The 2022 EN Blogger Contest finalists were asked to write about what they would do if they were appointed President of Eventing 4Ever as one option for their final, Round 3 submissions. The following piece is published unedited. Your feedback will help us select our final winner! Use the rating poll below to give this post a thumbs up. Votes will be factored into our final decision.
Charlotte Salmon, 16, is an aspiring author who has grown up with horses. She hopes to spread inclusivity into the eventing world. Her biggest achievements include breaking her nose whilst trying a pony, buying said pony, and producing him. While not hugely successful in the eventing world her latest endeavour includes 4-year-old ex-racehorse, Tiger, who she hopes to event in years to come.
Picture the scene: you strut out onto stage at your inauguration as “President of Eventing (4Ever)” clutching a microphone in one hand, and a bottle of bubbly in the other, with Chinch gracing your right shoulder. Your eyes are bright and you’re bushy-tailed with anticipation, but whatever for? Eventing does inaugural speeches a little differently, of course, so what is all this fuss for? Well, the audience is on the edge of their sheets for your first proclamation. What will be the first rule you’re instituting- effective immediately?
Well, EN readers, this is the dilemma I found myself with. What would my first rule be? Wasting such an honour would be treacherous. Banning .5 marks in dressage tests would help my non-existent maths ability greatly, perhaps asking the pros to do dressage one-handed, or maybe even banning start times before 11am. Beneficial to some, but we can do better than that.
So, after much deliberation, I, Charlotte Salmon (President of Eventing (4Ever)) declare that: all circles within eventing are to be banned. With immediate effect.
Okay, so every leader must be controversial occasionally. Presidents of eventing are no exception. Just imagine dressage tests without 20m circles, showjumping courses that flow like ripples across ponds, and crossing your tracks becoming borderline impossible.
Imagine not having to cope with the strain of convincing wobbly babies or flexibly challenged racehorses that circles do not, in fact, deny every one of Newton’s laws. Not receiving the comment of “you’re not using enough outside leg” when said leg is cramping unimaginably sounds lush, right?
What about no longer worrying about the “perfect” circle? (I practically heard that eyebrow raise.) Reading one score sheet only to see your circles were too small, making them larger, and then receiving the opposite criticism will become a thing of the past. Completely abolished, in fact.
Even the pros agree:
No-Ser Cal, Olympic course designer, shared that, “The crossing of tracks becomes increasingly harder for riders and stewards to understand and judge, thus blurring the lines for the inclusivity we strive for. It is important that we allow for everyone to participate within our sport without the little cloud of doubt hanging over their heads.”
Furthermore, dressage judge Sentar Lyne revealed that, “Circles can cause many judges and competitors unnecessary stress. As well as this, it can be almost impossible to keep tests varied and engaging through the over-use of circles.”
Despite being met with some reservations, the rules surrounding refusals and run outs have been completed with extreme clarity: if a horse and rider have a stop or refusal at a fence, they are allowed to complete any of the following shapes. These are as follows: an egg, oblong, square, rectangle or blob, so long as none exhibit circular lines of any sort. Refusal to complete such shapes will result in a 4 to 8 fault penalty, upon judge’s discretion.
Overall, it is hoped that this new rule brings further inclusivity to the sport as it allows for riders to incorporate new movements into tests and courses, while letting our wobblier counterparts to still enjoy eventing without the pressure of these spherical sins.