have competed at the highest level of dressage or are involved with people who have, you, like most people, have no idea what riders/trainers/owners go through to keep their horses sound at that level. It ain't easy! Please cut her a break.

freestyle2music
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:25 AM
It made me very sad to watch the video of Brentina, and it makes me sadder that there are people making excuses and saying she didn't look lame :cry: (and, no, heat issues do not affect the horse's gait that way - no way!)

It's out there for the whole world to see, and I hope someone will have the honesty to own up to a mistake. Maybe she wasn't lame until the very last minute. She did pass the jog. Mistakes do happen. . .but don't pretend she wasn't lame, sheez!

I didn't see the selection games of the US-riders live, but only on video. And to me and many others (who were there live) it was obvious that Brentina had some major problems. And i am 100% sure that the selection-guru's were aware that they toke a big risc with sending Brentina over to the other side of the globe. They gambled and lost <period> .
Now we are entering the cover up era :mad:

But I feel very sad that these people don't take us serious. I was so obvious that I posted already during the ride that Brentina was uneven in his gaits. And it was also obvious to all the judges.

Bellafarms
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:35 AM
This great mare has been telling them for years she is tired of her work. Seems no one would listen.

2 tbs
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:22 PM
Hmmm. Armchair quarterbacks apparently find themselves into every sport.

Yes, many have a very educated eye and a long time involvement with the sport but let's not put ourselves in the saddle and pretend to know what is/was really going on.

I am always so amused at the "conspiracy" that comes out of every situation. Maybe the horse wasn't right. Maybe it was nothing more than gas. No one really knows-we aren't there, we aren't personally involved. I watched 4 different times and still don't see what everyone else is seeing but I'm completely unfamiliar with this horse so it's hard to tell from the TV without any previous views for comparison.

Maybe the horse does want to be done but unless you are with her every day you are in no place to judge.

ise@ssl
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:38 PM
Maude - I think you taking a very fair discussion on the performance that was judged to be well below prior performance levels as a personal attack on the horse and rider. That just isn't the case. Debbie is a super person and rider and Brentina is world-class. No one has indicated otherwise. But this is a sport and fans and spectators do have the right to discuss what took place in the competition arena. It's a public competition and public discussion will always follow.

Are you suggesting that all sports should just have the scores posted and NO DISCUSSION?

wanderlust
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:44 PM
The video can be seen on youtube. I was expecting to see a mildly off horse. What I saw was a horse that had serious issues in any movement that required extension of that particular hind leg (I think it was right, although I forget now), or when pivoting and so much weight was supported on that hind leg (hence the falling out of the canter pirouette). So, makes sense that piaffe and passage were ok, as they are not requiring extension and the front leg is helping evenly support her weight. The extensions, and the canter pirouette where her weight is supported on the inside hind? Ouch! Poor horse.

grayarabpony
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:49 PM
What was her original injury anyway? I can't think of a hind leg injury that would allow beautiful passage and piaffe and not an extension. Not hocks, not upper suspensory, not lower suspensory.... is it the right front? Collateral ligament injury?

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:50 PM
The video can be seen on youtube. I was expecting to see a mildly off horse. What I saw was a horse that had serious issues in any movement that required extension of that particular hind leg (I think it was right, although I forget now), or when pivoting and so much weight was supported on that hind leg (hence the falling out of the canter pirouette). So, makes sense that piaffe and passage were ok, as they are not requiring extension and the front leg is helping evenly support her weight. The extensions, and the canter pirouette where her weight is supported on the inside hind? Ouch! Poor horse.

Can you post the link I can't find it? Thanks

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:54 PM
Brentina at the Olympic selection trials:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JFHcmpv3XQ

Brentina at Beijing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mCCSvgo9BI

slc2
Aug. 15, 2008, 12:58 PM
One doesn't have to be involved in an equestrian sport for long to see examples of older horses kept going. it happens all the time. It's not rare.

grayarabpony
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
She's definitely off at the selection trials. I'm not a lameness expert but looks like right front, low, (guessing here) her foot from the way she points the toe.

I still think this pair should have gotten individual medals at the 2002 WEG. Wasn't she sound at Athens? I remember thinking that she should have medalled there too.

I just read at Wikipedia that she had a tendon strain in 2004 and 2006.

Kenike
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:07 PM
I used to know a horse who would have his gaits go haywire like this when he'd tie up. He was sound, but the gut pain and reaction to heat (because it always happened when it was hot) would just make him look dog lame. Maybe that's what happened here? I don't have a clue....and I hate to speculate.

Point being that SOMETHING wasn't right with the mare. Debbie knows it, judges knew it, vet knows it, all of us know it. And it sucks, but it happens.

BLBGP
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:10 PM
Do dressage judges ever excuse a horse that doesn't look right?

freestyle2music
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:13 PM
One doesn't have to be involved in an equestrian sport for long to see examples of older horses kept going. it happens all the time. It's not rare.

We had the same with our horse Darwin. However he wasn't fit enough to train and compete at the GrandPrix and certainly not for the Olympics, he won many championships at Junior level.

Never the less (and I may sound like a broken record) when you can't see that a horse is uneven/irregular/lame you should find another job.

Theo

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:15 PM
Ok I have watched 5 min and 55 seconds, I have not seen a spook, and she was lame in the extended trot, the half pass and looked sore in the walk... Her canter was bad...Although I think it is the rider’s responsibility to put the horse’s welfare over his or her own goals she must have been under a great deal of pressure. I think Klaus should not be overlooked in this. Watch her flying changes in slow motion on YouTube and take a look at what her left hind is doing...What an embarrassment that they are saying she is fine...:no:

Tiki
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:27 PM
Brentina is very clearly lame on the right hind, and everything looks labored. Just look at some of the other videos of the other rides. Night and day. Way more than NQR. Compared to the other rides it looked labored and in slow motion.

Beezer
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
Point being that SOMETHING wasn't right with the mare. Debbie knows it, judges knew it, vet knows it, all of us know it. And it sucks, but it happens.

According to the Dressage Daily article linked above, the horse passed every vet inspection, was examined routinely by three vets, and was cleared as sound an hour before the event (when they could still substitute another horse). She then passed the all vet tests again, after the poor performance.

Clearly, this was not the Brentina we've grown to love, but at this point, the vets are saying there is nothing physically wrong with her. Now, I love conspiracy theories as much as the next person, but **every single horse** can and does have bad days. Big Brown, anyone?

I know that Brentina has had soundness issues in the past. She most likely should have exited the world stage the first time they talked about it a few years ago. I do want to note, though, that Bob and Debbie were my trainers way back when -- when they were big into hunters -- and I can say with complete certianty that didn't matter how cheap (and mine was, relatively speaking) or how expensive the horse, each one was treated with fanatically good care and was incredibly well looked after. I know people change, I know that the lure of a big prize can make one do things that one would not normally do. But the Bob and Debbie I knew (and still see on occasion) would not knowingly or willingly risk a horse.

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:35 PM
Equestrian is the Laughing Stock @ NBC

It should now read U.S. Dressage is the Laughing Stock of the Equine World if we contiune to try and claim this mare is anything but lame...

egontoast
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:36 PM
try this.

Watch the video.

Pretend it is Salinero,

then give your objective opinions.

Please note, it is just a suggestion. I have not said anything negative about horse or rider.

katarine
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:48 PM
I love that mare...but she's obviously lame.

So sad. She should not have been shown...and if it only really revealed itself to Debbie mid ride, she should have withdrawn. She could have. and I bet she'll beat herself up, or already is, for not letting that mare quit when she was obviously upset and hurting. I feel bad for her, I know she felt caught between a rock and a hard place.

If BB can get pulled for flaking in the Belmont...then this mare can get pulled mid ride in the Olympics :(

Coreene
Aug. 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
According to the Dressage Daily article linked above, the horse passed every vet inspection, was examined routinely by three vets, and was cleared as sound an hour before the event (when they could still substitute another horse). She then passed the all vet tests again, after the poor performance.

Clearly, this was not the Brentina we've grown to love, but at this point, the vets are saying there is nothing physically wrong with her. Now, I love conspiracy theories as much as the next person, but **every single horse** can and does have bad days. Big Brown, anyone?

I know that Brentina has had soundness issues in the past. She most likely should have exited the world stage the first time they talked about it a few years ago. I do want to note, though, that Bob and Debbie were my trainers way back when -- when they were big into hunters -- and I can say with complete certianty that didn't matter how cheap (and mine was, relatively speaking) or how expensive the horse, each one was treated with fanatically good care and was incredibly well looked after. I know people change, I know that the lure of a big prize can make one do things that one would not normally do. But the Bob and Debbie I knew (and still see on occasion) would not knowingly or willingly risk a horse.Girl, you know as well as I do that there is good crisis management PR and there is Spin Doc In Action. See the video yet? Have a peek. :(

Beezer
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:05 PM
I know, Coreene, I know. And I also wonder if an Olympic vet's version of "sound" is different from mine (or many of us, for that matter); lord knows I'm such a horse-a-chondriac that I'm paranoid about every little hiccup, bump and "Oh, GOD! Was that a short step?!?!" any of my horses take.

Yes, I think the horse looks off/uncomfortable/should have been in a pasture a while ago. But there's a part of me that also knows that if vets are telling you the horse is sound, nothing's wrong, yadda yadda yadda, there's a strong desire to ignore what your butt's telling you.

Me, I'd pay attention to my butt. I wish Debbie had.

Coreene
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:17 PM
I know, Coreene, I know. And I also wonder if an Olympic vet's version of "sound" is different from mine (or many of us, for that matter); lord knows I'm such a horse-a-chondriac that I'm paranoid about every little hiccup, bump and "Oh, GOD! Was that a short step?!?!" any of my horses take.

Yes, I think the horse looks off/uncomfortable/should have been in a pasture a while ago. But there's a part of me that also knows that if vets are telling you the horse is sound, nothing's wrong, yadda yadda yadda, there's a strong desire to ignore what your butt's telling you.

Me, I'd pay attention to my butt. I wish Debbie had.Ah yes, but you do sign over control of the horse to USEF for the duration, so you can't really do a lot.

And then again there is also the thought that many have voiced privately, but few have posted: did you want a gimpy Brentina, or did you want Neruda going up centerline?

