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Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2004, 08:19 PM
Interesting remarks regarding the course that looked a bit spooky from the Charles Mann provided photos!

NZ Herald 8/17/04: "Course not Olympic standard, Nicholson says" (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/olympics/olympicstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3584819&thesection=sport&thesubsection=olympics&thesecondsubsection=)

Excerpt:

But even that might not move them [the Kiwis]into medal contention in the cross-country on what he criticised as "not an Olympic standard course".

"I am very disappointed in the course," veteran Nicholson told NZPA after his dressage score left him 52nd of 75 riders.

Top riders would have little trouble avoiding time penalties for failing to complete the 5570m circuit in under nine minutes 46 seconds, he felt.

"We came here expecting a very strong cross-country course and now we will be playing catch up until the end of the competition," he said.

"The water jump is very difficult, it's very, very deep and up to standard, (so is) the coffin, but there are 35 jumps and that's about four or five of them."

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2004, 08:19 PM
Interesting remarks regarding the course that looked a bit spooky from the Charles Mann provided photos!

NZ Herald 8/17/04: "Course not Olympic standard, Nicholson says" (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sports/olympics/olympicstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3584819&thesection=sport&thesubsection=olympics&thesecondsubsection=)

Excerpt:

But even that might not move them [the Kiwis]into medal contention in the cross-country on what he criticised as "not an Olympic standard course".

"I am very disappointed in the course," veteran Nicholson told NZPA after his dressage score left him 52nd of 75 riders.

Top riders would have little trouble avoiding time penalties for failing to complete the 5570m circuit in under nine minutes 46 seconds, he felt.

"We came here expecting a very strong cross-country course and now we will be playing catch up until the end of the competition," he said.

"The water jump is very difficult, it's very, very deep and up to standard, (so is) the coffin, but there are 35 jumps and that's about four or five of them."

Weatherford
Aug. 16, 2004, 11:38 PM
That has also been the complaint from others - although, Wofford (in his diary) says the second half of the course may take its toll....

We shall see...

For the record, I am AGAINST the new format!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

(Alternate the Olympic Equestrian Events among the true four star courses in the world, then send the athletes to the Olympics to give demonstrations and have FUN! And receive their medals!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Would save Olympic committees LOTS of MONEY!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

Equestriana
Aug. 17, 2004, 12:23 AM
I'll be honest, I dont think those photos looked scary, a few of them were quite small jumps.. Alot of the x-country jumps in higher level competition (like badminton) look alot more difficult

Kareen
Aug. 17, 2004, 02:28 AM
Why are you against the new format? Something had to be done to get eventing out of the massive public critizism it has been exposed to over the past few years. I think anything that takes the wind out of animals rights fanatists is useful for the sport. Up until now I have only seen one horse and rider fall (an Austrian pair) during the course. I don't think that's a bad thing really. Many riders are getting penalties for not being in time. I'd much rather have that than those ugly pictures that have been plastered all across the media making eventing as a whole look bad while it should be considered the crown of equestrian sports.

Weatherford
Aug. 17, 2004, 03:09 AM
Ah, but the new format HELPED you Germans... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif this course was NOT up to par! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif (Actually, there were three more falls - Ingred Klimke between two fences - horse slipped, not counted - Andrews Hoy & Nicholson at the narrow end of a combination... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif )

Three Day is about galloping and jumping and NOT about Dressage and Show Jumping... This type of course actually hinders the best in the world, whose horses are simply over-fit and over keen to do their job - gallop and jump ad infinitum!

I agree with you about PETA etc, but hate to see that battle won at the cost of a wonderful sport - I think we are going to still have accidents - and many of this historically HAVE been below the **** level. I just don't believe the sport should be, what I consider, dumbed down in the name of PR. (In many ways, it already has been - when compared to the earlier days of eventing, our courses are more technical, but smaller and safer!)

tom
Aug. 17, 2004, 03:25 AM
Three day eventing is NOT about just about galloping and jumping. Three days (OK, sometimes four), three disciplines.

I agree with Kareen that something had to be done. We risked losing eventing as an Olympic discipline because of the injuries to horse and rider and the huge cost of building facilities. Two compromises were reached: safer x-country and the elimination of steeplechase and road-and-track.

Many Irish riders and trainers have for too long been willing to disregard dressage. An unintended consequence of this change in format may be that Irish breeders, riders, and trainers will begin to put more emphasis on movement, rideability, and basic dressage training.

Sannois
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:01 AM
Interesting topic, and I totally agree Weatherford. Sure eventing includes Dressage and cross country, but isnt it about the overal fitness and conditioning and versatiliity of the horse.. Road and tracks steeple chase.. It is all part of the package. This is like me going to a horse trial, ok maybe not fences this size, and for the record, I wasnt freaked out by them like when looking at Badminton or Burgley. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Backstage
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:11 AM
I don't mean this is a catty manner, but it seems to me that Andrew Nicholson should have reserved his comments about the difficulty of the course until after he had ridden it. Seems it caused him a few little problems http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif

Really, in general, I think any discussions about the level of difficulty should be reserved for after. Focus on getting through the competition, then look at the results to see if the course rode easier or harder than anticipated. Frankly, our sport doesn't need riders in the media bashing the course as sub-par, esp. before the've posted double clears.

ponygrl
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:24 AM
don't worry - those comments always bite you in the butt.

I've got a tape of Mark Todd on a coursewalk at Badminton saying "I think the course designer has been rather kind to us here" at a coffin - at which he had problems on both of his horses!

LLDM
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:33 AM
Well. I'm counting only 16 double clears out of 75 rides X-C. It doesn't seem like it was that easy after all.

All I can say is WOW! Where did that French team come from?

SCFarm

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:56 AM
Nope... agree with Weatherford. Always have and always will. A three-day event without steeplechase and roads and tracks is a horse trial NOT a three-day event. I dont' give a rat's butt about PETA. They can kiss my white hiney. I'd hate to see 3-day out of the Olympics, but sorry folks... with the change in format, it essentially already is. Thank you Rolex, Badminton and Burghley for maintaining the sport of 3-day Eventing!

BarnBrat
Aug. 17, 2004, 06:18 AM
Not to mention that the changes made really had nothing to do with making the sport safer. It had to do with politics and money. There was absolutly zero info about how a 4 star without the endurance phases would affect the horses...for all we know it makes it more dangerous. Riding a horse around course that is fighting and not listening because he hasn't been warmed up properly sounds a little dangerous to me. I guess time will tell...

eventamy
Aug. 17, 2004, 06:42 AM
I agree with Weatherford and BarnBrat. Changing the format was NOT about safety! It was political and it was about money. I like the old format!
I don't have Bravo, so I was on the phone with my friend this morning who is Tivo-ing it for me, and I could hear it on in the background(the only way I could get my fix!), and a few times I heard them say that the riders had a lot of horse left after the cross country. They are fit enough and used to doing a lot more!

Kareen
Aug. 17, 2004, 06:47 AM
Maybe it would have been a good idea to not skip the steeple chase but to have it after the x-country... That way there would still be more emphasis on canter-capacity and fitness of equine and human athletes yet less risk for a pair not 'up to the standard' to entirely lose it just during the x-country which for non-horsey folks seems to be the most threatening and critical part of eventing...
One may think about PETA et.al. what one prefers but we can't pretend we are alone on earth and if the majority of people wants some edges to be taken out of eventing I don't think it's going to be the end of the world. I guess losing the olympic status would have been a way more painful thing to happen http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif
Plus really with the results looking the way they do right now it doesn't seem as if the course was all that easy. It's all nice and fair if NZ thinks those courses aren't up to the standard but what about those 'exotic' eventing nations such as Czech, Brazil etc. I personally think it's only healthy to finally see some of their riders actually finish an x-country without injuries and a 60 penalties http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

That was indeed superlucky for Ingrid her old boy slipped outside the fence area. *phew*. I think NZ needs to calm down and think about it after it's all over. Just my two cts.

DMK
Aug. 17, 2004, 06:59 AM
Please... somebody tell me this new format only applies to the olympics and NOT WEG, and we are only subjected to this every 4 years?

I agree - the format change had a whole lot more to do with politics and power, and not a lot else. But "safety" made nice window dressing on the topic...

Kareen, I'm all for more people and countries successfully competing in equestrian sports, but I think we can all agree the idea is for competitors to rise TO the occassion, not the occassion to fall to less accomplished horses and riders. I mean I could have a clear round if we made them small enough, but that's what the lower levels are all about, right? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

subk
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:01 AM
Kareen keeps bringing up PETA...It is my understanding from my international sources that PETA was secondary and if they are even at the table they only came after the German show jumpers and breeders started the whole hoopla. (Hoopla which if comes to fruition could prove beneficial to the same said breeders!)

Personally, I think the whole PETA threat is completely overblown and more of a fabrication by the individuals who would like to see the sport changed for their own reasons.

BAC
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:17 AM
I think Weatherford and tle said it best, couldn't agree more. What is a 3-day without roads and tracks and steeplechase? The sport would have been better off being out of the Olympics rather than mutilate the format as they did for Athens. And yes, WEG at Aachen is also going to be this format from what I have read.

Nesbit
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:17 AM
I think all of the horse events at the Olympics are on shaky ground a lot. they are very ecpensive to host and then get lots of criticism. I think eventing should be safer and not a dare devil sport. As noted by the commentators this morning. Many of these people from small countries have not trained up to the highest level and the competiion should be for them too, maybe they can't win or place but they shouldn't die to have an Olympic experience. Should everyone be required to travel all of the world for the 4 years in between the games to be safe? Then it will end up like Dresssage; only the super rich can participate (or those that are patroned by the super rich http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif) .

Louise
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:17 AM
I'm with DMK, Weatherford and BarnBrat. This isn't 3 day eventing, its some hastily stuck together hodgepodge. I don't think the criers had too much to do with it, I think that money was the influence factor.

Frankly, I would rather see the sport out of the Olympics than to see it bastardized. Its going to be interesting to see the results after the show jumping, which, I thought, was supposed to be a check to see that the horse still had something left after the gruelling test the day before. What is going to happen if these hot, fit athletes have too much left?

BAC
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:19 AM
Finn, eventing is NOT for the faint of heart. And if you have not "trained to the highest level" then I don't think you belong in the Olympics, that is something to aspire to. Horse sports in general are not 100% safe, those people should take up table tennis.

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:25 AM
Funny... i seem to recall making a comment about breeders in Germany, etc. and their alterior motives for being behind the changes when it was brought up many many months ago... and being pooh-pooh'd at the thought that the warmbloods were behind this issue. Where are those people who dissed that thought now? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

LLDM
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:31 AM
Okay, I understand that many of you are upset with the short format. It was my understanding that Eventing was out of the Olympics because of the high cost associated with building the facilities and running the event. And that the short format was the proposal which saved it, since that reduced the cost substantially. So, in a nutshell, the problem was money and the politics the solution.

So, are you all saying that you would rather there be no Olympic Eventing rather than the short format?

And if you want to rectify the situation, shouldn't you allo work very hard to make Eventing extremely popular, so that it can be cost justified to include the full long format in the future?

Like it or not, we live in a world that demands cost effectiveness. We will have more TV coverage when it is in popular demand. We will get the long format back when there is a popular demand for it by spectators as well as participants.

David OConner rode Gilt Edge onto the Today Show set, for gosh sakes. He's trying, in a positive way, to raise awareness. The least we can do is be positive and supportive too.

Someone recently told me the same thing about an issue near and dear to me. Stop whinning and do something positive. It was an eventer. So, right back at cha. Not in a bad way at all. In a good way. (And please, quit with the conspiracy theories, it doesn't help. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

I know it's not what you want to hear, but it seems to me that eventing is about to get much more popular in France and Germany. If we are smart, we will use that to our advantage and leverage it to raise the awareness of Eventing internationally. Use it to push for "raising the bar" again.

Or, we can whine that it is unfair. But I will warm you, saying that we didn't do as well because the course was too easy is not going to impress anyone outside the upper levels of eventing. And it is NOT going to get you what you want.

Flame away! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SCFarm

BAC
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:33 AM
tle - I have believed that for years. Germans have been able to dominate dressage, and are very strong competitors in show jumping, but they have had very little international success in eventing, due IMO to their warmbloods. TB's or mostly TB have been the standard, due to their speed.

subk
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Finn:
I think all of the horse events at the I think eventing should be safer and not a dare devil sport. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Words like "dare devil sport" only display ignorance and I'm trying not to be offended.

