If you look at the averages this year, there was some talented horses so the averages were high. The horse in question had scores lower than the average by a bit. The bell is suppose to adjust for testing and scoring differences between test. So if the average is high then the curve assumes that the scores are scored high as opposed to having a group of overachievers. The further your scores are from the average, the bigger hit you take. That same horse might get significantly better final marks if the averages would have been lower. There would also be play between the disciplines. So if you are weak in dressage but above average in jumping but were in a class with outstanding jumpers and they are fairly good movers too, you are going to take a bit hit in final marks. The good thing is that it rewards overall athleticism more than a specialist. That is why you want a large class, the horses will be more typical of a range of abilities. This year many of the averages were 8's. On the other side, it would be hard for horses to get the big marks. A test with lower averages would result in a larger final score for some of these horses. In other tests some of these horses would have got at least 130 for jumping scores. Again, the raw scores are more informative.