Look, ultimately they took an arrogant risk bringing the horse along in the first place. And it backfired. Maybe they'll learn from it. And then, maybe not.

What a contrast to Nicholas Touzaint pulling his horse from eventing because, right before the dressage round, the horse felt NQR.

2 tbs
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:26 PM
...What an embarrassment that they are saying she is fine...:no:


But maybe she is......now?

I know she looked NQR out there. I'm just not sure I can say exactly what is wrong. But honestly and truly, maybe whatever it was, passed shortly after the ride and the mare is fine?? It's entirely possible. Not probable. But possible.

And, from what it sounds like, she's retired now so who will ever know??? They can say she's fine and she probably is technically fine. She will move on to her retirement life and they won't have to face the scrutiny of another competition.

saraw
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:41 PM
I will not enter the soundness debate, but having just watched the video on youtube (thanks for providing the link) and having seen Brentina in person twice, once in California and once at WEG 2006, I can say that in Hong Kong she was not behaving like the horse I have seen before. There was no doubt she was spooked and ready to bolt, just look at how tight Debbie had to hold her when exiting the arena. Perhaps that's even why her lengthenings were not there, worrying that she would run. NOT typical of Brentina, poor thing. My heart goes out to Debbie, a skilled and classy competitor and a nice person, and I congratulate her on keeping her chin up, not breaking down even when devastated, and here's to Brentina, who has put in a remarkable career and been anchor on many teams. May she have a long and happy retirement.

Kenike
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:47 PM
I know they're saying she's fine now, and I know they said she was fine within an hour of start time. All I was trying to say is that everyone is well aware something certainly wasn't "fine" with her during the test.

I have to ask why the judges didn't excuse her. Seriously, how many people do we have here from all over the world? If we can see it, why couldn't they? Which, of course, they did because they scored her on it. But why not excuse her? Risk the forever soundness of a horse over an embarrassing moment of excusal during the Olympics?

I'm trying to be diplomatic with my posts, but I'm also scratching my head here. (seems I'm not the only one)

Bellafarms
Aug. 15, 2008, 02:57 PM
Sometimes when your running and you cant breathe. That kinda throws the rest of the body off. Besides that she was unlevel or uneven how ever you call lame. She couldnt breathe eithier.

egontoast
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:01 PM
since we can all have an inexpert opinion, to me it looked like a horse with a respiratory problem which results in No Gas pedal.

The non 'extensions' were the give away.

SGray
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:02 PM
once the decision was made to send in DM rather than Barisone then she was charged with doing the best she could for the Team

go to the High Performance section and read the rules for being on the Team - it's downright scary how much control is given up once you commit

HJALO
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:22 PM
Is there a replay of her test anywhere online? I didn't see it, and just want to see what all the talk is about.

Thanks.

on the NBC site go to "Dressage qualifier II" and her test is at around the 1:11 mark (roughly).

AiryFairy
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:24 PM
Last night they filmed Anky in the warmup, cranking and yanking her horses head to his knees. If they filmed her, then someone must also have filmed Brentina in the warmup - it would be interesting to see that film. People are saying the jumbotron is really freaking horses out because it looks like there is a horse coming at them. Some horses obviously didn't react, but quite a lot DID, and maybe she was one who just couldn't cope and froze, went vacant upstairs. Seems odd that she's been cleared so many times and yet appeared practically paralyzed. I say 'fear', or rather borderline hysteria probably played a big part in her reaction.

SGray
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:30 PM
that's just what DM says in "HorsesDaily Updates - August 15, 2008"

quote from Mary Phelps-Hathaway ---- I have heard from Debbie McDonald and she is devastated for her team and her horse, but what is the hardest is the on line and media reporting speculation that Brentina was lame, or the horse was not ready. "Brentina was not lame!" Debbie e-mailed us from Hong Kong. "She was terrified to the point of not even being able to function. And because of our relationship she kept trying instead of fleeing which is what she wanted to do, and what their nature is to do. To say she should have been blown out and that we knew that she was not sound is just not fair." ---- end of quote

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:41 PM
But it's not just online and in the media. One of the JUDGES made the strongest statement of all.....

I too would like to see the warmup.

I've yet to meet a horse whose fear manifests itself only in diagonal legs.

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 03:54 PM
I've yet to meet a horse whose fear manifests itself only in diagonal legs.


:lol::lol:

Perfect Pony
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:06 PM
I will not enter the soundness debate, but having just watched the video on youtube (thanks for providing the link) and having seen Brentina in person twice, once in California and once at WEG 2006, I can say that in Hong Kong she was not behaving like the horse I have seen before. There was no doubt she was spooked and ready to bolt, just look at how tight Debbie had to hold her when exiting the arena. Perhaps that's even why her lengthenings were not there, worrying that she would run. NOT typical of Brentina, poor thing. My heart goes out to Debbie, a skilled and classy competitor and a nice person, and I congratulate her on keeping her chin up, not breaking down even when devastated, and here's to Brentina, who has put in a remarkable career and been anchor on many teams. May she have a long and happy retirement.

I agree, I am all for a public flogging and severe ramifications when a clearly broken down horse has his life risked being pushed in competition (Amy Tryon anyone?) but what I see is an older mare at the end of her career who probably by now is physically and mentally tired and sore. Nothing I saw put the animal's welfare at risk, and she's now off to her retirement. To be honest from what I have heard Brentina as always been a difficult mare, and Debbie looked from the beginning of the test like she wanted to do her duty and get the hell out of there.

I see FAR WORSE every single day in stables everywhere, where horses are medicated and injected and kept going and going and going in daily lessons.

egontoast
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:29 PM
One of the JUDGES made the strongest statement of all.....

About what? Where?

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:33 PM
I did not see this thread until now. I posted something about Brentina on the Dressage forum.

Anyway, she is uneven on the RF in the extension and half pass in the selection trials and in the Olympics. It is not apparent to me in the collected work and I agree her last passage and piaffe looked uncharacteristicly good (nothing like I have ever seen her go before). I could see her passing a vet check. They don't make them do an extended trot or half pass right? She probably looks fine just trotting a long on a line. It is a great insult to anyone who knows about horses however to assert that this mare was totally sound at the trials or at the Olympics. She is the kind of sound that can squeek by and get a decent score because her uneveness is not pronounced enough nor does it show up in all the trot work. However, come on Debbie you too must know it is there.

In defense of that, I have seen other horses in international competion be uneven in this or that movement and still score a decent score. They have to be pretty darn off to get whistled out. And Brentina is usually such a Steady Eddy and probably everyone thought a safe bet to get a decent (not stellar) but decent score even with this uneveness. (After all she had scored OK before not being totally right prior to this and other horses have done the same).

Should the horse have been retired prior to this? Yeah probably. Bet she would be happier in a pasture than working her ass off in Hong Kong. However, all of us who say we would have retired her before this, can you honestly really say that? Have you ever been in this position- to be the poster child for US dressage on a much loved but past her prime horse with the heart to give it one more go. Can you honestly say 100% you wouldn't have rolled those dice? I can't. I don't know what I would have done, but I might be in Debbie's position right now and I empathize with that part of it. I think on balance she is a more compassionate horseperson than the average international competitor out there. It sucks to go out like that... but I think she should fess up to the realities we all can see. The horse was not 100% when she entered the ring. The denial of that is the part which really irks me.

Now the other thing that I saw in the test was something else go terrible wrong once she started the canter work; something I think may be entirely independent of the uneveness on the RF. Something goes off in the hind end or back, maybe she was sort of tying up or related to the heavy breathing or something. I don't know but it is definitely there. The way the hind legs stab the ground together; the way the canter deteriorates. Now I know this mare has always had a 4 beatlike tendancy, but this is something more. The hind end falling out, the tension, the frantic look, the way the hind legs are moving...all really scary. I do think whatever this is it may very well have occured during the test, not be related to the RF and not be something that Debbie or Klaus or anyone else could have anticipated... It is definitely not this ridiculous result of spooking which has been claimed. Who thought we the horse public would swallow that pill?

I hope she is going to be OK.

Berry0317
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:36 PM
The horse was NOT lame. She was scared and Debbie was doing all she could to have the horse not EXPLODE! That was the uneveness and the problems with the movements everyone ia talking about. Main thing is, unless you were on the horse (which I'm assuming none of these posters were) then no one knows except Debbie!

grayarabpony
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:37 PM
the collected work and I agree her last passage and piaffe looked uncharacteristicly good (nothing like I have ever seen her go before).

You must not have seen Brentina on a good day before. For years she's had the best piaffe of any horse in the world.

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:38 PM
To be honest from what I have heard Brentina as always been a difficult mare, and Debbie looked from the beginning of the test like she wanted to do her duty and get the hell out of there.


Perfect Pony I agree with what you say about other horses being treated worse, but not that Brentina is a difficult mare. That mare is a SAINT. Every time I have ever seen that horse, she has been a SAINT. The joke is that she is more like an amateur dressage ride. Many find her tests too boring. I have never seen her act up. Compared to the average international Grand Prix dressage horse she is a SUPER SAINT. In fact I think she may have been in so much pain during that canter work that the average Grand Prix Dressage horse would have bucked reared bolted and thrown the riders butt off but Saint Brentina just did her best to keep trucking along.

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:39 PM
You must not have seen Brentina on a good day before. For years she's had the best piaffe of any horse in the world.

Don't agree with that at all. Aragon maybe, never Brentina.

grayarabpony
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:42 PM
Then I think you need to get your eyes checked. :)

grayarabpony
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:43 PM
I'm a little curious -- was everyone this up in arms when Gigilo was uneven at Sydney?

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:46 PM
Regarding my statement that one of the judges made the strongest statement of all:


About what? Where?

As was cited earlier in this thread (see p2):

Courtesy of DressageDirect and FEI

Quote:
Devastated
America's Debbie McDonald was devastated by her performance with the 17-year old Brentina who seemed to struggle all the way through. “I don't know what to say, I just feel awful, I know I've finished the team,” she said after the judges awarded her a mark of 63.000%. Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. “She shouldn’t have done this to her horse”, he said.
American Steffen Peters showed a great piaffe and passage and some nice extensions. However his score of 70.0% didn’t bring his team back in medal position.

Fouarge was the judge at C.

