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CMP in Eventing Magazine

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  • CMP in Eventing Magazine

    CMP quotes from latest issue of Eventing magazine regarding William Fox Pitt's win at Rolex.

    "What more can you do than lead the dressage on a young nine-year old and finish on your dressage score."
    All good, so far. Now, here is the part that kills me:

    "Food for thought for many in this country who don't manage to get their horses to the four star level until they are 12 years old or even closer to their pension."
    Really?!? Just REALLY?!?!

    I'm not saying that there aren't horses capable of that, but not most. Further, with veterinary advances, we have horses that are able to compete well past the age of 12, so what's the rush?

    God forbid we acknowledge that a mature horse, who was thoughtfully brought along, might be worth their weight in gold (or silver, or bronze). His disdain for those that "don't manage" to get their horses to the top level until that ripe old age of 12 (heaven forbid!) is palpable. "Don't manage"??? REALLY?!?

    Once again, utterly ridiculous nonsense coming from his mouth (or pen). Doesn't he need to be off somewhere running potential WEG team horses off their feet to see who's left standing in September?

    Is it 2012 yet?
    Last edited by SevenDogs; Jun. 26, 2010, 12:29 AM.

  • #2
    This is part of the reason I am looking forward to running my horses on a different continent! This and course design/build are my two biggest fears.....
    www.trainoreventing.com

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by eventrider View Post
      This is part of the reason I am looking forward to running my horses on a different continent! This and course design/build are my two biggest fears.....
      .... and the two things have one common denominator....

      Much success to you in your new location!

      Comment


      • #4
        wow....another reason I don't want my horse with someone with "team" goals.
        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

        Comment


        • #5
          Now, calm down, everyone.
          Number one, do not believe everything you read. There is a possibility that quotes were taken out of context or incorrectly copied down -- and by the way, the William Fox-Pitt win at Rolex did indeed astound quite a few people in the event world, Mr. F-P included.
          And with regard to age...again, if true quote, then unfortunate of course, but you know -- who really cares. He's a lame duck anyhow. Just a reminder of why we fought the Revolutionary War. Limeys can be irritating.
          Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
          Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

          Comment


          • #6
            I think these two quotes are bookends of a more complex issue.

            While 9 years old is young for a CCI**** winner, it's not inappropriate for an international-caliber, purpose-trained horse to be competing at his first CCI**** at age 9. In fact, I'd learned this is more or less the expectation, even back in the LF days.

            Cool Mountain is such a horse. He's by Primitive Rising, bred for the sport, produced by top rider Antoinette McKeown, with WFP since age 5, winner of Novice Champs (Gatcombe) at age 6, won Blair Castle CCI*** at age 8. There is nothing reckless or rushed about that career trajectory. It's actually classic.

            WFP has the knowledge and the skill to do this. While there are a number of UK-based riders who also do this year-in-year-out, there are relatively few in the US. So it's no surprise that the Rolex field has its share of 12 year-old debutante horses. So does Badminton, BTW -- it's just that these horses aren't ridden by WFP/Mary King/Andrew Nicholson/etc.

            Getting a horse to CCI**** level by age 9 doesn't require starting the horse too young or running the horse too often. Again, this is a matter of capable hands and a solid program. In the UK, the usual thing was to start them at Novice (3'6") at age 6, after a couple seasons of hunting. Now, the purpose-breds seem to start a little earlier and do the YEH but the horses that come from Ireland to the sales usually have the same look-after-yourself background. But if the goal is to have an international horse, there's no reason why you can't start competing them at 6 and have them at top level by 9. It's been done for ages.

            The danger, of course, is when mere mortals try to follow this same timeline. When Mia Eriksson was killed a few years ago, there was some talk about how there was some pressure on her to do a CCI** with her 7 year-old horse because someone said an 'Olympic' horse had to be doing a CCI** by age 7.

            This all comes back to snoopy's Cracks in the Foundation. We don't have the foundation so the horses aren't going to be produced successfully in the same quantities as in the UK. Setting our goal for the short term -- let's get those 9 year-olds to Rolex! -- will probably not yield a good result.

            Comment


            • #7
              Better and Better, mike plumb's 1976 invidual siler and team gold horse was 7

              Midnight Magic...a horse ridden by pippa funnel before stuart black rode him actually was ADV virtue of points at 6.

              King William was advanced at 7

              Phillip Dutton's House Doctor won a gold medal at 8.

              Blyth Tait won the WC's on Reddy Teddy an 8 year old.

