Low BE entries - what’s up with that?

ycbm

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Whenever i'm at Somerford I marvel at how effectively they've monetised the entire site. They rarely run any competitions, because clearly there is far more income to be made from well prepared and thought out training opportunities than there are from running comps.
They don't provide any training either, do they? AFAIK, SPF only hire out facilities. Andy Heffernan also trains people, but as "himself" if you get my meaning, not as "SPF".

It's a brilliant place and a brilliantly run business, I have their haylage outside.
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Kat

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and that, for me, is why "have a go" needs to be separate from competition, because otherwise it will just naturally bleed upwards ;)

I think "have a go" is being used with two meanings in this thread, one would be fine if it "bled upwards" the other wouldn't.

I agree that a "just have a go" attitude to competing is dangerous at higher levels and can compromise welfare at any level and we should discourage ill-prepared combinations from having a go.

I am not sure that the option to have a non-competitive low pressure run in a competition environment is necessarily a problem at any level. There are lots of times this could benefit horse or rider. In fact lots of knowledgeable coaches talk about lack of xc practice and "have a go" or clear round hunter trials would be one way to deal with that. It is much easier to get dressage or SJ practice than practice riding a full course of xc jumps.
 

Ample Prosecco

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They have clinics pretty much every day in every discipline though individual trainers run them not SPF. But that’s like Eland too. And 3 camps on the go most weeks Feb - Oct. there is a lot of training at Somerford by dozens and dozens of different trainers and groups.
 

RachelFerd

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They don't provide any training either, do they? AFAIK, SPF only hire out facilities. Andy Heffernan also trains people, but as "himself" if you her my meaning, not as "SPF".

Is a brilliant place and a brilliantly run business, I have their haylage outside.
.
Yep, they don't organise any of the training. They provide the (incredible) facility, and then everyone hires it - either individually, or through trainers, riding clubs etc. Plus you've got the cafe running all the time, a number of other units let out to vets, tack shops etc.

They also don't run the livery directly - that is sub-let too.

It clearly works and makes sense, because what they do is detailed focus on providing excellent facilities, organisation of the rest of it is down to the individuals.

It is an interesting example because it is clearly run as a proper commercial business, not as a the hobby event of the landed gentry.
 

TPO

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See I don't think there should be any "having a go" when it comes to travelling at speed towards fixed fences 😬

*dons flak suit*

Admittedly you can't build Badminton in your back field to practise but there are lots of things that you can do.

If the goal is to enter a 60cm HT/unaff event then at home I'd expect someone to be CONFIDENT and CAPABLE schooling over at least 70cm.

If there are jumps on the yard it's not that hard to make xc fences like corners, coffins, ditches and narrow fences. I know this isn't isn't same as a "blood up" day at an actual competition but its a good start.

The Caroline Moore & Ros Canter lecture demos are good examples of practicing xc with showjumps (admittedly they did have the jump for joy narrow brush fence). 4yrs to 4* is the first I think and I can't remember the second but both are available on H&C TV, if you have Prime you can get a free trial.

Similarly all you need are markers to work on improving the canter and influencing the stride. There are people endangering themselves at any height because of the holes in their flatwork. The horse isn't in front of the leg and the rider can't direct or influence them.

Spiralling rapidly off topic as I do but... I think there is also an element of people not wanting to hear the truth and a lack of self awareness. Instructors have to make their wages, clients are less likely to keep paying a trainer who stops/doesn't support their "fun". I saw it when I was on yards and to a degree it crops up on here, paraphrasing, "I wasn't allowed to do X, Y or Z but they don't know what they're talking about because I have done A, B and C so I won't be going back to them"

Not just in horse sports but there does seem to be a great degree of entitlement these days.

Every chance I'm looking back with rose tinted glasses but it felt almost if there was more of an unofficial apprenticeship required best for horse ownership or competing. Now it seems like things are too easy got be it buying a horse or heading out to charge at fences.
 

RachelFerd

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See I don't think there should be any "having a go" when it comes to travelling at speed towards fixed fences 😬

*dons flak suit*

Admittedly you can't build Badminton in your back field to practise but there are lots of things that you can do.