Edited to add: I totally agree with you, kkj
__________________

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:46 PM
The horse was NOT lame. She was scared and Debbie was doing all she could to have the horse not EXPLODE! That was the uneveness and the problems with the movements everyone ia talking about. Main thing is, unless you were on the horse (which I'm assuming none of these posters were) then no one knows except Debbie!

Come on...I think it would be best to let this blow over then to come on and say such silly things...It was a mistake and we've all made them but please don't insult us.

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:48 PM
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. There have been several horse that have been uneven, stiff or unsound in competition towards the end of their career. I am never so OK with it when it is surrounded by blatant denial or lies. Call it like it is. "Said horse has had some limitations and corresponding uneveneness for a long time but still goes well enough to win or help the team win some prizes so we are not ready to hang it up yet." Not, "Said horse is the best she has every been and totally amazing me every day. Said horse is 100%." What you drinking?

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:51 PM
Someone talked about the rules and how much you have to give up control of your horse so lets not blame all this on Debbie lets look at these rules and see who else is responsible.

rabicon
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:56 PM
I watched it with my husband and after her first extended trot I said that horse is not right. That's not Bretina and something is going on. At the end she was ready to high tail it out of the ring if Debbie would have let her, this could have been from fear or from pain, who knows. But IMO and its just mine that has never ridden at that level, I thing something is wrong with her physically and I tend to think it was a little bit of everywhere. Her front end and her hindend. Maybe she was just very sore and all the practice and warmup made it worse before they went in or maybe its something worse. I'm sure we will out find out soon enough.

Perfect Pony
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:56 PM
Perfect Pony I agree with what you say about other horses being treated worse, but not that Brentina is a difficult mare. That mare is a SAINT. Every time I have ever seen that horse, she has been a SAINT. The joke is that she is more like an amateur dressage ride. Many find her tests too boring. I have never seen her act up. Compared to the average international Grand Prix dressage horse she is a SUPER SAINT. In fact I think she may have been in so much pain during that canter work that the average Grand Prix Dressage horse would have bucked reared bolted and thrown the riders butt off but Saint Brentina just did her best to keep trucking along.

Yes she trucks along, but she is a opinionated, big, Chestnut mare and I read that it was a sometimes difficult road to create the partnership they have. I would imagine like many opinionated mares, while she often appears a saint and would die for her rider, it's not always "easy". To me Brentina looked like she was having a bad day all around - probably a combination of the heat, having a creaky old body that has been doing GP for many years now, and a little "I don't feel like it today" mare syndrome.

Berry0317
Aug. 15, 2008, 04:57 PM
Everyone needs to grow up on these sites. Who are you to judge anyone. Everyone is blasting everyone, including Debbie, and we don't even know she's done anything wrong. Three vets have said after the test that the horse is sound. This is on The Dressage Update for the Olympics on this website, so look it up and read it for youself. Talk to them and tell them not to insult us if thats how you want to react.

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:01 PM
Fair enough Ridgeback and I said if the horse was just uneven like she was at the selection trial, I might have ridden her into the ring too. Just the uneveness in those movements and to that degree and I think the US could have got the Bronze no problem. I don't think riding a horse with that degree of uneveness is super nice but it is not blantant abuse either. It was the performance in the canter work and the last trot extension after she was truly messed up that was so horrible.

If the horse was having those canter issues, prior to this test, I think I would have gotten off and hid in the bathroom. No one can make you ride after all. But I don't have any reason to think that what happened in the canter was going on before the test. If it was well then that is something else. Someone should then have kept them from going in. But I have no reason to believe that this is the case.

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:09 PM
Perfect Pony, I do not consider Brentina big nor strong. Debbie picked her because she is light to ride and she is a smaller rider. Brentina is only 16.2 The horse that Gina Miles won silver on is 17.3. That's big.

Also I have seen Brentina in situations where other horses would loose it performing like a total champ. I saw her before she was Grand Prix doing a demonstration at the World Cup in Vegas when it was just a Jumping competition. A younger more inexperienced horse and still a SAINT. Debbie does not pick the horses Anky or Edward Gal picks. She, like most of us out there, does not want to ride the truly hot difficult ones. Even more reason why the claim that this horse was moving that way and performing that way due to being spooked is utterly ridiculous.

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:20 PM
Fair enough Ridgeback and I said if the horse was just uneven like she was at the selection trial, I might have ridden her into the ring too. Just the uneveness in those movements and to that degree and I think the US could have got the Bronze no problem. I don't think riding a horse with that degree of uneveness is super nice but it is not blantant abuse either. It was the performance in the canter work and the last trot extension after she was truly messed up that was so horrible.

If the horse was having those canter issues, prior to this test, I think I would have gotten off and hid in the bathroom. No one can make you ride after all. But I don't have any reason to think that what happened in the canter was going on before the test. If it was well then that is something else. Someone should then have kept them from going in. But I have no reason to believe that this is the case.

Just to be clear I never said anything about abuse...

kkj
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:28 PM
You're right Ridgeback. I did not mean to come across that you said anything about abuse. You said it was a mistake and I agree. It retrospect it was definitely a mistake. I don't think Debbie was abusing Brentina, nor Klaus or anyone else. I am sure some people do however. It is all a matter or opinions and degrees. Some people think she was totally sound. Some people think she is head bobbing lame. Some people think she is a princess. Some people think riding her was abuse. Bottom line, Brentina has earned her retirement and I am certain she will have the best of care and continue to be much loved.

I just wish they could be more honest about what did go down.

Maude
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:30 PM
As I stated earlier, Brentina could have had a charley horse (or horses) due to an electrolyte imbalance. Also, a tight muscle is a shortened muscle, therefore a shortening of stride in that limb. Horses can tie up anywhere in their body, it doesn't have to be in the hind end. I once knew a horse that only tied up in the shoulders. Since horses do not understand what is going on with their bodies, they only know that they are crampy, etc. and that in itself has to be terrifying. If any of you have had a muscle spasm, you know what I'm talking about. Also, you have a team of 3 in there. If someone doesn't compete, the team is out. By finishing the test, Debbie did not compromise Brentina's health as if she were on a cross country course with fences left to jump. Would I have competed my horse? Moot point because I am so protective of my horses that I'd never ship one to China for a competition (even the Olympics) in the first place.

Perfect Pony
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:40 PM
Perfect Pony, I do not consider Brentina big nor strong.

Well I guess we can disagree on that I guess, this coming from a 5'6" rider on a 15.1 hand horse ;)

Every time I have seen Debbie ride Brentina I have thought, that looks like one big, powerful mare for that tiny woman.

Lookout
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:44 PM
Compare Debbie's/Brentina's ride to say, Isabell Werth's. Was Werth's ride really 16 points better? When she was done and fist pumped the air I had to wonder what she was so happy about, but I guess a German knows what they have to, or don't have to do, to get a high score. Compare the piaffe and canter pirouette in particular. The piaffe is worse, even without the kick out, and the pirouette is about the same. If Debbie were German she would have done much better, or vice versa.

poltroon
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:48 PM
Well I guess we can disagree on that I guess, this coming from a 5'6" rider on a 15.1 hand horse ;)

Every time I have seen Debbie ride Brentina I have thought, that looks like one big, powerful mare for that tiny woman.

Brentina looks like she's picked up some mass in the last few years. Even my DH asked if that was a huge horse or a tiny rider. But yes, by height anyway she's a very normal size, even smallish for a dressage horse.

SGray
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:48 PM
Someone talked about the rules and how much you have to give up control of your horse so lets not blame all this on Debbie lets look at these rules and see who else is responsible.


http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/dressage/OGAttachmentB.pdf

http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/dressage/OGAttachmentD.pdf

to start

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:54 PM
Can someone please post a link to Isabell's and Anky's ride on youtube? thanks

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:55 PM
Compare Debbie's/Brentina's ride to say, Isabell Werth's. Was Werth's ride really 16 points better? When she was done and fist pumped the air I had to wonder what she was so happy about, but I guess a German knows what they have to, or don't have to do, to get a high score. Compare the piaffe and canter pirouette in particular. The piaffe is worse, even without the kick out, and the pirouette is about the same. If Debbie were German she would have done much better, or vice versa.

Are you serious??:confused:

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 05:57 PM
http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/dressage/OGAttachmentB.pdf

http://www.usef.org/documents/highPerformance/dressage/OGAttachmentD.pdf

to start

Yikes no thank you...

Keepthepeace
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:00 PM
I absolutely adore both Debbie and Brentina and have seen the two compete on many occasions. I am a bit sceptical though when Debbie says the mare was 'terrified' and was spooking. Brentina is 17 years old and a 'been there, done that' kind of mare who has been in a lot of competition rings. I think that saying that the mare was lame is a harsh term. The mare DID pass a jog in front of FEI veterinarians. She wasn't 'lame' in the canter or piaffe/passage tour of the test, just 'uneven' in the trot. An uneven trot may not have shown up at the jog since it would have not been a full out extension, which the test was. Regardless, it was a sad ending to her wonderful career. Debbie can hold her head up that she did her very best. :sadsmile:

J-Lu
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:08 PM
Compare Debbie's/Brentina's ride to say, Isabell Werth's. Was Werth's ride really 16 points better? When she was done and fist pumped the air I had to wonder what she was so happy about, but I guess a German knows what they have to, or don't have to do, to get a high score. Compare the piaffe and canter pirouette in particular. The piaffe is worse, even without the kick out, and the pirouette is about the same. If Debbie were German she would have done much better, or vice versa.

In a nutshell...yes. Werth's ride was 16 points better.

The piaffe is more than a trot in place, it involves flexing the hocks and sitting, taking weight onto the hind end while moving the legs in the rhythm of the gait. Same with the canter pirouettes - it's not just about the size of the circle they make with their hind feet. Don't forget the straightness of the line between canter pirouettes, either. If you look at the two rides you will see one horse clearly more comfortable with using its hind end, flexing its joints, and extending its shoulder than the other.

Nationality had little to do with the scoring. Don't forget, one of the judges was american. He scored Debbie 15 points lower than Isabell, too.

dalpal
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:17 PM
Horrified ? Good grief. The US team finished FOURTH in the Olympics for crissake. There are many other teams that would love to change places. Are we disappointed ? Yes. But horrified ? Absolutley not.

