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View Full Version : Horse sport in danger for next Olympics!!



canyonoak
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:18 AM
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/266589.html

THE president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) has warned that the status of equestrian sports within the Olympic movement is precarious.

Princess Haya told H&H that despite the undoubtedly great sport and brilliant organisation of Hong Kong, there is no guarantee that horse sports can survive in the Olympics beyond 2012 — or even get that far — and could follow sports such as cricket and polo out of the Olympic door.


"The FEI has a huge fight to even get to 2012," explained Princess Haya, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the FEI's first elected president.


"The IOC have heard from our stakeholders and wrote to us about the set-up and presentation of dressage.


"The popularity of dressage is abnormally low and there are complaints about judging and the make up of judging panels and committees," she said. "Anyone who thinks equestrian sports are secure for London is mistaken....."

War Admiral
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:27 AM
You know what?

I honestly say "give it up" at this point. Let it go, we're done here, let's focus on the WEG instead.

All the equestrian disciplines have suffered because of trying to make compromises to stay in the Olympics. How much farther are we going to dumb down and how many more compromises are we going to make?

I think we should just drop it and be done.

bird4416
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:38 AM
I agree with War Admiral. Quite frankly, I'm surprised they haven't done away with the Equestrian events a long time ago.

ThrghbrdJmpr
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:41 AM
I think it sucks...

slc2
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:45 AM
Go ahead. The Olympics are insane. They've gotten worse and worse over the years. The countries are going insane trying to win and doing anything to win. There is so much wierd crap going on. It's enough. Get riding out of it now and be building up the WEG and other competitions instead.

The Olympics, hopefully, will dissapear or become some sort of 'Win The Most Beautiful Object in the Universe' contest on TV.

Dressage Dreamer
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:53 AM
even if you do not understand the rules of the equestrian disciplines, anyone would have obvious respect for the fact someone has convinced a horse to hurl over a 5 foot jump!
I saw some sports this time around with hardly ANYONE in the stands..and some of which I had never seen anything close to that kind of sport before...

Auventera Two
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:54 AM
I say drop it. The judging is a joke anyway. People apparently have to resort to abusive training tactics to win gold medals so what's the freakin point? :rolleyes: I am a horse lover and I won't watch the equestrian events, say nothing about the non-horse people.

*jumper*
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:59 AM
The Olympics are becoming such a political and professional event. It's sad; they are moving away from the values that they are known for. I agree with those who think Dressage may go, because people just don't understand it. Plus, it's subjective, and there are those who think such sports shouldn't be in the Olympics at all.

Show Jumping, on the other hand, has a format that is fairly easy to understand, making it more user-friendly for both spectators and Olympic officials. Frankly, I'm surprised they did away with polo, as that is a sport that most people have a bit of interest in, and is definitely more of a "sport" that the other equestrian disciplines.

However, we have a long four years to go until the next games, and I'm sure that the IOC is more interested in wrapping up Beijing at this point than worrying about the future.

seeuatx
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:02 PM
I've got the fix!!!

No more stock ties, and all the women should wear water bras with the shirts un buttoned down to their navel. Guys can borrow Jerry Seinfeld's "Puffy Shirt". The fact that breast implants and waxed chests will now be needed are just part of the necessary evolution of the sport. ;):lol:;).

Medal contention and any ties can be decided by a wet t-shirt contest just before medal ceremonies. :rolleyes:

chukkerchild
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:10 PM
No! I don't want them to take it out! At least not showjumping, I think that is far and away the most popular spectactor sport. An Olympic medal is something sponsors understand-- nobody cares about world championships, they only matter to the people in the sport. I don't care who won the world championship in swimming, but I think it's awesome when Canada wins a swimming Olympic medal-- I hear about it. I think taking the sports out of the Olympics will be the first nail in the coffin. Look what HAPPENED to polo. Polo is now a rare sport. I KNOW pretty much everyone who plays polo in western canada-- someone just down the road from me was on the canadian team. Polo has no global visibility and so it's disappearing.... that WILL happen to other sports too, maybe not fast, but eventually. Just my 0.02... :no:

pattnic
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:11 PM
Another one for "let it go." As others said, focus on WEG; in fact, in soccer, they limit the ages of the players, because their crowning achievement is the World Cup (they want to reserve the best for that).

fiona
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:18 PM
"The IOC have heard from our stakeholders and wrote to us about the set-up and presentation of dressage.



what does stakeholder mean in this context?

monstrpony
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:24 PM
Let it go.

The summer Olympics are at a difficult time of year for equestrian sports, unless there is complete freedom of location. Look at all the resources that go into keeping the horses comfortable at the past several. Granted, not such an issue for London, but what will be next after that?

Less of an issue for dressage and show jumping, perhaps but the judging issues with dressage are a disgrace. I could be happy with leaving show jumping only--the sponsorship issue is a valid one there, and jumping is accessible to a wide audience in terms of judging and spectacle.

Eventer13
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:27 PM
I say get rid of dressage. Its subjective and the common spectator cant understand it. Keep show jumping, and maybe eventing (although I'd say get rid of eventing if it means they'll bring back the long format).

Anyone wondering how that German dressage judge is feeling right now? Possibly he will be one of the driving forces that gets the equestrian competition kicked out.

fiona
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:33 PM
The perception that the British don't want the games is completely erroneous.

What we do want is the muti million pound budget spent on a permanent site so we can in the future bid for events like WEG and meanwhile use the facilities to train our own riders.
What Londoners want is their Historic Grade I protected Unesco World Heritage Site left intact and who can blame them! It's a beautiful park and can never be replaced or repaired.
The small detail that it will look spiffy on tv is the only reason it was ever chosen and rather overlooks the growing objections of the local people plus it won't fit more than about 20,000 spectators. Aachen WEG had 50,000 for the dressage and was sold out, SJ, and in the uk particularly eventing, get a lot more supporters.

Janeway
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:35 PM
I thought that there was some sort of rule in place that prevents a sport being dropped from the Olympics in the 4 years between them: that the IOC can only announce additions/deletions during a current olympics for the next scheduled one. I mean how crappy would that be for an athlete to be one year away from competing in the olympics only to be told "sorry, we just dropped your sport"?

Does anyone know IOC the rules? I tried looking on the main IOC site but didn't have any luck.

canyonoak
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:41 PM
I do not understand any of this.

The FEI fires its head vet 11 days before the Hong Kong Olympics start.

And here I am going out on a limb to suggest that the vet, Frits Sluyters, wanted the pre-event drug test to actually TEST for capsaicin,etc so that the riders would have a chance to present all their horses as clean.

But the FEI in its strange collusion with WADA, decided instead to use the pre-event test as some kind of false lulling of the riders by NOT testing for the very drugs they claim to be so worried about.
Further, at no time do they appear to have used thermography--which they have emphasized will be in great use at this Olympics in order to determine any use of hyper-sensitizing agents.

The results..are what we all can see now.

They "catch" four riders who have been using Equi-Block in its non-test formula (there are TWO formulas and only the heavy one is generally used as a hyper-sensitizing agent,SFAIK)
for their horses' backs. And the one rider who belatedly discovered the stuff was in the anti-chew spray they put on that horse's bandages and stall wraps.

And they "catch" one rider whose horse was treated at the highly-acclaimed HK equine clinic and most likely got some Felbinac onto its skin through totally innocent means.

Wow. Drug criminals par excellence!

ANd the results is headlines everywhere blaring about "doping charges" and medals taken away,and parallels drawn to other drug tests at other Olympics.

ANd then, of course, there is the specious judging in the dressage competition, not to mention the secret meetings,etc.

Way to go, FEI!!!!

I am truly nonplussed by Princess Haya's statement, as I have always had respect and admiration for her accomplishments.

The Olympics is a stage that attracts major sponsors . To lose that world stage will prove, IMHO, to be a major tragedy for horse sport.


If any single cause is to be found for the IOC deciding to remove horse sport from the Olympics, that cause is only the FEI itself.

fiona
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:46 PM
On the other matters - if failed dope tests cause a sport to be dropped by the Olympic movement why are Athletics still in the games? Swimming? Gymnastics? Weightlifting?

The dressage judging hmmm, trickier.
But i have a hard time understanding synchronised diving, how on earth do they score that? rythmic gymnastics? beach volleyball? ladies bmx?!!! i ask you - they are all ridiculous sports to me but i wouldn't want them dropped, i like seeing something different in the general field of human endeavour once every four years.

grayarabpony
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:50 PM
Honestly I really wish that the Olympics had a permanent venue.

It would really be a shame for the equestrian sports to be dropped.

fiona
Aug. 29, 2008, 12:55 PM
I mean how crappy would that be for an athlete to be one year away from competing in the olympics only to be told "sorry, we just dropped your sport"?

marginally less crappy than having trained, qualified, completed your test to find it was a waste of supreme effort because of "specious judging"?

danceronice
Aug. 29, 2008, 01:19 PM
No! I don't want them to take it out! At least not showjumping, I think that is far and away the most popular spectactor sport. An Olympic medal is something sponsors understand-- nobody cares about world championships, they only matter to the people in the sport. I don't care who won the world championship in swimming, but I think it's awesome when Canada wins a swimming Olympic medal-- I hear about it. I think taking the sports out of the Olympics will be the first nail in the coffin. Look what HAPPENED to polo. Polo is now a rare sport. I KNOW pretty much everyone who plays polo in western canada-- someone just down the road from me was on the canadian team. Polo has no global visibility and so it's disappearing.... that WILL happen to other sports too, maybe not fast, but eventually. Just my 0.02... :no:

IAWTC. Drop it, and you will basically never see equestrian events besides racing on TV again. The perception as a sport for extremely wealthy elitists will be cemented. If necessary, drop dressage, or radically revise the scoring system (this was the ISU's response to the pairs/dance vote-trading scandal in Salt Lake City 2002. The entire judging system that had been in place for 100 years was dumped and a new system's been developed. It has its issues, but it demonstrates the sport knows there's a problem.) But lose the Olympics, and for small sports like equestrian, you risk eventually losing the sport at any meaningful level.

War Admiral
Aug. 29, 2008, 01:58 PM
Sorry, Danceronice, I don't see it. The equestrian sports have had horrendous amounts of adverse publicity for the last 8 years. What the average city person outside our little world "thinks s/he knows" based on the track record of Olympic equestrian sport is that dressage judges are subjective, biased, and don't know the rules; show jumpers dope their horses; and eventers kill theirs.

This is good for the sport - how?? :no:

PineTreeFarm
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:04 PM
Drop all three equestrian sports and replace with Reining.
Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:28 PM
Sorry, Danceronice, I don't see it. The equestrian sports have had horrendous amounts of adverse publicity for the last 8 years. What the average city person outside our little world "thinks s/he knows" based on the track record of Olympic equestrian sport is that dressage judges are subjective, biased, and don't know the rules; show jumpers dope their horses; and eventers kill theirs.

This is good for the sport - how?? :no:

Regarding the judging, based on that theory, I guess they will have to drop gymnastics and ice dancing as well then (I do find it interesting that people in the real world are appalled by dressage judging but God forbid you comment on it on the Dressage BB here -- you will be told you have no idea what you are looking at). And if the Olympics have room for synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, among other things, I think they can suck it up and have dressage as well.

Regarding the doping scandals, the FEI is its own worst PR nightmare. And people in the real world think that what is going on is tantamount to the steroid use in baseball, or that there was animal cruelty involved (thanks in no small part to TV commentators stating that capsaican is used to chemically rap horses, without pointing out that there are other benign uses for it as well). Why not address those issues, and FIX them. I think the fact that these issues (judging, drugging, etc) are highlighted and subject to media scrutiny, in part precisely because it is an Olympic sport, is a very good thing. Perhaps it will shame people into doing something about these problems for the greater good of the sport, the horses, and the riders. And by that I mean, you can start with the FEI and revision of their drug policies and enforcement procedures.

Moreover, it is a bit unfair to point to equestrian disciplines as being an embarrassment because of supposed drug problems when participants are held to a wholly different and much tougher standard than any other athlete in the Olympics. Start putting ALL athletes through the equivalent of FEI testing and I can virtually guarantee that there would be exponentially more positive test results across the board than there are now.

And by the way, just because riding is not that popular in the United States, does not mean that it is viewed the same way elsewhere -- in fact, it is wildly popular in other countries (in England, showjumping is No. 2 only to football (professional soccer).

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:29 PM
Drop all three equestrian sports and replace with Reining.
Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport.

Yeah, all those Western riders are definitely paragons of virtue when it comes to horsemanship.

canyonoak
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:36 PM
Reining?

That's a great idea!

Oh wait--the reiners are in the middle of the FEI-sanctioned multi-year plan to be tested, telling the riders the results of the positives with NO SANCTONS WHATSOEVER --ie, the entire reining world--and take a few years to try to get the sport drug free.


In the meantime, FEI can sharpen its claws by catching the REAL drug criminals--users of anti-chew spray and people contaminated by lab tests and technicians!

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:39 PM
marginally less crappy than having trained, qualified, completed your test to find it was a waste of supreme effort because of "specious judging"?

If the judging is a problem, then do something about THAT. Why on earth are people so willing to take crap? I don't get it. The judging issues are not unique to the Olympics. I don't understand the rationales being expressed here. So, we get dropped rom the Olympics, focus on WEG instead, and what? Encounter bad judging there, too, but somehow that is okay because it is not as high-profile as the Olympics? If there is in fact no problem with the judging, then do a better job of PR and educating the IOC. Ditto re the FEI drug issues. If that system is broken, FIX IT. Don't just sit around and say oh well, if you don't like the sandbox, don't play.

Mayaty02
Aug. 29, 2008, 02:57 PM
I don't know alot of the issues but I think it's stupid to consider cutting them before the London games. Anything in Europe is going to attract more visitors to the equestrian events than Asia, I mean really. Dressage, Eventing and Show Jumping aren't the least bit popular in Asia or Africa, so what do you expect? Plus the horses will have an easier trip from North America and other parts of Europe so hopefully they'll all be in better shape when they arrive. After London, who knows...but I'd try to fix the issues before London and then reconsider.

Yeah and pls dump beach volleyball, rhythmic gymastics and doubles diving :)

PineTreeFarm
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:05 PM
Yeah, all those Western riders are definitely paragons of virtue when it comes to horsemanship.

I don't believe I said anything about horsemanship. What I said was:
"Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport."

What part of that isn't true?

Was that just a classic defense, insult the other discipline?

twofatponies
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:10 PM
On the other matters - if failed dope tests cause a sport to be dropped by the Olympic movement why are Athletics still in the games? Swimming? Gymnastics? Weightlifting?

The dressage judging hmmm, trickier.
But i have a hard time understanding synchronised diving, how on earth do they score that? rythmic gymnastics? beach volleyball? ladies bmx?!!! i ask you - they are all ridiculous sports to me but i wouldn't want them dropped, i like seeing something different in the general field of human endeavour once every four years.

You know, I love watching things like diving, track and field, gymnastics (not the ribbon dancing!!), and a ton of other sports. The BMX race was killer exciting!

But overall the Olympics feels so old fashioned and self-congratulatory. All of these sports have international championships of their own. It makes more sense to pursue them in that context than to try to bring together a sampler of every sport under one roof. There is no audience in the world that is going to like all the sports in the Olympics, whereas you can be sure that everyone who goes to the WEG loves equestrian sports.

I'd say let the Olympics go where ever it's going, and focus on the WEG and other existing competitions for equestrians.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:21 PM
I don't believe I said anything about horsemanship. What I said was:
"Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport."

What part of that isn't true?

Was that just a classic defense, insult the other discipline?

No, I was just pointing out that I don't think reining would be any more attractive than the disciplines currently included. I also lived in Europe for 9 years and it is my personal observation that showjumping and dressage are far more popular than reining ever thought of being over there.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:24 PM
You know, I love watching things like diving, track and field, gymnastics (not the ribbon dancing!!), and a ton of other sports. The BMX race was killer exciting!

Actually, I agree. I like watching most of the Olympic sports.



All of these sports have international championships of their own. It makes more sense to pursue them in that context than to try to bring together a sampler of every sport under one roof.

What I think makes the Olympics special is that it does bring together all different kinds of athletes from all over the world. I think it is cool that Nastia Liukin and Beezie Patton are in the same competition, and get the same medal. And I do think it is important that equestrian disciplines be recognized as a sport just like the others -- no, the riders don't just sit there.

Beverley
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:27 PM
I vote in favor of keeping the equestrian events at the Olympics. For a number of reasons, including: first, precisely BECAUSE equestrian sports are low in spectator popularity in parts of the world (not in Europe), it is a friendly reminder that horse sports are still around. Second, it's more fun to watch than rhythmic gymnastics. Third, for any athlete in any sport, just getting to the Olympics is an awesome experience.

But- I wouldn't be averse to exploring some alternatives to the current setup. What if, for example- riders had to draw horses out of a hat like IHSA. Could be fun to watch.

War Admiral
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:28 PM
But- I wouldn't be averse to exploring some alternatives to the current setup. What if, for example- riders had to draw horses out of a hat like IHSA. Could be fun to watch.

:lol::lol::lol: Best idea yet for solving "the Olympic problem"! I'd for SURE watch that!

Equibrit
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:30 PM
There is a big row going on in England concerning the use of Greenwich Park http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich_park/ as the equestrian venue. The IOC is insisting on it's use, which is NOT popular, especially as there are many much more suitable places. In fact the place is stuffed with more pleasing places. Greenwich has been in existence for several centuries as a public park and people are understandably upset at the damage which could be done and the unsuitability of the site.

Princess Hymen is doing some foot stamping!

There is an interesting article from the Standard here; http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-olympics/article-23522363-details/2012+and+the+threat+to+an+iconic+London+landscape/article.do

Equibrit
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:45 PM
:lol::lol::lol: Best idea yet for solving "the Olympic problem"! I'd for SURE watch that!


I REALLY don't think you would. Go check out the video from the men's modern pentathlon in Hong Kong.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 03:46 PM
There is a big row going on in England concerning the use of Greenwich Park http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich_park/ as the equestrian venue. The IOC is insisting on it's use, which is NOT popular, especially as there are many much more suitable places. In fact the place is stuffed with more pleasing places. Greenwich has been in existence for several centuries as a public park and people are understandably upset at the damage which could be done and the unsuitability of the site.

Princess Hymen is doing some foot stamping!

There is an interesting article from the Standard here; http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-olympics/article-23522363-details/2012+and+the+threat+to+an+iconic+London+landscape/article.do

With all the amazing potential venues in England, you'd think they could figure it out.

MsM
Aug. 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Okay, One of those "If I ruled the world" kind of suggestions - :winkgrin:
I think many of the "specialty" or "niche" sports should participate in a kind of satellite Olympics. A Second Tier sport would have events and be run by the governing body whose rules and procedures would be acceptable to the IOC. They may want to use just a few appropriate sites (and sports with similar needs could hold their events together) and be distributed around the world, but in areas that have an audience and available resources. The city hosting the Olympics would not have to provide for these sports.
So Kentucky Horse Park or other N Amercican site could be used for Chicago and another eventual North American Olympics. Aachen could be used for European Olympics, etc
It would still be an Olympic medal, but ease the burden on the host city and perhaps put more contol in the hands of those who know and love the sport.

cloudyandcallie
Aug. 29, 2008, 04:41 PM
I think that QEII will not allow them to dump equestrian sports, as much as she loves horses. And assuming she hangs in there for another 4 years.

And HRH Charles and Camilla, both love equestrian sports.

And then there's Mark Phillips.

So I think it's safe thru 2012.

Equibrit
Aug. 29, 2008, 04:46 PM
Yeah right - QEII stays OUT of politics!

danceronice
Aug. 29, 2008, 05:09 PM
Regarding the judging, based on that theory, I guess they will have to drop gymnastics and ice dancing as well then (I do find it interesting that people in the real world are appalled by dressage judging but God forbid you comment on it on the Dressage BB here -- you will be told you have no idea what you are looking at). And if the Olympics have room for synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, among other things, I think they can suck it up and have dressage as well.


:yes: 100 years of subjective, sketchy judging and figure skating is still an Olympic sport--but when the chips were down, the ISU (crazy as Speedy is) revised the judging system. Dressage might want to consider it, especially the system of picking judges for the panel. Right now there is LESS placement movement than there is in ice dance, the most wait-your-turn skating discipline. Eventing has the issue of safety. Show jumping is TV-friendly and has an easily-quantifiable result.

gottagrey
Aug. 29, 2008, 06:43 PM
[QUOTE=Dressage Dreamer;3483039 I saw some sports this time around with hardly ANYONE in the stands..and some of which I had never seen anything close to that kind of sport before...[/QUOTE]

You know I was thinking the same thing ! When watching the Show Jumping - for eventing and show jumping it occurred to me that there were nearly as many, if not more people, in the stands than at the Gymnastics - I guess everyone got tickets for Phelps' events ! However it could have been the location, climate of Bejing, not to mention the state of the global economy, that made it less appealing for many spectators.London hopefully will draw larger crowds.

flshgordon
Aug. 29, 2008, 07:42 PM
No! I don't want them to take it out! At least not showjumping, I think that is far and away the most popular spectactor sport. An Olympic medal is something sponsors understand-- nobody cares about world championships, they only matter to the people in the sport. I don't care who won the world championship in swimming, but I think it's awesome when Canada wins a swimming Olympic medal-- I hear about it. I think taking the sports out of the Olympics will be the first nail in the coffin. Look what HAPPENED to polo. Polo is now a rare sport. I KNOW pretty much everyone who plays polo in western canada-- someone just down the road from me was on the canadian team. Polo has no global visibility and so it's disappearing.... that WILL happen to other sports too, maybe not fast, but eventually. Just my 0.02... :no:

While I understand your concern (and I LOVE polo), I think polo has not disappeared as much from being removed from the olympics as much as it is just not accessible to the average person--and sorry but you have to have an entourage of ponies to compete. Any horse sport where you have to have 4 horses/ponies per person (3 indoor) to complete a game is beyond the scope of the average horseperson's time, money and commitment. How much money does it take to own 4 horses (and that's with no backup)? how much time does it take to keep all 4 in shape? how accessible is real, knowledgeable training for polo ponies/riders? This is just not a sport the average horse owner can compete in. I played in college and would have given anything to be able to continue, but the resources are just not available.

Dressage, showjumping, even eventing and hunter training are far more accessible in most areas than polo training.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 07:45 PM
I think it is a little unfair to make a determination regarding the equestrian disciplines based on number of spectators who attended in HONG KONG. A lot of people who attend the Olympics want to see Opening Ceremonies in person, and attend events involving more than one sport (particularly if you go as a family or group and have differing interests). They put the equestrian events all by themselves in Hong Kong, so presumably the only ones in attendance were those with a great interest in those events specifically. And that is really a shame, because it didn't exactly help capture a wider audience for the future (obviously, it would have made little difference to TV viewers, though).

Regarding budget, it seems like they could scale back a little on the opening and closing ceremonies rather than cut sports. China spent some astronomical amount on those; I think reportedly around a half Billion dollars.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 07:49 PM
Dressage, showjumping, even eventing and hunter training are far more accessible in most areas than polo training.

It depends on what level. You can rack up a six figure bill pretty fast for a year on the A circuit with a couple of top hunters. But I agree there are some unique barriers in polo - including the fact you need other people to play with and a polo field (or sufficient indoor arena) which most don't have in their back yard.

ridenslide
Aug. 29, 2008, 08:06 PM
And whoever said reining wasn't a popular spectator sport got that wrong.

First of all, it is the fastest growing equestrian discipline.Unfortunately for us, that means horses are getting more expensive.:eek:

Second, in many cases the big events get sold out on finals night well in advance. At the Quarter Horse Congress, the Freestyle Reining is sold out a month in advance.Dagnabit!:( OF course they release a few day of tickets, at the door, very few.:cry:

I can understand the IOC saying that every country doen't have the means or area to put up a Cross County course that is up to today's standards. I also don't forsee anyone putting on the opening or closing that China did.They WANT to be remembered for that. LET them have it. London not having Horses? Ri-ight!I am sure the swawk is so that there can be a compromise.

The Equestrian sports were in HONG KONG! Not exactly next door to the bird's nest. I don't think the buses took the tourists there.:winkgrin:

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 08:27 PM
And whoever said reining wasn't a popular spectator sport got that wrong.

First of all, it is the fastest growing equestrian discipline.Unfortunately for us, that means horses are getting more expensive.:eek:

Second, in many cases the big events get sold out on finals night well in advance. At the Quarter Horse Congress, the Freestyle Reining is sold out a month in advance.Dagnabit!:( OF course they release a few day of tickets, at the door, very few.:cry:

:

I was the one who said that reining was not nearly as popular --in EUROPE-- as showjumping and dressage are, based on my personal observation in the 9 years I lived there (as well as the fact that as I mentioned, SJ is one of the very most popular sports in European countries). I am sure it is quite popular here in the US, particularly considering how dominant the AQHA is. And I know that some in Europe are very enthusiastic about QHs, but that is not common.

EMWalker
Aug. 29, 2008, 08:29 PM
I didn't read all the pages but there is NO way that Polo could be an Olympic sport because of the expense! Can you imagine having to ship a Team and all their Ponies to Hong Kong? It would be astronomical! There wouldn't be enough teams to compete.

My mom rides dressage and although I wish they would keep all equestrian events, dressage is pretty hard to understand for the average person. The average person won't sit around and watch the same 8 minute test over and over again. It stinks, but that is the truth.

Show jumping has a shot because it's so easy for the average person understands. It has an element of danger, that (unfortunately) people are drawn to, but doesn't take up the amount of space that X-C does.

It's just the pits that some of the oldest sports are getting kicked out. Hope not!

Happy Feet
Aug. 29, 2008, 08:43 PM
As long as there is ping pong in the Olympics, I think Dressage should be also.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 09:02 PM
My mom rides dressage and although I wish they would keep all equestrian events, dressage is pretty hard to understand for the average person. The average person won't sit around and watch the same 8 minute test over and over again. It stinks, but that is the truth.


In my opinion, the musical freestyle has the most potential for making the sport popular with non-horsey people. It is very analogous to the long program in figure skating, which IS extremely popular with plenty of people who never set foot on ice and never will. It is only relatively recently that upper level dressage riders have started getting innovative with choreography and music (thanks in part to people like Anky), and I think it is only going to get better and more competitive in that regard.

slc2
Aug. 29, 2008, 09:32 PM
The people who scream the loudest about the judging is usually the lower level rider/fan/observers, not the non-dressage people. Most of my non dressage friends watch it and say stuff like, 'That looks really nice, I wonder how the horse learns to do that', and 'I bet the judge likes that horse, that looked nice' while the dressage people are the ones screaming about the scoring being so horrible and the world has gone to hell in a bucket.

Too, if the TD is having meetings without all the teams and the riders are complaining about the judging, they're going to get tossed out for just being a pain in the ass and not even following their own rules. That's how sports get tossed out. Not for being expensive, but for being a pain in the ass. There are plenty of expensive and subjective sports in the Olympics. If they can't stop whining and complaining and can't seem to figure out what their own rules of engagement are, they get tossed out.

The Olympics are supposed to be a pageant, where everyone goes to see great sport and enjoy a great show. That means a certain amount of cooperation and 'oh well that's the way it goes' when one doesn't win.

This was discussed very seriously in the early 1920's, when it was said that dressage was unjudgeable, not because it was subjective - that wasn't the problem at all.

The problem was the judges were scoring their people higher than other country's riders, and unfairly so. The American judge, Doak, gave an American rider a score over 80 points higher than the other judges, that was the biggest discrepancy I found in the scores in the entire record of the Olympics.

Kitts, the rider, should have been about dead last. Since Doak cooked his score, he got a medal. Today we're arguing about a smaller point discrepancy. That's our progress. That isn't enough progress.

Dressage wasn't going to get tossed out due to the 'nature' of the sport, its 'subjectivity' or its expense, but because the people involved in the sport were making it so that no one else organizing and running the Olympics could tolerate their behavior.

My SO watched Satchmo have his little moment and said, 'I wonder if the judges will let that go since it was only for a couple seconds', he really did not think the horse did anything that important in those few seconds, he saw Brentina's ride and said, 'It just didn't look right somehow'. He watched Ravel go and said, 'Yeah, that horse does look really nice'.

I think getting rid of the traditional clothes would be an incredible mistake. That's the one thing that the non dressage people like the BEST! I've heard comments just oohing and aaah'ing over the tophat and tail coats, 'Oh it looks like an old painting, that's so cool!'

Non horse people DO enjoy dressage - when dressage people LET them enjoy it.

zagafi
Aug. 29, 2008, 09:57 PM
As long as there is ping pong in the Olympics, I think Dressage should be also.

And curling--don't forget that nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat excitement. :D Granted, that's in the Winter Games, but still...

flshgordon
Aug. 29, 2008, 10:27 PM
It depends on what level. You can rack up a six figure bill pretty fast for a year on the A circuit with a couple of top hunters. But I agree there are some unique barriers in polo - including the fact you need other people to play with and a polo field (or sufficient indoor arena) which most don't have in their back yard.

Yes you CAN rack up a 6 figure bill doing anything, but none of those other disciplines require you to have more than one (at least 4) horses to compete

Can you imagine the bill to import 16 horses for every team to play polo in the olympics?

ridenslide
Aug. 29, 2008, 10:28 PM
Yankee- In the past 3 years reining has overtaken all other equestian sports World wide, not just in the US. Germany & Italy are two of the fastest growing countries.:eek:The UK is doing just fine, itself If you watch the WEG, they kick our butts!:eek:
The Europeans have been importing QHs for over 15 years & now have some of the best breeding programs going on! Europe soon is going to be the place for stallions and prospects for reining ,as it is for SJ & dressage now. Thank you Arcese, Breug, & company! :no::o:winkgrin: Dam the euro!Dam the Europeans.:no:

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 10:38 PM
Yankee- In the past 3 years reining has overtaken all other equestian sports World wide, not just in the US. Germany & Italy are two of the fastest growing countries.:eek:The UK is doing just fine, itself If you watch the WEG, they kick our butts!:eek:
The Europeans have been importing QHs for over 15 years & now have some of the best breeding programs going on! Europe soon is going to be the place for stallions and prospects for reining ,as it is for SJ & dressage now. Thank you Arcese, Breug, & company! :no::o:winkgrin: Dam the euro!Dam the Europeans.:no:

Well, I have lived stateside for the past 3 years but honestly I find that hard to believe. I will take your word for it, though : )

ponyjumper4
Aug. 29, 2008, 10:55 PM
Drop all three equestrian sports and replace with Reining.
Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport.

No. It is no different than dressage in terms of sport: subjective scoring, not easily understood by the outsider, repetitive--circles, spins and sliding stops.

ponyjumper4
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:00 PM
Well, I have lived stateside for the past 3 years but honestly I find that hard to believe. I will take your word for it, though : )

Actually, it's pretty true. I know one of the top reiners in the US, who is also a judge and won many world titles. This is the best breeding year he's had, selling all his weanlings born (about 18 or so) to clients overseas. He travels over to Europe frequently to clinic. He's got trips to the UK and Italy coming up. When I was at his place about a week ago, he had just had a client from Italy leave, and had from the Netherlands I think there. The market is huge over there.

flshgordon
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:04 PM
Drop all three equestrian sports and replace with Reining.
Popular in Europe, you don't need to tear up a golf course and nobody dies in that sport.

