PDA

View Full Version : Oliver Townend at Pau



KMErickson
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:06 PM
http://www.useventing.com/competitions.php?section=fei&id=2146

Oliver Townend is riding Carousel Quest, his 2009 Burghley champion, at Pau this weekend (a mere 6 weeks after Burghley). Carousel Quest also came in 8th at Rolex this spring. This means that the horse will have done 3 CCI****s, including two within two months of each other, in one year.

I really try not to pick at the choices of upper level riders, but I find this news to be rather disturbing. Am I missing something?

snoopy
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:09 PM
http://www.useventing.com/competitions.php?section=fei&id=2146

Oliver Townend is riding Carousel Quest, his 2009 Burghley champion, at Pau this weekend (a mere 6 weeks after Burghley). Carousel Quest also came in 8th at Rolex this spring. This means that the horse will have done 3 CCI****s, including two within two months of each other, in one year.

I really try not to pick at the choices of upper level riders, but I find this news to be rather disturbing. Am I missing something?





....especially since he had made it publically known that:


"He's quite a fragile horse both mentally and physically but he is a good horse and I am glad I bought him."





He obviously feels that his horse has recovered enough to contest Pau.

RAyers
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:23 PM
I know, I know, but I have to say this, I say this conclusively proves that the short format is not as hard on the horses as long format, regardless of what the UL pros claim. The schedule for a horse is harder but the individual competitions are not nearly as taxing as claimed. The FEI and the pros got what they wanted.

Reed

gchildean
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:26 PM
Boy, this is a very blatant case of point chasing with a clear disregard for the horses well being. 2 months between 4*s is plain ridiculous! When are riders going to figure out that these animals pour their heart and souls for us ESPECIALLY at a 4*. This makes me feel a little sick. OK rant over.

raave05
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:32 PM
Boy, this is a very blatant case of point chasing with a clear disregard for the horses well being. 2 months between 4*s is plain ridiculous! When are riders going to figure out that these animals pour their heart and souls for us ESPECIALLY at a 4*. This makes me feel a little sick. OK rant over.

This is what a lot of us think, but it seems the reality of the modern championship 3 day is different, and to Reed's point, less taxing.

Allison Springer, along with a number of others, did blenheim the week after burghley. granted, she didn't get all the way around burghley, but she did get 3/4 of the way around...and that's a lot of work.

Karen O'Conner just came in high at FHI on Mandiba, who also competed at burghley. some would argue this is more taxing than doing burghley and pau, since mandiba has logged a lot of frequent flyer miles and quarantine time in the process.

the sport is different now, and it looks like we're going to have to readjust the way we look at competition schedules.

gchildean
Oct. 21, 2009, 02:32 PM
I know, I know, but I have to say this, I say this conclusively proves that the short format is not as hard on the horses as long format, regardless of what the UL pros claim. The schedule for a horse is harder but the individual competitions are not nearly as taxing as claimed. The FEI and the pros got what they wanted.

Reed
Ok I get that but its a freakin CCI**** not an advanced HT. I could see doing a 4* in the spring and one in the fall but within not even 2 months of eachother? come on!

JER
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:06 PM
I know, I know, but I have to say this, I say this conclusively proves that the short format is not as hard on the horses as long format, regardless of what the UL pros claim.

Here in the US, a horse did two CCI**s just three weeks apart.

From what snoopy posted it sounds like Mr. Townend owns Carousel Quest, which means there's no owner to put a stop to this.

I posted a news article about OT a few weeks ago where he talked about having had to become a person he didn't like in order to succeed in eventing. In that article, he made it sound like that attitude was a thing of the past and that he'd changed now that he found some security. I guess not.