              Might Tango was 7 when he won the 78 WC.

              There are many more...all were LF horse. Not all crashed an burned for their efforts at such a young age.

              It is interesting to note that those who successfully compete at those levels early in their lives have done so with some seriously good riders.

              Proper training, care, and management and I see no reason that a horse at 9 is too young for advanced.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JER View Post
                I think these two quotes are bookends of a more complex issue.

                While 9 years old is young for a CCI**** winner, it's not inappropriate for an international-caliber, purpose-trained horse to be competing at his first CCI**** at age 9. In fact, I'd learned this is more or less the expectation, even back in the LF days.

                Cool Mountain is such a horse. He's by Primitive Rising, bred for the sport, produced by top rider Antoinette McKeown, with WFP since age 5, winner of Novice Champs (Gatcombe) at age 6, won Blair Castle CCI*** at age 8. There is nothing reckless or rushed about that career trajectory. It's actually classic.

                WFP has the knowledge and the skill to do this. While there are a number of UK-based riders who also do this year-in-year-out, there are relatively few in the US. So it's no surprise that the Rolex field has its share of 12 year-old debutante horses. So does Badminton, BTW -- it's just that these horses aren't ridden by WFP/Mary King/Andrew Nicholson/etc.

                Getting a horse to CCI**** level by age 9 doesn't require starting the horse too young or running the horse too often. Again, this is a matter of capable hands and a solid program. In the UK, the usual thing was to start them at Novice (3'6") at age 6, after a couple seasons of hunting. Now, the purpose-breds seem to start a little earlier and do the YEH but the horses that come from Ireland to the sales usually have the same look-after-yourself background. But if the goal is to have an international horse, there's no reason why you can't start competing them at 6 and have them at top level by 9. It's been done for ages.

                The danger, of course, is when mere mortals try to follow this same timeline. When Mia Eriksson was killed a few years ago, there was some talk about how there was some pressure on her to do a CCI** with her 7 year-old horse because someone said an 'Olympic' horse had to be doing a CCI** by age 7.

                This all comes back to snoopy's Cracks in the Foundation. We don't have the foundation so the horses aren't going to be produced successfully in the same quantities as in the UK. Setting our goal for the short term -- let's get those 9 year-olds to Rolex! -- will probably not yield a good result.


                Great post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What was Mark Todd thinking?

                  What was mark Todd thinking winning 2 consecutive gold Olympic 3 Day (LONG FORMAT!!!) medals with Charisma at ages 12 and then again at 16? OMG!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by snoopy View Post
                    Proper training, care, and management and I see no reason that a horse at 9 is too young for advanced.

                    No, I don't have a problem with the age of the horse...or think it is too young...IF the horse is ready. The issue I have is caring at all about the age.

                    The horse is ready for the **** level when it is ready. Some will be ready by 9...others 10...others 12. The time line should be based on the individual horse...not just the age they are on the calendar. And we shouldn't be discounting a horse that makes it there at 12. Perhaps it took longer to be ready and will now be competitive for the next 5 years....
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nature View Post
                      What was mark Todd thinking winning 2 consecutive gold Olympic 3 Day (LONG FORMAT!!!) medals with Charisma at ages 12 and then again at 16? OMG!!!
                      By the time Mark Todd started riding Charisma -- 1983, when the horse was 11 -- Charisma was already an Advanced eventer, a Grade B showjumper (1m40) and a Prix St. Georges dressage competitor.

                      It wasn't like he was sitting around in a field up to that point. He was an extremely accomplished horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        *shrug* he can say whatever he likes, it's certainly not changing MY training program. My horses are asked to do the work that I feel they are ready, both physically and mentally, to do, at whatever age they happen to be. If that offends anyone, then so be it. I'm not terribly concerned. You DO know what they say about opinions, don't you?
                        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                        www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          My purpose in starting the thread was not to debate whether or not a nine year old (or similarly young horse) can successfully compete at the top level. Obviously, history and William Fox Pitt's stunning victory at Rolex tells us they can.

                          However, there are just as many examples of older horses being just as successful and one can only look to the US 2008 Olympic Silver medalist to show a "mature" horse can easily outshine their younger counterparts. Perhaps age has less to do with success than Mr. Phillips' statement would have one believe.

                          My real purpose in starting this thread was to object to Mr. Phillips patronizing riders:
                          "who don't manage to get their horses to the four star level until they are 12 years old or even closer to their pension"
                          Not only is this degrading to riders who *choose* to bring their horses along slower, it implies that there is something *wrong* with not bringing a horse up the levels quickly enough to achieve the highest level before the "ripe old retirement age" of 12 years old. It is ridiculous.

