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  1. #1
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    Default Congratulations to the South African eventers

    Only two of their team and one individual completed, but those three had lovely rides in the stadium jumping and it was a credible effort for their first WEG appearance. I hope they are able to take this experience back and develop their program further so that we'll see them competing again.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  2. #2
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    If you stood where I did on saturday and saw their first rider on x-c ride through the sunken road and retire at the ditch and wall, you would not use the word credible. It was the scariest riding I have seen at a four star. I was in that same field when The Quiet Man died, and I had a horrific flashback. Truly dangerous riding. I'm really bothered to have seen it, much less at a world championship. Thank god that horse had the self preservation to stop.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  3. #3
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    Default

    I just remember seeing the stadium. They were in last place, next to last place and next to next to last place. Three in a row and they all did a great job in stadium. The people sitting next to us were bummed that the stadium was going to be too easy, since the South Africans made it look easy!



  4. #4
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    Default

    The three remaining riders DID do a nice job in stadium. I can't speak to their x-c because, after their teammate's exhibition I couldn't bare watching any of them through our complex. Neither could several other people around me.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    The three remaining riders DID do a nice job in stadium. I can't speak to their x-c because, after their teammate's exhibition I couldn't bare watching any of them through our complex. Neither could several other people around me.
    I admit, we deliberately moved to a nice boring obstacle for the RSA riders.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  6. #6
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    Default

    Question regarding the RSA riders (more a rules question, actually):

    The 2nd rider, I believe, while waiting for the bell to signal the start of his stadium walked up to the liverpool and stood to allow his horse a good look at it. Very conspicuous and not at all a "drive by" that is common practice to desensitize a spooky horse. Kind of cute and got a giggle out of the crowd.

    I've read the rule book again and can't decide if that should be legal. The railbirds behind me had a constant commentary about how he should have been DQ'd. I'm quite sure the officials know the rules, but I do recall being taught that that practice is a form of "inspecting the course after the competition has started".



  7. #7
    marabsky@gmail.com Guest

    Default

    Its a shame to characterize the performance of the all the SA riders by what you observed from one rider at a couple of fences. The rider chose to retire which I think was the right decision at that time.

    No one should imagine that a world championship track should be easy, and its true sometimes the results don't look so good. Just ask many of the very talented and experienced combinations which didn't make it to the end or had nasty falls.

    The team is up and coming and working very hard with a very qualified coach (Jean-Philippe Camboulives). They are doing what they have to gain experience on the more advanced and difficult tracks outside of SA and have committed themselves to improvement (the competitors and horse owners cover all their own costs to get to, be based in and compete in Europe where the combinations can gain the experience.). There is only one way to improve and that is via training and experience. They have full commitment to both.

    I think the comments complimenting them on their nice, balanced round in the showjumping was both fair and deserved.



  8. #8
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    Default

    If you look back, I didn't characterized the performance of all SA riders by the one x-c performance—what I did was point out that characterizing the team based on three stadium rounds was not painting the full picture.

    I was responding to the OP's comment, based on three stadium rides, that the riders had delivered "a credible effort for their first WEG appearance." To make that statement, and NOT include the riders' x-c performances (which the OP admittedly chose to watch only over "nice boring obstacles") in the assessment, is not a complete look at the weekend.

    WEG is a world championship and is big and challenging and technical. I certainly don't expect it to be smooth sailing for anyone. But I've spectated in person at WEG in Kentucky and in Aiken, at the Atlanta Olympics, at last year's Burghley, and at multiple Rolex's. Unfortunately, what I saw by that individual at this year's WEG was truly scary and it haunts me. In fact, I'm still haunted by the two horse deaths I witnessed at Rolex '08 and haven't gone to Rolex the past two years because of it. What I saw at WEG at fence 16 was truly dangerous to horse and rider and was the scariest upper level riding I've seen. Better to retire before approaching a huge solid fence in that way. Twice.

    I have great admiration and appreciation for the commitment, sacrifices, expenses, and drive that upper level riders, from whatever country, make to train and compete to that level. But with all that comes a true commitment to the welfare of the horse and knowing when you or the horse are overfaced and retiring before asking for a jump one or both aren't up to.

    What I saw has been bothering me and I found I couldn't not say something when the OP called the team's weekend "credible." And the fact that I wasn't willing to watch the team's other riders through the sunken road and ditch and wall DOES mean I didn't get to access their rides. But I wasn't willing to risk it if they had ridden the same way.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.



  9. #9
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    Aug. 19, 2010
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    Default

    Well as a South African who now lives in America (and who didn't see the scary jump x-country) I was surprised and pleased to see so many South Africans in both eventing and the individual jumping. Have not finished watching the latter, but the one guy I saw so far was pretty respectable, two rails, which were just rails, no big deal. Saw much worse stuff from some other people. I am amazed that South Africans got all the way here, must have cost a fortune, and they are pretty damned isolated, so congratulations to them!



  10. #10
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    Default

    I saw Zorba at the Head of the Lake and he seemed to be getting a slow, sensible, confidence-building ride at that point.

    I wish them luck and future success.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  11. #11
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    Default

    I DID watch the other SA riders at the same fence that Badger was at. All I can say is that they have truly wonderful horses. The 1st rider looked frankly frazzled and scared (this was at the sunken road and the ginormous ditch-and-wall after) and rode very, very poorly to it. His horse was honest about the sunken road, but wisely said No to the next fence.

    The other riders were more composed and organized, but for two of the three it still looked a bit like a wing and a prayer ride. One of them looked tight, controlled, and rode the two fences boldly but carefully.

    The horses were great though, on the iffier rides they looked like they knew their jobs and got it done.

    I am pleased that SA is developing a team, I was glad to see them there, and I really hope they can continue to improve. This was a big, solid, thinking course, and perhaps at least one of them let nerves get the better of them on the day. It happens to all of us at some point, it's just effing scary when the fences are that big!



  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marabsky@gmail.com View Post

    No one should imagine that a world championship track should be easy, and its true sometimes the results don't look so good. Just ask many of the very talented and experienced combinations which didn't make it to the end or had nasty falls.

    The team is up and coming and working very hard with a very qualified coach (Jean-Philippe Camboulives). They are doing what they have to gain experience on the more advanced and difficult tracks outside of SA and have committed themselves to improvement (the competitors and horse owners cover all their own costs to get to, be based in and compete in Europe where the combinations can gain the experience.). There is only one way to improve and that is via training and experience. They have full commitment to both.Hat

    I think the comments complimenting them on their nice, balanced round in the showjumping was both fair and deserved.
    Amen. I didn't think SA had much eventing period, much less a team they could send to a 3 day as challenging as the WEG. I was a bit surprised too at how much fan support I saw. There are not many sports as difficult and dangerous as eventing, nor given the costs of traveling, horses etc more expensive. It's nice to see that kind of commitment and drive.



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