View Full Version : 1932 LA Olympics Show jumping course--photo attached #1

Jun. 9, 2011, 12:43 PM
I found a photo of the empty stadium with the course set up in General Harry D. Chamberlin's "Training Hunters, Jumpers, and Hacks." Caption says the jumps ranged from 4'6" to 5'3". How does that compare to today's International courses?

Should I scan the photo and post it?

Actually the stadium was packed and the photo doesn't show the whole course. They had to work around the closing ceremonies, so things do look a bit odd. But here it is.

Thought I would throw this photo of one of the Army's competition jumpers over a fence that you'd never see these days.

Jun. 9, 2011, 12:59 PM
Yes, go ahead and scan it, I'm bored and home with little to amuse myself since it is too hot and humid for just about anything except the afternoon court shows.

IIRC that was in the LA Memorial Coliseum and immediately preceeded the closing ceremonies at all Games until the 1980 extravaganza, also in LA, when they started using remote locations (Santa Anita in that case).

I know courses today are more solid and decorative then back then. Interesting to see it.

Jun. 9, 2011, 12:59 PM
Please do scan it! I'd be interested to see.

I believe a lot of international courses today are 1.60m which is 5'3". Of course, not all the jumps are 5'3" but I suspect the smallest jump on course is bigger than 4'6".

Jun. 10, 2011, 08:52 AM
4'6" to 5'3" is level 8/9 USEFJumper range, IC classes governed by the FEI start at 4'11" up to 5'6".

Though the height minimum is higher most IC classes do not push the maximum envelope very often, not that it matters all that much, as the horses consistently doing courses that contain 5' plus fences can generally jump a good foot and some considerably more than the maximum height.

I don't think height, filler, flatter cups, lighter rails make much difference. In the past there were touch classes, weight handicaps, etc., etc. I think the biggest difference in modern course design is that courses are designed to have a very specific route, with generally one risk/reward path, in the past the options were generous and could be exploited in numerous ways, affording different types of horses an alternative for success.

Would love to see the course as well.

Jun. 10, 2011, 09:17 AM
I think that is true, hauwse. But the Olympic Individual medal course until 1980 was set in the infield of the track and field stadium immediately before the closing ceremonies.

The Mens Marathon would enter the stadium and do their last lap in front of the closing ceremony crowd as the Jumping was wrapping up. It had to be more portable and not the elaborate set pieces we see today-it also had to fit in the available shape of the space and work around the Track and Field event stuff that would still be there from earlier that final day.

Today, although courses can be bigger and more decorative and they have all day to build them in dedicated equine venues? We lost that world wide showcase to glitzy closing ceremonies. And that's a shame.

Jun. 10, 2011, 04:33 PM

Jun. 10, 2011, 07:37 PM
Thanks viney...look at that crowd they used to get having it the main stadium with other events:yes:. Even if they did have to design it around the long jump and pole vault pits and hold on the beaten down grass infield.

Jun. 10, 2011, 07:48 PM
Thanks for posting the pictures, Vineyridge. Love seeing the stadium full of people and the course set.

And look at Joe Aleshire, a top jumper at that time. Short backed and high withered with a long neck and big head. I bet if someone said "Look at this Canter horse I'm considering" people would have all sorts of comments.

I love seeing these older photos. Thanks for sharing!

Jun. 10, 2011, 07:56 PM
Awesome pictures. It reminds me of Munich in '72. Exactly as you described it. Last event before the closing ceremonies so there was an enormous crowd. The horrible events earlier in the week made for a somewhat nervous crowd, but it was thrilling to see the jumpers in a stadium with an enormous crowd. We were there with several friends from Augsburg who had never even seen a horse before, but they were screaming and yelling for the German riders and cheering right alongside us for the US riders. I'll never forget how cool it was to see an entirely full stadium holding their breaths at each jump and the groan if a rail fell.

Jun. 11, 2011, 12:09 AM
Found this site that has demo footage of the 1932 Prix des Nations which was won by Chamberlin and a Japanese officer.

Jun. 11, 2011, 01:48 AM
LA 84 they had the individual jumping on the last day at Santa Anita and then, as a compromise, they awarded the medals a second time at the Coliseum using, IIRC, borrowed horses.

And, yes that's definitely the LA Coliseum in the OP.

My parents have fond memories of the closing ceremonies and final jumping event in Mexico City in 1968.