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View Full Version : Letter in this weeks Horse and Hound. Dangerous Riding



PaddyUK
Nov. 21, 2009, 06:00 AM
Hilda Hicks Donahue has written to Dog and Nag with regard to her elimination on the XC at Pau with four fences left for "dangerous riding". I have seached Coth and read Ms Donahues blog, but cannot find any photographs of the so called "dangerous riding" at Pau.

As a BE fence judge, I'd be interested in seeing what was deemed to be dangerous.

Have I missed a topic (have searched)?

Kindest regards

Paddy

ETA the original H & H article http://www.ashmoreequestriancenter.com/Assets/IntenationalNews/Horse&HoundArticle.jpg

Gryhrs
Nov. 21, 2009, 06:51 AM
Interesting. From the article it sounds as if someone at Pau was a tad too yellow card happy. The subjective nature of the dangerous riding rule makes me uneasy. If the rationale is for Hilda's was the "upside down shape" of the horse - I'm done for. While I respect the spirit of the DR rule, why does it conjure up images of Barney Fife yelling "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!" to me.

lstevenson
Nov. 21, 2009, 08:41 AM
Apparantly there was no actual "dangerous riding", but poor Hilda was stopped (4 fences from the end!?!) because they didn't like her horse's inverted jumping style. Which is ridiculous IMO. There have been many unorthodox jumpers over the years who have been very successful and very safe. Pics showed the horse to be quite tight with his legs, but jumping with a very hollow back. And of course that's not ideal, but there are horses who consistantly jump this way, who know exactly what they are doing, and therefore are very safe.

clivers
Nov. 21, 2009, 08:44 AM
No pics of Hilda's round at Pau, but could the pic of Danica Moore's horse on the top right of my screen right now (on COTH) substitute?
I guess the Irishman would have been yellow carded these days too.
Humph.

Hony
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:34 AM
Funny how we have ended up going to the opposite end of the spectrum. From that article it seems there's a lot of work to do on the yellow card system. That poor rider, how disapointing. She must be furious.

gully's pilot
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:12 AM
There was one picture of her round in the COTH article on Pau, and in it both she and the horse look great. Honestly, if that's dangerous riding, then very, very few beginner novices aren't.

Threeday33
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:13 AM
I just read the article in the COTH. I had no idea that that was what happened! Hilda explained that one of the officials told her if the horse jumped a table the way he jumped the brush, he would land on the table. That is one of the more ridiculous things I've heard lately. It wasn't a table...it was brush. I'm thinking this experienced pair knew the difference. If you watch most upper level horses (including mine) jump brush fences, they should be pulled off courses also then...

I am sorry that Hilda spent a lot of time and money and her horse went through the stress of travelling overseas to have that happen!

Chrissy

Blugal
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:32 AM
I find it disturbing that Mark Phillips says it's ok for horses to be run more often, singling out Oliver Townend's Carousel Quest - then saying perhaps the horse had a hind leg injury which was the reason for its 7 fences down in show jumping.

Hmm... that hind leg injury brewing couldn't be from ... running the horse too often at back-to-back 4 stars could it? :mad:

RAyers
Nov. 21, 2009, 11:21 AM
I find it disturbing that Mark Phillips says it's ok for horses to be run more often, singling out Oliver Townend's Carousel Quest - then saying perhaps the horse had a hind leg injury which was the reason for its 7 fences down in show jumping.

Hmm... that hind leg injury brewing couldn't be from ... running the horse too often at back-to-back 4 stars could it? :mad:

Of course he would say that. He, like many pros/upper level competitors who make their living there, consider these horses as commodities to be used up and sold to the highest "bidder." To them, a horse in the stall is losing money. While they can ride and patch a horse up to run, that ain't horsemanship.

Reed

Meredith Clark
Nov. 21, 2009, 11:25 AM
I don't get the part about Susanna Bordone. She broke a rule (jumping another fence once she had been eliminated) what is there to defend?

Then he says that she deserved the yellow card but it obviously seems like he has some issue with it since he put it in context with other people who did not deserve their yellow cards and stated the rule should be changed.

:confused:

JER
Nov. 21, 2009, 11:53 AM
I find it disturbing that Mark Phillips says it's ok for horses to be run more often, singling out Oliver Townend's Carousel Quest - then saying perhaps the horse had a hind leg injury which was the reason for its 7 fences down in show jumping.

