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Objective versus subjective consideration in our team selection process?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by lawn chair View Post
    She should have gone to Spruce no question. That's where it all came down to the wire....
    That's the rub, I think. There seems to be a gray area in the relative importance of the selection trials versus the observation events. If the last observation event was the most important one, that should have been made clear up front.

    I didn't take Margie's comments as sour grapes, but more as an expression of surprise at the weight given to the various events throughout the past three months.

    Again, I have great hopes for this team in London. I also think the selection process could be made more clear in the future.


    • #42
      Originally posted by AlexS View Post
      If she felt that she had to say something about the system it would have been better said after the Olympics rather than the day after the team was announced.
      Do you think people will be asking her about it after the Olympics? Or on the day after the team is named? Which is more likely?

      Plus any discussion after the Olympics will be colored by the results there, good or bad, rather than the mechanics of the selection process.


      • #43
        Originally posted by MHM View Post
        Do you think people will be asking her about it after the Olympics? Or on the day after the team is named? Which is more likely?

        Plus any discussion after the Olympics will be colored by the results there, good or bad, rather than the mechanics of the selection process.
        I guess I feel that if she thinks that improvements can be made regarding the selection process, she could bring them up outside of discussions having to do with the team that was chosen the other day. The article was a positive piece on the team that WAS selected, and Margie's comments seemed very out of place to me. Maybe COTH holds a bit of responsibility for including her comments in that particular article. Perhaps a separate piece would have been more appropriate.

        But why should anyone care that Margie thinks she was slighted in this year's selection? Should everyone who made it to the long list after the selection trials be interviewed so we can hear their thoughts on whether or not the team that was chosen was the right one?

        If there are gaps in the selection process, those should certainly be brought up, but they should be brought up at a time that is appropriate. This was not the time, in my opinion, and it made Margie look like a sore loser.


        • #44
          It seemed to me that Margie was frustrated by having no explanation to give to the disappointed owners.
          Not so much "sour grapes" as frustration which, I agree, should have been aired at a more appropriate time or at least in a separate article.


          • #45
            I think it should have been obvious Spruce Meadows was an important observation event. Just perusing down the list of nominated entries the only two that weren't there were Laura Kraut and Margie Engle. It somehow seems that 12 of them realized its importance so it hardly seems like a conspiracy against anyone. When I didn't see Margie's name on any of the start lists I just assumed she'd more or less bowed out of contention.

            I know that Canadian team was being decided based on Spruce results, and it has also been used as a trial for the Mexican team in the past. Spruce is a very imposing venue, and I think a great test for the Olympics. Speaking as a Canadian that has followed the US selection process closely...


            • #46
              Like many people, I had the magic four picked before Spruce and their performances confirmed the placings. I did not have a feel for the alternate, but their were several riders they could have gone with per the Chronicle article discussion. BUT how do you explain Simon with 20 something faults in one observation trial placed at 6th??? Beezie is a super rider, but so far she has been inconsistent at best with Simon. Its a little embarrassing (at least I would be) to spend so much for him with his great prior international career and ranking, and then having such faults figuring him out pre-Olympics AND despite this, then have him placed higher than some other objectively better performances overall.


              • #47
                I think every rider comes into the selection process with a different issue in the selector's minds. So, the right path for dispelling those doubts is going to be different for each one.

                Everyone knows Beezie is up for the task. Her job was to show that the horse was good enough.

                McClain has a great record with Sapphire and there are no doubts about him under pressure... but he also had to show that his younger horse was good enough AND that he was healed from his injuries.

                Reed aced the trials, obviously, but even then, I think most of us doubted she'd be selected. She had to ride huge, and stay riding huge, and obviously she did so.

                Rich probably won his spot based on the World Cup final... and then he just kept going.

                Consistency with bits of brilliance over really really big courses in the international ring is what they are looking for. However you approached the selection trials, that's what you had to sell.

                I think it's a really good mix of experience, actually, and I hope they are all brilliant in London.
                If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                • #48
                  Well, we will all know in a month if the right team picks were made.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by jr View Post
                    We got it, you're here defending Margie. Rich's performance demonstrably tops in the field. Reed very consistent and with two horses. Beezie, steady low fault performances on two mounts. McLain coming back from injury. Limited 2012 results, but stellar international record and brilliant rides.