LisaB
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:43 AM
I'm finding it quite fascinating. I would have expected and either or situation in regards to the results. Either the Fr. and Germans would be knocked out of the running because the x-c would be big, bold, and galloping. Or, the Fr. and Germans would be up there in the ranking with the US, UK, and AUS way out there. Instead I see a bit of a mixture. I see some really wonderful x-c machines getting the time. Meanwhile, the Fr. guy remains first. His horse looked like he would prefer the smaller, turny types of courses that you see on the Mainland Europe. Then Kim's horse is a classic event horse who would not like that type of course. But those are just 2 examples, they both could have ridden brilliantly(it's waiting for me on tape when I get home). But there are other examples of this.
I'm terribly curious on this course. How it supposed to be ridden. What happened to Pippa, etc.
And true, Peta has not gotten on our tail. It's the expense and land that got us to where we are now.
But, it's the Olympics. The venues are usually not set up for perfection in every sport. And we have a ton of countries that wouldn't qualify for a **** level competition.
I look at the Tour De France. It's the epitome of cycling. Not the Olympics.
The Iron Man in Hawaii. Again the epitome of the Triathlon, not the Olympics.
The Olympics is for the nations, not the individuals. I love seeing other countries compete. They may not do well. But dang, they are in the Olympics.

JAGold
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
Funny... i seem to recall making a comment about breeders in Germany, etc. and their alterior motives for being behind the changes when it was brought up many many months ago... and being pooh-pooh'd at the thought that the warmbloods were behind this issue. Where are those people who dissed that thought now? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

TLE, I was right with you. And I still believe it http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif --Jess

subk
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:
We will get the long format back when there is a _popular demand_ for it by _spectators_ as well as participants. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee LLDM is eventing's lack of "popularity" the best argument you can come up with? It doesn't hold water! XC day at Sidney was THE MOST ATTENTEND ATHLETIC EVENT (short of the opening ceremony) of the 2000 Games. Eventing doesn't have a popularity problem.

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:46 AM
first... ditto subk.

second
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But I will warm you, saying that we didn't do as well because the course was too easy is not going to impress anyone outside the upper levels of eventing. And it is NOT going to get you what you want. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
and who the hell said that? I said nothing about how the short format relates to our not doing well... only that it will allow the WB industry to do better. There is IMHO a big difference.

third
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Stop whinning and do something positive. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif and you know exactly what all of us out here are donig and not doing? Wow! With psychic abilities like that you should get your own tv show. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

rileyt
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:47 AM
It looks to me like... absence of steeplechase and roads and tracks notwithstanding... the actual cross country course was too easy.

Fortunately for all of us, the course designers are getting better and better at designing courses that are both challenging AND safe. "tough" does not mean "unfair" or "dangerous" like it used to. Good courses produce a wide margin of scores... and a good course should produce more than 16 jumping penalties out of 75 riders. Most of those penalties should be run-outs, or refusals... as opposed to falls of the horse.

I think the course was too easy. New Olympic format or not... the cross country course wasn't up to par. And yes, it is "unfair"... not just because the U.S. isn't winning... but because when you have a weak X-C course, it skews the "eventing" competition into a combined test with a little galloping in between. We don't want this sport to become home to dressage horses and jumpers... Not because we're bad at dressage... but if you want to do dressage or jumpers, go do it! X-C is what sets this sport apart from those, and should be the focus of the competition.

JER
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:48 AM
There's nothing stupider than putting a horse out on a **** (today it looked like ***) XC course when the horse is not properly prepared for the effort. This is what phases A/B/C are for.

At Rolex this year, the veterinary evidence seemed to indicated that the horses on the long-form course were in better condition after the XC. This is the sort of work that needs to be done to give these questions a definitive answer -- solid veterinary evidence. It's about perceived 'cruelty' vs. actual science.

There's no sense in caving in to emotional appeals if it's to the detriment of our horses' health. The 'public' (referred to at various points in the discussion) does not usually see phases A/B/C and we all know that roads and tracs and steeplechase are not responsible for falls on XC.

If we want to make XC courses safer, one place to look is to the work of Dr. Alison Hannam, who's done research into what the horse sees on XC -- a fence is truly dangerous if a horse simply cannot see it properly. This is real safety vs. perceived safety.

After watching XC, I question how safe it is to travel at **** speed over fences that don't sufficiently back the horses off.

mcd
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:49 AM
I must admit I find the tone of this thread very distressing. I agree that we all love the original format of the full-on three day, but did nobody else get far enough down Jimmy's "diary" to get his point that the whole reason behind all of the upheaval and stress we have all gone through was just that - to be able to keep returning to the Olympics? I have never been to an Olympics myself, but I have quite a few personal friends competing this year, as they have in past years, and I honestly feel (in my very humble opinion of course) that those of you who say they don't care whether it stays in the Olympics or not have never been to an Olympics to represent your country. On top of it, I think you're seriously demeaning and diminishing the efforts everyone made on behalf of our sport to keep it there, and the athletes for getting there. It's the Olympics for heaven's sakes - there are no prizes, no money, and no ribbons - you go for the pride of self and country and everything that comes along with it. I think we should remember the efforts made before we slag off the whole notion of it.

- Michelle.

Sandy M
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:54 AM
Many years back, I did read a comment from someone equivalent to Wofford or Mark Todd that the Olympics generally are on the level of a 3*** - the organizers want to see more people (nations) "get around" safely and not be eliminated. But the WEG (formerly World Championships) are tougher and generally 4****.

I'm taping the X-c to watch later, but I must say from watching the little I was able to see before I left for work this morning, it definitely seemed to be more of a 3*** course, and my immediate thought was that dressage and showingjumping and TIME were going to be the primary factors.

canyonoak
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:55 AM
The Athens cross country course is....maybe 2 1/2 stars..I cannot believe that looking at photos ,I thought the course was 'gi-normous'..
but it definitely remains very beautiful...

that said...the Greeks did a FANTASTIC job creating the course and making the ground so ridable.

I am one who believes that the change in format was due to European (aka German breeder, etc.) pressures as well as the general perception that the sport is 'expensive', aka politicial powers did not feel the sport made the IOC etc enough money.

Nevertheless, it was a beautiful day. Bravo (TV)showed mucho rides..I firmly believe this was a good start to the idea of getting more people to watch the sport, and much more importantly--SPONSOR the sport..

I am extremely grateful that--so far--the Big 3 are resisting all pressures to change the format, so the sport will continue to exist.

LLDM
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:55 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:
We will get the long format back when there is a _popular demand_ for it by _spectators_ as well as participants. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Gee LLDM is eventing's lack of "popularity" the best argument you can come up with? It doesn't hold water! XC day at Sidney was THE MOST ATTENTEND ATHLETIC EVENT (short of the opening ceremony) of the 2000 Games. Eventing doesn't have a popularity problem. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Appearently not enough to offset the COST of putting it on. Or to get a lot of TV coverage, thus big money comercials. And that is in a country that is big on eventing.

Where are the big money sponsers? Where are the endorsement contracts? This is how the really popular sports get that way. All I am saying is take a lesson from them.

Women's gynastics has TONS of empty seats AND prime time coverage. What do they know that we don't?

I am on your side here. I just hate reading all this negative stuff during the Olympics, for gosh sakes. It sounds a lot like sour grapes to me, and I am on your side. Think how it sounds to the folks whe aren't.

SCFarm

JAM
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:00 AM
Individual results can be found at:
http://www.athens2004.com/en/EquestrianMixed/results?rsc=EQX003301&frag=EQX003301_C73CD

Team results are at http://www.athens2004.com/en/EquestrianMixed/results?rsc=EQX403301&frag=EQX403301_C73CC

55/75 were clear jumping, and none of the top 36 (roughly half the competition) had more than 10 time penalties, except for Pippa, who had 11.20 to knock her down to 8th. Some top names did have problems (A. Hoy, Nicholson, Antikatzides) but, on the whole, it appears that XC will have a minimal impact on the individual competition and no impact on the team competition.

This is very depressing. While I recognize the safety issues and the bad press the sport has received in the last 3 Olympics (particularly Barcelona), the sport is, after all, supposed to be about XC, and the format changes have essentially written XC out. What we are watching is an overblown combined test.

Chaser
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:05 AM
For whoever asked about Pippa, she hit the fourth fence very hard which stopped her watch or made it unavailable somehow. However, the main problem seemed to be that Prmmore's Pride was very full of himself. After that problem with the early fence, she couldn't trust him to be careful and had to set him up for every fence. He looked very strong.

The course lacked interest I thought, from a spectator's point of view. There were lots of individual fences and not many combinations or requirements to change direction/turn.

It also seemed to me (uninformed I admit!) that the horses had to be very fit to cope with the 45 jumping efforts over the course, but without the other prior phases to settle them down, many were very keen and reluctant to settle.

Someone mentioned lack of spectator appeal. Badminton Horse Trials have the most spectators of any individual sporting event in the world, after the Indy 500. Badminton gets crowds of 250,000 over three days. Obviously, that is country specific, but it is popular at the higher levels.

It is also encouraging that there are so many countries fielding teams in these Olympics. The format of any three results from five potential team members is a great idea to get more team finishers.

Other things I noticed:

The first two French riders looked very risky to me on the XC course. One got away with it and the other fell. I loved their dressage and was surprised to see the rather 'free' approach they took to the xc.

The first horse to go, an Austrian, looked very tired and fell at the second water (a bounce).

Ingrid Klimke was amazing. She had a fall between fences (the ground was slippery in a number of places due to thick turf on top of hard ground) and was still the fastest round the xc.

Winsome Andante looked great, as did Carrick and Windfall. I think Poggio as well, but I'm a bit hazy there.

polo3day
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:10 AM
Did Carrick lose a shoe on xc? i saw john checking his shoes after the xc...

I think the bottom line is that we all love three day eventing for what it is - not for what they are making it into... That having been said, I'd still rather have eventing in the olympics as a glorified horse trials than not at all. It is unfortunate that the changes they are making in the name of "safety" are making it *harder* on the horses instead of easier. We had 50 years experience at the old format of 3day eventing - this is a whole new process.

I'd also like to congratulate the Chronicle on their Eventing Issue - I tore through it last night when I got home. Fabulous articles! Well done! Off topic, but so be it. ;-)

Does the main lady commentator on cnbc drive anyone else nuts? "Back to the horsies"??? UGH!

Clydejumper
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:14 AM
I have to agree after watching the Cross County portion this morning. The course was pretty simple with few and far between challenges. The time was too easily met. I didn't think any of those jumps looked very spooky. Kentucky has some spooky jumps the olympics jumps just like a stroll in the park. Just my opinion.http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Go-Go
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:
All I can say is WOW! Where did that French team come from? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

France? Just guessing.

This type of three day seems right up the Selle Francais alley - just enough thoroughbred to get the XC done right and they are warmbloody enough for the dressage. Stadium should be well done, too.

Chaser
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:19 AM
I must add a huge thumbs up to the BBC coverage in the UK. I had always thought interactive TV to be a big gimmick, but those of us lucky to have it have a choice of five streams of Olympic coverage (more with terrestrial channels).

I have watched every eventing dressage test plus the 15 minute roller breaks! (No ads!) The commentary has been fine.

The first dressage session was interesting because we also got to hear the producer's comments! eg "Soft wrap after the sixth horse." "You really should both be wearing them so you can hear each other" "Plug this in here" "Very good both of you" and a vehement expletive!! Sadly they twigged at the lunchbreak.

dianad
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:28 AM
As far as popularity goes, it was great to see so many spectators at Cross Country. After seeing tons of empty seats at other venues, maybe someone will take notice.

And it was also super to watch three straight hours (even though I was waiting through three hours of tennis at 2am to get there) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif.

Pol
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:30 AM
The course may have 'looked easy' to us out here in TV land, but let's see how the horses recover and who presents sound tomorrow. I am worried. I hate the short format. I was thrilled to see Mike E.S. as the TD- He is the best of the best and has shown great concern for the short format. That gazillion dollar Greek Olympic Equestrian center is surrounded by a race track. Hello? Why not run a steeplechase and throw in some R & T and make it a CCI? Oh well, we'll just have to aim for Badminton, Burghley and Rolex for the Real Thing.
Maybe The NZ's should have kept quiet before their rides... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Glimmerglass
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chaser:
Someone mentioned lack of spectator appeal. Badminton Horse Trials have the most spectators of any individual sporting event in the world, after the Indy 500. Badminton gets crowds of 250,000 over three days. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think only the temperatures could've been a slight issue with perhaps thin spectator numbers. Then again look at all of the games so far - are any packed with spectators? Rolex Kentucky gets 83,000 attendees and is the largest sport horse event in the US. For Sydney the largest attended event of any sport was the cross country, period. This year it's held in perhaps a lesser capable country for the hoards of typical spectators plus terror fears so it's not a barometer of interest..