And Mandiba didn't merely go to Burghley and then on to FH six weeks later. He ran an I and an A with Phillip Dutton in between.

ponyjumper4
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:35 PM
Explain to me, AS A NONEVENTER, what the big deal is about running two 4* two months apart? I don't see from the outside how this is an issue. If the horse is in shape and trained to compete at that level, I don't see how doing them 2 months apart is a crime. If it's that taxing on the horse that they can't compete 2 months after an event, then there are even more serious issues with the sport than what's currently going on. I would expect in a situation like this that the horse typically does not have a heavy competition schedule and is only competing in the Upper Levels, not moving up and down like a lot do.

FairWeather
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:40 PM
Mandiba did not complete Burghley.

RAyers
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:46 PM
Explain to me, AS A NONEVENTER, what the big deal is about running two 4* two months apart? I don't see from the outside how this is an issue. If the horse is in shape and trained to compete at that level, I don't see how doing them 2 months apart is a crime. If it's that taxing on the horse that they can't compete 2 months after an event, then there are even more serious issues with the sport than what's currently going on. I would expect in a situation like this that the horse typically does not have a heavy competition schedule and is only competing in the Upper Levels, not moving up and down like a lot do.

Eventing is VERY different than h/j or dressage showing.

In the "old" long format days, the conditioning and training needed to prepare for a 4-star was so taxing that a horse could only do one, maybe 2 in a year. Remember, during competition, the horse and rider covered well over 15 miles and up to 40 or 50 jumping efforts over an hour and a half or more.

The adage used to be maybe 4 or 5 Advanceds in a year with extended periods off to recover. Even a 1-star horse would get a month off after competition to allow for recovery from the rigorous training and conditioning that preceded the event.

Reed

NeverTime
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:52 PM
I know, I know, but I have to say this, I say this conclusively proves that the short format is not as hard on the horses as long format, regardless of what the UL pros claim. The schedule for a horse is harder but the individual competitions are not nearly as taxing as claimed. The FEI and the pros got what they wanted.

Reed

Reed, how does this conclusively prove anything except that Ollie Townend doesn't put his horses' welfare first (which was pretty well agreed-upon long before he made this particular decision)?

The horse, so far, has contested two four-stars in a year, which is the same thing long-format horses did. If he comes through a third CCI**** so soon after Burghley without being lame, I'm still not sure what that will conclusively prove except that he's one tough horse and his rider is a Richard.

You're supposed to be the science guy, and the only study (that I'm aware of) on this topic says the two formats ARE equally taxing. I have not, sadly, seen a scientific study of Ollie Townend's Richardness and what that means for others (equine and human) in his life.

KSevnter
Oct. 21, 2009, 03:58 PM
Explain to me, AS A NONEVENTER, what the big deal is about running two 4* two months apart? I don't see from the outside how this is an issue. If the horse is in shape and trained to compete at that level, I don't see how doing them 2 months apart is a crime. If it's that taxing on the horse that they can't compete 2 months after an event, then there are even more serious issues with the sport than what's currently going on. I would expect in a situation like this that the horse typically does not have a heavy competition schedule and is only competing in the Upper Levels, not moving up and down like a lot do.

Eventing is more akin to a marathon or an endurance race than to either of the other olympic horse sports. In fact, day two (cross country day) at the CCI level is/was traditionally called Endurance Day. Typically the amount of endurance training (trot sets and gallops) that lead up to the CCI is fashioned in such a way that the horse peaks at the CCI and then the horse is let down for a fair amount of time, precisely like a marathoner. You condition and train for said event and then you let down, including no riding for a certain period of time and then just light hacking...good for the brain and the body.

Horse trials and CIC's are viewed as preps for a CCI, traditionally a horse did one CCI in the spring and one in the fall. This is vastly different from a grand prix jumper or dressage horse who is exerting no more energy from a local show to the world cup finals because the test is the same and the jump height is ostensibly the same.

The distances are longer, the questions are more difficult etc. It is seen as a pinnicle not something you do one weekend and then again the next weekend.

ponyjumper4
Oct. 21, 2009, 04:03 PM
Eventing is VERY different than h/j or dressage showing.

