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Expert Suggests New Olympic Equestrian Event

HOKETSU Hiroshi (法華津寛), the oldest athlete (Ag...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, I discussed the injustice of Olympic medals going to equestrian riders instead of their horses. There was a mix of responses supporting and opposing my position.

I’m not one who presents problems without proposing a reasonable solution. Perhaps you won’t think this a reasonable solution, but I think you’ll find it unique.

Anatomy Of An Idea

Horses exist in most countries, certainly all that might host the Olympics. England is home to a significant equestrian culture.

Why ship horses where there are already horses? Fans of the sport would probably say that the team of the horse and rider compete together, so the horse has to travel. That’s probably so.

Of course, that supports my position that the horse should get a medal, but I digress.

My Proposal

I’d like to see a new event in the Olympics called Random Show Jumping. It would be just like the regular Show Jumping Event, with a lot of jumping over fences and ponds. I’d add one big difference.

For this event, the riders would use horses provided by the host country.

Horses and riders would be paired by a lottery. The riders would hop onto the saddle of an unfamiliar horse right after the lottery. This would be the ultimate test of the riders’ skills.

You might think that competing on unfamiliar horses would be enough. I’d respectfully disagree.

But Wait, There’s More

There would be a person in charge of managing this new event. The manager would run the drawing to match horses with riders and would get the horses for the competition.

I’m going to use a hypothetical field of fifty competitors to show how the manager’s discretion could change things.

Ideally, the manager would choose fifty horses bred and trained for jumping events. The manager would be allowed to mix in any horse that was available in the host country – a plow horse, a Shetland pony, a thoroughbred racer. The potential that a rider might saddle a horse unsuited to the task adds a new level of challenge to the competition.

English: Clydesdales. Plowing match – Heritage...

How much fun would it be to see one of these guys compete? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lottery would prevent the manager from rigging the competition to favor his country’s rider. Throwing in enough ill-suited horses to raise the fun level, but not so many as to stack the odds against the rider from the home country would be critical for a successful event.

Suppose the London Olympics Equestrian Manager selected forty-five top-notch show jumping horses, three Clydesdales, and two Shetland Ponies. There would be a one in ten chance he would eliminate the rider most likely to win a gold medal by putting him on the wrong kind of horse. The odds are equal that he would do the same to the rider representing Great Britain.

Imagine the tension in the arena as each rider is announced and everyone waits to see what sort of horse they’re riding. Picture the spectacle of a rider on the back of a giant draft horse, crashing through the obstacles before them.

There’s a ten percent chance that a particular rider would end up on the wrong sort of horse. By my calculations, there is a 100% chance that this event will be a more fun than the traditional ones.

Olympic committee, call me. We can get this lined up for this year if you hurry. Remind me to tell you about my Zebra Dressage idea when you call.

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25 Comments on “Expert Suggests New Olympic Equestrian Event”

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    Provided the horse still gets the medal, I like it. Where do I sign to get this even started?

  2. List of X says:

    I would suggest another twist: after the event is done, another lottery determines the winner.

  3. Debbie says:

    Okay, this is like “Chopped,” only with horses instead of mystery cooking ingredients. Sounds like fun. Also sounds like nobody would win — say, there’s an idea. Let’s just forget the horses and stage a lottery. You draw the winning number and you win. No wear and tear on anybody, horses included!

    • omawarisan says:

      Alright, how about this? They compete, but then they draw a number in a bonus lottery that could give someone who is way back in the pack the opportunity to make a big comeback

  4. robincoyle says:

    “Zebra Dressage.” Priceless. How about throwing in a few giraffes? Olympic Committee . . . call me.

  5. writerdood says:

    This jumping over things bit is really boring to me. You want to show me you can handle a horse? How about racing through a field full of cactus while being chased by a clown car driven by a pro-wrestler in drag?

  6. Wendy says:

    This is an interesting idea, which could be a good test of a rider’s skill and health insurance. You would have to design multiple courses, though. An 18 hand Shire horse and a 10 hand Shetland pony could not fairly compete over the same jumps.

    As for the dressage, I suggest ostriches, a la Swiss Family Robinson.

  7. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I would SO WATCH THIS! It’s brilliant. Kind of like America’s Funniest Home Video, but at the Olympics. With horses. And watching a giant draft horse stomp through a jump would add the intrigue of a demolition derby!

  8. We found him Captain! says:

    What about riding a “pissed off” kangaroo wearing boxing gloves event. The rider loses points if his top hat falls off and/or the kangaroo whips his ass after completing all the jumps?

  9. Zebra dressage with a lion released during the finals!

  10. labruyere says:

    if that’s what you want – just watch the horse riding section of the EXISTING Olympic sport – the modern pentathlon
    oh, and to make it fairer, and equally amusing, why not draw lots in the pole vault for example…
    some competitors would get a 2 foot pole and others a 2m pole….
    and in the shot put some could throw a tennis ball and others a concrete building block

    OR we could just continue watching real sport, requiring real skill for those that appreciate such things

    and leave the rest of you to sit in front of ‘Reality TV’

    • omawarisan says:

      I like your idea of drawing lots in the pole vault. I especially enjoy how the lot would actually be the implement the competitors use to compete.

      I think you’re taking me far too seriously. Enjoy The Games.

      Thanks for the link to my blog in your forum. You’ve gotten some interesting responses. I love people like those I am seeing there. They don’t seem to take themselves so seriously. My best wishes to you, and all in the Horse & Hound Forum.

      http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=549747

      • labruyere says:

        well as they say…
        there’s no such thing as bad publicity…

        and all us bloggers like publicity….!


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