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What Happened at Inavale? (XC)

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  • What Happened at Inavale? (XC)

    I was just looking at StartBox (http://eventingscores.com/eventsr/inavale/ht0610/) and saw an inordinate number of refusals, eliminations, and rider falls in the Novice and Beginner Novice divisions, especially around Fences 10/11 and 15.

    Does anyone know what happened up there? I think it's so unusual and unsafe to have FOURTEEN rider falls and NINETEEN eliminations (not including TEs) over two levels Anyone have the inside scoop?

  • #2
    I'm probably not the best person to answer because I wasn't riding but I was there and had friends riding. On Novice, fence 11 was a trakenhor that caused a ton of refusals and fence 15 was a ditch. I don't really know what happened for BN ( I was warmup steward for dressage while it was going). I only watched a few training rides go (I was mostly back at parking) but kept hearing about the carnage. The few rides I did watch the water complex, trakenhor, and ditch all caused a few problems.

    On a somewhat related note, I heard through the rumor mill while at the event that the one fall rule might not apply to the lower levels anymore and that there is data analysis that supports this. I can't find it online- can anyone tell me where I might find the data analysis. I'd be curious to see it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by cwill View Post
      On a somewhat related note, I heard through the rumor mill while at the event that the one fall rule might not apply to the lower levels anymore and that there is data analysis that supports this. I can't find it online- can anyone tell me where I might find the data analysis. I'd be curious to see it.
      British Eventing rejected the one-fall rule on the basis of data they'd collected.

      This previous thread has a rather spirited discussion of the rule and the data behind it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, I searched earlier today and read through the thread you have linked. I was just wondering if any more detailed stats about falls had been made available.

        Comment


        • #5
          Course designer listed for this event is Tremaine Cooper.

          I took a look at the results. The open divisions seemed to fare better. This would stand to reason since it looks as if open competitors may have mostly been more experienced riders, i.e., trainers, or possibly more experienced horses.

          With regard to the obstacles....not there, no idea what the problem was -- but here's my general take: (bear in mind I am on a course design warpath, as many of you well know and are quite sick of, I am sure...)

          Ditches, trakehners are acceptable fence designs for these divisions. However, we all know (or should know) that in creating courses and course design, the clever designer can make a jump of seemingly small size tremendously difficult just based on placement and circumstances. (Downhill, uphill, on a turn, into or out of a dark to light approach, etc.)

          Course design; course design; course design. Know how horses see jumps, even at the very lowest levels, false ground lines and weird approaches make things very difficult. ALL riders need education in course design! (OMG, she's sounding like a broken record...)

          BN, N are INTRODUCTORY IN NATURE and need to leave riders and horses with a positive experience, guiding them in the right direction as they compete, so that the end result is confidence building and educational; "what did I learn over that jump, and what did I find out about my horse today on that course?" Not a survival of the fittest or extreme riding test. Just sayin'.

          (One thing that bothers me -- sometimes what is listed in the omnibus is not what actually ends up being the personnel at the event, and they aren't required to post that in a public way. You end up going to the event and finding out the judges listed weren't the ones who actually judged you, or whatever. I wish that when they hire officials they must update the USEA omnibus page online with their names.)
          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 haven't seen the course in question but I have ridden novice, training, and prelim courses by Tremaine Cooper here in Area II.

            They have always been among the MOST horse-friendly courses I have seen. They begin with open, inviting fences building in size, then introduce more technical questions gradually. They are not tricky or deceptive for the horses. They can, however, be on the big side.

            Speaking as someone who hates trakheners and has a ditchy horse, those can be very intimidating to the rider without being technically difficult. A pro rider can ride down to a novice trak on a green horse with a confident, forward ride. If you are riding down thinking "yikes".....
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man

            Comment


            • #7
              This is why I wish that the omnibus would not just put in the phrase "average of horses with some experience at this level". I have competed at Inavale before, and this trakhener must be new. I do believe that at the novice level, if you are going to put in a fence like that it should be VERY inviting to both horse and rider and/or you should have an option. What if you have never introduced that type of fence to your horse? I don't think at a competition especially at the BN/N level should be the first time you and your horse see a specific type of fence. I saw a mini one at Happs one year, and the TD had them put in an extra log as a bigger ground line. It was still a trakhener, but not as airy and rode really well and gave both horse and rider positive experiences with this type of fence.
              JMO

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by asterix View Post
                I haven't seen the course in question but I have ridden novice, training, and prelim courses by Tremaine Cooper here in Area II.

                They have always been among the MOST horse-friendly courses I have seen. They begin with open, inviting fences building in size, then introduce more technical questions gradually. They are not tricky or deceptive for the horses. They can, however, be on the big side.

                Speaking as someone who hates trakheners and has a ditchy horse, those can be very intimidating to the rider without being technically difficult. A pro rider can ride down to a novice trak on a green horse with a confident, forward ride. If you are riding down thinking "yikes".....
                Similar sentiment, Asterix. That is why I wonder what happened. There must have been a disconnect somewhere between what was designed or envisioned and what ended up being the actual question? Something.

                And you know, sometimes, there is no real answer, just a series of horses and riders unprepared or making mistakes. I'm one of those, so I know how it goes! (And the reason I feel a responsibility as an eventer to educate myself on course design so that I don't unfairly ask my horse to do something he can't figure out or understand.)
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I just heard from a friend at Inavale that the trakehner on the Novice XC course *used* to be on the Training course, but was moved down to the Novice because it was just small enough.

                  I also heard that the ditch at 15 was a "big-a$$" ditch in the middle of nowhere, so caught a lot of horses by surprise.