In the "old" long format days, the conditioning and training needed to prepare for a 4-star was so taxing that a horse could only do one, maybe 2 in a year. Remember, during competition, the horse and rider covered well over 15 miles and up to 40 or 50 jumping efforts over an hour and a half or more.

The adage used to be maybe 4 or 5 Advanceds in a year with extended periods off to recover. Even a 1-star horse would get a month off after competition to allow for recovery from the rigorous training and conditioning that preceded the event.

Reed

I know it's quite different, I have evented just not in a very long time and at a very low level and a good friend is an ULR, but I guess I just don't see how 2 months is not a long time having not really been there, but thank you for the explanation--that does make some sense considering the old long format.

SevenDogs
Oct. 21, 2009, 04:03 PM
Reed, how does this conclusively prove anything except that Ollie Townend doesn't put his horses' welfare first (which was pretty well agreed-upon long before he made this particular decision)?

The horse, so far, has contested two four-stars in a year, which is the same thing long-format horses did. If he comes through a third CCI**** so soon after Burghley without being lame, I'm still not sure what that will conclusively prove except that he's one tough horse and his rider is a Richard.

You're supposed to be the science guy, and the only study (that I'm aware of) on this topic says the two formats ARE equally taxing. I have not, sadly, seen a scientific study of Ollie Townend's Richardness and what that means for others (equine and human) in his life.

I gotta be honest here, Reed. I don't think this conclusively says that the short format is less taxing than the long either. The only study I ever read (and again, so, so wish I had saved a link or hard copy because I can no longer find any reference) said the short format had the potential to be HARDER on the horses than the long. If there was conclusive evidence that the short format was easier on the horses, that would actually be an argument IN FAVOR of the short format for many, but I don't think that is fact, in any way.

Just because some horses are competing more aggressively as of late doesn't mean they necessarily should. Can doesn't always equal should and this these "go, go, go" schedules that many (not all!) riders appear to be following are somewhat new and we really don't know the long term effects, if any. Many of us instinctively feel that they aren't in the best interest of the horses. It is unfortunate when rider ambition, US coaching philosophies (Mark Phillips, et al), and the new eventing business model don't jive with what is necessarily best for the horses.

vineyridge
Oct. 21, 2009, 07:29 PM
Damn right he's point chasing. He's in the lead for the HSBC (or whatever that bank is that is sponsoring eventing) bonus of a whale of a lot of money. 150,000 euros is nothing to sneeze at. He didn't ride Carousel Quest at the Europeans, did he? He rode Flint Curtis. You can be sure that he'll be a Rolex next year with one or the other to make his bid for the grand slam.

http://www.fei.org/Media/News_Centre/News/Pages/summ.aspx?newsName=news-PauPreview-21Oct09.aspx

Eventer13
Oct. 21, 2009, 08:44 PM
I wonder if the fitness required for a CCI**** has shifted more towards the show jumping side of the scale. With the fences closer together, and thus fewer "breathers" on course, will the horse have more of an anaerobic workout? Seems less like traditional endurance riding and more like a rather long, glorified, show jumping derby. From those of you who have completed a ***: how much more difficult fitness-wise is a CCI vs an advanced HT or CIC?

After this display of horsemanship, I don't think I'd ever want to sponsor OT, or offer him a ride on my horse. If he's in it for the money, he'd best switch to show jumping. Or better yet, try a career that doesn't require a 1,000 lb unpredictable and fragile animal to be responsible for putting the food on the table.

scubed
Oct. 21, 2009, 08:48 PM
It is a bit odd in light of the comment about the horse being on the fragile side. It is possible that there are horses that would be fine on that schedule. I think many of these people are crazy, but they often do this totally injury free:

http://www.marathonmaniacsdb.com/Maniacs/Scorecard.asp

polarbear
Oct. 21, 2009, 09:01 PM
Oliver T bought (?) him about a year ago, and had a fall (I think) at Fair Hill. I haven't heard anything of Three Wishes since. Anyone know what happened to the horse?

snoopy
Oct. 21, 2009, 09:22 PM
Oliver T bought (?) him about a year ago, and had a fall (I think) at Fair Hill. I haven't heard anything of Three Wishes since. Anyone know what happened to the horse?



