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Wow, what x-c results: run-outs and stops galore. What's your take?

Reading COTH’s excellent summary, I remain stunned by the big names who had problems–or maybe it’s more accurate to just say “stunned by the problems” period, since so many had problems.

But I AM struck by the number of run-outs. Did this course have more skinnies and corners than usual? Was it a combination of the footing and the precision required? Did it take a horse like Poggio who, as Amy put it, “locked on” to his jumps so well, such that a horse that DIDN’T “lock on” needed a lot from its rider (and if it didn’t get it, it ran out)?

I’ve never ridden a big skinny on a tired, strong or distracted horse. What are the factors here? Analysis anyone?

I haven’t the experiece to be able to comment, but I strongly suggest reading Jimmy Wofford’s analysis of the course: http://equisearch.com/equiwire_news/weg2006/eventing/wofforddiaryone_082306/.

Based on this, he would have been surprised by Kim Severson’s problem at fence 5, but he predicted lots of issues with the course.

I can but quote from Jimmy Wofford,LOL:


<<This course is big, and it is hard, and it is going to get harder as you go along. . .

…In addition, the new short format is not the slam dunk that some of the riders thought it would be. We have merely exchanged one kind of stress for another. …

…Again, the emphasis on safety has led designers to use complicated complexes to try and slow the riders down. This works for as long as it takes for the riders to jump the complex, but then the riders sprint away from this complex because they know they are behind the clock, and they have to make up time on their way to the next complex, and so on and so on until the horse is fatigued. By this time these complexes start to get too complex for the average world class horse, if there is such a creature, and, well, you start to see things unravel. We saw the process at Rolex, and I think we will see the same thing here. I would predict that the entire field will jump the first 10 fences clean, and then the penalties will increase exponentially as we go along in the course.

Finally, this course is hard because it is designed to be hard. It is a very subtle course in many ways, with the endless repetition of mirror image questions, and minor details that are suddenly not so minor when you are going too fast on a tired horse. The one thing you can be sure of is that if your horse has a hole in his education anywhere, this course will search it out and expose it…

…Just as an aside, this is yet another reason that I disagree with the current trend towards making courses more and more narrow: when you have heavy rain, you no longer have a level playing field, because a narrow fence forces every horse to jump off the same piece of ground. If it gets muddy, this is an obvious disadvantage to the horses that go late in the day.>>

Looks like the same thing was true in the show jumping. Very few clears from the “old pros”–horses or riders.

I think we will see that now more often. The courses have become so technical, that at al times things have to be 100%.
One thing about Aaachen was the long gallop uphill that took a lot out of the horses, and after that some very tricky combinations.

What I am looking at in the future how the horses will cope in the long run with the increased mental stress of those courses.

Seems like several people had problems with 5, actually (just from watching the very in and out video feed) and that was very early on the course. It looked like it was just very big & technical to me, without a lot of galloping room for the horses to get a mental break.

The entire course was very technical. lots of skinnies, corners and angles. AND some BIG efforts. Fence 4 and 5 were very early, very acute and some thought of no consequence. It caught out some of the best who had waited all day for their chance at it and were not completely in gear by fence four. Unlucky for many, like Kim, who looked brilliant after that. The first water, #12, the Normandy bank, #15, the huge oxer, to corner, #19, the road crossing, #22, the mound to corner, #24-25, and the last water, #27A were very crucial, difficult fences. Not to mention the myriad of problems on other fences scattered throughout the course. The last water had an angle that I had never seen and most predicted that very few would try it. Many did not even attempt it, several did and missed and some, such as Amy and Poggio, Will and Antigua and Heidi on Northern Spy, made it look easy. It was a more difficult course than Kentucky.

Just as a thought. I went through Charlie’s pics from Xc and I saw a fair number of riders had misjudged the distance to the long route bank at the first water.


Lots of rider and horse errors. Just one of those moments.


I dont think horse or rider error. i have seen other pics from other jumps, they are as ugly.

Those are the top rider of the world with the top horses of the world and all are just twisting, slamming, behind the move, thats the future of our sport, very sad, it sucks, freek show, X-Games.

Is there a website I can check out results daily? There was one posted in the Eventing Forum, but it didn’t work for my computer. It kept bouncing off the minute I clicked on to the schedule I wanted results from.

Thanks kindly!

[QUOTE=Xctrygirl;1846259]Just as a thought. I went through Charlie’s pics from Xc and I saw a fair number of riders had misjudged the distance to the long route bank at the first water.


Lots of rider and horse errors. Just one of those moments.


You are correct on your thought that riders misjudged the distance in the first water. I’m not sure if they misjudged or just misrode, but the line to the left of A, to the vertical into the water, needed to be ridden in four, and in the water to the bank needed to be in four, then the right side of the boat seemed to ride the best. Many riders chased for three in one or both of those places and the horses couldn’t get up the bank well, many leaving long and crashing onto the bank and/or boat. A few riders opted for the right side of the vertical into the water and that could be done in a forward three, and seemed to ride pretty well.
I was told that the WEG website was doing a good job of updating contiually though I haven’t checked since I’ve been home. That is www.aachen 2006.de

I dont think horse or rider error. i have seen other pics from other jumps, they are as ugly.

