Date: 16th April 2017
Running order of Divisions: CIC3*, CCI2*, CCI1*
Arena: 300ft x 400ft
CCI1* – 8/3 clear (37%)
CCI2* – 9/1 (11%)
CIC3* – 8/0 (0%)
The Three Star, which only had 8 starters did not produce a clear jumping round. This is always a course designer’s nightmare, but one of the interesting aspects of this sport is that horses are very unpredictable. You could run the same Division again the next day, with the same horses, and get a completely different result!
Of the 8 starters only one competitor made the time allowed. This was a large ring and the course is posted as being 600m long. Therefore, there would be quite a bit of galloping between some of the jumps and looking at the course plan there seems to be quite a distance between fences 9 and 10 and 10 and 11. If competitors did not maintain the required speed, of 375 m/m through these parts of the course, or even elsewhere, you would expect to see some time faults.
It is important that we maintain the same standard around the Country for each Division, regardless of how many entries are in a Division, or even what the level of the competitors are on a particular day. This is where the Technical Delegate and Jury can help. They travel between events, so it is important that they walk the courses and advise accordingly, as well as wheeling the course with the show jumping course designer, to maintain that standard. Therefore, at times there are going to be Events that do not produce any clear rounds in the show jumping for whatever reason.
The show jumping for the One and Two Star Divisions were held the following day to the Three Star and they show jumped after the cross-country, unlike the Three Star who jumped first. This gave the course designer a chance to build a different course for these Divisions. With many other National Divisions jumping on the first day, this would give a chance for the jumps on the second day to be positioned on fresh ground, so improving the take-off and landing of each obstacle. Even in all-weather rings like this one, constant jumping out of the same spots, even if they are raked and dragged, can make the footing loose in those spots.
My only concern is that the track in the One and Two Star from fences 6 to 7 went through the triple combination. This meant that horses rode between 8a and 8b twice. Unless you have good footing, that is well watered to keep firm, and a ring crewmember who can rake after each horse, this area can get deep and will not be the same for the last horse as it was for the first.
With the Three Star track being at maximum distance, it looks on paper as being a little less technical than the other Divisions with both combinations un-related. The Two Star has its first three fences related. The last line in both the Two Star and One Star, although using fairly normal distances, is quite technical with the double in the middle of it.
USEF Eventing Show Jumping Course Advisor
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