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cross country shortened

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  • cross country shortened

    The course is open tomorrow to the public and ticket holders

  • Original Poster



    • #3
      UK Telegraph re: Team GBR view on XC Course

      Beijing Olympics: Cross-country course will push competitors to the limit

      By Alan Smith in Hong Kong

      Even the man who designed it, Britain's Mike Etherington-Smith, said he "would not be surprised if no one got around inside the time, especially if it is hot on Monday."

      The imponderables of heat and humidity are what he has had to figure into his design of the course at Beas River, which, as long ago as February has been reduced from an original 5,700 metres to 4,560m, with an optimum time of eight minutes, and could be shortened even more.

      Etherington-Smith is one of the world's most experienced and accomplished course designers, his efforts including the 2000 Sydney Olympic course; on a regular basis the US Open at Lexington, Kentucky, and for many years he was director and course designer at Blenheim, where Zara Phillips and Toytown won the European Championship in 2005.

      He was also Technical Delegate in Athens, when the new, now universally-adopted "short formula" for eventing, without roads and tracks or steeplechase, was used for the first time in an Olympic Games, over a 5,700m course.

      So he is surely well-qualified to officiate at a Games were the weather conditions, hot and humid with, as we saw in dramatic fashion yesterday, the possibility of typhoon that can flatten anything not securely fastened down, play an important role.

      When, as they must according to the rules, the Olympic Ground Jury, Martin Plewa, Marilyn Payne and Christian Landholt – the three judges who will officiate throughout all three phases of the event – inspected the course, they passed it without any changes, and earlier today riders, trainers and press saw it for he first time.

      It is certainly on the short side for a competition at this level, so it was important that it is difficult enough, so that the cross-country phase maintains its importance as the pre-eminent element of the event, rather than let it develop into a dressage and show jumping competition.

      And Etherington-Smith has certainly made sure of that. Although the 29 fences, with 39 jumping efforts, are six fewer than the maximum allowed, packing them in to a shortened track has resulted in, as William Fox-Pitt put it "a very busy track. You will need to be on the clock all the time."

      Mary King, at her fifth Olympic Games and winner of a team silver in Athens, said: "This is a true Olympic course, much stronger than Athens. Which is what we wanted, of course, but the time will be extremely difficult to get."

      Daisy Dick is making her Olympic debut but was a member of the team that finished second in the 2006 World Championships in Aachen, where she and Spring Along were best of all across country. Asked to compare, she said that this is "much tighter (than Aachen). You are always on the turn and it will be difficult to get into a rhythm."

      Tina Cook, also at her first Olympics after two near misses, has the least experienced British horse, in Miners Frolic, and said: "He is a big-galloping horse, but very obedient so should be able to corner quite well."

      For Sharon Hunt this is first time in any British team, but she remains confident that Tankers Town can cope, "though there are lots of angles. It will be time consuming."

      One thing is sure about the Hong Kong Olympic event, as team manager Yogi Breisner affirmed: "It will not be won on the dressage."



      • #4
        Thanks for the UK article. Will be interesting to see if the US has a comparable riders' analysis posted somewhere.

        SIGH! Teddy would have been so great over this kind of course.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire


        • #5
          Am I the only one, in the current climate, who feels a little sick at the notion of an even shorter XC with even more technical elements?

          Obviously the weather needs to be considered, and I'm glad it's not a dressage competition, but, geez, why do we want to make them go even faster?

          Now I'm nervous.
          Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
          Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
          Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com


          • #6
            I have been saying for months that this course was not to be underestimated. Mike was going to design a true Olympic test and that combined with the climate is going to make for some interesting if not concerning results. Experience, judgment, and luck are going to see these horses home safely.


            • #7
              Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
              Am I the only one, in the current climate, who feels a little sick at the notion of an even shorter XC with even more technical elements?

              Obviously the weather needs to be considered, and I'm glad it's not a dressage competition, but, geez, why do we want to make them go even faster?

              Now I'm nervous.
              No. It seems like the worst possible solution, based on what's been happening in the last year. I'm starting to wonder if a shorter test with more transitions (from gallop to collect) is more physically taxing than a longer, more gallopy course.
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
                Am I the only one, in the current climate, who feels a little sick at the notion of an even shorter XC with even more technical elements?

                Obviously the weather needs to be considered, and I'm glad it's not a dressage competition, but, geez, why do we want to make them go even faster?

                Now I'm nervous.
                No, you are not the only one
                All I want is everyone to get around without disaster
                There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bambam View Post
                  All I want is everyone to get around without disaster
                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bambam View Post
                    No, you are not the only one
                    All I want is everyone to get around without disaster
                    Kind of takes the fun out of watching it. I have been considering subscribing to the digital channel here in Canada to get full coverage, but have decided against it. I find it so exciting and fun following all rounds, but at the same time, find myself just praying for no serious equine (or human) injuries as each horse starts.


                    • #11
                      I hate to admit it, but I will be watching with bated breath.

                      I just HOPE every thing goes fine... no injuries, no falls, no spectacle.
                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                      • #12
                        I hear that Mike did indeed design a true 4 star...which I expected all along.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
                          Am I the only one, in the current climate, who feels a little sick at the notion of an even shorter XC with even more technical elements?
                          I'm right there with you. It will be difficult to enjoy watching this while I'm holding my breath!
                          Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!