                    Yes ME had only,one 12 fault round, but just one of those sinks a nations cup team. Everyone they selected including Jayne has been reliable low faults in the observation events, particularly the most recent ones.

                    As to subjective vs objective, I think the mix we have now is reasonable. The objective scoring in the trials provided a good foundation for the long list (along with the bys) and the selectors used the observation events to look at consistency, team composition, and to see who was peaking as the summer months approach.

                    Best of luck to ME going forward.
                    I personally think that the selectors picked the right team to go to London. All 4 riders that made the initial team have proved that they can get the job done through the observation events. I don't see a reason why either of them shouldn't be on the team. I can see why people might think that Charlie and Chill shouldn't be the alternate, but Chill did perform well through the 3 observation events that they did. That one is a though call.

                    When I read the article my first thought was that Margie has sour grapes for not being picked for the team. I understand what she's saying but I really don't think Indigo is the consistent, reliable horse that we need in London. None of the riders on the team had more than a 8 fault round, no one had a 12 fault round. I'm sure it was hard to tell his owners that he didn't make the team but that's part of the sport. I just think that Margie should've kept her mouth shut, what she said made her look immature and like she was having a temper tantrum because she didn't make the team. I'm disappointed in her, I thought she was a mature adult, now I'm wondering...


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by horsense View Post
                      And l too believe a combination of the two systems could achieve this and would be very easy to understand and not leave people scratching their heads as to what is going on. And this was the system used in the last two Olympics and the Weg in 2006 which were very successsful for the US.as combination of the two.
                      They DID use a combination of subjective and objective. And I think they picked the right team. I was a little surprised by Charlie and Chill, but if I left them home I would have taken Laura and Cedric.

                      I understand her disappointment, but I really think she could've looked around and realized she probably needed to go to Spruce because she might be "on the bubble" with so many good combinations vying for the last spot. At the very least she should have picked up the phone and asked GM if he needed to see more.
                      Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
                        I understand (though don't necessarily agree with) Margie's points, but I feel that it was in extremely poor taste for her to verbalize them publicly the way she did. It really came out sounding like very sour grapes to me and I wish she had kept them to herself. The part where she mentioned an extremely unlucky rail in one of the events, and said that that round could have easily been clear left an especially bad taste in my mouth. Of course that happens, but why should her one rail not count? Should the committee ignore the one rail for everyone because hey, that could have easily been a clear round, except it just wasn't? Reed had some four-faulters throughout the process, but blamed them all on rider error. And blaming her decision not to go to Spruce on the fact that she didn't know it might have been a good idea? After that 12 fault round, maybe she should have thought harder?

                        Her comments were just way too much blaming everyone but herself for my taste. And the whole "I totally support the team, BUT..." was awful in my opinion.
                        I agree 100%. I don't have a good impression of Margie now, in my mind what she about supporting the team but going on to throw a temper tantrum about not making the team was awful IMO too. She acted like everyone else was at fault but her.
                        She's not the only rider that didn't get named to the team, there were some favorites that didn't make it, but you don't hear them complaining. It's called sportsmanship and if you don't have that maybe you shouldn't be in the sport?


                        • #52
                          Subjective decisions are always going to be open to questions and also always going to generate differing opinions --- that is why they are called subjective.

                          More to the point here .... many of us ask for the leaders in the industry to speak up and speak out on a variety of issues....it is unfair to ask our leading riders to speak out and then criticize them for speaking out when we do not like what they say.

                          ME spoke her mind, you can agree or disagree but kudos to her for saying what she thought!


