Has anyone watched the riding phase of the Modern Pentathlon in the Olympics? I was watching the men's riding phase a little this morning. They draw horses provided by the Chinese for the event. Well, all of the horses I saw had no business jumping 2', much less the 4' jumps in the event!! Countless riders couldn't get around the course and there were so many refusals, run-outs, and crashes through the jumps. Just in the few courses I watched I saw 2 riders give up after being unable to get the horse over a single jump! The riders all looked so frustrated and disappointed. The commentators were saying that they were all very capable riders under normal circumstances. Couldn't the Chinese find ANY horses capable of jumping around a 4' jumper course?? Did anyone else see this event? Thoughts?
Wow, I just watched some of this (you can go to the sport and 'rewind') and I literally had to stop (in tears) after 10 minutes. Those poor horses (who looked 14-15 hh) were so overfaced and obviously not up to doing the job. I felt sorry for the riders who were obviously frustrated.
If the countries cannot provide adequate horses for this phase of the pent., it should be replaced or eliminated. What I saw was abusive to those poor horses, and is a very poor example of the equestrian sport. I'm sure most people in the audience know nothing about horses and this is what they get to see?
I could only stomach the first 10 or so riders before I quit watching. I know at least one of the US riders used to be in Pony Club, so I'm assuming if I'd watched long enough, he would have been a decent rider.
I think the problems were a mix of horse & rider errors, however. I saw a lot of loose legs/falling back/total lack of release/leaning off balance in just the first 10 riders. One Russian rider actually pulled back on the reins over every jump - his horse jumped pretty gamely, but you could see his head getting jerked back at every fence. I do question the prep of some of the horses, however, as they would sometimes get decent spots and would still refuse. Several of the horses looked scared half out of their minds. I'd sum it up as horses not ready for the level and riders who couldn't help out the horses at all (& sometimes compounded their problems).
Also, I would not have wanted to be the second rider on some of those horses. To get on a horse and try to ride him after someone else had demolished/refused their way through a course? I guess that just means I know when I'm not good enough to do something.
Oh wow. I only watched a few. Poor horses...very little scope combined with poor distances (although several did stop with a good distance...I prob would have too, though). The first horse alone made me want to cry.
It said the horses are owned by private owners...I'm assuming that doesn't mean that these are chinese show horses...anyone know who does own them?
I didn't watch the video, but clicked through the pics... there seemed to be more pictures of horses crashing than those making it over the jumps. Wonder whose horses they use... I feel so bad for them and their owners
ETA I'm watching the video replay now... and OMG poor horses. I guess the rules are 2 refusals and you go to the next jump and if you fall off, get back on and keep going... I'm only on horse #2. Not sure how much more I can take.
Last edited by Eyemadonkee; Aug. 22, 2008 at 09:15 AM.
I talked to someone very involved atleast at one point with this stuff at the olympic level and she told me that the people ride so bad that the horses are mostly a) lame b) unable to jump that high and c) absolutely schooled to DEATH over the exact course they are supposed to jump so that its as easy as possible for them to help the riders out. Apparently they spend very very little time riding, and most of their time is spent training for the other stuff they do. Sounds dangerous as heck to me!
Due to moving, I have to use the WiFi at the local coffee shop. After watching a few rounds, I almost threw up my coffee I saw maybe one or two halfway decent riders, but even then, they took ten seconds to check their leads and couldn't get the changes.
The very sad part is that most of those horses are so cute and biddable. But what I find interesting is that while watching, I saw in the commentary this quote:
"For those of you that watched the ride yesterday I have a few good worlds. The jumps have been lowered."
I was thinking to myself, there's no way those jumps were 4'. Thank god for small miracles!
Any chance of at least getting them to lower the jumps to say 3'?
While too many of the riders were bullying them around, I was thankful to see a few pat their horses kindly at the end of their ride.
That french guy who crashed was very lucky considering he was hung up in the stirrup with the horse kicking out at him. Luckily he broke loose. However, he did seem like a really poor sport when he did get up . . . jerk.
Couldn't the Chinese find ANY horses capable of jumping around a 4' jumper course?? Did anyone else see this event? Thoughts?
I was at the computer GASPING while watching this mess of a competition (my husband was cracking up...he came over to watch with me for a bit and HE even knew it was bad, which says alot). I felt terrible for those horses. I actually thought the horses were pretty capable, for the most part, but were clearly unable to even attempt to do their jobs because of the riders. It was really hard to even judge the horses' ability with all of the pulling and flying around the saddle.
I assume they have riding coaches? Maybe they should tell them that the horses have to have some sort of FORWARD momentum in order to make it over those jumps.
And the cheerying after every fence! It was as if the crowd was SHOCKED every time a rider cleared a fence without crashing or falling off. A true equine circus. So sad. UGH!
All of those horses had to be presented over the course to a jury before they are accepted for the draw. The jury ride is done by real riders. If the horse looks dangerous or doesn't look capable of jumping around, the jury will dismiss it. Every horse that was in that competition jumped around that course a bunch of times before the athletes sat on them.
You mean those athletes who, according to the commentators, are all capable riders under "normal" circumstances? Excuse my French, but WTF are "normal" circumstances? On yeah, that trail riding thing, I guess.
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