Monday, May 5, 2014

Sufficiently Demanding

An excerpt from:
Fox-Pitt Aims for Third Win at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event
Apr 27th, 14

A total of 55 horses started on Derek di Grazia's cross-country course, and 20 finished without jumping faults or time faults. Another 10 horses finished with no jumping faults but with time faults ranging from 1.6 to 14.8, and 10 more finished with jumping faults and time faults. Ten horses were eliminated, and six retired on course.
Fox-Pitt answered criticism that, with exactly half the field completing the course without jumping faults, the course wasn't sufficiently demanding.
"I don't think any of us thought it was easy. There were still quite a few that didn't get around, and I think it's very important to strike a balance," he said. "The ground was perfect, and the result shows the quality of the field." Hopefully it set them up to compete well at the World Equestrian Games in France late this summer.

I have mixed feelings about this statement that the course wasn't sufficiently demanding.  I feel like, at the highest echelon of the sport, where the elite are competing, most of them should be able to FINISH.  I'm not talking finish with no jumping penalties.  I'm not talking finish under time.  I'm just talking about leaving the start box and riding across the finish line.  The courses are becoming so incredible!  How much should we actually ask our horses to do?

I feel like, if things need to be made trickier, wouldn't it be safer to do that in the stadium ring?
I may not understand the context of the comment, since I wasn't there for the discussion.  Admittedly, I would love to talk about it - in person - with William Fox-Pitt!

My first reaction, however, was that I felt a little punch in the gut.  How would he have changed the course to make it sufficiently demanding?

I always find myself cheering for a nice, clean run **EVERY TIME** I watch a horse go cross-country!!


  1. It sounds like he's on your side of the fence here. The article is implying that it wasn't hard enough and he's saying it's good.

    And beyond that, I'm still stuck on why in the world I would ever want a horse to jump two angled corners. I just. don't. get. it.

    1. That makes me feel better about it! I swear it sounded like he was saying it should have been more difficult, and that thought made my heart sink.
      I swear, my bravery is directly proportionate to the horse I am riding. Some horses I feel ready for 3 feet! Some horses scare me at the thought of jumping a cross-rail!! :-O



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