Uh--I hope this was a joke? Tongue in cheek?

I really don't see how it would help to remove the 3 existing equestrian sports and add one that is about as equally difficult to understand as dressage? And trust me, I often find dressage difficult & tedious to watch as could the average bystander, but I don't see how a horse spinning in circles is going to win over any big audiences.

And no.....I'm not 'dissing' reining, I understand how difficult it can be to perfect but it's not going to be any easier to "get" for the average person than dressage.

flshgordon
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:14 PM
Yankee- In the past 3 years reining has overtaken all other equestian sports World wide, not just in the US. Germany & Italy are two of the fastest growing countries.:eek:The UK is doing just fine, itself If you watch the WEG, they kick our butts!:eek:
The Europeans have been importing QHs for over 15 years & now have some of the best breeding programs going on! Europe soon is going to be the place for stallions and prospects for reining ,as it is for SJ & dressage now. Thank you Arcese, Breug, & company! :no::o:winkgrin: Dam the euro!Dam the Europeans.:no:

This would be some interesting data to see....that reining has overtaken all equestrian sports worldwide :D I'd love to see the source on that for sure! Mostly because if I google that on the internet, I find that endurance, carriage driving, reining and dressage are all listed in some way as one of the fastest growing equestrian disciplines.

Not to say that it isn't a fast growing new sport in other countries. But I highly doubt it's overtaken all other equestrian sport everywhere.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:19 PM
Actually, it's pretty true. I know one of the top reiners in the US, who is also a judge and won many world titles. This is the best breeding year he's had, selling all his weanlings born (about 18 or so) to clients overseas. He travels over to Europe frequently to clinic. He's got trips to the UK and Italy coming up. When I was at his place about a week ago, he had just had a client from Italy leave, and had from the Netherlands I think there. The market is huge over there.

I agree that there are *some* reining enthusiasts in Europe. But do you have any idea how many Hanoverians alone are bred in Germany alone each year? Not to mention all other WBs, all countries? Plus other breeds not used for reining? That showjumping is the second most popular sport in England next to football (so empirically reining is at least not more popular there??)

msrobin
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:21 PM
I say get rid of water polo, archery, golf and basketball first! Those are the worse most boring junk I have ever witnessed. Yes I hate basketball :)
However the rest are ridiculous. I am sure there are others that are just as bad but, that is all I can think of.

Dressage is beautiful and lovely to watch, so what if not everyone understands it. I watch all sorts of things on tv I don't quite understand but, there I am watching it learning about it.

To take the horses out of the olympics is just showing how bad the olympics have allowed themselves to get. Just look at the selection committee CHINA!! For crying out loud a communist animal hating people torturing country gets to host the olympics. Way to go.

DancingQueen
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:38 PM
Outside of the fact that I have spent my entire life riding, am too old to pick up any other sport and thus if they take it out of the olympics *poof* there goes my dream of ever participating...
Seriously,
I think we have taken a bit of a hit in the past few games since there's seemingly always been some kind of issue with how the horses would cope with the heat. For barcelona there was instead some kind of equine flu concerns if I remember correctly. We are simply a little more high maintenance. It might be for the best if we skipped out on it and just did our own thing.

I'm not surprised that spectators were low this time. A, I don't see riding being the most popular sport in china and B the horses were 4 hrs away from the rest of the games. I think there will be a big difference in those aspects for London and after that we'll see I guess.

On a more fun and for shits and giggles note...

I'm not entirely sure what the format was for the olympics but it could perhaps make sence to change things up a little and make it more wiever friendly?

Take dressage and compare it with gymnastics fex. Perhaps take the top six for he finals. Switch things up to a few rotations of isolated movements.
Line em up and have them show their extended trot one after the other. Line em up again and do some tempis across the ring!
Score inbetween and end with a 2min kur to music. That would surely make it more interesting?
Let the team class be a pas de quattre! To music of course and with matching polowraps.

Do the jumping qualifying rounds in heats of ten and let the 2 top scores from each heath plus the four best scores move on. Run the final like the WEG with 4 riders on each others horses. Maybe even bring it up a notch and do a quick course change between trips too? Or go straight into showing against the clock?
For the nations cup, have the entire team on course at the same time and let them do 1/4 of it each with a baton handoff. Do the qualifyers based on faults and then go straight into a timed event for the finals.

While we're at it, lets reinstall the highjump. That's exciting!

I don't have any stupid ideas for eventing yet but they will surely come. Ha ha!

*Ok I gave it five and revisited* Team chase style comes to mind, the entire team goes at the same time and all riders have to be in the penalty zone at once. If a horse refuses the team can dismount and make a collective effort to throw him over to the other side. Only the three best scores count so the team can also opt to leave the weak link in the dust and let him ride home on the subway.
Or, here's an interesting twist. Team is 4 riders, travelling together. For each obstacle 3 riders score will count. The 4th rider can sit out or be on standby if another rider encounters problems.

And the moral of the story is.... don't drink and think! Ha ha!

DancingQueen
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:41 PM
One of the reasons I like the Olympics is that we will all of a sudden see a bunch of quirky sports (and for some reason we get really into them too if one of ours succeed!) like bow and arrow or curling in the winter.
People we don't normally care about and whos face we would not recognize (despite the fact that they have already won everything imaginable at their own WEGtype events) all of a sudden become national heroes. I love that aspect of it.

Maybe not so much for the US with their huge medal count in all the traditional events, but for a small country like Sweden the Olympics can really lift an athlete or sport out of obscurity for a few minutes if they bring a medal home.

Rolf Goerans silver in the Olympics gave the sport in Sweden a lot more press then the team silver we got at the WEG a few years back.

I would be sad to see this opportunity for riding to be recognized at a national level in smaller countries go away.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:42 PM
If a horse refuses the team can dismount and make a collective effort to throw him over to the other side. Only the three best scores count so the team can also opt to leave the weak link in the dust and let him ride home on the subway.


Or, they can run it like Survivor or The Apprentice and let the riders vote eachother off the island.

EMWalker
Aug. 29, 2008, 11:51 PM
I say get rid of water polo, archery, golf and basketball first! Those are the worse most boring junk I have ever witnessed. Yes I hate basketball :).

This is the exact mentality that people have when they think of equestrian sports. So, if you don't want people to think that about OUR sport, maybe we all shouldn't think this way about all the other sports!

Every sport is unique in tradition and if you are a true sports fan, you can appreciate them all. The Olympics are about celebrating SPORT in general, even the obscure ones - they only happen every few years so enjoy the randomness and then you can forget about it for the rest of the time.

P.S. Golf has not been an Olympic sport since the early 1900's and has not been voted back into Olympics yet again.

War Admiral
Aug. 30, 2008, 12:03 AM
I REALLY don't think you would. Go check out the video from the men's modern pentathlon in Hong Kong.

Oh come on: tell me you wouldn't be taking bets from all comers if, say, McClain drew, say, Shutterfly! :lol:

DancingQueen
Aug. 30, 2008, 12:11 AM
#msrobin

Personally I don't think it's as much about an event being boring for some.
As I said before I got stupid, riding has had problems conforming and we are sometimes a bit more highmaintenance then a lot of other sports. This may be our downfall.

I think that some sports doesn't belong in the Olympics. If only a very small number of countries are interested or able to sport a competitive team for a certain event, thats an out for me. Cricket comes to mind, so does softball. Or if the top athletes are not interested in competing, golf fex. If the sport doesn't need, want or warrant to be in the Olympics then why bother.

There's a lot of sports I find boring to watch that still has a lot of competitive players across the world who believe that participating in the Olympics is a high honor and who dream of and work hard their entire life to be given that opportunity.
As I said in my other more serious post, the beauty in the Olympics for me is the opportunity a smaller more obscure sport has to gain national recognition and awaken the national pride in a country.
If I remember correctly, a female swimmer from (insert African country with a lot of disturbance) caused something almost equivalent to a cease fire when she got a medal in Sydney. Swimming is most likely an obscure and seldom watched sport there but her country united for a few days in their pride to be on the Olympic stage. That's what the Olympic spirit is for me.

DancingQueen
Aug. 30, 2008, 12:16 AM
#yankeelawyer

YES! Brilliant idea!
Now how do we get ourselves in a power position with the IOC? And can we sell the television rights to VH1?

Tiligsmom
Aug. 30, 2008, 12:24 AM
I must say, after these last Olympics, I'm for dropping horse sports. Too much insane drama for the horses....

belambi
Aug. 30, 2008, 05:05 AM
The reining figures are correct.
The subjectivity bit is also correct.
there are now enough countries competing to get the required numbers.However, it is highly unlikely that equestrian will stay if any of the original 3 disciplines go.

belambi
Aug. 30, 2008, 05:09 AM
Oh and in relation to the spectators..ENTIRELY the fault of the ticketing and BOCOG..it was outrageous!

from the EFA website

This was an amazing Games for Equestrian, with many surprises. The organisers and officials are to be congratulated for an overall excellent job, made a little easier when money is no object and volunteers aplenty. Hong Kong did not (and could not) get a truly Olympic feel, however, and spectator numbers regularly dwindled with each break in the daily (nightly) program. One now wonders why BOCOG did not make more tickets available to overseas applicants who knew what kind of sport to expect when going to the venue

Hazelnut
Aug. 30, 2008, 08:30 AM
The perception that the British don't want the games is completely erroneous.

What we do want is the muti million pound budget spent on a permanent site so we can in the future bid for events like WEG and meanwhile use the facilities to train our own riders.
What Londoners want is their Historic Grade I protected Unesco World Heritage Site left intact and who can blame them! It's a beautiful park and can never be replaced or repaired.
The small detail that it will look spiffy on tv is the only reason it was ever chosen and rather overlooks the growing objections of the local people plus it won't fit more than about 20,000 spectators. Aachen WEG had 50,000 for the dressage and was sold out, SJ, and in the uk particularly eventing, get a lot more supporters.

Great point- London wants to preserve what they have. When I read that the equestrian events were going to be held in temporary stadiums on the Unesco World Heritage Site, that gave me pause. My husband and I were looking at the London Olympic site to see about attending. I wouldn't want a World Heritage site degraded or extensively impaired for a 13 day event. The restoration will cost as much or more than the building of the temporary stadiums. Can't they find a place to build a complex so London (or spot nearby) can bid for the WEG?