You don't know "Stephen" ? Neither do we, as there isn't a Stephen on the US dressage team.

I watched Brentina's test as many of us did...Thursday morning, live, online.

Brentina entered the ring with a calm, relaxed eye...ready to work, as usual. There was nothing to alert anyone in the audience that she was not herself. Debbie also looked ready to go. Again, there was nothing that alerted anyone to the trouble that was to come.

Yes the horse was uneven. Then she appeared to work out of it. But at one point, something got to her, and Brentina lost her confidence. As the test progressed, the more unsettled she became. Unfocused.

Can you imagine what that does to a consumate professional such as Brentina ? A horse who has no worries. Who has complete trust in all around her ? She becomes even more unhinged because she IS unhinged. I've seen it happen with horses, haven't you ?

And at the final salute, the look on Debbie's face, on the verge of tears.

Brentina's piaffes were the best, IMHO, of the class. Even better than Salinero. Astrid's article said so: "....which moved into a stunning passage and piaffe. It was unbelievable what was going on. Brentina was probably showing one of the best piaffe-passages seen so far in the Olympic Grand Prix. So smooth, so regular, well engaged."

Huffing and puffing ? The weather at the time was 84F (29c) with 83% humidity. That translates into a "feels like" of 95F or 35C temperature. Those conditions are tough on a heavy warmblood such as Brentina. Yes, it was tough on all of the horses. And yes, other horses were breathing hard too. Many of us watched the entire class. We heard them.

Spooky ? Could be. Debbie would know. She was on the horse. The Portugese rider before Jan Brink retired from the class after his horse spooked. Can you imagine coming all the way to Hong Kong for the Olympics and you're in the ring for 15 seconds and then that's it ? The end ? Oh, and the Japanese rider's horse spooked and wheeled the other way in his test. He continued though, but his good score was ruined.

Many of you will remember the champion tennis palyer Jimmy Connors. Ever seen him double fault ? He has. In a big match. On TV. In front of millions. We stil think of him as a champion, though.

Brentina was not her wonderful self in the class. We love this mare, don't we ? As if she was our own ? Instead of all the this and that, and Klaus this and Klaus that, remember that eveyone did the best they could at the time. Brentina too. She did her best under the circumstances, whatever they were....

Let's give Brentina some credit, shall we ? It was a rough outing for her. It happens,

And there's one rider who's already upset enough...we don't need to add to it.

I love how this post is written and I agree with you 100 percent.

If you were in an Olympic Ring, your team counting on you, youre not sure exactly what is going on with your horse.....how would you handle it? Would you asked to be excused or would you try to push through the rough parts. I didn't think she looked horrible until she started the pirouettes...and apparently the judges agree because she was scoring 7s and 8s up until that point.

Debbie did the best she could, her horse is heavy and big...no doubt she had trouble breathing in that humidity.

Kudos to our US riders...all of them. And STEFFAN's horse was BEAUTIFUL..LOVED HIM. Courtney and Debbie are two of the most elegant riders that I have had the pleasure of watching perform.

So we didn't medal...life will go on. Here's hoping to Brentina having a wonderful retirement....Heck, I'd take her for a lower level schoolmistress if Debbie's offering her up..LOL!

Jasper'sMom
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:26 PM
How sad.:no:

It's impossible to tell exactly what's going on from watching a tape, IMHO. But to me it seems like Brentina is physically struggling throughout the test, at some moments clearly more so than others, but never, ever does she look comfortable, loose, sparkly, free, or confident. At the same time, Brentina gives me the impression that she is doing her very best to perform for Debbie, who looks equally pained.

dressagetraks
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:27 PM
I wouldn't mind having her in any broodmare band, even 17yo. :yes:

maple_brook
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:38 PM
But it's not just online and in the media. One of the JUDGES made the strongest statement of all.....


If one of the judges was so strongly convienced that the mare was unsound...why didn't he stop her test? Wasn't that one of his responsibility as a judge?

One point to keep in mind from someone with a bad back...normally I am fine and no one would know I have back problems. But when I am tensed or stress, wow, it's amazing how my back issues show themselves. So it's possible that her tension and fear results in a magnification of a weakness in her. (This would explain why she checked fine before and after the ride.) But unless we were there, we will never truely know what went on.

Debbie has always been a class act so I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt!

maple_brook
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:40 PM
I wouldn't mind having her in any broodmare band, even 17yo. :yes:

Isn't that the truth! :yes: :yes:

AiryFairy
Aug. 15, 2008, 06:56 PM
You must not have seen Brentina on a good day before. For years she's had the best piaffe of any horse in the world.

No, I think that would be Balagur....

AiryFairy
Aug. 15, 2008, 07:04 PM
Regarding my statement that one of the judges made the strongest statement of all:



As was cited earlier in this thread (see p2):


Fouarge was the judge at C.

Edited to add: I totally agree with you, kkj
__________________

I think that was a particularly rude and indiscreet thing for a judge to say, not to mention in public. I would hope given the vet reports that an apology would be forthcoming to Debbie. The horse was freaking out, paralyzed with fear and I think it is only because she depends on her rider that she didn't just spin and bolt. I cannot imagine what it is like for a horse to come around a corner and mentally process the sight of a horse the size of a two story building aiming right at him.

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 15, 2008, 07:08 PM
I think it's important to notice what the judge at C very carefully said:

"Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. 'She shouldn’t have done this to her horse',he said."

Fouarge did not say lame. He DID say the horse "had not been in the right shape", thereby sidestepping the she-was-lame-and-why-didn't-the-judges-excuse-her problem. Most damning, of course, is the statement that McDonald shouldn't have done this to the horse.

Everyone can debate the lame-or-not issue all day -- and they have. As I've said, I think it was a perfect storm of problems for Brentina, likely including tendon issues combined with heat and humidity that might have caused her to tie up. As kkj has put it so well, none of us can say we wouldn't have made McDonald's same choices; a lot of the decision-making wasn't McDonald's to make, adding to the perfect storm of issues for Brentina.

I just wish they'd be honest about it all and not try to make us think the horse's performance was simply the result of a spooky environment. As I also said before, I've yet to meet a horse whose fear manifests itself in diagonal legs.

dutchmike
Aug. 15, 2008, 07:28 PM
It is the Bill Clinton syndrome.:yes:

slc2
Aug. 15, 2008, 07:42 PM
I trust an Olympic judge to say if a horse is in the right shape to do a GP test or not. If it had Fouarge that upset, it was a problem.

It's likely that the judge saw more than we were able to see. The judge watched the horse warmup around the outside of the ring, and had the horse go by right next to Fouarge, and could hear much better the foot falls and the horse's movements are much more clear to someone with that good an eye. And as for why Fouarge spoke up and no one else did...vive la France. Vive la difference.

I think it is also likely that the official response we hear is more about the tidiness and good news and PR of the Olympics than anything else.

I think horses are not excused unless they are consistently uneven thru most of the test in all 3 gaits. We had that discussion about horses with stringhalt being off at the walk but not being disqualified. The horse has to be consistently off at all 3 gaits to be excused.

And if signing up for these competitions takes all the control out of the owner's hands, so that the coach or others decide if a rider can decline to ride or not, why would Balkenhol put a horse in the ring that another judge says is not fit to do the test? After many years at that level, Balkenhol probably knows Fouarge very well, realizes just how Fouarge would react, and is very aware of how a large number of people would react very negatively to seeing Brentina perform that way....really, none of this is adding up at all, either the suggestion that Brentina just spooked and was uneven due to tension, nor the theory that given the rules Balkenhol would knowingly decide to put a not-fit horse in the ring. Neither of these things make any sense. There is missing information.

And no. Spooking and tension does not make a horse THAT uneven.

plainsailing
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:02 PM
No, I think that would be Balagur....

I don't know who Balagur is.... but Brentina does have an excellent piaffe and has for years. Unlike Salinero, who did not even do anything really resembling a piaffe when he won Olympic Gold 4 years ago.

Lisa Cook
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:05 PM
I think horses are not excused unless they are consistently uneven thru most of the test in all 3 gaits. We had that discussion about horses with stringhalt being off at the walk but not being disqualified. The horse has to be consistently off at all 3 gaits to be excused.


Not true. I've seen 2 horses at different shows under different judges excused due to lameness well before they ever got to the canter work in their tests. I was scribing for the judge in one of those instances.

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:06 PM
Can someone point out on the youtube video where she spooked. She seemed ok walking on a long rein in her test? thanks Does anyone have the link to Isabell and Anky's ride on yourtube? thanks

Passage2
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:19 PM
Poor Debbie, I would really like to know what Michael Barisone thinks....He's been watching Debbie and Brentina for weeks and I can't imagine he wouldn't say something if he felt the horse was unsound. He's not one to keep quiet!!!

slc2
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:48 PM
Again, horses very commonly don't show lameness in more collected work, the extended trot is what really opens the kimino.

class
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:49 PM
Can someone point out on the youtube video where she spooked. She seemed ok walking on a long rein in her test? thanks Does anyone have the link to Isabell and Anky's ride on yourtube? thanks

isabell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBd4Auc5pK0&feature=related

anky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vROeTxvc3qs&feature=related

steffen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgWB6RJ1XTg&feature=related

staceyk
Aug. 15, 2008, 08:58 PM
Hi,

Because this thread is on Brentina and many seem to know a lot about her, can I gently inquire...

Are there plans to breed her (presumably using ET)? What an incredible set of genes to pass on to the future...

Stacey

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:09 PM
Hi,

Because this thread is on Brentina and many seem to know a lot about her, can I gently inquire...

Are there plans to breed her (presumably using ET)? What an incredible set of genes to pass on to the future...

Stacey

Why ET?

ridgeback
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:10 PM
isabell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBd4Auc5pK0&feature=related

anky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vROeTxvc3qs&feature=related

steffen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgWB6RJ1XTg&feature=related

Thank you so much..:D

staceyk
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:18 PM
I'm not savvy about breeding but am thinking 17 a little old to be a first time mommy? Aso that isn't exactly retirement (not the kind of retirement I dream about, anyway).

Edited: Also, didn't she used to be a chronic colicker? I seem to remember some close calls, and an interview with DM where she expressed fear that she might lose her at any time, etc. etc.

