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Brentina Declared Sound

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  • Brentina Declared Sound

    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517


    After receiving the lowest score of her career (63.00%), all of Brentina's connections were concerned that--despite giving great performances in training every day leading up to the Games--there might have been something physically wrong with the 17-year-old Hanoverian mare.

    "She's fitter and sounder than ever," said Debbie McDonald, Brentina's rider of 13 years,. "She's been schooling so well but she was totally different in the ring than she was in the warm up. I was totally caught by surprise when she started spooking in the ring. She got tense and tight and became unrideable."

    A thorough examination by U.S. team veterinarian Rick Mitchell, DVM, found Brentina to be sound and well.

    "Brentina was thoroughly examined by a panel of three veterinarians per our selection process prior to entering quarantine in Germany," said Mitchell. "Furthermore we had the opportunity to observe this mare training twice daily for six weeks, and we evaluated the soundness of all the team horses on a daily basis. There was never any question during that time or now about any aspect of her soundness."

    Mitchell also explained that per the IOC rules, he evaluated each of the three horses one hour before their dressage test because a replacement was available up until that time. Brentina never demonstrated any evidence of soreness and lameness, and passed the horse inspection prior to the competition without any question.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    Those assessments were all done before the test. Do they say anything about soundness testing post GP ride?

    Comment


    • #3
      The title of the article is "Brentina Declared Sound after Uncharacteristic Olympic Performance". I think the single line that is the 3rd paragraph refers to the vet's exam post-ride, then that gets muddied by his quotes about the exams leading up to the competition.
      Sheri
      www.onthemuscle.com
      www.cafepress.com/onthemuscle

      Comment


      • #4
        There is nothing in the article to say she was examined after the performance and declared sound . I think the title is misleading and actually means that the statement was made after the performance, not that the horse was examined after the performance. The quotes all relater to prior examinations.

        It would be nice to know how she is post performance.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by egontoast View Post
          There is nothing in the article to say she was examined after the performance and declared sound . I think the title is misleading and actually means that the statement was made after the performance, not that the horse was examined after the performance. The quotes all relater to prior examinations.

          It would be nice to know how she is post performance.
          I have a call into my friends at The Horse and they are going to check to see but they do think the mare was checked AFTER her ride. Maybe she just has a problem when there's weight on her back?
          Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

          Comment


          • #6
            I think we have to consider the source. Why would the US team vet be completely trustworthy on this? I'd be much more comfortable with a third party vet's assessment. That said, I don't think we can ever expect one. I mean, who would want to come in and declare her unsound? It's sort of all said and done at this point.

            The only question/ observation I have is this: Could Brentina's "spookiness" have been caused by pain?

            I just find it hard to believe that a horse with so much international experience could "surprise" her rider of umpteen years. Maybe I'm just jaded.... I know it's possible. I remember Rusty spooking at Athens. But I just have my doubts about this one.
            Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
            Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
            'Like' us on Facebook

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hansiska View Post
              I think we have to consider the source. Why would the US team vet be completely trustworthy on this? I'd be much more comfortable with a third party vet's assessment. That said, I don't think we can ever expect one. I mean, who would want to come in and declare her unsound? It's sort of all said and done at this point.

              The only question/ observation I have is this: Could Brentina's "spookiness" have been caused by pain?

              I just find it hard to believe that a horse with so much international experience could "surprise" her rider of umpteen years. Maybe I'm just jaded.... I know it's possible. I remember Rusty spooking at Athens. But I just have my doubts about this one.
              A thorough examination by U.S. team veterinarian Rick Mitchell, DVM, found Brentina to be sound and well. (Editor's note: The Horse contacted the USEF to confirm that this exam took place following the competition. They confirmed that Dr. Mitchell did examine Brentina after she competed.)
              http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12517

              Was the horse ridden or just jogged.. I watched her tests in CA and I'm sorry that left hind looked strange.(on youtube)
              Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

              Comment


              • #8
                Spinning Like an Olympic skater

                I cannnot for the life of me fathom why the US Team vet would publish this statement now. Some of the Olympic judges who saw Brentina lame in the Grand Prix and scored her accordingly might take offense to the implications of this statement.