If the goal is to enter a 60cm HT/unaff event then at home I'd expect someone to be CONFIDENT and CAPABLE schooling over at least 70cm.

If there are jumps on the yard it's not that hard to make xc fences like corners, coffins, ditches and narrow fences. I know this isn't isn't same as a "blood up" day at an actual competition but its a good start.

The Caroline Moore & Ros Canter lecture demos are good examples of practicing xc with showjumps (admittedly they did have the jump for joy narrow brush fence). 4yrs to 4* is the first I think and I can't remember the second but both are available on H&C TV, if you have Prime you can get a free trial.

Similarly all you need are markers to work on improving the canter and influencing the stride. There are people endangering themselves at any height because of the holes in their flatwork. The horse isn't in front of the leg and the rider can't direct or influence them.

Spiralling rapidly off topic as I do but... I think there is also an element of people not wanting to hear the truth and a lack of self awareness. Instructors have to make their wages, clients are less likely to keep paying a trainer who stops/doesn't support their "fun". I saw it when I was on yards and to a degree it crops up on here, paraphrasing, "I wasn't allowed to do X, Y or Z but they don't know what they're talking about because I have done A, B and C so I won't be going back to them"

Not just in horse sports but there does seem to be a great degree of entitlement these days.

Every chance I'm looking back with rose tinted glasses but it felt almost if there was more of an unofficial apprenticeship required best for horse ownership or competing. Now it seems like things are too easy got be it buying a horse or heading out to charge at fences.
Putting my rose tinted glasses on again. When I first started doing BE in 2003 I was under 18 and the rules then (now scrapped) were that I had to be signed off by an accredited trainer before I could enter a BE event. So we looked in the paper directory for who the nearest accredited trainer was, rang up, arranged to visit, and took 15 year old me and my lovely 6yo generic Irish lump to see Angela Tucker to sign us off.

My first reaction was that she was quite scary!! But, she took her job of being able to assess whether we were SAFE to take part quite seriously. After some work in the arena, we headed out onto small XC field - she didn't want to see me jump all sorts of stuff, she had 1 test - could I ride uphill and downhill, in balance, to an upright solid fence, safely. I could (just) and managed to get signed off.

It is a good basic test of whether you're safe to run XC - I know all sorts of things happen when blood is up at a competition that don't happen in training - but what percentage of people at 80/90 level would pass the test of being able to canter in balance down a relatively steep hill to an upright set of rails and pop them safely?
 

Ample Prosecco

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I think "have a go" is being used with two meanings in this thread, one would be fine if it "bled upwards" the other wouldn't.

I agree that a "just have a go" attitude to competing is dangerous at higher levels and can compromise welfare at any level and we should discourage ill-prepared combinations from having a go.

I am not sure that the option to have a non-competitive low pressure run in a competition environment is necessarily a problem at any level. There are lots of times this could benefit horse or rider. In fact lots of knowledgeable coaches talk about lack of xc practice and "have a go" or clear round hunter trials would be one way to deal with that. It is much easier to get dressage or SJ practice than practice riding a full course of xc jumps.
I introduced the phrase 'have a go' to describe how we all started off. The kids had nice ponies and did a bit of lots of things: pony club, clear round SJ, hacking, gymkhanas, lessons, farm rides. They had XC lessons at the yard we were on at the time and there is just no comparison between jumping portable 70cm fences in a field and jumping the 70cm XC course at Eland. We were not aspiring to event necessarily but Eland ran HT events and they looked fun so we decided to 'have a go'. And then I did the same on my fell pony and loved it. It does not mean we were reckless and under prepared. Just that we were not die hard wannabe eventers on a pathway to BE. Not then anyway! We were just dipping our toes in at a really fun venue that made the experience feel special at every level.

Underprepared riders can be at risk in any discipline. An even more so if they have no chance to prepare for eventing any other way than by doing a higher level event.
 

teapot

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Putting my rose tinted glasses on again. When I first started doing BE in 2003 I was under 18 and the rules then (now scrapped) were that I had to be signed off by an accredited trainer before I could enter a BE event. So we looked in the paper directory for who the nearest accredited trainer was, rang up, arranged to visit, and took 15 year old me and my lovely 6yo generic Irish lump to see Angela Tucker to sign us off.