Those are the top rider of the world with the top horses of the world and all are just twisting, slamming, behind the move, thats the future of our sport, very sad, it sucks, freek show, X-Games.

I agree with Gnep. :frowning: These horses are all excellent jumpers–and to see their form getting sloppy because of extremely technical combinations compounded by fatigue–it’s sad. It ends up being too dependent on “luck” rather than on the skill set and athleticism of the horse and rider. You may see a lot of really good horses become disheartened after having to struggle around some of these types of courses.

I agree with Gnep, too. Seems to me that dressage style Submission, which iin my opinion should be kept in Dressage, has become an essential element in these new XC courses, displacing courage and partnership from their first place spot. Maybe the older style horses were allowed the use of more independent judgment and personal creativity.:slight_smile: When course is so technical that every stride and inch makes a huge difference, the horses can’t be having fun. :cool:

Well after reading this thread, I know I was not the only one thinking the same thing.

I don’t Event but enjoy it as a spectator. When I started looking at CMann’s XC photo’s I could not believe the number of wipe outs I was seeing. I believe all horse and riders at the end came out unscathed but I was cringing as I went from photo to photo looking at these struggling horses and riders barely hanging on. I realize Eventing is a high risk equestrian sport but the number of incidents at WEG XC seemed awfuly high. It certainly would not come across well from a PR stand point in trying to promote the sport. I did attend Kentucky Rolex 2006 and there was a fair share of struggling horses early in the course. It makes me wonder if this was a red flag for things to come.

If the FEI’s push for the short format was to spare the horses from what happened in Jerez they may have made matters worse for horse and rider in the long run.

I cannot believe, after looking at C Mann’s photos, that those horses were not lame - particularly some of those spills at one of the water jumps - tendons and ligaments aren’t made to stretch in those ways

I will be interested to see how 4* courses change in response to the “eventful” runs at Rolex and WEG this year, if they change at all. I think there are probably a number of contributing factors to the recent XC ugliness - competitors as well as course designers adjusting to the format change, new names rising to the top as old ones slip up, and just plain old eventing luck.

The sheer difficulty, both mentally and physically, of the WEG course did kind of blow my mind, though. I think that first water is more challenging than anything else people do with horses.

I should maybe comment further now that Charlie and I have touched base and shared our thoughts…

He has confirmed what I thought, along with many others, that the riders on a few teams had the striding to the long route incorrect. He commented that the photographers were all scratching their heads during the breaks wondering why the word wasn’t getting back to those at/or near the start. That water complex was early in the course, without roads and tracks the only fatigue issues were dependent on the warm up each rider had chosen. So when I hear that the jumps are too complex and the horses too tired, I have to humbly disagree.

Moreover I think that those who had stops BEFORE the water rode it much better. Kim is a prime example of this. But then Dan is pretty much one the best event horses in the world, excluding this event and Burghley last year.

I really think that this course left a lot of riders thinking a ton, and due to the design of the “non stop always thinking course” a few riders overthought. Or in some instances stop thinking altogether!! :eek:

Agreed the course will be different. But not for the reasons we think here. The Beijing '08 (In Hong Kong) course will more resemble the Athens course principles, all nations must have a resonable chance to finish. Thats why the Olympics courses are not as meaty as the WEG courses. More participation with less qualifications. Thus for PR and other reasons there has to be a shot the guy riding for Cambodia will be able to kick his pack horse across the finish. (No offense to pack horses intended, hell a former one just won the Bronze!)

And in regards to the pics and the thoughts that there should be injuries resulting from those awkward moves… The camera Charlie has shoots at least 8 frames per second. Agreed that some of the movements caught are ugly, but they were for so brief of a time that the equine body is able to withstand some gnarly stuff. Now the faceplant girl probably needed a chiropractor, but the horses are overall ok.

Ok so those are my thoughts.


I am so relieved to hear that the horses were not injured by those contortions - thanks X

Just looked at Charlie’s pics – WOW! (great pics, as always, but a painful series to click through)…
does anyone have any sense of whether that water complex caused more than a typical “tough complex” share of problems on a 4* course? It certainly looks bad when you go through the pics, but I suppose that can be deceiving. What struck me was how many horses truly crashed, rather than running or stopping – if you were at, say, the coffin at Rolex this year, you saw a fair number of “faults” but not many actual crashes – it looked tough, but not beyond the scope of the field…

just curious. That was a nasty set of pics!

I think that the impression is that there were more “crashes” at the first water, than there really were. I think Charlie’s photos, which focused on the crashes, in the first two pages, just made it look like that. Granted, there were lots of hairy moments and some just plain bad riding judgements, but there were, of course, more good rides than bad and also some close calls. I don’t think it was that the course or fence was bad or too hard, or that the horses were tired, some riders just did not ride it properly. And information was getting back to our riders from spotters at the fences, so I’m sure that the rest of the teams had the same information. Sometimes you just can’t get it right, and that did require some exact riding. All of the horses that I saw fall there, got up and most continued on, though a few riders decided to pack it in. I didn’t see any that looked obviously lame going away from a fall at that jump. Though one German rider, Dirk Schrade, who’s horse, Sindy, did a noseplant on the bank before the boat, was held at the last inspection and did not represent, though he had gone on and finished the course.