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Where are the kids?

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  • Where are the kids?

    The USEF Pan Am squad has 4 riders in their mid to late 40s,and the other two in their 30s.
    Where are the up and coming kids that I thought the Pan Ams were meant to "discover" and put into the pipeline?
    Do we have a vital pipeline these days? Not griping, just honestly curious.

  • #2
    unless I get a sugar daddy and a trust fund, there's no pipeline until you are rich enough to get yourself up the levels.

    alas. I'd LOVE to do this fulltime.


    • #3
      Ditto Leah. We're all working full time to support our riding habit (this is said very tongue-in-cheek, knowing I don't have the skill to get to that level)

      One possibility is that the short format has contributed to the upper levels being dominated by several very very big names: most of the successful riders get more than one ride on more than one nice horse at the upper levels. The long format was the great equalizer: can you imagine doing phases A, B and C 4 or 5 times the way Phillip and others do XC these days? No! people had one horse they competed at the 4-star level at a time.

      There are lots of outstanding younger riders bringing along wonderful horses, but they don't get the same number of nice horses with whom to compete. The odds are just higher for the folks that have 2 or 3 horses at the 4-star level.
      "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom" Barack Obama


      • #4
        Originally posted by HiJumpGrrl View Post
        Ditto Leah. We're all working full time to support our riding habit (this is said very tongue-in-cheek, knowing I don't have the skill to get to that level)
        Tongue in cheek perhaps, but if we'd had the support from our early-20s for lessons multiple times a week and riding 1-2 horses a day? We'd be at those levels. I know you would! I know I would too, assuming we had the ponies (or horses in my case... ) to take us there.

        I do agree that the shorter format HAS allowed more of the bigger trainers/names to show multiple horses -- I suppose the question is why there aren't *younger* versions of those bigger trainers/names? Well, aside from the obvious experience and such. Still, what happens to the YRs after they age out? where are they going?


        • #5
          true that many of the up and coming YRs don't have a string of horses yet but the Pan Ams I thought were the venue to give them Red Jacket experience. I expected to see one or two experienced pros on the squad....but not the number that are on the list. I can think of 5-6 YRs or young pros (under the age of 35) and even a few older pros that haven't been given the Red Jacket experience that I would have thought should be on that squad.

          I guess you have to balance spending the money on riders who have demonstrated their commitment to the sport (i.e. the lifers) with getting the new blood out there and giving them experience. But I was surprised by some of the names left off the list....glad I don't have that job of picking!!!!
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • #6
            And though I didn't follow the other thread carefully, it seems there were at least a couple up and comers who got passed over. Perhaps the selection criteria or our national bodies' purposes for this competition have changed.


            • #7
              Originally posted by JAM View Post
              And though I didn't follow the other thread carefully, it seems there were at least a couple up and comers who got passed over. Perhaps the selection criteria or our national bodies' purposes for this competition have changed.

              good point. perhaps you are correct.
              ** 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
                While I agree that the Pan Am team seems inexplicably focused on proven riders with unproven horses, that makes me worried about the selectors and the politics potentially influencing them.

                Sitting at Jersey Fresh the other weekend, watching the dressage, I didn't find myself at all worried about the next generation of eventing superstars. I was astounded by the quality of horseflesh, even at the ** level. I felt utterly and completely outclassed with my wonderful but somewhat unflashy OTTB -- and had to remind myself that, yes, some of those big-moving, flashy horses actually ARE OTTBs just like mine, only better produced and better ridden!

                Among the younger generation of strong riders on jaw-droppingly fancy horses: William Coleman, Clark Montgomery, Kristin Bond and Sara Dierks, to name a few. Then there's Laine Ashker, Elisa Wallace, Will Faudree, the list goes on.

                None of them are peaking at quite the right time for the Pan Am squad, but I've got no doubt they'll be in the mix before too long.

                I also wonder how much of the decision is being influenced by who actually WANTS to go to Rio. Some up-and-comers have withdrawn their applications in favor of going to Burghley or Pau, others didn't apply because they have concerns about Rio either from a health standpoint (for their horses) or from a quality standpoint (my understanding is that the course hasn't even been built yet?) so perhaps this team represents the best combination of people both qualified and willing to go?
                I evented just for the Halibut.


                • #9
                  Do placings in the PanAm's qualify us for anything?



                  • #10
                    What???? I thought late 30's WAS still a kid!! At least, that's how I feel....


                    • #11
                      Ding Ding Ding!!!

                      Nevertime hits the jackpot! If a young rider has just one horse they would most likely fall on their sword before signing "the waiver".