Equibrit
Aug. 30, 2008, 08:48 AM
I am quite happy that horse sports will never find popular support amongst the masses. It means we will probably never have to;

Wear sequins.
Make public appearances at grocery stores.
Appear in People Magazine.
Make TV commercials.
Have "Viagra" embroidered on a saddle pad.
Give clinics to large middle aged housewives.
Witness more horse abuse.
etc, etc, etc.

Frank B
Aug. 30, 2008, 09:14 AM
IMHO, we'd be better off ditching the graft, corruption, and politics (after all, the three ARE synonymous) of the Olympics and holding the WEG every two years.

As far as coverage, by 2016, most households should be equipped with entertainment centers capable of online streaming.

ridenslide
Aug. 30, 2008, 10:44 AM
The numbers come from the AQHA, who has a HUGE data base.THey keep track of ALL breed & discipline orgs world wide. National & International companies send their employees there to see how to run their businesses.It is AMAZING!!!:yes: They have 2 zip codes for mail!

Reining is judged subjectively, BUT not as subjectively as dressage.There is no place for judges preference. Reining is juged against an ideal.The judges are held accountable for their scores by video. EVERYBODY can tie. EVEN first place, which results in a run off!!:yes:

If a judge is off from everybody else by more than 3 points on a run, they get asked WHY. If it happens repeatedly,they get reviewed, and put on probation, which means their scores get watched. Runs are videoed so, when they get called in, they have a video running & they have to answer to that as well as the NRHA liason.
They also have to renew very often, maybe even anually, but I am not sure on that fact.
So, yes it is subjective, but, not like any other judged horse sport I have ever done!:winkgrin:

If you watch the good ones, they are fun to watch & you CAN tell who is good & who is better pretty darn easily!:yes::winkgrin::yes::winkgrin:

Oh, one last thing--your horse does NOT have to be a 10+++ mover to win!!!
THE highest scoring horse so far... let's just say, he moves like his daddy, Custom Crome! :D:lol:

fiona
Aug. 30, 2008, 11:20 AM
Reining doesn't interest me one iota, sorry. I wouldn't buy a ticket to see it at the olympics or weg.

Yes the dressage judging needs sorting, i'm not sure half marks or drop scores are the answer though.

freestyle2music
Aug. 30, 2008, 11:26 AM
Reining doesn't interest me one iota, sorry. I wouldn't buy a ticket to see it at the olympics or weg.

Yes the dressage judging needs sorting, i'm not sure half marks or drop scores are the answer though.

But at least for the FTM half scores have to be introduced. Why....., because untill today when a rider scores a 7 and an 8 for a certain movement. It's up to the (mood of) judge if (s)he reward this with a 7 or an 8 at the end of the test, while it should be 7.5

Theo

chukkerchild
Aug. 30, 2008, 02:24 PM
Yes you CAN rack up a 6 figure bill doing anything, but none of those other disciplines require you to have more than one (at least 4) horses to compete

Can you imagine the bill to import 16 horses for every team to play polo in the olympics?

You don't. Horses are provided by the host country for polo; at least, they are for international tournaments and the world championships. The horses aren't as big of an issue in polo as they are in showjumping and eventing and dressage. Yes, you want good ponies, but it is expected that a good player can handle most horses and still perform well.

When we have tournaments with teams visiting from considerable distances, our club bands together to supply them with horses. It's common courtesy that you give your visitors good horses. Usually there's a discussion about what sort of horses best suit the visitors (quieter ones, faster ones, greener ones, etc) the night before.

But of course, the fabulous team comes in all prepared to whip you... "Here ya go, have old Bucky here..." ;)

Polo is trying to get back into the Olympics. I don't really think it will happen, but we're trying. London could have been a great venue, lots of horses avaliable there.

ThreeFigs
Aug. 30, 2008, 03:20 PM
I'd like to see the Equestrian sports remain in the Olympics. Every subjective sport has its problems, as others have stated, gymnastics and skating and diving and the like have all had their share of judging scandals. So what? We at the lower levels have to deal with that, too from time to time.

I buy the DVD's of the Olympic rides because I do not subscribe to any cable or satellite TV and could not always find any way to access video on the 'net. I followed the scores and placings as best I could. I would miss equestrian sports if they were dropped from the olympics.

JMO

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 30, 2008, 04:04 PM
Actually, it's pretty true. I know one of the top reiners in the US, who is also a judge and won many world titles. This is the best breeding year he's had, selling all his weanlings born (about 18 or so) to clients overseas. He travels over to Europe frequently to clinic. He's got trips to the UK and Italy coming up. When I was at his place about a week ago, he had just had a client from Italy leave, and had from the Netherlands I think there. The market is huge over there.

There is no doubt that reining is a growing sport in Europe (of course it had no where to go but up, as it was unheard of 15-20 years ago), but whoever has been telling you that it eclipses any of the 3 Olympic disciplines in popularity has been telling you porkies, or grossly exaggerating. It's still very much a minority sport. It would have a long way to go to get bigger than Showjumping esp. I would say it even lags behind Endurance and Driving and maybe vaulting, in terms of participation and general familiarity/popularity with the public.

DancingQueen
Aug. 30, 2008, 04:27 PM
I am quite happy that horse sports will never find popular support amongst the masses. It means we will probably never have to;

Wear sequins.
Make public appearances at grocery stores.
Appear in People Magazine.
Make TV commercials.
Have "Viagra" embroidered on a saddle pad.
Give clinics to large middle aged housewives.
Witness more horse abuse.
etc, etc, etc.

Aww. I always wanted to get Always to sponsor me on my junior horse Adrienne back in the day.

The slogan would be
"Always Adrienne", now with wings for extra protection!:lol:

belambi
Aug. 30, 2008, 04:54 PM
There is no doubt that reining is a growing sport in Europe (of course it had no where to go but up, as it was unheard of 15-20 years ago), but whoever has been telling you that it eclipses any of the 3 Olympic disciplines in popularity has been telling you porkies, or grossly exaggerating. It's still very much a minority sport. It would have a long way to go to get bigger than Showjumping esp. I would say it even lags behind Endurance and Driving and maybe vaulting, in terms of participation and general familiarity/popularity with the public.

reining is the fastest GROWING of the FEI disciplines.

Geneva
Aug. 30, 2008, 05:07 PM
reining is the fastest GROWING of the FEI disciplines.Not at FEI level, as you can see from the FEI annual report ( http://www.fei.org/Media/Documents/WEB_FEI_AR2007.pdf) (p. 78-9). As an FEI discipline (which is what would be proposed to the IOC) it is actually still quite small and has nowhere near the rate of growth of endurance.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 30, 2008, 07:21 PM
reining is the fastest GROWING of the FEI disciplines.

Well, the allegation was that reining has overtaken (eclipsed) all other FEI disciplines worldwide. As I said, I find it hard to believe even if you just consider the THOUSANDS of Hanoverians born in Germany alone each year, not to mention all other WBs, all other countries, and all other breeds bred for performance other than reining. That someone exported 18 QH weanlings this year to Europe is a mere droplet in an ocean (and btw, exports of all youngsters are up now due to the strength of the Euro).

Rainbow Farm Unltd.
Aug. 30, 2008, 07:29 PM
Since when do we believe allegations???

danceronice
Aug. 30, 2008, 07:51 PM
Aww. I always wanted to get Always to sponsor me on my junior horse Adrienne back in the day.

The slogan would be
"Always Adrienne", now with wings for extra protection!:lol:

LOL! I think that's marketing genius.

And sequins? Please. Swarovski crystals give you much more bling for your buck.

Happy Feet
Aug. 30, 2008, 08:06 PM
I'll admit now I haven't read most of the responses....
Although I understand the argument our beloved sport is hard for the average person to love and appreciate, I do think it is a cop out. Honestly, any artistic sport can be difficult, how many average people know if the diver did a 3 twist yadyada or a 2 1/2. Uhhhh certainly not me! Or if the vaulter had its knees slightly bent of a nano second? Not me! To truely appreciate artistic sports you must know a bit about them. That doesn't stop diving (honestly lovely and fun to watch but a bit boring after the 3 round of dives) or curling, or ping pong. For Gods sake, Golf is a prime time (okay a GAME not a sport and not in the Olympics...) with hundreds of thousands of dollars in price money to the top 5 or so players. You can't even see the ball most of the time and end up looking at the tops of the trees!
We as dressage professionals and lovers, have done a terrible job marketing, packaging and pushing our sport onto the public. Dressage is expensive, in order for the sport to continue in the USA in an internationly competitive capacity, we have to attract sponsors, prize money and noteriety for our professionals. Dressage being an Olymp[ic sport is one of the few things that attracts sponsors. The thought of having your horse in the Olympics or sending your trainer there etc....
The people who say let it go - very sad.
This should be a wake up call, and a push to get our act together to keep this sport going.

ise@ssl
Aug. 30, 2008, 08:59 PM
I'm not sure pulling equestrian sports from the Olympics would be bad for the sport in general. There clearly seems to be a disconnect between the FEI and the horse competition world. The cost and overloaded bureaucracy that is exists to send a small number of horse to the games is disproportionate to the various disciplines involved.

These issues of doping and testing in various venues always creates more questions than answers. As far as I'm concerned they should pull blood on all the horses daily and it would be pretty obvious if any were doping and also obvious if something unusual was going on.

There's enough competition at the WEG's and other big competitions to facilitate assisting more horse/riders to compete instead of this manic obsession with the Olympics. In the past it was different - marketing and TV were not such a major issue. Now it the sport doesn't fit some entertainment guru's formula - well change the sport to fit the time slot. The price is being paid by the horses and in some instances the riders.

If we truly love our horses and the equestrian sports - stepping away from contrived adaptations of the disciplines to fit some viewing audience that may or may not get a glimpse for more than 10 minutes at a time - then we have completely failed our responsbility as horsemen and horsewomen.

We need to take back our sport.

ponyjumper4
Aug. 30, 2008, 09:40 PM
I agree that there are *some* reining enthusiasts in Europe. But do you have any idea how many Hanoverians alone are bred in Germany alone each year? Not to mention all other WBs, all countries? Plus other breeds not used for reining? That showjumping is the second most popular sport in England next to football (so empirically reining is at least not more popular there??)


I never said it was larger than the 3 main disciplines, I agreed to it growing very quickly, and it is, worldwide. It still has a lot of ground to catch, but it is the fastest growing equine sport.

