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Cuckson takes on the FEI again

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  • Cuckson takes on the FEI again

    The FEI has just awarded China and Thailand team slots for Tokyo.
    The FEI recently issued a press release about the first ever Olympic team slots in eventing achieved by China and Thailand, at a specially arranged qualifier in Saumur, France.

    Having opened up Olympic participation to extra nations, our international governing body is, naturally, going to milk it when the first two newbies confirm their team slots. But what the press release doesn’t say is that this fledging region was allowed to qualify at the old 2* level – baby stuff, really, in the context of elite sport. Nor does it tell us that only one rider from each of China and Thailand has thus far has achieved the Minimum Eligibility Requirement they need to actually start at Tokyo 2020. Only one rider from the Hong Kong squad – NB the best they could muster – even managed to complete at Saumur, and that’s someone who has been based in the UK for most of his senior career.
    https://horse-canada.com/cuckson-rep...-from-coroner/

    The rest of the article talks about the dangers of eventing, the FEI, and the ongoing Australian Coroner's inquest into the two eventing deaths last year or the year before. Deaths in the Olympics from countries that don't have elite riders is going to put eventing straight out of the Olympics.

    What happens if there aren't four qualified riders from China and Thailand by next June? Will those countries buy made horses for unmade riders? One suspects that like the Japanese, they will have to qualify their riders in Europe since they don't have eventing competitions at a qualifying level locally. One wonders just how many eventers actually live in and compete at FEI competitions in those two countries.

    Of course the Pan-Ams have been a qualifier at the old 2* level for a while. We'll be fighting Canada and Brazil, and all the rest of the Americas for a single slot, won't we?

    The FEI should not have a single qualifier for the entire Western Hemisphere. They should have a separate one for South America, and one for Central and North America.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    ‘Specially arranged qualifier’.

    Kind of like how they do ‘special qualifiers’ in showjumping?

    Unlike in showjumping, you can’t so much buy the ride in eventing. At least we have our ‘WTF are we doing?’ thread ready for times like this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
      Of course the Pan-Ams have been a qualifier at the old 2* level for a while. We'll be fighting Canada and Brazil, and all the rest of the Americas for a single slot, won't we?
      Two slots are awarded at the Pan Ams, not one.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yikes.

        FWIW Japan should have a strong team, they are mainly based in the UK and Germany.
        Boss Mare Eventing Blog

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
          Yikes.

          FWIW Japan should have a strong team, they are mainly based in the UK and Germany.
          From what I researched before it appears that there are fewer than ten riders IN Japan who compete in FEI eventing. and only three who have made it to the old 2* level.

          I personally wish that the FEI would have a rule that only countries with a certain number of events and riders would be qualified to compete in the Olympics. They seem to be turning eventing into a group of Nina Ligons from non riding countries.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire

          Comment


          • #6
            The Japanese riders are from Japan, they're just based in the UK. Just as all the NZ high performance riders are, most of the Australian high performance riders are, and quite a scattering of riders from other countries. Why should those riders not be allowed to ride in the Olympics? The Japanese are more than good enough to be competitive. They won't win, but they're good enough to sneak a podium spot if a few things go their way and don't go the way of a couple of other teams.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Of course the Japanese riders are FROM Japan. My impression is that Japan wants to win medals at Games, so they are funding riders overseas just for that purpose. They are NOT funding eventing IN Japan if there are fewer than ten FEI level riders competing in Japan, and their highest available level is the old 2*. In 2009, there were 15 riders and no competition higher than 2*.

              From what I understand, NZ has a rather active eventing world, as does Australia. They run more than three FEI events per year and they do run Advanced competitions. I don't have any qualms about their foreign based riders because of that.

              I'm just saying that, IMO, before a country can send a team to the Olympics in any equestrian sport it ought to meet some minimum standards for supporting the sport at home in numbers of events held and numbers of riders competing. I have no problem with riders from "unqualified" countries riding as individuals if they have the ranking and qualifications to do so.

