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  1. #1
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    Sep. 12, 2005
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Default CMP course design the problem?

    Is anyone else noticing that the majority of the horrible fatalities are happening on CMP's courses?

    And to add to the recent issues, I know of a fantastic horse that died at Menfelt (which was a CMP course also) many years back on a complex that rode horribly for many people. It was a campfire complex with two very airy and skinny 4 foot verticals down a steep hill to a ditch and wall. The solid ditch and wall was visible through and underneath the very vertical skinnies, and I think was quite visually difficult for the horses, especially being downhill. Many good horses hung legs at one or both skinny verticals. They continued to use that complex even after the horse's death, until the event stopped running.

    I feel like he tries to impress the spectators with his creatitivity, but is not creating horse friendly jumps. I wasn't at Red Hills this year, so can't fully comment on that course, but I saw the same trend in course design on the pictures from the Red Hills thread. And the constant, constant technical questions are definitely part of the problem.

    Thoughts?



  2. #2
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    Apr. 11, 2007
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    body in charlottesville VA, heart in Ocala FL
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    Default

    I think the fact that so many serious accidents happen on his courses says a lot.

    There can be technical questions and combinations that still encourage forward, rhythmical riding. But it seems that his courses to not promote this, and without rhythm successful XC is impossible.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2004
    Posts
    755

    Default

    CMP designs a heck of a lot of courses although I have no idea how many in comparison to some of the other really active CDs. But if Course Designer A designs 5 courses, and Course Designer B designs 30, and all the accidents happened on B's courses, I'd still have to take into consideration the huge increase in the number of attempts at obstacles on B's courses, before I could draw such a conclusion.

    Just like in assessing the risk inherent in any particular fence type, you have to take into consideration the number of opportunities for accidents to occur at that fence type, before you identify something or someone as a problem. In one of the last safety threads, someone was going on and on about how tables had to be banned because more accidents occurred at tables than any others. Yet when you look at the actual data, which show the RATIO of falls at fence type X to ATTEMPTS at fence type X, tables did not come out tops on the list and no particular fence seemed to have a statistically significant higher RATE of falls, rotational falls etc. This may well vary substantially from year to year, but it's the same with the number of serious accidents. How many starters were there? If you don't take into consideration the huge increase in the number of starters, a/k/a opportunities for disaster, you are not getting a meaningful picture.

    And I do think riders putting their necks and those of their horses on the line have a right to a sort of "safety analysis" of every CD, and should demand that the governing bodies publish it to them on demand so you can make informed choices. That will go over real well, I'm sure. If it were me, or my kid, I would be demanding it. And I'd copy various higher ups at the USOC, and then start collecting signatures and send it again.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2007
    Posts
    356

    Thumbs down

    I think part of the problem is also the position that CMP is in.. no riders are going to criticize his courses, as it might affect their chances for being on the team, and no officials are going to because, quite frankly, they're probably scared of him and his self-righteous attitude.

    In all reality, Mark Phillips has been a major factor in transforming this sport into what it is today in America. Why do you think so many ULRs/BNTs blindly followed him into the (apparent) disaster which is the short format? Because if they disagree with him, they're screwed for a spot on the team.

    Have you seen the course design at Burghley in the recent years that he's been designing it? I consider it apalling.. technical question after technical question after technical question. Granted, there have not been injuries at Burghley such as the ones we've seen at other competitions, but that course has gotten so trappy and unjumpable, and yet you still have people going clear so apparently it's not tough enough, and it will become increasinly technical every year.

    It's a vicious cycle and we've lost touch with what cross country is supposed to be about. And you would think that with the injuries and deaths occuring on his courses, he would step back and evaluate what he was doing, but of course Mark Phillips is the messiah from heaven and it was everyone else's faults for not being perfect like him and jumping his fences clear.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 7, 2008
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    115

    Default The Fork is Next

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTB View Post
    I think part of the problem is also the position that CMP is in.. no riders are going to criticize his courses, as it might affect their chances for being on the team, and no officials are going to because, quite frankly, they're probably scared of him and his self-righteous attitude.

    In all reality, Mark Phillips has been a major factor in transforming this sport into what it is today in America. Why do you think so many ULRs/BNTs blindly followed him into the (apparent) disaster which is the short format? Because if they disagree with him, they're screwed for a spot on the team.

    Have you seen the course design at Burghley in the recent years that he's been designing it? I consider it apalling.. technical question after technical question after technical question. Granted, there have not been injuries at Burghley such as the ones we've seen at other competitions, but that course has gotten so trappy and unjumpable, and yet you still have people going clear so apparently it's not tough enough, and it will become increasinly technical every year.