YankeeLawyer
Aug. 30, 2008, 11:14 PM
I never said it was larger than the 3 main disciplines, I agreed to it growing very quickly, and it is, worldwide. It still has a lot of ground to catch, but it is the fastest growing equine sport.

Someone else did ;)

freestyle2music
Aug. 31, 2008, 10:12 AM
Putting all these discussion and postings aside :

It's nice to see that we have somebody who fight (quod none) to keep the equestrian sport on the Olympic agenda. From day one I found that the election of Princess Haya etc.etc.etc.. was the biggest mistake the FEI could make.

Theo

Mardi
Aug. 31, 2008, 11:18 PM
Honestly I really wish that the Olympics had a permanent venue.

It would really be a shame for the equestrian sports to be dropped.

I agree about a permanent venue. Trying to find adequate facilites or build them in each host city has become very, very expensive. A permanent Olympic venue - one for summer, another for winter - would become a mecca for atheletes from around the world.

I've felt the same way about the Super Bowl. The NFL should build a new stadium in say, Arizona, and hotels, and training facilities would be built around it. That way they can buld the stadium just as they want it, and stop torturing cities into expanding or renovating their city-owned stadiums just to have a shot at joining the rotation of selected cities, and hosting a Super Bowl once every few years.

slc2
Sep. 1, 2008, 09:38 AM
I think the horse sports could be removed merely due to the three separate banned substance incidents. No pageant likes that kind of stuff.

J. Turner
Sep. 1, 2008, 10:48 AM
Maybe they could move it to the winter games ... indoor venues for dressage and sj ... more like the World Cup. Of course that would leave eventing out, but then again, maybe they plow a track and put down tapeta/all weather footing. You wouldn't have to worry about heat issues ... that's for sure. The Winter Games have far fewer sports ... many supported by the same countries (northern European) that excel in equestrian like biathalon, x-c skiing, curling.

Why aren't volleyball, ping pong, and fencing in the winter Olympics?

Maybe they could have a modern winter pentathalon: riding, biathalon, slalom skiing, speed skating, and figure skating.

Partly jest, a little serious!

Ajierene
Sep. 1, 2008, 11:19 AM
I agree about a permanent venue. Trying to find adequate facilites or build them in each host city has become very, very expensive. A permanent Olympic venue - one for summer, another for winter - would become a mecca for atheletes from around the world.

I've felt the same way about the Super Bowl. The NFL should build a new stadium in say, Arizona, and hotels, and training facilities would be built around it. That way they can buld the stadium just as they want it, and stop torturing cities into expanding or renovating their city-owned stadiums just to have a shot at joining the rotation of selected cities, and hosting a Super Bowl once every few years.

The problem with this, for both the NFL and Olympics is where to put it. Countries halfway around the world complaining that it isn't fair they ALWAYS have to travel to the farthest, which is impeding their economic ability to go to the Olympics. Countries will complain that all the economic advantages go to one country. While building the stadium may be expensive, if you have people continue to visit the location, the country will eventually break even and may even profit.

For the NFL, you will have the same arguments with the states.

danceronice
Sep. 1, 2008, 12:15 PM
Why aren't volleyball, ping pong, and fencing in the winter Olympics?

Maybe they could have a modern winter pentathalon: riding, biathalon, slalom skiing, speed skating, and figure skating.

Partly jest, a little serious!

Hey, there's been some serious suggestion that dancesport should be in the Winter Games because the major "season" sort of runs fall-late spring. Of course there are comps all year, plus figure skating has kind of maxed out the sequin quotient...

I think the reason indoor sports end up in the Summer Games is most of the winter events (if you set aside the invention of artificial ice rinks and snowmaking machines for ski runs) require that there be actual winter outside to do them--you can't ski without snow. No skating without ice. Whereas the summer sports, while some can be done strictly indoors, aren't really weather-dependent.

ridenslide
Sep. 1, 2008, 04:59 PM
Hey
Pony-I'm the other reiner that isn't believed.:winkgrin:
At our small regional shows this summer,we have shown from 7:00AM until 2:00AM without fail, one even went until 6:00 AM,beginning again at &7:00, an hour later.

This is a local show. The entries were JUST a little unexpected.:eek:
You can verify that somehow!
You CAN check the number of entries at NRHA events.THe Derby &Futurity,the NRBC all have 300-600 Open Entries,making the first round last over 2-3 DAYS.The same goes for the Non-Pro Division.
THere are usually no less than 25-45 per class in Rookie & Youth at the local shows.Limited Non Pro is usually 40+..Our shows have Young Rider/USET classes at Regional shows, not just FEI shows.And kids show in them.

These numbers jump to near 100 entries in classes at the larger shows that have any money added or a Big Derby or Futurity.

At the AQHA classes, in the Amateur this year we have been running 20-30 horses in an area where most people use AQHA shows to school IF they are not at an NRHA show.When they are home, the open can close in on 30,too.

The AQHya World Championship show had 40 more entries this yearin the Youth reining, even withthe gas prices.

The AQHA reached the 5,000,000th horse registered earlier this year.
THEY keep records of what breeders are breeding FOR and once horses show, what they are showing in, even if they are registered with the
West High Blue Mountain Packing Mule Company.The FEI is one of the organizations that they keep up with,since reining IS an FEI sport.There will be reining at the WEG. THere has been reining at the USET Festivals.

I used to laugh at th AQHA.Until I realized that companies that I won't name, but you would recognize the names of,go there to learn how to build teamwork & how to work more efficiently.!TRUST ME. They are a BUSINESS. Ask Andrew Ellis.

I wish I could say that showjumping was growing at a faster pace, or endurance, or driving, but it is not.

They put reining on NBC & TV for a reason. There IS an audience.
85% of people who ride, do so in a Western saddle.Most of those never compete.Of the ones who compete, the MAJORITY are doing so in weekend jackpot rodeos.The rest...

Most are just your average, weekend trailrider, whose horses actually work a lot harder than our "elite" athletes."
A lot of these riders are men.

I have had to learn this humbling lesson since adding Western tack, Justin , Wrangler,Cruel Girl & especially Carhartt to an ENGLISH tack shop!! :eek: :eek: :winkgrin::lol:
So,after 32 years of riding hunters & jumpers, WOW...it has been eye opening.
What do these people want to see on TV?

Well- they evidently want to see stuff about the Quarter Horse. There is stuff about reining & cutting ALL the time.And they Love Show jumping.
I love to watch the upper levels of ALL horse sports.So, this is not my opinion.

And they LO_OVE PBR! & Barrel Racing!So...
I don't see bull riding making it to the Olympics, but I guarantee, it would be a sell out!
Remember, though,A lot of these people ARE men.
Nobody really watched swimming like they did until these olympics!
I wanted to see more archery.:confused: Go figure.:lol:;)
THAT ain't happenin'!!!!
Polo in the Olympics :eek:,mmm,no.:no:

I can see Crosscountry being on its way out.It is too expensive to put in such a specialized course that is up to the standards needed today. It is not like the days of Bromont or LA.Big & open would do.Then there is the need for the land.It just is not there all the time.Even here.

Ponyjumper is right on all counts. Those people go shopping before they go to the airport. They always have.Even when the Euro wasn't as strong.It is awesome now, thoughfor them:( horse wise!!!
I understand your doubts Yankee, but it is amazing.People can have a dream, a sand arena,a saddle with no silver,a cheap horse that slips through the cracks, and thre are SOOOO many being bred- do you know how many??With unlimited embyo transfers now able to be registered a mare can have unlimited babies a year.My horse now has 23 FULL siblings. He is 11.
14 are showing.All are Big money winners.His 3/4 brothers ...I can't even count now, with just a few of them winning a total ofover $1,000,000 a few years ago, the past two years, the number is over a hundred.That is from ONE breeder.
There are breeders all over the county who have 100 or more babies a year.
I will get the NRHA number of competition licences it gives a year. Horses don't even have to be recognised to rein. They can be the"extra" in the straw!Grade, if you will.One of the nicest horses out there right now, is GRADE. She is by a great stallion, out of old Bessie.

But this isn't supposed to be about reining. It is supposed to be about Horses in the Olympics.

I think the most user friendly, easiest to understand, entertaining of the FEI sports are
Show jumping
Reining
Dressage-if it were judged like reining,tests were shorter, and there could be ride offs!
3 day- love it- not user friendly for tv!!


And whoever didn't want to see sequins & logos...LOL!Watch out for the WEG!!THere is BLING in the RING!:lol::lol::cool::cool::eek:

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 1, 2008, 06:36 PM
Hey


I wish I could say that showjumping was growing at a faster pace, or endurance, or driving, but it is not.


Your post makes no sense.
Everyone knows Reining is quite popular stateside, no one would argue that. However it is not, as you contend, popular in Europe. It may be growing in popularity, but it lags way behind the Olympic disciplines.
Reining can not get into the Olympics on the back of being popular in just the US. If that was the case then Cutting, Rodeo and Tennessee Walkers would be Olympic sports.

belambi
Sep. 1, 2008, 07:30 PM
Your post makes no sense.
Everyone knows Reining is quite popular stateside, no one would argue that. However it is not, as you contend, popular in Europe. It may be growing in popularity, but it lags way behind the Olympic disciplines.
Reining can not get into the Olympics on the back of being popular in just the US. If that was the case then Cutting, Rodeo and Tennessee Walkers would be Olympic sports.

Reining is really growing in Europe. We have sold horses that are now competing in Germany.Sweden,Uk, and Switzerland.. Anyone who watched the reining at Aachen Weg will realise how the sport has been correctly marketed and promoted in Europe. Australia and other pacific nations.. ie NZ, New Caledonia, as well as dutch antilles etc are all fielding VERY competitive riders. The best thing to happen to reining recently was the fact that USA did NOT win the individual gold at WEG..proving that the sport can easily develop
I believe that unless the FEI take some responsibility and actually aproach the IOC with a plan to have permanent facilities on each continent, back it up by saying we will do this if you also add reining and endurance and maybe vaulting..it just might work!

ridenslide
Sep. 2, 2008, 07:53 AM
Nah, Cutting is too expensive, all the cattle charges!;) Seriously,It is prohibitive to the common person. Most people don't have room for cows at home.Plus you have to rotate them out every 3 months or so, unless you want to get buffalo...Then there is the extra strong fencing...THere is a lot more to it, than just sitting there letting your horse keep the cow out.

Plus if you draw bad cows....:winkgrin:
You would need more cows than polo ponies!

