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  1. #1
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    Sep. 28, 2007
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    Default Future team competitions -- what does Team USA need to change?

    What do we need to do to be as strong as Germany, Australia and Great Britain?

    Anyone have any ideas? Thoughts?

    Do we need to change...
    Our selection process?
    Our coach?
    Our horses?



  2. #2
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    Default

    Start with our training.



  3. #3
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    To be honest, even on our best day we would've been duking it out for bronze. The Germans were incredible, impeccably mounted, impeccably trained, and they were foot perfect in all three phases. The Aussies were similarly just wonderful, getting all five of their riders around with great scores.

    We were unlucky when the other teams were lucky. Our dressage was good but theirs was better. McKinleigh was awesome.

    I'd say we need more riders with the right horses, always a need. I'd also like to see a bunch of our riders going to Badminton next year. They need more chances to ride internationally, and that means money for plane tickets.

    All that said, I'm very satisfied with the competition. This was a great showing of great riders. Even knowing that Gina Miles needed rails to drop for a medal, I was rooting for all the other great riders who also deserved medals - Tina Cook, Mary King, Ingrid Klimke, the list goes on. And Hinrich Romeike! An amateur won it all!
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  4. #4
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Default Steal some more Aussie riders

    Hehehe....just kidding!

    Don't think about giving our latest exports to the US new citizenship (Boyd Martin, Ryan Wood, Kadi Eykamp)

    Surely the US will get back in the team medals again, you certinaly have no financial lacking, quality events, nice horses, great training, etc.

    Persistence pays off!

    The Kiwi's are probably asking the same question, they went from dominating the sport to having to bring legends out of retirement

    Eventing is one of the toughest and most leveling sports around. As long as the sport doesn't change to suit dressage horses who can jump and the x-country phase remains to be a testing phase for an athletic bold jumper who can gallop with endurance. Not to mention the rider who needs to be brave and quick thinking and has a trusting relationship with their steed. The sport has already changed enough to suit a more purpose bred sporthorse rather than the racetrack rejects.
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  5. #5
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    Jun. 24, 2007
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    401

    Default CHANGE?

    There is one answer to this..........OUR COACH!!!

    The best thing the Germans did about 6-7 years ago that turned them around to be at the top of this game was to hire Christopher Bartle as their coach.

    He spanked CMP and I LOVE IT!!!!!!



  6. #6
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    Oct. 16, 2002
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    1,771

    Default

    I`m pretty out of the current loop, but I talk with plenty of riders who are in the thick of things.

    So, from them------It isn`t a good thing to have a coach who lives somewhere else, and doesn`t, therefore, truly understand the entire US eventing infrastructure, know the younger up and comers, know the young up and coming horses, know and respect the grass roots, etc.

    Le Goff made the commitment to move here, even became a US citizen, I think, and he really understood what American eventing was, partly because of his respect for, and friendship with, Neil Ayer, the USEA President.

    I don`t know how many actual days out of 365 CMP actually spends in the USA, but I`d be very surprised if was 100 days, if that, and that`s not enough to become integrated into our system.



  7. #7
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    Mar. 2, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanga View Post
    There is one answer to this..........OUR COACH!!!

    The best thing the Germans did about 6-7 years ago that turned them around to be at the top of this game was to hire Christopher Bartle as their coach.

    He spanked CMP and I LOVE IT!!!!!!
    Although I do agree with you, Kanga, I don't think a coach change is going to be the ultimate solution.

    Until the US stops asking breeders/owners to foot the bill in terms of breeding/developing Olympic caliber horses and implements a program that provides financial support for this group, we will never have the depth of horseflesh needed to be a true and consistent contender on the international Eventing scene. Sadly, US breeders are producing some really nice horses, but they go unnoticed because many of these breeders can't afford to develop them due to high costs combined with little to no financial support.

    And anyone who thinks the US can go to foreign countries and buy what is needed is not being realistic. Do you really think German breeders are going to let the US come in and buy their best horses? Heck no, but they'll be more than happy to sell us their third and fourth stringers while charging top dollar prices.



  8. #8
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    May. 6, 2007
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    Better riding lessons.

