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  1. #61
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    Benchmarks are useful things when money is involved. There could be a benchmark for the dressage phase--69%; for xc--fewer than 10 total penalties; and stadium--no more than 8 pp. Unless a horse and rider combination meet the benchmarks HERE at the level involved at least twice, they don't get USET funding for trips abroad.

    Obviously the goal of XC should be double clear; the goal of dressage should be over 70% and the goal of stadium should also be double clear. There are a rather large number of riders at Boekelo who scored 69% in dressage which then gives them a fighting chance to move up with the other two phases. Without that 69%, though, perfect performance the rest of the way will, in 98% of the cases, keep them far from the podium.

    The USET could identify promising pairs and help with their training HERE. The benchmarks could and should be lower for training assistance HERE.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventerAJ View Post
    I don't think this weekend was a bad showing. Was it competitive? No. But as someone said, we have to compete against the best to be the best. Clearly, staying at home and beating ourselves hasn't really done much. You can do all the homework you want, but you need a real test to see where you are and how to improve. "Take home tests" don't have the same effect.

    I think we *do* need more US riders who spend time training in Europe. It did Sinead and Allison a world of good this summer. It would be great if we could budget some funding for that. But it's not just as easy as it sounds-- these riders leave their families and business behind for several months. Someone else has to teach their students, feed the horses at home, ride the youngsters. There's still bills at home to pay, in addition to bills overseas. It requires a strong support group, and a good source of funds to make it happen. I agree that it NEEDS to be done...but it's not so easy as "Hop a plane with your horse and go train with WFP."
    Bold is mine. Firstly, that is what I don't understand: How does going overseas and doing poorly make us better? Why does competing against people WAY better than us make us better? Is is supposed to motivate us? Is it supposed to confirm what we deep down already know but don't want to admit, that we are not up to par any longer? This overseas catastrophe began at the 2008 Olympics. Save for a few exceptions here and there (namely Sinead, Allison, and the Pan Am team, of course that was a 2* without much real competition) the message has been loud and clear for FOUR YEARS that we need to do something differently. We have not been competitive oversreas for a long time now and clearly our current methods are not working.

    Secondly, maybe the funding would be more readily available if we used the funding from things like the Boekolo grants or if we didn't send every Olympic qualified horse plus their backup to England this summer (an exaggeration of course, but I believe we sent too many.) There's no good reason to spend money that would be useful elsewhere to send riders overseas who are not prepared to be competitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Benchmarks are useful things when money is involved. There could be a benchmark for the dressage phase--69%; for xc--fewer than 10 total penalties; and stadium--no more than 8 pp. Unless a horse and rider combination meet the benchmarks HERE at the level involved at least twice, they don't get USET funding for trips abroad.

    Obviously the goal of XC should be double clear; the goal of dressage should be over 70% and the goal of stadium should also be double clear. There are a rather large number of riders at Boekelo who scored 69% in dressage which then gives them a fighting chance to move up with the other two phases. Without that 69%, though, perfect performance the rest of the way will, in 98% of the cases, keep them far from the podium.

    The USET could identify promising pairs and help with their training HERE. The benchmarks could and should be lower for training assistance HERE.
    THIS! Very well said and I agree that a horse and rider should have to prove themselves before they get that privelige of funding.
    Blog: http://movingonupeventing.blogspot.com/

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  3. #63
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    I guess I disagree. I think we sent the right horses and their results are fine. This was a 3*. We didn't send out best 3* horses. We sent horses who we think will be some of our best 4* horses in the near future. Competing abroad had a lot of logistics that competing from home does not have. Our riders and horses need more experience flying and competing than our European counterparts. And each of these horses and riders DID already prove they are worth the investment.

    I don't give a rat's a$$ if we win at the 3* level. I want to see us win and be competitive at WEG in 2 years....and therefore want as many of our good young horses and riders getting experience flying and putting together a competition.

    If this same group was flown over again next year with poor results...then I might bitch and groan a bit more. But a horse that will be competitive in 2 years may not be as competitive this year. What I'm sure the team and selectors are focusing on is how did they handle this stress...and what do we need to focus on for each pair.

    I guess I'm just not going too get to worked up over it now.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinGates View Post
    And for clarification, the BNR who has taken 1/2 day in 8 mo's b/c he "has things that need improvement in his riding" is 2008 Individual Gold medalist, Andreas Dibowski.
    Hinrich Romeike was the 2008 Individual gold medalist. Don't forget the galloping dentist!!

    Andreas Dibowski, a professional rider, was on the gold medal team in 2008.
    Blugal

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  5. #65
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    The horses that are successful at championships have been contesting top level events for at least 2 years before the championship.

    I don't think it is a good strategy to send CIC3* horses, and horses new to the level, to championships.

    As someone else pointed out, Boekelo was a testing ground for many of today's top horses back in 2010.