              If we assume that there are a total of 20 FEI level Japanese eventers worldwide which is a high end estimate (and the numbers seem to be decreasing) it just seems wrong that 20% of those go to the Olympics/WEG.
              "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
              Thread killer Extraordinaire

              Comment


              • #8
                In a recent past Olympic cycle, I believe there was a country that won their regional qualifier so was eligible to send a team, but didn’t have enough horse/rider combos that met the MERs so could not send a team. I can’t remember which country. But no exceptions are made for riders or horses without the MERs. And no, Saumur wasn’t a “special qualifier” like in show jumping. It was an actual event at new CCI3*-long, and the teams competed at that event. Other horses & riders from other countries (ie, countries that weren’t using it as a regional qualifier) also competed in the same level/division individually. And remember, the Pan Ams are now also just a CCI3* long, so we (the USA) are using the same relatively low level to try to get our Olympic qualification. My guess is that China will only have (UK-based) Alex Hua Tian in Tokyo & Thailand will only have 1 rider whose name escapes me. I don’t think either country will have enough time to bring up enough horse/rider combos that meet the MERs to send a full team. There’s not much time left at this point.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Link to FEI document explaining how team slots are reallocated if there isn’t a full team of horse/rider combos meeting MERs (starting at the bottom of pg 6):

                  https://inside.fei.org/system/files/...0published.pdf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I guess Pony Club-style scramble teams just aren't in the Olympic spirit, lol.
                    Leap, and the net will appear

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vineyridge View Post

                      I'm just saying that, IMO, before a country can send a team to the Olympics in any equestrian sport it ought to meet some minimum standards for supporting the sport at home in numbers of events held and numbers of riders competing. I have no problem with riders from "unqualified" countries riding as individuals if they have the ranking and qualifications to do so.
                      If this were the case Canada wouldn't qualify either lol. We have less than a handful of FEI events and the riders we do have at FEI primarily event in the US.
                      Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Am I missing something? LOTS of regions do the qualifying for the teams at the old 2* (now 3*) level. It just means they have a team spot....all the riders on the team still have to meet the ACTUAL qualifications for running at the championship level of the Olympics to actually ride on that team. So they have a team spot...now they need to get enough qualified riders. Of course now that the team is only 3 riders, its slightly easier. But if they don’t have enough qualified riders....I think the next country in line for that region can send a team. Not sure about that part...and it doesn’t really matter....if a country has enough riders for a team that are qualified, chances are they will be able to field a team based on the individual results. For example, the USA already has 3 riders in the top 20 for FEI rankings...and if you take out the people who are from countries already qualified....I think the top 4-5 riders are all USA.


                        And note...those FEI rankings include points from ALL FEI levels....so similar “issue”....theoretically, a rider could be in the top 50 and not be competing above the 2* level. Doesn’t matter...they earn a ”spot” but then have to have the qualifications to actually compete.

                        And yes....the Japanese riders are quite impressive. They have good horses, good riders and have been training in the UK for a while. They should be quite competitive at the Olympics. I was most impressed by the Japanese riders at WEG. They looked really good.
                        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jun. 24, 2019, 10:04 AM.
                        ** 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
                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          My impression is that Japan wants to win medals at Games, so they are funding riders overseas just for that purpose. They are NOT funding eventing IN Japan if there are fewer than ten FEI level riders competing in Japan, and their highest available level is the old 2*.

                          ...

                          I'm just saying that, IMO, before a country can send a team to the Olympics in any equestrian sport it ought to meet some minimum standards for supporting the sport at home in numbers of events held and numbers of riders competing.
                          I might be able to see your point about the value of supporting elite eventing at home, if I assume your goal is to expand the growth of the sport. But for some countries, that burden is unfair. Just because you personally live in an area where there is enough land to just slap down a cross-country course (albeit one that people might need to travel several hours to reach) doesn't mean everyone does. Japan is a perfect example of a country that just does not have the real estate to put on a 4*. Do you really mean that entire population shouldn't be permitted to field an eventing team, just because they had the misfortune (and I use that word with reservations because Japan is a wonderful place to live, unless what you want to do is elite level eventing) to be born in a country with limited greenspace? Surely you are not recommending punishing talented people just because of where they were born. The world does enough of that without us.