But the FEI has solved that problem: let them eat bute! :lol:

If certain people among the elite of our sport had even a casual relationship with horse welfare, why would they stand back and not say anything about an apparently injured horse in the competition?

As for running horses more often, where's the evidence that 'horses recover quicker' from the short format? In human studies, it's been proven over and over again that humans judge how often and how hard to exert themselves based on 'perception of effort.' But 'perception of effort' is not the same thing as 'actual effort' -- in fact, it's often way off the mark.

It's quite clear that the short format is perceived to be 'less effort' than the long format but whether that's actually true (and this has to do with many factors, including the horse's fitness and preparation, not simply the competition effort) is a matter for science to determine. Anecdotal evidence, like Carousel Quest's dreadful SJ round, might suggest he was asked to run once too many times.

Beam Me Up
Nov. 21, 2009, 12:34 PM
I wish there had been video that we could see.

I agree on the face of it that an inverted style is not grounds for dangerous riding, but the other yellow card that he calls out as unfair (jumping a fence after elimination) is indeed against the rules and considered dangerous riding, as tempting as it is to make your point and finish on a good note.

I wonder if the officials deemed the jumping style a sign of exhaustion, unsoundness, excessive speed/lack of control, of being overfaced, or if they mistook the x-c for a hunter class. Does anyone know the horse and if he usually has an unusual style?

Hony
Nov. 21, 2009, 01:33 PM
I don't get the part about Susanna Bordone. She broke a rule (jumping another fence once she had been eliminated) what is there to defend?

Then he says that she deserved the yellow card but it obviously seems like he has some issue with it since he put it in context with other people who did not deserve their yellow cards and stated the rule should be changed.

:confused:

The problem is that while she may have broken a rule, she did a smart thing in terms of teaching and looking after her horse. She didn't jump the other fence and keep going, she jumped it and pulled up. This should not be considered dangerous riding. The official should have realized that she was making a smart decision and let it be. We want riders making these kinds of decisions and should encourage it.

FlightCheck
Nov. 21, 2009, 01:44 PM
sometimes the rider who doesn't pull up when eliminated doesn't live to see the next event.

Hony
Nov. 21, 2009, 02:41 PM
sometimes the rider who doesn't pull up when eliminated doesn't live to see the next event.

Sure, but they are not typically the ones who are popping over the option and pulling up. Sometimes the horse who is pulled up without some education never events again.
It's not black and white, the DR rule can't be black and white and if we try to make it that then nobody's going to get anywhere.
What that rider did was against the rules but wasn't dangerous riding. I guess it's time to add the orange card and the blue card and the purple card :D

FlightCheck
Nov. 21, 2009, 03:28 PM
only if I get the polka dot one with the polar bear wearing it :)

Carol Ames
Nov. 21, 2009, 04:11 PM
Apparantly there was no actual "dangerous riding", but poor Hilda was stopped (4 fences from the end!?!) because they didn't like her horse's inverted jumping style. Which is ridiculous IMO. There have been many unorthodox jumpers over the years who have been very successful and very safe. Pics showed the horse to be quite tight with his legs, but jumping with a very hollow back. And of course that's not ideal, but there are horses who consistantly jump this way, who know exactly what they are doing, and therefore are very safe.
http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/images/buttons/quote.gif (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=4510694)

retreadeventer
Nov. 21, 2009, 06:33 PM
I think you should dig into all sides before making judgment.
We don't have video and don't know what the circumstances were.
The Capt. is not a writer. He tries but sometimes I think he does say things in print that are not what he is trying to say. It is very easy in this day and age to be misquoted.
When Americans go overseas we are dissected for fun. Our horses have to be twice as good as theirs to do half as well. The people that did all this long before this season...people like Bruce Davidson, Jimmy Wofford, Mike Plumb, Torrance Watkins, Stephen Bradley, Kim Severson, Karen O'Connor, Amy Tryon worked like crazy people to be accepted and noticed and considered in European competition and paved the way for those who came later. It is up to the ones who come later to ride and bring their A game, to be as good as they can, not to whine that their horses don't ship well, or forget to ride well. This whining is crap. I heard a LOT of it at FHI and afterwards. Gets old.

