Oliver Townend Fence 4 (Shallow Springs)

Tiddlypom

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Just because someone makes out that they know what they are talking about doesn't make it true 🤷‍♀️.

That is an important life lesson whose relevance ranges far beyound the world of eventing.

Like it or not, mishaps or perceived mishaps will be shared widely and discussed at length, and alternative outcomes postulated. Equestrian sport ignores that fact at its own peril.
 

eahotson

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I get where you are coming from completely, but I think people would be very reluctant to stop a round half way round unless there was a very clearly defined rule. That was sort of why OT was allowed to continue anyway- if they are unsure then riders are allowed to continue, rather than stop them and have them contest it.

FWIW, I do think saying that the shoulder OR hindquarters touching the floor would be enough, and not hugely open to interpretation.

I do actually think they are very reluctant to stop horses on course- and I can understand why- but perhaps the current "benefit of the doubt" situation needs looking at?
Perhaps the stewards opinion should be final and no appeal allowed.Harsh probably but might stop abuse.
 

Penguin_Toes

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Sorry, I meant generally, it has been insinuated that people aren't keen on him. I'd never heard that in day to day life, not that I know anything!
 

Tiddlypom

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Thank you, I was just checking that irc she gave him a smack after he stopped.
She did, and while the horse was still standing at the fence but not in a position to take off. It was a punishment for stopping, which is incorrect use of the whip.

He'd looked sticky before that stop. Did the commentators say that he'd stopped at that same fence in a previous Badminton?
 

Kat

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from 2 strides out which should have been 3 strides out to make the jump the horse was never going to make it, he should have circled away or stopped, the horse looks to me to have hurt its right hind the way it immobilizes it and turns swiveling the leg

if a horse did something like that in the field without bashing itself on wood, normally you would let it stand to allow the animal to register how it feels, inspect then walk round carefully to see how it is, in eventing you head on the next huge obstacle regardless
Oliver was riding for the extra stride, the horse decided he knew best and then regretted it. Oliver said that Andrew Nicholson told him there were only 4 strides, but Oliver thought there were 5, the horse agreed with Andrew!

There was no option to circle, as he didn't know the horse was going to take off so soon.

The horse continued the rest of the course in great style and clear, then passed the trot up and show jumped well so clearly wasn't unfit to continue.
 

tristar

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The horse took a stride out, there was room for another and it chose not to take it.

The rider carried on, went clear and finished with a sound horse. Which suggests that he made the right decision doesn’t it. Not surprising given that he’s a very experienced rider who had the added advantage of being actually sat on the horse at the time.

OH for the days when people were allowed to make split second decisions without them being endlessly picked over by strangers for days afterwards. Social media has a lot to answer for.

it did not look like it would make it before it took off early

the rider would have felt the slight hesitation at what should have been 3 strides out

does not mean to say the horse was not ``hurt``at the time and its just luck really that they come back ``apparently`` uninjured
 

stangs

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the suggestion that he may have doped his horse before yesterday's trot up is really quite obscene.
Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
.
 

tristar

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Oliver was riding for the extra stride, the horse decided he knew best and then regretted it. Oliver said that Andrew Nicholson told him there were only 4 strides, but Oliver thought there were 5, the horse agreed with Andrew!

There was no option to circle, as he didn't know the horse was going to take off so soon.

The horse continued the rest of the course in great style and clear, then passed the trot up and show jumped well so clearly wasn't unfit to continue.


perhaps the rider should have ridden better
 

ycbm

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Personally I dislike the Oli-bashing, the calling him "Townend" (I don't see anyone referring to any other rider solely by their surname, as if they were the undergardener), and the suggestion that he may have doped his horse before yesterday's trot up is really quite obscene.

No offence intend on my part it just felt too familiar to call him Oliver and I was too lazy to type his full name. I often refer to public figures like politicians by one or other of their names as well, and mean no offence then either. I think that was probably already clear since I said I could see why he carried on, but I just thought I'd clarify in case anyone was in doubt.
.
 

Rowreach

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Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
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You made what could be considered a direct allegation about a particular rider, without having any grounds for doing so, so yes I think obscene fits.
 

tristar

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my interest in this is seeing what can go wrong, how it goes wrong, horse or rider, or possibly both in this case, from a training horses point of view
 

Annagain

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Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
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Any horse can be tested at any time during a FEI event. It's just not standard practice to test every horse between every phase. The knowledge that you could be selected at random - and face a lengthy ban if the horse tests positive - would be enough to ensure people don't do it.

Clean Sport How Testing Works (1).pdf (fei.org)
 

Kat

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Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
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Having just checked the FEI rules I think Swallow Springs will have been drug tested as he came top three at a major event.

