Best of Social Media: A Record-Breaking Day at Badminton

Badminton started off today with a resounding bang, with Oliver Townend and Cillnabradden Evo scoring 19.7 as just the fourth pair down centerline to set a new dressage record for the venue. EquiRatings thinks he can go even lower tomorrow with Ballaghmor Class, but Sam Watson also took to social media to make an interesting point.

“Arctic Soul and Star Witness will get no extra marks for going faster than the optimum time on cross-country — they’re 20 marks behind the current leader. In dressage there is no limit to the advantage — perhaps we need an optimum dressage score to balance the game?

“The trend of dressage horses competing in eventing continues. Expect more and more dressage records. Expect fewer proper cross-country horses. The points available in dressage make it far more influential than show jumping where lots of people all get the best possible score of zero. Oliver is 8 penalties clear after the morning session — the equivalent of everyone else having at least two rails down.

“Only one phase rewards extreme performance. No wonder we train it all the time. No wonder we see dressage horses going cross-country more and more. Would love to see an optimum line in dressage (70%). If more than one finishes on zero, then split them on dressage percentage. Takes the pressure of dressage judging to an extent as well. We would look for a ‘good enough’ performance like we do in the jumping phases. It would be about three good phases, not one exceptional phase with margin for error in the others.”

What do you think about Sam’s point? Let us know in the comments below, and keep scrolling for more of the best posts on social media today. As for an update on Wembley, who Tamie Smith withdrew from the holding box yesterday due to an untimely abscess, she confirmed he will be staying in England and re-routing to Bramham CCI4*-L next month.

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