Cross-country Eventing: a coach's perspective

On Thursday morning the French Eventing team inspected the cross-country course at Le Pin National Stud for the first time. The 6.55km track includes 35 obstacles and 44 jumping efforts, including banks, ditches, tables, hedges, water jumps, drop fences and a number of really technical combinations that will require total concentration from horse and rider.

Cross-country Eventing: a coach's perspective
© PSV Photos

We knew that it was going to be an arduous cross-country course because it’s hilly”, Michel Asseray, the second in command for the French national Eventing squad, said. “We know a bit about the Le Pin National Stud site but it’s even more impressive than we had imagined. The rain in recent days has made the ground soggy and sticky. If it stops raining the course could be perfect for Saturday. The weather will be an additional variable to take into account. The course-designer has laid out some major challenges but we should also remember that the first impression of a course is often overblown. It’s very hilly. It’s undulating all the way to the end. Even for the horses with good times up to the eight- or nine-minute markers, it will be very easy to lose thirty seconds before the finish line. But it’s a great course. It will be quite a show. I have spoken to riders from other countries and they also think that it is excellent. We’ll have to get the horses extra ready. We tried to prepare our horses the best we could in Granville. We don’t regret having them get some exercise on the beach. They’re going to need it. I think that we’re going to have an excellent cross-country contest.”

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