There is random and targeted testing in addition to testing the winners so absolutely not worth the risk especially not given the sanctions.
 

tristar

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Is it really so ‘obscene’ to wonder how a horse managed to trot-up sound after such an awful fall? I'm not "Oli-bashing" - my opinion would stand regardless of the rider. Rather, I’m very surprised that there isn’t a drug test between the XC and SJ. There’s certainly incentive to slip some bute in a horse’s feed if you think you’ve got a chance at winning. Let’s not pretend that all professional riders prioritise the horse’s welfare above the competition.
.

personally i think it would be a kindness to give the horse some bute after a fall, involving solid wood.

thinking about it, the minimum one should do is stop, get off and have a look!


check the tack?
 

Orangehorse

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Of course there is drug testing!

Years ago it used to be allowed, and routine to give horses "something" after cross country, and there was a huge fuss when the rules were brought in that horses should receive no painkillers. But the argument was that by giving the horse a painkiller it might enable it to complete and beat a horse that was completely sound and didn't need anything.

Of course riders use ice and no doubt other aids, and maybe physio (I don't really know) to get a horse sound to pass the trot up and show jump.
 

tristar

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Of course there is drug testing!

Years ago it used to be allowed, and routine to give horses "something" after cross country, and there was a huge fuss when the rules were brought in that horses should receive no painkillers. But the argument was that by giving the horse a painkiller it might enable it to complete and beat a horse that was completely sound and didn't need anything.

Of course riders use ice and no doubt other aids, and maybe physio (I don't really know) to get a horse sound to pass the trot up and show jump.

the fact you need to use anything, is a debate on its own

i certainly think to give a horse pain relief after a big day is not such a bad idea, we all know you get sore, stiff, need help to relax and rest, at certain times after strenuous exploits, i certainly take para after a big riding day for example, just occasionally

but there is a difference between overusing the body and actual injury
 

Velcrobum

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It is really interesting to hear from people who have been involved in an official capacity. Thank you.

I don't think you have to have competed BE to have an opinion. Certainly I don't BE and only jump little stuff these days. I'm no expert trainer either, but I can still have an opinion, although some people don't seem able to consider that riders at this level are in quite a different position to us mortals at unaffiliated.
^^^^^ exactly.
I am not saying you have to have competed but if you have it makes understanding the situation much easier from a riders point of view. You learn to ride feeling what is under you at that moment in time which is part of the art of safe XC riding.
 
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HashRouge

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Personally I dislike the Oli-bashing, the calling him "Townend" (I don't see anyone referring to any other rider solely by their surname, as if they were the undergardener), and the suggestion that he may have doped his horse before yesterday's trot up is really quite obscene.
Who calls him "Townend"? Most people on this thread (and the XC thread) call him Oli or Ollie, like we know him personally!

FWIW while I know Oli has been a target before, I don't think that's why his decision to continue on Saturday is getting a lot of attention. I think it's just because that almost fall was so dramatic, it really sticks in the mind! I posted on the other thread that I thought he should have pulled up, but after Swallow Springs trotted up sound the next day and jumped so beautifully in the SJ, I don't know anymore. I think, as another poster said, it was one of those that perhaps looked much worse than it actually was.
 

Upthecreek

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I think it’s worth remembering, whatever level you have or haven’t competed at, that Oliver literally had a split second to decide what to do. I would imagine his first reaction was surprise at having stayed on. The horse responded immediately to being asked to get going once he got his arse back in the saddle and I’m sure he’d quickly have retired if he didn’t feel right. It’s very easy to have an opinion on what you would have done or what he should have done with the benefit of having more than a second to think about it and seeing it on video, rather than making the decision from feeling it happen underneath you. I’ve had various slips, trips and mishaps during XC and you have to think quickly. I’m over-cautious and have made the decision to retire (probably unnecessarily) a few times, mainly because I’m not a professional doing it for a living. I object more to riders continuing on horses who are obviously exhausted and clambering over fences.
 

Velcrobum

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Perhaps the stewards opinion should be final and no appeal allowed.Harsh probably but might stop abuse.
The ground jury bases itself in XC control and watches all the video feed including feed that we did not see. They have overall control of the competition, can and do stop competitors they deem to be unsafe. Fortunately the introduction of minimum eligibility requirements (MERs) means that people who might be stepping up before they are ready now cannot happen as has happened in the past.

The FEI steward is in charge of sanctions (yellow and red cards).

The fence judge can only see what has happened in front of them which might be the only blip of the round. Badminton is the only event that does not use experienced fence judges at every fence unlike Burghley. There is a group of highly experienced fence judges who are utilised at quite a few FEI competitions abroad. A lot of the fence judges are members of Beaufort Hunt who have no real experience of fence judging. That is behind the scenes information not opinion.
 
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