So suggestions of this being less then an interesting sport is foolish to say the least.

I agree with other in that the course really didn't lend itself to any truly challenging problems other then time. When riders rushed into situations then they paid the price - like the guy who blazed into the coffin jump.

The original comments in the article were such that (or how I read it) was New Zealand was hoping for a more difficult course so that this phase would weed out more riders who were not up to the task for a tricky series of obstacles.

Kareen
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:36 AM
I obviously don't advocate lowering the standards for the sake of a maximum number of starters.
However the question was not 'Do we want eventing to be the old way or a short version' but 'How do we ensure eventing to maintain olympic status' and lastly 'How do we fix the existing image problem eventing has with the non-horsey public'.

The matters that lead to the shortened version were not complaints from WB breeders or equestrian 'third world' nations but a lot of negative press about horses and riders that got actually killed during xc courses in the conventional 4* format.
The risk of getting seriously injured unarguably increases drastically for worn out, tired horses and I just didn't see any of these in today's xc nor did I see overly many starters finish with no penalties so I just think the format isn't quite as bad as some of us may think.
I'd love to see horses and riders over the old format but if this is what it takes to avoid those ugly accidents that have again and again occurred all over the world then be it.
Maybe N.A. didn't have that much coverage on each single incident here in Europe but here in Germany the general press and TV was full of it whether it was Achselschwang, Burghley or Punchestown.

akrogirl
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:36 AM
Is there any more news on Over and Over? The BBC web site is reporting that he fractured his left distal femur http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

PiedPiper
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:45 AM
I have to agree with those disliking the short format. From what I heard there were more horses who were tird than in the long format. I agree, eventing is suppose to be the long format, not the short. I am thrilled that it is still in the Olympics but hope that this is a small bump in the road and we will one day go back to teh long format.

Kareen-Why do you think so many people would back down to PETA? Isn't that like someone backing down to terroist? I really don't that they were a main reason. Money is what makes the world go round and that is what caused the format change. But in regards to danger, it is more dangerous to not have the prep phases to help weed out those that can't go on to x country. That is what the steeplechase and roads adn tracks were there for and the vet checks after them.

I think you can see there are some "nice" falls in the short format as well. I will be very interested to know who passes the last inspection tomorrow.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 17, 2004, 08:52 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by akrogirl:
Is there any more news on Over and Over? The BBC web site is reporting that he fractured his left distal femur <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The aforementioned article: BBC 8/17 "British eventers slip back" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/equestrian/3572378.stm)

Magnolia
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:00 AM
Finally, some faults posted - earlier, saw none! BTW, why didn't Windfall do better in dressage? I thought that was his strong suit - the best on the US team? AT any rate, glad to see team USA do so well XC!

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:07 AM
Kareen... I'm curious as to your experience with eventing. I may be off base here but alot of what you are saying to me sounds like someone who has been reading too much PETA material and doesn't have enough first-hand experience with the sport to form independent (and correct, I might add) opinions. I sincerely apologize if I'm taking your comments the wrong way.

I remember when Nirvana II fell at the bridge at the second water in Atlanta. Hurt? Nope.. in fact she stood out int he middle of the water looking around (quite comical IIRC). Retired on course? Absolutely. Rider hurt? not at all. However, what was the 1 photo PETA used for their newsletter? That split-second when Nirvana's legs were in the air as she misjudged the takeoff on the bridge and slipped on it. totally inflamatory nonsense.

I agree... backing down to PETA and the like is like backing down to terrorists. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile.

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:10 AM
One more comment on the course difficulty -- having seen NO pictures whatsoever, my only thought is have we EVER seen a 3 star track (or any other advanced track period) where one could slip and fall between fences, remount and STILL come in fastest of the day???? To me that sounds like a course that is way too easy.

Dezi
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:19 AM
At the Pan Am's in Buenos Aries, Mara DePuy had the same thing happen (fell between fences), and I believe she had about 30 time penalties (but it has been a while, so my fuzzy brain may be in error!). I am pretty sure that competition was a 2*, so the time would have been a tick slower than a 3*.

Ingrid musta been "cookin with gas" the entire way around the course!!

tle
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:29 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dezi:
Ingrid musta been "cookin with gas" the entire way around the course!! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Precisely my point. If you can have something as time consuming as a fall happen and STILL make time, there's something wrong. It reminds me of all the woes we've mentioned on this board in the US about the problem with using the FEI 4 points for a stop in stadium at the lower levels -- the course is so easy that you can RUN at the fences and still get around without time faults. If that isn't a good thing and we're talking about a Novice level show jumping course (2'11"), how is it ok to design a Cross Country course where the same thing can happen??!?

Portia
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:33 AM
PETA and other animal rights organizations are much stronger in Europe and some other places in the world than they are in North or South America. In Great Britain, they came very, very close to getting foxhunting banned entirely, and may well yet succeed in doing so. So don't discount the effect of the bad image the spate of human and animal deaths on XC a couple of years ago had on the sport.

However, I do believe the biggest issue was money and the politics that result from money. Some organizers were and are trying hard to get Equestrian, and especially Eventing, out of the Olympics entirely. It costs a huge amount of money, space, and special facilities to have horses in the Olympics. Triple that for Eventing, where you need literally miles of open land and an essentially permanent course. The IOC has to balance those costs and needs against the needs of a couple of dozen other sports, most of which could not care less about horses.

And it isn't only the non-horse people who would be happy to see Eventing gone -- The Reining people would love to see their sport in the Olympics and they know there is no way in hell that the IOC is going to add a fourth Equestrian discipline. So that means one of the existing ones has to go, and that means Eventing. Think about how attractive that option is to the organizers. Reining doesn't have the tradtion, but it has lots of spectator appeal and it could be done in the same ring as showjumping or dressage.

As for the Germans wanting to push their warmbloods, I'm not much of one for conspiracy theories. Yes, the new format changes the equation and warmbloods may well do better. But then, I still didn't see too many old fashioned warmbloods out there. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Maybe that will change and the warmblood breeders will see a windfall. We'll have to wait and see.

The bottom line for me, however, is that the IOC made pretty damn clear that the only choice was either the new format or no Eventing in the Olympics. That's it. Much as they may not like it, the Eventing powers-that-be determined that the compromise of the new format was preferable to no Eventing at all. Maybe they'll change their minds and figure it isn't worth it. If they do, the Reiners will be only too happy to step in to fill the spot.

Portia
Aug. 17, 2004, 09:42 AM
On Ingrid's fall, it wasn't a fall per se. The horse's hind end slipped out around a turn and Ingrid came off landing on her feet with her reins in her hands. She was back on board in about ten seconds.

That's not to say it wouldn't have been appropriate to make the TA tighter, just an explanation for how she could "fall" and still make the time. I do think that in some cases the TA looked generous. I noticed it particularly with Heidi Antikarides (or however it's spelled). She had a hard fall, took some time to get up and make sure all the pieces were still attached, and it took a good minute or 90 seconds to get her horse back to her and get her on board. But (if I recall correctly) she was still only 45 seconds or so over the TA.

What was the length of the course and the meters per minute? Did they lower the speed in anticipation of it being very hot? (Which would be reasonable to expect -- It was 96 f. for the men's road race in cycling the other day!)

wanderlust
Aug. 17, 2004, 10:46 AM
Hey Portia,
A little off-topic, but does reining really have the worldwide popularity required to become an olympic sport? It seems so very North America-centric.

KateDB
Aug. 17, 2004, 10:58 AM
For conspiracy theorists, I'd just like to point out that the second place German horse is an ISH, not a Continental warmblood!

Ellie K
Aug. 17, 2004, 11:24 AM
At the time reining was proposed to the FEI, it far exceeded the FEI's requirements to become an FEI discipline...I believe there were something like 57,000 participants in 47 countries worldwide. Those stats would have been in the late 90's as it was accepted by the FEI in 2000. And it has experienced huge growth since then. The Germans and Italians are especially strong and many other European and South American countries are very active and progressing rapidly.

To become an Olympic discipline the IOC's objective criteria are not that tough to meet at all making it mainly a subjective/political decision. One reason the sport is growing so well is that its development is being strategically planned and carried out with very professional leading organizations which are focused on a unified goal.

But the FEI has consistently said they would not promote another discipline to the IOC as a substitute for one of the "classic three." So the only way they would want to propose reining would be by decreasing the quota in one or more other disciplines. Of course, if the IOC puts them in a corner, who knows...I think the FEI is very afraid of the IOC and if the IOC want reining, the IOC will get reining.

edited for clarity

aregard
Aug. 17, 2004, 11:45 AM
I think the new format will encourage the wrong kind of horse.

We'll see more warmblood and less TB blood because they've taken the endurance out of the endurance day.

Riders will have to win in dressage, and that'll be that. So, I don't like the new format, either.

I also didn't feel the course was really challenging. There are some good fences, but the course is not quite up there.

I don't need to see horses down and riders hurt to enjoy an event. But I don't think they should hit the finish line looking for the next set of 20 fences, either. If you are going to take out the roads and tracks and steeplechase, then make the course a real doozie.

retreadeventer
Aug. 17, 2004, 11:49 AM
Watched on Bravo. I saw the Over and Over horse -- he wacked the hind leg badly on the first jump of the coffin complex, it stung really bad -- he could not put weight on it the first step after landing, thus he tried to keep his balance but had too much momentum, made a superequine effort to clear the ditch at the bottom and headfirsted into the bank in front of the third jump and got up on three legs. You could tell the stifle was badly knocked because the camera even picked up the sound. OUchy.
I was shocked that Williams hacked around the course so slowly -- every time they saw him between fences he never hustled away on landing, it looked as tho he was just relying on his horse's big beautiful gallop to get them within the time and big surprise, the course rode slow. The australians self destructed. They all looked loose in the saddle anyhow except Phillip. When can we get him to trade his citizenship in for American? Kim looked great. Pippa looked overconfident. The grey French horse and rider looked PERFECT everywhere. Betina rode like it meant her life. Poor Heidi, she finished on heart after that fall and she has to be hurting. The Canadians looked better than usual but it was still the Olympics. I only got to see about 10 seconds of Amy, but Pog looked like he was jumping well and all looked fit at the end. I had to go toward the end.I dont think the course was easy. In an Olympics, Neal Ayer in LA had a real hell of a time getting the course laid outso that the Croatians could finish and not be killed in so doing, but that tested the British and the Amerian top level international horses. It's almost like having to run Preliminary horses with Advanced and still get everyone home intact. That is very different from a WC which does not cater to little nations as the Olympics does. Different objectives to the courses, hence the fact that some people may find it easy and others struggle to ride them. John's comment -- that the course was easy -- seems strange when he did not make the time? Perhaps he was misquoted, it happens, I did press briefings for an Olympics, I know what can happen...

Portia
Aug. 17, 2004, 11:50 AM
It looks like that TA of 9:46 really did turn out to be generous, at least for the riders who went late after seeing how it rode for others.

Of the three good riders with hard falls, Hoy came in at 10:13, Nicholson came in at 10:04, and Antikatzides at 10:40. You gotta figure it took Nicholson a lot more than 18 seconds to fall, shake it off, have someone retrieve his horse, remount, and get back into galloping rhythm again.

And Klimke at 9:27, with the (let's be generous and say) 15 seconds for her unplanned dismount?

Yep, I'd say the TA turned out to be very kind to those who went later and could see where the shortcuts were. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

cmannphoto
Aug. 17, 2004, 11:52 AM
A side note. About the empty seats for eventing dressage at the Olympics. In Sydney I remember that the same thing happened. The stadium was half empty during dressage a lot of people showed up for cross country and show jumping.

I think the course was harder then they thought it would be. Andrew Hoy from AUS had a fall today. 4 where eliminated. And as you can see from my photo gallery it was not smooth sailing from the first horse on course.
www.cmannphoto.com/olympics.htm (http://www.cmannphoto.com/olympics.htm) and click on August 17.

