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  1. #1
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    Default Convention, high performance meeting.

    Wish we were there! I am dying to hear David's plan! Wonder if there will be any opportunities for the young pro's! Or just the 25 and under crowd, and seasoned pros!! Someone please let us that are stuck at home , know, whats the buzz!!
    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
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  2. #2
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    Yeah, I have to admit I was already disappointed to see that they have limited Developing Riders to 25 and under. I was hoping to apply for 2014, pending finally getting the CCI2*, but I guess not now. I'd like to hear the reasoning behind that. And hopefully they have another pipeline for talented pairs that are over 25.


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  3. #3
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    I dont understand that! I know, been said before, but excluding the 25+ pro, who is trying, seems so counter productive to me!! They have the hardest time breaking the ranks!
    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
    www.mmceventing.com


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  4. #4
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    At galway they pretty much said that to even get noticed you need to have under 50 in FEI dressage, clean and fast cross country, and no more than a rail in stadium. Oh and you need to have a string of up and coming talented horses. If you are an amateur, forget it....


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by three_dayer View Post
    At galway they pretty much said that to even get noticed you need to have under 50 in FEI dressage, clean and fast cross country, and no more than a rail in stadium. Oh and you need to have a string of up and coming talented horses. If you are an amateur, forget it....

    That was the same under Mark Phillips. Oh Yeah, they wanted a list of your sponsors as well. So far, more of the same.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    That was the same under Mark Phillips.
    And why tamper with success? I mean, what's not to like about 7th place at the Olympics?

    (The incoming coach's team -- Canada -- came 13th in London. That's 13th of 13. As the late, great Peter Cook said 'Yes, I've learnt from my mistakes. I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly.')


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    And why tamper with success? I mean, what's not to like about 7th place at the Olympics?
    As the late, great Peter Cook said 'Yes, I've learnt from my mistakes. I think I can probably repeat them almost perfectly.')
    Well, from a performance point of view, I see that to leave the one horse wonder off the team because of a lack of a string of horses and sponsors would be counter productive. At the end of the day, those with huge strings can only ride ONE horse in a championships. Assuming that they would choose their BEST horse at the time leaves them with a horse/s that may not be the best choice when, you have left out of contention, those one horse wonders who are out performing those second string horses.
    The best horse/rider team is one that is performing at the top of their game, capable of competivly representing the country regardless if that rider has the one horse or a string of horses in their barn.
    There have been plenty of amatuers, with one horse, who went on to successfully represent the USA in international competition. Tad, Maryanne, Kim, etc all had one very good horse and their results were stellar. This was at a time when you were not expected to have a barn full of 3/4 star horses.

    This system of requiring many upper level horses in your barn is the root of the problems we are having. It closes the door to many good potential team performances.

    I do not give a monkey's as to how many upper level horses a rider has in their barn. It is the ONE horse that they can compete in a championships I am interested in. Who cares if we have 20 one horse wonders in a given cycle? More potential top level performances to choose from. To have a select handful of riders and only their one or two good horse to choose from limits your chances.

    We have seen it time and time again.....the one really good horse does not get to the competition and we left with a second rate replacement at the last minute. The frustrating thing is that there are/could be many to choose from that never got a look in.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    This system of requiring many upper level horses in your barn is the root of the problems we are having. It closes the door to many good potential team performances.
    This is very true for a number of reasons -- from overall results to development of a strong program based on the US eventing demographics.

    I've never understood the appeal of the String Theory of High Performance Eventing in the US. If it hasn't worked for the better part of 20 years, perhaps it's time to change the model. But the elitism of it all -- the barn full of ***/**** horses, the rich owners, etc -- seems to have an enduring appeal to those who run the HP programs. I don't get it. Just look at the last eight years.



  9. #9
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    So if we made a list of people who have won medals--team or individual--for the U.S. on their "one horse wonders" (or their first big horse which in real time is the same thing) that would be a pretty impressive list wouldn't it?