                      • #12
                        jeanette, my understanding is that we are qualified for the 2008 olympics already.
                        "We don't ride the clock. We ride the horse." Reiner Klimke.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tuppysmom View Post
                          Nevertime hits the jackpot! If a young rider has just one horse they would most likely fall on their sword before signing "the waiver".

                          Please explain the waiver.


                          • #14
                            arnika - I would think so, but wondered if there were any chance of getting extra individual slots by good performance, or somesuch. just trying to think what might be going through selector/coach minds.

                            or is it a byproduct of lawsuits/objective selection? unless the selection criteria stated that riders chosen must not have red coats already, it could be hard to explain away not taking the old dogs.



                            • #15
                              The waiver

                              states basicly that the owner accepts the risk of the horse contracting piroplasmosis. If the horse contracts the tick born disease, (which is endemic in Brazil), the horse cannot return to the USA.

                              The option would be to send the horse to a European country that will accept the import of a piro positive horse. The sending to Europe and all the costs would be at the owner's expense.

                              There is no recognized treatment.

                              I suppose that some owners and riders see the risk as small and worth it, others may not feel that way.

                              I know of a dressage horse and a couple of event horses who opted out for this reason.

                              The USEF has a very good tick management protocal set up for Brazil, but each owner had to make the choice that best suited there situation.


                              • #16
                                i know quite a few aged out yrs who have simply had difficulty continuing in the real world arena (ie adult world). i'd consider myself one...but probably not one who would be looking at the pan ams as a legit goal. but society has shifted a bit recently, making jobs and time quite valuable...as well as college and such. i think a lot of yrs are opting to go to college which makes riding at a certain level not only difficult, but confusing.

                                i would also chock some of this up to the ebb and flow of eventing. some years we got 'em all, others not so much. there's been a wave of 'issues' floating around eventing, perhaps we are just in a lull. on all sorts of matters.


                                • #17
                                  The best young rider with a real shot at Pan Am made the unfortunate decision to run her horse cross-country at Woodside two weeks ago (when he had come back sore after falling at Rolex). Now, he's broken.


                                  • #18
                                    That's terrible to hear. I hope he get better.
                                    I evented just for the Halibut.


                                    • #19
                                      Ouch, TBC.

                                      One factor that hasn't been mentioned--and it may be more or less minor--is Pony Club's significantly diminished influence.

                                      I love to brag to outsiders how 80% of all riders on all of the teams at the 1984 Olympics had been Pony Clubbers at some point in their lives. (I can't remember where I got that from, but it was a legitimate source back then--I did a class final project TV commercial using the idea. Shipped half a dozen PC'ers to Manhattan to tape it and every one of them had wanted to ride for the team.)

                                      Pony Club used to be the pipeline, with a solid structure for developing both riders and horsemen/women. Now, it's pretty hit-or-miss and THAT, other than the finances, too--is why I think we're a bit thin in youngsters these days. One mistake can torpedo an up-and-comer's "career," especially if they aren't well-connected or well-heeled enough to "recuperate" from their error.
                                      Sportponies Unlimited
                                      Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by denny View Post
                                        The USEF Pan Am squad has 4 riders in their mid to late 40s,and the other two in their 30s.
                                        Where are the up and coming kids that I thought the Pan Ams were meant to "discover" and put into the pipeline?
                                        Do we have a vital pipeline these days? Not griping, just honestly curious.
                                        The only pipelines that exist at the upper levels of equestrian competition are those who are willing to provide money and horses for riders who are genuinely talented but these are few and far between. For example, much of the so called up and coming talent in the hunter/jumper world are hardly talented in terms of horsemanship but because they can afford to compete at that level on horses they generally don't own, they are the standard we use for young athletes in the equestrian world and they get idolized by those who compete at lower levels for doing nothing noteworthy other than trotting on a horse at Devon. Some are genuinely good riders but a lot of them couldn't win on their own abilities with a horse that they are responsible for working.

                                        Most young riders who compete stop competing once the parental money runs out and they get to college, they realize that they won't make it big (which is why many of them got into it in the first place), or they self-destruct due to their own problems like drug abuse (which is something most parents tend to ignore or miss all together and it is a big problem in the equestrian world despite what parents will insist on saying about their child), hyper sexuality (a problem which plagues many of the female riders due to their feelings of isolation during the teenage years that make or break most of them as both riders and a woman), and of course, dysfunctional families. Very few young riders who ride in college or beyond the age of 18 stick with it longer than a few more years because of the expenses unless they get a really good job or they decide to work in the horse industry in a capacity that allows them to ride on a frequent basis. None of the people I personally know who were labeled as up and coming talent have gone on to do anything with their abilities other than to get a low level job working in the local horse industry.
                                        Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!