                So the timing is a bit off with two US dressage riders still to go in the individual competition. Or didn't the US Federation think of that?

                This seems to be the policy of your Federation's PR department: "Put it in print and it will become Truth." Unfortunately, your version of the truth is often incredulous to other participants in the sport.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the link. It's definitely a plus that he examined her after her test. Unfortunately, I'm still jaded about it!

                  It could very well be that she's sound and was genuinely spooked. But my gut tells me it's a case of "This is our story and we're stickin' to it." This way, no one will be accused of submitting a lame horse to an Olympic dressage test. The horse is very unlikely to show again, so we'll never really know if she's chronically lame. Also, the US team will only have the embarrassment of a low score instead of a low score + accusations of animal abuse.

                  At the same time, I do see your point that it might have been something that only showed itself under saddle. Does the US team vet not look at the horses under saddle? Does he only watch a jog? Even if this is the case, I find it hard to believe that Debbie et al couldn't have seen or felt something BEFORE Brentina stepped into the arena.

                  I just wish they'd all been smart enough to let Brentina finish at her peak, like Blue Hors Matinee.
                  Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                  Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
                  'Like' us on Facebook

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another one to go with "the check is in the mail." Least said, soonest sewn.

                    Sometimes the best PR at times like this is to not say anything. Which they should have done.
                    Last edited by Coreene; Aug. 15, 2008, 01:13 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hansiska View Post
                      Thanks for the link. It's definitely a plus that he examined her after her test. Unfortunately, I'm still jaded about it!

                      It could very well be that she's sound and was genuinely spooked. But my gut tells me it's a case of "This is our story and we're stickin' to it." This way, no one will be accused of submitting a lame horse to an Olympic dressage test. The horse is very unlikely to show again, so we'll never really know if she's chronically lame. Also, the US team will only have the embarrassment of a low score instead of a low score + accusations of animal abuse.

                      At the same time, I do see your point that it might have been something that only showed itself under saddle. Does the US team vet not look at the horses under saddle? Does he only watch a jog? Even if this is the case, I find it hard to believe that Debbie et al couldn't have seen or felt something BEFORE Brentina stepped into the arena.

                      I just wish they'd all been smart enough to let Brentina finish at her peak, like Blue Hors Matinee.
                      I'm sure we will hear if she was ridden or jogged for the vet. I can't wait to see the ride for my own eyes..
                      Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. Dalai Lama

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Conspiracy theories abound!

                        If the traditional tests for lameness were conducted after the ride, they would include flexions, jog on the straight and circles. These tests can and do miss lameness that results from back pain (SI joints specifically). I'm wondering if they checked for SI and back pain u/s?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Coreene View Post
                          Another one to go with "the check is in the mail." Least said, soonest sewn.
                          Coreene, I'm a little puzzled by this remark. I'm not sure if you mean this in reference to what I said or what the US vet said. Aren't you the one who said (and I paraphrase) that you'd said it before and you'd say it again: Brentina has been plagued by lameness issues for a long time and should have been retired a long time ago?
                          Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                          Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
                          'Like' us on Facebook

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You know, I just don't understand why everyone is so up in arms about it.

                            So far all I've seen was the snippet they showed on TV, which I don't think included the trot half-passes. She did look tense to me, but she still had some lovely movements, including some very good piaffe and passage work. I'm finding it hard to go with the concept that the mare was cruelly ridden while lame and still willing and able to do those very nice segments at the end.

                            And as for unlevel, Salinero has won two Olympic gold medals being unlevel. Tension can create that.

                            I'm sorry that Brentina was not at her best, and it would've been nice to be contending for the bronze or even silver. On the other hand, I think it's quite nice that the Danish program won their first team medal EVER. And I'm pleased to see Courtney and Steffan producing such strong performances - the American dressage team is in good shape for the next four years if they continue to develop so well.

