Other than the error in saying that Baron Verdi was going Intermediate, I don't think the article was misleading. Seems like she understood the crux of the matter and got her facts straight. Hope it doesn't cause undo bad publicity.
\"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo
My favorite part is where they say that the Frangible Pin is not used much in the US because of it is SO expensive and then they go on to say it costs $70.00.....umm... compared to the cost of the fence and the cost of a riders life I think 70.00 is minimal.....even if they bought a dozen and did 6 fences a year that is only $840.00. By all means though we need those cheese wedges with the mouse more then the pins. I can guarantee those cost alot more then the pins.
"A little less chit-chat a little more pitter-pat"
I do think the article made it sound as if the deaths were occurring at all levels of eventing rather than with the most experienced riders. Even the younger riders have been more skilled than people might understand from the description.
This may only matter to those of us adult/older ammies who wake up to crazed emails from their mothers warning them to be careful!
It was only a matter of time before all of this became public knowledge.
We`ve know for some time that eventing was drifting increasingly into dangerous territory, but there had to be that "tipping point", and Red Hills seemed to be that moment.
Now this national/international scrutiny will add impetus to what those of us who have been beating the drum for some time have already known.
We have to take back our sport.
People will find things to quibble about - the prices of the horses (which she probably got quoted from an ULR who lives in a different world than us ammys), and the description of Baron Verdi's course as "intermediate" - which if I had to guess she meant to mean the horse was at a generic intermediate level, not the specific level "intermediate," since this is for a general national audience.
Overall I think she did a terrific job of presenting the issue fairly, and perhaps most notably allowing Mark Phillips to make an ass of himself again. I love the illustrations that accompany the article. They help complete the story by noting the rotational falls are potentially deadly but rare.
As an FYI to those who are reading it on-line from a link which is how I read the article first from my hysterical mother.
When you receive the paper IN PERSON it is not the pretty photo of Darren jumping the fence but one of Andreas Zehnrer with both his head and his horse's head crushed at the base of a log at the 2004 Athens Games.
This photo is included in the on-line slide show for anyone who want to take a look.
The article and photo takes up almost the entire bottom half of the front page of the New York Times. It is a big deal, very few "sports" related issues get this type of placement in the paper.
Ugh, now everyone I know who has never actually seen the types of jumps or heights that I compete at is going to be all over my case.
And I think the best hope we have of taking back our sport is for all of us to join the USEA and get solidly behind Kevin Baumgardner and the task force, get personally involved, whether regionally or nationally, help redefine the competitive levels, insist that we who are actually riding those xc courses be listened to, and generally take more personal responsibility for making this sport what WE WANT.
Entirely possible I missed it, but does it discuss anywhere the phasiing out of the long format and reasons for it? Just as a matter of explaining the sport's evolution? I think this is important, though not necessarily (the) reason for all the injuries we're seeing.
Yes, the article was okay and fairly accurate, although one of the photos showed Cian O'Connor doing the show jumping phase. OK, we know he doesn't event.
I wondered why they didn't mention that Princess Anne is an Olympic medalist in eventing and her daughter events too ... I don't know if she has an Olympic medal, but I know she won Europeans and maybe World Championships. Why didn't she mention that Capt. Mark was a rider and competitor at the Olympic level. Why is everyone throwing it in his face? Don't the riders have to take some responsibility on how they train and approach the courses?
It would've been nice to get a quote from David O'Connor. It would've been nice to get quotes from riders like Bruce, Mike P, Denny, Jimmy who have ridden over generations of courses and horses.
I don't know if this is the place for suppositions, but here goes ...
The old pictures show these monstrously huge jumps (not technical) that they fly over. The same kind of jumps some of these people have had accidents.
It's so terrible. Such a sport, which can be daunting and punishing if the rider doesn't have good judgement, is amazing. My hats go off to the masters of the sport.
I hope we can save it and more riders from death.
You know what's weird. People used to ride mainly TBs and TBxs. Many OTTB - cheap ones - were used. I'm sure many were very sucky at dressage. Now with dressage so influential, perhaps a different personality horse ... a horse with a different mindset is necessary. Maybe those horses don't have the right kind of mindset and athleticism for these courses.
I know my OTTB is all heart. But not blindly so. He's very smart. He will rarely refuse a jump. BUT he will if he knows it will risk life and limb to either of us, which is usually the result of my riding. I say he has self-preservation policy. I wonder if there were more refusals back then, or maybe these TBs were handier, quicker, more athletic?
Maybe the trainers/riders now don't allow the horse to use its judgement - but expect the horse to blindly jump where no horse has jumped before? Sort of like automatons? I want to win, but not at the cost of my life or quality of life. I'd rather have a refusal and live to ride another day. Perhaps Teddy O'Connor, though he had two stops at Red Hill, was more intelligent than us all - a quick, bright horse who looks out for his rider and himself.
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi