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All things Rolex competition related--one thread, please

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  • Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
    Sorry, but this is laughable. Unless, of course, you can point to your experience competing successfully on these unfit GP dressage horses.
    What's laughable is your commenting on an eventing thread.

    Most GP dressage horses would up and die if they tried to gallop the Rolex course, and that's without jumping the jumps.

    Did I say that all dressage horses were unfit and cranked down, etc? No I didn't. But a lot of them are, in comparison to top event horses.

    In fact I'm a fan of straight dressage too, but there's a lot to be criticized in that arena as well. The Spanish horse at the WEG and some of the performances at the past Olympics were real rays of light in a foggy dressage world.

    SillyHorse, I'd like to see you on a horse performing a GP test, and wonder if your horse would show the same sort of freedom, impulsion and energy that a GP horse is SUPPOSED to show. If so, kudos, sincerely, and yes, such a horse would be fit, but probably not event galloping fit.

    I'd always like to see you try to ride a dressage test on a fit event horse. I bet it'd take you down a peg or two. Especially the more TB types. A very fit TB type horse can be very difficult to get relaxed and zen for dressage.

    Meanwhile there's Kittel complaining about flowers next to the arena....


    • looks like Tivoli was the only one presented who was spun after being held.


      • Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
        looks like Tivoli was the only one presented who was spun after being held.
        Yep. Everyone else presented & passed!
        "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


        • Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
          looks like Tivoli was the only one presented who was spun after being held.
          Ugh, so sorry for James but he has to be thrilled with his XC rides, particularly after last year.


          • Favorite T-shirt: A drawing of a rider jumping a cross country fence, the caption above the drawing "Want perfection?" and the caption under the picture "Wrong sport!". I suppose it would have been more powerful if the drawing had been of a rider falling instead of showing a nice jump, but anyone who does the sport would understand.


            • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
              Yes super disappointed. Seems like some riders only want to compete if they have a good chance of winning. Sucks for the fans and sponsors.
              Interesting comment given your reply on the thread about riders competing injured
              Seems iffy for people to compete when they are that injured but I understand its the riders choice. I think the riders could make a better choice for the sake of their horses.
              Seems to ME that withdrawing after a lousy dressage- saving the legs for another day - is just as much a "better choice for the sake of the horse."

              Furthermore, an uncharactistically poor dressage test could easily be an indicator of other problems. Better to wthdraw and run another day.

              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


              • Originally posted by McGurk View Post
                What is everyone's opinion of the course design and the changes in fence construction?

                My immediate impression, after watching snatches of the XC yesterday, was that it was very successful. No serious injuries to horses or riders (correct me if I'm wrong); several of the top riders made it look easy, and less experienced riders either struggled to get around or struggled to make the time. No rotational falls. The horses that made it look easy were rideable and adjustable, and attacked the course but compressed their stride without fighting for the technical combinations.

                Problems occurred at a variety of places on course, there was no particular "bogey" fences. Some were downright surprising, like Chilli Morning, Tradind Aces and Catch A Star.

                What did anyone else think?
                Once again, Derek just shows his utter brilliance. I have two points:
                1. If you fall off on a Derek course, you are going SLOWLY. Therefore your fall is not a slam down back breaker but usually a tip off or tip over and you can land softly. This is a generalization of course but that is how he sets up his questions - lines, angles, undualation in terrain so that you have to go SLOW at the tough stuff. This helps horses and riders. If you aren't right, your horse simply GLANCES off, rather than tips over or gets caught and flips...of course one cannot possibly design for all scenarios but over the years I have noticed Derek dials down on making sure tough stuff is not designed to be charged at and it's saving horses and riders.

                2. Please note: successful first time Rolex riders/horses = successful Fair Hill International riders....he designs both....Houston, Catch A Star...Fernhill Eagle....Mar de Amor....Park Trader....they consider it a 3.5 star and it's a good indicator for Rolex success I think.

                (Not sure Fernhill Eagle is a Rolex first-timer?) Any others?
                (I think Catch A Star's runout was unlucky but not threatening or indicative of anything, just happened.)

                Sad that James Alliston's Tivoli did not come up perfect today....I really am a fan of the Jumbo's Jake horse but after watching XC yesterday I am also a fan of this lovely horse....hope it is nothing serious and he can return to soundness soon. An incredible feat for both James (former Bruce Davidson stable) and Buck (son of Bruce) to ride three around a four star like Rolex and get all home. Impressive!
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                • Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                  Can I ask about fitness?