From Athens,

Charles Mann

Weatherford
Aug. 17, 2004, 01:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KateDB:
For conspiracy theorists, I'd just like to point out that the second place German horse is an ISH, not a Continental warmblood! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, yes, an ISH found and produced by my friend here, Ann Leonard O'Grady!!!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

However, Bretina often has problems on the XC - certainly at Punchestown and WEG she did... Not the horse's fault (she says) (and, after all, he is Irish!)

wanderlust
Aug. 17, 2004, 01:31 PM
Thanks Ellie K, I had no idea they had numbers like that. There was recently a HUGE reining event in our area, drawing horses from most of the western states, and I have to admit that I found it, well, ummmm, less than interesting. Made me realize they must have some great marketing to get that many people involved in something I found to be a snoozer.

shea'smom
Aug. 17, 2004, 01:57 PM
Didn't John have 1.2 time faults, 3 seconds slow? Was that really just hacking between fences? Seems pretty fast to me.
I think the experience at Rolex, of the Modified horses getting so tired, made people gun shy of not having enough horse left. Better to do your best and be a little careful, to me.

LLDM
Aug. 17, 2004, 02:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ellie K:
At the time reining was proposed to the FEI, it far exceeded the FEI's requirements to become an FEI discipline...I believe there were something like 57,000 participants in 47 countries worldwide. Those stats would have been in the late 90's as it was accepted by the FEI in 2000. And it has experienced huge growth since then. The Germans and Italians are especially strong and many other European and South American countries are very active and progressing rapidly.

To become an Olympic discipline the IOC's objective criteria are not that tough to meet at all making it mainly a subjective/political decision. One reason the sport is growing so well is that its development is being strategically planned and carried out with very professional leading organizations which are focused on a unified goal.

But the FEI has consistently said they would not promote another discipline to the IOC as a substitute for one of the "classic three." So the only way they would want to propose reining would be by decreasing the quota in one or more other disciplines. Of course, if the IOC puts them in a corner, who knows...I think the FEI is very afraid of the IOC and if the IOC want reining, the IOC will get reining.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe we should take a long hard look at what the reiners are doing right. They have been very smart to seek FEI recognition/acceptance. They seem to understand how to grow their sport and are gaining respect (and members). All the "classic disciplines" could use some of that.

SCFarm

JER
Aug. 17, 2004, 02:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Why do you think so many people would back down to PETA? Isn't that like someone backing down to terroist? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Except it's not simply PETA. A number of well-known organizations, such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) have been "infiltrated" (not the word I want but can't think of a better one) by the animal rights movement. Some animal welfare groups have accepted money from animal rights organizations and/or donations from individuals with animal rights concerns. Other groups, like HSUS, are under the leadership of individuals with animal rights agendas. So it's not so much as backing down to PETA as it is being hamstrung by the hand that feeds you.

I recently spent time in Africa with a group of serious conservationists -- not people in offices but people who do the hard work on the ground and live full-time in conservation areas. The sad truth is that animal welfare (the goal of conservation efforts) is often compromised by "animal rights" (the movement). For example, there are over 100,000 "surplus" elephants in southern Africa -- 100K more elephants than the available ecosystem can provide for. But they're at a standstill as to what to do (they're asking if other countries need elephants) because IFAW -- who gives a lot of money/support to the parks -- won't allow any culling. Nobody wants to kill elephants, but as one conservation trust manager says "You have a choice. You can have elephants or you can have biodiversity but you can't have both." (You can have elephants and firewood -- very few trees will be left standing!)

Animal rights is by definition an emotional issue. It is an all-or-nothing argument. I personally cannot answer the question "What rights does the zebra/horse/dog have?" framed as a purely animal-rights question. Any legitimate answer -- a 'right' to food, water, shelter, uncaged/natural living -- is really a welfare issue.

frugalannie
Aug. 17, 2004, 02:49 PM
I've got to say that Ms. Klimke's horse has the most deceptive stride I've ever seen. No way I would have thought that he was going fast enough to be 18 seconds faster than Winsome Adante (if there hadn't been a fall). I'm assuming 15 seconds for the "involuntary dismount", remounting and circling to get back to the jump, just so you know where I came up with that number. That she would be at a pace 18 seconds faster than the next closest rider, and 24 seconds (or so) faster than Philip Dutton amazes me. Interestingly, they did not show her finish time on TV. Now can someone 'splain that horse's stride to me?

I'm so sorry to hear about William Fox-Pit's horse. He's such a great rider and sits so steadily in the saddle it is now clear that he really helped his horse to finish.

Incidentally, it was John Wiliiams who was checking Carrick's shoes at the finish, and the commentators were speculating that a shoe might have been lost early in the course, resulting in the conservative gallop.

Kristin331
Aug. 17, 2004, 03:00 PM
I just read this whole thread, and it was all really interesting.

However, being a typical DQ, i have ZERO expierence in 3day. What is it that they changes about the eventing?

findeight
Aug. 17, 2004, 03:09 PM
No it's not just PETA, it's folks like me who understand the impact of a dead horse on casual observers who bring the kiddies to an event like Rolex.
I know there are a million reasons why this can happen and most of them are nobody's fault, but our sport in general suffers..and you have to admit, past Olympics have offered TV coverage of horses drowning in Mexico City or that Russian horse that flipped and lay stone still as the talkers said he was OK in the heat of Barcelona...that's all non horsey types remember.

At least today's excellent coverage and knowledgeble commentary did not show us that kind of memory and went out of the way to show them being misted at the conclusion and all the fall victims up and moving.

Far as the new format, I don't know, I don't event . But it seems that,as we lose open spaces and prices for everything skyrocket, we might have to compromise in certain situations.
It may not be possible to construct all the additional roads and tracks...and that race track around the grounds today may not even be finished yet, much less in grass with hedges.

Maybe we can settle for our biggest media event allowing a safe trip while still rewarding the great effort so casual TV viewers can "get it" and perhaps learn more. While still keeping Badminton, Burghley, KHP and others like the WEG courses to present the true ****.

Heck, I'm just an HP and an old one at that..but I did NOT see today's course as all that easy. Different? Yes. But not that easy.

Saw alot of top riders struggle with technical questions and fight to balance the too strong horses and saw others shockingly unable to make the time viewed on here as too easy..and saw others canter across the line with 10 seconds to spare.

I will go along with you on the fact that this format does require a different horse and ride...but isn't the last WEG champion one of those Frenchmen who blew around flawlessly today and wasn't that the old format? So the same combo is winning at both????

Maybe this was different but I'm not sure it's a bad thing and it sure did not strike me as easy.

Ellie K
Aug. 17, 2004, 03:37 PM
Kristin,

They eliminated the roads and tracks and steeplechase portions...most of the endurance phase that also gets the horses ready to jump the final X-C. So it's basically a very short X-C course that was intended to solve, or at least lessen, the perceived problems of space/expense and safety. But it has only been run twice now, at Rolex and now the OG, and there is a lot still to be seen about how the horses handle it. This was all done in response to an IOC commission's proposal to remove the discipline entirely (and some other sports) beginning with 2008. The FEI then had the opportunity to make changes to counter the IOC's recommendation, and after endless debate worldwide, amendments were made that were acceptable to the IOC (for now at least).

It IS different but I don't know that there is any compelling evidence that shorter is going to be safer. It seems like these are just the easy layman's arguments the IOC made. So the equestrian world threw them something more palatable--shorter and requiring less land. I don't fault the FEI or anyone...this whole thing really caught everyone off guard and I know many very knowledgeable people worked long and hard to come up with a solution that everyone could live with. But my guess at this point is that the FEI will be having the same conversation with the IOC in 4 or 8 years....or maybe as early as 2005.

Gnep
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:05 PM
The German Breeders, gee folks. Why is it that people always need an enemy, a bad guy, evel empire and other BS.
Look at the breeds that are leading and you got the answers.

That it is just a Horse Trail is absolutly corect, no road and tracks no steepelchase no 3 Day.

The course was challenging enough, exhausting for horse and rider, otherwise there would have been more double clear rounds. It got enough teams. I don't know howmany crashes it needs that people talk about a corse that is up to par.
A course like Jerez ? with absolutly idiotic combinations that are nearly unridable.
It is the Olympics and should allow less experianced riders to finish to.
If it is not enough of a chalenge for the hot shots, than they should stay home and ride the 4stars

Seriously injured or dead horses are very bad PR
( remembered Sidney ) especialy when the world press are waiting for it.
So better a so called soft X-C for the Olympics Horse Trails and good PR.

By the way, quiet a feat by Klimke, to fall and to get back on and finish with a double clean round on this course.
Loved how the young Frenchman celebrated after the last jump. I hope he wins the gold, because than the picture of sheer joy will go around the world and not the sad pictures of broken horses and people.

Kristin331
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ellie K:
Kristin,

They eliminated the roads and tracks and steeplechase portions...most of the endurance phase that also gets the horses ready to jump the final X-C. . <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had no idea that they even had steeplechase portions, or this road and track.

Ellie K
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:20 PM
Yeah, they never showed that part on TV anyway http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

If you had never seen the regular (old) format live in person you would think all they did was the actual X-C course. But they have actually been warming up and galloping over lower jumps for a long, long while before they ever get to that. This is what takes so much land and supposedly so much money. And now these horses that were born, trained and conditioned to do all of that are having to do something different (or be replaced by other type horses). So there is still a lot to figure out on how to make it all work. Interesting times...

Erin
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:24 PM
It's just for true three-day events, Kristin. Horse trials are just dressage, cross-country and show jumping, without the extra endurance phases. But a three-day, or CCI, includes the extra phases.

Your average lower level eventer is usually just doing horse trials. You don't start doing three-day events until you're competing at preliminary (3'7").

Larksmom
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:29 PM
I hate to wade into such a passionate discussion, BUT why not!? It seems to me, that this sport has been in the Olympics, relatively unchanged for about 100 years. Have horses ever died from their injuries in the past during the Olympics? I don't remember. Does anyone who saw the Belgian horse fall think he will survive? I have thought for a long time, [a long time,] that there is way too much expense and frippery involved in having the Olympics move happily around the world every 4 years. It is easy to pick on the horse sports, but really, what are most of the venues going to be used for after the games are over? The equestrian games should not be tampered with, BUT I do think it is a good thing for more people to finish. I am somewhat conflicted about this idea. The course didn't look tough, but that is what they said about Gawler in '86. It turned out to be the terrain to be tough on the horses, and the 3 days of rain. I was also not pleased with the fact that there was NO ATTEMPT to explain the difference in format.But perhaps this is nitpicking. I must say, I was VERY PLEASED that there was over 1 hour of eventing Dressage{!?} and several uninterrupted hours of x-country. Way to go NBC!

Ellie K
Aug. 17, 2004, 04:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gnep:

If it is not enough of a chalenge for the hot shots, than they should stay home and ride the 4stars

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agree with Gnep...I'll take safety and good PR at the Olympics too...But what will also become a problem is that if the Olympics lose their appeal to the top riders, this is also bad for the FEI. One of the criteria the sports will be evaluated on by the IOC is how closely the Olympic participation matches the world rankings and the world championships participation I think too. They want the top competitors at the OG so that the Games retain their prestige. If not, that's another reason to kick it out of the Olympics. So it looks like they'll get us either way http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

EventerAJ
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by frugalannie:
I've got to say that Ms. Klimke's horse has the most deceptive stride I've ever seen. No way I would have thought that he was going fast enough to be 18 seconds faster than Winsome Adante (if there hadn't been a fall). I'm assuming 15 seconds for the "involuntary dismount", remounting and circling to get back to the jump, just so you know where I came up with that number. That she would be at a pace 18 seconds faster than the next closest rider, and 24 seconds (or so) faster than Philip Dutton amazes me. Interestingly, they did not show her finish time on TV. Now can someone 'splain that horse's stride to me?

I'm so sorry to hear about William Fox-Pit's horse. He's such a great rider and sits so steadily in the saddle it is now clear that he really helped his horse to finish.

Incidentally, it was John Wiliiams who was checking Carrick's shoes at the finish, and the commentators were speculating that a shoe might have been lost early in the course, resulting in the conservative gallop. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I completely agree!! It was inescapably clear that Philip, Kim, Darren, etc were going FAST. It was obvious that John Williams was going slower. It seemed *to me* that Ingrid Klimke did NOT seem to be that fast, and I didn't think her horse had an amazing, wonderful Molokai-type gallop. I was shocked to hear that she was clean on time...and really under, too! I guess I just don't know anything anymore!