My first reaction was that she was quite scary!! But, she took her job of being able to assess whether we were SAFE to take part quite seriously. After some work in the arena, we headed out onto small XC field - she didn't want to see me jump all sorts of stuff, she had 1 test - could I ride uphill and downhill, in balance, to an upright solid fence, safely. I could (just) and managed to get signed off.

It is a good basic test of whether you're safe to run XC - I know all sorts of things happen when blood is up at a competition that don't happen in training - but what percentage of people at 80/90 level would pass the test of being able to canter in balance down a relatively steep hill to an upright set of rails and pop them safely?
In the same way Lucinda Green makes everyone on her clinics go through the same process in walk, trot, then canter over small sj fences miles away from any xc fences. She won't let anyone get to the fun bit unless they're safe, and quite rightly too. I know of someone, old school, always out with the local hunt etc, and her first clinic with LG gave her a massive wake up call.

Unfortunately there are people who'll bypass that level of training and it's accessible too, not like Lucinda only teaches one clinic a year, goes off to a BE90 as the 80 'is too small' and comes a cropper at the fourth fence and they don't understand why.

Signing off anyone/everyone would be a good start, especially those teens who don't get involved with pony club and keep jumping bigger and wider for the 'gram account :oops::rolleyes:
 

RachelFerd

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Signing off anyone/everyone would be a good start, especially those teens who don't get involved with pony club and keep jumping bigger and wider for the 'gram account :oops::rolleyes:
And then those people go back to unaffiliated only, exacerbating the problem. It's a really difficult conundrum - how to make a sport inclusive and inviting whilst also keeping it safe and having strict safety standards.

I have done a bit of training with Lucinda this year. She's a funny character and I do get that she can be marmite in opinions - but i do sometimes think those that haven't enjoyed her sessions are those that didn't want to hear that they have to make major changes to their training before they can crack on and do anything. Because nobody likes hearing what they don't want to hear.
 

teapot

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And then those people go back to unaffiliated only, exacerbating the problem. It's a really difficult conundrum - how to make a sport inclusive and inviting whilst also keeping it safe and having strict safety standards.

I have done a bit of training with Lucinda this year. She's a funny character and I do get that she can be marmite in opinions - but i do sometimes think those that haven't enjoyed her sessions are those that didn't want to hear that they have to make major changes to their training before they can crack on and do anything. Because nobody likes hearing what they don't want to hear.
Definitely - see my edit re someone at a clinic. Her fb post afterwards could have been spitting feathers.
 

spacefaer

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I started in the same era, Novice was the first level eventing, and discovery in SJ ...although the courses were less technical in those days.

Local unaffiliated held show jumping all the way up to 3'6", and the open hunter trials were 3'9"...so provided a good training ground for moving up to affiliated. Competitions as such barely existed below 2'6" (75-80cm)

The gradual lowering of the starting levels eroded the financial base for unaffilated/riding club, and they have gradually disappeared or only run to about 2'9/3'.....but now that people are finding the costs too great for affiliated eventing, that middle ground has all but gone.

BE really only seem to want the professionals at Novice plus level now, and treat the lower levels as a cash cow...but that attitude is coming coming back to bite them .

I also think the old concept of a spring and autumn season for eventing was much better for the horses, Spring started last weekend of March and ran to 1st weekend June, then the horses had a break, with Autumn running from August to 1st weekend October. But in the drive for more money, many horses now run from Early March right through to the end of October, inevitably often on unsuitable ground.

I loved eventing back in the "old days", there was a great camaraderie especially at the three day events with the full speed and endurance.....and XC felt like you were crossing the country, not going round a manicured set of portable skinnies!!! Someone said a few years ago at Badminton, that you needed a cross between a top show jumper and a gymkhana pony!!

Rant over!!...I think I was very lucky to compete in what I regard as the heyday of eventing, and really don't miss what it has now become!
Yes - this!
 

spacefaer

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I'm getting the feeling that the arguments for the "have a go" low/no pressure xc sessions - I hesitate to call them events - spring in some part from school non competitive ethos.