                  On the Training course, anyone know what jumps #6-8 were? Those had a TON of stops/rider falls/eliminations...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On training, fence 7 was the water complex and fence 8 was the trakehner. There were some ugly rides through there. I've schooled fence 15 (ditch) before and if I'm remembering correctly it a down hill, ditch, up hill to go out, if that makes sense.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Never mind the jumps -- what's with all the time faults at BN?

                      Time faults, in horses who jump clean, at BN?

                      This is not a way to encourage safe riding. It is never safe to go at speed over small fences.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        This is just a guess regarding time faults at BN, but there was a mandatory water crossing on course that a few horses took their time deciding to go in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JER View Post
                          Never mind the jumps -- what's with all the time faults at BN?

                          Time faults, in horses who jump clean, at BN?

                          This is not a way to encourage safe riding. It is never safe to go at speed over small fences.
                          I think they are time faults, as in over optimum time, not speed faults.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ens0613 View Post
                            I just heard from a friend at Inavale that the trakehner on the Novice XC course *used* to be on the Training course, but was moved down to the Novice because it was just small enough.

                            I also heard that the ditch at 15 was a "big-a$$" ditch in the middle of nowhere, so caught a lot of horses by surprise.

                            On the Training course, anyone know what jumps #6-8 were? Those had a TON of stops/rider falls/eliminations...
                            Nope, the trakehner was a new fence. It was smaller than the training trakehner and had a "ground line" log in front of it - pretty inviting, but a trakehner none the less.

                            Here's a pic. Novice trak on left, training on right. Looking down at it slightly since there's a small slope down to it.

                            InavaleTrak
                            Last edited by myLittleArabPony; Jun. 28, 2010, 11:06 AM. Reason: Added link to pic.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by myLittleArabPony View Post
                              Nope, the trakehner was a new fence. It was smaller than the training trakehner and had a "ground line" log in front of it - pretty inviting, but a trakehner none the less.
                              The N trakehner was indeed a new fence, Novice-height, and with a log ground line. You had a long approach to the trakehner and a slight uphill landing. It looked very inviting to me, but trakehners have always looked inviting to me, and I know I heard a lot of N riders worrying about it.

                              The N ditch was at the end of a long downhill - I let my mare trot down that hill because her canter needs work and I didn't want to have to worry about making her 'sit' down the hill. We've schooled at Inavale before, so maybe it was easier because my mare knew the ditch was there. I wouldn't call the ditch huge, though. Maybe three feet across, with the landing side just a bit lower than the takeoff side. I think it's revetted on the takeoff side, or at least it has a small log sort of set into the ground, and the landing side is natural.

                              I was surprised at how forward I had to ride to make the time, given that the speed was supposed to be 375. I wasn't chasing or anything, but I got a little gallop going on some of the longer stretches between fences. I had two moments of trotting (through the water and down one hill) and some moments of pretty forward, and ended up hitting OT.

                              I think overall it was definitely a tough course. There was also a big brushed fence in the woods off a turn, inviting in that you had room to approach and it was ramped, but it looked a bit intimidating. In my division, almost half were eliminated on XC, but the other half tended to have only time penalties (I think there was one stop). It was a pretty sharp contrast.

                              I decided to be contrary and went double-clear on a very tough XC but got 3 refusals in Stadium At least SJ is easier to work on at home...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Inavale

                                The course at Inavale was good and challenging especially at the lower levels. there a lot of terrain changes at Inavale

                                The course designer took good advantage of those changes. the issues at the Novice Trak were preceded by the bank and water complex. If riders looked down into the water (counting frogs?) they tended to have issues at the trak (frog hunting again). The "open ditch" has been on the BN course for years and always gets a fair number of stops.

                                With a record year for rain the footing on Friday was soft and sticky riders who picked and lost position has issues.

                                The whole crew at the event did a great job!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by WishIWereRiding View Post
                                  I think they are time faults, as in over optimum time, not speed faults.
                                  I didn't think they were speed faults.

                                  A BN course should be measured and timed generously enough for a green horse/rider to get around steadily and safely. This might include walking or trotting through the water and trotting a fence or two.

                                  What you don't want is green riders too focused on making the time, thinking they have to gallop or rush along or try to make up time. BN is not, in terms of the sport of eventing, an end in itself; it's an introductory level.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    LOL

                                    Originally posted by cwill View Post
                                    This is just a guess regarding time faults at BN, but there was a mandatory water crossing on course that a few horses took their time deciding to go in.
                                    Read through this thinking about a gelding at the barn that tried XC this weekend. Rider got the boy to the water and he leaped in like it was Christmas. However he was not keen on coming OUT of the water. He's the one standing in the water trough out in the pasture and making mud holes out of puddles.
                                    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                                    Originally Posted by alicen:
                                    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Tremaine is one of our most experienced course designers. My experience with his courses teaches that they are usually fully up to level (not gimmes) but very fair, and that they build as they go around the course. He's emphatic about not "trapping" horses, rather making the jumps flow together.

                                      Reading between the lines, I suspect the new course and designer caught a few horses a ditch school or two away from being competitive.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just got back from Inavale and I absolutely LOVED the courses!!! It was the most forward, old-fashioned, simple, and BIG course I've seen in awhile. Nothing overly technical, but absolutely demanded that riders came out of the box kicking and riding defensively. So anyone who tipped forward, picked, looked down, rode backwards, etc. was definitely going to have problems. I think that the majority of the problems at training and below exposed the fact that most people out there are not truly learning to ride cross country. This was not a gallop-then-showjump course. Very horse-friendly, but the riders who got psyched out by looking down at a ditch or scared by some brush were penalized.

                                        The only thing that I do think should be amended is the way xc courses are described in the omnibus. I think competitors would be helped by knowing that the max heights and widths WOULD be used, although with technically simple design.

                                        Can't wait to go back!

                                        Comment

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