    It's a vicious cycle and we've lost touch with what cross country is supposed to be about. And you would think that with the injuries and deaths occuring on his courses, he would step back and evaluate what he was doing, but of course Mark Phillips is the messiah from heaven and it was everyone else's faults for not being perfect like him and jumping his fences clear.
    We are signed up for the Fork and I am worried. I need your advice out there,
    who is the organizer, it is not listed in the Omnibus, only the sec.?
    Also, it closes tomorrow so in order to withdraw and get a refund, it has to be today.
    We have never done it, so for those of you experienced ULR, Intermediate-
    Please tell me, is it another " show jumping" cross country course with combination after combination or a TRUE gallopping fair course???
    I see CMP is again the designer.... YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 1999
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
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    5,235

    Default

    I don't know if he's always been the cd but in the past, the nov and tr courses were VERY nice.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    N.E TN
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    305

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TexasTB View Post
    Have you seen the course design at Burghley in the recent years that he's been designing it? I consider it apalling.. technical question after technical question after technical question. Granted, there have not been injuries at Burghley such as the ones we've seen at other competitions, but that course has gotten so trappy and unjumpable, and yet you still have people going clear so apparently it's not tough enough, and it will become increasinly technical every year.

    It's a vicious cycle and we've lost touch with what cross country is supposed to be about. And you would think that with the injuries and deaths occuring on his courses, he would step back and evaluate what he was doing, but of course Mark Phillips is the messiah from heaven and it was everyone else's faults for not being perfect like him and jumping his fences clear.
    I agree with TexasTB - I think this is the biggest issue. If too many people go clear then make the course harder - WHY? Why should we not be aiming for 90% to go clear?!@! If the course is appropiate for the level and riders are running the right level then 90+% SHOULD go clear?? When did cross country become about trying to eliminate rather than test horses and riders??????



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2007
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    146

    Default

    Did CMP design the course where Mia had her accident?



  9. #9
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    Aug. 1, 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
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    619

    Default

    The Question: CMP course design the problem?

    Answer : YES!!!!!!!!
    "Fifteen minutes of excellent work is better than an hour and a half of wandering aimlessly around." -Col. Bengt Ljundquist



  10. #10
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    Oct. 14, 2005
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    2,596

    Default

    The BIG question:

    Why does cross country have to get more and more difficult? Grand Prix dressage doesn't get harder movements added each year, Grand Prix show jumping doesn't get taller each year. Why must eventing get more challenging? What happened to having a few combos (coffin, sunken road, water) and mostly galloping fences? The local event around here had less than half the competitors make it around prelim, and the ones that did were shitting themselves. I think courses should be challenging, but they don't need to be intimidating to a well-prepared rider.



  11. #11
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    Apr. 11, 2007
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    body in charlottesville VA, heart in Ocala FL
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snickerdoodle View Post
    Did CMP design the course where Mia had her accident?
    Don't think so, that was at Galway downs in CA I am pretty sure and I don;t think CMP designed it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2003
    Posts
    258

    Default

    Mike E S designed Galway at the time of that accident. Ian Stark is now the course designer there as of this year.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
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    5,410

    Default

    Well I'll bet the chain saws are out in full force at the fork this week. There simply cannot be a repeat performance of last weekend. All this in an olympic year as well when we should be building confidence...not tearing it apart.



  14. #14
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    Dec. 18, 2003
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    1,882

    Default

    I won't enter events where he is the CD. Not that there are many near me, but it's the main reason I'm not interested in The Fork.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2007
    Posts
    155

    Default The Fork

    Actually, just spoke to the Fork. Seems that CMP just got in last night and is "just starting to lay out the tracks".... HMMMM
    Let's all pray that he does the right thing and makes it SAFE and FAIR.
    This sport cannot afford another weekend like Red Hills.
    People should call The Fork and voice their concerns NOW.
    (704 )474-4052 X228



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 27, 2003
    Location
    southern pines NC
    Posts
    206

    Default

    i agree with snoopy, these courses should be building confidence it is an olympic year, why are we trying to hurt our horses before they have a chance to shine? This sport at the lower levels is closer to what it used to be, the upper levels not so much. The XC courses are getting more technical with every year, even the dressage and show jumping is getting tougher and bigger. If they want to make the dressage harder, ok. But why do we need to make the XC so technical that no one can get around a course with out time/ jump faults (beyond a run out or a mistake?) Why is the Show Jumping turning into a Grand Prix? The horses are usually tired/sore after XC at a big competition lets throw some big a$$ jumps at them and break their confidence down (having rails/refusals). It doesn't make sense, after what people have said about how much the sport has changed it is not right.

    I don't think it is one particular course designer either, i think they all have some problem fences/courses that need to be re-designed to make them more horse/rider friendly. There was a broken bridge jump at Rolex some years ago (early '90's) they had to airlift a rider from there too, they ended up taking that jump out. I went to Rolex a couple years ago '02 and '06 on each of those courses there were some serious bogey fences, the same one's over and over again catching riders (the skinny stumps out back by the hollow on weird bending line thing, and the brush boxes on the "hills" again on a weird line, that did not ride the way it walked) I don't know who the course designers were but it just goes to show that through the years there have been some not so good choices made on XC and the horses and riders pay for it.