AiryFairy
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:28 PM
I don't know who Balagur is.... but Brentina does have an excellent piaffe and has for years. Unlike Salinero, who did not even do anything really resembling a piaffe when he won Olympic Gold 4 years ago.

All Salinero does is move his hind legs, and not in a collected way. Balagur, he's adorable, and I've never seen a piaffe like his. And she kisses him at the end *sniff*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaiVtHS6VrI
He can also be seen in part II of the dressage on nbc video at about 3:08

Mardi
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:29 PM
I have to ask why the judges didn't excuse her. Seriously, how many people do we have here from all over the world? If we can see it, why couldn't they? Which, of course, they did because they scored her on it. But why not excuse her?



If they excused her, then they should have excused others. It's a slippery slope once it's started.

Unless the horse is head-bobbing lame, everyone stays in the pool.

Mardi
Aug. 15, 2008, 09:35 PM
Don't agree with that at all. Aragon maybe, never Brentina.

Aragon ? Guenter's gray horse ? His piaffe was rarely correct. He lifted from the hocks, not the stifle and hip. It improved the older he got, but was never really right.

Sister Margarita
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:53 PM
If one of the judges was so strongly convienced that the mare was unsound...why didn't he stop her test? Wasn't that one of his responsibility as a judge?

One point to keep in mind from someone with a bad back...normally I am fine and no one would know I have back problems. But when I am tensed or stress, wow, it's amazing how my back issues show themselves. So it's possible that her tension and fear results in a magnification of a weakness in her. (This would explain why she checked fine before and after the ride.) But unless we were there, we will never truely know what went on.

Debbie has always been a class act so I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt!

Thank Goodness and Amen.
I can't believe what happened either, but for someone like Debbie McDonald, who has proven herself a real champion in the sport and in her caring for her horse, to endure all the harsh judgment from people who don't have all the facts, were not there, don't have one tenth the experience or knowledge as those who were there making decisions, is beyond amazing.

It must be great to sit and pontificate with your computers and sound all-knowing and slice and dice people who have given us so much. I know the vet, and he is the most animal-advocate, by-the-book, conservative vet I know. I have complete faith in the decisions that were made, and find the assertions by Monday-Morning-Quarterback Peanut Gallery Wannabees pretty crappy.

There are many possibilities to explain a sudden onset of difficulty without saying the people involved were negligent or used poor judgment. I am asthmatic, and I can be fine one moment and hard to breathe the next. I have started tests only to be wheezing half way through. I have gotten cramps and I have had pinched nerves. No warning, sometimes just as quick to vanish.

I hope your crystal balls keep you from ever having to deal with bad luck. May you always be so perfect.:mad:

f4leggin
Aug. 15, 2008, 11:56 PM
I finnally found a video of the test (I think it is called tvtoniv - which is great btw). Watched it twice, and I did not see a lame horse. I saw some uneveness in the trot work - maybe that's what you guys are refering to, but in my experience that could certainly be caused by tension. The canter work was just not that great, and her tension increased as the test went on. If you watch her right after the halt, she looks ready to explode. Debbie didn't released the reins at all - infact right after the halt, the horse shows the white of her eyes. With a horse that has an incredible work ethic - which it sounds like she has, tension shows itself in so many ways... esp if she did want to jump out of her skin, but didn't because she is so focused and wanting to do the right thing. A lot of the canter work was just stiff and tight. I'm surprised so many think she was lame. That wasn't want I would have thought and even knowing that's what lots were seeing, I didn't see it. Tense from pain?? maybe but not a lameness issue in my mind.

Jill

J-Lu
Aug. 16, 2008, 12:02 AM
I'm not savvy about breeding but am thinking 17 a little old to be a first time mommy? Aso that isn't exactly retirement (not the kind of retirement I dream about, anyway).

Not necessarily too old. I think Richard Davison of England retired his great GP mare at 14 or 15 and bred her for the first time...and she had a wonderful foal.

Tiligsmom
Aug. 16, 2008, 12:32 AM
Thank Goodness and Amen.
I can't believe what happened either, but for someone like Debbie McDonald, who has proven herself a real champion in the sport and in her caring for her horse, to endure all the harsh judgment from people who don't have all the facts, were not there, don't have one tenth the experience or knowledge as those who were there making decisions, is beyond amazing.

It must be great to sit and pontificate with your computers and sound all-knowing and slice and dice people who have given us so much. I know the vet, and he is the most animal-advocate, by-the-book, conservative vet I know. I have complete faith in the decisions that were made, and find the assertions by Monday-Morning-Quarterback Peanut Gallery Wannabees pretty crappy.

There are many possibilities to explain a sudden onset of difficulty without saying the people involved were negligent or used poor judgment. I am asthmatic, and I can be fine one moment and hard to breathe the next. I have started tests only to be wheezing half way through. I have gotten cramps and I have had pinched nerves. No warning, sometimes just as quick to vanish.

I hope your crystal balls keep you from ever having to deal with bad luck. May you always be so perfect.:mad:

You go Sister!!!! I couldn't agree more. What blows my mind are all of the conspiracy theories:rolleyes:

Beezer
Aug. 16, 2008, 12:50 AM
Edited: Also, didn't she used to be a chronic colicker? I seem to remember some close calls, and an interview with DM where she expressed fear that she might lose her at any time, etc. etc.

That was Beau Rivage.

Sabine
Aug. 16, 2008, 12:57 AM
I don't believe there was one minute of conspiracy...no way!
But the mare did not look right to me when she began qualifying- it seemed like when your old lover comes back and your hope carries you over reality...it seemed like an unreal love affair with Brentina- an outstanding, personable and genuinely gracious horse and a most wonderful and in every way exemplary rider- it seemed like we all needed her back so badly because she embodied what we would like to be represented by...but the ultimate wellness of the horse probably just didn't quite hold up to the stress of this competition.

Let it rest folks...let's keep the splendid moments in mind and lets' not harp on an error of judgement- here or there....it's all already gone down the line.
Brentina was an amazing mare- a dream horse and an inspiration to anyone wanting to ride dressage. Debbie is an example of patience, kindness, consistency and tact. Let's hope both recover from this and go on to bigger and better things...Debbie to a new horse and Brentina to a fat pasture...:)!!

Bugs-n-Frodo
Aug. 16, 2008, 01:18 AM
I don't believe there was one minute of conspiracy...no way!
But the mare did not look right to me when she began qualifying- it seemed like when your old lover comes back and your hope carries you over reality...it seemed like an unreal love affair with Brentina- an outstanding, personable and genuinely gracious horse and a most wonderful and in every way exemplary rider- it seemed like we all needed her back so badly because she embodied what we would like to be represented by...but the ultimate wellness of the horse probably just didn't quite hold up to the stress of this competition.

Let it rest folks...let's keep the splendid moments in mind and lets' not harp on an error of judgement- here or there....it's all already gone down the line.
Brentina was an amazing mare- a dream horse and an inspiration to anyone wanting to ride dressage. Debbie is an example of patience, kindness, consistency and tact. Let's hope both recover from this and go on to bigger and better things...Debbie to a new horse and Brentina to a fat pasture...:)!!

Amen!

Mardi
Aug. 16, 2008, 01:18 AM
I just wish they could be more honest about what did go down.

Maybe they are.

Kenike
Aug. 16, 2008, 01:44 AM
After going on my own and reading all of the stuff I could on this, including DM's never-changing statements, I have come to the conclusion that I have no idea if anything was truly wrong. Instead, I am offering my condolences to DM and leaving it all there.

Afterall, and has been pointed out many times through the thread, Brentina isn't exactly a youngster any longer. Nobody can expect perfection from her, and there are worse things in life.

ise@ssl
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:54 AM
It is one of those sad realities when it goes wrong at the worst time. I know the Vets have said she's sound and nothing is wrong but what if any horse actually is tying up and the rider keeps going? Or if they have heat prostration? With the new format of only 3 rides and no drop score - is a Team eliminted if a horse doesn't finish a test? Or do they just average and count an excused ride as a zero? Anyone know? That's why I prefer the old 4 rider with one drop score. Then a tough situation like this one wouldn't be as significant in the scoring of the Team.

TemJeito
Aug. 16, 2008, 06:51 AM
Very well said, Sabine. . .and I agree wholeheartedly :) I am sorry I used the word "lame" in a earlier post as it obviously has strong emotional connotations to some people. I do not for a second believe that Debbie would have compromised her horse's health, but life is rarely so black and white. To me Brentina was NQR. . .and in the end does it really matter whether the horse was lame, in pain but not lame (whatever that means), or just completely stressed out :confused:? It was a very sad end to a wonderful partnership, and I am sure Debbie is devastated.

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:07 AM
If Important People with fancy titles tell us often and vehemently enough that something is so, many of us will start to believe it and to question our own eyes and experience.

Perhaps next we'll hear that Debbie is such a poor rider that despite Brentina being 100% sound, the rider made her rein lame. That would definitely account for how she was 100% sound both before and after the test and miraculously lame throughout the Grand Prix. That'd sure save vets and selection committee and ground jury face left, right and centre, wouldn't it.

Personally, I'm disappointed that the ground jury was so lacking in substance that they allowed not just Brentina but a couple of other lame horses to continue through to the very bitter end of the GP. For shame!

AiryFairy
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:33 AM
I think it's important to notice what the judge at C very carefully said:

"Chairman Gislain Fouarge explained afterwards that he felt Brentina had not been in the right shape to perform a test at all. 'She shouldn’t have done this to her horse',he said."

Fouarge did not say lame. He DID say the horse "had not been in the right shape", thereby sidestepping the she-was-lame-and-why-didn't-the-judges-excuse-her problem. Most damning, of course, is the statement that McDonald shouldn't have done this to the horse.

That's exactly my point though. A judge has the power to stop something that isn't right, if he felt that Debbie was doing something wrong to her horse, he should have rung her out. To do nothing, but then make judgmental, scathing, snipey comments to the public after is very bad form. IMO he should have put up, or shut up.

According to the vets, the horse was in perfect shape, fit and sound, and I don't believe in coverups or spin where an Olympic vet is concerned - his reputation is on the line, as are those of the team. Yes, she had obvious problems, but it's the judges job to ACT in the horse's welfare, not to publicly backstab the rider.

baymare
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:41 AM
What Sister Margarita said.