Also it seems very smart that JW picked up a few time penalties running on a barefoot Carrick-- better to have a little time today and jog sound tomorrow! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Larksmom
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:
One more comment on the course difficulty -- having seen NO pictures whatsoever, my only thought is have we EVER seen a 3 star track (or any other advanced track period) where one could slip and fall between fences, remount and STILL come in fastest of the day???? To me that sounds like a course that is way too easy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Actually, in 1978, in Kentucky, at my Very First Spectator Event, Lucinda Prior\Palmer, had a NASTY fall with Village Gossip at the snake fence, and remounted to finish with one of the very few clear rounds of the day. Of course, poor Gossip was cooked. He could not be presented the next day. Ingrid's fall was clearly not the cause of the jump. I thought it would still count till I remembered there are no more penelty zones. She was remounted in a flash and the horse had no other stops or trouble of any sort.

LisaB
Aug. 17, 2004, 05:56 PM
Yes, Larksmom, horses have died. Unfortunately. I *think* in Syndey MJ Turnbridge's horse had a freaky break in the leg.
Then they do show those spectacular falls. Of course in Britain it's expected and warranted for good viewer turnout http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif
But to the rest of the world that is not versed in spectacular fall means good drinkin' that night, it can be horrific.

ideayoda
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:00 PM
Horses have died, alot of them. In Rome (60) they used a cement drainage ditchpipe, and if horses scaped it they literally took their legs down. And in Mexico City (68), russian horses drowned when a strem became a raging river and exhausted horses were swept away. I seem to remember that a number of horses resigned the course in Montreal (76) it was so uphill on the end that horses were exhausted and didnt continue. I am sure there are other cases of wrecks as well.

LLDM
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:17 PM
I think PETA is not the problem, so much as other horse people. People who know just how dangerous any kind of riding can be and just how fragile horses are.

It would help the long format agruement a great deal if their (other riders)legitimate issues were addressed. I, for one, get irritated when people say things like, "go play tennis" if you think it is too dangerous. Face it, it is more dangerous than just about any other kind of riding.

So please, make your arguements about proper conditioning, soundness management, good training programs and practical safety measures. These arguements are informative, educational and believable.

And admit that for a while there it was getting out of hand. It has gotten better, so tell us why. Tell us what has been done, in the long format, that is making it better and safer for the horses.

You all have much better agruements than the one's you are making here!

SCFarm

AM
Aug. 17, 2004, 07:33 PM
DMK - sorry to tell you that it is up to each WEG organizer whether to run the CCI with steeplechase or without and Achen has chosen to go without.

Don't forget that being in the Olympics brings a big chunk of money to whatever the USET is now. And the better we finish, the more the US Olympic organization allots to Equestrian. And it has been the eventers and DQ's earning that money lately. I wouldn't be surprised if the USET didn't push reining as an FEI sport for the revenue they would bring into the USET as well.

According to Kate Jackson and Alan Balch, the Olympic organizers aren't interested in cost containment. Look at two stadiums in Athens and washers and dryers in every stable block. They also don't charge enough for the equestrian tickets but blame equestrian for spending too much money. And the spectators on cross country day are limited by the Olympic transportation systems. The course could accommodate more spectators, but the transportation folks can't usually get them to the course.

As a spectator I, too, prefer the old format. And I've always made it a point to watch at least some steeplechase and some roads and tracks. It's rather fun to stand along the track and clap as someone passes. They usually make eye contact with you and you know they received your encouragement. I've been to every WEG so far. I hate to break my string, but I'm having a hard time trekking that far for a horse trial.

Gnep
Aug. 17, 2004, 10:17 PM
I have been eventing for over 40 years and always it was my goal to qualify for the 3 Days. It still is. There is nothing like a 3 Day, even if it is just at the One Star Level, or maybe at the 2 Star Level ( for us comon people ).

What have we done for safety. We used to run mostly on natural courses. Water jumps were Rivers or lakes, very deep, no groomed footing. The distances were twice as long, a training was 4000 meters and a prelim 6500 metyers in the 70s, an intermediat around 8000 and an Advanced what ever fancied the organizer beyond 9000. There were no jump or course builder or designer courses. The organizer built them and designed the courses. By todays standard they were brutal, unforgiving and plain stupid.

We had a ton of very serious crashes, we lost a lot of horses and riders in a year.
I rode those X-C in Europe in the 70 and 80. They were wild. Training wise, we did basicly nothing more than pound conditioning into us and our horses. I am still a condition freak.
Dressage were nothing else but damage controll. Stadium jumping was just a final condition test, it very seldon decided the outcome. You wone in X-C.
C-X jumps could be terrible traps, it could take an endles time with chain saws to get a horse out of them.

Today our courses are mostly well groomed, especialy in the upper levels, The distances are reasenable long, the jumps are built, so they will not trap a horse, if it happens one just has to cut a rope and the jump falls apart.
Today you win in dressage and loose in stadium.
The overal best performance counts, not just one single part.

I don't buy the argument, that if not the best professional go to the Olympics it will hurt the sport. Take basketball, soccer or softball those sports are doing well without the big names.

In the Olympics we have a world wirde audience, that don't know horses, that don't know the sport. If they see a horse go down, and have that repeated in slow motion over and over again, neck bend in an strange angle legs flying the whole nine jards, they will groan the poore horsie how could they do that to it.
It does not matter if the horse gets up and is fine and the rider gets hauled away.

I personaly had a big stone lifted of me when the last horse came across the finish and i had not seen any major crashes. I was very happy for my sport.

SimplySarah
Aug. 17, 2004, 10:34 PM
It was nice not to have to cover my eyes, but I must admit I was disappointed by the course itself. For me, part of the excitement of competition is the fact that not everyone wins-- and there were a whole lot of people 'winning' easily out there today.

I was horribly dissappointed that Pippa was having to check and hold her horse back so strong. She was utterly exhausted by the end of the course, and her horse was obviously not.

Weatherford
Aug. 18, 2004, 12:51 AM
I still point to Neil Ayers '84 course as a perfect example of a course that dealt with all the issues being raised in this discussion:

1) limited space - it was on an intended gold course!
2) safety for all competitors - the alternative fences WERE longer and safer - AND a lot of top competitors used them! There were some falls (Bruce Davidson at the water, for example), but it was obviously a safe, yet difficult course.
3) Spectators - TONS of spectators for each discipline!! (OK, it WAS in southern California!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )
4) technical considerations - competitors had to take into consideration the footing (it was a little slick on top - but we (US) didn't realize it til after our first rider (Mike Plumb). The undulating terrain - which made things a little more difficult for the long strided horses. The course options - really made a difference!

As I mentioned elsewhere, Ayers was quoted as saying it was his job to make a course that was challenging for the best in the world, and yet still safe for the smaller countries who were happy to be there.

I believe it can be done!

(I can't talk about the Atlanta course, as I didn't have a TV at the time and never watched!)

Interesting that many of the serious/fatal falls in the past 20 years of eventing have occurred at the lower levels... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

malarkey
Aug. 18, 2004, 01:13 AM
It's a tough subject. I really believe though, that we will start to see the tricky technical combinations going away. cross country will evolve into being primarily tests of endurance, speed and accuracy, and not 'can my horse figure out this trappy combination in a fraction of a second'. I do think that the consequences of riding a fence poorly will change.

and hey, how about Carrick going through that water complex like a show hunter? awesome...

Chaser
Aug. 18, 2004, 03:07 AM
To those who are unfamiliar with xc courses, it is possible to build a course which challenges the best but still permits the less experienced to get around safely. More difficult fences have alternatives which are easier to negotiate but take more time.

In the Athens course, I didn't see many fences where the less experienced clearly opted for the alternative (where there was one).

Also, it is possible to rack up penalties on a course without 'crash and burn' - eg a glance off a corner, a run out, a 'rider frightener' which the horse will negotiate fine if the rider holds his nerve. This is clever course building. These penalise the rider without hurting the horse, except perhaps to make it more tired at the end, and hence have another impact on the scores.

It should not be possible to easily make the time on xc. In many competitions, no one makes the time. That is not considered a failure. It means that the ones who are rewarded are those who have ridden the cleverest lines, kept in a galloping rhythm, made quick get aways after fences, successfully negotiated the difficult alternatives, have got the conditioning of their horses right.

Weatherford
Aug. 18, 2004, 03:37 AM
The Belgian horse Over & Over was put down after his fall - so, the falling and the getting hurt can happen ANYTIME, ANYWHERE and is not a good reason for making the course/event easier... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

My thoughts are with the horse's rider and owners! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif I do hate it when that happens!

AmityBee
Aug. 18, 2004, 03:48 AM
OK, this might sounds stupid... but...

....is this course really a **** ?!?

I know I read *** somewhere, I was wondering about that, that's why I remember. But Of course it could have been a typo, that's what I thought it was at the time ?

Kareen
Aug. 18, 2004, 04:09 AM
To tle (sp?) you are putting me in a corner I don't belong in http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I have never read any kind of PETA material re. eventing but I do know their campaigns on other topics. Don't think I agree with what this organization does.
As a matter of fact though and as others pointed out so well it's not just PETA. Basically I find it pretty scary if equestrians build a ditch between themselves and 'the animals rights people' as a whole. Because shouldn't we BE animals rights people by definition???
I've ridden enough xc courses (no 3 or 4* I will admit http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ) to know what I'm talking about and if you deny the fact that yes horses and riders have died during xc it won't help the sport at all but in opposite. A am also a vet in practise . But even for non-medical brains it is easy to figure that competition over fix fences is bearing a higher risk for fatal injuries than e.g.show jumping.
Speaking of which: you have certainly noticed how over the past 25 years standards for fences have been changed. Poles are lighter and fall easier with today's equipment. I don't think this has damaged the sport anyhow. If I were as suspicious as some of the posters here I'd cry out loud and say: This has only been done by them folks who don't breed WB and can't stand it that ours do better http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

LisaB
Aug. 18, 2004, 04:31 AM
Kareen, you did say that you thought the pressure of PETA is why the course was sans R&D and steeplechase.
It is soft. It's supposed to be a *** but it was more like a ** 1/2.
And Kareen, you state the poles in sj are lighter now. I beg to differ here in the states at least. They are the same stuff they always have been. And if you want to get into it, it is absolutely not safe to have light poles or breakable x-c fences, period. It's a whole different world on x-c. You're going over terrain, at speed. If the horse thinks he can let poles fly on x-c, he's going to somersault. It's not a careful horse. The Brits went through tremendous efforts in developing a safer fence. The first thing they ruled out were lighter poles and x-c jumps that knock down. They came up with the frangible pin. So, basically if a horse hits the fence with a great force, such as chesting it, the pin breaks that's holding up the log. Then the log drops down enough so the horse can untangle himself without somersaulting.
I think there's some pissiness amongst the competitors that the best x-c horses couldn't show their abilities. I don't blame them! But again, this isn't a ****. And unfortunately, because of the venue and the nature of the Olympics, this is probably the way it's going to be.

gahawkeye
Aug. 18, 2004, 05:30 AM
The Olympics, for Eventing anyway, seem to be moving to a marketing showcase. It is essential that the sport remain visible for funding reasons, but it will no longer be "the Test" for the best in the sport. That I believe will remain at Badminton, Burghley and Rolex, as unfortunately, even the next WEG will not run a long-format CCI****. I agree with previous poster in that don't think I'll treck to Germany to watch a horse trial.

I hope Lexington wins the 2010 (?) WEG. There we will see the best in the world compete at a level to truly test both horse and rider.

tle
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:09 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Far as the new format, I don't know, I don't event . But it seems that,as we lose open spaces and prices for everything skyrocket, we might have to compromise in certain situations. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

interesting that someone who doesn't ride 3-day is so willing to compromise. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif At least it's not affecting your sport.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>So better a so called soft X-C for the Olympics Horse Trails and good PR. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
but it's the freakin' Olympics!! Supposidly the best of the best... not the best of the so-called soft. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>By the way, quiet a feat by Klimke, to fall and to get back on and finish with a double clean round on this course. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
quite a feat... yeah. good horsemanship... IMHO the jury is still out.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Horses have died, alot of them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
And every course you mentioned ideayoda was over 25 years ago! Don't ya think course design and riding skills have gotten just a tad better since then? Hell, course design has changed significantly in the last 10 years!! Yes, a horse was put down after Sydney in what vet's called (IIRC) a freak break -- he jumped just fine but something gave in teh landing... not that his landing was ANY different than any other horse's. Possibly an inherent weakness.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Face it, it is more dangerous than just about any other kind of riding. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Actually if you go by ER stats that have been published, TRAIL RIDING is the most dangerous form of riding, thankyouverymuch.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Because shouldn't we BE animals rights people by definition??? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Absolutely NOT! Animal WELFARE, yes. Animal rights... not necessarily and certainly not "by definition".