    In London, the results looked like:

    Gold - Michael & Sam - competing at top level since at least 2010 (WEG)
    Silver - Sara & Wega - contested Boekelo in 2010
    Bronze - Sandra and Opgun Luovo - contested Boekelo in 2010

    So all were long-term partnerships and all had been going at least CCI*** since 2010.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    The horses that are successful at championships have been contesting top level events for at least 2 years before the championship.

    While I agree.....I also think given our history of breaking our horses and riders, we need as wide a pool as possible. Our top riders and horses have already been abroad this year. This was just another group to me.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  7. #67
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    bornfree, I don't think I explained myself well! I was basically agreeing with you.

    By championships, I mean Olympics, WEG. Don't send new/green horses to the level to these championships. Send horses who have been going at least 3* for 2 years.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blugal View Post
    bornfree, I don't think I explained myself well! I was basically agreeing with you.

    By championships, I mean Olympics, WEG. Don't send new/green horses to the level to these championships. Send horses who have been going at least 3* for 2 years.
    Got it! And to me...their first time or two at a championship like this, I don't expect them to win.

    I just find it funny that people bitch that we are sending the same people all the time....and then when we send different horses and riders...they bitch again that they didn't win. I thought these riders and horses did well for where they are in their careers. Now let's keep them sound....and keep improving.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  9. #69
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    I'm not disagreeing with BFNE and Blugal that foreign CCI experience is needed for future championships.

    But unlike countries which do not rely on private funding sources for their entire high performance system, the USEF has money problems. It always has and it always will. My point is that given the financial restrictions, USEF needs to ensure the most bang for its limited bucks.

    Build up the basic skills necessary for horses and riders to do well internationally HERE before sending them abroad on "run and home" trips that cost a comparative fortune. OR base riders in Europe the way the Aussies and Kiwis do. I'd prefer that our horses would be competitive before we send them to International competitions.

    Start here. Build up eventing here so it is producing riders with internationally competitive scores HERE. Toughen our standards. Then send them off for seasoning.
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  10. #70
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    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you either, viney. I don't think it is absolutely essential to be based in the UK, because I have seen examples of North-America based riders kicking butt. But, in many cases it has helped.

    Cases in point:

    Sinead took the initiative and based herself with Mark and Sandy Phillips, then WFP for a over year back in '08.

    Rebecca Howard of Canada took the initiative and moved to the UK after the 2012 Olympics.

    David and Karen O did this way back when, spent 5 years in the UK.

    Tiana's decision to base herself in the UK arguably got her on the team (never mind the actual result at the Olympics) and she is still in the UK and probably setting herself up for 2014.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  11. #71
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    Oh, and one more thing.

    Maybe rather than trying to get another 4* in North America, we should be collaborating (Canada/US) to make an international team competition, the likes of Boekelo, at Fair Hill. Kind of like the Ledyard of old?
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  12. #72
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    Seems to me that Allison kind of proves the measure of sending over folks who aren't really all the way there yet to compete overseas. Remember that she and Arthur made a bunch of trips to Europe and came home with either letter scores or well down the board before this year's Burghley success. Someone can keep me honest, but if if I'm remembering correctly, I believe she was eliminated at Burghley, had a stop at Blenheim, a stop at Pau, and maybe eliminated at Luhmuhlen? I may not have that quite right, but there was a decently long strings of not-so-great overseas, even as she was getting decent ribbons at Rolex and Fair Hill. Perhaps it just took the work of going over, not having things go well, and retooling and fixing until she got to the right level - and that wouldn't have happened had she stayed here and kept running the same courses. If that's the case, see,s like the experience of competing over there, even if the intermediate results aren't super, is a worthwhile part of the process.



  13. #73
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    GotSpots, there is no question that the experiences all led to where she is today. But, IIRC, she was pretty much self-financed, wasn't she? Self financed riders can spend their own or their sponsors' money any way they like.

    There ought to be ways to decrease the cost of trips abroad, like sharing pallets (or whatever the term of art may be), and perhaps USEF could help set those up.
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  14. #74
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    [QUOTE But, IIRC, she was pretty much self-financed, wasn't she? Self financed riders can spend their own or their sponsors' money any way they like. [/QUOTE]

    Viney the grants were given to the riders from Land Rover. Can't a company decide where they want to spend their money ? Perhaps the Land Rover PTB read all the bi%%#ching on the COTH BB and decided that it would be a good idea to send less experienced riders overseas (sans Phillip) to gain valuable experience. They were given $15,000 each. Probably not enough to cover all their expenses. The rest I assume (perhaps incorrectly) was self funded.
    Anyhow, travelling with the horses, learning their recovery issues, figuring out warmups, downtime needed etc. This is all necessary information to get down before one is sent to the "big show". Each horse is an individual, and you don't want to be faced with a stupid mistake that you could have figured out ahead of time with a trial run. Every trip like this is a huge learning experience that you can't gain by going to Fair Hill. JMHO.
    In addition, this was our B,C, or D, team (again leaving Philip out) up against some really competitive Europeans. I didn't expect a win, did you?
    Philip had some warmup issues at the Olympics if I recall.



