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1978 World Championships

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  • 1978 World Championships

    Ok, I'm sure by now you guys have noticed that I preface many of my threads from this era with "I was cleaning house, or I SHOULD be cleaning house"....it's been pretty brisk here and I haven't dallied once I've finished outside for the last two weeks!

    But I digress--one of the things I've come across in my organizing is a reacquaintance with my book shelves, and one of those books is "Bruce Davidson, World Champion of Eventing".

    One of the interesting things in this book is a synopsis of the 78 World Championship at Kentucky, drawings and dimensions as well as routes through combinations, and a summary of problems at the fences.

    So to summarize

    Refusals: 26 for singles 2 for doubles
    Elimination: 10 for refusals, 1 for 3 falls
    Falls: 15 without refusals, 6 with refusals
    Retirement: 3

    The fences that caused the most issues were combinations.

    Can you imagine the hue and outcry in today's world if there were *21* falls on cross country? First off, there would not have been that many because many because of the one fall and you're out rule....(which I am NOT a proponent of).

    And remarks:

    "The battle of Lexington was finished, and teh casualty lists were long and sad. The repercussions would be heard for years."

    "The facilities in Lexington were superb. The administrative aspects of the Championships ran like clockwork...and the courses were the most beautifully built that anybody had ever seen anywhere--crashing fall after crashing fall and horses struggling to get back on their feet when oftentimes too exhausted to do so..." Neil Ayer, USCTA News Nov/Dec 1978

    "On the first inspection none of the cross-country obstacles looked unjumpable. The test proved, however, to be a calvary for many of the horses and 22 were forced to abandon it. Nearly half the field...." Xavier Libbrecht, L'Information Hippique Oct 1978

    "Whoever attacked the really not extremely difficult course at too fast a pace was punished mercilessly...Intelligent riding was practiced, for example by---unfortunately I cannot think of many examples--Helmut Rethmeier on Ladalco, but also by the Irishman John Watson on Cambridge Blue, who afterwards did not require veterinary treatment approaching doping and --as might be suspected--beyond...The war against the horse has been rekindled in Kentucky...Combined training has two faces. Which one it exhibits depends on which special factors coincide at the respective events...." Jorg Savelsberg, Crash Cross, Reiter Revue Oct 1978

    And my favorite:

    "...here we have come full circle to the horsemen's real question, the question that has set in motion such acrimony and debate. 'What is and international three-day meant to be?' If it is meant to be a survival of the fittest, mortal combat situation, Lexington certainly contained elements of such a test. If, however, that is an archaic concept, then newer concepts must be evolved to replace the old....that summation will be hammered out tediously and painfully over the following months as teh FEI and the rest of the international eventing community weigh the lessons of Lexington and either act or fail to act on what they have learned."

    So you see, the more things change, the more they remain the same...

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    ?

    There were horses who, cantered around the course and finished well, albeit with time penalties
    The Canadians did this, finished a team and won; The lastUS..S. rider was told to "go for it", and nearly killed his horse; does this sound similar to last years' Rolex, i. e. Frodo? remain the same..I don't understand your point; in addition to the endurance factor; there was extreme heat and humidity, which, we did not yet know much about dealing with, no cooling tents or misting fans; ask Denny, I'm sure he remembers!

    .

    Thoughts?ure by now you guys have noticed that I preface many of my threads from this era with "I was cleaning house, or I SHOULD be cleaning house"....it's been pretty brisk here and I haven't dallied once I've finished outside for the last two weeks!

    But I digress--one of the things I've come across in my organizing is a reacquaintance with my book shelves, and one of those books is "Bruce Davidson, World Champion of Eventing".

    One of the interesting things in this book is a synopsis of the 78 World Championship at Kentucky, drawings and dimensions as well as routes through combinations, and a summary of problems at the fences.

    So to summarize

    Refusals: 26 for singles 2 for doubles
    Elimination: 10 for refusals, 1 for 3 falls
    Falls: 15 without refusals, 6 with refusals
    Retirement: 3

    The fences that caused the most issues were combinations.

    Can you imagine the hue and outcry in today's world if there were *21* falls on cross country? First off, there would not have been that many because many because of the one fall and you're out rule....(which I am NOT a proponent of).

    And remarks:

    "The battle of Lexington was finished, and teh casualty lists were long and sad. The repercussions would be heard for years."