LLDM
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:18 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by tle:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Horses have died, alot of them. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
And every course you mentioned ideayoda was over 25 years ago! Don't ya think course design and riding skills have gotten just a tad better since then? Hell, course design has changed significantly in the last 10 years!! Yes, a horse was put down after Sydney in what vet's called (IIRC) a freak break -- he jumped just fine but something gave in teh landing... not that his landing was ANY different than any other horse's. Possibly an inherent weakness.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Over and Over was put down. This is what people see and remember, especially horse people. It seems as though we lose a horse at every Olympics. Even if the course is "easy".

tle - You aren't doing your cause any favors with these posts. I am in favor of the long format. But listening to you I am starting to change my mind.

SCFarm

tle
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>tle - You aren't doing your cause any favors with these posts. I am in favor of the long format. But listening to you I am starting to change my mind. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And what exactly am I saying that isn't the truth??

Or perhaps I should just sit down, shut up and not have an opinion?

LLDM
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:36 AM
tle - Some of what you say is fact, some of it is opinion, some of it is conjecture. Nothing wrong with that. All arguements are composed of all of these things.

What I am suggesting is that if you form compelling, positive arguements in favor of the long format, instead of coming accross as negative and defensive, you will sway more people to your way of thinking. As it is, your losing me. And I started out on your side.

"Truth" is not just facts and figures. Although there are facts to support both sides that are compelling. The best way to convince people to your point of veiw is not to treat them like idiots and to admit that they have some valid points. It is called diplomacy. It works.

SCFarm

tle
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:45 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The best way to convince people to your point of veiw is not to treat them like idiots <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Yeah... I totally understand that one. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Sorry, but I DO get defensive when I hear people bashing something I love. I DO get defensive when I hear people say that we're all out to kill our horses because eventing is so dangerous (written on another board). How do you respond to such things? And coming from people who admit they don't event -- how can they *really* get it? I'm willing to explain the sport til the cows come home -- I love it. Yeah, I have issues with coming across too strong when making a point (my best friend says it's the pitbull in me). But I still don't see where the POINT can get lost. Exactly where I have lost you? In the arguement that course design has gotten better? In the argument that the riding and horses are better today? In the argument that eventing is NOT the most dangerous form of riding there is and that steps are taken all the time to improve its safety? In the argument that the cross country phase was the most attended event at the games in Sydney so saying that there isn't an audience is a bunch of bunk? Or in the argument that while I admit to injury and even death in eventing, most of the time in recent years those deaths are not necessarily due to the course or fences (ie: Sydney's euthanization, the canadian horse who had an aneurysm at Rolex a few years ago)? I know I can go oever the top in my arguments, but the points stay the same... so in what argument did I lose you?

LLDM
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:59 AM
You're lossing me precisely by being defensive. Many people percieve defensiveness as proof that one's arguement is weak. Not necessarily so, I agree, but that is how many react.

Treat this arguement like you would your horse. It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong in the facts, the truth, etc. What matters is that you can convine your horse to do it your way, even though he doesn;t think it is such a smart idea. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif You must make him see that it isn't that scary, to trust you, but you can't "make him" do something he is sure is bad. Facts don't mean a hill of beans to him.

You can also bore people into believing you. I, for one, would love to hear the long detailed versions of how horses can be conditioned and trained properly to be safe an X-C. I would love to know how the heck they keep horses sound at that level. How DO you get horses to WANT to jump those fenes. Those are positive, truthful facts that help people understand.

They don't have to "get" the whole eventing thing, they just have to be comfortable that it isn't "too hard" for the right horse with the right training to do.

It is obvious you love your sport. Don't defend it, promote it! Smile and educate! That is the true power of conviction.

SCFarm

JAGold
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:30 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:
Treat this arguement like you would your horse.

(snip)

You can also bore people into believing you. I, for one, would love to hear the long detailed versions of how horses can be conditioned and trained properly to be safe an X-C. I would love to know how the heck they keep horses sound at that level. How DO you get horses to WANT to jump those fenes. Those are positive, truthful facts that help people understand.

(snip)

It is obvious you love your sport. Don't defend it, promote it! Smile and educate! That is the true power of conviction.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll take a stab at this, but not before mentioning that I find your tone condenecending, something that reduces the credibility of your arguments...

Horses are kept sound at the highest levels by good, solid horsemanship. They aren't drilled over fences, and riders work with trainers and vets to find a good balance between fit enough and over conditioned. A typical program consists of once weekly interval gallops, which are built up from 3 four minute gallops to 3 or 4 eight minute gallops; one or two jump schools a week; two or three dressage schools a week; and lots of hacking. By hacking, I mean walking or trotting long distances to build wind without stressing joints. The preparation starts months in advance of the event, and is meticulously planned down to the timing of shoeings, prepatory competitions, and recovery days after travel.

How is a horse trained to be safe XC? Again, through long and careful preparation. The various levels of competition offer a gradual progression from the very small, very simple fences at novice to the big technical combinations at intermediate and advanced. Good training and good course design mean that technical questions and speed are introduced separately: the first time a horse is introduced to a new "question" (turning, shortening, lengthening in combinations, or a different type of fence such as water or a bank), it will be over a small, basic version and under a conservative, reassuring ride. The first time a horse is asked to jump out of a gallop, it will be over solid, inviting, straightforward fences. Speed and technical questions are not put together at the beginning; the first time both types of questions are asked simultaneously is at the preliminary level and both are increased gradually at intermediate and advanced.

These things are true whether preparing for a horse trials or a three day event; the CIC or short format championship is a glorified horse trials. So why do we care that the sport remain a three day event with full endurance? Because the full test rewards a different type of horse, plain and simple. It requires more endurance and more speed -- which are not attributes that are essential to dressage and show jumping. Adding them to the mix demands, then, that the horses who excell in eventing be a different type than those who excell in other diciplines. It demands a more complete partnership between horse and rider, because the true three day horse must agree to be contained, if not tamed, for dressage. And it is more true to the origins of the sport, which tested heart and partnership as well as technical skills.

A CIC is a different sport. As riders who competed in the "modified" division at Rolex discovered, it is tremendously challenging and may require a different type of preparation than a CCI. Those of us who love pure three day eventing don't want to give it up, and don't see a benefit to changing the sport. CICs are not inherently safer than CCIs. As we saw yesterday, freak accidents can always happen. While CICs are also not inherently less safe, they may be more difficult and riskier until riders become accustomed to the new format and learn to prepare and train horses for that format rather than the CCI format. However, with some of the biggest events in the world retaining the full endurance phase, it is going to be difficult and costly to specialize in one or the other, which I think increases rather than reduces risks. It's as though race car drivers were suddenly told that they can only choose one type of tire, but they now have to race on dry and wet tracks. Of course, they could choose smooth tires and skip the races on wet tracks, but many would choose a shallow groove and race on both...

There have been changes that have made full three days safer. Those changes include improved techniques in fence building and footing preparation and the elimination, many years ago, of the weight requirement for XC. Those types of changes show that it is possible for the sport to move forward without going through fundamental changes. Those are the types of innovations I support. If I thought that eliminating roads and tracks and steeplechase was necessary for the safety of horse or rider, then I'd be all for it. But I don't think that it is. I think that full three day events give horse and rider the fair chance to suceed, and that CICs are not inherently safer. I don't think that reducing the sport to its lowest common denominator (which is NOT what CICs have done, but which is the practical implication of insisting on building courses with zero tolerance for accidents) is the direction in which we should head. There's no such thing as a perfectly safe activity. Perfect safety is a false promise that will inevitably lead to public outcry when the emperor's nakedness is revealed, and may also encourage the ill-prepared to attempt something that is beyond them. And the lowest common denominator is not the pinacle of the sport. --Jess

JAGold
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:43 AM
Oh, and here's the other thing. Public preception of the sport matters. It has certainly contributed to the shift to the short format at the Olympics. People who don't know anything about the sport do have the right to express their opinions, and to the extent that we want public support and acceptance of eventing, we have to listen, and consider, and explain, and modify.

But only to a point. Some of the most prestigious competions, including Badmiton, Burghley, and Rolex have chosen to remain full three day events (Rolex ran the modified division to offer riders heading for the Olympics the opportunity to test out the format, but kept the CCI as well.) Those competitions will become increasingly important to insiders, and they are more insulated from public opinion. And I think that this is the way it should be -- because I know that while the general public has a great deal of say in how advertising and sponsorship dollars are spent and in what appears on TV, I don't think that someone who doesn't know what goes into a three day event or how horses are prepared for the competition, and therefore has no basis to judge whether competitions are save or horses are adequately prepared -- should get to determine how the sport is structured.

I don't hold it against the general, non-horsey population, because my expectations are low and their voices only surface occasionally. But I do resent it when other horse people swoop in and announce that they don't know the history of my sport, the recent developments that have occured, or how horses and riders are prepared -- but they do know that what we are doing isn't safe. --Jess

GotSpots
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:49 AM
Well said Jess.

Let me expand on what she said to talk about conditioning and what a horse that fit is really like. At the three and four star level, horses are conditioned for the challenges of cross-country day over months. It takes slow, steady work, combined with appropriate speed and hill workouts to produce a horse that is fit enough to handle the questions that are asked. Both in the short format and the long format, the horses have to be extremely fit (for example, many of the people I know who prepared for Rolex did the same fitness work for the short format test as they would have done for the long format, and I'm seeing the same thing now as horses start to prepare for Fair Hill). A horse that fit understandably is often jumping out of their skins - which is why the dressage portion of the test can be so difficult. These horses are peak athletes: they are as fit as the top echelon of any other athletic endeavor. The long-format gives these ultra fit horses a way to warm up slowly in Phase A(without going off half-cocked because they have so much energy they can't contain themselves), a test of speed and athleticism over phase B, a chance to cool down and relax over phase C, a full vet check in the vet box, and then the questions of the cross-country are asked. The horses are slowly, appropriately warmed up and prepared within the test for the actual cross-country portions. Further, the longer length of the cross-country portion in the long format gives course designers a chance to put "breather" fences on a course, in essence to change the nature of the questions being asked so that horses and riders can gallop and jump a couple out of stride before coming back to a tight, technical question.

The reason so many of us believe in the long format is that it is a complete test of a horse's obedience, sensibility, endurance, athleticism, skill, and sensitivity. It asks a horse to be both elegant and enduring. What marks the long format is the true nature of the question: a design that enables horses to warm up into their test safely, and ready to perform at the highest level and then come back the next day to show jump. The Olympics, the Four stars, the World Championships - these are places where we should ask of our course designers that they design the courses that will distinguish between the very top group of athletes: the superstars of horse and rider who can do all three phases exquisitely. Long options and questions that beg a glance off will educate less experienced riders, while the brave ones, the ones who really can jump to touch the hands of heaven, they can answer the question on the straight routes. Because this is the place where our horses can be heroes, can be role models, can be everything that is bold and brave and strong about horses, where they should shine.

PiedPiper
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:55 AM
LLDM-
Hello pot this is kettle! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

I don't think you are doing YOUR arguement any good by saying you are for the long format. Can't really tell nor have YOU said why. Why do you think we should keep the long format. I know why I think so and you seem to know when to argue with others on it but maybe you need to put your opinion up for review instead of taking down others.

tle-I am completely behind you and hate when other who don't do eventing or have any real interest in it come in and tell us what eventers are doing wrong.

Yes eventing is dangerous but we are also on the cutting edge of safety measures,inventions, medicine. But as much as I hear of horses and riders dying in eventing I hear as much or more in foxhunting, racing, steeplechasing, etc.

My problem with the short format is all the other stuff is used to prep the horse, and yes, slow him down once he gets to cross country. The vet checks are used to prevent an unfit or tired/sick horse from continuing on. I predict more injuries and accidents in the short format than the long. It has come down to Money constraints and PR. I think it is disappointing to have switched to the short format but as long as we can retain some of the long in the *,**,***,**** CCIs then maybe it will be worth it, publicity wise. Don't know but definitely feel like the ending of an era.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:57 AM
Question:

What USEA competition would be similar/comparable to the Athens competition? Would it be one of the CIC's?

