Thursday, May 21, 2009

Badminton Cross Country from 1982

Someone posted this on CoTH. This is a great video that shows the difference in the endurance test from the "good ol' days" to now:

Link if it's not working.

Some things I would like to talk about. First, the style of the course. This course is really forward and galloping. The horses and riders look as though they develop a great pace and can jump out of stride for almost the entire course. There is little fighting with the horses front ends, and little "3 point" riding. There are still technical questions but they are jumped out of a forward gallop and don't require a super shortened showjumping canter.

The course is welcoming but not easy. There were still a lot of penalties given and mistakes made. Why has course design changed so much when there really wasn't anything wrong with it to begin with? Were the riders bored? I can't imagine the horses were bored.

I love the cross country position by most back then. Very different from today's riders. The riders look very secure, and solid. Not much moving around and lots of give where it's needed and when mistakes are made. A lot of the rides in that video look in great harmony.

As for the fitness, the changes going on at Burghley are said to be happening because horses don't jump as well after the 10 minute mark on course. I would have to disagree, especially after watching this video and the many others I have at home from the 90's. I would like to look at statistics of falls and see if they mostly happen at the end of the course. I don't recall a trend showing that. I think the Captain might be doing whatever he can to ensure no tragedies, as his ass is already under major scrutiny from the Eventing community. Of course, that is a good thing, but we shouldn't have to change our sport entirely to make it fatality free.

It should never have been changed in the first place.

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