Olympics and show jumping: Formula needs to be reviewed

Olympics and show jumping: Formula needs to be reviewed

Bologna, Saturday, August 7, 2021 – The great victories of British Ben Maher over the explosion in individual competition, three amazing Swedish champions in Team One, Malin Barriard of Indiana, Henrik von Eckermann of King Edward and Peder Frederickson are still in our eyes. : But now the Tokyo 2020 Olympic show jumping program is over, so it’s time for reflections and final considerations.

The first thing to consider is that sports, which are fast in form and substance, and perceived in the sense of competitive action, are not only amazing results, but absolutely flawless: all the heroes on the podium are one hundred percent entitled to the medal won by offering an exciting view. This first consideration indicates that everything went well from the plant’s point of view … We can say that the Olympics should be controlled, but in reality it is not, because the end result is not just the three positions on the podium: the dynamics of the competition, the way it happened, what happened in different moments of daily life, and the third position. There is a general effect on the competitive reality of the downtrodden.

Waiting for confirmation
This edition of the Olympics was expected to examine what would happen to the structure of practically each team going from four to three pairs (so without the possibility of abandoning the worst result of the four). Against this change, the whole world of athletes expressed their displeasure, at the head of the International Jumping Riders Club. It was a protest that was useless, vibrant, and contradictory from a practical point of view, as it could not make any changes to the decisions taken by the FA General Assembly, which was voted on by the national federations. In favor of this change .. Exactly, National Federations: So we come here to the first crucial stage of the important and ‘strong’ discussions. In short, in the voting process, each federation casts a vote, regardless of the sporting reality that exists in it … i.e.: Germany is the word of a federation that irrelevantly registers only one coach (for example) Germany … in fact it is the father / mother of all subsequent issues, but at the moment Assuming this is the case, we avoid going any further as the subject is too broad to actually be addressed here.

Those who immediately sided with this formula – three teams instead of four – do not need to examine the result, but now the result is actually evident, well … more consistent with the arguments in support of the critique. With the best knowledge of the facts the questions already raised were very clear: What will happen to a team if one of its members retires or is excluded? A team that ends up with an injured horse? In answering, we are not talking about the most important countries on the planet, or an international championship as important as the world, but the fact that we are talking about: the Olympics, an event that ranks first in the world sport for a thousand reasons of prestige, fame and importance. Moreover, we are talking about a sport that has no similarities or similarities in the Olympic family – it proves to be quite unique: because we have an animal as the protagonist of the ‘athlete’ sound, along with its needs, along with its body, physical, technical, athletic and emotional reality.

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Can’t do better against three-way formula: Japan. That’s right, home team. The country’s team that supported an organizational effort has always been remarkable, but this time it was made gigantic by all means – above all – due to the epidemic. A team of show jumping riders who have invested extraordinary efforts and resources to present themselves in the right competition in the games, achieved the goal well and all three pairs qualified for the finals and excelled through individual competition. Barrier to gold medal. In a team qualifier, a minor injury to a horse while preparing for the Test field canceled the team (very strongly, no doubt) from the Olympics.
Another case, Mexico. He started well in the team qualifying round with the first pair, then eliminated the second, and the best path of the third: the Mexicans at the end of the games.

Good and Danger
Everything said about Japan and Mexico applies to Ireland as well. But, unfortunately, the case of Ireland is even more important, as it is no doubt another reflection of what the opponents of the three – dimensional formula have to say about: the well – being of both horses and the riders. Said – unfortunately – done. We all saw what happened when the first of the three Irish pairs on the qualifying test entered the field, Shane Sweeten wrote in gray Alejandro, a horse for one reason or another – the comments on the subject were ‘social’ discussions in vain, but it is true that the evidence was shameful … – he could not finish that way. However, fortunately Sweetenam fell to the ground in a catastrophic fall that had no serious consequences, but it may have no doubt in their minds: he too will ride. Seriously, among other things, in terms of dynamism … it’s true that Sweetnam may have – perhaps should … be on the field knowing that his retirement will irrevocably compromise not only his teammates, but also his country’s race. Sure, this theory has come true in the worst possible way, but it’s only when you look back … Sweetnam may have thought he could do it anyway, because Alejandro is a horse with excellent career results, incomparable in competition to an Olympics (at least the Nations Cup, the Global Champions Tour 2019, European Championship …). The important thing is that the rules – these rules – leave him with only two options: continue to take a risk, or withdraw and end the race for Ireland. It would have been possible if the rules had been different – but there is no clear evidence – that the Irish rider would have retired, knowing that this would not compromise his national team’s Olympic effect.
The truth is that the laws work precisely to go beyond subjective, specific and personal realities. It is clear to everyone that stealing from supermarkets is prohibited, even for those who have no other way to feed their children: the law does not change based on personal realities. Had Sweetheart not retired, he would have been more condemned than he is now.

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Dry races
Is it right to subject horses and (above all) riders to two tests that have no bearing on the final result, or else to the finals of prominent individuals and teams. It will say: Inevitably, to create a choice. True, this can be bypassed-but not unless you’re a techie who knows what he’s doing. Let’s take the case of Sweden: yesterday’s lone team out of nineteen forms close to zero in qualifying with three stunning routes. 13 penalties instead of United States … Today, a barrage is needed to deliver the gold medal between the United States and Sweden. Everything is closed on zero penalties: hence the response of the stopwatch. If the United States had beaten Sweden by a hundredth, one tenth of a second, or even one, two, three or more seconds, would that have been right? Yes, because the law says that the medal is only played in this race. The rule, in fact: what is being discussed! As horsemen and men, in a race at the highest level, how can you ignore Sweden’s qualification yesterday?
In the case of individuals, Ditto: Why not consider the result of the qualifying examination in the overall score of every thirty finalist pairs? As in the case of teams, wouldn’t there be a more loyal response that reflects the values ​​on the pitch? In addition to giving more importance to the qualifying exam than the current one? None of this weighs heavily on the length of the Tests or the length of the competition days: it would be a good way to recognize the value of a pair’s commitment to the Olympic goal only once. Four years …
However, there is a problem with replacing a pair (this is possible: one of the new rules used in Tokyo 2020, this time a good rule) instead of entering the qualifying exam final ‘cold’: but it can be solved by omitting the worst score between the two.

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An absurd destruction
The case of individual competition. So what does the current regulation say? An individual qualifier wins: The first thirty go to the final, so the time for the thirtieth place counts in the case of two or more contestants with equal penalties in that position, and the field in the final to determine the order of entry. Excellent result. The last start clearly represents the undeniable achievement at this level of competition: it is, as always, a barrage or two heats in any match. But – here’s the absurdity – in the barrage of individual finals, we start in reverse order to the rankings established by fines and basic course time! That is: you say that I must be accurate and fast to achieve not only qualification in the qualifying examination, but also the position of achievement in the order of the beginning. That mistake that could have denied me entry to the finals, and then when the job is done happily you – control – tell me that my achievement is no longer considered decisive? I mean, if this position is not confirmed for me in the barrage, what is the benefit of starting last in the basic course of the final? Or rather, we can ask the question: Why should I fight to achieve a useless advantage in the qualifying round? How can you accept such a law?

In conclusion
Having said all this, it is important to realize that things at this level are never simple. Criticism is easy, it is difficult to do: it is always, in any situation, in any area of ​​human life. But positive criticism can help improve: There is no reason to believe that Paris 2024 will not change anything in light of a debate that will certainly open up in the coming days on the issues we have mentioned here.

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