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Willful Delay

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  • Willful Delay

    Sort of a spin off from the stopwatch thread, but I was wondering how often do they actually penalize for willful delay? After watching the Poplar novice XC video on EN it is clear that one rider is circling and circling just prior to the last fence. Out of curiosity I looked at the scores and didn't seem to find any penalties reflected there. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    I also saw others circling a bit earlier on course which I know is allowed but it still doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I'm just jealous because I can't seem to allow my mare to go over 350mpm. We usually end up a few seconds slow if the pace goes over that.

    I guess if you're looking to move up and feel the need to practice your new pace then it makes sense, otherwise shouldn't we strive to run the pace set for the level throughout the course (without circling)?

    So back to the original question. Rules say penalization is at the discretion of the Ground Jury. Just wondering if it is enforced very often.

  • #2
    I believe that with the way the rule is written, willful delay only comes into play between the last fence and the finish flags, which is why the rider in the video wouldn't have been penalized, but I defer to Janet or scubed our other rule gurus.
    Balanced Care Equine


    • Original Poster

      You are right! Thanks. I should have read more closely before posting. That would explain the reason there was no penalty.


      • #4
        Faybe is correct, willful delay is penalized only between the last fence and the finish flags.

        Clever competitors will find a spot to come down to a trot or walk (had a team rider do that on a LL horse).

        As to making circles: if not in balance and/or control the rider can be spoken to and/or penalized for dangerous riding.
        As I noted in another post - is it better to have a plan before setting out on XC to maintain your pace.

        For what it is worth - decades ago a friend of mine trotted a Pre-Training (now Novice) XC. They came in exactly on time to break the tie and win the competition. They knew their horse's canter/gallop stride would put them under optimum time so knowing your horse's natural pace is necessary.
        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
        Courtesy my cousin Tim


        • #5
          I will say that I had a big OTTB at one point. His natural canter stride was about 420-450 mpm. This meant that at novice, part of my plan was finding places to circle or go the looooong way on course because he would get very upset if he was asked to go slower when he was green (it was hard for him). Letting him canter on (perfectly balanced and appropriate) made much more sense to me, since he was the sort of horse that was not going to be at novice for all that long anyway.
          OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


          • #6
            Originally posted by scubed View Post
            I will say that I had a big OTTB at one point. His natural canter stride was about 420-450 mpm. This meant that at novice, part of my plan was finding places to circle or go the looooong way on course because he would get very upset if he was asked to go slower when he was green (it was hard for him). Letting him canter on (perfectly balanced and appropriate) made much more sense to me, since he was the sort of horse that was not going to be at novice for all that long anyway.
            This is exactly what I have to do with my TB, cruising speed O/F is ~450mpm. He's a horse that looses confidence easily and we haven't had the easiest time getting him up to Novice or jumping for that matter, so I do not want to mess with what works for him and what he's most comfortable jumping at. I look for places on my coursewalk that would be good areas to drop down to a nice trot(usually going down massive hills and through woods), without having to chase him into a canter right before a fence. It all comes down to planning/riding your ride for the horse you have that day.


            • #7
              And sometimes it can bite you in the butt! My mare cruises at about 420 mpm, and we always came in fast (but not speed fault fast) at Novice. I was determined to get closer to optimum time our last trip out, and circled before the last fence. I ended up one second over OT, d'oh! Got some ribbing for that one.
              Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights I call it a draw. -- fun.

              My favorite podcasts: Overdue, The Black Tapes, Tanis, Rabbits, How Did This Get Made?, Up and Vanished.