He finished 5th on Three Wishes at Blair Castle in the CCI*** a week before burghley this year.

nomeolvides
Oct. 22, 2009, 05:01 AM
According to British Eventing, Carousel Quest is owned by Andrew Cawthray.
Anyhow, he isn't the only horse that completed Burghley who is on the Pau start list. Armada is aswell.

Doodle
Oct. 22, 2009, 07:07 AM
You don't know what pressure from his "team" this rider, and others, are under... Lucy Wiegersama is also doing Pau - her horse WON BLENHEiM... Allisson SPringer was on course at Burghley for 11 odd minutes (?) Then turned around and did Blenheim the NEXT weekend ...

snoopy
Oct. 22, 2009, 07:23 AM
According to British Eventing, Carousel Quest is owned by Andrew Cawthray.
Anyhow, he isn't the only horse that completed Burghley who is on the Pau start list. Armada is aswell.



This is correct. It is not unusual for riders (in the UK anyway) to buy horses and when they want to keep them, pass them on to a willing sponsor at that point. It is often said by the rider, that "I" bought so and so when infact they were bought for them on behalf of a sponsor. Mary King often "buys" horses but in reality it was really with Gil's money that she did the buying....at least up until recently.

Hilary
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:18 AM
there was a horse entered at Fair Hill *** and it was his 7th *** since last year's FHI.. Now, to be forthcoming he only completed 4 of them and retired on course on 2 others, and did not start XC at FH this year. But still. That seems to be a lot. this never happened with the long format so either we were way to easy on those old LF horses, only taking them out twice a year, or the short format is easier.

no, that's not scientific, but um, I can do math and 7 is more than 2.

Jazzy Lady
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:54 AM
there was a horse entered at Fair Hill *** and it was his 7th *** since last year's FHI.. Now, to be forthcoming he only completed 4 of them and retired on course on 2 others, and did not start XC at FH this year. But still. That seems to be a lot. this never happened with the long format so either we were way to easy on those old LF horses, only taking them out twice a year, or the short format is easier.

no, that's not scientific, but um, I can do math and 7 is more than 2.

A lot of them were probably CIC***, which is a horse trial really. I mean, other than Jersey, Bromont and Fair Hill, what CCI*** are there in a year on the east coast? Even if you combine them with the west coast, there aren't 7 in North America.

roki143
Oct. 22, 2009, 11:55 AM
there was a horse entered at Fair Hill *** and it was his 7th *** since last year's FHI.. Now, to be forthcoming he only completed 4 of them and retired on course on 2 others, and did not start XC at FH this year. But still. That seems to be a lot. this never happened with the long format so either we were way to easy on those old LF horses, only taking them out twice a year, or the short format is easier.

no, that's not scientific, but um, I can do math and 7 is more than 2.

How many of those 3*s where CIC's though? Not saying it's right or wrong, but I do believe there should still be a difference between running around a CCI course and a CIC course.

Groro
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:15 PM
We foxhunters gallop our horses on and off for several hours twice a week for seven months. I've got a 17.2 hand warmblood mare who is in her 10th season as a foxhunter, the fittest she ever has been was at Pinetop in February after hunting all winter. She was double clean crosscountry in the Open Prelim division and had completely recovered by the time she got back to the trailers cool, dry and breathing normally.

JER
Oct. 22, 2009, 12:34 PM
The big deal is risk.

An Advanced/CIC3*/CCI3*/CCI4* course carries a considerable degree of risk to the horse. Prelim doesn't carry that same risk factor.