Tn Walkers!!!:eek: Olympics, um, you are just silly.:lol:

Rodeo.Cows.:winkgrin:
I'm telling, ya. bull ridng! it would be The biggest draw for the GENERAL PUBLIC!!:winkgrin:
It IS a JOKE!!!:yes::winkgrin::lol:

With reining, the crowd can get into the whole run & yell DURING the run when the horse makes a good slide or spin , & the horses don't get upset.

THanks belambi!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 2, 2008, 12:22 PM
Everyone knows Reining is quite popular stateside, no one would argue that. However it is not, as you contend, popular in Europe.

Reining can not get into the Olympics on the back of being popular in just the US.

Adding to that, the obvious aspect of getting a "new" sport into the Olympics requires henceforth that it be a global sport. That means measured interest from spectators and participation as well as the accessability (how much in cost and venue) with the sport. Yes, reining is huge in the US. You can add to that success in Italy and Germany. However without it being represented on all continents I doubt it will ever advance forward.

By comparison polo is far more global and part of many modest communities - from Pakistan to Argentina - yet it will never return to the Olympics no matter how much that sport's organizers try. The size of the land required is a massive problem but also compounded with other cost and organizational problems.

ridenslide
Sep. 2, 2008, 07:25 PM
The NEW FEI World REining Championships starts on the 10th , so I guess, we'll see how that is received. There are teams from Great Britain, the US, Canada, THe Dominicn Republic, The Russian Federation, Germany, Italy, South Africa,Austria,Australia and more!
THere are 20 countries in the European affiliate list & those are only the ones who turned in membership lists! Then there are those in the South Pacific. Six continents are represented.You can go to www.NRHA.com

Daffodil
Sep. 9, 2008, 05:42 PM
My response to the interview with Princess Haya and the article in the following week's edition of H&H is that it appears that Greenwich was chosen for two reasons:- one, so that we have a site as close to central London as possible, and two, simply so that we have an impressive background with the Queen's House encased in a grandstand. Little serious regard appears to have been given to the site’s overall suitability. Covering 183 acres this is the oldest Royal Park in London, and home to herds of deer and other wildlife. In addition to the pruning and possible felling of some of the ancient trees, at least one water complex will have to be constructed, as although there is a small lake at the top end of the Park there are no other natural water features. The damage to the park will be incalculable and will take years to recover. The site is accessible only on three sides and I understand the Blackwall Tunnel will be closed for part or all of the Games. The Park itself, in addition to the preparation period which, when you include the test event in 2011 (mandatory under the rules of the International Olympic Committee), will be closed for many months. With horse sports still viewed as “elitist” this is not the way to endear equestrianism to the inhabitants of South London, who will derive no benefit from these competitions as the site will be dismantled immediately after the Games.

Mr Mike Etherington Smith, who designed the cross-country course at the recent games in Hong Kong, has said that he is “absolutely sure Greenwich can accommodate a cross-country course”. However he appears to omit to take into account that these Games were divided between two sites. At Sha Tin Racecourse (where the dressage and show jumping took place) there was, already in place, seating for 18,000 in the grandstands, 13 schooling arenas, gallops for fast work, state of the art stabling, and the racecourse veterinary hospital. The cross-country course itself took place at Beas River Country Club, a 20 minute drive from Hong Kong. Greenwich is starting from scratch and is expected to find room for everything: cross country course, main arena, schooling and warm-up areas, stabling for over 200 horses (based on this year's numbers), storage facilities for show jumps, tractors, levelling and raking equipment, media facilities, veterinary and first aid sites and a drainage system to be constructed. You only have to look at the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of 2005 put together for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, to realise the enormity of the site at Sha Tin, which is far greater than was visible on television. How can Greenwich accommodate a fraction of this, and erase all trace of it afterwards?

In addition I understand that 200,000 tickets were available for all disciplines in Hong Kong, with available tickets restricted to just 10,000 for cross-country day, in a country which, other than racing, does not have an equestrian tradition. That is not the case here, where Badminton regularly admits over 200,000 on cross-country day alone. Greenwich will not be able to accommodate a fraction of this number. How insulting to our own supporters if they are barred from their sport in their own country. And the spectators too will need facilities: toilets, catering, first aid stations and of course either parking or improved public transport facilities. Where is it all to go?

Views have been expressed that equestrianism in our Olympics needs an “iconic” backdrop. What is wrong with Windsor, with its 5,000 acres of parkland to play with, the Castle and the Copper Horse? The infrastructure is substantially already in place as it is host to the 2009 European Dressage and Showjumping Championships. It has easy access off the motorway and Heathrow is virtually next door. The venue fulfils the 30 mile radius from the host city requirement and it could be spectacular.

Although there will be a whole army of veterinary surgeons in attendance at the Games, any horse that requires more than first aid will have to be transported to a specialist equine hospital, of which there are several of world class standard near London. In all cases the journey time is considerably shorter and less stressful from Windsor where one has virtually instant access to motorways than from Greenwich which would almost certainly entail a journey through London. With horse welfare of paramount importance I am not sure if this has been fully considered.

Of course it would be regrettable if equestrianism were to be taken out of the Games altogether, particularly those held in this country. It is one of the few sporting areas in which we continually achieve on the world stage. However by insisting on pursuing plans for a venue which will be of no lasting benefit to anybody and, in addition, will cause permanent, lasting damage to a World Heritage Site, we will be playing into the hands of those people who oppose the inclusion of equestrianism at future Games. It should be remembered the Hong Kong Games were blessed by their Jockey Club subsidising a huge part of the cost. The Games in London are to be funded out of public money, via the National Lottery and Sport UK, which is accountable to the government. If the funding of the equestrian games here is under scrutiny and its future uncertain, then logic might indicate that it is sensible to reduce costs to the public purse by utilising existing facilities (as they did in Hong Kong). There is no reason why the venue cannot be moved now; some other sites have already been moved, e.g. rowing to Eton; perhaps another reason for using Windsor. Hong Kong was selected after it became apparent that Beijing could not hold these competitions there, and it was moved 1,200 miles. I am sure we could move it to Windsor, or anywhere else more suitable, just as easily.

SuperSTB
Sep. 9, 2008, 05:54 PM
I vote in favor of keeping the equestrian events at the Olympics. For a number of reasons, including: first, precisely BECAUSE equestrian sports are low in spectator popularity in parts of the world (not in Europe), it is a friendly reminder that horse sports are still around. Second, it's more fun to watch than rhythmic gymnastics. Third, for any athlete in any sport, just getting to the Olympics is an awesome experience.

I agree.

Being dropped from the Olympics would be a serious blow to the sport. Judging is a problem- then there needs to be pressure to fix it. Testing is a problem- then there needs to be pressure to fix it.

I am not opposed to dropping dressage however- even though personally I do love to watch it.

Fixerupper
Sep. 9, 2008, 11:34 PM
Excellent, well-informed and logical take on the issue Daffodil. I certainly hope that you are involved, somehow, in British horse sport and can make 'your' voice heard for the London games.

PS (edited to add) If 'they' can piss off the Brits re horse sport in the Olympics...'they' can piss off anybody!

Foxtrot's
Sep. 10, 2008, 12:20 AM
You would think that if there was one thing the British could do really well, it would be the equestrian events. I fear space is the problem for them and spectators. Time to start re-cultivating relationships with relatives that I have sort of lost touch with over the years......

LexInVA
Sep. 10, 2008, 12:30 AM
I can certainly see Eventing going for logistical reasons but jumping and Dressage are way too easy to pull off no matter where you go as long as you're sensible about creating a good venue and it's easier for some countries to field teams for both of those than it is for Eventing. I think dropping horse sports from the Olympics as a whole would be great but at the same time, it also would be a great loss, especially as a showcase for those countries like Japan who might not compete in equestrian competitions under normal circumstances.

YankeeLawyer
Sep. 10, 2008, 12:33 AM
Views have been expressed that equestrianism in our Olympics needs an “iconic” backdrop. What is wrong with Windsor, with its 5,000 acres of parkland to play with, the Castle and the Copper Horse? The infrastructure is substantially already in place as it is host to the 2009 European Dressage and Showjumping Championships. It has easy access off the motorway and Heathrow is virtually next door. The venue fulfils the 30 mile radius from the host city requirement and it could be spectacular.



Good question -- why not Windsor? And what about Prince Charles - he has always been very committed to historic preservation (and restoration). Couldn't he help?

War Admiral
Sep. 10, 2008, 06:37 AM
Good question -- why not Windsor? And what about Prince Charles - he has always been very committed to historic preservation (and restoration). Couldn't he help?

I think the question everyone is asking - at least over there - is "Why not Windsor?" Public perception over there is that the RF does NOT wish to have Windsor Great Park overrun w/ the hoi polloi. The RF really does need to step up to the plate on this one but, ill-advised as they are, I very much doubt that they will.

Also, I don't think most Americans realize how very, very hard the winds of change have blown in the UK, with a vast majority of people now considering equestrian sport elitist and useless. We only THINK the U.K. still supports horse sports. Believe me, it does not. Put to a referendum in the U.K. tomorrow, horse sports would NOT make an appearance at the next Games.

Excellent post, Daffodil! BTW - what about that equestrian facility (the name escapes me, therefore I can't find the link) which is located east of London somewhere? The one the British team trained at for Hong Kong? Is there enough room for an XC course there?

Equibrit
Sep. 10, 2008, 08:16 AM
Windsor has BAD ground and is open to the public already.
It depends where you are in the UK when taking your referendum.
There is a HUGE city/country GULF/WAR and this is just another skirmish.
There are many more factors at work (besides horses), which have been woven into the British psyche over centuries. It's very hard to remove them from the equation. Horse sports are merely a target for the outlet of many different prejudices.

The BEF POV;http://www.bef.co.uk/The_Olympic_&_Paralympic_Games/Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_Greenwich.html

The opposing view led by the Evening Standard; http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-olympics/article-23546123-details/Olympics+minister+orders+rethink+over+2012+plans+f or+Greenwich+park/article.do(suggest you review the rest of the paper to see where they are coming from!)

Wellspotted
Sep. 10, 2008, 10:21 AM
What the average city person outside our little world "thinks s/he knows" based on the track record of Olympic equestrian sport is that dressage judges are subjective, biased, and don't know the rules; show jumpers dope their horses; and eventers kill theirs.


I don't think your "average city person" knows even that much about Olympic equestrian sport. From what is shown on TV, IF that ACP watches at all, s/he would just know that horses run around a ring jumping colorful jumps. At least that is my experience of ACPs. ;)

That said, why not use Badminton? Or, as others here have said, Windsor? The "hoi polloi," after all, come out in crowds for the Garter Ceremony and other events, and Windsor provides port-a-loos, etc., for them. Maybe those are only one-day events, but could not the same thing be done for the Olympics?

