What is Mike Etherington-Smith doing wandering around a field at Luhmühlen this week? Looking ahead to 2021, of course! (And aren’t we all….)
There is some new acreage at the event’s disposal, which Mike says will expand the scope of what can be done with cross country at the venue. The additional fields are “flat as a pancake” now, but Mike says the terrain will be made more dynamic in the years to come and allow the course to stretch beyond its usual twisty, turny inclinations. “It’s very much looking at the future and then working backwards,” explains the veteran course designer, who took over the helm of Luhmühlen from Captain Mark Phillips in 2017, in this interview with Juliane Barth.
“You want horses to grow as they go around,” Mike says. “There’s a story to a course — it’s not just randoming dumping a load of jump in places. It’s how to tie this in to everything else we’ve got … it’s how to bring this addition into play so that it adds value to the course.”
“There’s a story to it. It has to benefit the horses, it has to benefit the riders. There’s a beginning, middle and an end and that always takes a little bit of time to get the balance right.”
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