Blugal
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:30 PM
And travel.

You might travel an hour or two to get to a foxhunt. The horses in question are traveling all over North America, and to Europe and back.

I know how *I* feel after crossing the Atlantic - usually crappy for a couple days up to a week. Never mind being in peak fitness & being expected to remain at the top of my game for months at a time while this is all going on.

Groro
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:40 PM
I thought we were talking about Oliver Townsend in England. Pau in France just over the Channel from there the last time I looked, not over the Atlantic.

I was talking about fitness in foxhunters, how much pounding they can take and do it week in and week out. 30 - 45 minutes of solid galloping over unprepared ground several times a week. Everytime we get on a horse there is risk involve for both the horse and the rider. If Oliver Townsend has a horse he believes can do the job and compete a bit more often, then I would respect him for that. More power to him. Ditto for Alison Springer.

Blugal
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:47 PM
(I was originally speaking about American horses which were mentioned on this thread).

True, he's in Britain. That horse did cross the Atlantic this spring though. And I do think that completing Burghley then going to Pau 6 weeks later, with a long trailer trip in between, is asking too much. I guess it's not enough the horse won and placed 8th in two 4*s this year already??

LisaB
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:51 PM
It's the speed Groro that's the difference. Speed. And the jumping efforts are a hell of a lot more dangerous than a single coop.

snoopy
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:57 PM
I thought we were talking about Oliver Townsend in England. Pau in France just over the Channel from there the last time I looked, not over the Atlantic.



Pau is NOT just "over the Channel"...This event is a HARD journey for the horses. One needs to get to Dover and take the ferry accross, which in itself is tough on the horses...then a LONG drive through france and the Pyrenees Mountains. This is NO easy journey to get to this event.

JER
Oct. 22, 2009, 03:59 PM
Groro, I agree with you -- but only up to Prelim.

(Also, a video review of some of OT's lesser moments might make you reconsider.)

JER
Oct. 23, 2009, 12:34 AM
The Times has a report: Oliver Townend in prime position to land series (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article6886127.ece)


Although he has won more than £210,000 in the past 12 months — including £100,000 in the ill-fated inaugural Express Eventing last November — the need is all the more urgent now to pay the mortgage on his newly acquired farm in Shropshire.

Ah, Oliver Townend and his Mortgage. The Mortgage has been trotted out more often than Carousel Quest.

From the Times, 12/01/08, Oliver Townend claims victory in Cardiff (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article5263579.ece):


Visibly emotional, he said: “I know I'm meant to be a tough Yorkshire bloke, but I needed this money - it'll take care of at least three months' mortgage repayments.”

From the Chronicle, 05/29/09, Townend Ushers in New Era at Badminton (http://www.chronofhorse.com/index.php?cat=100204042480100&ShowArticle_ID=1332805091072135):


Townend is already one of the sport’s characters, handsome and witty—when asked what sort of horse he thought would be suited by the cross-country, he replied “Hopefully, only Flint Curtis!”—and candid (how to pay off the mortgage is never far from the conversation), but his evident and genuine thrill at lifting this coveted prize was touching.


From Horse & Hound, 09/06/09, Burghley Horse Trials: It's the Oli and Polly show (http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/397/288839.html):


Back to Oliver Townend, his next three-day event will be Blenheim, then it's on to the eventing Europeans at Fontainebleau, France, before the finale of the HSBC FEI Classics at Pau. Will he be able to finish his 2009 season by becoming the first person to win three four-stars in one year?

Having to pay off that huge new mortgage that he keeps telling us about is obviously proving a great incentive.

:eek:

snoopy
Oct. 23, 2009, 06:36 AM
The Times has a report: Oliver Townend in prime position to land series (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article6886127.ece)



Ah, Oliver Townend and his Mortgage. The Mortgage has been trotted out more often than Carousel Quest.