JAGold
Aug. 18, 2004, 08:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pixie Dust:
Question:

What USEA competition would be similar/comparable to the Athens competition? Would it be one of the CIC's? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes -- a CIC. The "modified" division at Rolex followed the Olympic format. --Jess

LLDM
Aug. 18, 2004, 08:43 AM
JAGold - Wonderful arguement! That is exactly the kind of responses that need to be put out there. I should have put a http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif next to the "bore people" statement, as I did not mean to be condecending. I win arguements all the time with long "boring" explanations. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Got Spots - You too! Good job!

PiedPiper - You caught me. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif No, I haven't said. There are folks here much more capable and knowledgable than I, that should be making them. And now they are! It makes me crazy when people argue a good point poorly. It's not the position that is wrong, it's the structure of the arguement itself. By perfecting the arguement, one can be more effective in getting their points accross.

What is my arguement? In addition to the points made so well by JAGold and GotSpots I will only add:

No one, I mean NO ONE, can make a horse do anything he feels is dangerous. Horses have a very highly evolved sense of self preservation. The horses are only out there doing X-C because they want to and feel capable of doing it safely.

The ability for a rider to bring a horse to this level requires the highest levels of horsemanship. It includes, but is not limited to, respect, patience, love, faith and absolute empathy for a horse in which they have seen and developed the potential that very few posess. The potential to compete at the highest levels in eventing.

I believe it to be the ultimate test of horse and horsemanship. I have a great deal of respect for it.

It is true that horses die, at times, at events. They also die when they are not at events. Thousands of horses die every year, of unnatural causes in far worse ways than eventing. Including stepping off trailers, in slaughter houses and of neglect in backyards.

When a person dies in the act of competing in their sport, we console ourselves and each other by saying at least he/she died doing what they loved. I believe this is true for horses too. I believe that a horse is successful in eventing only because they enjoy it. I believe horses are competitive naturally (as does just about anyone who watches horses in groups at their leisure). And I believe that horses do revel in their own physicallity, that they recognize and enjoy testing themselves against diificult courses. I believe they desire the partnership with their riders, because together they do what neither can do alone.

The long format has evolved to its current state for good reasons. Reasons that seem to work. The short format has a ways to go before it is fully understood. I am not clear that it can be done safely in the way it now exists. At what point a proper balance is found between conditioning and competition levels of dressage/X-C/SJ is not yet clear with the short format. And until it is, it contains a danger of its own, the level of which is not yet known.

I don't believe this arguement is the best, or most complelling, or even at all convincing. It is not technical and it is short on "facts". But it has been known to sway other horse people, who think I am crazy to even think about very low level horse trials. I have always wanted to add the parts about conditioning and soundness management, but I do not deal with any of this at a high enough level to be credible. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

SCFarm

jester1113
Aug. 18, 2004, 08:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> No one, I mean NO ONE, can make a horse do anything he feels is dangerous. Horses have a very highly evolved sense of self preservation. The horses are only out there doing X-C because they want to and feel capable of doing it safely.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Agreed! I had a vet explain to me once the four "priorities" in a horse's mind. They are:

1. Dural torque. I know, "huh?" It means protecting the head, neck and spinal areas -- the control center so to speak.

2. Balance or staying upright. Can run away from that lion if you're down.

3. Fleeing the lion

4. Pain

Pixie Dust
Aug. 18, 2004, 10:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JAGold:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pixie Dust:
Question:

What USEA competition would be similar/comparable to the Athens competition? Would it be one of the CIC's? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes -- a CIC. The "modified" division at Rolex followed the Olympic format. --Jess <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

So there are several CIC's thoughout the year right? Is it German WB's winning these CIC's or the same horses who win the CCI's? I just assumed the same horses & riders competed at CIC's and CCI's. Are CIC's more dangerous than CCI's because the horses aren't properly warmed up? Some of these arugments sound a little stretched to me.

I guess I just think it isn't the end of the world if the Olympic competion is a CIC. I'd rather it be a CCI, but life ain't perfect. Considering that it's made to be more "user friendly" so that more countries can compete, the fact that it's also just a CIC just isn't that outlandish to me.

findeight
Aug. 18, 2004, 10:22 AM
When I meet folks and they find out I ride and jump, I always end up defending Eventing,tho some may not believe that.
Horses take all the risks we do in life and there is certainly a need to continue to offer **** level competition.

HOWEVER, land IS less available and costs are skyrocketing. The public at large, and many horse people, have no tolerance for seeing animals obviously injured in God awful falls.

In fact, I spent half a business meeting Monday defending the Cross Country to non horsey types who are watching the coverage and wanted to know if there would be any dead horses Tuesday.
I also ended up apologizing to the last family I sent down to watch the Rolex****, bad luck but those little girls did not need to see what they saw at what was supposed to be a family fun outing-fact the Rolex was getting one a year there for awhile, 2 one year.

So, I stick up for all aspects of the sport to outsiders to bring them in and turn them into fans.

BUT when I talk to other horsemen I'd like to think we can speak frankly..and frankly this format may prove better suited to the non educated viewers who only watch the sport every 4 years as well as all the media..as well as requiring less space.

Keep the real ****s. But having this thing come down to the last 5 riders in the show jumping certainly made for good television for the casual fan as did the relatively clean CC phase.
Apparently it was still tough enough and took a terrible toll.

Dressage62
Aug. 18, 2004, 01:14 PM
Just to throw a wrench into everything: www.fairhillinternational.com (http://www.fairhillinternational.com) has a notice that Fair Hill CCI*** will include a "short" and "long" format...I think that somewhat splits up the field, like Rolex did this year...Also, Why can't the Olympic equestrian events be held at an established venue, like the Pan Am Games at Fair Hill last year?

slp2
Aug. 18, 2004, 01:36 PM
Dressage62: I think this is a good question for ALL Olympic venues. Eventing isn't the only sport that is struggling to stay in the Olympics because of the costs involved with hosting it. Think about some of the incredible expense that is sunk into building new venues every 4 years (winter and summer game facilities). It would seem much more cost effective if there were several major Olympic facilities developed around the world. Then the games would rotate through those sites. Improvements would have to be made every time they reused the facilities--but still . . the foundation would be there. I know there are a lot of countries who bid in order to host the games--but really, the amount of money spent on this is outrageous. Especially when some of these sites sit completely unused after the games are over (or not used to their full capacity). Just some food for thought!

Gnep
Aug. 18, 2004, 06:54 PM
tle,

Iam riding the 3D and trying very hard to qualify my 7 year old mare for 2 Star. I train and work and train and work as hard as possible.

But doing it since a very long time, does not close my eyes. I know very well how the safety of the sport has improoved, from my own experiance.

84 had a beautiful course, i was there and was able to watch. This was one of the nices courses I have ever seen. But since then something changed.
We can not afford to loose a horse at the Olympics, because of the PR.
It might not be a big deal in the US media, but it is a very big deal in Europe

I liked what I saw, it is a good start for the Olympics, even that it had a one more tragic ending.


By the way what is so special about Olympia, besides beeing a media hype and huge comercial enterprise. Totaly blown out of proportions

LLDM I bought my mare as a 4 year old, had a feeling. She was totaly wako, of the quarter trak. I took my time. As a 5 year old she did go a Novice, people still remember that one, because it was so interesting.

Now she is 7 and just had her first Intermediat under her belt, first one was bad, my fault, second one was very good, except for stadium.
How do i get a horse to jump, I don't either they have it or they don't. If I need to make them jump they will never go beyond Training Level.
How do I train every day. We work a minimum of 2 hours a day. In the morning conditioning, strength and endurance, 1 hour min, than she gets cooled down, gets washed and stands in the whirlpool for 30 minutes. Late afternoon dressage or jumping, whirlpool for 30 min.
Every day, when the season is over she goes for 3 weeks on vacation. Once a week she gets a massage and acupresure therapi. Once a month a cyro cheks her out, normaly he has nothing to do.
I specialy train her dressage and her athletik jumping abilities, grids and bounce, naturally we have to do width an hights.
Otherwise I provide for her and the other show horse a as pleasant athmospher as possible. They hang out with their favourids. get pasture and lots of turn out.
Training is hard and leisure time as pleasnat as I can do it.

Janet
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:02 PM
A "CCI without steeplechase" is NOT the same as a CIC. The distances, and number of jumping efforts, are differenet.

Mariequi
Aug. 18, 2004, 07:56 PM
Well, since I just spent 1/2 hour reading all this, I don't want to say much!

Weatherford (love you, by the way): As I mentioned elsewhere, Ayers was quoted as saying it was his job to make a course that was challenging for the best in the world, and yet still safe for the smaller countries who were happy to be there.

Beautiful.

tle (love you and Char and Reese as well) and agree with you about the long format. R&T and steeplechase make too much sense to me. I'd like to believe no conspiracy, but I guess I'm just suspicious any more - not jaded though.

AM (yes, I am the worst non-scorer ever, but I love you, too). I walked the xc course in Atlanta at least every other day once the comp mgmt team moved out to Conyers. No, still wasn't ****, but seemed true Olympic course. I remember the Indian rider's fall at jump 10 or 11 and, for me, it was expected. It wasn't ****, but riders there should've been able to complete the course (maybe not the time) is sufficiently ready. Usually watching the Olympics (and some 3-days and horse trials for that matter), you feel there are riders and/or horses there you are surprised qualified or maybe they're moving up too soon? I have anyway. I didn't feel that way watching the riders yesterday.

The 'lawn' created in Athens seemed admirable but just not kosher. I was pretty disappointed when I looked at the course and the topography. And when I heard Ingrid's time I didn't know what they were thinking with the TA. As for Andrew's comments about the course, he was probably asked!

I, too, am happy to still be in the Olympics, but prefer the long, not just because of 'tradition'. I believe it makes sense.

And, I have to say, way to go Amy T!

Kareen
Aug. 19, 2004, 01:16 AM
I agree. What the sport needs is some positive press work. I honestly think there should be put more emphasis on pointing out how eventing is a sport that requires a good horse-rider relationship more than any other equestrian discipline.
I think the public needs to understand more about horses needing exercise to stay sound. Generally more and more non-animal people lack understanding about how humans and animals are different. Maybe this is a result of the average public losing touch with nature I don't know.
Sure enough I know that we equestrians must maintain a cool head and handle this matter with care as otherwise we mustn't be surprised if all of a sudden we are no longer part of *any* decision finding *sigh*.
Whether you call it animal welfare or animal's rights to me is only a formalty. What matters is that we as riders are responsible for our horses first and if problems keep coming up during xc we must think of ways to solve this. If we don't take care of this non-horsey folks will do http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Sacha
Aug. 19, 2004, 01:50 AM
To me short vs long foramt almost isn't the issue with this games.

the XC course itself was too easy. Lots of nice bold inviting single fences. Hardly any combinations. The few they were rode on nice easy strides and on straight lines. the water jump was a good fence but taht's it.
The lesser nations have longer and easier alternative routes if they need them. This 3DE became a combine dtraining event - won on dressage and show jumping ability - I was sorely disappointed.

To me Badminton and the remaining 4 stars are the true tests now - the Olympics has been dumbed down.

LLDM
Aug. 19, 2004, 05:31 AM
I don't have but a minute, but wanted to say that findeight has hit the nail on the head.

Many of us from the lower levels or other disciplines find ourselves trying to defend and explain and justify to others the issues with upper level eventing. This is why we question you all so much. As we defend it we need you all to provide us with better information to use for your cause.

My arguements may be convincing to others, but not always to myself (since I know the limits of my own knowledge). I believe that upper level eventing is fair, safe and fun for the horse. But every time we lose one, honestly, it shakes my faith.

I am not really asking that you justify yourselves, just to help me/us understand (esp. when its hard) why it is important and how to answer those inevitable "next round of questions" from those who don't know anything about it.

I understand that you get tired and frustrated answering the same old questions. I don't blame you at all for getting upset. I don't like it either and it is not so near and dear to me. (I'll never do a 4*!) But please don't get mad at us. We really are on your side.

Does that make sense?