The number of school sports days with all inclusive, no winner, non- competitive sports has saddened me. Life may not be all about winning, and eventing may not be either, but someone has to get it so right that they're the best on the day, and others will mess up.
I don't think it teaches anyone anything to subscribe to the pov that we're all equal and there are no consequences to making mistakes.
I fell off at the last fence of the BE Novice xc at Hartpury once, when in the lead. I didn't get a pat on the back and a "never mind dear" - I learnt the hard way not to see a flyer on a tired horse.
 

Bernster

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Ah SF, that takes us to another element then I suppose. I’m in the not competitive, have a go and have fun bracket. I don’t want to only spend my time at lessons and clinics though, and I do like to have an ‘event’ to aim for. But I think there’s space enough for riders to have a go and not worry about being competitive and just doing it for fun. Maybe that’s what unaff is and where BE is/should be different?
 

Ample Prosecco

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That is not remotely what lower level competition is like. It IS competitive. If you are eliminated you get an E by your name. You have to earn your placing by beating other people like in any other competition. The only difference is that you can carry on if you are eliminated. But you can in BE anyway, once you are on the XC. No-one flags you down and drags you off the course if you jump the wrong fence or miss one out.
 

ycbm

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I competed with an aim - all my horses had a career path. I never took a horse out that I didn't feel could be competitive on the day, and I genuinely don't understand why anyone would want to spend 100s of pounds with the vague hope of completing. Go home, spend the money on training and come back when you stand a chance of a decent dressage and a double clear ,😄

The only way to get the thrill of a run over big fixed fences when I started eventing was to event. I couldn't give a stuff about my dressage score and show jumping was something to get through with a low enough score to get on the cross country course. I'd already been eventing several seasons before I gave a stuff about actually trying to win anything. For me in those early years, it was all about the thrill of galloping round courses that were unavailable any other way.
 

DabDab

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I'm getting the feeling that the arguments for the "have a go" low/no pressure xc sessions - I hesitate to call them events - spring in some part from school non competitive ethos.

The number of school sports days with all inclusive, no winner, non- competitive sports has saddened me. Life may not be all about winning, and eventing may not be either, but someone has to get it so right that they're the best on the day, and others will mess up.
I don't think it teaches anyone anything to subscribe to the pov that we're all equal and there are no consequences to making mistakes.
I fell off at the last fence of the BE Novice xc at Hartpury once, when in the lead. I didn't get a pat on the back and a "never mind dear" - I learnt the hard way not to see a flyer on a tired horse.
Yep, you're probably right about it being a bit of a social shift.

It's an uncomfortable reality that if there is no hierarchy then there can be nothing seen of more comparative value to anything else - nobody can be considered as having done a better or worse job than anyone else.

As humans we instinctively want to equalise stuff because being worse at something than someone is not pleasant to us. But just because it is our instinct to want to equalise doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.
 

Roxylola

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After some work in the arena, we headed out onto small XC field - she didn't want to see me jump all sorts of stuff, she had 1 test - could I ride uphill and downhill, in balance, to an upright solid fence, safely. I could (just) and managed to get signed off.

It is a good basic test of whether you're safe to run XC - I know all sorts of things happen when blood is up at a competition that don't happen in training - but what percentage of people at 80/90 level would pass the test of being able to canter in balance down a relatively steep hill to an upright set of rails and pop them safely?
Interesting that was used, at the clear round I went to at kelsall not one of the 80 combinations I saw cantered down the hill to the last fence which was a sj (including Charlie and his owner) he managed just fine down it with me in the 90 although it was pretty steep not scarily so imo but potentially some of those folk could be thinking well I've done the arena eventing at 80 I'll book the BE there (have a go heroes 😬)
 

iknowmyvalue

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I was at a “have a go” event over the weekend at Epworth. It’s not advertised as a competition in any way. I personally think it’s a great thing, and could be a way to start people off in the sport or be a stepping stone to step up a level. You pick your dressage test from a list, height for SJ, and the XC allows you to mix and match heights to some extent. Starts at 70cm up to 100cm. You’re allowed 3 attempts at each fence before you have to move on. There’s no expectation of prize money/rosettes but it is a competition environment, and seemed pretty well attended. I’m another who has a horse who’d jump round an XC fine in training, but on the same course on a competition day the wheels fell off. So it was good to be able to go out in that sort of environment with less pressure to “perform”.