From the Times, 12/01/08, Oliver Townend claims victory in Cardiff (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article5263579.ece):



From the Chronicle, 05/29/09, Townend Ushers in New Era at Badminton (http://www.chronofhorse.com/index.php?cat=100204042480100&ShowArticle_ID=1332805091072135):



From Horse & Hound, 09/06/09, Burghley Horse Trials: It's the Oli and Polly show (http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/397/288839.html):



:eek:




Hey JER,

He IS from Yorkshire, and you know what they are like when it comes to money. :0)

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Oct. 23, 2009, 10:48 AM
What is the point of this thread? It is his horse. Hence, his decision whether to run it at Pau or not. Perhaps he is running the legs off his horses only time will truly tell. I understand many people find it upsetting how many events he has chosen to run, but what can we do?... NOTHING! I don't think he will read the chronicle forums and then suddenly realize the public disapproves of his decisions and immediately withdraw to gain a bigger fan club. He has had TONS of success! Way more than anyone one that has posted on this thread IMOP. So he must be doing something right. So why don't we all find something more productive to do then sit and stew over his personal choices. Perhaps do some research and get some statistics about how many horses break down from running what you "think" is too many **** or ***. Then you could start pushing for some rule changes to limit the amount of UL events you can run. But sitting her and bashing Oliver Townend will do nothing but make you feel high and mighty. :yes:

carolinagirl191
Oct. 23, 2009, 11:16 AM
LisaB "a single coop" :lol:- Don't be so dismissive of fox hunting. You obviously don't have a clue as to the rigors of the sport. Groro could teach you a thing or two about riding UNPREPARED terrain at speed and jumping whatever gets in your way. She does it regularly.:yes:

The new 4* is not the old 4* - we are going to be seeing a lot more of this as it doesn't APPEAR to take the same toll:sadsmile:

Why do people get angry that a professional is trying to earn a good living?
You just don't hear this argument in other professions.:no:
You can love horses. You can have a horse as a pet, as a member of the family, as a project and for some, a business vehicle. The self-richeous part really irritates me. At the 4* level it's a business, just check in w/ the FEI, USEA and USET. It's a serious business.

IMHO we should each strive to provide for the horse IN OUR CARE to the best of our ability. That is our charge when we take them on. Care is different in every situation and it changes for everyone.
My retired pasture ornament gets different care than my going event horse. It is obvious that my Father, at 73, has different needs than my nephew, who is 18. Same with horses in different stages of their life AND whether or not they are an athlete or just a horse. I say "just a horse" the same way I would that "just a guy/guy next door" and an ultra marathoner/ironman athlete. there is no comparison for the guy next door and the ultra athlete except they are both men or women.

Another pet peev - "I would never do that to my horse" might be why you have the time to judge on a public forum instead of being a world class athlete. I'm just saying . . . that when and where we draw our lines in the sand and our comfort levels with stress and performance (People and horses) is part of why we have who we have in that small pool at the top. So, "since you would never do THAT to your horse", you don't know all of the factors that went into the other person doing "That" as you haven't been THERE.
As a non horse example - Politics. My husband is fasinated with and loves politics. He would have been a good public servant. I could see him rising to the top nationally. I am not a fan of the lives it appears one would have to lead, nor the compromises it appears one would have to make for a spouse to be a poltician. This was a serious discussion when we were dating. I could whole heartedly support political aspirations as a friend. I didn't want that ride as a wife. We made or choices. I wonder if I kept a good man from public office. He is happy where we are in our life and he still loves the "behind the sceens/strategy of politics".
Denny Emerson once said at a clinic that if you drew a circle 30 miles in diameter from the clinic site, there was an international champion in a field or in a barn. Chances were very, very slim that the horse's potential would be realized. He would never be discovered because of the "plans/goals" of the owner.

How much of our own limitations do we put on our horses?
What could they do if we didn't come with the baggage we carry?