                            I'm most sorry that we weren't able to send four riders to compete - not because of the medal, but because each slot gives us a chance to get another horse and rider exposed to the Olympics. I'm glad at least that we were able to have a travelling reserve.
                            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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shadowdancer View Post
                              I cannnot for the life of me fathom why the US Team vet would publish this statement now. Some of the Olympic judges who saw Brentina lame in the Grand Prix and scored her accordingly might take offense to the implications of this statement.
                              Um, maybe because there was an article published that said that Brentina appeared lame?

                              I think we all understand that there is a difference between a judge giving a low mark and a horse being injured. If the judges had felt she was truly and unquestionably lame, they would have rung her out. I'm sure the judges would be relieved to hear that she checks out OK physically.
                              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

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by hansiska View Post
                                Coreene, I'm a little puzzled by this remark. I'm not sure if you mean this in reference to what I said or what the US vet said. Aren't you the one who said (and I paraphrase) that you'd said it before and you'd say it again: Brentina has been plagued by lameness issues for a long time and should have been retired a long time ago?
                                It was in reference to having the horse declared sound. And yes, I am indeed the one who said that the horse should have been retired long ago.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  During the Olympic selections it was already obvious that there was something wrong with Brentina, at least to the trained eye. And now it became obvious to the world, not only people like you and me on this board, but also to the judges that Brentina was unsound, all people involved are playing their game and are covering their ass.

                                  Theo

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I just don't get this. Why would they deliberately send Brentina in lame to get a 63%? Who benefits? Are y'all saying that you think that they thought the judges would just give her great marks because of her reputation, and not notice an awful extended trot?

                                    They could've put Michael Barisone in as late as an hour before the start of the competition.
                                    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

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                                      I just don't get this. Why would they deliberately send Brentina in lame to get a 63%? Who benefits? Are y'all saying that you think that they thought the judges would just give her great marks because of her reputation, and not notice an awful extended trot?

                                      They could've put Michael Barisone in as late as an hour before the start of the competition.
                                      Obviously, we can debate this forever. My guess is that in the past they've been able to ride the horse a bit lightly, then ratchet things up before major competitions. (Wasn't she allowed to bypass the selection trials for Athens due to a need for more recovery time after an injury, or is my memory playing tricks on me?)

                                      Was this the case before the selection trials for this Olympics? I have no idea. My point is that despite subtle issues with lameness -- the sort of lameness/ stiffness you might expect in a veteran GP dressage horse, the kind that can be worked out of or "maintained" with an army of masseurs -- the Brentina team has been able to still get the horse into reasonable competition soundness. The horse has appeared uneven but not necessarily off.

                                      This time, with the extreme heat and humidity of Hong Kong, they just couldn't pull it off. It was possibly a perfect storm of heat, humidity, leg/tendon soreness, and tying up/back soreness that undid the great mare. And maybe it really didn't happen until they were in the ring. But it did happen, of course, and now I think they're playing cover up.

                                      I don't think anyone intentionally sent a lame horse into the ring expecting inflated marks. I think they just thought they could get one last test out of her.
                                      Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
                                      Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
                                      'Like' us on Facebook

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        After all the talk, I went and found the Youtube video.

                                        Is it possible she was having ovarian/low back pain due to hormones/heat cycle? Yeah, she's 17 years old, but our old TB mare was still coming into heat at 17, and my riding buddy's 25 year old mare still cycles a couple times a year.

                                        A soundness exam might find her "sound" because she'd not be positive to hoof testers or flexion, and she trots off sound, etc. but the problem might only show up under the exertion of the high level movements.

                                        I saw some headbobbing too, and the RF looks suspicious in a couple of places, but I have seen mares just plain "hitchy" all over when plagued with ovarian pain due to a heat cycle. I have 3 mares and one of them gets extremely sore in the back and crabby as hell.

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