Description: Berney Bros Ireland Dublin Jumper. Brown with upgraded "sticky" leather on seat and knee rolls. Very forward flaps, great for xc/foxhunting, especially for tall riders. 17.5" (I believe sold as a 17", measures 17.75" and rides big though) Marked W tree, but fairly curved panels, so more for a bigger shouldered TB type than a flat backed horse--I used it on a broad shouldered TB and a TBxWB). Wool flocked,Very good condition, ~8 years old but has just been sitting for the last 4. Some discoloration in the expected places (under stirrup leathers, billets) and a couple small dings on cantle--visible in pics. Great saddle, really good balance for galloping/jumping, very comparable to English made wool flocked saddles. Been hanging onto it in case, but I just bought another narrow horse . . . Email if you need any other pics
Adjectives: Saddle, Cross-country, Foxhunting
Price: $800 incl CONUS shipping Location: Manassas, VA
This standard which came into effect on 1 January 2012, yes I know it was released on 22 March 2012, sets out many of the criteria for how a frangible/deformable device should be designed, tested and put into the market place i.e. in a XC course near you.
In true FEI style this document has been written in a manner that isn't accessible to the average consumer. That said it isn't aimed at the average consumer but the manufacturers and future manufacturers of frangible devices and in many ways FEI Officials.
However, personally I see two roadblocks that exist.
To date, the Register of Products, is not public. That means that we don't know which products meet the standard and which do NOT. What frangible devices will you see on XC this weekend?
The Instructions for each device need to be accessible, this is particularly critical to allow in field assessment by Officials to ensure a device has been correctly installed. This information is listed as key for the supplier to provide but is critical for the FEI to share with all relevant parties.
What does this mean in practice for you as a rider, whether weekend warrior or four star gold medalist?
Well, in theory from now on when you step onto XC and see a frangible device you will know it has been tested to meet the standard and is stamped accordingly. Under the standard each device must be marked with;
Country of manufacture
FEI registration number
In practice until the Register of Products and Instructions are public and available to both rders and officials this standard will mean little.
What does surprise me is they have dropped the idea of a fail strength. Instead they have created a minimum strength, this is based on a specific test with essentially a standardised pendulum strike.
Under this standardised test, the device MUST NOT fail. However the device must fail at levels between 10%-25% above this standardised test. That is no earlier than 10% above the minimum and must fail before 25% and every time over 25% over the standard level.
I think we have a way to go before this all works in a practical sense and I must applaud all those involved for getting this far.
The word around the campfire is not all of the current devices in circulation meet the standard which I believe is one of the reasons for the delay in the publication of the Standard. The coming weeks and months will hopefully provide more clarity.
It wasn't so long ago that Boyd Martin was visiting Area Five and teaching a highly anticipated clinic at Pine Hill Farms in Bellville, TX. It was then (in October) that Boyd and I got to sit down and chat about the financial demands of this sport. That clinic was such a success that organizer Kristy Limon (of Excel Eventing) immediately began planning Boyd's next trip to the southern states for additional teaching opportunities. As luck would have it, he was available before the end of the year!
This past weekend, in torrential rains and blustery winds so relentless that any sane person would be safely indoors, twenty riders (and their various grooms/husbands/boyfriends/etc) gathered at Meadowcreek Park in Kosse, Texas for the yet another Area Five Boyd Martin Clinic. And inclement weather aside, Boyd made the whole experience a fun and educational success!
Boyd Gives Instruction to Clinic Students on November 25, 2011 (Photo Courtesy of Luann McElduff)
Day One - Stadium
The stadium arena was a sloppy mess on Saturday morning, so nobody (from intermediate level to beginner novice) jumped very high. Evenso, the low level gymnastics Boyd designed were challenging and technical for the clinic-goers. He taught each group a similar theme that focused on flexibility and balance in both horse and rider, utilizing a multitude of turns and precise distances to pull the best ride out of everyone.
Ambra Pira and Alfie Complete an Exercise over an Oxer on Stadium Day (Photo courtesy of Angie Pira)
Exercises (for those who might want to pursue the idea at home) included:
- Three stride lines of varying distances, requiring lengthening and shortening of the horses stride
- a bounce line designed out of narrow brush boxes, without standards. This demanded very forward, active, and precise riding by the student to avoid losing impulsion or straightness. Boyd wanted us to "place" our horses where we deliberately wanted to go.
- A set of five alternating angled verticals, set in a zig zag pattern. These were used in a variety of ways, including jumping each one at a perpendicular angle, then completing a rollback to the next jump at a perpendicular angle, until the rider reached the end of the line of verticals. This truly tested the horses balance and flexibility in muddy conditions, and had riders planning their course. We also jumped straight down the line over each vertical at an angle, using an encouraging seat to send the horse forward and navigate the center of each jump
- A series of turn-heavy courses, requiring straightness on the approach to obtain the proper striding within the jump combinations and lines.
Boyd giving instruction to rider Maddie McElduff and Rosie during Stadium Day (Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Stephens)
Boyd was encouraging and inventive on stadium day, urging riders to be more proactive on their horses while also keeping the atmosphere light with humorous quips and jokes. We all had a lovely time during our lessons and felt ready for the excitement of the cross country day.
But let's not forget the clinic participant dinner! Forty Six horse enthusiasts (all the riders, plus entourage!) met up at a small southern cooking restaurant called Austin'sin downtown Kosse for dinner and drinks among friendly faces. Boyd was the life of the party (naturally), moving around the table to swap friendly jokes and answer questions. We had a delicious home-style meal including fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and greens. And some of the clinic-goers even provided beer and wine! (Boyd's favorite Amstel Light was in attendance, of course)
The Fabulous Clinic Attendee Dinner - Organized by Kristy Limon!
After the dinner had wound down at Austin's, some of the group took the fun back to the barn to sit around a bonfire and talk under the stars. I think it's safe to say that was a great night for everyone!
Day 2 - Cross Country
Boyd Demonstrating Proper Gallop Position on Kristy Limon's horse, Elliott
Sunday morning started early, with the first group riding at a frosty 7:00am. The prior night's temperatures had dropped as low as 31 degrees, and the chill had yet the wear off by the time the sun broke over the tree line. High winds buffeted the riders from all sides, but it wasn't enough to deter our eventing spirit, or keep us off of Meadowcreek's large cross country field. The one favor that the high winds did for us was to dry up the rain from the previous day, so the footing was firm but forgiving - perfect for a day of eventing!
Aly Mulconnery and Aspen begin a Cross Country Jump Combination on XC Day
Boyd's lessons on this day focused heavily on rider position when riding cross country. He started by describing the gallop position to each group and having them demonstrate their ability to hold the position, correcting where necessary. He explained the importance of using rider posture, not their hands, to slow and lift a horse on the approach to a jump. Boyd also explained that one of the primary differences between stadium rides and cross country rides was the necessity for a longer rein on your horse, to allow a freer and more forward motion in jumping. Boyd wanted us to be able to change our position from a gallop to a jumping seat without changing the length of our horses' necks.
Here's Boyd himself explaining the importance of rider position!
And again, explaining why we strive to ride Cross Country well!
Many of the exercises on this day were meant to reinforce these main points, as well as the value of a good approach to the jump, with the horse in front of our leg. Boyd spoke several times on staying behind the horse in the saddle, stating that he'd "only ever seen one person fall off the back of the horse when jumping, most fell off the front!" We practiced building confidence in our horses over solid obstacles, and how to use our eye to ride a "twelve foot stride, twelve foot stride, ten foot stride" to the base of the jump.
Boyd Instructs a Clinic Rider over an Open Ditch
Although the day was relentlessly cold and windy, I don't think there was a single rider that didn't gain some useful instruction from the experience. For certain, no one regretted braving the chill to come out!
The Boyd Martin clinic was truly a great experience, and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to ride with him twice now. I honestly cannot wait for his return to Area Five next year!
And as a parting shot, here's a little "Boyd Pantomime." See if you can figure out what he's saying over the wind!
Author Note: I'd like to give a big Birthday Shout-Out to Clinic Student, Maddie McElduff. Maddie turned Eleven Years old this Monday, and she celebrated her birthday in style at the Boyd Clinic. Maddie McElduff and Orion's Rosealene finished this show season at the Top of the USEA 2011 Beginner Novice Leaderboard, coming in as the Number One junior rider in the country! Congratulations Maddie!!
Over the past couple of days I have been searching for some definitive information on frangible pins. The frangible pin section of the USEA's Cross-Country Obstacle Design Standards handbook contains some information relevant to the ongoing frangible pin debate.
The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) conducted film analysis of 100 accidents, including 75 cross-country fences and 25 show jumping fences. It was found that the potential for a crushing injury was related to the rotating motion and landing angle of the horse. A landing angle of more than 90 degrees was considered to provide a significant risk of crushing injury to the rider. This happened when the horse hit a fixed obstacle between its knee and elbow. Below this, the horse was able to scrabble over, but above this, the horse stayed behind the fence with the rider staying seated or ejected over the fence. A mathematical model was developed and a full-scale crash test horse was used to simulate the load conditions between a horse and fence. Based on the results of the test program, TRL established that if the rail anchorage was designed to break at a controlled load to ensure that the rail would fall, this would remove the vertical load between the horse and the fence.
