Date: 9-12 March 2017
Running order of Divisions: CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC1*
Arena: Stone Dust/Sand mix 400ft x 300ft
CIC3* – 27/5 clear plus 6 clear with time faults (40%)
CIC2* – 42/20 (48%)
CIC1* – 37/11 plus I with time faults (30%)
What is interesting to note at this Event, is that the Three Star show jumped before their cross-country, while the other Divisions show jumped the day after their cross-country. Normally, one would expect to see more clear rounds when this happens, so it will be interesting to compare the two different formats over the year.
The other thing to note, was the number of clear rounds with time faults, over 50%, in the Three Star. The Jury, in consultation with the show jumping course designer, added 2 seconds to the original time allowed after the third horse competed, but still there were time faults. There are two things to refer to here.
Firstly, the course was measured at 490 meters and the rules require the course to be ridden at 375m/m compared to 350 m/m for the Two and One Star Divisions. That means 5 seconds quicker for the same distance when the higher speed is used. At times, I have found that it is difficult for competitors to get the time, in courses below 500 meters, with 15 obstacles, if the course is measured in the same way as you would a course of say 550 metres. In addition, if you look at the course plan there is a roll back after fence 2 and fences 9/10/11 come up quite fast with different changes of direction. Turns like these may need to be measured a little more generously in these circumstances.
Secondly, this may be the first time this season, when many of these riders have ridden at this faster speed, so they may have obtained a false sense of security, from riding at the slower speed in the lower Divisions. This could be a good wake-up call for some!
Each course had a good change of technicality down through the Divisions and used the large arena well. However, I understand it was difficult to keep the footing wet enough and therefore it got loose and deep on take-off and landings, this could also have had an effect on the time faults.
The Two Star course had both combinations jumping off the same lead, with vertical’s at ‘a’. While the One Star did jump the combinations off different leads, they again had verticals at ‘a’. The triple combination of the Two Star was reversed for the One Star and the oxer at ‘c’ was taken away. The course could have benefited had the vertical at ‘a’, been removed and then the oxer, at ‘c’, reversed to give a better balance within the course. This would also have meant that there would have been a new distance to fence 7, to what had been previously ridden, and therefore would have reduced the technicality of this line from both the Three and Two Star.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor
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