    I think the higher ups in the USEA need to look at what has happened over the last couple of years and listen to its members on what they think would be appropriate for the level.

    I jump judged this weekend at Southern Pines and there were things on that course at BN and N that when i started eventing would have been a training/prelim question.(trakehner (N), up bank-three strides down over a log(N);was on champ course.) It was just made smaller and slightly easier, and its fairly early in the season, so by the end of the season the people going novice are pretty much going to be jumping a training course without the height. I am all for introducing the harder questions at the lower levels but jeez, its march! most of the people that i know this is one of the first events of the season.

    Sorry for the long post and little rant it is just frustrating to see people/horses get hurt when it could be avoided (i.e. a more open galloping course, instead of jumping a solid fenced show jumping round) the courses need to be more horse friendly, instead of having forty jumping efforts in which twenty five of them are in a combination, make it less about the jumping and more about the stamina of the horse, if they can go out and jump thirty galloping, straightforward always on the go jumps and they still look good at the end of the day then you know you're doing something right with your training. We need the long format three day back, it was less about the technicality of the course and more about the stamina/heart of the horse and rider.

    sorry, it just frustrates me to no end.
    Last edited by jumpjesterjump; Mar. 17, 2008 at 05:04 PM.
    R.I.P. Bourneville Jester 12/06/06



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Azle, Teh-has
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    7,704

    Default

    I'm glad someone started this thread.
    Reed and I were talking about this very subject last night. I want to say something on COTH but was too chicken.
    He and Gnep design XC fences. Right now they are working on the frangible pin design for tables and other fences which most of you know about.

    I mentioned that pretty soon every XC fence was going to have to be designed with the pin system and the courses are going to become too expensive to build and eventing will go ka-put.

    So I ask CMP, "Why the hell are things getting WORSE!?"
    I just want to go sucker punch some people.
    CMP is putting in fences that are unfair questions for the horses. We all have agreed on that aspect.
    I don't understand how the system works and I don't understand why such tough XC questions need to be asked.
    If the USEA needs to increase technicality why not increase the level of efficiency in the dressage? Put up great SJ courses, and open up the XC courses again.
    If they don't, I'm sad to say, our sport won't be around much longer.

    EX: Pine Top Advanced. I ran the Prelim course. There were two technical combos and one kind of technical water combo. The rest was open and running. I think we even had a minute with only two jumps at one point. I didn't even have to check and sit up at the 1st water. I just galloped in, up out via bank and then two very open strides to a small coop. It was fun and tested my horse’s willingness to keep pace through the water.
    The course was not difficult and gave lots of gallop room, yet no one made the time. That course was fantastic. Caused little jumping issues and still proved its point by time penalties. Allowed the horses to jump out of a good strong pace.


    I just don't get it.
    I'll tell you what though. Right now I am getting to the point where I don't want to go advanced and I know there are tons of other riders that are feeling the same emotions.
    Once the big wigs of today are gone there will be no up and comers to take their place.
    http://kaboomeventing.com/
    http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
    Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!



  18. #18
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    Jun. 17, 2000
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    Durham/Chapel Hill nc
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    3,684

    Default

    I'm not hallucinating a memory am I? This spring wasn't David O brought in to CD at The Fork? I had assumed (whoops) that it was in the tradition of bringing a fresh eye to the course, but maybe Mark just couldn't make it over in the spring, or something?



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2006
    Location
    Just outside the middle of nowhere
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    134

    Thumbs down Hit the nail on the head!

    Quote Originally Posted by eqsiu View Post
    The BIG question:

    Why does cross country have to get more and more difficult? Grand Prix dressage doesn't get harder movements added each year, Grand Prix show jumping doesn't get taller each year. Why must eventing get more challenging? What happened to having a few combos (coffin, sunken road, water) and mostly galloping fences? The local event around here had less than half the competitors make it around prelim, and the ones that did were shitting themselves. I think courses should be challenging, but they don't need to be intimidating to a well-prepared rider.
    I think this is exactly the problem. There is NO need for any course to get harder as the years go by. Courses need to be changed up, but they don't need to get harder every year.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill



  20. #20
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    Mar. 13, 2006
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    NC
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    457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by boppin along View Post
    Actually, just spoke to the Fork. Seems that CMP just got in last night and is "just starting to lay out the tracks".... HMMMM
    Let's all pray that he does the right thing and makes it SAFE and FAIR.
    This sport cannot afford another weekend like Red Hills.
    People should call The Fork and voice their concerns NOW.
    (704 )474-4052 X228

    X228 is Rebecca's line - dial x 221 to get someone in the main office.



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