    Horses that are better jumpers.

    MUCH more conditioning (considering tired horses after 8 mins whereas they used to be going 2hrs and still jumped around...maybe the long format weeded out the horses that weren't 4* fit caliber???)

    More experience overseas.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanga View Post
    There is one answer to this..........OUR COACH!!!

    The best thing the Germans did about 6-7 years ago that turned them around to be at the top of this game was to hire Christopher Bartle as their coach.

    He spanked CMP and I LOVE IT!!!!!!


    There isn't much better than chris, I will have a agree.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 24, 2007
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    401

    Default Team USA

    Innocent Bystander- You are right 100%. I just think that a better Coach is where to start if the Americans want to be world-beaters again. The Irish have so many incentive programs for breeders, which off-set costs for many. It is too bad that we can't come up with something over here that is similar to help the breeder/owner. I do think many nice horses slip through the cracks here because people just don't have the money or connections to promote them correctly.

    Denny's point of view on how much Mark lives over here, I'm not sure if that really is the answer. It would be nice to have a coach live here all the time to understand the system of eventing here in America. However, there are coutries that do well with foreign coaches that continue to live in their homeland and operate their own businesses.

    Innocent Bystander is very correct in saying that if you go to Germany or most of these European countries to buy a top horse you will NOT get their top horses they will sell you a third or fourth string horse telling you it is their top horse and CHARGING you the big bucks.

    For me personally I have not liked the idea that George Morris is helping our Event riders. The HUNTER influence in American eventing I feel is one big reason we are having accidents and not looking nearly as competent as the Australians or Germans.

    I know there will be those of you out there that don't feel that way but the system of training for this sport overseas is far different than what we see here.



  11. #11
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    I think we do need a change in our coach to start with. We have several very talented Internationally level trainers here that are American citizens... why are we not using them???

    Also, I think we need to try to get some newer blood in at the top. We have the same riders just about representing us every time. I know that KOC is good, but I much rather had seen Clark or someone in there and give them the chance to prove themselves Internationally. The Aussie team fielded all people who had never rode in the Olympics before and did a great job. And this was Gina's first. I think when it is a new experience, you tend to try harder, ride better, etc. Granted nerves might be a problem, but let someone else who has a great record in there!

    And I do think we need to go back to the long format to help condition and weed out the horses that just don't have the "heart" for it. I am all for new ideas and standards, but we have to remain true to the heart of eventing which is the testing of a horse through all three phases including the full endurance.

    The USA now has the chance to really sit down and take a long hard look at what is going on with our system and what we need to do to start making changes to improve it. Don't dumb it down by removing our endurance part... bring back the long format. Also focus on the number of talented up and coming riders that need the financial backing to bring new faces and talent to our teams.

    Bobbi



  12. #12
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    Dec. 18, 2003
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    Default

    A fall four-star.
    Winters off (like the English do!) for the horses (December - February - no competing). If you MUST go to Florida, work on your LL horses.
    More attendance at dressage-only shows, like Devon, as well as the SJ shows like HITS
    Less running around and teaching clinics/buying horses for students and more focus on their own riding and programs for their horses
    Work with real XC teachers - Wofford, Lucinda.



  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanga View Post
    The Irish have so many incentive programs for breeders, which off-set costs for many. It is too bad that we can't come up with something over here that is similar to help the breeder/owner. I do think many nice horses slip through the cracks here because people just don't have the money or connections to promote them correctly.
    ...
    Innocent Bystander is very correct in saying that if you go to Germany or most of these European countries to buy a top horse you will NOT get their top horses they will sell you a third or fourth string horse telling you it is their top horse and CHARGING you the big bucks.
    The result of the Irish system is that there are LOTS of Irish HORSES at the top of the leaderboard, but it hasn't helped the Irish TEAM much.

    Similarly, the Irish seem quite willing to sell their top horses overseas, as long as you have enough money.
    Janet

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  14. #14
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    Jun. 24, 2007
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    Default Team USA

    The Irish breed a TON of nice top quality horses which is one reason we see Irish everywhere BUT the Irish themselves really do not ride or train well in their Dressage and this has hurt them for many years with their Event Horses.