Though the one thing I would say is that I wish there were more training/clinics available at weekends. I know this is because they want to run comps then, which is understandable. But I would definitely be more interested in training days if they were at a time I could get to them. It might well be that I’m not looking in the right places, or that it’s just in my area, but I struggle to find weekend clinics/training sessions for what I want. I work full time with long, unpredictable hours, so I can’t get to any training during the week (unless it’s at the yard/the one small venue down the road, and not reliably most of the year unless it’s after 6:30-7pm). So I would love it if more venues could do stuff like that!
 

Lexi_

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It is a good basic test of whether you're safe to run XC - I know all sorts of things happen when blood is up at a competition that don't happen in training - but what percentage of people at 80/90 level would pass the test of being able to canter in balance down a relatively steep hill to an upright set of rails and pop them safely?
From my experience of watching a lot of them go past me over the course of a season, quite a high percentage would fail that test 🙈 There are a worrying amount of riders at that level who don’t look as if they’ve ever put their stirrups up properly and gone at a decent cross country canter over varied terrain.
 

Velcrobum

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I have just spent 5 days at Cornbury BE. A person entered the 3* I watched them and their horse at fences 13, 14ab, 15ab, 16 the combination then went out of sight. The horse was very clearly struggling and it was not nice to watch. The combination had a rotational fall at 20c the second of the day (the first resulted in a horse fatality). I looked up the competition record of the struggling horse and was quite shocked. The horse had this year done 1 100, 4 Novices 1 2* and 1 Intermediate. It was then entered for 3* having achieved minimum MER with no real experience at intermediate level. The last novice run and only intermediate run were at Aston le Walls which is just about undulating. IMHO this was definitely a very poor preparation for a 3* over hilly terrain. I know the FJ steward well she said the horse was struggling after the first hill on the course. It would appear that even at the higher levels there are riders who are not preparing horses well which is very sad. The FJ steward reported the rider to the Ground Jury.

Edited to add this is a professional rider ie rides owners horses.
 
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Kat

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I introduced the phrase 'have a go' to describe how we all started off. The kids had nice ponies and did a bit of lots of things: pony club, clear round SJ, hacking, gymkhanas, lessons, farm rides. They had XC lessons at the yard we were on at the time and there is just no comparison between jumping portable 70cm fences in a field and jumping the 70cm XC course at Eland. We were not aspiring to event necessarily but Eland ran HT events and they looked fun so we decided to 'have a go'. And then I did the same on my fell pony and loved it. It does not mean we were reckless and under prepared. Just that we were not die hard wannabe eventers on a pathway to BE. Not then anyway! We were just dipping our toes in at a really fun venue that made the experience feel special at every level.

Underprepared riders can be at risk in any discipline. An even more so if they have no chance to prepare for eventing any other way than by doing a higher level event.
I think you are using it in a way that encompasses a lot of the people that BE doesn't accommodate but well organised unaffiliated does.

I'm one of them, I could probably
See I don't think there should be any "having a go" when it comes to travelling at speed towards fixed fences 😬

*dons flak suit*

Admittedly you can't build Badminton in your back field to practise but there are lots of things that you can do.

If the goal is to enter a 60cm HT/unaff event then at home I'd expect someone to be CONFIDENT and CAPABLE schooling over at least 70cm.

If there are jumps on the yard it's not that hard to make xc fences like corners, coffins, ditches and narrow fences. I know this isn't isn't same as a "blood up" day at an actual competition but its a good start.

The Caroline Moore & Ros Canter lecture demos are good examples of practicing xc with showjumps (admittedly they did have the jump for joy narrow brush fence). 4yrs to 4* is the first I think and I can't remember the second but both are available on H&C TV, if you have Prime you can get a free trial.

Similarly all you need are markers to work on improving the canter and influencing the stride. There are people endangering themselves at any height because of the holes in their flatwork. The horse isn't in front of the leg and the rider can't direct or influence them.