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  10. #10
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    ....and those "rich owners" are becoming few and far between. This is something that the past coach and the present coach relied on heavily for the own competitive results. Both Mark and David were very well funded with "old" money sponsors. It is, perhaps, their only point of reference when it comes to competing at the international level and, therefore, impose that on their students.
    That system...at least in recent years....has led to many high profile disputes. I know that syndicates seem to be the go between but IMO they might be an even bigger headache....too many hands in the cookie jar.
    If riders were "free" to concentrate on one or two really good horses, we might be seeing some really good performances from them and , as a result, some great team showings. A string of horses becomes a distraction and for many, a firmly closed door.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    So if we made a list of people who have won medals--team or individual--for the U.S. on their "one horse wonders" (or their first big horse which in real time is the same thing) that would be a pretty impressive list wouldn't it?
    I think if we made a list of those who "could have" medaled with their one horse wonders, it might be even more impressive. This would be a difficult list to compile though as we will never know how many have slipped through the cracks.
    See, for me anyway, I do not care if we field a set of different riders/horses each cycle. It is not a necessity to validate the HP programme by seeing the same group of riders over and over again on sub standard performing horses. I would rather a whole host of different horse/rider combinations as long as we choose the best pairs when the time comes.....whether that is a rider competing her/his one super star horse that they keep in the shed in their back yard or the rider who happens to have a string of horses that are kept in air conditioned stalls with curtains and blinds on the windows. I am only interested in the horse/rider team that is capable of doing a great job when it counts, no matter what is happening back "at home".


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  12. #12
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    The other downside to requiring large strings of upper level horses is that it encourages the hoarding of owners and horses amongst a few top riders who are both talented and charming. That can't help but foster additional distrust among the riders and hinder the development of any sense of comraderie among future team members.

    And as I've said before, outside owners are a tricky thing. They can't be relied upon to have the same goals as the rider/US High Performance and are unlikely to tell a potential purchaser to go take a hike. Where would Sweden be if the Algotssons' mother sold off her best horses to the highest bidder. Increasingly, that highest bidder is unlikely to be riding for the US.

    Maybe the syndicate route will alleviate some of this worry, but I wouldn't want to be the rider when 1 of 10 syndicate members gets involved in a nasty divorce and wants the horse sold to establish market value. Or russles up some rich buyer to offer an outrageous amount for the horse and demands to cash out of the syndicate at 1/10 of that amount. I know the agreements have been carefully prepared but you never know what will happen when one is tested in court. After all, it's just property and the easiest way to settle a property dispute is to sell it and split the proceeds.

    We seem to be saying that you have to be WFP (and not WFP the rider but WFP the owner magnet) to be on the US high performance team. That's nuts. Even GBR doesn't have a short list full of WFP.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCRider View Post
    Maybe the syndicate route will alleviate some of this worry, but I wouldn't want to be the rider when 1 of 10 syndicate members gets involved in a nasty divorce and wants the horse sold to establish market value. Or russles up some rich buyer to offer an outrageous amount for the horse and demands to cash out of the syndicate at 1/10 of that amount. I know the agreements have been carefully prepared but you never know what will happen when one is tested in court. After all, it's just property and the easiest way to settle a property dispute is to sell it and split the proceeds.
    Actually...this I do know how a court would generally react. If the syndicate is set up correctly (typically as an LLC)....all these issues can be addressed up front. You can set it up so that an owner does not have a right to demand a cash out or you can set up a clear exit that doesn't always require valuing the horse at FMV or any other exit that folks agree to. You can set it up to be clear who makes the decisions...typically with the rider. If people agree to that deal and it is drafted clearly...it would be enforceable. A syndicate is no different than any other Joint Venture that we do in business ALL THE TIME. But it requires a well drafted agreement...and you have to have people who agree to the terms.....and those terms may be different in each syndicate. Some may be set up to try and earn a profit although most in the eventing context will likely be set up not to ever turn a profit but to produce a horse to the highest levels with a particular rider.


    But you still have to find people willing to participate in a syndicate...and I think that number is not very high and requires a rider with a very good communication skills (just like any other business person putting together a good joint venture).
    Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:52 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Seems to me there was a time when horse riding (competition) was about building a connection between rider and horse. building trust to the point where one or the other could ride almost blind folded and the other would get them through.

    Now we talk about rule changes that let a 4* rider buy a 4* horse and what...win Olympic Gold with less then a year in the saddle? Talk about making the horse just an object, like, say a car or boat. It is not about building anything but face time at a show, no matter the cost (sigh).

    I've not been here long, but the names that stick in my mind are names that may not have reached the very top, yet they created something more then just watching machines run cross country. Kim Walnes (Gray Goose), Becky Holder (Comet) , Sinead (Tate), Colleen (Shiraz), Hamish (Sandhills Tiger), Allison (Author); these riders inspire me, because they found something in a horse and made it shine.

