Horse & Hound

DELIBERATI­ON IN EVERY TRACK

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COURSE-DESIGNER Mark McGowan faced a new challenge this week – how to build championsh­ip courses in a year of uncertaint­y, bigger classes and new qualifying routes without diluting the quality.

“That’s why so much thought process and deliberati­on has gone into every single course, not just the grand prix,” he said.

“You have to take into account that you want to look after these horses. Yes some will have poles down, but you want to send them away better for the experience.”

He added he altered his design for the grand prix course on the morning of the class to ask a few more questions, following how well horses had jumped in the qualifying rounds.

“I think some of them rode the time rather than the fences and that’s what caught the majority out,” he said.

“Even though the jump-off used the whole arena, they had to realise when they were turning back that the oxers were still 1.45m/1.50m wide. Riders couldn’t turn up to those thinking they were 1.20m wide. I think a few treated them as if they were and that’s when they had the back bar.”

 ??  ?? Kerry Brennan and Wellington M produce the goods in a jump-off that demands clever riding to
take the grand prix title
Kerry Brennan and Wellington M produce the goods in a jump-off that demands clever riding to take the grand prix title
 ??  ??

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