Plus, speaking from (humble but relevant) personal experience: it is amazing what tension can do to the gaits of a horse. My old event mare hated the funny ring with the little white fence and no jumps so much that we were stopped mid-test more than once because she looked lame in all four legs due to tension. It was a ghastly feeling to ride, and went away completely when the tension ceased (i.e. when we were galloping toward a fence instead of attempting stretchy circle!) We stopped eventing because of the problem, and the mare went on to compete extremely successfully as a jumper, perfectly sound and happy, until her early twenties.

So who knows, ultimately, what the source of the difficulty was. Both Brentina and Debbie have earned a ton of credibility and respect over the years, and they have my good wishes and empathy no matter what.

Now let's concentrate on rooting for the jumper riders, who are the US last and best hope to take home a team medal!

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:50 AM
Personally, I think we have the right to discuss this. When you compete at the international level you open yourself to public scrutiny. Technology is such that we can see the test ringside from our computers in fullscreen. I think you could argue that we had a better view from our computers than many did in the stands. I watched every test live. The picture quality was excellent. NBC provides free downloads of many of the tests, including Brentina's. I watched the test yet again yesterday and remain convinced the horse was NQR. That said, what else is there to say? I think we've examined the issue.

What I hope comes from this is a bit of education, for all of us. As has been said, none of us can know what we might have done were we in Debbie's boots. It's easy to say what should have been done. Having considered the possible contributing factors, I'd like to think this whole thing has given many of us some clarity on recognizing the red flags and making the tough decision to retire a horse.

The new format, IMHO, is only good and for exactly the type of situation we saw with Brentina. Without a dropped score, I think teams will be less likely to include a competitor with questionable suppleness. There's no room for error.

As for the possibility of breeding Brentina, well, that's something that, as a Hanoverian breeder, I've long fantasized about. (Which stallion would YOU pick?) Unfortunately, I won't hold my breath. 17, though not ideal, is NOT too old, but I think that if the Thomases were interested in breeding the mare they'd have already done an ET. I don't think the Thomases are interested in breeding; I think they prefer (as their history demonstrates) to shop in Verden instead. I really wish they'd shop, if only occasionally, in America, but that's another discusion entirely. Don't get me started on that one....

HORSEBACKRIDER
Aug. 16, 2008, 08:39 AM
I have been surprised to see how many of the comments here are so lacking in genuine empathy for this horse and rider.

Oh, the words are there in an introductory way, offered up before some harsh judgment is propounded. Like the Southern way of skewering someone -- simply add "Bless her heart" and you then can say anything.

I wonder what the source of such harsh and judgmental commentary is. Insecurity? I feel better about myself if I can diminish you? Resentments? I never thought you really were worthy and now I can show others what I, at least, always knew. Envy? Look how much I know, I am an expert and I should have more success in my life and riding.

Any or all of the above?

Forestalling the usual defenses -- of course everyone can post what they want, reasonable minds can differ, discussion is useful and the point of these boards, after all.

But, there is a very unappealing and mean aspect to many of these posts, unmasking some real anger and apparently long-lingering resentments. The dressage community is not enhanced by it at all.

kkj
Aug. 16, 2008, 08:57 AM
I also think we should feel free to discuss this. Moreover, I believe what I see and trust my eyes a lot more than I trust what people tell me.

I think it is possible that for the purpose of a vet check Brentina is sound. She may not show that uneveness when they check her over. Hell that uneveness on her RF may just be as a result of her old tendon injury. She may have lost some elasticity, or scar tissue makes the extension less fluid or whatever. Maybe it is not even a pain associated thing. I have no idea, and I would not say because of that uneveness, it is wrong to compete her or that she should not have qualified. There are other horses at this level who are not perfectly even. Several of them have an issue you can see here or there. They have never whistled these horses out. Why would they whistle out Brentina? Because it deteriorated to something else? Well I don't know that that something else had anything to do with her initial uneveness.

However, Debbie and Courtney and Klaus and whoever else must see this initial uneveness. It is there in the selection trials. It is there in the beginning of her Olympic test before all hell broke loose. Why do they say that this horse was better than ever? That does piss me off. The horse was not better than ever, she was just the best we had and upon gambling, she was the one the decision-makers felt was our best bet to help us secure a medal. They were wrong in this case, but there should be no blame there. It was a tough call. Brentina could have very well come in with that uneveness and put in a test that would have easily secured the bronze. She has scored well with this uneveness before.

Something else went wrong. I will never believe that it had anything to do with spooking. Even if Brentina the super horse learned to talk and told me so herself. (She is such a generous horse I think she would lie to make this better too). This was something else- back pain, abdominal pain, hind end issue, breathing related, muscle cramping, something. I will give all involved the benifit of the doubt that this was unforeseen. This is not the way this horse had been going up until this point. Listen sh** happens. What this all shows us is that it can happen even to the most conscientous and revered horseperson and the Saint of a horse. It sucks that it went down like this. I wish they could have one more go to redeem themselves. Over time people will remember the better rides and this will fade. Brentina will have a good life. Debbie will still have the longest lines at the autograph signings. The US will win the medal next time.

I will still be chewing on my grain of salt and never expecting to get the straight story, because I think it is very rare that we ever do and then if we do we won't trust it because we have been misled so many times before. So jaded.

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 09:03 AM
I have been surprised to see how many of the comments here are so lacking in genuine empathy for this horse and rider...I wonder what the source of such harsh and judgmental commentary is. Insecurity? I feel better about myself if I can diminish you? Resentments? I never thought you really were worthy and now I can show others what I, at least, always knew. Envy? Look how much I know, I am an expert and I should have more success in my life and riding.

Any or all of the above?

How about shock, disappointment and genuine empathy for the horse who was quite obviously not comfortable.

Also, speaking for myself, I'd like to think that the concern for the well being of the individual (horse) would override the needs of the team and that strength of character of individuals within the team would allow mistakes made to be admitted.

kkj
Aug. 16, 2008, 09:15 AM
I have been surprised to see how many of the comments here are so lacking in genuine empathy for this horse and rider.

Oh, the words are there in an introductory way, offered up before some harsh judgment is propounded. Like the Southern way of skewering someone -- simply add "Bless her heart" and you then can say anything.

I wonder what the source of such harsh and judgmental commentary is. Insecurity? I feel better about myself if I can diminish you? Resentments? I never thought you really were worthy and now I can show others what I, at least, always knew. Envy? Look how much I know, I am an expert and I should have more success in my life and riding.

Any or all of the above?

Forestalling the usual defenses -- of course everyone can post what they want, reasonable minds can differ, discussion is useful and the point of these boards, after all.

But, there is a very unappealing and mean aspect to many of these posts, unmasking some real anger and apparently long-lingering resentments. The dressage community is not enhanced by it at all.

I'll bite on this. It is none of those things for me. I am not insecure about my riding ability or knowledge. I am a good rider but not a world class one, and I admire and esteem those who are. I am a fan. I have no resentment. I think the people who are on the US team deserve to be there. I love watching them ride. Envy, OK I admit it. I wish I could look as good as Courtney for one test. But honestly, I have a lot of success in my life and my riding so I really am not sour grapes.

What it is---I am insulted. How stupid do you think we are? A lot of us dressage fans are good horsepeople and very knowledgable too. We know Brentina was not 100% at the selection trials. We can see the uneveness. We are not little girls playing with statue horses who want Brentina to win because she has a beautiful tail. We have had heartbreak with our horses too. We have rehabbed the tendon and suspensory injuries, delt with the hock problems, the back problems, the ulcers, the colic and more. We have delt many times with spooking horses, tense horses and yes horses that are in pain. We can tell the difference. We have tried our very best and had it turn out badly too. We love our horses and want the best for them just like Debbie does. And when something goes wrong, I hope we can be honest and tell it like it is.

kkj
Aug. 16, 2008, 09:21 AM
and that strength of character of individuals within the team would allow mistakes made to be admitted.
Yes this is exactly it. When people, who you admire in part for what you perceive is their high integrity in the horseworld, do something that is misleading or dishonest, you are not OK with it.

mishmash
Aug. 16, 2008, 09:33 AM
After reading all this, I finally watched the video. I did not see obvious lamesness, but then am not an expert on recognizing it. What I did see, however, was a very tense horse-one that looked like it was about to explode. If you are that horses rider-how big of a lengthening do you dare ask for? Probably not much. My horse can be like this-there are days I dont like to canter, because I know he will eventually take off with me. I control him by looping in a big circle until I can get him back-but that woud be frowned on in an Olympic test. :( And the mare did not look lame leaving the arena-she was jigging, and antsy. NOT lame.
Whether it was because she was nervous and spooky, or just tired of this sport, or having a pissy day, I dont know the mare well enough to tell. The person that does know her well enough is DM.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 09:36 AM
After reading all this, I finally watched the video. I did not see obvious lamesness, but then am not an expert on recognizing it. .

Enough said!!

grayarabpony
Aug. 16, 2008, 10:15 AM
Yes this is exactly it. When people, who you admire in part for what you perceive is their high integrity in the horseworld, do something that is misleading or dishonest, you are not OK with it.

My guess is that they thought they could manage Brentina's problems well enough to get through the Olympics. Otherwise why go all the way to China?

piaffeprincess98
Aug. 16, 2008, 03:38 PM
Quick hijack here, but is Debbie not riding the GP Special or Freestyle now? Is she not qualified since her score was low?

RainyDayRide
Aug. 16, 2008, 03:43 PM
Correct PP98 ... only the top 25 rode this evening's GPS. The top 15 from that move on to Tuesday's Freestyle.

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:00 PM
In a way, the judges did stop Debbie and Brentina. They may not have made them pull up during the test, which I think they would only have done if the horse was three-legged lame, but they did give them a score that didn't allow them to move on in the competition.

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:14 PM
Not a single one of you KNOW what was affecting the mare. It could have been any one of a thousand things, including abdominal discomfort, muscle problems, breathing problems to name a few. Why not just keep your feet out of your mouths and wait until there is a FACTUAL explanation?