                          • Original Poster

                            Originally posted by horsense View Post
                            I think we are forgetting the topic of subjective vs objective or as combination of the two. As far as the WC Margie had a severe concussion right before she left and was not suppose to even be riding and Indigo did not have multiple bad rounds he had one with 12 faults in Ky. and 4 clear rounds and 4 with 4. which is pretty consistent..Did no one notice the large black eye and scrapes during the WC
                            . As far as other horses this year she did well on l have seen the nice new 8 year old stallion Royce who has been in the top 3 placings in the last 6 GPs he has entered this year including winning 2.
                            But l still think we are getting off topic. What do you think the best selection process should be?
                            If Margie had a server concussion she should NOT have gone to the WCF!!! The selectors were watching the horses that showed there and Indigo didn't do well. I'm sure they took that into consideration when making the decision on where to put them on the list. He didn't do bad during the observation events but 12 faults isn't good. Laura and Cedric had a round with 12 and they didn't make the team. If you look at the 4 riders and the alternate, none of them had more then 8 fault rounds.
                            I know about Royce and I think that he has a bright future, but he didn't try out for the team.

                            I think that the selectors used the best process to pick the team. They have 4 amazing riders that have the ability to get the job done. What more can we ask for?


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by juststartingout View Post
                              Subjective decisions are always going to be open to questions and also always going to generate differing opinions --- that is why they are called subjective.

                              More to the point here .... many of us ask for the leaders in the industry to speak up and speak out on a variety of issues....it is unfair to ask our leading riders to speak out and then criticize them for speaking out when we do not like what they say.

                              ME spoke her mind, you can agree or disagree but kudos to her for saying what she thought!
                              ^^ This.


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Secret Dove View Post
                                What more can we ask for?
                                Transparency in the selection process.


                                • #56
                                  I think that the team is great. 3 very experienced and proven riders with one young person who'll be very experienced after the Olympics is a great mix. I do think it's a bit unfair that Margie was the only one quoted, and it didn't make her look very good. These are extremely competitive people, that's why they work so hard to get where they are. I'm sure a number of people were unhappy, but only ME was quoted, of course she sounded grumpy. I'm sure Laura's not thrilled to be left off with Cedric, who is a fabulous horse but also a bit inconsistent.

                                  But I was shocked to learn that she rode in the WCF with a severe concussion. That doesn't sound great for her or the horse, and surely not for the team. If she felt good to ride, then she should expect that performance to be considered as part as the entire selection process, as was Rich's.

                                  I think that there are a number of horse/rider teams who could have been alternate. It was a tough call.


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Secret Dove View Post
                                    If Margie had a severe concussion she should NOT have gone to the WCF!!!
                                    Agree with this. I understand what rationale was likely used, but I don't think it was good judgment.


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by ynl063w View Post
                                      Maybe COTH holds a bit of responsibility for including her comments in that particular article. Perhaps a separate piece would have been more appropriate.
                                      Agreed. Physical proximity gave the appearance of Margie walking in with a bucket of rain for the parade, and I bet that is not what she intended.

                                      I see validity on both sides of this one. And I am super excited to watch this team go.
                                      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by vagabondrider View Post
                                        I know Indigo had 12 at KY, but Mika had 12 at Spruce Meadows and was still on the nominated list- 7th I believe.
                                        Mika didn't make the team. If you notice the horses with more than 8 faults are lower on the list. Laura and Cedric had 12 faults and they're 8th. It's obvious that the selectors were looking for no more than 8 faults by the way that they ranked the horse/rider combinations.


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by HorseLuvr View Post
                                          I do feel bad for Margie, I am sure she is probably heartbroken. The top 4 that were picked for the team are the best of the best and the most consistent horse/riders though. I feel that she maybe should have been at least placed as an alternate on the team. Afterall, Indigo did co win the observation trials in Wellington. Yes, he had 12 faults in Kentucky and I guess the selectors see that as a risk in the games. I am guessing that she is kicking herself for not having competed at Spruce instead of Devon or Kentucky.

                                          I know this is the second time that she has gotten stiffed out of being on the Olympic team. I can remember back in 2004 that she did not make the team with Perin due to a rider injury. I am sure she is quite frustrated.
                                          I don't think Margie got "stiffed" either time, in 2004 she had a broken leg and there was so much depth to the team there was no need to take a risk with her fitness. And 12 faults with Indigo is too much, why risk it when there are others more consistent? She should have gone to Spruce Meadows, I am tired of her complaining. She is very good but at the moment we have others just as good or better.