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  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts from show jumpers

    I found this article interesting:

    http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/08/09/ol...Oe47I&tw_p=twt

    I like Cian O'Connor's comment about not being the greatest rider but being the most organized! I also liked Nick Skelton's comments about Big Star being the reason he gets up in the mornings. I loved Ian Miller's comment about Rio....he said Star Power wants to go, but he can't go without him!

    I was not really impressed though with MW's comments that his horse should have been better and that he was pleased with his riding. It's fine that he's pleased with his riding, but saying the horse should have been better seems a bit harsh to me (in my very novice opinion). With regard to the team's performance, he said it all comes down to sponsors and owners, and he said you're only as strong as the horse you're stuck on.



  2. #2
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    Default

    I thought that was a bit of a kick in the teeth to his current sponsors. And to his horse!

    I wonder what Ian meant, that he would have liked more team company. Tiffany?



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lep View Post
    I found this article interesting:

    http://horsetalk.co.nz/2012/08/09/ol...Oe47I&tw_p=twt

    I like Cian O'Connor's comment about not being the greatest rider but being the most organized! I also liked Nick Skelton's comments about Big Star being the reason he gets up in the mornings. I loved Ian Miller's comment about Rio....he said Star Power wants to go, but he can't go without him!

    I was not really impressed though with MW's comments that his horse should have been better and that he was pleased with his riding. It's fine that he's pleased with his riding, but saying the horse should have been better seems a bit harsh to me (in my very novice opinion). With regard to the team's performance, he said it all comes down to sponsors and owners, and he said you're only as strong as the horse you're stuck on.
    He didn't say you're only as strong as the horse you're stuck on he said the STOCK your on.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mayhew View Post
    I thought that was a bit of a kick in the teeth to his current sponsors. And to his horse!
    Perhaps his sponsors can find a rider who would appreciate the horse more - it doesn't sound like much of a partnership :-(



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Dove View Post
    He didn't say you're only as strong as the horse you're stuck on he said the STOCK your on.
    True colours perhaps?



  6. #6
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    Default

    He said the team's horses weren't as consistent as some of the other top competitors - not too surprising since much of the team is on horses that are "greener" by international competition standards. I don't think that seems totally unreasonable. What I took from it is that the team (America) needs a deeper stock of top-level horses - which everyone agrees they do. There have even been articles and threads about it here on COTH.

    To me, the most interesting comment though was Lamaze's "this was supposed to be Hickstead's Olympics." I'll bet this games was bitter sweet for him - being there without his once in a lifetime partner who was supposed to be there with him.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lep View Post
    I was not really impressed though with MW's comments that his horse should have been better and that he was pleased with his riding. It's fine that he's pleased with his riding, but saying the horse should have been better seems a bit harsh to me (in my very novice opinion). With regard to the team's performance, he said it all comes down to sponsors and owners, and he said you're only as strong as the horse you're stuck on.
    Wonder what size helmet he wears...
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  8. #8
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    Default

    Mclain expected to be there on Sapphire. Though Andy is a nice enough horse, my guess is that he feels like a donkey compared to Sara. He's just tellingthe truth.
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  9. #9
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    Default correct quote from MW

    Secret Dove, he said "but you’re only as strong as the horse stock you’re on.” I assumed "stock" was a typo in the article and should have been "stuck" instead.



  10. #10
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    Default

    Wow, Antares F is a pretty nice donkey.

    I think MW's comments lacked class. Your horse is your PARTNER, and you succeed or fail as a PARTNERSHIP. Can you imagine a beach volleyballer or synchronized diver saying "I was pleased with my performance but my partner should have been better"??

    When making a statement to the media, there are all kinds of way to be diplomatic -- "he's inexperienced"; "we are building our partnership"; even "it just wasn't our day". Nothing wrong with saying it's a rebuilding year for the team, yadda, yadda. Maybe I'm too pollyanna about this but I firmly believe you never, EVER publicly diss your horse in this way.

    (Not just saying this because I am Canadian, but Eric is in the same situation as MW and he didn't dump all over Derly Chin de Muse...)



  11. #11
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    I give him credit for being honest and to the point. He has high expectations for his horse and the horse didn't give it back to him. If he'd said "could" instead of "should" it would have changed the comment tone quite a bit.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lep View Post
    Secret Dove, he said "but you’re only as strong as the horse stock you’re on.” I assumed "stock" was a typo in the article and should have been "stuck" instead.
    But then it would have read "but you're only as strong as the horse stuck you're on." That doesn't make any sense. I know reporting isn't what it used to be but I don't think it was a typo.
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  13. #13
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    Default

    I was quite impressed with Derly Chin de Muze! She jumped beautifully and I am proud of Eric for giving her a lot of credit. I must admit that after the last competitions in Spruce Meadows where she 1) dumped him at the triple combination one day and 2) refused at the same combination the following week... I was apprehensive. But Eric and Torchy Millar were right! She came through! She will be back!
    Yes, Eric was supposed to be there with Hickstead, but anything (as we saw) can happen with horses, esp. when they get into their late teens. The Canadian and the US teams are in a rebuilding phase... they will be back!
    I am sure Ian meant he would have liked Eric to have been in the final with him! Still, very well done Ian!!



