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My horse has almost reached a milestone. Is this normal?

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  • My horse has almost reached a milestone. Is this normal?

    So my ex-upper level TB is now probably retired from competitions due to some soundness issues. My dad and I were looking through his old records all the way back until 1999 where he started at prelim. I'm not sure if they kept records further back than that, or if he ever did any training level HT's. We noticed he is coming up on his 100th horse trial, according to all his record. I do less than 10 a year and he was campaigned pretty hard at I and A with his previous rider. I've done a few prelims, but mostly training level. He also had a few long stretches off from competition presumably due to injury.

    My question is, is this normal for a horse to do 100 events in his lifetime? I know now that with the absence of the LF, that the amount of events a horse does might be less. Does anyone else have an old campaigner who has done this many and stayed sound? He's an interesting horse because he has been around through the format change. Had I been prepared, I would have loved to have completed a LF with him since he was so obviously bred for that.

    Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com

  • #2
    I have a friend who is a young rider. Her horse is seventeen years old and an old upper level campaigner. According to his passport and record, he has done nearly 100 events at the preliminary level OR HIGHER in his lifetime. This is not including T or below events. He is as sound and game as ever and her family takes impeccable care of him.

    He too made the transition of long format to short format. He competed at Fair Hill and Radnor back in the day, and even Rolex (although I believe it was the year Little Tricky won and he was withdrawn after dressage.) He is DEFINITELY a long format horse...to the point that he is very exuberant (almost to excess) on cross country. She is planning to do the long format at Midsouth this fall with me and we are both betting that the horse will be wonderful on Phase D because he has done A,B, and C by then.


    • #3
      That's very impressive. IME I wouldn't say it's normal. Not every horse stays sound that long and not every horse is owned by someone with the means and time to do that much showing.

      A year or two ago I think the eventing magazine did an article on a horse and rider pair who had reached their 100th event together. I think it was an older gentleman and his training level partner. It was a relly neat story.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Donkey View Post
        A year or two ago I think the eventing magazine did an article on a horse and rider pair who had reached their 100th event together. I think it was an older gentleman and his training level partner. It was a relly neat story.
        Yes, it was. The man was in his 70s and the horse was a Morgan -- very forward and hence not always so great at dressage, but a X/C "machine."
        You have to have experiences to gain experience.

        1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


        • Original Poster

          I remember that story now that you mention it. I can't imagine doing that many with one horse! I think overall, I've done about 30-40 with Sam in the 7 years I've had him. Of course, he has been on and off as far as soundness. But when he's right, he goes really well.

          Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com


          • #6
            You should celebrate! You've come a long long long long way.
            Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


            • #7
              Congrats to you and your horse!

              The pair mentioned above are "back from retirement", which is actually sort of a shame.

              Gwen did something like 30-35 Prelims, about the same number of Trainings, and 4 3-days. Any horse that just keeps going and going deserves huge kudos AND a happy and luxurious retirement when the day arrives.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #8
                how's this one...

                My old guy was showing me the ropes and taking me around training at 21 years old.. He went up through one star with previous riders, came off the track with over 100 starts, and completed 89 events! And he's got the worst confirmation I've ever seen.... he is so over at the knee in one leg, his leg looks broken... but hardly ever missed an event due to soundness issues!!! (dressage scores are another thing!!)


                • #9
                  Lindsay, that is an admirable statistic and you should be very proud of your good fellow!
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                  • #10
                    The older gentleman I have the privlege of riding now had 60+ starts on the track and has been eventing since 1995. The online records from USEA only seem to go back to 1998/99 or so...and he's done almost 70 HTs since then (and plenty more before that!), mostly at Prelim and above (including doing his first ** at age 17), though he dropped back to the lower levels to take his owner's daughter through the ranks to Prelim, and then again to work with me

                    At 21, he's still bopping around xc like a youngster and having some fun playing in the H/J world as well. He's had more than his share of injuries over the years, and has always been brought back slowly with the idea that he'll be retired when he makes it even the tiniest bit clear that he's ready to be done with this game...but while he's still jumping around like this
                    it seems like he's still happy to be out there.

                    The old man ran around T at Surefire this weekend like it was a walk in the park...so we're going to keep on doing what we're doing for now, enjoying every minute of it, as the old man has done so much more than anyone would've ever imagined. When the time comes for Huey to retire, he'll live like a king
                    ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                    www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/


                    • #11
                      that's great! My old mare Alison probably did that much in terms of numbers She started competing when she was 4, and didn't stop until she was 20. her legs are totally clean, although she's got a very swayed back and some old injury in her hamstring that occured sometime in the past 9 years (She's 29 now).

                      She did mostly prelim but a few Intermediate , some long format *s as well as jumpers with her previous rider.

                      I say rider because technically she's still owned by the family who bought her from the breeder at age 4. She was such a difficult old wench no one would buy her, they just passed her around! I think that's sort of funny. I got her at 18, and competed her for 2 years and she's been enjoying retirement for the past 9.

                      As far as I know she was sound for the whole time except for a few months with an infected fetlock joint from which she recovered fully. I think she was too stubborn and driven to be out of work.


                      • #12
                        My question is, is this normal for a horse to do 100 events in his lifetime? I know now that with the absence of the LF, that the amount of events a horse does might be less.
                        I am confused by this one. I think that with the SF instead of the Full Format, you will see horses completing MORE HT.

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


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Janet View Post
                          I am confused by this one. I think that with the SF instead of the Full Format, you will see horses completing MORE HT.
                          Well, I was thinking maybe they wouldn't last long enough to complete that many because maybe they do more events/CIC/CCI's in a year. Maybe they will burn out faster. Just because you can do all the events in your area, doesn't mean you should. And I see a lot of the same names every single weekend.

                          Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com