Here!! Here!! Equibrit!!!! This board is so full of so called experts who have so many opinions from watching television and not being there. A thorough vet exam found nothing wrong, mare was simply very tense as soon as she entered the arena, and at that level any tension is going to cause uneveness. Please read the facts, folks:

http://horsesdaily.com/olympics/08oly/press/derosa-index.html

http://www.dressagedaily.com/2008/dd_200808/dd_20080815-brentina.html

so stop with the guessing, ok?

slc2
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:47 PM
there was no 'thorough vet exam' when the horse finished its test. And no look at the legs is going to reveal anything anyway.

Debbie said the horse was receiving mostly walk work before the test. I think that suggests there was a problem they were trying to not aggravate.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:51 PM
there was no 'thorough vet exam' when the horse finished its test. And no look at the legs is going to reveal anything anyway.

Debbie said the horse was receiving mostly walk work before the test. I think that suggests there was a problem they were trying to not aggravate.



How do you know there was no thorough vet exam slc? Also I've heard others say Debbie said she was receiving mostly walks...can you give us a link to where she said that? I read on dressage daily where she said "we" are walking in the morning and riding at night.. I took the"'we" as meaning the other riders not just Debbie Brentina. Don't get me wrong the mare was not right in the front right and left hind...

"We have been riding the horses twice a day. In the mornings we mostly walk and then come back and ride at night."

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:53 PM
Originally Posted by Sister Margarita
Thank Goodness and Amen.
I can't believe what happened either, but for someone like Debbie McDonald, who has proven herself a real champion in the sport and in her caring for her horse, to endure all the harsh judgment from people who don't have all the facts, were not there, don't have one tenth the experience or knowledge as those who were there making decisions, is beyond amazing.

It must be great to sit and pontificate with your computers and sound all-knowing and slice and dice people who have given us so much. I know the vet, and he is the most animal-advocate, by-the-book, conservative vet I know. I have complete faith in the decisions that were made, and find the assertions by Monday-Morning-Quarterback Peanut Gallery Wannabees pretty crappy.

I hope your crystal balls keep you from ever having to deal with bad luck. May you always be so perfect.

Very well said, Sister! :)

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Aug. 16, 2008, 04:59 PM
there was no 'thorough vet exam' when the horse finished its test. And no look at the legs is going to reveal anything anyway.

So they made this article up?
http://www.dressagedaily.com/2008/dd_200808/dd_20080815-brentina.html


A thorough examination by US team veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell proved that Brentina is sound and well further reiterating what McDonald had said immediately following her ride. “Brentina was thoroughly examined by a panel of three veterinarians per our selection process prior to entering quarantine in Germany,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell. “Furthermore we had the opportunity to observe this mare training twice daily for six weeks, and we evaluated the soundness of all the team horses on a daily basis. There was never any question during that time or now about any aspect of her soundness.”

Dr. Mitchell also explained that per the IOC rules, he evaluated each of the three horses one hour before their dressage test because a replacement was available up until that time. Brentina never demonstrated any evidence of soreness and lameness, and passed the horse inspection prior to the competition without any question.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:03 PM
Oh I think vets are capable of spin just as mush as anyone else, therefore I don't necessarily believe everything just because a vet said so..JMHO I do know pain can cause tension..

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:14 PM
So they made this article up?Uh huh...where in that article does it actually come out and say that B had a full and thorough veterinary soundness examination of any sort whatsoever POST Grand Prix. Read again. Read closely, the spin doctors are at work and I don't necessarily mean that the vet or DM are doing their own spinning. That stuff is pure professional gold.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:18 PM
Uh huh...where in that article does it actually come out and say that B had a full and thorough veterinary soundness examination of any sort whatsoever POST Grand Prix. Read again. Read closely, the spin doctors are at work and I don't necessarily mean that the vet or DM are doing their own spinning. That stuff is pure professional gold.

Sascha it was after I posted the revised version.. You don't think there's spin in all aspects of the horse world including vet medicine??

A thorough examination by U.S. team veterinarian Rick Mitchell, DVM, found Brentina to be sound and well. (Editor's note: The Horse contacted the USEF to confirm that this exam took place following the competition. They confirmed that Dr. Mitchell did examine Brentina after she competed.)
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:23 PM
Are you saying then that the quoted bit you've got in your post above says that B was examined thoroughly post GP? Or are you referring to an article I've missed? Oh duh. Call me stupid. I see it now...I'm not sure I believe it but I see it.

Yes, actually I believe that everyone has a little spin in them but the pros are exceptional and, imho, that bit of writing is exceptional.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:25 PM
Are you saying then that the quoted bit you've got in your post above says that B was examined thoroughly post GP? Or are you referring to an article I've missed?

Yes, actually I believe that everyone has a little spin in them but the pros are exceptional and, imho, that bit of writing is exceptional.

I called The Horse magazine and asked them if they could get it clarified and according to the gal at the USEF that writes the press releases he did check her after she competed. I'm not sure exactly what or how he checked her though.

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:26 PM
Perhaps that she had 4 legs, a tail, respirations and a heart beat?;)

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:38 PM
Please read the facts, folks:

http://horsesdaily.com/olympics/08oly/press/derosa-index.html

http://www.dressagedaily.com/2008/dd_200808/dd_20080815-brentina.html

so stop with the guessing, ok?


I actually find the "facts" in that first link quite contradictory. In "Reflections on a Medal Lost," Diana DeRosa initially registers her "shock" at not watching the US get bronze (I'm sorry; was it preordained?) and moves on to complain that "it was Germany (again) who won gold." IMHO, they deserved gold; they had the best three tests.

Interestingly, DeRosa moves on to say this:
"As I watched in awe what was happening before me, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The normally rock solid Brentina started out with a ride that had no mistakes but lacked something. What it was that was missing I wasn’t quite sure of and later in chatting with some of the officials there were others who felt the same way. Something was wrong. Brentina didn’t quite seem right tonight and it all became clearer when Debbie asked Brentina to do a pirouette and what she got didn’t even resemble one."

Notice the tone here. It's as if she's having an out of body expreience. Disbelief. Shock. An inability to process reality.

To reiterate: "something was wrong"...."Brentina didn't seem quite right"... and "others... [officials] felt the same way."

Then she takes in McDonald's remarks:
"[McDonald] explained that something was wrong. To her Brentina just didn’t like something in the arena and did not want to be there. She did all she could to hold it together but once she lost the pirouette she knew there was no chance of salvaging the ride."

She ends the article by seemingly dismissing McDoanld's own assessment (!):
"The horse that had brought her so many accolades had let her down just this once and Debbie COULDN'T EVEN EXPLAIN WHY. [Emphasis mine.] But as Debbie has often said many times before, Brentina owes her nothing."

Instead of discussing her own statement, DeRosa ends by shrouding her article in nostalgia for all the pair have done in the past.

Yes, the pair have had a phenomenal impact on US dressage. I don't think anyone is trying to take that away from them. But to have McDonald tell us the mare is "fitter and sounder than she's ever been" in the face of contrary opinions from journalists, at least one judge, and, yes, many spectators (whose knowledge base IS quite extensive in many cases), I smell spin.

Mind you, this is just my humble opnion -- but these articles are enveloped by a sort of overemotional nostalgia I expect to see on Oprah. (Look at the articles' titles: "Reflections of a Medal Lost," "Bad Things Shouldn't Happen to Nice People," and "Debbie McDonald and Brentina: They Are Much Loved.") I expect more from good sports reporting.

asb_own_me
Aug. 16, 2008, 05:46 PM
I'm watching the tests that were broadcast on MSNBC this afternoon and I think I will scream if the commentator remarks on Brentina's "spookiness" one more time. Are all these horsepeople watching all over the world completely *blind*? I don't think so. The mare was off. She didn't look "spooky". She looked "ouchy". My opinion and the opinion of many, many others worldwide. I wish they'd quit pouring the Kool-Aid about "spookiness".

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 06:55 PM
Hansiska, make that at least 2 judges, because those of us Canadians watching the cbc coverage got the opinion of the O judge that was doing the commentary. It was not exactly positive in regards Brentina's soundness during that test on that particular day. It may have been fairly careful commentary but clear as a bell to anyone with even marginal knowledge.

That's my memory of it anyway, maybe some other Canadian remembers CW's commentary otherwise?

AiryFairy
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:01 PM
Oh I think vets are capable of spin just as mush as anyone else, therefore I don't necessarily believe everything just because a vet said so..JMHO I do know pain can cause tension..

And tension can cause excruciating, debilitating pain.

sascha
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:07 PM
But does tension cause debilitating lameness in the same pair of diagonal legs for a relatively extended period of time?

Bolting, rearing, spinning, bucking, refusing to go forward, head tossing or shaking sure, but lameness in the same diagonal pair of legs throughout a test? I'm not so sure about that.

ridgeback
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:12 PM
But does tension cause debilitating lameness in the same pair of diagonal legs for a relatively extended period of time?

Bolting, rearing, spinning, bucking, refusing to go forward, head tossing or shaking sure, but lameness in the same diagonal pair of legs throughout a test? I'm not so sure about that.

What she said:D

Many people thought she was not right at the selection trials on top of that the WEG performance so if you add it all up that is why people are making a big deal out of this.. Just how I see it..

egontoast
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:33 PM
I think many American fans are sentimental about this pair and that is understandable. Someone wrote something about DM being kinder or better than most other competitors (sorry I don't have the quote) which, sorry, was an eye rolly thing. How does anyone know that?

I notice no one rushes to credit imke for withdrawing her horse for her wellbeing. If brentina had been w/drawn we'd be reading lots of gushy drooling posts about DM putting her horse's welfare first.

I'm not criticising DM at all but please note, some of you, your nationalism is involved in your assessment of the matter.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.:)

tartanfarm
Aug. 16, 2008, 07:58 PM
For me it was what I didn't see. Any horse that I've seen that is terrified at least lifts their head, looks at the cause, freezes or bolts. Even given a very obedient horse you would expect some more reaction besides stepping out in the pirouette.

What I did see was a NQR and more horse.

piaffeprincess98
Aug. 16, 2008, 08:48 PM
Correct PP98 ... only the top 25 rode this evening's GPS. The top 15 from that move on to Tuesday's Freestyle.