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lep View Post
    Secret Dove, he said "but you’re only as strong as the horse stock you’re on.” I assumed "stock" was a typo in the article and should have been "stuck" instead.
    "Stock" is just another word for horse, more commonly used in regard to western horses, but I'm sure he didn't mean to say "the horse he was stuck on." I think he means that you can only be as good as the quality of horseflesh you are riding. Authentic, Sapphire and Hickstead were of a caliber that is not often found, and the horses that are replacing them are being held to a very tough standard.

    Seems like McLain doesn't think Antares F lived up to his expectations, and that he was disappointed in him, although I think it would have been better just not to have said anything at all.



  15. #15
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    Telegraph article on Lord Harris (Hello Sanctos's owner);
    By Ian Chadband
    8:00AM BST 02 Jun 2012


    When not battling to keep his 675-store Carpetright empire sailing along smoothly in choppy economic climes or busily bankrolling the transformation of his inner city London schools, the workaholic baron’s long-harboured dream has been to unearth a champion horse and fund a rider to pilot it to Britain’s first Olympic show jumping gold medal for 60 years.

    In Hello Sanctos and Scott Brash, he wonders if the magic carpet ride is on. With Team GB’s selection process now reaching decisive stages in shows around Europe, the pair have won two major classes, including a $60,000 (£39,000) jackpot at a World Cup qualifying event in Florida, and jumping a brilliant double-clear round for Britain in the Nations Cup show in Rome eight days ago.

    When Harris, 69 and sitting on a personal £200 million fortune, chanced upon this potential horse of a lifetime late last year, put up for sale in Germany by a frustrated Ukrainian billionaire who had supposedly fallen out with its rider, he knew he had to pull off a clandestine swoop for Britain.

    He contacted his friend and co-owner, fellow home furnishings tycoon Lord Kirkham, who made his billion from DFS, and they agreed to take the plunge. They sent Brash, the Scot that Harris believes is the best young rider he has seen since David Broome’s heyday, to test the horse, Sanctos van het Gravenhof, at its German stables.

    After a 45-minute try out, Brash reported back that it was as exciting as its reputation as a regular grand prix winner suggested.

    The deal was done immediately to beat the equestrian transfer deadline and ensure the horse would be allowed under international rules to represent Britain. Harris had never seen his purchase in the flesh but poring over 26 videos of the horse had already convinced him.

    “I liked it so much, I didn’t even try to bid the price down. How about that!” says the self-made tycoon with a satisfied chuckle at his offices in Purfleet, Essex.

    Harris will not say how much it cost them, save that it is the most expensive animal he has ever bought in nearly half a century of trading, but it is believed that the peers pumped in a million euros each.

    “It took me about 30 seconds to make my mind up to buy. I’m like that, though. If I see something I like and I can afford it, I’ll buy it,” he says. “I don’t think it’s a bargain, though. I’ll tell you if it’s a bargain if I win that Olympic gold medal.”

    The sparky bay gelding, renamed Hello Sanctos, could be the ultimate 'Plastic Brit’. Belgian-born, stabled in the US and Germany, owned by an American and then a Ukrainian oil tycoon, the globe-trotting horse is now an honorary Scot at Brash’s stables in Peebles.

    Not that anyone will care about his roots if, as Lord Harris hopes, it is part of the first British show jumping team to win gold since Col Harry Llewellyn on Foxhunter guided the 1952 champions in Helsinki.

    We are getting ahead of ourselves, though. As Olympic selection hots up, nothing is guaranteed. Brash, still getting to know his brilliant but “tricky” Hello Sanctos, wonders if his trusty old campaigner, Intertoy Z, may be still the safer Olympic bet while Harris has, among the six horses he owns, another London hope, Tina Fletcher’s mount Hello Sailor.

    “But I do think Sanctos is a great horse, as good as any I’ve ever owned,” enthuses Harris. “I’ve won everything else in show jumping and I believe Graham Kirkham and I have got a great chance to land Olympic gold.

    “As a boy, my dream was to play football for Arsenal [instead, he has settled for becoming a director] but when David Broome started riding for me 40-odd years ago, my sporting ambitions changed.

    “I’ll be 70 the month after the Games but I’ve still the same old competitive streak. I’m not in this to finish 10th.”

