MEADOW CREEK PARK HORSE TRIALS
Date: September 22nd
Running order of Divisions:
See Course Designers Evaluation sheet below
Open Preliminary – 8/ (25%)
Preliminary/Training – 2/0 (0%)
Training– 7/3 (43%)
The original plan received had a course with just one triple combination at fence 5. At that time it was proposed to run an Intermediate/ Preliminary Division as well as Divisions from Preliminary and below.
The rules require that Intermediate and Preliminary Division courses must contain either two or three doubles or a double and a triple combination. Equally, a Training Division course must have two doubles or alternately a simple triple combination in the second part of the course. If the oxer is at the “b” or “c” parts of any Training Division combination it should be set on two strides. In this case the proposed course did not comply with the rules with only the one combination in the Intermediate and Preliminary Divisions and for the Training Division it was in the first part of the course.
I am often asked what is a ‘simple’ triple combination. Basically, it is one that is not in a related line, with either a fence before or after it, not going away from the in-gate and not built too airy. The oxer should be ramped and the combination not built to maximum dimensions.
The actual arena is approximately 200ft x 200ft and with a two stride to one stride combination proposed, which evaluates to approximately 74ft, (35ft plus 25ft plus a 4ft spread) it only allows for about 60ft on each of the take-off and landing from the side of the arena. The Course Designer came back with using three double combinations for the Intermediate course which was more appropriate for this rather small arena. However, all had verticals at ‘a’ which did mean it was very repetitive.
In the end with very limited entries, no Open Intermediate, and to save time with limited help, only two doubles were used on the day. Both of these were in a related line with the one on the side of the arena (fence 7ab) being a two stride. As the rules require that the Novice Divisions should preferably have lines of six strides or more this line would have ended being some 120ft from fence 6 to the back of 7b, which would have made it very difficult to have fitted it in with only 80ft left in total for the take-off and landing. As I was not given the actual distance used in the lines I can only assume that the line to the double was less than six strides.
In this case it may have been better to have left one of the doubles, where it was originally intended at fence 5, rather than at fence 7, as that one was not in a related distance and therefore there would have been more room for the approach and landing.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor