Aug 07, 2008

Soggy but Sensational - an Official's View of the Olympic Cross-Country Course

Marilyn Payne, one of the eventing dressage judges at the Olympics, shares her tale of her experiences so far at the Olympics.

Due to my flight delay I finally arrived at midnight Tuesday night. Wednesday morning I woke up after four hours sleep to a typhoon ( and 8 out of 10 !). So, buses weren’t allowed out and the barns were all "locked down" until six that evening. But, as dedicated officials, we were driven to the cross-country course and walked the entire course with the technical delegate and course designer so it could be approved before the rider briefing at 6pm.

What an adventure! We were given plastic raincoats which kept blowing up but luckily we just had our Olympic drip dry shorts on so we did get soaked, but dried quickly! They nicely gave us a radio to call if we needed help – how comforting! We did manage to see all the fences among the fallen branches and debris. We had over eight inches of rain but the galloping track was fabulous due to the million dollar drainage system.

At one fence under the trees there was a blinding spot light on. We found that it cost $50,000 and was there to help the grass grow!! Next to it was a giant fan to dry the ground. That was turned off since there were already severe winds.

The course was great lots of variety, all with Chinese themes: the Great Wall of China, a panda playground,
chopsticks, dragons and pagodas. Most of the flowers and decorations had been removed due to the typhoon
and the last fence which was a big arch was roped and staked down so it didn’t blow away! It all still looked fabulous, with even in torrential rain and wind! We are going back this morning since the typhoon is only a #3 now .

So we survived our first adventure and got back to the hotel and got to get clean, dry and take a nap,yeah!! At six o’clock we attended the riders briefing followed by a lively chefs meeting. We then watched the riders have a jump school in the Olympic arena under the lights. The riders were concerned about the shadows caused by the lights and the giant TV screen with live action. They all seemed to do fine but unfortunately got soaked in the downpour. I guess they need to get used to that too!

stay tuned….

Jul 05, 2020 Safety

Key Steps to Safe Cross-Country Riding, Part Two: Horse and Rider Contract and Going Faster

Any riding exercise is about the art of the possible. This is especially true with jumping exercises, when a step too far will compromise safety. Exercises and a method should be developed progressively that build confidence and competence for both horse and rider, and in particular also allows room for error.

Jul 04, 2020 Rules

Rule Refresher: Show Jumping Time and Faults

In the show jumping phase, where a ribbon can be won or lost based on a fraction of a second, it is important to understand the rules that determine how time is kept. After reviewing the rules concerning time and other show jumping penalties, one should also examine the rules that outline the faults incurred for each of the different types of penalties.

Jul 03, 2020 Eventing News

Bromont CCI and FEI Eventing Nations Cup August Dates Set To Change

Sue Ockendon, organizer of the MARS Bromont CCI Three-Day Event and the FEI Eventing Nations Cup announced today that the event has decided to consider dates further along the calendar. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for Bromont to confirm that it would be possible for competitors to travel on August 15-18.

Jul 03, 2020 Association News

USEA Horse of the Month: Zydeco Nights

There were 14 USEA recognized events that took place in June, the first month back from the suspension of the eventing calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While no one finished with a score in the teens, Erin Walker and Zydeco Nights came very close. By finishing on a score of 20.0, Walker and Zydeco Nights won the Novice Rider division at the Chattahoochee Hills H.T. on Sunday, June 28.

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