Meredith Clark
Nov. 21, 2009, 06:56 PM
She didn't jump the other fence and keep going, she jumped it and pulled up. This should not be considered dangerous riding. The official should have realized that she was making a smart decision and let it be. We want riders making these kinds of decisions and should encourage it.

hmm.. I understand the idea of letting the horse finish on a positive note but a rule is a rule. There is a reason (multiple reasons) that riders are not allowed to jump another fence ones they have been eliminated and no one should get to break that rule.

How did she know she was not going to interfere with another person's course when jumping a different fence?

Also if a judge can not punish a rider for breaking important rules how will they enforce any of the rules?

Maybe the rule should be changed, that's a whole 'nother thread, but until then you can't keep jumping when you're eliminated... no matter who you are.

JER
Nov. 21, 2009, 07:11 PM
When Americans go overseas we are dissected for fun. Our horses have to be twice as good as theirs to do half as well.

The rider in question, Hilda Hick Donahue, rides for Ireland.

retreadeventer
Nov. 21, 2009, 07:17 PM
I know. I know Hilda.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Nov. 21, 2009, 08:40 PM
While I respect the spirit of the DR rule, why does it conjure up images of Barney Fife yelling "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!" to me.

*psst* That was Gomer, not Barney.:)

JER
Nov. 21, 2009, 09:53 PM
FEI Eventing Rider's Sanction List (http://www.fei.org/Disciplines/Eventing/Officials/Documents/Rider%27s%20Sanction%20List.pdf) (pdf)

18 pages of yellow cards, DQs and verbal warnings, for everything from the obvious -- 'continued after 3 refusals', 'out of control' -- to the nebulous -- 'lack of proactivity', 'repeated attempts to jump obstacle' -- to my personal favorite, 'smoking in stables after several warnings.'

Hilda Hick Donahue is listed as 'dangerous riding / series of bad jumps.'

It would be nice to have a little more information, especially as these judgments are often subjective. Perhaps making the incident reports available would help riders/coaches gain a better understanding of what constitutes 'dangerous riding' or 'incorrect behaviour' or 'pressing a tired horse.'

Meredith Clark
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:02 PM
FEI Eventing Rider's Sanction List (http://www.fei.org/Disciplines/Eventing/Officials/Documents/Rider%27s%20Sanction%20List.pdf) (pdf)

It would be nice to have a little more information, especially as these judgments are often subjective. Perhaps making the incident reports available would help riders/coaches gain a better understanding of what constitutes 'dangerous riding' or 'incorrect behaviour' or 'pressing a tired horse.'

What's the difference between "continued after 3 refusals" and "continued after elimination"

I guess they got eliminated some other way on course?

and why isn't Madelein Brugman suspended like Susanna for getting 2 yellow cards?

I was at the jump when Nate Chambers got pulled at Fair Hill, didn't realize he got a Yellow Card.

fooler
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:17 PM
Was thinking about this when I saw Hilda's response.
Hilda and this horse came up through the ranks and 'completed' enough Advance level competitions to qualify for PAU. Was this the very first time anyone commented on the horse's jumping style? Or are we to belive that this is the first time anyone noticed the horse's jumping style?

Have to question the DR process if Hilda & the horse made to PAU, after being viewed by multiple officials & this is the first time "we hear" about them receiving any notice. Especially
as she commented on his less than normal style.
Just thinking out loud. . .

Ajierene
Nov. 21, 2009, 10:31 PM
What's the difference between "continued after 3 refusals" and "continued after elimination"

I guess they got eliminated some other way on course?

and why isn't Madelein Brugman suspended like Susanna for getting 2 yellow cards?

I was at the jump when Nate Chambers got pulled at Fair Hill, didn't realize he got a Yellow Card.

I took it to mean any other elimination, such as excessive use of crop, separation of horse and rider, tack failure, someone helping, etc.

I agree, rules are rules. It would be nice to take an extra jump before leaving the competition, after three refusals, but it is not within the rules. If you allow a person to break one rule, how can you expect people to obey other rules? If you want to change the rule, lobby and change the rule. Until then, play by the rules.

wolfmare
Nov. 22, 2009, 04:21 AM
I think it's a choice that was made, to take a "training" jump, and was made with full knowledge of the rules involved. If you know your horse, you can make that decision, and chose the consequences'.
Totally different thing with Hilda, who knows her horse, and felt no problems. There are a series of pictures on her website, although they may not show the brush she was eliminated for, I really don't see anything unusual or dangerous there. Granted, not seeing the moments that are under scrutiny makes a judgment on my part really difficult, its the difficulty of making those judgments' that concerns me. My understanding is that one ground juror can make a decisions alone. That really leaves open a biased playing field, IMHO. And why does it say that she was charged with dangerous riding when she wasn't carded?

