Date: 31st March 2017
Running order of Divisions: CIC1*, CIC2*, CIC3*
Arena: 180ft x 280ft, Grass
CIC1* – 16/5 clear (31%)
CIC2* – 17/7 plus I with a time fault (47%)
CIC3* – 14/5 plus 2 with time faults (50%)
At regular Hunter Shows it is the normal practice to lengthen the lines as the height of the jumps are raised. This is normally because the horses are ridden on a lighter contact and on a flowing stride without any checking before the fence. As a ‘rule of thumb’ courses at 3ft or below (in normal conditions) are set on a 12ft stride, with some lines going towards the ‘in-gate’, slightly longer. As the jumps are raised, by a further 3” for each Division, the lines are lengthened by 6” per stride.
At a regular Horse Show, a shorter distance will be used in show jumping courses below 3ft6”, compared with those distances used at the Grand Prix heights. Most course designers will not change the distances in combinations for classes held between 3ft6” and 4ft 6”. In the past, it was unusual even to see distances changed at all, as show jumpers were trained to adjust their stride, to suit the various distances, and this became all part of the technicality of the course. In recent years, we have seen a tighter time allowed in Grand Prix’s. Added to this the need to ride at 375m/m, compared to 350m/minimum in the lower classes, these horses are now more inclined to be ridden in a more flowing stride, without much checking before the fence. Hence, the distances in the combinations in these classes have become longer, as the fences have got higher.
I mention this, as if you study the course plans for this event the course designer, while leaving the distances in the lines the same, has lengthened the combinations for each Division. This could slightly change the technicality of these combinations and any related lines.
The One Star has a single jump replacing a line in the other Divisions (fence 4) which reduces the technicality of that Division. While the Three Star has a different first fence and the order of two lines changed within the track, without moving any jumps. This means all tracks could be walked in advance of the competitions, providing the courses were posted, although the combinations would need re-walking.
Triple bars are normally more affective when they are at the beginning of a line, as the shape of the jump can change the way the different horses jump it, and therefore change how the line rides. Here the triple bar could be more affective is used at fence 4 of the Three Star instead of fence 10.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor
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