    "The facilities in Lexington were superb. The administrative aspects of the Championships ran like clockwork...and the courses were the most beautifully built that anybody had ever seen anywhere--crashing fall after crashing fall and horses struggling to get back on their feet when oftentimes too exhausted to do so..." Neil Ayer, USCTA News Nov/Dec 1978

    "On the first inspection none of the cross-country obstacles looked unjumpable. The test proved, however, to be a calvary for many of the horses and 22 were forced to abandon it. Nearly half the field...." Xavier Libbrecht, L'Information Hippique Oct 1978

    "Whoever attacked the really not extremely difficult course at too fast a pace was punished mercilessly...Intelligent riding was practiced, for example by---unfortunately I cannot think of many examples--Helmut Rethmeier on Ladalco, but also by the Irishman John Watson on Cambridge Blue, who afterwards did not require veterinary treatment approaching doping and --as might be suspected--beyond...The war against the horse has been rekindled in Kentucky...Combined training has two faces. Which one it exhibits depends on which special factors coincide at the respective events...." Jorg Savelsberg, Crash Cross, Reiter Revue Oct 1978

    And my favorite:

    "...here we have come full circle to the horsemen's real question, the question that has set in motion such acrimony and debate. 'What is and international three-day meant to be?' If it is meant to be a survival of the fittest, mortal combat situation, Lexington certainly contained elements of such a test. If, however, that is an archaic concept, then newer concepts must be evolved to replace the old....that summation will be hammered out tediously and painfully over the following months as teh FEI and the rest of the international eventing community weigh the lessons of Lexington and either act or fail to act on what they have learned."

    So you see, the more things change, the more they remain the same...

    Thoughts?[/quote]
    Last edited by Carol Ames; Jan. 6, 2010, 11:56 PM. Reason: typos
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

    Comment


    • #3
      Who as it?

      I ws thinking that Bruce , uce was the last American rider but, I now think , that it may have been Mike with Laurenson, who, was in the lead after dressage My point is that the coach rather than telling them to just get around don't worry about the time, but, to 'go for it". He did not finish yet, I recall no calls for his, the coaches' resignation
      breeder of Mercury!

      remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

      Comment


      • #4
        Who was it?

        I ws thinking that Bruce , uce was the last American rider but, I now think , that it may have been Mike with Laurenson, who, was in the lead after dressage My point is that the coach rather than telling them to just get around don't worry about the time, instead , to 'go for it". He did not finish yet, I recall no calls for his, the coaches' resignation
        breeder of Mercury!

        remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans

        Comment


        • #5
          Bruce was not the last American, I think you are right that it was Mike.
          But, Frodo's rider was not told to "go for it', I am not sure exactly where you are going with that statement.
          Eventing has changed dramatically since 78, for the better of the horses. Certainly everything is not perfect, but it has come a long way. Read Lucinda's book about how she felt with Village Gossip and his round in Lexington. She told it pretty bluntly.
          www.ncsporthorse.com

          Comment


          • #6
            RE

            lucinda and village gossip.

            Having spoken to her about this event she remarked that Village Gossip's resting heart rate was forever elevated after this event.

            That is to say that the horse never fully recovered from that test.

            Comment


            • #7
              A reminder that the good old days weren't quite as good as people like to think when they get carried away waxing nostalgic.

              No, course design isn't ideal now, but it wasn't then either. The sport is forever evolving.
              I evented just for the Halibut.

              Comment


              • #8
                LAZ, I should be cleaning house and instead I am reading about what you find when you are cleaning house.....
                But I reread this book all the time. Those passages are very interesting in light of today's stuff.

                After Kentucky, there was a great article over many pages written extremely well by a journalist analyzing the championship course and had many interviews with top people in the sport - the magazine might have been that beautiful coffee table one from the 80's - HORSES - I think. It's a great followup to the BDWC book commentary. Bruce's words at the end are actually the only thing in the whole book that came from him, I think. I also think they are the most succinct and meaningful.

                Someone found that article and linked to it, and I saved it -- but it went with my crashed hard-drive last year.
                It was a really good article. Can anyone help here?

                And...Bruce I am told was not entirely happy with that book and how it turned out, as they put a lot of words in his mouth, and he didn't have a lot to say about it - some of the photographs are pretty bad for a book. I've taken better just sitting around events with my work camera.
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, Lee Ann, great post. I found this book, used, on Amazon. It was fascinating, and brought back a lot of memories. Most people don't realize that, if it hadn't been for Bruce and the 1978 championships, we would not have the Kentucky Horse Park - and it almost didn't happen even then.

                  I've seen more than one rider life flighted out of the KHP at Rolex. It's a tough sport; unless my memory fails me, I believe there was a fatality at the the 1978 championships as well. Memory, not claiming it's fact, but I can still visualize the Herald Leader story line to this day. Nightmare?

                  Go forward to the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympics to see a sport in turmoil. Many don't want to hear it, but the hiring of the Captain was the first step to bring us back to world competitiveness in the 1990's and later.

                  The lesson learned? Nobody, no sport is perfect. Debate is healthy, but snarking and criticism is not. Pull together, or fail. Respect disparate opinions, not clamor. Approach corrections and improvements as US, not us vs. them.

                  Comment

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