                          Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
                          If we assume that there are a total of 20 FEI level Japanese eventers worldwide which is a high end estimate (and the numbers seem to be decreasing) it just seems wrong that 20% of those go to the Olympics/WEG.
                          Your totals are low, but even if they weren't, it absolutely does not seem wrong that those riders go to the Olympics. Not when those riders are the current Japanese team, who might I remind you, beat the socks off the GERMANS, the Aussies, the Kiwis, the Americans, the Canadians, and more at the last world championship. The Kiwis are currently thanking their lucky stars that Japan has a home team slot for the next Olympics, because without it they wouldn't be qualified at all.

                          The format of the Olympics does not always mean that the best of the best are competing, but the current Japanese squad ARE some of the best and they deserve to be there no matter which way you slice it. Unless the way that you slice it is that you'd like a little less competition for those shiny round things people love so much

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Somehow Japan has been able to find land for "thousands of golf courses" that were built in the 1980s. If they can find that much land for golf, they could find land for one advanced eventing course. Where there is a will there is a way.

                            If the Japanese eventers qualify for a team based on individual rankings, I wouldn't have a problem with that.

                            I do have a problem with a country that does not support the sport at home being able to have an "official" team, and when I say "support the sport at home" I mean running a minimum number of FEI events that include an Advanced level and a certain minimum number of participants at home--say 50 FEI level competitors. As it is, there is no effort at all to help home eventers to go up the ranks, so why should anyone in Japan take up the sport?

                            IN all eight FEI equestrian sports, the Japanese NF has a total of 131 registered competitors, and that includes the ones riding in other countries. They run one dressage event. I just went and counted the number of FEI event riders at all the events held in Japan in 2018. There were unique 13 riders for 5 1*s and 1 2*. Add the five or six Japanese competing in Europe and it still comes to less than 20 total.

                            Japan supports horse racing, so it's not as if they were a "horseless" country. If the carrot for having horse sport is the Olympics, there has to be a stick to make sure that the PTBs in that country make good faith efforts to encourage horse sport for other than Game level competitors.
                            Last edited by vineyridge; Jun. 24, 2019, 12:21 PM.
                            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                            Thread killer Extraordinaire

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Canada again would fall into that category, with I think Bromont being our only advanced event.
                              Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I seriously don’t understand your gripe vineyridge, just bizarre

                                3 Japanese in the FEI top 50
                                6 in the top 130
                                4th (?) at WEG

                                All despite not really being an Eventing nation, they have earned their team place and I for one hope they medal.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by headbrickwall View Post
                                  I seriously don’t understand your gripe vineyridge, just bizarre

                                  3 Japanese in the FEI top 50
                                  6 in the top 130
                                  4th (?) at WEG

                                  All despite not really being an Eventing nation, they have earned their team place and I for one hope they medal.
                                  Yup. This. I don't get this thread at all.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Furthermore their competing and doing well in eventing on home soil can only do good to further the interest of other young riders who might then start to event. So their fielding a team and doing well at the Olympics can only help the cause of the sport on a small island nation.

                                    There are probably a thousand golf courses for every full cross country course even in the US. Golf is much cheaper to partake in and more lucrative for the land owners. I too don't agree with your gripe here vineyridge.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      So I guess none of those tropical countries can send teams for skiing, ski jumping, bobsledding, luge, skeleton or snow boarding? It would be a little hard for them to have those sports in their home country.
                                      There are probably a lot of countries that have winters but can't realistically host many of the winter sports since they don't have the appropriate mountains.
                                      What a weird criteria for not being allowed to participate. If they can field a team that makes the cut off then they deserve to be there.
                                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        The Japanese have been sending equestrian teams to Olympic Games and WEGs for decades. It doesn't seem to have done much good to encourage equestrian sport in Japan if there are a total of 131 registered equestrians in all sports in 2019.

                                        As to tropical nations sending teams to the Winter Olympics, isn't that a joke? They certainly aren't competitive and they can't build the sport at home. Why bother?
                                        Last edited by vineyridge; Jun. 24, 2019, 04:46 PM.
                                        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                        Thread killer Extraordinaire

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