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Changes in the eventing world

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  • Changes in the eventing world

    John Nunn has sold Bit of Britain and Tack of the Day but will be keeping Nunn Finer. COTH story on the sidebar.

    Of far more interest to ones who find canaries in the coal mine everywhere, Hugh Lochore has resigned as Badminton Event Director after 31 years. No explanation given, but several major changes have occurred in the last couple of years. 1) Mitsubishi sponsorship ended this year; 2) new Duke of Beaufort this year; 3) FEI changes to top level long form events and taking them out of the Olympic ladder. I have no idea if there have been any other earthshaking changes that haven't been made public, but one could either read this as a rat leaving a sinking ship or an older man without the energy and flexiblility to accept the new world.

    It's definitely the end of an era.

  • #2
    I think you mean Hugh Thomas, not Hugh Lochore? Hugh Thomas has been Director for 30 years.

    Comment


    • #3
      As someone who lives near B o B, I 100% saw it coming. The store was never open, they couldn't get people to stay on as staff and therefore customer service was pretty bad. The hours would be posted as like 9-5 on a Monday and I'd go at 3pm and they'd be closed because no one showed up to work. They didn't carry as much as other tack stores in the area and a new large store (Fair Hill Saddlery) is opening up this summer. It was inevitable.

      Comment


      • #4
        Very sad about BOB, I met John Nunn at Fairhill a couple of years ago, he seems like a nice guy. I can remember calling about breeches, he answered the phone himself and went out into the store to look for the size I wanted. I almost never shop on the internet, I hate the way so many brick and mortar stores are closing.

        A new Duke of Beaufort? Someone on the Badminton thread was just commenting on him as being older, and kind of messy and poorly dressed LOL, so I assumed he had been Duke for many years.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hugh Thomas is 71 and has been director for 31 years. I don't think there is anything sinister in his retirement. He is still involved in planning for next year and in looking for his successor.
          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by BAC View Post

            A new Duke of Beaufort? Someone on the Badminton thread was just commenting on him as being older, and kind of messy and poorly dressed LOL, so I assumed he had been Duke for many years.
            He inherits the title, his father, the previous Duke recently died.

            I don’t think there is anything sinister in Hugh Thomas stepping down other than its a natural transition point due to aforementioned changes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by headbrickwall View Post

              He inherits the title, his father, the previous Duke recently died.

              I don’t think there is anything sinister in Hugh Thomas stepping down other than its a natural transition point due to aforementioned changes.
              Thanks, because he sounded older I assumed he had been Duke for quite some time. I am glad he also has a son, so hopefully there will be a Duke of Beaufort supporting Badminton forever. Hugh Thomas deserves a retirement, he has earned it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by vineyridge
                I don't understand the previous post. I didn't write any of the quotes attributed to me. As to the FEI changes, the downgrading of XC and the removal of the old 4*s from the Olympic ladder just went into effect with WEG 2018.
                The person wrote "FTFY" which stands for "fixed that for you". They then took snippets of your post[s] and rewrote them, using the [ QUOTE ] feature to post it.

                They are trolling you. Not really necessary or contributory to the discussion.
                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                  Hugh Thomas is 71 and has been director for 31 years. I don't think there is anything sinister in his retirement. He is still involved in planning for next year and in looking for his successor.
                  Actually his age is fairly interesting in and of itself. Of course if someone is vigorous, useful and motivated while gathering birthdays, no problems if they stay involved. But it is a bit curious that someone would stay at the helm that long without a successor, and that when they finally resign, a designated successor is not being announced at the same time. More ideal succession plans would have the next director named some time ago and shadowing the current one for a year or two before the handover.

                  Possibly there are candidates behind the scenes and it won't be that long before the next director is named. But the timing is interesting in that it wasn't announced as a handover from one to the other, rather than just the resignation.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by beowulf View Post

                    The person wrote "FTFY" which stands for "fixed that for you". They then took snippets of your post[s] and rewrote them, using the [ QUOTE ] feature to post it.

                    They are trolling you. Not really necessary or contributory to the discussion.
                    Thank you for pointing out what FTFY meant. Honestly not trolling. A satirical approach seemed preferable to me than ranting or ramming my head against the wall over the stupidity of listing relatively minor recent events and then presumptively declaring "it's definitely the end of an era" I guess you guys want to stay on topic and discuss how BoB wasn't open at the stated hours, because that definitely was contributing to the conversation.

                    vineyridge you say the downgrading from the old 4* level is destroying the sport and signaling the end of an era, but you understand that the IOC were done with including a sport where only a handful of nations would compete and realistically could ever compete. The FEI could have walked away from caring whether eventing was an Olympic sport, but surely that would have been much more of an end of an era than the current resolution, right?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We removed the post with altered quotes and some responses and addressed it with the poster.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post

                        Actually his age is fairly interesting in and of itself. Of course if someone is vigorous, useful and motivated while gathering birthdays, no problems if they stay involved. But it is a bit curious that someone would stay at the helm that long without a successor, and that when they finally resign, a designated successor is not being announced at the same time. More ideal succession plans would have the next director named some time ago and shadowing the current one for a year or two before the handover.