  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    Benchmarks are useful things when money is involved. There could be a benchmark for the dressage phase--69%; for xc--fewer than 10 total penalties; and stadium--no more than 8 pp. Unless a horse and rider combination meet the benchmarks HERE at the level involved at least twice, they don't get USET funding for trips abroad.

    Obviously the goal of XC should be double clear; the goal of dressage should be over 70% and the goal of stadium should also be double clear. There are a rather large number of riders at Boekelo who scored 69% in dressage which then gives them a fighting chance to move up with the other two phases. Without that 69%, though, perfect performance the rest of the way will, in 98% of the cases, keep them far from the podium.

    The USET could identify promising pairs and help with their training HERE. The benchmarks could and should be lower for training assistance HERE.
    All of this. Particularly the last paragraph. Going to a new, more competitive locale at great expense when a pair has yet to prove their reliability at home is a waste. More help here, then benchmarks to ensure we'll be in the mix abroad.



  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmlacross View Post
    All of this. Particularly the last paragraph. Going to a new, more competitive locale at great expense when a pair has yet to prove their reliability at home is a waste. More help here, then benchmarks to ensure we'll be in the mix abroad.


    I guess I missed it...how were these horses not reliable at this level??? compared to who was left off this list? Folks...you can't have it both ways....wanting new blood to get more experience or only sending our most competitive pairs abroad. These pairs are all well established here....what they are lacking is more international experience.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    I guess I missed it...how were these horses not reliable at this level??? compared to who was left off this list? Folks...you can't have it both ways....wanting new blood to get more experience or only sending our most competitive pairs abroad. These pairs are all well established here....what they are lacking is more international experience.
    My statement was a general one not aimed at any current recipient of the Boek. grant. I intended it to reflect my opinion of best practices with regard to the distribution of grant money by the NGB: IMO, more riders supported at the top levels available on our continent leads to more time spent in the tack competing rather than teaching/training leads to more viable international competitors.

    To address another of your questions, I would contend that it's not really relevant whether competitors are reliable when compared to those "left off [the] list," it's a matter of whether they're reliable when compared to those they'll be competing with. I don't see that any grievous omissions have been made here, it's just that i don't think $15,000 to go overseas is going to fix the larger problem.

    Many are of the opinion than simply sending our athletes to compete overseas more often will bring us the better results we seek. I'm not sure I have the perfect solution, but I'm a bit incredulous that frequent and costly transatlantic travel and competition by riders who only get to spend a fraction of their time training and competing top-level horses will be the magic bullet. The funding problem needs to be fixed further down the tree, and we need to be patient.



  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    I guess I disagree. I think we sent the right horses and their results are fine. This was a 3*. We didn't send out best 3* horses. We sent horses who we think will be some of our best 4* horses in the near future. Competing abroad had a lot of logistics that competing from home does not have. Our riders and horses need more experience flying and competing than our European counterparts. And each of these horses and riders DID already prove they are worth the investment.

    I don't give a rat's a$$ if we win at the 3* level. I want to see us win and be competitive at WEG in 2 years....and therefore want as many of our good young horses and riders getting experience flying and putting together a competition.

    If this same group was flown over again next year with poor results...then I might bitch and groan a bit more. But a horse that will be competitive in 2 years may not be as competitive this year. What I'm sure the team and selectors are focusing on is how did they handle this stress...and what do we need to focus on for each pair.

    I guess I'm just not going too get to worked up over it now.


    Absolutely exactly the way I feel. This is not something to worry about. Our problem is experienced horses and there is no other way to gain experience for our horses that to test a little and this was a test. Don't forget we have Colleen and Buck at Pau and holy cow Fair Hill looks enormous this year.
    "Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring." -- Emerson
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  19. #79
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    Whether she applied or not for the Land Rover grants and/or the Boekelo Team, the horse I'd have liked to see there is Can't Fire Me. He's young, relatively inexperienced, and does dynamite dressage when judged here. He's one who needs the International experience so his dressage can be judged against the best. This is a horse that the USEF should have as a top priority for the future.

    Of course, I'm also very partial to grey OTTBs and Becky Holder. I think she and Kim Severson are possibly the only US based riders who can be consistently competitive in International eventing dressage as it is now.

    Edited to add: And Allison consistently and quite a few of the others on a very good day.
    Last edited by vineyridge; Oct. 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM.
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  20. #80
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    People and horses have to travel overseas to learn how they adapt to jet lag, foods, water/drink, temp changes, languages, procedures, etc. It wasn't that long ago that I didn't know about Becky Holder so there always "who dats" out there. Also there a lot of talented up and comers who can benefit from international experience. Whether they make the team or end up training the next generation.

    A suggestion, in case it isn't done already, is to lease a yard in GB or on the continent. This will provide a base for US, and maybe Canadian, riders to stay for a month or so in preparation for destination events. Could also be a base for riders to spend 6 months to a year for intensive overseas training. Riders with private or self funding could pay a "small fee" to stay there.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
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