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View Full Version : **Spin-off*** from Off Course Thread **GP horse age**



grandprixjump
Aug. 31, 2009, 09:35 AM
In off course there is a thread about what bothers you in sales ads? One of the remarks is about a 10yo horse being listed as a potential GP horse. Yes I agree, most people exaggerate their horses ability. But they were commenting more on IF THE HORSE AIN'T DONE IT BY THEN, IT WON'T.. And yes me and one other made comments about if they didn't do the YJC and wanted a sane/sound horse in it's teens we could see a late bloomer.

Here's the question though: If you went back 20 to 30 years, at what age were horses starting in the GP's, at what age did they start jumping them, in the first place? I'm talking about horses like Big Ben, The Natural, Gem Twist, Etc. I believe these horses wouldn't have had such a long lasting career, if they had been born today, and the ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR regulated how fast they went up the ranks.

ZIL
Aug. 31, 2009, 12:37 PM
There's a picture in the PH book of Gem Twist showing over fences at age 3.

PNWjumper
Aug. 31, 2009, 01:07 PM
In off course there is a thread about what bothers you in sales ads? One of the remarks is about a 10yo horse being listed as a potential GP horse. Yes I agree, most people exaggerate their horses ability. But they were commenting more on IF THE HORSE AIN'T DONE IT BY THEN, IT WON'T.. And yes me and one other made comments about if they didn't do the YJC and wanted a sane/sound horse in it's teens we could see a late bloomer.
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I think you're missing the point of the post. I don't think anyone's disputing that some horses are late bloomers. But I would say that if you were looking at a bunch of ads stating just that, you'd find that maybe 1 out of 25 REALLY would be able to do the GPs.

I think that most of those horses that REALLY do have GP potential and are only showing in the low jr/ao classes, will never have to be marketed in the first place. The will more than likely be sold (IF they ever are considering a potential GP horse can make an AMAZING jr/ao horse) by word of mouth. Not by a random ad stating that the horse should be a GP horse. As another thread alluded to, I would say that most people who say "potential GP horse" have no idea what's really required of a top level GP horse. Often times the assumption is made that because a horse overjumps 4' fences by 2 feet, it means that it will be even better over 5' jumps. The fact is that sometimes it will be, but more times than not that extravagant overjump is detrimental over bigger jumps whether it's in the form of added time over the jumps or a horse that scares itself by trying to jump bigger fences even bigger.

And do you really think that the good trainers are driven only by money in horse development any more today than they were 20 or 30 years ago?

Anyhow, here's a similar thread:

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=221423

In terms of BNTs, I can say that Greg Best is one who starts many of his youngsters jumping very early, but is talented enough to recognize what's appropriate and helpful to bone/muscle/mental development and what could be detrimental. If a "whole horse" approach is taken focused on the individual, you can successfully compete much younger horses in bigger classes than we do in the states routinely without compromising a long career.