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Rolex TV Executive Producer Checking In

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  • Rolex TV Executive Producer Checking In

    Hello All:

    I'm Bob Hughes the Executive Producer of the Rolex TV Coverage. I thought I would check in with the hard core fans for opinions/comments on the show.

    A quick set of thanks to the USEF, EEI, Rolex and NBC for making the show possible.

    I'll say up front that our goal with this show is to try and attract as wide an audience as possible. If we did well we eductaed and entertained the new fan while giving you real eventers something you could enjoy as well.

    Its important to remember we have to work within our time frame of one hour. Something we'll try to expand if the ratings and money to support it are there in the future.


    Bob Hughes
    Carr-Hughes Productions

  • #2
    So tough getting all that into a short time frame. I would have loved a bit more dressage to sort of set up the comprehensiveness of the test, comparing it to a gymnastics or figure-skating all-around competition. I was dreading seeing William Fox-Pitt's fall and commented to my husband what a refreshing change it was from Olympic coverage in the 90s that was all crash and burn coverage. I was surprised that there wasn't a lot of commentary riding on the amount of money on the line for the top few competitors in stadium, but it was kind of nice that the money wasn't stressed as it really isn't a money sport. If there was more time, a bit of the color commentary and behind the scenes stories we saw for the people and horses at the Derby would be nice, but I do understand you had hours and hours of Derby coverage and only two minutes of action, and for Rolex you had four days of action and only sixty minutes of coverage.

    Well done, when will it run again? Thanks for making the national coverage happen!
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.


    • #3
      Thank you!!!

      I really enjoyed watching it today and recorded it, so will enjoy it a few more times.

      I thought Jimmy and the other commentator did great jobs and while I would have liked to have seen more dressage (especially all of Windfall's since it scored SO well), understand that's not very feasible given your time constraints.

      I thought it was very well done and gave me a good "fix", but should have appealed to a wide audience. Hope the ratings support that!

      Thanks again!!
      Home of Sea Accounts xx
      "LIKE" www.facebook.com/SeaAccounts


      • #4

        because we lost Internet, I actually made my hubby drive 30 min for wireless to see what the He** happened with the detroit coverage! because in Detroit it Was Not!!!!!

        So we trundeled down to our horse trailer to activate our limited TV coverage on our trailer TV and got a Lansing station- fuzzy, but ROLEX on NBC!!! YIPPEE!!

        It was great, and I thank YOU from the bottom of my eventing soul. I hope it attracts numerous viewers, and you get a great share.

        It was great, and Jimmy did a great job commentating, and the camera views seemed great. I was walking the course with a rider on Friday PM, and I have to also comment on the crew- they were polite, and very much wanted to get the great shot. Was that you they were talking to back at control? Whoever that was wanted it perfect, and I think they came close. (even if it was fuzzy on my tiny TV, at least I saw the last 40 min...)

        Thank you VERY much for the coverage, and let us all know if we can do anything to ensure its return!


        • #5
          I thought the coverage was excellent!!

          Jimmy Wofford is always a great commentator. The sport was explained to newcomers to the sport, but was not "dumbed down" for those of us already into eventing.

          There was a nice amount of fences shown including a spill at the water, but I liked the fact that the spills were not over emphasized.

          Good to see a few parts of the dressage tests.

          Nice coverage of stadium.

          Well done!!


          • #6
            Thank you for your dedication to presenting us with a quality program. I enjoyed it, just wish it was longer. I was able to attend in person this year and do realize that it's impossible to fit 4 days of action into a less than 60 minute time slot.

            It was good to see that the WEG will be broadcast as well. Are you involved with that?

            Thank you again for bringing this type of programing to the masses.


            • #7
              I thought you guys did a great job especially with such a short time. I know several non eventers (but horse people) who were tuning in. And Jimmy is great as a commentator! I love the bald head joke and the good humor of A. Hoy. Please keep up the good work. I thought it was a good show case of our sport.
              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


              • #8
                Good job for the time allowed. No complaints. Well edited. The interview with Becky Holder was well worth the time taken to give people who might have no idea of the rider/horse relationship a bit of a clue. Job well done. Thanks, Tom


                • #9
                  I really enjoyed the coverage, thanks NBC!

                  Agree with what most have already said. More dressage would have been nice (maybe just the top 2 tests) but I can understand that the average viewer probably would not have much of an understanding for dressage and may have flipped the channel before the XC (which is NOT what we want). And an hour-long program doesn't allow much time to show many 5-minute dressage tests.

                  Glad the money was not emphasized.

                  Loved Jimmy Wofford as a commentator! He was so knowledgable, and I'm sure his observations were helpful to seasoned eventers as well as non-horsemen. Would love to see him on there again.

                  I think the jumps always look smaller on TV. It would have been nice to have a person standing next to all the featured obstacles to show just how BIG those jumps are.


                  • #10
                    Rolex Coverage Feedback

                    As others have said, I thought you did an excellent job, given the time available. If you can get, say, 90 min next year, show the top dressage ride, in it's entirety, if possible. And I would like to thank you for putting in as many flattering shots of the KY Horse Park as you did. My relatives were amazed at the beauty.


                    • #11
                      WELL DONE!!

                      As of course was the derby coverage. Perhaps since you will be in KY for the Derby every year, and we have several years leading up to the WEG, you could do some human interest stuff on the competitors, and maybe, just maybe you could do an hour a day of Rolex coverage at the end of the day, and show the stadium jumping live. Oh well, a girl can dream can't she??? The coverage was good for non riding or non eventers and not so dumbed down that the rest of us didn't enjoy it. Thank you for not emphasising the money aspect and providing one of the worlds experts (thanks Jimmy) for comentary. I'm sure that NBC could get SOMEONE to sponsor more coverage. Hello,? Nextel? Pepsi? Bayer? COTH???


                      • #12
                        Well Done! Overall we eventers, and even my team roping husband thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks to Tivo, we got to rewind and watch the "did you see that!?"' s of the show.

                        Agree would liked to have seen a little more dressage, NOT a lot(LOL). Although I really liked the XC footage, more lower camera angles that show the actual height of the jump, kind of like the large brush jump, could show what these horses are actually jumping from a human perspective.

                        Loved Jimmy's comments, especially when the rails fell for Becky Holder and he explained how quickly things can change in the placings.

                        Behind the scenes human interest stories would have been entertaining and enlightening. I think the only solution is to get more airtime next time~! A pre-Rolex show and then the actual competition. Or better yet, a series every week of certain riders and their preparation leading up to the final episode of the actual event. Go BIG!


                        • #13
                          THANKS and BRAVO!

                          I was so glad to see a the well ridden rides...not a showcase of crash and burns, as quite honestly this is what I was expecting. Hopefully the positive publicity for eventing and the USEA will prompt more general public interest and MORE national television coverage of our sport.


                          • #14
                            Mr. Hughes, Thank You for the Rolex broadcast! I watched with some "Non-Horsy" friends and they seemed to enjoy the fact that X-C was the focus of the program. Something different from racing and show-jumpers and rodeo (what they usually believe horse sports consist of)
                            So, while I would have enjoyed seeing more of the Dressage rides...I think the decision to focus on X-C was the wise choice!

                            Jim Wofford is the best commentator! As someone mentioned: he makes the sport accessible to every level without dumbing it down.

                            Again, Thank You for all your efforts to bring this sport to television!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cowgirleventer
                              Agree would liked to have seen a little more dressage, NOT a lot(LOL). Although I really liked the XC footage, more lower camera angles that show the actual height of the jump, kind of like the large brush jump, could show what these horses are actually jumping from a human perspective.
                              Yep. When the cameras are above, it really makes the jumps look smaller.

                              One other thing: could one of the riders ride with a camera XC (like Karen did stadium a few years back)? Or would that be too dangerous?


                              • #16
                                Bob, thank you so much for asking our opinions!
                                I loved it as always, it is a highlight of our TV watching experience for the year. It is rare I can say, "my sport is on TV today".
                                I would have also like to have seen exactly how high those fences are in person, I think it would have been more impressive. The HOL drop especially. I thought the course description was a little confusing, it looked like it had a bunch of edits or something and Jimmy is usually so concise, it was the one portion where even I went, "huh?", and I think it would have helped to have actually seen a horse do the routes from and overhead pan type shot, with a dotted line showing how they go thru. Like the camera on a string over top of the football players lining up during a game!
                                Also a close up of the winner's horse would also have been nice, and a shot of the grooms working someplace on the horses, just to show how well cared for they are. Deep shavings and blankets and wraps, being brushed or washed, held while grazing, etc.
                                My most breathtaking moment is that wonderful Rolex commercial with Pippa Funnell's victory gallop, just the music and no voiceover, it is so stunning, it just makes me catch my breath every time I see it...the sideways nod in dressage, the precision of the half pass, the cross country drop shot, the stadium gallop and raised arm in victory...wow.
                                Thank you again -- let them know we were impressed!
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                                • #17
                                  Many thanks!

                                  I was very happy with the coverage. I also would have liked to see a bit more coverage of the dressage but realize you only had an hour to work with. Plenty of coverage of cross-country and show jumping, but also would have liked to see a bit more of some of the up-and-comers who didn't finish at the top, but are likely to become household names eventually. Overall, I was happy with the pace and it gave me plenty to see. Thank you for giving this wonderful event the national coverage it deserves!
                                  Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean someone's not following you.


                                  • #18
                                    I enjoyed it thoroughly. Good balance with the majority being X-C coverage and the top contenders in the show jumping phase. I think it was good to show DC's dressage test in part since he was the lowest scoring. So thanks...
                                    Platinum Equestrian - Florida, USA


                                    • #19
                                      I think you did well with the confines of time you had, hopely (crosses fingers) we could get a little more next time. The only thing that I really hated not to see was Ralph Hill. The man has been there since its conception, he's a character who would definitely help attract new fans, if anything give the rest of us eventors the courage and grins to keep on going... no matter how long it might take.
                                      "She is starting to damage my calm." -Jayne Cobb "Serenity"


                                      • #20
                                        Thanks for asking for our opinions!

                                        I also agree that it was well edited for the time alloted and I enjoyed Jimmy as commentator. Becky's interview was wonderful and, as already stated, a great example of the partnership between horse and rider in this sport.

                                        Here are my only comments re: suggestions for the future:

                                        as stated, show some of the fences (espeically XC) from the ground perspective - get down in the action... convey a sense of the speed and athleticism by being down there.... The high angles really do make the fences look much smaller on tv.

                                        Secondly, when they break to commerical - rather than show the statues around the park - show shots from the trade fair, scenes from the barn, shots from the jogs, shots of the spectators & their dogs around the course.... things related more to Rolex than the Horse Park.

                                        That's my two cents. Thanks again for listening to us!