    It is the same mentality which led to Phil Harris, a 15-year-old grammar schoolboy, inheriting his dad’s market stall in Peckham and two other shops and build the business into a European retail empire.

    The same streak too which, after Harris had joined a pony club and was taught by future wife Pauline to ride horses on Streatham Common, saw him become accomplished enough to win a big show jumping class at 21.

    Never quite good enough to reach the top, though, the thriving young businessman became an owner instead. He bought his first horse, Warlord, for Pauline.

    “Cost something like £100. He galloped away with Pauline and jumped the protective wooden railings and I thought 'hello, must be pretty good’ and so I bought him!”

    As his investments grew, Harris teamed up with Broome – “still the best rider I ever saw” — buying Sportsman and Philco for him to ride with huge success at a time when show jumping was a national attraction on the BBC.

    But the Olympics was the dream. When rules outlawing professionals were relaxed for the 1988 Seoul Games, Broome rode another of Harris’s horses, Countryman, into silver medal position going into the final round.

    “I can still remember it so clearly,” reflects Lord Harris. “Your tummy’s turning, you’re so nervous you can’t watch or concentrate on anything. I can see it now; if we go clear, it’s silver but three from home, he has a fence down.” Silver turned into fourth.

    “But that day sparked something in me, the Olympic ambition which has driven me ever since.”

    In Barcelona 1992, though, Harris and Britain’s equestrian chiefs fell out bitterly. There, Broome, due to ride another Harris horse, Countryman, was controversially dropped while Harris was already on his way to watch.

    “They put another rider in at the last minute. I was furious with them and let them know it. After that, I gave up for a long while, just didn’t want to know,” he recalls.

    So for 17 years, Britain’s show jumping team lost their major supporter until a new domestic hierarchy and the joint purchase, again with Lord Kirkham, of the exciting Hello Sailor wooed him back. Harris’s energy remains boundless at 69 – and it needs to.

    “Business is difficult at the moment and will be for another two years,” concedes the man whose firm was forced to issue another profits warning recently.

    “But I’m still working as hard as ever, 8.30 to seven every day, and still enjoying it.” Just as much as he still loves financing his academy schools.

    “If you asked me whether I’d choose my schools before my show jumping, there would be no contest. One is helping change the lives of 20,000 children, the other is just my pleasure.

    “But I’d have to say that, of all my life’s ambitions, winning that Olympic medal for Britain is the one I haven’t achieved. I’m determined not to let it beat me.”
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccoronios View Post
    Wonder what size helmet he wears...
    *snork*

    I'm one that usually defends McLain when others jump on the bashing wagon, but yeah, he could've handled this a little more diplomatically. Yes, he was disappointed and we all have bad days, but he probably should've realized post-Olympic round comments would go viral.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fargaloo View Post
    Wow, Antares F is a pretty nice donkey.

    I think MW's comments lacked class. Your horse is your PARTNER, and you succeed or fail as a PARTNERSHIP. Can you imagine a beach volleyballer or synchronized diver saying "I was pleased with my performance but my partner should have been better"??

    When making a statement to the media, there are all kinds of way to be diplomatic -- "he's inexperienced"; "we are building our partnership"; even "it just wasn't our day". Nothing wrong with saying it's a rebuilding year for the team, yadda, yadda. Maybe I'm too pollyanna about this but I firmly believe you never, EVER publicly diss your horse in this way.

    (Not just saying this because I am Canadian, but Eric is in the same situation as MW and he didn't dump all over Derly Chin de Muse...)
    Yes, that is quite Pollyanna of you. i actually think his assessment of his horses performance is pretty accurate.

    Eric was too busy dumping on the FEI and the CE to talk much about his performance ;-)
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for that article on Lord Harris, Equibrit, I am so glad he achieved his life's ambition to win team gold. Now if only he could be persuaded to buy a couple of dressage horses as well?



  19. #19
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    McLain's comments showed no class. He basically said, my horse did not do well, I however, rode great.

    If the horse was not up to the task, the blame falls on the rider. He said his horse ran out of gas. Perhaps a better conditioning program?

    He did say all the horses are great, just don't have the consistancy. Hopefully he and his teammates will work with those horses so they have the chance to become great teams, as he and Beezie had with Sapphire and Authentic.

    But I have to say, if he were on my horse, I believe I'd find another rider.

    If he publicly says my horse isn't good enough, I guess he can find something better to ride.



  20. #20
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    I didn't say it was inaccurate, but he didn't need to say it in the media. It's poor sportsmanship to pat yourself on the back while putting down someone else's performance, whether a teammate or an opponent (human or equine). I don't have a hate-on for MW and sometime things come out of our mouths that could have been phrased better, but yes, I think his comment was tacky.



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