Thanks for clarification. I hate to drag this on, but one more question; In previous Olympics, did everyone only do one test to count for the team medal? Where did the GP Special factor in?
Maybe this is on another topic somewhere, if so, can someone point me to it? My non-horsey parents are asking me questions I don't know the answers to! The SJ stuff is confusing too.

dressagetraks
Aug. 16, 2008, 08:54 PM
I remember Atlanta 1996 was the first Olympics to include the kur and have it be the final medal round. I believe GP has always decided the team competition, and GPS alone decided the individual medals prior to 1996. So until 1996, the Olympics were a 2-round competition, team and individual. 1996 on, a 3-round competition, team, individual field trim down, and individual final.

As a nostalgic sidelight, one of my top memories from being at Atlanta and watching that first Olympic kur is (besides Isabell and Anky and Klaus, of course) watching Lucky Lord (rider forgotten, sorry, but neat gray horse, looked like a chess piece) do his entry in perfect time to Ghostbusters. :lol:

bthatasitmay
Aug. 17, 2008, 12:47 AM
Here is a link to some of the rides at the end of the celebration video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C15-EP0u_8

Bats79
Aug. 17, 2008, 12:50 AM
As a nostalgic sidelight, one of my top memories from being at Atlanta and watching that first Olympic kur is (besides Isabell and Anky and Klaus, of course) watching Lucky Lord (rider forgotten, sorry, but neat gray horse, looked like a chess piece) do his entry in perfect time to Ghostbusters. :lol:

Margit Otto-Crépin for France. Silver individual medal at Seoul in '88 with Corlandus

petitefilly
Aug. 17, 2008, 02:47 PM
http://dressagedaily.com/1998/dd_199807/dd_19980708.html

Margit. I wonder if she is still riding these days? She has to be over sixty, but hell I'm nearly sixty and I still ride everyday! :):):):):):)

egontoast
Aug. 17, 2008, 04:45 PM
Back to the topic at hand. All the quotes in the articles relate to examinations prior to the test and yet seem to be vaguely interpreted as meaning she was examined post test.



“Brentina was thoroughly examined by a panel of three veterinarians per our selection process prior to entering quarantine in Germany,” said Dr. Rick Mitchell. “Furthermore we had the opportunity to observe this mare training twice daily for six weeks, and we evaluated the soundness of all the team horses on a daily basis. There was never any question during that time or now about any aspect of her soundness.”
Dr. Mitchell also explained that per the IOC rules, he evaluated each of the three horses one hour before their dressage test because a replacement was available up until that time. Brentina never demonstrated any evidence of soreness and lameness, and passed the horse inspection prior to the competition without any question.



If you read the articles carefully, in particular the quotes, all they say is that the vets are SAYING post test that they had no concerns about soundness before or now because they examined her prior to the test.

Sloppy journalism aside, none of the quotes support the statement that the mare has been examined post test and found to be sound. Obviously, they aren't obliged to say anything more about that but the fuzzy language in the articles is confusing. If the mare was examined post test and found to be sound, why not say so.

freestyle2music
Aug. 17, 2008, 06:04 PM
http://dressagedaily.com/1998/dd_199807/dd_19980708.html

Margit. I wonder if she is still riding these days? She has to be over sixty, but hell I'm nearly sixty and I still ride everyday! :):):):):):)

When Eric Lette reseigned from his job as head of the FEI dressage committee, most of the riders asked and supported Margrit Otto-Crepin to take this job. Since MOC already had decided to end her active dressage carreer she initialy said yes to this proposal. But when she noticed that .............. she withdraw.

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Aug. 17, 2008, 06:19 PM
http://dressagedaily.com/2008/dd_200808/dd_20080815-brentina.html


A thorough examination by US team veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell proved that Brentina is sound and well further reiterating what McDonald had said immediately following her ride.

ridgeback
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:32 PM
Can someone please share this with egontoast I've posted this several times but I think she has me on ignore and this point on when the vet looked at her needs to die. I'm grateful she has me on ignore and I don't want it to change but she's arguing a point that has already been clarified. Thanks

A thorough examination by U.S. team veterinarian Rick Mitchell, DVM, found Brentina to be sound and well. (Editor's note: The Horse contacted the USEF to confirm that this exam took place following the competition. They confirmed that Dr. Mitchell did examine Brentina after she competed.)
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517

BahamaMama
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:52 PM
Bush told the world that Iraq had weapons of massdestruction and we all believed him.:no::confused:

2 tbs
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:53 PM
A thorough examination by U.S. team veterinarian Rick Mitchell, DVM, found Brentina to be sound and well. (Editor's note: The Horse contacted the USEF to confirm that this exam took place following the competition. They confirmed that Dr. Mitchell did examine Brentina after she competed.)
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517 (http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517)


For some reason conspiracy seems more attractive than the truth :rolleyes:

I mean, sure, they could lie about it but what does it really matter? They didn't do well. They didn't score well. They are done and the mare is retired. It's an unfortunate series of events but what's done is done and I'm sure overall the mare is no worse for the wear.

ridgeback
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:56 PM
Bush told the world that Iraq had weapons of massdestruction and we all believed him.:no::confused:

LOL so a moderator is weighing in on this....interesting:lol:

ridgeback
Aug. 17, 2008, 07:58 PM
For some reason conspiracy seems more attractive than the truth :rolleyes:

I mean, sure, they could lie about it but what does it really matter? They didn't do well. They didn't score well. They are done and the mare is retired. It's an unfortunate series of events but what's done is done and I'm sure overall the mare is no worse for the wear.

Don't get me wrong I don't necessarily believe it..:eek:

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:10 PM
Bush told the world that Iraq had weapons of massdestruction and we all believed him.:no::confused:

Quite appropriate and sadly hilarious.

As someone already pointed out -- and also very funny -- somehow three vets agree on this but get three out to your farm for a prepurchase on a training level horse and look out...
:)

ridgeback
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:14 PM
Quite appropriate and sadly hilarious.

As someone already pointed out -- and also very funny -- somehow three vets agree on this but get three out to your farm for a prepurchase on a training level horse and look out...
:)

Not only will they not agree but you will pay a hefty price for their opinions..:lol:

I've been a bit disappointed on how biased some of our press has been on this subject.

2 tbs
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:23 PM
Don't get me wrong I don't necessarily believe it..:eek:

No worries. I was just quoting your comment to get it out there for anyone who may have you on ignore :winkgrin:

As for me. Well. I'm happy enough to belive it simply because I'm not there. I don't know the horse. I'm not a vet. And in the end-what does it matter? Also, I don't have enough energy for all the conspiracy theories ;)

It's not the best way to go out but in 4 years when we have a whole new team and a whole new set of individul competitors I'm sure no one will remember this whole thing or at least their perspectives will have changed :)

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:27 PM
It's not the best way to go out but in 4 years when we have a whole new team and a whole new set of individul competitors I'm sure no one will remember this whole thing or at least their perspectives will have changed :)

Personally, I'm hoping to see Courtney King-Dye and Steffen Peters in London... :)

ridgeback
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:28 PM
No worries. I was just quoting your comment to get it out there for anyone who may have you on ignore :winkgrin:

As for me. Well. I'm happy enough to belive it simply because I'm not there. I don't know the horse. I'm not a vet. And in the end-what does it matter? Also, I don't have enough energy for all the conspiracy theories ;)

It's not the best way to go out but in 4 years when we have a whole new team and a whole new set of individul competitors I'm sure no one will remember this whole thing or at least their perspectives will have changed :)

I do agree with you:) thanks

Madison
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:32 PM
I remember Atlanta 1996 was the first Olympics to include the kur and have it be the final medal round. I believe GP has always decided the team competition, and GPS alone decided the individual medals prior to 1996. So until 1996, the Olympics were a 2-round competition, team and individual. 1996 on, a 3-round competition, team, individual field trim down, and individual final.

As a nostalgic sidelight, one of my top memories from being at Atlanta and watching that first Olympic kur is (besides Isabell and Anky and Klaus, of course) watching Lucky Lord (rider forgotten, sorry, but neat gray horse, looked like a chess piece) do his entry in perfect time to Ghostbusters. :lol:

dressagetraks, I distinctly and fondly remember that exact same ride!!! It may not have been the judges' favorite, but it was absolutely a crowd favorite and the rider really looked to be enjoying that performance. It was one of my favorite things I saw, and was my first exposure to the freestyle.

canyonoak
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:36 PM
That was Margit Otto-Crepin on Lucky Lord.
He was no successor to the legendary Corlandus, but a still a very nice horse.

evenstar
Aug. 17, 2008, 08:47 PM
Yes, and on my tape from 1996, her broad smile at her entry, and just the joy she had doing that freestyle, is such a highlight, even though other horse/rider combinations finished higher.

For years, my BO has had her tape poised to start at that ride. She shows it to her students as an example of what dressage should be about.

sascha
Aug. 17, 2008, 09:07 PM
As for me. Well. I'm happy enough to belive it simply because I'm not there. I don't know the horse. I'm not a vet. And in the end-what does it matter?
What does it matter? Yup, you're right. It doesn't matter a wit, since honesty, integrity and good sportsmanship have nothing at all to do with the Olympics. It's all about attempting to save face in the event of bad decisions and/or bad luck.:yes:

I remain flabbergasted that soundness can continue to be touted despite anyone who knows anything about lameness being able to see clear unsoundness in that performance. Then again, I've given up rides due to soundness issues that owners have refused to deal with because they honestly couldn't see them. Maybe it's just me (and a few others) being too sensitive or imagining NQRness in a horse for whom we wished nothing but the best GP test possible. Not to mention wishing only the best for her rider too!

RunningwaterWBs
Aug. 17, 2008, 09:11 PM
Sascha, as my urban high school students say, "True that, Miss!!"

Dressage Art
Aug. 17, 2008, 11:09 PM
I wonder how many riders/judges would lower their standards of "almost lame", NQR after seemingly uneven Olympic ride of Debbie/Brentina that yet was proven absolutely sound by 3 vets and scored very respectably?

It is a very strange example/message that US Dressage Team is sending to us, dressage riders, especially with a poised USEF Horse Of The Year!

And the whole FEI slogan of "Horse as a Happy Athlete" - hit the new low! Severally over bend at warm-ups Salinero and uneven, heavy breathing Brentina - both scores at the top of sport of dressage! International top judges, what is wrong with that picture?