TRL designed a breakable pin with the precise failure strength to allow the rail to drop, thereby stopping the horse from rotating or somersaulting. This means the horse can hit the rail fairly hard without the fence collapsing and still keep its footing, but if the critical load is reached, the pin would fail with the potential of minimizing risk of injury to both horse and rider. The final design and manufacture of the pins has been carried out by Barriers International, Ltd.
Another topic of debate has been the placement of the support posts behind the vertical logs at Rolex, but this arrangement is used in every single frangible pin fence design presented in the handbook, including the flower box below.
(1) As always, the Badminton XC shook up the leader board. 40 of the 81 starters had at least a stop, and none of the top 6 dressage horses are placed higher than 38th after the XC. However, there wasn't one jump causing all of the problems; all of the issues were spread pretty evenly throughout the course. For specific incident reports, check out our XC live thread post.
(2)Paul Tapner and Inonothing jumped from 11th to the lead by finishing just one second over the optimum time. Paul was very efficient galloping hard away from every fence. Mary King and Imperial Cavalier had a good early ride to jump from 14th to 2nd and are just 2.3 behind Paul going into the show jumping tomorrow. Mary and Imperial Cavalier were held up after Alex Hua Tian and Jeans broke the frangible pins on the corner at #15.
(3) There were only 4 double clear rides all day long. Sam Watson and Horseware Bushman jumped from 42nd to 8th on one of those double clears.
(4) I really appreciated how the drop fence into water at #12B (above) rode. The fence was imposing, solid, round, but still vertical and most of the horses jumped it well as a result of those factors. You can't see it's profile in the above picture, but from the side it almost looked like a tall wave. Tina Cook fell here, but her horse did not rotate despite hanging a leg and seemed to slide over the round top. This jump was built with great geometry and didn't need frangible pins or foam to keep everyone safe. Maybe the best designed jump into water I have ever seen.
(5) I was also impressed with how the course design gave the riders a chance to easily pull out of most combinations and take an options. When riders had a sticky jump in, they could quickly pull out of the combination and take a long route without incurring a stop. It looked like Hugh Thomas gave riders the option in nearly every combination that was under 5 strides, and he made sure that taking the option was convenient. As a result, riders were not forced to keep attacking anything that didn't feel right. The downside to this was a few tough calls for the officials in determining if a rider had presented before taking the option, but this is well worth the added safety.
(6)Andrew Nicholson is starting to look like the Todd Pletcher (before yesterday) of Badminton. Andrew is an amazing rider, but he has been around Badminton over 25 times without a victory. Despite having two of the better horses coming into the competition, he picked up 40 penalties combined today.
(7) After picking up a stop on Macchiato and withdrawing Seacookie because the horse didn't feel right, William will not pick up the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam this weekend.
(8) Of the younger riders, 20 year old Emily Llewellyn impressed me the most, having clean rides on Pardon Me and Society Spice. Mark Todd was assisting the live feed announcers while Emily was riding Society Spice and gave her some very high praise by saying she was making all the right decisions.
(9) EN contributor 'lec' has commented that Desert Island, ridden by Louisa Lockwood, was put down after a fall at the corner at the Huntsmans Close. Update: Badminton has confirmed the sad news.
(10) Looking ahead, the show jumping tomorrow will be exciting; the top 4 places are separated by less than a rail. We will have much more from Badminton XC and a look ahead to the show jumping later this afternoon.
XC is set to run at Badminton from 6-11:30AM ET on Sunday. Ride times(ET +5)
The weather is expected to be a factor at Badminton, with rain predicted straight through Sunday and some forecasts predict over 5cm of accumulation. However, the consensus I have heard both publicly and privately is that the course needed some water and while it might get more than it needed, the ground should hold up pretty well except in front of a few fences and maybe around a couple of turns. The footing will get worse as the day progresses.
Video course walk with Hugh Thomas and Polly Stockton. This is the same video we have linked to before, but it is the best video preview available.
Since I haven't seen the course in person, I'll let the riders tell you about it in their own words. Virtually everyone has mentioned something about the Quarry (# 5), which will be a very early indicator of how the course will ride for each pair. I'm a big believer that bad weather makes the cream rise to the top so I expect veteran XC riders with experienced horses like Mary, William, and Andrew to move up tomorrow. My gut tells me that William will be in great position to win the next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam at the end of tomorrow.
Kai Ruder (sitting in 1st with Le Prince Des Bois):
"My horse is strong so he shouldn't be affected by the rain. My plan at the moment is to take all the straight routes"
but..."the course looks pretty big to me; I'll be very happy if I'm still in the top 10 at the end of tomorrow."