SCFarm

Magnolia
Aug. 19, 2004, 05:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> To me Badminton and the remaining 4 stars are the true tests now - the Olympics has been dumbed down. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe dumbed down, but one horse died and another fractured a stifle. The "easier" format didn't help with safety http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif and didn't test the best. I'd like to see a Rolex tough course with safe options for the less experienced.

LLDM
Aug. 19, 2004, 05:33 AM
Oh, and THANK YOU to all of you providing the good technical details. It really does help!

SCFarm

Glimmerglass
Aug. 19, 2004, 07:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Magnolia:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> To me Badminton and the remaining 4 stars are the true tests now - the Olympics has been dumbed down. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe dumbed down, but one horse died and another fractured a stifle. The "easier" format didn't help with safety http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif and didn't test the best. I'd like to see a Rolex tough course with safe options for the less experienced. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Short of a halter class any sport involving horses exhibiting any speed or performance aspect opens the door to risk. Period. From racing to dressage to polo to eventing - all horses do get injured in those sports even under the operation of the best riders.

Not to lay blame, but I watched Over and Over step into the coffin and frankly the rider went in too fast. (As did an Irish and Brazilian rider into the same obstacle) You can dumb down the course all you want but you can't stop riders from riding too fast, taking risks, being left behind, misjudging strides, etc.

I've gone to Rolex enough times to see that just about any fence could result in a tumble and injury to rider and horse. One of things I've always taken away from Rolex is that unless you are "that good" to ride Rolex, then stay at home.

The Olympics by its very nature showcases entrants from a slew of diverse countries, but at the risk of them being frankly unable to ride the unmodified Kentucky Rolex. I am not saying that is the case with Over & Over, but rather I did see some riders who were at best qualified for a CCI ***.

Janet
Aug. 19, 2004, 09:43 AM
Can someone point me to a site that has the detailed results?

At a competition of this caliber, I OWULD EXPECT at least 50% (and probably closer to 66%) of the competitors to have at least 20 penalties (1 stop, or very slow time). I thought I saw somewhere that 55 out of 75 (or 73%) had no jumping penalties.

Even without looking at the course, that tells me that the cross country was statistically "too easy", especially in comparison to stadium, which had many fewer clear rounds.

For the Olympics, what you want is a course that has LOTS of stops an NO (or very few) falls. This one had too few stops and too many falls.

Of course it is a lot easier to say that with 20/20 hindsight than to design a course to DO that- especially with a new format, and the example of the ROlex "without steeplechase" run.

tle
Aug. 19, 2004, 10:16 AM
Janet

http://www.athens2004.com/en/resultsEquestrian/results

75 starters
16 double clear rides (21.3%)
9 rides with refusals (12%)
9 rides with falls (12%)
4 eliminated (doesn't say what from) (5.3%)
Total rides with jumping faults = 22 (29.3%)
Total rides with 20+ faults, jumping and/or time = 25, which includes the 4 Es (33.3%)

Janet
Aug. 19, 2004, 11:24 AM
Thanks. That confirms my thoughts. Too many falls, too few refuslas. but again, that is 20/20 hindsight.

poltroon
Aug. 19, 2004, 12:06 PM
Safety is good. I am all for safety. I don't ever want to see or hear of another horse or rider being seriously injured.

(Of course, remember how many combinations were hurt inexplicably just prepping for Sydney? Heck, horses and riders getting hurt during a jog, a trailer ride. The only way to ensure that they won't be hurt is to kill them, stuff them, and mount them. Even then, hurricanes and moths take a toll. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif)

I didn't like the course because there weren't enough refusals. A championship like this should have more accuracy questions where horses are glancing off and picking up 20 faults. We didn't see that.

That urn jump was interesting because all three riders that fell had only a minor bobble on it. It was just that because of the way the land fell away, the horse didn't land under the rider. Heck, with the close camera angle it didn't even look like Heidi had fallen - her horse lost no momentum.

(In this case, I think being at the end of the day hurt them - the three riders that fell got a little too confident that this combination wasn't a problem, and a little too fast, and D'oh!)

What I see is that this course will cause people to rethink their selection criteria. The combinations that are great on the CCI**** _will not_ be the right choices for this format. They are too strong, too fit, too keen to handle this course - shorter and with more efforts - without a steeplechase warmup. Kind of a shame that a 3* horse would be a better choice than your Badminton winner. Maybe it will be like the Tour de France vs the Olympics - very different types of competitions that have a little overlap.

That said, I think the format will evolve somewhat. Maybe lessen the number of obstacles back to a 3* or HT, create more options, etc. Perhaps instead of an oval steeplechase a more irregular steeplechase track to start off the course, or even a gallop around the outside perimeter.

I accept that the land considerations are a problem. I want all the teams to finish. I am not against rejiggering the format somewhat if necessary. But some of the assumptions that have been made in the name of "safety" scare me. We need data and we need to all keep an open mind about what will work best.

Anne FS
Aug. 19, 2004, 12:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:

It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong in the facts, the truth, etc. .....Facts don't mean a hill of beans....

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

????!!!!!! They DON’T?

To have someone say it doesn’t matter if you’re wrong, or if you’re lying, I’ll be for you if you’re a nice liar and you’ll lose me even if you tell the truth but just aren’t smiley…..oh, my! (LOL) This doesn’t bode well for the humans.

"smiling" is not the true power of conviction.

tle, your posts were great. Thank you.

LLDM
Aug. 19, 2004, 06:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Anne FS:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LLDM:

It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong in the facts, the truth, etc. .....Facts don't mean a hill of beans....

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

????!!!!!! They DON’T?

To have someone say it doesn’t matter if you’re wrong, or if you’re lying, I’ll be for you if you’re a nice liar and you’ll lose me even if you tell the truth but just aren’t smiley…..oh, my! (LOL) This doesn’t bode well for the humans.

"smiling" is not the true power of conviction.

tle, your posts were great. Thank you. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quoting me out of context is another form of lying. What I said was:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Treat this arguement like you would your horse. It doesn't matter if you are right or wrong in the facts, the truth, etc. What matters is that you can convine your horse to do it your way, even though he doesn;t think it is such a smart idea. You must make him see that it isn't that scary, to trust you, but you can't "make him" do something he is sure is bad. Facts don't mean a hill of beans to him. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was trying to make a point. But I shan't bother anymore. You obviously don't want or need anyone else's help or opinions.

SCFarm

Kareen
Aug. 19, 2004, 10:50 PM
To those who seem to think it's tolerable to lose horses during xc at least face this:

Horses dying or getting fatal injuries during xc are doing this right in front of the cameras and it doesn't look good. Nobody, not the press or other media, no spectators or even FN officials are seeing those horses die who are put down due to permanent unsoundness as a result of other disciplines. A dressage horse that becomes unsound in his hocks will end his career and maybe put down. Any jumper who turns navicular and permanently lame will be withdrawn from the sport.
Humans don't acknowledge what they can't see and the other way around.
In eventing it is all a big media event and each and any bad picture is plastered all over the news. If eventers don't want to end up in some outgroup that is dismissed by even parts of the horsey community they better be cooperative and more creative about how to avoid dead horses during xc.
I am not actively competing anymore but I'm tired of following all of this bickering as I still love the sport and wish anything but for eventing to fall even lower in the public view.

What do you tell your kids when they ask 'why didn't you do anything'? Pretend nothing was wrong for you? That's a fairly old excuse and it has never really worked. As some here like to bring up WWII: It hasn't worked then either http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Weatherford
Aug. 19, 2004, 11:52 PM
While I agree that in front of the media circus is NOT the place to have problems, I will say that unequivocably that more horses are (have been) killed and ruined by BNTs in the H/J world for all sorts of reasons - from overuse of drugs and medications to lack of fitness to insurance....

While I HATE to see ANY horse injured, I would rather it happen on a good **** course (or out hunting or racing) where the horse and rider are doing what they LOVE than hidden behind some tent flat with a needle or a crowbar or stretched out over weeks and months due to overmedication. (I was given a horse with the latter problem before I understood what it was from - I would NEVER want to do that again!!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif )

The '84 course didn't have any fatalities, I am sure, and it appears (from the description above) that the one on this course was RIDER error (as well as the falls) - so, it seems to me that an under-built course can be LESS safe than an over built one.

I also agree that the team format may have also had an impact.

Pixie Dust
Aug. 20, 2004, 07:26 AM
Yes! And there are a lot of very fit & healthy upper level event horses in their teens; drug free.

findeight
Aug. 20, 2004, 07:53 AM
The ONLY photo so far of ANY horse to appear in USA TODAY'S huge, daily, Olympic recap was a good size shot of a nasty fall on CC, Irish rider I believe.

Somebody specifically brought it over to show to me at work because they knew I jumped and asked why we did this and forced the horses to.

What am I supposed to say? It was a "good fall" because they didn't get hurt when I knew what happened to 2 others?
I sure as Hades did NOT share that information with this casual observer who at least was interested in the sport.

And why was the whole controversy over who medaled and who did not buried in the fine print?
Because any larger recap or feature would bring up the dead horse...and the other, who may be fine in the long run but is looking at alot of pain in the meantime.

I just don't know what to say when I get asked about it anymore..so say "Sorry, I don't do that" and mutter something about it not happening that often, the fragility of horses and accidents happening despite all efforts.

jester1113
Aug. 20, 2004, 08:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by findeight:
Somebody specifically brought it over to show to me at work because they knew I jumped and asked why we did this and forced the horses to.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd tell them to give me a break. How many sports segments have an injured HUMAN player as the top story, and then proceed to show the clip of someone hyperextending their knee or snapping their ankle ad nauseum? How often during football season -- which I dread -- do I hear my co-workers loudly discussing serious injuries with almost thinly veiled glee and awe?

This is why I took down all horse related stuff in my cube. I'm not interested in the potential "discussions."

Janet
Aug. 20, 2004, 08:05 AM
It seems to me that "reverse cone" skinnies (sorry, can't think of a beter generic description- circular on top, and narrower on the bottom than the top, so you effectively have a false ground line), like the "pottery urn" in Athens, or the "mushrooms" at Badminton, case a disproportionate number of falls.

Does anyone know where there might be statistics?

Janet
Aug. 20, 2004, 08:07 AM
Weatherford- but I think it is also true that more eventers suffer career limiting- if not career ending - soft tissue injuries CONDITIONING for CCIs than actually "break doiwn" on course.

BLBGP
Aug. 20, 2004, 09:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jester1113:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by findeight:
Somebody specifically brought it over to show to me at work because they knew I jumped and asked why we did this and forced the horses to.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd tell them to give me a break. How many sports segments have an injured HUMAN player as the top story, and then proceed to show the clip of someone hyperextending their knee or snapping their ankle ad nauseum? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The difference would be, to the people questioning findeight, that the human was there out of their own free will. The horse isn't.

I've been wondering - not trying to be inflamatory and I've held on to this question for a few days unsure of if I should ask it because of the heightened emotions going on. But here goes.

In Olympic history, how many horses in each discipline have died during their competition or very shortly thereafter due to injuries?

And please, I know all the arguments posted recently about how H/J's are killing horses daily and how racehorses breakdown all the time, and how a horse could easily break its leg in a field, but that is not what the public sees at the Olympics, and as findeight put it, that is not what will be written about should this 3-Day story start getting more media attention. What the public hears is: horse died at Olympics. No humans, to my knowledge, have so far this year.

I am not against 3-Day. Far, far from it. I am simply curious if anyone knows the statistics....not of horses who never quite come back after the Olympics, not of horses who get minor injuries and wind up in fields or put down: but the major, eye catching snapshot "pending death" images that the public sees and that stays with them.

Anyone know?

And hell, we could expand it too, because maybe it will turn up something interesting. Counting horses as athletes, how many athletes have died while competing in the Olympics in each of the various disciplines?

findeight
Aug. 20, 2004, 06:10 PM
And..why should I stop showing my competition pictures around because of Eventing injuries?
The rider made a mistake, that was obvious, but I don't know why it has to cost the life of the horse.
Figuring out those statistics mentioned in the last post and publishing them would be a great idea.

So would starting some kind of Foundation to do vetwork on Eventing injuries and providing for the retirement of those suffering career ending injuries. The race track folks have made good use of this in deflecting criticism of their sport. So few competition horses in any discipline are owned by the riders anymore, what do the big partnerships do with them when they suffer career ending injuries at elite level events?
Not just Eventers either.

What happens to them?
Anything like Canter or Rerun for them? Any interest in starting something like that up for them?