Roxy SM
Sep. 10, 2008, 10:31 AM
As long as there is ping pong in the Olympics, I think Dressage should be also.

Exactly!

Daffodil
Sep. 10, 2008, 10:56 AM
I must disagree with you, War Admiral. Windsor Great Park is made available by The Royal Estates for an immense variety of activities, mainly horse related, throughout the year. It hosts the Royal Windsor Horse Show for the best part of a week at the beginning of the season; and the National Carriage Driving Championships are taking place there this weekend; The Windsor Park Equestrian Club's schedule for this year occupies every weekend and some weekdays for all disciplines (SJ, Dressage and Driving) and the European SJ and Dressage Championships are to be held there next year.
There is hardly a weekend when something is not going on! Add into that Smiths Lawn for the polo and BE one day events, and it's a busy old place! The Queen is herself immensely supportive of all events which take place in the Park and is seen at some when she can attend. That said, as a member of the IOC and President of the British Olympic Association, The Princess Royal has yet to make a public comment on this discussion.

Wellspotted
Sep. 10, 2008, 11:00 AM
Originally Posted by Equibrit
I am quite happy that horse sports will never find popular support amongst the masses. It means we will probably never have to;

Wear sequins.
Make public appearances at grocery stores.
Appear in People Magazine.
Make TV commercials.
Have "Viagra" embroidered on a saddle pad.
Give clinics to large middle aged housewives.
Witness more horse abuse.
etc, etc, etc.

"Large [read "rotund"] middle-aged housewife" chiming in here:

You mean I can never ride in a clinic given by Hini Romeike? Oh, shoot, and here I've been practicing my equiGerman for weeks now!

War Admiral
Sep. 10, 2008, 11:27 AM
Daffodil, I'm well aware of all the events you cite. However, I'm sure you'll agree that none of them are the size and scope of the Olympics.

We're on the same page as to the complete unsuitability of the present venue. Something else does need to be found.

Equibrit
Sep. 10, 2008, 11:31 AM
I think the question everyone is asking - at least over there - is "Why not Windsor?" Public perception over there is that the RF does NOT wish to have Windsor Great Park overrun w/ the hoi polloi. The RF really does need to step up to the plate on this one but, ill-advised as they are, I very much doubt that they will.

Also, I don't think most Americans realize how very, very hard the winds of change have blown in the UK, with a vast majority of people now considering equestrian sport elitist and useless. We only THINK the U.K. still supports horse sports. Believe me, it does not. Put to a referendum in the U.K. tomorrow, horse sports would NOT make an appearance at the next Games.

Excellent post, Daffodil! BTW - what about that equestrian facility (the name escapes me, therefore I can't find the link) which is located east of London somewhere? The one the British team trained at for Hong Kong? Is there enough room for an XC course there?


Who's "public perception" are you referring to exactly?



Bumper Royal Windsor enjoys five superb days




Brilliant sunshine and record temperatures set the seal on a glorious Royal Windsor Horse Show 2008 with huge crowds enjoying five days of superb competition





The traditional start to the outdoor show season was given a boost this year with the return of international show jumping after 10 years. Fourteen senior British riders lined up against competitors from eight countries ‑ Ireland, France, Spain, Russia, Sweden, Jordan, Argentina and Portugal



The international action began on Thursday and concluded on Sunday with a dramatic Royal Windsor Grand Prix being won by Michael Whitaker, Britain's leading world ranked rider who partnered Amai to victory at the horse's first three star FEI Grand Prix. William Funnell took second place with Cortaflex Billy Birr with Duncan Inglis and Sunkist in third


Michael Whitaker said: "It has been a great show. The organisation has been good and the footing is superb. It is good to have another international show in this countryEdge of seat action in the Pimms-sponsored International Six Bar competition was one of the highlights of a packed Saturday programme with Peter Charles and Murkas Pom d'Ami scoring the only third round clear with the last fence set at just under 2m





The Accenture-sponsored Young Rider classes generated huge interest as the final selection trial for the European Championship team and culminated on Sunday with the Grand Prix which was won by Nicole Pavitt with Maestro De Rend Peine






Show jumper Mark Armstrong was among riders welcoming the return of international jumping to Windsor. "We are lucky to have this surface to jump on. It's a show to be proud of. I'd rather be here than in La Baule"





The international jumping followed 12 hours of National Jumping classes on the first day of the show. There was a truly international flavour in the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix with a top level international competition being won by Australia's Boyd Exell. With the Dutch drivers competing in Holland, there was the opportunity for other leading drivers to pick up world cup qualification. This paid dividends for Benjamin Allaud of France who took first place in the marathon. Legendary British driver George Bowman and leading British women drivers, sisters Pippa and Karen Bassett were also in action as visitors soaked up one of Royal Windsor's most exciting spectacles




Onlookers lined the Copper Horse Arena on Sunday to watch as HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with HM The Queen's Fell ponies led a concours d'elegance by the British Driving Society


Show rings were packed throughout with record entries in some classes. One of the highlights from the showing classes came on the opening day as, with HM The Queen watching from the ringside, her homebred riding horse Petition and Katie Jerram took the riding horse championship. By Petoski, the six-year-old gelding was second as a novice at Royal Windsor in 2007. HM The Queen's Highland filly Balmoral Bluebell stood reserve in the Land Rover Mountain and Moorland In-Hand Championship





Meanwhile, there was a record third win in three years for Carol Bardo's Silverstream II who headed the heavyweight hunter section





In keeping with the military traditions of the show which was founded in 1943 to raise funds for the Wings for Victory Campaign, there were several competitions for the armed services ranging from tent pegging to skill at arms. In the show piece Land Rover-sponsored Services Team Jumping Competition, a clear round by Lieutenant Commander Kate Welch and It's Himself secured victory for the Royal Navy A Team. Second place went to the Defence Animal Centre's 'A' team, with the Army Medical Services 'A' Team in third





The Household Cavalry Best Turned Out Trooper, sponsored by Hermes, was presented by HM The Queen to Windsor-based Trooper Chris Jackson and his horse William





A series of demonstrations staged for the first time in the Copper Arena by the British Horse Society resonated with visitors who were treated to a snapshot of everything equestrian. This daily programme show-cased all aspects of the work of the Society from training to riding and road safety with the highlight being a Masterclass by British Olympic eventing team coach Yogi Breisner





The British Horse Society was also in the spotlight early in the show when HM The Queen presented HRH The Duke of Edinburgh with the BHS Queen's Award for his services to equestrianism. BHS Chief Executive Graham Cory said: "All the masterclasses have been very well received - the feedback from members of the public has shown that they have enjoyed it and learned a lot. From our point of view this is definitely something we would like to repeat


With a packed array of showing classes and attractions including a fantastic range of 200 shops, the Land Rover 4X4 ‘experience', The Royal Windsor Food and Drink Festival, entertaining displays in the main arena from tent-pegging to the Shetland pony grand national and Pony Club mounted games, the show proved a real crowd puller with thousands of spectators flocking to the show over the five days





Royal Windsor Horse Show Organiser Simon Brooks-Ward said: "The glorious weather has brought out the best in Windsor. We have had fantastic crowds and packed stands. I have never seen so many people watching international show jumping and all the other displays and activities in the arena





Despite what seems to be a recession, it has been a bumper year for Windsor. I am delighted that we have brought international jumping back for the first time in 10 years. This year's programme is part of the build up to hosting the 2009 European Show Jumping and Dressage Championships next August which will be a huge event for horse sport in this country. The success of jumping at this year's show will mean that it is something that we can build on for the future





He added that both the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo and preparations for the European Championships had brought significant developments to the infrastructure of this year's show





We have increased places in the stands around the main arena by more than 2000 seats which means that more of our spectators can catch the action. We have installed several miles of metal tracking walkways all around the showground which is all part of improving conditions for spectators and exhibitors alike





For the first time, the action in the main arena has been relayed live on a vast TV screen. "Royal Windsor is already one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. All these elements are part of our vision to become a first-class international show jumping venue





Next year's Royal Windsor Horse Show will take place from 14th-17th May 2009 and will be a test event for the 2009 European Dressage and Show Jumping Championships which are set to take place on the Royal Windsor showground from 25th-30th August







Royal Windsor Horse Show Facts and Figures:



Outgoing Royal Windsor Horse Show Committee Chairman Michael Bullen was presented with The Geoffrey Cross Memorial Trophy by HM The Queen. He will be succeeded in the role by Col Stuart Cowen





The Daks-sponsored Pony Club Mounted Games was won convincingly by the England team of Francesca Reeve (Bramham Moor), Georgia Drummond (Cheshire Hunt North), Patrick Crane (Devon & Somerset), Katie Barrett (Oakley Hunt West), Amber Williams (Old Berkley Hunt North), April Wilson (Banwell) with Wales; Chloe Edwards (Berwyn & Dee), Sophie King (Sir W W Wynn's Hunt), Olivia Corbett (Sir W W Wynn's Hunt), James Dawson (Tanatside Hunt), Bethan Johnson (Tredegar Farmers), Owain Williams (Banwen) in second and Republic of Ireland; Ashley O' Sullivan (Kildare), Ben O'Connor (Kildare), Helen Keatley (Kildare Hunt), Kate O'Connor (Tipperary), Kate Muluihill (Tipperary), Simon McKeever (Meath) in third place


The show played host to the ever-popular Shetland Pony Grand National Accumulator contest now in its 27th year



There were 2500 equine entries to the show over five days



The new arena seated 5000 - this will be expanded to 8000 for the 2009 European Championships



Refreshments consumed included





2500 bags of ice



25,000 litres of mineral water


2.1 tonnes of salmon


5,000 pints of beers


30,000 soft drinks


rubbish bins around the site were served by a team of 200 staff

Wellspotted
Sep. 10, 2008, 03:53 PM
Some interesting discussion going on here:

http://www.the2012londonolympics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12262&highlight=equestrian

Fixerupper
Sep. 10, 2008, 05:45 PM
I agree with that article...future Olympics should not try to top (outspend) Beijing. It was unique in that it had all the resourses of a huge nation at it's disposal. The $$ output from China was buying (in their minds at least) legitimacy as a nation and an economic force in the world...the Olympics was China's tool, China was not the IOC's tool. I hope Britain doesn't get sucked all the way into IOC's megalomania