Covering the showjumping European Championships in Aachen led me to question areas where this discipline differs from eventing.
I believe eventing has it right with transparency around horse inspections. The showjumpers had an inspection on Saturday, between the team and individual competitions, but it seemed to be an under the radar affair.
I found it astonishing that the two horses withdrawn before this inspection (whose riders both decided they were out of medal contention and they preferred to save their horses for another day) and the one eliminated at it — Cassio Rivetti’s ride Vivant, representing the Ukraine, who was lying second — appeared on the results sheet below those who jumped in the final and above those who had not qualified for it, with no explanation as to why they had progressed no further.
If these trot-ups exist for welfare reasons is there any reason to hide their results?
While it’s well-documented that showjumping is a far richer sport than eventing, I was also surprised riders received individual prize-money at each stage of the team contest. For example, the speed leg winner, France’s Pénélope Leprovost, landed €17,500 (£12,300), and there was money down the line. The five riders who jumped a clear on both Thursday and Friday took home €50,000 (£36,700).
To me, that’s akin to prize-money for “winning” the dressage or cross-country in eventing and while we have the odd novelty prize or cheque for the best dressage score or fastest cross-country round, it’s not something that generally happens at the moment.
I’m not sure if I like this idea. It seems contrary to the spirit of a competition that builds towards one result. But if we can ever increase eventing prize-money enough to make this possible, perhaps it’s a fun concept. What do you think?
Ref: Horse & Hound; 3 September 2015