Spiralling rapidly off topic as I do but... I think there is also an element of people not wanting to hear the truth and a lack of self awareness. Instructors have to make their wages, clients are less likely to keep paying a trainer who stops/doesn't support their "fun". I saw it when I was on yards and to a degree it crops up on here, paraphrasing, "I wasn't allowed to do X, Y or Z but they don't know what they're talking about because I have done A, B and C so I won't be going back to them"

Not just in horse sports but there does seem to be a great degree of entitlement these days.

Every chance I'm looking back with rose tinted glasses but it felt almost if there was more of an unofficial apprenticeship required best for horse ownership or competing. Now it seems like things are too easy got be it buying a horse or heading out to charge at fences.
I have done one of those Caroline Moore clinics, back when I was brave, so long ago it was before she started working with Ros!


It was fantastic really educational and did absolute wonders for my confidence and jumping skills. I went and entered a 3ft3 ODE afterwards. It wasn't for everyone though, one girl left in tears part way through.

Sadly I am not that brave now and my horse really takes her confidence from her rider. On the horse I was riding then it was a different matter.
 

ester

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I'm all on board with non-competitive sports, I'm never going to be competitive at any sport I never have been but that doesn't mean it's not good for me to join in with them just for the sheer enjoyment of the day.

I'm not a quick cyclist but very much enjoy a day round a route that someone else has planned, signed, and provided me with part way refreshments. I'm never going to go racing 😂. Even though I am very much not goal orientated, in anything in life, I just like to enjoy doing stuff. I wonder if for some people that sort of just doesn't exist as a *thing* so they don't understand why you would?
 

DabDab

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I'm all on board with non-competitive sports, I'm never going to be competitive at any sport I never have been but that doesn't mean it's not good for me to join in with them just for the sheer enjoyment of the day.

I'm not a quick cyclist but very much enjoy a day round a route that someone else has planned, signed, and provided me with part way refreshments. I'm never going to go racing 😂. Even though I am very much not goal orientated, in anything in life, I just like to enjoy doing stuff. I wonder if for some people that sort of just doesn't exist as a *thing* so they don't understand why you would?
Yep likewise. I'm unlikely to ever enter an event again but I would love to enter a proper signed, stewarded xc round with well built fences at a specified height.

ETA: badged up height and optimum time would be important elements for me - I'm not at all competitive but am very goal oriented 😂

I don't think people who run BE 'get' people like me though. And I guess that's part of the problem (well, it's a problem if they want to get money out of people like me)
 
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Velcrobum

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Further to my post about Cornbury the horse that had the fatal rotational fall was very experienced, had this year run at Advanced, 3*S, 3*L and some Intermediates. Last year 2x 3*S, Advanced and a few Intermediates. It was a very unfortunate fall.
 

RachelFerd

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I have just spent 5 days at Cornbury BE. A person entered the 3* I watched them and their horse at fences 13, 14ab, 15ab, 16 the combination then went out of sight. The horse was very clearly struggling and it was not nice to watch. The combination had a rotational fall at 20c the second of the day (the first resulted in a horse fatality). I looked up the competition record of the struggling horse and was quite shocked. The horse had this year done 1 100, 4 Novices 1 2* and 1 Intermediate. It was then entered for 3* having achieved minimum MER with no real experience at intermediate level. The last novice run and only intermediate run were at Aston le Walls which is just about undulating. IMHO this was definitely a very poor preparation for a 3* over hilly terrain. I know the FJ steward well she said the horse was struggling after, the first hill on the course. It would appear that even at the higher levels there are riders who are not preparing horses well which is very sad. The FJ steward reported the rider to the Ground Jury.

Edited to add this is a professional rider ie rides owners horses.
To go straight into a full-up 3* direct from what is well known to be a soft, if not *the* softest intermediate seems like a very odd choice.