All of my musings, to say
Live you life, do the best you can with what you've got and try not to judge . . . I guess then, we wouldn't need the forums:lol:

JER
Oct. 23, 2009, 11:20 AM
Hey JER,

He IS from Yorkshire, and you know what they are like when it comes to money. :0)

:yes:

In the grand tradition of Harvey Smith...

Regal Grace
Oct. 23, 2009, 12:28 PM
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/290899.html

xBetterBeSocialx
Oct. 23, 2009, 12:34 PM
Keep in mind that the horse will need to pass a vet inspection before starting the competition. If the vet delegates don't think that he's fit enough to compete safely, they won't let him. If they pass him, then "well done" to Oli for know how to keep his horses fit and ready for competition at the highest levels! If the he's fit and ready to go, why complain about it? Maybe the Brits know something we don't?

subk
Oct. 23, 2009, 12:42 PM
Keep in mind that the horse will need to pass a vet inspection before starting the competition. If the vet delegates don't think that he's fit enough to compete safely, they won't let him.
Passing the the first jog just indicates he's sound, not "fit" much less "ready."

Every horse in my barn at the moment (knock wood) could pass an FEI jog...

InVA
Oct. 23, 2009, 01:32 PM
Why are you all picking on Oli Townend? He isn't the only one to be competing at a three or four star not long after his last three or four star... why pick on him and not pick on the others, too??

geez, if it were Karen O'connor you'd all be cheering " go karen! you're on a Roll!"

purplnurpl
Oct. 23, 2009, 05:25 PM
because people hate you when you are a champion.

And this horse (who I love BTW) has a chance to kill the competition.

as for the decisions people make. To all his own. We can all have our own opinions but it's just gossip..

horses break down even when you give them the best possible chance. you either lose or you lose when it comes to equines. Mine as well lose being a champion.
(sorry, I just got off the Cooper thread which has me feeling ill for poor Jennie)

blazing saddles
Oct. 23, 2009, 05:56 PM
Not my place to call him out one way or another here, but I wonder what if anything extra was done to get the horse ready for Pau? Wonder if they used Hyperbaric's to improve the horses turnaround after Burghley? I know this is done for some Race horses now adays. Seems logical it could be a benefit to eventers as well.

purplnurpl
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:56 PM
Not my place to call him out one way or another here, but I wonder what if anything extra was done to get the horse ready for Pau? Wonder if they used Hyperbaric's to improve the horses turnaround after Burghley? I know this is done for some Race horses now adays. Seems logical it could be a benefit to eventers as well.

I'm pretty sure hyperbaric chambers are shown to really only help with external wounds...right?

blazing saddles
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:07 AM
I'm pretty sure hyperbaric chambers are shown to really only help with external wounds...right?

Post performance recovery they call it.

http://www.fairhilletc.com/hbo2.html

But yes, very good for wounds and surgery recoveries. ;)

RSMRS08
Apr. 20, 2010, 11:35 AM
There have been a lot of criticisms about the over-professionalization of eventing in the last few years. The reality, IMO, is that it is damn expensive to event at the upper levels. I grew up eventing and pony clubbing and when I finally stumbled across a diamond in the rough OTTB I thought I had the 'missing piece of the puzzle' all worked out and now all I needed was hard work and determination and I could make it to the top. Little did I know, the $ you pay for that horse pales in comparison to what it costs to keep that horse going at the upper levels. Between shoeing, supplements, chiropractic care, vet care, massages, entry fees, diesel, tack, hotels, stabling...the list never seems to end! I had no idea what I was getting in to and quickly realized that I was in over my head and was going to be working myself into a lifetime of debt if I continued. I sold the horse (who, of course, injured himself in the pasture the day of his vetting and then needed 6 months of rest before I sold him for %60 of his original price tag..after 6 more months of expensive bills...) and left the eventing world. Heartbroken but much wiser for the wear.