                  Some of the horses galloped home with time to spare others retired a few fences from the end. Any reason for that? I would assume all the riders knew how long the course was and what it took to get their horses fit so what is the difference?
                  Boyd Martin, Mary King and WFP pulled up. My guess is the horses were very fit - but were having an off day. At the end, there were some long uphill gallops - when the horses showed they were not taking the jumps with energy and power, the riders pulled up and retired. Better to save your horse for another day. Didn't Sally Cousins also withdraw due to her horse having a bad transit trip to the event? The horses that were retired may also not have traveled well - why push when overtaxing your horse might lead to a life-altering injury or strain that ends the horses career? Good horsemanship was shown over and over on the XC course and even before - when riders withdrew to save their horse for another day.

                  It was a huge relief to see that no big crashes or injuries occurred on course.


                  • Agree with retread, Derek's courses seem to demand a lot from the riders while keeping their mistakes survivable in an inherently dangerous sport.


                    • Sad to hear about Tivoli (really liked him), but I have agree with the assessment of this year's event. It's been so fun to watch!

                      When does the sj phase start? What time, that is? I must have missed that tidbit..
                      "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


                      • I missed it ! What did Kendal Lehari do to earn EN's ballsy ride award??


                        • Originally posted by Gryhrs View Post
                          I missed it ! What did Kendal Lehari do to earn EN's ballsy ride award??
                          She FLEW like the wind around the XC course! The commentators kept saying Whoa!


                          • One of the other things that stood out to me was that old Woffordism "Experience is what you get right after you need it." and the need for another 4*.

                            Madeline Blackman's round looked tentative and her horse looked backed off/over faced. This is in no way a criticism of her or her lovely horse, and I am certainly not implying I could do better! Clearly they earned the right to be there, and just as clearly lacked the mileage and/or experience to be successful. There *should* be a way to get that mileage and experience without traveling to Europe and and without having to roll the dice at a once a year competition.

                            How do you get that experience without failing to get around a 4* or worse yet, crashing at a 4*?

                            I agree with poster above's course analysis - the problems and falls were mostly inside the technical elements, and were either from failure to ride agressively or from a failure to hold an accurate line. The big, straightforward galloping fences all rode beautifully. Brilliant course design!

                            It also interested me that the riders who jumped into a combination and waited to see what happened almost always came to grief; and the riders that rode in with a plan and created the striding according to that plan did very well indeed.
                            The plural of anecdote is not data.


                            • Originally posted by lovey1121 View Post
                              looks like Tivoli was the only one presented who was spun after being held.
                              I am not surprised, he was like a race car on course.


                              • It's hard on both the horse and rider when they pull and argue like tivoli. I bet that round was harder on James than the other two combined.


                                • I don't think GP dressage horses are unfit. But it is an ENTIRELY different fitness.

                                  I believe it was Heath Ryan (who competes both GP dressage and at 4* level) who said the 4* test was much harder than a GP test. Simply because the event horses are so fit. The test is a lot simpler, but the ride is much more difficult.


                                  • Originally posted by McGurk View Post
                                    How do you get that experience without failing to get around a 4* or worse yet, crashing at a 4*?
                                    I would say there a couple of young riders and riders with young horses who obviously decided they'd rather get a clean round with some time faults, both in XC and SJ.
                                    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                    Phoenix Animal Rescue


                                    • As for Madeline, I didnt check to confirm but my memory tells me that they've been around Rolex before. I believe she said he tweaked something yesterday which would explain the round.


                                      • Buck Won the LAnd Rover! Good for him!!
                                        Seems an awful lot of bickering on this thread, Come on Eventers do not do that!!!


                                        • Originally posted by riderboy View Post
                                          Favorite T-shirt: A drawing of a rider jumping a cross country fence, the caption above the drawing "Want perfection?" and the caption under the picture "Wrong sport!". I suppose it would have been more powerful if the drawing had been of a rider falling instead of showing a nice jump, but anyone who does the sport would understand.
                                          Hey that was us!!!! My niece drew the picture and the quote is from her eventing coach, Phillipa Humphries. Thanks for giving her a shout out!