                        Possibly there are candidates behind the scenes and it won't be that long before the next director is named. But the timing is interesting in that it wasn't announced as a handover from one to the other, rather than just the resignation.
                        Not surprising to me. This is a very small boutique sport. We are all active in it so it seems a big deal to us....but it really is not. It is hard to find volunteers and people to be actively involved so lack of successor to be announced is likely because they do not have one. Perhaps they are restructuring to more of a committee as its is easier to get people on a board or committee than to take the lead.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Probably these things happening at once is more coincidence/natural order of things, but I was glad the OP pointed it all out just in case, as she put it, it's a canary in a coal mine.
                          If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

                            It is hard to find volunteers and people to be actively involved so lack of successor to be announced is likely because they do not have one. Perhaps they are restructuring to more of a committee as its is easier to get people on a board or committee than to take the lead.
                            Eventing in the UK has it's problems, obviously, but there is also a huge amount of support and good will. Belton will no longer run after the landowner (the National Trust) made a surprise announcement last week that the event has grown to such a size that it was having a detrimental impact on the historic parkland. Apparently 2 castles and 5 stately homes have since offered alternative locations. Huge Thomas leaving after 31 years probably says far more about Badminton than about eventing.
                            "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Now that that side show is over, let's discuss what's really bothering me. I believe the sport is quite healthy. It was in real trouble when people and horses were dying at every big event and the IOC was thinking about dumping us. Those days are behind us. The sport is at unprecedented levels of professionalism and horse (and rider) welfare. The sport is growing in new countries thanks in part to holding the big international comps at a level that more people can realistically compete at. Go dig up footage of the 96 Olympics and the guy in rainbow reins trying to jump around a 5* track. It was horrifying. And Yes it's no longer a grueling endurance test. And guess what? That's ok. I was around back in the long format days too and trust me the riding was worse and horses at the upper levels had their careers ended because they were forced to run at 600mpm around some cow patty laden steeplechase track.

                              You don't have to agree with me, but don't call me a troll just because I disagree with the internet warriors' view that the sky is falling. When I come across a post that tries to equate a local tack store closing and someone retiring with the downfall of the sport, it's insulting. It frustrates me. And this is the exact type of place that I should be able to say something about it.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I like to read the tea leaves and predict the future from them. Maybe it's pure foolishness, but I firmly believe that the FEI's long term goal is to eliminate what is now the CCI-L format. The riders seem to want that; organizers seem to want that; horses can run more times in a season. It was certainly the stated goal of the Aachen organizers ten years ago. Every year the FEI does things to make the difference between long form and short form seem less obvious. The new Olympic XC is shorter than the distance of the shortest old 3*. It's really more like a old 2 1/2* length--the longest course permitted is 100 meters longer than the shortest old 3*, but there are more jumping efforts than in any old 3*, regardless of length.

                                Maybe that is good for horses and riders, and maybe it isn't.

                                I predict that in 10 more years, there will be only one type of event, the CCI, but it will be the short format. That means huge changes for the 5*s because they will no longer be "special."

                                I noticed that none of the continental big names came to Badminton this year. Why should they? They don't need it for the Olympics.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Willesdon View Post

                                  Eventing in the UK has it's problems, obviously, but there is also a huge amount of support and good will. Belton will no longer run after the landowner (the National Trust) made a surprise announcement last week that the event has grown to such a size that it was having a detrimental impact on the historic parkland. Apparently 2 castles and 5 stately homes have since offered alternative locations. Huge Thomas leaving after 31 years probably says far more about Badminton than about eventing.
                                  Oh I agree. More support....but it can still be very hard to find people willing to take leadership roles.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                                    I noticed that none of the continental big names came to Badminton this year. Why should they? They don't need it for the Olympics.
                                    Who did you feel was missing? Ingrid and Jonelle entered, but withdrew due to soundness concerns. Michael Jung, Astier Nicolas, and Maxime Livio do not have anything sound and at the level at the moment. Julia Krajewski has never run Badminton. Ros Canter is pregnant.

                                    Conversely, Tim Price, WFP, Andrew Nicholson, Chris Burton, Gemma Tattersall, Sam Griffiths, Tom McEwen, Padraig McCarthy, Piggy French, Mark Todd, Tina Cook, Kai Ruder, Nicola Wilson, etc were all there (I appreciate that not all of those were from the continent, but I consider them all to be big names based in Europe, so I generally expect to see them at Badminton).

                                    I do see Andrew Hoy was missing (and I would have liked to see him run one of his young ones), but he hasn't evented at FEI levels at all this year. That's about all I can find missing.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by ~~PlayerHater~~ View Post
                                      ....
                                      You don't have to agree with me, but don't call me a troll just because I disagree with the internet warriors' view that the sky is falling. When I come across a post that tries to equate a local tack store closing and someone retiring with the downfall of the sport, it's insulting. It frustrates me. And this is the exact type of place that I should be able to say something about it.
                                      Being a troll is not about opinions. It is about behavior.

                                      If some random remark on social media is really so insulting and frustrating, why do you bother?

                                      Discourse is welcome. It's possible to communicate without calling names and with respect for someone as a person, even if you strongly disagree with their opinion.

                                      These days the world could use more civility when discussing even the most tiresome differences of opinion, even and especially from the anonymity of a screen.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post


                                        If some random remark on social media is really so insulting and frustrating, why do you bother?
                                        Because this "Eventing is ruined" mantra is one that is often regurgitated by subsets of the eventing community even though most of these people haven't really thought about what they are saying. If that doesn't bother you and you truly care about this great sport, then I feel for you.

                                        Comment

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