Ruth Edge (2nd on Two Thyme):
"The ground has been so well prepared that it will take more rain. Even so, I'm glad to be going early on."
"The jumps look imposing and inviting and that makes you want to attack. It's a clever course with the twists and turns, but without having to pull the horse about too much, and I think it will be very challenging for the level."
Tina Cook (3rd with Miner's Frolic):
"If it keeps raining like it is now then I think that the ground in front of some of the narrow fences could get quite cut up"
"I've never jumped a fence like the log at the bottom of the quarry before. It's a real old-fashioned test and I don't know how it will ride."
William Fox-Pitt (6th on Seacookie, 18th on Macchiato):
"The course is tough with plenty of places to make mistakes there is a lot of turning so I think the time will be difficult, especially with the rain today. Although we usually like a late draw for the dressage I think tomorrow an early draw will be an advantage."
Andrew Nicholson (9th on Avebury, 37th on Nereo):
"I think Hugh's done a great job. The dewpond fence (16) is clever. It's a big rail in with a steep landing into water which horses won't see until the last second and then an acute angle out. I also think the first log at the Quarry (3) is a big drop and the fence out of the Lake, an upright brush, is tricky too."
You might think we are in denial about our recent addiction to posting great videos, but the situation is quite the opposite...we embrace it! Here are a few videos of Badminton through the ages to get you geared up for one of the biggest events in the world.
Rolex was so five days ago. Check out Badminton through the years.
Eventing has really changed, but Badminton remains the same: BIG
Notice the dog that chases the horse at about 2:50. Don't just keep your dog on a leash, but please remember to hold on to it.
Here's how it happened last year. The best part about this video is the absence of irritating music...just bold and beautiful horses.
Now that William has finished giving his young horse a nice schooling ride around what can only be described as a nice move-up 4*, the eventing world turns to the Badminton Horse Trials. And by 'horse trials' they mean a CCI4*--they just call it a 'horse trials' to be cool. Sadly, as usual, the USA will not be sending any horses over to attempt a revenge win from Rolex. Thank you Icelandic volcano gods. When was the last time the US won a 4* on foreign soil? With that depressing thought I present our Badminton preview:
Schedule -- Due to a new TV contract with the BBC, the competition at Badminton will run from Friday to Monday, with dressage on Friday and Saturday, XC on Sunday, and show jumping on Monday. They scheduled the show jumping on Monday because May 3rd is a 'bank' holiday in the UK. Bank holidays are public holidays in England, so it's like their President's Day or Independence Day except...well, you get the idea.
The UK is currently running in GMT +1 time, which means they are EST +5 hours. Basically, the Badminton schedule is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the US, so take any time on the badminton schedule and subtract 5 hours to get the EST time.
You don't even want to think about the Badminton schedule in Pacific time. The good news is that none of your friends will be awake for most of Badminton so they don't have to be disappointed when you tell them you're too busy refreshing Eventing Nation to hang out with them. Actually, that's a lie, there's nothing good about this schedule.
Horses and Riders -- As usual, the Badminton field is stacked. There were approximately 130 entries and 85 horses are set to start the event. Some names everyone should recognize include Alex Hua Tian, Mary King, Andrew Nicholson, William Fox-Pitt, Clayton Fredericks, Mark Todd, Zara Phillips, Lucy Wiegersma. We won't preview everyone of course, but check out the entries list and you can click on the names of each rider for a biography and past performances.
The Course -- It's Badminton so it's big and technical and will chew you up and spit you out if you're not ready. The Badminton website has all the resources you need to get a feel for the course that doesn't involve a long plane flight and a trip through customs. And yes, I know we already linked to these last week:
EN's Coverage -- If you haven't caught on to this already, to steal a line from Oliver, you're a bit slow on the uptake. Check back to Eventing Nation throughout the weekend several times a day for the latest Badminton coverage and to chat with the Eventing Nation community about all things Badminton.
The vote for the placement of the scrolling Twitter news feed was close enough (56%-44%) that I decided to leave it at the top for now. Essentially, all the little stories that used to go into N&N are getting put into the news feed, which has the added advantage of being able to include feeds from other sites depending on what events are most important. Go eventing.
We tried our best to stop posting videos--honestly--but our addiction to loud colorful moving pictures of Rolex horses got the better of us. I'm afraid there's much more video to come as Rolex is just the gateway to Badminton.
Warning - Radio Flyer's fall is at 1:10
what the heck--another XC montage
Lastly, check out one of the WEG dressage test event rides from Thursday night