                          Moreover, it is DANGEROUS in that it sets an expectation in the mind of young (and maybe not so young), ambitious riders (and worse yet, their parents!) that to get the attention of the team coach, they better be able to bring a horse along fast enough to get them to the top by age 9 or 10, when there is no logical necessity to do so, since age has not been correlated to success.

                          I think JER's example of a young rider feeling the pressure to meet certain goals by a very young age (horse-wise), or to meet arbitrary standards is a very real scenario and increases risks of serious accidents significantly.

                          It seems, from his words, that Mr. Phillips is clearly trying to pressure riders to bring horses along quicker. Why? It's not like the USEF is paying for their upkeep, etc. during their rise through the levels. Why not let riders (and owners, if not the same) decide how best to bring up the horses that they know best, and judge a team contender on performance and likelihood of contributing to team success, rather than age?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does a classic training pattern match modern eventing dressage, XC course design, and show jumping questions?

                            That's an honest question, because I think our sport has changed a LOT since I was placing with a very hunter-type dressage and galloping around XC by the seat of my pants in the middle 80s.
                            Eileen
                            http://themaresnest.us

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                              The horse is ready for the **** level when it is ready. Some will be ready by 9...others 10...others 12. The time line should be based on the individual horse...not just the age they are on the calendar. And we shouldn't be discounting a horse that makes it there at 12. Perhaps it took longer to be ready and will now be competitive for the next 5 years....


                              I don't want to get crazy here, but the horse could even be 13 years old.... or "closer to pension" age as Mark Phillips would say.

                              BFNE really hit it on the head:
                              "The horse is ready for the **** level when it it ready."
                              What is the value in trying to change that, and more importantly, what is the danger?
                              Last edited by SevenDogs; Jun. 26, 2010, 01:04 AM.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                JER: I guess you missed my sarcasm!

                                Originally posted by JER View Post
                                By the time Mark Todd started riding Charisma -- 1983, when the horse was 11 -- Charisma was already an Advanced eventer, a Grade B showjumper (1m40) and a Prix St. Georges dressage competitor.

                                It wasn't like he was sitting around in a field up to that point. He was an extremely accomplished horse.
                                I agree with the original OP that CMP is way off base and I posted my thought as sarcasm. Mark Todd is an incredible rider and I love the clinics I have done with him. CMP does not impress me, but I am just a smurf!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The real significance of this issue dawned on me while I was out feeding my horses.

                                  If, as CMP says, we have a severe shortage of riders who are capable of getting a horse to CCI**** and Team consideration before age 12 -- well, whose fault is that?

                                  If, as CMP's words imply, it should be a priority of US eventing to get capable horses to top level before age 12, then it follows that this should be a priority of the US Team.

                                  Now ask yourself this: who has been in charge of the US Team and for how long?

                                  Capt. Phillips, you've been chef d'equipe for 17 years. That's more than enough time to establish a solid high-performance development program for horses and riders.

                                  This is YOUR failure, Captain. Don't put it off on us.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by snoopy View Post
                                    Might Tango was 7 when he won the 78 WC.
                                    Did Might Tango ever do anything again?

                                    Maybe some nine year olds in the right hands, the right program and the right luck will be fine. But that would be the exception - not the rule. And NOT something most of these younger riders should be trying to do.

                                    Most of the older ones either. With today's competition schedules who's home to be bringing anything along anyway? It's a whole lot harder to that much, that young with a horse that's being dragged up and down the east coast all year. Less of an issue on the other side of the pond.

                                    It's not that it can't be done. It's that there are fewer and fewer people who can do it with the rare few are naturally capable and who recognize when it's not the thing to do with the less than optimal horse.

                                    SCFarm
                                    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                                    www.southern-cross-farm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LLDM View Post
                                      Did Might Tango ever do anything again?

                                      SCFarm
                                      He lived to be 24 so he was pretty well taken care of one would think. He was also off the track so he wasn't one of the "purpose bred" event horses a few people have mentioned (there were probably few of them in the 70s though).
                                      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Internet did Badminton and Burghley rather well at the age of 8 or 9, I believe?
                                        I don't get that magazine, but from that tiny quote I did not imagine CMP was implying that most 9 yr olds should be out and about doing 4*... I don't know. Great post, JER.

                                        Comment

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