Too much time on my overnight shift to think! Even I just repeated what others may have said, felt good to say it "out loud". :)

53
Nov. 22, 2009, 11:49 PM
If you look at her website: http://www.ashmoreequestriancenter.com/internationalnews.html (scroll down) she has a photo series posted to illustrate the jumping style.

Thames Pirate
Nov. 23, 2009, 01:07 AM
She bought the horse from Imtiaz Anees. A photo on his website shows the same jumping style. A friend of mine looked at the horse in NZ before Imtiaz bought him, and she passed on him precisely because of that style. That's just how he jumps.

Gryhrs
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:15 AM
Opps. pAin't....thanks. I need to fact check my tv trivia :)

So, excuse my ignorance, but is a yellow card automatically issued when a DR penalty is issued? When I read the COTH account, it seems several riders received a yellow card but not all were for DR. Is the yellow card held up for the rider during his ride - clearly visible - like in soccer? If not, how does a rider learn of the penalty? Does the yellow card show on rider's record?

Hony
Nov. 23, 2009, 06:06 PM
hmm.. I understand the idea of letting the horse finish on a positive note but a rule is a rule. There is a reason (multiple reasons) that riders are not allowed to jump another fence ones they have been eliminated and no one should get to break that rule.

How did she know she was not going to interfere with another person's course when jumping a different fence?

Also if a judge can not punish a rider for breaking important rules how will they enforce any of the rules?

Maybe the rule should be changed, that's a whole 'nother thread, but until then you can't keep jumping when you're eliminated... no matter who you are.

I was thinking about this one yesterday and I changed my mind. She should have taken the option before the third refusal. Actually, I'm not sure why wouldn't have made that choice. She had the chance, she woudn't have been breaking the rules and it would have been the right decision to make. I'm not sure if yellow card is the right thing to penalize it but yes, she should have been penalized.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 23, 2009, 07:05 PM
The people that did all this long before this season...people like Bruce Davidson, Jimmy Wofford, Mike Plumb, Torrance Watkins, Stephen Bradley, Kim Severson, Karen O'Connor, Amy Tryon worked like crazy people to be accepted and noticed and considered in European competition and paved the way for those who came later. .

Hilda is Irish and she is not new at this.

ETA: I see after reading further that you know this. So, now confused.

RSEventer
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:17 AM
If you could see the video, you would see that she was not jumping dangerously- but, the video was lost by the ground jury. In fact, at the meeting with the ground jury, they said, let's see the video, and then proceeded to show another rider on a chesnut horse. Hilda said, "That's not me or my horse." Then the ground jury told her they had lost her video.

JER
Nov. 24, 2009, 11:46 AM
In fact, at the meeting with the ground jury, they said, let's see the video, and then proceeded to show another rider on a chesnut horse. Hilda said, "That's not me or my horse." Then the ground jury told her they had lost her video.

It's never a good day when the term 'Kafka-esque' can be applied to eventing.

inquisitive
Nov. 24, 2009, 03:00 PM
There was one picture of her round in the COTH article on Pau, and in it both she and the horse look great. Honestly, if that's dangerous riding, then very, very few beginner novices aren't.

I agree. I thought it was a lovely picture. Both she and the horse seemed happy and very comfortable. It was a picture of 'ease'.


If you could see the video, you would see that she was not jumping dangerously- but, the video was lost by the ground jury. In fact, at the meeting with the ground jury, they said, let's see the video, and then proceeded to show another rider on a chesnut horse. Hilda said, "That's not me or my horse." Then the ground jury told her they had lost her video.

That is just disgusting :no:

Gry2Yng
Nov. 24, 2009, 05:26 PM
If you could see the video, you would see that she was not jumping dangerously- but, the video was lost by the ground jury. In fact, at the meeting with the ground jury, they said, let's see the video, and then proceeded to show another rider on a chesnut horse. Hilda said, "That's not me or my horse." Then the ground jury told her they had lost her video.

OMG! Hilda must have such self-control not to have caused injury to someone on the GJ. And of course, she is left with NO RECOURSE. That's what kills me about these decisions. Horse basically completed the course, exposed himself to injury, wear and tear, etc and now she has no qualification and a skinnier bank account.