Date: 23-26th March 2017
Running order of Divisions: CIC3*, CIC2*, CIC1*
Arena: 340ft x 240ft All Weather
CIC3* – 7/4 plus 2 with time faults (85%)
CIC2* – 9/1 (11%)
CIC1* – 14/3 plus 1 with time faults (28%)
If you study the course plans you will notice that the course designer has moved the Liverpool to a different jump for each Division. This is an original way of changing the technicality of each course, as the jump it is moved to, will ride differently, as will the line it is related to. Very clever course designing.
While the Two Star course has the same start as the Three Star, the second half is less technical, which fulfils the critical of the current rules for National competitions. Originally in the Two Star Division, I understand the course designer was planning to move the Liverpool to fence 5. With this fence away from the in-gate and followed by five strides to the triple combination, this line could have asked a very serious question. I am sure this looked good on paper, but once the course was built this would not be the first time that the course designer recognised this situation, and changed his/her mind. This is something we always need to remember and be prepared to make changes at the last minute for the benefit of the competition.
The triple and double combinations only have one oxer in total. Competitions at this level should have at least one more oxer, in one or the other combination. If this was at the ‘A’ of the double it would have also meant that the same question was not be asked with verticals at both ‘A’s.
The only difference in the One Star track to the Two Star was the removal of the first fence from the Two Star. This meant that the triple combination came up a fence earlier, and with this line asking the same question, it becomes slightly more technical then in the other two Divisions. Retaining the original first fence, then removing the fence before the triple combination, would have reduced the technicality of the One Star from the Two Star track and resulted in a slightly different course. This would have not affected any earlier course walks.
As always, we can all be wiser in hindsight, but here was a good example of changing the position of the Liverpool, once the course was built, and analysing the situation.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor
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