    Phillip, Boyd, William, Karen...less so and I think it is in part, because they reflect the modern take on eventing, its a job and I'll use what I can to win. From a business/professional standpoint that may be the way to "git r dun", but but it does little to connect me to the sport. I understand that most pros ride multiple horses for various reasons, but when its show time, they are on their own horse, time and time again.

    What we (US) sent to the Olympics was a heartless machine, made so by the way (and when) the team was selected and the lack of connection the individuals had with their teammates and for some, their horses. There was no inspiration, no bond, because for a few riders, we did not know what horse they would ride and one had only been ridden for less then a year.

    At Burghley we see heart all over the place. Sinead and Allison, Rebecca, in most ways "one Horse Wonders" come out and make us lean forward, feeling every jump, every turn, getting moved when they did so well. I cheered more for the young girl who turned in the worst time on cross country then any of the big string pros with their horse of the month ride.

    Over the past month I feel like Eventing has lost its soul and now it is losing its heart as well. Maybe the only place to really find it will be at those non-recognized events with LL ammies (or one horse wonder pros) riding the best they can and showing us heart and soul in horse and rider.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JER View Post
    And why tamper with success? I mean, what's not to like about 7th place at the Olympics?


    Our last (and only for a long long time) Olympic Medalist was a one hit wonder (Gina Miles), whom Mark Phillips' regime did everything they could to ignore and not name her to a team.

    The previous regime's model was incredibly unsuccessful and the only bright spots were those that "slipped through the cracks".



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post

    What we (US) sent to the Olympics was a heartless machine, made so by the way (and when) the team was selected and the lack of connection the individuals had with their teammates and for some, their horses. There was no inspiration, no bond, because for a few riders, we did not know what horse they would ride and one had only been ridden for less then a year.

    At Burghley we see heart all over the place. Sinead and Allison, Rebecca, in most ways "one Horse Wonders" come out and make us lean forward, feeling every jump, every turn, getting moved when they did so well. I cheered more for the young girl who turned in the worst time on cross country then any of the big string pros with their horse of the month ride.
    I recently talked with a friend who works for a rider that was on the US Olympic team this year, and she made it very clear that the riders were all very disheartened and disconnected due to the awful selection process. It was a time of tension, distrust, anger and paranoia. There was no sense of team and she felt everyone was "out to get each other", up to the very day the team was announced. Here's hoping that DOC can improve upon this process - I am looking forward to hearing his ideas at the convention this weekend and will post anything relevant that EN doesn't cover.



  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=JP60;6703892]


    What we (US) sent to the Olympics was a heartless machine, made so by the way (and when) the team was selected and the lack of connection the individuals had with their teammates and for some, their horses. There was no inspiration, no bond, because for a few riders, we did not know what horse they would ride and one had only been ridden for less then a year.

    QUOTE]

    Wow. Just wondering which part of this 'heartless machine' had no connection with their horse? What a sweeping thing to say, unless you know them all personally?
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
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  18. #18
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    Most of our traveling finalists for the OG team don't have large strings of 3/4 star horses (Sinead, Tiana and Allison only have 1 each I believe and Clark and Will may each have one in addition to their OG horse that is running 3 stars but they each only have 1 and that one is not (yet) showing that they are real team contenders IIRC)
    So I don't see how you can say you are only considered if you have a whole barn full of potential team horses (yes, I know CMP may have said it, but that does not appear to have happened). It may put you higher on the list of people on whom they think they should focus high performance training perks/$ because having a deeper string of talent makes it more likely that the $ they invest in you will reap rewards on the team pair caliber front, but you can obviously get on those lists even with 1 horse- it may be harder but it can clearly be done and was by 5 of the 10 finalists for the OG team.
    And really, other than Karen and Mandiba, what other combo has been sent to an OG or WEG because (or at least apparently because) they were one of the known stalwarts with multiple potential mounts and someone who had better and more consistent results was left behind? I can't think of any.
    I can think of a couple who were left off of training lsist and it was suprising, but they had some significant weaknesses that could explain it in part.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


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  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=DLee;6704137]
    Quote Originally Posted by JP60 View Post


    What we (US) sent to the Olympics was a heartless machine, made so by the way (and when) the team was selected and the lack of connection the individuals had with their teammates and for some, their horses. There was no inspiration, no bond, because for a few riders, we did not know what horse they would ride and one had only been ridden for less then a year.