I don't think people who run BE 'get' people like me though. And I guess that's part of the problem (well, it's a problem if they want to get money out of people like me)
I don't think we're totally at odds. It's a bit like me running half marathons a few years ago. I wasn't running to win, but I was running over a properly marked, stewarded and timed course in order to get a result that I was happy with (but was obviously never going to be fastest woman in the Great North Run!) - incidently, pretty much *all* running events in the UK are run under British Athletics licence. Nobody goes on about 'not being good enough to enter a licensed race' - they just enter licensed races at a distance that they think they can run, because that is what there is, and the races successfully cater for all capabilities (and reward completion, not just winning). I think British Eventing could learn quite a lot from the mass participation in running (albeit the barriers to participation are obvs much higher)

Edited to add - key difference is obviously that in horse sports we also need to have welfare of the horse as number 1 consideration. Obviously with athletics it is quite a bit simpler. This is where "have a go" and "well done for completing" need to be balanced against "is this ok for all of our participants, particularly those that don't have a voice"....
 

Kat

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To go straight into a full-up 3* direct from what is well known to be a soft, if not *the* softest intermediate seems like a very odd choice.



I don't think we're totally at odds. It's a bit like me running half marathons a few years ago. I wasn't running to win, but I was running over a properly marked, stewarded and timed course in order to get a result that I was happy with (but was obviously never going to be fastest woman in the Great North Run!) - incidently, pretty much *all* running events in the UK are run under British Athletics licence. Nobody goes on about 'not being good enough to enter a licensed race' - they just enter licensed races at a distance that they think they can run, because that is what there is, and the races successfully cater for all capabilities (and reward completion, not just winning). I think British Eventing could learn quite a lot from the mass participation in running (albeit the barriers to participation are obvs much higher)

Edited to add - key difference is obviously that in horse sports we also need to have welfare of the horse as number 1 consideration. Obviously with athletics it is quite a bit simpler. This is where "have a go" and "well done for completing" need to be balanced against "is this ok for all of our participants, particularly those that don't have a voice"....
I guess some of us might be happy doing park run rather than a half marathon race
 

iknowmyvalue

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Just another thought. I guess the other advantage of BE events is the vet coverage. I’m fairly sure most of the BE events have some kind of vet on site or nearby on standby. When Rosie had her fatal rotational with me on board, I was incredibly grateful for that. Yes she was gone before they got there, but they were there in minutes, and had it not been almost instantly fatal I would have been even more grateful for the quick response. It could so easily have been an unaffiliated event, as they run them over the same course. It was only a BE90 and I’d been round the course unaffiliated at the same height multiple times. Plus I happen to know which vets they use and the practice itself is at 25-30mins away…
 

Velcrobum

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17 October 2016
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Just another thought. I guess the other advantage of BE events is the vet coverage. I’m fairly sure most of the BE events have some kind of vet on site or nearby on standby. When Rosie had her fatal rotational with me on board, I was incredibly grateful for that. Yes she was gone before they got there, but they were there in minutes, and had it not been almost instantly fatal I would have been even more grateful for the quick response. It could so easily have been an unaffiliated event, as they run them over the same course. It was only a BE90 and I’d been round the course unaffiliated at the same height multiple times. Plus I happen to know which vets they use and the practice itself is at 25-30mins away…
All BE events have Vets, Horse Ambulances, Doctors, Paramedics and Ambulances on site. It is this level of support/care provision that increases the cost of affiliated eventing. BE does take an affiliation fee from entries but that is small when provision of temporary infrastructure is taken into account. However the Doctors and Vets get paid a very small amount aka they are subsidised volunteers. Paramedics are paid considerably more than highly qualified Doctors!!!! I have no knowledge about Horse ambulance costs.

Blenheim is an event I know very very well as I have volunteered there for many years my, OH was a Doctor there as well. On XC day there are 4 sectors each has a BE Steward, Doctor with resuscitation kit + necessary drugs, Paramedic staffed Ambulance, Vet with all their necessary drugs and a Horse Ambulance. There is also separate spectator first aid and Doctor provision. If a competitor/spectator needs to go to A&E the local ambulance service is called in via 999.

It was this level of care/support that led me to affiliated eventing many years ago having been to many rather dodgy hunter trials. I was also working in the NHS as a radiographer so was acutely aware of horse related nasty injuries!!
 

ester

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I was discussing this at the weekend (with there just having been a horse fall team chasing and the horse stayed down- was ok in the end). I think most of the unaffiliated I have done (all at places that also ran BE) didn't have a doctor but did have the rest on site. I'd be interested in others experiences.
 
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