    Janet- You are right, everything is for sale in that country for the right dollar but I don't think that is the case with some of the other European countries.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Also, no reason to blame George Morris. Mark Todd rides like a George Morris poster child. I don't think it is the "hunter influence" that hurts eventing, I think it is a lack of basic skills and training. A good rider will take the best from each instructor and make it her own -- and that means looking for the best instruction in dressage, jumping, and XC. Besides, isn't it Laura Kraut who has been helping the team with the jumping phase? All the blogs reflected how much the team was learning from her and how great she was.

    I do think that American eventers generally have a very poor understanding of showjumping and generally ride the phase haphazardly. The Germans, on the other hand, could be just as successful in a real jumper show. With some exceptions (some of them on our team), our riders are just not there. Look at the disaster that was Rolex showjumping this year -- it's embarrassing. The team needs more George, not less.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordtraktor View Post
    Also, no reason to blame George Morris. Mark Todd rides like a George Morris poster child. I don't think it is the "hunter influence" that hurts eventing, I think it is a lack of basic skills and training. A good rider will take the best from each instructor and make it her own -- and that means looking for the best instruction in dressage, jumping, and XC. Besides, isn't it Laura Kraut who has been helping the team with the jumping phase? All the blogs reflected how much the team was learning from her and how great she was.

    I do think that American eventers generally have a very poor understanding of showjumping and generally ride the phase haphazardly. The Germans, on the other hand, could be just as successful in a real jumper show. With some exceptions (some of them on our team), our riders are just not there. Look at the disaster that was Rolex showjumping this year -- it's embarrassing. The team needs more George, not less.
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  17. #17
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    Feb. 7, 2005
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Kanga View Post
    There is one answer to this..........OUR COACH!!!

    The best thing the Germans did about 6-7 years ago that turned them around to be at the top of this game was to hire Christopher Bartle as their coach.

    He spanked CMP and I LOVE IT!!!!!!
    I really needed a good laugh given the morning I was having....Thanks Kanga ; )



  18. #18
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    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Someone else mentioned it and it's worth repeating. The problem now is the US is sending mostly the well experienced riders but with sometimes inexperienced horse, or horses who are super experienced at the old style (such as Poggio) and not as good on this style course.

    While other countries are building up by giving inexperienced and younger riders some international and team experience, the US is sending the "dream team". What will happen when they aren't available? Some of these younger riders who have not yet had the opportunity to go need to be allowed. Look at your US gymnastic team. They are mostly younger gymnasts with a few experienced for anchors. Same with China. Keep a few of those big wigs who are always on the team, but add at least 2 that have never had a chance and have proven themselves to be ready. Like Jennifer. Look at what Gina brought. An experienced horse, a cool head and a fantastic partnership. She has a better partnership with that horse than any other team member out there and it showed. The team needs to grow, by bringing inexperienced riders with preparred horses... not experienced riders with fairly green horses if there are other options available...

    JMHO.



  19. #19
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    The big problem is the American system. They pretty much work the same way as the H/J discipline and it does NOT develop riders and horses to the point where they are International material. What they need to do is look carefully at what got them the Gold a decade ago. They had riders like the O'Connors who had lived and competed internationally overseas for many years. They don't have that anymore. It's all domestic and riders are focused on bringing along horses to sell to well heeled clients. Unfortunately, they are at the point where they are running out of money and donors are not lining up like they once were so they can't field the financial burdens of keeping riders overseas.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    The big problem is the American system. They pretty much work the same way as the H/J discipline and it does NOT develop riders and horses to the point where they are International material. What they need to do is look carefully at what got them the Gold a decade ago. They had riders like the O'Connors who had lived and competed internationally overseas for many years. They don't have that anymore. It's all domestic and riders are focused on bringing along horses to sell to well heeled clients. Unfortunately, they are at the point where they are running out of money and donors are not lining up like they once were so they can't field the financial burdens of keeping riders overseas.
    The O'Connors set that up for themselves. There was no Team money supporting them or arranging that. They built a network of sponsors and found the way to pay for it.
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