By criticizing Oliver Townend for talking openly about struggling to pay his mortgage we are dooming the sport to be out of the grasps of even the upper-middle class. Yes, there are sponsorships but they don't come around until you've already dumped a boatload of money into the sport.

There are certainly the wonderful stories about people working their way up but they are rare. There are TONS of young people out there trying to be one of those stories. And most are eventually forced to face the financial reality of the sport.

I am glad that OT speaks openly about the financial benefits of winning. As a few other people have pointed out in this thread - it is a profession for these people. Unless you are willing to pay that mortgage, you need to respect his need to keep a roof over his head. I can't tell you how awkward it often was to discuss payments with people. Often clients would assume that I would work for them for free, horse shopping, course walking, etc. These things all take time and, especially for professional horsepeople, time is incredibly valuable and always in short supply. Why it is offensive for me to bill for an hour of my time yet the person I'm billing charges an hourly rate at their job baffles me. What many non-professional riders fail to recognize is that most professional trainers don't get a paycheck every two weeks. Those checks you're writing to them for lessons and schooling are their income.

I know we're not used to it because we're used to having posh, well-funded riders talking about what their recommendations are for horse care. It blows my mind when I read in the advice columns that horses should get 'x' supplement and 'y' injections, and your vet should look at them once a week...etc, etc. I feel sorry for riders coming through the ranks reading these columns because when they go do the math and figure out what that would eventually cost them - they would run away from the sport! It's just not sustainable.

And with regards to the comments on Oli's personality, believe me, most of your upper level riders (especially the ones without millions and millions of dollars) have the same attitude...they will screw people over to get ahead because that's what it takes if you don't come in with tons of money. This was the main reason I gave up on my dreams of the Olympics, etc. I got to know the upper level competitors and (really with hardly ANY exceptions) they have dubious moral character. Many are better at putting on a front for the public than OT is, but they've all done things they regretted, or worse yet...things they should have regretted. They are professional athletes. Their job is to compete well, not to be role models.

Lance Armstrong is a good example of this. He is not a nice person. He is an impressive person. We don't respect him as a human being, we respect him as an athlete. I realize that there is a big factor I'm not taking into consideration here: the horse. But, to repeat some of the things others have said:
1. OT knows his horses better than you
2. A horse's soundness is incredibly unpredictable. Oli could run that horse ragged and nothing could happen and they could conquer the world or he could compete him very conservatively and he could sustain a career-ending injury in the field.
3. THIS IS HIS JOB! Yes, we don't want to hear it but, unlike the (majority) amateurs that post here, he doesn't keep his horses merely because he loves them. He keeps them because they are the way he earns a living. Don't get me wrong, I think that riding for a living is incredibly special exactly because professional riders get to work with the animals they love. But if you spend a lot of time with upper level riders you notice that often this connection has to take the back seat to their incredibly demanding schedules. Eventually it does become a job. That's not what people like to hear but it's the truth.

I apologize for my (probably way-too-candid) rant but it's something that broke my heart when I left eventing and that continues to break my heart as I watch from the outside and see more and more less-than-millionaires struggle to make ends meet (and maybe resorting to taking advantage of people here and there) while pursuing their dream.

LisaB
Apr. 20, 2010, 01:07 PM
Uhhh, and you bring up this old thread because ... why?

LexInVA
Apr. 20, 2010, 01:12 PM
Uhhh, and you bring up this old thread because ... why?

I like ham. Do you like ham too?

rideforthelaurels16
Apr. 21, 2010, 12:32 AM
I know this thread is heinously old but I just wanted to reply to agree with RSMR. Perhaps I'm being naïve, but I admire Ollie and have for a long time - I think he does strive to make the best decisions for his horses, while keeping in mind what he needs to do to remain relevant as a top rider. Sometimes I think we're all quick to judge - and our judgments are sometimes correct, but the only person who really knows what's going on with the horse, and can make the decisions, is the person who is in the stable with the horse every day.