    QUOTE]

    Wow. Just wondering which part of this 'heartless machine' had no connection with their horse? What a sweeping thing to say, unless you know them all personally?
    Let's start with the coach, CMP who from most accounts was not really connected to or committed to the Team. How about the Selection Committee that waited till the last moment to pick the short list, and waiting till the last moment to name names so there is little time to perhaps gel and begin to work as a team, helping each other.

    I do not see the individuals as heartless, they were more cogs in a machine they had little control over. Yet, multiple horses are brought over for just one rider and a decision is made late in the game about which one will be ridden. Horses are not machines. They have sense, they feel, they remember and when a rider is splitting time between a number of horses (vs one), where is the deeper connection established, where is the unconscious "feel" a rider has so they get the best performance, not just a performance.

    The difference, Phillip Dutton could hop on my horse tomorrow and take him round a Training Level course, Sterling has the chops. When done he will jump off that horse, look for the next ride and continue on. That's his job. Does he care for Sterling? Sure, but only to the point where he gets the job done. When you got 3, 5, 7 horses to ride it almost requires a bit of detachment which means yes, being a little heartless in your decisions. The day I take Sterling round a training show (and finish) I will have learned that horses ways, known his strengths, his weakness, when to let go and when to guide. It will be the only way I'll make it cross the line. Unless injured he is my first and last choice for showing so I am going to ask for more then just "the job", but will pour my heart into each ride.

    I do not fault professionals for doing what is needed to earn money in a sport that is not profit friendly, but when riding at the very top, it has to be more then a job. Though I lack the experience of riding multiple horses in top shows, I watch and see the difference.

    So, the riders of the USOT, not heartless, just lacking cohesiveness, clarity of purpose. The officials around them, yes, heartless. I hope DOC can bring back some heart into this sport in the US at the top levels. I hope he sees those AA one horse wonders and brings them along. I hope he follows new, young professionals (and their horse) that show the commitment and capability to ride at a WEG or OG, giving them the same due as the BNR with their string.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam View Post
    Most of our traveling finalists for the OG team don't have large strings of 3/4 star horses (Sinead, Tiana and Allison only have 1 each I believe and Clark and Will may each have one in addition to their OG horse that is running 3 stars but they each only have 1 and that one is not (yet) showing that they are real team contenders IIRC)
    So I don't see how you can say you are only considered if you have a whole barn full of potential team horses (yes, I know CMP may have said it, but that does not appear to have happened). It may put you higher on the list of people on whom they think they should focus high performance training perks/$ because having a deeper string of talent makes it more likely that the $ they invest in you will reap rewards on the team pair caliber front, but you can obviously get on those lists even with 1 horse- it may be harder but it can clearly be done and was by 5 of the 10 finalists for the OG team.
    And really, other than Karen and Mandiba, what other combo has been sent to an OG or WEG because (or at least apparently because) they were one of the known stalwarts with multiple potential mounts and someone who had better and more consistent results was left behind? I can't think of any.
    I can think of a couple who were left off of training lsist and it was suprising, but they had some significant weaknesses that could explain it in part.

    Once you're actually at the point of naming a team, it's too late. The attention to the single horse pairs needed to happen in the lead up. All riders with talent, particularly riders who are capable of producing their own horses, need to feel that the dream is possible. If there's a complete glass ceiling, you discourage potentially great people from even trying.

    There's also a big difference between being a reserve and actually making the team. I'd love to know how much support the reserves felt they got in the lead up to the games. When it comes down to actually making the call, it's clear that the selectors feel the need to reward the owners who are willing to spend big dollars to acquire ready made horses.

    And who knows, maybe CMP's advice to riders that they need big $ sponsors and multiple horses is good advice, not because it's necessary for success on the field, but because that's how the political game is invariably carried out here in the US. If you donate enough money to the US, your horses make teams. If they don't, you take your toys and play for another country.

    High Performance needs to focus on both riders who are talented enough to develop their own horses and riders who are funded enough to bring home medals on premade horses. We don't have enough of the second to ignore the first. If we elimate all riders who are not rich, related to really rich people or super charming, we eliminate a lot of past US Team success.


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